Page 295 - Wide Open Discussion

8th Jun 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Wide Open Discussion
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 8th Jun 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
The right to take plenty of time to process information and choose one's words is a great optimizer for the players' social performance. Which makes you wonder why players still manage to fantastically blunder from time to time...

P.S. The last One Piece crossover page is here, in case you haven't already seen it. That's all for now! It's been a fun week.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Aegis Steadfast 8th Jun 2013, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Aegis Steadfast
You blunder because sometimes the forces of chance just really really hate you.
Guest 8th Jun 2013, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Story of my life...
DragonhandX 8th Jun 2013, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
maybe they could bring celestia along, but distract her before she notices rarity is a thief?
Mooncalf 9th Jun 2013, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
What self-respecting player WILLINGLY brings along the GMPC?

Particularly one that has in-character mandate to be overpowered? (As opposed to most GMPCs who are just overpowered without reason.)
Aegis Steadfast 9th Jun 2013, 7:08 PM edit delete reply
Aegis Steadfast
Me because for one the GMPC wasn't overpowered and for twenty four, we got our cutie marks together.

There's a few other numbers in there but I forget them.
Raxon 9th Jun 2013, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
GMPCs are useful! They're great when you need a bit of extra ballast for a small dinghy, or have forgotten to carry a grappling hook, or you are debating whether there is actually treasure in there when the sign says, "Place your hand in the statue's mouth".
Rokas 8th Jun 2013, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Oh Twilight, how would she find out that Rarity is a thief? Getting kidnapped while mining isn't exactly what thieves do, if I recall correctly.

Ah, well. It serves the plot. (Not THAT plot, you gutterbrain.)

And Dash's player should look at it this way: without the princess RD will get to do most of the butt-kicking.
Jason Shadow 8th Jun 2013, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Celestia: "Oh, don't mind me. Just pretend I'm not here."
Twilight: "Whoops... Did we say all that out loud?"
Celestia: "Perhaps, but I'm not sure. After living over a thousand years, one's hearing begins to falter... That's part of why I've established such an extensive espionage service. Now, what was that about your friend the thief?"
Twilight: *Whimper*
you know that guy 9th Jun 2013, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
Actually, what does it matter she's a thief? She IS the element of Generosity, right?
Seanpony Renaud 9th Jun 2013, 10:33 AM Ehhh edit delete reply
::Puts on his Rush Limbpony disguise::
It's really easy to be generous with other people's money. Would Rarity be the element of generosity if she was giving things she gained by the work of her flanks instead of stealing from Honest Applejack? I think not! You all need to take along look into your hearts before you end up with a hammer and sickle for a cutie mark.
Digo 8th Jun 2013, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
I blunder because it's hilarious to do so :D
Sometimes failing is much more fun than succeeding, especially when you can fail with style and make everyone laugh.
The Captain 8th Jun 2013, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
The Captain
Or when your failures end up saving the party or initiating something so monumentally successful that it leaves everyone horribly confused.
Digo 9th Jun 2013, 5:57 AM edit delete reply
Ah yes, those are rare gems of the campaign :D
FanOfMostEverything 8th Jun 2013, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
"Was that in character?" That's another fun question to ask as DM. My players have surprised me with how often they answer "Yes." Which is to say, they have answered "Yes."
The Captain 8th Jun 2013, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
The Captain
I often don't ask my players if something was said or done in character and just go ahead and take whatever they've said or done as being in character regardless. It leads to some bad results for my players, but it's usually funnier that way. :D
Kynrasian 8th Jun 2013, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
My co-DM used to assume rather than ask. I eventually told him politely to stop it as the other player in the group (currently the only one of us who is only a player) can't help but say things that are intended to be out-of-character.
Raxon 8th Jun 2013, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Newbie, you magnificent bastard, I read your guest comic!

You used my idea and turned it into an even more broken character than I did!

*sniff* I'm so proud.
Malroth 8th Jun 2013, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
an actual rules legal build that does that trick better would be a kobald, Psionic warrior -> Goliath Stoneblessed 3 -> Goliath Barbarian 1 -> more psionic warrior. You then are a small creature that becomes a large creature when raging, Count as both a creature 1 size larger and smaller than your current size whenever beneficial to do so, can manefest psionic expansion or compression to further modify their own size 2 categories in either direction and gain the applicable stat gains as if gaining 1 more size category than they actually did (giving them a +32 size bonus to str mod moving from tiny to gargantuan and can weild colossal weapons without penalty)
Raxon 8th Jun 2013, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Add the gigantism feat and and the oversized weapon feat, and you get a base size of medium, with the option to wield large weapons. Assuming the weapons size up in proportion to you, you can size up to colossal, and wield whatever weapon size comes after that.

Yeah, there's gotta be a size that comes after colossal.
FanOfMostEverything 9th Jun 2013, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Macro-Fine, according to the same 3rd party material that gave us stats for the Great A'Tuin and neutronium golems.
Star King 9th Jun 2013, 1:40 PM Star King edit delete reply
Would that be Agromantic?
Raxon 9th Jun 2013, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
Waaaait a minute... Did we just make a D&D Ant Man?

I call dibs on the insane flesh golem rogue created from a troll who never shuts up and is totally a legit member of the X-Men cause he has a Miss Marvel uniform in his closet.

He's the beat at what he does, and what he does is terribly silly.
aylatrigger 10th Jun 2013, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Coincidentally, in my Ponyfinder game I added a pony race that could shapeshift into different sizes (only as Beast Shape 1 and Beast Shape 2 1/day, though)... I did follow the rules in making that race as well as some others... They are all about the same number of points as a human. Yet it is extremely useful (my character is one of the shapeshifters... and an aspiring actress). Being able to add bonuses to your stealth, gain the ability to fly, become stronger, or gain senses is really helpful.
As a GM I usually tell the players they can do anything that is in the rules and not TOO absurd, so minmaxing is encouraged. I just adjust encounters and treasures to suit the party.
Other Guest 8th Jun 2013, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
A more unforgiving DM would assume they are speaking out loud and in character unless they specify otherwise.
Syth 8th Jun 2013, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Or sometimes we blunder on purpose, just to get the inevitable combat going.
Raxon 8th Jun 2013, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
I have a D20 that's cut in half so it just always lands on the one. I lost the other half somewhere.
aerion111 8th Jun 2013, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
Because otherwise you couldn't get scenes like this:

Though, technically, it's against the rules to use special dice (with just 1s) or rolling methods (placing it down) unless specifically told so.
It's not against the rules to intentionally fail; You can always choose to fail a skill-check or resistance.
Not sure how it works in 4th-ed, since you don't roll for resistance (4th-ed resistance is different. It's more a replacement for duration than an actual resistance)
Lyntermas 8th Jun 2013, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
In our Shadow Walkers campaign, our DM essentially got tired of us discussing how we were supposed to get out of a locked-down building and had the pony SWAT toss in a flash grenade and a nerve gas grenade into the room we were in. Surprisingly, half of our party was still able to escape after that.
Raxon 8th Jun 2013, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
If only you had some kind of special ability that would give you an edge of some sort.

You saw that right. Twilight has been teleporting since before most of you kids were born.
DanielLC 8th Jun 2013, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
That reminds me of once in a campaign I was in, we spent fifteen minutes discussing how to escape a room through a hole in the ceiling (it required a spider walk spell, and the fact that two of us independently brought 50 feet of rope) before the DM finally convinced us to use the door.
JSchunx 8th Jun 2013, 11:05 PM edit delete reply
The door? And waste all that perfectly good rope? Boooring!
Raxon 9th Jun 2013, 1:35 PM edit delete reply
Never trust a door that the DM urges you to use. It's a trap.
Digo 10th Jun 2013, 3:57 AM edit delete reply
My players just don't trust doors, PERIOD. I mentally TPK'd the party with a magic door once. To open it, you tell it a knock-knock joke. Any knock-knock joke would do, even a really bad one.
Failure to tell a joke leads to it shooting you with magic lasers (though the lasers can be disabled).

Two hours and the party failed this. :)
aylatrigger 10th Jun 2013, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
Or railroading. Which could be just as bad, but could also be the DM giving up on trying to get you to follow the plot normally.
sstabeler 8th Jun 2013, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Of course, this is all supposing that Princess Celestia doesn't already know due to being the leader of the Thieves Guild herself. (Can you really say it would be out of character for Celestia? She doesn't have to have stolen anything while a Princess, but I dout she was born an Alicorn...) The revelation would be utterly hilarious, I think.
Tatsurou 8th Jun 2013, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
I more like the idea that she's set up - and legalized - all the Guilds based on various regulations because it makes the country work better, and keeps track of every active member of the Guilds in order to make sure they actually ARE obeying her regulations.

Allow me to reintroduce the supreme ruler of Equestria...Celestia Soluna Vetinari.
gloomie 8th Jun 2013, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
please, how do you even think she attained her wings or horn?

She obviously stole them off another goddess' back!
DanielLC 8th Jun 2013, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Princess Celestia is the head of the government, which isn't all that different from a thieves guild.

It's possible that the Equestrian government started out as a theives guild. First you start demanding protection money, then you start protecting people, because you can't steal anything that someone else stole or destroyed, then you start doing public works, to make sure people produce more stuff you can take, etc.
Einargs 8th Jun 2013, 10:58 PM ... funny coincidence edit delete reply
I'm betting that a government evolved that way at least once. Also, thanks for the Idea. I'm planning my second campagin (actually planning, not just making it up based on 3 hours of thought(I ran 3 sessions that way for my first campaign)) and that would be a cool idea for a government. I wonder if they would have civil rights? Its neat to think about.
Betatrack 10th Jun 2013, 3:44 AM edit delete reply
She only really needs to steal one thing to become the leader of the Thieves Guild: the title of leader of the Thieves Guild
Mr. Brony 8th Jun 2013, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
I've always had problem finding a good way to separate out of game and in game chatter. Out of game chatter is important, but a lot of people have trouble remember that just because YOU know something doesn't mean your CHARACTER does, and the longer out of game chatter goes on for, the more people seem to forget that. And even more so, it gets old saying, "Okay, in-game" all the time. I thought that having a character voice might help, but you gotta get everyone to do it or you look like a dork XD
aerion111 8th Jun 2013, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
If you don't overdo it, a voice can work wonderfully.
I can't do it myself (not only am I just about literally tone-deaf (more specifically, I wake up every morning with tones slightly different. I COULD hypothetically re-learn a sense of tune every day, but come on, I'm not that much of a genius) but I've got trouble enough just pronouncing words (lack of practice) :P) but I've heard others do it.
In some podcasts, the players barely even change their voices, but you can still hear them go from 'casual gamer' to 'rough warrior'.
It seems like the best way to not overdo it is to not have something specific in mind; If you try a russian accent, you might fail horribly. If you just want russian-esque you might end up with a kind of 'rounded german' instead, but it'll still sound cool because you're not forcing it.
McBehrer 8th Jun 2013, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
hmm... ok, there's a story there. EX-PLAIN
The Captain 8th Jun 2013, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
The Captain
Eh, as the DM, I love doing character voices, but I guess that's what you expect from a DM. But, I hate having to stop my players from getting too meta. Luckily, they don't do that often, so that's nice.
JSchunx 8th Jun 2013, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
I'm in the same boat as you, Captain. I enjoy varying my characters' voices. My only problem is when I mix up which character's voice is whose.

And also when I haven't used a particular character for awhile and I forget which accent he has, and he goes from Scottish to German or something like that.
MumaKirby 9th Jun 2013, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
Dawnforged Cast on youtube does wonderful character voices.

... Yeah, that's all I got.
David 9th Jun 2013, 1:39 PM edit delete reply
In my groups, we usually assume dialogue is in-character unless it's blatantly not (referring to stats or calling each other by our real names or something) or we use a hand signal to show out-of-character, usually a fist held up against the forehead.
Raxon 9th Jun 2013, 9:21 PM edit delete reply
If we're playing CoC, could I use the Double Finger Defense to signal when I am speaking out of character, and thus, safe from the monsters? Or would that taste a bit too metagamey?
aylatrigger 10th Jun 2013, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
One group I had did a hand in front of your face mimicking Cthulhu tentacles for out-of-character. Fortunately most of my games are over skype, so we just use <> for ooc. or just say it out of quotes if it is not an action
_R_ 8th Jun 2013, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
I guess that they somehow let Celestia get out of the situation, and their reward is getting a new spell each. Twilight's case is the gem finding spell, know how this goes.
CommandoDude 8th Jun 2013, 8:44 PM edit delete reply
In Pathfinder, there are rules for conveying secret information (by using a bluff check and opposed perception check).

Of course, PCs never feel the need to talk secretively with each other. They can just talk telepathically using the 'out of character' mechanic.
einargs 8th Jun 2013, 11:02 PM 3.5 d&d edit delete reply
Its the same in 3.5 d&d. I don't remember exactly how it works, or if its in 4.0.
Tvtyrant 8th Jun 2013, 10:49 PM Tvtyrant edit delete reply
I have a little sign that I hold up when I am talking out of character. It's easier than leaving it to chance.
Digo 10th Jun 2013, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
That's quite effective. I did similar in a past D&D game. I drew two pictures, a nice realistic one of my character, and a stick figure with "OOC" over it.
Kian 9th Jun 2013, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
You assume that having more time to digest and choose a response is "better", this is your mistake. More time simply means that the players can dig an even deeper grave for themselves.
Tatsurou 9th Jun 2013, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
You know, something I've noticed no one in campaign has thought of.
Rarity's the Element of Generosity. Celestia did not have the power to defeat Nightmare Moon, but the Elements did.
Within the confines of the campaign, the Elements have been established as the Ultimate Dues ex Machina.

Doesn't that basically mean that Celestia would be COMPELLED to accept the Bearers for who they are? Otherwise, we get this:

Celestia: I can't believe you never told me that Rarity was a theif! Twilight, I am sorely disappointed in you.
Twilight: Bu-but...
Rarity: I'd back off from my friend if I were you, Your Highness.
Celestia: Really? *indulgent smirk* And why is that?
Rarity: Well, see, I recently...reacquired these from the Royal Vault. *distributes Elements of Harmony* And we, as always, stand together.
Rainbow: Wait, we're gonna kick the flank of the God-Princess? SWEET!
Fluttershy: Like I told the dragon...Nobody...HURTS! MY! FRIENDS!
AJ: Well, wasn't expecting this to happen...but can't say I'm not eager to mix this one up.
Pinkie Pie: Woot! Epic level final boss time! Let's go!
DM: ...Pinkie, shouldn't you be saying something in character?
PP: That WAS in character!
Everyone Else: *facehoof*
TS: Well, we're all in this together. We're probably going to get a TPK, but...let's go out in style, shall we?
DM: The Elements begin to glow.
Celestia: Well...buck...


Celestia: And that, Twilight, is why you should always stand by your friends and never be ashamed of them.
Twilight: Wait, you mean that would actually work?
Celestia: No.
Twilight: ...Bluff check.
Brickman 10th Jun 2013, 4:56 AM edit delete reply
If your version of Celestia is sneaky enough to use a bluff, your version of Celestia has enough ranks in bluff that you're not gonna catch her.
Tatsurou 10th Jun 2013, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
THere's always that chance that Twilight rolls a nat 20 and the DM crit fails.
Azureink 10th Jun 2013, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Wouldn't Twilight call for an Insight check against Celestia's Bluff?
Malroth 11th Jun 2013, 12:29 AM edit delete reply
4th ed. Insight is a passive skill that is always assumed you're taking 10 in so its ludicrously easy to bluff somebody just 2 levels lower than you 100% of the time with there being absolutely nothing they could ever do to find you out.