Page 674 - Technic Calamity

17th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Technic Calamity
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 17th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM edit delete
Now here's something that comes up more than we DMs would like in tabletop...

Stories where an important moment in the campaign hinged on a technicality of some kind.

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Jennifer 17th Nov 2015, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
"From a certain point of view." - Obi-wan
Grant 17th Nov 2015, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Guy catches a lot of flak for that, but I can't say that I wouldn't do the same in his place.
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
One of my favorite technicalities was where The Great and Powerful Trixie was stuck in an air-tight prison cell and the guards came in to subdue her. She had a noxious gas spell that was technically unbreathable because it is primarily composed of methane, the room is sealed so technically the guards would suffocate in a room full of this gas, and Trixie was skilled enough in magic to shape the spell so she technically could make a "donut shape" of the gas where she occupies the only breathable center of the affected area. What stopped her was that she had trouble dodging the large amount of stun beam attacks the prison wardens were shooting at her. Though technically she successfully dodged about 75% of their attacks.

Trixie was something like 2 hit points shy of defeating the equivalent of 23rd century Star Trek technology. They sent her back to her timeline out of sheer embarrassment of being nearly defeated by an egotistical blue unicorn.
Ishidan 17th Nov 2015, 8:35 AM Great and powerful gas edit delete reply
Noxious gas of mostly methane.


RAXON! Did YOU give them the idea to create a weaponized fart spell for use by a unicorn girl? No? Then who did?
Toric 17th Nov 2015, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
In fairness, I pulled a similar stunt where I created the dome around me and an opponent and exploded. I argued that technically there was no air left in the bubble and that the wizard inside wouldn't be able to use verbal components or not suffocate. Stupid silent spell...
Thor 17th Nov 2015, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
Sadly your technicality fails on a technicality. While there is no more oxygen after a combustion event like an explosion there is still gas which can be used to speak and cast spells. No breathing of course but even a puny Con 8 Wizard could get by without breathing for 10 or so seconds.
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Fart spells are pretty basic. I don't need Raxon to weaponize one of those. :3
Toric 17th Nov 2015, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
Mythic stinking cloud...40ft burst centered on you but not including your occupied space. Targets in area must make a fortitude save or become sickened, then nauseated in addition to suffocating
Ishidan 18th Nov 2015, 5:22 PM Own space edit delete reply
Well it does occupy your own space, but the caster is not affected because "Everybody loves their own brand, don't they?"
Raxon 17th Nov 2015, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, I think the best character to utilize fart based magic would be a Canadian dullahan.
Toric 17th Nov 2015, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
...What benefit does being Canadian provide exactly that isn't already covered by lacking a head?
Evilbob 17th Nov 2015, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
He would be apologizing for it the whole time!
Digo Dragon 18th Nov 2015, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
*Rimshot* :D
ANW 17th Nov 2015, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
"I thought we'd agreed to never talk about that again"
Have your in-game selves ever had that happen?
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
In my Pony D&D 5e game, the party rogue attempted to jump into the battle with a heroic entry and calling out his blade's name, "Tiny Viper"!

He rolled a 2.

He then asked us all to forget we saw anything. :3
Mykin 18th Nov 2015, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
"Hey Taiyth, remember the time you burned a flowery meadow full of pansy elves dancing in complete and utter spite and it ended up burning half the forest do-"


This is, sadly, not the first time my cleric has destroyed an entire ecosystem by accident...
Grant 17th Nov 2015, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Not so much a rules technicality as a legal one. It was a follow up to one of the Elder Evils campaigns where a lawful being had been trying to free one of them because its time in prison was up (never mind that this would result in widespread death and destruction). We'd managed to destroy the being, but its replacements on another plane would just keep trying so we had to go there and permanently destroy it. Naturally we managed to botch it quickly, after causing a lot of property damage and a number of deaths.

So when put on trial we spent a lot of time arguing that the efforts were inherently clashing with other laws at best (trespassing, reckless endangerment of other life) and outright chaotic at worst, and that our actions were legal because we were in pursuit of a wanted criminal by the kingdoms of our world.

Even with great rolls I still find it hard to believe we actually got them to agree. Not to let us destroy it of course, the DM played them like people with brains and they were going to be the ones that decided its fate. But it did at least allow us to buy some time to get out and sabotage it before running away.
j-eagle12212012 17th Nov 2015, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
I was on hitbox watching Spuds Aniversery stream for Fallout is Dragons and I was surprised that the stream is over 7 hours long and that Spud was using little pips fixes for New Vegas... my question for Spud is
"When is the 2 year aniversery of Fallout is Dragons? And will you be doing another aniversery stream?
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Technic Calamity... oh hey, let me spin this one for a story from the GM's side.

I'm a player in a Pony RP and we've been charged by Twilight Sparkle to retrieve an ancient gemstone. This stone is one of several pieces that hold the essence of a sealed-away demon that wants to make a comeback and terrorize Equestria. Think Horcruxes from the Harry Potter series.

We get financial help by a reoccurring NPC ally named Calamity Mane. My character is starting to fall for her and on the train ride to Vanhoover, he tries to have a semi-romantic nice dinner with her.

And then we find out that the demon has somehow possessed Calamity. D: Cue a boss battle that is extra tricky because of a wonderful technicality-- the demon is only needing to control Calamity remotely, so any damage we do, is done to Calamity, not the demon!

We lose the fight and the demon teleports Calamity away as a hostage for later. It was a pretty dramatic loss, but in a good way as it really spun a good story on the party losing a fight.
Toric 17th Nov 2015, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Well, I hope things work out between the two characters. If only someone had prepared protection from evil.
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My character is the main spellcaster, despite being an Earth Pony (trained by a magical comic book antagonist he's friends with). Don't have Protection from Evil, but he did have a spell that breaks mind enchantments. Hit Calamity with it twice. He managed to break part of the possession, to where Calamity stopped fighting us. Alas, could not prevent the villain from teleporting her away.

It is developing into a love story in the making. I look forward to seeing if it works out for them.
Evilbob 17th Nov 2015, 4:11 PM edit delete reply
An Earth Pony as the main spellcaster??? How does that work??
Digo Dragon 18th Nov 2015, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It works pretty well. We're using 'Roleplaying is Magic' 4th edition and it doesn't ban earth ponies from learning low-level magic. With the party's only unicorn taking the role of Diplomancer, I filled in the spellcaster spot on the team. I can't cast the highest-level spells, but I have found that most of the good utility magic is on the lower levels, so it works out.
Specter 17th Nov 2015, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
Ouch. I have a DM who did something like that to me once (it was incidental to them), but instead of having to fight them or anything like that, she had back home because her people needed her.

*Tear* She was the only human my dragon-born actually liked.
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
That's been happening a lot in the Fallout game I'm in. I think three of the four players have an NPC they really liked and the NPC was called away or had to leave the group.
Mykin 17th Nov 2015, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Astral is in a similar situation... kind of. See, during the ten years he's been trying to cure the virus that was messing with his stable, only one mare was ever nice to him. After standing up to his overmare and finally getting the help he needed, Astral decided that he wasted enough time and asked her out in a completely roundabout way. Having her say yes helped motivate him into trying to find a cure within a week.

Due to events that I don't feel like spoiling (still waiting for the right story prompt before I tell that story), he was forced to leave her and a few other ponies behind in the care of the bored sadist that really runs the stable. What makes it worse for him is that, by the time the party will be able to go back for them, there's a really high chance that she won't even remember who he is anymore.
Digo Dragon 18th Nov 2015, 4:56 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Wow that's going to be a tragic love story. Shakespeare would give it a good nod.
Mykin 18th Nov 2015, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
The sad thing is is that he never really bothered to talk to her or any pony for that matter until he was asked for names to include in his list of ponies to help him cure the virus in a week. When the group's moral compass character (whom I agree with Evilbob could kill us all with her bare hooves) decided to call him out on being a bad friend for focusing on the job to the exclusion of everything else, he started thinking and decided that he didn't want to be like that anymore. Two sessions later and he's kicked out of the stable with the knowledge that the mare he finally wanted to be with will probably be asking who he is the next time they meet... if there is a next time.

As an aside, this was the exact point that our GM decided to take a two month hiatus to fix the game system we use for the game. Considering that jumping is banned in our game, that comes as no surprise to us.
Evilbob 18th Nov 2015, 5:52 PM edit delete reply
Stop encouraging him!
Mykin 17th Nov 2015, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
I've been there, Rainbow Dash. More times than I care to mention. How I've yet to annoy any of my groups with my inability to speak coherently at times is beyond me.

Anyway, the only technicalities I've had to deal with in games is with the zone of truth spell. While you can't lie while the spell is in effect, there is nothing that prevents the bad guys from giving out partial truths, half answers, or even any answers that are not remotely useful to the situation as they are technically not lying. This was the kind of bull crap my cleric had to deal with when trying to question some mercenaries on the location of a cultist caravan we were planning on infiltrating in order to get to their main base of operations. The mercs got on his nerves so badly that he didn't bother to stop the druid from threatening to eat them in his bear form if they wouldn't knock it off. Considering that he had already eaten one of their buddies in the previous fight (my cleric wasn't in the area or he definitely would have stopped the druid), the mercenaries stopped with their technical truths and got on with telling us the actual truth: that if we didn't leave in the next three hours, we would miss the caravan leaving from the north gate.

We barely got there in the nick of time. Mostly because my cleric refused to give over the mercenaries over to The Emerald Conclave (because they technically killed a defenseless flower in the previous fight AND THAT CRIME MUST BE PAID IN BLOOD) and instead left them to the city guard and the local detachment of the Order of the Gauntlet to deal with.
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
What can help get around some of those technical spell loopholes is to ask Yes-or-No questions. Also, if they start going on tangents instead of answering the question, you have your strongest team member punch them in the face. :3
Disloyal Subject 17th Nov 2015, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
In most groups I've played with, having the strongest party member punch them in the face could remove their head from their shoulders, which makes further interrogation somewhat difficult.
Hell, our Space Wolf accidentally punched someone's head off by fumbling a handshake.
Digo Dragon 17th Nov 2015, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ah. Well in case the head is severed, you can see if the spellcaster in the party has the ability to "Speak with Dead". Zencarn of the Dragon Mawlers shows that this is a more efficient way of interrogation. XD
Evilbob 17th Nov 2015, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
But the thing with Yes-or-No questions is that they also need to be compelled to respond; they could easily "plead the Fifth".

Also makes you wonder what would happen in terms of questions that makes a presumption that is not true. How would one truthfully answer those questions, if it were only Yes-or-No?
Jennifer 18th Nov 2015, 4:42 AM edit delete reply
Happens all the time in lateral-thinking puzzles, and is often a sign that you need to start using the "lateral" part and find another way to go at the solution. The usual response is "can't answer" or "false assumption."
Mykin 18th Nov 2015, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Maybes. There were a lot of maybes and maybe nots. We didn't stop getting those answers until our barbarian broke the leg of one of them "by accident". That broke the will of the new recruit, but he didn't know that much and the other three still weren't talking.

It's also hard to determine a location of a secret base through yes or no answers, especially with how big the known world is. We got the swamp location through sheer dumb luck (I just pointed to a random location for kicks and giggles and it turned out to be on the money), but that was it. There were multiple caravans leaving that day too, none with any distinguishing features to tell each other apart outside of direction. Just asking which one had cultists in it narrowed it down to three, but that didn't help all that much.

It was, sadly, only when we threatened them with a slow death that they capitulated. We, the players, laughed when they started panicking even more after the druid decided that they needed to go to the one place where they would receive true justice. Of course this was after we had gotten what we needed for our trip and my cleric told him to knock it off.

And no, my cleric wasn't too happy with both the barbarian and the druid after that little event.
Winged Cat 17th Nov 2015, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Technicalities in what's been said causing major complications? Naw, that could never happen.

...sorry, couldn't resist. ^_^;

Anyway, a tale. So there the PCs were, fighting off against monsters that wished to corrupt a kingdom. They said they had license to do as they would to the people of the kingdom, so long as they did not spill a drop of royal blood.

Quoth one of the PCs after being slightly wounded: "You know I'm the princess, right?"

Quoth half the PCs (while the monsters are too surprised to speak): "Say WHAT?!?"

Contract voided on the spot, along with all the mystic powers that had armored the monsters. The party subsequently had a chat about the utility of not withholding important information.
Ishidan 17th Nov 2015, 1:54 PM Quoth the PC edit delete reply
Extra twist: the PC in question was six feet tall, bearded, and favored a mace with diamond cutting points on the flanges.
"Didn't you recognize my jewel-encrusted scepter?"