Page 84 - Nothing but the Truth

18th Feb 2012, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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Nothing but the Truth
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Feb 2012, 5:00 AM edit delete
As it turns out, the lecture isn't COMPLETELY a clip show. The flashback scenes have some new compositions in them that weren't present earlier in the episode.

So what are these, then? Twilight's version of those moments?

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



Konton 18th Feb 2012, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
Hmm maybe, if the sixth element is still magic/friendship you tend to paint your friends in a better light if you can. That or she's that much of a Xantos Gamblier to say say it worked. ^_^
Zarhon 18th Feb 2012, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
I'm guessing Twilight at this point figured out she has to make everyone's actions pretty much "smell like roses" for her theory to work. Twilight truly is best GM-diplomancer. I wonder how she'll justify Rarity's scale theft and RD's chaotic-evilness as loyalty though.

Let's hear some stories of PC justifying or putting silver lining on their actions to the DM / NPCs for their own purposes?

"If we hadn't burned down and slaughtered everyone in that innocent village the big bad's army of undead would have turned them all into more undead!"

CocoaNutCakery 18th Feb 2012, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
So... wait... you think that the elements will be shuffled around? Because Rarity's element is generosity (and in spite of people claiming otherwise, she does embody this element rather well).
Xort 18th Feb 2012, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
She does indeed represent generosity. I love how everypony has all sorts of faults that they're praised for, and yet whenever Rarity does something to make herself happy or try and boost her business in a way that isn't completely selfless, she's hailed as a terrible,
selfish character.
Kyronea 18th Feb 2012, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
I think it's because people are less inclined to accept Rarity's occasional selfishness precisely because of her Element, as well as the fact that she's just plain held up to higher standards. Whether it's right or not, the fact that she acts high class means that more people will be far less accepting of any failures on her part than they would be from, say, Applejack.

Frankly she's one of the most generous, giving characters on the show, as befitting her Element. Every single time she's allowed herself to get caught up in her own desires it's understandable from a psychological standpoint and even, arguably, justifiable, if still wrong.
MirrorImage 18th Feb 2012, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
This is just a character trait that many people don't seem to understand. While Generosity does mean you have a tendency to give stuff away, you can't give something away if you don't have it. For every bit of Generosity that Rarity has, she needs an equal amount of Greed to supply it. In order to make a generous, $1 million donation, you had to be greedy and earn that $1 million in the first place.
Bronymous 18th Feb 2012, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
It isn't like the elements are absolute, written -in-stone standards that each of them have to uphold at all times. Most of them breach their proper elemental behaviors multiple times over the course of the show.

Applejack lies her ass off constantly, but the only time it comes into question is when Discord's around. Fluttershy uses shock and intimidation to manipulate less-than-sentient creatures an get them to behave. The only one who constantly holds true to her Element is Pinkie Pie, and that's only because Laughter is such a contrived element anyway and she is completely insane.

Its unfair to hold Rarity to some ridiculous standard that she has to be willing to give of herself at all times. She is plenty generous enough in the show, and whenever she isn't she usually feels bad about it, at least a little.
Izandai 18th Feb 2012, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Actually, Applejack has never technically lied, except for when Discord made her. I can only think of three times when she was less-than-truthful. First, when she told Pinkie she couldn't come to Gummy's after-birthday party because she had to pick apples. That's true enough, she works on an apple orchard, they pick apples. Then, later, when she told Pinkie they were doing construction in her barn. That, again, was sort of true, they were "constructing" Pinkie's party. And in the Last roundup, well, she explains it. And she's a horrible liar. Any time she isn't totally honest, she sweats like a pig and gets all shifty. I think Applejack embodies her Element the best of all of them. Even Pinkie got sad that one time, although that was understandable.
Xort 18th Feb 2012, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
Just off the top of my head, she definitely lied to herself in Applebuck season. Just saying.
Videocrazy 19th Feb 2012, 3:57 AM edit delete reply
@Xort: That's not true. She honestly thought that she could do it by herself. When it finally got through to her that she couldn't, she asked for help. She was just stubborn, not dishonest.
Ethan 18th Feb 2012, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
After that "silver lining" comment, I feel kind of obliged to mention the time I burnt an orphanage to the ground. Of course, this was AFTER we rescued the orphans from living conditions that basically qualified as a sweatshop, but still :P.
dzamie 18th Feb 2012, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
From a chaotic evil character, about slipping dead wolf parts into my Dragonborn character's food rations:
"Well, if I hadn't properly disposed of them, their bodies would have just gone to waste, which is hardly the will of the wild, or worse, return as undead to harass us further!"
Bronymous 18th Feb 2012, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
Actually, I saw a video on Youtube (I wish I knew what it was off the top of my head, I would post a link) that shows her lying 9 or 10 times in the first season alone, nothing big, but definitely lying. She's done it more sense then.

The reason no one makes a big deal out of it is because SHE doesn't make a big deal out of it (i.e. shifty eyes).

As for Pinkie Pie, yes that one mental breakdown was the one time she wasn't trying to laugh or make others laugh. But that more proves my point, not even she can be an absolute paragon of her Element.
Guest 19th Feb 2012, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
I'm convinced that they got Applejack's element mixed up with Rainbow Dash's.

AJ is unfailingly loyal, sometimes to her own detriment, and RD is honest to the point of painfully blunt.
Katarani 19th Feb 2012, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
This was actually spoofed in one of the abridged series - I think it was Friendship is Witchcraft? Either way, AJ's honesty is less "always tells the truth" and more "is always true to herself". AJ will always be AJ, haters gonna hate, etc.
Sean Mirrsen 19th Feb 2012, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
There was an article somewhere about the actual nature of the Elements and their representation within the main cast, which I found to be very accurate. Wait a sec, I'll dig up a link...

Basically, the Elements are not what the main cast ponies embody - rather, they are qualities that they strive toward and consider the most important in being a good friend. The article describes it better than I can.
Urthdigger 19th Feb 2012, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
I was just thinking that in yesterday's episode after her small appearance, and there was also her comment during Rarity's breakdown in "Suited for Success". Rainbow Dash is just brutally, brutally honest. Though, if what Sean Mirrsen says about the elements being the qualities they consider most important in a friend, it would explain Applejack and Rainbow Dash's constant interaction.
Sean Mirrsen 19th Feb 2012, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
The way I see it, Honesty and Loyalty simply have a lot in common, they are far from mutually exclusive, and there is some serious overlap between RD and AJ in that regard. A loyal friend is more likely to be honest to you, both in telling you uncomfortable truths and in keeping to promises made. An honest friend, similarly, will keep to promises made to you, and will be honest with you - making him/her exhibit loyalty, by proxy. Since there is so much overlap, you just need to dig a little deeper into the meaning of either Element to see who is who, sort of "ask the right question".

Who can you depend on more to be true to a promise? That would be AJ, RD is.. well, lazy. And has a mouth that far outpaces her brain. Not too dependable in that regard. She can and will tell you the truth as she sees it, but she does not take well to being bound, either by rules or promises. AJ, on the other hand, pretty much runs on the concept of being true. She can and will lie to you to uphold a given promise, however, so from that point she's being more Loyal than Honest, but the situation sets up a contradiction: if telling the truth to one pony breaks her promise, she would have lied to another pony, and with her stubbornness, she can't have that. She will rather keep to an already made promise than tell the truth and break it, as exemplified in The Last Roundup.

Who can you count on more to stay by you regardless of personal cost? That would, I think, be RD. Even disregarding that AJ had almost abandoned her friends and family for the sake of keeping a promise, you can see how she puts her personal dependability ahead of the interests of others as early as Applebuck Season, where she, well, "helps" everyone, refusing to back down from a task she took upon herself even in the face of the disastrous consequences it has on everyone. Being "Loyal" in this case would mean abandoning your work in order to actually be able to help properly, but AJ can't have that. Conversely, RD had repeatedly shown that she can and will remain at her friends' side, sacrificing whatever is required to do so, even if it's another friend. Reinforced later when she picks the tortoise as her pet, showing that she will value a loyal friend more than a "cool" one.

Thus, we see that AJ represents Honesty, and RD represents Loyalty.

Er, it's pretty late here (3 AM late), so I hope the above made sense. :)
Also, belated wall of text warning.
Bronymous 19th Feb 2012, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
So, to sum up, they don't always exhibit the trait that best represents their element (key words: "Strive For"). Therefore, it is unreasonable to call them out for behaving contrarily, be it Rarity for seeking personal gain, or Applejack for lying, or RD for abandoning the others to hang out with the Wonderbolts, etc.
Panoptes 20th Feb 2012, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Philosophy to the rescue!

The entire problem of the Mane 6 not totally embodying their Elements goes away if we take an Aristotelian view of virtue/excellence. Let's take Rarity as an example: as has been mentioned above already, if she does nothing but give things away all the time she will actually be behaving self-destructively--hardly virtuous, according to Aristotle. The reason this is bad is basically just what has already been said: if she self-destructs by being over-generous she will not be able to continue being generous in the long run (also the damage it does to her life, of course). Too much generosity turns into a vice which is often translated as "spendthrift," if I recall correctly.

By the same token, NOT ENOUGH generosity also turns into a vice (greed, miserliness, etc.)--this one is a bit more obvious.

In general, ALL virtues are "middle grounds" between two opposite vices for Aristotle. Applying this to the Elements, then, we might end up with something like Honesty being between Lying and Rudeness, Loyalty being between Selfishness and Blind Obedience, and so on.

Then again, the "all the Mane 6 are imperfect mortals" argument would also work, and probably require considerably less philosophizing. Hmmm. Philosophy not to the rescue then, I guess.
Akouma 20th Feb 2012, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
Justifying actions that are either horrible or out of character? Ooh, here's a fun one. I mentioned this story once before, but it's a good 'un!

So, it's a nautical Pathfinder campaign. Basically medieval Star Trek with the planet being totally covered in water and no proper continents to speak of. We come across two islands in proximity to each other. One of them grows a medicine that the other island's inhabitants need to survive due to plague. The island growing the medicine is abusing the relationship like hell. Now, my character is Chaotic Good, and is basically best friends with a guy who's Lawful Evil. In theory, seeing this, my character should've gone "how wrong I shall fix this" and the other guy should've been totally on their side. Nope. Total opposite.

While they may be a bit shady, all deals are agreed upon by both parties and negotiated fairly. My character sees something bad, but not so bad that they need to intervene. He even offers to help both parties by researching a cure to the plague since he's an Alchemist with way too much free time.

His friend, let's call him McLawfulevil, takes offense to the fact that they're running this scam in gypsy waters without giving the gypsies a cut, since he is himself a gypsy. So he resolves to strongarm the medicine-growers into giving away the current shipment of medicine for free, lower the prices, and generally be on the level. (Once the shipment is set to be given away free, he also steals all the goods that were going to be traded in exchange for them.)

Basically, through a series of bizzare thought processes, our characters wound up switching alignments for a session, since he was playing Robin Hood and I was playing devil's advocate. I even told McLawfulevil to give back the trade goods to the rightful owners (who in my character's mind was the growers). Then I found out that the medicine was actually a drug and the plague was just withdrawal symptoms. (Yes I'm aware it's a Star Trek episode.) My character just threw up his hands, said screw it, took his usual split of the haul that comes from our antics, then used some of the silk from the stolen goods to make a hat which he added to his towering pile of hat. (+4 to hat, formerly +3, -2 to serious business. That's a whopping 33% increase in hat!)
Derpmind 18th Feb 2012, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
After the Lecture: "If I ask any of you to roll any dice at all, the universe is just going to have them all be 20s. It doesn't matter how many sides the dice have. If you dropped a marble on this table right now, the top will have a 20 on it."
CocoaNutCakery 18th Feb 2012, 7:18 AM Oh man... edit delete reply
Yeah... this is a common complaint lodged at me.

I'm too hone- annoying.

People get angry at me for it, and, of course, they can't claim that what is supposed to be an extremely positive trait is bad. They also can't compliment me and unleash their anger, and so... I'm annoying.

OOPS! I did it again!
Violet 18th Feb 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
All trough the series each display their element in some way, shape or form, sometimes that is what drives them to go somewhat crazy.
Digo 18th Feb 2012, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
In a Star Trek rpg, the players of a frigate was investigating strange attacks on several frige colony worlds. After several investigations they learned about these "liquid metal squid" machines that were going from planet to planet collecting materials for building more.

Turns out the squids were "Von Newman" machines from another dimension sent to explore theirs, but the programming was glitchy and the squids concentrated on replication.
The players destroyed the portal that the squids came from, but they had to find a way of destroying the current collection here in their space.

So the players go *STEAL* an Intrepid-class Federation ship and get the squids to chase them down into Klingon space where they had sent word to both the Klingons and the Federation about their arrival.
As expected, the Klingons and Federation were waiting, but they didn't expect to find a huge hive of liquid-metal squids following the players' ship. The squids themselves saw the fleets as an "all you can eat" buffet and attacked.

A massive ship combat ensued and all the squids were destroyed with acceptable losses to the Klingons and Federation. The players justified their actions in that fring colonies were now safe and they didn't damage the Intrepid-class ship (much) and that their faults should be canceled out with their act of bravery.

Somehow, they pulled it off and got away.
Azureink 18th Feb 2012, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
I like Rarity's face in the last panel.

Also, I apologize to all my fellows for not posting on every page, but unfortunately my memories are quite jumbled and I cannot seem to remember stories for each contingency. Though I enjoy reading the varied games that you all play.
Bronymous 18th Feb 2012, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
I know, its hard right? That's why I just drop a few relies if I can't think of anything, make sure people know I'm here.

Also you ninja'd me.
Raxon 15th Jun 2012, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
I wish I had a story for each one, but honestly, I just have the bard with the bags of holding turning himself into a double amputee, and even that was a hypothetical situation, and I was declared dangerous to groups. I would like to find a group, but I'm not big on social gatherings.
Bronymous 18th Feb 2012, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
That face gets me every time.

In the flashback, it looks like Twilight's struggling to hold on, and AJ's just like "lol u dead".

Then, back to the present, they didn't change her face so now she's staring at the floor like "floor, how'd you get so silly".
Aegis Steadfast 18th Feb 2012, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
Hmm speaking of smiles, did you catch the latest composition by a certain pink pony?
Ranubis 18th Feb 2012, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
After Pinkie's latest song, I can easily see her as a high-level bard, brainwashing the entire town.
Zarhon 19th Feb 2012, 5:20 AM edit delete reply
Having "Perform" with a high enough DC allows you to pretty much convert anyone hearing it into Fanatics willing to die for you. Pinkie Pie pretty much rolled a cutie mark critical success on perform and turned the entire town into fanatics loyal to her cause!
Lyntermas 20th Feb 2012, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
PP: Alright, guys. This random source book I found shows that if I can make everyone in an entire town have the same emotion at the same time, we get a free Wish. And who knows what I can do with that! Maybe I could summon a whole mound of chocolate the size of Canterlot, or add a third celestial body? Oh, oh, would this mean another alicorn would be created?
DM:....Due to your...insane string of natural 20s on what are, as you have repeatedly established, "special talent" skill checks, the entire town is a joyful utopia. All sing in unison, all conflicts have either been erased or at least temporarily forgotten, and a smile can be seen on every creature in town.
PP:Alright, time to perform the ritual and get my wishing on.
DM:...Except for one donkey in a toupee dragging a cart behind him. He seems to have just come into town and ssems quite morose.
PP: Do I see any other new arrivals in the distance?
DM: No.
PP: Alright, one more convert and all my dreams will come true.
DM: *And break my campaign, as well as this setting, beyond all recognition? I think not.*
PP: Did you say something?
DM: No, not a thing.
leafia6 18th Feb 2012, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
So are we going to have to wait 5 more pages until the Rainbow Friendship Lasers arrive?
Ranubis 18th Feb 2012, 8:07 PM edit delete reply
Please. As if the Bearers of the Elements would settle for mere RFLs.

Rainbow Deathray FTW!
Curb 18th Feb 2012, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
Sub-Orbital Friendship Cannon Array!
Thud 18th Feb 2012, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
Deathray? Hah!

Bronymous 18th Feb 2012, 11:38 PM edit delete reply

Cause I totally haven't been saying that for the past few pages.
Kaleopolitus 19th Feb 2012, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
Sucks to be you ^_^'
Lunari 18th Feb 2012, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
Well since people have be bringing up the ponies and they're elements I’m going to take this chance to throw my two bits on the subject in there. As far as Pinkie has ever been concerned in my head I’ve always felt that Joy would have been a better name for her element. And on the subject of Rarity when people talk about Generosity many people seem to forget that it's more than just giving away material wealth or even just material things.

OK end rant.

As for Newbies prompt, my characters do this all the time. Most recently I have a paladin who's basically had to resort to claiming ignorance and almost lying to herself about the parties actions to keep her LG status. It's been interesting to say the least to hear what she comes up with.
Guest 19th Feb 2012, 5:28 AM edit delete reply
Element of Merriment. It even rhymes. Pinkie would have liked that.
Prismshift 20th Feb 2012, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
The way I see Rarity and her generosity fitting with being a thief...She was willing to give the serpent something important to her, that he found utterly precious. In the end, what did she get in return?

A single scale.

Something like that was of hardly any importance to Steven Magnet. It's like taking someones fingernail clipping as payment as far as he was concerned.
Quietkal 18th Feb 2012, 10:46 PM edit delete reply
Reading this comic has inspired me to re-watch the first 2 episodes. I've enjoyed seeing all the direct quotes you've used, but my enjoyment actually went beyond that.
When I watched them the first time, I wasn't really all that into it, just starting to watch ponies. Now, I've smiled for a full hour.
Thank you. Thank you so much. /)*(\
Stairc 20th Feb 2012, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if Newbiespud'll change which ponies are which elements... Because some of them could work better on different ponies in the strip. Frankly, in the show itself too. The gem-finding, self-absorbed, whole-episode-spent-squandering-her-sister Rarity is the element of... Generosity?

I can't decide if I'd rather see Twilight come up with a more fitting combination of elements to ponies... Or try to justify that one to the DM.

kriss1989 20th Feb 2012, 3:09 PM kriss1989 edit delete reply
As to the question of 'justifying Loyalty and Generosity', it's easy.

Rarity gave up her tail to help the sea-serpent. RD refused to betray her friends.
legomaster00156 20th Feb 2012, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
More accurately, RD refused to join what she thought was a group of even lamer warriors. It's not that's she's unwilling to betray; it's that she's unwilling to betray without a good reason.
Sean Mirrsen 20th Feb 2012, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
Oh, but in this case it was incredibly obvious that RD's player was very much inclined to go with the Shadowbolts. These "lame fighters" would still suit her much better than her current RP-heavy group. If it wasn't for the fact that betraying the group would mean a swift end to the campaign, she'd do it. As it is, she had to go in-character and have RD renounce the Shadowbolts as lame fighters (which they ultimately were), staying with the group. Essentially, for this game RD is meta-loyal. She displays loyalty because she's in the PC group, and won't leave them unless her player wants to leave as well. At least, that's the impression I got.
Derpmind 20th Feb 2012, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
Bluff-check the Universe?
Bronymous 20th Feb 2012, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
I don't know, "You're garbage so why would I want to join you" seems about right.

Remember, this isn't the actual show we're talking about, so we can't infer and interpret hidden meanings as much.
Which is good, because the last thing we need is a fandom offshoot, making art and fanfics about a webcomic parody.
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 8th Dec 2013, 6:30 PM edit delete reply
Oh my god that expression on AJ.
AlexTFish 8th Jun 2021, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Okay, that's a really cool twist. The DM hadn't intended all those random encounters to represent the Elements. The DM had a completely different idea of how this boss fight would go. It's completely Twilight's player's idea, and the DM is gonna have no choice but to say "You know what, that's awesome. Sure, it works." I love it.