Page 985 - Serendipitous Slapstick

11th Nov 2017, 5:00 AM in The Best Night Ever, Part 1
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Serendipitous Slapstick
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 11th Nov 2017, 5:00 AM edit delete
It doesn't happen often, but one of my favorite interactions as a DM is:
Players: "We're going to do something crazy and stupid and awesome! Take that!"
Me (thinking): (Wait, that perfectly ties into something I was wanting to do and takes care of a few loose threads I was worried about in the process. Sweet!) "<sigh> Oh darn. Roll those wacky dice, I guess."

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



TenMihara 11th Nov 2017, 5:19 AM edit delete reply
i actually had a moment like that recently in my Pathfinder Campaign. Our party is attempting to reassemble an ancient artifact that was split into seven pieces. Over the campaign so far they have collected five of the shards, with each one granting a vision of where to find the next one due to the artifact's desire to be whole again. They found out (with some high knowledge checks after the vision) that the next shard is in possession of an infamous and powerful Blue Dragon Wyrm, who has enslaved an army of Hill and Fire Giants to excavate a ruin where the 7th shard likely is.

When they arrive at the excavation site (on their bitchin new Airship, the 'Scarlet Echo'), they find that the Giants are still toiling on the surface, but the dragon (Cadrilkasta) has descended into them and not returned. Now, fighting the literal army of giants would have been more tedious than enjoyable for the 14th level party, so i was hoping they'd find a way to bypass the conflict so we could get to the dungeon and the more diverse and interesting encounters within, with the climactic dragon battle at the end.

Our party's face just so happens to be a Sorcerer with the Blue Draconic Bloodline, who for flavour reasons i allowed to show more draconic features than one might normally see. Coupled with a robe of arcane heritage giving her the wings benefit early, as well as advancing her natural armor and claws, she has horns, a tail, and enough scale coverings that she makes a convincing pass for half-dragon.

So, with the dragon herself mia, the Sorcerer gets the brilliant idea to pose as Cadrilkasta's daughter and demand entry to follow her mother into the ruins rather than trying to just fight the giants. i had her rolling bluff and intimidate to convince them, and she did have to fry a couple to make a convincing show of being the daughter of a cruel and wicked dragon, but it was enough for them to believe her and let her and her companions inside. Boring giant army skipped, dungeon delving can begin.

Of course, the sorceress is going to have trouble when they actually reach Cadrilkasta because her best attack spells are all lightning damage, which blue dragons are immune to.
The Old One 11th Nov 2017, 10:39 AM edit delete reply

I literally *just* did that in my Paranoia themed Gamma World game, where my troubleshooter team stumbled upon an invasion of Alien Robots disguised as a zombie apocalypse.

One of the team had a defective fusion rifle, that kept overloading and killing whole swaths of folks in the process. I assumed at some point and time the party would try to fix it.

That did not happen.

Instead ALL of that character's deaths were from the use of that particular device.

On her final clone, during the boss fight, she decides to turn the silly thing on one last time. It was late, we had to wrap up before the shop closed, and the fight was going to go for awhile longer.
So, it became a backpack nuke.

And everybody's next clone got promoted for a successful mission.
Night Writer 12th Nov 2017, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
"Of course, the sorceress is going to have trouble when they actually reach Cadrilkasta because her best attack spells are all lightning damage, which blue dragons are immune to."

Maybe try to steer them towards unleashing the *REDACTED IN CASE YOUR PLAYERS READ THIS* to soften up the dragon first.

(Yes, I know which adventure you're running.)
Aegis Steadfast 12th Nov 2017, 5:59 AM edit delete reply
Yes the players read this. Hello.
TenMihara 14th Nov 2017, 4:00 AM edit delete reply
Hello. You knew it was gonna go down that way and you know it makes a great story.
Clifford Snow 11th Nov 2017, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
Ooh, I've got one like that.

My players are fighting a band of villains for the first time. One of them was a double agent, who I was going to bring back later. And out of all the villains there, the party's wizard just so happened to decide to mind control said double agent.

When the battle was finished, and the other villains had run off, the wizard delved into his memories to find out why they attacked in the first place, only to discover this one's plans to meet up with them and join their side.

It made convincing the party they could trust him a *lot* easier than I had initially anticipated.
Clifford Snow 11th Nov 2017, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
And I just thought of another. I was on the receiving end this time.

The party had been delving into a number of ancient ruins to reassemble an artifact. After getting the final piece, we were ambushed by some sort of poison dragon. We toss all the pieces of the artifact to the DMPC archivist/bard and tell him to fix it while we hold off the dragon.

He successfully reassembles the artifact, only to take it for himself and use it against us. Come to find out, the DM had several contingency plans in place to try to get the artifact into the bard's hands, but then, we just handed it to him.
Thomas Kemp 11th Nov 2017, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Welp, they're screwed. XD
Jennifer 11th Nov 2017, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Wait a minute - Blueblood's collar counts as an entire "tailored suit?"

Because if it doesn't, I struggle to imagine what said tailored suit would look like on a pony.

There's also the liberal mix between modern and medieval that MLP has going on. Normally a prince would be wearing robes, or hose, or his personal heraldry or something - here we have late-19th-century evening wear.
Dragonflight 11th Nov 2017, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
What's especially intriguing are the ponies wearing saddle-like dresses. Since they don't have humans, and don't regularly carry anyone on their backs, the only reason I can see any pony wearing something that looks like a saddle is sexual.

So every filly in those scenes wearing saddle-like dresses is actually wearing fairly racy lingerie and sending some very clear signals to the colts in the room...
CCC 11th Nov 2017, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
No, see, the saddle dates back to the days of the Three Tribes, before the time of the Windigo invasion.

You might recall that the earth pony leader was called Chancellor Puddinghead, and you might notice that today, 'puddinghead' is more or less synonymous with 'dunce'. But it wasn't back then, oh no. (In fact, that use of the term 'puddinghead' does date back to the earth pony leader, who, according to several contemporary historical documents, was a dunce who hung barely onto power by being extremely likeable and letting Smart Cookie do all the real work). No, back in those days, 'Puddinghead' was a reference to the old earth pony tradition of edible combat, a.k.a. food fighting. Food fighting, you see, was one way in which the earth ponies flaunted their wealth of food to the other two tribes (it was a way of saying 'look, we have enough food that we can afford to throw it at each other and make messes instead of eating every last crumb!'). (You can find echoes of this tradition in the Appaloosa Buffalo skirmish). Among earth ponies, therefore, a 'puddinghead' was somepony who carried a pudding about on his or her head, ready to throw it at somepony else. (Chancellor Puddinghead's aim with a well-prepared pudding was legendary).

However, the earth ponies were not the only tribe about. Of the other tribes, the pegasi felt that the earth pony food fights were ridiculous, juvenile, and on occasion an opportunity for a pegasus raiding party to skim off any foodstuff launched high enough. By and large though, the pegasi stayed out of it by the simple method of staying above the food fights.

Unicorns could not fly over the food fights, and occasionally had to meet with earth ponies (mostly to buy food). The unicorns considered this earth pony habit filthy and uncouth - the earth ponies, on the other hoof, would on occasion consider the idea of sending a group of unicorns back home covered in food stains to be absolutely hilarious. Hence, after a number of incidents, and a fair amount of wounded pride the unicorns came up with a simple idea - they would wear a piece of cloth, over their backs, and thus protect their coat from the worst of the earth pony food stains.

And that, mares and gentlecolts, was the origin of the saddle-dress fashion. It makes no more sense than the human male habit of wearing ties, in all honesty, and it seems just as firmly entrenched in society...
Digo Dragon 11th Nov 2017, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I was thinking that the saddle is how you carry home your drunk friend/lover/special somepony after a long night of partying and drinking.
Lalli-is-Best 11th Nov 2017, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
That makes sense.
Borg 11th Nov 2017, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
Well that's only a partial explanation. Unicorns are known for being very hoity-toity, even to this day and age (and despite Hoity Toity being an earth pony). After the unification of Equestria one might well expect earth ponies and pegasi who consider themselves high-class imitating unicorn fashions such as saddles, but clearly there needs to be more evolution before you'd catch a down-to-earth pony like AJ in a saddle.

I think Digo's on the right track. After the unification of Equestria, food fights became much less common, allowing the saddle to become the ornate thing with frequently ruffled edges that we see today, rather than the simple, practical cloth it was originally. That general shape was then imitated by manual laborers (who were mostly earth ponies), especially farm workers, who made saddles out of stiff, durable material as a means to carry large objects on their backs without dropping them. And thus we get the characteristic earth pony saddle, on which AJ's dress is modeled. Although AJ's dress is not actually made of leather (how ponies get leather is a whole separate story we're not getting into right now)you will of course note that it looks like it's made of leather with raised edges to keep things from falling off, rather than the ruffly, clearly cloth things some of the unicorns are wearing.
Anvildude 11th Nov 2017, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
I always figured it was one of those things that started out as racy and became tamer as time went on. Like wearing stockings, or letting your ankles show.
Ganny 11th Nov 2017, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
Actually have something like that coming up in a Pathfinder campaign I'm in, once the current arc is over.

One day, while out getting dinner, our GM was mentioning how he would love to get our party to go to a place where Demons are worshipped, people are enslaved, and generally the weak are preyed upon by the strong. All of this done in a very legal manner, which makes it difficult for Paladins to do things in the country. Also, how our party's paladin has said under no uncertain terms would he go there and help anyone, since doing that somehow always helps out someone evil. Like, literally there are stories of that happening, this is how convoluted the politics are.

Well, in the course of the strange adventures, our group had met a Vampiric Dragon. Now, this would have been usually met by many smitings and much death, but, circumstances that we were in did not allow for such a thing. Also, it became readily apparent that she was not evil. So, we befriended her.

How does this relate to getting us to the place of malevolent laws and available evil? Well, her father runs a noble house of vampires out of this country. And, when us and her get back from our current adventure, well, he'll want to throw a party for her upon her return, and he'll want to meet these new friends of hers. And he'd be willing to pay for the permits for us to go there freely.

Those permits include being able to carry and wield weapons of mundane and incredible mystical variety, being a Paladin, being an Inquisitor of a good-aligned religion, being a Mage, etc, etc, etc.

This country is beautiful and evil and I can't wait to watch the Paladin's face when we get the invitation in character.
aylatrigger 11th Nov 2017, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
I am kind of reminded of something that happened with me as a player...

This was a 4e game, and I was an Avenger for the god of Chaos and Insanity. The GM had let the pre-4e alignments exist, so I was CN. I don't know why the party seemed to trust me less than the LE party member. I helped them out so much!

Anyway, during one adventure we came across a magic circle with runes on it. A Kn. Religion check was needed to decipher it, so I was to do that. ...And that was the mistake the party made. The portal spread chaos and entropy, which I was like 'yay' and pronounced it safe.

This type of thing also reminds me of my experience with the game 'Snowball'. Snowball is fairly simple, and you roll a number of d6's to determine outcomes. You can either succeed and explain how, fail and explain how, or fail in a way the gm explains, depending on if you roll 1's or 6's. You start out with one trait, and as the game progresses, you can gain more. The traits can be anything, and let you roll more dice if your action relates to them. Also, the game progresses with Backwards storytelling - You start at the end, do a scene, and then go to the previous scene.

Anyway, this time I was also a player. It was a Sci-Fi setting. I chose as my first trait 'Eldritch Puppetmaster'. In all senses of the phrase. I manipulated monsters, was an eldritch monster who manipulated, ran a little puppetshow called 'My Little Cthulhu', and as the game progressed it became clear that I was successfully manipulating the other players.
You see, those rules don't work well if you have traitors in your party...and especially not when you listen to their suggestions on the failures you get to describe. Effectively, all failures were successes I could describe as long as I could convince the others they were fun. I also convinced them of a few successes. Though my favorite was the convincing for a failure - one player wanted to see if we could have in our backstory that we were friends in the knights templar and I had betrayed them. He rolled for it, but failed. He said maybe we were not friends...but then I convinced him that we were friends in the knights templar was not the traitor. Thus the knights templar became a Cthulhu cult.

...And I know these stories aren't quite the same as the prompt; sorry about that.
Platonix 12th Nov 2017, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Somewhat related to the storytime prompt: one of my group's favorite types of running gags is the Lame Bluff Attempt, with one particular player being known for a few gems such as "I'm here to fix the lights" (in a medieval-fantasy setting.) This, however, is the story of another player's absolute favorite Lame Bluff Attempt: "I'm the Baron's Daughter".

We were playing a 3.5e campaign in the 1e setting of Mystara, and the party needed to enter the infamous Black Eagle Barony. The road was blocked by...ogres? It may have been ogres...who were employed by the Baron to keep out adventurers and other undesirables. One player decided to bluff that he was the Baron's son; he was a male human and had a very good Bluff modifier, so it wasn't out of the question that he might pull that off. He rolled poorly, though, and the lie failed.

Determined to salvage his pride, the same player tried again with another Bluff check, despite the penalty involved in trying to Bluff to someone you've already failed a Bluff check against...and I forget if it was a nat-20, but if it wasn't it was close. The specific bluff he came up with, though, was... "I'm the Baron's daughter!" (MALE human character, remember!)

The twist here is that, just the night before, while researching the character of the Black Eagle, I had come across a story where the Baron (who was very much a human supremacist) had a secret shame; a half-elven daughter that he carefully kept hidden from the world. So I decided maybe the Black Eagle had arranged to have his half-breed daughter permanently polymorphed into a male human and banished from the Barony, trusting that no one would believe him/her. So to the surprise of the whole party, the ogre guard's response to this second Bluff check was "I think your father's made it clear he doesn't want you around."

The attempt to gain entry had failed again, but strictly speaking the Bluff had succeeded. And the rest is hilarious history.
Broken Gear 14th Nov 2017, 2:14 AM edit delete reply
This reminds me of a meme... This one.
DragonGeek 7th Jan 2019, 6:40 PM DragonGeek edit delete reply
I was running a bizarre oneshot where the characters included Batman, Elsa, and Legolas, and the conflict took place on the campus of our university. Don't ask how the characters got there or why they care about its conflicts.

I had an inside joke I wanted to throw in there. You see, the area around dish return in the cafeteria always stinks to high heaven. I thought it would be funny to get them over there and have them make Constitution saves or take damage, but I couldn't figure out a way to have them go there in the first place.

Then they went the wrong direction, and I, still a very young DM unprepared for improvisation, told them they stumbled into a dark void because I hadn't fleshed out the area at all. (I wouldn't do that in a normal game, but this was a deliberately bizarre one anyway.) Then one of them decides to go all witty and says "Wait, this is actually the dishroom at the cafeteria!"

I couldn't believe it. I was *so* excited.