Page 1136 - Role to Despair

30th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM
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Role to Despair
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 30th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
For tomorrow, Happy Halloween! I'm gonna follow Twilight's example and stay at home, guiltily and regretfully eating from a bag of mixed candies sold on clearance.

Also, this arc's role as "unplanned photoshop tutorial" continues! AAAAH LAYERING HOW

80 Comments:

Luke 30th Oct 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
I think you mean Fluttershy ;-)
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
I....actually have a fitting quote from myself for just about that same retort from Discord I made to another player who tried the same bull. "You're not exploring anything about your character......you're just being an asshole."
Digo Dragon 30th Oct 2018, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ha! I would pay real money to get a bumper sticker of this to put on the back of my DM Screen. :D
Mykin 30th Oct 2018, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
Same. I know of too many people that hide behind that excuse so they could be mean to people they don't like on the table.

Actually, I'd like that quote on a shirt so I can wear it while running the Tabletop Room at conventions.
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
For context, I said that after the new party thief broke into my character's room while she was asleep to steal/sell her weapons and armor and generally creep on her while she slept. He said he was just "Exploring and getting a feel for how to play his new character."
mabbz 30th Oct 2018, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
This talk of people roleplaying jerks reminds me of a character I once played. I was playing a high class illusionist with lots of criminal connections, not a nice person, but she won't actively screw you without a good reason.

Now, this was a forum game, so players are expected to do some minor GMing when it comes to NPCs because waiting for the GM to reply for every little interaction takes a while. So, to introduce my character, I decided to have her pretend her purse had been stolen and try to get a free room at the inn. My character was wealthy enough that this was purely done for the fun of it, I didn't get any real benefit.

Then some other player decides that a street urchin pickpockets me at that exact moment, he catches the thief and my little establishing moment now involves me being caught lying. And when I try to get out of it by using illusions to pretend my purse is full of rocks, he invents a bit of background where all businesses use runes of silence to prevent illusionists paying with fake money, making my character look like even more of an incompetent crook.

Both in and out of character, I walked away and took some time to let my anger die down.
Randonimity 30th Oct 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
It takes a LOT, and I do mean a LOT, of trust between players when they play to the more aggressive, abrasive, anti-social, not-conducive-to-cooperation aspects of their characters. Because not everyone has developed the level of maturity needed to separate themselves from their character, and as Mykin mentioned, some people use this as an opportunity to be mean to people they don't like on the table. (Admittedly my experience with that has been with online pbp games as opposed to face-to-face ttrgps.)

I've been incredibly lucky that the people I play D&D with are capable of separating ic from ooc, and have always been considerate of other people's limits and levels of comfort. No matter how obnoxious a character can get, when another player makes an OOC request for the obnoxious character's player to tone it down somewhat, that player complies without being passive-aggressive about it.

And I might just yoink that line ThatGuest used, or modify it to "Our characters already KNOW your character is an asshole. Can you explore something else about them instead?"
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
A lot of bad players also get so into what their characters 'think' they forget to give them any kind of common sense anyone with a WIS higher than 4 would have. Like that same thief deciding to try and rob from the castle of the lich lord we were currently staying as 'guests' of. Of course he was absolutely shocked when they knew about what he'd done. To that I responded "It's almost like in a castle full of wizards being led by an undead wizard god there would BE SCRYING ON THE GUESTS YOU DUMBASS!" Of course the rest of the idiot party was appauled at the invasion of privacy and wanted to fight the epic teir lich surrounded by vampires and wizards right there. I was sorely tempted to murder the entire party right there just to get out alive. (I totally could have done it too. I was the only person in the party with an AC higher than 15, at level 15 as well. And was the only person with more than 50 max hp.)
Randonimity 30th Oct 2018, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
@ThatGuest Oh jeez, whenever I play with players who do stupid stuff like that, they do it KNOWINGLY of the consequences because they want to see if their character can pull it off. But when they don't, they don't try to weasel their way out of the consequences and even try to mitigate the damage so that the party isn't too negatively affected (if at all).
Digo Dragon 30th Oct 2018, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
When I ran Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, the party monk tried to steal a suit of full plate armor from Strahd's castle. I'm like, "the count knows you are all here. You really think he'd let you walk out with his stuff?"

The monk attempted it. It did not end well.

Also, an AC higher than 15 at level 15?! O.o Seems like you had similar issues with your GM giving out appropriate treasure.
Kereminde 30th Oct 2018, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
"the party monk tried to steal a suit of full plate armor from Strahd's castle. "

Was Intelligence his dump stat?
Digo Dragon 30th Oct 2018, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I think Charisma was for the character, but Wisdom for the player.
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Actually Digo I was the only person who bothered spending money. Our DM had it set up so we could upgrade our weapons and armor rather than just finding them or replacing them. Everyone else was violently opposed to ever spending anything. I actually had to spend my -own- money some on the other fighter in the group to give him a respectable attack though he still went armorless because he wanted to be like Conan or something....I also ended the campaign with a mountain of healing potions. I probably could have restored around 300-400 hp if I used them all, not counting all the elemental resist potions I had.
Digo Dragon 31st Oct 2018, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ah, okay, so not quite my situation. I had a miser of a GM who wouldn't give us anything more valuable than potions. On rare occasions we might get a partly used wand or scroll of some utility spell that only the casters could use. I think there were only two times we actually got a +1 magic weapon (A greatsword, which I had to sell to pay for mounts and general upkeep, and a spear, which ended up in the DMPC's hands and never heard from again).

Most of us stopped playing under that GM and haven't ever gone back since.
GrayGriffin 31st Oct 2018, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
I remember a player who played his character as a thief who constantly snuck away on his own private adventures, refused to share information, constantly sat out on battles to mack on the female enemies, and then whined whenever someone called him out on it IC that we were all being so horribly mean to his character.
Chris 30th Oct 2018, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Oh, Twilight...

It's cute that you think you, someone who destroyed the DM's original campaign by puzzle-twisting until your characters could beat the BBEG at level one, and who gets actively upset with players who chose anything other than the "optimum" choices in-character, are anything other than "just a munchkin."
Mr Wednesday 30th Oct 2018, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
As I recall, all Twilight did to the Big Bad was figure out something the GM had very obviously planted. GM then proceeded to admit that they were right and let them win. And as a GM ills sing a sad song for that lost campaign, but obviously if somebody figures out your secret theme, acknowledge it.

Twilight is not a powergamer or munchkin when compared to someone like Pete from Darths and Droids, where character is fully subordinated to optimisation beyond the point of nonsense.
Archone 30th Oct 2018, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
Eh... Pete and Twilight aren't that dissimilar. Pete traded in his ability to speak Basic in exchange for all kinds of cool abilities. Twilight chose a cutey mark that gives a buff to ALL her spells.

And, like Twilight, Pete is also a nice guy - OOC interactions show that he wrote a letter of recommendation or two, that he's helped the others out a fair bit outside of the game. And when the GM finally got a handle on him, Pete delved headlong into the roleplaying along with the rest of the group (the whole "droid language" bit when R2 was possessed by Nute Gungray).
gloomie 30th Oct 2018, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
You're missing one key difference between Pete and Twilight.

Pete deliberatedly set out to make the mosf broken and obtuse character he could for the sake of it. He made a droid character who's allergic to dairy! That makes no sense.

Twilight is a new roleplayer who is very mechanical minded and so went for an obvious bit of unintended synergy between setting and rules as presented by the GM. She didn't stack flaws or pointless disadvantages for extra +1.

Also, wasn't her munchkinism explored in comic during one of the crossovers with Grandline 3.5? Or was that non-canon?
Archone 30th Oct 2018, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
I don't know about any crossovers. I do know that there's definitely a different party dynamic between the two webcomics. Twilight's in a game with good friends who were close even before the start. Pete was in a game with people who became friends over the course of many gaming sessions. With a GM who was okay with craziness as long as everyone was having fun - thus his allowing a little girl to create... Jar Jar:
http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0020.html
obscurereader 30th Oct 2018, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
@Archone, the crossover being referred to is a set of comic pages (pg. 101-109), right after the end of the very first arc of the comic.
Archone 31st Oct 2018, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
I mostly skimmed what looked filler pages... I might have to go back and look through.
Kereea 30th Oct 2018, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Called it. Twi and RD point out there was a perfectly good out and NO ONE took it. Which is going to annoy them to where one or both might quit.
Mr Wednesday 30th Oct 2018, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Ok, take out a giant cartoon stamp and call me a hypocrite; I’m back in the fray.

DiscorDM has called this completely wrong. Main GM needs to speak up NOW. This is when it’s turned from being a fun character exercise to actually, actively frustrating. Two players are now mad at the rest of the group, for the simple reasons that they aren’t getting to DO anything. That whole “essence of roleplaying” schpiel is rich from someone who has never confronted Twi with any choices about her character. Dash at least is uncursed because of actions she took—Twilight is uncursed because she’s being ignored.

When you are a GM, you wear a lot of hats and carry a lot of responsibilities: you create a world, you fill it, you let players interact with it honestly. And if they aren’t having fun, you notice. You accept that. You don’t sit and defend your own choices and gimmicks in the face of evidence that they aren’t working.
Winged Cat 30th Oct 2018, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Unless...Twilight's "curse" was supposed to be the loss of her friends. RD getting out uncursed broke/prevented Twlight's curse. Together, they can save the rest of the party (from themselves as much as anything) - and then defeat Discord.
Mr Wednesday 30th Oct 2018, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
I see what you’re saying, and it certainly matches what we know about the episode itself. Do you think Discord did this knowing Twi would be less interested in exploratory roleplaying?
Digo Dragon 30th Oct 2018, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The problem with diving into unexplored character facets is that I often see players just RP their characters like they're the only ones present. They forget that they are not just a group of adventuring characters occupying one particular space--they are a party. A TEAM!

In fact, I will argue that together, the party has a character identity of its own; the summation of everyone together represents an entity that drives together through a campaign. If you change out one particular character in that group, the whole party dynamic will change and that will affect how the party continues onward in the story (you can find a few examples in the Fallout is Dragons story. Look at how the party dynamic changes when Powder Keg leaves, or when Firelight returns). Characters will affect each other; they compliment in some areas and bristle against other areas. Why not take an opportunity to role-play the part where they bring out the best in each other, instead of just grating on one another's nerves because they want that spotlight on themselves?

I see four players here just being frustrating to the two who aren't cursed. They have forgotten (or are just ignoring) that together they represent the Elements of Harmony. They have a fire-forged bond that should be coming into play here; they should struggle against their curses TOGETHER and restore themselves for the greater good of the whole group. And the two uncursed players need to acknowledge the curses as an obstacle and encourage their friends to fight that curse. Break free from it and return to their normal selves.

This table is heading for a huge fight among the players, and stuff is going to be said and done that you can't take back. All because the wrong opportunities of role playing are being taken.
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Another issue is that the 4 cursed ones have pretty much just blocked out anything but their own RP. Twilight has tried to interact with them several times only to be bluntly shot down or downright ignored. You hit the nail when you said that they needed to remember there were other people playing the game.
CrowMagnon 30th Oct 2018, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Well, I wouldn't assume it's THAT grim, though it'll probably seem that way for a bit. I mean, that's the story arc we're on right now.

As for "things being said that can't be taken back", I'm betting on the majority of those being things that need to be said. At the end of the day, this isn't one of those ultra-toxic gaming comics about how everyone at the table only sticks together because they're too dysfunctional to exist anywhere else. They have their differences, but when all is said and done, they appreciate each other.
Platonix 30th Oct 2018, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
"There are words that need to be said, and there are words that must never be said; and some days, those are the exact same words."

-multiple important people, probably all quoting each other
Archone 30th Oct 2018, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
I'm in agreement with you, CrowMagnon. As I said a few pages back, my present theory is that Discord GM is doing this on purpose, specifically to get them to address all these issues so they can improve their group dynamic. Not simply to be a dick, but because he wants to use the game for gaming's traditional secondary objective: to teach and educate.

(Seriously, just imagine how awesome school would be if, instead of basing it on a 19th century Prussian model designed to create an educated but unquestioning worker class that won't challenge authority, schools used genuinely traditional teaching methods... lots of games and fun to provide knowledge and foster creative thinking)
Digo Dragon 30th Oct 2018, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
If this is all on purpose to create a teachable lesson, my question is at what point does Discord step in to make that address? Let this fight go too long and it's gonna do permanent damage to the group.
Cygnia 30th Oct 2018, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
Especially since, as a "guest GM", he can easily leave and not need to deal with ANY of the backlash the FiD GM will face instead.
Jennifer 30th Oct 2018, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
I like this thought, Digo; it reminds me of my semi-irregular campaign, the Queen's Own Troubleshooters, in which all PCs, no matter their class or background, are at least temporarily assigned to the City Guard, which deals with a LOT of stuff. It doesn't matter what you play or how long you play it - the unit remains, and the dozens of players I've had through it (mostly drop-ins) are all members of a bigger whole.

I need to get that running again.
Winged Cat 30th Oct 2018, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Might this reflect the four ponies going gray? No longer shining to everyone around them with their true personalities, but stone cold deaf (almost dead) to the world.
Azureink 31st Oct 2018, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
Azureink
I envy the circles you travel in. Because I have never had a party (as a player or as a DM/GM) that was created to work as a team. Every group I have been in has been a party created out of individualists that just so happen to be reluctantly adventuring together. The only thing that unites them is their own personal greed and their hatred of anything that crosses them (working together lets them get what they want easier than trying to do it alone, even though they will try to do it alone sometimes).
Digo Dragon 1st Nov 2018, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My condolences. I have a hard time playing in groups that don't work together. Teamwork is a big deal for me.
FanOfMostEverything 30th Oct 2018, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Okay, if that last line doesn't make the usual DM slam the brakes and talk to Twilight... Well, it seems probable given the episode, but honestly, how much more of a flashing warning sign do you need?
CrowMagnon 30th Oct 2018, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
So, story time about when you or someone else's character roleplaying interfered with the group dynamic?

Don't really have one as a character since most of my biggest disasters came from attempts to DM that imploded, but I do often have a tendency to roleplay as if my character is the main protagonist and need to keep myself in check.

That's especially the case with my Hell's Rebels character. I went all-in on fleshing out her background (raised by a con man, later adopted by a cop who inspired her to become a LG cop with a knack for undercover work, then forced to become a populist revolutionary when a tyrant took over the city and she refused to help beat down peaceful protestors). So it had to be stated, especially early on, she was NOT the main character.

I can say that I've never intentionally tried to overshadow the other players, though a couple attempts to instigate RP between missions could have come across that way since I'd start by using something about my own character as a jumping-off point.
Digo Dragon 30th Oct 2018, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I remember one D&D campaign where I was attempting to create a "brand" for our adventuring party as a group of mercs for hire to slay rampaging monsters and defending caravans and farm fields. We were doing alright as a business.

Then at some point one of the party wizards ended up adopting a street urchin (against the wishes of our party because kids are a liability for a traveling mercenary group). This caused the second wizard in the group to join the first in training the urchin in magic. And this became a slippery slope of the two+1 wizards starting their own group within our group, which of course would fracture the party in half because now they considered themselves a separate entity from us when we went adventuring. It was like two different parties at the same table.
Winged Cat 30th Oct 2018, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
A classic warning about "lonely loner who lones"...

So in this one campaign, someone (new to RP, I think) rolled up a stereotypical lone adventurer who didn't trust anybody. He got as far as the first room of the dungeon before striking off on his own. The other players told him he needed to stick with the group, but he wouldn't have any of it: his character was a loner. So he went off alone...

The player seemed rather surprised when the DM gave his character no more screen time (unless he was willing to rejoin the party, which was apparently an unacceptable condition). Did he run into monsters? Did he get bored finding nothing but empty corridors until he went home? That story was never told.
Scytale 30th Oct 2018, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
Ah, the good old "BUT IT'S WHAT MY CHARACTER WOULD DO."
Archone 30th Oct 2018, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Fluttershy's words are particularly interesting to me. "I guess I just get more mean. Based on what I've been saying... It seems that's who I really am..."

It's as if all those inner thoughts she never before vocalized were thoughts she's ashamed of. "I should never say such things! I should never THINK such things! I'm such a bad person! If I ever say them out loud, people will realize how bad I am!"

(Whereas Pinky, Applejack, and Rarity are being hilarious here)
obscurereader 30th Oct 2018, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
To me, it seems to be more of a callback to the conversation where she got cursed to have no filter. To quoth Discord!DM, pg. 1102, "Let's see how your friends like the REAL you without that cute facade to wash things over!"

Though, what interests me more is the visible silence from the DM and Twilight's reaction of, "Is... Is that what you truly think...?". Not entirely sure what those characters are thinking, tbh - need more time to pass in the comic + that heart to heart between Regular!DM/Twilight to be sure, but I will say this: from what I recall off the top of my head, for the most part, all the biting commentary from Fluttershy has been either aimed at the main goal of beating Discord (that bit where she tried to talk the other players out of their curses by challenging them verbally which went nowhere could've made the situation slightly better if it'd worked, and she was helping Twilight plan while Rainbow Dash was busy with Discord), absolutely correct in their assessments (her diagnosis of the situation when she first got the curse + the statement that things were going to take a while at the rate they were going a few pages back), or just planning from an OoC perspective (her bit at plotting to drop a horde of long-legged bunnies on Discord) - I might be missing some of her commentary that might've been genuinely hurtful though, will need to check back more to be absolutely sure.

Still, though, it really bothers me that she's talking like that - seems like she's internalizing a negative self-image of herself, which could have major repercussions if left unaddressed (not to mention that this wasn't even a thing for her until Discord!DM forced this into a spotlight iirc - if I'm wrong, I would like a comic page to reference).
Archone 30th Oct 2018, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
Yes. That's what I mean. She's always thought these things... and felt guilty about thinking them. Because girls aren't supposed to be perceptive, or point out the flaws in others. Or... something. It definitely seems as though she got in trouble in the past for speaking up about things. Quite likely it was her parents - a possible variation on the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, in which the kid pointing out the truth is savagely beaten because... officially the reason is insulting His Majesty's dignity, but unofficially upset adults in power are going to do violence to others to make themselves feel better, and that'll teach the others to say a word out of line.

Of course, since she IS surrounded by friends, they can reassure her that no, there's nothing wrong with recognizing harsh truths, and that yes, she is a good person.
HappyEevee 30th Oct 2018, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I see this as being good for Fluttershy's player in the long run. I think she needs to come to terms with herself and be less afraid of what others might think of her.
obscurereader 30th Oct 2018, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
That... First off, I don't believe I said anything about her thinking these things before to the effect that you're going for, Archone.

Second, this sounds a lot like the speculation/headcanoning back when Fluttershy got cursed that she was in some abusive relationship or something. Not sure there's really enough in-comic justification to come to that conclusion (for all we know, she's just the kind of person who dislikes being overly-assertive or something, kind of like in the show, and is just a lot more perceptive/capable of sniffing out shenanigans than people give her credit for).

Furthermore, I don't see this giving Discord!DM any points in his favor. This could be good for her in the long run, but that relies entirely on her learning the right lesson here (i.e. she goes, "I can be assertive without being mean," rather than, "I'm such a bad person, guess I may as well own it rather than pretend otherwise." Kinda like what Discord!DM seemed to imply when he cursed Fluttershy.). And even then, the way Discord!DM went about making this a thing seriously muddled any waters (to the point that many commenters including myself are interpreting his actions in wildly different directions), making it a crapshoot if she even gets to that conclusion in the first place.
Archone 31st Oct 2018, 2:12 PM edit delete reply
No, I said she was thinking these things. That's literally what the curse is: "You are cursed to have no filter on your inner fire." Before she deliberately ruined the fun (before Main GM implied that she was actually reacting to someone else who had left her so timid and reticent), Discord was suggesting that things would be so much better if people listened to HER. Because she has good ideas... but she doesn't think anyone will listen (hence the general agreement that she mostly likely was in some sort of abusive relationship and was conditioned to not speak up).

I should add that while I was going through those previous pages I was reminded of a few things. One: Main GM is fully aware that Discord GM is indeed looking to drive a wedge between the characters and/or players (which means Main GM agreed to whatever his scheme is and they share a similar end-goal. Thereby implying that Discord GM's ultimate purpose is benevolent, or else Main GM would have refused outright).

Also, Fluttershy eagerly agreed to collaborate with regards to her own curse... while also letting slip that she personally feels insecure and questions whether her friends are laughing AT her rather than WITH her. Rarity's reaction to her curse (and being given "Tom") was to laugh so hard she needed time to catch her breath, she was enjoying it so much. Applejack loved the show... Rainbow is loving the show...

...With the exception of Twilight (who needs to learn to let go and enjoy the ROLEPLAY aspects of tabletop gaming), the players are all having fun. Even if it turned into the player characters fighting each other and a teamwipe (which we know it won't), at least they're having fun.
obscurereader 31st Oct 2018, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
... Yeah, I think we're just fundamentally reading these characters and the events of the comic differently, Archone.

For starters, even if Main GM knows Discord!DM is going to drive a wedge between the characters and/or players, he might not do anything about it (as Main!GM has been doing this entire time, I might add, with only minor intervention on Fluttershy's end) due to the established Hero Worship for Discord!DM. It's entirely possible - and I would argue that it's highly likely - that Main!GM's reluctance to police his favorite DM and tell him, "No, don't do this, that's a bad idea," is a character flaw, and not a sign that everything's gonna be hunky dory. He might have agreed to a dangerous/damaging idea (or suggested it outright as part of his need for something ruthless), not realizing how badly things could blow up in everyone's faces because he thought nothing could go wrong with his favorite DM by his side. In addition, Discord!DM teaching the others a lesson through his dming as portrayed in this comic relies way too much on uncertain events OoC that have really bad outcomes should events not go exactly according to plan - again, it's entirely possible that, for instance, Fluttershy learns, "I'm a bad person - therefore I shouldn't bother trying to be good and just be mean to everyone since there's no point in denying it." or Applejack learns, "I've been punished for metagaming despite trying to roleplay, and the only way around it is to metagame - therefore, I should always metagame and never, EVER trust the dm, ever, cause they always try to get you from every angle." based on what they've gone through this arc with the curses, rather than growing in a positive manner like what has been suggested before by those in favor of Discord!DM - the logic behind those conclusions might be flawed, but the execution of the plot that lead to the players being cursed could easily lead the players to that kind of conclusion unintentionally if they misdiagnose what went wrong.

I read the Fluttershy thing as her trying to "beat" Discord ic, not OoC - which would make sense, since that's kind of been her strong point throughout the comic and I think the point during Discord's Hannibal Lecture was that he was really, REALLY off-base (seriously - she's angry and contemptuous of the others cause they never listen to her ideas? Her whole deal up to that point in the comic was getting confidence through encouragement from her friends, who want her to contribute and share her ideas - which lead to her epic Intimidate against the dragon like in the show) and Discord got super angry cause she saw right through him and hit the nail right on the head as to what was really going on (the reason people thought she was in an abusive relationship was because people thought she had previous experience that gave her that insight into what was going on iirc - I was not one of those people, the reason as to why being explained in my previous comment - I think she's just a very perceptive and insightful person is all.). I can't say that she's having fun, since right now it seems like she's just internalizing negative traits rather than overcoming them (and seems rather fatalistic about the game - something I can personally empathize with due to being on the receiving end of bullshit superstronk enemies and gods running around in campaigns that have total control of the plot cause DM fiat).

Pinkie Pie (not Fluttershy - typo there) seemed to be trying to go with the flow in a really weird OoC/IC conversation that was hard to separate on most levels, if the confused Main!GM was any indication (Pinkie was worried about going too far ham due to previous experiences in the comic regarding her zaniness, but I dunno if she realizes she might be doing that stuff again, just with a different character trait).

I thought that Rarity was laughing cause she realized how badly she got played (seemed more like a, "Well Played, You Magnificent Bastard" thing rather than, "Oh my god, that's awesome!" - though they aren't necessarily mutually exclusive). Given how into their roles they've been so far, it could be argued fairly easily that Pinkie and Rarity are having fun, but I dunno about the others.

Applejack did not love the show (she wanted to know what Discord was planning, but then got whammied by the curse and has been struggling with it this entire time, with only a couple of initial chuckles at the reveals at everyone else's curses). So far, she seems really frustrated, with the OoC thing against Rainbow being a side effect of her getting cursed (and again, she might just be continuing with the curse to make sure they have a miniscule chance of getting the Elements and dealing with Discord - losing the curse might be game over at this point based on what she learned).

Rainbow Dash has been... hit or miss (she ignored Discord's temptations, was watching everything burn earlier from an OoC perspective, but now is calling out the others for continuing this whole business when given a seemingly reasonable out - I'm reading it more like she found it funny earlier, but it got old). I don't know if she's having fun or not - she's mostly been observing and passing side commentary. (I feel like she's edging into, "This isn't fun anymore, please stop," territory, but that could just be me).

And Twilight... Okay, I think Twilight's actually great at roleplaying, she just expresses it through engaging with the mechanics and lore of the setting better than the acting bit. Like, her entire schtick of derailing campaigns came about because she engages so hard with the story and setting and tries to play through what's going on logically - it's how she figured out the Elements and argued so well ic for her and her friends to be considered their bearers. Course, she's been shut down for the duration of this arc overall, not even able to get to the library without getting derailed by fluff from Discord!DM prattling on IC and the cursed 4 overplaying their curses, so as far as I can tell she's not having fun - and I can't for the life of me see how the others aside from maybe Pinkie and Rarity are supposedly having fun (and Pinkie and Rarity could just be super hammy method actors who secretly hate what they're doing or something - need to see more of the comic's future pages and their thoughts OoC before that can be confirmed or denied). Even if they were, it's still a giant red flag that bursts into fireworks that read, "YOU NEED TO STOP AND CLEAR THE AIR," that at least 1 or 2 of the 6 players are not having a good time and are actively disengaging mentally (to quoth Twilight on this page, "You know... Maybe I would prefer just being a munchkin". The entire point of the first Grand Line Crossover is that Twilight was compared with actual munchkins from the comic Grand Line 3.5 - that's not hyperbole, the entire premise of that comic is that a couple of munchkins play a DnD 3.5 pirates game and it spirals into the plot of One Piece - and she was worried that trying to play a strong character like those characters were doing was a faux pax. It ended with her friends reassuring her that it's okay to want to play a strong character, and that they still loved having her there. This arc seems to have people moving away from that idea for some reason, and it bothers me that Twilight seems to be edging into despair/munchkinism/apathy due to everything going on, since it's extremely unlike her and not something I want anyone to go through, ever). I don't care if a majority of the players are having fun (that could be fake enthusiasm or them getting involved in a toxic mindset without realizing it or groupthink or whatever other terms are out there to describe some kind of pack mentality), if a few of the players are having issues, stuff needs to stop and be aired out immediately.

It is a fallacy to assume that if most of the group is okay with something, then the problem is the contrarian and not the group. It is possible for the contrarian/complainer to be right, just as it's possible for the group to be right and the contrarian to be wrong - what matters is what the evidence is showing, and how good of an argument is being made based on said evidence. So far, the arguments and evidence in-story to me seem to point against Discord!DM, and in favor of Twilight and Rainbow Dash (with the cursed 4 having varying levels of issues to deal with) - and none of the arguments that present Discord!DM as good and the players being at fault make sense to me.

Going back to what I said earlier, I think the two camps on Discord!DM are reading completely different stories at this point - and I can't tell what exactly is causing the discrepancy in the first place. Like, legitimately, if you could explain how any of what's going on fits the idea that Discord!DM is trying to help the players grow OoC somehow from a logical standpoint that doesn't require Discord!DM having an Omniscient Morality Licence irl - which nobody has OoC or should have, even if he's playing an immortal trickster god ic - by all means, name events to reference and explain the reasoning beyond, "Twilight needs to learn to let go and enjoy the ROLEPLAY aspects". (Side note, if roleplay requires someone suffer ic and/or OoC from a mechanical or ic roleplay standpoint - if someone has to take a fall in competence or do something they don't want to do to make sure everyone else is having fun - then something has gone horribly wrong, whether that be the lone player being a dick to the group, the group and/or the dm being a dick to the lone player, or some combination of the above. Or some other failure I'm not thinking of atm, idk, diagnosing this stuff while involved with it is a lot more difficult than diagnosing it from an objective distance.) I would love to try and see how this makes sense from the perspective that Discord!DM is benevolent, cause right now, it just doesn't make sense to me.
Anon 30th Oct 2018, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Hey, look at that. Discord handed the entire party an open, consequence-free out in case anyone had gotten bored by the curse mechanic at this point. That's a good idea, as some players might have felt that particular part of the adventure to be played out by now. A shame for the minority of the party that the majority actively chose to keep going.

Any commenter wanna chime in on how everything is still Discord's fault and he's a horrible person? Like, perhaps we could rationalize it as him being an abuser who forced the players into a situation where they felt they had no choice but to keep going, or something?
obscurereader 30th Oct 2018, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
Are we sure there are no strings attached, though? Based on the plan explained to Applejack as part of her curse on pg. 1081, "On the off chance that you DO recover and set off to turn Discord back to stone... ... Ponyville itself will by then be Discord's capital, and its warped space will keep you away."

This means that, had they taken the opportunity to ditch the curses entirely, Discord could just warp reality to make them incapable of getting the elements and/or Discord. Because he's Discord. Only Applejack would know this, though, hence explaining why she would stick with the curse. The others though... I'm not sure what makes them think this'd be a good idea to keep doing (most I can guess is that Fluttershy feels guilty/self-loathing towards herself and feels she needs to keep going, while Rarity and Pinkie Pie are taking this too far due to their ham tendencies). Either way, this is still a continuing trainwreck and becoming increasingly unhealthy for everyone involved for the most part - all there is to do at this point is watch it explode...
Mr Wednesday 30th Oct 2018, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
Thanks, obscurereader! You did what I wanted to do!
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
It's called emotional manipulation, it's the same tactic and idea worse people do to others to get them to go "I can't leave him! I love him!" or "It's my fault they hurt me, I made them mad." While not quite the same thing Discord did mentally manipulate those 4 into believing what he wanted them to believe they should do. Dash was the only one he couldn't really manipulate because she totally blocked him out and is very self aware.
HappyEevee 30th Oct 2018, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
Thank you for the daily Rocket Report! Don't worry, you'll catch that dastardly Discord-chu someday!
obscurereader 30th Oct 2018, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
I don't think your metaphor works the way you want it to, HappyEevee... For starters, the Rocket Trio fully acknowledged their "badness", ignoring the fact that they're savants with literally everything else other than being bad. They never pretended/deluded themselves into thinking Pikachu was evil and that they were good or whatever.
Secondly, Pikachu (and the twerps) almost never instigated the conflict - it was always Team Rocket doing their thing and the twerps swooping in to stop them. In other words, it was clear cut who was good and who was bad. Whereas here, in this story, there's a whole mess of blame that could be spread around to the different characters if anyone really felt like doing so (hence why discussions of this sort of thing occur - everyone's approaching this from a different angle/thoughtprocess and considers one party or the other to have more of the blame than the other, if any or all of them has to take the blame in the first place).

If you wanted to criticize the whole, "Discord is evil and dastardly!" angle because it's becoming echoey/overdone, a better comparison would be something like a Captain Ahab/Moby Dick reference. (Not sure how many have actually read the book - I sure as heck haven't - but most people can look up the thing on tvtropes or wikipedia and get the idea that Ahab had an obsession with Moby Dick and invites tragedy cause he can't let it go).
Mr Wednesday 30th Oct 2018, 10:58 PM edit delete reply
Are we inviting tragedy, though? What are we supposed to say? That we like seeing this kind of strife? That just because we have some foreknowledge we shouldn’t express our concerns?

What I don’t understand is why some people feel that nothing at all is going wrong in this session. Tell me that if you were playing this, you wouldn’t be starting to have an uneasy feeling.
ThatGuest 31st Oct 2018, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
Yeah peopple trying to make excuses for Discord is kinda...creepy actually. "He's not doing anything bad....there must be a reason...there's always a reason....nothing bad ever happens ever~"

I understand there's being too negative but there's also being too positive. And frankly I'd rather be too negative, because if you expect the worst and it doesn't happen or something good happens. Then you can be happy about that. If you're too positive well.....you just got mugged and beaten up because you thought those guys squatting in the alley wouldn't hurt you since you're so goshdarn diddly positive~
GrayGriffin 31st Oct 2018, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
Honestly same. Especially when it bleeds into blaming Twilight and saying that she apparently deserves this.
obscurereader 31st Oct 2018, 12:59 AM edit delete reply
@Mr. Wednesday, I don't think anyone who is condemning Discord is inviting tragedy, merely that the Pokemon reference is a poor comparison. If it wasn't clear before, I'm in the camp that Discord!DM's antics are not kosher (and I also heavily dislike them on a personal level). In addition, I'm with ThatGuest and GrayGriffin in that I dislike the attempts to either make excuses for Discord!DM and/or put blame on the players (especially Twilight, Fluttershy, and Applejack), since for the life of me I can't tell what exactly they did wrong or badly to deserve any of this. (Simple answer to me is that they didn't do anything, and it's all pretty much undeserved).

Side note, though, @ThatGuest + @GrayGriffin, I don't agree that being too negative is better than being too positive - to me, being too negative inhibits a person's ability to see positive outcomes or ideas when they're right in front of them. ThatGuest's example of getting mugged due to thinking too positively seems less to do with positive thinking and more to do with not thinking things through (why go through an alley when you can go around it, for instance?) - you can be positive and still avoid alleys simply cause they're skeevy and junk.
GrayGriffin 31st Oct 2018, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
I was agreeing with the first part of ThatGuest's comment. Quite frankly I'm sick of our legitimate misgivings about DiscorDM and his behavior constantly getting dismissed as "being too negative" when Newbiespud is repeatedly going out of his way to show the players getting more and more upset and DiscorDM continuing to mock them instead of apologizing or calling for a time-out.
Mr Wednesday 31st Oct 2018, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
@obscurereader

K, sorry. Didn’t mean to get so stroppy. I misread your tone. If that’s the camp you’re in then we’re in the same one!
Anon 31st Oct 2018, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
ThatGuest:

...I have words. My amusement is eternal.
Mr Wednesday 31st Oct 2018, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
We endeavor to give service!
ThatGuest 31st Oct 2018, 2:43 AM edit delete reply
I suppose suspicion would have been a better term. I'd rather be too suspicious than not suspicious of anything. I've been on guard with plenty of people who ended up becoming great friends. But I also saved my butt from a lot of crazy, abusive, sneaky lunatics.

Any actually good person will be fine with suspicion, if anyone is ever offended by it, theres a good chance they're just putting on an act trying to make you feel guilty and allow them to take advantage of you.
obscurereader 31st Oct 2018, 1:35 PM edit delete reply
@GrayGriffin, Understood, and yeah, I'm with you on the misgivings about Discord!DM + them being dismissed. There's a good chunk of in-universe evidence that points against Discord!DM, and it's annoying if it gets dismissed out of hand (I mean, what else are you supposed to trust if not the in-story events?).

@ThatGuest, I get being on guard, but there is such a thing as being too suspicious (I'd argue it's worse to condemn a good person for something they didn't do than it is to not suspect someone who is -innocent until proven guilty and all that) - best tempered by evidence (which in this case, supports a case against Discord!DM).
Tempestfury 30th Oct 2018, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
'But Its What My Character Would Do'...

Boy has there never been a more controversial set of words at the RPG table.

See, there is a lot of horror stories about this. About the fact that people would use this to be an excuse to be a dick to the party and the other players. That they would steal and blackmail and murder the other party members, but always defend themselves with those 7 famous words.

Yet... isn’t that one of the biggest reasons for playing D&D? Not just to fight evil monsters, battle through ancient ruins and find cool treasure... but to get into character? To come to terms with your character outside yourself, their thoughts, their feelings, their motivations and desires? To understand how they would act in a situation, even if you, an outsider, can see from without that it is a bad or non-optimal decision? Isn’t the greatest of roleplaying moments born, when you fade into the background, and the character comes to life, speaking through you, instead of you speaking through the character?

A lot of people always act like ‘'But Its What My Character Would Do' is the worst words to ever use. That it can ONLY be used as an excuse to be an asshole. But really, it's not. Its what you want all players to experience, to understand what their characters would actually DO.

It's just that sometimes, those characters DO come in conflict with the rest of the party... and that creates... complications. Not necessary bad complications, but it does make the game more complicated than before.
Ke 30th Oct 2018, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
Your character doesn't exist. You do. They have no thoughts, no feelings, no motivations or desires that you need to "come to terms with", because all of those things are under YOUR DIRECT CONTROL.

Greg the Rogue isn't stealing from his party members because his feelings or motivations dictate him to do so. He's stealing from his party members because YOU, THE PLAYER CONTROLLING HIM, is making him do it. What your character "would do" is always what you would make them do.

My biggest reason to play D&D is to have fun. I will not have fun when another person at the table strips the evening of all enjoyment by trying to hide his real actions behind a fake set of motivations.
Ke 30th Oct 2018, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
ETA:

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/37103/what-is-my-guy-syndrome-and-how-do-i-handle-it

This post discussing My Guy Syndrome has good examples. No, it's not always used to be an asshole. But it's always a fallacy to hide what is your own actions behind a made up person. Instead of thinking about "what your character would do", try thinking about what YOU should do to help preserve the fun for everyone present. And if you don't want to have to think about other people's enjoyment before your character's, write a book instead of playing tabletop RPGs.
SilverShadow4 31st Oct 2018, 12:32 AM edit delete reply
@Ke I feel like you guys are missing the point of a ROLE-PLAYING game. Sometimes people with creative minds and good imaginations can make a character that is very different from themselves. In two different campaigns we have right now, we have a PC that has started to get out of hand. When I build a character, I give them some motives and a compelling backstory. I give them a personality, and it's different than mine. Sometimes charaters can get away from you. I'm definitely not condoning assholes using it as an axcuse to be an asshole, but it isn't always bad.
"Your character doesn't exist. You do. They have no thoughts, no feelings, no motivations or desires that you need to "come to terms with", because all of those things are under YOUR DIRECT CONTROL."
So are you telling me that every writer to ever write a story wants to do the horrible things the villain does? Frankly, that's a stupid argument. If you make a character with a personality and that personality clashes with the party, the PCs personality isn't going to suddenly change to be more cohesive just because OOC it's not meshing well with the group.
The charater DOES have thoughts and feelings. They aren't real, but they're real in the universe the DM has created and I expect them to act as such.
As for one PC that's gotten out of hand, Cha'a, he was a Lizardfolk from a swamp and was raised with almost no society. So when his god sends him away from his home to investigate some issues, it was going to be a learning experience for him, meeting other races and cultures. The first town he approached, he was arrested by racist villagers. That's where we met up, in the jail. The next town? Arrested for something the insane halfling did 5 minutes in. Next city? Arrested before we're even brought into the city, released once we passed trial, then arrested again because of the halfling, who died that time resisting arrest. So Cha'a has gotten a really bad introduction to civilization and his tolerance for polite society plummeted. It wasn't because the player WANTED his character to become a murder hobo asshole, it just happened! This is when the DM and Players act like adults and discuss the player rolling a new character because this one's gotten out of hand. Then the DM came up with a way to sever any remaining ties he had to us in-game, and Cha'a left.
SilverShadow4 31st Oct 2018, 12:32 AM edit delete reply
The other one, Emmett, is a cocaine addicted demon-worshipping madman (Dresden Files FATE game, and Emmett doesn't realize it's a demon) that up until last session has worked well enough with the party (IC we didn't know he'd already killed a man) but then we went to a strip club and everything went downhill from there. He couldn't get anyone to even look at him so he left, intending to buy his own hooker while we went to the meeting. When he realized he only had $12, he needed to get more money. So naturally, he went to rob a deserted gas station. He alerted the attendant pulling up, had a shotgun put in his face, shot the man, got shot in the shoulder, then shot the man again, killing him. He got $125 from the register. Then he was pursued by the cops, ditched his van, and spent the rest of the day in a hobo campsite before meeting back up with us covered in blood and buckshot. So of course, our PCs are seriously considering leaving Emmett to whatever he's up to and, OOC, we know he's gotta go if any of us are to fulfill our goals.
The thing is, we're all having fun! Sometimes characters spiral out of control, that doesn't mean the player is bad. On the contrary, it means the player is able to step out of their element and really get into character, which sometimes means making monumentally idiotic decisions. The key to keeping it fun is not taking everything personally. We had fun watching these characters implode and run headlong to their own doom, and now that they're gone, we can get back on track.
What it sounds like your party's problem is, is metagaming. Allowing out-of-universe things to influence in-character actions. Thankfully, my party is awesome about not doing that, to the point that we've run straight into a Banshee's lair at level 3 and TPK'd because it's what our characters would have done. We heard there was cool shit out that way and didn't stop to ask what was guarding it. OOC we knew from the clues and stories but our characters were either too dull or rolled shit to figure it out. The point is to have fun OOC.
Mr Wednesday 31st Oct 2018, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
Okay, don’t patronize. It’s bad form. We know what metagaming is. And we know what the point of roleplaying is.

If you’re all having fun in your own game, then more power to you. The issue at stake here is that in the main group, NOT everyone is having fun (it may only be Rarity and Pinkie at this point). The fun some people are having is coming at someone else’s expense. That goes against the whole idea of playing in a group. This isn’t some fun romp through a chaotic world—or if it is, only DiscorDM is romping.
Ke 31st Oct 2018, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
@SilverShadow4

"I feel like you guys are missing the point of a ROLE-PLAYING game."
To actually role-play? That is, to be a real person with complete and total control over a fake one?

"Sometimes charaters can get away from you."
Becuase you let them. Your characters actions are always your decisions first.

"So are you telling me that every writer to ever write a story wants to do the horrible things the villain does?"
If the text makes it clear that the VILLAIN is doing VILLANOUS THINGS, then no. Of course not. But I am telling you that what the villain does is under the DIRECT CONTROL OF THE WRITER, yes.

"If you make a character with a personality and that personality clashes with the party, the PCs personality isn't going to suddenly change to be more cohesive just because OOC it's not meshing well with the group."
It should, and it's 100% in your power as the controlling player to make that happen.

"It wasn't because the player WANTED his character to become a murder hobo asshole, it just happened!"
Absolute. Bull. Shit. If your player WANTED his character to NOT become a murder hobo asshole, he could have CHOSEN TO ROLE-PLAY HIM AS NOT BECOMING A MURDER HOBO ASSHOLE. That his tolerance for societ plummeted is a CHOICE the PLAYER did. If he was interested in continuing the game in a civilized manner, he could easily have role-played Cha'a as someone who started with all the bad cards but due to his personality wanted to fix that about himself and society. But the player didn't do that. He chose to become a murder hobo asshole.

"So naturally, he went to rob a deserted gas station."
Naturally, yes. And naturally, that was the player's decision.
Mr Wednesday 31st Oct 2018, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Your character lets you express facets of yourself—maybe not nice ones. . Perhaps your character likes to resolve things with violence. You probably don’t do that all the time in real life, but you may WANT to. At least that’s the way I’ve always played. My characters tend to share my values, and do what I would if I could. Characters are already there to let you present a certain way, and this applies to your actions too. There’s freedom in being somebody else, which is easy to take as freedom from consequence.

That said, there are ways to play a character honestly. I once ran a game with a bunch of typical RPG heroes and a total pacifist. This guy never ever killed, until, one day, with the fate of the world at stake, he threw a bomb into a mob of cloned monks, because his friends needed his help. And that was an interesting CHOICE to watch, because it was something his character WOULDN’T have done to start with.
Cygnia 30th Oct 2018, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
Couple this when they then complain about how your character reacts whatever their douchy actions were...they're VERY QUICK to deny you the "It's What My Character Would Do!" card then.

(Made even worse when the GM is beholden to the Geek Social Fallacies and wants Everyone To Just Get Along!)

[Why yes, I'm currently in this very same situation...why do you ask?]
GrayGriffin 31st Oct 2018, 12:13 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
Amen, Cygnia. I already mentioned my case up above, so I won't repeat myself.
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
I've actually done the opposite of the situation before where I forced myself to do what my character would do. I wanted to murder the party, I wanted to turn on them in the final battle and wipe them from the face of the earth for the good of humanity....but my character wouldn't have done that....they would stay focused on saving the world and everyone in it. I practically gnawed a hole in that table by the end of the campaign....
GrayGriffin 31st Oct 2018, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
Here's a link to an article about that by Rich Burlew, author of the Order of the Stick comic:

http://www.giantitp.com/articles/tll307KmEm4H9k6efFP.html

Basically, try to find a motivation for your character, even if the current quest doesn't seem to be the kind that would tempt them. Even something like "they're my friends and I want to help them" should work! Don't hold up the entire RP because you think your character wouldn't want to join in.
Archone 31st Oct 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Oh, I love Burlew's stuff! Ever since I read his thoughts on "Fantastic Racism," and how games tend to declare entire species "always chaotic evil," or occasionally slip in an "occasionally" and with an obvious "wink wink, of course we know it's still completely appropriate to kill them all and steal their stuff."

And yeah, I agree. It's your character, you create them... so create a character that will work with the group. Make them open to compromise and capable of cooperation and socialization. I've dealt with a number of players who created anti-social jerks and were surprised that things didn't turn out well for them. If you want to play a Wolverine style grumpy loner type... then be okay with taking naps:

https://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/2/27935/758717-logan12jz.jpg
Story time 30th Oct 2018, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
You have two options, get free from a problem and take the easy way or give even more problems to the party.

Any story when the GM give a choice and you or others decided to just make it more hard to the group?
ThatGuest 30th Oct 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
The rogue stole the necklace we needed to finish the campaign and tried to sell it for a handful of gold after 4 months in the underdark........I almost choked him in real life.