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24

The Campaign: Guilt Trip

September 13, 2023 by Tim


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Graham Best
Graham Best
6 months ago

Is anything stronger than a natural 20?

Hulkur
Hulkur
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

Natural 1

wkz
wkz
6 months ago
Reply to  Hulkur

One makes the columns fall away from you.

The other makes the columns fall on you.

Lrbearclaw
Lrbearclaw
6 months ago
Reply to  wkz

I mean, either way it fell.

AND they are in the realm of the dead so if they fell on him they just have to let his ghost catch up,

mcjstar
mcjstar
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

Yes actually. The DM could have made the columns so strong that even a Nat 20 + the barbarian’s strength score wasn’t enough to topple them. If he was smart and knew his players, he probably did. What he probably forgot was the strength potion. What he should have done, knowing his players and if he wanted them to follow his plan for a challenge, was just tell them they were unbreakable. As a DM, that is always their prerogative.

Avion
Avion
6 months ago
Reply to  mcjstar

Maybe the columns were supposed to be broken, just not by sheer muscular strength.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
6 months ago
Reply to  mcjstar

Ehhh… I mean, you can, but I honestly think a good DM is more than willing to roll with his party to see where they’re going and adapt to how they solve things. If P1 rolled a Nat 20 and spent a potion, why wouldn’t you reward that?

Speaking from experience, there’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with a solution that should otherwise work but the DM says, “No; Dark Overlord’s dirty clothes hamper is mystically untouchable! You must solve by your Intelligence checks and/or this riddle I found online!”

RblDiver
RblDiver
6 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

That’s when you get creative. “Sure, you can rummage through the hamper, but an overwhelming stench of sweaty underwear worn by an evil overlord with mummy rot starts wafting towards you. Con save each turn you’re within 5 feet.”

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
6 months ago
Reply to  RblDiver

Absolutely! That’s more interesting, and lets the player feel like they have agency in the world. If a player thinks of a solution, it makes logical sense, and is interesting, you should not give a hard, flat “No.” Rather, “Yes, but…” or “No, however…” Your carefully made plans can still work; they just need to be used later, slightly differently.

Stromboul
Stromboul
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

Sure, Nat 20 doesn’t guarantee success for many things. It just means that you did as well as possible on your try.

So not all “Nat 20” are equivalent, the skill of the ‘operator’ is taken into account also. A Nat 20 Strength check by a barbarian or by a Wizard isn’t the same. A Nat20 persuasion check by a Bard or by the barbarian isn’t the same, etc.

Mnemnosyne
Mnemnosyne
6 months ago
Reply to  Stromboul

Yeah, a 20 is just a 20 except on attack rolls. This has been true in every edition of D&D I’ve known the rules of. If you have a +5 and roll a 20, you got a 25; if you have a +10 and roll a 15, you got a 25, and the effects are identical.

Also, anything for which there are no consequences for failure and no time crunch, you will get a 20 eventually if you choose to just keep trying. Trying to shove over a column when there’s no threat around you is kinda like that.

P2Mc28
P2Mc28
6 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

I haven’t been keeping up with changes, but this was one of the things that is was changing, rules as written, in One D&D. The text describing the rule change was something like “because many players treat 1s and 20s as a fail/success no matter what the challenge, natural 1s and20s are now always fails/successes, even outside of combat.”

I did a quick check, though, and it seems that everyone agreed that was dumb and it was changed back to 5e rules… uh, over a year ago. Holy cow I really haven’t been keeping up.

Dran
Dran
6 months ago
Reply to  Mnemnosyne

Saving Throws too, but otherwise accurate. a 20 (or a 1) is an auto pass (or fail) for Attacks and Saving Throws both in most editions. (Though I think what little we’ve seen of the character sheets confirms they’re actually playing Pathfinder, and they may also have houserules in play)

FM-96
FM-96
6 months ago
Reply to  Dran

I don’t know about any older editions, but in 5e the only time a saving throw cares about nat 1s/20s is when you’re rolling a death save.

Last edited 6 months ago by FM-96
Lt. Kettch
Lt. Kettch
6 months ago

Barbarian being barbarian

Ben
Ben
6 months ago
Reply to  Lt. Kettch

It’s Barbing time!

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
6 months ago

“Solid stone” – well, there’s your problem. You leave anything solid on an ethereal plane and let a barbarian inside – you know exactly what’s gonna happen. Me smash. And I, for one, approve this message.

The Legacy
The Legacy
6 months ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

As someone who is currently playing a character with a 27 strength, I second that motion.

John
John
6 months ago

A 20s a 20. Job well done.

Tracker
Tracker
6 months ago

And hey, now i made a stone pile and it only took like, what, 12 seconds?

MH Veteran
MH Veteran
6 months ago
Reply to  Tracker

Damn, ya beat me to it.

foducool
foducool
6 months ago

no respect for archaeology lmao

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

The spirit is looking behind herself/itself (is a spirit considered a person or a thing?) – is that meant to be significant in some way?

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

No she’s not, she’s looking at 2’s staff passing through the chain.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Jaysburn

Doesn’t come off that way to me. ?‍♂️ I see her looking further behind, to the left of the ‘whoosh’ from her perspective.

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I think you’re viewing her sclera as her iris. Understandable, since they’re the same colour. Zoom in on her a little and you’ll see that her iris is directed towards the chain, not backwards.

Not that Brian
Not that Brian
6 months ago
Reply to  Jaysburn

her head is turned surprisingly far for simply looking down to her left.

People’s heads only turn about 50-60% of the amount they’re diverting their vision, so with that head turn, it’s more like she’s looking behind.

It’s very odd for her eyes to be centered with her head turned that far.

So, while yes, she is actually looking at the chain, the way her head was drawn leads to a default conclusion that she is looking behind her.

Stephen
Stephen
6 months ago

So Three managed to railroad the GM?

I’d say it was impressive except it’s blatantly obvious that Three is the kind of player whom the rest of the group regularly have to work around

Then again, the only personality traits I can ascribe to her are psychopathy and a willingness to break things gamewise to take shortcuts.

It might actually be fun to see her put that attitude to good use in some sort of competition

Ashi
Ashi
6 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

Point of order – 3 IS the GM, 4 is the one who decided to shoot Nostrilseeker randomly.

Stephen
Stephen
6 months ago
Reply to  Ashi

My apologies, I did mean 4. I blame my dodgy memory

Ocramot
Ocramot
6 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

Narrative storytelling is not railroading.

Railroading would be “no, you CAN’T go in the direction of the arrow because [made up reason]. You HAVE to go towards [direction], and then you find the spirit”

The alternative would be “you keep going around and around until you happen to stumble upon the exact location I initially planned to place the spirit [that you came here looking for anyway]. Otherwise I would have to make something totally new and interesting up elsewhere to accomodate for your random action”

Rauri
Rauri
6 months ago

When all else fails, hit it really, really hard.

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
6 months ago
Reply to  Rauri

If it still fails, you just didn’t use enough violence.

Paul
Paul
6 months ago

*Approves in Karlach*

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul

If only more people had their heart replaced with a Hellion infernal engine, we would have a better world.

Rolando
Rolando
6 months ago

If you’re the DM, and you want to present a more complex challenge, you CAN simply make the columns/chains/etc. impossible to break through physical force. If you don’t, you can’t really whine if someone tries and succeeds.

There’s nothing wrong with the players trying simple solutions, after all.

Ocramot
Ocramot
6 months ago
Reply to  Rolando

To be fair, the player rolled without DM’s permission..

thallone
thallone
6 months ago
Reply to  Rolando

You put all of your tremendous might into pushing the column over, Triumphan, you hear a snap. Unfortunately, it was your arm. The column stands unmoved.

Arcatus
Arcatus
6 months ago
Reply to  Rolando

He kinda did though : nothing in “colossal chunks of stone” invites for these things to be smashed down. It’s been years since I played D&D, and we were just teenagers. Back then it was mostly rolls towards hits and damage. As far as I remember we didn’t do rolls to decide the outcome of various shenanigans. How does that roll even work? Is this a written option? Or does the GM decide on the spot that “Ok, you can try you idea, but it will only work if a 20 is rolled”? Or is the roll made first and… Read more »

Nazghallion
Nazghallion
6 months ago
Reply to  Arcatus

skill Checks have been in D&D for a very long time, you apply the most applicable skill and set a DC… though a dm is always free to just say “yeah no that doesnt work” or “theres no reason that shouldnt work auto success” rolls should only really be made when the dm calls for them in rp situations but some players are prone to being a bit excitable and rolling prematurely

Albert
Albert
6 months ago
Reply to  Nazghallion

Thats the DM’s fault for letting the player decide when to make an ability check.

mcjstar
mcjstar
6 months ago
Reply to  Rolando

Yep, DM has ultimate control. Likely the DM made the columns so strong that even a Nat 20 + the barbarian’s strength score wasn’t enough to topple them. If he was smart and knew his players, he probably did. What he probably forgot was the strength potion. What he should have done, knowing his players and if he wanted them to follow his plan for a challenge, was just tell them they were unbreakable, or that he failed to knock them down. As a DM, that is always their prerogative and should sometimes be taken for the sake of the… Read more »

TariOronar
TariOronar
6 months ago
Reply to  Rolando

Certainly the DM can do that…but when I’ve played, the games that have been the most fun/memorable have been the ones that the DM let unexpected actions + nat 20 succeed.

Jack0r
Jack0r
6 months ago
Reply to  TariOronar

True. The GM is god. Whatever they decide goes. But not railroading the players and letting them try random garbage makes for much more entertaining sessions.

Sureen Ink
Sureen Ink
6 months ago

And this is why I like PF2e over D&D 5e. You can still fail even on a roll of a nat 20 in PF2e.

ocramot
ocramot
6 months ago
Reply to  Sureen Ink

Technically, it’s like that in D&D5e as well. RAW, crit success is only on attack roll. But most people will use the Rule of Cool on that.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
6 months ago
Reply to  Sureen Ink

You really don’t need PF2e for that though. This has nothing to do with the system used, it’s purely a matter of DM allowing things or not. If 3 truly wanted the column to be impervious to physical force and/or force the party to find another solution, they could have simply said so. Or vetoed the roll. Or let him roll and simply say the column stays up regardless. It’d make for a less interesting story though, so they allowed 1 to roll against (what they presumably thought was) a ludicrously high dc. A DC which Barbarian+Strength Potion+high roll was… Read more »

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
6 months ago
Reply to  Sureen Ink

Strange take. 5e is the same, Nat 20’s are only automatic successes on Attack rolls. Granted, generally speaking if you roll a Nat 20 on something you will succeed, because the GM needs to call for a roll; if something is impossible, the GM simply won’t ask you to roll for it, they’ll just say you try and it’s impossible. What happened in this comic – Player 1 rolling without the GM calling for it – should never be done, and is honestly a big pet peeve of mine. You can ask if you can roll for something, but you… Read more »

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
6 months ago
Reply to  Jaysburn

We don’t actually know if this was rolled without permission though. The comic doesn’t show every single mechanical step about every roll in the story, just the outcome.

Its perfectly plausible there was a standard ‘i want to roll strength’ /’sure’ exchange between panels, followed by 1 rolling before 3 was done explaining why it probably wouldn’t be enough.

jeadly
jeadly
6 months ago

Weathered Columns? From weather? In the Ethereal Plane? Pfffft.

ocramot
ocramot
6 months ago
Reply to  jeadly

Ethereal weather XD

Halosty
Halosty
6 months ago
Reply to  jeadly

Also, if they’re weathered… that means they can be damaged by something.

VibrantEvolution
VibrantEvolution
6 months ago
Reply to  Halosty

he said “based on their weathering” followed by “have stood here for untold ages” meaning they are not weathered one bit

Will B.
Will B.
6 months ago

I feel like that last frame should’ve had an inset image of a d20 on 20.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
6 months ago

…roll with it.’You’ve toppled one column. One remains.’

Kenju
Kenju
6 months ago

I *LOVE* this, hell I RUN on this kind of logic in most games. The BINDINGS are etheral, and the stone is covered in runes, but pushing the collum’s themselves are still just heavy rocks stacked ontop of each other.

10/10 BARBARIAN PRIDE!

Rolando
Rolando
6 months ago

Story time: High fantasy setting. The party all belonged to a character type that is the strongest by far. But we were still kinda low level, and were widely considered “public enemy #1.” SPECIALLY by the strongest empire around. If we exhibited our nature, it’d often be like growing horns in the middle of inquisition-era Europe. Some of our powers, and our strongest equipment, made our nature obvious on mere sight and even made us easier to track. Heck, we’d shine like beacons often enough, visible from far away. Our strongest gear was this shiny, golden, obvious stuff. We were… Read more »

Eric the White
Eric the White
6 months ago

Ok, but there are two columns.

Verdiekus
Verdiekus
6 months ago

Never underestimate a barbarian’s strength and sheer will power to go THROUGH most obstacles.