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Oliver


Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Aug
27th
2016

Points of Canon: S6x17 - Dungeons and Discord · 8:02pm Aug 27th, 2016

I almost typed “Dungeons and Discourse” up there in the title, but caught myself in time.

Because, seriously, what else do you think happens in a dungeon?…

After all, the basic vehicle for tabletop roleplaying is discourse, isn’t it?

  • Among other interesting artifacts she’s packing Fluttershy has a coin purse, of the kind that’s somewhat difficult to open even if you have fingers. The saddlebags seen off Fluttershy include not only a belt that goes across the back, but also another, longer and thinner one, the function of which is not entirely clear to me.
  • Discord mentions Puerto Caballo, which is not on any known maps yet.
  • Celestia is taking the Mane 6 on an “overnight goodwill tour of Yakyakistan,” notably, not trusting Twilight to do it on her own.
  • That scene with the Opposite Fluttershy is both very funny and raises a tremendous amount of questions regarding what is actually going on, which is highly relevant to determining what kind of limits, if any, Discord’s power has. Did he transform the entire universe into an “opposite” version of itself? Probably not, otherwise the Elements of Harmony would never be able to affect him. Did he actually swap some parts of the universe with something in a pre-existing universe where everything is “opposite?” Probably not, because in this case Opposite Fluttershy would not refer to herself as such. And why would Opposite Fluttershy be “nice and quiet” at all, let alone “all the time?” It’s interesting to note that Fluttershy is covering her mouth, so she probably experienced the actions of Opposite Fluttershy as her own. In almost all instances when Discord is out to do something amusing, he transforms the world and alters attributes of ponies, but does not abruptly change their behavior. So what exactly happened and what are the mechanics of his power?
  • Pinkie mentions a pony-eating yeti. While Pinkie is always suspect by definition, nobody asks what a yeti is. Unless this is the monster that attacked her in Party Pooped, that’s new – but if it is, I’m kind of surprised that thing is called a yeti. Also, since Pinkie brought “yeti food,” and yet the yeti is “pony-eating,” just what did she plan to feed it?…
  • All of the Mane 6 have identical saddlebags, instead of their more usual cutie mark branded ones, and those saddlebags seem to include grey, presumably metallic loops, suspiciously resembling stirrups. Huh?
  • Previously, Spike hasn’t been shown interacting much with Big Mac at all. But they are clearly on very friendly terms. I wonder when did this start.
  • Discord’s list of rowdiest establishments in Ponyville actually includes two such establishments. Assuming he isn’t just mucking around, this is evidence that Ponyville has at least two bars. :)
  • The comics’ canonical name of “Ogres and Oubliettes” stands untouched, hurrah! Notably, no previously unknown types of dice are in evidence, we see character sheets, a GM screen, and everything is very normal. Except that Spike is using a boxed set and even has the box right there, and running a module which has some quite detailed preset interactions, seeing as how he’s looking them up in the book. Which is slightly odd, considering that the land is called “Spiketopia.” Actually, it being called “Spiketopia” is the only reason I can think of this is a guys night, because the comics mention that Twilight also played back in the day.
  • The setting for the game seems a pretty generic fantasy. We don’t really have a clue which particular era of pony history it emulates, but anywhere in the period when the fragmented pony kingdoms existed should fit.
  • Discort uses the idiom “paint the town red.” Which is interesting, because as far as I can tell, the origins of this particular idiom are historical, and refer to a famous night of drunken revelry by one Marquis of Waterford in 1837, wherein he literally painted the town of Melton Mowbray red. I wonder which pony did.
  • Where did Spike get the figure of draconequus archer, I wonder? He had to have drawn it right then and there, which suggests a higher drawing skill than I gave him credit for.
  • “Ogres and Oubliettes” apparently includes rules for spellcasting without a skill and apparently, without being of a caster class, because later on Spike mentions that archers don’t have magic. That’s no D&D, ladies and gentlemen, that’s something quite a bit more advanced.
  • They are still playing when the Mane 6 are back, while early in the episode Fluttershy says that this is an overnight trip, and they started on sundown. Just how long they were at it?
  • Dunno about you, but Twilight’s embarrassed expression makes me think that yes, she does play too, and she’s always been worried the girls will think it’s weird.
  • Starlight Glimmer is completely absent from the episode, and I don’t think it makes sense for her to avoid interacting with the events entirely. Unless this happened during the hypothetical time she toured with Trixie, which we have no evidence of actually happening, this has the upper bound of The Crystalling, and the clearest lower bound on it is Party Pooped. In fact, I suspect this episode might make more sense if it occurs before What about Discord, providing the missing link in which Discord originally befriended Pinkie and Rainbow Dash.

Discord dressed up as the movie Legolas is up there with the best screenshots in MLP ever if you ask me, and this episode is far more pleasant than I expected.

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Comments ( 21 )

Previously, Spike hasn’t been shown interacting much with Big Mac at all. But they are clearly on very friendly terms. I wonder when did this start.

Before "The Cutie Map," given how he had a guy's night planned with Big Mac then. Presumably "Dungeons and Discord" took place during the hoofball off-season.

And yeah, I have no doubt that Twilight has played O&O herself. I wouldn't be surprised if there were family game nights at the Tomb of Horrors.

Yeah, it was a good episode.

Previously, Spike hasn’t been shown interacting much with Big Mac at all. But they are clearly on very friendly terms. I wonder when did this start.

The first instance I recall of Spike and Big Mac apparently hanging out was in the season five premier. They were supposedly talking about hoofball while the girls were off in the north dealing with Starlight. One now has to wonder whether or not that was actually what they were doing. It may have been a cover for... well, this.

Discord’s list of rowdiest establishments in Ponyville actually includes two such establishments. Assuming he isn’t just mucking around, this is evidence that Ponyville has at least two bars. :)

Indeed! And as it happens, I was re-reading Return of Chrysalis the other day, and in the early pages of issue one, the scenes in Ponyville appear to centre around what looks suspiciously like an old English pub. Ponyville confirmed for alcoholic degenerates.

Which is slightly odd, considering that the land is called “Spiketopia.”

Seems like it's O&O rules, but Spike and Big Mac play a homebrew setting.

In fact, I suspect this episode might make more sense if it occurs before What about Discord, providing the missing link in which Discord originally befriended Pinkie and Rainbow Dash.

You just blew my mind.

4175632

Seems like it's O&O rules, but Spike and Big Mac play a homebrew setting.

Into which Spike has embedded a published module, since they refer to a book when discussing the iron bars and the guard reactions, and as far as I can see, the rulebook is the other book on the table.

The extra strap on the bags look like they're breast bands, something normally found on pack saddles when you want to keep the load from slipping back while ascending steep trails. (Neat bit of veracity, if so.)

The metal loops can't be stirrups because they're on the inner side of the bags and 90 degrees out of position. They could be attachment loops for girth straps, but weren't used as such when the girls were wearing them. They might be used when roping up on a steep mountain trail, but that isn't normal for a pack string. Of course, the normal way, a series of half-hitches around the tail, leading to the bridle of the following horse/mule, is a bit of an indignity for a sapient equine, so the Equestrians may do things differently.

Oh yeah; one other thing.

Either Spike has a very poor understanding of pony anatomy, or ponies have ear bones!

4175868

They do need something to hold their earphones and earmuffs in position, don't they? ;)

For the "Opposite Universe," I suspect Discord just affected the area around Fluttershy's cottage, otherwise other people would be complaining. I think it's just a photo-negative lighting effect combined with an area burst of his old Discording power, though Discord himself is immune to his own magic in that regard.

I suspect Spike and Big Mac are running a module, possibly the beginner box, and Spike has just renamed the country and the damsel in distress.

Just because it was on his mind, I suspect the swing dancing happened in Puerto Caballo.

Anyone else sad that Spike's biggest fantasy for his level 30 enchanter is "everyone respects him?" And Even though Big Mac is a fighter class, he's a unicorn here, just like he was an alicorn in his dreams....

The fact that Celestia has this sudden "overnight goodwill tour" that Fluttershy didn't warn Discord about, makes me think this is some sort of emergency, like a last-ditch effort to prevent the potential Griffonstone-Yakyakistan war that was mentioned in the comics.

4176831

Anyone else sad that Spike's biggest fantasy for his level 30 enchanter is "everyone respects him?"

He is probably regretting he doesn't live with Shining Armor in the Crystal Empire now...

And Even though Big Mac is a fighter class, he's a unicorn here, just like he was an alicorn in his dreams....

That is somewhat odd, but I suspect this is not a status point (there really isn't much cross-canon evidence that magic and being a unicorn are tightly coupled to social status, at least in modern Equestria -- in fact, among the wealthy, earth ponies appear to outnumber everyone else) but rather, a reflection of Big Mac's desire to be more intellectual and cerebral than he gets a chance to be -- a chance that he admits missing in youth.

Which is why his dream self is a heroic alicorn prince, and his tabletop character is a brutish unicorn fighter -- being brutish is something that he knows well, and applying power is something he has experience with, but I suspect that before the Apple parents died, he was expecting to go on to college, a dream which being left as the de-facto head of the family with two much younger sisters on his hooves crushed. Remember Brotherhooves Social? He's actually sophisticated enough to pull that off, but almost never gets to apply it. Now Applejack has matured, but it's a bit too late for college, so he's engaging in fantasies to compensate.

4176888

there really isn't much cross-canon evidence that magic and being a unicorn are tightly coupled to social status, at least in modern Equestria -- in fact, among the wealthy, earth ponies appear to outnumber everyone else

Preaching to the choir here buddy. Most of the wealthy business ponies seem to be earth ponies. And Manehatten has to have a GDP like ten to twenty times that of Canterlot, and it's run by earth ponies.

I suspect its culture. Unicorn culture is still based off old noble culture, which if you have to be self-supporting is a huge disadvantage. It's like a certain subset of European intelligentsia, where the respectable choices are things like artist or academic, or government work, but actually working in business is something only desperate unicorns do, and they are looked down upon.

Earth ponies, on the other hand, have a culture probably a lot closer to the classic "American dream," hard work and getting rich and all that. Over the centuries, those two attitudes are going to lead to earth ponies commanding most of the wealth.

(Poor Pegasi, between their martial/physical culture and huge manufacturing disadvantage in cloud cities, are probably the poorest tribe, with AK Yearling the only rich Pegasus).

Celestia is taking the Mane 6 on an “overnight goodwill tour of Yakyakistan,” notably, not trusting Twilight to do it on her own.

Remember: last time she almost started a war with Yakyakistan

Starlight Glimmer is completely absent from the episode, and I don’t think it makes sense for her to avoid interacting with the events entirely. Unless this happened during the hypothetical time she toured with Trixie, which we have no evidence of actually happening, this has the upper bound of The Crystalling, and the clearest lower bound on it is Party Pooped. In fact, I suspect this episode might make more sense if it occurs before What about Discord, providing the missing link in which Discord originally befriended Pinkie and Rainbow Dash.

Maybe she stayed in the Crystal Empire a few extra days for bonus friendship lessons with Sunburst.

4177690

Maybe she stayed in the Crystal Empire a few extra days for bonus friendship lessons with Sunburst.

That is a possibility, just like the hypothetical tour with Trixie. But I think that "almost started a war" would also have to have happened recently. Because, while Twilight did almost start a war, in the end, prince Rutherford left quite impressed. The best time to have a goodwill tour -- supervised by Celestia, of course -- is while this impression is still fresh.

And we still have the gap between Flurry Heart being announced with Cadance not showing any signs of pregnancy and Flurry Heart being born which produces a lot of dead time if episodes are not reshuffled, anyway.

Incidentally, Season 7, if such a thing happens (No idea, with the movie on the horizon) would also have to mostly fall into the gap between The Crystalling and A Hearth's Warming Tail, which is at least six months...

4175828 Having just recently watched the episode. Those are definitely simplified breast collars. They are using them when they leave and return. However they lack the strap which would go between there legs to the girth strap to prevent it riding up.

However after some digging it looks more like a breastgirth or loop breastplate. Used for show jumping and eventing, the cross-country ones.

4178956
Yeah, the lack of a girth strap is odd. But when the pony wearing it can just shove it down if it rides up... it's still neat to see the artists putting thought into pone tack.

Also, since Pinkie brought “yeti food,” and yet the yeti is “pony-eating,” just what did she plan to feed it?…

Spare "Talking Princess Pinklestia" toys. She's doing everyone a favor that way.

4180065
Well, if we're up to that, here, Actors make Pony Awesome. :pinkiehappy:

Melton Mowbray

Heck, it's already an equine pun.

4176888

But it's never actually too late to go to college.... Big Mac goes to College is a great premise to a fic. Eh.

4184018

Get Applejack married to someone who won't eschew farm work first, and it might even happen.

Well, the Yeti can't be habitually Pony-eating, since Yakyakistan was until recently essentially unknown to Ponies. Presumably it's a carnivore which is just opportunistically Pony-eating, and Pinkie has a load of pork chops or something in her bags.

Re the sudden appearance of the Discord playing piece, maybe Spike has been thinking of inviting him for a while and made it in advance?

Perhaps someone else decided to redecorate a town with the cursed spell book from Inspiration Manifestation?

post-watch check-in time!

just what did she plan to feed it?…

D:
❧Zoot suits.
❧❧Discord is not behind the times like Luna was…or, he's just a little?
❧"Archer" seems odd as a base class. I recall Camelot 40k[elvin] pointing out that quadrupedal or even team archery worked for those without hands, but…okay, abuse of pegasus winghanding adequately covers this for everything but Earth Ponies, and, as next ep shows, semiprehensile tails aren't restricted to EPs either. Back-mounted bow can work (or Pinkie-style bipedal. hm. It is fantasy…)
❧Black knight doesn't imply dishonor. Huh.
❧I think Discord's setting a teleportation distance record here.

Oh, I should probably mention the joke with Pinkie joining the O&O group. She did it because it's an adventuring party.

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