• Member Since 31st Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen Aug 29th, 2019

Melancholy


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This story is a sequel to Rock, Paper, Scissors.


In the dark and dingy parlours of Canterlot, guards ponies come out to play.
It's a fast paced game of strategy and quick thinking. A pastime as old as time.
An arena to settle all disputes and make any bet under the sun.

It's Mahjong.



A follow on from Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Next up, Outpost Everfree

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 19 )

This was amusing. A bit short, but satisfying.

Man I love these. The Guard are not something we get to see much of in the show, so thanks for this!:pinkiehappy:

I've read it, because it's a sequel to Rock, Paper, Scissors., but... I don't know the rules of mahjong. :unsuresweetie:

577565
Hey, neither does Pinkie, and she did all right. :pinkiecrazy:

577611
That... that explains much more than you'd think...

Looking at this, it's no wonder the changlings decimated the guard when they assaulted Canterlot. Do they know any sort of defense or do they just spend all their time playing games?

577565

If you've ever played rummy, it's the same concept. A pung is three of a kind, a kong is four of a kind, a chow is three in a row of the same suit. The suits are circles, bamboos, and characters, plus some unsuited tiles like dragons (green, red, and white), flowers, and seasons.

578466 and the four winds (north south east west)

I don't know if I liked this one better than Rock, Paper, Scissors or not. It may have helped if I knew the rules to Mahjong. I only know how to play it on the computer where you match up pairs that are on the outside edge. And the explanation given doesn't really help because I never learned how to play rummy either.:derpytongue2:

I found this through the search and not through your name... Hello again... :pinkiehappy:
I think this would be better if I understood the rules :derpytongue2:

596528 :pinkiegasp: You're following me!

596578 I happened to type guard into the search and your picture caught my eye! Didn't know you wrote anything :derpyderp2:

596641 What can I say? That picture seems to be one of a kind round here :twilightblush:

Obviously knowing the rules of Japanese mahjong is handy before reading this, but every time someone butchers the English pronunciation of some of the terms, I cringe.
Pung -> Pon (creating a set of 3 with an opponents discard)
Kong -> Kan (creating a set of 4, either with what's already in your hand, after calling Pon, or with your opponents discard. The player then draws from the dead wall, the last tile in the all is moved to the dead wall, and another Dora indicator (bonus tiles) is turned up)
Chow -> Chi (creating a run of 3 consecutive tiles with your opponents discard)
In any of these cases (except a Kan completely from your hand), these terms involve taking a discard from your opponent to form your hand, but doing so is risky unless you know you can form a valid winning hand (with at least one Yaku, some special scoring condition).

As for Mahjong gameplay itself, it's deceptively simple. If you've ever played Gin Rummy, or Phase 10, you'll be familiar with the mechanics. Draw a tile, discard a tile. Build 4 sets of 3 and a pair first to win the hand. If someone discards a tile you can use for a set of 3, you can call Chi or Pon to take it. If you draw the tile you need to win, you declare "Tsumo" and everyone pays the point value of your hand split up. If someone discards your winning tile, you declare "Ron" and that one person is responsible for paying all the points. Players start with 20-30 thousand points each, and the game is played in 1/2/4 rounds of 4 hands (depending on how long the game is to be played)

The complex part of Mahjong is setup, scoring, and Yaku (scoring conditions and special hands).

5396594
Of course, that's if you're playing Japanise mahjong.
Personally, I play Chinese Mahjong, from which I based the story.
So while I thank you for the lesson, the ponies are perfectly correct for their rules,

5398109 Ah, sorry. Less knowledgable on that front. A nice fic though, short but sweet.

I dunno, I always thought it was the Americans who said "Pung." I attribute "Pong" as the Chinese equivalent, but no one really cares.

That said, you have no idea how I felt when I actually found a story about mahjong on this site. I wasn't expecting any hits on that search at all, and I was a little terrified when I saw allusions to American mahjong vocabulary in the title and the chapter heading. I came in fully expecting references to Jokers and the Charleston.

Pinkie Pie being some kind of mahjong savant totally makes sense to me. Luck IS a factor in mahjong play, and that must combine to devastating effect with her intuitive read of other ponies. Twilight being the bottom scraper of the game also makes a little sense, as overthinking your discards and the game can lead to some poor decisions. But even Twily should be able to play defensively and prevent herself from playing into a winning hand...? And of course, her intellect being what it is, I expected some kind of probability analysis of tile draw and maybe even where tiles went when they got shuffled. That's probably me watching too many mahjong anime though.

Probably the most confusing thing about the story, as someone who knows and plays the game, is why you bothered mentioning specific details. Near the end there, the scene where Cloud eyeballed his closed Pung had the odor of strategy to it, but nothing came of it - it was glossed over for another victory for Pinkie. Same with the earliest details of the game, where you specifically mention Shining Armor was the dealer, and included a bit of in-game banter. Some decent flavor for a scene set at a mahjong table, but nothing more.

All in all, I'm just happy that ANYONE AT ALL wrote about mahjong and ponies in the same story. Maybe a sequel, with bigger stakes, and bigger drama?

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