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Page 1190 – Pace Keeper
Looking back, I’m realizing that I use this device enough that it’s basically its own trope – the "DM opens up about the challenges they’re facing organizing and planning and running the campaign" page.
On the other hand, I’ve apparently stumbled onto a theme of "how do you pull together a campaign that keeps destabilizing" and chosen to be sympathetic to the DM’s side of things as well as the players. And considering this comic is mostly interpersonal dialogue, it’s the main narrative device I seem to have that lets me show that side of things.
Like any tool, narrative devices deserve inspection when you use them regularly.
DM: Actually… Do you have those Fifth Edition sourcebooks with you?
Applejack: Euhhh… yeah, if only because Ah forgot to take them outta mah backpack.
DM: How has your experience been with 5e so far?
Applejack: It’s… alright. Ah’ve heard it gets more interestin’ past Level 4.
Rarity: Erm, before we get out onto a tangent, I want to be sure we aren’t just putting off the problem. I still want to continue the campaign, but… my worry is that we’ll end up delaying over and over again.
DM: That’s– That’s fair. But… Last time I treated the campaign like it was more important than the group. Today I want to do the opposite. And I also want to give my brain time to think about how I want to handle the chaos-pocalypse. ’Cause I’ve gotten kind of sour on even the revised plan, to be honest.
Twilight Sparkle: …How so, exactly?
DM: Well, it was like– The plan was basically, "Run six wacky sessions so that each one of you can discover your ’True Act of Harmony’ and power up the Elements and then regroup for the final battle." And that’s what carries you through most of Paragon Tier. What I’m discovering is that I don’t have six whole complete GOOD ideas, and so I’m in the position of trying to come up with filler – and plot hooks to bring you to filler – which I just fundamentally don’t like. So I’m thinking of ways to condense it a bit. Because I want to give you all catharsis for the crap I put you through, and I feel like I’ve got a great set piece for it… It’s just… getting there… is the tricky part… Y’know what? The whole thing about the Elements needing to be re-powered up… Did that feel "right" to anyone else?
Fluttershy: We did get back together after that long talk…
Rarity: Which is very much in the spirit of things.
Pinkie Pie: Yeah! We’re close to full friendship power already!
DM: Okay. Well then. While my brain chews on that… How about we just relax and try something new tonight?