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Hearth's Warming Helper

Found 3 results

  1. Creamy Arty

    What Is Your Alignment?

    HUGE, STRANGE POST ALERT. This thread is intended for everyone on the forum, not just D&D players. My reasons for making it are to help me know everyone a bit better and to sate one of my weird curiosities. Having seen a thread dedicated to D&D, I know there's at least a handful of regulars here that can skip over most of this post, but for those unfamiliar with what's to follow, I entreat you spare a few minutes to read and reply. It could be enlightening. Many role-playing games have some way of measuring the player's moral and ethical compass. The one I want to look at right now and apply to all of you — or rather, have you determine it's application to yourselves — is the alignment system found in Dungeons & Dragons. Those who are already familiar with how it works will notice this is pre-4th edition. That's deliberate. Here's how it works: there are nine alignments, each one representing a certain proclivity for good or evil and law or chaos. Tell which one most accurately matches you, and if you want to talk about where your friends and family fit in relation to you or how they've influenced you, for better or worse, that would be even more interesting. I've already started pegging some of you with alignments, and I feel pretty confident about most of them. These are some "official" definitions so they may seem oddly-worded considering the question is aimed at you and not some character of your own devisal; they're arranged in a 3 X 3 grid: Lawful Good A lawful good character upholds society and its laws, believing that these laws are created to work for the good and prosperity of all. He is both honest and benevolent. He will work within the established system to change it for the better, and strives to bring order to goodness that other good-aligned characters might pool their resources to better the world. A lawful good character combines a commitment to oppose evil with discipline. Most lawful good characters live by a strict code of honor, or by the rules of conduct set down by their deity. They will generally selflessly act by these codes even at the cost of their own life. It must however be stressed that blind obedience to local laws is not required by the lawful good alignment. A paladin is not in violation of his alignment if he decides to take up arms against a usurper on behalf of the rightful king, for example, even if that means going against the sedition laws instated by the usurper. An incorruptible enforcer, a ruler or politician who acts for the good of his people, and a heroic soldier who strictly obeys the laws of battle are all examples of lawful good characters. Neutral Good Neutral good characters desire good without bias for or against order. A neutral good character does good for goodness' sake, not because he is directed to by law or by whim. Such a character will obey the law, or break it when he sees that it will serve a greater good. He has no problems with co-operating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them. In the event that doing the right thing requires the bending or breaking of rules, they do not suffer the same inner conflict that a Lawful Good character would. He isn't bound strongly to a social system or order. His need to help others and reduce suffering may take precedence over all else. A doctor who treats both sides in a fight and somebody who feeds the starving in a war zone are both examples of neutral good characters. Chaotic Good Chaotic good combines a good heart with a free spirit. A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He is kind and benevolent, a strong individualist hostile to the claims of rules, regulations, and social order. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He will actively work to bring down unjust rulers and organizations and to liberate the oppressed. He finds lawful societies distasteful and will avoid them, often living as a nomad or hermit. Noble rebel leaders fighting corrupt or venal regimes, vigilantes acting for what they see as the greater good, mercenaries who only work for the "good guys" and anyone who "robs from the rich to give to the poor" are all examples of chaotic good characters. Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character is directed by law, logic, tradition, or a personal code. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral combines reliability and honor without moral bias. Note that this does not mean that a lawful neutral character is amoral or immoral, or does not have a moral compass, but that moral considerations — the good or evil of the action — come a distant second to what the character's code, tradition, law, or logic dictate. A functionary, soldier, or employee who follows orders without question regardless of the result; an arms dealer who sells his wares to the highest bidder, whatever that bidder may do with them, and an impartial jurist who sticks rigidly to the rule book are all examples of lawful neutral characters. True Neutral The neutral alignment (sometimes known as true neutral) is without prejudice or compulsion. A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or order vs. chaos. He thinks of good as better than evil — after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he isn't personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. A true neutral character sees good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. He advocates the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. His position is carefully neutral, but he does not continually balance his morals in a yin yang or fanatical fashion. Chaotic Neutral Chaotic neutral is freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but does not strive to protect the freedom of others. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character doesn't intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or by evil (and a desire to make others suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. A wandering rogue who lives both by work for hire and petty theft is an example of a chaotic neutral character. Lawful Evil Lawful evil is the methodical and intentional devotion to a cruel, organized system. A lawful evil character methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his personal code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He's comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He is loath to break promises, and he is therefore very cautious about giving his word unless a bargain is clearly in his favor. This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Many lawful evil characters use society and its laws for selfish advantages, exploiting the letter of the law over its spirit whenever it best suits their interests. A tyrannical ruler who drafts the rules to suit himself, a corrupt lawyer or judge who uses the law to mask his own misdeeds, and the ruthless bosses and minions of organized crime are all examples of lawful evil characters. Neutral Evil Neutral evil is pure pragmatism without honor and without variation — survival of the ruthless. A neutral evil character does whatever he can get away with. He is out for himself, pure and simple. He shows no remorse for those he kills, whether for profit, sport or convenience, and he has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make him any better or more noble. On the other hand, he does not have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has. Career criminals, particularly those who harm others for money, such as hitmen, are the most obvious example of neutral evil. Chaotic Evil Chaotic evil is power without control — selfishness unfettered by any law. A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. His plans are haphazard and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him. These characters will commit any act to further their own ends. Now here's where I fit into all this. Read it or don't, but I want to hear your stories and what you think of yourselves. My alignment is Neutral Good. I've concluded — perhaps erroneously — that the opposite of me would be Neutral Evil. However, they don't bother me as much as those who fall firmly into the Lawful Neutral slot. Don't get me wrong, there are several people here whom I like that I would easily label as LN, but the idea of allowing another man's or system's moral compass take precedence over one's own is almost unimaginable for me. I have actually known people who have said things like "The government is capable of thinking for me, so I don't want to think." Yes, that is one of the most extreme cases, but people like that exist and it's an ideology that is entirely beyond my comprehension. Whether or not my moral stances changed throughout my life, my application thereof underwent many. Through it all I've never relinquished a sliver of my individuality beyond what I felt was fair compromise, though this has admittedly been counterproductive to my intentions in some circumstances, causing harm where I intended to bring relief. Reflecting on my younger days I can say that my heart was originally NG, but circumstances being what they were (abuse, violation of trust, etc.), my childlike malleability combined with innate and unwavering moral stances pushed me more into being a Chaotic Neutral individual. I was willing, able, and did on occasion risk money and possessions just for the thrill of it. Sometimes it was as big a risk as gambling with large (to me) sums of money. Sometimes it was as small as extending my arm out the bus window and flipping a coin because I knew I wouldn't get it back if I didn't catch it. Easy come; easy go. A few times I gambled with my life. I learned to keep to myself even if it meant allowing somebody else to endure some kind of unnecessary hardship I could have prevented, justifying my inaction by saying they could better learn by practice than with my assistance. The truth was I didn't want to risk being taken for a ride. Always empathetic, there was only so much emotional distress I could tolerate upon another before lending a hand. I wasn't heartless. Then there's my "brony conversion story," in which by example as much as admonition that eclectic group pulled me back here, where I always belonged and desired to be. As terrible as that bygone period of my life was, I think the way I devalued myself back then has helped me presently to find more courage in interposing myself to keep another from harm. And learning how fragile and fleeting possessions are through my reckless actions back then has helped me to be more generous now. As for the significant and not so significant people in my life — my parents first; they are about as hard to the Lawful side of things as can be. Both of them almost straddle the line of good and neutrality when it comes to the vertical axis, with my dad a little more on the good side than my mom. There was a time where I would have placed them farther into neutral, in days when they were more content with their situations so long as they weren't in dire need of anything, but in more recent days they've started to determine that their ability to decide is a bit more important than simplicity. We were always at odds when I was growing up. I'd hear of something I perceived to be an injustice, whether somebody got too harsh a sentence for some offense or was let off the hook despite obvious guilt; every time I would be furious, and their attitude was largely apathetic because they weren't affected. My closest and first of only two friends is Lawful Good. At times he can seem more neutral than good, but he's just very guarded and secretive. The other is also Lawful Good, but he's a simple, country guy who grew up in a normal family and just wants to live a quiet life. The majority of my mom's side of the family is Neutral Evil, and a few of them are Chaotic Evil; one person is Lawful Good and one person is Chaotic Neutral. The majority of my dad's side of the family is Lawful Good. edit: Please don't rely on any kind of online test to determine your alignment. Like any other test, it will be limited by the diversity, quality, and quantity of questions asked, and won't give an accurate evaluation. Do some reflecting and see which one sounds most like you. You can take a test if you want, but I'd prefer that you not use its results here.
  2. Ski He

    A Few Reasons to Like Rainbow Dash

    Hello everyone . A while ago, one of my good friends made a big list of reasons she loved her favorite pony, Applejack. Always struck me as a really cool thing to do, so I figured I'd follow in her footsteps to the best of my ability . I'll be doing this in several parts to reduce (if not eliminate) TLDRing.. If you ever need a reminder about why Rainbow Dash is an awesome character, I hope these blogs will be able to assist you . Here's part 1, and it's mostly just miscellaneous little things.
  3. Hello everyone . We have just finished watching season three and what a season it was. I thought it would be fun to look back over the whole season and write a comprehensive review of it, what was good, what could have been better, and what it did for the series. If this sounds like something that you’d be interested in reading, then I’ll cut right to the chase, and where better to start than with the premiere? The Crystal Empire After a long summer without new episodes it was incredibly satisfying to dive right into a new season. I personally only had to wait for about two months, but if the wait was driving me crazy I can only imagine how you all were feeling. Anyhow, I thought that it was a very good pair of episodes. Visuals were fantastic, and it seemed that there were plenty of nice artistic details to catch your eye in most every Crystal Empire scene. There were fantastic moments from each of the Mane Six, from Pinkie Spy to Rarity being her usual hammy self. Comedy was not neglected, as proven by the unforgettable Cadence Javelin. Spike even got to play a deciding role in the climax, and it was fantastic to see him receive some attention and for his relationship with Twilight to be touchingly expanded upon. Finally, there is one thing that I liked about this episode that I believe receives far too much criticism. King Sombra. While he didn’t have much of any backstory or established motivations (to be fair it is hard to develop a character without having it interact with anyone) he was imposing. He was the ever present evil that hung over our protagonists’ heads as they raced to save the empire, and as he finally broke through Cadence’s barrier and advanced on Spike and the Crystal Heart he made his presence felt. He served as an embodiment of power-hungry evil similar to Sauron from Lord of the Rings. My one major gripe with this episode was that it seemed far too focused on Twilight for my liking. I love Twilight, and I recognize that she is the “Main Character”, however what I loved about the first two episodes, The Return of Harmony and what drew me into the series was how the Mane Six were able to collaborate in interesting ways to do great things. While this collaboration was still present, it felt slightly strained as Twilight and Spike ran off to save the world and her friends took up support duty making straw hats and passing out flugelhorns. I would prefer it if the Mane Six were all equally relevant to the plot of major episodes, or at least more balanced than this. In spite of this issue, I liked the premiere a lot and thought it was a great way to kick off the season. Now I will begin character reviews, examining major characters and how well they were developed in season three. These will cover each of the episodes that each character was the focus of, and if there was anything good or bad about the episode unrelated to the character I will touch on it later. Spike I have a feeling that out there someone important said “Ladies and gentlemen, this season we are going to give Spike more attention.” And I’m all for that. My problem with Spike this season is that most of the time it felt like they didn’t have much of an idea what to do with him. He was elevated to the importance of the Mane Six in the premiere, and yet later placed below them in Just for Sidekicks. He was an excellent voice of reason in The Crystal Empire, and a bumbling incompetent in Spike at Your Service. I did enjoy the lessons of delayed gratification and responsibility that he learned in Just for Sidekicks, so there were plenty of positive moments with him this season. I like Spike and I like the idea of dedicating time and episodes to him, I just believe that at some point writers need to sit down and figure out exactly what Spike’s role in the show is and how to portray him with consistency. The Cutie Mark Crusaders As a group thew were the overeager, dreaming ,high-energy kids with a tendency for getting over their heads like they have always been. While Sleepless in Ponyville was primarily a Scootaloo episode I thought it provided the best characterization for the Crusaders as a whole for the season. It shared insight by comparing and contrasting them through their relationships with their sisters. Apple Bloom has a relatively normal and healthy relationship with Applejack. Sweetie Belle’s somewhat passive-aggressive give and take relationship with Rarity that still has a lot of love behind it was revisited. Of course I have the most to say about Scootaloo. Until this season she was relatively underdeveloped, her primary characteristics being her daredevil tendencies and her fangirlish behavior towards Rainbow Dash. As admirable as those traits are, she still needed more to establish her as a well-rounded character and this episode gave that to her. This episode took her feeling a step further by revealing that she wants more than a hero, she wants a mentor, a carer and a sister. Scootorphan is far from confirmed but the sheer strength of Scoots’ longing for an older figure to confide in and love far from discourages it. Watching her overcome her fears of rejection and throw down the barriers of bravado that she relied on to hide her insecurities created not only an amazing moment for her character, but also an amazingly adorable one. But you all knew that . Rarity Rarity was unfortunately relatively neglected this season. However, Rarity still provided some very memorable and enjoyable moments even if she didn’t receive an episode all for herself. She was able to liven up many scenes just by being her normal and incredibly hammy self. My favorite moment with her was probably when she eagerly decided to race the other sister pairs at the end of Sleepless in Ponyville. Fluttershy While she wasn’t especially prominent outside of her spotlight episode (and she might prefer it that way ) Fluttershy still got some fantastic development this season in my opinion. She once again proved that she continually sells herself short, because no coward would attempt to reform an all-powerful chaos spirit that had previously wreaked havoc across their entire town. She more than earned her title as a Friend to All Living Things, and while her determination to redeem Discord was extremely impressive, I was equally impressed by her rejection of him. Fluttershy has commonly been characterized as a doormat, who lets everypony (and her pet) walk all over her. I think she showed a lot of guts by finally telling the god of chaos that she was fed up with his shit. Even if Celestia was depending on her, and possibly her pride and belief in her own ability as the Element of Kindness was at stake, she proved that ultimately she is tough enough to recognize when somepony is taking advantage of her and to give them the boot. Thankfully it worked out for everyone in the end, but I think Fluttershy deserves some credit for her actions in Keep Calm and Flutter On. Pinkie Pie I thought that she performed masterfully in her episode. Too Many Pinkie Pies tied in well with A Friend in Deed, in that not only does she have to be friends with everypony but she also has to show all of her friends exactly how much they personally mean to her. I was able to relate to this completely, whick is why Pinkie is the character I relate to most besides Rainbow Dash. This episode surprised me quite honestly. I think everyone took a look at the title and synopsis of this episode and gave this evil little giggle (at least I did), anticipating randomness, hilarity and Pinkie’s overthrowing of Discord as the most chaotic character in the show. And with regards to this, it certainly lived up to expectations. However the episode was surprisingly deep as well. It revisited the fear of abandonment established in what is my favorite Pinkie Pie episode, Party of One. It was so soul crushing to watch her wonder, at the heart of it, what made her better than her clones? Incidentally, the clones acted as interesting ways to examine the depths of Pinkie’s character, in that they acted as many people perceive Pinkie. Flat. Random. Stupid. Obnoxious. However these allegations were clearly refuted by contrasting Pinkie with her clones, and wathing her overcome her doubts to prove her devotion to her friends was truly touching to see. Unfortunately as amazingly as she was used inside of her episode I felt that she was slightly more hit and miss than previous seasons. She is still my second favorite, but something seemed…off at times. A notable exception was in Wonderbolt Academy where she provided me with some positively shiptastic moments where her fears of abandonment were touched on once more. Applejack My new third best pony. She received much more attention than in previous seasons and it was well-deserved and well-used. However the thing that stood out clearly and developed Applejack best was obviously her spotlight episode, Apple Family Reunion. In it we saw good old perfectionist Applejack trying to create the best bonding experience possible but creating decidedly less than perfect results. This may have been the best episode for Applejack’s character, largely because she did something wrong. Applejack certainly has her share of issues, but unlike say, Rainbow Dash, her issues don’t generally cause her to do anything terribly wrong. There is a reason that she is the only one who has written a “I didn’t learn anything!” letter. Since making mistakes and putting your flaws on a pedestal is how character depth in this show, this has caused some to mistakenly Applejack as flat. However, there is one scene that absolutely made this episode, and this is it. This scene is not only heartwarming, but it also adds a layer of subtext to the entire episode, and in fact to Applejack’s entire life. She has taken on so much responsibility at such a young age as a desperate attempt to fill the void of her parents’ passing, and her inner drive to be perfect was suddenly explained entirely. This was one of the scenes that remind me of why I love this show, and it made me appreciate Applejack so much more. Rainbow Dash Ah. The good part There were so many fantastic moments this season from my favorite character. Throughout Sleepless in Ponyville she exhibited the same general ignorance of others’ problems that she’s always had, but what I loved was that this episode clearly showed the soft and more sensitive center that she’s always had but takes care to hide. While Season Two did an excellent job exploring her flaws, this season seemed to emphasize her more positive characteristics and that was excellent to see . The prime example of this was in Wonderbolt Academy. The ways that Rainbow has developed became clear, and being a character driven by dreams, it was unspeakably powerful to watch her sacrifice her dream in the name of staying loyal to her principles. I think this piece of art illustrates the meaning behind that scene best. Furthermore, by using Lightning Dust as a foil, Rainbow’s growth and strength of character were made all them more prominent. To elaborate further, I’ll turn to a snippet of a particularly good review of Wonderbolt Academy. I love the man who wrote that with all my heart. I think we as a community should make it a priority to find and brohoof all of his posts. I loved that episode as well because it didn’t neglect touching on Rainbow’s flaws, but it showed her confronting and surpassing them in a particularly amazing way. In addition to this we got to see have her own sort of Apple Family Reunion moment in Games Ponies Play and I admired her dedication to bringing the Empire something special, even if the episode itself wasn’t my favorite. All in all fantastic . I have made it my summer’s goal to find and hug Meriwether Williams and Corey Powell. Twilight Sparkle And Twilight. It was a good season for Twilight. The season premiere revisited both her deep need to please Celestia and her sisterly relationship with Spike, although I’d have preferred to have seen more of the latter throughout the rest of the season. In spite of my criticisms of the premiere as being too Twilight-centered for my liking, her portions of the season were in fact largely related to her learning to rely more on others. While this was something that she began to learn way back in Season One she is also a perfectionist, and at times she views having to rely on others as failure, and Sombra’s door revealed that failing Celestia is what she dreads most of all. Ultimately though she rejected this fear in the name of the greater good and turned to Spike for assistance. And it was good. In addition to this there was Magic Duel. I liked Magic Duel, and it can be compared in many ways to The Dark Knight Rises, so bonus points. I have seen some criticism of this episode as focusing far too much on plot and not enough on character development or interaction. While this isn’t entirely groundless, I do believe that it did something important for Twilight. She has a strong sense of responsibility, particularly when there is a disaster that is magical in origin. As the resident crazy-powerful magician it makes sense that she think this way, but it has limited her in the past. You could somewhat compare her thinking to this: This episode presented the rare occasion where Twilight is completely magically outclassed, and it somewhat undid my issues with The Crystal Empire by having her rely on her friends to remove the amulet. I also enjoyed the stylistic twist of her ending up playing the Trixie to Trixie’s Twilight, by winning through illusion and deception. And of course her easy forgiveness of Trixie cemented her credentials as a very compassionate character. The finale did an excellent job of showing how far she has come and how great of a character she is. Secondary Characters This season also used secondary characters masterfully. It was wonderful to see Discord, Luna, and Spitfire again, and furthermore to see different sides to their personalities than we had seen in previous seasons. Discord isn't as evil or heartless as he initially seemed to be. Spitifre isn't always laid back and relaxed. Luna isn't always an awkward CANTERLOCK-using, lightning bolt throwing night godess. And I loved those portrayals of the characters, but showing them with different behavior and in different situations made them much more well-rounded characters, and that is always nice . However, the thing that I believed that this season did best with secondary characters was to set up future plotlines for them. Redeeming Trixie and Discord made their returning in supporting roles ever the more likely. Now we can have an episode with the Manehattan crusaders or exploring Luna's rola as guardian of dreams. In addition to this, my new favorite minor antagonist Lughtning Dust could return, either to become good or to cement herself as Rainbow Dash's nemesis. Also, now that Rainbow has (presumably) a father, an episode featuring all of their families seems more likely. So all in all amazing, but I believe next season will have even more amazing appearances from secondary characters. I can't wait to see what it has to offer. Miscellaneous Animation was sleek and amazing, especially in episodes where they decided to go all out. After watching the finale, I guess I now know where they hid all of the music for this season which was top notch as well. I feel like Season Two's music was still better, but all in all nothing to complain about and much to praise. The Finale I will have typed this in thre span of five minutes or so, so forgive the probably lower quality. I liked the finale a lot, and it really showed off Larson's writing ability. There were many powerful moments, songs, comedy (Fluttershy's animals are EVIL! THEY TRIED TO EAT THE BEST PONY!) and it was all around great. Twilight has indeed come a long way, and while I still strongly disapprove of Twilight becoming an Alicorn, and if anything the episode reinforced my concerns about it, I still thought that while it was a concept that I to put it mildly, loathe, it was still executed very well. On the plus side, Meghan McCarthy has said that this one will function as something of a three-parter, so I can hold onto a shred of hope for Unicorn Twilight in Season Four. Good job M.A Larson. You've earned your place as my favorite writer. I had never thought of a Musical Episode but now I kind of want more of them Overall a fantastic season. I think Season Two edges it as my favorite still, but it did so much for the series and it was wonderful to watch it and to share it with all of you. May the next one be even better.