May 30, 2012
This is written in 4th Edition. Urge to spit vitriol rising.
Friendship is Dragons is a comic somewhat in the same vein as Darths and Droids, made using screenshots of the popular series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (hence the name), by the somewhat mysterious author “Newbiespud” who is ostensibly an aspiring game designer. As I’m currently enrolled on a Computing university course geared towards games programming, I am academically obligated to snicker at that.
The comic follows basically the same storyline as the episodes of MLP, but reinvented to the scenario that everything is being roleplayed by a 4E Dungeons & Dragons group, and as such some interactions are a little different as the dialogue is from the perspective of players around a table being led along by a arbitrating dungeon master in the Equestria custom setting.
In effect, this sort of combines two black sheep of the geek world, MLP which is infamous for it’s meme-filled content and brony fanbase, and 4th Edition D&D which is reviled by many older D&D players for watering down rules, making everything basically pseudo-anime style, etc. etc. What it creates however is a unique perspective on both downtrodden ungulates. The silliness of MLP is combined with the classic lunacy of a D&D group whilst the rules of 4E are mixed with the strange physics of Equestria, producing something that could quite easily come from one or the other and which can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their background in either.
So far, the comic has produced just under 130 pages, having been producing content since mid-July of last year, and has progressed to completing the opening story arc of the series and is now covering the seventh episode of the first season, give or take a shorter story arc inbetween. The full party has been introduced, levelled up, and is pretty familiar with their situation and setting now, so things should progress pretty nicely. The dialogue is pretty top-notch, with in-game roleplaying and out-of-character squabbling and DM interaction blended pretty seamlessly and distinctly, and the humour being very well-accentuated by the renowned character animation of MLP.
Artistically, it’s hard to judge or classify a comic like this. Obviously, very little if any artwork is actually done by Newbiespud, being directly drawn from different episodes of the My Little Pony series. However, each character interaction must be given an appropriate screenshot to properly convey their behaviour and emotional state, as well as all of these screenshots must be clipped, cropped, and properly positioned on each page, so it’s hard to say that there’s no effort involved artistically for Newbiespud either. Certainly, whilst MLP is pretty good about character animation, Newbiespud is similarly pretty good at cherry picking exactly the right moment in an entire series to convey what a character is saying or feeling. There’s also the dialogue to be considered, which needs to be added overtop the screenshots in the proper format for whoever is talking (usually DM or player, presented in different styles and with different colourations) and in what context.
Overall, the comic is handled very nicely, delivered on a routine schedule of Tues-Thurs-Sat each week, and I can see Newbiespud doing some very cool stuff with it later on. Worth looking in on this one, whether you like Dungeons & Dragons or My Little Pony and even if you’re not a fan of either. If you decide to stick around and watch the RP madness unfold, be sure to leave a comment letting Newbie know they get a thumbs up from Remember and its forgetfuls.
That’s all for today, be sure to visit again tomorrow for a new comic page!