Talks Machina Episode 89 Highlights: 2-40

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Tonight’s guests are Marisha Ray and Matt Mercer!

  • Announcements: 

    • The next episode of All Work No Play will debut on CR’s twitch channel on Friday at 7 PM Pacific. This week, Liam and Sam are building a custom MAME cabinet, along with Felicia Day and Brittany Walloch!

    • CR is raising money for Operation Supply Drop!

    • The second art book will be on sale via pre-order on November 12th at 9 AM Pacific!

    • There will be an exciting announcement for Critters in the EU going up on social media on Monday.

  • Stats for this week’s episode:

    • The 200th PC natural 20 happened this episode: Beau’s acrobatics check to land outside the temple.

    • Beau has used 90 ki points so far. The top 3 uses of those ki points have been:

      • Flurry of Blows (25)

      • Stunning Strike (20)

      • Patient Defense (19)

    • At the end of the escape, the party had 6 points of exhaustion and 0 spell slots remaining. Marisha: “I had 10 hit points that whole game.” In typical Beau fashion, she wasn’t telling them anything. Matt points out that this is true of Marisha as well.

    • Fjord is responsible for 30% of all kisses in campaign 2.

  • Matt: “Here on Critical Role, we learn how words are actually used. And pronounced.”

  • A question points out that Beau slept with Keg and the party reached level 6, and Fjord slept with Avantika and the party reached level 7. Matt: “I mean, if you guys want to hit max level real fast...”

  • Beau’s enjoying the pirate life because of the lack of authority. “It’s what she always dreamed of in her fantasy head as a rebellious teen stuck under her super-strict parents. Matt keeps being like, ‘Do you have goals with this character?’ Yeah, to f*** off.”

  • The details of the, as the question says, “dank water powers”: cast Control Water as a spell once/day without expending a spell slot. He prepped it as a boon based on who got there first.

  • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who had the Sonic the Hedgehog drowning music in my head during the underwater fight.

  • Brian: “I worried about Taliesin more than I did Caduceus. Poor guy. Six characters in this one campaign.” Had the group failed the skill checks, there were opportunities for traps, nets could have been thrown and members of the group could’ve been pulled away by the lizardmen... it could’ve been bad.

  • Matt figured there was a chance, if Fjord’s underwater grapple on Avantika had succeeded, that he indeed could’ve drowned her, since he could have held his breath much longer than she could, which would have led to a very complicated turn of events. “It caught me off-guard. I wasn’t expecting it from Fjord.”

  • On the Travis-as-Yasha flirting with Beau moments, Marisha: “I’d say take them with a grain of salt. I’m not going to hold Ashley’s feet to the fire over anything that Travis says puppeting her.” Brian: “I think you should. I think you should make her pay for being gone.” Marisha calls Travis a Shipping Yard. Matt: “It’s that sailor background.” Brian concocts an elaborate scenario where Matt and Travis would have to act out another sex scene. Matt... will think about it.

  • Gif of the Week: Laura is plotting Travis’ demise.

  • Matt with a Kiri update: “She’s doing okay in Hupperdook. AS FAR AS YOU KNOW.”

  • Matt was already exploring the idea of bringing in avatars like the three beasts (as remnants left behind by the gods in Exandrian lore) when worldbuilding. He was building some of these lieutenants up a long time ago. “These three in particular became their own pseudo-gods.” He hadn’t quite figured out the definition of what they were until Travis came along with Fjord’s backstory that slotted in nicely.

  • Marisha points out that Beau’s relationship with learning is complicated. She’s pretty smart, she’s a seeker of knowledge, but she isn’t comfortable admitting that. “She’s a seeker of knowledge in ways that she’s not fully aware of yet.” Brian calls this “the human heart in conflict with itself” and wonders where she was before and where she’s going to end up. Marisha: “A lot of Beau’s story is about running from something. When you try and buck something, that hard course correction can be worse or just as destructive.” 

    • Matt: “She’s running from a lot of college debt.” Marisha: “In fact, my arch-villain is Sally Mae. It’s the lich that I’m fighting.” Brian: “I saw the mini out here, yeah.” Matt: “I’ll release the stat block next week, guys.”

  • Matt thinks Travis would’ve gone for the night with Avantika even if Laura had been there. “There’s that kind of chaotic trickster in him, deep inside.” He wants to make big choices, fundamentally, as he gets more comfortable with the character. Marisha points out how good Laura and Travis are at anticipating and going along with each other’s character choices. Matt: “I was surprised by him going for it, only because my intention of that scene was to find ways to build that power dynamic. It was about trying to get answers, trying to get trust, trying to learn more, and trying to see how much control she can get in those environments. It’s a large part of who she is.” There may have been more to it than that, and Matt’s curious to see how it’ll play out.

  • Fanart of the Week: the Fjord/Jester kiss.

  • Matt handles sex scenes based on the comfort level of the group (and himself). While this group is comfortable with there being sex in the game, they’ll definitely go for the fade-to-black approach. “I’m telling a story with people, but not every story needs to be too explicit.” He’s had some bad experiences in the past... Travis’ constitution save was a joke because he hadn’t been at the kind of table that had people who took that seriously and made the rest of the group uncomfortable.

  • Beau’s still appreciating the power of water from an aesthetic perspective, even after all that’s happened. “It might be more meditative now, having had those experiences.”

  • Matt on Fluffernutter: “I love players doing non-standard things.”

  • Matt gets asked how far through the campaign they are. Matt: “I legitimately have no idea." He points out that they’re not even at the level Vox Machina was when they started on-stream yet. They honestly could’ve ended that first campaign at the end of the Conclave Arc, but wanted to continue playing with those characters to level 20. It’s possible that this campaign might feel resolved and a natural ending point might hit before that level. On the other hand, Marisha points out that, 40 episodes in, they’ve only really touched on Fjord’s backstory in particular so far (and so many of their backstories are tied in with the Empire, which is awfully far away now).

Talks Machina After Dark: It’s Sully!!!

  • Matt gets asked about Sprinkles’ possible fate. Matt: “…spoilers.” Marisha and Dani: “That weasel is so dead.”

  • Marisha’s dad, a little overwhelmed by what he’s heard of the show so far, calls D&D players “hyper-intelligent creatures from an alien race.” Brian: “That’s just proof he hasn’t met Sam yet.”

  • Ashley FaceTimes in! She hasn’t had a chance to catch up on the episodes because she’s been working on Thursday nights, but she’s looking forward to it. She confirms that Yasha and Beau haven’t kissed yet, but “there’s still tiiiime.”