Talks Machina Episode 72 Highlights: 2-24

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Tonight’s guests are Marisha Ray and Taliesin Jaffe!

  • Announcements:
    • Critical Role minis! Both Vox Machina and the Mighty Nein are available. More info for backing the Kickstarter on the website!
    • CR’s YouTube channel is now live at! 
    • PSA: Both Talks Machina and Critical Role will not be on the internet next week while they move into the new studio!
    • Also, Jason Charles Miller’s new album is available now!
    • After After Dark, Brian will be on the season premiere of Asinine Wisdom!
    • Everyone drops some vague hints (why did I initially write “threats”?) about some big ideas for wardrobe at GenCon, although Sam is, as always, still a mystery!
    • A feature of the new studio? Dani cam is incoming!
  • Stats for this episode: 
    • Beau made the Mighty Nein’s 100th natural one by failing to snatch the tip from the dancer.
    • Beau is still leading the natural 20 count as well at 35, and has roughly the same crit rate as Percy at the same roll total (about 7.81%) for Campaign 1. Taliesin points out that Marisha’s sitting in his old chair.
    • Molly’s crit rate is better than average at 6.19%. He’s third in the natural 20 count at 18, after Nott’s 19.
  • Words of wisdom from Taliesin: “Kids’ll rob ya.”
  • Molly’s used to people being “a little bulls***ty” and has respect for what the kids did. Marisha: “Beau just doesn’t like getting got.”
  • Molly’s never not been around a group of people and has no memory of ever being alone, so it’s not a state he’s looking forward to delving into. “This feels very comfortable and he’s not really in the mood to alter that very much. He quite likes everybody, but he’s also aware that they need to learn how groups like this function.” We explore variations on the phrase ‘Papa Molly’. That one’s probably not gonna be a shirt.
  • The Bowlfrontation reminded Beau “why people are friends with her, and it’s something she’s actively been trying to work on far before meeting the Mighty Nein.” Taliesin: “I was with you that whole thing, by the way. Putting that out there.” It all comes down to communication.
  • Taliesin is asked how close the Hupperdook nightlife is to an average night out for him. “Matt knows more or less what we get up to.” They also ran into a Critter bouncer at a club over the weekend.
  • Marisha’s excited that Beau’s backstory has started to come out, since she hopes people will get a better understanding of where she’s coming from. Part of the reason it’s taken so long is that Beau’s a character who puts up walls and deflects whenever she can. She’s actually a bit surprised the deflection has been working so well. “Surprise, surprise: when you put up walls, people find it hard to ask you questions.” Brian points out that everyone’s reactions to backstory reveals are mostly motivated by the knowledge that all of this will surely come back to bite them all in the ass.
  • Molly’s “a big believer in playing hard.” Molly’s seen a huge part of the countryside traveling with the circus, but he just never learned the names of most of the cities because it was never a priority. “He sees a party, he’s into this, and I’m just going to meet if not exceed the energy level wherever I’m at.”
  • Why did Beau reveal her backstory to Nott? Beau felt comfortable enough with her… and she asked. Beau isn’t really withholding information, but nobody’s pried hard enough. When she has answered questions, she’s been truthful, if short.
  • Gif of the Week: Jester’s sparkler display!
  • Molly just went for the insomnia potion/sleeping tea because it seemed interesting and he “wanted options”. “But no, Molly sleeps like a baby.” He’s got a pretty clean slate after only two years.
  • Brian pitches a winning idea: CritRoleBratz.
  • Molly and Beau aren’t quite sibling-ish yet, but they have a lot of understanding for each other. Molly has respect for Beau, at the very least. “He likes not liking you.”
  • Marisha and Taliesin love the new seating arrangement, but they miss the “quiet snark” of sitting next to each other.
  • Molly always knew the bandits were going to ignore his advice. “People are dishonest, untrustworthy. Doesn’t mean they’re not okay. People gotta eat. He’s not a big believer in moral certainty.” He’s only going to cast whatever moral judgments he has in the moment and isn’t going to overthink it beyond there. “If they’d been dicks about it, it would have been a whole other thing.”
  • Deep down, Beau was begging for them to ask her to dance, but she became the third choice (as reminded by Nott), and “Beau’s gonna be more hard-headed than that.” Had Nott not been an asshole about it, she might have joined in. “It’s fine. It’s stupid anyway. I didn’t want to do it.”
  • Molly is avoiding Kiri “for the same reason you don’t name animals you’re going to butcher.” He figures she’s got to be dealt with at some point in the near future or she’s going to be splatted. “I am not getting attached to this creature, because one way or another this creature has to go.”
  • Beau, over the course of a few months, began to prefer living with the monks to living with her family. She wanted to learn how to fight (specifically, fence) as a kid growing up, and her dad forbade it. In a weird way, she feels like the monks ended up being the best thing her father ever did for her.
  • Taliesin on Jester jumping in whenever NPCs flirt with Fjord: “You can’t call dibs on people.” There’s some brief speculation as to whether this wisdom might be Molly’s “Life needs things to live.” “It’s good advice!”
  • Fanart of the Week: Molly under the fireworks.
  • On Molly using coercion-type magic on allies despite his strong moral convictions: “It’s really easy to do if you are the center of your moral reality.” He believes he’s smart enough not to do anything wrong. “It works until it doesn’t.” He’s also technically a worshiper of a god of lies. Whenever he does use spells like that, it tends to be punitive or whatever he considers to be helpful for that person. “It’s definitely not something a normal, healthy person should do.”
  • There was always something in Beau that wanted a relationship and approval from her father, so she just wanted to make sure Risa’s not taking her dad for granted. It probably wouldn’t have come up had it not been fresh in her mind after her conversation with Nott.
  • If Molly’s giving advice to people outside the group, it’s usually bullshitting, but inside the group, he’s probably speaking from genuine experience in his two years with the circus. He did have a baseline of information going in. “There’s information in his head, but it’s just not all necessarily useful information.” Brian: “I know how that is.”
  • Molly was going to try to do the remove-drunkenness thing if the drinking contest had really gone south. Beau did prove that she could hold her own, but she’s a little annoyed that she was the only one who didn’t make it through. Taliesin realizes the two of them haven’t been in a drinking contest in a game before despite being in campaigns together for about seven years so far.
  • Molly is feeling like he missed out on “18, 20 years, he doesn’t know how old he is”, and he feels like his past is catching up with him, and he’s pretty sure he won’t survive that if it happens. He feels like he has to experience everything because it’s likely to end suddenly.
  • The reaction to the robbery right before the break was both Beau’s and Marisha’s. “You can get more money, but you can’t get more pride.”
  • Molly’s happy to help out with the orphans, but it seemed like too much work for people they didn’t know. Beau and Molly are both primarily motivated by wanting to help Fjord. Taliesin: “I’ll feel better once there’s a plan.” So will I.
  • Molly mainly gets motivated to follow plots based on the fact that he enjoys camping and new places. Marisha: “I don’t have FOMO yet on any questlines.” There’s been a few “glad we dodged that one” subplots. Taliesin: “I don’t think we’re getting involved in anything big until we’re literally forced to.” This orphan thing is probably the first time they’ve really opted to do something because it’s the hero thing to do.

Talks Machina After Dark Plus Negligees:

  • The one thing Marisha didn’t like about the live shows (they’re going to work on it) was that it was tough to hear each other. They’re talking about getting earpieces. Taliesin: “So we look like we’re trying to sell new iPhones?” It’s also a problem at panels.
  • If the Hour of Honor were a thing in real life, how would they have done? Taliesin thinks he would’ve done well a while ago, but he’s “a lightweight” now. Marisha: “I think I would do okay. I think I would beat you now.”
  • What Zodiac sign would the characters be if that were a thing in Exandria? Beau: Scorpio. Molly: many ideas come up but everyone sort of settles on “all of them”.
  • Out-of-context Dani quote of the night: “Look at your mini’s crotch.” The phrase “BDE” is mentioned. Taliesin: “I just really wanted to understand this one tweet about Riverdale and I had to google things.”
  • Brian: “Do I look hella D&D?” Out-of-context Brian quote of the night: “I can fit my whole fist in here.”
  • Taliesin: “O-okay. That’s a lot.”