Talks Machina Episode 81 Highlights: 2-33

This summary has been reproduced from this Tumblr post.

Tonight’s guests are Taliesin Jaffe and Liam O’Brien!

  • Announcements:

    • Support the RavenRook Kickstarter! Brian used one of their notebooks to take notes in his own home campaign. (”I was the Marisha.”)

    • The NYC live show on Thursday, October 4 still has tickets available! (Liam: ”It’s like the inside of Gilmore’s mind, that theater.”)

    • There’s a new State of the Role video on YouTube and the website!

    • Between the Sheets, CR’s new show, premieres on Monday, September 17 at 7 PM Pacific on CR’s Twitch channel, and then on YouTube about 36 hours later. The first episode features Taliesin Jaffe and is over an hour long. Brian: “Taliesin is like an endless well of darkness and love and joy. So many bad things.”

    • All Work No Play is returning! Premieres on the Twitch channel (also later windowed to YouTube) on Friday, September 28 at 7 PM Pacific. A dire warning from Brian: “Have liquid nowhere near your mouth.” Liam: “We’ve seen some things.”

    • CR is raising money for the Pablove Foundation!

  • Stats for this episode:

    • This is the first episode of campaign 2 to have no crits.

    • There were 16 spells cast this week. Ten of them were Disguise Self, six of those by Jester. Taliesin: “Sometimes you don’t want to be the guy who’s nine feet tall in the theater.”

    • Of the eight Sending messages Jester has sent this campaign, only her last one to the Gentleman was under the 25-word limit.

  • Liam: “I feel so sad that Laura can’t be here tonight, because I, personally, wanted to know what Laura thought about what happened in the last episode. I share your disappointment that I’m not Laura Bailey.” Taliesin: “He’s making a suit. It will eventually be okay.” 

  • Caleb’s feelings about the ocean were tied up in finally being out of the Empire. “It was just a rare moment where all the things that weigh on him heavily receded for a bit.” Seeing Crownsguard in town did ramp up the worry again.

  • Taliesin hadn’t actually seen snowfall until he was a teenager, so the first time that happened was “an intense experience”. Caduceus has spent a lot of time thinking about how large the universe is, but having this confirmation was a really wonderful thing for him. He’s on a delighted high right now, and they’re going to have a hard time getting him away from the ocean.

  • Everyone talks briefly about their respective Tumblr Aesthetics. As you do.

  • Caleb’s thoughts on the ocean and the dodecahedron: “Confirming to himself that the universe is wide and vast and complicated, and there’s a hidden logic to it all. It was like seeing his heart’s desire splayed into an abstract form in front of him.”

  • Brian reminisces about some time they spent on the beach together. Liam was a sea monster. Ashley was attacked by a bug. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the police got involved.

  • Taliesin confirms that Caduceus really likes the group. “I mean, he doesn’t have a lot of people to compare them to.” He feels like he “really gets” Jester; she seems like the easiest book to read. Taliesin: “He knows what he knows. He knows he doesn’t know a lot, but he knows it doesn’t matter.”

  • Caleb didn’t assume that Jester’s mom was evil, it just didn’t sound like a great childhood. Caleb still feels sad that Jester had to go through that. “Nobody’s evil, it’s just that life is life and hard. He sees that Jester’s mother obviously loves her very much and is like, ‘I wish she got to see more of her.’” Brian points out that Caleb’s thoughts about other people are always much kinder than his thoughts about himself. Caleb’s constantly thinking, “Ah, this is what life would be like if I wasn’t terrible.” Taliesin points out that it is, by definition, what his life is like, but he’s not there yet. He feels detached.

  • Caduceus doesn’t understand “the entire nature” of the relationship between Beau and Jester and their pets. “I think if we had another person in the party, he would have the same– ‘Cool, another.’ This is just three more living things to communicate with.” He likes the owl best so far.

  • Caduceus doesn’t really get what’s going on with Jester and the Gentleman. Taliesin: “That’s cool, man, get to know your dad!” Liam: “Caleb thinks that all of the Nein, except for Jester, are kind of f***ed up and kind of problematic in their own ways… and then Jester’s one of us, more so.” 

  • Caduceus has a pretty positive relationship with his family. He’s 50-ish, which is the equivalent of early 20s. “He’s literally grown up in a monastery, so his early 20s is not necessarily other people’s early 20s.”

  • Gif of the Week: Travis’s Lore Alert.

  • The show gets derailed by Brian’s Dune-blue eyes. “Are you spicing?”

  • Part of Caleb being more watchful over Jester is being out of the Empire. “He sees chances to help people—he’s irredeemable, but he’d like to be helpful if he can. From his point of view, he’s got things that he’s going to do.”

  • Brian asks if Taliesin and Liam think there’s such a thing as an irredeemable character. Taliesin on Percy: “I tried to make an irredeemable character and failed.” As long as they’re not a caricature, it’s hard to pull that off. Taliesin: “As long as you have a character who’s trying to move toward something.” Liam: “I definitely intend Caleb to have some chance for redemption.” He doesn’t know where his story will go, but he wouldn’t play him otherwise. Taliesin: “He’s a villain only in his head, which is really the hardest fight of all.”

  • Dani points out that the Gentleman clearly wanted to keep his relationship with the Ruby on the down-low, and Jester bringing it up could backfire badly.

  • Marisha’s off-screen trying to catch a fly. Liam: “It’s Vecna. He’s immortal. He’s just been flying around the studio for months.”

  • Caduceus was looking for a particular kind of information, and “the lighthouse called to him. The lighthouse was his mission. If he’s focused on something like that, he’s focused. It’s very hard to distract him.” He didn’t get as much out of it as he wanted, and badly wants to know more.

  • Taliesin wrote a segment about the Wildmother in the upcoming artbook, some of which wound up bleeding through to Caduceus. Liam and Brian discuss Taliesin’s amazing writing.

  • Liam and Marisha get into an argument about the tower. Marisha: “Sometimes it’s just fun to hop the fence to say that you could! I’m not in this episode! Stop talking about me!”

  • Fanart of the Week: the Ruby of the Sea by ZomgDae!

  • An extremely deserved shout-out to Rachel Romero for everything she does!

  • Taliesin is asked if Caduceus has trained himself not to show anger, sadness, or fear. Taliesin points out that Caduceus hasn’t had a lot of reason to be angry, sad, or afraid yet. “He has a lot of very quiet and very personal delight. He’s not a creature of heavy desire. He’s not missing a lot. If something hadn’t gone wrong in his home, he never would have left it. He’s seen violence, and he’s very comfortable with the nature of violence.” Liam: “In the National Geographic sense.” Taliesin’s excited to see what happens if he or his companions are put in a place of real peril.

  • Liam was entertained that nobody playing the game picked up on Marisha, Matt, and Taliesin’s alter egos in the werewolf one-shot. Laura’s going to be up next in the DM chair at some point, and Taliesin has a fun idea as well.

    Fast Times At Talks Machina: After Dark High:

  • Taliesin thinks Molly and Caduceus would get along pretty well; they had a lot in common. Taliesin was finishing up Molly’s playlist this week, and all the songs he cut wound up finding their way into Caduceus’s playlist.

  • Taliesin owns a book about presidential beards (because of course he does) and wants to take Brian through that journey. Brian actually grew his beard in the first place because Laura made a comment about him not looking good without one in an early episode of TM.

  • What would they use the dodecahedron for in real life? Job interviews, auditions, dates…

  • Dani asks about Frumpkin. Caleb specifically summoned Frumpkin as a cat because he’s a cat person, based on his experience with his childhood cat. Liam’s cat named Frumpkin was actually a siamese, not a bengal like in-game Frumpkin.

  • Taliesin: “All of our characters should have pets like Strawberry Shortcake.”

  • We leave you with this image: