Talks Machina Episode 82 Highlights: 2-34

This summary has been reproduced from this Tumblr post.

Tonight’s guests are Laura Bailey and Matt Mercer (and Dani’s mom, offscreen, who confirms that we are indeed on the internet)!

  • Announcements:

    • Thursday, October 4 is the NYC live show! Some tickets are still available. Everyone is so happy that Laura and Travis will be there this time!

    • VOD of the first episode of Between the Sheets is available for CR Twitch subscribers now and will go up on CR’s YouTube channel tomorrow! This week’s features Taliesin Jaffe; next week’s is Travis Willingham!

    • Brian will be doing a Reddit AMA this coming Friday at 2 PM Pacific.

    • CR is raising money for the Pablove Foundation and has already raised $68,000. If they hit $100,000, Sam will do a Fireside Chat. Matt and Laura are excited, because for all that they consider Sam to be one of their closest friends, they feel like they don’t know too much about him. Everyone loves his wife, but Sam might be a spy-and-or-assassin. Theories abound.

      • Sam’s Crash Pandas one-shot will be streamed on Friday at 7 PM Pacific on the CR Twitch channel!

  • Stats for this episode:

    • Jester has dealt over 600 points of damage so far in the campaign. 

    • She has cast Cure Wounds 40 times. Matt: “That’s like once an episode.” Laura: “Matthew.” Brian: “You’re like an AFK Zenyatta. You’re a Mercy who’s just using her taser gun the whole time.”

    • Jester has used Blessing of the Trickster 26 times.

    • Matt announced his 40th natural 20 of the campaign. Matt: “Honestly, I think the Snitch, as much as I like to build the mystique, I think it has to be in Taliesin’s hands to become magical.” Dani: “If you’re not a paladin wielding the Holy Avenger, it’s just a sword.”

  • Out-of-context Matt quote: “Kamordah is kind of like The O.C.”

  • Laura is disappointed to discover that the time she was logged into Matt’s account, the only NPCs visible were for other one-shots. Matt: “Girl, my s***’s guarded!”

  • Laura: “I probably wrote more about the Ruby in my backstory than I did about me.” She loves the way Matt fleshed her out. Matt: “You built a character whose world was centered around a living parent, and that’s a rare thing in Dungeons and Dragons.” His instinct as a DM is always to try to subvert what the players set him up with, but with her, he was so happy with the way she was set up that he thought it was best to let it play out. “There’s only so many times you can go, ‘Oh, here’s your happy backstory? F*** you!’” It’s obviously not entirely happy, but he liked leaning that way. 

    • Matt: “I didn’t realize I was holding my robe shut until after the episode.” Laura: “It was adorable!”

    • Matt: “It’s because of your backstory that Nicodranas exists.”

  • Matt had planned for the Gentleman reveal to come out a little bit later, but they kept going into detail and describing how he looked in front of her, so it was inevitable that the Ruby would clue in and have that “Wait, what?” moment.

  • Brian: “How in the world do you keep notes?” Laura: “I’m going to shut him down and find out.” She starts to reach over, then decides not to mess up his hair. “Perfect android hair.” 

  • Most of the cast didn’t know that Orly was the community-created NPC. They loved the design.

  • Laura gets self-conscious over how short her answers are compared to Matt. Brian: “Look, if you cancel on us, we put you up against Matt.”

  • The Ruby never met the Traveler when Jester was growing up. “She acted like she believed me, but I’m assuming she probably thought he was a weird imaginary friend.” Matt: “That’s kind of how I interpreted it, too.” Drop Dead Fred was definitely a source of inspiration there.

  • Gif of the Week: who the f*** is Tracy.

  • With Orly, Matt enjoyed bringing in a stuttering character in a way that wasn’t necessarily intended to be comical, since both he and his dad were stutterers. Early on, when the character was created and when he was prepping Nicodranas for the players’ arrival, he planned for Orly to show up at the Wayfarer’s Cove, especially since it would likely dovetail with the current plot. He didn’t want to force the encounter, but he figured it would be hard for the players to avoid him with that description.

  • Laura: “I had the biggest crush on Gambit.” Matt: “We all did! I did!”

  • Jester thinks her home life was great. “She doesn’t have a large point of reference. To her, everything was normal. That was what she did.” The Traveler is all she knows about friendship. She’s now coming to terms with the fact that maybe… this wasn’t all that normal, but she was happy when she was home. “She never felt like she was missing out on a ton.”

  • Marian is “essentially agoraphobic”. Her place of work is her home, and she doesn’t really go out either. Jester probably got out more than her mother, doing errands for her mom. Matt: “This is our space for you and me, and here we’re safe, and we love each other and have this together.” She’s in many ways excited that Jester’s moving past a lot of the personal barriers Marian herself has dealt with.

  • Fanart of the Week: Orly the Tortle in all his glory.

  • “It’s always nerve-wracking as a DM when you take down a healer.” But given it was just in the wake of Taliesin losing a character, it was a lot more stressful. “I felt confident they would be all right because they had someone who… might choose to heal.” Brian: “You’re like Mercy if I have three bars of health left and then you damage boost me.”

  • Laura on Jester’s faith after meeting people with other faiths: “Everybody else has a loser deity that’s not hanging out with them, like what the hell. The Traveler’s told me all about how awesome he is compared to the other deities, and he’s the best.”

  • Matt and Laura find it entertaining when their SOs flirt with other characters. Laura: “It’s great when you get to watch them and laugh at them. It has to do with how comfortable you are with your friends at the table.” Brian: “We’re also very affectionate people.” Matt: “And that’s not going to be the same for every table. It’s a comfort level.” He points out that it took two and a half, three years into the first campaign before there was any in-game romance. Laura: “It’s also really fun to flirt with your significant other. Makes him so uncomfortable.” Brian: “No matter what character I tried to play, I feel like Yasha would try to kill me immediately.”

  • Laura: “The acquisition of Nugget was partially because of stupidity and partially because I love animals, and if you put them in front of me, in real life or imaginary life, I will gravitate towards them.”

  • Matt was happy to bring Adella back because she fit so well with the archetypes of characters that he’d already decided were likely to appear in the Wayfarer’s Cove. “I could create a new one, but why, if there’s already one that exists that would be a great wink-nudge to the first campaign?”

  • “When I created Jester in this iteration, before I decided on Jester, I had thought about making a water genasi character. I was thinking of doing a water genasi warlock. I thought, ‘Maybe she’s got some of that in there and she just doesn’t know it, or something?’ We talked about how I would make that work with a tiefling.” Her Hellish Rebuke does cold instead of fire damage, she has cold resistance: the merging of bloodlines caused this different offshoot. “I thought in that iteration that her father was a water djinn and that he’d taken a human form.”

Talks Machina After Dark: Same Guests, Same Show, More Badness:

  • Shocking revelation: Laura hasn’t watched either Honey Heist. Brian: “Did you know we launched our own channel? We’ll talk after this.” She’s going to study them as prep for her own one-shot.

  • There’s an impassioned five-minute speech about the importance of pajama pants. As you do.

  • Laura gets asked for her recommendations of the flea markets in L.A. She delivers. Brian: “Wow. That’s a better answer than you gave to any of the questions tonight.”

  • Matt resolves to buy Laura chocolate dice. Laura resolves to buy Matt pajama pants. A pact is made.

  • In terms of spell scrolls to make available to Caleb, Matt usually thinks of one spell that he knows will be useful, and then he randomly rolls from that point so it doesn’t feel too engineered.

  • Matt points out that when this Trinket was sent by fans, it was just wrapped in cellophane and they were worried it might be a body.