Talks Machina Episode 77 Highlights: 2-29

This summary has been reproduced from this Tumblr post.

Tonight’s guests: Liam & Marisha.

  • Announcements
    • Tonight’s sponsor is Dwarven Forge, who’ve recently launched their kickstarter for the Cavern’s Deep set. See more at critrole.com/dwarvenforge.
    • Honey Heist 2: Electric Beargaloo airs this Friday at 7:00pm PST (on top of the regular episode on Thursday). They actually shot it last night, and it’ll air unedited on Friday. Liam: “No audience, no f***s left to give.” Marisha and some of the others will hang out in the chat Friday night to share the experience, and Brian will be posting some behind-the-scenes photos and videos at the break.
    • The Mighty Nein shirt is back in stock and available at critrole.com. 
  • Stats for this episode: 
    • The MN reached 159 “9″s this episode, which includes all rolls ever. The 150th 9 goes to Beau–dex save against the fire trap.
    • Beau dealt 147 damage this episode, the most for anyone in any episode in C2 so far. Liam: “This is the class you were born to play.” Marisha: “I’ve never been a Grog before. I’m so excited, you guys.”
    • In Episode 7, the Bust of Estelle Getty attacked twice and hit both times. In Episode 29, the Bust of Nefertiti attacked four times and missed all four.
    • Lorenzo’s last action was Cone of Cold; after that, the party dealt 117 of their total 146 damage.
    • The 6 rounds of this fight is the longest fight of this campaign. 
  • Sam’s outfit? Liam: “What are you going to do next year?” Sam’s panicking. Xenomorph? Cthulhu? Matt Mercer costume? Marisha: “What, are we talking prosthetics? Long hair and a henley aren’t really amping it up.” Liam: “He could wear a vest.”
  • Liam likes both the intimacy of being around the table and the live theater’s energy. Seeing people cosplay as their characters chanting and screaming is unreal. It feels like a bottle rocket going up next to them. Brian always cries at live shows because of the impact that it has on people–reading tweets is one thing, but seeing the love in person is beyond words.
  • Liam wasn’t surprised at all at how useful Frumpkin was as a spider. “I don’t know why anyone would think it would be a bad idea.” Marisha: “I got s*** for the things I turned into for THREE YEARS! It’s my turn to make fun of other people’s animal choices!” Liam: “#thankskeyleth.”
  • Beau’s newfound confidence with ladies is both luck and Molly’s influence; she’s always been a bit of a flirt, but Marisha thinks “disaster lesbian” is totally accurate. Liam pitches a 70s exploitation-style spy movie on the spot. Marisha talks about a few times that she almost pursued something with Yasha/Ashley, but then she left and Marisha didn’t get the chance. Brian commiserates. 
  • Beau waited until Keg could walk off into the sunset to avoid morning-after awkwardness. 
  • Caleb’s first impression of Caduceus is “he’s really ready to put his life in danger. There’s that. I mean, he wanted to get out, so he could have taken a train ride through Alaska, but instead we invaded a compound.” Beau doesn’t have impressions yet. She’s been so desperate for help that any help was a win. 
  • Caleb doesn’t enjoy having power over others. He has an ability to think critically and get things done, but hasn’t been in that position for a long time; he has big plans but no ability to achieve them. He wants to just start getting comfortable again. “Caleb is a mess of contradictions. I change my mind as to what he thinks or I think any given moment.” He wars with liking people and needing to walk away from people because what he’s doing is “more important.” He isn’t sure which part is lying to himself–he just knows that as he lies to himself, he’s still doing something completely different.
  • To an excellent question about character development by Brian, Marisha talks about finding ideals for a character that you have to go all in on, while still knowing that the world is going to go in on you at the same time and that you’ll change whether you like it or not. Some characters are more stubborn (Caleb); Beau is a little more vulnerable to outside forces of change, such as the death of Molly–she’s never had someone die that she cared about before. 
  • Liam talks about how Caleb has that ability to bring back some fundamental aspects of the person he used to be, in part because he’s now forming connections with people he doesn’t want to admit to even himself. However, what happened with the Shepherds made him angry in a way he never anticipated, plus losing so much of the party… ”I want to do the impossible. If I can’t do this?” The Caleb at the beginning of the campaign was happy to sit back and skulk; this new Caleb, who has been angry, and who is now one of a very small party, cannot skulk. “There was no hanging back. Decisions had to be made.” He doesn’t want to be a leader, but he’ll get things done if he has to. 
  • Beau doesn’t and will never feel vindicated for Molly’s death. BWF: “Revenge and closure aren’t always the same.” 
  • After the live show and Keg, Taliesin told Marisha, “Molly would be so proud.” One of the things that lingers with Beau is that she put on a front in her last conversation with Molly while he was trying to be totally genuine, and then he died before she ever opened up. She’s processing the fact that she missed that opportunity, which is why she jumped on that opportunity with Keg. Marisha also talks about the documentary about Glow on Netflix, where the woman who played the “heart” of Glow talks about her regrets of being in love with the producer but never telling him, and now twenty years have gone by and she’s still in love. 
  • GIF of the Week: @seraphinedreams, which is a Star Wars-style scroller about the Anti-Wheaton Ashly Burch and all her 20s/19s/18s from the live show. 
  •  BWF talks about one of the theatre workers recognizing Brian and pointing out the Tal outfit was “worse than last year’s.” 
  • The Nefertiti lamp was a loan from the Egyptian Room of the Murat Theatre.  Khary saw the lamp and went off about how much he needed the empowered figure. Liam: “Thank God we had her, though. Really turned the tide of the battle.”
  • Going into this fight, Caleb was still furious at the Iron Shepherds. Even so, even during the fight, Caleb was telling himself, “You need this, you need this,” so that he can go to the next thing.
  • Marisha likes Matt’s revision to the Cobalt Soul class. She’s still figuring out the right things to ask but is liking it much better in terms of expertise costs. 
  • Liam: “I don’t think many moments in my life will rival the impossible moment of that motherf***er dying, on stage, with so many people watching. It was bewildering [to have so many people watching] and it made that moment of blind luck so much more amazing.” Marisha’s not sad at all that he’s dead. Everyone talks about the crazy energy of the HDYWTDT in front of 2500 people.
  • Brian isn’t apologizing in advance for or after the Honey Heist. Consider me piqued.
  • Beau cares about Caleb’s mental health. She’s sympathetic, especially since she’s starting to care for the rest of their group. She still believes in the importance of keeping teammates healthy out of both care for them and selfish concern for herself in a fight.
  • Marisha talks about how emotional she got when Shakaste talked about them being good people doing good things, leaving places better than they found him, especially since Khary’s not caught up on the campaign. Now Beau has to think about the themes that keep cropping up. Caleb knows what they’ve done here is good, but still thinks that the universe is pretty random & that even if they saved an entire orphanage, Caleb will still find himself unforgivable and terrible. “Nothing will erase what he’s done.” BWF: “Nothing?” Liam: “Nothing.”
  • They hid Khary the whole weekend to keep him from the Critter crowd. “It was like telling a 12-year-old in Las Vegas that they had to stay in the hotel.”
  • Fanart of the Week: this lovely piece by @emtousi12 on twitter, featuring all the guests of the campaign so far. 
  • Caleb/Liam regretted the Invisibility scroll casting even before he cast it. He was stressed, the haste was a dud, and he was almost totally out of spells. Liam commiserates with Marisha about having planned very badly on selecting his first level spells for this fight– “I had a bunch of spells I couldn’t do dick with.” However, he really, really, really didn’t want to die, so even though he desperately wanted to save the scroll, he wanted to live more. 
  • Neither Beau nor Keg think they plan to make this a recurring thing. “Hit it and quit it.”
  • Liam’s asked again about why he dedicated the kill to Frumpkin & not Molly (same question as was asked at Gencon). Liam starts talking about how Caleb had a girl cat as a child (also named Frumpkin); later, he recreated his cat using magic, except this one was male (oops?). This–boy, this is a lot very quickly. Marisha: “Is this something you worked out? Is that a narrative beat you thought of in your head?” Liam: “That was a ‘yes/and’ improv thing because Liam also had a cat named Frumpkin as a little boy, and that cat was a girl. But I decided when I was creating my character that Frumpkin was a boy. But because I have real memories as Liam of the cat as a girl, I kept messing up the gender of the f***ing cat in the game, so then I retooled my story. So the first part of my answer is that Frumpkin is more important than a magic spell. Frumpkin is a piece of his lovely childhood, his wonderful childhood, and he wanted to have a piece of that in his miserable existence. The second half of that answer is that [the kill] wasn’t dedicated to Frumpkin. Caleb was exhausted and bleeding out, on the verge of death; that line was the equivalent of ‘f*** this day,’ and to say [points emphatically] ‘That was for Molly’ is too–on the nose! I mean, they were all thinking it. They’re all weighed down by it. There’s no need to say it–the day is awful, and what’s more, Molly’s dead–for all they knew in that moment, the other three are dead too, they don’t know! This is a torture chamber! They’re in a Saw movie. They don’t know how the other three are. So maybe they’re all dead. Certainly Molly’s dead. So no, it was not dedicated to the cat.”
  • Beau felt the same thing, especially since Nott already went into the cage and had the moment with Jester. They were all feeling it and thinking it–it was there–and no one felt the need to say it aloud. “To quote Scarlett O’Hara, ‘I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about it tomorrow.’“ Liam: “The bottom line is that Caleb is in love with his cat, and the shippers need to focus on that. Send me fiction about that.”
  • Everyone dreads telling Jester, Yasha, and Fjord what’s happened to Molly. Marisha thinks Fjord will be pragmatic, Yasha will be angry, and Jester will blame herself. 
  • Marisha hypothesizes that since Lorenzo seemed interested in capable fighters, he might have been creating almost Winter Soldier-type slaves that he could use to fight for him.
  • Everyone’s relieved Sam didn’t fall off the stage in the rollerblades. Apparently he had a dry run out of costume that…did not go well.
  • Marisha loved the Stunning Strike moment and the HDYWTDT moment for each of them. Liam loved Nott’s kissing Caleb while he was invisible. BWF does NOT encourage this behavior and we should NEVER DO IT AGAIN and he does NOT WANT THIS IN THE FUTURE but he laughed pretty hard at whoever yelled “It’s High Noon” at Matt towards the beginning of the show.
  • Liam had a great time playing exhausted–yes, it’s awesome to have the amazing moments, but he loves the fun of the failures too. 
  • Travis made it to the actual studio today and got a round of applause. “It’s like seeing a hologram of Tupac.”

After Dark: They’re So Tired I’m Tired For Them Edition

  • Oh, God. Twenty minutes in I realize my video froze during the break and I had no idea. I wondered why it was taking so long. Where are we? I’ll fill it in in a second.
  • Would BWF ever allow Sam to pick his outfit? He doesn’t know if he has the guts. Sam’s closet is full of ties and sneakers according to Liam. 
  • Liam loved two Critters cosplaying as gelatinous cubes at GenCon this year–he recognized one of them as one who came as a beholder last year and applauds her creativity. Marisha loved how their swords were floating around them.  Liam swoons over all the Vaxes with functioning wings; Marisha loved Opening Title Sequence Matt; BWF gushes about the pair who came as him from Signal Boost and Liam Las Vegas; Marisha loved the Percy with the Orthax shadow. There was also a pair of little girls who did the twins one day and Yasha and Beau the next; all three get a little fluttery.
  • Most of the panel from GenCon is up on Critical Scope. 
  • Marisha would prefer to face a party of wizards over a party of monks. Liam would prefer avoiding both, but if forced would take the monks since they have range requirements.
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  • Thanks, broadcasting. 
  • Liam isn’t bitter the two clerics didn’t heal him. Not at all. Not bitter at all. He was at two hit points before he healed himself with the potion.
  • Marisha started tearing up when they found the party members in part because the game is very real to them, and they miss Laura, Travis, and Ashley so much. Sometimes the very real reactions catch them off guard. Liam points out that they’re family and it never feels good with part of the family gone. 
  • Live show was the best thing they did at GenCon, but seeing the booth was pretty cool too. Everyone was “cranky” Sunday morning. BWF: “Oh my God, you’re being so nice right now.” Marisha was annoyed from the moment the makeup artist knocked on their door the next morning to get Matt ready to be Pumat. The entire group didn’t say a word to each other over breakfast except to snipe at each other. “Do you know what time it is?” “You’re looking at your phone.” 
  • Liam talks about some cool oversized minis he got for his daughter’s Ravenloft game at the Privateer Press booth. BWF got some new dice (as did Marisha for both her and Matt at the Level Up booth), a Wyrmwood box, and some Iron Kingdoms books.
  • BWF admits he is a deep nerd and loves Warmachine; he could have talked to the Privateer Press people for hours about the lore if he didn’t think they’d have chased him off.
  • Did Vax take Molly to the other side? Liam doesn’t know. He has his own ideas–Ariana, their official artist, did a picture of Vax on an obsidian throne & surrounded by obsidian, with white antlers growing out of his shoulder & holding a raven skull, and that’s what he feels his afterlife is like. He does like to think that Vax took Molly to the other side. “He was so colorful and full of life. I’d like to think so.”
  • The VOD of Matt’s Fireside Chat is up on the critrole Twitch! BWF: “He’s so articulate.” Marisha: “A living bard.”