We’ve got giant lore, fantasy Jarvis, and the origin stories for our characters’ names. That’s right, it’s the Afterparty! This is where we sit down after every episode to break down our game and answer your questions about how to play at home.
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Amanda: Ok, there's so much. All my questions are just it's a cold open y'all, it's the After Party. All of my questions are just, helicopter question mark, giant question mark, stone question mark. What's happening here and what is your fixation with stone that can talk? Is a whole animal stone? What's happening? Maybe a better place to start is for any of you in your experience as players or DM's have you dealt with giants before? As a player it just totally blew my mind the idea that we'd be fighting something that was physically just not so doable by us. Like my character isn't a magic user she just has herself and her wits and the idea that a thing is so big that it could just like crush me as it adjusts its sandals or something. It's crazy.
Brandon: Actually in one of the other campaigns like in the past week or so I think, as we record this we encountered a bunch of giants that we had to... there was like two or three that we had to like fight off and then we took the whole like side quests that was giant themed. And there's a whole like lore backstory with giants like there's like fire giants and ice giants and like cloud giants or something like that. And there's like a hierarchy of like there's a top giant man/woman who would like looks over everything and then it's like a hierarchy going down. It's super interesting.
Michael: Are you playing the module Storm Giant's Throne right?
Eric: Storm King
Michael: Storm King's Throne was a module that Wizards of the Coast recently released. My brother is playing it. And hear it's a ton of fun. I certainly haven't played against or pitted giants against my players but they're always a ton of fun because they have like a very robust civilization and you would expect like giant creatures that have so many effects happening around them to maybe just be mindless or like most of the other creatures in either Volo's book or the monster manual or anything, but giants are just cool especially like when there is negotiation with them. They really like to trick you. They really like to mess with you. That's what's interesting to me is the Giants are way more powerful than anything, they can do whatever they want and yet they still tolerate humans or other creatures a lot more than they probably should.
Brandon: But on the question of like fighting them, in my experience, you can take them down. But like it took in my other game, it took like the party plus some I think an equal amount of NPCs to take down two three. So influencing my decision there it's just like, hey hide instead of trying to talk to this thing or fight it. That was what I was thinking.
Eric: Probably a good idea. I've been reading a lot on giant lore. There's a ton in the Volvo's guide which is always just so fun it gives users an in-depth look at a few different monster types. I got to say that this giant is different than usual giants. This is a variant that I'm working with and I think it's super interesting and I really want to see how everyone deals with it.
Amanda: That's awesome. We worked on the musical Into The Woods in high school and as part of the research for that we looked up lots of lore around the fairytales that are you know kind of referenced and my favorite was always Jack in the Beanstalk. It's so absurd. The image is so crazy. The behavior of the giants has logic to, it's not just a monster coming after you. So I really enjoyed the monsters that can trick and be tricked and can kind of like plan on the same level as the humans in some way or are just way more powerful than them and somehow inexplicably you get away.
Brandon: I would watch Inara and the Beanstalk.
Amanda: I would too. I could get a little backpack for Oatcake. Make sure she can go up the beanstalk with me.
Michael: The golden oatcake
Eric: I love Oatcake she's my favorite part of this whole podcast...
Amanda: I mean, mine too.
Brandon: Thanks from all three of us.
Eric: No, its definitely not all of you, its Oatcake
Amanda: It's the dog you invented and assigned to a player. And then how about that techno magical helicopter y'all with an AI system. I'm glad it wasn't called Jarvis but that's what I was thinking in my head.
Brandon: Have you guys ever seen the picture of the like Leonardo da Vinci helicopter?
Amanda: Oh yeah, absolutely
Michael: That's what I was picturing
Eric: Oh yeah that's exactly what I was picturing too.
Brandon: Nice. OK. Hey, we're on the same page. That's good.
Amanda: Good wordsmithing Eric.
Eric: That's what I envisioned in my head. But it was like it had to be partially like a boat. If Captain Alex was going to drive it. But yeah it was a combination of those things.
Amanda: Oh I'm assuming you can go on water also. But I hope it isn't ruined because I want to like to hang out on this ship for episodes and episode and arcs and arcs to come.
Brandon: I'm curious about the Comway situation because we've seen now the gun, we've seen the helicopter what other like machine magic things that we've seen so far?
Eric: Uh Tracey?
Brandon: I'm sorry, including myself in that. Yes. So there's this like throughput that I'm really excited to explore especially with the introduction of Comway which seems to be an AI. But like there's not artificial intelligence in the world. So is he a spirit? Is he some sort. I don't know what they are.
Amanda: I mean first place my brain went to you is Magic is about intention. And if you can manifest that intention strongly enough you can kind of create a force that acts on the world on its own. So I'm also really curious. Hopefully, it comes back and if it's cursed or not that was an awesome moment to see kind of what the extent of Comway is
Michael: Cards on the table. I was like betting in my head that it's just like a tiny fairy up there or something.
Amanda: Oh me too! Like a small bird?
Michael: Yeah just like a small thing or creature just hiding up in the speaker and not natural...
Brandon: Just like a Wizard of Oz situation?
Brandon: Don't look behind the intercom!
Michael: Exactly exactly.
Eric: Hey it still could be.
Michael: It still could be. I'm glad that my apparently cursed item...
Brandon: You're so salty about this
Michael: I'm not salty. I'm always excited by cursed items. I just feel dumb that I've been carrying something that may or may not be cursed. Obviously, Eric is not going to tell me. But I've been carrying this all along and I haven't I guess done the proper investimigations.
Brandon: Yup that's the thing
Amanda: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Michael: Yeah I have to see whether it's cursed or whether I'm cursed or whether the Undying Light doesn't like me or like when I want to do
Amanda: I mean I was nervous because you've taken life guidance from this thing and that was what my brain went to immediately was the diary in Chamber of Secrets and Tom Riddle and Arthur Weasley saying don't trust things we can't see where it keeps its brain. And just to get answers from a thing that could potentially not have your best interests at heart or not even be the thing that you think it is.
Michael: Well Johnny's going to listen to anything that the light says but if the right if the lantern wants to say something he's probably going to ignore it.
Amanda: Well I have been seeing the two of them as the same.
Michael: Oh I have not.
Amanda: Maybe the light is being influenced by lantern. Like who knows.
Michael: The way I interpreted from day one is that the light is attached to the lantern just so that there's a physical manifestation to it and doesn't just like go into the plane of the light or it's also just a small creature or a fairy pretending to be something inside the lantern since now everything, nothing can be trusted.
Amanda: Either way I'm nervous and thrilled.
Brandon: I'm excited
Michael: Tracey, I'm going to roll investigation to see if you're just like a...
Brandon: Just a ton of fairies
Michael: Just a ton of fairies
Amanda: Bunch of little beetles
Brandon: That would explain a lot
Michael: Are you just two kobolds in a big metal and wood jacket?
Amanda: I'm also really stoked to see a new city. I loved that panorama, that montage of the rivers slowly appearing aggregating and becoming like defining feature of the land. I'm obviously so curious about why the city was abandoned, ruined. What that big slash was and where these two columns come from, what they represent or why they're being built around it. Why build a new civilization right across the river from the old one, everything. So many questions I want to see it.
Brandon: My favorite thing is, I'm not very good at like picturing things in my head. But when you get me things like, in my head Fidapolis was red and now we shift over to this new city where everything is blue and that gives such a different flavor to the campaign and to the environment that I'm going into. That worked a lot for me.
Amanda: Yeah. Also the triangle of Fidapolis versus the Venn diagram of Antopolis where presumably it's about things coming together, the left and the right banks like what does that mean what does the middle represent. And I am just really excited to go from a city that is the seat of power and decides so many things for the rest of the area into something dealing with its own challenges. And like, I like policy, I like representational governments, and republics, and things and so to see this political stuff playing out, the political party if you will, I'm really stoked.
Brandon: I'm excited to see also along the same lines of everything we've been told in Fidapolis checks out. How do people outside of Fidapolis was actually view Fidapolis, who's the speaker like how do they actually feel about that?
Amanda: Ghostfish? Like what?
Brandon: Scary birds! Why are there scary birds?
Amanda: That what turned out to be, I thought it was just like a throwaway moment that was inspired by Sweeney Todd and the guy with the bad hair tonic, turned out to be really good and interesting and I am so psyched that apparently, the assassin's guild is looking out for Inara here. That's what I'm presuming and whether they mean that, I don't know, I have to kill the head of the Red Throat Gang, you is it a metaphor or is it like actually we're going to be going to see a Ghostfish to cut off its head like, who knows.
Michael: I've felt a lot of hostility this game because everyone calls me Fish and talking about how fish is bad and we should cut the head of fish and.
Amanda: only Ghostfish.
Brandon: This is an intervention.
Michael: What did I do? The first thing I thought when the thieves cant note when we heard the meaning I thought oh this is an order from the assassin's guild that you need to go cut the head off of the fishmonger in town. Like this is your first hit. This is your first test! Kill the Fishmonger!
Eric: That's so like House of Black and White that you have to like kill a random person
Brandon: What if it's just like you have to start slow and just have to kill a fish first.
Amanda: Yeah you got to work your way up, really understand the value of taking a life
Michael: Again this hostility...
Amanda: Again only Ghostfish. If you turn into a ghost Michael Fish I would not feel badly about cutting your head off.
Brandon: Please don't turn into a ghost, I don't like ghosts.
Eric: Spooky fish. I just want to clarify some stuff, I'm not going to give anything away. When I was talking with the slash I meant like the giant was dragging its club behind it.
Brandon: That's what I interpreted, yeah
Eric: I don't want you to look into that. That's just like I was signifying the giant.
Eric: The other thing I want to say is, I want to shout out the two patrons who are now in the NPC lottery Tim Zubizarreta. So he is the name for the giant Zubi. And Representative Shields is David Shields. So thank you so much.
Brandon: Thanks, guys. I hope you don't die.
Amanda: Eric wouldn't kill an NPC with a patron's name, would he?
Brandon: Would you?
Michael: He did name one a big bad giant.
Brandon: I mean he's a very poetic giant.
Eric: He is the other thing I want to say is, I am happy that I have constructed the city-states as like existing kind of like in their own space. Like I really want to build these cities out and give them their own flavor. So this is just giving me some time to like world build. And I'm glad that I get to take time to do it. So it's going to be fun
Brandon: I'm exciting.
Amanda: I like fantasy and fiction in general where it's clear that stuff is happening when the heroes are not there. Like fantasy where you can feel that the world's been around for a long time or sci-fi where time passes when the camera lens of the heroes perspective is not there with it. So I like that feeling in our campaign as well.
Brandon: Yeah and that extends to Fidapolis as well. Like things are going to happen back in town when we are not there.
Michael: So I think I was pretty clear that I didn't like this new version of Alonzo. But what did you guys think of Alonzo 2.0 I guess?
Brandon: I honestly...
Eric: Hold on, what do you mean?
Michael: I just don't know where his bravado came from, and it was kind of like, Who is this guy. And let's not maybe rush into things, let's work it out and make sure we stay safe. I guess his actions at the ceremony really emboldened him. And it's, I think a cause for concern like he is just wanting to rush into things. And I'm I feel like we're going to have to be taking care of him a lot. And I want him to be like a member of this crew. But also I'm scared that he's just going to keep running into danger.
Brandon: He's been propped up by all of the rhetoric from the Speaker and being the champion of the continent essentially which is like laughable at this point. I don't think he can even really swing an axe.
Amanda: He's figured out how to anchor them to his weapons belts so that's a start. But yeah he definitely came across as a lot more confident and wanting to rush off than normal. But I think you're right Brandon and like I think Speaker and others have been kind of psyching him up for this or maybe he's decided he was freaked out by killing people and then realized that this is my thing now and decided to try it.
Brandon: Now I kill people!
Amanda: He decided to lean into it. Yeah, or like this is his life, one he was born into and maybe he's going to give it a shot. But I'm also very nervous. Obviously, he's charmed right now so I'm not judging him for going toward the giant.
Amanda: But I am annoyed that he is.
Brandon: The bloodline thing that's really interesting for me because he has no appreciable skill. He has no skills, or talent, or anything. So I'm curious to see how he's going to be received by the other City-States. I don't think he's going to be as inspiring as he hopes to be.
Amanda: I get the vibe that nothing coming from on high from Fidapolis is going to be received the way the Speaker thinks it's going to be. I'm very curious about the politics and cultural climate of this world.
Michael: Especially if he's going to come in with a ton of swag
Brandon: You know his belt going to fall down and his pants are going to go with it at some point.
Michael: Oh dear.
Amanda: It really just depends on his like, saving throw against the weight of those weapons.
Michael: I guess I'm just going to have to keep using the orb to help him out and just use the undying light to help him keep his pants up.
Eric: Let's talk about e-mails. All right. We're going to do a lightning round of three questions and then we have one bigger one. This one is from Katie. Katie's Delivery Service as you might know her.
Amanda: What up Katie!
Eric: "I was explaining Inara to my sister and she wants to know just how besotted Inara would be with Brienne of Tarth or any Gwendolyn Christy character really." That wasn't really a question I guess, I guess my question for that is would Inara have any crushes on any other fantasy people who we might know?
Amanda: Well so there's this problem which is called Wife Goals or Life Goals. I've talked about in Spirits, my other podcast, about how an issue growing up as a queer lady is like when you meet someone who just fascinating to you, you're like oh no. Like do I want to be them or do I want to date them? And it's hard. And like you can't tell sometimes. So, in this case, I think that Brienne of Tarth would be more on the Life goals on the Wife goals. I think that I would probably just be so enthused and amazed at this like the Platonic ideal of what she wants to be that she would just like follow her around like a puppy and try to learn all her ways. Probably would have a crush on Sansa.
Eric: There you go I like it. All right. I have two Johnny/Tracey buddy questions for you. This from Matt Lewinsky @wehitman_elite. that makes sense. "If Johnny likes food so much. How hasn't he upgraded Tracey to have a griddle?"
Brandon: Yeah Mikey! Where's my griddle?
Amanda: Oh my God. I want a 1950s AU like Automat Tracey Version.
Brandon: Yes. Have you ever seen robot grandma?
Brandon: Is that the name of it? It's this movie from like I want to say the early early 90s or maybe even late 80s where their grandma is just an automaton and she like pours milk out of her finger for breakfast. It's fantastic
Michael: Are you just confusing Bicentennial Man and Mrs. Doubtfire and you're conflating the two?
Brandon: You know I might be!
Amanda: And My Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer? There's a diner in there somewhere.
Brandon: No my siblings, please tweet and tell everyone I'm not crazy thank you.
Eric: I love that part in grandma got run over by a reindeer when she gets hit and then Santa turns her into the six million dollar grandma. Brandon almost spit out his beer! So we're going to move on to the next question. This is from our friends DND Character Lab. Another great D&D Podcast where they take fictional characters turn them into D&D and make them fight. "If to complete a caper Johnny had to hide with no light inside of Tracey who would be more uncomfortable?"
Brandon: This is a Star Wars situation
Michael: And I'm all about it.
Brandon: Are you going to cut me open?
Michael: Well, first off I'm not going to cut you open. This has happened before in my headcanon.
Brandon: You've gone inside of me? Did I have to eat you to get inside of me?
Amanda: No you open his hatch put a bag of holding inside and then get into the bag of holding.
Brandon: Did you get in the bag holding first and I swallowed the bag?
Michael: I don't know why any of this is not the correct answer. This is all the correct answer.
Brandon: The answer is me, I would be more uncomfortable I think.
Michael: Yeah I feel like Johnny would just be like eyyyy
Amanda: Johnny is mostly fine.
Brandon: Johnny would just be like playing poker with like whatever gremlins are inside of me
Amanda: And like listen...
Eric: Wait, wait what?
Michael: I'm sorry did you just insinuate that you are not, in fact, a Warforged, that you are just multiple goblins inside one trenchcoat?
Amanda: Are there Daleks inside you?
Brandon: I am three goblins and one Dalek in a trenchcoat.
Amanda: That checks out.
Michael: I feel like we answered that question.
Eric: No, you nailed it, please, thank you. There you go D&D Character Lab.
Brandon: Can you make Johnny and Tracey fight?
Eric: We already make Johnny and Tracey fight, but please let us on the podcast so we can do it for you! That would be cool. I got a really good question about names. This is from our Tumblr. Hey, we have a tumbler! firstname.lastname@example.org. Our inbox is open ask us questions. This is from Bonehat. "So it's been agreed that names have power." Look at you paying attention. "How did/do you guys choose names for your characters. Disclaimer: this question is merely a front to figure out what the B stands for in Johnny B. Goodlight." We also have a similar question from everyone's favorite artist Paola
Brandon: Hi Paola, you're awesome!
Amanda: Who designed our beautiful Merch. We have T-shirts. We have notebooks, we have pillows. We have sweatshirts, stuff all kinds. Tanks, baseball T-shirts which I love and it's just like code for I'm a queer lady so like hey queer ladies, buy a baseball t-shirt. jointhepartypod.com/merch.
Eric: So Paolo also has the same question, "how did you come up with your character's names." Let's do all three of you and then I will tell you a few that I came up with that were not patrons.
Amanda: Well mine is based on a novel I wrote when I was like nine or 10 years old. I read the Bartimaeus Trilogy which is a trilogy, sort of like set in I don't know in my head it was like Renaissance Italy sort of like Assassin's Creed running over the rooftops type thing and it's like teen urchins. It actually has a lot of influence now that I think about it. It's like teen urchins running over the rooftops and like living in the city and there's demons and magic it's really good
Brandon: are we just playing that game right now?
Amanda: I mean kind of, and my character was called: Inyara Harthorn, that was originally the name of my character. But Y'all kept calling her Inara instead of Inyara. So I dropped the Y. So I made her what you kept saying which is Inara.
Brandon: We did do that.
Eric: It's really the two syllable yell from Tracey which really gets me: INARA!
Amanda: Yeah that's what it is.
Eric: So I would really miss that.
Amanda: Yeah it's pretty good.
Brandon: INYARA also would work...
Eric: It's not the same, its the one, two, three.
Brandon: Well Tracey just uses everyone's full name so I don't think he would say Yara.
Eric: I got to put it a character named Barnabus now.
Amanda: I also named Johnny B. Goodlight. I just thought it was funny. We were talking about puns I think?
Michael: yeah, my character was... we were kind of doing it by committee thing and I wanted something because I, I never play and all my players usually like do like silly names that are usually puns or references to something
Amanda: Yeah I just like Johnny Be Good....Light
Michael: That just worked. I think there's been like a variation of how we spell Johnny and whether or not there is an E at the end of light, like old-fashioned lighte.
Amanda: Not currently, but I'm open to it.
Brandon: I'm very open to that.
Michael: No, I've already crossed it out in like a few things that I've had it in. And then I think the B stands for B.
Michael: Nope. It stands for B.
Amanda: Homer J Simpson style, the middle name is just B
Brandon: Be or just B or Bee?
Michael: I think it's B and I'm not going to say how it's spelled, but I think it's B.
Michael: It's B. it could be Bea, could be Bee, it could have a meaning that I haven't figured out yet.
Amanda: Could be Bei?
Eric: Johnny Bea Arthur Goodlight.
Michael: Oh that's right age group for him.
Brandon: So my name, a few people have already guessed this so far I think, but my name comes from one of my favorite movies of all time when I was a kid. Dick Tracey. So I mean Tracey a detective and the shorthand for Detective is Dick. So it's D-TR8C
Michael: Designation right?
Amanda: Which is designation
Brandon: Designation TR8C. There may or may not be some words that TR8 and c stand for but we'll have to learn those later in the campaign.
Eric: Tiny Raging Eight Children in a Trenchcoat.
Michael: Oh my God. We figured... We figured it out!
Amanda: AHHHH Illuminati!
Eric: We cracked the code!
Brandon: I did actually text my brother and sister and I think one other person like, hey how do I make Detective Tracey a cool name for my D&D character?
Eric: I love it. OK. Here are a few characters that I named. Tammy and Taylor, the dragons, they are from Tami Taylor the wife of Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights. Connie Britton if you want to come on this podcast please I would really love that. Alonzo actually comes from a football player. There is a linebacker who used to play on the Buffalo Bills and the Eagles. His name was Alonzo Kiko. I think it's just the greatest name.
Eric: Oh wait, his name is Kiko Alonzo actually which is even better.
Amanda: That's amazing!
Eric: But I figured I couldn't like take the name, so I just flipped it because I thought it was really good.
Michael: I think there's something really special that Alonzo's name comes from a football player. We also didn't discuss any of this before.
Amanda: I know!
Michael: This is great.
Amanda: More masculine than I expected. But like I'm here for it
Eric: Greg. I actually named Greg and Gregina at the same time.
Brandon: You're kidding. WHAT?
Eric: And I was the reason why I named him Greg was because I liked having a name that had like the feminized version just like on top of it. He's not Gregor, he's never Gregory. It's Greg and Gregina. I mean his real name is Gregory but no one calls him that so I really like the dichotomy between the two. Here's the...
Brandon: Gregory and Gregenery.
Eric: Greg Gregory Gregenery. Here is the name behind Stoneface. Originally I named Stoneface, Hugo after one of the gargoyles from Hunchback of Notre Dame which is a great movie and Hugo is named after Victor Hugo who wrote the novel. And when it was our third time recording it was the first one we had done after doing the pilot. So this was like your first time doing it live and really starting to get our momentum. And I had all of these notes up and now I make my font really big so I can look at it when I have it up, but I just like could not look at it. And you guys came upon the gargoyle and I had to give it a name, and I was just like: Stoneface.
Michael: That entire episode, everything was coming out like not as you expected it. That makes sense.
Eric: And I especially like the whole joke with how you were calling, Inara was calling him Mr. Gargoyle. I'm just like, I have to do this dumb fucking joke. Like Mr. Gargoyle's is my father and I'm like, oh what is the next sentence that needs to come out of my mouth?
Brandon: You mean the best joke we ever had of this podcast?
Michael: I love the jokes so much.
Eric: So yeah that's where a few of our names come from
Amanda: Thank you so much for joining us for this after party, we would love to talk to you more on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr now! Fish you're doing an awesome job at the Tumblr
Amanda: At jointhepartypod on all the places including Instagram where Eric puts up dope Instagram photos all the time including for every new episode and it's always fun. I love seeing what podcasts choose to share in a visual medium it's pretty cool. Join us in our Discord. Give us just a dollar or more and you can join us, jointhepartypod over on Patreon. And we also have Merch! Oh my God I am so excited. Our T-shirts and tank tops for the team came in and I am just going to wear my Antopolis sweatshirt everywhere for the rest of time. I don't know about you guys.
Brandon: Never going to wash mine just gonna wear it every day.
Amanda: Notice that factory fresh smell.
Eric: if by factory fresh you mean Branden's smell
Brandon: Brandon fresh smell.
Michael: Oh I thought it was Captain Alex from the... I thought all of these shirts came from the ship. From the Down Eastern Alexa
Amanda: I wish, with just like the slightly queer whiff of sea salt. Yeah
Michael: The slightly queer whiff of sea salt...
Eric: That's also Amanda's memoir title.
Amanda: It is. This outro took a turn. I don't know, you can find all of that at jointhepartypod.com/merch. We love you guys.
Michael: Can we sell that candle?
Amanda: If you make candles, get in touch.
Brandon: Bye guys!
Eric: Bye, I want that candle so bad!
Michael: May the Undying Light watch over all of you.