41. Hunting Party II

With Oatcake on the line, the party needs to stop the wrestling match or their cutest party member could in trouble. Let’s get creative with Creative. Inara summons Ceberus. Tracey accidentally tears down a wall. Kohl remembers the holiday party.


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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Kohl: Julia Schifini

- Creative Contributors: Connor McLoughlin, Heddy Hunt, Julia Schifini, Mischa Stanton

- Multitude: multitude.productions

About Us

Join the Party is a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast. That means a group of friends create a story together, chapter by chapter, that everyone from seasoned players to true beginners can enjoy. Where else can you get adventure, intrigue, magic, drama, and lots of high fives all in one place? Right here.

After each episode we sit down for the Afterparty, where we break down our game and answer your questions about how to play Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games at home. We also have the Punchbowl, an interview series with people pushing D&D forward creatively, communally and socially. It’s a party, and you’re invited! Find out more at jointhepartypod.com.


Amanda: Last time on Join the Party...

Eric: The Speaker is awake and has a lot to say to Tracey and Inara. She connects the dots of what happened during the centering: encasing The Council of Bright in an astral prison.

Eric (as The Speaker): The Centering - it was a collection of people coming together. It really was a centering of our world.

Amanda (as Inara): I see, because peace can’t be achieved unless there’s a common enemy.

Eric: But then, AN EXPLOSION! The party hustles to the top of Kiko Castle and see Alonzo, surrounded with a white hot aura and some strange new power. He is angry and he wants to fight.

Eric (as Alonzo): I’m done talking. I've been waiting to talk this whole time. We went to so many cities and all we’ve done is talk.

Eric: After the battle, they run through a portal Alonzo created to escape and fall into Infropolis, a city on the move! The party stumbles into a rally for a wrestling match going down in a few days. The babyface Gordon Lighthammer threatens a tiefling with a large robot, now, who could that be?

Julia (as Kohl): Tremble, foolish mortals! The devil and her minion have arrived!

Eric: Oh, it’s Kohl our friendly mechanics friend, and her robo-pal Alabaster, aw yeah.

Eric: And that’s all that happened in this episode! That’s it, nothing about the extremely cute dog being in danger because I DEFINITELY DIDN’T GIVE MY PLAYER A DOG AND THEN EMPERILL IT. THAT WOULD BE MEAN. THAT’S RIDICULOUS. LET’S GET THE PARTY STARTED!

[theme music]

Julia: Kohl has spent two hours now putting on her makeup and getting ready for her press events today, but she’s gonna stop by and take y’all to Creative first.

Eric: I assume that you installed a vanity in Alabaster.

Julia: Absolutely.

Eric: Just so it flips out.

Amanda: Does Rusty just have one hand with a makeup brush or are there multiple attachments?

Julia: It’s like several come out like a swiss army knife.

Amanda: Oh good

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: Alright, I love it.

Brandon: I think I can speak on behalf of Tracey to say he doesn't like this.

[Amanda giggles]

Julia: Thats fair. I get it.

Brandon: This seems like an inappropriate use of sentience.

Julia: Uh, sentience is a strong word for Rusty.

Eric: And Alabaster appears behind you

Eric (as Alabaster): Hi, Tracey! You know how we’re different?

[Tracey screams]

[everyone laughs]

Eric (as Alabaster): We’re different! You don't have to be jealous of us.

Amanda: On Inara’s part, I’m going to be using the scarf that I use for traveling - you know how everyone just has a pashmina they use to travel with -

Eric: Of course.

Julia: Obviously.

Eric: Check all of your inventories and it says “Pashmina” in all caps.

Brandon: I have three, that’s weird.

Eric: [laughs] It’s blue, dark blue, and light blue… and blue again.

Julia: So what has she done with the pashmina?

Amanda: Inara is going to wear Oatcake like a newborn on her chest, wrapped up in a pashmina so that no one can take her, because it’s knotted like only those infant carriers can be and nothing’s coming out of there.

Julia: Kohl has asked whether or not you would like to get your makeup done while she’s doing her own makeup.

Brandon: Tracey raises his hand!

Julia: Absolutely you got it, buddy.

Amanda: I draw my dagger and back away slowly.

[Brandon laughs]

Julia: Aw, but you’d look so good with a smokey eye.

Eric: In the meantime, Kohl, why don't you make a Perception check.

Julia: Um, that’s a 6.

Eric: Okay, cool. Kohl, you lead everyone through downtown Infropolis

[city sounds of traffic and construction]

You’re in full makeup apparently-

Julia: Yeah.

Eric: So I think that people-

Julia: Press media stuff.

Eric: Yeah, people notice you on the way there, you sign autographs, you give high fives, you give motivational speeches, you pose for pictures.

Julia: I was gonna ask what the fantasy equivalent of a selfie is because I’m definitely giving those out.

Eric: Uh, a robot with wings does it from the precise angle up so that everyone has their best light.

Julia: That’s the best.

Amanda: Kohl, what’s your one-liner when people come up to you in the street like “Oh my god, are you Kohl?”

Julia (as Kohl): Prepare to go to hell!

Julia: Basically that.

Amanda: And how does that go down?

Brandon: Very dark!

Julia: Pretty good because usually with people stopping me on the street, they know what my character is.

Amanda: Okay, okay.

Brandon: They're like, “Yeah, let’s go to hell!”

Julia: Yeah!

Eric: Yeah, a few clerics just run up to her and be like, “Ah I feel like I should do something here!”

Julia: Kohl just shrugs.

Eric: Yeah like eh it’s fine. Here’s my robot friend, it’s fine. Kohl, you know that this is the building where Creative is set up. So Kohl, I don't know what your relationship is with the higher-ups of your wrestling federation, but how much have you been in the presence of the company that is the Concentric Wrestling Championship?

Julia: Kohl has talked to writers before, she’s talked to Creative before, but the thing is she doesn't get to decide what the storyline is. She can just kind of give feedback.

Eric: Okay, so you three and Alabaster walk into the front of this building.

[door opens, city sounds disappear]

And it’s just a very boring looking lobby.

[elevator music]

It’s grey linoleum. There are artificial lights hanging from the ceiling,and there is a centaur standing at the desk to your left.

Julia: Is there perhaps a fern?

Eric: There are two, but -

Brandon: Are they real?

Eric: They’re both dying.

Julia: Oh no!

Brandon: So they are real but they are dying?

Eric: [laughing] No they're fake.

Brandon: But they're still dying?

Eric: Yeah.

Julia: It’s that necrotic damage.

Amanda (as Inara): So Kohl, what’s the plan?

Julia (as Kohl): So we’re gonna talk to Creative because they have some weird storyline with your dog, and we gotta make sure that if we’re gonna do a weird person-wins-the-dog match, I gotta be the one that wins.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, but like I didn't know I was coming here until today, I mean yesterday I guess. It’s just been a blur, so-

Brandon (as Tracey): [shouting] Hello!

Eric: The centaur says

Eric (as Trent): Identification, please.

Brandon (as Tracey): I… am Traceeeeey!

Eric: [giggling] This is the second time you’ve done this to people asking for your ID.

Brandon (as Tracey): This is… Inaraaaaa!

Amanda: I put one elbow on the counter, which is significantly above my shoulder, and smile.

Brandon (as Tracey): This… you know Kohl, I think.

Julia: Kohl just sighs.

Amanda (as Inara): She’s gonna tell you to go to hell. I mean, not personally, Mister, it’s just-

Brandon (as Tracey): You go to hell but like not that way, you know what I mean? You go to hell!

Julia (as Kohl): It’s time to go to hell…

Julia: And Kohl just shows her ID badge.

Julia (as Kohl): These are my guests. Can I sign them in please?

Eric (as Trent): Sure-

Brandon (as Tracey): Traceeeeey!

Julia (as Kohl): Tracey is one of my guests.

Eric (as Trent): Yes, uh yes, Ms. Williams, just go upstairs. This is very odd.

Amanda: I clasped my cloak over Oatcake’s head. She’s not particularly happy to not be walking around in the sunshine, but she’s putting up with it for now.

Julia (as Kohl): No, it’s cool, it’s a dog friendly office.

Eric (as Trent): Uh…

[Brandon laughing]

Actually, ma’am you're gonna have to leave your dog down here.

Julia (as Kohl): Trent! Trent, buddy, we talked at the holiday party. You know me!

Eric (as Trent): Uh, Ms. Williams, I’ve never met you.

Julia (as Kohl): That’s not true.

Eric (as Trent): I can tell you I am the first - I am just a temp here.

Julia (as Kohl): Fair enough, there must have been someone else that I sang karaoke with.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, Trent, you’re a temp. See, what happens normally is we escort Ms. Williams into the property, and we don't normally encounter any resistance from this particular desk. We will be very careful not to report this to your bosses ot their bosses as we go into Creative. It’s been a pleasure. I’m Tracey.

Brandon: And I shake Trent’s hand.

Eric: Roll for Persuasion.

Brandon: I forgot we’re playing Dungeons & Dragons.

[all laughing]

Amanda: Oh no.

Julia: You can’t just say things.

Amanda: Deception, oh nerts.

Eric: Nah this is - I think this is Persuasion.

Amanda: Yeah.

[dice rolling]

[Brandon laughing]

Julia: Goddamnit Brandon!

Amanda: Brandon!

Brandon: It was a 4.

Amanda: Aw, nerts.

Eric: Oh, bud.

Brandon: Plus 0 for a 4.

Amanda: Aw.

Brandon: But like me being Tracey was very persuasive, right?

Eric: No, you as Brandon, very good.

Brandon: Yeah.

Eric: Tracey, not so good.

Eric (as Trent): It’s still the policy that I need to just see everyone’s ID- you can just sign in. I don’t - I’m just a temp. I’m a security temp at the front desk. This is - this is as limited resistance as you are going to get.

Julia: And as you can see, we did sign in.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, all four of us-

Eric (as Trent): That’s true.

Julia: Do you need a paw print from the dog?

Eric (as Trent): Again, ma’am, please leave the dog here. There’s no dogs.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you have kibble?

Eric (as Trent): Why would I -

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you have kibble?!

Eric (as Trent): Why would I have kibble?

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you have treats?!

Eric (as Trent): I do not require treats -

Brandon (as Tracey): Then why would we leave our dog with you?!

Amanda (as Inara): If you have no food or water for my dog, then you would be violating the Fidapolis, by which I mean Concentra, Animal Handling Statute of last year.

Amanda: I wanna roll Deception because I have a +9 modifier.

Eric: Alright, so you’re gonna roll Deception. You’re gonna roll Deception.

Amanda: 8 + 9 for a 17.

Eric (as Trent): Ye- ugh.

Eric: Trent signs deeply and stomps his left hoof two times and says

Eric (as Trent): Ugh, okay just don’t tell anybody. I just - this is a - I am part of an internship program with HORSE. Don’t tell any of my professors.

Julia (as Kohl): Listen, Trent, buddy, if anyone gives you any problems just tell them Kathy in HR said it was fine.

Eric (as Trent): Oh yeah. She’s like half dragon isn't she?

Julia (as Kohl): Yeah she is!

Eric (as Trent): I mean like is she actually half-dragon, that wasn’t a burn.

Julia (as Kohl): No she actually is.

Eric (as Trent): Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

Julia (as Kohl): It’s like a copper one I think.

Eric (as Trent): Very dangerous. She’s very scary.

Julia (as Kohl): Mhm.

Eric (as Trent): Alright, just go. Just go.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you know Onion? Bye!

[Amanda giggling]

Eric (as Trent): What?

Amanda (as Inara): Vanjor…

[Eric laughing]

Julia: And the elevator door closes.

[elevator door closing and elevator rising]

Eric: Yeah, so the four of you are in the elevator. It goes up and up, and the doors open up to a reception area.

[elevator beeps, doors open, lobby music playing]

And there is a very large, emblazoned logo of the CWC, it’s like brash, and bold, and red, and blue, and black, but everything else is extremely drab. It’s just an office.

[Brandon laughs]

And at the front desk is a young elven woman. And you can see as you walk in, there is a door to your right that is past the desk. I want you all to make Perception checks, and I will hold this Perception check for the entirety of what we’re doing.

[dice rolling]

Julia: Oh that was better. It’s a 16.

Brandon: I did good, Eric, I got 17 + 2 for 19.

[all gasping]

Eric: Whoa!

Amanda: Well, that’s good, Brandon because this time I got a 4.

Julia: Oh boy.

Brandon: Oh no.

Eric: Ay! Well Inara, here’s the thing. The woman at the front, she cute. [giggles]

Amanda: Oh no. Is she relentlessly confident and not too friendly?

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: And it goes a little something like this-

Eric (as elf receptionist): Uh, hi, welcome to Concentra Wrestling Championship, Infropois outpost. How can I help you?

Julia (as Kohl): Louisa, right?

Eric: Oh, make a Deception check.

Brandon: Oh my god, I hope you get this.

[dice rolling]

Julia: Uh, well that’s another 4. I hate these dice you gave me.

[all laughing]

Brandon: I have a whole box here for ya.

Julia: It’s a 6. I don’t want your dice.

Eric (as elf receptionist): No…?

Julia (as Kohl): Did we not sing karaoke at the holiday party?

Eric (as elf receptionist): You sang karaoke with so many people.

Julia (as Kohl): That’s true.

Eric (as elf receptionist): So maybe, but that’s not - no, that’s not me.

Julia (as Kohl): I’m sorry, what’s your name?

Eric (as elf receptionist): Who do you have an appointment with?

Julia (as Kohl): I have an appointment with the Creative team. We have a meeting at 10:30?

Eric (as elf receptionist): Which - who are you?

Julia (as Kohl): I’m Kohl.

Eric (as elf receptionist): Kohl what?

Julia (as Kohl): And Alabaster. Kohl and Alabaster.

Brandon (as Tracey): Williams.

Eric (as elf receptionist): Ah, Kohl and Alabaster Williams, okay, okay, okay.

Amanda (as Inara): She’ll send you to hell and you’ll enjoy it. Hi, I’m Inara.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hi, I’m in hell, I’m Tracey.

[all chuckling]

Eric (as elf receptionist): Yeah, oh, I have you down and appointment for 5pm today.

Julia (as Kohl): No it was 10:30.

Eric (as elf receptionist): Oh that’s right, I did follow up and said that it had to get moved to 5pm, but nobody picked up.

Julia (as Kohl): Yeah, did you call me after I left my house? When did you call?

Eric (as elf receptionist): Just because you left your house does not mean that it is my responsibility that you were not there to pick it up, but the Creative team does have a lot to do today, so they can only talk at 5pm. Also, this is the outpost office, there aren't a lot of people, and this is all that I can do for you. I’m so sorry, ma’am.

Julia (as Kohl): Okay, okay, okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, are they like super busy, are they like doin’ stuff about the city?

Eric (as elf receptionist): Yeah… they're doin’ stuff.

Amanda (as Inara): No I mean like are they out and about on site visits, or something really exciting?

Eric (as elf receptionist): ...Yeah.

Amanda (as Inara): Like where? I don’t - um, I’m kinda new here and I just was wondering where all the cool receptionists…

[Brandon and Eric laughing]

And creatives… hang.

Julia (as Kohl): She’s actually one of our new signees.

Eric (as elf receptionist): Okay…

Julia (as Kohl): So she’s kind of just interested in seeing what everything’s like around here.

Amanda (as Inara): Could you tell from the faux hawk and the cartilage piercings and the cute sidekick?

Amanda: And I flip my cloak over to show Oatcake.

Eric (as elf receptionist): No, you're not supposed to have a dog - why is there a dog in here?

Amanda (as Inara): She’s my sidekick. Alabaster’s here. No offense, Alabaster.

Julia: That’s true. It’s her gimmick.

Eric (as Alabaster): I am also a gimmick!

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, Alabaster.

Julia (as Kohl): Her ring name is actually Sapphire Anarchy.

Eric (as elf receptionist): Okay, I mean I guess you can go on in if you want to see what it’s like here.

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks. I’ll be back.

Eric (as elf receptionist): Okay, alright, see ya later.

Amanda: Okay, so let’s walk through the door and see who’s hanging out.

Eric: Okay. You open the door [door opening] and there is another exactly the same desk with the same logo, but there is a different person sitting in front of this.

Amanda: Oh no! We truly are in hell!

Eric: There is a kobold with slicked back hair sitting at the desk.

Julia: I learned from my mistake. Do they have a nametag on their desk?

Eric: They do have a name tag.

Julia: What is their name?

Eric: It’s Havemeyer.

Julia: Havermyer.

Eric: Yes.

Brandon: You think that’s a first name or a last name?

Julia: I don’t know.

Brandon: You wanna risk it?

Julia: Doesn’t matter.

Amanda: Risk it for the biscuit, my friend.

Eric (as Havermyer): Um, excuse me, do you have an appointment?

Julia (as Kohl): We do! We have one with Creative at five o’clock. Havermyer, right? We did karaoke at the holiday party.

Brandon (as Tracey): Wait, this was… wait.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, we’re just on our way through. We’re just - your colleague in the front let us know that we could just go ahead in.

Eric (as Havermyer): Uh, which colleague?

Julia (as Kohl): The one at the front desk, my dude.

Eric (as Havermyer): Uh, we’re all at the front desk.

Brandon (as Tracey): How many-

Julia (as Kohl): Fuck, I hate this office so much.

Brandon (as Tracey): Wait-

Amanda: I would say the beautiful one, but I don't want to harass anyone at their workplace, so

Amanda (as Inara): The colleague next - you know what I mean.

Eric: That’s a weird thing to say to a person just at the front desk.

Amanda (as Inara): We’re on our way through.

Amanda: And then Inara continues to walk towards the door.

Eric (as Havermyer): Uh, you can’t go in there if you don't have an appointment.

Julia (as Kohl): We do have an appointment.

Eric (as Havermyer): Uh…

Julia (as Kohl): With Creative.

Amanda (as Inara): And we were just told we can go inside to wait.

Eric (as Havermyer): Okay, well I can just check in my book here.

Julia (as Kohl): Go ahead.

Eric (as Havermyer): Oh yeah, I guess you have an appointment at 5. Well then come back at 5.

Julia (as Kohl): I mean, it’s gonna probably take us a while to get to the office that we wanna get to, huh?

Eric (as Havermyer): That’s a good point, yeah, you should probably just go on through.

Julia (as Kohl): Yeah.

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks. Is there like a code word or something we can use in the future if we need to go on through?

Brandon (as Tracey): What?

Amanda (as Inara): Bye.

Eric (as Havermyer): A codeword?

Brandon (as Tracey): What is happening?

[door opening]

Eric: As you walk through the next door, yeah, this office looks exactly the same.

Julia: I hate this place so much.

Eric: And there is another receptionist here.

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara, I wanna die.

Eric: Tracye and Kohl make Investigation checks.

Amanda: [whispering] I hate this office so much.

[dice rolling]

Julia: That’s a 9 + 2.

Brandon: Non-natural 20.

Amanda: Oh thank god.

Eric: Okay, cool. Kohl, you walk right to the front desk and look at the receptionist’s name tag, and their name is Lawrence.

Julia (as Kohl): Lawrence, I’ve learned from my mistakes. We have a meeting at five o’clock, but we need to see Creative now, pelase.

Eric (as Lawrence): [mumbling, in low voice] Okay, well if you just take a seat right here that should be fine.

Julia (as Kohl): Say that one more time.

Eric (as Lawrence): If you just take a seat right there it’ll be fine. I know I can do… [mumbling]

Brandon (as Tracey): Is there reading material, or like-?

Amanda (as Inara): Where is their office actually? I just wanna see where I’m going, just wanna visualize, get in the zone, you know what I mean?

Brandon (as Tracey): Is there another door? Is there more than one door?

Eric (as Lawrence): I mean there’s a door right here that you can go at the later end this point- [mumbling]

Amanda (as Inara): Is there another reception desk through that door?

Eric (as Lawrence): Yes, there is another reception desk -

[Brandon laughs]

Amanda (as Inara): Is there a room in here that is not a reception desk?

Eric (as Lawrence): Eventually, yes, that is entirely true.

[all laughing]

Julia: I can’t.

Eric: Tracey, with a non-natural 20 you notice that to the left of the reception desk, there is a table that is stacked high with Highlights magazine, which exists in my fantasy world.

[Julia gasps]

Brandon: Tracey tears into one.

Eric: But before you reach to it, you notice that behind this table you see the outline of a door that is right inside of the wall.

Brandon: Ah, so Tracey quote-unquote “pretends” that he’s super into these magazines [all laughing] and he just like-

Amanda: Who would be?

Eric: I love Highlights.

Brandon: So he reads, I don't know, all of them really quickly and then like-

Eric: And he does all of the matches to figure out which of the seven things are here and not here.

Brandon: Which one’s Goofus and which one’s Gallant who knows? Oh my god. And then there’s a door there, weird.

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara and Kohl, there’s a door here. Do you wanna do the thing? Just go through the…

Eric (as Lawrence): I’m sorry, no one can go through that door.That is only for official personnel only, so you're going to have to wait -

Brandon (as Tracey): I literally don't understand what you're saying, so I’m just gonna go through the door now.

Eric: How would you like to go through the door?

Brandon: I’d like to open it.

Eric: Okay, how would you like to do that?

Brandon: Calmly.

Eric: Okay, you try to push against where you see the outline of the door, and it does not budge.

Brandon (as Tracey): Lawrence, my friend.

Eric (as Lawrence): Hello.

Brandon (as Tracey): My buddy.

Eric (as Lawrence): I have recently met you.

Brandon (as Tracey): How do I open this door?

Eric (as Alabaster): Why I mean I can I will open it for you, but only if you have an appointment.

Brandon (as Tracey): I have an appointment.

Eric (as Lawrence): At 5pm, yes I remember.

Brandon (as Tracey): What’s the next appointment on your book?

Eric (as Alabaster): Uh… I am sorry that is exclusive information, I cannot tell you that.

Brandon (as Tracey): No but-

Brandon: And Tracey looks over his shoulder onto his book.

Brandon (as Tracey): That one. That’s me right there.

Eric: Okay, there is a twelve o’clock appointment and it says “Lunch” in big letters.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, my name is Lunch.

Eric (as Lawrence): Uh, you-

[Amanda laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): Doctor Lunch.

Eric (as Lawrence): You recently said you were Tracey.

Amanda (as Inara): What is your doctorate in?

Brandon (as Tracey): Doctor Tracey Lunch.

Eric: Um why don’t you- [laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara, Shh!

Eric: Make a Deception check. I- [laughing hysterically] Doctor Lunch…

[all laughing]

Amanda: Lunch, Tracey Lunch!

Julia: I can't believe this is happening.

[dice rolling, then the resigned chuckle of Brandon knowing he rolled poorly again]

Julia: Oh my god! Come on!

Amanda: Oh my god!

Brandon: It's the same dice, too.

Eric: Did you get another 4?

Brandon: Yeah, I did get another 4.

Eric: Oh bud.

Amanda: Oh no.

Eric (as Lawrence): Uh, no you are not lunch. Lunch is what we do everyday at noon.

Brandon (as Tracey): But this - this person right ehre to my right-

Brandon: And Tracey gestures randomly off to everyone next to him.

[all laughing]

Eric: Okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): They are Doctor Tracey Lunch.

Eric (as Lawrence): Okay, but you just said you were Tracey Lunch.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, it’s… so where we’re from-

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey…

Brandon (as Tracey): Everyone has similar names. It’s - I get a lot of people can’t hear the difference, but like when I say it in a certain pronunciation, and when someone else says it, it has different meaning, you know?

Amanda (as Inara): And that’s because Tracey here is the official spokesperson for Doctor TracEE Lunch.

Amanda: And Inara gestures at Oatcake.

Eric (as Lawrence): I’m - mm… Ma’am, let me get this straight. Youre saying that this robot man-

Brandon (as Tracey): Rude.

Eric (as Lawrence): Who is also next to this other robot man-

Brandon (as Tracey): Also rude.

Eric (as Lawrence): Is the representative on behalf of this dog that has acquired a doctorate and is called Doctor Tracey Lunch. Is that correct?

[silence and stifled giggles]

I’m sorry, ma’am I’m going to have to call security.

Amanda (as Inara): Um, I don't know how they do it in Infropolis but that sounds pretty classist against druids.

Eric (as Lawrence): There are no druids here, I just only see all of the people who are in front of me.

Amanda (as Inara): Doctor Lunch takes offense to that.

Eric (as Lawrence): Doctor Lunch is a druid?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah. Why do you think she needs a mouthpiece while she’s in this form?

Amanda: Oatcake tongue is lolling out and she’s panting happily.

Eric: [laughing] Make a Deception check.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 13.

Eric (as Lawrence): Alright, fine I’ll send you up to my manager.

Eric: And the door next to you opens up.

[door unlatches]

Brandon: Is that the one behind all the Highlights?

Eric: No.

[Julia sighs]

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, well I was hoping we could take this route.

Amanda (as Inara): We need to be pretty direct, and I think it would be pretty unfortunate if we had to talk to management about the unfortunate discriminatory practices here.

Brandon (as Tracey): Doctor TraCEE Lunch has a very big meeting to go to now and you don't want to- imagine if your boss comes down here and they're like, “Why did Doctor Tracey Lunch miss their meeting? What did you do?” and we’re like, “Well we were here and we were waiting and then you were like, ‘bah bah bah bah bah’ and then like we tried to go through but you were like, ‘Bah bah bah.’”

Amanda (as Inara): And then Doctor Lunch couldn't go through her quarterly earnings report because we only had four hours, oh wow, not five before the next meeting which is also us.

Brandon (as Tracey): And you know who pays your bills? Those earnings!

Amanda (as Inara): Earnings, man. That’s all you have to know.


Eric (as Lawrence): Oh I don't get paid nearly enough for this. Okay, fine.

Eric: The aarakocra pushes a button underneath their desk and the door that Tracey is standing in front of slides open to the left.

[door slides]

Amanda: Oatcake’s drool drips onto the carpet.

Julia: A big yawn happens.

Brandon (as Tracey): You know, in a lot of countries, that’s worth like millions.

Amanda (as Inara): Bye.

Eric (as Lawrence): Please leave. Please leave before anybody else sees-

Julia: Kohl just shoves everyone towards the door.

Eric: Okay. So you -

Brandon: [giggling] Did we beat your puzzle, Eric?

Eric: You did something, alright.

[all laughing]

Eric: So you four walk through this winding hallway. You know like on an express subway how it feels like you're skipping stations? It feels like you're doing this in this hallway.

Amanda: Oh no. Are there like small windows into other waiting rooms?

Eric: Yeah and you see people are at different waiting rooms that are ahead of you. And finally there is a door at the end of the hall that is metal and has two bars on it.

[metal door unlatching]

You push open the heavy metal door at the end of the hall, and you walk into what looks like a rec room. There are lazy-boy chairs everywhere, and a pool table, and a foosball table, and a big table that has all these pens, and pencils, and notebooks, and chairs, and inside is a bear.

Brandon: Like a- like a- like a roar bear?

Eric: Yeah, like a big bear. Like a big, brown, two-eared, four-legged bear.

Brandon: Do they seem angry?

Eric: No they seem surprised that you looked upon them. And the bear is sitting in a bean-bag chair on the floor.

Julia: Do I recognize the bear?

Eric: Uh, you-

Julia: From the holiday party?

[all giggling]

Amanda: Oh my god-

Brandon: Did you do karaoke with this bear?

Amanda: You guys did a duet at the holiday party.

Eric: Alright, Kohl, I want you to roll a History check.

Julia: Oh…

Eric: And I want you to remember if you sang with this bear at the holiday party.

Julia: Is that Wisdom or Intelligence, people?

[dice rolling]

Brandon: Intelligence.

Julia: That’s an 18.

Eric: Okay. With an 18 you realize that you did in fact sing karaoke with this bear at the holiday party, and this bear’s name is Milligan. And Milligan is the head writer of CWC, but you have never seen Milligan out- you’ve never talked to them about work before, you’ve only seen them at this holiday party.

Julia (as Kohl): Milligan, buddy! What’s up?!

Eric (as Milligan): Kohl! Oh my god, I didn't even know you were here on this tour! That’s so wild!

Julia (as Kohl): I know, right? They have me fighting Gordon Lighthammer. It’s ridiculous.

Eric (as Milligan): I know. I wrote it.

Julia (as Kohl): So actually that’s kind of what I’m here about.

Eric (as Milligan): I mean, we don't have an appointment until five.

Julia (as Kohl): I know, but it’s kind of important and you know I have press later, so it’s kind of a big deal.

Amanda (as Inara): We just wanted to like prioritize the stuff that’s good for the company. Hi, I’m Inara.

Julia (as Kohl): This is Inara.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hello!

Julia (as Kohl): That’s Tracey.

Eric (as Milligan): Hello Tracey.

Julia (as Kohl): They would actually be really good recruits if we could convince them to manage to get them to stay, but also-

Amanda (as Inara): I don’t know we have a job.

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m really expensive.

Julia (as Kohl): That’s true.

Eric (as Milligan): Well, I have never seen Tracey before, but I recognize you.

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s rude.

Eric (as Milligan): You're the girl with the dog!

Brandon (as Tracey): I was on TV.

Amanda (as Inara): So yeah, that’s the thing, Mister Head Writer sir.

Eric (as Milligan): Mister Head Writer Sir was my father, just call me Milligan.

Brandon (as Tracey): He had better ratings than you did...

Amanda (as Inara): Did your father work here too?

Eric (as Milligan): No he was a bear. Keep up, oh my god, come on.

Brandon (as Tracey): A whole Representative…

Amanda (as Inara): I’m sorry, I’m a little starstruck because I really just love your work and I’m a big fan.

Eric (as Milligan): Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): I’ve been a fan of Kohl’s for - I don’t know how time passes in this universe- like a year probably, at least.

Amanda: Three story arcs so.

Amanda (as Inara): Anyway, I just showed up here yesterday. We’re here looking for our friend. He had kind of an episode I guess you could say, and he ran away from home, and we’re just trying to bring him back before he could hurt himself or anyone else. And I show up to say hi to my friend Kohl, and then suddenly someone’s saying that my dog isn't mine. And that’s just not true.

And I don't know why Mister Golden Screwdriver thought that this was his dog or this was part of the story, but it’s not - she’s my companion. Se’s really the only person I have.

Brandon (as Tracey): Ouch.

Amanda: I was about to shoot you a sympathetic glare.

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean… ouuuuch… my toe. I stubbed it.

Amanda (as Inara): And we just wanted to come to you and talk about it, because I get that he said it and I get that you probably need to do something about it, but I am here, and I am quick, and I am stabby in a way with safe knives, and I am willing to help, but this … we’re not up for grabs.

Julia (as Kohl): Yeah, Millgian, buddy like I understand, I know that wasn't your angle, incorporating the dog for a whoever wins keeps the dog match, but if it’s not something you’re super invested in, I really gotta insist that I win that match.

Eric (as Milligan): Uh… [sighs] I guess it’s one of these meetings huh?

Amanda (as Inara): Also I wanted to bring you a baked delicacy from the Great Green.

Amanda: And Inara brings out a handkerchief full of Oatcakes. And she bows on one knee and presents it to Mulligan.

Eric (as Milligan): How did you know? How did you know I was just going to get up for snacks?

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda (as Inara): I mean everyone needs snacks all the time and these are my best snacks.

Eric (as Milligan): That’s very true. That’s very true. Everyone does need snacks all the time. That’s my motto. I live by that.

Amanda (as Inara): Whoa, me too.

Eric: Milligan reaches out with a meaty paw, and grabs the oatcakes from your hand, and just throws them into his mouth.

Amanda: Handkerchief and all?

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: That’s fine it’s biodegradable.

Eric (as Milligan): Yeah I mean you seem nice and all, but you know, the creative process just kind of takes me where I need to go, so I mean I can’t - if it’s gonna be one of these where you guys -

[Tracey groans loudly]

Julia (as Kohl): Tracey, buddy.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh sorry, what?

Eric (as Milligan): You did that out loud.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, did I?

Julia (as Kohl): Yeah.

Eric (as Milligan): Yeah, definitely.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh… um…

Eric (as Milligan): So since if you're gonna just come in here and tell me what you wanna do, I mean people come in here all the time and tell me what they wanna do, so I can't just like make it happen. I mean Gordon should not have went off script. That was bad. I did not- you gotta follow the thing that I lay out - this whole thing just goes awry.

Eric: Then the bear picks up a pair of glasses that are on the table and puts them on and sits down on one of the office chairs.

Julia (as Kohl): Are those new prescriptions?

Eric (as Milligan): No.

Julia (as Kohl): Oh, they look good. Are they different since the holiday party?

Eric (as Milligan): Yes. Thank you for noticing.

Julia (as Kohl): They look very good.

Eric (as Milligan): That was very nice of you and I know exactly what you're doing! People come in here all the time and tell me what they want to write, what they want to have happen to them.

Julia (as Kohl): Listen, I have been with the company for awhile now and I have asked for nothing. This is one little thing. One little win that I need so that this dude doesn't steal a dog from my friend. I think it’s kind of ridiculous that that’s even an option.

Eric (as Milligan): Well…I mean… that dog is canon.

Amanda (as Inara): What does that mean?

Eric: Milligan spins around on the office chair and slides over to a file cabinet, and he pulls out a bunch of posters, and he lays them out on the table. And each one has Oatcake in a different victorious pose. There's one that’s like green and Oatcake is on two legs raring back. There’s another one with Oatcake with the boxing gloves around her neck and she’s panting and it looks very adorable. There’s one where Oatcake is on top of a cliff and there's dramatic explosions in the back.

Amanda: Is she wearing sunglasses in that one?

Eric: In the fourth one she’s wearing sunglasses.

Amanda: Oh good.

Eric (as Milligan): This was like a huge storyline for me like five years ago.

Amanda (as Inara): Five years ago?

Eric (as Milligan): Yeah, Oatcake- well, I guess you could call her what her real name is - I mean, Lucious has been in the show for like a whole season five years ago. We had all these printed up. Everyone loves a dog. Everyone loves a dog I’m - what am I supposed to do? Dog v. dog. Yeah!

Brandon (as Tracey): [under his breath] Seems like really lazy writing honestly.

Eric (as Milligan): Okay, you know what, that’s just - that’s you see-

Amanda (as Inara): Okay-

Eric (as Milligan): Okay, you know I am still a bear-

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, okay, okay.

Eric (as Milligan): And I can still do bear things to you.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay.

Eric (as Milligan): Okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): Eat some salmon.

Eric (as Milligan): I’ll eat your face like a salmon!

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, Mr. Mulligan.

Eric (as Milligan): Milligan!

Amanda (as Inara): Mr. Milligan.

Eric (as Milligan): Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): We also have beef with someone called Salmon.

Eric (as Milligan): Grr…

Amanda (as Inara): There is a history of deception, and I can tell you that I don't really like that much. I’m sure no one really asks you, what do you want? How can we help you?

Eric (as Milligan): I want this show to go well. So-

Amanda (as Inara): So how would it go maybe if Oatcake here who has rebranded…

Julia (as Kohl): Good, good.

Amanda (as Inara): And taken on a new identity-

Julia (as Kohl): She’s having a heel turn.

Amanda (as Inara): She had a heel turn. Whoa!

Eric (as Milligan): This is a bad dog?

Julia (as Kohl): A bad dog.

Amanda (as Inara): She turned, whoa! And what if she defeats both wrestlers?

Brandon (as Tracey): [gasps] Oh!

Amanda (as Inara): No gloves. No help. No nothin’. She just defeats them and then vanishes off into the mist.

Eric (as Milligan): So you want the dog to win a wrestling match?

Amanda (as Inara): Right, for her own freedom! Who can’t identify with that? You have to win your own autonomy, you have to be your own person, [getting worked up] no matter what your species is! What your gender is! What your background is! WHat you may or may not have done in the past! You deserve recompense!

[Tracey applauding]

Eric: Oatcake jumps out of your arms and flops on the floor.

Amanda: Is she doing a little dust bath on the dusty carpet?

Eric: Yeah she is.

Amanda (as Inara): See? She loves it.

Eric: So, as Inara does that impassioned speech, Tracey, you hear from behind you something go

[mumbling, muttering sound, like “hermhermhermhermherm”]

Brandon: I turn very slowly around, making sure to seem super casual.

[Amanda laughs]

Eric: Okay, so you turn around, and there is nothing behind you. So the room is a rectangle and you walked in from the door and now you are facing the far long wall.

Brandon: Everything seems still?

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon: There’s no movement?

Eric: There’s no movement. And you continue to hear the sound.

[muffled muttering sound]

Brandon: I’m gonna walk up towards the wall, maybe put my ear against it.

[sound gets louder]

Is it louder?

Eric: Yeah. As you get closer and closer. Milligan stands up and says

Eric (as Milligan): Ay! Hey! Let’s - sorry that is the writing side of the office, I need to keep it clean so that when the writing happens, that’s my writing artist space. Just come over. I would - this is my space, please just come back over here. Tracey.

Amanda (as Inara): [forced] Oh Tracey, Tracey, don't let your hands slip.

Brandon (as Tracey): Onto my axe and then cut the wall down?

Amanda (as Inara): Just don’t let that happen.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh no!

Brandon: Tracey- his left foot swings out from his normal position, and then his arm goes back to steady himself but oh no, what’s that, he’s got an axe in his hand, and he comes down and swings it on the wall and there’s a hole in the wall! Oh no!

Eric: I like how you guys spent so much time trying to make Doctor Lunch happen, but now Tracey’s just like, “Yeah I swing at the wall when I hear something!”

[all laughing]

Good. Great. Good Dungeons and Dragons.

Amanda: He’s trying not to trip.

Brandon: I tried- it was so much.

Amanda: Trips and falls are important at his age.

Brandon: And Tracey says

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh it was such a mistake! Oh what have I done! Do you have insurance? I’ll pay for this damage. Oh no…

Eric: Okay I want you to make a - oh my god. I want you to make an attack roll. Because ordinarily I would give this to you because you're just attacking a wall, but you're trying to make this happen, so make an attack roll against the wall.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: 17.

Eric: Okay. With a 17, you [laughing] you “accidentally”-

Amanda: Axe-identally!

Brandon: Axe-identally?

[Amanda laughing]

Eric: Axe-identally… now Julia has to do it.

Julia: No.

Eric: You accidentally drive your axe into the wall [axe going through wall] and Milligan gets down on all fours and growls at you.


Brandon (as Tracey): [sarcastically] Oh, what have I done?

Eric: So right now your axe is just in the wall.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh no…

Brandon: I pull my axe back out.

Eric: Okay.

Amanda: Do you like accidentally twist and cut on your way out?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, absolutely… what have I done?

Eric: Alright, so then Tracey pulls the axe out. Everyone hears now, and Tracey you hear louder,

[muttering noise]

Brandon (as Tracey): Can you even get this wallpaper anymore? Who knows?

Eric: And Tracey as you are facing towards the wall, you see one large, yellow, fishy eye pushed up against the wall and looking right at you.

Brandon (as Tracey): uh…

Amanda (as Inara): Uh…

Brandon (as Tracey): Um…

Brandon: Tracey gets behind Milligan.

Eric (as Milligan): Alright, so nobody say anything. Everyone be quiet. RIght now.

Eric: And the fishy eye moves backwards, and you see the full face attached to that eye. And I want you to imagine that it’s like a fish face with pointy teeth, and big yellow eyes, and gills on either side and it leads down into a stubby human body. And you see one webbed hand reach through the crack at you.

Eric (as Milligan): Don’t. Say. Anything.

[shimmering transition note]

Eric: Hey it’s Eric. Did you know that people are more likely to cry on airplanes? It’s scientifically prove that our brains have a hard time dealing with the fact that we’re in a metal tube flying through the air at thousands of miles per hour and we can’t do anything about it, so our emotions are super heightened. So, if you’re airborne and you feel the tears welling up, don’t fight them, just embrace them! This is the chance for you to cry and no one can say anything because science is telling you to do it. You can watch anything - seriously, anything, an episode of a sitcom, the middle 30 minutes of Ready Player One, the plane swooping across the US on that tiny map there -- and just drop some tears. Welcome to the midroll. The flight attendant brought you extra pretzels!

Welcome to our newest patrons: Michael, Alanna, Orion, Jennifer, Ethan, Katie, and Iriscilla. As you are listening to this, we have just come back from PodCon, which was lovely and amazing and made us grow three sizes on the inside. A few of us were even on panels- I was on one with Griffin McElroy and it’s fine, I’m definitely keeping it together. It’s fine. I’m great. And your support has helped us travel and get to Seattle in the first place because plane tickets and hotels cost money. If you’d like to support us getting in front of people and spreading the good word of inclusive D&D play, please pledge to support Join The Party at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

I’d love to take this time to recommend a new D&D podcast for you to add to your podcast feed. You should be listening to ARCS. “Arcs is an actual-play Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition podcast, in which three unlikely comrades journey across the mystical realm of Thirithia in search of a famed relic! Pretty basic, right?” Maybe, episode description, but I want to hear more. “Well, dear reader… That’s only the beginning.” See look it addressed what I was talking about. Thank you Jordan! “Featuring radio-style production, original music and a lightning pace, Arcs is the perfect show for anyone looking for a hearty sip of comedy, drama, intrigue, and sometimes a dog.”

If that’s not enough- okay this is Eric talking, this is not the episode description anymore - It has Lauren Shippen and Briggon Snow from the Bright Sessions, which we all know are super amazing and Jordan the DM is awesome, obviously did a lot of prep and introduced a dog in the first two episodes! I don’t know what else you want. So just go to wherever you get your podcasts and search for “Arcs” or you can follow them on Twitter @arcspod.

We’re sponsored this week by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, NY. I got a really interesting board game from one Julia Schiffini- it’s called Nyctophobia. There are plenty of board games out there that simulate the inability to see, but what about a game where you actually can’t see, because you’re blindfolded – for real? In Nyctophobia, all of the players except one are blindfolded, with the player who can still see taking on the role of the hunter trying to chase down those left in the dark. This is unique and creepy and made by a female designer, so it is very, very Julia and I’m so ready to tackle this game. And I don’t know where she got it, but I can suspect it could have been 20 Sided Store.

Pick up Nyctophobia and tons of other games at twenty sided store dot com or in person in Brooklyn, NY. Use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY, for 20% off. That’s twenty (the full word) sided store dot com and use our discount code JOINTHEPARTY.

And now, let’s get back to the show.

[shimmering transition note]

Julia: I’m gonna roll a History check.

Eric: You wanna know-

Julia: Or an Arcana check.

Eric: Do an Arcana check.

Julia: A 16 + 2 for 18.

Eric: Okay, Kohl, they are called kuo-toa.

Julia: Kuo-toa?

Eric: Yeah, and you know that these angry little fish boys come in large packs and you notice that as the kuo-toa that was pushed up against the crack in the wall moves backwards, even in the small slit that tracey cut into the wall, you can see that there's like ten fish boys running around in a kiddie pool.

[splashing noises]

Julia: Kohl looks at Inara and then looks at Tracey and just yells

Julia (as Kohl): Oatcake is gonna win the match!

Eric (as kuo-toa): [muttering sound] Herherherherherheher…

Brandon: Eric, is it a literal kiddie pool?

Eric: Yeah, like and you see there’s a crack and it was a one-way window.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh wait, - Oatcake gonna win the match!

[kuo-toa muttering sound gets louder]

Eric (as Milligan): I need- please, I need all of you to please be quiet. I- no, no, no, no, no. Please stop, stop.

Amanda: I’m gonna pull the Stick of Fetching out of the side pocket of my bag and toss it.

Eric: Okay. As soon as you pull out the stick, Oatcake turns around and looks at the stick.

Amanda: With her tail wagging.

Eric: Yeah and you shake it to the right and Oatcake looks to the right, and you shake it to the left and she looks to the left, and you toss it and it sails over Oatcake head and then it disappears, and then Oatcake runs at it and jumps, and pop! [poof sound] disappears.

Amanda: Alright, she’s safe.

Amanda (as Inara): Let’s get to it.

Julia (as Kohl): Okay.

Amanda: And I’m gonna pull out my daggers.

Brandon (as Tracey): What are we getting to?

Julia (as Kohl): I don’t think we need to fight these things.

Eric (as kuo-toa): hermhermhermhermhermherm…

Julia (as Kohl): I know what they are. They're called kuo-toa. When you tell them thighs and there’s a bunch of them, they just make up stuff. They make things like happen.

Eric: And Kohl, you hear the distinct sound of large mechanical equipment explode.

[large explosion]

Amanda (as Inara): Oatcake is going to win. She is the master of her own destiny.

Eric (as Milligan): No please, stop talking about this!

Amanda (as Inara): She is going to destroy Mr. Lighthammer, and she is going to reign supreme, and no one is going to have to come after her because she will be an international dog of mystery, and no one is ever gonna have to talk to her again because her name is Oatcake and she lives with me.

Brandon (as Tracey): And I get free nachos at the event!

Amanda (as Inara): Also soup rivers in every city-state.

Brandon (as Tracey): Every city-state.

Julia (as Kohl): I think that might be too much. We need a valuable water supply.

Amanda (as Inara): These were in a ranked order, and Oatcake is the most important one.

Julia (as Kohl): Also, I can get you nachos at the event for free.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can you?

Amanda (as Inara): Then the nachos. Then the nachos.

Julia (as Kohl): Free nachos for everyone.

Brandon (as Tracey): Nacho river.

Eric: You hear the sound of the kuo-toa are stomping through the kiddie pool and going

Eric (as kuo-toa):  hermhermhermhermhermherm-

Eric: Louder and louder, and you hear more explosions coming from the other side of the broken one-way mirror.

Julia (as Kohl): So I think this was a really successful meeting with Creative, everyone, and I think we should go. Because I have press right now. We need to leave.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah I’m on board with that.

Eric (as Milligan): I mean, not - all of them shouldn't have heard that at the same time. It’s too much! It’s too much!

Julia (as Kohl): Well that’s what you get for using kuo-toa.

Eric (as Milligan): I’m just a bear! I don't know how to write!

Brandon (as Tracey): I freaking knew it.

Julia (as Kohl): Then why are you head of Creative, Milligan?!

Amanda (as Inara): Believe in yourself, man.

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s the glasses, right? People just respect you.

Eric (as Milligan): I am literally a bear.

Eric: And the splashing stops. And through the crack in the wall, you see all of them are looking forward, and you hear a very, very loud growl.

[deep growling]

Julia (as Kohl): Guys, I think we might have made a mistake.

Eric: I want you all to roll Dexterity saving throws.

[dice rolling]

Julia: Well, that’s a no. That’s a 3 my friend.

Amanda: 13.

Brandon: 11… thousand?

Eric: You hear the growl, and you see Milligan hit the deck onto his bear belly.

Brandon: Nice.

Amanda: Nice.

Eric: What up. And the wall that was separating you and the kuo-toa explodes forward.

[glass crashing]

And all of you take [dice rolling] 11 points of damage.


And there is a massive hole where the wall used to be, and standing in front of you growling, drooling, with a long pink tongue lolling out, is a ten foot tall French bulldog.

[Brandon and Amanda gasp]

Amanda (as Inara): Hi, my name’s Ianra! Can I be your friend?

Eric: And the massive dog growls in your face, and it smells very bad.

Julia (as Kohl): This is a pretty good heel-turn though.

Eric (as Milligan): I think all of us need to leave right now. Let’s run!

Eric: And are you gonna put some really jazzy-ass music under this?

[Brandon laughing]

Alright, here’s how running away is going to work. The dog is going to run 60 feet per turn, and is gonna try to catch up with you. [music starts with low cymbal and high choral notes] All of you get the option to dash, but one of you can choose to do an action instead of dashing. And as you remember, dashing is your full speed times two, so for Tracey it would be 80, Kohl would be 60, and then Inara, whatever you’re doing - 80 if you’re on the Grind Machine. Each stage, one of you gets a chance to do an action, but only one of you can. The rest of you will dash instead.

Julia: Awesome.

Eric: Alright, Stage One: The Hallway!

[synth theme]

You have a fifty feet head start on the massive dog. Milligan, he runs headfirst into the heavy metal door and -

Amanda: Oh no, is he okay?

Eric: He just keeps going.

Julia: He’s a bear!

Eric: You three with Alabaster trailing behind, spring through the door. The massive Oatcake shoves itself through the tiny door and follows behind. Who’s gonna take an action?

Amanda: I think that would be me.

Eric: Alright.

[bass line and electric beat build in music]

Amanda: I let my companions run past me including MIlligan and Alabaster, and take a pose with like one hand in front of me, one foot behind, and I tear the dog patch off of my cloak using my dagger, and hold it out in front of me.

Julia: Yay!

Eric: [chanting] Dog patch! Dog patch!

All [joining in chant]: Dog patch! Dog patch! Dog patch!

Eric: Inara, like the patches you pulled off before, you put one hand behind the dog patch, and you feel like you're literally pulling something forward as you lift this off of your robe, and as you fully remove it and toss it in front of you, a spectral bulldog appears in between you and Oatcake.

Julia: Cerberus!

Brandon: They're like fifty feet tall.

Eric: No it is just a regular sized doge that has three heads and is like all blue and ethereal. And they get right up in each others faces, and then just growls at each other, [growling] and both of them are in a dead stop. They are locked eyes at each other. Amanda, I want you to make an Animal Handling check and I’m gonna give you +5.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 17 + 1 + 5 is a 23.

Eric: Alright, I rolled lower than that. Okay, so as the massive Oatcake tries to take one step forward, the ethereal three-headed dog shifts to the left, and he tries to take with his other hand, and it shifts to the right, and then the bulldog backs away and comes to sit at your feet. Inara, if you mess up or you get within attacking range by the massive monster, this Cerberus will protect you for one time.

Julia: That’s a solid pup.

Amanda: I am promptly going to turn and run toward my companions and the doge can follow me.

Eric: Okay, are you on the Grind Machine?

Amanda: I am on the Grind Machine, so my speed is now 40 instead of 30.

Eric: Alright, you're all running. I want you all to make - just roll the d20.

[dice rolling]

Julia: That’s a 6.

Amanda: A 2.

Brandon: Now, in the course of this…

Eric: Brandon, what did you roll?

Amanda: Now in the course of human events…

Brandon: I got a crit-1.

Eric: Aw nuts. So all of you are running down the hallway. All of a sudden, someone throws open a door and sticks their head out, and it is the aarakocra from before with the very deep voice.

Eric (as Lawrence): What are you doing here?

Julia: Goddamnit, Lawrence!

Eric (as Lawrence): I just don't know what's happening and oh my god there’s such a large dog there!

Amanda (as Inara): Help us escape, Lawrence, is there a trap door or something?

Eric (as Lawrence): What? No. This is the trap door.

Amanda (as Inara): Lawrence, what is your fire plan? This is a fire marshall emergency!

Eric (as Lawrence): Just get out of here! I don't know what-

Eric: And I’m gonna subtract 20 feet from all of you.

Amanda: Aw thanks fam.

Julia: That’s most of my stuff.

Amanda: You’re great. We’re friends. Let’s hang out afterward. We can get ramen.

Julia: I do want ramen…

Eric: Alright, Inara, you are ten feet ahead of the monster, but you have your ethereal doge. Kohl, you have 30 feet, and Tracey you are a cool 50 feet ahead of the dog.

Stage 2: The stairs!

[synth theme]

Julia: Hey, you know what really helps when you're going down stairs?

Brandon: Going slowly and carefully?

Julia: Light!

Brandon: Oh.

Eric: Oh no.

Amanda: True.

Julia: Kohl casts Darkness.

[Amanda laughing]

Eric: Tracey, you kick open a heavy door and you start running down just these back-entrance stairs.

[Tracey screaming]

Kohl, you turn around, and you cast this magical darkness. What does it look like when you cast magic?

Julia: It kind of looks like when you drop ink into water. It hits there and then it spreads out and there's just nothing that can penetrate it.

Eric: Nice. I like it. From your hands?

Julia: Yeah.

Eric: Nice. Unfortunately, Inara and Alabaster are behind you. So Inara, make a Dexterity saving throw, and I’m gonna make one for Alabaster and for the big doge.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: I got a 15 + 7 for a 22.

Brandon: That’s very good.

Eric: Okay, I got a 5 for Alabaster.

Julia: Oh no!

Amanda: Oh Al!

Julia: My poor boy!

Amanda: Darling.

Eric: So now…

Amanda: Is he not pale enough that he glows a little in the dark?

Eric: Not in magical darkness. But the dog also rolled pretty poorly.

Julia: Good.

Eric: So Inara, you keep your feet under you and you stay low to the ground like a rogue should. It’s so weird.

Amanda: Weirdly I do some things rogues should sometimes.

Eric: That’s true. You hear a very loud metal just clunking down the stairs [metal parts clunking together] and then loud soft thumps from the dog just tumbling down the stairs.

Julia: Oh Alabaster, I’m so sorry buddy.

Eric: Alabaster takes [dice rolling]-

Brandon: His time down the stairs and does very well.

Amanda: Aw. He tried.

[dice rolling]

Julia: There’s so many rolls happening here!

Eric: He got hurt. Alabaster takes 11 points of damage.

Amanda: Oh, Al.

Julia: I can also fix him.

Eric: The dog tumbled down the stairs, keeping some space between you and the massive dog. I want you all to roll another d20.

[dice rolling]

Julia: That’s a 10!

Brandon: 12.

Amanda: I got a crit-1.

Julia: Oh buddy.

Eric: Oh no. Inara is so confident that she can run down the stairs no matter if she can see or not, and she doesn't even have to touch the guardrail, that she turns back to see how the massive Oatcake is doing and she loses her footing. I want you to make a Dexterity saving throw right now.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 11 + 7. 18.

Eric: Okay, how do you catch yourself when you fall?

Amanda: So I’m on the Grind Machine going down stairs. And-

Eric: Oh that's right you're on a skateboard [laughing]

Amanda: Yes I am. I sure am. And I guess I forgot that, because the Grind Machine kind of catches a lip of one of the stairs and I somersault forward, but manage to sort of land on my back, grab the Grind Machine on top of - over my head, plunk it down, somersault back onto the Grind Machine, kick off.

Eric: Nice, just like a 360 Christ Air. Good perfect.

Julia: Wow that’s some Tony Hawk bullshit.

Amanda: With a little floor involved, but yeah.

Eric: And then you connect it with a manual and then you do like a 360 nose flip.

Amanda: Yup, I hit B-B-B-B L-R-A-down-up-left. And then I’m good.

Eric: And scene. Tracey is far ahead of the pack, 70 feet away. Kohl and Inara are 30 feet away, and Alabaster is trailing behind 20 feet with the big doge bearing down on them.

Amanda: Yeah, but Al’s trying. Al’s trying really hard.

Julia: My poor son is trying his best.

Eric: He is. And you still have a spectral doge behind you.

Amanda: Okay.

Eric: Stage 3: The Lobby!

[synth theme]

Tracey, you kick open the next door and you are led back to the lobby where Trent is like

Eric (as Trent): Did you get-

Brandon (as Tracey): Trent, there is a large dog trailing behind us and we need to leave immediately.

Eric (as Trent): I said no dogs! What are you doing with dogs?

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s not our dog!

[all talking at once]

Brandon (as Tracey): I literally just said no dogs!

Amanda (as Inara): Goodbye, Trent!

Eric: And as Trent says, “I said no dogs”- [laughing] the massive French bulldog just busts through the wall [sound of dog crashing through wall] and he’s like

Eric (as Trent): No dogs!

Amanda: Aw, Trent.

Eric: Alright, does anyone wanna do an action?

Amanda: Inara’s going to take a magic marble out of the bag of them in the side pocket of my pack, and I’m gonna turn around, stop in my tracks, hold it up, and both Cerberus and the big doggo look at me, and I’m gonna say

Amanda (as Inara): Huh? Huh? You want it? And fetch!

Amanda: And I’m gonna throw it onto the other end of the lobby.

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks, Cerb!

Amanda: Turn around and run.

Eric: Okay, I want you to make an Animal Handling check.

[dice rolling]

Julia: Come on…

Amanda: It’s a 4 + 1 for a 5.

Eric: Okay. Everything you said is true. The massive French bulldog jumps for it and bumps through the wall on the far side of the lobby [crashing of wall and glass]. And Trent goes

Eric (as Trent): No, my wall!

Eric: You all make a break for it.

Amanda (as Inara): Sorry, Trent!

Eric: You guys are fully out of the building. This is very much like an office park district. [sounds of traffic and the street] There are alleys that snake in between all of the buildings, but really there’s one main street that heads back towards the way you came. There are like some street vendors, but there aren't a lot of stores. This is where people go in Infropolis to go to work. So as you three are running by one of the street vendors, you all hear

Eric (as street vendor): No, my fire sauce!

Eric: And flames burst out of the meat cart, and I need all of you to make a Dexterity saving throw.

Amanda: God-

[dice rolling]

Julia: It’s a 12.

Amanda: 15.

Brandon: Um, 3.

Julia: Jesus.

[Eric giggles]

Eric: Kohl and Tracey, you are too busy looking at the meat cart because you're a little bit hungry and you get scorched, and you both take 8 points of damage.

Amanda: Goddamn.

Brandon (as Tracey): Is it at least like a flavorful heat?

Eric: Oh, you got a nice braise going. And Inara, you deftly jump out of the way of the flames.

All three of you hear more loud low growling [growling] and the massive Oatcake has burst back onto the street, holding the tiny marble in its mouth and it is making a beeline towards Inara.

Amanda: I just realized that’s a choking hazard and I’m sorry.

Eric: It closes the gap between the building and Inara and Kohl, Alabaster, and Inara are all gonna get attacked. So I rolled a 20, so everybody takes 30 points of damage.

Brandon: That is a lot of damage.

Julia: That is - Kohl’s at -

Brandon: I am sorry my friends.

Eric: All three of you get munched in very, very large dog jaws and it hurts and it also smells.

Julia: Hey Kohl’s at 7 health points.

Eric: This is Stage 4: The Street.

[synth theme]

So after you guys get munched, you go back to being 20 feet ahead of the dog. So Kohl, Alabaster, and Inara are all 20 feet ahead of the dog. Tracey is -

Brandon: Selfish. He’s so far away.

Eric: Tracey starts 40 feet away from the dog.

Julia: So Kohl’s going to take an action.

Eric: Do it.

Julia: She’s going to look next to her and she is going to put a arm around Inara’s waist, and she’s going to hit a button on her chest, and her jetpack is going to emerge.

Amanda and Brandon: WHAT?!

Eric: Yeah, what does you jetpack look like, doge?

Julia: It looks like basically Buzz Lightyear.

Eric: Great.

Amanda: Nice.

Julia: But a little bit more steampunk-y so like less colored white and green, and more just super rusty and looking cool as hell.

Brandon (as Tracey): You can fly?!

Julia: And so with the jetpack I can move 50 feet instead of 30. And with Inara-

Amanda: Icon.

Julia: I’m not doing more than 200 feet, so I can do whatever I want.

Amanda: Icon.

Eric: Okay, so Alabaster is just gonna have to tough it out down there.

Amanda: Aw, buddy.

Julia: I’ll fix him later.

Eric: So you’re just like zooming through this city street, and all these office workers are just stepping out for their lunchtime, so they see [laughing]- they see a robot man sprinting as fast as he can, a tiefling with a jetpack zooming by with a tiny cloaked figure, and then right afterwards is a massive, snarling, 20-foot-tall Oatcake. Is that correct?

Julia: Yes.

Eric: I just wanna make sure-

Brandon: Eh, it’s a-

Eric: It sounds about right.

Brandon: It’s every Tuesday.

Eric: So Kohl and Inara zoom up ahead, and you don’t have to worry about any obstacle this round. Brandon, roll a d20.

Brandon: Oh, hell yeah 17.

Eric: Alright, yeah, there was going to be a whole bunch of people streaming out to look at the Oatcake, but I want you to stop them and get them to safety. How do you do it?

Brandon: I say

Brandon (as Tracey): You there! Stop! Call 911!

Eric: Get an AED!

Alright, this is Stage 5: The Alleyway!

[synth theme]

Tracey, you hit a dead end, because you know in the financial district streets just end.

Amanda: They do.

Eric: And you see that there is an alley to your left, and you take a hard left. And everyone zooms behind you.

Julia: I do have one more thing. And it’s my voice changer. And what I wanna do is I wanna take my voice and I wanna up the frequency and the octave real, real, real high, and just scream at the dog to leave.

Eric: So I think that’s gonna be a Constitution saving throw for me. You pull this megaphone-looking thing out of your backpack, and the speaker looks exactly like a megaphone, but the back of it has this weird goofy smile which is attached to the speaker, like it’s laughing open-mouthed, and there's a little trigger button where you put your hand.

Julia: Kohl holds it up to her mouth and squeezes the trigger, and just screams.

Eric: Okay, I’m gonna do a Constitution - a Constitution save.

Julia: That’s 11 for me.

Eric: Oh no, I rolled higher. I rolled a 19.

Julia: I tried. I tried so hard.

Eric: So, you scream into your voice changer as loud as you can. Inara, you have to cover your ears because it is just too too high. And the dog just barrels through with its mouth wide, wide open.

Julia (as Kohl): Well that didn't work as well as I’d hoped.

Eric: Inara, I want you to make a Dexterity saving throw.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 15 + 7 for 22.

Eric: Oh hell yeah.

Julia: Beautiful. Killin’ it.

Eric: So as the dog barrels forward, it reaches one paw up and swats Inara and Kohl and the jetpack out of the air. Inara, with your Dexterity saving throw, you manage to roll out of the jetpack, but you still take 9 points of falling damage.

Julia: Does Kohl also take 9 points of falling damage?

Eric: Kohl takes more than that.

[dice rolling]

Yeah you take 15 points of falling damage.

Julia: Well, Kohl’s knocked out.

Eric: Okay.

Amanda: So, I’m an assassin. And as part of the Assassin’s Guild that I maybe or maybe not am in, I have something called Faction Safe Haven, where I have support from the faction of assassins that I’m in related to my chosen skill which in my case is Survival.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: So the minute I hit the ground, I am going to drag Kohl’s body towards the edge of the alleyway that I’m in, and look around to hope that someone has seen this chase happening and is here to realize that I am one of them.

Eric: Yeah, about ten feet to your left you see that there is a wooden door down a flight of stairs, and a wooden door, and the wooden door opens from the inside. [door unlatching]

Amanda: As we turn down the side of the alleyway, I look around and orient myself. I see that door, I see it open toward me and realize that anything will be better than the danger that we are currently exposed to.

So as we roll I’ll use our momentum to dag Kohl towards that door, drag her down the stairs as I walk down the stairs backward and into the wooden door toward whatever awaits us.

Eric: TRacey, you are way too far. You have made it so far gone from your friends. You turn around and you don't see Inara, you don't see Koh, you just heard the sound of all this heavy metal crashing into the ground, and it’s just you and a hundred feet, and this massive, snarling, monstrous dog.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, okay, I got this. I got this. I can do this. [shouting] Let’s go!

Eric: And the dog goes down on its front legs and drools on the ground, snarling one more time, and you hear someone calling from behind it.

Eric (as voice): Hey! Hey! Here boy! Here boy! Come here! I got this really good ball for you! I have it! I got a good ball!

Eric: And the dog turns around and you hear the sound of - you know one of those vortex footballs that does a little whistle as you throw it? You hear it go “theeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” and the dog just scampers away running after it.

[music stops]

And standing behind where the monstrous dog used to be is a tall, green orc woman who makes eye contact with you and says

Orc woman: You know, I don’t do this for free.

[theme music]