Getting into wrestling, building Alonzo’s and Kohl’s character sheets, and Julia’s experience on the mic. This is the Afterparty, 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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Cast & Crew
- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver
- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle
- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin
- Multitude: multitude.productions
Julia: Hey, Hi, Hello! Welcome to the Afterparty. I’m a new voice.
Eric: Who are you?!
Julia: I’m Julia!
Eric: Oh hello Julia.
Brandon: That’s Julia.
Eric: Oh that’s Julia?!
Brandon: She’s right there.
Julia: I’m gonna lead into the Afterparty because Amanda is currently a puddle of emotions and mess on the floor [Amanda groaning in the background] because of Alonzo and Oatcake.
Amanda: I can’t…
Brandon: It was hard to reposition her mic so she could lay on the floor and still speak.
Julia: It’s pretty impressive.
Amanda: But Brandon did a really good job. This arm bends in floor places.
Julia: [singing a jingle] Audio editing.
Brandon: Amanda, what are you feeling? How are you doing? Talk to me.
Julia: You okay?
Brandon: Tell me about all the things.
Amanda: No. No, bud. My fictional dog once belonged to someone else and I can’t deal with it.
Brandon: I have an idea.
Brandon: Do you want Eric and Julia just to talk about wrestling so we don't have to talk about it?
Eric: I will say this was my plan all along.
Julia: That is true. I can confirm.
Eric: So it’s not like I ruined- I just decided to ruin Amanda.
Amanda: That’s even worse. You decided to make-
Eric: No! I don't - You made like an emotional connection with this dog and I want you to know that I’m not like punishing you for loving Oatcake.
Amanda: No I know, but it’s worse because you gave me a thing to love that you knew would be taken away.
Eric: Well we also did talk about this before. The way that you got Oatcake in the chase episode, I had a massive table of things that could have happened during the chase.
Amanda: Oh no, I’m sure that this has been a long standing like DM trick of yours, caper, a little DM caper. [Eric laughing] A little DM long con.
Brandon: A DM caper.
Amanda: A little DM crime. A little DM crime of the heart. A little DM emotion crime.
Brandon: Do monsters, be crime?
Julia: She’s really mad right now.
Amanda: No I just- I don’t want my baby to be taken from me.
Brandon: DId you always have a character named Lighthammer planned?
[all laugh while Eric giggles]
Eric: Okay so this is what happened. When we started talking about bringing on guests, I definitely wanted Julia to come back because Kohl was someone that we just really didn't get into because Tracey just kind of wrecked shop, and now we kind of have an artificer.
Brandon: Understandably wrecked shop.
Eric: Understandably wrecked shop. Now that we’ve gotten into the laws of robotics, it's definitely more in, but now that you are an artificer, it’s like I always wanted to bring Kohl bak.
Eric: So I was thinking that we had this opportunity, and I wanted Alabaster to be finished. Somehow this thing is gonna come back and Julia loves wrestling. I’ve recently gotten into the idea of it, and just like- I haven't really watched that much, but I’ve seen so much-
Amanda: Ah, that’s how it starts.
Julia: That’s how it starts.
Brandon: It’s just like he’s in bed at 11 in the morning and he’s like, “Huh. Wrestling. It’s good. I like it.”
Julia: “I could get into that.”
Eric: The creativity and the line between real and fake is similar to the way that we deal with role-playing. It’s kind of like flipped. It’s like role-playing, you should believe is fantasy, but it feels real, while wrestling is like it feels real, but it’s definitely fake.
Julia: We call it the kayfabe.
Eric: The kayfabe yes.
Brandon: I’m sorry, what? It’s fake?
Amanda: Huh? What?
Brandon: I thought that was just in the fantasy?
Eric: No wrestling is real; in fantasy wrestling, it’s fake.
Amanda: I thought Creative was a sorcerer who I could kill.
Eric: They might be!
Julia: I mean, we wish. We’re pretty sure that Vince McMahon is a witch.
Eric: Yeah that’s entirely possible.
Amanda: So this is the deal is that wrestlers are incredible athletes, and the plots of the matches are pre-determined.
Julia: Yes, and they are also usually pretty great actors.
Julia: Because they have to-
Amanda: They have to sell the hits, and the falls, and the whole situation.
Julia: And they have to cut promos which is basically like speeches that they make either in the ring by themselves, or against an opponent, to kind of get you hyped for the matches.
Amanda: Right, it's like a soap opera.
Brandon: That is my ultimate fear.
Amanda: Oh no.
Julia: That’s fair.
Amanda: It’s like a Titans battle. It’s like a battle of personalities, And the way that the things play out, like I argue Quidditch serves in Harry Potter-
Brandon: Oh no.
Amanda: Is a stage upon which for interpersonal rivalries to be played out.
Brandon: But you mean Quidditch as like the fiction within the story, like the actual physical novel.
Brandon: Not like the sport within the actual fantasy world.
Eric: No, that’s why it doesn't have any good rules, and why it always comes down to one person winning, so that it exemplifies Harry versus a specific person.
Amanda: Right, right, like do we think that someone of Hamlet’s station would ever have been left alone in a castle like that? No, he definitely had like a livery, and a man servant, and a dresser, and a nursemaid, and like ten servants who never would have left that poor, depressed boy alone.
Brandon: So John Cena’s a wrestler?
Julia: Yes! He is!
Amanda: Is that where jorts come from?
Julia: You wouldn't know though, because you can’t see him. His time is now, but you can’t see him.
Brandon: He’s invisible?
Eric: He’s always invisible. So, this is why I wanted to bring in Julia, because I thought that this would be a really interesting way to introduce her and also to get you guys oriented within Infropolis, and pulling a lot of different threads at the same time.
Julia: Do we have a name for the party yet?
Eric: Oh shit, I didn't say the name of the party!
Eric: Oh shit, it’s Hunting Party.
Amanda: Oh no. Oh no.
Brandon: Oh no. Are we - do they hunt foxes or are foxes part of the party?
Julia: No, they hunt those foxes, boy.
Brandon: Are we hunting foxes in a large group of rich white people?
Eric: No, that’s not what’s happening.
Amanda: I think we’re the hunted, buddy.
Brandon: That’s not good.
Brandon: I don’t like that. Or are we hunting Alonzo?
Amanda: That too.
Julia: Or is someone hunting Oatcake?
Eric: Oh god.
Amanda: Also, Alonzo- god I feel so bad. Oh no there’s so many emotions.
Brandon: Yeah, I did almost break his arm, which I do feel a little bad about.
Amanda: I feel a little bit vindicated that there was some moment of recognition there, you know, some moment of lucidity. Julia and I actually recorded Season 2, Episode 8 of Waystation today, our Lost Girl fancast, where the protagonist has like a super saiyan moment of like rising up, and having glowing eyes, and talking with a demonic voice about how powerful she could be and all-wielding- anyway so we locked eyes when Eric was describing Alonzo's monologue like, “[gasps] what? Did he know?!”
Eric: I’ve kind of laid out a lot of stuff that I’ve been working on in this campaign. I mean, how do you feel about what the Speaker has told you?
Amanda: Oh yeah, you mean that world-changing exposition that happened at the beginning of the episode?
Brandon: Let’s bold it out. What did she really tell us that we didn't already know?
Amanda: Existential threat to the universe imprisoned by the stars.
Brandon: Called the Council of Bright.
Eric: It connected the dots for you. I realized that you guys have had all these pits of information, but you didn't know they were necessarily correlated in any way.
Amanda: Yeah, we knew the stars were holding something together, right like we knew that they were going out obviously because of Alonzo, we knew the Council of Bright predated much of what they should have, and now we know how all those things fit together.
Brandon: And apparently this Big Bad evil possibly created my species?
Amanda: Yeah, you're an angel, an alien, something like that my dude.
Brandon: Cool. I’ve always wanted to be an ancient alien angel.
Eric: You're some kind of interdimensional star child.
Amanda: He’s all eyes down there.
Eric: Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think the only thing that you really learned was that it was an astral prison, which goes along with what Ze’ol shows you guys before with the five people coming together and putting the stuff in the sky.
Brandon: I don't quite understand why Alonzo was so just ravenously upset, you know what I mean? Was he just totally upset about being locked in a room for like the upteenth time kind of thing?
Amanda: I assume that there was some kind of inciting incident, that someone said something to maybe he saw us walking around or he returned back and there must have been something that either directly made him lose his cool or gave him information that he interpreted in a way that put him over the edge.
Amanda: He also had that encounter with the unicorn and we didn't see him after that, so we don't know when that happened. Ee don't know what happened between then and now.
Brandon: Someone was like, “Cool arrows, bro,” and then he was like, “I’ll show you!” and then it happened.
Eric: Well, the thing with the unicorn happened and then he went Super Saiyan and now he has this aura around him.
Amanda: So he’s just been in that state since?
Eric: Yeah, you can only assume. The two times you’ve seen him going Super Saiyan was after the unicorn thing where the unicorn wrecked his shit, and now there’s only one star left.
Brandon: So he shot an arrow and left his room after the unicorn thing, then the next time we saw him was back in the castle, right?
Brandon: So we have no idea where he went and what he did?
Amanda: Or if he stayed that way or if it happened again, we’re not sure.
Eric: I would say that remember the first time he used the portal, another star went out, and now you're at one.
Brandon: So we’re out of stars is what you're telling me?
Eric: You have one more.
Amanda: Looks like we’re gonna be taking the long road home from Infropolis, huh?
Brandon: … anyway, so the Undertaker was also a wrestler.
Julia: He was! He still is.
Amanda: I also just wanted to yell “portals” this whole time like Jason in the Good Place. Portals!
Eric: Portals! Hey, did you notice that Alonzo was a little bit different when he like, with his fights, big fights?
Brandon: Yeah, he like shot at us.
Amanda: Yeah, he was good.
Eric: I always had this, but I’ve actually started building out Alonzo’s character sheet for the first time.
Eric: And I actually used the Arcane Archer subclass, which is in Xanathar’s.
Brandon: You have refused to tell me for a year and a half what his class and race is.
Brandon: So now you just drop it on me like it’s nothing?
Brandon: You’re such a bitch.
Julia: Well, we still don’t know his race.
Eric: He’s a human.
Brandon: So what are some of the special features? Maybe not for Alonzo, so you don't spoil anything, but-
Eric: Oh there's stuff for Alonzo which we actually did not explore.
Brandon: Got it.
Eric: Alonzo is kind of a Super Saiyan so there’s a lot going on with him, but the Arcane Archer is really cool, so it actually in Xanathar’s is based on magic arrows, so it’s like these arrows are made through magic means like the arrows he picked up in Pool Party.
Brandon: Were they actually magic?
Amanda: Yeah, I’m regretting my actions.
Eric: Do I wanna spill all this? Yeah, fuck it. Yeah, and a lot of this has been around Alonzo trying to figure this out. I think he’s finally put it together just like I put it together from Xanathar, you get something called Curving Shot which is what happened to Inara, when you miss an attack roll with an arrow, you can use a bonus action to reroll against a different target.
Brandon: So that’s why it hit Inara.
Eric: That’s why it hit Inara.
Brandon: That’s extremely rude.
Eric: Oops. The Arcane Archer can also use these magic shots, which is a lot of the stuff Alonzo has done. He’s used the banishment stuff before, like he did the ooze and then he did it to Tracey. There’s that arrow that took a hard right that one time, and that was another one that like tracks things. So he has some magic shots that we actually haven't really gotten into, and then he’s also a fighter, so he has Action Surge, he has Second Wind, he has all this cool stuff.
Brandon: Which I forgot to ask about, so he banishes people to Ze’ol’s realm?
Eric: That wasn't Ze’ol’s realm.
Amanda: Some kind of unearthly transitory place.
Eric: Do you want me to tell you where it’s from? Where you were?
Brandon: Yeah, I want you to tell me.
Eric: Yeah, you went to the feywild.
Brandon: Who was laughing?
Julia: The fey!
Eric: The fey! The magic elves that live there. They all laughed at you.
Brandon: What is the feywild?
Eric: What is it?
Brandon: For maybe someone who doesn't know what the feywild is, you should explain that.
Amanda: Hypothetically in the distance, in some place. Certainly not your player who plays an elf.
Eric: Hey Amanda, what’s a fey?
Amanda: Well you can listen to Episode 100 of Spirits.
Brandon: There’s a link right- wait… up in the right-hand corner now.
Amanda: The fey is an umbrella term for all kinds of other-worldly or extra-worldly creatures. Julia told me.
Brandon: Hey, we have someone who knows a lot of mythological history stuff.
Brandon: What's the feywild?
Julia: It’s basically, the fey are a type of spirit usually from a culture that has been influenced by Christianity to the point where they needed to take their deities and make them not gods anymore.
Julia: So usually the fey, if we’re going from the English, Irish, Scottish, terminology they are powerful spirits who kind of fuck around with human affairs sometimes.
Brandon: Powerful spirits, wink wink.
Julia: Wink, wink.
Amanda: Wink wink. Like whiskey.
Julia: Like whiskey and booze.
Brandon: Oh I meant like your podcast [laughing]
Eric: It’s all the same. It’s all the same. But yeah, he’s used that before but I thought it would be fun to send Tracey there.
Brandon: So just some jerk was laughing at me?
Eric: Like the spirits in the feywild yeah.
Amanda: The collective jerk-
Julia: It was Oberon - he was like ha-ha you idiot.
Brandon: That’s very mean.
Eric: They are very mean.
Julia: They're kinda dicks.
Brandon: Why are they so mean?
Eric: Because they're magic people.
Julia: Because it’s fun.
Brandon: I didn't do anything to them.
Amanda: Because Christianity has to subvert local deities and demons in order to establish dominance.
Julia: As Amanda likes to say, lol it’s pagan, it’s fine.
Eric: Hey Julia.
Eric: How’d you like being a player again?
Julia: I like being a player.I have a campaign wit some folks over Skype call because they're all in California, so it’s nice to be able to sit at a table and play again.
Amanda: And watch me-
Brandon: This is our table!
Julia: It’s nice!
Amanda: And watch me slowly eat a bento box in between lines.
Brandon: That’s the experience you don't get over Skype.
Julia: That’s true.
Brandon: So what was the difference between when you were on previously and Eric sort of fed you lines or sort of put you on rails a little bit, versus this experience now?
Julia: I mean, I think I have more experience actually playing now, so getting to play Kohl and like having a little bit of just knowing where the plot is going, but also being able to kind of do what I want with it - it’s a lot more fun. Not that it wasn't fun the first time, Eric.
Eric: No! It’s totally different though!
Amanda: It must have been a year ago.
Julia: It was, yeah.
Eric: It was just kind of a joke at the time that I’m like, “Yeah fuck it let’s shove Julia into that tiny studio that we’re in.”
Julia: Yeah, I sat on a desk.
Eric: We just wanted her there just to have some fun, so now Kohl has a character sheet for the first time, which is tight as hell.
Julia: Yeah, Kohl has one and Al has one.
Julia: Al has a character sheet where his class and race just says “Wrestle Boy.”
Eric: Oh I love Alabaster so much.
Brandon: What is Alabaster? Is he-
Julia: He’s technically a construct.
Brandon: So is he like a warforged-esque, or like where do the stats come from?
Julia: So the stats when you create a construct as an artificer-
Eric: Level Six.
Julia: Which you can do at Level Six.
Brandon: Oh, okay.
Julia: You can take the stats I think from any Large beast.
Brandon: I think it’s Challenge Rating 2 or lower.
Eric: So what we did - I didn't like what the Artificer had for Kohl, because the Artificer is just Unearthed Arcana and they just have the Alchemist, which is very sort of plague doctor, and then we have the straight-up gunsmith, which is what Tracey is running with, which is also like run and gun, it fit with the Mega Man-esque thing Tracy was trying to do, which I liked.
It didn't really fit what I wanted for Kohl, so we made some changes. Instead of her class archetype stuff I gave her some magic items that we steampunked out.
Julia: Which shall be revealed later because I want it to be a surprise.
Brandon: It’s all cloaks. They're all super gay cloaks.
Eric: Pretty much.
Julia: It’s just all gay clothing. It’s really weird.
Eric: And she still has her gun. There was that gun that she had-
Julia: I did have a thunder cannon.
Eric: But it’s not as good as Tracey’s.
Brandon: Thank you for making my ego intact.
Eric: Well because you’re a gunsmith and she’s not.
Julia: Well I think it’s also important to note I’m a lower level than you guys.
Julia: I’m a Level 6.
Amanda: I’m Level 10 and Tracey is broken out into two parts.
Brandon: Level 5 Barbarian and Level 5 Artificer.
Julia: You guys went out into the world and got experience and Kohl was like, “Mah mah mah” and made a construct.
Amanda: “I’m being a wrestler.”
Brandon: So the campaign that you're running with the folks in California, is that your first- that’s your second campaign you've ever played?
Julia: Second, because we did one with Eric and Eric Schneider and my now husband Jake, and Amanda, and-
Julia: That was all of us, right?
Eric: The one where I made Julia cry.
Julia: Yeah, in our fifth thing because someone couldn't show up and you're like, “We’re doing a side plot, also your dad is now a monster.”
Amanda: That’s true. That is what happened.
Julia: Cool, thanks.
Eric: It’s very good.
Brandon: How is playing D&D different on mic with us at a table versus-
Amanda: Over a mic.
Brandon: Over a mic-
Amanda: But not for podcasts.
Brandon: On Skype.
Julia: I mean it feels very similar because you guys are my friends and it’s just like we're all hanging out. I feel like my actions have more consequence now though.
Brandon: You could break our world now.
Julia: I can, I could break your world. I know the mythology. I know how to break it.
Eric: It’s already been broken plenty of times before.
Amanda: So many times!
Julia: Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. I’m really enjoying it.
Eric: Good, we love having you here. And we’ll get you for the next episode as well.
Amanda: Brandon, tell me, what new features came with your double Level 5?
Amanda: Snake eyes!
Brandon: Snake eyes.
Julia: That’s not snake eyes.
Eric: No it’s not. So I leveled both of you up two, so Inara you’re taking two more levels in Rogue, but Brandon you’re taking two more levels in Artificer. So Inara is now a Level 10 Rogue, and Brandon is now five levels in Barbarian and five levels in Artificer.
Brandon: Correct. So, with Level 4 and 5 I get an ability score improvement, which I’ve added to my Intelligence and… something. Most important Intelligence. I also get Infused Magic, Superior Attunement, and Wondrous Inventions.
Amanda: Superior Attunement!
Julia: Dude, Infused Magic is so much fun!
Eric: It’s very good.
Brandon: Yeah, so Infused Magic is the ability, so I can take a non-magic item, so like I don't know, a rock, or a stick, and infuse it with a spell I have, so I can take - I don’t know, Cure Wounds, I can make it a curing wounds rock and give it away to someone.
Amanda: Oh, little spell bombs.
Julia: This is literally a “Hello from the Magic Tavern” thing where he has healing rocks and he just throws them at people and they heal.
Brandon: Exactly. That’s exactly it.
Eric: The only way you heal stuff with your Sawbone and now your healing rock is by hurting people to get them good-
Amanda: Eh, it’s a metaphor.
Julia: Damn alright.
Brandon: So that’s really fun, and -
Amanda: It’s a metaphor for therapy Julia, you gotta just really dig into the hurt a little bit to get better.
Julia: That’s fair.
Brandon: And I also have Wondrous Invention, which I’m gonna wait until we get to it or it comes up in the story to talk about what I’ve made, but also the next big things for Tracey is to learn and really master the building of things like him.
Eric: Listen, you're gonna be- since you are a Level 5 Artificer and Kohl is Level 6, you're gonna eventually get to build a companion like Alabaster.
Amanda: Might take a while.
Julia: Mechanical Servant I think is the actual terminology from Unearthed Arcana.
Julia: Which is a shitty title because they don't have to be a servant.
Brandon: True. And also attunement is dumb so we don't do it, bye!
Eric: We want as many magic items as possible!
Amanda: Well I got a little cool thing that can happen in combat. As a Rogue, one of the things I’ve had is called Cunning Action, where I can as my bonus action in combat: dash, hide, or disengage, which would normally be an action. In my case it now qualifies as the bonus action.
But now at Level 10 I have Fast Hands, which means I can use that Special Bonus Action to make a Dex check to use my Thieves’ Tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or to take the Use an Object action. Eric is shaking his head.
Julia: You’ve just got so many hands.
Eric: It’s so sick. I’m so jealous of this.
Amanda: I’ve got those Rogue hands.
Brandon: Or you can set up a shell game on the side of the street.
Amanda: I can do that too! I can also play in a shell game and do a Dex check.
Eric: And this is so bad for me- so you can use Mr. Sippy as a bonus action and then do an attack.
Amanda: Oh yeah.
Eric: That’s wild. Or you can like crack open a lock and then do an attack. Or and the other way, you can punch someone in the face and then back away and then unlock a door. Which is so much to do!
Brandon: Just like you do in regular life, you punch someone in the face and then unlock a door.
Amanda: [giggling] Back away, then unlock the door.
Eric: It’s pretty wild.
Brandon: That’s exciting though.
Amanda: Yeah, it is cool. I always want to cram more actions into my turns than I can. I’m obviously a more crafty person than I am a puncher so this is exciting for me. And I got some ability score improvements, little bit of HP, you know how it goes.
Brandon: Oh yeah, what's your HP now?
Brandon: Ah. I’m at 97 I think.
Eric: Oh, you’re up there.
Brandon: Which, when I’m raging means I’m one hundred ninety....
Amanda: Four. We all got that wrong.
Brandon: Four, yeah.
Eric: What did you say?
Brandon: I was like, “Are all of my things wrong?”
Amanda: See, it’s a metaphor for teamwork where Eric and I, if you average them out, are correct.
Eric: Yeah, man I’m really excited to have these guests. I know that it is a new opportunity we’re trying to seize. And the fact that I get to play with Julia more and we’re gonna have more special guests coming, and it’s just gonna move our story outwards.
I also like having more people I can help, you know. Like giving you NPC lines just makes me feel like I’m controlling more people. So I can do dumb Gordo Lighthammer shit-
Julia: Which is a lot of fun.
Eric: Which is fun for me, and I like moving the story forward, but I don’t-
Amanda: The best voice.
Eric: But I don't necessarily want to shape the plot necessarily. Like I have points A, B and C but I don't want to tell you how to get from one point to another point to another point.
Amanda: You want to play in the space, without, you know, breaking the house or putting on a new room every time.
Eric: Exactly. So now we’re going to have more guest players who are rotating in to mess with my world and I am very excited about that.
Brandon: Can you… maybe give us a little bit of a hint of what point A, B and C is?
Amanda: A little hinty-poo?
Brandon: Little hint?
Eric: Oh you mean other than the exposition block I put in the beginning of this episode?
Brandon: A little baby hint?
Eric: Yeah, I mean this one is called Hunting Party. Who are you hunting? Who’s hunting you?
Amanda: Duh-nuh-nuh. The falcon and the falconer.
Eric: Man, it would be pretty bad if that last star went out.
Brandon: [laughing] It would.
Amanda: Let’s go to some questions from the audience.
Brandon: I’m scared.
Eric: This one is from Siobhan McManus: Listening to Join the Party has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of D&D and encouraged me to want to try it out. So her roommate has also expressed interest in being a DM for a campaign with her, and then two to three other friends want to be players, but everyone is super busy. They have been thinking that they could co-DM together. Do you think this has worked?
She wants to help out her friend and she thinks it will be super fun to collaborate on an awesome story, and two people splitting the work would be dope, but she’s never heard of two DMs doing it at the same time, and wants to know our insights and ideas. “Thank you so much for all that you do. I love Join the Party so much. It always makes me laugh and smile even on my stressful days.”
Thank you for your question, Siobhan. And I’ve actually heard of co-DMing, but I’ve only heard it in like -
Amanda: In notes passed between people at night.
Eric: With intertwining games.
Amanda: In Thieves Cant etched onto posts.
Eric: I’m just gonna keep going.
Brandon: Very sparkly emojis.
Eric: So it’s gonna be - it’s like two different DMs are running two parties and then eventually they're gonna do one big game with everybody together.
Amanda: Oh, crossover!
Eric: But I don't think that co-DMing would be too hard as long as you two communicate about exactly what kind of game you want to play. Like it would be shifting tone would be the thing that would be really difficult for me.
Brandon: I think it would actually be super fun if you got two people who had different narrative styles, for lack of a better word, like those tonal shifts might be interesting. Like you might have to do two or three sessions with one person and then shift over for two or three sessions and not maybe flip back and forth every time, but it could be fun.
Amanda: It could also be fun to have one person- like lean into your competencies and things that excite you the most. So maybe one person loves designing challenges and couldn't care less about weaving those into a longer plot arc, so maybe you have tag-team DMing where maybe if one person’s super busy and has to you know go a certain week, then it’s good to have coverage, but if both of you are present in most of the sessions and one person is like, “Okay, roll for Initiative,” like runs out of your seat and your friend jumps in, that could be cool to have someone else there too.
You're both observing, you're both taking notes, you both understand the full context of the world, but you get to focus in preparation on the stuff that really interests you the most. I imagine it would be hard to have only one person present at each session and to trade off that way, but I’m sure that with note taking and communication, it could work. Don't be scared that no one’s done it before. You figure out what’s best for you.
Eric: I think as long as you have like a shared binder or you all work from the same Google Doc, so you write down all of the names, make sure you have all the stats of the stuff that you need in front of you, you could definitely make it work. Siobhan, go do it! You got it!
Amanda: Do some experiments and write us back and tell us how it goes!
Brandon: Yeah, I wanna hear!
Eric: This one is from Kay: Hi I’ve been loving your podcast. It has been my main introduction to D&D other than hearing about it from friends. I also love the story. I really want to play D&D but my dad wont let me because he thinks it’s, “Too immersive in a fantasy world, and the characters become too much a part of you and it’s addictive.” I really want to try it out with my friends. Any idea of how I can convince him that I should be able to at least try it. Loving your podcast, Kay.
Amanda: I think this is a great question, but something that’s hard. It’s hard to express to someone else what something like this could mean to you. And I think that your dad is getting at something that is true of stories. Like for me, stories are really helpful because they let me lose myself, like I can get out of my own head, my own worries, my own life, and experience the emotions and excitement of someone else’s story.
But those stories do live with me and the- the things that I feel like I’m doing, or the lessons that I see and experience someone else's learning inform my own life. And that I think is the best part, not just of playing a character in a game like this, but of reading books or seeing movies, whatever it is. It’s a way for me to try out other ways of being, and to see other people, and to learn to empathize with them.
And without being so connected to novels and to TV shows and to stories like my character in Join the Party, I would find it a lot harder to be empathetic and to connect with other people in the world. It’s a muscle that you exercise, getting into someone else’s head, thinking about their story, thinking about what might motivate their choices. And that makes you a better person period.
Brandon: I think a lot of fear that people feel for anything just comes from the unknown, so if there is a tactful way that you can show your dad maybe some good D&D media, maybe something like Dan Harmon ‘Harmonquest’ might be good. Even something like ‘Stranger Things’, which is basically just a D&D game. ‘Gravity Falls’ Amanda is a fan of. Maybe you play a board game and you role play a little bit. Maybe you play Monopoly or you play Clue, or-
Amanda: Use a silly voice.
Brandon: Right, use a silly voice.
Amanda: Lean into it a little bit. Be like, “Oh I don't want to let you buy my house,” and you know whatever it might be, it’s just these little steps that it is a lot- we talk about this all the time. It’s so intimidating to look at something like a D&D campaign people do for six years and be like, “Oh that’s something that I can start.” But I think Brandon’s suggestion is a good one. To kind of start with little drips and see what his reaction might be.
Eric: You can also go on the official Dungeons and Dragons website, I mean it’s like a real company now. It’s not like it’s just being made in somebody’s basement. Wizards of the Coast is part of the Hasbro Corporation, they have a lot of ways to introduce people to it, so if you go on the Dungeons and Dragons website, there is a tab that says, “New to D&D?” and then there is a thing that says “What is D&D?”
So you can show this real company website to him and there's also this really great vide from Vox about explaining what exactly Dungeons and Dragons is. It’s called “Dungeons and Dragons, Explained.” and you can show that to him. There's a lot of - Dungeons and Dragons is becoming increasingly mainstream here, and showing how normal the game is- Dungeons and Dragons is just a game. Helping people remember that it’s just a game might make your dad more flexible.
Amanda: Something I was never able to do as a kid was to ask my parents questions. It felt like their word was the law and any kind fo rebellion I felt or problem I had with it I could either completely obey or completely disobey. And that was just, you know, my own nervousness or just being in my own head about it.
But now something that I always remind myself because it's not a natural instinct for me is to ask questions. Like when someone has an opinion or says something where I’m like, “Oh I don’t agree with that,” my first instinct is to say “No this is why that’s wrong.” or “Hey, this is what you don’t understand about me,” but it is a lot more productive I’m finding, and I’m trying to remember to say, “Why do you think that?” or “What are you worried might happen?” or “Is there something I can explain to you or give you more detail on that you are not clear about?” and just in a really low-stakes way with no expectation, make my voice really calm and ask those questions.
It sounds kind of basic, but it’s something that I am continually at 27 and beyond learning how to do because so often the problem is not that someone mistrusts me, or thinks that I’m evil, or wants me to suffer, it’s just that there’s a gap of information that if you ask the right way or choose the right key, you can unlock.
Brandon: The right key is C major.
Amanda: Silly. Well we’re not quite sure what’s gonna happen next, but we are excited to have you along for the journey here in our brand-spanking-new arc. Now, it is a wonderful time to get other people involved. Rope them along, make them listen, make them care as much as we do, as much as I do about-
Brandon: Make them do it!
Amanda: -Oatcake and this whole world. We have a really easy way for you to do that. Which is to send jointehpartypod.com/start to a friend who should start the show. They can stream the beginner episode there. They can listen to the character intros and the world intro and use the catch-up episodes to really speed through all those episodes. If they don't want to binge them all, they can get caught up on the plot in like 15 minutes. So it is jointhepartypod.com/start.
Our Patreon community at patreon.com/jointhepartypod is the mysterious orange nuclear reactor core of this podcast. Your financial support helps us keep the show going, and your emotional support and your presences in the Discord and your just being there when we post our NPC backstories when we post our blooper reels, when we post our early episodes for our legend-level patrons to get the show a day before the rest of the word, it's’ just the greatest thing. And if you want to join, you can do that at patreon.com/jointhepartypod for as little as a dolar. We really appreciate it.
Eric: Patreon is very good.
Amanda: Patreon is very good. Patreon is like multiclassing in business and art.
Amanda: You can have that one for free!
Brandon: There you go.
Amanda: Alright, and Eric’s very good at Twitter, @jointhepartypod, you gotta follow us.
Eric: I did a very good Mountain Goats-specific tweet today. I was very proud of it.
Amanda: I don't know if there was more of an audience for that than just Eric and myself, but I really enjoyed it.
Amanda: Alright, well thank you again, and until next time.
Brandon: Bye guys!
Julia: You can’t see me. My time is now.
Eric: [laughs] You don’t have to go home, but you cant stay here.
Brandon: Is that a John Cena thing?
Eric: John Cena!
[Julia sings John Cena theme]
Amanda: Just wave your hand in front of your face and that’s a wrestling joke.
Brandon: I’m John Cena.
[Julia and Eric sing John Cena theme]
Eric: [imitating “Disturbed”] Oh-ah-ah-ah-ah.