Learning the teachings of Adamah, read our Slack chats, and assembling the optimal sandwich. 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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- music: brandongrugle.bandcamp.com
Cast & Crew
- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver
- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle
- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin
- Eugene: Mike Schubert
- Multitude: multitude.productions
Join the Party is a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast. That means friends creating 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: Hey, hi, hello! And welcome to the Afterparty! I feel like we both did so much and nothing in that episode and it was very fun! [chuckling]
Brandon: It was fun to sit back and watch our two boys work…
It was delightful.
[Eric continues laughing]
Amanda: Yeah. I had to just like lie, to an older butch woman. Which is my favorite activity in this game.
So that was great. Michael Shubert, did we or did we not, capture your first game of D&D on mic today?
Mike: This is the one, I’ve never actually played Dungeons and/or Dragons.
[Amanda gasps excitedly]
Amanda: How did it stack up?
Mike: It felt great, my first 3 rolls were fucking dope!
Eric: You rolled very well!
Mike: I did until I had to do my history checks. I was not good at them.
Brandon: You sucked all of my dice energy out of me.
Eric: [chuckles] Brandon…
Amanda: That’s definitely what happened.
Mike: What’d you do, roll a 3 instead of a 4?
Eric: Got him!
Brandon: [reacting] Oh…
[Eric makes sound indicating the burn]
Amanda: Ohh! So many questions to ask. Mike, what the hell is your character?
Mike: Oh, so the entire inspiration was based off of the clothing, which was Bender from Breakfast Club.
Brandon: Just in terms of…
Amanda: Now, which one is that? Is that, um…
Mike: He’s the bad boy.
Mike: Just, that was the clothing inspiration.
Amanda: In the end, he was just like, “You wear pink, but I guess you’re okay.”
Amanda: Okay, yeah.
Mike: Yeah, that dude.
Mike: I didn’t want him to be like him as a person. But Eric wanted me to be able to talk about Adamah, and her big thing is being all 80s style. So, I was trying to think of what sort of cool 80s cliché could my dude be.
Brandon: This is new…
Amanda: Okay, let’s also back up.
Eric: This is new!
Amanda: Is Adamah like, Jane Fonda but went to business school? Like, what’s happening here?
Eric: Yeah, so here is the inspiration for Mike’s character. I wanted him to just be a regular dude who was tailgating and have a lot of friends. I also thought it was funny if one of the prevailing, like, Gods of the Trinity was kind of just like the pervasiveness of Jesus in American culture. How it can casually dictate your life. So, I thought that like Adamah being the God of the Living would kind of just be like more pervasive in this…
Amanda: Like a role model-type, like what would Adamah do, type of situation?
Eric: Yes, exactly. Very what would Adamah do? I think we talked about this a while ago, I think like in an Afterparty. And I really loved that Adamah was like an 80s CEO.
Amanda: [skeptically] We definitely never talked about this!
Brandon: Oh no, we talked about it!
Eric: We - we did talk about it!
Amanda: You said CEO type, yeah.
Brandon: I don’t think we said 80s, I think that you put that on top of that.
Amanda: You said CEO-type, yeah.
Eric: No, she was 80s. It was me…
Amanda: You also definitely used he/him for Adamah before.
Eric: When we started talking about Ze’ol, I switched it. Ze’ol was kind of like a dude and like a grandpa. And I wanted Adamah to be a female God, and also have 80s shoulder pads, which is why I made it, and started to make it all 80s inspired.
Amanda: I mean, listen, you’ve gotta start somewhere.
Mike: It's really all about the shoulder pads.
Amanda: Is that like, where her power and charisma is based? Like if it was a boss fight should I go for the shoulder pads?
Eric: [chuckling] Yeah, that would be a good start. I mean, She also is like, she's the most efficient business person. Making sure that all living things happen, forwardly.
Amanda: Oh yeah, like being a deity is definitely an operations role.
Eric: Yeah absolutely.
Amanda: I totally feel that. How about the Rubik’s cube? Mike, was that something that you came up with?
Eric: It was! Yeah, you came up with…I was thinking of something to…
Mike: I kind of want to pull up our…
Mike: Yeah, Slack thread about it.
Brandon: Just do a dramatic reading of your Slack thread.
Amanda: That’s…Brandon and I will just sit back and watch.
Brandon: It’s delightful.
Amanda: It is delightful.
Eric: I love that we have a roleplaying game. [chuckling] And players.
Mike: I will be playing the role of Eric Silver in this.
Amanda: This is why introverts have extrovert friends.
Mike: I will be playing the role of Eric Silver, and Eric will be playing the role of Mike Schubert...
Eric: Oh, hold on I have to get into it.
Eric: [imitating Mike] Oh yeah, man. Mike Schubert. Here we go. Alright!
Mike: I sound exactly like that.
Eric: That’s the truth.
Amanda: Do you need a comb, Eric? Or…
Mike: Eric you need to brush your hair for like 15 seconds.
Eric: My hair looks like Gordon Hayward’s.
Amanda: Now, listen. Gordon Hayward is not looking great right now, Mike, definitely…
Mike: Looking great, he’s just not playing well.
Brandon: Judd Nelson, he’s who plays Bender.
Mike: And that was also Twister, I was trying to think of a synonym for Bender, so…
Amanda: [excitedly] That’s very good!
[Amanda & Mike chuckling]
Brandon: I definitely thought you were saying he's dressed like Bender from Futurama…
Mike: Oh, no, no, no.
Brandon: And I was like hold the fuck up!
Mike: He is definitely not a robot!
Eric: Okay, so this is what I wrote to Mike…
Mike: [imitating Eric] Okay, so, I know what you’re going to do. For JTP, I want you to help me flesh out your character as much as possible. So, tailgaters are going to be outside of the stadium for the wrestling match. So, you’d be one of the tailgaters who's been there a lot, and know a lot of the best ways to get in and out of the stadium. Like a huge fan! Also we haven't really explored the other Gods of the Trinity yet, so I think it would be great if you were a devotee of Adamah, the God of the Living. In my head she was a 80s female CEO of the massive shoulder pads, so instead of a cross, you could have something very 80s on it, like on a chain?
Eric: [imitating Mike] Haha! Oh I dig it! I have a Rubik’s cube!
Mike: [imitating Eric] Oh, yes!! That's great - that's great!!! It’s a symbol of how complicated living is! But you can crack the puzzle or something!
Eric: [imitating Mike] Yeah…it’s also very 80s, lol. I have a slinky, I have a Teddy Ruxpin, I have a transformer.
[Brandon laughing heartily]
Mike: [imitating Eric] Hahaha! Just like the 80s is a religion!
Eric: [imitating Mike] I am He-Man! [chuckling]
Mike: [imitating Eric] I love the Rubik's Cube on a chain!
Eric: [imitating Mike] Okay, tight!
Mike: [imitating Eric] And also, you're like a big fan of wrestling and live sports and stuff. So just a huge tailgate guy.
Eric: [imitating Mike] Uh, can I be super 80s?!
Mike: [imitating Eric] Sure!! You’re a one-off NPC, it’ll be cool.
Eric: [imitating Mike] It'll be rad. Asteriks!
[Brandon & Amanda laughing]
Mike: [laughing] You’re damn right I clarified that!
Eric: Okay, and then we start getting into the more…
[Amanda still laughing]
Eric: The minutia. So…
Mike: But then I did scream at one point in all caps, “MY OUTFIT IS JUST BENDER FROM BREAKFAST CLUB.”
Eric: And I say, “There it is!”
So, Mike's class is monk. He's a drunken master monk which, again, we've talked about monks a lot. I love it. It was like kung fu movies inspired, we decided that we could do it and we didn't really get into a fight and I was really excited for it. Um, that it's kind of like redirecting people's center of balance, and you can like throw them at other people and also you can just kind of like, be a regular person.
Amanda: But that’s what he's doing conversationally with the shoot the shit thing.
[Mike grunts in approval]
Eric: Exactly. So I ended up giving him the background of plumber and here's the thing…
Mike: I came up with plumber.
Eric: Right, you came up with plumber, and I reskinned guild artisan, and I gave him a different thing.
Amanda: Makes sense, makes sense.
Eric: Which was, uh...I know a guy.
Mike: Which, that is a very good thing.
Amanda: [excitedly] Oh!! That’s very good!
Mike: We didn’t get to use it.
Eric: We didn’t get to use it, but basically Mike could roll a d20, if he rolled a 10 or higher he knew someone who can help you in the situation and depending on how close it was to 20 was how well he actually knew that person.
Amanda: Wowww, that is very good.
Brandon: That is a fucking genius mechanic.
Mike: We needed an excuse to have me know the ins and outs of the stadium.
Amanda: Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mike: So, I said, oh yeah, I was a plumber! I did the uh, the pipes...
Amanda: What is more, in and out of a place than plumbing?!
Mike: In and out!
Eric: Well, here’s the…
Mike: [disgusted] Ugh! Ugh!!
Eric: Well the thing that we ended up using a lot about your character was your feat.
Eric: So, since you guys are all different…
Brandon: How do you spell it, first of all?
Eric: F. E. A. T.
Brandon: F. E. A. T.
Mike: Not like my actual feet.
Amanda: Like your feat of strength.
Eric: Like a feat of strength, yes.
Mike: I use my feet…to talk.
Eric: Brando is a large Robo-boy, and Inara and Fish were elves and half elves and Kohl is a tiefling. Because this is a fantasy game there are very defined things that, like what the fantasy races can do by humans actually have two choices.
One, you get a +1 modifier to every single one of your stats, very like Mario in Super Smash, just kind of good at everything but not great at anything. Or you can min max the shit out of it, like I did, and you can add +1 to two stats, and I think it did Charisma and Wisdom or whatever.
Eric: And I gave him a feat and a feat is a specific thing that you are good at, and that is built into D&D if you want to, just to like soup up your character. It’s also called a boon, if like you get it from a God, but you get a feat right off the bat like a human who has specialized a thing. So we came up with this feat called shooting the shit.
It's difficult to deal with Charisma straight up because you can lie, you can persuade, you can intimidate, but you can’t just like have a conversation. And I think that if you're doing this and being very neutral like Mike was doing with the security guard, even if it's for a nefarious purpose, the conversation itself, can't be leading. And I think that is the roleplaying that I knew that Mike could do it’s like you’re all kind of leaning into the roleplaying ability of your player.
Amanda: I also truly appreciate that every woman in this universe is presumed to be a lesbian until given evidence otherwise.
[Brandon & Eric laughing]
Which I truly enjoy, on a personal level. Did, Eric, you plan in advance that Mike would be here for the reemergence of Jersey Mike's sandwich chain?
This Miquel, who in fact grew up in New Jersey.
Eric: No, I didn’t even think about this! I thought it was just going to be Infropolis stadium. And then I remembered from HORSE, the podcast I do with Michael Schubert, that - how sponsored all the arenas are and my favorite is Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans.
Amanda: So, wait, that's a real place?
Eric: That is a real thing.
Amanda: And they have to be like, “Hi we are the New Orleans Pelicans here at Smoothie King Arena!”
Eric: [announcing] Welcome to beautiful Smoothie Kingggg Arena!
Mike: It’s actually the Smoothie King Center.
[Eric, Brandon & Amanda laughing]
Amanda: Oh, that’s even better!
Mike: Yeah, that is the official name of it.
Mike: And they will be future 3-on-3 for HORSE. The best in the worst and the best will be… the Smoothie King Center.
Brandon: There are a bunch of Smoothie Kings in the Center, right?
Mike: There has to be! I’ve never been, but..
Eric: [laughing] Yeah, no I can only imagine.
Mike: The team – the team is really bad now that they're not gonna have Anthony Davis so tickets will be really cheap. So I have said that it would be very fun just to do a weekend trip to New Orleans…
Brandon: Oh yeah.
Mike: And like enjoy New Orleans…
Amanda: Oh yeah.
Mike: And get courtside Pelicans tickets for like 4 cents.
Brandon: Cheaper than a smoothie from Smoothie King.
Mike: Honestly, it is going to be that bad that the tickets are cheaper than the smoothie.
Mike: Yeah, Smoothie King smoothies are super fucking overpriced, it’s gross.
Amanda: That’s how it was growing up going to the Mets games a lot. Not because we like the Mets a lot, because it would cost like literally $5 for bleacher seats. So it costs more to get a hot dog man than to get a see. Anyway, I just thought it was very charming. We also talked a lot of tabletop during the game about our, like, sandwich architecture preferences.
Mike: Oh yeah.
Amanda: I must say it was inspired decision Eric, to name the levels of the stadium after the levels of the sandwich. So, why don't you please tell us, and you're a sandwich devotee, just knowing you in life...
Amanda: What is your preferred ordering of a sandwich?
Eric: I want to put tomatoes kind of close to the top.
Amanda: Ohh, bold move.
Eric: I know that it makes the top of the bread soggy, but at least in the trickle down of the wetness of the tomatoes doesn’t get to the bottom, and then that hurts the integrity of the sandwich. Hopefully you can put like a very thin layer of mustard, or mayo, or ketchup to like be a barrier there? And then like tomato, cheese, lettuce, meat. That’s pretty much, I guess from a basic perspective, what I would do.
Amanda: Interesting. I always put lettuce at the top…
Amanda: Because I feel like it's less slidey like the rest of the sandwich is more compact and the base is really clear. Also growing up, you put lettuce at the tops, that way the bread didn't get wet. If it was dry, it would be pretty, pretty structurally sound. Furthermore, if you have hard-shell tacos, always put the lettuce at the bottom, my friends!
Eric: That’s true.
Mike: But, but also…
Amanda: That way the meat doesn’t make it soggy. Mike! I was growing up in the 90s on Long Island, hard shell tacos were the best we could do!
Mike: Right but if you're forever and out there, don't ever eat hard-shell tacos.
Eric: That’s true.
Mike: And if you’re doing soft shell tacos, never get flour, always get corn.
Eric: Always corn.
Brandon: Hey!! You lived in Texas!
Mike: Yeah, I lived in Texas and I went to Taqueria Ruby #5, which is a taco truck that is permanently parked on the highway on Hofmeister Road. And it's run by a very small Mexican family that are very nice. And there's a lady who at the - at the front, they always ask flour or corn? And I asked her, I was like, “What what what do you recommend, flour or corn?” And she goes, “Oh mijo, only corn”.
[Eric & Amanda laughing]
And I never ordered a flour tortilla for the rest of my life.
Brandon: I mean look, she's not wrong. Like corn, objectively.
Amanda: I think there’s a time and place.
Brandon: Yeah. Corn also has a lot of flavor but flour is texturally much more satisfying.
Mike: The only time I allow for flour tortillas is for breakfast tacos because eggs can be wet and will soak through a corn tortilla or if you are doing fajitas, you need it to be flour just because it will crumble apart. The thing with corn is, you have to put them in the oven for like 10 minutes on 350 first so that they get all soft, otherwise they're going to rip in half. So if you know any people who are like corn tortillas fall apart on me, you’re doing your tortillas incorrectly.
Brandon: And make them at home, please.
Mike: Yes. Ugh.
Amanda: This has been sandwich corner. Obviously we know that fajitas are not sandwiches because we're not monsters.
Eric: Yeah but soup is a sandwich.
Mike: BUT IS CEREAL A SOUP?
Eric: But are hot dogs soup AND cereal??
[Mike & Brandon chuckling]
Amanda: Wait, but is Jersey Mike’s a real thing?
Eric: Yes, it’s a real thing!
Mike: Yes, it’s a real sandwich chain.
Amanda: Oh my! Is it only in the state of New Jersey?
Mike: No, I first had Jersey Mike's when I was in Texas.
Mike: When I was living in Texas they opened…
Amanda: Wow, plot twist!
Mike: Right? When I was living in Texas they opened one and my dad and I were like, that's kind of funny, we should go. They’re like not bad, in terms of subs like…
Amanda: Just like a hero, sub-type place?
Mike: Yeah, like you’re - I grew up in New Jersey we have very high sub standards, we call them hoagies.
[garbled sounds of disapproval from everyone]
I have very high standards for them. So, anytime you go to Subway, like that's not a sub, it’s just a sandwich. Like Subway’s in its own class of sandwich where it's like not really food. But Jersey Mike's, like, pretty much is getting close as you can for a fast food place, but we went through, it was pretty solid. And they do have that hot pepper relish.
Brandon: Is it jarred in there?
[everyone talking over each other]
Mike: No, they call it hot pepper relish, which is very good.
Amanda: Sounds delicious.
Mike: So that's why I'm glad to find a way to put that into the arena.
Amanda: So, like the banana pepper type or more like traditional, like…
Mike: I think they're like banana peppers where they’re sweet and spicy, and they’re red.
Amanda: Ohh, nice.
Mike: They’re red, red peppers. I don't know if they're called cherry peppers or whatever.
Mike: But they're good and I would always get those on the sandwiches from Jersey Mike's. But yes and I went to the original one in New Jersey, which I think is in Belmar. And it's the exact same font as Jersey Mike's it just says Mike's. Super good.
[Amanda & Eric laughing]
Brandon: I was thinking about that because we have multiple chains in Texas. You know Texas Roadhouse?
Brandon: [chuckling] It's just called Texas Roadhouse in Texas.
Amanda: We have those here.
Brandon: [surprised] You have Texas Roadhouses here?
Amanda: Yeah, they're like a Olive Garden-type.
Mike: Yeah, peanuts on the floors.
Brandon: They're terrible.
Mike: They’re very bad.
Amanda: But they are outside of malls, that’s what I’m saying, they’re like the standalone in the mall parking lot-bad.
Eric: I think it would be weirder for a place to just be called Roadhouse as opposed to being called Mike’s.
Mike: I’m sorry, have you not seen the film Roadhouse?
Eric: I know. But that would be confusing…
I’d be like, I'm here to see Patrick Swayze. And they’d be like, sorry sir, this is a bad steakhouse.
Mike: I’m sorry he died.
[Brandon & Mike laughing]
Eric: I’m sorry sir, this is a poor steak restaurant.
Mike: It’s so bad, don’t ever go.
Brandon: And you see Patrick Swayze in the back corner just eating sad steak.
Mike: With a pot of clay spinning next to him.
Amanda: Well, a couple more cool D&D related things happened. Tracey you used Disguise Self for the first time!
Brandon: I did!
Amanda: Please tell us about that.
Brandon: Yes, so when I leveled up I got some new spells and that was one of them. Eric, I think, has the text open, but basically I can’t change my physical-like stature really but I can make myself look different and my clothes look different.
Amanda: Oh, Cool.
Brandon: The cape spin was just flare.
[Amanda & Eric laughing]
Brandon: Eric, what does the text say?
Eric: You make yourself including your clothing, armor, weapons and other belongings on your person look different, until the spell ends or until you use your actions to dismiss it. You can seem one foot taller or shorter and appear thin fat or in between. But you cannot change your body types, you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you, and you do a Investigation check against your spell save DC to figure it out.
Brandon: Yes, so I couldn't become like a dragon, or uh a tennis ball.
Eric: Or a tennis ball.
Amanda: Or a tennis ball.
Brandon: Or a tennis ball!
Eric: When we were fighting the giant Oatcake, Brandon was like, “I use Disguise Self to become a tennis ball!” And I'm like, “You can't, you don’t, you doofus!”.
[Amanda & Brandon laughing]
Brandon: I think our compromise was just become a fuzzy green Tracey, but I don’t think that really would have worked.
Amanda: Well, I think that Discord would be really mad at me if I didn't ask, while we had Mike here, what Eric’s characters Patronuses would be?
Mike: Ohh….oh, oh, oh. This is…
Amanda: Mine is definitely a french bulldog so I’ll just get that out of the way.
Mike: That was it, that literally - that was an easy no-brainer there.
Brandon: You literally had a Patronus, and it was in the form of a patch and it was a ghostly apparition.
Amanda: Uh, yeah, of a french bulldog!
[Amanda & Brandon laughing]
Mike: For Tracey, I think, since Tracey is so large and should be intimidating, but is such a sweetheart…
Amanda: [whispers] Is it a butterfly?
Brandon: [whispers] Just like the real me.
Mike: Yeah! I think it should be something like really cute and tiny, so I was imagining a hummingbird.
Brandon: I like a hummingbird a lot!
Mike: Just like a cute, going all over the place, like yeah! Hey, hi, hello! Oh! EEE!
Brandon: That’s really good, I like that.
Eric: I like that, just like in a Harry Potter World because I want to see Dementors getting fucked up by a hummingbird.
Mike: That’s very good.
Amanda: It’s like nectar-drawing!
Mike: So that would be my pick for Tracey’s Patronus.
Brandon: That’s good.
Eric: I think Eugene’s or Twister’s is...a rack of ribs.
Mike: That would be good. Or, or garlic. Just cloves of garlic
Brandon: Just a floating head of garlic, I like that.
Eric: Like Veggie Tales. [chuckling] Garlic!
Amanda: Yo, like the allium family goes hard!
Mike: I came up with the idea of Twister first, and then the reason I made it Eugene is because in Rocket Power, Twister Rodriguez is Maurice Rodriguez…
Mike: So I thought of Eugene Robertson…
Mike: As the homage.
Amanda: And we can definitely put your character sheet up on our Patreon for the public for people to look at! So head on over to patreon.com/jointhepartypod to check that out.
Mike: Yeah, there were some cool attacks I didn't get to use but I got to do my cool dodging of arrows and throwing them back and saying, [chuckling] wrestler catchphrases so, I was stoked!
Eric: I want to say right now that I just wanted that to happen.
[Eric & Mike laughing]
Nothing I did was exactly the rules, but I, since we disarmed the fight, that was going to happen. I really want to give like a chance to do some the cool monk stuff that we gave him because we haven't really given a monk yet. So, I wanted do that, and there you go Michael Schubert…
Brandon: I think we need to have a conversation with Kohl about changing her passwords to making them more secure.
Amanda: Yeah, that's very true.
Brandon: You really shouldn’t use the same password for everything,
Amanda: Different password every time.
Eric: I honestly can't believe you remembered the password from Episode 3.
Brandon: Eric, Eric. It’s literally only thing I remember about this game.
[Amanda & Mike laughing]
Amanda: Well Mike, thank you so much for guest starring on Join the Party. I hope it was fun!
Mike: It was super good. Thank you so much for having me. I have not been able to flex my improv muscles since moving to New York and Potterless going weekly, I'm too busy to live. So, I have not done improv since moving and that was like a huge part of my life for the past eight years so...
Mike: So, it was good! Nice to get it out of my system and do it on the show. Thanks so much for having me, it’s been super fun!
Amanda: And on the rare chance Join the Party listeners have not subscribed to Potterless and HORSE, you should do that, just type multitude in your podcast app, and subscribe, a’right now,
Mike: I am very biased but I think they're both very good shows. [chuckling] And I think you should listen to them.
Brandon: I am not and they're very good shows.
Mike: Okay, good.
Amanda: They’re excellent!
Brandon: I hate you both and they’re very good.
Eric: I’m only a little biased, and I think HORSE is good and Potterless is not as good, but that’s fine.
Mike: It’s okay.
Amanda: [directing at Eric] Well you do know that you are the best guest on Potterless...
Amanda: In your own opinion.
Eric: That’s a good point.
Amanda: Which Eric reminds me, anytime that I am on Potterless.
[Eric continues cackling]
He’s like, that's nice, but they do know that I am the best one. So Mike we will let you get back to editing Potterless.
Mike: Yep. Mhm.
Amanda: As you do, and between breaths, and on the subway.
Mike: Every train ride.
Amanda: And every train ride. So thanks again for coming!
Mike: Thanks for having me! Really appreciate it was super fun.
Amanda: Now let's go to some audience questions.
Amanda: We have a question from new discord member Pan. Thanks for joining Pan! For Eric, I'm currently reading an arc centered around an NPC I made up in half a second for a bit, several seasons ago. Are there any JTP NPCs minor characters who wound up way more significant than you intended?
Eric: Oh man, that's really good question. I think a lot of the minor characters I started with just have morphed into presences in your lives like Stoneface…
Brandon: [gravelly] In our real lives too.
Eric: Yeah. The Speaker…I think the two might be Stoneface and the Speaker. Stoneface was just going be this guy in the rookery who was going to introduce this idea of bombilates and, like, that never really like progressed. But Stoneface has been kind of a factor in your lives for a long time. And the Speaker has taken on this maternal presence for the party. Which I was never really expecting, she was just kinda like a diplomat. Then it progressed that she was going to be a big part of Labor Party. So, I was not anticipating that when I first started planning out the game, like months ago.
Brandon: What's the like, switch there, like what's the thing that makes you realize like oh, for story reasons, it's necessary for me to involve the NPCs more? Is it like our interactions, like did the players drive it, or is this something you like decided on?
Eric: I think that when Inara stuck all the bagels in her mouth in front of the Speaker, I was like, oh this, is like a very like straightforward foil for my pretty goofy players. I think definitely your interactions with them. And then an NPC can be one-sided but they should never be two-sided, like, two-dimensional. They interact with their lives, but they're never fleshed out. Like I'm fine with having a one-shot at being dumb, but I'm not fine with kind of leaving a person being like a caricature. So, I feel like I want to flesh these people out when you start interacting with them or we get like enough screen time with them.
Eric: Like, I wanted the Speaker to demonstrate her power. And I think that that was a lot of Labor Party. And then seeing what happens when that power was extracted. Stoneface, I think, has been a running joke and I think that's fine, but like, he never really leaves the castle, so I guess I’m kinda fine leaving him there. But it's a nice thing to lean back on.
Eric: And it was almost like a character and a voice that made me feel confident in doing the podcast in the first place so, I'm kind of okay with it.
Amanda: Well, kind of a follow up, Eric at PodCon you were on a panel about managing your party with the DMs or GMs of several other podcasts, including The Adventure Zone, Table to Potluck, Venture Maidens, Broadswords. Have you learned anything from that, and how does your DMing style differ from all the other people managing these very different podcasts?
Eric: Yeah, I didn't realize that we were all going to be so different. I think that that’s something that’s definitely stood out. I'm like, oh, we're just like all DMs, like how are we going to really diversify ourselves?
Griffin is very inspired by video games. And I think that learning that he really leaned on like a Legend of Zelda sort of like video game campaign, has helped me structure my world. But is something that I sometimes, I wanted to break out of. Tabletop Potluck, man, the stuff that they're doing over there is wild! They switch RPGs every six weeks, like that’s insane!!!
Oh man, Ray and Megan, and all the rest of the team who I met, you are - are all amazing. They're just doing something in a totally different way. Which kind of bucks a lot of the preconceived notions about real play podcasts. Celeste from Venture Maidens is such an old school DM, like she's been playing Dungeons and Dragons for 12 years. Which means she's been playing Dungeons and Dragons for 50 years...
Amanda: Yeah, seriously.
Eric: You know, she's seen so many iterations and like, they stream, so it's like I was like she goes and does it.
Amanda: I can’t conceive of that. So, they play for an hour and a half, streaming! People watching them the whole time and then edit that audio down into an even more condensed podcast version. But the moment she said that, like, I had listened to the show like I know the conceit of it. But I was still like wait, you don’t edit, you don't stop!?!? What!?? It’s just, it is wild!
Brandon: They’re such nice people too, if you haven't listened go back to the PunchBowl Episode that we do with them, and you'll enjoy it.
Eric: With Celeste and Brittany.
Amanda: So cool! And the Tabletop Potluck team too, is just like the best people, and I am so excited to dive deeper into the archive of their show.
Eric: Yeah, I think the biggest difference between us and another show probably is the Broadswords. I mean, they record for like only an hour and I don't think they do a lot of editing. I mean we record for at least 90 to 100 to 110 minutes, and then we cut that down like we do a lot of our editing in post and I think that's kind of our strength, but they're doing the exact opposite.
Brandon: Yeah, it's a style and choice. I think I’ve only ever cut scenes like two to three times ever. But most of it’s just like restructuring, and making sure it's a narrative flow and making sure it actually works as a story.
Amanda: Something that all of you talked about though is structuring your episodes story-wise. So, like Broadswords about doing kind of a three-act structure and Griffin was talking about kind of keeping people in the long-game and like introducing little bits of it. And then, you know, Celeste obviously playing for streaming, needs to make sure that it's interesting and doesn't lose momentum halfway through.
Did any of that kind of ring true, Eric, with how you think about each individual episode, and doing them? I think with guests is also another interesting layer because we've had to think about, you know, who are we going to book and how many episodes are they going to be on? How are you sort of dealing with that?
Brandon: [ominously] It’s scheduling.
Eric: Scheduling. I hate scheduling. So I think, here are two different metaphors here.
Amanda: My feat is scheduling. I'm good at scheduling.
[Brandon & Eric laughing]
Eric: There are 2 different metaphors I think to explain how I think about DMing right now. The first I think is when we talk about scheduling now. This is a podcast so I really tried to craft my research around like a TV episode, like I want to hit the themes of it. Like, this is going to be a goofy one, this is going to be a serious one, this is going to be introspective and character driven…
Brandon: A musical!
Eric: This is going to be action based…Brandon. Shh.
Amanda: We will not allow you to do a musical!!
Eric: NO MUSICAL.
Amanda: No musical episode.
Eric: We’re not doing it! Brandon is not doing a musical, and it’s like he’s trying to convince himself that it's possible. We’re not doing a musical.
And then I have to write. See, then I know I would have to write the musical, like I'm not doing it! You can't just like the music, like it's a musical episode. I'm like well, no we know! No one in singing. Not doing a musical. And I’m keeping all this in so that everyone can hold you accountable We're not doing a musical.
Brandon: Please tell me your definition of a musical…
Eric: We’re not doing a musical. We’re not.
Amanda: So it’s like pulling Ira Glass and going on tour with a ballet company where the dancers stand in for us. And just do interesting performances that we are simply there for and then afterwards we're like, isn't that amazing! I’m Ira Glass, good night.
Brandon: Let me hit you with this: robot dancers.
Amanda: Okay, okay, okay.
Eric: Oh, interesting. Let me hit you with this: we're not doing a musical.
So when I plan my episode, it’s not about like the action that happens like their story beats, necessarily, but the joy of Dungeons and Dragons is that you can do whatever you want. I mean it's never going to be a three-act structure, it's going to be like the story that happened while we played the game. So, I guess I just want the things to happen and the theme and the feeling to come across.
I mean, the ones with the NPCs, I want really want to have a little more lightness because we spend a lot of time down in like the emotional and like metaphysical and spiritual and godly realms with Labor Party, so bringing in friends is just an excuse to be a little bit goofy, and let them be silly as Julia and Sarah, and other NPCs will be.
Brandon: Yeah, I think it’s interesting though, because I don’t think you are giving yourself credit. You do it to our structure every time.
Eric: We are with the brink buddy, I just don't like looking at it like that.
Eric: I just don't think so. Well the other metaphor that I have, I think of it like a card game. If you ever played a Euchre or Spades, like a trump-suit game, is like you have a certain amount of cards and then there are like rounds. Where people play different cards, and then you like win each individual game inside of that set.
Amanda: Right, like tennis.
Eric: Like tennis, yeah.
Amanda: Which I had like, Eric explain to me two weeks ago.
Brandon: Can you do that to me please? Later, later, later.
Amanda: No, no.
Amanda: I’ll try…
Eric: So, there is a textbook way they also play the game, like this is the highest card, this is the second highest card, this is the third highest card, and then you play them accordingly. But you either respond to what your players do, and then you play the cards that you have. So it's like I have the story we'd save these actions, but it's like if I need to play the dragon first. I was planning on playing the dragon last, but if I make you guys do a ritual, I could summon something bad, the dragon comes first. If I want to have a trap, I need to figure out where that comes, depending on how you play the game. I have the peaks and valleys of the story, but it's not like I'm enforcing a structure onto ya’ll.
Amanda: So, you think less about sequencing and more about like having all your, your modules and your bits available.
Amanda: To place as needed.
Eric: I think about having stuff and anything about theme, but I do not think about structure.
Brandon: I think that's the advantage of having someone other than the DM be the editor.
Brandon: Because in my head, the JTP arc is introductory material. Premise, inciting, incident, midroll, and then conflict, resolution, aftermath, cliffhanger. That's the JTP principle.
Eric: Ah, damn it. Ah beans.
Brandon: No, no fun bits about what we have in that structure and do something different, but that's to add structure.
Eric: I guess that's like stories.
Amanda: I mean, less of a witch hat, and more of like, like, that a bucket hat?
[Amanda & Brandon laughing]
Brandon: What I mean, is that doesn't mean while we're playing that's how that actually lays out, but in the edit that's how I lay it out.
Eric: Yeah, so if you think I’m a bad DM, it’s because Brandon is making me seem super basic.
Amanda: No one thinks that.
Brandon: And if you think I’m a bad editor it’s because…I don’t know..
Eric: Please don't tell me that because I’m very fragile.
Amanda: Thank you so much for joining us for this Afterparty, you can check out Potterless and HORSE and Join the Party and Spirits and Waystation at multitude.productions, which is our production collective. We also make a ton of resources that are freely available for fellow podcasters like how to transcribe your show, how to do money for indie podcasters, how to hire teammates. There's a bunch of really great resources there. Some of them are panels that you can watch or listen to and some are articles so, check that out at multitude.productions.
Online we are at jointhepartypod on Twitter and Instagram. Our site, jointhepartypod.com has transcripts for every episode, info about our team and our characters, and all kinds of links to just cool extras like our arc recaps, so you can help get friends into the show by listening to a nice recap instead of every single episode if they want me to just catch up really quick.
Our Patreon is where you can go to pledge your human dollars to help support the show and keep it getting made. You can also gain access to our Discord which is just the loveliest and kindest place on the internet. It is always poppin with people's pet photos and craft photos and stories of their campaigns and awesome dinners and baking! Ugh, people are so talented. That's at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.
Alright, thanks again and we will see you in two weeks!
Brandon: Bye guys!
Eric: Wizard on!
Brandon: Oh, no.
Eric: Oh, wrong podcast.
Brandon: What up nerds?!! It’s basketball!!
Eric: What up nerds, it’s basketball! See ya later!
Eric: You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.