Afterparty: Labor Party IX

Practicing our French, preparing with the players and moving on from the labors. 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

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

- Multitude:


[theme music]

Amanda: Hey, hi, hello, bonjour.

[Eric gasps]

Eric: Oh we’re gonna parle france…

Brandon: Join the… what’s party in french?

Eric: I don’t know.

Amanda: Fête.

Brandon: Oh, fête. Do you know what join is?

Amanda: I was thinking of it right now… nope.

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda: Don la fête. In the party.

Brandon: We’ve gone international, folks.

Amanda: When you’re speaking French, you’re already in the party.

Brandon: That’s true.

Amanda: Anyway, hi welcome to the Afterparty. This is the part where people on Twitter are like, “I was yelling at my car as I was driving how to say ‘after’ in French!”

Brandon: Please send all of your tweets to -

Amanda: Después la fiesta…

Brandon: @shessomickey.

Amanda: Come at me, man. Thinking out loud on the mic. Hi, it’s the Afterparty.

Brandon: I think we played some Dungeons and Dragons on the episode this week. Did we, Eric?

Eric: No, I just read a bunch of shit I wrote down.

[all laugh]

Amanda: Yeah, Eric started this session by being like, “Guys I wrote a lot…” and I understand why. It was very cool. Thank you for rolling with the punches when you were like, “What memory do you want?” And I was like, “I dunno, just like genesis of the world, maybe.”

[Brandon laughs]

Brandon: I loved the set dressing around the memories, the whole movie theater.

Amanda: Yeah!

Eric: Yeah, Ze’ol is such like- there's this trope of this trickery person, someone who is relatively chaotic, and I didn’t want him to lean totally far into that, but if you have control over time and space, you can kind of make whatever you want happen, so -

Brandon: What other kind of rooms do you think Ze’ol makes for himself?

Amanda: Definitely a cigar room.

Brandon: Cigar room. Is there like a massage spa situation?

Eric: I’m sure.

Brandon: On his days off.

Amanda: Maybe fishing.

Brandon: Oh, fishing!

Amanda: With like his fishin’ clothes.

Brandon: Do you think he ever catches anything, or -?

Amanda: Um.

Eric: He catches all the fish.

Brandon: But do you think it’s more rewarding to catch one after 8 hours?

Eric: No, not for him. What I like about Ze’ol, I wanted him to have a very goofy and strange face.

Amanda: Yeah.

Eric: So it’s like you put him in any outfit, it’s like Ze’ol with a top hat, but his glowing eyes are going in two different directions. Ze’ol in a fishing outfit, Ze’ol in a towel getting a massage, but his gold eyes are all over the place.

Brandon: You know what I like most about Ze’ol?

Eric: What?

Brandon: We’re done with Ze’ol.

Amanda: Woo! End of Labor Party!

Brandon: I love your character and I love your -

Amanda: I love your creations. I love your brain.

Brandon: -acting, but fuck Ze’ol.

Amanda: Fuck Ze’ol. God. [groans]

Eric: Yeah. He got pretty selfish after being locked in a thing by mortals for 300 years.

Brandon: Do you think the other two gods are like young people? Or are they all just old -

Amanda: I don’t know.

Brandon: Crotchety…

Amanda: I pictured Devar as like a maternal, late 50s mom. And Adamah I picture as like a monk. You know? Someone in just really serene linen clothing walking through a garden being like, “My creation.”

Brandon: I love that.

Amanda: Maybe that’s not how it is, but that’s my headcanon.

Brandon: Surprise! They're both dogs, I guess! I don't know, one’s a cat.

Eric: Everyone's a dad. They're all dads No, but I think that makes sense when we’re talking about bringing in spirits here, I mean the creator god is usually maternal, and then in my head if I were to pick a stereotype of the God of Life, it’s just kind of like a businessman going to work and he’s like, “Oh, I have all these reports. Oh man, all these people wanting to live and do things.”

Amanda: Oh wow. I was thinking more of the like creative, natural aspects of life, but you’re saying like quotidian details of life.

Eric: Yeah, like he’s like a CEO of living.

Amanda: He’s like a bureaucrat.

Brandon: That’s fascinating.

Amanda: Oh!

Eric: Maybe I’ll do that. Actually, I haven't carved these people out yet because I don't know when you're gonna meet them-

Brandon: Should I cut those immediately?

Eric: No, it’s fine!

Amanda: No! Purge the audio!

Eric: I like it. I don't know if I want him to be as masculine as that’s set up.

Amanda: Sure.

Eric: But I think that like being the CEO of the world or of living is an interesting idea.

Amanda: Like the bureaucrat, the operations person, the librarian of the system of living is pretty cool.

Brandon: When it rains, is it just like the plumbing leaking and you gotta go fix it?

Amanda: That’s summer Friday man. That’s summer Friday. Put some rain on. They'll be fine. Just let ‘em go. It's like the kids in front of the iPad. Just give it to ‘em for a couple of hours, they'll be good.

Brandon: Everyone will stay indoors, no one’s gonna do anything crazy.

Amanda: I can finish my taxes, yeah.

Eric: Yeah, we’re really starting to get into the lore, stuff that I’ve been building towards the entire story. This is the first time that I’ve actually explained the Centering. I’m extremely happy about it. We’ve laid out some of those items as well.

Brandon: Yeah, how about those lips? The lips?

Amanda: Yeah, so let’s return to the cursed image of this episode.

Eric: [laughs] Everyone has one cursed image.

Amanda: We have the medallion. Fine. We have the boots. Cute. We have the compass. Okay, fuck that. We have the sword. We have a clown mouth? Go away. I don't like it.

[Brandon giggling]

By which I mean I wanna find it immediately.

Brandon: And put it in my mouth.

Amanda: Oh no.

Brandon: In my real human mouth.

Amanda: Cronch.

Eric: If you feel like it.

Amanda: That is definitely the most cronch-able.

Brandon: No like me Brandon, I want it in Brandon’s mouth.

Eric: Gross. I love kenku so much so I really wanted to make sure that a kenku was there for the forming of everything.

Brandon: [laughs] In this meeting they were like, “Yes, I’m gonna take dominion over Fidapolis.” “I’ll take dominion over the sky.” “We’re gonna take Döove & Böoster's.”

Amanda: Oh yeah.

Eric: You think Döove & Boöster's survived whatever happened before the Centering?

Brandon: Oh yeah.

Amanda: What if all along Döove & Böoster's has been the underworld and the kenku are the administrators of it?

Eric: No. That’s not what it is.

Amanda: Aw.

Brandon: What if it’s the middle world? The in-between world?

Eric: Also not what it is.

Brandon: Damnit.

Amanda: It’s the liminal space.

Eric: Do you guys remember what that thing is called by process of elimination? The Sword of Light, the Shining Medallion -

Brandon: The Liar’s Mouthpiece!

Eric: There we go, Brandon.

Brandon: I had LaCroix in my mouth.

Amanda: Brandon the continuity police is back at it.

Eric: Back at it again with the continuity. Every time you guys are with Greg, something insane happens.

Brandon: Sounds like the common denominator is Greg then.

Eric: I don’t [laughing] No, I don't think so.

Brandon: Bring Greg out. Let’s talk to him.

Eric: No, I don't think so.

Amanda: Excuse me - I’m a medium now I’m laying hands on you. Excuse me, spirit world can I speak to Greg?

Eric: [in Greg voice] What is even happening right now?

Amanda: Ah there’s my boy.

Brandon: Was that Eric or Greg?

Amanda: But Tracey and I had a heart-to-heart.

Brandon: Yeah!

Amanda: How did that go on your end?

Brandon: It was great. I think there’s a shift that’s happened in the way that we are - our characters are approaching the world, and I think Tracey is - there was always something that was nagging in the back of his head of this is something that he has to get done in order to get the place that he wants to go.

But I think with the loss of Johnny, he’s sort of realizing that this was something that was here now, and he should have been living in the here and now and enjoying what he was doing. And I think he’s fully onboard - He’s more comfortable living in the grey space of reality, and decisions, and morals, and ethics, which is something he’s not been used to. I mean he’s very old, but he’s still very child-like, and he was, for lack of a better word. But how did it feel from your end?

Amanda: Yeah, like we joke all the time that Inara is an assassin who doesn't like to kill and a rogue who doesn't really do a ton of crime, but her intentions like if you look back at the Meet the Character episode, Inara’s leaving everything she ever knew to go to the city in search of a new sense of belonging. And for her, that was the Assassins’ Guild, and trying to make that work, and kind of join into that fraternity. But it became clear that she found that belonging and it’s this family that we've made.

I think it was important to her to kind of communicate to Tracey A, to explain herself in a way that we haven't before where you just kind of like known, or hinted that you knew, that I did bad things, and we kind of moved on. But she wanted to explain herself and make sure that she was represented properly in Tracey’s mind because she respects him and wants him to like her.

So this is for Inara a tipping point too, where in the past when push came to shove, she defended her party, but now it’s like family. And there is not a scenario in which she would choose anything over her family. So I don't know, it feels like we’re kind of committing to what has come to define us.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly.

Amanda: Like acknowledging it. And embracing it. But Alonzo's in that family. Greg is a jerk sometimes, but in that family.

Brandon: Yep.

Amanda: And it feel like a good thing to say out loud before we embark on whatever's next.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s sort of like when you're a teenager and you are first going out in the real world for the first time, and you have this idea of what you want to be, and what you're searching for and the reality is that you might be good at something else, or you might find this X group of friends that are not something you knew you needed or wanted, but was perfect for you.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: And both Inara and Tracey are on that parallel path- even though Tracey’s much older, he hasn't had the freedom previously to sort of explore that nature inside of him. So it’s nice to especially nice to say out loud, this is something that we want. Previously it was unacknowledged that whatever party weird circumstances happened, this is something we are now choosing.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: And I think it's super important to say out loud, both in reality and in - for characters in our game.

Amanda: That’s for sure. And we have bigger problems now, such as, I don't know, the destabilization of the world?

Brandon: The universe!

Amanda: Yeah, there's big stuff happening. Also Oatcake is now in the blink world for a long time.

Brandon: That stick is the best item that’s ever been itemed.

Amanda: I love it so much! It’s so good!

Brandon: Such a good stick.

Eric: [giggles] I'll show you this item table that I came up with a bunch of months ago when we’re done with the campaign. I hope you won't be mad about the things that you missed out on.

Brandon: Spoiler, it’s just like ones we’ve had and the rest are just sticks. All of them are sticks.

Eric: Yeah, there was a stick table.

Amanda: The sticks are pretty great. But yeah, a lot of unknowns like Kohl’s in Infropolis? Why? Whence? When is she coming back? How can Trace fix his arm? We’ll find out.

Brandon: We will find out, Eric.

Eric: Well you know why she’s in Infropolis. She’s there for the - what is it, the Concentric Wrestling Championship.

Brandon: Well okay, you can say that. I don't know what the hell that is.

Eric: Who can say?

Amanda: Yeah, I just thought it was, I don't know, eerie that someone who - I just thought of her as a fixture, like always there, always in her workshop, always in Fidapolis, for her to be somewhere else is kind of like oh no. For people to be somewhere else it means we probably have to like go and do something about it.

Brandon: And importantly, her android friend-

Eric: Yeah, Alabaster!

Brandon: Seems to be with her and/or wrestling.

Eric: Go Alabaster!

Brandon: You know what’s not great for Tracey is when -

Amanda: Is seeing that?

Brandon: When people make their robo-servants do things like wrestle or fight,

Eric: Listen, the complexity of warforged and how things are made only gets more and more complicated as we move forward. Maybe it’s not so cut and dry.

Brandon: Also, yeah, that’s also interesting. I forgot to talk about this but the intentional choice of Tracey to choose to not learn about his past.

Eric: Yeah, strong choice. Strong choice. We’ve talked about that a while ago. I’m like, “Hey Ze’ol left this door open for you. I think you should think about what you want so that I can write it.” and then you’re like, “I just wanna know that Johnny's okay.” And I’m like alright-

Brandon: Well I think it goes back to what he’s doing is intentionally choosing not some ephemeral idea of family, and not some ephemeral idea of a past, but choosing his present and deciding to live in that.

Eric: Going off of that, it’s interesting the last time you saw Kohl’s creation, it wasn't ready. Like it wasn't put together.

Brandon: Right.

Eric: So you don't even necessarily know what the deal is. I wonder - you’re past like this is bad.

Brandon: What’s their name again?

Eric: Alabaster.

Brandon: Maybe Alabaster is Tracey's… you know… you know…

Eric: Maybe. We still don't know how warforged are made or how robots are made so we’ll see. I guess this is more of an-

Brandon: Tune in to ‘How It’s Made’ next Tuesday!

Amanda: You know what we do now? That Johnny has a hell of a past.

[Eric and Brandon laugh]

Brandon: Okay so in my head, did not want to stop the recording of this, but if Johnny is like 200 years old and these women are all the same age-ish, does this math work out?

Amanda: Well I think there was a variety of ages and people and stuff like that.

Eric: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to get across.

Brandon: Okay,

Eric: Some of them might be super old. Some of them other - I mean I also thought they were different races, so different races have different ages. So it’s like you can have a 150-year-old elf and that’s not weird.

Amanda: To each their own, but this is my favorite internet meme trope is like women who meet because the same guy was taking them all to dates on the same night or something, and then they become best friends, and I hear about it on Twitter or on Reddit, and it’s delightful to me.

And I think that’s really awesome that that’s the consequences of all of them meeting each other and kind of being like, “Are you? Hmm? Huh?” It’s awesome.

Brandon: They're all like, “Yeah I took this guy out on a date.” and they're like, “Oh my god, tell me about it.” “Yeah he just talked about fucking light for six hours!”

Amanda: “Whoa my ex -”

Brandon: “Wait, I went on a date with that guy!”

Amanda: “Was his name Johnny-”

Brandon: “Yeah!”

Eric: “Why does he always want to know the light situation?” Yeah, I was talking about this with Heddy and she's just like, “Yo, you should see a bunch of people Johnny hooked up with.” And I’m like this is a hilarious idea, I love that.

Amanda: Creative collaborators, very good and useful for our show. But yeah, I don't know, I am from a gigantic family, lots of whom are older people who came from Ireland and have been to a lot of funerals in my life. And maybe it’s just our cultural background, but going to an Irish wake, there is so much more laughter than somberness and just- that’s what you're there for is to tell stories about the person and to bond over their idiosyncrasies and to be like, “Wait! I last saw you when you were six! Oh my god, that’s your kid! Ah!” and just catch up with all these people because when you have such a large family, you don't see everybody every day.

It’s like, “Wait! Amanda! This was my neighbor growing up, the guy with the red corduroy pants and the story.” I’m like, “Oh my god that was you!” So it’s always somewhat of a, obviously somber, but a joyous occasion to learn more about this person and to see more sides of their life illuminated by the different kinds of people who are there.

So I had this idea in my head of like the ritual that Inara may have grown up with of writing to somebody who is gone or deceased and just kind of having a moment of bonding, pretty visual, you know, I’ve gone to bonfires before and it’s just a really nice version of a ceremony that I think is really worth repeating. So it was a meaningful kind of moment to insert into our campaign for me.

Brandon: I feel the same way. I would prefer when I die everyone just go out and have drinks, just trade stories about dumb shit all night long.

Amanda: Get fucked up on barbecue.

Brandon: Yes. If there’s not fucking brisket at my funeral, I’m coming back to life and killing you all.

Eric: What makes you think you're gonna die first?

Brandon: Have you seen the way I live? [laughing]

Eric: That’s true, staying up late editing is just ruining your life.

Amanda: Staying up late editing. Yeah, go back to the soundboard and turn down the gain because the microphone is peaking too much, like excuse me Brandon would have wanted this.

[Brandon laughing]

Brandon: But so that event was a little bit more collaborative I guess, or pre-written between all three of us. But this episode in particular was sort of - I mean we rolled dice twice and one of them was for a hug, so what is this version of Dungeons and Dragons, Eric? How did you construct it? What was your thought process?

Eric: Prewritten is such a misnomer for what we do. Just because you write it doesn't mean it exists in a vacuum. There’s no script here. I write down some pages of narration that I definitely want and that we’ve talked about but I don’t… I think it’s okay to …

Brandon: Collaborate before the reality?

Amanda: I think it’s like your narrative mise-en-place.

[Brandon laughs]

Eric: Hold on, wait, Amanda’s gonna make a metaphor. Hold on.

Brandon: Which part is the diced onions?

Amanda: You have little bits of prepped things that you know at some point you're gonna need, and you come in with that, but you don't know the order. You don't know the frequency. You don't know who necessarily they're all going to fit. You have an idea. But we come here and then we figure it out, and when you need it, it’s there for you to pull out.

Like you're not there looking at your laptop being like, “Okay now you say that, now you say that, now this happens here.” I felt as a player like I could do whatever I wanted, and if I felt very strongly that a certain thing should happen first or second, there is the flexibility for me to do that. You're not saying, “Oh no, we have to stick to the script.”

Eric: Sure.

Brandon: Right and the things that you're not hearing in the episode or the things that are not on tape are like me and Amanda building out the ceremony scene and what would be good images -

Amanda: Right. “Oh maybe a bonfire.” “Maybe by the lake.” You know and just thinking about that.

Brandon: And Eric going, “What are the two things you guys wanna do in town?” And I wanna fix my gun, and like what does that look like, and how do we figure that out. Stuff that would sort of spoil the actual event of it.

Amanda: This is what we're gonna do. Now let’s do it.

Brandon: Yeah, so we just cut that out and just do the event.

Eric: Everything that I wrote though are just results of things that we have discussed or played out earlier. I think when Ze’ol made this offer to you two, there was always an expectation that this was going to happen and you have the control of asking what the thing is.

Amanda: Right, meaning we know we’re gonna have scenes, but you don't know what those scenes are gonna be.

Eric: You also didn't know that the scene with Alonzo was gonna happen. It’s like a combination of truth-telling slash punishment to just ruin someone's day by showing them that their boyfriend is doing a thing.

Brandon: If I haven't said it yet, fuck Ze’ol.

Eric: Yeah, you really don't like him.

Brandon: Such a piece of shit.

Eric: He’s definitely an asshole. The way that I describe DMing is that you build a house, and the house has a kitchen; the house has bedrooms; it has a space for a den, but it’s not really a home until people get in there and they bring in the things that they want. Like, “I want the couch to go there.” “I want a barbecue.” “I want a dartboard.” So -

Brandon: Don’t put dartboards in your home!

Amanda: In your basement! Your game basement!

Eric: Yeah in your game room.

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: You don’t have a game basement?

Brandon: Do you guys have a ton of plaster to fix the wall when you miss the dartboard every two seconds?

Eric: Yeah, that’s what caulk is for.

Amanda: You make the whole wall -

Brandon: A dart board?

Amanda: Cork board.

Brandon: Oh.

Amanda: And then you put a target in the middle and then you can also make a murder board if you solve a murder, or you can hang artwork from your kids!

Eric: The point is is that when the people go and they grill stuff on the barbecue, that shouldn't be out of character, because the place has a barbecue so people do the thing. It’s not -

Amanda: Yeah, you set the scene and then we do the things.

Eric: Exactly like the scene is already set. It shouldn't surprise someone that it’s like, oh man those people are barbecuing. So weird right? So in the same way is when you play D&D, you set up the structure, the players do stuff in the adventure, but then the results of the adventure is like oh yeah, they totally did that, now I get to write the results, but that’s stemming off of player actin. I’m not controlling it, I’m just fleshing out the consequences of your fun.

Brandon: And the minutia, the fun, and the little twists and turns are all the small things along the way that we decide within the structure there’s a blink dog, cool.

Amanda: Yeah, we have a camel with sneakers.

Brandon: Yeah.

Amanda: There’s a gargoyle that talks like Danny Zuko.

Brandon: Eric, your mind’s a - just a hellscape. What is going on in there?

Eric: I think it’s very funny.

Amanda: I think it’s more like a glorious kaleidoscope-y claw machine.

Brandon: Yes, I like it.

Amanda: You don't know what’s down there, but it’s gonna grab something.

[Brandon laughs]

Brandon: You're gonna get something out of that egg.

Eric: You two are painting me in such kind light. I appreciate that.

Brandon: Well speaking of your crazed mindscape, what is coming up next? What can we expect?

Amanda: What’s the next arc? You can tell us. No one’s listening.

Eric: I’m not going to tell you-

Amanda: No one’s listening.

Brandon: Just tell us off-mic it’s fine.

Amanda: Brandon is it off? Oh, you paused it? Oh good.

Brandon: Yeah, I put my hand over microphone and now I’m just doing this and -

Amanda: Okay.

Eric: Just Halloween. It’s the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’ No. That’s not true. We are gonna reckon with the fact that it’s just the three of us. I think we’re gonna bring some people to be a fourth chair, whether they're playing NPCs and are gonna flesh them out. We’ll have them for a few episodes.

Kohl might show up if you run into her doing whatever she wants. We’re gonna have some friends that are just great players I think that are gonna stop by, but the core here is still the three of us. Even though the party is smaller, we still have a story to tell and we’re going to see it out to the end.

Brandon: Hell yeah, we are. I’m gonna kill Ze’ol.

Eric: You can’t kill a god.

Brandon: I’m going. To kill. Ze’ol.

Eric: Alright. Write it down in your character sheet.

Amanda: I’m gonna stab at least one person or thing. And I’m definitely gonna throw that stick once per episode watch me. Now let’s go to some questions from our listeners.

Eric: This question if from Emma Peele. “Hi guys. I just finished binging your podcast after finishing ‘Potterless’ and am now moving onto ‘Spirits’.” Look at all of our Multitude shows!

Amanda: Good decision!

Eric: “My identical twin sister Steph got me into ‘Potterless’ and podcasts in general and I’m enjoying what you guys make, however, just as she's introduced me to ‘Potterless’, I’m trying to convince her to listen to ‘Join the Party’. I’m thus-far unsuccessful. Any suggestions? Lots of love from Australia.”

So I think what's interesting here is that Multitude has been bouncing around for a little while now. If someone listens to the other shows on Multitude, how would you invite them into our show?

Amanda: Oh, for the listeners of each show?

Eric: Yeah, so for listeners of ‘Potterless’, ‘Spirits’, ‘HORSE’, and ‘Waystation’.

Brandon: Well, I think overarching right, we’re all genuinely friends in real life so if as in real life, if you are friends with someone and they have a friend, you have a much better chance of liking that new friend. So you should give all shows a chance because if you like one show, the same way, you'll probably like another one.

Eric: Multitude: We’re all friends.

Amanda: All shows also have crossovers from different shows’ hosts, so if you want to have the complete Julia Schifini archive experience, you will have to listen to all of the shows on Multitude because she’s on all of them at one point or another. Except for ‘HORSE’, but ‘HORSE’ is new. And same for Schubes or whoever.

So that I think is one argument. Every show is designed not just for people who already love that thing, so ‘Spirits’ is not just for people who love mythology, or urban legends, or folklore, but it’s also for everyone who is willing to listen to two people be super enthusiastic and genuine, but not uncritical. about a thing they love, and learn to love a new thing, because we’re inviting you to, because we think you're gonna enjoy it.

So if you enjoy our approach to Harry Potter, or to Lost Girl, or to mythology, or to basketball, you're probably going to enjoy learning about this whole world that you had no idea you're gonna love, but now it’s gonna be your new favorite thing.

Eric: I wanna get nitty gritty. I wanna get specific.

Brandon: Specific, yeah.

Amanda: So for ‘Waystation’ is easy, Let’s just start there.

Eric: Let’s just knock ‘Waystation’.

Amanda: ‘Waystation - okay you listen to ‘Waystation’, you like queer stuff, you like monsters. You're gonna like ‘Join the Party’. Done.

Eric: There. Bang. For ‘HORSE’, if you like it when I get excited about extremely esoteric things and then I put them into practice you are absolutely gonna love Dungeon and Dragons.

Amanda: Also, there's a lot of drama.

Eric: Oh, tons of drama, and games are games. So the way that I feel and we talk about basketball is similar to the way I feel and we talk about Dungeons and Dragons, so bang. ‘HORSE’.

Brandon: ‘Spirits’ is also easy. If you enjoy listening to Amanda, then you would enjoy listening to Amanda on ‘Join the Party’.

Amanda: Oh hey, that’s one commonality.

Brandon: But also-

Eric: I would say if you enjoy Amanda making dumb jokes about things that are happening, then you would love it.

Amanda: Yeah, you think you're dunking on me, but that’s actually my whole persona, so-

Eric: I’m not - that wasn't a dunk. That was an underline.

Amanda: Also the bake-kugira, it’s great! It’s also in ‘Join the Party’!

Brandon: Yeah, there's a dead whale on both of those shows.

[all laugh]

Amanda: Oh no!

Brandon: But if you also like the lens that Julia and Amanda look through things, we also try to incorporate a lot of that same viewpoint into the way we tell stories on ‘Join the Party’.

Amanda: It’s true. It’s true. And I don't know, there's so many angles for ‘Potterless’. One I think if you agree with Schubes that Quidditch is an extremely poorly designed game, which I don't exactly because I think that Quidditch is actually just drama. [whispering] It’s a stage upon which the characters can play out their personal drama, et cetera, et cetera, we know…

[speaking] But D&D has much more interesting rules, and Eric comes up with incredible ways to make real life things into playable experiences in the game, whether that’s ‘Chopped’ or ‘The Bachelorette’ or whatever it might be, there's a thing from real life that we can put into our fantasy game that is just so delightful every time.

Eric: Yeah, I would say that if you are interested in the actual mechanics of Harry Potter, how economics work, how the magic actually works, what a wizard has power to do or not do, what monsters have the power to do or not do, ‘Join the Party’ goes into that because we make it functional. That stuff is laid out in the actual manual so you should be able to understand and really kinda dig into why Dungeons and Dragons is so interesting and breaks down fantasy tropes and magic tropes in all these different ways.

Amanda: Yeah, I think if someone had told me that D&D was all the things I craved from fantasy books, like the rules, and realities, and materials needed to do spells, that’s my shit, and I would have been into it so much faster if I had heard that kind of angle. And obviously, we have a link to the beginner's episodes that teach everybody how to play Dungeons and Dragons in two really beautiful, lovely, gay episodes.

Brandon: We can’t forget though that a lot of people just like Schubes' snarkiness, so -

Amanda: That’s true.

Eric: People do - that’s true.

Brandon: So if you enjoy the fact that Schubes genuinely enjoys Harry Potter but also doesn't take it too seriously, and it’s light, but also enjoys the material and is referential to the material, that’s what we do on ‘Join the Party’. We don't let anyone at this table get away with anything.

[all laughing]

Eric: Thanks Brandon.

Brandon: Yeah, and if you're a Join the Party listener and you haven't listened to any of the other shows, go do that!

Amanda: Whoa! Yeah there are so many!

Brandon: They're all so good!

Amanda: So good!

Brandon: Come on!

Amanda: There’s like hundreds of episodes of these sows at this point!

Eric: Beans!

Amanda: Whoa!

Eric: Nerts!

Amanda: Legumes!

Amanda: Legumes!

Brandon: Grains? What are we doing?

Amanda: Cereals!

Eric: Okay, alright, I have another question.

Amanda: Root vegetables!

Eric: I have another question.

Amanda: Starches! Protein! Protein in everything.

Eric: Okay we got a question here from David K. The subject is, “How do you visualize the world you're playing in? Hi, great show.” Thanks David.

Brandon: Thank you!

Eric: “I’ve been on the fence about playing D&D and the nerdiness and feeling silly, but you guys have curbed that and I’m now in a group!” Thank you!

Amanda: Whoa congrats! That’s the dream!

Brandon: Yay!

Amanda: Good job!

Eric: David was wondering how we visualize our world. “Is it animated? Is it real life? Do you base your characters a little on real life pop culture references? For example,” David - this is how David visualizes us - he says, “For example, Eric’s DMing seems very lighthearted so I see the world almost in an Adventure Time-like setting and feel where Alonzo is like male version of Flame Princess for some reason, but then I see Tracey almost like Blitzcrank,” which we found out is a big ol’ robo-boy from League of Legends, the very popular video game which is more of a classic fantasy-type feel.

Amanda: Is it more realistic looking?

Eric: Yeah, and he’s big and powerful and shooty.

Brandon: Like really classic wizard.

Eric: How do you guys - I’m actually interested in this - how do you visualize the game that we play? And of course, everyone can visualize it however they want, and all of the listeners, I mean, we have no defined visual style because we’re an audio medium.

Brandon: This is not canon. Right.

Eric: So however you feel, rock it. But how do you guys feel about the show? I actually really love the Adventure Time thing.

Brandon: Do you see it as animated?

Eric: I think I do. I think sometimes I see it as very like … maybe more like a realistic animation style, maybe something more like The Dragon Prices or-

Amanda: Miyazaki.

Eric: Yeah or Miyazaki, but I very much like the Adventure Time thing because it lets me swap between tones, which I think I do a lot. But it definitely is to me animated to make everything happen in the way that I see it in my mind’s eye.

Brandon: Interesting.

Amanda: Brandon?

Brandon: Um, I don't.

Eric: Alright.

Brandon: I think for me to- because I am the sound designer and I’m very turned into pacing, and feel, and tone of the show, I’ve always thought about it as realistic in that the sounds I bring into the show are realistic, so it doesn't make sense in my brain to not have them both -

Amanda: There's no like kapow! Superpower-type things.

Brandon: Yeah, which I could do, like that could be a choice like if we wanted to make it super animated like leaning into it, we could have talked about that ahead of time and that’s something that I could have sound designed. Like ‘Startripper’ for instance is every impressionistic in that way.

I don't know, I think it makes more sense in my head the stakes when things are more realistic to me. Like the idea that I’m a giant robot boy already is already very weird in my head, so I need to make that a given and the world around it has to figure out what that means.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: Yeah.

Amanda: I think I picture a sort of blend between realism and a realistic anime like Miyazaki I think would be the closest. When we were writing the Meet the Character episodes, I can remember myself picturing Inara’s hands in front of me, and I was thinking to myself that’s where I started and I was like okay well there are these hands in front of me and what am I thinking? What am I feeling? What is around them? Like kind of looking up from there and seeing the world like unfurl itself onto the mental canvas in front of me.

And I remember picturing those hands in dappled sunlight under the forest, a heavy pack and a dirt road in front of me and okay well that’s where I'm starting. But in the intervening time, as soon as you said it Eric, I’m like oh shit I don't know. Like it escaped my head immediately. But when I picture the world, I think of a map like in the beginning of a fantasy novel with the city-states etched in as we go to them. It’s not like actors, but everybody has their close to real skin tones, facial features, the packs I always imagine as real, and having a smell, and having a sound and a texture. I think about how things feel and smell as often as I think about how they look.

Brandon: Yeah, totally. I love that idea of bringing in, because when you're looking at animation you don't think about - unless they intentionally bring it to your intention, about how things smell or taste or whatever and that’s always through the characters’ eyes, but yeah, I love that.

Amanda: I often find myself thinking okay well what am I resting against? What are my hands on? You know, if I have to reach in for something, what is in that pack and how heavy is it? It’s a way that I find myself grounding myself in a world that not just me is thinking of.

Brandon: Yeah. I think my reference points for how cliché it is, it is Lord of the Rings, in that - the original trilogy, because they used a ton of practical effects.

Eric: For sure.

Brandon: And those effects are taken as givens in the world.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: So like you don't think about how weird it is that this old man is wearing a giant robe and this orc thing has a bunch of scars because that's just how it is in that world.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: That’s what my reference is.

Amanda: Awesome question, David, thank you for emailing us.

Brandon: Yeah, thank you.

Amanda: And for playing D&D. It’s great! I’m so glad you're doing it!

Amanda: Thank you for joining us for this and every After Party. We would love to hear what you thought in our patron-only Discord in the story spoilers section. You can also ask us questions there in the afterparty channel. If you are not yet in there and you want to be, good, you should be! We give every person who joins a personalized greeting and tell them where the guac is and where the playlist is.

Brandon: The guac’s gone. I ate it.

Amanda: Oh no. Well y’all can join at where you can get extras like NPC backstories for every episode - I wonder who this one will be. I hope it’s one of those ladies. I hope it’s a list of each of those women and how they first met Johnny.

Eric: Please remind me that in like five months when we release this episode.

Amanda: Point being they are very good and they are available to our patrons over at

We are also @jointhepartypod on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Tumblr where we share good, good stuff and art and photos of our dice and our gameplay, and our beautiful dice boxes that in real-time here when we’re recording, we just got a listener Izzy, and it’s lovely and we want to hear you. And yeah.

Brandon: I wanna say hi! Come say hi!

Amanda: Come say hi!

Brandon: Roll a hi hug check!

Amanda: So you listeners are gonna know what this new arc is called before we do, so look in your podcast player for the next episode of Join the Party. Thanks!

Brandon: Bye guys.

Eric: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

Brandon: Where do I go, Eric?

Eric: Get out of here. Get.

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