Afterparty: Pool Party IV

Examining prophecies, peer pressure, and our poor babysitting skills. 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

- Johnny B. Goodlight: Michael Fische

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

- Multitude:


Amanda: Welcome to the Afterparty where we are the worst babysitters and partiers of all time. It's amazing that we can be so good at shutting down fun and also so irresponsible.

Brandon: I didn't shut down any fun, I partied. Now I have that data.

Eric: You are now susceptible to peer pressure.

Brandon: That's true.

Amanda: That really reminds me Brandon of me in middle school where I was like I suppose I should like garner and accept social invitations just to get the data about how people do this and that was my social life in middle school.

Michael: I was rewarded for a very fatherly moment so I feel pretty good about my life choices.

Amanda: That is true. That is true. We met what we thought was a foe but it's now a friend, Jamie

Michael: Friend... ish.

Brandon: Murder machine.

Amanda: I feel a kinship with the guy. I don't know. I'm also illuminated by a glowing purpose which is just like go out and try things

Brandon: and try to murder everyone.

Amanda: Flirt with older women.

Michael: I mean I respect that like at all times he has a light source with him, like for me that's a sign of goodwill.

Amanda: Speaking of flaming swords. So do we think that Jamie's flaming sword Brandon or Michael is the same as the one mentioned in the light at the end of the episode?

Michael: I mean I think so right. That makes sense?

Amanda: Yeah

Michael: I mean I've been itching to ask this question for a while. I'm glad that we found two items.

Amanda: I know I'm really excited. The line about not all champions I think deserving to be seen was the phrasing. Oh man, I'm just so excited about that.

Michael: I mean that could mean they don't deserve the item they have. So we just need the item or maybe we have to give them the item because they didn't deserve it at the time but they do need it. There are so many possibilities here and we now know what to look for which means we need a mouthpiece whatever that means. A key whatever that means. And boots whatever that means. I almost said boat.

Eric: There's a boat you got to run aground because of a very bad driver.

Amanda: At some point, we may need a boat.

Brandon: So you think these are all literal items? you think like the mouthpiece is actually a something? Or do you think it's like the mouthpiece as a being?

Michael: I mean I could see a tattoo, I could see like a statue. I was re-listening to the episode where Johnny's in the library and everyone's on their own little adventures in Fidapolis

Eric: Episode 9 the one with the montages

Amanda: And librarian's mad.

Michael: It reminded me that we should be also like on the lookout for either people or things. And I interpreted that always as like it could just be a symbol. I don't know what a champion could mean now like if it's a literal person or just an item or if we unite a city under a concept like I don't know what it is the overarching way to unite the Concentric States is but if that's our goal we need to be looking for something and now we have something.

Brandon: Yeah well I think Tracy interpreted as the initial mission was hey you're going to go and do some PR in these places. Solve some problems that these places have but like, in the end, you're going to just like talk to people and solve them and make them a more united continent. But I think now there's a new layer.

Amanda: And it's possible that even the speaker Martinsson doesn't really understand what the point of this is like it's a prophetic thing right. Like a legend or a thing that they know that they have to do but maybe aren't sure exactly why. That happens with tradition sometimes where it loses meaning over time or it loses its clarity over time. And so it's possible that we just have to kind of figure it out and there's no right answer.

Michael: They've been doing these challenges to then escort champions for a while now and it's been, other people. It just seems like it's always been a more PR thing and maybe it was more tradition than reality but now things are kind of like, there's some weird stuff happening there are shadows literally everywhere and giant whales causing mayhem in cities like maybe it is time for the champions to come back and unite again. And they inadvertently are doing a good thing by sending us out to do it.

Amanda: I'm excited to see where it goes.

Michael: Yeah

Amanda: I'm stoked that we got to use two of our champion items.

Eric: Three, all three.

Amanda: Oh that's right. Yours just has become such a part of you, Tracey, that I don't even think about it but I was really stoked to use my shadow cowl which I picture is like a really cool scarf over my cloak and I just want to become one with the shadows at all times.

Michael: Johnny does not like that. I'll be honest I'm pretty actually happy that Johnny was not around when that happened and he was inside the second bucket of wine.

Amanda: Yeah.

Michael: Because as a character he would not have stood for that happening.

Amanda: I also really loved that kind of integration of shadow into the use of the lantern like that seemed like such an appropriate consequence for us being able to use the lantern in such a useful way on the bridge to stun people who are about to do something dumb which like there are so many dumb hometown stories. And I love that that worked its way into our fantasy universe but it made sense that like there's some kind of layer of mayhem or consequence or energy pushback.

Michael: I'm glad that there's like a more clear answer to it I guess. The lantern has been a little picky about when it wants to have some bad stuff happening I guess based on how I react to it. Like with my rolls. I'm also glad it's not always damaging me and sometimes just pushing teens off bridges.

Eric: So much better teens are just getting hit.

Michael: Hey I had low HP so I'm all about it. But that also meant that you know Tracey got to use his always favorite long arm of the law.

Brandon: Yeah

Eric: I'm really happy that you're not scared of the lantern. I was a little worried that when I put whatever is going on in the lantern that it's like you have a cursed item. I think that's pretty obvious.

Michael: Yeah

Eric: There's something going on with this thing that you aren't afraid of it especially after it downed your ship.

Michael: Well it seems like it's not something I can just go to a priest and just clear it there. It is something that I have to tackle within myself and now that I have that answer I'm going to use it more. I want more opportunities to kind of confront those shadows and see if that is what helps me then lead towards ending the negative side of it. Plus I'm going to keep asking questions I've been chomping at the bit to ask more questions so I'm glad I got to do two more today.

Brandon: Fish did you intend this to be like a really insular journey. Cause I don't, if you look at what the characters know I don't think you've shared any of this lantern knowledge. I don't even know if we know why we went down in the ship.

Michael: No I don't think I have shared it yet. I'm realizing that I probably should have said something but also like I don't, I don't know...

Brandon: Is it a character choice to make it an inner battle kind of thing?

Michael: We can say yes and pretend as if it's that and not that I maybe forgot to say something. I think it's a better character choice to not say anything about it actually.

Brandon: I think this is an interesting dynamic then to have.

Eric: You guys all keep secrets from each other.

Michael: Yeah, you know I mean and that's fine. We all have our own personal journeys and motivations that the three of us are all doing. For me anything about the light. I'm very protective of the light and if me using the light or accessing the light causes shadows I'm definitely not going to tell you guys. You would believe less in the light. Even though you guys do believe in the light more or less.

Eric: And no, I think that's interesting. I mean all of you have secrets. We have the shadow problem with the lantern. Tracey's whole backstory. I don't think anyone really knows about other than me. And I mean Inara didn't share a lot of her assassin biz with you guys. Actually any of her assassin biz with of you guys. So we'll see what happens. Everyone has a secret. And that's interesting to see how it resolves. That's my song on secrets.

Brandon: It's a really good song.

Eric: Thanks.

Brandon: Catch it on iTunes.

Eric: “Secrets (Everyone Has A Secret).”

Amanda: Nice.

Brandon: Hey Eric if I hadn't rolled good what would have happened? Would I be a half-dead champion?

Eric: I don't know. It's really interesting. I can do as much prep as I want to. And sometimes things shake out and sometimes they don't. But I think that like, that's for my own satisfaction. And you guys will never know the tree in which you don't go down in this very very large choose your own adventure.  

Brandon: I really like that. Tracey's just kind of like learn to use this, he failed I think twice. This was the cool maneuver he's been trying and waiting to do this whole time.

Eric: Yeah, using it as a grappling hook because this is your first time actually doing it. I'm very proud.

Michael: It occurred to me when Tallahassee bit into Tracey that Tracey doesn't have like skin or bones so he probably has like pockmarks from that bite. We've heard references to like previous injuries or like etchings that people have done onto Tracey. And when I asked you if you wanted me to try to repair that you said no. Now that you're back and you're living like your second life basically you want to keep all these injuries as a reminder. Maybe there isn't an answer but I'm just like mechanically like you get your health back but that injury is still there. Like at some point wouldn't you degrade fully? Maybe there's no answer to this.

Brandon: I don't know about the degradation part. I think it's an interesting thought to get on. But on the other point, yeah I think he wanted to keep the etchings on as a reminder of where he came from and what he what his backstory is essentially. But I think also there's a second part of he's a warforged like he was built for war, meaning that like the thing he responds best to is like violence so I think he kind of made actually a better relationship with Tally which is his nickname by the way. through this like it almost like bro-y like you give me an injury and now we're kind of like blood brothers kind of thing at this point. So I think it actually brought them closer and he doesn't want to like make that go away.

Eric: Hey I have a question. So what do you guys think when I told you that everyone was going to hang out on a half-built bridge.

Amanda: I rolled my eyes I think harder than I have this entire game like I am just at this Inn, I just had done tons of dope shadows shit. I just want to sleep. I also thought for a second that the bridge was on the other side of the river where I was like oh my god we're going to have to not just forge this river again but go to the land of the giant and you know have to rescue these drunkards and get them on a boat somehow. It was like a bad logic puzzle where there is like three of us and eight drunkards and two boats and Alonzo will eat someone if he's in the same boat as them

Michael: There's a goat, there's a wolf—sorry a chicken.

Amanda: or a rabbit and a fox or something or whatever I was immediately like oh my god I'm too tired for this.

Brandon: I've got to say if Alonzo is the example of a champion I do not hold high hopes for the rest of the champions.

Amanda: On the other hand morale is part of this journey also and just showing up and like being there for the citizens in a time of need is part of the reason that we're here and you're talking earlier about how this is essentially a PR project. So is it OK for him to make friends with locals and bond a little bit and do a little hazing ritual and you know how people feel? Yo, Lonzo, you're the man maybe?

Brandon: I don't know. I don't know if you think like a politician like they would never get caught being drunk at a party like they would be semi-buzzed maybe but like they would never lose control.

Amanda: I think the idea of it is good, execution as with everything with Alonzo it went horribly off the rails.

Michael: I just liked how viscerally the three players we reacted to this news. To the point that Eric was almost like oh no is this not fun? I mean we were like No no no we're fine. This is OK.

Amanda: We're having fun. And we're so pissed.

Michael: We took a bathroom break just when that was happening he was like you guys could just go to sleep like you don't have to do anything. So this is our punishment for forgetting our number one mission. You know we have all these other motivations and goals and things we want to do. But the task Speaker Martenson gave us is the task we should be following. If not there will be consequences because Alonzo is someone who needs to be constantly looked at

Brandon: He is a giant adult baby.

Michael: I think he will mature. Will he do it fast enough? No. But that's also interesting and fun I think for us to deal with.

Amanda: That's really interesting. I like that read and I am genuinely embarrassed that all of us forgot Alonzo.

Brandon: That was not a joke.

Amanda: Oh no. We all, that was like I left my brother in the driveway going to high school and I am so sorry. Like that's what that was like.

Brandon: We all looked at each other like, someone's not here.

Michael: Our reaction there was genuine.

Amanda: It was 100 percent genuine.

Michael: I wonder how that night progressed if we had not forgotten.

Brandon: Tracey would have taken a bubble bath. He would have put on a nice satin robe and would have relaxed and had some nice meditation. Actually, he doesn't have his own room. He would have done this all in front of Johnny

Michael: Wouldn't be the first time.

Amanda: Inara would have done the same thing.

Michael: In front of Johnny?

Amanda: Flirt with the lady, pick a fight with the dude, probably not drink because she wants to have all her wits about her to make a good impression.

Brandon: Smart.

Eric: My biggest regret is that Cassie and Inara didn't. I was hoping but it did just not align.

Michael: Yeah I was really worried that she kept trying to talk to Johnny and like Johnny is not going to like play along with this flirting game. He's just going to be awkward if you're trying to talk to him and he's going to like point to an Inara and make her do it.

Eric: No I mean I did get some flirts off. Like I remember you got that nat-20 but it was just like she was so self-conscious about Inara's flirting ability the fact that she got a successful flirt was that 20.

Amanda: It's exactly like real life, little bit too close to home.

Eric: I don't know that's the one thing I can tell you is that I wish it could have happened but did not.

Brandon: Well we did save her life so she might be interested in talking to you.

Amanda: Yeah. And she is still in this Inn.

Eric: That's true.

Amanda: Never say never.

Michael: Never say never.  

Eric: All right we have a whole mess of questions that we got from our lovely listeners. You're all the best. I like you all so much. This is from Aaron Ginley which we got from our e-mail address. If Inara was in the TAZ world would she have joined Merle's Extreme Teen Adventures? Keep up the good work on the podcast.

Amanda: Thank you, Aaron. I think Inara would not have wanted to join because she doesn't think of herself as a teen unless it's useful to her in a moment to play up the kindness. Unless there was a girl she really liked who join the club, in that case, she would be standing, not like right behind her in line but like two or three people behind her in line so that she didn't really look too eager you know classic.

Brandon: Also how much is Inara into weird plant stuff. You know what I mean?

Amanda: Brandon that is an inappropriate question to ask of a teenager.

Eric: Got'em.

Brandon: Yeah that's true

Eric: Torched. This one it's from Pedro Pages. This is from our Facebook. Hello Join the party cast, I have a question about D&D. Besides the usual action adventure game that's played in this game can D&D be played any sort of way or genre like solving a murder mystery or an intriguing spy thriller? What would you like to see be done with D&D? Has anyone done any sort of other genres while using D&D as a structure?

Brandon: I did

Michael: I did

Eric: What do you do Brandon and Fish?

Brandon: I think this is a really great way to get people into D&D that haven't ever played before and don't have an interest in fantasy like they think it's childish or something. The first game I played ever was with my roommate Andrew and his good friend and our great friend Trejan and actually, he gave me these dice. These are from my first D&D game ever. And we played a sort of like 1920s themed detective mystery that turned into like Cthulu at the very end. But like for the first half it was just like very normal like you're just playing as a character like a cop or something. It was really fun. I liked it a lot.

Amanda: I can tell because you play a detective now.

Brandon: Yes. I'm just always a detective from now on.

Eric: And now you're a detective. You've changed your whole career path.

Brandon: Yeah. Well, I'm not going be very good at my job anymore now that you've announced that over the air.

Eric: Oh no Michael Fische. What other genres have you played using D&D as a structure?  

Michael: Well my dirty secret is that I actually kind of like non-fantasy more than fantasy.

Brandon: What a dirty secret

Eric: So Dirty

Amanda: Lost all your nerd cred

Michael: I really love non-fantasy RPGs. It's just a lot of fun. I had an entire fraternity or like a good portion of a fraternity get introduced to D&D when I created a super easy entry noob friendly RPG where anyone who was on any kind of device looking at anything on the Internet or media at a certain moment they become like that meme or that pop culture thing except for these four people who started in the literal room that they were in and had to pick stuff up from the room to use as weapons. And then the twist, because these were frat guys, was you had to drink to expend energy for either magic or for like physical stuff.

Brandon: So like drinking was their mana kind of thing.

Michael: Yeah. So their characters would drink. But then also they would have to drink in real life as well.

Amanda: That's awesome.

Brandon: Was keyboard cat in your campaign?

Michael: You know what. I need a look back to see what was in it. I do recall Slenderman being a bad guy. Oh! And Nyancat.

Eric: And you know you know Slendermans, they just live down the street

Brandon: He's an insurance salesman in North Dakota

Eric: They live on the corner, they go to our synagogue the Slendermans.

Michael: The Slendermens yes!

Brandon: What do you got Eric?

Eric: Well I was going to ask Amanda if you could pick another genre to play within D&D what would you do?

Amanda: Hogwarts.

Eric: Ok, what would it look like?

Amanda: Hogwarts.

Eric: Just Hogwarts.

Amanda: Hogwarts. It would go from sorting to, I don't know, going through your first years of school. Like going to the first class for the first time, learning how to master spells or I'm sure there's a way to make Quidditch more interesting because anything can be more interesting than quidditch as presented in the books.

Eric: All right Potterless

Amanda: Get at me

Brandon: When you first said that I just imagined you as the Harry Potter DM the HPDM just reading the book straight to your players. Just like literally, just like looking up every now and then going AHHH!

Michael: An lo, on page 348 of The Goblet of Fire Dumbledore said,

Amanda (in loud voice): Did you put my name in the Goblet of Fire?

Eric: Harry was that you?

Michael: Obviously not. Let's just chill out.

Amanda: That's a universe where I could see myself like on the fly coming up with stuff really easily. I can just picture Hogwarts and picture like all the different corners of it. You know what ghosts are passing through the walls. Like what hi-jinks kids are getting up to and like Filch and Mrs. Norris. I almost picture it like Pac-Man style game just like paths crossing each other and you have to change trajectory to like sneak past you know the people out there on their round's, the Prefects or whatever anyway. To me, it's just such a clear living construct and set that I feel like I could play within it really really easily versus something like this you made from scratch just feels I don't know impossibly broad

Michael: The thing with D&D or with any RPG you can do whatever you want and just gamify it. And this reminds me that in Traveller one of the things they like to boast is you can be space accountants, in space, just going about being space accountants.  

Amanda: I want to be a space accountant, please.

Eric: I think that's always been your dream is to be a space accountant.

Amanda: It's really easy to balance books in no gravity.

Michael: (sounds of a party horn) Yeah but could you actually help me balance my checking account.

Amanda: Yeah

Michael: OK thanks

Amanda: Alrighty that will do it for our after party. We would love to hear what questions you have for the next time you can find us or e-mail us directly You can also hit us up on any social media platform we are on all of them all day long. We are @jointhepartypod on Twitter Facebook Instagram Tumblr. All the places you could possibly want to talk to us.

And, we hang out all day long—not going to lie, it really is all day long—in our Discord for our Patrons. That's a chat forum where you can log on and post pictures of your dinner and ask for book recommendations and talk about what you would do if you were like a retired witch living in a village and you just kind of buy like a bookstore or a cafe or whatever... that may or may not be what I'm thinking about early this morning. Anyway, that's at and for as little as two bucks per episode. It goes really to a great place and you're going to be able to join in that discord. So we are so grateful for your support, those of you who are supporting us already. And if you're able to join we'd really love that.

A great non-money way to support us is to leave us a review on Apple podcasts. If you have an iPhone or if you have iTunes installed on your computer, any kind of computer, you can leave us a review! Just find Join the party pod in the podcast section of the iTunes Store give us a nice rating, say something sweet, tell us what your favorite NPC is. That really does help us to find new listeners so we very much appreciate it.

I think it's going to do it for us. Thank you again for listening and we will talk to you soon.