Afterparty: Pool Party V

Justifying level-ups, debating Blackfish conspiracy theories, learning to love when players go off the rails, and introducing the very cool Kenku. 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: Well guys I think some adults might have to run this after party because I am just totally battered, mind, body, and soul, from my plethora of critical fails.

Brandon: There are multiple episodes where you got like 100 nat-20s in a row. This is not one of those episodes.

Michael: Did we all roles crit fail this episode?

Brandon: I didn't roll a crit fail. But I don't think I got above like a 15

Amanda: You got a 2 right? or a 3.

Brandon: Yeah.

Michael: I def rolled a 1...

Eric: Nice, listen you guys need a fail at some point, especially after the storm episode where you rolled 7000 nat-20s in a row. Like I'm pretty okay with it.

Brandon: We know you are Eric.

Amanda: We did get to see inside another city-state though. That's pretty cool. I don't know if our extended West Wing walk and talk joke bit is going to make the final cut.

Eric: I Hope so!

Amanda: We spent a good 15 minutes riffing about The West Wing there.

Brandon: I miss you, Rob Lowe.

Eric: Rob Lowe actually works in the Antipolis West Wing you just didn't see him.

Brandon: I want to go back to the episode.

Eric: We have to go back!

Amanda:  I just think everyone in this castle is lying.

Michael: Yeah.

Brandon: Same same

Michael: but they do too. So you know...

Amanda: that's true. I was actually really surprised just to cut to the chase here that the representative actually wanted us to do the same things that we want to do. I did not anticipate that his conversation with Alonzo would go that way

Brandon: and I'm wondering if like Jamie is up on the take on that. Like are they working in cahoots or are they working separately towards the same goal?

Amanda: I don't know. I thought it was more of a like systemic you know the city guard has turned bad rather than like a couple of bad apples you know doing weird things but I don't know. My money's on Cali at this point but I'm not going to trust the representative as far as we can throw him.

Michael: Yeah it was weird because Jamie mentioned several hooded figures who had done that and yet Representative Shield said there's one bad apple.

Amanda: I guess in the guard though there could be external collaborators.

Brandon: He said there's only one bad apple?

Michael: that's what I heard.

Amanda: at least one or someone

Michael: it was one of the members of his five are bad

Eric: in this specific instance for what he told Alonzo. He does not trust one of his five.

Michael: And you know what that could mean, that could mean he doesn't trust Evan...

Brandon: It could mean he doesn't trust Jamie because he's not on board with the Blackfish

Michael: Exactly. Well, actually the 5 would include Jamie. But yeah like he just doesn't trust the person who's not sacrificing so...

Brandon: I should pay attention when we play.

Eric: Yeah probably.

Amanda: Well I wish I could have discovered more in the breakroom but I just didn't go as planned.

Eric: Oh no.

Michael: At least the sandwich wasn't gross

Amanda: I did get a sandwich that is true.

Eric: Man you are so close. I had so many ideas of how you could have literally cased that whole room, but your rolls were just so trash I couldn't give you anything more.

Amanda: I was like playing to my strengths and everything but sometimes the rules do not go in your favor. But that actually brings me to something that I wanted to talk to you guys about which is justifying things that happened in-universe, we talked before about how when something happens you know something that the dice dictates you have to find a way to make it make sense in the story and part of that is when we level up. New stuff happens like suddenly I'm going to take half damage. Suddenly Johnny has a whole other capability in terms of his invocation so I don't know what you are thinking about how as we level up how you incorporate that into your characters.

Michael: When I play D&D I always try to like not just, you leveled up boom I can do 5 different things and it's as if there's no justification, but sometimes that's what happens. Like with this 'eyes of the rune-keeper' I can just read anything. I don't know how to justify that, we are so many episodes away from when I was in the library at Fidapolis. Like if I leveled up to 5 there it would make sense. I don't have a justification for it. It's one of the more gamey things that happen within D&D. I think we as a group have done a really good job of justifying level ups and new abilities within level ups through our actions. Be it like learning how to grapple or getting the long arm of the law or getting the cowl and getting the note and finally meeting a representative of your guild or just like learning more about myself for Johnny or gaining the lantern. But sometimes I can just read now, I can just read anything everything all the time forever. Anything, I can just read it.

Brandon: I know is cheap up for like Johnny's character you're magic and you get magic things from a magic plane.

Michael: Yeah but I get frustrated with that. You know like because in my head I have a reason why he got that, but I can't just decide that that's what's happening because we're in the middle of trying to figure out what's happening in Antipolis. I'm not going to just say, oh I spend my time in the library and a book hits me on the head and I suddenly know gravity

Brandon: I am literature

Michael: and I just become a book.

Eric: Yeah just eat pages of a book and then you'll learn some stuff.

Amanda: Man I wish we could have learned more about those moth things they sound awesome but there is no way in hell I'm going into that dungeon.

Brandon: I just imagine a bunch of Venomoths just swarming in.

Amanda: Oh yeah.

Eric: Two things. The first thing, I think that things that are fighting abilities so we're talking about Uncanny Dodge and two attacks. I think that you can kind of justify that without as much game-ness. I mean you get better at punching because you're, you have more experience. You've lived long enough and I think that we need to acknowledge some game mechanics some like video gameness. I think that's okay. It really doesn't hamper anything else that we do as a podcast as a game as a campaign. I want you guys to do better at punching because then we can do better punches and that is a lot more fun. I mean level 5. I really think you become heroes. You're better than other people at stuff and I think that's dope and we need to acknowledge that you have been around long enough. We have been doing this long enough that like Inara is really sneaky and she can get out of the way of damage and Tracey like will hit you multiple times with his axe.

Michael: and Johnny can read!

Eric: Yeah and that's fine.

Michael: I'm a big believer of not all characters should start at level 1 because characters have lived before campaigns but the reason why you gain levels in campaigns is extraordinary events are happening so it makes sense that we start gaining these new abilities. It's because like we're having a concentration of life events in such a short amount of time that you otherwise wouldn't get, the passage of time is not important It's what's happening and I'm more interested in the three of our characters because we often choose not the most generic ability or spell or thing that would just do more damage. Or like get a skeleton key to like handle situations. It's more fun the way we've been doing it I think. But sometimes there are level fives where you just have to be better than everyone around you, easy, done. We can do that.

Brandon: I think it makes sense for Tracey, like extra attack. I think he can grapple you and then punch you. It just makes sense.

Eric: I know we've been talking about that since the middle of Political Party is you grappling two people at the same time. So like I want to see that like that is exciting for action reasons you know.

Brandon: Yeah.

Eric: Alright. And the second part of this, guys, in the future if we get on to like some live show or panel and someone was like Hey, Eric do you have any problems with railroading your characters. Do you ever like really lead them down the path I'm going to say like well this one time we went to the government and I put out a pest problem for them to take care of and they decided to do political intrigue instead, which is fine but I am not like, no I am not railroading my characters at all.

Amanda: What does that mean?

Eric: Railroading is when you lay down tracks for your characters to go down. And it is impossible for them to go off of it, it's like you're on a roller coaster. And like you can flail your arms as much as you want but the roller coaster is still going to go forward.

Amanda: Yeah. No, we're just always jumping off the train.

Eric: Yeah. And be like hey look at this part of Pirates Of The Caribbean. I want to talk to Jack Sparrow instead and do an insight check on him

Michael: and there's nothing wrong with railroading. Definitely, certain points that should happen but I appreciate that that didn't happen.

Brandon: I really did want to fight some moths for a second. But like I'd rather do the other thing I think, but like fighting moths sounds fun.

Michael: I want to read the books, obviously especially now that I can read everything.

Amanda: You know what they say Johnny sometimes you gotta fight some moths to read some books

Brandon: classic saying.

Michael: They do say that. Yeah.

Brandon: Yeah

Amanda: Yo! Play with me!

Eric: Also when I say that, it is my joy that things run off the rails and I get to like reform the whole story the story moves forward in a different direction. It's never a bad thing when I need to scrap whatever. And like I can leave a prize out but like they don't have to take it. They don't have to follow that path. But like I need to at least do my due diligence and like give them a quest, you know. And if they don't fulfill the quest, like chill they're doing something else and that's OK with me. And the podcast will survive and good things will still happen. Like, don't worry about it.

Brandon: I just want to say like it would be insane if like on my end if the episode was like hey we decided to do different things so scrapped the whole episode and all the work you put into it. So like…

Amanda: Yeah no, I would die.

Brandon: Props to you my dude for writing a thing and then being okay with trashing the whole campaign.

Eric: Listen I mean your choices make sense I mean if you don't want to go over the pest problem something might happen. Like what happens when you have people who keep eating paper and then hang out downstairs?

Amanda: it festers and it probably won't be my problem.

Michael: We're here to deal with the water and the giant and the whale and they can deal with their own pest problems themselves.

Eric: That's fair

Brandon: What does happen when you just eat paper? Nutrition deficiency I think

Michael: Maybe they don't like facts.

Eric: One man can't subsist on facts alone.

Amanda: Nice

Eric: Thank you.

Amanda: We also met a new race or two this episode. So what, what is, who is, what is Valentine?

Eric: OK well, first of all, shout out to all of the patrons who I used their names. We have Valentine from Lucille Valentine. I had Holly from new patron Holly Ann Heckert, Bob this Skrull, I just used your full name. Thank you. And Belto I got from Hans Belto. I know that I said your name wrong and I changed it a little bit and I appreciate you. and Wilkes is Debra Wilkes. So thank you all for giving me names. I appreciate it.

Brandon: those all fit so well.

Amanda: Whatup yall!

Brandon: Nice job having cool names

Michael: Yay!

Amanda: go thank you, parents, for naming you great things to be used in a D&D podcast one day.

Eric: You're going back in time and I appreciate Wilkes and Belto and Holly just like oh that was me I died!

Amanda: Briefly that was me.

Eric: It's like, I was stuck to a giant nice nice nice nice nice

Amanda: You are living in our memory forever.

Eric: Exactly. So Valentine. There's a really really cool race in Volo's guide called the Kenku. The Kenku is this kind of cursed bird humanoid that has no ability to speak on their own and use their own creative decisions like it's all parroting it's all Mockingbird type stuff. So the way the Volo's guide suggests that you play a Kenku is that you are always speaking voices and sounds that they have collected over the years. But being a player who can only communicate in sounds would just be terrible like you're stuck doing only these sound voices all the time and thank you Volo's guide for giving you the ability to play this guy as a player. They're really sneaky they're really great for being bards and rogues and monks but I just really wanted to have a Kanku NPC and thank you, Brandon, for doing all of the sound design for this. I am so excited.

Brandon: It was very fun. Is that the Raven-esque humanoid race?

Eric: Yea they look really Raven-y imagine there's like a 2/3 foot tall raven-like human body with tons of black feathers but like Raven face and they always have like a hood or a cowl over their face.

Brandon: Yeah I use one of those in my campaigns. Actually, they were a head of a Guild.

Amanda: It would be really fun to play one of those races as a one-shot I think. Where you know you can do it for 2-3 hours almost like a like a midi keyboard or just you know you have this many phrases and noises at your disposal like choose 100 of them in advance and have a grid or something like, I would find that really fun.

Eric: Oh that is so cool. I love that.

Michael: I mean Gene from Bob's Burgers is just a Kanku like that's it.

Eric: Alright we have a whole mess of questions right. Write Katie Write, which is Katie's delivery service asks Do you all refer to your recording prep as pregaming?

Brandon: Should we start doing that now?

Amanda: I'm sitting here thinking why we don't. Mostly it's because I just like stumble in here very tired on a Sunday morning or very tired on a Thursday after work and just kind of sit in my chair until it's time for me to recite poetry. Then I get into the game.

Michael: See that's funny because today isn't Thursday, it's Wednesday. That's how tired you are.

Amanda: Is it really Wednesday? Oh nooo.... I thought tomorrow was Friday...

Eric: So we have another one here, this one is from Lucille, What would you guys put in the JTP Cards Against Humanity expansion pack.

Amanda: Something about lesbians I don't know

Brandon: That's a good card!

Michael: Oh, the queer whiff of the sea is a great one.

Amanda: Queer whiff of sea salt! the sea is very queer

Eric: Mine would be Mr. Gargoyle was my father, definitely needs to go in there

Brandon: I think obviously Tracey just be "blank feels great". And then "Tracy feels blank" as well.

Eric: Oooo switching it up with two white cards!

Michael: And then for blank was my father's name.

Eric: Mr. Blank was my father.

Amanda: Lettuce and dust.

Brandon: Just Oatcake. Oatcake is a card.

Eric: Oatcake the beautiful dog we all love

Amanda: The assassin's guild told me so

Michael: I wouldn't besmirch the Undying light in any way slash I can't think of anything, Blanck be with you. That's just Catholic

Amanda: Also funny

Eric: We can do one more, this one's from Julia Schifini.

Michael: Who?

Amanda: Weird sounds Italian

Brandon: I do, guys, she's our friend...

Eric: Oh yeah, she's the co-host of Spirits! That's right!

Amanda: Oh shit, I've known her since I was 5 that's really embarrassing.

Brandon: That's fine, I won't tell her.

Eric: Is there an archetype that you love but just haven't seen yet in D&D. How would you go about making it? So I guess, is there a class that you really wish was in D&D. But is not here yet.

Amanda: Lesbians

Eric: Your class just be lesbians?

Brandon: Is that just humans but just lesbian

Amanda: no its, its own distinctive subclass.

Brandon: What are the features of the class?

Eric: Is there a sub-race for lesbian?

Michael: Is it DPS, is it Support, is it like ranged, like throwing spells, are you doing melee?

Amanda: There's many there's mommy with an I. There's daddy with an I. There's Stone-cold lesbian.

Michael: A ton of subclasses and then obviously you know prestige class is when you hit a certain level you can branch out

Amanda: I can be an Eldritch Lesbian

Michael: Of course

Amanda: You could be a high wizard lesbian.

Michael: Duh

Amanda: You can be queen of the sea.

Michael: Keep going. Love it.

Amanda: King of the sea.

Eric: This is more of a background than anything else.

Amanda: Listen.

Michael: It could be anything. It's an archetype. I'm all ears.

Amanda: I don't know... lesbians.

Brandon: I'd like to see, this is not funny, this is serious.

Eric: The Brandon Grugle story

Brandon: very much on brand but I'd like to see like a time traveler situation like someone who plays with time back and forth as like weapons and stuff like that.

Michael: Chronomancy

Amanda: that would be very cool.

Eric: I really wish there was I guess more elemental work done with some of the sorcery.

Michael: I was literally going to say you were.

Eric: Yeah yeah. I think it's just like it needs to be baked in the class. I mean it's just kind of taken for granted that like you have all the spells and they have all these different types of elemental powers. I wish it was more like that half Genasi race that you see from Volos I think. I don't know it doesn't matter, but it's like one of your parents is from one of these elemental planes you have like the spirit and like the feeling of that place literally baked into your person. I wish you could do that as a class.

Michael: I played as a monk who was like part wind and I just like completely destroyed the class and turned it into all wind-related powers. I guess my answer would be oooh like a pure poison class. It's all about poisons. You're either throwing poisons, you're poisoner

Brandon: That would be really fun.

Amanda: Team Rocket.

Brandon: Blasting away again!

Michael: There is a like assassin route you can take like rogue into assassin into like poisoner thing and you can definitely do it.

Brandon: Is that almost alchemists or is that different you think?

Eric: you could flesh out the alchemist's that was the other thing that I really want. I really wish there was like a straight up potions master.

Amanda: Yeah

Michael: In some older ones there's like a person who creates like siege weapons or is like a almost like a mechanic type of thing. Then there's also like just a leader. I can't remember the name of this either but it's like if a Bard was mixed with a warrior or a paladin where you're just like inspiring people you do a lot of like formation building.

Eric: I guess that makes more sense when you have the board

Brandon: Politician, do you think politician will be fun?

Amanda: Interesting

Michael: just like real life, I don't think it would be fun.

Amanda: Yeah I don't know much about necromancy in D&D but I would really love a Sabriel style Abhorsen like a person with Dominion over death and you'd have to work with your DM to kind of make this worked in the universe of the story but especially the mechanic of using bells and it's like it's so rooted in physics like use different frequencies of bells to move back further and further into death.

Michael: There are actually several spells in both Zanthar's and just regular that involves sound and death and so there is a lot of this and I think you can go Fallen Paladin or just like dark cleric

Eric: There's one for the cleric which just came out is the grave domain which opposes the blight of undeath. So literally just like an Abhorsen.

Amanda: Oh I have to read up on that later.

Eric: Yeah it's really cool

Brandon: So Wizards LLC get at us

Amanda: TM, TM, TM.

Eric: Wizards of the coast who created the game Dungeons and Dragons.

Michael: Guys we messed up Pokemon Master

Eric: Oh shit.

Amanda: Pokemaster would be pretty good.

Brandon: That was the answer to all of the questions so far. I want to play in a Pokemon campaign I do I want a Pokemon archetype. I want to dress up as Pokemon

Amanda: I want Tammy and Taylor to be team rocket.

Brandon: Yup, James would be Meowth

Eric: my favorite Thanksgiving food is Team Rocket

Brandon: It's like those little sushi rice balls with seaweed on them that they always eat on the show. When I was a kid I wanted to eat those so bad.

Eric: Those are so good! those are real!

Michael: You can eat those, you can get those in America

Brandon: Just not in Texas!

Amanda: There's an emoji for them!

Eric: That's how you know it's real

Michael: Thus its real!

Amanda: Alrighty, that will do it for our Afterparty, we would love to hear what questions you have for the next time, you can find us or email us directly at You can also hit us up on any social media platform, we are on 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 gonna lie it really is all day long, in our Discord for our Patrons. That’s like a chat forum where you can log on and post pics of your dinner, ask for book recommendations, or ask what you could do if you were a retired witch living in a village and wish you could buy a bookstore or a café, anyway not that I was thinking about that earlier this morning. That’s at and for as little as 2 bucks per episode, it goes to a great place, and you can join us in that great discord! Thanks to those who are already supporting us and if you're able to join, we would really love that.

A great non-money way to support us is to leave a review on Apple podcasts, if you have iTunes or you have it installed on your iPhone, leave us a review find us in the podcast section of the iTunes store. Give us a nice rating, say something sweet, tell us who your favorite NPC is, it helps us find new listeners, we really appreciate it. I that’s gonna do it for us, thanks again for listening, and we will talk to ya soon!