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. Today we talk about cursed items, character feelings, our starting 6, and working with guests in the studio.
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Amanda: Welcome to the Afterparty! What a action packed, leveling up, NPC-filled episode that was. Gentlemen, how do you feel?
Eric: Oh man. Shout out to Julia. That was...
Eric: I am so glad we got her in the studio.
Brandon: She was so amazing. It was so impressive, honestly.
Michael: It was really great to have her in studio doing it, cause we could see her reacting to what not only we were saying but even the parts where she wasn't on mic, just seeing her react was awesome and so satisfying to see how she was seeing things go down.
Brandon: I mean like when you're doing a podcast you don't get to see your audience reacting as you're doing things, but like having a person live in the studio was like the most fun experience of my life.
Amanda: Yes especially because we are recording this first kind of part of our story before any episodes are released. And so we haven't had anyone’s reactions to our episodes except for each other in edits. So it's very exciting to actually see somebody react to our characters.
Eric: Yeah. I actually don't know. I mean totally unadvised, this is just like improv, long-form improv to the max. I don't think I've seen or heard of any other game doing this except like during a live show. Bringing in someone just to like role play like that. I mean it's precarious. All I did was I was just like sat down with her for like a few minutes to try to like hash out what she needed to tell y'all. And like what she would know that you didn't. And I mean it just happened. It was nerve wracking for me as the DM. But like she fucking crushed it. So it's all good.
Michael: And I think it's fair to say there were moments that we did pause and she asked Eric a couple of questions. But even then, it was major stuff! It was very specific important things, but pretty much everything else she did like...
Amanda: It was seamless, yeah.
Michael: Yeah, she took that character, went with it, full improv and it was just a ton of fun to be a part of it.
Amanda: And Julia is my co-host on my other podcast, Spirits: A Drunken Dive Into Myths and Legends.
Michael: Shout out! Shout out! Shout out!
Amanda: We have been friends since we were five and so having her watch me do this other project was very exciting.
Eric: That's why she's my creative consultant.
Amanda: And my brother, so just my whole, my whole fam.
Eric: Yeah. (Laughs)
Michael: So a lot more happened this episode right? I feel like there's a lot to cover so let's go through... Inara got a level up and some items. How do you feel, girl?
Amanda: Yeah we all got some really exciting stuff and I'm very excited to have these items. So Eric, tell me, any of the items that we got in the Dave Matthews supply store. Were any of them based on like items in the D&D canon or is it stuff that you kind of thought that we would love as characters?
Eric: Let's see. The punk rock shoulder pads that's like a long tradition of cursed items. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, depending on what your roles are, depending on what happens to them. And I mean cursed items, like people want loot so badly that like they're willing to just like kind of do whatever and I mean obviously Dave Matthew didn't want them. And it's kind of resolved itself in a different way and hopefully we'll see that come out. The marbles. Oh God. We don't necessarily know what the powers of the marbles are but like really you saw it this was a thing that led to Inara's leveling up.
Amanda: And how about Johnny's mechanicals? Because that whole concept of... Robomancy? Right?, that is very exciting to me. What is that all about?
Michael: So look behind the curtain there, in mid episode. Eric and I just had a quick exchange of, this should probably just be a thing right? But there's no specific skill in the current edition of D&D about that. And I brought up that you can always add a skill and kind of work with it. If you treat it kind of like some of the others. So just like you think of thieves kit or think of you know an alchemist's kit or something like that. If we think about Robomancy in that same way, there's an interest at least for Johnny to continue this study and at least help his friend that he resurrected.
Amanda: I think it's a really great example to have the kind of compromise between Chance and wanting to do stuff in roleplaying games and in D&D because you want to know this and you can learn the skill, and the skill can be a thing in our universe but it has to be earned. And so the fact that you all decided that, you know, okay certain knowledge, a certain amount of materials, a certain amount of experience meaning in life will culminate in you being good at the thing your character should be good at.
Michael: And in any case it's confusing. Johnny didn't level up this episode because he was already level 3 but he was able to get this which I think is like way worth it. And you know hopefully some point I level up but I am already ahead of you guys for a bit. Now we're on more even playing field which is I think pretty cool
Amanda: For sure. And I actually got two things which is very exciting.
Michael: One of my favorite items!
Amanda: Michael freaked out at the cloak so I wanted to make sure we address that.
Eric: For anyone listening at home who is aware of unearthed arcana Kohl is a level 5 artificer and this was one of the things that she's built. That was the drift globe was the thing that she did a level two, and level five she built this or wove or whatever happened this was her robe. So this is totally all, I got of this right from UA. We chose the items. But I mean working with Julia she's like, I want this thing, and then we pick the five things and it turns out that she gave it to you. I didn't even know that she wanted to do that.
Michael: That's amazing that that happened. And there's a history of items similar to this which is where my excitement came from.
Amanda: For sure. A couple of more things on kind of new terms that were introduced here. So what does a Tiefling? What is that race?
Eric: OK. So Alonzo is a big big doofus. You saw how he was like prostrating himself, like...
Amanda: He's very genuine which I, I as Amanda, relate to a lot. Inara is just like, what are you doing?
Eric: I mean I'm not going to say that I'm not a Mary-Sue of Alonzo, that I'm just a big big doofus, who believes what people tell me and I'm good at potions as well.
Amanda: Head of the class!
Eric: Yeah you know me. Alonzo believed that Kohl was a demon lord or like an actual demon. But a Tiefling is like the spawn of a demon like demon a human hybrid. It's like one parent is a human one parent is like has some demonic force or they get conjured, however. It gets murky and we didn't really pick that for an NPC character. But it's definitely one of the rare races that are out there, like elves, humans, dwarves, they're more common.
Amanda: And it's rare in our universe too, which is why probably Alonzo was able to believe some kind of untruth about her because maybe he hadn't seen a Tiefling before.
Eric: Right. She never had the signifiers of what we believed to be like demons like the horns and the dark skin and like she had blue fire coming out of her hands. They're also super charismatic. So like she definitely convinced Alonzo that she was like this demon lord and now she is just like messing around. But yeah Tieflings are demonic, half human half demon things and you can actually play them as players.
Amanda: We also have some pretty deep character stuff occur, in addition to the cool inventory related stuff. Tracey... Brandon...
Brandon: I have to go to the bathroom I think! Can dave take my spot?
Eric (in Dave Matthews voice): Do you guys remember with that robot thing that was totally crazy!
Eric: Oh man, I just went to Clint McElroy's thing, like a beach bum thing, like, (in the voice of Merle Highchurch, Clint McElroy’s character in The Adventure Zone) “Eight legs of justice, man!”
Amanda: So Tracey reacted very strongly to the sight of this robot-ish looking thing on Kohl's workbench. Tell me a little bit about why that sets something off in Tracey.
Brandon: Yeah. So a lot of things... a lot of feels happened with Tracey and Brandon.
Amanda: Are you ok Brandon?
Brandon: It's been a long day, a long play.
Amanda: Tell me, tell me what was Tracey thinking. (Pause) I just felt like Barbara Walters in that moment. But continue.
Brandon: So. So I was really excited to see Kohl like I, like me as a person was super excited to see who Kohl was and what the deal was because I've played with infernal magic before and it was like, it’s always been super fun. And then I try really hard when I'm playing to like get in the mind of the character. And when we walked into the door immediately you, or Julia, I forgot who, started describing this thing, that was essentially Tracey who she was building. And Tracey... doesn't exactly know his exact origins, he knows he was, you know, quote-unquote “put into service”( by this governor essentially. But he doesn't know... It's more like flashes of memories and kind of like what I imagine like actual 4 year old Brandon quote unquote remembers which is actually not real memories. It's like a combination of like stories and weird flashes and blah blah blah. So I think that's what kind of Tracey feels about his origins. So I think he had, and I had this like gut visceral reaction to what was happening and wanted to find out and make sure that this being had autonomy and was not about to become into service forever to this demon.
Amanda: And we saw that on your face which was like really moving actually, like you know, I wrote a note down that you were so in character and I just like, the color drained out of your face. Actually! Sitting here! And it was it was pretty amazing.
Brandon: I felt really bad because like Julia came in here to have a good time. And then I got real mad. (Laughs)
Michael: It totally turned on like a dad mode sensation.
Amanda: Yeah. Johnny became a lot more... not paternalistic in the bad sense but a lot more protective than we've seen him before.
Michael: Well, Johnny's motivation is to spread the light. And if that means like having like quote-unquote “children,” obviously not his child, but like surrogates of children to help him, even protect him, he's going to invest time and energy into that. And I think that's like one of the exceptions where Johnny cares about someone who isn’t himself because his character, the character really only cares about himself. And then seeing, just seeing Brandon freak out, we had a moment I think that’s off mic of like, yeah no, Johnny needs to step in because the only other answer would be Tracey just tearing the place apart.
Brandon: That was actually my next go to move if something hadn’t happened.
Amanda: Yeah after Inara left.
Brandon: I was going to, in my head I was actually planning to like go next to a table or something and flip my race switch and just fucking like destroy everything.
Michael: Yeah and there were four of us in the room who weren't Brandon and we were all kind of shocked by it and it was, like a good shock!
Amanda: Not in a destructive way, just like, oh man, like you are bringing it to the table, and I want to, too.
Michael: Yeah we didn't expect that. I think like what came out of it was like I thought it was a really good character development moment for both Tracey and Johnny and showing that... you know in my headcanon we've been traveling for a while and like we kind of know each other and it's kind of evidenced by the fact that Tracey loves whenever Johnny goes into scripture or whatever which is obviously just made up. It's not real.
Brandon: He doesn't he doesn't know that.
Michael: Well I mean yeah Tracey doesn't know that.
Amanda: But like Tracey and Alonzo have a lot in common. In terms of believing stories.
Brandon: I think that actually is like a great aspect of our relationship that we discovered is the fact that like we are both after the same thing without explicitly knowing it. Tracey is after protecting Johnny, he is... in not so like horrible terms, like he feels indebted like an actual genuine way and he feels that he wants to protect Johnny and I think Johnny feels the same way for Tracey but more like a loving father relationship. But neither of them have said that.
Brandon: Or like, know it? But it's this good, good dynamic that they have.
Michael: The first episode, we out of mic talked about why do we care about the three of us together. And I was like, I want Inara to be like my new kid and I feel that same way...
Michael: I feel like Johnny feels the same way because you know, he's been with Tracey for a while, he knows that Tracey will like be like a good pal and Johnny will do whatever Tracey says because Tracey is still like ancient and knows like what's happening even though he's like, you know, he seems more naive but he's really smart. And in the same way with Inara, like, Johnny wants to like help her but also follow her because she's a different perspective.
Amanda: I think that's awesome and before moving on to Inara's perspective. Something that I really love, like me as Amanda, about Tracey and Johnny's relationship is, like a lot of relationships, in ways in which you as a person feel deficient or ways in which you think you can fail, you can lean on the other person's strength. So like even if Johnny or Tracey doesn't want to make the choice that will preserve their own health or sanity, they know that Johnny would want Tracey to be safe and Johnny knows that Tracey would want to defend him. And you can just kind of have that like mutual assurance of caring to help you make healthy decisions for yourself. Anyway, that's my moment of projection.
Brandon: And I totally agree, and I think it honestly like out of game slash in-game it freaked me out for a second because it was the first time I've actually had like an actual emotional reaction to what was happening, like the first time I've actually like connected with the character and it freaked me the fuck out. (Laughs)
Michael: Isn't that cool?
Amanda: It's like really cool.
Michael: We all felt that though.
Michael: That was, that was just awesome.
Amanda: Yeah I know it is, and I think Inara too, like as excited as she is to be out on the road doing her own thing, you know she is from a highly, a really tight society where like family groups of like eight or 10 families travel together and like that is their whole world. And so she is very drawn to trusting, like, family-type relationships, and so being able to you know enter a new one and kind of like negotiate her own place in it instead of being raised as you know the baby in the whole tribe is really exciting to her. And Johnny, we were also able to kind of see a little bit into the dogma or theology of the light for the first time at least from my perspective. So you at some point said like something along the lines of like we're all united in the brightness of the light. And I loved that the idea that there obviously is some kind of like belief system behind the thing that we make a lot of jokes about. But that was pretty cool and I feel it was motivated by Brandon's commitment to how Tracey would react to the situation.
Michael: Well I know it's a wrench in what Eric's trying to do because he created this wonderful Trinity and just because of the existence of this in the UA, "The Light Plane," it doesn't run counter, it's part of the existence of the Trinity. And if you're a warlock, everything you do is about your patron, and Johnny's patron is the positive energy of the light and that's all he is. It's been very clear that's all he does all the time to everyone's annoyance. I dunno, from making up scriptures to like trying to channel light as a positive force to maybe calm someone or to even just give himself the charisma and like, ability to do something I think is really cool.
Amanda: And I'm sure we're going to investigate that more. We didn't even get into the amazing lore behind this necklace and the Centering which I'm sure is going to be something that continues throughout the next kind of phase of the story. But sort of as an ending note, at least for me, I don't know, having done now seven of these episodes, it feels like we are kind of transitioning into character properly. There were several instances during the session where we would start by saying, well Inara wants to... and then just say, “I want to,” and kind of revise from third to first person. And it does feel like, I don't know, we were kind of inhabiting these characters more fluidly, our character voices come more easily and the observations along that front.
Eric: I think this is an interesting part for all of you, I mean all of you are now the same level, like you are all now adventurers and all of you have your archetypes we're not always going to do leveling up like that. Believe me, sometimes it’s just going to be like, hey you got some experience and you're better about yourself. Level 4 is usually like where your first ability scores bump. So its like you got better and we can just kind of fly through that. But this was you choosing the kind of person you wanted to be. I wanted to make a Inara's relationship with the assassins and her being a faction agent which is her background, we haven't really talked about yet. I wanted that to be really important and I wanted Tracey's relationship with Nessie to be really important and be it part of his barbarian-ness. This is the end of the first arc! You you're figuring out your characters and now you're going to go on and be heroes doing other stuff. You're going to get really embroiled in this big thing that's happening. You heard about a medallion that has existed for a millennia, and it's like the biggest thing that's happened to this continent ever. I mean, we'll see what happens.
Amanda: It was overall a pretty disastrous wedding party, but at least it's one that we survived.
Eric: It's definitely story-worthy, there is a story-worthy wedding party
Brandon: We got a few drinks it was worth it!
Amanda: It was! We got some free drinks. I got a free pair of too-big pants. So Inara came out on top.
Michael: I made friends with Huey, Dewey and Louie, so that's that's really like, the best.
Amanda: And we have a great new style icon in James with that rose studded beard. I mean come on
Eric: Listen now that I don't have a character I have to cosplay as James I guess.
Brandon: Oh my God.
Michael: That’s great.
Amanda: Hell yes.
Brandon: We were going to make that happen.
Eric: I hope so. Hey, hey guys.
Eric: Do you want to hear the next arc?
Brandon: Yes, yes please!
Eric: You finished arc one which is the Wedding Party, and welcome to arc two: Political Party.
Brandon: I like that
Amanda: Bring it on. So we got a Question via email, which anyone can do at anytime, by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. From Erin, Erin Asks: “Really loving the podcast so far, (thanks), Since I keep thinking of Pokemon everytime you guys say RPG or NPC, what would be your characters team be?”
Eric: Oh my god.
Amanda: That is such a good question, thank you for asking us Aaron. I would just say, all of the Eevee's, all the Eevee evolutions. I just think seeing Inara with a pack of semi-feral giant cats would be amazing.
Brandon: Are they cats?
Amanda: Foxes, whatever.
Eric: Little fox things.
Michael: That’s Vulpix
Amanda: Little fox things.
Brandon: I love Eevee's
Eric: I can’t keep track of all the eevee's though, like after like... it’s...
Amanda: The lightning one...
Eric: Flareon, Jolteon, Vaporeon...
Michael: Leafeon, Umbreon.
Michael: Theres a leaf one now
(Anger from the hosts)
Brandon: Every one past 151 is not canon, everyone knows that.
Amanda: It’s like the last season of the L-Word, guys. Everyone ignores it. Including everyone who worked on it.
Eric: Of course, you know, that’s a cultural reference i also get...
Amanda: Sorry you’re as a queer lady, everyone who is knows what i mean.
Michael: I was about to say, aren’t you excited it’s about to come back?
Amanda: They actually may canonically ignore the last season, and everyone is pumped about it.
Brandon: That’s crazy. Let me tell you my six.
Eric: Is this Brando's? or Tracey's?
Brandon: Brando's six. i'll give you Tracey's after that. The starter I pick, which is usually Charmander or Squirtle...
Eric: You waffle? You don’t pick one or the other?
Amanda: That’s a judgemental word...
Eric: Alright, let’s all go around and say what our starting Pokemon is, ‘cause I think this is important.
Brandon: OK, can I give my team first?
Amanda: No, what’s your starter?
Brandon: NON CANON!
Michael: You’re not gonna... listen, Gold and Silver is probably the height of Pokemon, you got to play...
Amanda: What is your starter? What is your STARTER?
Michael: Squirtle, I guess... sure
Amanda: None? You die, you never go on the adventure. You stay home with your mom, who’s sleeping with Professor Oak.
Eric: You live in Pallet Town, and you and Mr. Mime become best friends
Eric: Pokemon Yellow! That’s fair.
Michael (in nerd voice): Is it canon?
Eric (in nerd voice): It is, ‘cause its first edition!
Brandon: My starter is usually Charmander, but I like to go with Squirtle. I think Blastoise is better than Charizard.
Eric: You bite your tongue, sir.
Amanda: You bite your tongue at me, sir?
Michael: I mean he’s factually correct... it is just better than Charizard.
Brandon: I go Gengar... starter...
Michael (mocking): I go Gengar... starter...
Brandon: What are my other ones... ummm, Pigeot, ‘cause Pigeot is just a cool looking guy even though he or she is not that great... Um, man, I haven’t played in forever now that I think about it.
Amanda: You said “Here are my six” with such confidence...
Brandon: I know...
Amanda: That I really hoped you would deliver.
Eric: And then you just said Gengar really strongly.
Brandon: Give me a second, hang on.
Michael: So I was thinking about what Johnny's would be, but unfortunately you guys won’t let me pick anything beyond the first generation.
Eric: Oay, you have the knowledge, so go for it
Michael: I don’t, it’s just...
Amanda: I mean, you can...
Michael: For Johnny, there is a rock type Pokemon that is in the shape of the sun... so that would be one for Johnny.
Eric: They would all be regular Pokemon but you would just give them Flash and force them to use Flash.
Amanda: Bunch of plants and birds.
Amanda: (Laughs) Nidoqueen is really good.
Michael: Like, I know what they look like, the ones Johnny would have. But I have no idea what their names are because... That’s where stuff got difficult was the names after 151 were just difficult
Eric: They were Bananas.
Amanda: Thank you.
Brandon: Those are my six. You'll notice I cover all of the type ranges. And I have a defense heavy team.
Amanda: Sounds about right for you.
Eric: You’re also very defence heavy
Amanda: Diversified, defence heavy.
Brandon: Yup. The Brando way!
Amanda: So thank you Erin for giving us that question. And like i said, anyone can send them in anytime. You should reach out to us, please we would love to hear from you. On social media we are @jointhepartypod on all the places. You can go to our website, jointhepartypod.com where we have excellent transcripts for all of the episodes and Afterparties and the Punch Bowls, and last week we interviewed the Venture Maidens who were so lovely, their conversation with Eric was amazing. So check it out. Until next time y’all, we will be chatting with our Patrons in the Discord, so if you want to see cute photos of people’s pets and listen to their role playing stories and see the dope dice they are ordering, you gotta join us, give us a buck and you can come in on the action. And thank you so much for listening as always, we will see you in two weeks with a new episode.
Brandon: Is Tracey Mewtwo?
Brandon: What? He was created in a lab, but he’s also organic?
Eric: Does Tracey want to secretly take over the world?
Brandon: I mean, it’s a secret.
Eric: Stoneface would have five Golems and a Milktank.
Brandon: Bye guys!
Michael: Undying Light be with you.