42. Hunting Party III

With the massive Oatcake dealt with, the party takes refuge in a secret bar. But the patrons might be more dangerous than the monsters outside. Inara starts a bidding war. Tracey orders nachos. Finale drinks the drink.


- Twenty Sided Store, the best indie game store in Brooklyn. Get 20% off your online or in-store order with code JOINTHEPARTY.

- Tab for a Cause. Join team JTP and raise money for charity while you browse the web at tabforacause.org/jointheparty.

Find Us Online

- website: jointhepartypod.com

- patreon: patreon.com/jointhepartypod

- twitter: twitter.com/jointhepartypod

- facebook: facebook.com/jointhepartypod

- instagram: instagram.com/jointhepartypod

- tumblr: jointhepartypod.tumblr.com

- music: brandongrugle.bandcamp.com

Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Finale: Sarah Hopkins

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

- Multitude: multitude.productions

About Us

Join the Party is a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast. That means a group of friends create a story together, chapter by chapter, that everyone from seasoned players to true beginners can enjoy. Where else can you get adventure, intrigue, magic, drama, and lots of high fives all in one place? Right here.

After each episode we sit down for the Afterparty, where we break down our game and answer your questions about how to play Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games at home. We also have the Punchbowl, an interview series with people pushing D&D forward creatively, communally and socially. It’s a party, and you’re invited! Find out more at jointhepartypod.com.


Amanda: Last time on Join the Party…

Eric: Kohl leaves Tracey and Inara to talk to Creative, the people who control what happens next in the wrestling match for Oatcake’s life. But first, we have to deal with an army of receptionists.

Amanda: Is...is there a room in here that is not a reception desk?

Eric (as Lawrence): Eventually, yes that is entirely true.

[all laughing]

Eric: Finally, they find an express door that leads to the writer's room, and the head writer is an awakened bear.

Julia (as Kohl): Milligan, buddy! What’s up?!

Eric (as Milligan): Kohl! Oh my god, I didn’t even know you were here on this tour! That’s so wild!

Julia (as Kohl): I know right?

Eric: Milligan isn’t that great of a storyteller, so he uses a cadre of fish people to summon his ideas for him. When the party yells Oatcake’s name enough times, the magical fish people summon a giant Oatcake. The French bulldog monster chases the party through the office into the Infropolis streets, and Kohl attempts a dangerous escape using her technology.

Julia: And she’s going to put a arm around Inara’s waist, and she’s going to hit a button on her chest, and her jet pack is going to emerge.

[Everyone gasps]

Eric: As dope as that is, Kohl is swatted out of the air by the big doge and Inara and Tracey are cornered in an alley, until a mysterious Orc woman distracts the dog away. Who is this Orc woman? Why is she so good at distracting dogs? And what is a third question I can ask to fulfill the rule of threes? Let’s get the party started.

[theme music]

Eric: As the giant dog runs away, finally the alley is still. Inara, you are holding onto Kohl’s pastel body, in stairs that are leading out to an open door. Tracey, now that the massive dog has run away from you, you are staring at a tall woman with green skin and two very dangerous swords hanging from her waist. She turns around and looks at you right in your metal face.

Sarah (as green woman): You know, I don’t do this for free.

Brandon (as Tracey): Well...Uhm

Brandon: Tracey reaches down to his pocket, and gives...her...all his gold.

[Eric laughs]

Amanda: How much gold is that bud?

Brandon: Uhm, 673 gold?

Sarah (as green woman): Oh! that was like a joke, but…

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, well, if you don’t want it, I’ll take it back, it’s fine.

Sarah (as green woman): No, Uh-

Brandon (as Tracey): [speaking quickly] No, no. It’s cool. I’ll take it. It’s heavy, it’s mine, I’ll take it, it’s fine.

Eric: Inara, the door that you were standing in front of has now opened all of the way, and it is too dark to see inside.

Amanda: Do I see any thieves cant markings around the doorframe?

Eric: Yeah, you do. There are two arrows on either side of the door frame that are both pointing inside. And you hear the sound of big band music. Someone might be dancing inside of there.

Amanda: Well now that the immediate danger is out of the way, I’m going to drag Kohl back up, and kinda prop her against the wall of the alley and jog up to meet Tracey and this intriguing new figure.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, hey, our friend’s passed out over there, are we going to need to fight or something? Sorry, it’s been a long day.

Sarah (as green woman): Uh...I’m not here to fight anybody right now except, you know, I might have fought that big ol dog if it hadn’t gone off there.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, me too. I was going to be really tough and strong and fight, This big dog-

Amanda (as Inara): Our intention for sure-

Brandon (as Tracey): And yep, 100%-

Amanda (as Inara): Not running-

Brandon (as Tracey): No-

Amanda (as Inara): No, why would we do that?-

Brandon (as Tracey): What?

Amanda (as Inara): Hah, I’m Inara.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you want some more gold?

Amanda (as Inara): Gold?

Sarah (as green woman): Uh, Inara did you say?

Amanda (as Inara): Oh yeah that’s me, Hi Inara Hawthorn.

Sarah: I shake her hand.

Sarah (as green woman): Oh, Uh, I’m Finale Wormwood. Uh, what are you?

Sarah: [laughing] She looks at Tracey.

Brandon (as Tracey): [offended] What are you madam?

Sarah (as Finale): No, uh, I’m sorry, that was kinda rude, I’m a half orc. So that's what I am. I’m sorry, I just haven’t seen someone like you before.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I know, I’m really super rare. I’m a Tracey!

Sarah (as Finale): Okay [pause] alright! Are you all headed downstairs?

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, that was kind of our intention. Do you know what’s down there? There’s like music playing. What time is it? Sorry, I kind of lost track of it all. I haven’t seen daylight in what feels like a long time.

Brandon (as Tracey): Also, who are you, how did you do that, and what?

Sarah (as Finale): I’m confused by all of your questions.

[Brandon chuckles]

Amanda (as Inara): Where’d that dog go?

Sarah (as Finale): I just threw a big branch and he ran off.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh-

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara, a big branch, we didn’t think about-

Amanda (as Inara): We really should have thought of that. Do you think he thought you were a branch?

Brandon (as Tracey): You know what? Probably. Probably.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh man.

Eric: Cut to the giant 20 feet dog who now is just chewing on a person.

[Everybody laughs]

Sarah: Oh no!

Eric: [laughing] Like the dog is a dwarf pinned between two of its hands, it’s just like lightly gnawing on him.

Eric (as a dwarf): No, ugh!! ugh!!  This is my good coat!

Amanda: And then he squirms away to safety and is fine.

Eric: Then he comes back.

Amanda: Oh okay.

Eric: Who can say?

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you live here in town or…

Sara (as Finale): Yeah, for the time being, I was just going to grab a drink. Do you think maybe we should talk down there?  Wink.

[Eric laughs]

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara, she just said wink out loud, can you just do that?!

Amanda (as Inara): Did I, can I? I don’t think I can even roll a deception check because I’m so flastered.

[Sarah laughs]

Amanda (as Inara): Uh..

Sarah (as Finale): I’m going to go inside; you guys can do whatever you want here.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, considering our friend needs substantial first aid sounds like a good plan. Can we just, sorry -

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh my god, cool!

Amanda (as Inara): I don’t know if this is weird to say, [nervous laughter] who knows, but can you just promise to not kill or betray us just for the next 12 hours. Just need a little [sighs] a little breathing time, a little truce, no offense-

Sarah (as Finale): You sure are rattled.

Amanda (as Inara): It’s, it’s been a long, long year.

Sara (as Finale): Uh yeah,

Brandon (as Tracey): Can’t drop a contract

Sara (as Finale): I won’t betray or stab any of you.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool thanks. Again, no offense, you seem great, Love the swords.

Sara (as Finale): Thanks.

Amanda: Okay lead on, lead on

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, very good swords. Where’d you get the swords? I want one of the swords. Let’s go.

Brandon: I’m following behind Inara and Finale and giving Kohl little sips of my red healing potion along the way, as much as she can take in at a time, but hopefully stabilizing her.

Eric: Yeah, most of it is just coming out of the other side of her mouth, but it’s enough that you don’t have to worry about her dying.

Amanda: Well, that’s a plus

Brandon: Good?

Eric: Yeah, pretty good. Also her jetpack is extremely messed up.

Amanda: Not really my chief concern at the moment.

Eric: I’m just sharing, I’m creating a world for all of us.

Sara: You’re weaving a tapestry.

Eric: [chuckling] Exactly


Brandon: Would a healing potion help the jetpack?


Eric: You could always try.

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon: I dab a little on the jetpack.

Eric: [laughing] It just like rolls off. It’s like you’re trying to repair a car by putting a band-aid on it.

Amanda: Wilson, it doesn’t work.

Brandon: Would a band-aid work?

Eric: No, no, it also would not work.

Eric: With Finale leading the way, you walk into that door that opened up, but it is still dark inside.

Sarah: Is there a light switch anywhere?

Eric: Oh yeah, right to your right.

Sarah: I turn the light on!

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: Yeah, So the lights go on, and inside, you see, sitting in a very large armchair, is a kenku. The kenku is wearing suspenders, and shirtsleeves and slacks. The kenku’s mouth is wide open, and that’s where the big band music is coming from. This room is straight Gatsby. It is like 1920’s art-deco mixed with current hipster instagram restaurant. Lightbulbs are hanging from the ceiling in staggered heights. Each one of them is holding a little jar with warm, orange light emanating from it. There are multiple desks over to the right. There are comfortable seats everywhere. The entire left wall is just an entire library. It’s shelves and shelves and shelves of books all pressed up against each other.

Amanda (as Inara): So, Finale have you been here before?

Sara (as Finale): Oh yeah, I mean, I don’t really hang out here. I’m going downstairs.

Sara: And she walks through the room, and she looks at the bookcase, and she pauses for a second. And then she reaches up to the 6th shelf, and she pulls out a book about dragonborn anatomy.

Eric: Uh, What is that book called?

Julia: Scales, and... stuff!

[Eric laughs]

Eric: Yeah, so you pull out that book, And the middle of the bookcase opens up Scooby-Doo style as a door, and it leads down, winding spiral steps. The kenku gets up and makes a very loud-

[saxophone note]

-saxophone sound at you. And walks over to Tracey and makes another saxophone

[slightly deeper saxophone note]

-sound at him. And points towards one of the chairs.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh…you want me to sit in the chair?

Eric: You get-

[another saxophone note]

blasted with another saxophone.

Amanda (as Inara): Our friend is pretty sick, are there any first-aid capabilities here? Also, hi, my name is Inara and I’m going to very try to subtly toss my marble up, my assassin marble up, and put it back in my pocket.

Eric: You get a splendid chorus of trumpets-

[generic stereo trumpet plays]

-that somehow sounds like it’s in stereo [laughs], which is very confusing. Then the kenku turns back to Tracey, and the music stops, and you hear a-

[ambulance siren blasts]

-ambulance siren, that is now just blasting you in the face.

Sara (as Finale): Alright, calm down, he’s with me.

Eric: And you get blasted by an ambulance siren.

[ambulance siren blasts]

Sarah: Jesus! [laughs]

Eric: Finale, you know where you are going. This kenku, is like, the door person.

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah, maybe we should leave the teethling here? I’m sure they can take care of it.

Amanda: Can I roll an investigation check to see how trustworthy this door attendant is? And the general vibe, if we can leave Kohl here to recuperate or sleep it off?

Eric: So, you can do an investigation check to check out the room or you can do an inside check to check the kenku.

Amanda: Let’s do inside.

Eric: Okay

[dice rolls]

Brandon: I’ll do an investigation check to check the room while she’s doing that.

[dice rolls & bounces]

Amanda: Inara’s drunk [chuckles], 4+5 for a 9.

Eric: It’s so weird, how they’re making different sounds with their mouth.

[Eric laughs]

Amanda: Rude.

[Eric continues laughing]

Amanda: Rude. I have talked with kenku before, sir.

Brandon: I got 16+5 for 21 for my investigation check.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: Eric, that’s very good.

Eric: What do you want to know?

Amanda: Proud of you Brandon.

Brandon: Damn it.

Eric: That’s your first time rolling at all

[Eric sighs]

Brandon: I was not prepared!

Eric: While you two are trying to figure out what’s the deal with this room, you hear loud thumping.

[loud thumping]

Brandon: Where’s it coming from?

Eric: It’s coming from the street outside of the door

Sarah: You going to get that Gerald?’

Eric: Gerald makes the sound of a [laughing] concierge bell ringing.

[bell dings]

And Gerald opens up the door, filling up the entire door frame is Alabaster.

Brandon (as Tracey): Ally!!!

Amanda (as Inara): Al, oh thank goodness!

Eric: Alabaster is missing one arm, and has a bite mark that streams across his chest like a bandolier.

Amanda: Wow.

Sarah: Things are getting nasty out there.

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s gnarly, can I get one of those? How did you get that?

Eric (as Alabaster): No, I would advise you not to get that!

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Al, Kohl got hurt, we gave her a healing potion, I think she’s okay for now, but she needs to get some help, or healing or sleep.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can you carry Kohl with one arm?

Eric: Alabaster comes over and picks you up with one arm. [Eric chuckles]

Eric (as Alabaster): I think so Tracey, but I appreciate you caring about me.

Brandon (as Tracey): Put me down please.

Eric (as Alabaster): I can’t carry both Tracey and Kohl at the same time.

Brandon (as Tracey): I didn’t ask you to do that.

[slight pause]

Eric (as Alabaster): Good point.

[Eric chuckles]

Eric: Alabaster puts you down and goes over and slings Kohl under one arm.

Eric (as Alabaster): I used my GPS to figure out my way here and I’ll just use my GPS to go back to Kohl’s room. She’ll be fine. Beep Boop.

Amanda: That’s convenient

Eric (as Alabaster): GPS stands for Great…person…system.

[Eric laughs]

Amanda: Can we get one of those for Alonzo? It’s a very serious question.

Eric (as Alabaster): See you later! She’s going to take a very long nap.

Sara: I got locate object.

[Everyone chuckles]

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks Al, and when she wakes up, tell her that we are okay, and we will see her soon.

Eric (as Alabaster): That sounds good, hopefully you can make it to the fight tomorrow.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh yeah, I forgot all about that. Okay, we’ll see you there bud.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh yeah, we’ll see you there.

Eric: Alabaster runs off with Kohl slung over one arm.

Brandon (as Tracey): Gerald, [Eric laughs] may we retire to the next room, sir?

Sarah: Finale’s already halfway down the stairs [chuckles].

Amanda: Inara shrugs and follows.

Brandon: Tracey shuffles off down the corridor.

Eric: Tracey, your danger sense goes off because these stairs suck-

[Brandon laughs]

Like they’re very bad. It’s both cold, and clammy, and hot at the same time

Amanda: Yep, yep.

Eric: It’s very bad. At the bottom of the stairs, there are two saloon doors, and one is hanging by a screw.

Sarah: How’d that happen? Finale says, and she kicks the other one open.

[Sarah & Amanda laugh]

Brandon (as Tracey) We can just do that!?!

Brandon: Tracey kicks the other one.

[Sarah continues laughing]

[People in a crowd talking]

Eric: Alright, [laughing] you three walk in and the room goes silent.

[Talking ceases]

30 rough looking people are sitting at various stools and booths, and they all look at you all at the same time.

Sarah: Finale sucks on one of her fangs with her tongue and she flashes a peace sign.

[Talking starts again]

Eric: And everyone just goes back to what they were doing.

Amanda (as Inara): Do you know all of these people?

Sarah (as Finale): I mean, like yeah, I come in here all the time. This is the Deadringer. It’s sort of like my home base. I kind of like these off the beaten path, divey sort-of places.

Sarah: I look at Inara.

Sarah (as Finale): Do you drink, Are you old enough to drink?

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, yeah What...? (Inara laughs) I’m old enough drink.

Sarah: And I look at Tracey and ask Tracey, Can you drink?!

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes, yes, I can. I…yes. Can you drink?

Sarah (as Finale): I’m great at it.

Amanda (as Inara): Why don’t we have a demonstration of all of our relative skills and enthusiasm for drinking?

Brandon (as Tracey): That sounds great. Bartender, 13 bottles please.

Sarah: Oh my god.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: First, I want to say, the Deadringer is a terrible bar. It is so bad. All the seats are vinyl, and every single one is ripped. Almost as if someone did it intentionally to make every single seat match. [Laughs] There’s a broken jukebox in the back. Everyone is sitting there, just has nowhere better to be. There’s a dartboard in the back but people are just throwing knives at it.

[Everyone giggles]

Brandon: [laughing] Tracey knows where he’s going next.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: I mean, is it a nice bar that’s fallen into disrepair, or one that’s supposed to look this way? Cause the lobby looked nice.

Eric: Yeah [pause] No

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Yeah, no good point. Good point.

Amanda (as Inara): So, how do you know all of these people Finale?

Sarah (as Finale): I mean most of us are like, bounty hunters.


Brandon: Where’s my bottles!?

Amanda: Inara’s eyes grow so wide.

Eric: [laughing] You just shout it. You just shout it out loud.

Sarah: So Finale goes to the bar, and she sorta smacks on it with her hands.

Sarah (as Finale): Macccc. Mac! Mac! Mac!

Eric: You see one grey paw slap on the bar from below. And an old tabaxi pushes himself up from the floor.

Eric (as Mac): I was napping, but not for any of the reasons you were thinking, I was napping for my own reasons.

Sarah (as Finale): A little cat nap?

Eric (as Mac): That was exactly the reason that I didn't want you to say. So yes, hello. Thank you. I was doing a power sleep. Yes, how may I help you? Thank you, Finale, I am so glad that I can see your face because you obviously have done good and fine work for the thing I’ve just told you to do, and you are back way too soon for this. I’m going back to sleep.

Sarah (as Finale): Wait wait wait wait wait.

[Finale thumps on the bar counter]

Eric (as Mac): No. Yeah, yeah, yes hello. I feel like we just had this conversation.

Sara (as Finale): My 2 friends, my good two friends, almost got mauled by a giant dog.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispers] We got upgraded to good friends.

Amanda (as Inara): Wow, that’s true though.

Brandon (as Tracey): That is true.

Sara (as Finale): And I think that they deserve a drink.

Brandon (as Tracey): 13 of them…

Eric (as Mac): Thir- what?

Amanda (as Inara): Really any prime number.

Eric (as Mac): Huh.

Brandon (as Tracey): 29

Eric (as Mac): Uhm, first of all-

Amanda (as Inara): 37

Eric (as Mac): No, second of all, no. Third, I’m going back to sleep excuse me.

Sarah (as Finale): Can I have a vodka on the rocks please?

Eric (as Mac): Ok, there. Thank you. See, you understand I’m a bartender and you are a patron of a bartender.

Sarah (as Finale): More than that, we are close personal friends. I would say.

Eric (as Mac): I would not say we are close personal friends

Sarah: Finale grins

Amanda (as Inara): Can I have wine in any vessel bigger than a cup?

Eric (as Mac): Oh, a bucket of wine, got you. Can you even drink? This is fun. I’m enjoying this.

Amanda (as Inara): Excuse me, we can just stick to the transaction here. Thanks.

Brandon: Tracey slams his axe on the counter

[knocking sound]

Eric: Eh. Yeah that sounds, yeah, [laughing] Mac is unfazed.

Eric (as Mac): Yeah, what do you want?

Brandon (as Tracey): Can you do like a corpse reviver?

Eric (as Mac): [monotone] I don’t have the magical skills for that.

Brandon (as Tracey): Fine just get me like ale. I guess.

Eric (as Mac): Okay. A bucket of ale. Cool.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can you just give me a glass?

Eric (as Mac): A very large glass of ale.

Eric: Mac goes back down below the bar. I should explain Mac. Mac is rather old.

Brandon: He’s an old kitty?

Eric: Yeah, Mac has seen some stuff. He has a bite taken out of one of his ears.

Amanda: Nooo.

Eric: So, Finale, everyone in here, you know them in some capacity way, shape, or form. And the people can’t stop talking, it’s like when they’re in here, all of the conversations that they’ve wanted to have with people up above on the surface, where the people are; I want to see, want to see them dancing; they get out here. It is loud, it is SO loud.

[Talking gets louder]

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you want to go back to the library?

Amanda (as Inara): Normally I would say no, but in this case it’s very loud!

Brandon (as Tracey): What?!

Sarah (as Finale): Aw, come on, stay a while.

Brandon (as Tracey): What?!

Sarah (as Finale): I rescued you from a giant dog, and I haven’t talked to normal people in a long time, so do you want to sit? Do you want to sit?

Amanda (as Inara): I definitely want to hear more about this bounty hunter situation.

Sarah (as Finale): Um, I find people…sometimes I kill them. And then I get money.


Amanda: [sounding satisfied] I’m frozen in a grin.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, who, who employs you? Or are you just like a drifter, man, like your own boss?

Sarah (as Finale): Well, I would like to say I’m self-employed but-

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, that too. Those are synonyms.

Sarah (as Finale): I get most of my leads from Mac, honestly.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh really?

Sarah (as Finale):  That’s kind of what we do here. We’re sort of like a collective of bounty hunters supporting each other.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool.

Brandon (as Tracey): So everyone here-

Sarah (as Finale):  We’re independent. It’s like, it’s a whole thing.

Eric: As you say that, you hear a loud-

[loud bell dings]

-bell sound and you hear a wholp.

[small thumping sound]

There is a pneumatic tube that goes behind the bar up through the ceiling, and there’s a little scroll in there. And Mac puts all three of your drinks on the table and reaches back for it and opens it up. Everyone goes silent when they hear the bell.

[Crowd goes silent]

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs in relief] Oh phew.

Eric (as Mac): [slurring his words a bit] Alright, I got, uhh, the town over, there’s a evil baron that’s taking everyone’s taxes. He has one leg, and the other leg is a gun? That sounds pretty cool, does anybody want it?

Brandon: That’s an option!?

Sarah (as Finale): Bones, that sounds like the one for you!

[Eric laughs]

Eric: A human man who looks a lot like David Boreanaz stands up.

[Sarah laughs]

Eric (as Bones): [very excitedly] Oh yeah!! Finally, gun leg! I’ve been talking about this!

Eric: And three other people stand up too. And they all are running at to the bar at the same time, pushing each other, trying to jockey each other for it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Mine!

Brandon: I grab it!

Eric: Oh, Mac slaps your hand away immediately.

Eric (as Mac): I have no idea who you are, but you are definitely not part of the bounty hunter’s guild, or any of the other associated guilds related to it.

Brandon: I stare him directly in the eye, and slowly scoot my drink off the counter, and on to the floor.

Amanda: Tracey has taken a heel-turn.

Eric: Mac shrugs.

Eric (as Mac): Okay, sounds good.

Eric: At this point David Boreanaz pushes, the human that looks like David Boreanaz whose name is Bones-

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: David H. Boreanaz, aka Bones.

Eric: pushes everyone to the side and hops over the bar and grabs the scroll.

Eric (as Bones): Later suckers, gotta make some cash!

Eric: And runs up the stairs

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah, he’s never going to do it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Finale, are they all like, do you guys help people doing this? Or-

Sarah (as Finale): Sometimes for sure, I mean-

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean, that guy seemed like a bad guy with the scroll.

Sarah (as Finale): Sometimes they are bad guys. A lot of the time they’re bad guys. Which you know…you’re welcome.

Eric: [laughing] From the back of the bar,

Eric (as random patron): But we’re all kind of bad guys, so it’s fine.

Amanda (as Inara): That’s honestly pretty refreshing. Uh, is there somewhere we can talk privately, or quietly?

Sarah (as Finale): We can go over to that booth in the corner. You wanna?

Amanda (as Inara): Heck yeah. Booths, I love booths.

Sarah (as Finale): Love a good booth.

Amanda (as Inara): Booths are great.

Eric (as Mac): But also, also you’ve got to pay for these.

Amanda (as Inara): Start a tab.

Eric (as Mac): That’s fair. Alright Finale’s tab. Good.

Brandon: On the way over to the booth, I want to make a investigation check or a perception check, just to see if there is anyone in the bar that we need to be worried about.

Eric: Yeah, make an investigation check

[dice rolls]

Brandon: 14?

Eric: Okay, So, I’ll tell you two things. Everyone is off the clock, they’re all just chill and they’re at their bar. The other thing though, is that on the wall next to you, as you’re going over to the booth next to the broken jukebox, On the wall behind you, looks like a wine cellar, and in each of those individual cubbies there are little scrolls and above them have a name written on them, and you look over and you see Finale’s name written above one of them. Whenever you sign up for the bounty hunter’s [laughing] collective, you have to sign a bounty for yourself.

Sarah: [Sounding interested] Ohhh.

Eric: Some of them are jokes, but some of them are real, and this is a neutral place, so everyone’s names are here.

Brandon: Got it, sort of  an insurance policy?

Eric: Yeah exactly, and after the bell rings, everyone’s conversation starts up again and it starts to get like, a Manhattan bar at 11:30, kinda loud.

[background talking gets louder again]

Amanda (as Inara): Anyway-

Sarah (as Finale): Mhm.

Amanda (as Inara): Tell me about you. How did you get into this business? And you might want to use some euphemisms because you know, I don’t want to upset anyone around here.

Amanda: And I’m going to move my eyes over Tracey again and again.

[Eric laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): I understand subtext, what are you doing?

Sara (as Finale): There’s no long story. I’m a ranger by trade. Well, trade is a very generous way of putting it. I live up in the mountains, and there’s not much money you can make up there and so I thought I would come here, just on that grind, you know, 24/7.

Amanda (as Inara): No, must get pretty good money if you get so many opportunities to take contracts like this. Are there several a day? People seem pretty eager for that one.

Sara (as Finale): Well, there are a few a day, I wouldn’t say several for me, personally, [uncomfortable laughing] Uh, I kinda messed up my last mission, so Mac, I’m not on his good side right now, but I’m sure we’ll get a chance, to [clears throat] kill someone again, I don’t know.

Brandon (as Tracey): What?

Sara (as Finale): What?

Amanda (as Inara): So, how’d you mess up?

Sara (as Finale): Uhmm…

Eric: When you say that, someone bangs on your table.

[thumping sound]

With two meaty clawed hands. And you look up, and this black Dragonborn is looking at Finale.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): [Enthusiastically] Yeah, she messed up REAL bad, you wanna hear about it? I love telling this story. It is VERY good. I will just continue. Finale, don’t say anything, don’t worry, I got it. So here’s what happened, Finale, great top-notch bounty hunter, super good, very good at it, was supposed to chase down this [questioning tone] thief, that was you know, that was running around the city, picking people’s pockets, and instead of catching them she threw them directly in the water and they drowned and it was funny.

Julia (as Finale): I mean it was funny at the time.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): Everyone, we all think it was very funny.

Brandon (as Tracey): But uh, the guy that drowned, he was like a bad guy, right?

Eric (as the Dragonborn): Oh yeah, super bad guy, it also said directly on the scroll, like, do not do that. Finale. It should have been written out. Do not do that Finale.

Sarah (as Finale): [sounding like she’s had enough] Okay, Alright.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): You dunce.

Sarah (as Finale): Okay, alright.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): You goof.

Brandon (as Tracey): But more importantly, did they hurt kids, or like what did they do, you know?

Sarah (as Finale): I mean, I don’t need a laundry list of all their sins in life. You know. Uh-

Brandon (as Tracey): Sure

Sarah (as Finale): I just you know, run after the bad guys!

Eric (as the Dragonborn): I, listen, I got to go to my other job. So, deuces.

Eric: And the Dragonborn walks away.

Brandon (as Tracey): So, do they serve food, can we get nachos or something?

Julia (as Finale): I mean, not really.

Eric: Inara, you hear a loud pop.

[pop sound]

Eric: And you look back at your bucket, and Oatcake is just sitting in your bucket holding the stick of fetching.

Amanda: Does she bring anything back with her?

Eric: She did not.

Amanda: Ah, well, now there’s red wine all over the table, [laughing] so I kind of jump up, toss my pack out of the way.

Amanda (as Inara): [sounding concerned] Oh okay, thank god. That was so long! There was a huge dog here, if I smell, that is why, I was not cuddling with any other dog, it was just chasing after us! Oh, Tracey, look she’s back!

Brandon (as Tracey): [excitedly] Oatcake!

Brandon: I give her a few scritches and snuggles. I do one of those things where I cuddle her like a baby.

Amanda: And I’m going to pull a spare tunic out of my bag to try to dab her.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, that’s right, Finale, this is my dog. Her name is Oatcake. She likes to play fetch in between the dimensions. So, sometimes she’ll go away for a little bit. And I did that to distract her when there was danger. [Coos] Isn’t that right girl?

Eric: I want all of you to make perception checks.

[3 consecutive dice rolls]

Sarah: 13.

Amanda: Also 13.

Brandon: 8.

Eric: Okay, Tracey. Over in the corner, you see two ruffians are poking at the jukebox, and are trying to get it to work but are kind of just slamming on it.

Eric (as Ruffian #1): Yeah, I could really use some more money, but you know, I’m just going to put everything I have on Gordon Lighthammer. I think that’s what is going to happen. And I think that it could really come in with me. There’s no way they would let a devil woman win the bell. That doesn’t even make any sense.

Eric (as Ruffian #2): Yeah this whole dog situation, is very complicated, is very strange, and I could see that it’s probably not that well put together by the Creative, I think that’s probably a pretty good idea.

Eric: Finale and Inara also hear this. But Inara, these two people are shouting at each other from across the room.

Eric (shouting man ): Uh yeah, we’re only working like 30 hours a week at Electroshack. I mean I got this job, like I clock in, but they never give me any overtime. My manager is super weird about it, so if I could pick up some more hours doing bounty hunter stuff, I would really love that. I mean, he won’t even let me do any inventory,  so I just sit there, wait for people to come in, and lick some batteries and then, clock out. But I need the extra money, but they're like, no, our budget is too thin. You can NEVER do inventory at the Electroshack, and I’m like, fine.

Eric: Mac just chooses not to look and licking at his arm.

Brandon: This guy is less subtle than Tracey is.

[Eric chuckles]

Eric: Finale, you hear, people are talking about, this rumor, that has been going around Infropolis for awhile, about a man who shows up in people’s houses at midnight and just, doesn’t move.

Amanda: No…

Eric: This has been an urban legend that comes up every once in a while.

Sarah: What do people call him, does he have a name?

Eric: You just hear a snatch of conversation, like someone is grumbling about the midnight man.

Sarah: You know what would be a great bounty?

Amanda: What?

Sarah: Finale gets a conspiratorial look in her eyes.

Sarah (as Finale): The midnight man. Have you heard of the midnight man?

Amanda (as Inara): [questionably] No?

Brandon (as Tracey): No, why did you just bring that up randomly out of nowhere?

Sarah (as Finale): I heard somebody talking about it.

[Eric laughs]

Sarah (as Finale): It’s this mystery man, that’s showing up in people’s houses at midnight all throughout Infropolis.

Brandon (as Tracey): What? no, oh no, that’s very bad.

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah I’d like to get him.

Amanda (as Inara): So many crimes, no purpose.

Sarah (as Finale): I mean, he doesn’t like, do anything

Amanda (as Inara): He doesn’t steal even?!

Brandon (as Tracey): He just stands there?!

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah-

Amanda (as Inara): That’s the worst crime of all!

Sarah (as Finale): At midnight. He’s probably some kind of pervert, I want to kill him.

[Sarah laughing]

Eric (as Mac): Yeah, we all do Finale!

Sarah (as Finale): I deserve it the most!

Eric (as Mac) : Why?

Sarah (as Finale): Because I want it the most.

Eric (as Mac) : [sarcastically] Good answer, same with everyone else.

Sarah (as Finale): Haven’t you heard the secret, I want it the most, so it’ll come to me.

Eric (as Mac) : [sarcastically] Yeah, we all read it in our book club, you don’t need to remind us.

Amanda: As Finale starts engaging the rest of the room, I am going to bundle Oatcake in that tunic that I was wiping her off with.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, hey, it’s going to be naptime now girl, we have to be a little bit incognito.

Amanda: And place her in a little nest in the top of my pack, flap that flap closed.

[Dog snoring]

Eric: [laughing] And then she’s running in her dreams.

Amanda: I don’t want to lose her!

Eric: Everyone at the bar starts talking to the midnight man again.

Eric (as Random Patron #1): I heard he was six feet tall!

Eric (as Random Patron #2): I hear he has a giant pompadour that shines in the moonlight!

Eric (as Random Patron #3): I hear that the aura just radiates in all directions when he stands there, and when people wake up they are captivated by it and they can’t move.

Brandon (as Tracey): I hear he always has hard candy!

Eric (as Mac): I haven’t heard that one, that’s, that’s a new one.

Sarah (as Finale): That’s messed up.

Amanda (as Inara): I heard he’s ordering nachos for the entire bar, for delivery, right now!

Brandon (as Tracey): What?!

Eric (Mac): Okay, this is so confusing, I didn’t hear that at all!

Brandon (as Tracey): I heard that one!

Eric: The Dragonborn from before stands up.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): I heard that he actually doesn’t just show up in people’s homes, I heard from my friend, Billy Bill-gem, who works down at the post office, that when they were leaving after doing a late night shift, they saw the midnight-man skulking around government offices.

Eric: And everyone is like, that doesn’t sound real, that sounds like the hard candy thing from before.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t know, that one sounds really real!

Sarah (as Finale): I believe the hard candy thing, the nacho thing, not so much.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): No, no, I’m serious, he’s not just doing nothing. I saw him walk into the government office in there.

Sarah (as Finale): Oh, you saw him now?

Eric (as the Dragonborn): Okay, I made up-

Sarah (as Finale): Okay, Alright.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): It was me and Bill-gem. And we were hanging out.

Sarah (as Finale): [laughing] Your story is starting to fall apart.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): Oh my god, okay fine. I’m just going to take this myself and I’m just going to take care of it.

Sarah (as Finale): [sarcastically] So he can stand, and he can walk.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): Yes, he can do multiple things. I don’t think this is an urban legend at all. I think this is a real dude that is walking around Infropolis and terrorizing people. Mac, come on, Mac you don’t have anything for this?

Eric: Mac puts both hands on the bar, leans down, and says

Eric (as Mac): I am so sick of you idiots talking about the goddamn midnight man who probably definitely doesn’t exist, so, you know what? I’m going to do this out of my own pocket.

Eric: He reaches into the little pocket and puts a sack of gold on the bar.

Eric (as Mac): This is 200 gold coins. I’m going to write this one myself. Whoever can find the midnight man, and prove that he, or she, or they, or it, figure out something about the midnight man please, [with an aggravated tone] so we can stop talking about it. I can stop listening to you people talk about it.

Sara (as Finale): Dead or alive, Mac?

Eric (as Mac): No, no, alive. Alive this time.

Sara (as Finale): I want to kill the midnight man, please?

Eric (as Mac): Alive this time please.

Sara (as Finale): Alright, alright.

Brandon: She’s not good at that.

Eric (as Mac): I know, [laughing] Don’t I know it?

Eric: And everyone in the bar laughs.

Sara (as Finale): [shouts] Everyone makes mistakes!

[Eric laughing]

Eric (as Mac): You know why they call her finale? Because it’s a finale the last time they see her! Baw Bawwwm.

Sara (as Finale): [shouting sarcastically] That’s the first time I’ve heard that Mac, you’re so original!

Eric (as Mac): We say it all the time, because it’s [sing-song voice] trueee.

[Sarah sighs]

Eric (as Mac): Who wants this one? Can someone just take it please?

Amanda (as Inara): Uhm, counter offer. 400 gold for anyone who brings the midnight man to me. Alive. Tomorrow.


Sara (as Finale): I’ll take it, I’ll take it, I’ll take it!

Amanda (as Inara): Offer’s open. You know where to find me.

Sara (as Finale): Yeah I want it.

Amanda (as Inara): Actually you guys don’t know where to find me, I’m new here. Back here, tomorrow, I’ll check in.

[Eric laughs]

Amanda (as Inara): Again, alive is the important part.

Eric: The black Dragonborn stands,

Eric (as the Dragonborn): you know I’m going to take this. This is mine.

Eric: The Dragonborn starts walking up to Inara.

Eric (as the Dragonborn): Hi I’m Casey. I want this. Mac, take your dumb coins, I’m taking the tiny girl’s offer.

Sarah: Finale touches Inara’s shoulder, and she goes,

Sarah (as Finale): Tag! I got it.

Eric (as Casey): Nope, what! No!

[Sarah laughs]

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah that’s how that works.

Eric (as Casey): You two are new here, it’s super not how it works!!

Sarah (as Finale): You haven’t been here in a long time Casey.

Eric (as Casey): [shouts] Challenge, Challenge, Challenge, Challenge!

[chants of Challenge, challenge, challenge start]

Eric: And everyone in the room goes-

[continued chanting of Weeble wobble! weeble wobble! challenge! challenge!]

[chanting stops]

Amanda (as Inara): Did I say 400 gold?

Eric (as Casey): Yes.

Amanda (as Inara): If two people bring me this mysterious midnight man, alive, like more alive than you found him-

Eric (as Casey): We need to like-

[Amanda shushing Eric]

[Eric laughing]

Amanda (as Inara): 300 gold each. For both of you.

Eric (as Casey): No, no no, we’re challenging for this. There’s no sharing bounties!

What is this?  

Sarah (as Finale): You know, they’re not used to this-

Eric (as Casey): Is this kindergarten? Bounty hunter kindergarten?

Sarah (as Finale): They like peace and sharing and I can respect that, in an abstract way.


Eric: Casey points a jagged finger into the middle of your chest.

Eric (as Casey): Finale I challenge you, you’re doing this, and you can even pick the game.

Sarah (as Finale): [confidently] I want to do Drink that Drink.

[chanting of drink that drink get louder and louder and then stops]

Amanda: Hey it’s Amanda. I can’t believe it’s been 42 episodes and we haven’t talked about bathes. Bathes people! Wonderful, warm oases, where all your responsible for is relaxing and floating and reading a good book, and drinking iced-tea or lemonade or an ice-tea lemonade combo called an Arnold Palmer. This is the Mineral. We got you a bath bomb!

Welcome to our newest patrons, Yoble-Sir, Haley, John, Destiny, David, Rose, Evelin, Elise, Solie, Hanie, Angela, Andrea, Evelyn, Yile, and Gillian. If you’d like to join these fine folks in supporting us and helping us to bring the good word of inclusive D&D actual play to the world, please pledge your support to the show at patreon.com/jointhepartypod. You can get all kinds of great extras like access to our Discord, Eric’s NPC backstories for every single episode, and even exclusive merch. That’s patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

We are sponsored this week by Tab for a Cause, this is a free browser extension that raises money for charity without you having to contribute a single dollar. All it does is show you a beautiful picture and a small ad every time you open up a new tab when you’re just browsing the net and the ad revenue from each those tabs go to support charity. You can actually join team Join the Party, and help us track how much money we raise for charity over the course of the year at tabforacause.org/jointheparty. So, join the team, download the extension and start giving back, by browsing the internet, which I’m pretty sure, you already do.

We’re also sponsored this week and every week by Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn, New York.  And it’s time for our informative gaming segment, Master Dungeon Master, with Lauren Belanco, co-owner of Twenty Sided Store.

This week our question is from Zoey. I’m running a game where there is a lot of jam work, how do I balance knowing everything about all the factions, and fronts, and background complications required by the game, with in the moment play by my players. Lauren says, spend several sessions with your players, developing their characters and their backstories. Introduce the locations that their PCs would know from the start  and world-build with your players to discover  what they’re most interested in. Break down the information needed to run the campaign into parts and decide what will come up in the first session, second session and so forth. On a small note card jot down just a few bullet points to easily reference in the game and focus on the overall story. Anything else you can’t remember in the moment, just make it up, and jot it down afterword in case it comes up again later.

Thank you Master Dungeon Master, whether you are a DM, a player, or that brave soul who brings D&D to your friend group for the first time, you can get your adventuring supplies at Twenty Sided Store, visit them online at twentysidedstore.com or in person in Brooklyn, New York. Use our discount JOINTHEPARTY to get 20% off your purchase. That’s twentysidedstore.com, and our discount code is JOINTHEPARTY.

Now, let’s get back to the show.

Eric: Here are the rules of Drink the Drink. [laughing] I like to imagine that everyone is trying to push as many tables over to the side and you’re all going to collect at this booth in the middle.

Amanda: Oh, yeah, we don’t have fire code. We don’t have concessions, but sure have Drink the Drink set-up drills. 

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: We know what our jobs are.

Eric: Yeah, absolutely.

[Amanda & Eric laughing]

Eric: I feel like this is a moment where Inara is like, uh, hey! What’s Drink the Drink? And Mac pulls out a clipboard that has all the rules on it.

Amanda: Schoolhouse rock begins playing.

Eric: Yep, I-

Amanda: [monotone singing] I’m just a drank. [laughing] Yes, I’m only a drank. And my purpose is to be…dranked.

[Everyone laughing]

Sarah: Yep.

Eric: So you see one of the patrons stand up and puts on a dramatic very tall pointed cap, sorcerer’s apprentice style. Wave their hands around dramatically. And you see that four mugs of beer appear on the table in front of you. And then Mac takes-

Amanda: Magically?!

Eric: Magically.

Amanda: Wow.

Eric: And then Mac takes a exact same mug of beer and puts it on the table and a crowd of people surround the table and there’s a lot of grunting and fake noises being made.

[grunting and chatter]

And they’re intentionally making a bunch of noise, and then then they move backwards. So, the way you play Drink the drink is 4 of these mugs are illusionary and one of them is real. You need to grab  the real mug  in order to  win. However, you can’t touch any of them. Whenever you do your reach is your turn. Now before you can reach out to do the turn, the 2 players go back and forth, like name that tune, and they say, “I can drink it in 5 questions”, “I can drink it in 4 questions” and then they go back and forth. The other one says, “drink the drink”. For game play purposes, when you say question, it means action or check. That’s everything Finale needs to know.

Brandon: So while everyone is distracted setting up and frantically excited about the game afoot, Tracey is going to pull out a gold coin from his pack-

Amanda: Which he loves to do and give them out.

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon: So, it’s not weird at all! And he can do this new thing now called infused magic where he can channel a spell into an object and give it to someone else and it will last for 8 hours. So he’s going to infuse magic into this coin-

Eric: You sly dog.

Brandon: And then walk over to Finale, and do that thing you know, where you ‘re in a bar,and you look off to the side, but you’re talking, or whispering in someone’s ear.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey, here’s my lucky coin, it’ll help you-

Sarah (as Finale): Really?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, just, like, take it.

Sarah (as Finale): Okay.

Sarah: Finale takes the coin and she puts it in her pocket.

Amanda: Finale’s never said no to a coin in her life.

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): No, don’t put it in your pocket, keep it in your hand.

Sarah (as Finale): Is that like the rule, for your lucky coin?

Brandon (as Tracey): [frustrated] Just do it!

Eric: Tracey, I want you to make a straight up charisma roll to see if anyone cares that you’re giving a lucky coin to Finale.

Brandon: Well, you know our good robot friend is the chillest of the chill.

Eric: So chill.

Amanda: That’s what they say, Tracem my chill boy.

Sarah: Hm.

[Amanda & Sarah laughing]

Amanda: Brandon is now blocking off his roll from Eric’s prying eyes.

[dice rolls]

Eric: EYY.

Brandon: That’s not bad. That’s 14.

Eric: That’s good. With 14, it’s fine. You managed to do it pretty subtly.


Amanda: [in a charismatic voice] On this historic day, Brandon passed a charisma check!

[Eric laughing]

Brandon: I will say that was 14+0.

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: So, Sarah, if you use detect magic, one of your checks can be, if you just point to one, it will tell you whether it’s magic or not.

Sarah: Okay

Eric: Okay

Amanda: While Tracey is doing that, unbeknownst to me, I am going to sneak over to the table and try to touch one of them  and see if I can catch them all [laughs], and see which one is real and which ones are illusions so I would love to do a stealthy sneak. Low to the ground. Always subtle like Inara is. Over at the table.

Eric: Let’s do a stealth check.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 3+11 for 14.

Eric: Okay, yeah, you try to walk over, you’re trying to sneak your way over to the table, but an extremely large Orc steps in your way.

Eric (as Orc): Aw, excuse me. We have official rules going, you’re going to have to back away from the table.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh of course, I was just trying to, I haven’t played with these house rules so I was just wondering how you guys set it up, is it in a circle, a pentagram, like a line?

Eric (as Orc): [cutting her off] No it’s just a line, that’s all we can do here. We’re only allowed to do lines. Not after last time.

[Brandon laughing]

Eric (as Orc): And please back away.

Brandon (as Tracey): What happened last time?!

Eric (as Orc): Don’t worry about it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, sorry I was just, oh!

Amanda: Inara is going to pretend to trip and knock into the table. Not to knock it over, but just to jostle the table, and catch myself on the edge.

Eric: Before you do that, you feel a very large hand on the back of your shirt.

Eric: [gruffly] Mam, excuse me, please back away from the table.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, okay, sorry bud-

Eric (as Orc): Don’t make me feel bad about your mistakes.

[Amanda laughing]

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, okay, that’s valid.

Eric (as Orc): I worked in customer service for 20 years, I know how this goes.

Amanda (as Inara): Wow, you’re a real veteran of the trenches, huh?

Eric (as Orc): Thank you.

Amanda (as Inara): I respect your service.

Eric (as Orc): Thank you. [laughing]

Amanda: Inara is going to go sit on top of the booth where she  and Tracey and Finale have been sitting.

Eric: Alright, so Casey squares up with Finale. And Casey says

Eric (as Casey): I can find the drink in 8 questions.

Sarah (as Finale): I can find the drink in 5 questions.

[everyone gasps]

Eric: Oh! She went forward so quickly!

Amanda (as Inara): That’s 3 less than before.

Eric (as Casey): I can find the drink in 4 questions.

[everyone gasps]

Amanda (as Inara): 4! that’s one fewer than 5.

[chit-chat and mumbling]

Sarah (as Finale): Okay, uh, I can find the drink in... 3 questions?

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, that was pretty expected, that was a predictable progression.

[Amanda & Sarah laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): I would have done 3 ½.

Eric: What’s half a question?


Eric: You’re a bad detective.

[everyone laughing]

Amanda: Do you…? That’s half a question.

Eric: Have you…?

Amanda:  Where did…? Is he…?

Eric: I remember that. And then you go the window and drink a whiskey.

[Sarah & Amanda laughing]

Eric (as Casey): Finale. Finale. Fin...a...

Sarah (as Finale): Lee?

Eric (as Casey): Lee. There you go. Taking away my thunder but that’s fine. Your hubris was always going to get the best of you. Finale… I want you to drink that drink!

 [everyone chanting Drink that Drink! and Gooble Gobble! Gooble Gobble!]

Julia (as Finale): Okay, I’ll drink the drink.

Eric: So, you have 3 checks/questions that you can make here. From left to right, I’m going to go 1,2,3,4,5. Go ahead.

Sarah (as Finale): I’m going to listen to all the beers, to see which one has bubbles [laughing]

[everyone laughing]

Eric: That’s very good.  Everyone was like, oh, that was a smart move.

Brandon (as Tracey): I would have gone through it in 5 questions.

Sarah (as Finale): So, I sort of lean down toward the drinks and I have the coin just between my thumb and my finger and I hold it to my ear and I lean down and [laughing] try to detect magic.

Eric: Tracey’s lucky coin, we’ll call it.

Brandon: This is delightful.

Eric: Which one do you want to detect?

Sarah: Um.

Eric: I will tell you if it’s real or not. Just straight up.

Sarah: Uh, 2.

Eric: 2 is an illusionary mug.

Sarah: Fake...alright!

[everyone laughing]

Amanda: I have heard the beers!

 Sarah: I’m going to smell them, now, to see which one of them smells, like that, that swill that Mac serves behind the counter!

Brandon (as Tracey): Got him! I heard he’s a cat!

Eric (as Mac): I’m definitely not a cat. Meow.

Sarah: [laughing ]I lean down over the beer.

Eric: Make a perception check.

[dice rolls]

Sarah: No, no [laughs]

Brandon: No one saw it, it doesn’t count.

Sarah: I got a 3+6 is 9.

Eric: Damn, your perception is really high.

Sarah: Which is why I didn’t expect this.

Eric: Honestly, with a 9, unfortunately, you didn’t get anything for that.

Sarah: Okay. Hm.

Brandon: So in between questions 2 & 3, you hear in the background-

[bop-it song in the distance - shock it! play it! pass it!]

Brandon (as Tracey): This game is sooo boring, who wants to play a game with real stakes?

Eric: Most of the people ignore you, but I think that there is one guy in the back who isn’t really paying attention, who was probably fascinated with the wrestling before.

Eric (as guy in the back): Yeah this isn’t really my thing. Okay, what’s this?

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, so you’ll go first. It’s going to say a thing and it’s going to ask you to do that thing, so it’s going to say press this button, and in your head, your like, I should press that button, but this game is all about doing the opposite of what Simon says. Okay?

Eric: Alright, make a deception check.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Oh my god, That almost landed on a 1.

Amanda: Oh no.

Brandon: 19 though.

Amanda: Wowww.

Eric: I’m going to make a dexterity roll to see if he does it.

[dice rolls, laughing in the background as a result of the roll]

Brandon: In this case, is a high number good cause he did the thing correctly?

Eric: [laughing] No, I wanted to see if you’d fall for it. But you rolled a 10. And the DC on that is higher than that. [still laughing] So, here’s what happens. Finale, you hear as you’re making your final question, you hear-

[bop-it theme in distance] pull-it!


Eric: I’m not going to do anything. And then all the sudden.


Eric: And the crash of some tables behind you.

Brandon (as Tracey): [yelling] Oh no, someone help! This man is on the floor, he needs medical attention, oh my god!

Sarah: Okay, while no one was looking, I just swipe my hand across the table to see which ones it will go through and which one is solid, would that be sleight of hand or stealth?

Eric: Do sleight of hand.

Sarah: Okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): [shouting] Please someone help, this man, poor man!

[dice rolls]

Brandon: [laughing] Is that a bad number?

Sarah: It’s really bad! I got a 6.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Oh no, Sarah. Yeah, you try to be really smooth about it, and you put your hand through number 2 again.

Sarah: What?

Brandon: How was my acting though, was it good?

Eric: Very good! Everyone looked back and was like, Oh! What happened!? Oh he shocked himself.

Brandon: I’m glad, you know, hurt a person for no [laughing] good reason.

Eric: Classic Jeremiah, always playing games poorly.

Sarah: [laughing] Finale is sweating! I’m going to use investigation, to see which one them is the thing.

Eric: You’re just going to straight up try to do it?

Sarah: I have no other option.

Eric: Okay.

Sarah (as Finale): I’m going to sense the aura of the beer to see which one is real.

Eric: Okay.

Sarah: 13+1 is 14.

Amanda: Okay, okay, okay.

Eric: WIth a 14, I will say you detect that number 1 is fake. Okay, so you can choose any of the 5. Casey does not know anything that you’ve done. So, he has no idea. So you’re going to pick one, and if it’s wrong, Casey is going to give it a shot. He gets one question, he’s going to do his own thing, and then he’s going to try to grab one.

Sarah: What happens if he doesn’t get it?

Eric: Then you get to go again.

Sarah: Okay. Alright. Okay. [laughs] I pick number 4.

[short pause]

Eric: Finale, you reach your hand out, to the 4th glass...

Sarah: Uh huh…

Eric: And you stick your hand out…

Sarah: No…

Eric: And you try to wrap your fingers around the mug...

Sarah: [nervous laughter] This is the worst day of my life…

Eric: And feel the familiar heft of a beer mug from the Deadringer. And you got it right, you won!

Drink the drink!!!

Sarah: I drink the drink!

Eric: She drinks the drink!

[everyone cheers]

Sarah: Glug, glug.

[chanting of challenge won! challenge won!]

Eric: [cheering] Gooble gobble gooble gobble!!!

Sarah: And I walk in front of Casey, and [laughing] throw the tanker down-

[everyone laughing]

Sarah: to the ground!

Eric: It just explodes!

[glass shatters]

Eric: That was kinda unnecessary. Mac climbs on top of the bar.

Eric (as Mac): Finale wins, Finale gets the contract!

Sarah (as Fanile): Woohoo!!!

Eric (as Mac): I also want all of you to know, that I hate all of you, and to stop talking about the midnight man. Because again I hate all of you.

Eric: And Mac jumps off the bar, and lands on all fours. [laughing]

Eric (as Mac): I’m not a cat!

Amanda: Is he wearing anything?

[Sara laughs, Eric chuckles]

Sarah (as Fanile): Hey Mac, were you blind when you were born? Can you see in the dark?

Eric (as Mac): I can see in the dark. But again, it has nothing to do with me being a cat.

Sarah (as Fanile): Would you look at a king? Would you sit on his throne? Hehehe hahaha.

Eric (as Mac): This feels like a reference that I don’t understand. I do not like it. I dreamed a dream that you would leave my bar!

Sarah (as Fanile): That’s not even-

Brandon: Tracey dusts off his jacket. Puts it back in his pack. Gingerly steps over his victim, and walks out of the bar.

Eric: Okay.

[Sarah laughing]

Sarah: Alright.

Amanda: Looks like we’re out of here. Inara’s going to shoulder her pack with Oatcake asleep inside, and head up the stars after Tracey.

Sarah (as Fanile): Right after you boss!

Sarah: And then Finale follows up the stairs.

Eric: As you walk away-

Eric (as Casey): You know what?! I’m not going to give you anymore discounts at Electroshack!

Sarah: Finale flips him the bird. She walks up the stairs without even looking.

Eric (as Casey): I hate you so much!!

Eric: Okay, so yeah, you were heading up the stairs, and you’re back in the atrium.

Amanda (as Inara): Excuse me, Gerald, I’m Inara, we met earlier? Bleeding friend, yeah?

Eric: You get hit with a blast-

[abrupt saxophone note]

-of saxophone again.

Amanda (as Inara) Fair enough, I deserve that. I know that folks may not talk to you all the time, but you probably see a lot, hear a lot, and know a lot more than most people in this city. Uh do you know anything about the midnight man, where he might be, tonight?

Brandon (as Tracey): We know when.

Eric: Gerald takes a second. Closes their mouth.Thinks for a second. Walks over to one of the chairs and sits down. They take another beat. With an air of, consideration if they should tell you this or not, and you hear these three sounds in succession. The first is a very heavy door slamming shut-

[door slams shut]

and a very subtle sound of a lock.

[turn of a lock]

The second is light elevator music.

[quiet classical music plays]

And the third is unnerving. It is someone else’s voice entirely, maybe a middle aged woman of indistinct race or background, and  she says

Eric (as middle-aged woman): And over here, you’ll see the beginnings of our most recent collection, a survey of our country before the concentric states were even formed.

Amanda (as Inara): Thank you so much.

Amanda: And Inara turns to Tracey and Finale, makes wide, wide eyes.

Amanda (as Inara): What the hell does that mean?

[theme music]