Tuesday, November 17, 2015

True Ingredients/"Masticating is Awesome" - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 4 - GM Commentary

First, go listen to Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast - Pudding Party Part 1 as that is the session that I'll be commenting on. A Red and Pleasant Land is abbreviated as aR&PL below. Also, spoilers for the podcast, though I'll hide any spoilers for the players about upcoming sessions.

Comments are in roughly chronological order as I listen to the podcast for the umpteenth time...

I decided to switch the intro song to the Legendary Pink Dots "Crumbs on the Carpet" and embrace fully the food theme...

Dinner whispers, "come and get it", poses on a plate
We shot it twice with anesthetic, still it bites the waiters
Till they're bleeding in the loo
So goddamned hot it burns their shoes
We lick them clean, we eat 'em too
Still there's room enough for more masala,
enchilladas, monkey brains and donkey doo
More masala, enchilladas, monkey brains and donkey doo
We'd eat the wall if it could walk and we could sink our forks in
We are what we eat
We are many-sided
Just you name it, sure we've tried it
Why hide it
(More masala, enchilladas, monkey brains and donkey doo)




  • Before the game, we leveled up the characters, so the PCs each got a 3rd skill and 3rd special ability.
  • Are you tired hearing about Extra Life yet? You can find our Twitch stream archive at: twitch.tv/KnownWorldUnited/.
  • I continue to find the player summaries of what occurred in previous sessions delightful. I highly recommend to any GMs that they have the players do the summary of previous sessions as it helps you see what is (A) memorable and (B) important to the players/PCs.
  • The excitement in Ben's voice when he remembers the plan was pudding was AMAZEBALLS.
  • Was Thomasina's bedtime story for Melaries too on the nose? I'm honestly not sure.
  • As much as I enjoy Thomasina's voice, I can feel my throat muscles straining whenever I try to do the voice for more than a minute.
  • The PCs are being sent to find the Lost Pantry of Gwillym the Amorphous.
  • Melaries continued dissatisfaction that her sisters probably saved her life by letting the Colorless Bishop take the Pudding Box is a source of joy for me, not going to lie.
  • Catsup or Ketchup is clearly the only way to eat pasties and only heathens would ruin them with gravy. But Thomasina, of course, only has Catsup, which doesn't have any cats in it, but probably has blood in it...
  • "We have not seen her eat a person yet we're convinced she would eat a person." leads off a great discussion.
  • "Just to remind everyone, Raka is violet in hue" I did this reminder at the start of the last session too, but made it count this time.
  • One of the things I enjoy most about aR&PL is that Zak makes it very clear that time anomalies are a thing in Vovoidja, giving me an excuse to make the time of day whatever I want. So if it needs to be night for vampires, it can be night. I'm playing around in my head with how to do a good time loop/short term time travel sort of thing, but that's still in early brainstorming sessions.
  • Here again, is the map I'm using for Gwillym's Estate, Dyson's A Green and Pleasant Map, which is really magnificent at full size.
    • The PCs start at the top left corner at the bridge that crosses the Ister channel
  • Not that the Ginger Giant has figured it out yet, but when I want to have cake/cupcakes be recognizably and obviously evil, I make it Red Velvet, which is an abomination unto the LORD.
  • I'm hoping that Edmund and Linnette can become my Vampire NPC quest givers later. With them were their toys who will also reappear (hopefully).
    • 'Dore, 6 ft tall ratty teddy bear with a door in his chest.
    • Mistress Crimson, basically a 5ft tall Raggedy Ann doll
    • Colonel Germain, a 3ft wooden soldier with fading paint and rifle with bayonet
  • I realize listening back that I didn't figure out a good voice for Edmund and Linnette and it kinda blends into my generic animal/child voice.
  • I enjoy that "Shifty Pond" has become a thing with the players. That pretty much seals that they'll need to go to the Shifty Pond soon.
  • With the consumption of the pasties, the sandwich and cupcakes the count of human remains/blood consumed by PCs is now at:
    • Melaires - 6
    • Vauphria - 2
    • Ochen - 1
    • Raka - 0
  • One of the best features of A Green and Pleasant Map is the Devil Face, which of course I had to set up to be an homage to the green devil face... Even though Extra Life showed me that it's not as ubiquitous a D&D nerd reference as I thought.
  •  After the Ginger Giant's soon to be infamous Puzzle Dungeon, I wanted to try and incorporate a puzzle, so I started with with this candle shadow key door puzzle which I think went really well. Not very difficult, but fairly flavorful.
  • I chose Alfredo for the Skeleton Butler's name because I wanted to tip my hat to the most famous butler in nerdom and it fits the food theme.
    • I tried clacking my teeth for Alfredo but the sound did not make it onto the recording, if Alfredo returns I might try to make a clacking noise with dice.
    • I don't know that the Player's noticed Alfredo's smart purple bowtie, but I made sure to mention it.
    • Which lead shortly into my double checking that the player's didn't picture themselves having any shades of purple in their clothing,
    • I like the idea of a eccentric magic user enchanting a doorway so that only his servants can pass through and marking them all with purple as the pass key.
  • "Assorted vampire children" I'm looking forward to using this phrase again sometime in the future.
  • Cassandra (who plays Vauphria) is talking about the door that is just south of the bridge that goes across the Ister Channel near the left edge of the map.
  • I think cupping my hands around my mouth for the well children worked better than my vampire kid voice. I didn't give the children in the well names, but I've decided they are Milda and Mildan.
  • I was a little surprised at how well the players took discovering that all the food they'd eaten that they didn't bring it with them from outside Vovoidja was tainted with human blood/remains but maybe they had some suspicions they were vocal about.
  • I was likewise surprised a little later that the players did not loot the garden shed for implements they could use and just grabbed the gloves and cloak.
  • Mistress Crimson was partly inspired by a Raggedy Ann doll that I remember from my childhood where the stuffing shrank/was compressed inside the doll and made her look half-stuffed and empty.
  • Here are my notes on the Crystal Elephant from the ruined tower...
    • Crystal elephant with a key in it on a pedestal, only breaks when it is purposefully “dropped”.
    •  I realized afterwards that I forgot to say that they could see the key inside... I'll put this here on behalf of my players...

  • Spoiler - The carved Walrus war-hammer belonged to Gwylliam.
  • Here is a Wayne Reynolds picture for those who don't get that reference...
  • Shout out to Peaky Blinders which is an excellent show you should all watch! It honestly makes me want to run an urban game where the PCs are a criminal family.
  • In aR&PL puddings aren't able to dissolve porcelain, and thinking about that inspired me to include a suit of porcelain armor and the porcelain fork.
  • Introducing the Pudding seemed like an excellent break. Expect exciting pudding fun next time! "Hooray for you."
  • I went with Chemlab's "Black Snake Voodoo Hiss" for the outro as it's another fitting "food" themed song, plus bonus moth reference.
  • I don't know if I've said it, but I've really been enjoying running aR&PL and I feel like I've been doing a decent job walking the line between whimsy and horror, though perhaps my players and or the podcast audience would disagree on that...


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