Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pudding Crisis/Plate Fort - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 5 - GM Commentary

First, go listen to Gary the Pudding: Pudding Party Part 2 - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 5 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...

#RIPGARY



  • Sticking with my using the intro music to as a reflection of plot arcs in the game, I kept "Crumbs on the Carpet" as the opening so that it matched Pudding Party Part 1
  • It was a delight to return to aR&PL, hopefully we haven't lost any listeners. If you need to catch up you can listen to all the old episodes or read the commentaries.
  • Scheduling Issues
  • Low blow on the Extra Life, but I'm trying to soften Ben up to bring him around to team Death Grind D&D for Extra Life.
  • "Super glad I wrote my name down because I totally forgot what it was" my lovely wife who obviously did not go back and listen to the four earlier podcasts several times in the 7+ month break like I did.
  • "Vampire List = Fuckery" the game summed up succinctly.
  • Oh, Moth, I failed you this session. More about that below.
  • You can really feel the seven month break when I ask the players to recap last session and they conflate the events of almost all the four prior sessions into one. We've already agreed on the next podcast date, so we should avoid this issue next time hopefully. Though as we've established #TheyreNotGoodAtTakingNotes.
  • Speaking of taking notes, I plan on trying to talk the players into having a mapper, ala Torchbearer where they don't draw a map but rather keep a list with short descriptions of each location they visit. Partly because I want to test it out but also because I have plans that will involve mazes and that style of map will probably prove very useful to them.
  • We establish the pudding as Ochre and the rest of the session the players refer to it as a black or Blood pudding.
  • I'm pleased that I pushed the players to formulate a plan and that I was able to keep their plotting from dragging on for too long.
  • World of Dungeons 1979 doesn't use anything except d6s but since I need other sizes of dice to roll on tables, I just went with the Gelatinous Cube stats from Dungeon World for Gary and went with the d10+1 damage to give the fight a little more spice.
  • Ben's chant of "Dishes! Dishes! Dishes!" and Christy's "I'm going to throw some dishes at that motherfucker like it is my husband I just found out is having an affair" were amazing and this is the kind of thing that doesn't happen as much in my other games and I need to figure out how to bring that infectious joy over.
  • I'm a little sad that there weren't any other failed rolls near the oven that I could use after I set up the oven as a hazard. (Or if there were, that I forgot to use them).
  • This is the long defunct Bottomless Dungeon Twitter that was referenced.
  • I did appreciate the players deciding almost immediately to make a plate fort to defend the top of the stairs from the second, larger pudding.
  • I'm a little surprised at how heartless Melaries was at stealing from and then sacrificing Alfredo. #RIPAlfredo
  • As a reminder, for Gwillym's Estate I'm using Dyson's excellent A Green and Pleasant Map.
  • Listening to the podcast I notice that I push the players to make decisions and keep the pace going more when I'm running for a recorded game than when I'm not. That's really a skill I should use more in my other games.
  • While I re-listened to the podcasts several times during our break, I didn't listen back to any moth heavy episodes right before we recorded, so I didn't have the Moth voice in my head and by the time I was going to have the Moth coax them into exploring more of the gardens it became obvious that my trying to do a terrible, terrible Moth voice would just be too much of a distraction.
  • The crumbling ground was straight off the Instant Garden Landmarks table.
  • I made a face because for a little while I couldn't remember who Ozwick was and had to reference the book again and then look him up in Vornheim as well where he's originally from.
  • Ben is referencing the fake commercials that Blaine Capatch does in the Nerd Poker podcast when there's an awkward silence.
  • The players were so excited about the Gryphon, Ozwick, until they learned he was too old to fly and a drunk. #GryphonProblems
  • Not sure why I decided to name the Pseudoturtle Vincent.
  • As much as the players gave me crap about my grandma voices, I hope that my Ozwick voice is distinct enough from Thomasina to make them easy to tell apart.
  • Painting the gryphon's nails is not at all what I expected the Ginger Giant would want to do.
  • The PCs didn't investigate the sun dial, which is a shame as I had decided when I rolled it up that there would be a little mini-dungeon hiding underneath if they poked around, so instead I took the Knob Goblins I was thinking would fill that dungeon and put them in a forest ambush.
  • Glad I remembered to have the Knob Goblins shoot arrows that have sharpened keys for arrow heads. Hopefully I'll add a little more flavor to the Knob Goblins each time the appear.
  • It was also nice to cut the fight short instead of letting it drag on by letting the Knob Goblins turn their Knobs and disappear to where ever Knob Goblins go off to.
  • Man, Mike's Knob Goblin Bard Keytaur joke was wonderfully groanworthy.
  • I fully expect the players to forget that the Knob Goblins had the map to Gwillym's Estate and and Thomasina's cottage.
  • I quite enjoy Meliaries loving Thomasina while the other three PCs are overwhelmingly suspicious of her. Can't wait for that to pay off.
  • SPOILERS - Slightly Out of Order
    • Obviously Thomasina has a bunch of kids in her cottage, whether the PCs care or not will be interesting to see.
    • When Meliaries asked how to get home, what she saw was how Finefinger Forth would get home he lived in Castle Cachtice, the home of Elizabeth Batyhyscape, the Heart Queen.
    • Now the PCs could just go back to Gwylliam's estate and go through the Green Devil mouth, but I don't think they'll put that together and instead will take the route in Finefinger Forth's memory to the north to the Card Castle, which will let me show off more of Voivodja before we wrap up the campaign in Castle Cachtice.
    • The people who took Finefinger's blood are Pale Rooks and I really need to remember having Melded Ed and Eel Wettweeel show back up when the PCs (probably) travel north and so before then I'll have to figure out exactly what went on between Finefinger Forth (or the forces of the Heart Queen) and the Pale Rooks.
    • I completely forgot that I had already put a full pudding recipe in the game (which you can see here as long as you're not playing in my aR&PL game...) perhaps Thomasina is counting on the fact that the PCs did as well and sending them on an errand just because she can.
  • I'm amused at how obsessed the players are with the mobile pond and why they think a random vampire would know about that particular pond. But at least I got to describe a creepy taxidermied swan boat.
  • Chef Cruikshank is named after the main character of the excellent comic series, Starve, which you should all check out. I got it because Brian Wood writes it, but it an amazing tale of a celebrity chef in a dystopian near future. 
  • I'm also a little amused that on the Animals table we ended up with "crab" as the species for the chef.
  • The Mirror Reflecting is the sample dungeon map from aR&PL, which will be fun to use, but I'm realizing that I should print myself a color copy to mark up.
  • Join us next time for the Sisters of Stonestrike and Ochen heading off to find Special Spice Blend #3 from deep in the Mirror Reflecting.
  • Finally had Meliaries pick one of the Vampire Heritage Moves as she's had a lot of blood tainted food.
  • I chose Manorexia's "Anabiosis", a track from one of the great JG Thirlwell's projects, for the closing credits, you should all grab the The Venture Bros. Vol. 2 from the Foetus shop, it's worth it just for the epic "Ham and Cheese Hero"

After the podcast, I had the joy of introducing Ben and Cassandra to Epic Spell War of the Battle Wizards, which has become one of my favorite board games to bring out. Well worth checking out and the pictures below show a little of why...


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