Thursday, March 16, 2017

"A Red Rumspringa" - Antagonist Relations Actual Play Podcast 8 - GM Commentary

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



  • Opening is "Cruel Lincoln" from Shirley Collins incredible Lodestar album. Here's the Quietus on why you should pick up that masterpiece. I chose it because I wanted something that sounded sweet but was dark and bloody, plus the bird song samples add a touch of a stroll through the English countryside that fit the session.
  • Phones... man... Have I mentioned that when I run games at home I've started playing music through my phone to a Bluetooth speaker partly because it means if I try to do anything more than post an update about the game to twitter or change songs I run the risk of having sounds come through the speaker and it's helped keep me honest as a GM about not using my phone.
  • I was going to ditch the Antagonizer moniker and the players just tripled down on it... making me sound extra ridiculous.
  • Here's the Powered by the Apocalypse Style Looks for Fantasy RPG PCs article I referenced and that I made the players use.
  • It wasn't mentioned on the podcast, but I had the players level up their PCs to level 6 so that they're much more capable of handling the more potent threats of aRaPL. It also meant that they got an additional skill and ability.
  • I like that the Ginger Giant went with before and after looks for Meliaries, but all the players chose great looks that added a bit of character to their PCs... 
  • Session recaps from PC perspective are always entertaining and... interesting...
  • #RIPMoth
  • The players have been obsessed by Shifty Pond for 6 or so sessions, so it was nice to finally get to bring that to bear in the game. It was always a delight to hear them speculate on if they needed to trick the pond into appearing.
  • I can't wait to introduce Door Ogre and have a big Knob Goblin showdown at some point in the game.
  • While the PCs didn't realize it, the strange bird of paradise was Gwenaëlle Décalage's alternate form.
  • Having Harry Froggy Hoppington try to figure out what Gwenaëlle meant by leaving the island and having her shoot down all his ideas was fun. Though I don't know if my players realized that vampires can't cross running water.
  • Apropos of nothing, I regret not having black turtles at Woebegotten Pond.
  • The pause after Mike's question about reflections was me checking the book's sections about vampires to see if it mentioned Vampires not having reflections, it doesn't but that seemed iconic enough that I went with it.
  • Harry both botched his Allure attempt and failed his save against Gwenaëlle's charm rendering him very susceptible to her wiles while she saw him as a meal/servant to be used.
  • It seemed about time for Enock to make his presence known again. 
  • It was nice that the Beard ran wild with the vampiric charm without me needing to push it.
  • Here's the full list of tasks that Gwenaëlle wanted, as I laid out in my last commentary.
    • Bring her an umbrella or parasol.
    • Kill or drive away Mister Gizzard.
    • Kill the inhabitants of a nearby garden so that she can move the pond there.
    • Bring her tea or tarts.
    • Find someone who can give her a new hairstyle.
    • Steal a pair of shoes for her from Nolwenn, the six of diamonds and her rival who lives near the Spires of Zombor.
    • Find a way to get her off the island that does not involve flying or a boat.
    • Bring a letter from her to Yannick, a Five of Clubs, a former lover who has a command near the Garden of Pests.
  • Even though the PCs will not undertake any of those tasks, I do want to use the "eccentric NPC has strange and seemingly pedestrian tasks" for the PCs task again.
  • "Make fucking friends". More RPG PCs should have this goal. "Big enough to be super best friends with?"
  • "Why must you kill everything we love?" "You love him, you just met him!" 
  • Ochen sweeping up into the air with gigantic stone wings with Meliaries to drop her onto Gwenaëlle's island was a perfect introduction of his "take to the air" heritage move.
  • I think setting the limitation on Curse to intelligent creatures seems pretty reasonable.
  • Poor Gwenaëlle and Henjamin, burnt to crisps by the party's apocalypse now style fire-bombing.
  • Spoiler - The playing card is the form that Gwenaëlle took when reduced to 0 HP and she stayed in that form until she regenerated and so when she was able to, she snuck away in the night..
  • I enjoy that "Throw Voice" was used to trick party members into thinking that they were apologized to.
  • Ah, random encounters in the woods. Clearly, the PCs were suspicious of the kitten, but what they don't know is that the kitten was Tizala, one of the Red Brides and a powerful vampire. 
  • Was honestly surprised by Meliaries existential angst about going home.
  • Thomasina's strange magic items are courtesy of Donjon's excellent Weird Magic Item generator.
  • I enjoy that the players accepted Thomasina's reassurances that they can eat her food. 
  • Tasting potions to determine effects is something I need to use more in my games. 
  • Figure that Thomasina's hut is at the dot of the "i" in the Terrible Goblin Woods, and the PCs are headed north towards the Garden of Pests.


  • Ah, the Hatter. Hopefully the drunkeness, makes this voice easy to replicate. Right away, the Hatter had to count eyes to determine if any PCs need to pay the Ex-eyes tax as determined randomly by the excellent "Fees & Taxes Demanded by Members of the Pale House". 
  • I was slightly surprised at how easily the PCs agreed to run the Hatter's errand to bring the message to Sir Patric the Pale Lancer. 
  • Because I hadn't flipped forward to the section of the book about the Rabbit, what I described under the Hatter's hat may or may not be the Rabbit. 
  • Outro music is "People-Vultures" from King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard which inspired Mister Gizzard. You should absolutely watch the video as it is ridiculous in the best of ways.


  • Jotted down a few notes for tomorrow's session, but much of it I'm going to wing. Though I do have a hedge maze planned, just to irritate my players ;P

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