The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 8 "Mission: Imp Hospital"
February 20, 2020 4:50 AM - Subscribe

It's the semester break and the Thundermen are getting paid to do a little exterminating.  Birds and rats and imps, OH MY!
posted by Tevin (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
OK it took the "movie intro" narration for me to get the title joke. Nice. Interesting that it starts off with "we're playing some DnD-ass DnD!". I wonder if that's a response to the comments surrounding too-long RP scenes and all excessive NPC dialogue, or if it was already planned.
Absolutely here for Griffin + Wild Magic surges.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:29 AM on February 20

I really feel like the "movie intro" was a direct shot at people complaining about Travis talking too much. The entire thing, including all the sound effects, was Travis.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:59 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]

I like that even as Master Firbolg, Juice can't help but play shit super close to the chest. "Just a couple dex points," indeed.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:45 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]

Credit where credit due: Turns out I've been pronouncing "ichor" in my head wrong forever.
posted by supercres at 6:10 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]

Yeah me too, apparently! I thought it was ick-or, not eye-kor.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:05 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

In defense of all of us, Travis pronounces it like he, too, just learned the proper way, and is having to train his mouth not to revert to his instincts there.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:04 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]

I found out through TAZ the correct pronunciation of chimera (ky-mer-a, not shim-mer-a) so I should trust them, but are we sure it’s eye-kor?

I have now looked it up, yep, eye-kor. Weird!
posted by punchtothehead at 5:17 AM on February 21

I was sure it must be a weird American pronunciation but no.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:26 AM on February 21

Count me as another who has been prounouncing ichor incorrectly my entire life! Also my husband, when I relayed the information to him!

Justin keeping the cool druid shit (and there is a lot of cool druid shit, though I forget what circle Master Firbolg is) close to his chest, only to reveal it in game, only to realize that wildshaping animals for combat is much better at higher levels (though really, it's still free HP!) was pretty amazing.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:28 AM on February 21

A moderate relief of an episode here. Only one speaking NPC. I got the sense Travis was going to block Griffin’s trap plan, but then seemed went along with it. I’m pretty sure Griffin was hoping it failed spectacularly, to create plot movement other than plodding small battles. So then he just had to collateral damage his crew just so everything wasn’t so bland.

Nope changed my mind, most of the boring stuff about Graduation still on display.
posted by supercres at 11:23 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Griffin's trap was very obviously an attempt to make some good radio. I wish they had just burned down the hospital.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:39 PM on February 21

I listened on my walk to work today and it's a promising turn of events - a limited linear setting where the Thundermans are all together and working towards a common goal. I think once they get used to playing together again, the goofs will follow. I kind of wish this was the first chapter - the School sets up these Last Starfighter style fake challenges as a recruitment tool and once they compete it, they're offered a place.

One thing I'm feeling is that the world of D&D Podcasts has entered a golden age since the days of Balance and they need to up their game game. The long pauses for die rolls, rule lookups, and math are murder when it comes to flow and pacing. Have the stuff at hand or edit out the hunting around for it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:32 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

> The long pauses for die rolls, rule lookups, and math are murder when it comes to flow and pacing.

I didn't mind it, but I generally don't mind slow-paced podcasts since I listen while multitasking anyway.

In a past TTAZZ during the Balance arc, Griffin mentioned something (iirc in the context of a fan's question about how much of the gaming or planning takes place off-air) that when he can, he edits out the dice rolling to tighten up the episode. In this case though, I got the feeling that there was too much dialogue taking place during dice rolls to make clean cuts. On the other hand, I got the impression, at the end of the ep when Travis was ticking off the rooms they'd visited, that he counted more rooms than we heard the adventurers go through. I might be wrong about that though.
posted by ardgedee at 1:52 PM on February 23

> Absolutely here for Griffin + Wild Magic surges.

I get the impression that Griffin is girded for clowning in D&D idiom while Justin and Clint have kind of retreated to a more game-player's stance, and Travis is trying to split the difference while also inserting Serious Character-Led Drama.

> I really feel like the "movie intro" was a direct shot at people complaining about Travis talking too much. The entire thing, including all the sound effects, was Travis.

Huh. I didn't get that at all. To me it sounded like he found a great pun for an episode title and indulged himself. If he wanted to snap back at the complainers he would've had some kind of long-winded narrative intro complete with NPC dialogue providing a backstory for the hospital that ends up having no bearing on the Thunderguys' business, more in keeping with what he's done in the past.
posted by ardgedee at 2:00 PM on February 23

this episode was pure filler. i can't believe there's going to be a part 2 tbh.

i miss amnesty
posted by JimBennett at 12:52 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]

I loved this episode. It was a fun session of D&D, which is ostensibly what we're tuning in for, and it let the characters breathe a little. And a hostile NPC who didn't immediately fold to the PCs while also enforcing an external plot on them!
posted by Scattercat at 1:34 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]

I don't think it's strictly filler, but it's filler-ish. Travis wants to have a story (which is totally reasonable, that's ostensibly what the podcast is about) but can't figure out how to have both story and adventure simultaneously. So the forays so far have been more like intervals between the role-playing episodes. Clint, Justin and Griffin handed Travis a golden opportunity during the quest to the mine to lay out something fun or revealing or turn it into a real challenge to the players, but he more or less tai chi'd it into a trivial event because it didn't fit his plans.

The current hospital quest is happening completely outside the school so they should be able to cut loose, but since it doesn't involve anything or anyone from the school or Last Hope, once again there won't be anything of narrative consequence* -- they could've temped in a shipping warehouse instead -- and the Graduation story arc will soon chug along its track again.

*(I mean, it's always possible there's a big reveal in part 2 that upends (or validates) what we know about the school or town, but it's also possible the headmaster could be waiting for them at the top of the building to say something that sucks all the sense of accomplishment away, like congratulating them for completing his adventurers test and that he'll see them back at school on Monday.)
posted by ardgedee at 1:01 PM on February 24

> I loved this episode. It was a fun session of D&D, which is ostensibly what we're tuning in for, and it let the characters breathe a little.

Same! I thought it was more relaxed -- and thus had more goofy banter, what is what I'm here for. I don't care that it's D&D, I just want to listen to the brothers and their dad have fun together. The game is the vehicle for that, for me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:41 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

I happened to be listening to an old Balance episode this morning and Griffin definitely says "ick-or" a bunch regarding the voidfish. It gave me a laugh after all the discussion I've seen about pronunciation of that word in this episode.
posted by beandip at 1:21 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]

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