The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 9 "Mission: Imp Hospital 2"
March 5, 2020 5:06 AM - Subscribe

The Thundermen are moving up in the world! Specifically, to the second floor of the imp filled hospital. A new friend is made and a major(?) enemy is defeated.
posted by Tevin (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Clint (who was having a lot of trouble staying on-mic this episode. Like, come on, you were a professional radio dj for decades( was nonetheless cracking me up in this episode. With the sneak attack and create water strategies this felt very much like Gerblins to me, which is a great feeling to return to.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:06 PM on March 5, 2020

I laughed pretty good at Rumors.

Also, Griffin getting back at Travis' lack of description.
posted by curious nu at 3:35 PM on March 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this, because it felt like Travis was having a lot of fun with it.
It was explicitly a very DnD type adventure with a load of dumb jokes in.

I think it was a good idea to move away from all the backstory and just do an adventure.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:10 AM on March 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you imagine what Balance would have been like if episode 1 was about the boys at the Bureau of Balance deciding whether or not to drink the Ick-or, I think it would have ended up feeling a lot like how Graduation has felt so far. Having a light pre-rolled mission to run first where the backstory can slowly roll out while the group figures out their characters turned out to be a really smart idea.

Like, they could have started Graduation with the party travelling to the school together, then encountering some mild side quest. We could have had some useful perspective of the world outside of the school. Well, it's hard to start stories, I certainly know that. Graduation still has plenty of time to find its stride.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:56 PM on March 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

I agree it was a refreshing return to rolling. I did tense up at the Friendly Imp, but was glad Travis stuck to the 5 Room Dungeon model so there was actually an end boss to fight.

If they stick to these side quests/missions/Thundermen Hires and roll out the story inside them, then I'll be pretty happy with the season.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:11 AM on March 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

It feels bad to think that the story episodes are the ones that drag down Graduation, but they kinda are. It's simply a lot more entertaining when all four of them can interact in the same gamespace.
posted by ardgedee at 7:05 PM on March 8, 2020

I had a similar thing in my DnD game.

I had a ton of complicated world building and story going on, but it only really started working well when the party ended up in an interdimensional wizard lair which has been about 5 sessions of bouncing around a big dungeon of weird stuff.

We've generated more story, and crucially more story which is actually relevant to the players, since I jettisoned the whole built world and just started winging it episode to episode.
I think it's because when you've finished up a big game you find you have a ton of back story and it's great. So you think, well next game I'll start with a ton of backstory and it'll be great. But it's not, because the DM didn't write the story you ended up with. The players did.
So you just need hooks for the players to do stuff and then you react and build on that. There's no room to do that if you've already written it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:01 AM on March 9, 2020

Yeah I think that's why one of Austin Walker's goals is "Play to find out what happens." the story your players make with you is always going to be more fun than the story you make by yourself because everyone has a stake in it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:49 AM on March 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

There were a lot of great moments of party interaction here, and they happened because (a) Thundermen were together, and (b) Travis let them have the scene. I sorely sorely hope this was a deliberate change of pace for the campaign.

I was all set to come in here and say that this week’s Besties had a better role playing segment than anything in Graduation, but this turned out not half bad.
posted by supercres at 5:20 AM on March 10, 2020

Also, noticed the same re Clint dropping out. My guess is that the boys got him the same mic they use for easier engineering and it has a different distance/sensitivity profile than the ones he used for his entire career. I know they talk right up on it.
posted by supercres at 5:23 AM on March 10, 2020

Whoops forgot to mention— I think Austin goes too far the other direction sometimes. There’s almost no game left, IMO, by the time the entire group has created the map, invented the history, named the NPCs, decided which factions hate each other, that sort of thing. Or maybe not “no game” but certainly fewer surprises for the PCs, except when they come from dice rolls. A lot of “oh I know this long backstory but my character doesn’t so...”
posted by supercres at 5:26 AM on March 10, 2020

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