The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 12 "Pop Quiz"
April 16, 2020 4:41 AM - Subscribe

On the eve of another real world mission, the Thundermen finally get the whole story.Major questions are answered, everything is on the line and dinner is ruined.
posted by Tevin (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just posted this episode but this going to be a make or break week for me. Unless there's something in here to make me believe it's not going to be more of the same as what we've been given I don't think I'll be listening on the reg any more.
posted by Tevin at 4:44 AM on April 16, 2020

Good news: this episode was much better. All three PCs together talking to one NPC! Interesting Revelations! A call to action! I hope those who have been dissatisfied lately find this episode more appealing.

Bad news: I'm pretty sure it's part of the bit but Argo keeps saying "rickets" is why he's obsessed with Vitamin C but it's definitely supposed to be scurvy, rickets is what children get when they don't get enough Vitamin D and every time he brings it up and nobody questions it I cry.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:44 AM on April 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

This wasn't an amazing episode but hey, it's a good start!

The party didn't split up and it looks like there will actually be some direction in where this story is going!

I really wanted Griffin to just stay firm and say "no, there's no reason for us to help your weird dog brother, peace!" but that's probably not really realistic.

Anyway, this was enough to keep me in it. Hopefully this signals a new direction for Graduation and we aren't right back where we started in a month.
posted by Tevin at 6:21 PM on April 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

This gets a thumbs up from me for “dog brother”.

It is perplexing though that it’s taken 12 eps to even establish the overarching plot objective.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:55 PM on April 17, 2020

I was pleased.

And now everyone who was worried that Justin was getting metagamed can relax, since they were obviously talking about this behind the scenes and Justin was relishing getting to play Firbolg in high dudgeon against someone who didn't actually deserve it.
posted by Scattercat at 5:20 AM on April 18, 2020

I have.. hope?
I'm unsure there was long-set planning behind the Firbolg's predicament given reactions to Bud swiping the gem back in the mines, but if they had a regroup talk to get things back on track and had to retro-fit, then cool. Given the quick revelations and token complaints to the adventure actually starting, I suspect that's the case, which I consider a good thing.
I like that they have a Task (get apple) to achieve in furtherance of a Goal (save dog). This is where Balance (get Relic) and Graduation (kill Monster) shined. The fun of the pod happens while the plot is on rails, where rails imply forward motion, as opposed to rooms.
I am nervous that there was an extended scene of an NPC talking up how awesome another NPC is, but I'm willing to weather that as I'm on the cusp of dropping and now that I've noticed Travis's bad habits, they are all I notice.
So I'm in until the apple is obtained.

Separate from this episode, one of the issues I think I'm hitting now is that the world of D&D play podcasts has moved on since Balance. It's kind of like listening to the bands that inspired your favorite band - cool, sure, but still rough and grasping. Looking at the two other D&D comedy pods I listen to, by Episode 12, Dungeons and Daddies was in Roqueport (again, a Balance riff) trying to save the 3rd Dad's kid and Rude Tales of Magic just hit a major payoff for a character. The Boys cannot coast anymore. 12 episodes (6 months!) of faffing about in a scenario that works against the strengths of the talent cannot hold.

Also, I note that the #zonecast naming opportunity has been disappeared for awhile now. Whether this be an ad thing or a Travis control thing, I leave up to the listener. Engagement with the listener has always been a McElroy hallmark and I'm sad to see it go.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:27 PM on April 18, 2020

I got a bit lost at one bit. Is there somewhere I can read a summary?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:27 PM on April 18, 2020

> All three PCs together talking

That's what I listen to these podcasts for, so, yes! The one-on-ones are not interesting, to me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2020

I really enjoyed this episode!

I especially appreciated that Fitzroy stayed in character the whole way. It would have been really easy for Griffin to just have him go "oh, yeah, I guess we're on a mission now, okay" and go along... But nope! Eye on the prize (diploma, crepes), for that one!

Also, what a moment for Firbolg! Standing up straight and letting shine his capacity for badassery. That was great.
posted by meese at 8:03 AM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

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