Critical Role: Sarsaparilla, Licorice, and Red Hot
March 1, 2021 12:59 PM - Season 2, Episode 127 - Subscribe

The Mighty Nein enact a heist on the storage vaults of the Vergessen Sanitorium, but their quick caper proves more difficult and dangerous than they'd anticipated...
posted by nubs (16 comments total)
 
I don't see how they get out of this. As far as Trent knows, they offed DeRogna and are now violently attacking his own facilities. Why wouldn't he just decide they're an immediate threat to the Assembly?
posted by lazugod at 3:58 PM on March 1


I wonder if they can talk their way out of this.
posted by bleary at 5:43 PM on March 1


They might be able to - not necessarily in a way that's going to be advantageous to them or the world, but I don't think Trent wants Caleb dead, or that he would see Caleb going on a murder spree as a bad thing. There's also knowledge of Aeor and the nine eyes to bargain with (which can go very wrong). Or maybe Trent will force them to give up knowledge of Astrid, or of Essek (if he cares?), or to kill Ludinus.

They could also all escape, if it was a counterspell and not a property of the tower. Just distract Trent for a second.

I don't think that Matt would put them in an unwinnable situation, just an uncomfortable one. I don't think anyone thought this was going to go well - it's a heist given to them by a morally dubious character for objects they can't even attune to in a place where one of the player characters was tortured for years (and they let him in team firestorm, even though it didn't make sense tactically).

It could have gone worse, really. It could still get worse, but I don't think it's over yet.

Uh, speaking of which, Eadwulf is totally on his way to murder Essek, right? Caleb has way too many morally dubious wizard love interests (at least he hasn't tried to seduce Halas yet?)
posted by dinty_moore at 6:21 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


hey could also all escape, if it was a counterspell and not a property of the tower

Pretty sure it was counterspell; Matt does a die roll just ahead of announcing that the spell did nothing. Does Jester have another 6th level slot?

Failing that, Caleb is going to have to make a bargain with Trent to get them out of there. I don't see a fight going well for them.
posted by nubs at 7:15 PM on March 1


Pretty sure it was counterspell; Matt does a die roll just ahead of announcing that the spell did nothing. Does Jester have another 6th level slot?

Yeah, pretty sure it was countered. I'm also pretty sure they're light on slots - if Jester isn't packing a spare 6th they are all the way boned for teleport options.
posted by coriolisdave at 7:45 PM on March 1


She doesn't have another sixth level, but she does have her seventh (unless I'm forgetting something). And divine intervention, I guess.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:48 PM on March 1


Well, IIRC the Staff of Power (which Caleb has) and Wand of Blasting (which Veth has) have both basically gone unused if it comes to a fight.
posted by tautological at 9:03 PM on March 1


People in the youtube comments think Jester has a 7th.

rambling

I don't think they'd survive a fight with just the three of them. They're going to have to flee or bargain. And if they flee they are still screwed if Trent knows it was them. And there's probably scrying magic that would help determine that.

(It's going to be some great grist for story if they work out a bargain that keeps them free. Caleb is going to hate it so much.)

I have no idea what they are going to say to sway him. Tell the whole story (minus the fact that Caleb and Beau have the eyes), and explain that they were desperately trying to keep their plans and location from the nine? that the Eyes of Nine are an existential threat?

(If Trent finds out about the eyes on Caleb and Beau, that might be too intriguing for him to want to let them go. He could just send out different people with the M9.)

I thought it was a mistake to go after the amulets the way they did. They should have given up the idea (I'm not even certain the amulets would help) or bargained for them (not great, no, but they'd be in a stronger position than they are now). I think the assembly would be willing to have them deal with an existential threat. The assembly might even be willing for a non-existential threat -- Lucien was able to kill a member so easily that they might not want him on the board.

In other mistakes, I think it is a mistake for Cad to think they need to go to his home. I think his dream was just a warning of the consequence of failure.
posted by bleary at 5:31 AM on March 2


Honestly, I think the biggest player mistakes were Marisha mistaking acid down the throat for a quick painless death and Travis being less clever than usual and reverting to using a dragon for the major image (which, everyone has their blind spots). Everything else seems like the players going in knowing it was likely not worth the risk, but doing it anyway because characters and drama and fun, but maybe making little mistakes. And this is something that Caleb does a lot - the wall of fire on Avantika's ship, giving up the beacon to the bright queen, reading Lucien's book, nearly killing himself over a random gem in Eiselcross - and all of this is fine, Liam has an idea of where the line is between 'fun risk' and 'nearly cause your party to TPK', and usually stays on the fun risk side.

Matt also usually calls for a break/end of a session at these cliffhanger moments not only because it's good entertainment, but because he can figure out what the hell he wants to do - and also to break the energy of the room. I honestly think they're a lot less likely to start with murder after a week to cool down and Matt has time to think of interesting options to give the party.

Does Trent want the war to start again? Because pinning it all on Dynasty spies would be a good way to wag the dog and keep the heat off the Cerberus Assembly, cause the M9 angst for restarting the war, and put them in Trent's debt/control. If they do manage to flee, they're honestly not that much worse than they were before, when they were already wanted for Vess's death. The worst that's going to happen is that they'll send Astrid to try to kill them, and that would be sad, but not too horrible.

As for the Cad stuff - you're probably right that it might not be imminent, but it would be nice to check in, and it would make a lot of sense to teleport to Eiselcross from the Savalirwood instead of, say, Nicodranas. I forget if they were explicitly told this, but the amount that you end up off course during a teleport is a percentage of the total teleportation distance - and the Savalirwood is relatively close to Eiselcross, while Nicodranas is about 1,000 miles further away on the other side of the continent.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:07 PM on March 2


In other mistakes, I think it is a mistake for Cad to think they need to go to his home. I think his dream was just a warning of the consequence of failure.

I agree with this - Tal just isn't taking the very firm hints that Matt is sending that everything is actually fine please for the love of god stay on target oh fuck you're still going home damnit
posted by coriolisdave at 4:22 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Tal just isn't taking the very firm hints that Matt is sending that everything is actually fine please for the love of god stay on target oh fuck you're still going home damnit

If they do go to the Grove,, I think Matt should come up with something happening there - the player has picked up on a hint about there being a danger there, and is trying to follow through. Might be a misread on Tal's part, but if I were the DM I would roll with it because I'd want to support the player making a choice to follow-up on something. I guess that's me though.

Anyways, just rewatched the last few minutes of the episode. What I found interesting is that Matt describes Trent reacting to the dragon by looking at it for a moment and then continuing to walk. Then Veth steals the blue crystals in the containers, and Matt goes back to say that Trent teleports/misty steps away. Which makes me wonder if what Veth took triggered an alarm.
posted by nubs at 3:43 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Which makes me wonder if what Veth took triggered an alarm.

I think Matt made this explicit right the session ended (this was truly a group effort fuckup).
posted by dinty_moore at 11:30 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah they messed up that infiltration mission so badly, but in a perfectly D&D way. You can tell they all have fun on this kind of mission.. Matt really likes to play doofusy guards who get tricked and ganked, and they all kinda love graphic violence.

It reminded me a bit of... S2E12 "Midnight Espionage" when they are going around trying to infiltrate stuff in the very silly Knights of Requital arc in Zadash, on the night of the Kryn attack. The group really shines when they are doing that kind of thing -- all without maps, too.

Probably something to be said about how the party didn't have any non-violent options in their minds, to such a degree that apparently Marisha forgot she could knock a guard out with melee attacks. Maybe they were all feeling a bit frustrated after the white dragon's escape then having to flee the Tombtakers.
posted by fleacircus at 2:29 PM on September 15


What I found interesting is that Matt describes Trent reacting to the dragon by looking at it for a moment and then continuing to walk.

Is this a game rule thing, seeing through illusions, or just a "bad-ass calls a bluff" RP thing?
posted by fleacircus at 2:30 PM on September 15


Is this a game rule thing, seeing through illusions, or just a "bad-ass calls a bluff" RP thing?

Could be either - could be Matt was describing Trent making his save to see through the illusion, but I suspect it was more Trent seeing an obvious attempt at distraction and pausing for a moment to consider what it means and what his next steps are.
posted by nubs at 3:18 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Aw okay thanks! I'm pretty familiar with D&D rules but I don't know what lurks deep in like different wizard sublcasses or newish items or whatever.
posted by fleacircus at 3:38 PM on September 15


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