The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 37: Investment Opportunities
April 9, 2021 12:30 AM - Subscribe

The Thundermen race to stop the machinations of the gods.  But first, they have to make it past an army of demons and settle some unfinished business. Luckily, they have help. A lot of help. A paradox is solved. A wrong is righted. A resignation is accepted. It is the beginning of the end.
posted by supercres (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mostly posted this to praise a solid stretch of real D&D-ass D&D, as Justin would put it, namely the Commodore's ass-kicking. Griffin stacked some really nice effects in the beginning, some solid gameplay.

Highlighted what to me has been a growing shortcoming. They get a ton of praise that's something like "Well, yeah, nominally they're playing a game, but really it's a family telling a story together." A scene of gameplay like this makes me think they usually lean into that way too hard and forget the game. The game by its nature adds twists and lets the PCs show off some skill and makes the storytelling better. Otherwise it might as well be the GM reading a book with the PCs doing voice-acting (but this criticism is nothing new).

I think parts of Balance and Amnesty suffered from this too, for what it's worth; it's not just about not putting PCs on rails, i.e., letting the story be shaped by PCs' storytelling, but roll some dang dice to get off the rails. I really feel like it's been a while since a story beat was decided by D&D-ass D&D gameplay.

I can't believe there's still another episode though. I thought this would have been the last one. Glad that the next campaign has some episodes in the can, looking forward to that.
posted by supercres at 12:40 AM on April 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

also: I really hope something comes out of the HOG heist. Otherwise what a waste of time and player initiative. "Oh sure, you can spend eight episodes planning and doing this, but we're still going to wrap up the story how I originally planned it."
posted by supercres at 1:01 AM on April 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

The worst part of this episode, and one of the this whole arc, was when Travis told Argo how he was feeling after killing the Commodore. That was Clint's moment and Travis just yoinked it right out from his hands. I would have loved to hear how the actual character felt but no, Travis had to get his say in.

I don't think the HOG heist will mean anything at all and I actually sort of think the last ten episodes were stalling to buy enough time to pre record the end of the season and the beginning of the next.

At least, I hope, as that's a more palatable explanation for how dreadful this stuff has been.
posted by Tevin at 6:03 PM on April 10, 2021 [4 favorites]

The latest Matt Colville video clarified for me my issue with Travis' style throughout this arc. Fundamentally, his style has both removed options (which is OK, to an extent) in order to move the plot along... But more problematically has removed agency from the players.

As epitomised in the Clint moment highlighted by Tevin.

I like Travis. He's a good player, within certain constraints, but lordy I never want to listen to him DM again.
posted by coriolisdave at 7:58 PM on April 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Relevant (sourced from and referring to a TAZ subreddit that's, by and large, not a huge fan of the current campaign)
posted by supercres at 4:49 PM on April 14, 2021

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