The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 38: Finals
April 15, 2021 9:06 AM - Subscribe

Where have all the good folks gone? Where is all of HOG? We need a streetwise thunderman to stop these scheming gods. Isn't there a Firbolg upon a flying steed? Reality is ripping, someone get me Argo Keene! We need some heroes.

It's finally over. I can rest.
posted by Tevin (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Let's open this discussion with me admitting I couldn't bring myself to listen to it and probably won't, unless folks here say it's worth it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:42 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I listened to it; it's not terrible. Like ... if it were just a one-shot of a Big Battle you'd probably think "sure this is fine." Clint has an incredible moment at the very end, and there are some decent bits throughout.

Honestly, if the whole campaign were this quality of "kind of boring but basically fine" it would have been OK but unfortunately we got 37 episodes of "boring, nonsensical, and sometimes harmful" that didn't make a lick of sense.

There are worse ways to spend two hours but there are also many better ways.
posted by Tevin at 11:42 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it's pleasant to spend time with the players, but the actual campaign has been slow and uneven, and the narrative has been patchy at best. Their other campaigns were much better.

I'll listen to this, but I hope for better in future.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:55 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Travis/Ranier: "Was it fun?"
Justin/Firbolg: "In hindsight."

There's a solid 20-minute stretch of battle and chaos magic in there that gives the players some good goof time but of course it gets boring in the wrap-up and yep still NPCs talking to each other. (I'm literally typing this thinking it's almost over, looked down, nope, 35 minutes left.)

Will come back eventually to opine whether it's worth listening past the dragon/hellhound battle.
posted by supercres at 4:52 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Update: eh. At the end it’s just the players talking for a while. That’s pretty nice. Unnecessary though.

Actual literal lol at this though: “This is normally where I tell you what happens to the three of you but the truth is I don’t know. You’ve proven time and again the only path you follow is your own”
posted by supercres at 8:22 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I didn't really like the final setup where the players just get super juiced with all new spells and abilities and have a huge huge fight.
I don't really think the DM should ever touch the players character sheets.

fighting 10,000 hell hounds, but you're 1000 times more powerful is no different than fighting 10 hell hounds normally. Just making it bigger I guess makes it more "epic" but it doesn't make it any better.
(see star trek, star wars, doctor who, and... basically all media in the last 10 years)

I think they all got a bit carried away with the way Balance played out and ended and forgot that the bulk of Balance was just them playing actual DnD and messing about. I kinda wish they had ignored the final battle and sailed off into the sunset like they suggested. Because I don't really care if the world gets saved.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:24 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]



fighting 10,000 hell hounds, but you're 1000 times more powerful is no different than fighting 10 hell hounds normally. Just making it bigger I guess makes it more "epic" but it doesn't make it any better.
(see star trek, star wars, doctor who, and... basically all media in the last 10 years)


Reminds me of the Star Trek Discovery season finale, which could have been a tense battle between two heavy cruisers versus a dozen frigates, but instead is the cruisers, frigates, and hundreds of shuttlecrafts and drones for no reason other than it makes the battle look busier.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:45 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


You guys, I'm really struggling on this. It's a battle with 1000 hellhounds and dragons and people turning into kittens randomly. Why am I so bored by it?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:38 PM on April 18


The epilogue part was kind of fun at least

at least we did eventually get some D&D in this D&D podcast
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:06 AM on April 19


"You guys, I'm really struggling on this. It's a battle with 1000 hellhounds and dragons and people turning into kittens randomly. Why am I so bored by it?"

Because there was no description to flavor the battle, no stakes for any of the characters, and no sense that the battle would end any way besides "powerful NPC shows up to determine when the battle ends." Travis says at the start of the episode that the "three friends have to save the world" but ave from what and how is never really discussed and was never entirely clear from past episodes.
posted by Tevin at 2:40 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I listened to the live Amnesty Halloween episode just after I finished Graduation and, wow, it was like they were done by two entirely different families.

I did like Argo's cruise line and the theme song, and the Firbolg finally getting a name.

I made it through because it was my accompaniment while painting a bathroom, but I was only a little less bored than I would've been working in silence.

I agree 100% that the upscaling of the characters and threat was pointless. What was the max damage near the end? A couple thousand? Bigger is not better and does not make up for the lack of building stakes. What did these characters have to lose? None of them were ever in any real danger.
posted by minsies at 12:10 PM on April 20


"For everyone out there who kind of bounced off of Graduation because it felt like Travis didn't really give the players any agency, you just gotta keep listening until you get to the epilogue"
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:59 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


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