The Adventure Zone: Ethersea — Prologue V: The Weight of History
June 24, 2021 2:56 PM - Subscribe

Winter arrives. The shoreside community begins the arduous process of migrating to their new undersea home. A suspiciously dormant kingdom plays its final, cataclysmic hand. Our Prologue draws to a close.  Join us as we build our next campaign while playing The Quiet Year, a brilliant mapmaking game designed and written by Avery Alder. Learn more about The Quiet Year and purchase it for yourself here: See the maps and their alt-text here:
posted by curious nu (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Appreciated the longer ep, and was surprised they got as far as they did into Winter.

I was a little disappointed that Clint didn't let Caul go completely -- his initial set up for that felt so great. It did flesh out how the process works, and who can/can't use it, though.

I just played Subnautica: Below Zero, so I'm imagining the bathhomes as one giant Seatruck.

I thought there was going to be more in-game time that passed between TQY and D&D but from the narrator timeframe it seems like they're pretty much picking up within a handful of years?
posted by curious nu at 6:21 AM on June 25, 2021

I loved this so much. So much got fleshed out while still leaving so much room for discovery. And let's hear it for Justin, who knew how good it would be for them, in the future, to build interior decorating into the game.

Also, while we spent the whole game knowing the frost shepherds were going to come, it still was an emotional punch when it happened.

So, so excited for what comes next.
posted by meese at 7:30 AM on June 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

I did wonder if the bathhome decorations came from too many years of drab video game assets.

I was also pretty affected by the actual apocalypse. I realized earlier this week I’ve been kind of swimming in those lately — Griffin makes a point with that infection card about, hey, we don’t need to make this too real, in case it’s going to be triggering. Here in Oregon we are having scary-hot weather for an extended period with a lot of wildfires potentially later in the summer. Some recent TV shows I’ve watched have had big disasters/end of world as plot points. And obviously this is built into TQY in the premise, but it still felt like A Lot when it finally hit.
posted by curious nu at 11:39 AM on June 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Man, Griffin really knows his way around a music cue; that theme hit at the end and the kid and I raced for the volume button to blast it. The music was a real noticeable absence in Grad and I’m glad it’s back.
posted by tchemgrrl at 2:34 PM on June 26, 2021

Man, I hope Griffin doesn't forget about Artist Man and his importance to the community now known as Founder's Wake. Mostly because that's one of my favorite voices of his.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:46 AM on June 27, 2021

Overall I enjoyed this prelude. Lots of potential future storylines have been laid for Griffin to mine and I feel invested in the community of Founders’ Wake in a way I wasn’t for any of the cities they visited in Balance.

I was annoyed on Clint’s behalf when the oldest and sweet baby-est of the brothers dismissed the scarcity of fear and I was grateful to Travis for making the save. I’ve just lived through a period of our history made as-yet-incalculably worse by a scarcity of appropriate fear and caution in regards to the global pandemic and I have a strong suspicion the long-running and ongoing scarcity of fear regarding our environmental situation is going to make things much, much worse for billions of people over the coming decades. A scarcity of fear is nothing to consider a trifle.

I’m surprised Justin’s interior decorating scheme facilitated by Old / Uncle / Old Uncle Joshi didn’t perk Griffin’s Animal Crossing instincts more.

Looking forward to character creation next episode!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 5:43 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

please let Justin play as Ol’ Uncle Joshy for this entire campaign
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:36 AM on June 28, 2021

Parasite Unseen: totally agree re: Clint's "Scarcity of Fear." I mean, he was basically describing them flying the "Mission Accomplished" banner before the job was done, and Travis was the only one who got the implications off the bat, but thankfully they all got there.

With this final prologue ep, I really saw what each player was bringing to the table, all of it necessary. Travis showed something that we all probably could have guessed from Graduation, which is a finely tuned memory for all the pieces and how they fit together, taking each new event and tying it together with cohesive narrative logic, so it makes sense that he and Griffin collaborated so much on making the Boyar/Ballaster Hermine such a central figure (which I have to imagine she will continue to be as a now-elder-statesman in the campaign proper.)

Justin focused on the comedy (thank god, someone needed to) but particularly where it'll fill in the flavorful, non-mechanical details of how the world works. Ol' Joshie seems primed to be the Garfield of this setting, which is delightful (and I'm curious to see Griffin play him now) but the Bathhouse Customization idea means that there'll be that much more room for character details, which is where this sort of thing lives as a radio-drama.

And Clint, as he has been doing more and more over the years since TAZ began, dropped little gifts to the DM in terms of mysteries for Griffin to do with as he pleases. "Here's something intriguing, no I'm not going to think too deeply on the answers to the questions it raises" seems to have been his mantra, and especially with Finneas Cawl and the Vanguard that was just brilliant. I don't know if Clint is familiar with the Warforged race in 5e, but he essentially invented a perfect under-the-waves adaptation of them. And then left it to Griffin to color in. I just love that.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:19 AM on June 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

More female characters, please!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:56 AM on June 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

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