The Adventure Zone: Ethersea - Episode 12
October 14, 2021 4:10 PM - Subscribe

The Infinite Clam: Part Six Amber, Devo and Zoox face off against foes both tangible and cerebral, within and without, ancient and new. The Infinite Clam's power is harnessed at great cost. Additional music in this episode: "Phased Drops" by Michael Carrier
posted by ardgedee (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'll note here that even though they have apparently resolved whatever the problem was, it doesn't feel like they solved it as much as Griffin decided to push the eject button.
posted by ardgedee at 5:25 PM on October 14, 2021

I'm still not clear on what the problem was or how it was solved, but they seem to be having fun and there were some laughs. In the end, it feels like this was a plot where the DMs reach exceeded the grasp of the group - which is not a criticism of Griffin, this is just something that happens.
posted by nubs at 11:48 AM on October 15, 2021

It's not the first time this has happened, IIRC during The Eleventh Hour it seemed like at times the gang was led by the nose through Griffin's carefully constructed prep because they didn't really know what to do.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2021

Skimming TAZ Wiki this morning, one of the things I'm realizing is that in Balance Griffin would usually provide a clear mission goal to the players at the outset of the campaign, either through NPCs or DM comments. That's nominally happened in this mission (the church wants their VIP back) except that the secondary mission has a clear-sounding goal that doesn't actually work in the context of the environment, and it's derailing the primary mission.
posted by ardgedee at 9:41 AM on October 16, 2021

For the most part I think it makes sense. A random clam ate a mote of powerful magic that ended up messing with size and scale inside it. Because the clam ended up being huge and basically infinitely hungry it became the Trash Hole from the Quiet Year arc. Our brave adventurers were sent to capture and contain this mote, which would result in the clam returning to being a normal clam and everything inside it, I guess, coming out.

This makes sense except
1) Clams famously have a mechanism for dealing with non-edible motes, seems like it would have made sense to incorporate that aspect.
2) Relating to 1, it seems like Griffin et al didn't so much as google what the inside of a clam looks like until mid-session, a strange choice for a story arc centered on entering the interior of a clam.
3) If a glowing screw-like creature is described in act 1, it is going to automatically sound way more interesting than anything else that's going on.
4) Griffin describes the mote as being beyond a crack in the shell of the clam, seemingly below and outside of it. That's a surprising place for the thing making a living creature weird to be.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:58 PM on October 19, 2021

> Clams famously have a mechanism for dealing with non-edible motes...

Are you thinking of oysters?
posted by ardgedee at 10:14 AM on October 20, 2021

Clams and oysters can both make pearls
posted by nubs at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2021

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