Encounter Party: Murder on Deck 2
April 28, 2024 5:45 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

When one of the crew is found murdered, suspicions fly on a manifest full of motives. First Mate Marcus Temme turns to one of the players to help strong-arm a ship packed with suspects.

In Game: Discovery of a dead crewman disturbs the party's rest. Asher annoys a dragonborn cleric. Vinh suits up and takes the case. Investigation reveals the murder victim lost more than his life. A drunken passenger gets a taste of Longstrider justice. Ulavina chats with a studious roommate, while Asher tries to put on a show. Young Tolo feels out of his depth; he looks to the mature, experienced Dryddian for advice on how to make their dreams come true (or not). Vinh gets a lesson in avian phonemics. Although a suspect is in the brig, Vinh doesn't quite believe the narrative taking shape. Dryddian discovers something in common with the departed. And all of a sudden, the ship becomes a very unwelcoming place for a halfling.

Meta: David and DM Brian go to the kitchen to hide from prying eyes, but once again no one brings back snacks.
posted by Saxon Kane (4 comments total)
The unofficial theme of this episode seems to be "eavesdropping," as almost every character tries to listen in on what the others are doing.

Some real nice character moments as the relationships between the adventurers start to take shape. Landree and Sarah are very funny playing the awkwardness between uber-friendly Ulavina and the self-important, uptight Asher. Khary does a nice job showing Tolo's nervousness and inexperience, and Andrew's Dryddian is both amused and kindly indulgent to his new friend. Incidentally, I like how he's playing Dryddian as kind of a cowboy, lone ranger type. It's a clever choice for a wood elf ranger. Minor nitpick: I'm pretty sure that Flik had spoken in front of Vinh already, but the latter's embarrassment at his faux pas was very fun, so let's give it a pass.

For the second time in two episodes, we see the DM take a player to an isolated area for some one-on-one gaming. I feel like this area wasn't used as much in the rest of the series, but I guess I'll see for sure as I re-watch for these posts.

Tabletop: The first episode briefly showed a pretty cool mini-ruins set for the opening dream battle. Since then we've been on a large 2D map of the ship's decks.

Technically Vinh's confrontation with the surly drunken passenger is the 2nd combat of the series, but really it's the first, since the opening combat was a dream sequence. But really, this is more for a bit of comedy, as Vinh just lays this dude out in like 12 seconds.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:58 PM on April 28

Oh, I should mention that the above the fold description comes from IMDB.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:02 PM on April 28

Great summation. Eavesdropping is the perfect theme for this episode. I appreciate how Vinh gets trusted by the first mate because of his Longstrider status (to a point), but the others have to find their own way to learn about what's going on.

I liked how the roommate pairings led to natural interactions -- I found Ulavina & Asher, then Tolo & Dryddian to be endearing in totally different ways. And I neglected to say this before, but the Olred noises are just adorable.

There were some fun OOC moments too! I love the banter that arises but doesn't get in the way of the storytelling, just demonstrates the comfortable group chemistry.
Brian: Is there any reason you would not communicate the following information to people after you hear it?
Sarah: No, because I'm not Landree.
(But again, I admire how he asked and is willing to embargo information. I guess I'm used to more handwavily collaborative campaigns!)

And on re-watch I noticed a clue that the DM planted that I'd totally missed before!
posted by thataway at 8:55 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

"The Deepest Cut!"

Yes, the Eyes Have It, as it were...
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:29 PM on May 2

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