Encounter Party: Dinner with a Covert Captain
May 18, 2024 12:32 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Fearing for the Captain's safety, the players force their way into her cabin. What they discover changes the entire power dynamic on The Cherry Wind.

I decided just to post a bunch of these in series rather than taking the time to come up with cute clever summaries that probably aren't half as cute and clever than I think, because otherwise we'd be here until season 3. :)
posted by Saxon Kane (4 comments total)
I thought your summaries were incredibly cute and clever! But no pressure, and happy to speed up my rewatch. :)

Some major inroads into solving the mystery this ep! This was actually the first episode that I started idly watching (before I knew about on-demand viewing options), and pretty soon I was rapt and realizing that I needed to stop and begin with Episode 1 to appreciate this show properly.

It makes so much sense that Flik can still lockpick while blind (the clicking!), and that Tolo's magic-scenting had to contend with the entire ship being magical. A good use of skills all around, including casting the Alarm spell and forensic accounting, although sadly "Leather jacket. Charisma." with a nat 20 didn't win any response.

I get so nervous whenever a DM says, "I dare you." But I love how the whole party followed Tolo through the glyph portal -- they weren't going to let him face anything alone!

DM Brian uses those glasses very effectively to evoke the captain's guise. And the look on Sarah's face after opening the box!

And what a place to end the episode, just as the fight's about to start...
posted by thataway at 6:10 PM on May 19

I really like the way the DM has set-up a complex story with mystery, exploration, etc. -- just generally opportunities for the players to do more than hack & slash -- and making it compelling for the players! (In my personal playing experience, both DMs & players have an unfortunate tendency to go straight to HULK SMASH in every encounter.) That's what keeps this show compelling, I think.

I also love that the characters have complex backstories, obviously created in collaboration with the DM to be part of the campaign itself. Again, not only great for the players, but also very smart for a TV series! As in any narrative show, the characters reveal new sides of themselves to each other and the audience -- leading to bad-ass moments like learning that Tolo can smell magic (say whaaa?) and Dryddian's armor (seriously, how cool was that idea and the reveal?). And, of course, the description of Flik's abilities to pick locks, which is just so smart from a character standpoint (he's a bird). I also appreciate the way, to me at least, Flik's personality is sort of coded neurodivergent. It fits with his birdlike nature (as birds seem sort of "autistic" from a human perspective), but I also recognize so many little behaviors and quirks in people I know (and myself!).

Lots of funny moments this episode, but I think Sarah Babe/Ulavina wins this episode's most hilarious moment with "Belay that order, Torback!" -- rollin' in like Commander Riker just realizing that Captain Picard is being controlled by a Romulan mind-control device. That just had me rolling. The interchange b/w Jurgen and Vinh was a close second, and honorable mention to Khary/Tolo for "By the Lord o' the Cats, open the flappin' door!" And of course, Ned continues to provide charmingly meme-worthy reactions to all the big moments :)

One thing that had me a bit confused: So, Flik opened the locked chest way back in episode 1? 2? and it was empty, although Flik was blind at the time (I think), but I assumed that meant he had physically checked the chest. As I understand it, the possessed body of the King was being transported in that chest, yes? So had the Spirit already escaped from the chest, or did Flik inadvertently let it out, and if the latter, how did he not realize there was a body in the chest when he opened it?

I think my confusion also stems from the timeline thus far: the campaign starts with them already stranded at sea for 4(?) days, meaning something had happened to one of the crew before then. Presumably at this point, Harri had already been taken over by the Spirit, because he's the first to die when it departs his body for... Ambrose, I think? And then from Ambrose to (spoiler for the beginning of the next ep) Marcus Temme. So, did the ship stall because Harri had been taken over some days earlier when the king's possessed body had escaped? That's my assumption... Also, I think there was probably a lot of material that, because of choices the players make in the next episode, never gets revealed.

"GReen GLyph GLowing on the GRound" -- nice chiastic alliteration there

Appreciate the feedback on my summaries :) The problem was I started getting too deep into the project. As I was preparing for this one, I started taking detailed notes, writing down pithy quotes, noting any use of lighting/sound effects etc. by the DM. Then I thought, "Hey, I should write down every time someone gets a Nat 20!" And that led to writing down anytime someone got a Nat 1. Then anytime Brian awarded Inspiration. Then anytime someone used Inspiration. Then I realized to make it legit, I'd have to go back and do that for the first 3 episodes. Then I thought, well, I should really record anytime anyone uses an ability, so there's context for the nat 20s. Then, I should probably record all their Initiative rolls in combat. Then might as well record every single dice roll ever and produce a detailed statistical analysis at the end of the show. And I should also include EVERY OTHER FREAKIN DETAIL POSSIBLE TO QUANTIFY and suddenly I'm writing another dissertation but this time I'm not even going to get a PhD out of it, so let's just have fun and share this great show with other people :)
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:58 AM on May 20

Yes, so much backstory and flavor and actual story and humor to engage with, beyond going from fight to fight. I really think DM Brian is brilliant. Heck, all the players are too, for building such interesting, full-fledged characters.

Okay, now that I'm thinking it through, I'm also confused. I had assumed that Harri had peeked into the big chest to get possessed, but that makes no sense -- why stash the body in the ship's lazarette in that case instead of just leaving it in the chest? So I guess the king got out somehow 4 days ago, encountered and took over Harri, and everything went as you described. Hmm.

I can see how one could end up doing a detailed analysis of the show! As interesting as I'd find it, I'm on board with just having fun. :)
posted by thataway at 7:29 PM on May 21

I won't say TOO much, but the body and spirit had both been removed from the chest by the time that Flik opens it in episode 1.
posted by neddonovan at 1:39 PM on May 30

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