Encounter Party: New Friends Long Forgotten
June 9, 2024 12:13 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

The party returns to Baldur's Gate with the body of the beholder. Tolo finally connects with an old friend who claims they've never met before. Ulavina's mentor may be working against the Medaji to enable magic that can see the future.
posted by Saxon Kane (8 comments total)
The episode picks up where we left off, with the group talking about their recent adventure and traveling back to Baldur's Gate.

We finally learn Flik's dark secret! I can see why he'd want to keep it secret, especially since it ties him to the slaughter of Dryddian's people. And oooh, boy, did that get Dryddian's hackles up! It was a nice, subtle contrast to last episode with Dryddian opening up to the others about his past; now there's just the slightest edge of tension between him & Flik.

Ulavina and Tolo, of course, show themselves to have the biggest hearts of the party with their unequivocal friendship for Flik. :) "I'm so glad you have someone like that in your life!" Ulavina: your heart is too pure for this world.

The confrontation with Vern was hilarious.
Vinh: "I say we turn the coward out."
Vernon: "I agree! Get out of here Kenku"
Vinh: "I meant you."

TBH, I expected he would be waiting for them at the Sizzle Pit, trying to undermine them.

Khary takes the prize for most consistently hilarious this episode, from his constant mispronunciations of Aranakia's name, to his conversation with the goliath ("So, you work out?), to checking his non-existent watch, to drinking Ulavina's tea.

And yet! He also had some of the best character moments. He did such a great job in his interaction with Karina Madvale (sp?) -- he really inhabits the brash, young barbarian seeking guidance and meaning in an unfamiliar world.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:50 AM on June 10

Oh, and Flik gets pissed! That was a shocking first.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:37 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

I think we can all agree that Vernyn Grax sux
posted by neddonovan at 8:12 PM on June 10

Some more great staging that wouldn't be evident without the visual element of the show. I would not be able to deal with the DM literally hovering behind me and speaking in a dark voice. And if I were sitting at the table I'd be dying to know what happens when some players head off to the kitchen!

It was cheering to see how the party united behind their distaste for Vernyn. And it was lovely to have Ulavina accompany Flik when he got un-attuned.

Flik must really need that money to get so upset... And Tolo's anger at not finding the friend he remembered was well acted and understandable, even through his turnaround to anticipating how Karina Madvale will change. (Looks like some time bending will happen, especially with that mention of temporal displacement.) Vinh + Ulavina is also a great combo for making someone feel better.

And yes, great funny lines from Khary!

You do make me wonder if Vyrn will show up as a future villain...
posted by thataway at 8:31 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Something I really appreciate from Brian is the trust he has for the story to continue with our without him. Take, for example, the scene in the kitchen with Khary, David, and Sarah.

None of us knew how that would resolve, or what would happen. Whatever is discussed out there is ENTIRELY private to them.

It's the kind of moment I absolutely wouldn't recommend at a home table, but in a show like this with very specific goals for the audience experience as we play, I think it works.

It's a fun difference in playing ttrpgs for fun with each other, vs playing for an audience.
posted by neddonovan at 8:15 AM on June 11

Something I really appreciate from Brian is the trust he has for the story to continue with our without him.

I was going to say the exact same thing! Not only did it seem like a great opportunity for the players to stretch creatively and take ownership of the story, but also, just like you say, it's such a smart choice for TV, changing the standard table-top dynamic for the audience so it's more like watching a "show" in which the story unfolds because of what the characters do, not because there's a micro-managing DM. Ditto for what thataway brings up about Brian standing behind you and voicing the demonic spirit. I was very impressed just from a production standpoint at those decisions.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:24 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]

Also must've made things fun while editing, or when the players got to watch the show for the first time and see the scenes they weren't privy to!
posted by thataway at 6:55 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]

100%. We started editing the Monday after we finished filming while it was all super fresh and Andrew and I would just scream at the monitors whenever we discovered a hint or a clue of something we didn’t realize at the time.
posted by neddonovan at 7:01 PM on June 11

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