The Adventure Zone: Ep. 58. Lunar Interlude V: Reunion Tour - Part One
March 9, 2017 3:15 PM - Subscribe

Our heroes' party has just undergone a fairly shocking expansion. They're now tasked with an infiltration mission that hits close to home. As the pieces move into place for the endgame, what do our heroes hope to find -- and where do their allegiances lie? Merle goes along for the ride. Magnus faces a difficult decision. Taako makes one last deal.
posted by drezdn (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Downloading now! I always look forward to the homeward commute on TAZ days.
posted by nubs at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Rereading my live tweets from earlier to remind myself of all the insane shit that happened... (I am very fortunate to have a ROT13 squad on secret twitter to yell with me)

This episode started out pretty rough for me because I cannot make myself care about Barry, and I'm admittedly a little resentful of Griffin being so heavy handed about telling the players that they're supposed to? When the voice (presumably Lup? Presumably from inside his umbrella....?) said "Trust Barry; love Barry" I actually shouted FUCK YOU GRIFFIN out loud, I was so annoyed. And I was tremendously relieved that Taako, especially, is absolutely refusing to take any of this shit at face value. Like from a character perspective it's pretty heartbreaking for him to be back in that place of trusting absolutely no one, but it makes much more sense to me than his immediately getting on board with some rando lich they barely know anything about, who wants them to betray the folks he's been working and living with for over a year. Thank you, Justin. Stay dubious, my dude.

It definitely feels like Travis has been spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME reading theories on Reddit? Like he's making decisions from a place of "I don't want people to yell at me for doing the wrong thing later so I have to Solve This Puzzle as quickly as possible regardless of the narrative cost!" Like when CLINT is saying "Hang on buddy, let's think about the implications here for a second," you maybe need to slow your roll. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Merle jumped to second place in my THB rankings for this particular episode, at least.

I was predictably devastated by every single interaction with Carey, Killian and Avi. Particularly Carey! HER BEST FRIEND MAGNUS!!! Killian scooping her up and carrying her off to comfort her! And look it's been pretty clear for a while, but THANK YOU GRIFFIN for actually saying they're girlfriends out loud with words, that was nice!


I can't believe my boy Kravitz dragged himself out of the Ocean of Hunger, fought off its efforts to drag him back under and barricaded himself in Ghost Alcatraz. I did not expect to see him again so soon -- maybe not at all, until some epilogue where we would have presumably found out he's all right? It's starting to look like he may actually end up being a key figure in the final act of the story? he going to team up with those Lovable Doofuses? SH-SHRUG? (I CAN believe that Griffin is emotionally manipulating me as he makes certain I know that Kravitz is TRAPPED and ALONE, because Griffin is a ruthless motherfucker.)

Overall, I was so impressed with all of them. Particularly the players -- there was some FANTASTIC roleplaying in this episode, some genuinely affecting moments and also just...listening to them talk things out, argue over the best thing to do and consider the possible consequences. It's easy for me to worry that the players aren't taking their own characters and their inner lives as seriously as I wish they would -- this is a comedy podcast at the end of the day -- so I was honestly kind of touched, listening to them talk about whether they should turn against the Bureau, whether Magnus should risk losing his memories to have a body again, an entire hour of them feeling like PEOPLE in a really shit situation.

A few bits and pieces

- So Lup is in the umbrella and also talking to Taako? Yes? I wonder, if he'd thought to put on that telepathy hat earlier, what would Griffin have done?

- Am I understanding correctly that Barry and Taako and Magnus and Merle have now repeatedly been referred to as "family?" Interested to see where that goes?


- I don't even ship it but Taako calling Magnus "Kitty Cat" is golden.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:55 PM on March 9, 2017

"Like Chilean miners..."

yes we are off to a good start
posted by jason_steakums at 5:59 PM on March 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Pretty sure Griffin was just being creepy about Garfield's interest in Magnus's blood, but I love how it became a checkov's gun. This whole story is so damn good, I hope it all gets adapted into a graphic novel or anything else.

Will the same defenses that would take out Litch Barry take out Litch Magnus? I have to think they would. Also, all our boys are deffo litches, right? And the voice Taako hears is coming from his umbrastaff, and it's another one of their crew, presumably the person who put the Phoenixfire Gauntlet inside the vault and I guess died with the staff outside the vault. Someone saw the staff once and recognized it, was that the redrobe who turned out to be Barry? Or was it someone else?

I'm not looking forward to the part where all our beloved NPCs die/get betrayed/fight our boys, but as every good player knows beloved NPCs are the grist of the campaign mill, ground to powder and burned in the fires of the DM's campaign. Kravitz escaping death is encouraging, though, here's hoping they manage to get Killian and Carey and all those lovable mopes to join them (Even when it's literally their job to kill people that turn against the Bureau). Also, will the Hogsbottom Three have a cameo in the finale? Will anyone care one way or the other?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:35 PM on March 9, 2017

A new revelation this ep: there's something shrouded within the Hunger that has emotions and a humanoid face. (And, presumably, a finite number of hit points.) I have to wonder if we've seen that face before...
posted by Iridic at 7:51 PM on March 9, 2017

If Magnus brings a cup of that ichor back from the voidfish, he can get his Bureau memories back right away, if the memory loss thing works like I'm assuming it works. (Not the weird vision memories though, I assume - and maybe he won't remember anything that happened after he died?)

I gotta say, I'm a little worried about Our Boys turning into Not Our Boys. I mean obviously everything they've done over the course of this campaign has been the them that we know, but if they all remember everything will they still be them?

And look it's been pretty clear for a while, but THANK YOU GRIFFIN for actually saying they're girlfriends out loud with words, that was nice!

Yeah I really appreciated that. (Now he better not kill one of them!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:44 PM on March 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, dare we dwell too much on what Garfield was gonna do with that body?
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:46 PM on March 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

liz: If I remember right, part of Griffin introducing Carey and Killian in the first place was to make up for what happened to Sloane and Hurley. I really doubt he'll make the same mistake again.
posted by flatluigi at 10:17 PM on March 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, dare we dwell too much on what Garfield was gonna do with that body?

Garfield head/Magnus Body or Magnus Head/Garfield Body?
posted by drezdn at 4:45 AM on March 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

>It definitely feels like Travis has been spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME reading theories on Reddit?

He's a self-diagnosed narcissist with a new baby to keep him home. I am positive he's been reading too much TAZ-adjacent stuff.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:27 AM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I also enjoyed when Griffin pointed out that they've never really described what Garfield looks like, then proceeds to not describe him at all in what we must assume is his final appearance.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:00 AM on March 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

> I also enjoyed when Griffin pointed out that they've never really described what Garfield looks like, then proceeds to not describe him at all in what we must assume is his final appearance.

I will forever imagine him as a robed lasagna cat until I shuffle off this mortal coil hand in hand with Kravitz the friendly reaper.

Griffin will never take that from me!
posted by Tevin at 6:55 AM on March 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

I don't know if Griffin clued them in behind the scenes, but that moment when they realized that Magnus' blood was there was brilliant. And then they get rewarded with an even better-than-blood reveal!

I'm also looking forward to the FlaPoRaSwooDoo (what? how do you abbreviate it?) in the hands of a character that actually can use it.

I don't know, I kinda always pictured Garfield the Deals Wizard as looking like Orko from He-Man.

And the boys don't have to be liches to keep coming back, right? I mean, if you're not automatically a lich if you're resurrected or caught in some sort of time loop.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was a great episode and I can't wait for the next one to drop; I loved many of the RP choices made - Taako just saying that he doesn't trust anyone anymore; Merle coming through with some solid thinking; Travis and his desire to get his body back.

And we got to see Garfield and the fallout of the Flaming Poisonous Sword of Doom transaction and we leave knowing Magnus is going to get his hands on it and I'm looking forward to some shit getting fucked up and seeing what happens to the BoB as the Doom approaches and everyone's secrets get laid out on the table.
posted by nubs at 9:56 AM on March 10, 2017

Anyways, my working theory at this point is that Lucretia has been stockpiling the artifacts because she thinks they will offer the means to destroying the Hunger, based on whatever fragmentary memories she has; and the stockpiling of them has lead the Hunger to their doorstep. And she and Barry and Magnus and some others have been going through a lot of lives and different planes of existence trying to stop the Hunger, losing more knowledge with each step, until now, when they are back together (but not yet knowing they are back together) and they can piece together their bits of knowledge and come to a realization of what is going on and figure out what insane-ass thing they can do to stop it. Maybe they are all gods who've just suffered brain damage along the way and are letting creation get destroyed.

posted by nubs at 10:56 AM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I literally welled up with tears in the middle of the mall at Carey's devastation while Killian and Noelle tried to comfort her. WHY AM I CRYING FOR THE HOPEFULLY TEMPORARY GRIEF OF NPCS IN A COMEDY D&D PODCAST WHAT HAVE YOU DONE GRIFFIN
posted by yellowbinder at 11:14 AM on March 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

He's a self-diagnosed narcissist

It's interesting to me that he sees himself in that way. Mainly because I (like, I suspect, a lot of non-neurotypical people who have consumed a lot of McElroidia, or, as I like to think of us "half of Metafilter") see a lot of myself in Travis. He's pretty clearly NNT, highly self-absorbed and with a very high but fragile sense of self regard (more things I can identify with), but the step to self-diagnosing NPD seems quite surprising. I wonder whether he struggles with theory of mind and accordingly tends to underestimate quite how self-absorbed pretty much everyone else is. But, on the other hand, he knows his mind a lot better than I do, and if the self-diagnosis is useful to him, and helps him make sense of himself, I'm not going to say he's necessarily wrong. I certainly find it useful to be able to recognise that my own strange ways and resultant issues are linked to my disability, even if I'm not inclined to give them, themselves, quite such a compact label.

Anyway, this was an excellent episode. I think Griffin might well end up writing fiction that achieves even greater recognition than Grant Andrews - Kid Cop.
posted by howfar at 12:19 PM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

He's a self-diagnosed narcissist

It's interesting to me that he sees himself in that way.

To me too. Not that he's wrong (I have no idea) and not that NPD makes people evil or anything (I know that it doesn't) but Travis's most noticeable outward qualities are almost childlike enthusiasm and a super-sincere desire for, for lack of a better term, moral and spiritual self-improvement. Those things don't necessarily contradict (self-diagnosed) NPD, but I just never would have considered it, and it's nice to have my eyes opened a bit there.

So random things:

• I listened to most of this episode on my subway commute - have they confirmed whether Lucretia was a Red Robe yet? That's been like "R+L=J" to me for this series, so I literally just can't recall whether it's canon or just something I'm certain is true.

• Is it possible that Magnus' trick with the voidfish ichor is going to mean that he gets ONLY memories that the voidfish has erased? Or is Magnequin going to feed all of the salient details to the vidfish before taking the ichor? And if he does so, will that erase that knowledge from Taako, Merle and the rest of the BoB until they drink the ichor again?

• Surely, surely Tres Horny Boys are going to remember that Killian, Carey, No. 3113, Angus, Avi and Johan are at least innocent and trustworthy, right?

• In "The The Adventure Zone Zone," Griffin joked about how inexplicably jazzed everybody was for Barry Bluejeans, who was a nothing character who never came back. He even made a point of saying nobody cared about seeing Yeemick again. WELL I DO! I'm among those who never cared about Barry aside from enjoying the name.Yeemick, meanwhile, has the voice of Kelsey Grammer and looks exactly like Common. That is one hell of a Goblin who is also largely responsible for my falling in love with the podcast. As such, I wasn't thrilled with the end of The Suffering Game. (The end of episode 6 was the high-point, I would say) and found the reveals here much more affecting.

• If the Grand Relics are still around, what can they actually do in the oncoming fight?
• The Gauntlet seems purely destructive, and might be of use in battle, though against a creature larger than all planes in existence...
• The Oculus hasn't been seen in use yet, though could potentially help to rebuild things afterwards.
• The Gaia Sash, similarly, could revegetate these dying worlds.
• The Philosopher's Stone also seems to mostly have world-regenerating properties.
• The Temporal Chalice could, of course, play a major part in making things work out in an impossible mission.
• The Animus Bell could (I think) re-ensoul a bunch of folks after the battle?
• And whatever the final one is. We haven't seen Enchantment or Abjuration schools yet.
My bet is on Abjuration for the final Relic. Abjuration is all about defense and banishment. If the final relic had a supreme power of banishment, then finding it could be the key to stopping the Hunger.

So I predict that we're going to find out that Lucretia has been secretly keeping all of the relics for the BoB (A SHOCKING TWIST!) and that Barry will inform her of her past as a Red Robe somehow, and that finding the final relic and using it to Banish the Hunger into oblivion will be the end-game.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:17 PM on March 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

(Going back, because of course she did, showbiz_liz covered a lot of what I just postulated a few episodes ago)
posted by Navelgazer at 11:44 PM on March 13, 2017

Another option is the fact the Temporal Chalice mentioned a time when all the relics were combined into one. If the relics were again reunited whatever they create could have the power to resist the Hunger, or more interestingly, power up our boys to the level to resist the Hunger.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:33 PM on March 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

(Going back, because of course she did, showbiz_liz covered a lot of what I just postulated a few episodes ago)

From that comment:
So of the D&D schools of magic that are left over, there are two left that the final relic could be [...] enchantment or abjuration. Let’s see what the D&D wiki says because I have no idea what these do:
Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior.” [...] We’re talking words like dominate, enslave, command, modify memory, insanity, etc. Charm Person and Zone of Truth and Calm Emotions are in this school.
ZONE OF TRUTH. Guys what if the last relic is Merle.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:36 AM on March 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

I mean, Taako abuses Charm Person constantly
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:41 AM on March 15, 2017

"Abuses" seems a little judge-y, there...
posted by Navelgazer at 7:58 AM on March 15, 2017

I mean, Taako abuses Charm Person constantly

Or is it that Taako is just a charming person by nature?
posted by nubs at 9:49 AM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


Read the room, Davenport!
posted by drezdn at 11:33 AM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

tfw you realize it's a Thursday, but not a TAZ Thursday
posted by nubs at 2:44 PM on March 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Good news! A new episode of TAZ Nights just went up for the Max Fun Drive.
posted by flatluigi at 2:50 AM on March 17, 2017

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