The Adventure Zone: Ep. 61. The Stolen Century - Chapter Two
April 27, 2017 8:00 AM - Subscribe

Our heroes find themselves crossing between strange, deadly, beautiful worlds, pursued by a foe they cannot comprehend. Can they grow strong enough to defeat their cosmic enemy? Or will their journey take them down a road from which they can never return? Magnus leads an expedition. Taako is tempted. Merle leads his congregation.
posted by Tevin (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is juuuuuust not doing it for me. I would probably like it fine if it was its own thing but to me it feels completely divorced from everything else and needless padding. The game system itself is fine, the stories are fine, but it just feels like it could be a totally different show.
posted by Tevin at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I know what you mean, but I'm tolerating it with hopes that we'll see pieces that fit into what we already know, and knowing that when it ends we are going to have a crazy epic ending to the saga.
posted by Night_owl at 2:25 PM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

i think this was a phenomenal episode, so many great moments that shed light into who these characters are at their core.
posted by JimBennett at 3:57 PM on April 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

I just got that the crew of the starblaster are the birds from the prophecy.

Twins (Taako and Lup)
Wordless one (Davenport)
Protector (Magnus)
Lonely journal keeper (Lucretia)

So I guess the Peacemaker and the Lover are Merle and Barry.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:25 PM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was really impressed with Clints role playing (character voice not included) his episode. I was touched by Merle staying behind. I trust they're going to be able to tie it all back together.
posted by Uncle at 6:42 PM on April 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm really enjoying it.
I think Barry is the the lover, I think it's been hinted that he and Lup were a thing? Or maybe I just filled that in myself;; but i think Lup was the "she" that Barry was talking about?
I thought this episode in particular was really touching. I think all the talking and exposition do sometimes feel a little filler-y and that it kind of feels like Griffin is telling us all something and we and the rest of the McElroys are just listening but; I don't mind, I'm fine with that, and I think that's going to improve, but I'd be just as ok if it didn't, and when the rest of them do get a chance to do their thing, it's an interesting thing that we get to watch playing out.
posted by bleep at 6:45 PM on April 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's been implied that Barry and Lup were a thing (we've seen him get more choked up about her death than anyone, though that could just be cause she's the only of the seven to have actually died), so of course the fandom has made it 100% totally a Thing.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:54 PM on April 27, 2017

Wait a minute....

Lup should just revive if they leave the planar system again, right? Also, I suspect that it's The Hunger reaching into the planar system making its borders wobbly enough to pass though.

If the remaining 6 defeat The Hunger this cycle, that means that they can't leave the planar system anymore. Not only will they never see their original home again, but Lup won't reappear. This sets up the tension between the temptation to doom the world to get Lup back to fight another day, versus Lup's expressed desire of not dooming civilizations.

Here's a cool scenario: Barry Bluejeans, realizing that victory here and now means no more Lup, tries to split the party and commandeer the ship to leave the system before The Hunger can be defeated, so Merle, Taako and Magnus have to decide to stop him or not.
posted by Groundhog Week at 5:10 AM on April 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

But what if they realize there's a third option...
posted by kmz at 1:28 PM on April 28, 2017 [5 favorites]

Lu-Lu, I really wanna destroy it though
posted by nubs at 4:23 PM on April 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is very much the McElroys floating a "what if we don't do D&D again?" Trial balloon, but I still dig it. I like that it's a way for everyone to contribute to the backstory instead of just being Griffin's railroading. We get to see the team in their 100 year struggle, which gives the finale even more weight. Instead of the twist being just "The Bureau of Balance is actually the bad guys" it's "What's more important, the lives you made here or the forgotten life you've been living for decades?"

It seems like splitting the Light of creation into the Grand Relics bought them a lot of time. It wasn't until Lucretia started bringing them back together that the Hunger found them again.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:17 AM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

The first half was kind of a slog for me, TBH, but Clint's roleplaying (I know, right?!?!) really turned it around, both in the mushroom kingdom with his choice to stay behind, and then how he got them restarted roleplaying in the robot city with an excellent setup for Lucretia's transformation into the Director. Because then that sets of scenes ended up as good as anything so far, with difficult/interesting choices.
posted by epersonae at 9:41 AM on May 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Clint is really shining in this format. I noticed during the Q&A that he said he hadn't really appreciated the work Griffin was putting in until he started working on the comic, and then he began to see the effort Griffin and the others were putting forth around the story and the characters, and so he's definitely gotten more invested in things since then. It's been present in main TAZ as well, but really noticeable in the new format where the structure is more open. It might be that the mechanics of D&D have been holding him back a bit.
posted by nubs at 10:06 AM on May 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm not feeling the stakes here. I mean, with the flashback format we obviously don't have the threat that the characters will not make it, but given that the end of every cycle is 1) IPRE gets the LoC and peaces out, leaving the plane (planet, really) to be roughed up but not destroyed, or 2) IPRE doesn't get the LoC and peaces out, leaving the plane (planet) to be destroyed. Either way it's on to the next one for IPRE, and a mostly unceremonious farewell to the world our good good boys were just trying to get us invested in.

I'm enjoying some of the role playing (especially Clint, as mentioned above) on a moment-to-moment level, but this chapter is my least favorite so far. That's OK, I'm willing to cut Griffin some slack, as I am eagerly waiting for the finale arc.

I would like to see him bring IPRE to an plane of existence that is not just a different planet. A plane with weird physics (or magics), a non-standard number of spatial dimensions, wildly divergent types of consciousnesses, etc.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:15 PM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

It wasn't until Lucretia started bringing them back together that the Hunger found them again.

Also, do we know why she started bringing them together? I feel like that was probably addressed in the last Lunar Interlude, but I can't remember what her motivation is.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:17 PM on May 1, 2017

I don't think they do explain why, unless I really missed something. (I'm in the midst of a relisten, so I might be more certain in a day or two.) In fact, I'm dying to know what all is going to happen to lead to Lucretia destroying all their memories and then trying to reassemble the LoC!
posted by epersonae at 2:13 PM on May 1, 2017

I don't remember exactly, but I do recall hearing something about how she was against the creation of the relics.
posted by Night_owl at 2:15 PM on May 1, 2017

I just re-listened to episode 59 today where Lucretia talks about how she was against creating the relics but she was "overruled" and that at some point she realized they had made a mistake.
posted by bleep at 9:23 PM on May 1, 2017

I'm not feeling the stakes here

There aren't any; this is the problem of prequels/flashbacks. In order to make the story of how things got to the stage where we came in engaging, we need really good character development (which Clint, at least, is pulling hard on both for Merle and the NPCs - I feel like Justin and Travis are just kind of along for the ride right now) and some unexpected things along the way.

We already know everyone makes it to a certain point, and I'm interested to see what happens to Lup in the end, but it's going to be kind of a slog; I'm certainly willing to cut Griffin and everyone else a bit of slack because these are fun stories, but the pace needs to pick up because there's only so many iterations of "slightly kooky planet, what do you all do for a year" that I want to hear. We've got the pattern down, move us along to the big attempts to change that pattern and if there aren't any until they reach the final world, then let's get to that.
posted by nubs at 9:37 PM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

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