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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dice, Camera, Action: Episode 27 - Curse of Strahd

Episode 27: Thing in the Rug
This one is really fun! Liisa is back but she doesn't have too much to do. I sort of feel bad for the guest stars. The Godsfall guy in particular didn't really get to do much. I guess that's just how the guest star thing goes.

The Party

(Liisa) Arabelle - Vistani
(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard 
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer 

Last Time: The heroes are thinking about using a ritual to defeat Strahd, but it means killing a little girl named Arabelle. Diath stole the hag pin that can kill her. Van Richten does not know that.

The group is being rewarded with treasure from the vistani. Strix picked a rug. Something is in it and she is about to unfurl it.

Arabelle uses her tarokka deck and does a reading. The cards tell her that the hag pin is close.

The rug has a unicorn on it. Chris points out that this is not Strix's style at all, and that it would look terrible in her hovel.

In the rug is... a little jester guy. I see why Chris is wearing the jester hat now. He has a little club. Strix snatches it from him. He is a silent, evil little golem. The group doesn't find out his name, so I won't say it. Check out Curse of Strahd pages 235-236.

His eyes open. Evelyn senses evil coming from him. She commands him to no longer be evil. It doesn't seem to work.

Arabelle thinks he looks cool and wants to be friends with him. She asks him to find the hag pin. Yikes. Diath has it.

Luvash declares that the evil toy is now the property of the heroes in a most gregarious manner. Jared wonders if they will one day turn him into a real boy.

Paultin goes to scope out Van Richten and somehow gets lost in the tiny camp by rolling a natural one. It is a maze of horses. He eventually finds Van Richten, who seems to be crying. Paultin has no sympathy whatsoever.

The adventurers grab some more treasure. They get non-magic jewelry and a potion. Check out the contents of that onyx box with gold filigree on page 123. Luvash says that the potion is a potion of mind reading. My two favorite Chris Perkins voices: Luvash and Barmy the lich. They both crack me up.

Wow.. they're going to get their waffles! They are being made, as we speak, in a vistani tent. Most of the group goes into the tent.

Strix stays outside the tent. She's sure something bad is going to happen. She spots two vistani talking quietly outside. Strix goes into gaseous form and learns that one vistani is leaving to inform Strahd that the adventurers are here. Holly is really on the ball with her spells and character stuff. She puts a lot of thought into everything and it really does make the show better.

Diath rolls a natural 20 on his perception. He sees that the shadows of the vistani and Paultin are moving of their own accord. He joins Evelyn dancing and warns her that something's up, and they hilariously dance out of the tent.

Chris points out that the waffles are still being made. What a waffle tease. To dangle it out there like that is so cruel. They were a good 20 feet from those waffles.

Van Richten tells the group that Strahd is linked to the vistani and that their shadows are representative of that. Diath grabs Paultin and asks him what he did. Paultin goes, "Is this the part where we kiss?"

Arabelle shows a kid named Joseph her new buddy. The group is calling the little serial killer golem "Murderbot." The kid spits on Murderbot. Murderbot opens his mouth and fires a dart into Joseph's neck. He falls over. He's dead!

Van Richten says he can bring the kid back to life, but he won't do it unless the group agrees to stick the hag pin in Arabelle (killing her).

Evelyn grabs Van Richten and says, "You heal this child, you dirty cockroach." She intimidates him and throws him to the ground. Wow.

We end up rolling initiative. Arabelle runs and Diath tries to grab her, but he rolls a 3. Paultin casts sleep on Arabelle, which works. Diath pulls out the hag pin and stabs Arabelle!! She reaches up and smears her blood on his face. Then she shrivels into a husk, dead. Ohhh wow.

Strix has see invisible going and rolls a 20 on her perception check. She spots an individual watching from the shadows. The mad mage?! No. Strix decides to cast enlarge/reduce on this person. He makes his save.

The mystery person steps out of the shadows and stabs Van Richten. It's Arugal the vistani.

Paultin casts thunderwave, hitting Arugal and a couple of party members. Strix's moths and dirt clumps go flying everywhere.

The vistani in the tent have heard the activity. Strix freaks out and uses a fireball to set the tent on fire. She apparently has named her horse Mr. Runawayface.

An angry mob rushes Diath, who is holding dead Arabelle. He chucks her corpse at them and turns to run.. and there's her dad, Luvash. Diath avoids eye contact.

Luvash starts choking him with his whip. Diath slips out and jumps on Strix's horse. Paultin turns invisible and heads for a horse. Evelyn flies into the air with her magic boots, crying. She wants to get the dead kid, Joseph, and take him along. She could roll him up in the unicorn carpet and make a delicious corpse burrito. No.. she decides to let him go to The Morninglord.

Van Richten rolls a critical on Arugal. Strix can see Paultin because she can see invisible.

Arugal kills the horse that Van Richten and Paultin are on.

Strix and Diath are actually torn on whether to go get Paultin and Van Richten or not. Wow. Strix decides to go back for them and yells, "Friendship!" Diath mutters "we're dead" over and over.

Strix casts darkness right on top of the group.. oh geez. She thinks her darkvision will work in there. Ohhh no. Paultin gets off the horse and puts Van Richten on.

Paultin and Diath hold hands in the magical darkness and everyone starts yelling "friendship!" Evelyn flies down and grabs onto Strix's horse, which is fleeing. She is "horse surfing."

Oh no. The vistani get on their horses. Paultin and Diath are running. The group actually makes it into the woods. Evelyn casts cure wounds on Van Richten, who was at 0 hit points. Evelyn summons Mourning Glory with a Disney Princess mini-tune, which is hilarious.

That's where we stop.


This one was funny and it flew by. It was very, very good. In my episode guide, I put an asterisk next to the best episodes of the entire series. I'm not sure if I am ready to hand out that prestigious award to this particular session. I think I'll wait a bit and check out the reaction online before making such a momentous decision.

Clip Show: I think that when this season is nearly over, they should make a youtube video that has clips of the best moments from the show so that people can get a good look at it without having to wade through so many hours of content. That way, new viewers can decide if they want to jump in on season 2. Season 2 should be awesome because the group has momentum and they're all comfortable in their roles.


Anonymous said...

its weird cause Paultin's shadow already moved waaaaay before he made the deal with strahd... hmmm

glados131 said...

This episode might honestly be my new favorite. It's a close race between this one and 12. I think the sheer chaos of that combat makes it deserving of that star.

Also, Nate was great again tonight! His current dynamic with Van Richten is honestly a new highlight of the show for me.

Konrad Ferlangen said...

As a Fellow DM: Do you think killing Arabelle was an evil act?

Sean said...

Anonymous: I think he's a vistani, and that trait applie to all vistani. I like the moving shadows, I hope they do more with them.

Glados131: This one was really wasy to watch. Online it got by far the best reaction, I think. It definitely deserves to be noted as one of the best episodes in the series up until now. As far as Nate goes, I'm kind of soured. Once he missed the live show, that was too much for me.

Konrad Ferlangen: Yeah, I think it was evil. And it felt a little out of character. It was fun and surprising, though. Many episodes back, Diath contracted a secret-something that has not been mentioned or revealed since then. That might have something to do with his decision. Also, maybe his pact with the corpse star has tainted him further. That said, I could see Diath thinking that Arabelle is going to be reborn anyway. The souls in Barovia just recycle into new bodies. Also, I'm not positive, but I think Arabelle is evil. Still, he killed a little girl while she was sleeping... that's pretty bad.

glados131 said...

I see what you're saying about the live show-- that was disappointing to me, too. And it probably would have been a lot less disappointing if it had been communicated better (like, before the actual show). However, I also understand why he missed it-- Nate has a lot on his plate right now. On top of the standard YouTube stuff (gaming, conventions, his music of course), he also recently got a job voice acting for FUNimation. As a more "official" sounding job, I have a feeling that was the culprit for missing TwitchCon (and possibly even some of the other sessions he missed).

It would be one thing if it seemed like he just didn't care, but this week he seemed completely invested and was making great character choices as Paultin. My favorite was probably the thunderwave, because it worked both for Paultin's motivations (no one gets to kill Van Richten but me) and it added to the mounting chaos of that moment.

As far as Diath goes, someone on the subreddit pointed out that one hallmark of Chaotic Good is "I will do the wrong thing for the right reasons". It's possible that Diath saw Arrigal attack Van Richten, realized they were out of time, and made an executive decision. That said, it was definitely morally grey at the very least. (Note: I'm not defending the action, only justifying it as being in-character.)

Sean said...

glados131: I just feel like if he's too busy, then he should drop out. You can't miss all these shows, it hurts the game. There are some weeks when it seems like he cares and there are other weeks where it looks like he's not paying attention. I hear what you're saying. It seems like a lot of people really like him. If he is able to make the sessions from now on, I'd be OK with it I guess.

Stephie Williams said...

reading this as I'm watching the episode and I've just noticed a mistake. Where it says Paultin gets off the horse and puts Van Richten on the horse, it should say Diath puts him on.
Just so it's correct. Also, i'm intrigued why you put certain things in a different order to how it happens in the actual episode on this blog?