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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dice, Camera, Action: Episode 54 - Storm King's Thunder

Episode 54: Together Forever
Holly's in Ireland (on vacation?) and she still made it to the game. Hardcore! She says her allergies are a problem over there.

The Party

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

Last time, Diath got a cool new sword and the mists of Baovia drew Evelyn and Paultin back to Castle Ravenloft
The Bride and the Abbot

We start off with Paultin and Evelyn. Evelyn’s body is described as a sort of animatronic thing with rubbery skin, which I find very amusing.

Escher, the vampire who has a thing for Paultin, drops some exposition on us. He explains that Paultin is going to be getting married. Today? “If you run, the master will just bring you back.”

Escher slyly notes that once Paultin and the bride have consummated their marriage, Paultin can banish her to the catacombs. This would allow Escher and Paultin can be together. Paultin is boggled by this whole thing. The best word to describe Evelyn’s reaction to this would be “flummoxed”.

Evelyn is invisible. It turns out that Escher can see her. He tells her she'd be safer with her friends. Evelyn tackles him. Escher puts up with her antics, probably to make sure he doesn’t turn Paultin off.

We learn that even though the group put Strahd in the doll and took him out of Barovia, Strahd left a piece of himself behind. It is known as "the master."

Diath and Strix are in Citadel Adber. Here come the mists! They’re brought to Castle Ravenloft too. They’re in the study.

There's a shadow on the wall. Paultin’s shadow! Paultin’s shadow separated from him a while back.

We learn that when Strahd was taken from Barovia, Paultin's shadow took over?! A piece of Strahd is in his shadow. The dark powers want to reclaim this land. Paultin is apparently their choice as the new ruler.

The Dark Powers of Ravenloft: The dark powers have been around a long time – since the 2nd edition Rvenloft boxed set, I think. I'm fairly certain that Curse of Strahd is the first time we learned who the Dark Powers actually are.

They’re vestiges, wispy remains of slain gods, demon lords, and other “powers”. How do they communicate with each other? How do they come to a consensus? Do they form some kind of hive mind in the Amber Temple? Why do they want Barovia to be a realm of despair? What do they get out of it?

Chris had a million options as far as who would take over Barovia. I like that he chose a character over the NPCs. There are a lot of cool NPCs that could fill this spot, but directly involving Paultin opens up a lot of cool possibilities and it’s easier to involve the heroes.

Cyrus the mongrelfolk guy takes Paultin and Evelyn to the study that Diath and Evelyn are in. Escher tells Cyrus not to let Paultin see the bride.

So is the bride.. the undead bride? From the monastery? Is Paultin going to marry that dead lady?

The group reunites in the study. They get a look at animatronic Evelyn. Strix is happy.

Diath looks at Evelyn and says "I'll fix you." I love Diath, what an awesome character. Jared plays his character like a true hero – he does the right thing, even when it’s hard.

Cyrus butts in and says, "I've never had a friend." I died laughing.

The group tries to make friends with Cyrus, but Cyrus somehow messes it up in about 1 minute.

Paultin's shadow on the wall of the study has bat wings. The group has no idea what to do with the shadow. Strix tries to trap it in the flask. Doesn’t work. Was a good idea!

Evelyn decides to try to punch the shadow. The punch doesn't hurt it. Evelyn’s attack causes a magical suit of armor to come to life. Paultin tells it to stand down. It does.

The heroes debate what to do next. They're going to go check out the bride, maybe kill her.

The group gives Evelyn her stuff: Treebane the axe, Juniper the mouse and her winged boots.

Paultin goes elsewhere with Escher. Escher hits on Paultin as he puts on his suit.

The Heart

The other heroes see that the heart – the big crystal thing that gave Strahd special protection, was in fact destroyed by Mordenkainen way back when.

Evelyn scopes out the region around the castle. She sees the village of Barovia. Uh oh... witches are flying around. They're coming to the wedding, apparently. A witch broom famously defeated Diath at the first live show. Diath is scared.

Escher tells Paultin that he is indeed going to marry the undead bride. Escher doesn't trust the Abbot. He says that there's good in him. The abbot is a deva (an angel, basically). He's crazy.

The Abbot is the guy who brought Diath back from the dead. I wonder if the group could find Evelyn’s corpse, if he could fix her?

The waffle crew thinks maybe they should go burn down the church of Barovia. That way, there couldn’t be a wedding.

Maybe they should just let this happen. If Paultin rules Barovia, maybe he could use his powers to save the people of Barovia.

The group also spots another guest. The vampire guy from the very first session! He was last seen running away with a sword stuck in his torso.

Another guest... Izek Strazni, with the huge demon arm. Strix’s brother! Wow.

Paultin pulls the Abbot aside and tries to cast suggestion on him. It doesn't work. The Abbot is extremely angry. He summons his mace and unfurls his black wings.

That's where we stop!


I get a kick out of seeing the old Curse of Strahd NPCs!

They’ve started doing more shows on the twitch D&D channel. I really love the idea of the events on these shows being canon. For example, in some future book that mentions Barovia, maybe something the waffle crew did is mentioned. Or in art, we see a scene from one of these shows depicted.

I guess that might be tricky for legal reasons. Who owns the character? Does Holly own Strix, or is Strix the property of Wizards of the Coast?

Imagine if someone had to leave a show and a new player was brought in to play their character? Like an actor being replaced on a TV show? That would be horrible.

No game next week due to July 4th!


Jon said...

I'd be surprised if the players weren't being paid for their time, and since that makes them employees, I'd guess that all creative works they generate while on the job (including their characters) are technically the property of their employer, WotC. Even if they aren't being paid, I really don't think WotC wouldn't make them sign some paperwork stating as much.

So good news is there's a possibility that we have a canon crew. But they might not be able to play these characters in any non-official public setting ever again...

UtarefsoN said...

I absolutely love the idea of seeing some mention of the Waffle Crew's actions on future releases or some artwork depicting them. I guess that's the kind of thing Chris, Mike Mearls or the other development guys at WotC would do, since it matches with the thing about easter eggs throughout their products (e.g. Acererak on the cover of the DMG and Tomb of Annihilation coming around). Even Holly has been a regular contributor to WotC with make-up tips for Dragon+ and fabricating the Batiri goblin costume (and playing it!) for Stream of Annihilation. I guess that's an easy dream to come true.

About this episode specifically, I loved how Nate played this time. I guess Chris decided to put him back in a familiar place with which the rest of the crew is unfimilar so he could easily take the spotlight. Clever DMing.

I repeatedly become dumbfounded that some of the twists I put in my campaigns end up being on DCA way after I've used them. Back in CoS I used the same wedding plot that's apparently going on in the show right now, and even the appearances of the Raven Queen and (supposedly) the Hand of Vecna. That makes me really happy, as if I can read Chris's mind, haha!

Sean said...

Jon: It's a really weird situation! I would guess it's very laid back now, but if D&D keeps growing, I could see it being an issue down the line. I just think it would be cool to see them in art in the books, spices things up a bit!

UrarefsoN: That's awesome, you should say how your wedding story ended and we can se if it matches up with what's on the show. I did notice on the cover of Dragon Plus 14 is and eye and a hand, o guess the eye and the hand of Vecna are in Tomb of Annihilation? The hand that Paultin has possession of is a bit friendly, no idea what the story is with that.