MATT: Welcome, everyone, to this Thursday’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors get together and play Dungeons & Dragons. This will be our 10th episode, I think, which is awesome. For all the classic folks that have been coming every week, good to see you again; for a bunch of newcomers out there as well, welcome and thank you. I hope you enjoy. We’re going to cut to some videos here. Probably the last time that we run the character backstories at the start of the show. We usually use it as partially a stall method when some of our players haven’t gotten here on time. (clears throat) i.e., Scanlan. But he’s on his way, I’m sure. But also since we have a lot of new people watching, and we figured it would be cool for them to actually get an idea of the character backgrounds, as well, but going forward, we’ll just be playing them for the intermission break. So we’ll be back here in about 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, enjoy the character backstories. We’ll see you guys in just a moment.
MATT: Hello, everyone! Welcome back to Critical Role. First off, I want to thank the chat for buying this amazing cloak. This most delightful Dungeon Master Cloak.
TALIESIN: It makes your eyes pop.
MATT: Does it? It makes more than my eyes pop. (laughs) So thank you, chat, that’s amazing. We did some videos with that. It’s a little warm in here for it at the moment, but I’ll be wearing it probably when we come back from the break for a bit, too. Thank you. A couple other quick things. First off, our shirts are up still. We have one more week on that, but our goal by the end of this show tonight is to get to 1,000 t-shirts sold. If we get to 1,000 before the end of the game tonight, we are going to stay after and do a Q&A with you guys. So, go ahead and get some shirts. Wonderfully modeled by a few of our team members here. You can find a link in the chat room, or you can go to teespring.com/critical-role and they’ve got hoodies, girl tees, guy tees. Rock it out.
LIAM: 999 gets nothing!
MATT: Well, we’ll see. So yes, that’s awesome. Also, we have the subscriber giveaway. As soon as we hit 2,850 tonight, we are going to be giving away one of the Tabletop Day promo kits that are only available exclusively now by subscribing to this channel. So, once we hit 2,850, we are going to give away one of these to one of the random folks in the chat room, so look forward to that. Also, we have our charity, which we do throughout the show. Marisha do you want to take it away on that?
MARISHA: Yes. 826LA, which is a non-profit, after-school tutoring program for kids K-12th grade. They excel in creative writing and reading. They’re awesome. Donate to them. Go check them out. And there might be an 826 in your area, so google 826. They’re always looking for tutors. It’s a good program.
MATT: Go check it out. A couple of other quick things. If you guys haven’t checked it out, recently I had the opportunity to Dungeon Master for PewDiePie and cinnamontoastken, his co-partner on the podcast there. Episode went up a couple of days ago. Had a lot of fun. Hopefully, we’ll be doing that again in the future, but I know probably a bunch of you folks came through that this week, so welcome! Welcome to our chaotic little show, Critical Role. Everyone in the chat room: be nice, be welcoming. They’ve been really awesome. Any other announcements we want to make before we jump into the game?
ORION: Yeah. Have we talked about something important here, guys? There are these shirts that we need to sell.
LAURA: We just talked about them.
SAM: For five minutes. We literally just talked about that.
ORION: Listen, guys, this is something that we need to really discuss, first.
TRAVIS: That was amazing. He comes in character!
ORION: I love you, Travis
TRAVIS: I love you. I love you!
ORION: I think you guys out there need to really look in your hearts– and moreover, your wallets– and get one of our shirts. Just get them, because they’re dope.
MATT: Glowing recommendation from Tiberius Stormwind.
TALIESIN: I like that you two match, actually.
LAURA: The episode of Dread part 2 came out today– of TableTop. It’s so intense! You can watch it on Geek & Sundry. I’m not telling you anything, but it’s very intense!
TALIESIN: We can’t talk about anything.
SAM: Did we talk about the shirts?
ORION: I don’t think we did.
MATT: Let’s get this on the road, then, so we can get into the story.
LAURA: I’m so nervous!
TRAVIS: (laughing) I don’t want to live.
MATT: So. To get everyone caught up to where we are… The party was initially sent on a quest into the mountainous region beneath the dwarven city of Kraghammer to find a folk hero of the region named Lady Kima of Vord, who’s a halfling paladin who had gone missing while on a vision quest that had apparently led her to some evil that was brewing beneath the city. As the party went in search of her, they ended up finding themselves climbing deeper and deeper into the Underdark, a very scary portion of the subterranean world, encountering numerous beasts and talking cellphones.
MATT: Discovering that there was apparently an alliance that had been forged between the illithids, the mind flayers that lived down there, and the duergar, who normally are at odds. They’ve forged some sort of pact. Upon battling their way deeper into the cavernous regions below the lava-encrusted obsidian walls, they began to uncover a plot that apparently some monstrosity, some new dark leader by the name of K'Varn had been the one responsible for uniting them and currently resides in a temple in the center of the subterranean illithid city of Yug'Voril. You guys made your way down to what seems to be the cavern that contains the island that Yug'Voril resides upon. You manage to scavenge a few broken boats from the lake that surrounds the island. Percy repaired them, and you rode around the outskirts to what seemed to be some sort of a beach-side cavern. Upon entering the cavern, you found a partially-buried chest or container of some kind in what looks like a camp that had been destroyed and scattered, and a few rotting corpses against the walls. As you continued to inspect the area, the corpses began to rise from their sitting positions. With previous experience in the realm of undead, you, however, know that these eyes of these creatures carry far more intelligence than your run-of-the-mill zombie. And that was where we left off at this point in time, which requires a music change.
ASHLEY: Oh, just jumping right in?
LAURA: Just right into it.
MATT: Right in. We have a good number of the party that is still out in the boat that is being towed by Keyleth, currently in shark form.
ASHLEY: We’re in a boat?
TALIESIN: We’re in a boat.
ASHLEY: I’m in a boat. I’m in a motherfucking boat.
MATT: There’s Keyleth’s shark form.
LAURA: Where? Awesome.
MATT: Right there. So in the cavern, I believe we had Vax, we had Scanlan. Tiberius and Vex on the flying carpet and are making their way down. You scouted ahead and began to check the interior before this happened. So, these creatures are now rising up off the ground, looking insidious in their expression, all glaring at you, as you’re the most apparently-nearby individual. What are you doing?
LAURA: You have fuzz in your hair.
MATT: And it’s going to stay!
LAURA: No you got it. It’s gone.
MATT: Aw, damn it.
MATT: I was hoping it would bother you for the rest of the game. So, that being the case, we’re jumping right into battle at the top of this game in the center of this beach-side cavern. Roll initiative, everybody.
SAM: First roll of the night. Yeah!
TRAVIS: Fuck yes.
MARISHA: New dice. Not bad.
SAM: (wordless squeal)
MATT: All right, so top of the round. Who’s got 25 to 20? Anybody?
MATT: Ooh! Percy with the rolls. Okay, so 25–
TRAVIS AND LAURA: 20.
MATT: 20 and 20 for Grog and Vex. All right. 20 to 15?
MATT: 16 for Tiberius. 15 to ten?
LIAM: A really strong 13.
MATT: A really strong 13 for Vax.
MARISHA: 12. For the shark.
MATT: All right.
SAM: Me and Pike. Worst rollers in the game.
MATT: (laughs) Don’t say that. You got this. You’ll be fine.
SAM: Well, we roll well when it counts.
ASHLEY: Yeah, but for initiative, we always roll less.
MATT: Well, that’s the plate armor and– I don’t know why. And what have you guys got, initiative-wise?
ASHLEY: Oh, wow. I got seven.
MATT: Pike, then Scanlan. All right, so top of the round. Percy, you’re out in the ship. Are you going to stay on the ship?
TALIESIN: (garbled) No.
TALIESIN: (garbled) These cookies are really good!
MATT: I know. Timing is everything. What are you doing? Quick!
TALIESIN: I’m going to tug on the rope three times in succession to let our shark friend know that it’s time to boogie. I’m going to take the rope. I’m going to jump out of the boat. Is there anything to tie the rope to?
MATT: This beach is just gravel. There’s no particular physical element. Maybe on the far end, there might be a part of the wall, but it’s going to be an awkward hinge, and there’s really nowhere to latch–
TALIESIN: Is there something that if I had an adhesive that I could–
MATT: Well, if you have an adhesive, you might be able to stick it to the wall at the far end of the beach– the cavern wall that you’re up against– but there’s nothing actually on the beach floor at all.
TALIESIN: I’m going to attempt to take the piece of rope, place it against the wall, and take an ice shot slightly above the rope and freeze it to the wall.
MATT: Okay. So as you hold it up, you line up your enchanted ice chamber of your Pepperbox, fire, and with an extremely loud echoing (gun noise) gun shot sound throughout the cavern, you see a blast. The bullet itself ricochets and spins off into the distance, into the darkness, but you do see left behind, where part of the rock has chiseled from the impact, ice has coalesced and cracked and has, for the time being, held the rope to the edge of the cavern.
TALIESIN: I’m running in, for the rest of my movement.
MATT: All right, so Percy is there. Percy, it’s going to take you a few rounds to get there. It’s long, winding pathway, but you’re in the process of making your way there. All right, great, so that brings us to Grog and Vex. Grog and Vex, what have you got?
TRAVIS: Would you like to go?
LAURA: Well, you’re outside. You can go.
TRAVIS: Is the boat beached on the shore yet?
MATT: No, the boat is not beached. The rope that the boat is attached to is currently attached to the wall, so it’s anchored.
TRAVIS: Okay, good.
ASHLEY: And I’m in the boat?
MATT: You’re in the boat. Grog’s in the boat. Clarota, Kima…
TRAVIS: I would like to bust out at a full dead sprint after Percy. “There’s no blood being had without me!”
MATT: As Grog leaps out, (sploosh) splashing. It’s shallow at this point. You’re about waist deep in the water. You trudge up to the shore, run across the gravel beach, and start heading straight into the cavern after Percy.
MATT: Yelling into the cavern, a big old goliath scream. Laser pointer if anyone needs it, by the way. There you go. All right, that brings us to Vex.
LAURA: Which one looks biggest?
MATT: You’re still on top of the flying carpet, the three of you.
LAURA: Does one of the ghouls look scarier than the others?
MATT: Best you can tell, there are three that all look similar in stature. There’s one over here that is generally larger, taller, more lanky, and appears to have a semblance of armor on him still. And he almost seems to be giving looks and silent commands to the others.
LAURA: He’s a master zombie. Hunter’s Mark him.
MATT: What’s the range on Hunter’s Mark? You’re back here.
TALIESIN: Hey, Laura!
LAURA: I did it! Hunter’s Mark, 90 feet.
MATT: Yeah, you can get there.
LAURA: Okay, good. Well, I don’t need it because I’m going to Conjure Barrage a cone at them all once he’s Hunter’s Marked.
SAM: Barrage a cone? Sounds like an Italian porn guy.
MATT: Hunter’s Mark on that one.
LAURA: While I whistle for Trinket to get his butt in.
MATT: Trinket’s ears perk up from the distance. He can hear your whistle echoing through the cavern on the beach side. He stumbles out of the boat, (sploosh) big splash, and chases after Grog.
LAURA: Okay, and then I Conjure Barrage.
MATT: All wet and soaked, the fur pushed against the body. Conjure Barrage. What’s the range of that?
LAURA: It’s a 60-foot cone.
MATT: You are quite a distance from most of them. You might have to hop off the flying carpet.
LAURA: I will?!
ORION: She can move it just fine. Just think, “forward.”
LAURA: Can we fly the carpet forward?
MATT: You’re currently not in control of the carpet. Tiberius is.
LAURA: Can I delay until– what’s your initiative?
ORION: Well, 16, but that’s fine.
LAURA: I’ll delay until his. Can I do that?
MATT: You can do that. Vex delays on that. Grog’s turn’s ended. All right, so the undead take their turn. So as all the entities rise up, they all swarm in, rushing around with an unnatural speed.
LIAM: Age ain’t slowing them down nothing! Wow. Hi, fellas!
MATT: They all leap up. You see portions of their jaw dangling, with these sharp, awful blackened teeth that are broken and gnarled.
LIAM: I feel so popular!
MATT: You glance around suddenly as this darkened room, which you’re able to make a little bit of light from Tiberius’s light on the end of his staff. They move (whoosh) with a blur of speed, and they’re right up in your face.
TALIESIN: 28 Days Later zombies.
LAURA: Oh, god. Get out of the middle of them.
MATT: First thing you notice: one of them is giving off an awful stench. The smell you smelled when you first entered the cavern is now so strong that it’s nearly overpowering.
LIAM: Is there one specifically?
MATT: It’s hard to find a source to it. However, you are taking a claw strike from each of them.
LIAM: Oh, good.
MATT: That is going to be a six. That misses.
MATT: That is a 19?
MATT: Hits. 18?
MATT: And then 20.
LIAM: Hell yeah.
MATT: All right. So, three claw strikes. You take seven points of slashing damage, another seven points of slashing damage, and then a ten, so that’s a total of 24 points of slashing damage.
LIAM: Okay. (grunts)
MATT: As all these horribly-muddied and half-rotted claws start sinking past the armor into your flesh, the back of your neck. One catches you in the side. And it all happens so fast, you feel like you’re almost spun around by the sheer force of the impact. I need you to make three constitution saving throws.
SAM: They’ve got poison or something. They’ve got poison magic.
LIAM: Okay. 15.
LAURA: Okay. Plus your constitution.
LIAM: Plus nothing.
LAURA: Oh really?!
LIAM: It’s all in speed, man. 15.
MATT: All right.
MATT: Okay. So, two of the impacts, you feel this sense of strange rot impeding upon your system, and you shrug it off, but one of them still manages to sift through, and your system seizes. You feel all the muscles in your body begin to tighten up, and suddenly you are unable to move. Your entire body is one tense, giant, flexing muscle, and you’re unable to shift anywhere from your position.
LIAM: (strained) Feels like rigor mortis.
MATT: You’re currently paralyzed, my friend.
LAURA: Oh no, I can’t do anything. You won’t be able to dodge it.
MATT: Yeah, all right. That brings us to Tiberius and Vex.
LIAM: Send a fireball right here.
LAURA AND SAM: No!
TRAVIS: That would be bad.
ORION: How far away am I right now?
MATT: Right here? I’d say you’re approximately–
ORION: Well, I’ll move the carpet the minimum distance I have to for her to get in range.
MATT: You can probably push it 20 feet. It’s about there.
ORION: Okay, so that’s where I’ll stay. “This doesn’t look good.” I cast Obelisk of Stone on my dear friend. (fshh) I’m going to raise him up out of harm’s way.
MATT: All right. So, as you finish casting, you can see some of the actual sand that fills the bottom of this cave begins to swirl up in a wind around Tiberius’s hands, and as he lifts his arms up, a single column of stone shakes and shifts out of the ground, lifting your paralyzed body 15 feet into the air. Thankfully, the actual cavern itself is about 25 feet tall, so it doesn’t crush you against the ceiling.
ORION: No, I only raise it about 20 feet.
MATT: It can only go 15 feet for level 3. Or 20. I’m sorry. 20 feet. So, you’re barely brought up to the ceiling. It crests the top of your head, but not enough to actually crush you or do any damage. But you are seemingly out of harm’s way from the current undead onslaught.
ORION: And then I go, “That was a good idea!” And then I spend three sorcerer points and I hock a fireball (fwoosh) at all those fuckers, too.
MATT: All right, so Tiberius, as you lift up the pillar with one hand, the dust settles and falls from your hand, and as it does this hand back here begins to coalesce this small bead of red burning energy. You fling it out with your off hand. It streaks across, hits the base of the pillar, and explodes with a blast of red fiery magical energy. Go ahead and roll damage. Your DC on that is 17, right?
ORION: Yes. Two, four, six. Is it six or eight?
MATT: They all failed their saving throw. It’s 8d6.
SAM: 8d6?! Jeez. Seems unfair.
MATT: Same damage your Lightning Bolt does.
SAM: Oh, you’re right. Man, I’m a bad mama jama.
ORION: 32 damage.
MATT: 32 damage. So. As you guys are running into the cavern, you hear this loud, familiar explosion sound that has this weird dull thud. And then flaming heat. You see flickers of light from around the bend, and this wave of heat hits you. The explosion, as it finishes, you can see these three undead are completely incinerated and are left as burning cinders on the ground. This one’s still standing. However, the force of the explosion also destroys the pillar from underneath.
ORION: Oh, shit.
MATT: Causing him to fall.
ORION: Hold on, as he falls– do I still have a movement after this?
MATT: You used your movement to move the carpet, sorry.
MARISHA: It’s like the Tower of Terror.
LIAM: How much bludgeoning damage am I taking?
MATT: You only take, I’d say, 2d6.
MATT: No, 1d6, because it’s only a 20-foot fall.
LIAM: Right, okay.
MATT: You’re able to catch yourself, and it’s also sand, so it’s not too hard. All right, that finishes your turn?
ORION: It certainly does. “Vex, would you finish that bastard off?”
MATT: Wait, you did land in a bunch of rocks of the broken pillar. Roll another d6 points of damage.
LIAM: That was more substantial.
MATT: If it was the sand, it wasn’t so hard, but it was the fact that I realized there was a whole crapton of pillar rubble that your paralyzed body fell upon, unable to brace your fall. So. That’s going to hurt in the morning. Vex, you’re up.
LAURA: Okay. Well, there’s “no” really anybody else, so I’m going to…
TRAVIS: (teasing) There’s “no” really?
LAURA: There’s “no” really anybody else– I can shoot through my fire thing, right?
MATT: If you want to, yeah. You still haven’t used it for the day.
LAURA: Should I save it?
LAURA: I’ll attack him twice.
MATT: Okay, you’re attacking him twice. As you’re sitting on the carpet, you pull out (schwoop, schwoop) and rapidly release two arrows in succession.
LAURA: Oh, natural 20!
MATT: Yeah! All right. And what’s the other attack?
MATT: Both hit. Go ahead and roll damage.
LAURA: Hit him. Oh, actually, 23. I forgot I had bracers on.
MATT: That hits. Well, the bracers only affect your damage, not to hit.
LAURA: Good to know! 21!
MATT: You get +2 to all damage rolls with ranged attacks.
LAURA: What do I do for a critical, then?
MATT: You roll the regular damage, multiply it by two, and then add your modifier at the end.
LAURA: Okay. Oh, that’s not that good. 15 for the first one. And 12 for the second one.
MATT: And Hunter’s Mark on both of those?
LAURA: And Hunter’s Mark on both!
MATT: Because it’s on the board? (laughs)
LAURA: That was definitely a six. That was a six!
MATT: There you go!
LAURA: Seven, then, for Hunter’s Mark.
MATT: The smoke filters out of the way, and you make the visual. You see your brother on the ground, currently seizing, and in the rubble, you see the shadow of one of the undead, still standing angrily. It rears back with its claws forward and gives this horrible gnashing sound as its jaw opens and actually widens. This long tongue (wet sucking noise) whips out on it. As you bear down and release one arrow, (shoomf) piercing the side of its shoulder. As it reaches out to break it off, its tongue still out, the second one goes into the tongue, out the back of the throat. (choking noise) It reaches up and breaks off the arrow in the throat, looks towards you, goes to lunge, and as it does, you can see it just collapses on top of his body, no longer moving.
TRAVIS: Embrace him. Embrace him!
LIAM: Give me some sugar.
MATT: All right, so. The rest of you finally make your way into the cavern. You manage to shrug off the rest of this paralyzation, stiffly get up, and find your way out of the rubble.
LAURA: Can we land? Tiberius?
ORION: I’m sorry. Yes.
TRAVIS: Tell me it’s not over.
SAM: Oh. Sorry, Grog. The fight’s over.
ORION: Sorry, Grog.
TRAVIS: I live for one thing.
ASHLEY: Am I close enough to get out of the boat?
MATT: Yeah, you can get out of the boat.
LAURA: Are you alive?
LIAM: I’m alive.
MATT: Keyleth, you’re left out there as a shark as everyone goes inside.
LAURA: I go look at the treasure chest.
SAM: I’m going, too!
LIAM: Good job, badasses.
MARISHA: I’ll stay with the boat.
TALIESIN: All right, that was… fine.
ASHLEY: I didn’t even need to get out of the boat. You guys just handled it like that.
TALIESIN: I’ll go back to the boat, then. It’s fine. I don’t care.
ORION: I’m sorry, Percy. Listen, I’m sorry, everybody. I didn’t mean to kill everybody so quickly. I’ll let you kill everybody next time, Percy.
MATT: Vex, you go over and lift the top of the chest, which was unlocked previously by your brother. As you lift it up, for a split second you see what looks like a flash of orange energy– a very familiar one, as suddenly, a secondary fire blast (explosion sound) emanates from the treasure chest itself.
LAURA: I thought you checked for traps.
LIAM: I didn’t do nothing!
MATT: The blast radius sends the top half of the chest careening off and scraping off the roof of the cavern. You guys, who just turned the corner, see this giant explosion, sending you about 20 feet backwards.
LAURA: Awesome. Good thing you didn’t get there in time, Scanlan.
LIAM: Is that chest ten feet away from me, as well?
MATT: Yeah. So a reflex saving throw for both of you.
LAURA: Okay, cool.
LIAM: I have a thing I can do, too.
LAURA: What’s reflex? Is that dexterity?
MATT: Or dexterity, sorry. (sing-song) Carry over from Pathfinder. I meant dexterity.
MATT: 30? Jesus Christ.
LIAM: This is a dexterity check?
MATT: You both manage to find a way to dodge most of the impact, but you still both take 14 points of fire damage.
LIAM: As a rogue with evasion, if I succeed, it’s nothing.
MATT: Then you take nothing.
LAURA: As a twin of a rogue…
MATT: You take 14 points of fire damage.
LAURA: Can I have your thingy?
LIAM: My thingy?
LAURA: Your eraser thingy?
LIAM: I don’t know where it is.
LAURA: Oh, thanks.
ASHLEY: You’re welcome.
MATT: The familiar whine of the trap catches your ear. You dodge out of the way instinctively. Your sister’s not so lucky. You take the brunt of the damage, but not the full damage.
LAURA: Oh no. Did I destroy the loot?
MATT: If you want to inspect what the chest once was. As you go back to where the chest was, most of the chest is destroyed. It’s knocked off its hinge. What you do find inside, though, is what looks like a very, very… There we go. What looks like a slightly-charred two-handed blade: a giant sword that is currently laid inside. Looks like it’s been there a while in storage. There was a set of natural armor that’s been completely destroyed by the blast.
LAURA: Aw, come on!
MATT: There are a number of coins in there. There’s probably a good, hefty pile of gold, slightly molded by the moisture that’s been kept inside this chest until it was detonated. Gathering it up, you find approximately 420 gold pieces.
SAM: Yeah, 420.
LIAM: What’s that mean? Is that a reference? What is that?
MATT: But for everything that was damaged inside the chest, the sword, which would be considered a greatsword, seems to be largely unaffected by the blast, other than a little bit of soot that you had to rub off the blade.
LAURA: I’ll take it to Grog, because I figure he’ll probably be able to use it.
MATT: There you go. She hands you this fantastic sword.
LAURA: I don’t know if it’s magic or anything, Grog, so you might want to have Tiberius have a look at it.
TRAVIS: “Hold on, let me check.” I take it and I shake it really hard.
ORION: That’s not how you really–
TRAVIS: I think I know what I’m doing. All right, here. You can check it.
ORION: As he’s doing that, I get 18 trying to see what’s up.
MATT: Okay, there’s definitely a magical aura emanating from the blade. You take a moment to inspect it, and you ascertain the magical nature.
ORION: What you have there is a Greatsword of Frenzy, Grog. You have a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. Ooh! When you attack a creature with this magic weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, after dealing damage, you can immediately make an additional attack for free.
TRAVIS: Glad I shook it.
LAURA: Pass that piece of paper over here.
SAM: Maybe Scanlan could use it.
MATT: Scanlan could. It’s a little big for you. You’d be at quite a disadvantage using this weapon.
TRAVIS: Give it over here. A Greatsword of Frenzy?
SAM: I’d like to rage frenzy. Are there any bodies that we can look at?
MATT: You guys were inspecting what remains of three of the undead creatures. They have been turned to ash, pretty much, from the force of the explosion, the arcane nature of the detonation. You find pieces of them. Most of them have been charred and burned away from the bodies, who are already in partially-decomposed form. The larger one that you had Hunter’s Marked, though. Upon inspecting it, while most of its armor is destroyed, it does manage to carry a partially-mildewed coin purse. Looking inside, you only find about five or six pieces of gold, but you do find one really, really nice… looks like it’s taken a little bit of damage, but it was once a really pretty diamond.
LAURA: I’m just going to keep this with the party gold.
SAM: With the party treasury? Oh, sure.
LAURA: Plus one diamond to the treasury.
ORION: “Vex, let me see the diamond for just one second.” As he’s shaking his sword, I go into the Bag of Holding and take out the Mending Wheel.
LAURA: Did you turn it back into coal?
ORION: That’s not how it works, Vex.
MATT: Tiberius, you reach into the Bag of Holding. You pull out the Mending Wheel, which is a magical artifact that you found earlier in the campaign as part of your personal quest. It looks like a large, spoked, roulette wheel when it’s laying down, with these strange points that fold out of it. Once you spin the wheel, you place an object in the center of the wheel. It’s lifted without gravity and mends itself back to its undamaged form. You place the diamond in the center and spin the wheel. You can see the actual cracks on the surface of it slowly begin to mend. Eventually, the diamond is brought to a solid, undamaged, finely-cut example of a diamond.
LAURA: Whoa, sparkles!
ORION: There you go.
ASHLEY: It’s so pretty!
SAM: What time of day?
MATT: You have no idea.
SAM: How long has it been since we rested?
MATT: It hasn’t been too terribly long. You rested at the camp after taking out Queen Ulara, so I’d say it’s probably been about– with the travel to get to this point, probably about six hours since you rested.
TRAVIS: Plus, nobody is hurt.
LAURA: Well, he’s hurt.
TRAVIS: Well, I’m not hurt.
LAURA: Can I perception check around the cave?
MATT: Go ahead and roll perception.
SAM: Can I remind our party of a couple things? Pike, might be a good time to try to heal Vax’s foot again. And also, while we have a moment, did we ever discern what is in that yellow vial?
ORION: Oh this thing?
SAM: Yeah, do we know what this is?
ORION: I’ll do an arcana check on the vial, which is not great. “I don’t know, it looks icky.”
SAM: Let me take a look, as well. Ooh, yes. 24.
MATT: You take a look at the liquid and it looks enchanted, but the way its mixture is, the colors seem to swirl and shift in a very caustic way. You can see from glancing at the glass vial it’s contained in, the interior of the glass looks slightly pock-marked, almost like the viscous fluid within has actually damaged the glass slightly.
SAM: It sounds bad. Bad news.
MATT: You’re unable to really ascertain what the nature of the liquid is, but those are the details you can make out, currently.
ASHLEY: I went over to Vax’s foot again.
LAURA: Oh no, come on! Don’t!
SAM: There’s a little zombie poo on it.
LAURA: I’m getting real tired of your shit.
LIAM: Ever since we were five.
LAURA: I rolled 22 on perception, by the way.
MATT: All right. Make a medicine check.
ORION: Does this cave bottleneck?
MATT: It ends here. This is the end of the cave. It curved around and ended in this little portion here. So you had a perception check? What did you roll?
LAURA: Yes, yes, yes!
SAM: Oh, snap.
TRAVIS: The second whisper.
SAM: Get down into frame! Lower into frame. Pull them down.
ORION: Pull them down.
SAM: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a bunch of shirts to sell tonight.
LAURA: (quietly) I think maybe…
LIAM: You look weird. What’s up?
LAURA: We should not be hanging out in this room right now. Can I try to get a better look at what I saw?
MATT: You see, best you can, and you guys follow her eyeline. You look up, and you see what first looks like it’s part of the cavern ceiling. It has this weird texture. It looks almost like the smooth rock that the interior of the cavern comes off as. However, as you see it shift and move, it looks almost like a portion of it is moving and slowly crawling, and it looks like there’s a red gleaming eye, and then two, and something drops down from the side, almost like a tail that seems to dangle for a second. At which point, it detaches. (fwoosh) Opens up almost like a giant ray, with a screeching mouth that (screeches) screams at you. It lands down in the center of the room.
ASHLEY: I rolled a nine for medicine, just B-T-W.
LIAM: How’s my foot doing these days?
MATT: Your foot is still healing, but unfortunately, based on the medicine roll, it is getting better but not enough to complete the process of you getting all your toes back.
ASHLEY: I saw that thing out of the corner of my eye and was just distracted.
ORION: You guys want to run?
SAM: Oh, what is that thing?
LAURA: It’s a big ray of death. I don’t know.
LIAM: It does look like a flying manta ray.
MATT: Let’s roll some initiative, folks.
ASHLEY: Ugh, come on!
SAM: Get out of this cave.
LIAM: Cheeky bastard.
ASHLEY: Oh, really? Really? I just rolled a natural 20. Why couldn’t I get that for medicine?
MATT: That’s how it works.
MARISHA: Just throwing it out there: still the shark with the boat.
LAURA: Ugh, double 20s on the table.
LIAM: Natural 20.
MARISHA: If you guys want to run, the keys are in the car. The engine’s warmed up, ready to go. I’ve got the key turned on. It’s nice and cozy. That’s such a good roll, though. That’s a good initiative roll.
MATT: So at this, this thing leaps out from almost nowhere. The only reason you picked it up is your acute vision, and as it lands, it’s right around the corner from the two of you, and it has this long, almost spined tail and this jaw that opens up, this nasty, toothy gaping maw. All right. Initiative rolls of 25 to 20?
MATT: 25. All right.
TRAVIS: And the shark.
MATT: Nice. All right. What were you?
TRAVIS: Plus Ash’s was natural 20.
MATT: And Grog, what was yours again?
MATT: All right.
MATT: 20 to 15?
MATT: 18 for Tiberius. 15 to ten?
MATT: 11 for Scanlan.
ASHLEY: Sorry, Scanlan.
SAM: It’s all right. I’ll see you next match.
MARISHA: We’re all over ten, though. That’s pretty good, guys. We should be proud of that.
MATT: All right, so top of the round. As this creature sits there, it’s giving off this weird, horrible moaning sound (screeches) that’s starting to just fill your ears. At the top of the round is Vax.
LAURA: What should we do? Command us.
LIAM: Command us?
LAURA: Do you want us to stay?
LIAM: We’ve never done it before!
LAURA: We’ve never run!
TRAVIS: Let’s see what happens!
LIAM: What the hell is it called? My quick action to dash.
LAURA: Just leaving me?
LAURA: You’re leaving me behind?
LIAM: Can I grab her by the scruff and run?
MATT: If you want to try and move her, you’ll basically move both of you. You can do that, but you’ll have no other action.
LIAM: That’s what I want to do.
LIAM: Grabbing my sister.
MATT: Grab your sister.
ORION: Get on the damn carpet, you fools!
LAURA: (groaning) Can it fit us?
MATT: Currently, you guys would be able to get onto the carpet.
LAURA: We jump onto the carpet!
ASHLEY: What if he flies?
LAURA: He probably does.
MATT: What?! Why would a giant winged-thing fly?
ASHLEY: (laughs) He looks like he flies, guys.
SAM: Wait! Can we have an aerial battle over water? Let’s do it!
TALIESIN: I’m on the boat.
MATT: No, you’re not on the boat. You guys have come into the cavern after this point, when you gave chase. You guys are in the cavern.
TALIESIN: I started heading back to the boat.
MATT: Oh, you did? Then yeah, you’re still out by the boat.
TALIESIN: So I just heard someone yell, “run.” So I’m going to start unhooking the boat. I’m getting the boat ready to go.
MATT: You take the butt of your gun and you start bashing against the ice that you set against the wall. It cracks, and eventually you get the rope free from the side of the wall.
TALIESIN: And I’m bringing the boat around so that people can get on really quick.
MATT: Okay. That brings us to Grog.
TRAVIS: I would like to rage… and run!
TRAVIS: Passing as many people as I can!
MATT: All right!
TRAVIS: Rage running! (frantic noises)
MATT: Okay. So you just bolt out. I say rage run and barbarian speed, you’re going to get nearly completely out of the cavern.
LIAM: His knees are really high in the air!
MATT: Keyleth! Are you staying out in shark form at the boat?
MARISHA: Yeah, I guess. I feel Percy unhook, and I start the forward momentum. Pointing that direction?
MATT: Okay! All right. Pike.
ASHLEY: Oh wow, I’m up so soon! Okay, I’m going to start running!
MATT: All right! So you turn and run. You catch up to Grog, because he traveled twice the distance that you could have with your tiny little gnome legs in your full-plate armor. You’re like (grunt). Plus, it’s sand, so your feet are sinking with each step. It’s rough for you to get around because of your size and the terrain.
ASHLEY: Can I jump on his leg or back?
MATT: You can try to.
ASHLEY: All right.
MATT: All right! Make an athletics check. With disadvantage, because you’re in full-plate armor.
LIAM: Nothing’s free! (laughing) You’ve got to roll for everything.
ASHLEY: All right. We got a 19. And we got a nine.
MATT: All right. What’s your strength? What was your athletics? Total.
ASHLEY: My athletics is a one, total.
MATT: So that brings you to a ten. Ten is what you needed. So, as you run up, you leap and grab onto Grog’s back. Grog, I want you to make a–
ASHLEY: Wait, no! Hold on. I need to be honest. I rolled an eight. My athletics is a one, so doesn’t that make me nine?
MATT: That makes you a nine.
TRAVIS: Look at that honor code!
LAURA: That was good, because I was going to let it go.
MATT: So! As you jump to grab onto the back of Grog’s back, you manage to find purchase. Grog instinctually reaches back with an elbow and hits you right in the side of the armor, which knocks you flat on your back. You’re currently prone in the sand right there. And Grog just keeps running. You glance over your shoulder for a second, but because you’re raging, you don’t see her. You just see shadows in the cavern.
TRAVIS: (screaming in panic)
MATT: So you start moving your hand in the air, freaking out. Holding your axe in one hand and your greatsword in the other, just (panicked screaming).
ASHLEY: (laughing) Oh my god, that’s hilarious.
TRAVIS: Whack! Boom! Oh my god.
ASHLEY: That’s all right. I’m tough!
MATT: The large, ray-like, cloaked creature swoops down towards the top of the–
ASHLEY: Oh, shoot. We’ve got to get out of here!
TRAVIS: (laughing) Sorry.
LIAM: It’s a good thing we ran!
LAURA: Oh yeah. Does it even matter?
LAURA: No, it’s just going to attack us.
LIAM: We just gave up a turn.
MATT: All right. It’s going to make a bite attack against Tiberius and a tail attack against Scanlan. So it’s the two that are immediately visible to it. So the bite attack against you, Tiberius. That’s going to be a 21.
ORION: Yeah, that hits.
MATT: The bite attack against you is going to be a 23.
MATT: The tail (whapsh) whips around as you’re on top of the carpet, about to try to get everyone out of there. You turn around and see this thing go piercing by. It strikes across your chest. Your armor takes most of the damage, but you can feel the bruise underneath. It doesn’t actually pierce the skin, but you take seven points of damage from the impact of the tail.
MATT: All right, it comes out and sinks its teeth into your form, across your shoulder area, and it bites down. You end up taking–
ORION: You’re ruining my robe! (grunts)
MATT: (laughing) Ten points of piercing damage.
MARISHA: Oh no.
LIAM: (squishing noise)
MATT: And the creature wraps around you, (squelch) completely envelops you.
SAM: Him, or me, or both?
MATT: Him. It completely surrounds you and wraps you like a blanket. All of a sudden, your vision goes dark. You feel yourself like (muffled yelling). You’re unable to really move. You are blind and unable to breathe. The air is not able to get to you at this time.
LIAM: It is poppycock.
MATT: So! That’s going to end its turn. Tiberius, your turn.
ORION: Well. (grunts) Fire breath!
LAURA: Oh, that’s good!
ORION: (roaring) Get off of me!
MATT: Because it’s attached to your head, it’s going to have disadvantage. So I think it’s– is it a dexterity saving throw? Its head is right by your mouth. Go ahead and roll damage. I rolled a natural 20 and a six. So because of the disadvantage, it does not make its save.
ORION: So, wisdom?
LIAM: d6 times something, I think.
MATT: Yeah. Roll the damage for your fire breath.
ORION: How many d6?
LIAM: Depends on your level.
MATT: Depends on your level, as a dragonborn.
ORION: Oh! Hang on.
MATT: Should be on your sheet.
ORION: Is it… no…
MATT: No, no, it’s… Here, I’ll… No! It’s part of the dragonborn ability. Let me pull it up real fast.
ORION: I don’t want to roll wrong. I think it’s 2d6.
LIAM: That’s for a low level.
LAURA: You know nothing here.
TRAVIS: Your powers are worthless.
SAM: If only there was a way.
TALIESIN: If there was some book that had all this information available.
MATT: It is 3d6 at 6th level.
ORION: Oh! Awesome. Cool.
TALIESIN: Some ancient tome which suddenly answers everything.
ORION: (panting in relief) 21!
MATT: 21 points of damage. You all hear a muffled (explosion sound) as bits of flame begin to shoot out from the corners of where it’s wrapping around the torso of Tiberius, surrounding his head. The creature’s tail flicks around in pain. You hear this muffled (screeching) sound as it keeps, still tight around his head, fighting through the damage and maintaining its hold on him.
ORION: If I do something, I’ll probably have disadvantage. Right? Correct? Well, I’ll just try it again. I’ll spend… fuck. Jeez. No!
LAURA: Don’t spend all your sorcerer’s points!
ORION: No, I fly around and (ping) hit one of my stones, and I’ll spend… five sorcerer points to cast Telekinesis and (blast sound) fling it off me.
MATT: Okay! All right. We’re going to do a contested roll on this.
LIAM: It’s a contest. It’s like an arm wrestle. It’s like arm wrestling with dice.
ORION: Oh, yeah! Arcana?
MATT: Well, no. For this, I believe it’s the roll plus your spell modifier. Should be five. So roll a d20, add five to it.
MATT: 20! All right. So, your Ioun stone is floating around your head, which is currently surrounded by the creature. It’s clinging to your head; you can feel it grinding into the top of your skull. You instill the Ioun stone to trigger. As you do, the force begins to pull it (grunt) off of, and flings it off of your head. The creature is detached and thrown back at that point of the wall, off of you.
ORION: (grunts) Good! I use my movement to get the hell out of there! (grunts)
MATT: All right. They move out that way.
MARISHA: Trinket, run!
LAURA: It’s not my turn yet! Tell him to go!
MATT: Scanlan, are you staying on the carpet? Anything else you want to do?
SAM: I am staying on the carpet. Wait! Is Pike off the carpet?
ASHLEY: I’m laying in the dirt.
MATT: Pike’s laying in the dirt right now.
SAM: Okay! I will jump off the carpet, grab her, and say, “Pike. Come with me if you want to live.”
SAM: And I just hold her really tight, and I sniff her hair, and it smells like strawberries.
TALIESIN: Got to make it weird, man.
SAM: And then I Dimension Door us to the boat.
MARISHA: Aw! That’s cute!
MATT: As Scanlan grabs you and holds you for a second, for a moment you’re confused, and you hear that strange shrieking moan in the distance, and suddenly the darkness gives way to this flash of purple arcane energy, and the two of you (boof) fall a few inches into hard wood, and you feel the boat rock for a second as you’re now on the outside in the boat, being tugged by Keyleth the shark.
ASHLEY: Scanlan! Thanks!
SAM: Don’t worry! That hard wood is the boat.
TRAVIS: I have to applaud.
MATT: Okay! Vex!
LAURA: Trinket! Run!
MATT: (bear moan) Trinket runs up. Are you staying on the carpet?
LAURA: I jump off the carpet, climb on Trinket, and we take off!
MATT: All right. You jump on top of your bear, and you start bolting down the hallway. All right, that ends your turn. Clarota just (whoosh) vanishes. Kima (laughing) goes running on her halfling legs towards the flying carpet. She takes her full turn and she just manages to get on top of the carpet, and that’s her turn. And she goes, “Go, go, go, go!”
ORION: I am going!
MATT: (laughing) All right. So, for the time being, we’ll say you guys manage to (whoosh) make your way outside of the cavern to the ship.
SAM: For now.
TALIESIN: Up, up, up.
LAURA: Can you go? Oh, you’re a shark.
MATT: Being towed.
LAURA: Damn it!
TALIESIN: We’re fine.
LAURA: Wonder how far this thing can fly.
TRAVIS: Well, we’ll find out real quick.
TALIESIN: We have lots of ways to hurt it before it gets there. We have arrows and guns. We’re fine.
MATT: As you guys all get into the boat–
MARISHA: (laughing) Follow the Macy’s Day balloon shark.
SAM: (shushing) This is the craziest thing ever.
MATT: As Keyleth begins to pull away, the boat picks up speed into the water, and you hear that moan sound begin to get louder as the creature (swoosh) out of the cavern, giving chase.
TALIESIN: I take a shot.
MATT: All right, so! For the purposes of this–
TALIESIN: You’ve been waiting to use this!
SAM: This is a James Bond water chase!
MATT: All right, so going off, same top of the round. Vax, you’re up first.
LIAM: Okay, so I throw a dagger at the McRay there.
MATT: Due to its distance, the darkness behind it, and the fact that you are in a boat, you are at a disadvantage on both your attack rolls.
LIAM: Plus I had a one on the first one.
MATT: So you super miss on that one.
LIAM: No, it was a seven plus… 13 on the second.
MATT: Okay, so you throw both daggers. (whoosh whoosh) Unfortunately, it’s hard to make the form of the creature. It seems to almost– I can’t say change its color, but it embraces the shadows around it, and it gets harder and harder to see. And for a moment, you swear you see two more appear at its sides.
LIAM: Oh. Mirror images!
SAM: Oh no.
MATT: You fling both daggers, and they vanish into the darkness and return to your side. That ends your turn. Percy, you’re up.
TALIESIN: All right! I’m going to take a dead-eye sharpshooter shot. I’m going hardcore with this. So, with Bad News, I’m sitting down.
MATT: So you’ve leaned your giant sniper cannon that you’ve constructed up against the side of the boat, aim it up, best you can, and take a shot. You are at disadvantage for this shot.
TALIESIN: I’m at advantage for this shot!
MATT: So it cancels out. It’s just a regular shot.
TALIESIN: Regular shot.
LIAM: Come on!
LIAM: Beautiful human.
MATT: 13 unfortunately misses.
TALIESIN: Damn it!
MATT: (gun blast sound) The ship actually rocks from the impact of the explosion. For a second there, you all feel like it’s going to list and take on water.
LAURA: Are we all on the boat, or are some people still on the carpet?
ORION: No, a bunch of people are on the carpet.
MATT: Who’s on the carpet still?
TRAVIS: We’re in the boat.
LAURA: We didn’t all fit in the boat! That’s why we didn’t all take the boat originally.
ORION: I’m still on the carpet!
MATT: Okay. Tiberius is still on the carpet.
LAURA: You’re the only one still on the carpet, then.
TRAVIS: Like I said.
TALIESIN: By the way, if anyone wants to make us a little six-square carpet, that would be awesome!
MARISHA: If someone crocheted us a little single-square magic carpet?
ORION: That’d be so fun.
MARISHA: So we could put it on our little floaty deal.
TALIESIN: And I reload.
MATT: So you go ahead and reload. Yeah, that’ll be your turn. That comes up to Grog!
TRAVIS: How close is Manta Ray?
MATT: The creature is approximately… 40ish feet away, at an angle, so it’s about 50 feet away from you, up in the air.
LAURA: How long is that chain on the axe?
TRAVIS: I was going to do something else.
MATT: You can try and shift your weight to the back of the boat and get closer with your movement, if you want.
TRAVIS: I don’t think the chain’s long enough. 50 feet long? Is the Chain of Returning long enough to get to him?
MATT: You can certainly try.
TRAVIS: (laughing) I’m going to hold off. I would like to hold off, and maybe he’ll come closer, since I seem to be an intimate sort of fellow.
MATT: All right, cool. Keyleth. You’re pulling the boat?
MARISHA: I’m going to use a run action, just double speed. I feel action above, and I’m just shark instincts.
MATT: Okay. So you manage to get some distance for the ship, pulling it further behind.
MARISHA: Yeah, I have a swim speed of 40.
MATT: You’re moving slower than that because you’re pulling it, towing the entire boat behind you, so you’re going 20, but you’re putting distance between you and the creature, for the rest of the party, which makes it harder for it to catch up. All right, that brings us to Pike!
ASHLEY: Okay! I’m going to send a Guiding Bolt to the flying manta ray. So, I have to roll and see if it hits?
MATT: Yes. Add your spell modifier to it. Oh, you found your sheet?
ASHLEY: Yeah, I did.
ASHLEY: It doesn’t hit. It’s 12.
MATT: 12 does not hit, unfortunately. Once again, you fire and you think you hit one of them, but it seems to hit one of the group of three that’s now flying overhead, and one shimmers and vanishes, seemingly unaffected by the bolt, but that one image of it disappears.
ASHLEY: Can I do anything else? Since I’m just sitting.
MATT: No, not unless you want to move somewhere in the boat.
ASHLEY: No. Dang it!
MATT: All right. It’s now its turn. It is going to move. It gains up on the boat to about there. It actually gets a little lower. It’s starting to gain on you guys, make its way (shh) gliding down towards the front, and you see now there’s now two of them side by side that are coming down towards you guys.
SAM: Are those real?
LAURA: I don’t know.
MATT: It’s then that that strange moaning sound it’s making (moans) begins to grow louder and louder, and all of you close your ears for a second. Everybody, make a wisdom saving throw.
MARISHA: Including me?
MATT: You don’t actually hear in the water. You’re muffled.
MARISHA: I’m in the water, yeah.
MATT: It’s to the point where it doesn’t actually affect you. Plus, you’re in shark form.
ORION: Oh crap, wisdom?
MATT: All right. Scanlan?
SAM: I rolled a two, but my wisdom is negative two.
SAM: So I’m at a zero.
MATT: All right. Tiberius?
ORION: I rolled a four.
MATT: Four. Percy?
MATT: One? Oh no. Grog?
LAURA: Oh no! Our whole party!
SAM: Oh boy!
TALIESIN: We are killing it!
MATT: Grog and Vex. Now let’s see. You rolled a what?
LAURA: I rolled an 11.
MATT: 11? Okay, yeah, so, no. Vax however, is okay. So, Kima, Vax, and Grog, and Clarota all hear this horrible moaning sound and plug their ears and shake it off, not a problem. Everyone else–
SAM: Instant peril.
MATT: This creature– all of a sudden, its form becomes far more frightening than you ever saw before. It almost seems to swell with the cavern.
ORION: Is it casting a spell?
MATT: It’s a natural ability. All of you are considered frightened.
ORION: Oh my lord!
SAM: Is it charming us?
MATT: Nope. It is not a charm effect. It is a fear effect. You are scared of it, currently.
LAURA: Trinket is immune to being scared. It doesn’t matter, because I’m scared.
MATT: You’re scared. Trinket’s not affected, but you are. Essentially, until the end of its next turn, it’s disadvantage on all attack rolls, and you cannot move closer to it.
TRAVIS: Can I take that turn now?
MATT: You can take that turn now, yeah. As it’s moaning.
TRAVIS: Now, since I shook it off, I’m like, “That’s lovely,” and I would like to try, for the first time, Intimidating Presence.
SAM: Is that a spell?
TRAVIS: On a creature within 30 feet.
MATT: It would be within 30 feet. Turn around.
ASHLEY: Get it!
LAURA: Get it Grog, get it!
MATT: All right, so what’s the DC on that?
MATT: 13 for what kind of saving throw?
TRAVIS: Wisdom saving throw.
MATT: Okay, for the creature. Wisdom saving throw. It rolls a 12.
MATT: So after it does this moaning sound that sends the entire boat shaking with fear, everyone grasping the side of the boat, looking at each other like, "We’re going to die!” Grog turns around, steps forward, pushing Pike and Scanlan to the side a little bit, and just glares at this creature, gives a giant bestial goliath shout (roars) out into the cavern that counteracts the moan that it’s doing. You can see the creature, teeth bared, its wings out, looking extremely frightening, looks visibly shaken. It begins to flap backwards and actually get about 30 feet of distance between you guys instinctually with its movement.
TRAVIS: That’s right, bitch! He’s frightened until the end of the next turn.
LAURA: Does that cancel out our fear?
MATT: It doesn’t cancel out yours. It just means it’s further away and can’t get closer to Grog.
SAM: But we’re still scared of it.
MATT: You’re still scared of it until the end of its next turn, but now it’s keeping its distance from the boat. It was starting to catch up to you guys, and now it’s actually pulled back. Not wanting to get near Grog. All right. Tiberius.
ORION: What’s the creature made out of? What’s his skin like when I look at him?
MATT: It looks leathery. It has almost the texture of a very, very thick bat or lizard skin. But it’s very dark, from what you can see. You’ve had just little glimpses of it here and there. Most of it’s been shrouded in shadow. It’s almost like a thick leather cloak that’s come to life.
ORION: Well, I don’t really– Hey! What do you think I should do, guys?
TRAVIS: Knock it into the water. Let the shark have at it.
SAM: Can you make us faster? Can you haste her, or anything?
ORION: Haste doesn’t work that way now.
LAURA: How high are the ceilings? Can you pillars it down into the water?
SAM: Just defer.
ORION: I’ll defer for now.
MATT: Okay, so Tiberius, you move your movement to later.
LIAM: We can’t sail away–
SAM: Can you shake us? Can you shake our magic fear?
MATT: Not unless you have an anti-fear spell. Scanlan, you’re up.
SAM: I’m going to attack at disadvantage, I guess, with… I’m going to create a big hand right in front of him, to stall him with the Bigby’s Hand.
ASHLEY: Talk to the hand!
MATT: All right!
TRAVIS: Bigby’s Hand?
ORION: Bigby Hand? Nice!
SAM: It’s this guy I know. His name’s Bigby, he has a big hand.
MATT: All right, so. You take your turn. Are you just using the… which one?
SAM: I’m going to grapple and try to get it into the water
MATT: Oh, Grasping Hand?
MATT: Okay, all right. Attempt to grapple. Use the hand’s strength score to resolve the grapple.
SAM: What do I do? What do I roll?
MATT: Strength of 26, so roll d20 + 8.
MARISHA: Come on!
SAM: I don’t know what that is. Is that a six or a nine?
LAURA: There should be a dot on one side.
SAM: It’s a nine!
MATT: Okay, so nine plus eight. You’re at 17. Its contest was at 15. Oh, but you are at disadvantage. So roll again.
MARISHA: Oh, come on…
LAURA: Don’t be lower.
SAM: 14. Yeah, I’m good.
MATT: Okay, so as you rear back, your eyes squinting, just scared to even do anything with this creature, you try out this new spell that you’ve only just recently managed to conjure to your attention.
SAM: (singing) Talk to the hand!
MATT: As Scanlan finishes singing, the rippling sonic energy from his singing shoots out from in front of him and forms this giant, slightly ethereal-looking arcane fist the size of the creature that reaches out, grabs onto it as he’s moving his hand, controlling it silently from a distance. It grapples the creature, holds it in place as its wings are also folded on itself and you pull down. Let’s see here. Grasping Hand. All right, so you are trying to…?
SAM: Well, I don’t know. Does it fall from gravity, or does it just it stay there, locked in?
MATT: It’s locked in where you’re holding it.
SAM: Okay. Then I’ll just lock it there.
MATT: Okay, so you lock it there. Great. You can use a bonus action to crush it.
SAM: Oh yeah, I can crush it. Yeah, I also give it a little squeeze. A little tickle.
MATT: So as you’re holding it in place, you use your bonus action to squeeze it. It takes 2d6 + 5 bludgeoning damage.
SAM: 11 plus five. 16.
MATT: 16, nice. As it is currently held in place, screeching (screech, crunch) you hear this strange crushing sound of bones breaking on the inside of its strange form.
SAM: This is the strongest I’ve ever been!
MATT: All right, and it is considered grappled, which is bad for a creature like that. That ends Scanlan’s turn. Vex.
LAURA: Hunter’s Mark!
MATT: All right, you Hunter’s Mark the creature.
LAURA: And I’m going to attack him twice! Because I’m original.
TRAVIS: I have one thing I do.
MATT: 16 does hit.
LAURA: And 28.
MATT: All right. Technically, because it’s grappled–
LIAM: Does it cancel out the disadvantage?
MATT: It does not, technically. It just means he can move it, so yeah, it does not cancel out the disadvantage.
LAURA: Oh, so I’ve got to roll a couple more times?
LAURA: They both hit. They’re both high.
MATT: Okay, great. There you go. So, as you’re on the boat, you can see the hand grasping. It gives you a moment of bravery. You pull out (swoosh, swoosh) let loose two more arrows into the slightly dark, shrouded exterior of the boat. Both arrows strike true into the currently-grappled cloak-like creature.
LAURA: 26 for those two. Plus Hunter’s Mark. Oh, wait! No, 30 for those two. And 9 for Hunter’s Mark.
MATT: Nice. Portions of it are trying to squeeze free of this arcane hand. One strikes through its wing, leaving a gaping wound in the middle, where you can see it’s going to have a hard time maintaining height at this point. The second one strikes it and actually pierces one of its red, glowing eyes. It gives out this horrible, painful screeching sound (screech) into the cavern as you can now see what was once two gleaming red, piercing eyes, left with only one, and darkness on the other side of its face.
TRAVIS: Yes! Yes!
MATT: That brings us to Kima and Clarota. Kima, at this point in time is, unfortunately, at a disadvantage of finding out what to do at this distance, being a paladin. She is going to attempt–
TRAVIS: The middle finger.
MATT: Nothing. She’s going to wait it out.
ORION: I see what happens.
MATT: So you’re taking your turn after Laura?
ORION: Yes. I’ll follow suit. I’m going to… I’m going to straight-up cast this because I have to. I cast Telekinesis and I pull the eye out. (sucking noise)
TRAVIS: Kill Bill-style, right?
MATT: Interesting! Okay. So Clarota, at this time, is also going to attempt a Mind Blast on the creature. It moves to the back of the boat and while it’s currently grappled, he’s going to attempt that. The saving throw does succeed, so it only takes half damage. Okay. Marking that. And then as you do Telekinesis. Roll a d20 plus five.
ORION: Okay. And do I have advantage because of the grapple?
MATT: The grapple does not give you advantage, no. So you have disadvantage on the roll, technically, because you are scared of it.
ORION: And that’s my what?
MATT: Plus five.
MATT: 17? All right. So! As you focus your energy once again– even just facing this creature is a terrifying thing– you see that one gleaming bit of red that’s piercing through the darkness. The secondary form around it dissipates. Where there was once two gliding, one of them vanishes entirely as that gleaming red is suddenly much brighter, yanked from its socket. It now gives out another painful screech (screeches) as it is blinded, being crushed by a Bigby Hand, and you now have drifting amongst you at your control one of the eyes of this creature.
LAURA: Put it in a little vial. Keep it for later.
ORION: I’m going to float it over and put it in one of my vials.
MATT: Okay. Write down in your inventory, “cloaker eye.”
ORION: I’m going to smell it, first of all.
LAURA: Not good.
TALIESIN: You know exactly where that’s been.
MATT: This guy’s not having a good day. Vax, you’re up.
LIAM: All right. Dagger, dagger, thunk, thunk. But at disadvantage because of the dark. I’m not afraid.
MATT: Well, no. You resisted the fear. You have low light, so you’re fine.
LIAM: Okay. First one is 26.
LIAM: Second one is 26.
MATT: Hits. Because it is blinded, you do have advantage on it– not advantage; you are able to sneak attack.
LIAM: Sneak attack. All right, okay.
MATT: It’s currently held aloft, grappled by the hand. It has no visual sight, currently.
SAM: I’ve no idea what we’re even fighting.
MATT: All right. How do you want to do this?
LIAM: I saw where Tiberius pulled the eye out, and that’s what I’m aiming at, its eye socket. So I flip it in the air, and when I catch it, I immediately let go and fill in the blank.
SAM: “Socket” to me.
MATT: So as the creature is flailing about in torturous pain, suddenly the dagger (fwoosh, thunk) sinks into the empty socket in the front of its face. As it does, its body tenses up and reaches out against the force of your arcane hand. You actually have to focus to keep it in place in its final death throes. All of its tension and then it falls limp within your grasp. You now have this limp creature at your disposal.
SAM: Oh, I’m going to bring him to the boat.
MATT: As Scanlan slowly drifts over the limp body of this creature to the edge of the boat–
LAURA: What was it? Can we loot him?
LAURA: Does he have teeth and scales and neat things?
LIAM: It’s a cloaker, because that was a cloaker’s eye.
TALIESIN: Can we fashion it into a sail?
SAM: That’s a good idea.
MATT: There is no wind in this tunnel.
MARISHA: I can make one.
SAM, TALIESIN, AND LAURA: We can make wind.
ASHLEY: We do have an Air Ashari.
LAURA: We have a Grog.
TRAVIS: Oh, we can make wind.
TALIESIN: Grog will make wind.
ORION: I rolled a 16 for a history check on the creature.
MATT: History’s not going to do much for you. Nature is what you’re going to want to do. Nature or arcana, those are the two.
ORION: So that’s 14. Oh, no. Arcana?
MATT: Roll for arcana.
ORION: Yeah. 25.
MATT: Yep. This creature is a cloaker. It’s an aberration. It’s one of those creatures that drifts over from the Far Realm, or at some point in time drifted over from the Far Realm and is an unnatural entity to this plane. They normally live subterranean. When not moving, they are nearly invisible and blend in, almost like a straight leather cloak left and discarded to the side, hence the name “cloaker.”
TALIESIN: I’ve got a great idea. I want to sit, and I want to skin this thing.
ORION: Well, yes. I want the teeth, also.
TALIESIN: You can have the teeth. I’m going to skin it.
MATT: Okay. So you guys are now currently in this boat, drifting along in the open area over on that side.
LAURA: Should we make our way to the little island?
TALIESIN: Or we could go to those strange buildings that are off in the northwest corner.
LAURA: All the way up and over?
MARISHA: Oh, well, I was going to say we could go into this cave here.
SAM: Maybe move it this way so the people can see.
LAURA: Oh yeah, it’s right on the edge.
TALIESIN: Keep going. There you go.
MARISHA: Well, what about this cave?
LAURA: The only thing is, I’m afraid that if we keep using up all our spells, then we won’t be able to take down the big baddie if we come to him.
MARISHA: We need a rest.
LAURA AND ASHLEY: We need rest.
MARISHA: I want to be able to use my scrying spell before we try anything.
LAURA: Oh, okay. So should we make our way to this cave?
TRAVIS: Good, we’ll do that.
ORION: How close are we? How long will that take?
MATT: If you guys start heading that direction, you’ll find out.
TALIESIN: Let’s start heading that direction, and I want to skin this creature.
MATT: Okay, as you guys are moving along, you leave a little space for Percy. It’s a little unwieldy in the ship. It’s hard for you to do this, so it’s not going to be the best job.
TALIESIN: Not going for craftsmanship.
MATT: Fair enough. As you’re plucking what you think might be interesting from this creature’s body, as in the process of skinning it, you probably take a moment to realize that a normal blade is going to have a hard time cutting through its hide, so you might have to borrow one.
SAM: I sing a little song to inspire him. I sing, “When you’re trying to skin a cloaker, here’s some inspiration. When we’re on a creepy boat, here’s some inspiration. I want you to be near me–” (speaking) All right, that’s it.
MATT: Right, so you gain a d10 inspiration dice.
TALIESIN: I’m making a camo canopy for the boat.
MATT: Yeah, this is going to be a survival check on this. Roll survival.
ORION: I rolled a natural 20 to help him with any arcana enchantment if he succeeds.
MATT: 17? Did you add the inspiration dice to that?
TALIESIN: I didn’t.
MATT: You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
TALIESIN: I’m keeping it for later.
SAM: No, it only lasts ten minutes.
TALIESIN: Oh, does it only last ten minutes?
ORION: A lot can happen in ten minutes.
TALIESIN: Oh, in that case, 26.
MATT: 26 would make a difference. In the confined space on this ship, as you guys crest around towards the northern side of that island, you begin to move around. You can see to the right of you, there is this tunnel that filters out the side of this cavern that’s just a continuation of the water, a river on the far end. You don’t know where it goes. It disappears in the darkness, and you can hear in the distance the light sound of rushing water.
MARISHA: Can I use my shark eyes to look down the tunnel?
MATT: It begins to curve about 20 feet in, so you’re unable to make much past that distance, and it looks like a continuation of the water flowing through, or into; you’re not quite able to tell from this distance.
TALIESIN: (singing) Nobody knows what it’s like–
TALIESIN AND MARISHA: (singing) To be a shark man.
MATT, ORION, AND SAM: (laugh)
MATT: Percy. You manage to pull from it all the teeth in the process.
TALIESIN: For you.
MATT: So that comes to roughly 45 cloaker teeth. You don’t know what that’ll be worth, but you have that at your disposal. So you can write down, “45 cloaker teeth.” You manage to skin most of it. You get most of the top of its hide usable. It’s still wet. It’ll take a while to do that, let alone in an area where it’s dry on the surface. But you manage to pull most of the top of it off, so you have this wet, skinned portion of the back of the cloaker at your disposal.
TALIESIN: I’m going to build a relative canopy specifically for the left side of the boat so that we’re protected and visibly obscured from anybody in the city.
MATT: Okay. Make a tinker check.
TALIESIN: What’s the bonus on that, again?
MATT: Well, for that, it should be dex, I believe.
TALIESIN: Dex, thank you. (raspberry noise)
MATT: Plus four, because you’re proficient with it. So it’s your dex plus your proficiency modifier.
TALIESIN: That’s 11.
TALIESIN: I rolled really badly.
MATT: Yeah, you did. You still have the hide. In the time it takes for you to get to the beach, you don’t have much material at your disposal, and to fashion anything that’s on that side, the most you manage to get is a slight lift to it, and by the time you get to the beach, it just collapses on itself.
TALIESIN: Okay. Once we’re at the beach and we have all evening, I’ll make another attempt.
MATT: Okay, it’ll take you some time. It’s doable, but it’ll take a while.
TALIESIN: I had a two.
ASHLEY: It’s okay.
TRAVIS: We made our way to the beach.
MATT: As you make your way towards the beach, Keyleth, you see in the distance in the water what looks like something slinking on the very bottom of this underground lake. Probably a good 50, 60 feet down, you can barely make out what looks like a dark form, probably about 100 to 150 feet away, and it’s only because of your shark form that you’re able to make out any sort of semblance of it, but it looks big, and it looks like it’s slowly moving through the bottom of the lake. Doesn’t seem to be moving towards you.
ORION: It’s just a thing. There’s going to be things here.
SAM: What if it’s just like one of those party cruises where they–
TRAVIS: On the bottom of the–
TALIESIN: Submersive party cruise.
LAURA: How close are we to the cave? Are we still really far away?
MATT: You guys are maybe 300 feet from the beach.
SAM: But we don’t see it because we’re on deck, right?
MATT: The creature? No, only Keyleth does.
MARISHA: I drop them off at the beach.
TALIESIN: Let’s dry-dock the boat.
MATT: Okay, I’m going to ask Keyleth to make a stealth check in shark form.
TALIESIN: A shark stealth. Stealth shark.
MATT: The dex bonus of a shark form is zero, so just roll a d20.
MARISHA: That’s not true. It’s +1.
MATT: Giant shark? According to here… it says one. It’s a zero. Dex is 11.
MARISHA: Oh, I was looking at mine.
SAM: Shark argument!
MARISHA: It’s okay. 17.
MATT: 17, okay. As you deftly drag the boat at just the right distance to curve around this large subterranean form, it doesn’t seem to take notice, and eventually drifts far enough away where you can no longer make any sort of visual connection with its form. You make your way to the side of the beach. You drag up to the point where the ship begins to hit the gravel. You begin to move, curve to the side, and it (grinding sound) lifts up and comes to a rest at the top of the gravel beach. You guys all step off the boat. Okay, Grog, you go ahead and haul the boat up.
LAURA: I’m going to cast Pass Without a Trace on all of us right now.
MARISHA: I go ahead and un-shark myself.
LIAM: And I’m going to look for bad things on the beach.
SAM: Yeah, what’s the layout of the beach? Is it just a beach?
MATT: Okay, so looking at the beach here, it’s an open beach. You can see there are a few rock formations, small 15-foot-tall portions of stalagmites or stone that either have been here for a long time or have been constructed or put there to jut out of that part of the beach. But for the most part, it’s just an open gravel beach that slowly comes to stop at the edge of the cavern, and there is a tunnel about 15, 20 feet wide ahead of you.
SAM: Is there a half-submerged Statue of Liberty, or anything?
MATT: Perception check?
SAM: I got a 16 for my perception.
MATT: 16. You do not see any sort of half-submerged Statue of Liberty. My apologies.
LIAM: How far away are we from the main island? Is it like DUMBO to Manhattan distance?
MATT: Yeah, I’d say it’s probably about a good half a mile or so.
TRAVIS: I would like to perceive if Lady Kima has been giving me any second looks after I intimidated old Flappy Wings.
MATT: Make a perception check.
TRAVIS: Ten, plus… probably nothing. Yeah, nothing. Ten.
MATT: It’s hard to tell. She seems very focused on the task at hand. Her eyes have been, for the most part, up in the air around you. Unfortunately, Grog, you don’t think she’s paying much mind to you at the moment because she’s more concerned about keeping the group alive and where you guys are currently headed. You’ll have to try harder to get her attentions. It’s okay, Grog.
LAURA: Can we look around the entrance and see if anything dangerous looks like it’s around? I’m looking up on the ceiling.
MATT: Yeah, now that you know the idea of what to look for, for a cloaker, go ahead and make a perception check.
MATT: Okay. You guys glance around and, currently looking at the walls on the exterior of this beach area, nothing matches the description of what you saw in the previous cavern. For the time being, it looks relatively safe on this part of the beach.
LIAM: And there’s caves?
MATT: There is a singular cave on the far end. There’s a slight outcropping, and then it leads into that one 20-foot-wide cavern that goes deeper in there.
LIAM: I’m going to creep up just to the edge of the cave. I’m not going to go in. Is it a separate perception check for the inside of the cave as well?
LIAM: All right.
MATT: You want to make a stealth check one more time? Stealth check first.
LIAM: Stealth check is good. It’s a 21. 31.
MATT: 31, okay. So making your way up, you dodge from low on the side of the beach, jumping in front of these strange stone platforms, keeping in, look for cover. You make your way up against the side of a wall, begin to glance inside. Make a perception check.
LIAM: And that is 19.
MATT: 19. It’s pitch-black in the cavern. You have no light source, unfortunately. You have darkvision, which does help you to a certain extent. You cannot see the entirety of the cavern, but you can see about, let’s say, 40 to 60 feet in. The beach gravel comes to a halt and comes to this smooth stone flooring. You don’t see anything that particularly catches your attention.
LIAM: Manufactured or made, or just paved floor?
MATT: It looks like it has some natural change in the topography. It’s not a polished floor, but it’s definitely been worn over time.
LAURA: Can we maybe try to look in?
ORION: Could be a tide cave.
TRAVIS: We have firewood bundles and stuff.
MARISHA: I’m wet. That was a really cold lake.
ORION: Prestidigitation! Now you’re all dry.
LIAM: It’s very hard to know, though. It’s dark in there.
LAURA: Should we just light it up, see what’s in there?
TALIESIN: Let’s light it up. See what happens.
LAURA: Hey, Tiberius?
ORION: Yes? Oh, Light!
LAURA: I shoot the arrow.
MATT: Okay. So as you cast Light on the arrow, it’s blinding. You know at this point to close that one eye as you release it in the distance.
LAURA: Oh wait, wrong eye.
MATT: There you go. That’s the one.
LAURA: Right, right.
MATT: You fire the arrow into the depth of this cavern. Before the Light spell wears off, it arcs inward and it hits the back wall and ricochets off. Looking inside, it all looks like a natural cavern interior. The light is the same glowing white light that you’re used to. Once it enters the deep part of the cave, the light almost gets a purplish hue before it’s snuffed out.
LAURA: This doesn’t seem very good.
ASHLEY: Wait, the light gets a purplish hue?
MATT: The white light becomes purple and then (ffft) is snuffed.
ORION: I want to do an arcana check. 18. Check for any nasty magic.
MATT: At this distance, it’s hard to make out any sort of source. You don’t sense anything directly, at your distance. You’d probably have to get deeper in the cave to make a true assessment of the magical source.
LAURA: Oh, you didn’t add ten to your stealth. Pass Without a Trace.
MATT: You have Pass Without a Trace now, too?
LAURA: Well, I already– yeah.
LIAM: So my stealth was at a 41.
MATT: Okay. Good to know. (laughs)
SAM: What do we do? We’ve got to get– someone’s going in.
TRAVIS: Want me to go in?
SAM: Yeah, man! Go in!
LIAM: No, if anyone’s going in, send me. I’m at a 41 stealth, and if we stay on the beach, we’re in view of the main island.
LAURA: We’ve got to try to hide a little bit.
ASHLEY: So the arrow’s not still lit? It just went through? Can you Light, Tiberius?
LAURA: Just get some light in there. Can you put Daylight in there?
LIAM: Tiberius, my dagger. Do the dagger.
ORION: Well, sure, but it means that thing will be bright the whole time.
LIAM: I would lose stealth.
ORION: Yes, you would.
MARISHA: Pike, can you check–
ASHLEY: I have darkvision.
MATT: Yes, as do a lot of you guys.
ASHLEY: Oh, we all do.
LAURA: Can you see if it’s evil?
SAM: Light a fire. Let’s just light a fire and throw it in there.
TRAVIS: We have torches.
LIAM: Yeah, throw a torch in.
SAM: Yeah, let’s just toss a torch.
TRAVIS: I pull one of the three torches we have and, “Tiberius, will you?”
ORION: (fire breath noise)
TRAVIS: I give it a nice long throw.
MATT: All right. Tiberius’s flame breath (fsssh) coalesces and begins to ignite the tip of the torch as Grog lobs it in, end over end. You see it hits the far end of the cavern, topples, and hits the ground. The fire itself, the bright red burning, as it comes to rest, takes on once again a strange purplish hue.
LIAM: Do the half-elves and the gnomes see anything when there’s light going through?
MATT: You see nothing in particular. You catch what looks almost like small whiffs of almost a mist or a fog, but it’s like, (ffft) then vanish, (shh).
LAURA: I don’t think we should go in there.
MATT: Almost like there’s this perpetually materializing and dematerializing tufts of small clouds of smoke.
LIAM: Forget this. Forget this cave. Keyleth, can you do that thing you do where you make the beach look like an empty beach, or something other than it is? Can we camp on the beach instead of going in there?
MARISHA: I can.
ORION: Let’s do that. I agree. I’m tired.
MARISHA: What if this is a clue or something important?
SAM: Yeah, we’ve never shied away from a confrontation before.
ORION: Pike, can you sense if there’s any nasties down there?
ASHLEY: Can I use Dispel Magic?
MATT: You can attempt to, yeah.
ASHLEY: Okay, I’ll attempt.
MATT: Okay. So Pike, as you step up to the mouth of the cave, looking where the torchlight is, you cast Dispel Magic. As you formulate your divine energy, grasping onto your symbol of Sarenrae around your neck, you can see this strange pulsing shimmer of divine energy that clears out the area. The purplish hue to the light vanishes and the light becomes a natural torchlight for a moment and all the wisps of smoke vanish… then slowly filter back into the space.
TRAVIS: We don’t need to go in there.
SAM: Indeed. If only we had someone who could go under the ground and be one with the earth and pop up in there and look around– no?
LAURA: But she’ll be popping up into the wisps.
SAM: Yeah, but she’ll be fine!
TRAVIS: Wall it up!
LAURA: I think just wall it up. Can we see anything sparkling? Can we look in and see if there’s anything that looks useful?
TRAVIS: Yeah, do I see any shapes and colors and sparkly things?
ASHLEY: Should we check for traps?
MATT: It’s hard to tell. You can’t see the entire cavern from this distance, because the cavern opens up and then curves around. There’s a whole portion you can’t see without entering it.
LIAM: Here’s what I think, all right? We don’t need to whack every problem over the head, and we have something far more important than whatever’s in there.
LAURA: Right, Lady Kima?
ORION: Right. I suggest we go and rest. I believe we can get some respite.
MATT: “I think we have a specific goal at this point in time, and who knows what dangers or terrors roam these tunnels aside from our specific directional choice at this moment.”
LIAM: The only question is, do we want to try to rest here under some sort of illusion, or do we go to the island we can see?
LAURA: No, because the island’s way over back here.
TALIESIN: We rest here. We take shifts. We should be fine.
LIAM: We could sail there to the northwestern edge of the island. There’s some sort of structure there.
LAURA: I think we rest up before we do that.
MARISHA: What if there’s something in this cavern that could help us, though?
LAURA: Can you wall it up?
TRAVIS: Between you and Tiberius, with the columns and stuff?
MARISHA: We could. How about this?
TRAVIS: I don’t need to rest, so I can just stand guard.
MARISHA: How about I do what Scanlan says?
SAM: Oh. Hello.
TALIESIN: That always works.
MARISHA: Yes, I know. I think this is the first time I’ve said this, ever. Maybe I’ll try what Scanlan says and I’ll turn into a rock elemental and just bamf in there and see if there’s anything good, and if it’s bad, I’ll just run out and make a rock wall.
SAM: Oh. Okay.
LAURA: All right. We’ll all be ready to attack on the outside.
MARISHA: Maybe? Okay?
TRAVIS: Go for it.
TALIESIN: Yeah, let’s go for it. This is a terrible plan. I think it’s a great idea.
MARISHA: Let’s do it. I like it.
SAM: Yeah, let’s send in one person.
ORION: As soon as I see Her Royalty go in–
MATT: All right. You all gather yourself on the exterior of the cave. You get into defensive positions and prepare–
LIAM: Can I ask one quick question before we go? Regardless of what happens, if there is something shitty in here or not, are we camping here afterward?
LIAM: We’re sure? Okay. Then I click my Boots of Haste.
MATT: All right.
MARISHA: I’m going to go ahead and cast Enhance Ability on myself before I do that, and give myself… extra wisdom.
MATT: All right, extra wisdom.
MARISHA: I want to be a perceptive bastard while I’m in there.
MATT: So Keyleth transforms herself into her earth elemental form.
TALIESIN: Rah. That’s what rocks say.
TALIESIN AND MARISHA: Rah.
SAM: I’m going to inspire her with a little dolphin dance or something. Whatever that is. I don’t know, I’m just going to–
MATT: It’s hard to explain why, but his strange shimmy is slightly inspiring. You’ve learned something about yourself today that you hope nobody else wants to bring up in conversation. You get a d10 inspiration dice.
ORION: As soon as I see Keyleth go off, I rub my ring and go invisible.
MATT: Okay. So as you guys all mount into your defensive positions, Keyleth, are you going straight through? Are you going beneath, above?
MARISHA: Burrow beneath. I’ll go, “(deep voice) Bye-bye.”
MATT: This large earth elemental form takes a few lumbering steps forward, and begins to sink into the sand and gravel below, just (shifting sound).
MARISHA: “Oh yeah, wait, have you guys seen this one?”
MARISHA: As I go into the ground.
MATT: The most awkward earth elemental exit ever.
MARISHA: “I’ll take the elevator.”
TRAVIS: I think it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
MATT: Grog’s loud laughter bellows, echoing through the cavern. You make your way underneath the ground, using your tremor sense to formulate where the top of this cavern would be, and you poke your head through the floor. Looking into this, you can see now, there are portions of this cavern where it looks like elements of the mithril veins that the subterranean Kraghammer mines were currently pulling from seem to now spread down into this cavern. There are small veins that trickle through the rock in this cavern of mithril. You also look up and… make a perception check.
MARISHA: With advantage, right?
MATT: This is wisdom, yep.
MARISHA: That’s a 13. That’s a 19! I’ll take that one.
MATT: All right, total of?
MATT: 29. You take a moment and formulate your vision, the firelight still trickling through, although you have darkvision. You look about the room, and you can see there is a strange energy about the room. There’s something about this room that feels similar to when you encountered the Frost Plane during the first Westruun winter’s veil encounter. There’s a type of energy that seems to be brought into being whenever you’ve caught a mind flayer shifting and bamfing out of any sort of combat you come into. There’s something about this room that seems like it’s crossing over or has a thin barrier with some other plane.
LIAM: It’s a gate.
MATT: You don’t see a particular doorway, but it feels like there is a very thin veil here, and as you focus more on the vicinity, you can see what looks like little bits of energy that leak through. That mist you were seeing seems to be elements where the actual reality of this room is warping temporarily, and shifting.
ASHLEY: It’s like Stargate.
MARISHA: Can I take a piece of rock and toss it up?
MATT: You take it and you throw it up. It arcs across, hits the other side of the room, and clatters to the ground. As it clatters to the ground, you suddenly see, lightning-quick, five of these large, fast-moving, slithering weird creatures that were up against the wall and now visible at this point strike at the rock and seem to start fighting each other for whatever that movement was. They’re large, bluish and purple in color when it shifts in its form, with these sharp beaks and what looks like four tentacles that wrap out from the face.
LIAM: That’s familiar.
SAM: Maybe they’re friendly!
MATT: Make a nature check, if you want. No, this would be arcana. Arcana. This wouldn’t be nature.
MARISHA: Arcana? All right.
TALIESIN: You’ve got a number there.
MARISHA: I’ve got a vague number. 11.
MARISHA: Wait! Plus four. 15.
MATT: Arcana is intellect, though. It’s not wisdom, is it?
MARISHA: I used Scanlan’s die.
MATT: Oh, you did? Oh, I see. 15. Unable to really make out more than you’ve heard of creatures like this. Unlike most aberrations and creatures that seem to bleed over from different planes of existence, this one is not an aberration in its form. This is just a subterranean monstrosity. It’s known as a grick.
MARISHA: A grick.
MATT: Essentially, it looks like that.
SAM: Show the people at home.
TRAVIS: I automatically don’t like it.
MATT: As they all take a moment and realize that whatever they were fighting over is not living and not moving, they hiss at each other and slowly find other alcoves and what you can now see are small caves that are dug into the rock nearby. Something draws them to this room, as any natural space with this strange, fluctuating energy would do so.
MARISHA: But they’re not necessarily bleeding through from the other plane. They come from this plane.
MATT: It seems to be, yeah. They’re not too weird. They’re weird, but they’re not too weird.
MARISHA: Big worms with tentacles, but not too weird.
MATT: You’ve seen it all.
TALIESIN: They’re not wearing sombreros or anything.
LAURA: So what are you doing, Keyleth? Are you staying in there?
TRAVIS: Please say no.
MARISHA: I’m just going to seep back down.
LIAM: Take the stairs, though.
MARISHA: I take the stairs.
MATT: All right. After a few moments, Keyleth reappears.
MARISHA: But before I reappear, I go, “Grog. I’m in a boat.”
TRAVIS: She’s in the floor! And she’s in a boat! It’s magic. (giggles)
LIAM: It is pretty funny.
TRAVIS: Will you teach me that sometime?
MATT: For a split-second, as you’re doing that, you realize that laughter’s probably very audible.
MARISHA: I’m not an elemental anymore.
MATT: So as you start laughing, you revert back from elemental form.
MARISHA: I go, “Tee-hee-hee, shh.”
ASHLEY: Make a wall!
LAURA: Wait, what did you see, Keyleth?
SAM: Wait, is she back?
MATT: Yeah, her elemental form is gone. She’s now back into Keyleth’s form.
LIAM: We’re all just on the beach.
ORION: I’m not.
SAM: Thanks, Ti.
LIAM: People were still laughing.
ASHLEY: I’m laughing just a little bit. I maybe peed a little.
ORION: Pike is chuckling, at best.
TRAVIS: I stop laughing.
LAURA: What was it? Was there anything in there?
MARISHA: It seemed like it had Dimension Door properties, but I don’t know if it was necessarily at full Dimension Door strength.
LAURA: Were there creatures?
MARISHA: There were creatures. There appeared to be these things that I’ve heard of, called gricks. They’re like worms with beaks and tentacles.
LAURA: Oh, I’ve heard of gricks. They’re really fast.
MARISHA: Yeah, they’re super-fast.
LAURA: Yeah, they slither.
LAURA: Yeah, man. I studied the Underdark.
LIAM: All right.
MARISHA: They did this whole Hungry Hungry Hippos thing.
SAM: But you said it was a gate to another dimension?
MARISHA: It seemed to be some sort of dimensional gateway. I don’t know which dimension.
SAM: I we come across any people that we can beat information out of, we might want to ask them if this a known thing, a gateway back to the overworld.
LAURA: I think it would probably go to the Abyss or something.
LIAM: Or a shortcut into the–
MARISHA: Into the temple.
LAURA: I wonder, do they attack things? They seemed really fast, right?
MARISHA: The grick things? Yeah.
LAURA: Percy can you make a bomb?
SAM: Oh, he did already. I’ve got it. I have a bomb.
LAURA: Can you throw the bomb in there and they would all maybe attack it, and maybe it would blow them up?
SAM: Maybe. It might hit some of them. Do we want to go in there? Because we can certainly do that.
LAURA: Just throw it from outside and see what happens.
MARISHA: If we take a few minutes and I take another breather– because being a rock elemental takes it out of you for a little bit– and you guys can make some bombs, I can go back in there as an elemental.
ORION: Actually, I think that’s a good idea. Percy? The bomb that Scanlan is holding, could you fix a thing around it to possibly hold magic properties?
TALIESIN: I have not the slightest clue how to do that.
ORION: You can use some of this– one of the glass, my potion– what do you call those fucking things?
SAM: Are we right outside the mouth of the cave right now?
LAURA: We are really close to it.
SAM: Can we get away from the mouth of the cave?
TRAVIS: Okay, who needs to rest? Show of hands, who needs rest?
MARISHA: I’m going to rest while they talk. While they figure out a plan.
LIAM: Tibber-hoods, do you have any fireballs left in you?
SAM: T-Money, what do you think?
ORION: I cast Silence on Vax.
SAM: I cast Dispel Magic.
ORION: Do you have Counterspell? You don’t have Counterspell.
MATT: All right, both you guys go ahead– well no, roll your Counterspell roll.
ORION: Counterspell just fizzles his shit.
MATT: What level is your spell?
SAM: It’s a level 3 spell?
MATT: So, no, your spell just (pfft).
SAM: Damn it.
ORION: And I don’t silence him. Did I have to roll anything to do that?
ORION: Oh, cool.
MATT: He has to make a save for Silence.
LIAM: Am I silenced?
MATT: What’s the save on that one?
MATT: Right, but what’s the actual save? Is it wisdom, is it intelligence?
LIAM: Well, I rolled pitifully, so it probably doesn’t matter.
ORION: I just know it’s 120-foot range. Should write the other stuff down.
LAURA: Tiberius, was that really necessary?
ORION: “No, it wasn’t. But yes, I do have fireballs left.” And I dispel it immediately.
LIAM: (yells incoherently)
LIAM: I didn’t know he was going to dispel it!
ORION: I’m unpredictable.
ASHLEY: Because I have Spiritual Weapon, maybe I can try to create a crazy-ass bomb type of thing.
SAM: We have a bomb.
MATT: You do know that the essence of Spiritual Weapon, it creates a weapon that is partially in form with your deity’s weapon of choice or preference. It’s mainly melee weapons. Nothing too intricate.
TALIESIN: We are not making a holy hand grenade.
LAURA: We already have a bomb. Just throw it in, they attack it, we close them up.
SAM: I have a bomb.
TRAVIS: We’ve got a bomb.
ORION: With what Vex is getting to, Percy, is if you could fashion such a thing, or if I could, I’ll enchant it.
LAURA: Throw a bomb, they attack it, then you can throw a fireball at the same time. We just have to get them in a cluster.
ORION: Can I attempt to imbue the bomb with a fireball in it?
MATT: No, that is a Delayed-Blast Fireball, which is a higher-level spell.
ASHLEY: Throw the bomb in.
LAURA AND LIAM: One-two punch.
TRAVIS: Scanlan, toss it.
SAM: I’m not a good thrower. Is that what you call it, thrower?
MARISHA: Here, give it to me and I’ll go in as an elemental.
LIAM: No, we can just throw it.
LAURA: Just throw it!
SAM: Then you’ll have to hit it to light it.
ASHLEY: Who has really good dexterity?
ORION: You have a bomb?
SAM: I have a bomb.
ORION: Hold it out in your hand, please.
SAM: I don’t want to touch it. It’s a saddlebag bomb.
LIAM: I’m not trying to get it into a basket.
LAURA: We just need to throw it into the cave.
ORION: I cast Telekinesis. I pick up the bomb, and I start guiding it into the cave.
LAURA: Is it so hard to just throw a freaking bomb into a cave?
SAM: It’s already in!
ORION: Pay attention, ranger.
MATT: So the bomb that was constructed ages ago by Percy that was originally intended to put on a summoned pony.
SAM: Yes. Never got to use it.
MATT: But now is finally being used. Tiberius, you approach the edge of the cavern. Make a stealth check.
ASHLEY: How do we light it?
SAM: He’ll light it. A what check?
LAURA: A stealth check.
ORION: I’m still invisible.
MATT: Right, so you would have advantage on that.
ORION: Oh. Dope.
LAURA: And you have Pass Without a Trace.
ORION: Yes. What’s with that, so.
MATT: Invisibility and Telekinesis are both concentration spells. You would lose your Invisibility to cast Telekinesis.
ORION: All right. Well, I rolled 21.
MATT: A 21 total? On the first roll.
ORION: Yes. I rolled a 13 the second time.
MATT: Okay, got you. So as you make your way up to the edge of the cavern, you come in partially, you guide the bomb towards the back, and you lob it towards the far end. This large, awkward saddlebag-style construct of Percy’s design, made of leather, metal bands, hits the back wall–
TALIESIN: I was very proud of that.
ORION: As soon as I let go, I cast Invisibility on myself again.
ORION: I’m going to wait. What happens?
TRAVIS: Yeah, you wait and see what happens.
SAM: Let’s find out.
MATT: Okay. The bomb hits the wall, hits the ground, tumbles for a second, awkwardly slumps over on itself. At which point, in a blur of motion, the strange hissing sound, a bunch of momentum hits the room and you see all these creatures begin attacking it–
ORION: As soon as I hear that noise, Fireball.
LAURA: What’s the point of the bomb? Why not just do that?
LIAM: It’ll ignite the bomb.
LAURA: You’re right, it will, yeah.
MATT: So. The fireball impacts the far end of the wall, where the cluster of these strange worm creatures are. It explodes with a large, blasting, echoing explosion sound.
SAM: I’m doing this.
MATT: Hold your ears. Roll damage on that.
ASHLEY: I take my shield and put it in front of a couple people.
TALIESIN: Scanlan, is there any way you could absorb this sound?
MARISHA: Yeah, could we cast Silence?
SAM: Nope. He can’t. Too late. He’s casting like seven spells right now.
MATT: All right. How much damage is that?
LIAM: Once we finish this math, this explosion is going to be really cool.
LAURA: And really loud.
MATT: 32 points of damage?
MATT: That blasts open. Percy, roll 4d6 points of damage from the actual bomb as the fireball detonates the saddlebag simultaneously with the explosion of the fireball.
TALIESIN: 14 points of damage. 4d6.
MATT: Okay, all right, great. So simultaneously you guys hear (explosion noises). You can feel the sand shift and move and some part of the beach, some of the gravel moves and rocks a little bit.
TALIESIN: Oh, god.
MATT: Pitch-black smoke comes pouring out of the cavern. You have to guard yourself.
LIAM: That’s going to attract some attention.
MATT: As the smoke slowly clears, you get a glance in there and you can see there are bits and pieces and chunks of grick matter across the wall and the inside of the cavern, with some gaping half-bodies of these creatures torn open from the explosion. There is nothing living and nothing moving from what you can see at the center of this cavern.
SAM: Let’s go in!
MATT: The occasional (dripping sounds) chunks dripping off the ceiling.
ASHLEY: Is the magic dispelled? For sure?
LAURA: Take a couple steps in, and perception.
MATT: Perception check.
SAM: It was a good bomb.
TALIESIN: It was a very good bomb.
SAM: Thank you for crafting it for me. What do I owe you?
TALIESIN: Your life, at this point. And a song. You owe me a song.
SAM: Maybe start on a new one.
MATT: Okay, glancing through? You can see the small tunnels that these creatures house themselves in as a defensive position. These creatures are not hunters, they’re more scavengers, but they fight in packs and wait for things to find their way in. This tunnel was definitely a place where they do that to keep fed. However, this tunnel appears to be empty other than the strange phenomenon of this energy in the tunnel.
ORION: I feel we should camp here for the night.
ASHLEY: No more magic?
ORION: Or day, whenever the heck.
LAURA: Is there anything that can come through the portal?
TALIESIN: It’s more just an energy shield.
SAM: Before we plan something, is there a portal or something?
MATT: Make an arcana check.
LIAM: Something funky in here.
ORION: Yes, of course, that’s obvious.
LAURA: What’s all this purple stuff?
LIAM: Well, let’s figure it out.
MATT: 16. As you take a moment and step inside and feel the essence of it, there is no portal, there is no doorway, there is no tear. There’s just a very thin veil between this plane and another. You’re unable to really ascertain the nature of this energy coming through, but you’re able to see there is these strange warps in reality. As you walk into this room, you look at your hands, and for a second your fingers seem to bend and go to form. As you look at people’s faces, they twist and shift and then go back.
SAM: I don’t think we should camp here.
MATT: You don’t know if it’s purely a visual thing or if matter itself is actually twisting, but it’s very discombobulating being in this room for any length of time.
LIAM: Clarota, what are we looking at in here?
MATT: Clarota, as he enters behind you guys, puts his hands together and goes, “This, I believe, is the veil where K'Varn stepped into the cavern.”
ORION: Yes, exactly. That’s what I was going to say earlier.
LAURA: Okay, Tiberius.
ORION: Me, Clarota, mm. That’s what I do with Clarota.
MATT: The tentacles writhe around Clarota’s maw.
ORION: That means he likes me.
MATT: “This is a boundary, a thin membrane between this Prime Material Plane and elements of the Far Realm.”
MARISHA: The Far Realm?
ORION: Ooh, Clarota. Yes. Do you think we could, after a rest of course, conjure a way and possibly break the barrier and go to that side?
MATT: “You wish not to do that. Your mind would break.”
ORION: Oh, that would be awful. I need it.
SAM: Clarota, is this a possible thing that we should maybe shut down? Could K'Varn send his allies through here?
MATT: “We have not the power to shut this down. It is how they overlap.”
LAURA: Is it safe to be near it?
MATT: “I don’t know.”
LAURA: I got him, guys, I got him.
MATT: “We’ll have to find out.”
ORION: Well, at least we know this beach is secure. We should go out in the front and seal this up for the night.
LAURA: You were rather loud. I’m afraid things might be drawn to this beach from that explosion.
ASHLEY: We could keep watch.
TRAVIS: I don’t need to rest. I’ll stand guard.
ORION: This is inside and I was outside. They were hearing stuff inside.
TALIESIN: Could this veil exist in sunlight?
MATT: “I do not know. I have not traveled the boundary myself.”
LIAM: I wonder what would happen if K'Varn was cut off from the other side of this.
TALIESIN: That’s exactly what I was thinking.
LAURA: Maybe it would be good to block it off.
LIAM: Or collapse it.
TALIESIN: At least wall it off on our way out.
SAM: Yeah, that’s a good idea.
LAURA: I like it.
TRAVIS: Do that, you two.
MARISHA: Like, completely cave it in?
TRAVIS: Yeah, just block it off.
TALIESIN: Just wall it off. Earth-meld it.
MARISHA: I don’t think throwing up a stone wall is going to necessarily stop K'Varn.
LAURA: No, but can’t you use your rock-changing ability and squish all the rocks down and close the cave off?
TALIESIN: I was just having this conversation.
MARISHA: I can spend time essentially collapsing the whole thing.
TRAVIS: I start kicking sand and gravel into the cave.
ORION: Wait, how wide is the slimmest part of the cave?
MATT: It’s about 20, 25 feet.
LAURA: Keep going, Grog. You’ll get there.
LIAM: We can camp, but it’s only been 6 or 7 hours since we woke up, really.
MARISHA: It’s been longer. It was 6 or 7 hours when we were on that side of the thing.
TALIESIN: We did take about 8 hours or so.
LIAM: 8 hours, all right.
ASHLEY: Some of us can stay up. I can stay up, keep watch.
TRAVIS: Me, too.
MARISHA: There’s still things I want to do.
LIAM: Spill it, girl, spill it.
MATT: “Yes?” His tentacles quiver as you call his name and he looks over at you with a curious, hungry-to-be-of-service expression on his tentacled, mind flayer face.
MARISHA: Do you have anything that might assist me in a scrying spell to help spy on K'Varn? Maybe something in his image?
MATT: “I have not seen K'Varn with my mind or my eyes. I’ve only heard of him arriving after I was cast out of my colony.”
TALIESIN: The description of her dream.
ASHLEY: Wait, but I had a vision. I had a dream.
LAURA: So you know what he looks like?
MARISHA: Do you know what he looks like?
ASHLEY: Well, what I saw was like a–
LAURA: Are those Cheez-Its you’re eating right there?
ASHLEY: It’s what I do when I’m thinking. I had a little snack pouch.
TALIESIN: Crackers, all around.
LIAM: It’s lembas bread.
ASHLEY: I saw a single, twisted, unnatural black horn of–
MATT: Which Kima mentions again. “That. That is what we’re trying to prevent making its way to the surface.”
ORION: I see.
MATT: “That’s the Horn of Orcus.”
LAURA: Maybe you can envision the horn?
ASHLEY: Would that work?
MATT: “I don’t know. I’m not a scrying type.”
ORION: If you’ll excuse me. I reach into my pouch and pull up the Scroll of Telescription. I enchant it to reach my brother Jerahd. I write on it, “Dear brother, it seems I am in a bit of a pickle with a certain type of creature that can take control of others with its mind and do nasty things. Goes by the name of K'Varn, and the only thing I know about him is that he has a black horn. Please help. Love, Tiberius.”
SAM: I put a little cologne on the page.
ORION: He can’t smell it, Scanlan.
SAM: Yeah, but it’s always a nice gesture.
ORION: And I send it.
MATT: Okay, so the scribe rolls itself on top and poof, vanishes in front of you.
ORION: Hopefully, he answers back promptly. Jerahd is a warlock and is a wizard of the mind, arcana, things I do not know of. He could possibly help us and has access to great knowledge in this matter.
SAM: Phone a friend.
ASHLEY: Good resource.
LAURA: I like it.
MARISHA: Well, I guess while we wait for him to respond, I’m going to start using all of my Stone Shape and I’m going to start vringing down this tunnel.
TALIESIN: I’m going to work on the boat.
MARISHA: Just start collapsing it.
TRAVIS: Still kicking sand in.
LAURA: While she’s doing that, can I use my primeval awareness and see if there’s anything undead or aberrations or things that are around us that are seeming more active?
MATT: Okay, you have a long distance you can pull on that one. You take a moment and concentrate. Not in your immediate vicinity. You do sense that across the way, on that island, there are hundreds of aberrations.
TALIESIN: That’s two zeros.
MATT: Hundreds. You can’t make out the details, you just sense the presence. You see clusters, you see some wandering the outskirts of the island, and the center of the island, you sense there is one very strong source of aberration-based essence.
MARISHA: On the outskirts of the island?
MATT: No, in the center.
LAURA: In the center.
TRAVIS: In the temple.
LAURA: So. Wait. I’m sensing… would that help you to know that K'Varn is an aberration?
MARISHA: I’d assume anything helps.
LAURA: I’m sensing a really strong energy of an aberration in the middle of town.
MARISHA: Aberration in the center?
LAURA: And that’s something that would’ve come out of this portal. Right, Clarota?
MATT: Clarota gives you a look and says, “Most likely, or at least is related to the kin from the other side of the veil.”
MARISHA: Wait, what?
SAM: “Or at least is related to the kin from the other side of the veil.”
SAM: I speak Clarota.
MARISHA: Thank you.
MATT: “Pay attention, druid.”
MARISHA: I was taking notes!
TALIESIN: He said, “pay attention, druid.”
SAM: While this is going on, I go near Lady Kima and I start humming. I’m going to cast Suggestion on her.
SAM: Or try to. I’m just going to say, “(singing) Gnome makes you want to check out Grog’s bod, gnome makes you want to check out his bod and sweat him so hard.”
ORION: Is that B-52s?
TRAVIS: I go over to the water and scoop some and pour it over my head.
MATT: As you’re doing this, Grog, Kima, who at this point as you got out of this conversation is currently rewrapping the handle of the maul that she found earlier in the cavern, stops what she’s doing, glances over at Scanlan with a very stern look and goes, “Gnome, I mean no disrespect when I say, toy with my mind again and you’ll find the business end of this hammer right up your rectum.”
SAM: And that’s the part I need for shitting on beds, so I apologize. I apologize. I’m sorry.
MATT: “You’ve bothered me enough recently with your antics.” As she does that, she motions towards your nether region. “I’d watch it.”
SAM: I do call it my antic, but yes. You’re right. I’m sorry, that was disrespectful. I apologize. I tried, man, come on. I’m your wingman.
MATT: She keeps wrapping the handle of the maul.
LIAM: Scanlan, she didn’t say ant-dick, she said antic.
SAM: Thank you, Vax.
TRAVIS: Did it work?
SAM: I don’t think so, Grog.
MATT: As we’re taking a rest at this moment to prepare for whatever you guys want to do next. Let’s take a quick restroom break for the group.
TALIESIN: Oh my god.
LAURA: Yeah, yes, please.
MATT: Let’s say about a 5-minute break if we want to just play 3 videos or so. We’ll make it quick so we can get back to the game.
ZAC: Hold up, before you go off–
MATT: Before we do that, all right, just a second.
LAURA: There’s things happening.
MATT: Things are happening.
ZAC: I have a present from the chat room.
ZAC: It is a happy 10th episode Critical Role cake.
MATT: You guys are so awesome!
LAURA: That’s so sweet!
ZAC: Also, in honor of the twins.
MATT: All right, so they came in from this side.
LAURA: Aw, you guys!
SAM: We get one of those every two episodes!
SAM: Wow, that’s great!
MATT: Guys, that’s great. Thank you so much!
TALIESIN: This aberration is a cake!
ZAC: So while you guys are on break, you’ll get yourselves some cake. But before we cut to the videos, I just want to remind everyone watching from the front page that we are 140 shirts away from getting to a thousand shirts sold, and at a thousand, we will do a live Q&A after the show tonight.
ZAC: So we have an hour to sell 140 shirts.
SAM: Or sweatshirts.
ZAC: Or sweatshirts. There’s hoodies on there. Women’s cut tees.
LAURA: I still haven’t ordered mine. I need to get my hoodie.
ZAC: Male tees.
MATT: Presents for your friends?
TRAVIS: Presents for your friends!
ORION: Yeah, that’s cool.
TRAVIS: That’s a good gift.
ZAC: All you’ve got to do is scroll down on the channel or join the chat room, or you’ll see every once in a while the ads show up on the front page.
ORION: I’m going to really enjoy it.
ZAC: So get a t-shirt. We’re pretty close. I think we’re only 40 subs away or something, Lucas?
ZAC: From a tabletop promo giveaway, and we’ll have all these guys sign a poster and include that with shipping. If you’re wondering why you should sub this channel, it helps keep shows like this, and we have a lot of other programming like a live comic book show, cosplay show. We have live music every Friday night. It’s a good time. So you should sub. And I guess let’s cut to the break.
TRAVIS: I’ve got to pee!
MATT: 5-minute break guys, make it quick. We’ll see you back here in 5 minutes. Thank you.
[dramatic music] [character intros]
MATT: Welcome back. Break is finished. Once again, I want to remind you guys, we’re just a little over 100 shirts left. If we can manage to get to 1000 in the next 45 minutes–
SAM: It’s going to be tight.
LAURA: It’s going to be tight.
TRAVIS: Gifts. Gifts for your friends and family. Your pets.
MATT: Shop for your buddies’ birthdays–
LIAM: Your friends are going to be watching the show in under a month.
SAM: You know what? Just buy them and then return them after the show’s over.
SAM: It’s fine.
ORION: Just do that.
SAM: We’ll take it.
MATT: Don’t do that.
LAURA: Don’t do that.
MATT: Yeah, no worries, guys. So to bring this back to where we were, you guys have been puttering around after you’re clearing out this cavern on the northern shore of this large cave surrounding Yug'Voril. What is your current plan of action?
TRAVIS: While they’ve been sleeping, I took my axe–
SAM: Wait, did we sleep?
MATT: You guys didn’t end up resting, I think.
TRAVIS: Oh, no?
MATT: Just been preparing.
TRAVIS: I thought we rested.
LAURA: No, we haven’t rested.
MARISHA: I’ve been collapsing that cavern.
MATT: You manage to make a way where the central focal point of this cavern’s entrance, you manage to eventually carve all the stone to close it off.
MARISHA: Okay. Tiberius!
MARISHA: Has your brother gotten back to you yet? ORION: He should’ve got the message immediately. I’m pretty sure he’s researching it before he answers.
MATT: About 20 minutes of you doing this, as you’re having this discussion, a small slip of parchment apparates in front of you with a flash of purplish energy. Written upon it, it says, “Tiberius, you speak of the Far Realm, which I am quite familiar with; there are many aberrations. However, I do not know the name K'Varn per se. In my research, there are many things that can fall under the description you say. It’s vague enough. Unfortunately, I have not much to go off of. If you had an image or a visual description of this creature I’d be able to help, but at the moment I have no way of giving you any more knowledge. My apologies,” and signed at the bottom.
SAM: May I see this? (sniffs) Hmm, Draconiar Noir.
ORION: You are astute. I say all that stuff out loud.
TRAVIS: I start digging a ditch with my axe in the sand.
LAURA: What are you digging there, Grog?
TALIESIN: I’m going to work on the camouflage.
TRAVIS: Don’t worry about it.
MATT: Go ahead and make another tinker check.
SAM: Are we in the cavern? No, we’re on the beach, right?
MATT: You guys are on the beach.
SAM: Oh, thank god.
LAURA: Can we hear any kind of movement coming from the other island? Does it seem like they heard those explosions? Are we safe here?
MATT: The island itself I’d say is about a quarter- to a half-mile away. It’s hard to tell from this distance with no light source, any movement whatsoever over there, or any sound they make over there.
LIAM: Oh, so it’s really dark?
MATT: Yes, other than the bioluminescent fungal plant life and forest that coats this side. You have no light source on that side whatsoever.
LIAM: All right.
MATT: And it’s just faint enough where you can make out the outline of the island itself, but beyond that you have very little visual.
SAM: Let’s sleep.
MARISHA: Is there any type of stone or rock or debris with the residual energy from the purple mists of the Far Realm?
MATT: It doesn’t necessarily cling. It’s more of a presence thing than it is a material clinging energy.
LIAM: Also, I’m sorry, if it’s this dark in here, we lit up the cave. Anyone on that island would have seen that. I don’t think it’s very safe here.
SAM: Where do you want to go?
LAURA: He’s doing a camouflage-y thing, and she can make it look like nothing’s on the–
LIAM: I know that, but no one camouflaged the explosion of fire that lit up the cave.
SAM: Then let’s get out of here. Why don’t we go to the island and see if we can make camp?
TALIESIN: Let’s head to those little buildings off the corner there.
MARISHA: Not yet.
ORION: I do not think that is wise.
SAM: What? What’s wrong?
MARISHA: I’m going to sit down near where the Far Plane portal is.
MATT: Which you already closed off at this point in time.
MARISHA: I want to be near it, though.
MATT: So you’re near the edge of the wall where you’ve already blocked it off?
MATT: Okay. So you get closer to that presence.
MARISHA: Yeah, so I can be close to it. And Clarota? Pike? Do any of you want to help me in this?
SAM: What are you doing?
MARISHA: I’m going to do my scrying spell.
SAM: Oh, okay.
ASHLEY: I can assist because I have that, as well.
MATT: You do have Scrying as a spell. I would say if you both expend– if you have it prepared. Do you have scrying prepared?
MATT: All right, well, we’ll see what we can do.
MARISHA: Can I say that because I prepared it, I can be like, “Here’s my book. You can borrow it. I wrote it down. I know you know it.”
MATT: Well, see, for druids, it’s not so much a spellbook more than it is just an innate nature. You have a book for your own note-taking, but the actual spell itself comes from you harnessing the divine energy of nature around you. So there wouldn’t be a way that it should be able to help you in that spell, more than a slight bonus to the DC, but I’ll keep that in mind.
MARISHA: Scanlan, can you give me some meditation music?
SAM: Would that help at all?
MATT: Yeah. Definitely would give inspiration.
ORION: Your Highness, hold on a second, wait a minute!
ORION: I think we’re doing this a bit prematurely.
SAM: She can do it again tomorrow.
ORION: If she fails, he will know where we are.
MARISHA: He knows we’re here already! He possessed the queen and said, “Welcome, you’re my treasured guests.” Remember that? He knows exactly where we are!
SAM: That’s a good impression.
ASHLEY: That’s a really good point.
TALIESIN: It is actually very good.
ORION: It was because he had eyes to look through.
MARISHA: He seems to be pretty powerful and all-knowing. I’m pretty sure he probably knows we’re fucking here.
TALIESIN: I think this is a reasonable risk.
LAURA: He’s probably just playing with us right now, waiting for us to get there.
MARISHA: He said, “You are our treasured guests.” I wrote it down.
LIAM: He knows we’re coming.
MARISHA: He knows we’re coming. He wants us to come.
TRAVIS: To inspire Keyleth with her scrying spell, I hop in the ditch I’ve been digging and start going, "Look, I can do it too! (laughs)” And I start paddling in the ditch.
MARISHA: Oh! Good job, Grog! You did it!
TRAVIS: Is that inspiration?
MATT: You feel inspired. MARISHA: Besides, we’re talking about moving anyway, right? So I might as well do it here if we’re going to relocate. Plus, I want to be near the energy of the Far Realm. Maybe it’ll help a little bit?
MATT: It’s possible.
MARISHA: It’s what I’m hoping for.
TALIESIN: Let’s go for it.
SAM: All right! So I’ll sing to inspire her. “Scry, scry, Miss Keyleth, scry, put your eyeballs to the K'Varn and tell us why.” All right, no, that’s it.
TALIESIN: Singing, “This will be the day that I scry.”
ALL: “This will be the day that I scry!”
MATT: All right, then.
MARISHA: So wait, do I get two inspiration dice?
MATT: No. You can only have one inspiration dice at any given point in time, and it’s a d10.
MARISHA: Okay, but I’m happy because of Grog, right?
MATT: You are!
SAM: Yes. You get happiness.
MATT: So you’re smiling through the spell. (laughs) All right, so, you take ten minutes to yourself to prepare the ritual. You carve out a portion of the beach where the gravel is most easy to manipulate, and you begin to set up this extensive scrying ritual.
MARISHA: And I want to meditate specifically on the horn, and I want to use Pike and see if I can channel her vision, focusing on the horn, since that’s what we really know. It’s pretty much the only thing we know what it looks like.
MATT: Okay. So, as you draw the circle across the portion of the gravel and stonework– actually, this is further in the cave, so the gravel has given in to more solid stonework. You begin to carve across the ground with a small piece of charcoal that you use for your ritual drawings, this giant, runic circle. You draw points for you to sit and a point for Pike to sit as well, to help you focus in this vision. Once you’ve taken the ten minutes to establish all the various material components and littered it with pieces of dried animal matter, some herbs, and lit a small bowl of incense on the side to help you in this spell, you sit down, take your place. Pike, you take your place. And you begin to concentrate. You draw the essence of the nature energies around you and begin to project your vision towards the description of this dark horn, pushing what you can best ascertain is the direction of the temple from where this ritual is being conducted. All right, so. Given the circumstances… bonus from that, let’s make a will save. All right. So. You feel your vision project beyond you. It’s a sort of out-of-body experience as the energy that makes up Keyleth is no longer given physical form, it’s just adrift in the darkness. You feel yourself drawn, pulled almost, like there’s an energy that draws you as if poison from a wound. It pulls you upward, and you’re looking down over the top of this entire cavern, suddenly. The darkness tends to fade for a moment, and you can make out the general outline of this island. Once again, your vision (shhh) zooms in and shifts. You can look over the city. You can see Yug'Voril over top. You can see the glowing aspects of the forest surrounding the outskirts of it. And you can see in the center of this ruined city that has been reconstructed in the image of the temple that stands. This giant pseudo-pyramid with a flattened top. You can now see it from the overhead view of this temple. It is actually open, and that strange glowing source of green energy you can see is slowly emanating from the top. Your vision is pulled forward again. You feel yourself drawn towards it, and as you come towards the top, you can see: the open portion of this temple’s roof is a crossbeam made of gold or brass, and there is some sort of structure hanging from it that falls deeper into the temple. You then move past this into what is the topmost chamber of this temple. It’s darker at first, and as your essence tends to coalesce and find some sort of visual here, you can see now, this brass cross-beam that is held aloft in the center of this temple chamber drips down into a spiral of metal, this strange, arcane contraption that does not match any of the construct of this temple previously. It almost seems like it’s been a new addition or is taking the place of something else that was a central focus of this chamber. You follow this strange arcane structure. About 15 to 20 feet it comes from the top of the temple chamber to the center, there held aloft underneath it by another 15-foot drop, you see in this dark room a pool of a dull, bluish purple liquid. And it’s pulsing with life, and with energy. You now look down, your eyes focus, and in this pool, this ten, 15-foot-wide round pool, you can see this pulse, almost a heartbeat of purplish energy, what look like small purple stones. But they’re not stones, they’re minds. They’re brains. They’re essences. And they’re all working together, interconnected. You’re looking upon the Elder Brain of Yug'Voril, the center of the entire illithid colony that resides in the center of this chamber. You can see now this green energy that’s being brought down from this metallic structure at the top of this temple is being funneled down over, and is acting as an arcane prison for, the Elder Brain. It’s sealing and controlling, essentially, and what you had gathered from your previous discussions with Clarota, this is what has taken the minds of the mind flayers and bent them to K'Varn’s will. Your focus shifts now from the Elder Brain, and you look around the room, and in the dark shadows of this room, you can see there are cages. There are metal bars. You’re unable to really ascertain what the material is, but in each one of these small cages you see some creature. Some of this realm, some not. Horrible forms: mutated, torn, some missing limbs, some in the process of slowly dying because they’re unable to keep a physical form intact. It’s a collection, a horrible collection of malformed entities that are being experimented on. Pulled apart, put together. This also serves as, seemingly, a laboratory for K'Varn. And you feel a presence in the room, suddenly. Your essence shifts around and you look in the darkness and you see, slowly drifting out of the shadow, a single gnarled black horn. Underneath that horn, you can see now the physical form that it adorns: dark brown leathery skin with slightly pointed edges, almost like scales that form out of portions of this flesh. You see below this horn one large, piercing, sky-blue eye that glances up and meets your gaze. As it does, from beneath that eye, you see a toothy maw tear into a wide grin. And around the outskirts of the singular eye, numerous other eyes (whoosh whoosh) shift around. Coming into the light, you see now a fleshy ball that is drifting in the air itself under its own physical form. This aberration, this horrible entity is now floating forward. You can see metal plates that are grafted to the physical body of this creature.
MARISHA: Oh, come on!
MATT: Apparently K'Varn has experimented on itself. These eyes are attached to strange finger-like stalks that twist out of its body. These eyes, darting around the room, looking at different directions, and then they all (whoosh) singularly shift on you at once. As it does, you can feel, all of a sudden, your presence, which has been drifting through the scrying spell, locked in place. And for a second, you feel like you can’t breathe. As K'Varn presses towards you, this fleshy sphere of eyestalks and teeth, this small chuckle billows up deep within its mouth. “(chuckles) So, guest. Do you like my home? You’re welcome any time.” At which point, the horn seems to glow with this creepy greenish energy, and you feel this piercing pain blast into your head. You try and scream, but you can’t. There’s no breath. Go ahead and make a wisdom saving throw.
LAURA: Oh no!
SAM: Oh, shit. Oh god.
MARISHA: Do I still have my Enhance Ability up?
MATT: No, because that’s a concentration spell.
LIAM: What does Keyleth look like to us right now?
MATT: Keyleth is sweating profusely, and you can see she’s flinching.
LIAM: I’m walking up to Keyleth and I’m grabbing her by the shirt and I’m going to slap her across the face.
MATT: All right. So?
MATT: 27. All right. Good. You take 11 points of psychic damage and are thrust out of the scry spell. Your vision is pulled out of the top of the temple and suddenly you’re back in your form as a sharp pain hits you across the side of the head.
MATT: Vax is holding you.
MARISHA: Christ! What– why?! LIAM: You were in pain. Are you all right? Are you all right?
MARISHA: “You were in pain, so I thought I’d fucking slap you across the face?” Gee!
LAURA: Keyleth! Language.
TRAVIS: Are we hitting each other now?
MARISHA: Sorry. Wow.
ORION AND LAURA: What did you see?
ORION: So she tells us, right?
MARISHA: K'Varn’s a beholder.
SAM: A beholder? What’s that?
ORION: It is really not a thing we want to fight. It is awful. It is wretched. It will kill all of us if we don’t find out a way to kill it– oh my god.
MARISHA: Not only is K'Varn a beholder, K'Varn has been experimenting on himself and so he has armor grafted onto him, and the horn The horn which– I don’t know.
LAURA: You said there is something caging the Elder Brain right?
MARISHA: Yes. That big green light. Can, we can see it? Is it like the Luxor in Vegas? Can we see the green light?
MATT: It’s not a beam, but you do see a slight green glow at the top of the temple in the distance. You saw it when you first entered, and it’s been this dull beacon as you traveled around this island.
LAURA: So there’s something connected to the top of the temple that’s caging the Elder Brain?
MARISHA: It’s like an arcane prison around all of the Elder Brain.
LAURA: Is it possible to maybe collapse the top of the temple from far away, and release the Elder Brain from its cage and then Clarota, your brethren could fight the beholder instead of us? (laughs)
MARISHA: Clarota, do you know how we could possibly break this prison?
TRAVIS: Could you tell me what a beholder is first? Because I don’t know.
SAM: Big bad scary thing.
TRAVIS: With finger eyes?
ORION: DM, I write a detailed–
SAM: Just hold on. Wait. Patience.
MATT: That’s a beholder.
LAURA: Oh, the thing on the front of the Monster Manual.
ASHLEY: It’s on the cover of a book.
TRAVIS: Worst possible scenario imaginable.
LAURA: That’s all you could have said.
LIAM: The iconic creature.
TALIESIN: It’s on the cover of Dungeons & Dragons Monthly right now. It is the cover model.
LIAM: There’s dragon, then beholder.
MARISHA: Oh, man.
LAURA: I mean, we’ve killed a dragon.
TRAVIS: Yeah he’s got lots of teeth. Let’s brush ‘em.
MARISHA: Each eye tends to have a beam that has a different ability.
LIAM: It’s a magic fun bag.
MARISHA: It’s a magic fun bag. It’s probably got everything from Silence and Dispel Magic to Petrify to a disintegration ray.
TALIESIN: You’re thinking about this wrong, though. You’re thinking about this in the wrong direction. Beholder is not– that’s not the goal.
LAURA: The horn is the goal.
TALIESIN: Even more than that, it’s the hundreds of allies we could have.
LAURA: Exactly! We free the Elder Brain, they attack it.
TALIESIN: Prison is the target.
TRAVIS: Not the beholder?
TALIESIN: Not the beholder. If we can free the Elder Brain–
LAURA: We don’t have to fight it ourselves.
TALIESIN: Then we’re not alone. Now, what was creating this green light? Where was it emanating from?
MARISHA: It seemed to be emanating from the top opening of this pyramid that was the main temple of the center of town.
TALIESIN: Can you describe the top of the pyramid?
MATT: I’ll give you a detailed description. Essentially, this pyramid comes to a top and then flattens up at the very top. Where you would expect there to be a flat surface is instead, essentially, a windowed opening. You don’t think it’s purely open like you could just jump through. There is some sort of glass that coats it, but there is a brass cross-beam at the very top, and then part of this cross-beam holds aloft this strange series of metallic wires that spiral and intertwine that serves as a conical focus piece. You can’t see the interior of it.
LAURA: So if we take out the beams–
MARISHA: It was almost like a beehive.
MATT: Essentially a slow beehive.
MARISHA: It was focusing the energy.
TALIESIN: We have something very important. We have a vial of yellow liquid.
SAM: What does it do?
LAURA: It might age you.
MARISHA: We don’t know.
LAURA: It might do something.
TALIESIN: It seems to be very acidic.
SAM: So it could burn the metal?
ASHLEY: Burn the beams?
TALIESIN: I could melt the metal and we could actually bring that entire structure crashing down.
LAURA: But does anybody have an aging spell? Something that causes things to disintegrate things? Maybe we could rust the metal as well?
TALIESIN: We have that yellow goop, and that would definitely help.
LIAM: We know that it’s acid?
TALIESIN: We suspect it.
LAURA: It might be a form changer, because the king swallowed a vial and it made him strong.
MARISHA: Actually, I can learn Heat Metal and I can heat the beam and make it (clicks her tongue) beam.
LAURA: He’s got vials of acid in his Bag of Holding.
TALIESIN: We’re going to break the temple.
LAURA: Let’s break the temple. Clarota?
MATT: At this point, as you guys look over at Clarota, you see Clarota, for the first time in a while, looks visually disturbed. Has withdrawn from the group and is leaning against the side of the beach cavern wall and the tentacles that normally slowly twirl are all tensed and pulled up into a knot.
LAURA: Clarota, you’re going to cramp your face if you do that.
TALIESIN: If you have something to say, we would appreciate it.
LIAM: If you keep making that face, it’ll freeze that way.
MATT: “That K'Varn is of this new creature, a beholder, and carries this horn that Lady Kima has spoken of. It’s a great danger. Also, keep in mind the temple is not made of average stolen metals. This is the center of the Elder Brain. We reinforce it with magical protection. It’s the center of our entire species’ kowledge. Every brain in there is our elders’. As we pass to the next generation, our mind is brought and introduced to the Elder Brain. We have that room protected from simple acids. We must make sure we are ready.”
LIAM: Clarota, Keyleth has scryed the top of the building right now. It didn’t look like it was part of the original structure. Is she mistaken? Is the top something that was built by your people?
MATT: “No. It was open before. There seems to be some sort of new focus K'Varn has constructed.”
LIAM: Would that be as strong as the rest of the building?
MATT: “I do not know. But if I’ve seen anything of the nature of this insidious creature, I would say, plan for the worst. Nothing is more terrifying than underestimating a beholder.”
LAURA: Right. Can beholders fly?
LAURA: They can. Okay.
TRAVIS: Among other things, it seems like.
LAURA: What can’t they do?
LIAM: Not much.
TALIESIN: They’re terrible monsters.
LAURA: So they’re really very fleshy and weak, but he put armor on himself.
TRAVIS: He’s super strong.
LAURA: So now he’s extra strong.
LIAM: Like a wizard times 50.
MARISHA: I’m assuming– oh, go ahead.
MATT: Then Kima says, “The key is here is not to think how to fight him head-on. We have to be smart about this. While he has the home turf, we have the element of surprise. We choose the grounds in which we attack, and we choose the methods in which we set the battlefield.”
MARISHA: Underwater fight!
SAM: We could try to just draw him out somehow.
MATT: “I highly doubt he’s going to leave his home turf. But if we can find a way to perhaps turn it against him or use it to our advantage. Maybe some reconnaissance. I don’t know.”
MATT: “I don’t know!”
TRAVIS: It is glass on the top, so we could try to Sunlight the head?
ASHLEY: I have something called Divine Intervention.
LAURA: What is that?
ASHLEY: You can call on your deity, and you roll a percentile die, and you can have them help you with something.
LAURA: So is it possible to try to get her help before we do this? Or is it something that you have to do on the spot?
ASHLEY: I don’t know, because this is new.
MATT: That’s up to you. You can attempt it once a day, and once it works, it can’t be done for another week.
LAURA: So if we attempt it, then she can intervene? She can be on our side?
MATT: In some way. Essentially, you formulate how you want your deity’s aid. And if you succeed– you have a 10% chance of success– in some divine way, Sarenrae will guide power or aid to you.
SAM: Why don’t you wait on that.
LIAM: Well, we either have a 10% chance right now for her to tell us what to do–
LIAM: Or a 10% chance–
SAM: To help us later.
LAURA: Once we know what we’re doing.
ASHLEY: Yeah, let’s wait until we know what we’re doing.
ORION: I believe we should go and rescue the prisoners and build a small army. Moreover, I’ve been thinking. It all goes downward, correct? He’s all up in a pit, yes?
SAM: The world down here?
ORION: No, the beholder, K'Varn.
LIAM: He’s in the top of a pyramid.
ORION: Up or down?
LIAM AND TRAVIS: Up.
ORION: Well, that won’t help me at all.
MARISHA: It’s his laboratory.
LAURA: I feel like we should go for the top.
TRAVIS: How would we free the prisoners, first of all?
TALIESIN: I think it’s that beehive structure.
LAURA: We have to take out the metal thingy.
LIAM: It’s not letting them out. We have to get them out of K'Varn’s control. So how do we do that?
TALIESIN: I think we destroy the beehive structure at the top.
LAURA: I think we destroy the structure.
LIAM: It’s the only option that seems open to us, unless we keep stumbling around and looking for some other way, I think.
LAURA: We don’t have any kind of corruption spell that ages things?
MARISHA: Well, we’ve got the acid thing, and maybe Grog can–
LAURA: What if we hit it with Dispel Magic, maybe get your goddess’s aid– hit it with Dispel Magic, it it with corruption, rust the shit, and then it falls!
SAM: But we don’t have corruption.
LIAM: Can Scanlan mercilessly mock the top of the thing?
SAM: Oh, I can mock.
TRAVIS: Eff you, brass cross!
MARISHA: I like Percy’s idea. We’ve got that acidic vial.
TALIESIN: We have several vials of acid, actually.
ASHLEY: Can you take the normal acid and could we make it magical?
LAURA: Like, extra bad? We don’t even know what it does yet.
MARISHA: Well, I can always be an eagle, and I can maybe fly, or maybe Grog could carry a big boulder. That way, after the acid has–
TALIESIN: I thought about making an acid arrow. I really did.
MARISHA: He could throw a big boulder to collapse it the rest of the way.
LIAM: Question. You built a bomb before.
SAM: That took months.
LIAM: If we could hole up for– months or weeks, was it?
LAURA AND SAM: Months.
TRAVIS: Yeah, it took months.
TALIESIN: It took me months to figure out how to build.
LIAM: Now that you know how to build one, would it be quicker?
MARISHA: Wait, the bomb we just threw in that room?
TALIESIN: I could make an exploding arrow. I’ve made one, I can make another.
MATT: I would say your materials are very limited.
TALIESIN: Yeah. At this point, though, if I had a workshop, I could–
SAM: Well, let’s take Kima’s advice and maybe start with a little reconnaissance. We’ll get closer, we’ll rest for the night, and maybe send in a snooping party.
LIAM: My sister says that island is crawling with nasty shits.
LAURA: We can’t get closer.
ASHLEY: We should just rest. We’ll stay up, because we’re good.
LAURA: What if we fly in over the top with the carpet in stealth, put the camouflage on the carpet so they don’t see it. Fly in over the top. Stealth in, spy, get an idea of–
LIAM: Inspect the top of the building, see where the acid would be put to good use.
LAURA: Yeah, see what kind of magic is being held on top of it.
LIAM: We’re guessing that K'Varn doesn’t want to leave his little cubby-hole.
TALIESIN: I would assume not.
LIAM: So even if we fly down on top, he gets pissed, he could fly up, but we could fly away. He probably doesn’t want to leave the top of the–
TALIESIN: There’s going to come a point where chaos is just going to descend on us.
TRAVIS: We’re also forgetting that the second that he sees us or we get close enough, he could control all of our minds.
SAM: Wasn’t the point of us going to these beaches to try to see if there was any other advantage we could find?
LAURA: We were trying to find clues so that maybe scrying could be helpful, which it was.
SAM: All right.
LAURA: Okay, here’s another option: Dimension Door. What if you go and hug one of the beams and Dimension Door the beam out?
SAM: I don’t think I can do that.
SAM: I can banish a being, but not a beam.
LAURA: You can’t cast a portal on the door and make it fall?
TALIESIN: No, sadly.
LAURA: Not like Portal?
LIAM: Well, we’ve been here, and we’ve been here. SAM: Should we go to one more beach before we all die?
LIAM: Here, or here, or this little nubbin right here?
TALIESIN: I was thinking about that.
LAURA: Those are just more things to fight.
LIAM: Well, that’s true, but my sister studied the island, and she sensed the presence of things everywhere.
TRAVIS: That sounds awesome. Let’s go there.
MATT: Clustered mainly in the city region.
MARISHA: There’s no need for us to relocate now.
LIAM: Well I am curious about this. Can we see this from the beach we’re on? What is this?
MATT: At this distance, it’s hard to make out any sort of visual.
TALIESIN: We could camp there. That could be where we stage our attack from.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I like that. Let’s go take over a little shanty-town.
MARISHA: Wait. Why?
SAM: Because it’ll be that much closer tomorrow. We can do reconnaissance from there.
MARISHA: We can do reconnaissance from where we are.
SAM: We still have to get across this body of water. You said there’s something swimming down there.
MARISHA: We’ve got a magic carpet.
TRAVIS: It’ll be a little victory. We’ll take over the shanty-town.
MARISHA: It’s literally never been a problem.
ASHLEY: Can we all fit on the magic carpet?
LAURA AND TRAVIS: No.
MATT: Not at once, no.
ASHLEY: I can water-walk.
LIAM: We can also do two trips on the carpet.
MARISHA: But we’re not all going for reconnaissance, are we?
LAURA: No, stealthy stealth.
TALIESIN: If something goes wrong, though, it’s going to be– I would rather something go wrong with all of us than something go wrong with half of us.
LIAM: Well, I tell you what. We don’t know what to do, so why don’t Vex and I and Scanlan go for a little ride and check out the tip of this island?
ASHLEY: I don’t want to be split up.
TRAVIS: I don’t, either. Let’s take over the shanty-town. Let’s at least get on the island.
SAM AND TALIESIN: Baby steps.
TRAVIS: Yeah, baby steps.
MARISHA: Okay, well, then you guys go check it out first.
TALIESIN: We’ll get in the boat and we’ll start heading there.
ASHLEY: Are we getting on the boat or doing the carpet?
TALIESIN: Well, we can’t all fit on the carpet.
LIAM: Let’s let Tiberius and the twins and Scanlan fly ahead of the boat, uietly, carefully, see what we see. We have the earrings that Tibber-hoods crafted for us, so we can tell you what we see.
LIAM: And we don’t want to rush in. We’re probably going to go here, but let’s not rush in. Let the quiet ones go have a look.
LAURA: Just to make sure it’s not crawling with baddies.
MARISHA: Okay. So we’ll start boating over.
LIAM: You need to take it easy for a moment. You just went through some shit, Keyleth.
ASHLEY: You guys are going on the carpet?
MARISHA: Yeah, I’m going to take the boat.
TRAVIS: I’ve got a big axe. I’ll paddle the boat towards the island.
TRAVIS: I’ve been practicing in the sand to impress Keyleth. Working on the elevator. I haven’t figured it out yet, because I don’t know what that is.
LIAM: You know that thing a dog does when it pulls its butt along the floor?
LAURA: But I could cast Pass Without a Trace so everybody gets +10 to their stealth rolls.
LIAM: Yeah, that sounds good.
TRAVIS: So who’s in the boat with me?
SAM: Oh, we’re going over? By boat? Is that what’s happening?
TRAVIS: Percy, Keyleth.
TRAVIS: Pike and Trinket. So we start paddling in the boat.
LAURA: How about Kima and Clarota? Clarota should go with us.
MATT: Clarota can just hover.
LAURA: Can Clarota be on the carpet, then?
MATT: You can have him alongside the carpet.
TRAVIS: Yeah, we’ll take Kima.
LAURA: Yeah, Clarota come with us.
TRAVIS: (singing) Love Boat.
MATT: So Percy, you’re on the boat as well?
TALIESIN: Yeah, I’m in the boat.
SAM: Are the rest of us flying? We’re flying.
LIAM: Team Clarence and Team Kima-gibbler.
TRAVIS: Watch your mouth.
LAURA: Clarota, I’m sure we’ve asked this before and I wasn’t here because I missed a part of a thing? What about your hat? What does it do? Can you make more of them?
LIAM: He said no, it would take a while.
SAM: We did this already.
MATT: “I could, but the time required would be months, weeks. "Not in our timeframe, I believe.”
TRAVIS: That’s squid for no.
LAURA: All right.
LIAM: All right, let’s do it. Quiet ones, let’s get on the carpet. iberius?
LAURA: Try to stealth it. Are we camouflaging the carpet?
TALIESIN: I’m going to attempt to attach the skin to the bottom of the carpet.
MATT: To the bottom of the carpet?
LIAM: We’re saving the world, here, people. Let’s not twiddle our thumbs for too long.
TRAVIS: But you’re on the boat.
TALIESIN: Well, before you guys take off. Just going to try and sew it on the corners.
MATT: Okay, go ahead and make a roll.
TALIESIN: That’s better. 16.
MATT: 16. Easy enough to do. All right, so you take a little bit of your thick, heavy leather thread, the stuff that you use for something, and you loosely attach it to the bottom of the carpet.
LIAM: Sorry, I did a quick scrying spell and I know that we’re 50 shirts away from the total, so keep going. Get your mother a shirt. Keep going.
SAM: Okay, so we’re over the water?
TRAVIS: Yeah, we’re already paddling. The boat’s going too. We’re fucking fast.
MATT: So, as Grog’s pulling along– make an athletics check, by the way.
TRAVIS: Oh yeah, about to smash you.
LAURA: And we’re stealthing? Ahead?
MATT: You guys are–
LAURA: Being sneaky.
TRAVIS: It’s a 22.
MATT: All right, so. You pull it across. It’s a slow speed, but you’re making your way. I would also like Grog to make a stealth check.
LAURA: I rolled a natural 20 on stealth.
TRAVIS: Where’s my stealth?
TALIESIN: You’ve got Pass Without a Trace also.
TRAVIS: 19. So 29.
MATT: 29 stealth. As you’re very carefully breaking the water’s surface– Okay, so as you guys make your way across the channel towards the far end of the island, which is the beach that’s in view, you see the water disturbed slightly about 200 feet off to the right. Something deep below. You can see bubbles rising up. As you carefully make your way, ever so quiet, across to the beach, you find purchase. Landfall hits you on the other side of the beach, apparently not disturbing whatever lies beneath the surface.
TRAVIS: I immediately hop out, pull the boat up just to beach the boat.
MATT: Okay, so you pull the boat up. The rest of you guys bring the carpet over. You come to a landing part, totally fine. The beach comes to a steep incline that leads up onto the island proper. There’s cliffs on both sides of this beach, and as the incline increases up about maybe 500, 600 feet from where you are, you can see what looks like a few buildings or rubble of what was a small gathering of structures.
LAURA: Can we check out the thing in the air?
LIAM: Is there a larger one behind those smaller structures?
LAURA: That was it.
MATT: What you’re seeing now is this.
TRAVIS: Are there any of those crazy trees you mentioned before?
MATT: You do see, towards the right of those structures, those fungal-based trees. They rise about 25, 30 feet in the air. There’s no leaves. It’s almost like a cluster of weird fungus-like vines that drift from the top surface, and the trees unnaturally sway in place, almost like they have a rhythm to their movement.
TRAVIS: Dr. Seuss trees. Not cool.
MATT: Really nasty Dr. Seuss trees.
LAURA: Clarota, will those trees attack us? Are they living and attack-y?
MATT: Clarota says, “No, those trees merely exist on this island. They feed off of the essence of it and they provide food for other things that live here.”
TRAVIS: Like what?
MARISHA: Trees are bad?
MATT: “Wandering spores.”
LAURA: Wandering spores?!
MATT: “Other creatures.”
TRAVIS: Other creatures?
MATT: “We feed our captives, our slaves of the colony, with the fungal essence of the tree.”
TRAVIS: Other creatures? Don’t skimp on the details, it’s only our lives.
MATT: “The trees are not dangerous, but whatever resides on this island is probably under the influence of the Elder Brain. And my people, which are in turn under the influence of K'Varn.”
LIAM: But as you’re from this island, what wildlife can we expect to run into here?
MATT: “Small, sightless rats. Cavern insects. But the dangers lie in the spores that wander the forests.”
LAURA: I’m picturing a big yellow thing with little legs.
LAURA: Is that what it is?
MATT: “You’ll know when you see it.”
LAURA: Well, that’s lovely. Thank you for your help.
TRAVIS: I take the cask of ale out of the Bag of Holding and pour him a little glass of ale, and I’m like–
LAURA: Oh, you know what, Grog, I hate to tell you this–
TRAVIS: It sounds a little scratchy. Would you care for some ale?
LIAM: It’s really good.
MATT: It’s a psychic discussion. He looks at you and gives you a stern look. Takes the ale from you.
MATT: “I have no need for such false sustenance.”
LIAM: Clarota, that was rude.
TRAVIS: I will not forget that.
LIAM: Very rude. All right.
SAM: Can we go inspect those structures up there?
LIAM: Yes, everyone wait here. I grab Scanlan by the scruff of the neck and nod at my sister.
SAM: I turn invisible.
LIAM: Let’s go take a peek, yes? We’ll take a peek. Just wait a minute.
TALIESIN: We can wait. That’s fine.
MARISHA: I actually go collect a few of the vines hanging from the trees.
MATT: All right. Go ahead and make a nature check.
TALIESIN: General perception check on the beach as well.
MATT: All right.
TALIESIN: I don’t know why I’m bothering. 11. It’s a beach.
TRAVIS: I rolled 15.
MATT: 16 on nature? Okay, from a safe distance, you look at it. The trees do not appear to be anything beyond a subterranean forest. Fungal trees.
MARISHA: I wanted to collect some.
MATT: Oh, you wanted to go over and collect some? Okay. It’s quite a ways up. It’s up the side of the cliff. It’s up an incline, and the forest starts adjacent to the structure where they’re going.
TALIESIN: Might want to wait.
MATT: So you can make a stealth check to make your way there, if you’d like.
MARISHA: No, I’ll wait. I thought we were next to a tree.
MATT: No, most of the forest starts further up this incline as the island itself begins to level off.
TALIESIN: Let the scouts scout.
SAM: Let’s go scout it out.
MATT: All right.
SAM: So we make our way up to the structure.
LIAM: 28 for stealth.
MATT: 28 for stealth. You get advantage on your roll.
LAURA: Is it our old stealth check? Can I use my flying stealth check? Damn it.
MATT: What did you roll?
MATT: With advantage?
SAM: That was my advantage. The first one was a one.
TRAVIS: Holy shit.
MATT: All right. So.
LIAM: Do the twins outweigh him?
SAM: Wait, plus two! That makes it five.
LAURA: Plus ten. Pass Without a Trace.
SAM: Oh, plus ten! That’s 15!
TRAVIS: We’re getting better! Plus my inspiration from paddling.
MATT: You guys make your way towards this ruin, and as you come to it, you caught a small glimmer of it on the bridge that was constructed across the first beach you came across in this cavern. The stonework is interesting. It’s almost like an influx of jade and marble. The stone itself does not seem to be anything you’ve seen naturally around the cavern; either it was brought here or was crafted from some substance that resides on this island. But it has this weird green jade, marble, almost… vein-like visual to it. And you notice all the structures aren’t straight and smooth. Everything has this slightly non-Euclidean bend to it. Every edge has a slight curve. It’s off-putting. There isn’t a rigidity to any of these walls, and the buildings themselves almost seem to sag, or they sit or rest at a strange, unnatural angle.
LAURA: These buildings are sad.
MATT: Many have been long-crumbled, and you find some of these buildings have fallen in on themselves. You do notice, as you approach the edge of it, there is a large, circular structure. A pit that is built central to this. Parts of the wall have fallen in, but for the most part still remains intact, and in the center of this pit, on the floor, you can see what looks like splotches of dried crimson, long-left blood splatters of some sort of creature. You see dried bones, but the bones, while dried, have some sort of fungus growing on them. You also see what looks to be, tucked against one of the walls, a campsite. But a very large campsite. The fire pit is 15 feet wide and is just a small cinder. You see what looks to be a pile of furs.
SAM: A recent campsite?
MATT: There is actual embers in the fire pit. There looks to be a large bedroll made of patchwork furs, but the pile itself is huge.
LIAM: But it looks twice the size of what I would use for a fire, or what I would use for a bedroll.
MATT: Three times, even, which means it houses a lot of individuals.
SAM: Or one big thing.
MARISHA: Or a really big thing.
MATT: As you’re taking this look, too, as you guys are having this visual, you–
LIAM: Question: bigger than Grog?
MATT: Well. You immediately hear a sound. It’s a slight rumble in the ground and what sounds like a footfall, and as you glance over your shoulder, you can see what looks to be some sort of towering humanoid dragging something behind it.
SAM: (singing) There are giants in the sky.
MATT: It glances up with its nose in the air (sniffs). “Who goes there?” And you look to see what looks large, almost goliath-like: bald, skin is smooth, no hair, but its skin is purplish in color. Where a normal giant would stand naturally, it’s horribly hunched, like its back has a horrible scoliosis twist to it. One giant popping yellow eye glances out towards the edge of where you guys are. It doesn’t seem to have found any of you immediately, but something has alerted its attention; it seems to have caught some sort of trail in its natural homestead. You see it standing probably close to 15, 20 feet in height as it begins lumbering up (krsh krsh krsh) towards you.
LAURA: Oh, should we hide? Can we try to hide?
MATT: All of you were stealthed as well.
LAURA: Oh, yeah. Can I do insight and see if it seems like a bad guy?
MATT: You can make an insight check.
LAURA: I know. I’m just checking to see if he’s a misunderstood guy.
TRAVIS: Do I see him? Can I do a simple recognize check?
MATT: You don’t see him. All you guys are staying back at the beach while they’re checking.
ORION: Both of you have got earrings.
LAURA: That’s 17.
MATT: 17? This entity looks like it’s hungry, it looks malicious, and looks like it’s caught the thrill of the hunt, since it seems to have seen something near its homestead moving. As it begins to step forward, it drops whatever it’s holding behind it.
LIAM: I’m picking up Scanlan and moving backwards.
LAURA: Yeah, can we move into the shadows?
SAM: I’m invisible.
LIAM: You’re right there.
LAURA: We know where you are.
LIAM: I was holding your hand the whole time.
MATT: And that is where we’re going to leave tonight’s session.
TRAVIS: Come on!
LIAM: Nowhere near K'Varn.
MARISHA AND TRAVIS: Really?
LIAM: Nowhere near him.
TRAVIS: But wait, maybe if we sell out the shirts we can go another half-hour or something.
MARISHA: Yeah, how many shirts do we have left?
ORION: Like 20 or something like that?
SAM: Didn’t make it. Didn’t make it to K'Varn, didn’t make it to the shirts.
LIAM: It’s K'Varn!
Post-Game and Q&AEdit
ZAC: We have to read all the donation messages. If we meet our goal for the shirts y the time we’re done reading–
LAURA: 20 shirts!
ZAC: Then are you guys cool with doing the Q&A?
ZAC: All right, so.
LIAM: If you sell those 20 shirts.
TRAVIS: There’s 20 shirts left?
LAURA: That’s it.
LIAM: Come on, guys. 20 shirts.
LAURA: Me and Pike bought hoodies.
ZAC: Go fuck it up.
ASHLEY: I bought a hoodie.
LAURA: I bought a hoodie.
ZAC: All right, I’m just going to try to open this up here.
LAURA: We could all be hoodie Twinkies.
ORION: We have Twinkies?
TALIESIN: There’s no Twinkies. There’s just cake.
SAM: That was the stoner-est thing you’ve ever said.
LIAM: I’ll buy a hoodie if you guys buy 19. Deal? Here we go.
MATT: What are you doing, man?
ZAC: I’m trying to load it into Google Docs so we can actually see the messages.
LAURA: He’s taking his time.
MATT: Oh, that’s much easier. In theory.
TALIESIN: I have not the slightest clue where my phone would be.
LAURA: Oh no, really?
TALIESIN: It’s probably out in the hallway.
LAURA: Whoa! We’re 14 shirts away!
TALIESIN: You guys are doing it.
ZAC: Looks like they start right here.
MATT: All right. Guys, let’s get some of these read off.
ORION: Oh, yay.
MATT: So. Kurt Cole donated $100 to 826.
MATT: “#GrogCrush.” Thank you, Kurt.
MARISHA: Grog crush!
MATT: Browncoat2511 also donated $100. “Thanks for inspiring our friends to finally play D&D with us. "I’m donating as a gift for my wife, Lauren.”
MATT: Hi, Lauren!
MARISHA: Aww. So sweet!
MATT: “For her 30th birthday. She’s an avid reader, our D&D group’s bard, and a big fan of the show.”
MARISHA: Happy birthday!
TALIESIN: Happy birthday.
ORION: That man loves you.
MARISHA: That’s so sweet.
MATT: All right. ZandorInvictus donated $75 to 826. “#LessThanThree you guys. Excited that a week from today I get to play my first game in like 7 years. Hope to do as well as you guys.” That’s awesome! Zandor, have fun.
MARISHA: Yay, Zandor!
TRAVIS: That’s rad.
MATT: Zofer donated $25. “Many thanks for all the time and effort you put into making Critical Role.” Well, thank you guys for watching it.
LAURA: Yes, very much.
MATT: We’re glad you guys like it.
MARISHA: Thanks, Zofer!
ORION: Thank you!
MATT: TFdiggs donated 20 bucks. “So nice. Had to pick up the shirt twice.” Aww. Good man. Always look forward to having all the loins girded and all the violence encouraged. Thank you for being awesome.”
SAM: Yeah! That’s us. We should do “loins encouraged” and “violence girded,” no?
ASHLEY: Hey, guys!
LAURA AND LIAM: We did it!
MATT: That’s so awesome!
SAM: Liam, did you just buy 20 shirts?
MATT: You guys are ridiculous.
LAURA: That’s so awesome.
TALIESIN: Holy cow.
LAURA: Oh my gosh. You guys are awesome.
ASHLEY: You guys! What the heck.
MATT: Thank you guys so much.
LIAM: Thank you guys. A thousand years of Dungeons & Dragons.
MATT: It’s the best audience ever. You guys are amazing. Speaking of which, I’ve got to put the cloak on.
ALL: Put the cloak on!
ORION: It does get warm in here, just a little bit.
SAM: Yeah why stop at 1,000? Let’s go for 2,000.
ZAC: Even if we didn’t make it, I feel like we had to do the Q&A because there’s two $1,000 donations in here.
LAURA AND MATT: What?!
SAM AND MARISHA: Confirmed?!
MATT: All right. Hold on.
ZAC: All right, we’re working our way up. We’re here.
MATT: Okay. Burgtorp, 50 bucks. Awesome. “I’ve been wanting to play my druid dwarf after watching your show, but no DM or other player will likely satisfy me after all you guys’ and gals’ in-game acting. Speaking of druids, is Keyleth half-elf or elf? The overlay shows elven. Love from Sweden.” You’re half-elf. We’ve got to fix that.
MARISHA: We still need to fix that. Yeah I’m half-elven.
MATT: We just need to fix that in the opening.
TALIESIN: On your mother’s side or your father’s side?
MARISHA AND LAURA: Hell elf.
TALIESIN: Hell elf.
MATT: Gil Ramirez! 10 bucks. “Hey guys, so glad to have met you at Ren Faire.” Oh, hey! What’s up, Gil?
MATT: Met him a few weeks back. “Let me know if you guys want those brooches made.”
TALIESIN: Oh my god, yeah. Those was awesome.
ORION: That’s right.
MARISHA: We’ll totally take brooches.
MATT: Kavemtg. “First time watching live after obsessively consuming the videos for 2 weeks. Fuck time difference.” Yeah.
MATT: “I had to go for the holy trinity: tee, sub, and donation.” That’s awesome. “Much deserved. Thanks for everything, guys. K. "P.S: Matt, we need DM tips column/video series.”
TALIESIN: That’s a really good idea.
MATT: Not a bad idea. We talked about doing it for the channel going forward, so keep an eye on that. This is really warm. I’m putting the hood down. Electricidolon. 20 bucks. “Back again this week. Got a shirt this time, too. Thank you for giving me something amazing to look forward to every week, guys. Need a Critical Role animated series. For serious.” I agree. That’d be cool.
TALIESIN: Who would voice our characters is my question.
ZAC: You call your people and we’ll call our people.
MATT: Exactly. Electricidolon.
LIAM: Can I interject for a second and thank Earl Davis, @Wheelyfactoids, for buying 8 shirts?
ORION: Holy what?!
LAURA: That’s so cool.
LIAM: Thanks, dude.
MATT: That’s awesome! You have Christmas on lock!
LIAM: Give them out to seven people. Start playing Dungeons & Dragons with them.
ZAC: I know that we have someone in the chat room– I’m not sure off the top of my head– someone bought the entire office shirts.
ZAC: Yeah, they sent a message and asked for everyone’s shirt sizes.
LAURA: That’s so cool!
MATT: Why are you guys so awesome? Oh my god. Okay, NorSarah. Four bucks. Awesome.
ORION: Oh, cool!
MATT: “I would like to rage! Or donate, in this case. I love your show. It’s my most favorite thing in the world. I’m joining my own D&D group because of it. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Heart. And remember, Keyleth: fish are friends, not food.”
MARISHA: Fish are friends, not food!
MATT: G1bigdaddyheft. 25 bucks. “TV shows can’t come close to the epic power of Critical Role Thursdays. As always, thank you all for coming together and sharing your adventure with us and inspiring so many people to begin our own.” Thank you, guys. That’s amazing.
MATT: Argh. Mahidal, who I’ve met on the Minecraft servers. Awesome. Donated five bucks. “Oh man, the Critical Role crew, you remember that time we all went to Ancient Rome and they had pizza and lasers? And then we found out the Doctor was there and someone had messed with the timeline? That was a good day, and we all escaped!”
MATT: AmantarayX. 20 bucks. “Watching Critical Role is the best way to spend my 21st birthday. Less than three, all of you.” Happy birthday!
ALL: Happy birthday!
MARISHA: We fought a manta ray.
MATT: You did.
TRAVIS: Oh, was that a birthday huzzah?
TRAVIS AND ASHLEY: Birthday huzzah!
MATT: All right, theinfragable donated 50 bucks. “Long time watcher, first time subber and donator. This show is awesome. You guys are awesome. Literacy and imagination is awesome, and I’ll keep doing song parodies for all the characters. Here’s $5 per episode.” You’ve been doing all the song parodies? Those are awesome!
TALIESIN: Yeah, they’re so awesome!
SAM: Those are great! Love the song parodies!
MATT: Keep them coming. Those are awesome.
ORION: Oh, dude! Yeah, those are hilarious.
ZAC: So wait, there are song parodies? Can we get those?
MATT: We had the link sent to us. He did song parodies for Grog and Scanlan.
ZAC: Send us the link so we’ll play them next time.
TRAVIS: It’s amazing. I may or may not… have sung that at home.
LIAM: On a side “night”–
SAM: On a “side night!”
LIAM: On a side night, we’ll play another game… On a side note, we love fan art. We love it. We’re going to try to find a way to showcase it on the show, perhaps.
MARISHA: If you go to our website, it filters through, but as long as you hashtag Critical Role–
LAURA: We’ll be able to see it.
MARISHA: We’ll be able to find it.
LIAM: We’ll see it, and we’re looking for a way to add it.
LAURA: All of us are kind of obsessed about checking out the hashtag.
TALIESIN: It’s a problem.
MATT: We go home after each game and we’re up till 3am going like, “(gasp) favorite, favorite, favorite…” It’s bad. It’s a problem. All right, we have Killer88D, donating ten bucks. That’s awesome, thank you so much. Joe Curr, 20 bucks. “I now look forward to Thursdays more than I do Fridays.”
TALIESIN AND LIAM: So do we!
MATT: “It’s a great show and it introduced me to D&D. I’m enthralled. Much love, much hugs. #TeamTrinket.” Thank you so much! MisSkeMeDe, 20 bucks. “You’re all such talented voice actors and are fantastically entertaining. Thanks for providing me with such an incredible introduction to D&D. Less than 3.” Thanks, you’re awesome. AxisOfAnarchy. Hello, what’s up!
MATT: “So I thought I would start my birthday celebration two days early so I could celebrate with all of you. Less than three. Rachel Steiner aka AxisOfAnarchy.” Rachel, Happy Birthday!
LAURA: Huzzah! Happy Birthday!
MATT: She’s been updating the Reddit page with all the episode links. She’s been great from the beginning. So thank you, Rachel. Happy Birthday! Cerulean Kestrel donated $50.
SAM: Wait, what’s that name?
MATT AND ORION: Cerulean Kestrel.
SAM: Oh, I like that.
MATT: Might be an NPC coming forward. “For my younger brother David, who graduates college tomorrow. I admire you and everything you’ve achieved so far. Also, Critical Role is a blast to watch. Thanks to Matt Mercer and crew for a great show and thank you, David, for introducing me to it.”
MARISHA: Congrats, David!
MATT: Congrats on your brother’s college graduation. That’s great! Scottydsntknw8?
ZAC: Doesn’t know it.
MATT: Oh, “Scotty Doesn’t Know It.” Ah, here we go. That’s… very good.
MARISHA: Scotty doesn’t know.
MATT: That’s an AOL email waiting to happen. “Thanks for the show. Really, it’s one of the bright points in my life right now.” That’s awesome! Thank you for watching, buddy. G.E. Oden, 25 bucks. “Thanks for making Thursday nights the best day of my week. I happily support cast and Geek & Sundry crew. Obey your Overlord.”
MATT: We do.
TALIESIN: Yeah, we do.
LAURA: If you say so.
MATT: DressHawk, 30 bucks. “Every little helps, I hope.” And it does.
ORION: It does.
MATT: And the 826 is going to get such a check from us.
LAURA: Yeah, oh my gosh.
MATT: WeeklyFactoids donated 5 bucks. “Another good week, Vox Machina. Travis, I still need the specs so I can start working on the cosplay. Also, Liam, the knife is done. I just have to finish Laura’s bear statue. Less than three, a Critical Role cosplayer.”
LAURA: He made a bear statue?!
ZAC: And all you got was a damn emote, right?
MATT: If someone ends up making a Sarenrae holy symbol for you…
TRAVIS: What’s his name? Who’s this?
LIAM: WeeklyFactoids is the guy who bought 8 shirts!
ZAC: Wait, technically it’s WheelyFactoids.
LAURA: Yeah, that’s him. What, dude!
TRAVIS: I’ve got an axe. I’ll show you.
MATT: That’s awesome. Well done! Thank you so much. Timeout9288, 15 bucks. “Love you guys. My friends and I are totally starting D&D for the first time with your inspiration. Also, Travis Willingham, Gazlowe is one of my favorite Heroes of the Storm heroes.”
TRAVIS: Gazlowe? Yeah, he’s really stupid.
MARISHA: You’re Gazlowe?
TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m Gazlowe.
MARISHA: I didn’t know that!
TRAVIS: He’s the little goblin that could, you know.
MATT: He’s not quite as good as Rehgar.
LAURA: Both of you, calm down.
MATT: And none of us are as good as Jaina or Illidan.
LAURA: Hold your peace.
LIAM: Don’t fuck with grandpa Illidan, all right?
TRAVIS: He’s got no plans later. That could be really cool.
MATT: That’s so awesome. WoodyFoun donated a thousand dollars.
(all cheer loudly)
MATT: “Congratulations to you all on your tenth episode. I’m sure all fans will agree. I hope there will be many more shows to come. P.S.: Laura Bailey– insert harp accompaniment– can you please say, 'Eat lightsaber, jerk’ "in your best Kira Carsen voice? Love all of you.”
TRAVIS: For a thousand bucks?
LAURA: For a thousand bucks, yeah. Now there’s so much pressure.
LIAM: What was it?
MATT: Eat lightsaber, jerk.
LAURA: Eat lightsaber, jerk. There.
LIAM: That is an amazing donation. Thank you so much.
ALL: Thank you!
MATT: Shomzer donated 25 bucks. “Slowly fell in love with everyone in this D&D group. Keep it up, guys. This is something I look forward to weekly and it’s incredibly entertaining.”
ZAC: Was that negging?
ZAC: Was that negging? “Slowly fell in love.”
MATT: Slowly fell in love. No!
SAM: No, that’s good.
TALIESIN: Makes me want to work harder. That’s all I’m saying.
ORION: He was just courting us at first.
LAURA: But now he’s in love.
MATT: To be fair, we’re a bunch of weird folks on Twitch. It takes a little getting used to us.
LAURA: You’re in a very fabulous purple coat right now.
MATT: I am.
ZAC: No, I like his style.
MATT: Thank you, guys.
SAM: I love my wife.
MATT: SeekerPentegan, I think it is. Ten dollars. "Started watching Critical Role because of Laura and Travis, stayed because you’re all great. Thanks for brightening up my Friday mornings. I’m from Germany, so the stream starts at 4 am for me. It’s totally worth it to get up so early for you guys.” That’s amazing!
MARISHA: Christ, 4 am? Good morning!
TALIESIN: Good morning!
LIAM: Ah, tschüss!
SAM: Entschuldige. I don’t know what that is.
LAURA: Danke schön. Did I say that right?
TALIESIN: Guten Morgen!
MARISHA: Guten Morgen!
LIAM: You said thank you, he said excuse me, he’s saying good morning. I said see you later, see you next time, ta-ta.
LAURA: Oh, okay.
MATT: There you go.
MATT: e3kguru, $25. “Thanking Geek & Sundry for shows like Critical Role. To the cast, thanks for taking the time every week to bring us into your world. Much love to everyone and happy tenth episode.” Thank you so much.
ORION: Thank you!
MATT: Lukegoodatstuff, 20 bucks. “I didn’t expect Critical Role to be my favorite show on the channel, but here we are. Less than three you all. It’s been a fun ten episodes. Looking forward to many more.”
MATT: Locomotive also donated $1,000–
MATT: To 826LA charity. "Critical Role has been the most awesome show I’ve discovered on Twitch. Thank you for putting this together.” Thank you. That’s incredible.
LIAM: The two of you are extremely generous. Thank you, and the charity’s going to have their mind blown. And thank you everyone for supporting.
MATT: Yeah, we’re going to get photos when we present them with the check and we’re going to do a whole thing.
TALIESIN: Oh, if there’s an 826 in your city, by the way, go check it out. Really, they have amazing stuff for sale. It’s the best first date. It’s great.
LAURA: They have the coolest stuff.
MARISHA: It’s always so much fun.
LAURA: Yeah, we have a bunch of posters at our house.
TALIESIN: I’ve done so well taking girls to 826. I’m not even kidding.
MARISHA: It’s true.
TALIESIN: It goes very well.
MARISHA: They’ve got great storefronts.
TALIESIN: They’ve got a pirate store, a superhero store. They have a time-travel store.
MARISHA: Spy store.
MATT: I do want a novelty check for when we finally get these donations over.
LAURA: That would be awesome.
MATT: We’re going to draw pictures on it.
MARISHA: How much are those novelty checks?
SAM: A thousand dollars.
MATT: Arislan donated $50. That’s awesome! “Happy tenth episode, hope you enjoyed your cake.” Aw, thank you guys!
LAURA: Thank you! I’m tweeting your cake right now!
MATT: “The only thing better is your support of 826LA and I hope my small contribution helps.” It really does. Thank you so much.
ORION: Yes, it does. Absolutely.
MATT: Splattercat, 25 bucks.
MATT: “Hey guys, day one subscriber. When I first heard about Critical Role it sounded too good to be true, and even after ten episodes it still kind of is. You guys are all awesome, and I will continue to support Critical Role and Geek & Sundry as long as we all exist.” As long as we all exist.
LIAM: Which should be for about one more episode.
TALIESIN: We’re double-checking. It is still five hit points to splatter a cat.
MARISHA: Yeah, five hit points.
MARISHA: Thanks, splatterkitten.
TALIESIN: We established that. We did.
MATT: All right, aranax06, $20. “Thanks for your amazing performance.” Thank you for your amazing donation.
ALL: Thank you!
MATT: TristanDunman, five bucks. “Huge fan of Critical Role and just super inspired by all you talented actors. Starting my own group soon and using the power of my art to make it as awesome as possible. Thanks again, everyone. Tristan.” Thank you, Tristan.
TRAVIS: Thanks, Tristan.
ORION: Have fun!
MARISHA: The power of art!
MATT: And ridlich, ten dollars. “Subbed the first day I witnessed the awesomeness of Critical Role. Such a great channel. Starting a campaign this weekend with a thrown-weapon fighter inspired by Vax and his daggers. Keep up the great work.”
MATT: Guys, that’s amazing. Thank you so, so much.
LAURA: You’re so amazing.
MARISHA: You’re so cool!
ZAC: So we’re going to switch over to the dropcam and some music really quick, and we’re going to get set up for the Q&A as fast as possible for you guys.
ZAC: Stick around.
MATT: Hang out for a short time. We’ll be right back.
ZAC: This is just a couple minutes and we will get set up.
MATT: Indeed. Thank you so much.
ZAC: No, Q&A.
MARISHA: Well, we can dance while setting up for the Q&A.
TRAVIS: You can dance.
MATT: More than a thousand.
MATT: You guys are amazing. I can’t even.
LIAM: 1,034, presently.
TALIESIN: Oh my god.
LAURA: That’s– yeah.
MARISHA: 1,034? Wow, that’s huge.
ZAC: Lucas, did you switch over?
LAURA: He did.
LUCAS: I didn’t.
MATT: All right, are we on? Hey, guys!
ORION: Hey, everybody.
MATT: Thank you so much for being ridiculous.
LAURA: So amazing!
MATT: We’re glad you guys all tuned in, and are still tuning in to our show, let alone the support for the shirts. The support for the charity has been– I think I speak for all of us– unbelievable, and we’re so blessed and excited that we have such amazing friends and viewers out there. You guys are the most amazing fanbase for any show I’ve ever had. So thank you. You guys earned this, most definitely. I’m willing to stay as long as we need. I know some people have families they’ve got to get back to.
SAM: Got ten minutes, tops.
TRAVIS: I feel like this is trying to read the Matrix, it goes so fast. “I want that jacket.”
MATT: How many shirts were sold by the end of it? Last I checked, we were at 1,032.
ZAC: Well, technically, we still have seven days.
TALIESIN: The Hawkeye? Hot Topic.
MATT: The shirts are still available for another week.
LAURA: How tall are you, Travis?
LAURA: I saw that one.
TALIESIN: You’re six-four?
ASHLEY: The same height as Abraham Lincoln.
MATT: It says, “pan main camera up.”
LAURA: Oh, someone’s asking about Keyleth’s child murder.
MATT: It’s saying the banner’s cutting off heads in the back.
LIAM: Keyleth’s, or Marisha’s?
LAURA: Can you see our heads now?
TALIESIN: Dinner was great.
TRAVIS: Something about Tiberius’s brother.
ZAC: Usually, if they say it, we’ve already noticed it.
MATT: Who wants to pick a question and run with it?
LAURA: Can we talk about Keyleth’s child murdering?
TRAVIS: How did the kid die, Marisha?
TALIESIN: Yeah, tell them.
LAURA: This was sad.
MARISHA: God, I got asked this question at the panel over the weekend, too. It’s a hot topic. Everyone wants to know how I killed the kid. Well, we were fighting– tell us about the fight.
MATT: Over the course of the first major arc of their campaign, every town they went to, there seemed to be this recurring theme of children disappearing, so they kept trying to follow this thread and asking around, and these kids kept vanishing, and the one common thread they were discovering was, shortly before each kid disappeared, they began playing with a new kid who had long black hair and golden eyes. And then they would disappear within a week of playing with that child. Towards the end of the campaign, during a celebration, after they managed to save the city of Emon, they looked over and found that the Sovereign Uriel’s child was talking to this black-haired, golden-eyed child. So the party, in the middle of a platform, grandstand, bowing before the townspeople, they just pulled their weapons out and jumped off after this child, who grabbed the sovereign’s son and pulled him into this pocket dimension. What it turned out to be was this entity, which is a variation of the Dread Emperor, for those who are familiar with that character. The Dread Emperor had created this pocket dimension world, this giant bramble forest that surrounded a gothic castle where it existed. This weird, messed-up individual brought children there because it loved to be around their innocence and their naivety, their sense of play.
MARISHA: So basically, a sorcerer Neverland Ranch.
MATT: Yeah. It was messed up. But once the children got too old, they were no longer useful, so he killed them and put them in a basement. So the party gave chase, they fought their way to the castle, and they discovered that what was dangerous about fighting this Dread Emperor in his library was it was wearing golden armor, and attached to this armor via four chains were four children by collars, and if anyone attacked him directly, he shared the damage he took with the children.
MARISHA: And we actually found these clippers for the chain.
LAURA: Big golden scissors, but we put them in our pocket and forgot that we had them.
MARISHA: We were like, “Sweet clippers. Pocket. Keep going.” And then we get to this emperor with these giant gold chains and we’re like, “How do you break these gold chains? If only we had clippers. Oh, well, we don’t.”
MATT: However, you guys started attacking the chains with your weapons, and you were doing enough damage during the first few rounds to save most of the kids.
LAURA: But there was one kid left.
MARISHA: So there was one. So we were trying to get these kids away from us because we don’t want to hurt them, but we wanted them away, so I used a Grasping Vine, and I was trying to yank the kid away, but the Grasping Vine attached to the chain instead of the kid, so with the chain at the collar around his neck, when the vine yanked–
MATT: You broke the kid’s neck.
LAURA: I thought you grabbed the kid’s waist and he got pulled toward the thing, but the chain was still around his neck.
MATT: That’s what happened. The vine wrapped around his body and it broke his neck because he was still attached.
MARISHA: Oh, that’s right. I should have grabbed the chain, but instead–
MATT: You just grabbed the kid.
TRAVIS: Sam, what’s it like being the sexiest member of the group?
SAM: Is that what one of the things was?
TALIESIN: We just want to know.
SAM: It’s a lot like life.
SAM: I’ve come to accept it. It’s the hand I was dealt.
TRAVIS: Matt, how do you deal with writer’s block, and when can we expect Trinket plushies?
MATT: Trinket plushies would be amazing. I would love to expect those at some point in the future.
TALIESIN: I want plushies for all of us.
LIAM: We could expect Trinket plushies. It might not be next week, but I feel like within 12 months, there will be a Trinket plushie.
MATT: I’d like that. That would be cool.
LAURA: If Trinket survives for 12 months.
MATT: As far as writer’s block? Good music. I have a number of playlists, where if I’m having a problem, I just close my eyes and listen to good music. A lot of soundtracks. I find Elder Scrolls soundtrack is great. Stuff like that. Gets my mind going.
TRAVIS: How did the group come up with Vox Machina?
TALIESIN: Oh, god. Do we really want to tell this story?
LIAM: How we came up with Vox Machina? Is that the question?
ZAC: They asked it!
LAURA: Yeah, our previous name.
SAM: We needed to come up with a name.
LIAM: We used to be the SHITs. We used to be the Super High Intensity Team, the SHITs.
TALIESIN: The SHITs.
ASHLEY: Which I’m still a fan of.
LAURA: I think it’s awesome.
TRAVIS: Yeah, me, too. SHITs forever.
SAM: Some people didn’t think that it was–
LAURA: Some people that are maybe druid and–
SAM: So we had to come up with something less provocative.
TALIESIN: We tried to come up with something as we were slowly gaining esteem.
MARISHA: Hey, there was a few of us with family ties.
TALIESIN: We were all like, “Okay, perhaps we don’t want to be known as the SHITs.”
MARISHA: Over here, as well, and over here.
TALIESIN: No, I was with you.
MARISHA: All these people with royal family ties.
TALIESIN: I have a family name. No.
MARISHA: Can’t be a part of the SHITs. “What have you been doing for the last ten years, Keyleth?” “Well.”
TALIESIN: “I’ve been the SHITs.”
MATT: Someone asked if the group would ever do Hot Pepper Gaming.
MATT AND TALIESIN: (laugh)
MATT: There are plans in place for most of us to partake. I don’t know if everyone will, but some will.
TALIESIN: Quite a few.
MATT: Yeah, so that will be fun.
LIAM: Someone is asking what Matt whispered to me when I insight-checked Marisha. It’s not what you think it is, and I’m not going to say.
LAURA AND ASHLEY: Ooh.
LAURA: I saw, what color is Trinket and what color is his armor? He’s brown, and he’s got silver armor.
TALIESIN: We accept fanfic as our personal savior.
LIAM: It’s moving too fast.
TRAVIS: I saw, what level is everyone, and what is your alignment?
TALIESIN: Just became ten.
MATT: Everyone’s ten now, I think.
ASHLEY: I don’t think I am yet, because I missed a lot of games.
TRAVIS: Alignments, starting with Liam.
LIAM: Chaotic good.
TRAVIS: Chaotic good. Tiberius?
LIAM, MATT, AND TRAVIS: Your alignment.
MATT: It’s a Q&A.
ORION: Yeah, I know. These guys were talking about stuff I know about, and I was responding to other people that were talking on Twitter.
TRAVIS: What’s your alignment?
ORION: Chaotic good.
LAURA: Oh, that makes sense.
MARISHA: Neutral good.
ASHLEY: I’m chaotic good.
TALIESIN: I believe neutral good.
TRAVIS: I’m chaotic neutral. Sam?
SAM: I think I’m neutral good.
LAURA: I’m neutral good.
ASHLEY: Wait, chaotic good? Does that make sense? Is that what I am?
LAURA: I don’t think you’re chaotic.
TRAVIS: “Is that what I am?”
MATT: (laughs) What is your alignment?
ASHLEY: What is my alignment?
MATT: You should look at your sheet.
SAM: I don’t remember. I don’t think it’s on my sheet.
ORION: Can you just be good?
ASHLEY: It says chaotic good.
SAM: What should I be, Matt?
MATT: Okay. It’s not so much required to be lawful, like the older editions are, but it depends on the deity you chose. I’m still keeping an eye on your actions in the game.
TALIESIN: There’s so many. I’m trying to pick one.
MATT: That crack in your thing is still there.
ASHLEY: Wait, but maybe the crack would get healed because of my honesty roll.
SAM: Yeah, but that was a game thing. That wasn’t a character thing.
LAURA: No, that was definitely a character thing.
LIAM: You’ve got a wicked streak.
ASHLEY: I’ve got a wicked streak, man.
MATT: We’ll see how it plays out.
TALIESIN: This is like trying to catch snowflakes.
LIAM: On a related note, somebody wants you to say, “Fuck you, Dylan” for some reason.
ASHLEY: Fuck you, Dylan!
TRAVIS: That was amazing, actually.
MATT: That was really good.
TRAVIS: That had a lot of conviction behind it.
TRAVIS: “Liam, scoot in. We can’t see you.”
MATT: Come in, buddy.
MARISHA: Is that better?
LAURA: Now we’re all nice and cozy.
LIAM: Tiberius is chaotic inattentive? It goes so fast!
LAURA: Wait a sec. “Hey, guys, love the stream.”
ZAC: They want to know how you all got into voice acting.
TRAVIS: Virgin sacrifice.
MATT: That’s a long question.
SAM: How does anyone do anything?
MARISHA: It’s a long story.
MATT: Training to be an actor, and then pursuing the opportunities.
LIAM: And then you met the right person while training to be an actor.
TALIESIN: Acting with a desire for a bad haircut.
MARISHA: And the ability to work in your pajamas.
LAURA: I can’t read this fast. It’s too much.
SAM: A lot of stuff for Matt.
TRAVIS: Keyleth, do you have a holy symbol?
MARISHA: Who? Me?
TRAVIS: Do you have a holy symbol?
MARISHA: I don’t have a holy symbol. Not a druid thing. I like the earth. I worship the earth. No deities.
LAURA: You can still trust Vex after Dread. I’m not the same girl.
MATT: Whole different character.
LAURA: Whole different character.
TRAVIS: Are any of you guys going to GenCon?
LIAM: When Geek & Sundry arranges that.
MARISHA: Yeah, tell Geek & Sundry to take us there.
LAURA: Yeah, we thought that would be fun.
ORION: Hit them up. Tell them you want us there.
SAM: I do not think I look like Tim Curry.
LIAM: With the beard, you did.
MATT: Yeah, I can see that a little bit.
TRAVIS: That’s a good one! Did any of you grow up shy?
MATT AND TALIESIN: No.
MATT: I was a ham.
TALIESIN: I was a working actor.
MATT: Oh, yeah, you were a child actor. You’re like, “Oh, I was working with Spielberg when I was six.”
LAURA: You were a child actor, too.
LIAM: I was a spaz. I was so shy. I’m going to be blind as that manta ray by the time this Q&A is over!
MATT: As a note, guys. For those of you that have seen Mr. Mom?
TALIESIN: Oh, god.
MATT: The little kid with the woobie?
LIAM: The woobie. He’s right over here.
TALIESIN: This is how everything goes wrong. This is what happens.
ASHLEY: I’m going to re-watch that.
LIAM: This goes right. We’re playing D&D once a week! Any interest in turning Critical Role into a comic book? Yes. Who will draw it, from the chat room?
MATT: Yeah, that would be amazing. If anyone out there wants to make it a comic book, that would be great!
TRAVIS: Tiberius, would you say, “I encourage violence”?
ORION: When I want to.
LAURA: (gasps) I just saw one that said, “Laura, would you like a giant Trinket plushie to sit at the table with me?” And yes.
LAURA: I would.
LIAM: Like an FAO Schwarz-size bear?
TALIESIN: She might actually cry.
LAURA: Dude, that would be amazing.
MATT: Someone asked, how did we all get into D&D? High school, for me.
TALIESIN: High school.
LIAM: High school.
LAURA: These guys.
MATT: For most everyone else, this.
SAM: This is my first time playing.
TRAVIS: Liam’s birthday party.
LIAM: Either high school or my birthday two and a half years ago. It was my birthday request to play a one-off, and it turned into this.
MATT: Yeah. This is Liam’s fault.
MARISHA: My first game was with you, but then I’ve done other games since and I came back for this one.
TALIESIN: I had played other games before you, but had never really experienced the sensation of playing D&D. This was a whole– there were levels that were reached that had never been reached before.
MARISHA: I’ve had some frustrating DMs, too.
MATT: It happens.
SAM: Who’s the youngest?
LAURA: Who’s the youngest?
LIAM: Not me.
TALIESIN: Not me.
SAM: Probably Marisha. She’s, like, 16.
LIAM: I’m the oldest.
MARISHA: In Los Angeles, there is no age, only age “rages.”
TRAVIS: “Age rages?”
MARISHA: Age rages.
TRAVIS AND TALIESIN: I would like to age rage.
MARISHA: I would like to age rage.
SAM: I think I’m the oldest.
LIAM: No. I’m the oldest.
LAURA: Oh, my old brother.
MARISHA: (sing-song) I will never tell.
ORION: Tiberius isn’t old.
LIAM: No, I know that. You’re an old soul. I’m May 28th, and you’re when?
SAM: October 9th.
TALIESIN: Wait, how old are you?
TALIESIN: I’m 38!
SAM: When’s your birthday?
TALIESIN: January 19th. I’m the oldest!
LIAM: What month?
MATT: Hold on.
MARISHA: I’m 18 to 30.
ORION: I don’t care; I’ll just keep going. Wizards who do magic, they have to pick it every day. Sorcerers invoke it. They learn it from their being and they cast it out that way. The character Tiberius, figuring him out, that predicted which way I went because I feel he would just have it within him to do. The whole thing is, he’s the Keyser Soze of the group, in a way, where he’s the false buffoon, but he knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to a battle and other particular things.
MATT: Yeah. Awesome.
TALIESIN: January 19th is an awesome birthday. Yes, thank you.
MATT: Question: “how do we send you shit?” Talk to Overlord.
TALIESIN: Probably in a bag.
LAURA: Don’t send us shit.
MATT: Small boxes of shit.
ZAC: DM the Overlord!
ORION: (English accent) We don’t want no poo.
MATT: DM the Overlord for where to send your boxes full of fecal matter.
ZAC: Thanks, Matt. Thanks so fucking much!
ZAC: That’s all I need. They will send me fecal matter, and it’s on you.
LIAM: I think someone asked about my birthday. Laura and my birthday. The whole reason we are playing twins is that we share the same birthday.
LAURA: We are twins!
LIAM: It’s May 28th.
LAURA: What, what!
MARISHA: May birthdays!
LIAM: She’s older than me, though.
LAURA: No, I’m not.
TALIESIN: I can’t read this, it’s actually hurting–
TRAVIS: I’m having a motherfucking aneurysm.
MARISHA: I know, you’re going to get motion sick–
MATT: I know. Real fast, a note to all you guys, because Travis and Laura have a vacation planned in two weeks. Depending on where we are in the game, if the party’s about to go in to fight K'Varn and then they have to leave the following week, we might actually take a week off and instead do a three-hour hangout and answer questions, and I might go over teaching people how to play the game, because we don’t want to do a boss fight without two of our party. So just as a heads-up, that might be something that happens.
LAURA: Sorry, guys.
MATT: We’ll figure it out.
ORION: Somebody wanted you to say something as Trey.
MATT: (laughs) As Trey?
ORION: Yeah. That’s what these shirts are, by the way. These are from Type-0, the thing that we’re in.
MATT: “I hope you’ve enjoyed your game tonight, and if you have any questions, please feel free to put them on the screen. Thank you.”
ORION: “Pay attention, yo.”
TALIESIN: I saw VentralMalcavian. I actually, in high school, played the Malcavian prince of Los Angeles. It was fabulous.
MARISHA: Oh, that’s amazing.
TALIESIN: Malcavian all the way. It was magical.
MARISHA: That’s awesome.
LIAM: I want to know the answer to one someone asked. “How did Travis and Laura meet?”
TRAVIS: Oh, back in Dallas. Like, right out of high school, we were in the same talent agency.
LAURA: We did a job as extras together on a set.
TRAVIS: With the silent extra talk.
LIAM: Were you good?
MARISHA: Oh, did you guys do that on camera? That’s so cute.
LAURA: We sat for 8 hours at the same table, and we couldn’t talk to each other because we weren’t allowed to make noise.
TRAVIS: We thought we were superstars.
LAURA: Yeah, we thought we were so cool.
TRAVIS: “This is the greatest job ever”.
LAURA: And then just started hanging out in the same circles, and that was that.
ASHLEY: The rest is history?
TRAVIS: She totally fell for me.
ORION: That’s adorable.
MARISHA: It’s adorable.
SAM: Someone asked many questions. “When did Pike and Scanlan start flirting?” Or, “When did Scanlan start flirting with Pike?” Right from the beginning.
TRAVIS: (laughing) Yeah, no joke.
LAURA: Yes, like literally the moment Pike was in the game.
SAM: Donatello’s my favorite Ninja Turtle.
LIAM: Sam is my favorite Ninja Turtle.
ORION: Mine, too.
LAURA: Donatello is my favorite Ninja Turtle.
SAM: Advice for bards is sing loud, and sing proud. Or play your flute or whatever.
LIAM: That’s more commonly known as “rock out with your cock out.”
TALIESIN: Someone now asked how you two met, now, too.
MARISHA: People are now asking how we met.
SAM: Bard out with your heart out.
ORION: Bard out with your heart out.
MATT: Me and Marisha met– a mutual friend of ours was putting together a sketch-writing group– this was years ago.
MARISHA: It was supposed to be SNL, but geeky, nerdy stuff where we were going to write and perform our own sketches.
MATT: Those never pan out.
MARISHA: That never happened.
MATT: Not in L.A.
MATT: But we met there, we harbored secret crushes for about a year, and then when we reconnected a little over a year later, I was out of a relationship, and she was just getting out of one, and we both started talking again. And then eventually we were like, “Hey, this is cool. We should do this.”
MARISHA: You got me an audition for Resident Evil.
MARISHA: And then I was like, “I owe you a drink.”
LAURA: Is that the Resident Evil we worked on together?
TALIESIN: He was adorable. It was so adorable watching him. Oh, god.
MATT: It was for Damnation, the CG movie.
LAURA: Oh, okay. I did that, too.
TALIESIN: Back when we had a karaoke bar that we went to. I miss our karaoke bar.
TRAVIS: Do you ever want to be a player and not a DM?
MATT: I do. It doesn’t happen often. At all. But that’s okay.
TALIESIN: He’s so good!
MATT: I’ll have the opportunity.
LIAM: “Will Critical Role continue after the boss?” Yes.
MATT AND TALIESIN: Oh, yeah.
SAM: No! We’re all going to die!
TRAVIS: “Zac, what was the most recent picture you shared with the community?” Somebody is asking to see it. Or asking me to ask you to see it.
ZAC: Oh, I’ll show you later. It’s inappropriate.
SAM: Oh, yes, guys, by the way. Ashley and I are dating in real life.
ORION: Do they ship you?
SAM: Yeah, no, we’ve been together for a couple of years now.
TRAVIS: Yeah, like, 40 years.
ASHLEY: 40-something years now.
TALIESIN: On and off.
SAM: It feels like it.
TALIESIN: On and off.
ASHLEY: On and off.
TALIESIN: Drama. Just drama.
ASHLEY: It’s a long time. You lose track–
LIAM: If you replace Ashley with Liam, it’s true.
TRAVIS: “Pike, does Scanlan have a shot?”
ASHLEY: I don’t know; we’ll see.
MATT: “Do you guys have backup characters rolled for when you get TPK’d?”
SAM: “We’ll see?” Come on, give me a hint!
LIAM: I’ve got an idea.
LAURA: Aw, I saw, how did me and Trinket become friends?
TALIESIN: That’s dark, people! That’s really dark!
LIAM: That’s a good one!
TRAVIS: How did you and Trinket become friends?
LAURA: Okay, it’s kind of a long story.
LIAM: Yeah, go for it.
MARISHA: Wait, you and Trinket?
LAURA: Me and Trinket.
MARISHA: Yeah, I want to hear it.
LAURA: I sent this short story to Matt– what was it, a year ago? I just wanted him to know why Trinket was so special to me. It’s such a dorky thing.
LIAM: It really is a short story and not a blurb. It was long.
LAURA: It was a long thing. And it was all about, shortly after me and my brother left our family of the elves and we were setting off on our own and he was off in the city and I was making camp outside of town, these people came into the camp and basically I trusted them too much, they kidnapped me and brought me back to their camp. And they were poachers on the black market. And I was in a cage and I could hear a large creature in pain, and through my own wiles I got out of the cage, took out the two hunters, and I went to see what animal it was, and it was a giant bear in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, it had been cut open from the middle, they had been harvesting the bear but they hadn’t killed it, and it was really sad, so I felt terrible for it, and I put it out of its misery and felt really bad about it. And then I heard off to the side, a small animal make noise, and I realized it was its cub.
LAURA: So I took the cub and I felt really horrible, and that was also my first time I’d ever killed any people, as well, so Trinket was very special to me because I wanted to protect him and not let him experience that again.
TRAVIS: Did you eat the cub?
LAURA: I didn’t eat the cub! I saved the cub!
TRAVIS: Oh, the cub is Trinket.
LAURA: And I have never even told anybody about that. I never told Vax about that, or anything. So Trinket was mine.
MATT: That’s really cute.
TALIESIN: Bear love.
ORION: Also adorable.
TALIESIN: Someone mentioned we should bring Jennifer Hale on the show as a guest.
LAURA: Ooh, she’d be pretty great.
TALIESIN: That would be hot.
MATT: That would be interesting.
LIAM: There’s a short list for guests, and a long lists for guests, for down the road.
MATT: Yeah, we’re going to have some fun people jumping in for a few weeks here and there.
SAM: George Clooney, anybody?
LIAM: Carrot Top.
SAM AND LAURA: Carrot Top, anybody?
ASHLEY: Why do I have food in my hair?
MATT: Because you’re doing it right!
ASHLEY: Anyway, who would you guys like to see play D&D with us?
LAURA: Oh, yeah.
TRAVIS: There we go, watch this thing light up.
TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s a good question.
LAURA: I’m seeing that “expect a crochet Trinket.” I appreciate that. Thank you.
SAM: Let’s wait two minutes until the feed catches up.
TALIESIN: Ashly Burch.
LAURA AND TRAVIS: Stephen Colbert.
LAURA: Barack Obama!
TRAVIS AND LIAM: Barack Obama.
ASHLEY: I don’t know if we can get Barack Obama, you guys.
TALIESIN: I don’t know if we can get Ashly Burch. That’s tough.
SAM: Oh, not the president Barack Obama, some other guy.
TALIESIN: George Takei!
LAURA: Wil Wheaton.
TALIESIN: Steve Blum, Troy Baker.
LAURA: Tom Hiddleston.
LIAM: Tim Burton?
TALIESIN: Vin Diesel.
ORION: (laughs) Tim Burton?
MATT: I love Vin Diesel.
MARISHA: Hardwick. Vin Diesel!
MATT: We’re working on Hardwick.
LIAM: My eyes are bleeding!
TALIESIN: Claudia Black.
LAURA: So many!
SAM: (deep voice) Jon Snow!
LIAM: Eliza Dushku.
TRAVIS: There’s a Laura emote!
LIAM: Elijah Wood.
LAURA: There is?! There’s a me emote?
MATT: A lot of the people you guys have mentioned, we’re actually talking to. I’m going to talk to Nathan, I’m going to talk to Chris–
LAURA: We’re talking to Vin Diesel.
SAM: Garfunkel and Oates, yeah.
MATT: We don’t know if they’re available.
TALIESIN: Garfunkel and Oates would be amazing.
MARISHA: That would be hilarious.
ASHLEY: That would be great.
SAM: Bards. They could be bards!
MATT: Dame Judy Dench? Yeah.
MARISHA: Steve Blum.
SAM: Troy Baker? I don’t know.
LAURA: Who is that?
SAM: Sasha Gray.
SAM: Troy Baker.
ASHLEY: Sasha Gray?
TALIESIN: I’d play with them. That’d be awesome.
ASHLEY: Sasha Gray is a…?
SAM: Porn star, yeah.
LIAM: Troy didn’t know what to make of this when we first started it.
MATT: Yeah. I think he still doesn’t to know what to make of it.
LAURA: Actually, no, you know what, I’ve had conversations with Troy about it–
TALIESIN: Peter Dinklage.
ASHLEY: Peter Dinklage is on my hall pass list.
LAURA: I don’t think he’d be opposed to joining the game.
LAURA: Yeah, he seemed very interested when he brought it up.
TALIESIN: Sir Ian McKellen.
MATT: Because my first conversation with him about it was very brief and very much like, “Cool.” I was like, “Okay…”
LAURA: I think because me and Travis were so excited about it–
LAURA: It grew on him.
MATT: Yeah, we’ll drag him in it sometime.
TALIESIN: Wow, this is an amazing–
LAURA: Matt Oswalt, that would be such a fun guest!
MATT: Danny Sexbang, yeah.
TRAVIS: If Grog comes across his uncle, yes, he would definitely want to kill him.
TRAVIS: Bad relationship.
TALIESIN: You’ve had a little–
MARISHA: We’ve had a run-in, once–
TALIESIN: We’ve had a run-in with the family once–
TRAVIS: With his son, yeah. My cousin.
TALIESIN: Yeah. That was the only time you actually–
TRAVIS: Let him go?
TALIESIN: Deflated a conflict.
TRAVIS: Yeah, well.
MATT: Yeah, you stopped the fight.
TRAVIS: My childhood affection was the only thing that let him live.
MATT: It was amazing.
TRAVIS: But if we see him again, maybe a different outcome.
SAM: Hey, I have a question. I have a question for the DM. Is there a spell or a portal or anything out there where we can all switch bodies with each other? And I’m Keyleth for a while, and Taliesin is Grog for a while?
LIAM: What is this, an anime episode?
SAM: I don’t know, it could be cool!
MATT: (laughs) There are artifacts that can do similar effects, yes.
SAM: I want to do that.
MATT: Like soul transfers and stuff like that.
LAURA: That just seems messed up.
MARISHA: Soul transfers?
TALIESIN: So would I be Grog, then?
SAM: You would rage.
TALIESIN: It would just be me as Grog.
LIAM: Someone requested as a player, Zac Eubank.
SAM: I’ve heard of him.
MATT: Probably try that guy in something.
LIAM: Zac, did you type that?
ZAC: I would really hate to steal the show, guys.
MARISHA: I don’t think I’ve seen you stand up so fast.
TALIESIN: We could have some kind of Freaky Friday.
MATT: Oh, this is a good question. “What if a party member dies? Do we have to scratch out the name on the shirt?”
SAM: You could buy a new shirt.
MATT: You’re welcome to. It’s a possibility. There are magics that can, through challenge, reverse death, but death is definitely a possibility and permanent death is definitely a possibility.
LIAM: Somebody’s going to die eventually.
MATT: It’s probably going to happen.
TRAVIS: Why are you asking the DM? Don’t put ideas in his head.
ASHLEY: It’s possible that will happen.
LIAM: But if it does happen, it’s your fault.
SAM: That’s a season two thing.
ASHLEY: This time around. When we fight K'Varn.
TALIESIN: That makes the t-shirt extra special.
LAURA: Ooh, what are Lady Kima’s and Clarota’s alignments? Can we know that?
MATT: What’s what?
LAURA: What are Lady Kima’s and Clarota’s alignments?
MATT: You don’t know that.
LAURA: We don’t know that.
MATT: You have no clue what their alignments are.
TALIESIN: I’m down for that.
MARISHA: Has anyone permanently died at any point?
TALIESIN: Not in this game.
TRAVIS: In this campaign.
MATT: Nearly. Ashley almost died permanently.
SAM: Some of us have been in comas every other session.
ASHLEY: Hey, there is an emote Laura!
LIAM: Throw up the Laura emote, if there is one.
SAM: How do I get an emote?
LIAM: Is there a spirit in the room? Make it known if you’re there.
SAM: What’s the weirdest thing Grog’s ever done as a character? Troll dick stuff… No, wait! He went and humped a fairy in another–
TRAVIS: You don’t know what happened when I went through the portal!
SAM: Yeah, what happened up there?
ORION: Yeah, we don’t know what happened.
TRAVIS: A barbarian never kisses and tells.
TALIESIN: What about all the other stuff you probably did? Will you tell us about that?
TRAVIS: We did summon a pony and chop its head off.
SAM: That was fun.
TRAVIS: And smeared its gore all over us.
LAURA: You also collected lots of dried poo and put it in the Bag of Holding.
TRAVIS: We had a dried poo chunk.
SAM: We used dried poo to blind the king a few episodes ago.
TALIESIN: You rage-looted. The rage-looting was pretty much the most disgraceful thing I’ve ever seen.
LAURA: Yeah, the rage-looting.
TRAVIS: Disgraceful or amazing?
MARISHA: That got us in a lot of trouble.
ORION: We accidentally killed the ox, right, because we stuffed it in the Bag?
TALIESIN: He felt guilty for weeks after. He felt genuinely bad about it.
TRAVIS: Minutes after.
MARISHA: Oh, there was also the time you slapped Trinket on the ass and I think you were sleeping on the couch that night.
TRAVIS: That was pretty bad.
LAURA: (gasps) We were going through this thing. There were traps everywhere– electrical traps, everywhere. And all of us were being really cautious, and Grog hits Trinket on the butt with the blunt of his axe and sends Trinket running through the thing.
TRAVIS: He needed to be motivated!
LAURA: And he just hit every trap on the way through and almost died.
ASHLEY: Oh, Trinket.
TRAVIS: He was a little clumsy, but he got through, didn’t he?
TRAVIS: Yeah? And then I slept on the couch for two nights.
TRAVIS: I was in big trouble.
TALIESIN: Erika Ishii, Yuri Lowenthal.
MATT: Yeah, Yuri’s probably going to come in at some point soon.
LAURA: He guested before we had the show. He came in our game.
MATT: Yeah, he guested once before the show.
SAM: He did?
MATT: As Ghost Fist, the dwarven monk.
LAURA: You weren’t there. That was probably a night you were gone somewhere.
TRAVIS: Tiefling? What’s a tiefling?
TALIESIN: Tieflings are like horned, pseudo-demonic–
LIAM: We haven’t encountered any tieflings yet.
MARISHA: Demon blood.
TALIESIN: They’re playables.
LAURA: That’s what I want to be if I die. I want to roll as a tiefling.
TALIESIN: That would be awesome.
MATT: You guys have seen them, but they’re very rare in this setting. At least in this part of the world, tieflings are super rare. You haven’t encountered them much yet. Yet.
LIAM: Matt, someone’s asking what’s good to roll as if you are brand new to the game.
MATT: If you’re brand new to the game?
MATT: Fighter’s pretty easy. I personally would say paladin or ranger are fun because you can taste a little bit of magic but you’re also combat-based. It’s a nice introduction to how all things work, and the magic is a slow build. You don’t get it immediately, so at level one, you’re just a melee guy– or combat guy– and eventually, you start getting abilities. I think the hybrid classes are good for that.
TALIESIN: Someone asked about Percy. Percy doesn’t know if his sister died and Percy doesn’t have a plan for his family because right now Percy is scared shitless of everything going on in the north, so no. No.
MATT: Someone else asked before, how often do players interact with their personal stories? Occasionally. There hasn’t been much room for that since everyone’s been underground for this entire run, but there are personal stories happening in the world and I’m sure they will come up as things progress, as well. They have in the past, and they’re going to again.
LIAM: Someone asked, for fan art, do we want the characters to look like us? I think how we really look. I think either would be fine. A lot of the stuff that’s coming in is based on the artwork of a woman named Kit Buss. She took input from us on what we were looking for, and she did the initial art and people have riffed off that, which is great.
MATT: They’re incredible.
LIAM: If you want to make a dragonborn that looks like Orion with his face pulled out, that’s cool, too.
MARISHA: Yeah, it’s your interpretation.
SAM: If you want to put my face on every character, that’s cool.
MARISHA: We want to see different interpretations.
MATT: That was a great photoshop.
LAURA: Somebody did do that.
TALIESIN: Someone did actually do that. That was really weird.
MATT: I think Kit’s artwork, we’re using as the basis of the official art, but you’re welcome to create whatever you want going forward.
LAURA: Kit’s really talented.
LIAM: Could someone draw Scanlan with the illusionary growth and the illusionary wang?
LAURA: The illusionary giant weird nipple?
SAM: Third purple nipple?
SAM: And the donkey dong?
LIAM: I mean, the donkey dong could be in pants or something. It doesn’t have to be pornographic.
LAURA: This makes me uncomfortable.
TALIESIN: There’s just so much to read.
MATT: Do you write a synopsis for previous ventures? Actually, the synopsis for each episode is on the Geek & Sundry website underneath the episodes, so it’ll tell you what happens in that episode underneath. Just go to geekandsundry.com. He writes them all.
LIAM: Go to Geek & Sundry, then click on shows, then click on Critical Role, and that’ll get you there.
LAURA: It’s geekandsundry.com/shows/critical-role.
LIAM: It’s as easy as that.
MATT: Yeah. So simple.
TRAVIS: I think this might have been covered, but how did the campaign start?
MATT: His birthday.
LIAM: Yeah, for my birthday I said I wanted to play D&D for a night and I asked the people that I wanted, and they came, and then the next day I sent out an email going, “Oh man, that was so great. I feel like we should do that again.” And nobody responded for a day, and I felt ashamed and sad because I thought that I was a dork and nobody wanted to do it, but then slowly, everyone trickled in going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” And here we are.
MARISHA: Oh, really? I didn’t know you felt–
LIAM: Yep. For a day, I was like, “Oh, god. I just outed myself as the biggest dork in the group.”
MARISHA, LAURA, AND MATT: Aw.
TRAVIS: Is Trinket’s intelligence higher than Grog’s?
TRAVIS: No. Okay? It’s not.
LAURA: I think his intelligence is a four, so he’s two points lower than you.
TRAVIS: Yeah, suck it.
LIAM: That’s very close.
ASHLEY: Best and worst D&D memories. I can only read that because it’s in all caps.
TRAVIS: Best and worst?
MATT: Best and worst D&D memories.
SAM: Our six-hour games were pretty bad.
SAM: No, I love this.
LAURA: Dude, they were like eight hours.
MARISHA: How much do you write and how much do you improv? I mean, someone said, how much do we write and how much do we improv? Everything the players do is improv.
MATT: Yeah, there’s no pre-planning.
LIAM: Matt’s writing plot points, but he’s improvising, too, and we have no idea what the hell’s going to happen.
SAM: I write all my songs from scratch.
ORION: Every day he comes in. Two hours, just writing songs.
TRAVIS: Does your full name fit into a tweet?
TALIESIN: I have been specifically not tweeting my full name yet.
TRAVIS: Don’t let them have it.
TALIESIN: I’ve been really enjoying watching people attempt to figure out what it is. Right now, Percy’s in a hole underground, so it’s not his favorite place to be.
TALIESIN: Once I’m actually in a place to try and impress people, I’ll be saying my name more.
TRAVIS: Did you ever consider doing a longer episode?
LIAM: I don’t know. Do you guys want to watch for five hours?
LAURA: I know, that seems a bit much for you guys.
MARISHA: We used to play for eight hours.
LAURA: We used to play for eight hours!
MATT: Someone asked why do I treat ones as regular failures instead of flops? Because I run my campaigns pretty hard, and I think if 1s were critical fails the classic way, we would have TPK’d by now.
TRAVIS: What’s that?
MATT, SAM, AND ORION: Total party kill.
MATT: Because in some rule sets, when you roll a one, it’s a serious– I like treating it as no matter what you’re doing, you fail, regardless. No matter what your bonus is, you fail. I think that’s enough. In old campaigns I used to run, if you rolled a one attacking somebody, your weapon would go flying across the room and you’d fall on the ground. Or if you were trying to lift a boulder, the boulder would fall and crush you and you’re dead.
TALIESIN: Yeah, I like the way you treat it.
MATT: Which can be fun for certain games, but for this–
TRAVIS: Why do you want us to die? What a shitty question.
MATT: For this, there’s enough challenge where I think we don’t need any more reasons. If it’s funny and it makes sense– if it’s a difficult challenge and you roll a one, there might be some drawbacks to a failure in that case, but I don’t think it’s a consistent thing I need to do.
MARISHA: People are saying to make them longer.
LIAM: Sam, I saw a question wondering when you’re going to make a Weird Al Yankovic-esque compilation of songs.
LIAM: Next month?
SAM: Yeah, pretty soon. I’m working on an album.
ORION: We’re going to be in the studio.
SAM: Yeah, we’ll be in the studio.
TALIESIN: Scanlan at Sunset, coming soon.
SAM: It’s just me changing the words to contemporary songs, but making them about Dungeons & Dragons, and I’ll grow my hair like Weird Al.
LAURA: There was one time, for a 1, that it was a really funny bad fail, and that was when we were fighting the Dread Emperor.
ASHLEY: Oh, and you went through–
TALIESIN: Through the stained-glass window.
LAURA: And Scanlan was trying to get the final blow, and he rolled a one.
ASHLEY: That’s one of my favorite moments.
LAURA: And the Dread Emperor literally side-stepped him and Scanlan fell out of a window.
TRAVIS: He lunged and– tell them.
MATT: Yeah, so the Dread Emperor had maybe three or four hit points left. People were hurt on the ground. It was this epic confrontation.
LAURA: We were dying.
TRAVIS: Scanlan’s never killed anything.
MATT: Yeah, he’s never killed anything. He pulls out his blade and just goes for an attack and we’re all like, “Yes, go!”
LAURA: “Go, Scanlan!”
MATT: And he rolls a one, and it’s him charging towards him, blade in the air.
SAM: (quiet war cry)
MATT: “You son of a bitch!” Running. Dread Emperor just side-steps. Scanlan goes flying–
LIAM: Nothing but net.
MATT: Loses his balance, crashes through a three-story-high stained-glass window in the back end of this library, out into a bramble bush, with all the glass tumbling onto him and is like, “Ow.”
MATT: On the ground.
ASHLEY: It was one of the funniest moments that we had.
LAURA: It was really amazing.
MATT: It was pretty great.
TALIESIN: It was amazing.
ASHLEY: I was crying, I was laughing so hard.
ORION: No Holds Bard. That’s the name of your album.
SAM: No Holds Bard. That’s good.
MATT: No Holds Bard. I like that.
LIAM: Ashley. Scanlan or Steve Rogers?
ASHLEY: Oh, man.
SAM: Or Mr. Rogers?
ASHLEY: That’s a really hard choice. Mr. Rogers, for sure. I love Mr. Rogers.
TRAVIS: When are you guys going to do a drunk episode?
TALIESIN: Have we not done a drunk episode?
MARISHA: A drunk episode?
MATT: Someone asked, do I fudge my rolls? No, because at that point it becomes too weird. If you don’t stick to at least what roll is there, then you lose the essence of fate, and I think that’s what makes it fun for me. It makes it scary because then I don’t know what’s going to happen.
LIAM: Scanlan has fudged a bedroll.
SAM: I rolled the fudge.
MARISHA: Question. Worst possible enemy to fight? Probably a beholder.
LAURA: A beholder.
TALIESIN: A beholder, I would imagine, is the worst.
SAM: We’ll find out. Maybe he’ll be super easy.
ORION: I don’t know if you guys noticed, who’s been watching this whole time we’ve been playing, I generally do random chaotic things to be quirky and funny just because I like to, but this is the first time I was scared. I really freaked out with the confirmation it’s a fucking beholder. It’s terrible.
TRAVIS: You looked excited.
LAURA: Yeah, you did look excited. I think you were excited that you thought it might be a beholder, and then it was.
ORION: Yeah, and then I was terrified.
MATT: It’s going to be fun.
ORION: It was a deluge of terror after that.
MARISHA: Someone asked how the party met in-game. That’s a good question.
LAURA: Oh, that’s a good question.
TALIESIN: You guys found me in a basement.
LAURA: Yeah! We saved you.
TALIESIN: Yeah, I had been arrested.
MATT: The very first game we played, you all had come together as individual mercenaries in the city of Stillben, which is a swamp town on the far eastern side of this continent. You all, for your own reasons, had come there because you needed money, you were trying to establish some way of making your skills useful, and there was a job board, and all of you came together in a tavern, saw there was a posting, and you decided to combine forces and try it out. That’s how that started. And then they met Percy along the way. In a prison in the Umbra Hills.
TALIESIN: We’ve never really discussed what I was doing down there.
LAURA: Yeah, I would like to know.
TALIESIN: That’s a story for another time.
TRAVIS: So why did Scanlan take a dump on that guest room bed?
MATT: Yeah, Scanlan.
ORION: He’s kooky.
SAM: You’ll find out when that guy gets to his room.
SAM: And just… has the worst day.
TRAVIS: (laughing) Has the worst day.
LIAM: We probably talked about this in the last Q&A, but I’m sure there’s a lot of new people here. They want to know about Pike’s death.
LAURA: (fake cries)
MARISHA: It was so sad.
LAURA: It was so sad.
LIAM: Keyleth looked at her and thought she was a kid, and then–
MATT AND MARISHA: (laugh)
MARISHA: And I was just like, “I hate kids!” (pshh)
MATT: I’ll try to make it quick. In what was the final boss battle for the first arc, they were going towards the center of the city because a glabrezu, a treachery demon, had infiltrated the Sovereign Uriel, the king of the area, and his family. Filled their bodies with shades as opposed to their souls. They managed to recover the family, but they got into a conflict with the glabrezu, and as the fight was ensuing, Pike got too close, the glabrezu took a swipe at her, and rolled a critical hit, and did enough damage to bring her to death instantly. So mid-fight, went down. The whole party froze.
ASHLEY: I had already taken some hits, and then I realized at a certain point, because in the Pathfinder edition, if you’re negative–
MATT: Your constitution score.
ASHLEY: Your constitution, and then I wasn’t keeping track, and I looked down and it was way past my constitution, and I was like, “Oh, Matt? So what does it mean if you’re this?” The look that he gave me, he was like, “Oh.” And he just paused because he was like, “Oh, that. You’re dead.”
ASHLEY: He was trying to figure out a way to say it.
MATT: It was awful.
ASHLEY: And I instantly started crying. I was like, “No! No no no!”
TRAVIS: There’s a video of it.
LAURA: All of us are crying.
ASHLEY: It was horrible!
TRAVIS: You went under the table.
MARISHA: It’s on Liam’s Vine. If you go find Liam’s Vine, there’s a five-second clip of all of us just screaming bloody murder.
MATT: It wasn’t just like she fell and died. The glabrezu has giant pincers. Grabbed her by the torso, lifted her up, and then snapped her in half, essentially.
LAURA: It was terrible.
MATT: And they had to recover both halves of her.
TALIESIN: How long ago was that?
MATT: That was over a year ago.
ORION: It was a year, yeah.
MARISHA: I remember you saying you’d had a bad week, too.
MATT: No, it wasn’t a year. Almost a year.
ASHLEY: I did.
LAURA: You were on your way out the door, and then we talked you into staying for a little longer because we were getting into the fight and you were like, “Okay, I’ll stay.”
ASHLEY: I was like, “I’ll stay.”
LAURA: And then she died.
MARISHA: That’s right, you were going to go somewhere.
ASHLEY: “In case anybody gets hurt.”
MARISHA: Oh, that’s right, because didn’t you have guests? You had people who were visiting you and you went back and you’re like, “(cries) You don’t understand.”
MATT: I definitely have ideas to keep the campaign going past level 20 and to epic or mythic stages. I would like to, if it goes that long. We shall see.
SAM: What happens at level 20?
MARISHA: We start killing gods.
ORION: There was a question for everybody. You cannot pick yourself. Which is your favorite character?
LAURA: Oh, what’s our– ooh, that’s a tough one.
LIAM: Outside of ourselves.
ASHLEY: I would pick Grog or Scanlan, but also rogues. The damage that you can do is so crazy.
TRAVIS: I pick Mercer. Nobody else can take it.
MATT: I’m not a character.
TRAVIS: You’re many characters.
MATT: Well, that’s cheating.
TRAVIS: Is it?
LIAM: Oh, it’s so hard.
LAURA: That’s so hard. I love everyone.
TALIESIN: I think Laura’s actually my favorite character.
TALIESIN: You have these very interesting emotional reactions to things that I find really entertaining from my side of the table.
LIAM: Scanlan is really hard to beat for laughs, but Tiberius is so quirky. I love that. I love how klutzy Keyleth is, with raw power at the same time. I’m very partial to my twin.
LIAM: Trinket is pretty great.
LAURA: Trinket is the bomb.
LIAM: It’s hard to pick.
MARISHA: It’s hard to pick. I don’t know. I have a soft spot for Grog.
TRAVIS: Oh, Keyleth.
ORION: I agree. I would like to do the complete opposite of Tiberius with rage, and just tear shit apart with my teeth.
MARISHA: I like Percy, too. I’m not going to lie.
LAURA: Yeah, everybody’s great.
MARISHA: Percy as a character.
LAURA: I don’t have as much fun playing if Sam’s not there because Scanlan is such a funny, fun character, and your ideas for things. Even right from where we first started playing, the things that you came up with to–
TALIESIN: Burt Reynolds.
LAURA: Yeah! Burt Reynolds.
TRAVIS: Fucking Burt Reynolds.
SAM: He’s coming back soon.
LAURA: All these different things that you would do, it’s just so different.
TRAVIS: Burt Reynolds, the customs officer.
TALIESIN: With the badge.
MATT: That’s one of my favorite deterrents. You avoided essentially what would have been a throwdown with the entire thieves’ guild of Emon by bluffing your way–
MARISHA: Finger mustache.
MATT: By pulling out a silver star–
LAURA: And a fake mustache.
MATT: And convincing them that you were part of the customs department.
ORION: Pike would be super fun to play, too, because clerics are crazy.
MARISHA: Yeah, Pike’s great.
TALIESIN: You’re really the heart of the group. We don’t pretend that losing you wouldn’t have broken us into tiny little pieces.
MATT: You guys haven’t met Gilmore yet.
LAURA: Oh my god, you guys are going to love him.
SAM: I can’t wait.
TALIESIN: You haven’t met Gilmore!
MARISHA: They haven’t met Gilmore.
SAM: What is it, Gilmore’s Glorious Goods?
MARISHA AND LAURA: Gilmore’s Glorious Goods.
TRAVIS: We haven’t been to Gilmore’s?
LAURA: No, not since the show started.
MATT: They haven’t seen Emon yet.
ASHLEY: Another really special thing that we’ve done is that during Christmas time–
SAM: Oh, yeah! There’s a Christmas episode.
ASHLEY: We always have specials, or winter’s fest.
TALIESIN: We get to do a Christmas special online this year!
ASHLEY: And we always give each other presents from our characters. And it’s probably my favorite thing, ever.
TALIESIN: It is so amazing.
ASHLEY: It’s so amazing.
MARISHA: We come in Christmas pajamas.
ASHLEY: The first Christmas, Grog gave me two pine cone earrings.
LAURA: Literally pine cones. It was street.
TRAVIS: They were pine cones.
MARISHA: I still have the pine cones you gave me.
TALIESIN: I still have the bag of leftover IKEA crap.
MATT: That’s a good question, which Laura should answer. What kind of dice do you all use, and what do you do with bad dice?
MARISHA: Oh, I love your dice thing.
ASHLEY: I currently want to burn my dice.
LAURA: Yeah, you should.
ASHLEY: Because I’ve been rolling like a–
TRAVIS: You had a good initiative.
LAURA: I’ve told you the last five games to get rid of your dice.
ASHLEY: I know you have.
LAURA: Because that’s what I do. If I roll with a–
TRAVIS: Yeah, you are fickle on your dice, though. Come on.
LAURA: I am fickle. If I roll a one, it’s gone for the game. I won’t roll it again. But if it rolls bad more than three times, it’s out. It’s gone.
ORION: It’s done.
MARISHA: You have a dice graveyard.
LAURA: There is a dice graveyard, and I spent a lot of money on these really beautiful amethyst dice.
ORION: And they’re garbage now.
MARISHA: You should auction them. You should auction all your graveyard dice.
LAURA: I should!
ORION: No! They’re cursed.
LAURA: That’s true. But they’re beautiful.
TALIESIN: They’re worth more money because they’re cursed.
ORION: Oh, you could buy cursed die, which is now a mystical item.
LIAM: Guys, there is no god, and it is the cold, random chance of the universe.
ORION AND MATT: (crack up)
ASHLEY: Only cold, random chance of what?
LIAM: Of the universe.
LAURA: No, because some people roll bad. Some dice roll bad.
LIAM: There’s no magic dice.
TALIESIN: There is only one god, and it is–
TALIESIN AND MATT: The Dice God.
MARISHA: The Dice God!
TALIESIN: He is cruel and painful.
ORION: That is true. When it comes to dice.
ASHLEY: Just, on principle, I can’t buy new dice because I’m like, “it’s not the dice.”
LAURA: It is the dice!
LIAM: It’s chance.
TALIESIN: You got a cool custom die.
MARISHA: I did get a custom die.
TALIESIN: She’s got a custom die, and it’s awesome.
ORION: I’d pay for cursed dice, so we’re good.
SAM: Oh my god. That’s daunting.
MATT: I did see a question someone asked. Who has the most magical items? Tiberius.
MATT: Tiberius is a hoarder.
ORION: Wait, what happened?
MATT: Someone asked who has the most magical items.
MARISHA: Someone asked me what my favorite animal to turn into was. I’d have to say it was probably my tiger, my saber-toothed tiger.
MARISHA AND TALIESIN: Minxie.
MARISHA: Minxie form, which Grog named because Grog and I went on a–
TRAVIS: We intimidated this–
MARISHA: We went on an intimidation mission, and I was his pet tiger Minxie.
MATT: I like that. The name of the one true dice god is RNGesus. For random number generator.
TRAVIS: I love it.
MATT: That’s great.
ASHLEY: Hogwarts houses?
LAURA: I’m a Hufflepuff.
MARISHA: What would RNGesus do?
TALIESIN: Hogwarts houses?
ORION: Is that a group question?
LIAM: Hogwarts houses, everyone? Ravenclaw.
SAM: Never read it. Never saw it.
SAM: Don’t know anything about it. Seriously.
SAM: Don’t know anything about it.
TRAVIS: Nothing? Zero? Nada?
SAM: Don’t know anything about it.
SAM: Is that like a–
LAURA: No, he’s not a Hufflepuff. He’s a Slytherin.
MATT: You’re a Slytherin.
LIAM: What the fuck are you talking about?
LAURA: What are you?
ORION: I’m a Slytherin.
SAM: I’m waiting to read it to my son.
LAURA: We’ve got a lot of Slytherins in our group.
MARISHA: No Gryffindors in this bitch. Get out, Gryffindor. Get out.
TALIESIN: Actually, when the final book came out, we went to one of those Borders parties and I had my little Slytherin robes. I have Slytherin robes. And all the Slytherin kids were hanging outside of Borders smoking clove cigarettes and hustling little Gryffindor kids for their book money.
TALIESIN: It got really dark.
ASHLEY: That is awesome.
LIAM: Someone continues to ask. In the last Q&A, I referenced going through a rough patch, and they want to know if I’m still going through it, and how D&D helped.
SAM: Okay, bye, guys.
ORION: Oh, shit.
SAM: Good night.
LIAM: Yeah, I had a problem with one of my ears. It’s like two years in. No one has diagnosed it correctly. In the beginning, it was wildly disorienting. I didn’t know what was going on. The symptoms were way more extreme than what I’m going through now, so it’s not gone, but it’s managed, and I’ve found that running helps a lot, which is why I run like a madman now. And… the most important thing in my life is my wife and my two children. The second most important thing in my life are the people on this couch and this bench. It’s kind of eclipsed my job, for me, in the last couple of years. Looking forward to these nights was huge for me, both when I was in the thick of it and still. And I look at everyone here as a second family.
ASHLEY: Oh, Liam.
MARISHA: We love you.
LAURA: I’m going to make a Liam plushie.
ASHLEY: Yeah, man.
MATT: Love this guy here. Look at all the hearts.
TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, we’ve got to go on Honesty Hour now. Give them the whole shebang. Ride the feels.
MATT: Has Pike tried healing? (laughs)
LAURA: It’s a medicine roll over and over and over again.
MATT: She heals quite a bit. It’s been awesome. I’ve seen this a bit. Advice for first-time DMs. I’ll give a bunch of that if we end up doing the week off, but quickly, I would say, improvisational classes help tremendously, but being able to think on your feet. Be open to players being creative. Don’t always shut people down. It’s not you against them. It can be, but I like to think of it more open. You can let them try whatever they come up with, but depending on how elaborate or how ridiculous it is, it might be really hard to happen. And let them fail spectacularly, because it makes a great story. Build out a sheet of a bunch of fantasy names in case they go to a place or meet an NPC you weren’t expecting. Then you can just pick a name and make something up on the spot about it and take notes afterward.
LIAM: That’s not how you do it, though.
MATT: It’s how I used to do it. I wouldn’t know where people would go and I’d have a whole list of names and I’d be like–
LIAM: You just have the universe printed on the inside of your skull.
MATT: Kind of. But I still have to pick out of random places sometimes, depending on what you guys do.
TALIESIN: I don’t want to know how it’s done.
LAURA: I know. No.
MARISHA: He’s destroying the illusion.
LIAM: This all exists somewhere else, doesn’t it?
MATT: Most of it does. I write a lot of it up, but there are moments where you have to pull out of the ether because players go this way and you’re like, “Uh… all right, let’s see where this goes.” But have fun. Learn the rules well because everyone’s going to look to you for rules. Have fun. Let players play. Let them be creative. And let them succeed or fail spectacularly.
MARISHA: Have we ever thrown a total curveball at you, where you’ve had to do that? Where you’ve had to be like, "Uh… uh…”
MATT: A few times. I tend to prepare pretty openly and loosely so I can have some realm of understanding where you guys are going.
MARISHA: Like that time we sneaked in the back door of the thieves’ guild?
MATT: Yeah, that was–
LIAM: That was one of them.
LAURA: Because we just went straight for it.
LIAM: What about when Grog decided he wanted to vet people to guard Greyskull Keep?
LIAM: That was pulled out of your ass, right?
MATT: A lot of that was pulled out of my ass.
LIAM: Very well done.
TALIESIN: That was amazing.
LAURA: Oh, yeah.
ASHLEY: That was so great.
SAM: We haven’t gone to the keep yet, have we?
LAURA: I know, we haven’t been back.
LIAM: Not since we left. The last private game before this.
TRAVIS: We got the last six guards that are totally awesome.
ASHLEY: Our warm, comfy beds that we haven’t gotten to sleep in yet.
LAURA: Ooh! Which Game of Thrones house do we belong to?
ASHLEY: Probably Stark.
MARISHA: Slytherin. (laughs)
ORION: Somebody asked if Tiberius is inspired by a particular wizard or something like that. He actually is. Somebody mentioned Elminster.
LIAM: Tony Roberts.
ORION: Tony Roberts. That’s exactly–
MATT AND ORION: (laugh)
ORION: That’s going to be funny, if I actually do that. But no, Tiberius is actually based off Elminster Aumar, who I play in Neverwinter, the MMO. I booked that before we started the group, and then when I decided to make him a sorcerer, I was like– it was right at the same time, too–
MATT: Yeah, same time.
ORION: We just started to play, and that happened, and… yeah, so he’s a dragonborn Elminster.
LIAM: Billy Mays, here, for the Wizard’s Academy!
ASHLEY: Billy Mays here, with another fantastic creation.
SAM: Are Scanlan’s feelings for Pike mutual? Pike, come on, give us a hint.
TRAVIS: Yeah, give us something.
MARISHA: I know, it’s been two years, and we don’t know.
ASHLEY: I just don’t know, because Pike’s heart might belong to somebody else.
SAM: Wait, what? I never heard this in two years!
ASHLEY: It’s my backstory as a character that’s just personal. It’s my secret that I deal with, whether people know it or not.
TRAVIS: You’re in love with the Dread Pirate Roberts?
LAURA: I told everybody my Trinket story.
ASHLEY: It’s something I’m still working out. I haven’t talked to Matt about it.
MATT: Let a girl keep her secrets.
SAM: Well, maybe Scanlan has somebody else in mind, as well.
TALIESIN: Well, this got uncomfortable really quickly.
MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)
ORION: Scanlan, denied!
MATT: I did not start with Newgrounds Voices, but I have been watching Newgrounds since late 90s.
ASHLEY: But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t possibly love Scanlan.
SAM: There’s a chance?
ASHLEY: There might be a chance.
ORION: That’s all you need.
SAM: I could change your heart with enough spells.
TRAVIS: Were you guys ever playing during the D&D scare of the '80s? Whatever that means.
SAM: What does that mean?
ASHLEY: What is that?
MATT: Oh, the Chick tracts.
LAURA: Oh, when they said it was satanic and stuff? No.
TALIESIN: No, I wasn’t playing until the '90s.
TRAVIS: No, we’re all much younger.
LIAM: Maybe in '89, I might have been.
TRAVIS: Important: how sexy is Grog? As sexy as you want him to be.
MATT: Enjoy your boxes, buddy!
LIAM: Yeah, I started When I was 10 or 11 in grade school, which was the very end of the '80s.
TALIESIN: Oh my god, this is going so fast.
TRAVIS: Can we have a Kima wedding?
LAURA: Oh, Grog and Kima.
TRAVIS: I’m working on her.
TALIESIN: Where do you get your awesome shirts? They want to know where your shirts come from.
TALIESIN: The internet.
ORION: We did start this campaign in a different thing. We started in Pathfinder and for a lot of us, me included, that was the first time playing D&D, so Matthew home-brewed everything in Pathfinder, and then right before we decided to do this, we switched over to 5th Edition.
MATT: It was better for a group this size. I think Pathfinder with eight players becomes too weighed-down with floating modifiers, and it becomes very difficult to keep fluid. It’s fine if you’re a bunch of friends at home playing for eight hours, but when you’re playing in front of an audience of thousands on the internet every week, we have to use a system that makes combat go a lot quicker, so 5th Edition was the way to go.
LIAM: I see a good one. I have an answer, I’ll start.
MATT: There’s your emote, Laura. LIAM: There it is.
LAURA: Oh, Greg did it. Oh, with a little porty emote. That’s cute. Thanks, Greg Miller.
TRAVIS: You and a wiener onscreen.
LIAM: Someone wants to know what our favorite moment has been since we started Critical Role. Mine was sneaking into the illithid captain’s room with Scanlan, holding a bucket of poop. I was scared to death. I didn’t know what was going to happen, and it went great.
MATT: Yeah, you guys rolled really well.
LIAM: It was electric. That was mine. Anybody else?
TALIESIN: My first crit with my new gun, which was also my first kill with my new gun.
LAURA: That was so awesome.
TALIESIN: That felt really good. That felt good.
MATT: Taking out the abyssal abomination.
TALIESIN: That felt nice.
SAM: I think, for me, I enjoyed springing Keyleth out of jail by convincing the guards she had pubic lice.
MATT: Yeah, I forgot about that.
LAURA: Was that during the game?
TALIESIN: That was not during the show.
LAURA: Oh, that was before the show.
SAM: Before the show. Oh, okay.
MARISHA: That was a good one, though.
LAURA: That was a good one.
MARISHA: Was that the same time where I ran at the wall and started foaming at the mouth?
SAM: You were crazy.
LAURA: Yeah, and we had to bust you out. That, and Percy was an awesome lawyer.
TALIESIN: Oh, that’s right!
SAM: We had a whole Phoenix Wright party.
TALIESIN: I’d forgotten about that.
MARISHA: We basically took the insanity plea to get me out of prison, as a team.
LAURA: That’s a good question, Matt. I just saw, if we all die or if some of us die, do we have to roll in at a level one, or do we start at a higher level?
MATT: No, you guys would start a level behind the rest of the group. The detriment to it is you would be a level lower. That is the drawback of dying or losing a character, is you would be a level or a half-level behind the rest of the party.
LAURA: On top of losing a character.
SAM: New character would be rough, man.
ASHLEY: That would suck.
MATT: It’s possible. You guys all know it. We all knew it going in.
SAM: Can I come back as Spider-Man or something?
MATT: I’m not going to hold that back.
TALIESIN: You’re not Spider-Man?
MATT: I’m not going to be Marvel in this bitch, okay? I’m not going to be like, “Oh, death. I can take it back any time, and it doesn’t matter anymore.” No.
TRAVIS: Do you design specific things for an hourglass? Are there particular scenarios that require it?
MATT: There are. It’s harder to do in the Underdark. There aren’t so many traps or timed circumstances. I like the hourglass for certain circumstances that have a very definite time limit, and I do think up what the challenge is, what type of skills would work, or let the players come up with creative ways that they can apply their skills to a situation to succeed, and I figure out, loosely off the 4th Edition rules, where I have number of successes vs number of failures in that period of time, and if they don’t manage to do it in that time period, it’s a failure. I think it’s fun. It builds the tension, and the party goes, “oh, shit! We’ve got to do this now!” I love it. Hourglass is awesome.
LAURA: Do we play any other tabletop games?
MARISHA: How do you mean, tabletop? All tabletop?
LIAM: Board games, anything.
ORION: I’m a big Magic: The Gathering guy. We play.
MARISHA: Yeah, we like Magic: The Gathering.
ASHLEY: Settlers of Catan.
MARISHA: Settlers of Catan!
MATT: Mansions of Madness.
TALIESIN: Mansions of Madness. Yeah.
MARISHA: I think the four of us here are all Warmachine Hordes players.
LIAM: I’ve been playing the board game Dungeon, which is D&D-inspired. Someone also asked, what’s a good way to get your wife or your kids or friends involved. I yanked my eight-year-old son in by playing Dungeon with him, and he totally got into it because of Dungeon, and now I am DMing a game for three eight-year-olds.
MATT: Which is awesome.
LIAM: It’s like D&D-light in a board game, and if they like the board game, you can say, “You know, if you like this, we can ratchet up a bit.”
MARISHA: Yeah, there’s also D&D board games. Branded D&D board games that are fun. Mini dungeon delvers. They’re fun.
ORION: I will be on Mulligan soon, and I like red and white, blue and black, and all the colors of the rainbow.
LAURA: I just did that show with Wil. Titansgrave, which is a different tabletop RPG, and it’s really fun.
MATT: How do I handle experience leveling in this game? At certain milestones, when characters have a chance to rest– have a breather or sleep for the evening– then that’s when experience is divvied out for the next session. Characters don’t level in the middle of a battle, or anything, but I keep track of it, usually on a session by session basis, and if there’s a moment of rest, then people can level up. I also saw a question, when did Percy build the Bad News, and how long did it take?
TALIESIN: Bad News was built during the changeover to 5th Edition. Took about–
MATT: Four or five months.
TALIESIN: Yeah, it was about four or five months.
TALIESIN: In-game. Sitting at a table just tinkering and tinkering.
TRAVIS: Somebody asked how I became a goliath because it’s not an official race in the book. Is it not an official race?
LIAM: It’s now in 5th Edition, in one of the added books.
TRAVIS: Now it is. I think I asked Matt what the bigger creatures were in the world and he said orcs and other things and he also said there were goliaths that were half and half and I was like “Can I be that?” He was like, “Sure.”
TRAVIS: That was a thing I asked Marisha once, during our first game, was, “Wait, I can do whatever I want?” "Kind of.”
MARISHA: Do whatever you want. It’s awesome.
TRAVIS: You can try!
MARISHA: Fun, imaginative world.
MATT: How is Critical Role going, compared to how you envisioned it?
SAM: Pretty good!
ORION: Envisioned it?
MATT: One of our biggest fears when this thing came to our attention, when Geek & Sundry contacted us, was we didn’t want it to change the game for us. We did this together for fun. We enjoyed it, and it was just a wonderful thing for us for two years.
ORION: Two years plus, man.
MATT: And so our biggest fear was it changing that dynamic, and so we tried to be very careful that we didn’t alter how we played, and didn’t change the format, really, other than having cameras.
LIAM: We didn’t want it to turn into a reality TV show.
LAURA: I was worried even when we were figuring out the setup of the tables, how it was going to work, that being far away from each other was going to screw things up, but it’s just like when we were playing at our house across the table from each other.
MATT: Just a little more distance. There’s been very little change, except we have other people now that we don’t have to spend hours telling them, “Oh, what we do is we play this, and this is what happened.” You guys already know because you watched it, and it’s awesome.
MARISHA: Yeah, that’s true.
LIAM: There’s a light goose to the energy because it feels like we’re doing theater, which is the one added difference that I like, because when we played at home, we would have moments where we’d go into lulls or get tired or something, and that doesn’t happen here.
LAURA: We’re also only playing for three hours, as opposed to eight.
ORION: And I’m drinking a lot less.
TALIESIN: It’s much more kinetic.
TRAVIS: How do you handle Percy crafting things?
TALIESIN: I make a standard roll, plus– what is it? Is it dexterity and a modifier on top of that?
MATT: Yeah, he’s proficient with a tinkering kit, essentially, so it’s a proficiency bonus on top of that, and what it will be is, he’ll tell me or describe to me the schematics of what he’s trying to build and what materials he has at his disposal, or ask me what he needs for it–
TALIESIN: I built Keyleth a special staff, ages ago.
MATT: So if he has the materials, I’ll tell him how expensive it is, or how to get the materials, and he attempts the roll. If he fails, wastes all the materials. It’s a complete waste.
TALIESIN: Man, I’ve been doing a lot, lately.
MATT: If he rolls decent, it’s functional, for the most part, but the thing with tinkering is it doesn’t always quite work how you want. If he rolls really well, then it’s pretty damn good.
TALIESIN: And I get a bonus if I’m actually back at the keep.
MATT: At the workshop. The keep has a workshop for him.
LAURA: I saw a thing asking what was it like shooting the opening credits.
MARISHA: That was fun.
LAURA: Being in costume for it and everything.
LAURA: Which is really funny, because we did not plan on being in costume.
TRAVIS: No, we thought maybe one or two things.
LAURA: Like a bracer or carry a weapon.
TALIESIN: And then Matt and I emptied out our Ren Faire closets.
TRAVIS: And then alcohol made its way in.
LAURA: We all showed up and were like, “Oh, this is cool! Let’s put this on!”
MARISHA: Yeah, it just kept getting more and more involved.
ORION: Everybody give a quick huzzah to Jareth.
ALL: Huzzah to Jareth!
ORION: He graduated high school today.
LAURA: Oh, nice! Congratulations.
MATT: Congratulations, buddy.
TRAVIS: Somebody asked, “If you accept fan art, would you also accept someone making fight music for the game?”
TALIESIN: We don’t want to tell anybody what not to do.
SAM: I would accept a small statue of Pike that I can hold near my breast.
TALIESIN: I don’t want to see that.
LAURA: Didn’t you have one made?
SAM: I did have one made in-game–
ASHLEY: And that’s what saved my life.
LAURA: (gasps) That’s right, it did! It saved her life.
SAM: I made two. I made one of me that I gave to you, and one of you that I keep with me.
TALIESIN: Is it overwhelming having 8,000 people watching?
MATT: It’s not overwhelming. It’s really cool. It’s good to know there’s people out there that have any interest in Dungeons & Dragons. I grew up an indoor kid. I was not quite sure if I could tell people I play this game, and now people are much more open to the idea, like, “Oh, Dungeons & Dragons!” It used to be like, “You play D&D? What the shit?” Now it’s, “You play D&D? What’s it like?” It’s much more open. It’s great.
LIAM: One of our favorite things about all the feedback we’re getting through social media is how many of you guys are starting to play the game.
ALL: Yeah, that’s cool.
ASHLEY: That’s awesome.
MARISHA: Everyone should try D&D.
TALIESIN: The world would be a better place with more D&D.
MARISHA: The world would be a better place with more D&D.
LIAM: Somebody asked what each of our favorite thing about playing D&D is. The people. We all do a decent amount of gaming in this group, so this just feels like the most social, friend-oriented– it just feels real because we’re hashing it out together instead of doing this.
TRAVIS: Personalities are fucking great.
ORION: Which isn’t bad!
LIAM: Which is great! We all do it, but it’s a nice counter-balance.
ORION: Somebody asked why Tiberius is so loyal to Keyleth. Tiberius comes from a presidential family. A family of political power, of high-seating in his land, so he’s very honorable, and Keyleth is royalty in his eyes. He didn’t know, because that was a reveal for Keyleth’s character. I think it was a year and a half, we were playing, and then you revealed it.
MARISHA: It was a while before I told you guys I was a princess.
LIAM: Hey, it’s Scott White. “Happy 10th episode.” Hey, Scott!
MATT: Thanks for coming!
LIAM: Actor Scott White.
TRAVIS: People asked if this will be on Video On Demand or if people miss it, how do they see it?
SAM: Pay Per View.
ZAC: It’ll be up on the website.
MARISHA: On the website.
TALIESIN: I think we’re just both really snooty, which is why we kind of hang out.
LAURA: Dude, Scott! I was just talking to Amanda Wyatt today about your concert the other night, and I wish I would have been there.
LAURA: Different one?
SAM: No, it’s a totally different Scott White.
TALIESIN: Someone asked if it’s weird not being a fantasy character in a fantasy setting, for Percy as a gunslinger. I really like it. I will actually admit that I’ve always been fascinated by that moment in history where suddenly we went from bows and arrows to guns, so I really like the idea of being the guy who made that terrible mistake and had this really bad idea, and I’m really enjoying…
MARISHA: RPing that guy.
TALIESIN: RPing that guy, and trying to figure out what would drive a human being to do something so stupid as to invent a gun.
LIAM: I love that we have Percy in our group.
MARISHA: Which I think is why Percy is one of my favorite characters.
TALIESIN: He’s really screwing the entire future, at this point.
ORION: Somebody asked us a fun question. If each of us could have a familiar like Trinket, if we could have our own animal, what would it be?
MARISHA: Like as our character?
LAURA: Like a pet?
ORION: Tiberius, of course, would have a small dragonite or pseudodragon. Definitely.
TALIESIN: Flying squirrel.
LIAM: That’s what I was going to fucking say.
ORION: Oh, and the dragon’s name would be Monty.
MARISHA: Keyleth would probably have a mountain lion. Keyleth likes cats, and she lived in the mountains, so something native would have been mountain lion-y.
ORION: Thanks, Effigy.
MATT: Thanks for staying, Sam!
SAM: Oh, yeah. Bye, guys!
ALL: Bye, Sam.
MATT: Sam’s got to run back to his family.
TALIESIN: Sam! Text me the change in schedule, if you get a second.
ZAC: I actually think that’s a pretty good time to start winding this down.
ORION: It’s only 11:30.
ZAC: It’s been an hour-long Q&A, so I think it’s a pretty good time.
MARISHA: It’s been an hour?
MATT: All right, so we’ll get a few more questions here, and then we’ll go ahead and close it on this, guys.
MARISHA: Going back to the question of my favorite thing about D&D, because that kind of got segued out. Aside from the people, I think that it’s something really fantastic– not to sound cheesy– and magical when a group of grown adults can get together and use their imagination and have an amazing time, and my favorite thing about Dungeons & Dragons is when you walk away from it, and especially after you’ve slept on it and after you meditate on it, it’s pretty much real. It’s just as real as other things we do in our day-to-day lives. If you guys noticed how excited we got when we were like, “Oh my god, you guys haven’t met Gilmore yet.” And all of us went, “Oh my god. Gilmore.” And we all got excited over an NPC.
ORION: Nothing that exists, really.
LAURA: I dream about our characters.
MARISHA: Yeah, I do, too. Yeah, I have dreams.
LAURA: Isn’t that crazy!
MARISHA: Because for us, Gilmore is real, and Pike is real, which is why we all fucking cried our eyes out when Pike died.
TALIESIN: Is it my imagination that Gilmore is blond, by the way? Does everybody else see Gilmore as very blond?
LAURA: Oh, I pictured Gilmore with black hair.
ASHLEY: I pictured him with black hair, too.
TALIESIN: I saw big curly blond hair.
LAURA: Oh, I like that! I pictured him with black, slicked-back, greasy hair in a ponytail.
TALIESIN: I can see that, too.
ORION: What’s your favorite part, Ashley?
ASHLEY: It’s funny, because when we first started, and for the two years that we’ve been doing it, there was an element that I liked about it, that it was just ours, and then when I would try to tell people, I was like, “Ugh, they’re not going to understand.” We get to go and play make-believe, and nobody is judging anybody and we can just go do it. So I was hesitant when we were starting the show, but what’s been awesome is that you guys have been so accepting and such an amazing group in the chat room. And how you guys have been supportive of us. This has been one of my favorite things that I’ve been a part of… in my life? That’s a really bold statement.
MATT: No, I feel the same way.
ASHLEY: I love it so much. After two years, obviously there’s so much more of an attachment to it, but I just love it. I love it so much.
TALIESIN: Everyone’s so nice. I barely believe it’s the internet.
MATT: Oh, look at all the Ashley hearts.
ASHLEY: Hey, man.
ZAC: Somebody wanted to know if any of you guys had ever reached god mode status in past D&D campaigns.
ZAC: Yes, you have?
TALIESIN: Yeah, I did. But my DM was not very good, so the game got so boring we quit because our DM was weak.
MATT: Someone asked about the PewDiePie thing. What it was like DMing for him and Ken? It was fun. They were great. They were a lot of fun. We only had half an hour to play, both for me to teach them and to play through a session, so it was a very new challenge of, “All right, let’s do this!” Dungeons & Dragons. But it worked out pretty well. We had a good time and left on a cliffhanger, and as long as they want to keep bringing me back to do it occasionally, I’m happy to, so let them know that you enjoyed it and they should have me back, because it was a good time.
ORION: I’m going to say what my favorite part of D&D is.
MARISHA: What’s your favorite part of D&D, Orion?
ORION: Much like doing improv, it’s a wonderful escape. I know I’m really frantic in how I play it. Poor Matthew. He puts up with arguments about spells that I want to make super OP, and he’s like, “You can’t do that.” I’m like, “But why?” Those are our arguments.
MATT: Just keeping the balance.
ORION: When we got together and we would play for 8 hours, we would get together and have lunch or dinner and we would spend a lot of time, and every game was a very special day, so no matter if the day was going great or not, it didn’t matter because as soon as the game started, it was a whole different world that we had to step into, and now we live in it and we breathe it. It’s great. We’re all actors, and to get lost in each other, and with how Matthew narrates, and you’ll see it when you watch the show, I’m like, “Oh,” and there’s cameras now, and that’s a whole other layer, and I still get lost in Keyleth shedding a tear, and the way Clarota interacts differently. I don’t see Matthew doing it. I see (creature noise) that.
LAURA: Isn’t that crazy that it’s instantly Clarota and it’s instantly Kima? It’s not Matt anymore, as soon as it’s that character.
ORION: So it is that sense of realistic magic that exists every single game.
MARISHA: It’s weird, too, because I almost feel like bringing the game public and for everybody else, and the fact that we’re doing it weekly, it’s almost bled the reality lines even more, because now they are like, “Oh, yeah, totally. Clarota. Yeah, we totally know who you’re talking about.” And so we’re like, "Yeah, Clarota, right?” You guys know Clarota. And we’re getting fan art.
TALIESIN: This is the speed our personal text messages, or group text messages, go at.
MARISHA: (laughs) Yeah, it’s true.
ASHLEY: Our group text message thread is insane.
ASHLEY: The fan art that you guys have been putting out is so amazing.
LAURA: It makes us so happy.
ZAC: We’re working on getting all of that up on the website. We’re working on it.
MATT: That’s going to be great.
LAURA: I save so many pictures to my phone.
LIAM: I save it all.
LAURA: I have no reason for it, but I scroll through it when I’m by myself.
LIAM: I have a process. It goes into my iPhone folder, and then right into Dropbox.
TALIESIN: You find all the good stuff.
LAURA: Yeah, you find a lot of good stuff. Liam, man, you find so much on the internet.
TALIESIN: He’s the winner for finding stuff.
LIAM: Pile of shit has a thousand eyes.
TALIESIN: I love watching people take risks. That’s my favorite thing about D&D: it’s such a good place to take risks. And the rewards that come with it are so fantastic.
MATT: Two quick questions I want to answer real fast, when you’re done.
TALIESIN: No, I’m done. Go ahead.
MATT: One: how did I get into dungeon mastering? By having a really terrible dungeon master.
LIAM: Thanks to that guy!
MATT: Yeah. Really nice guy in high school. My first couple of games I ever played, and he was just terrible, and he had a player character in the group that was a paladin but also a samurai, and he gave him all the best magical equipment and would fight party members. It was awful. I got frustrated, so I bought the books myself and learned to do it on my own. I’ve been doing it ever since.
ORION: There you go. What was the other thing?
MATT: What was that?
ORION: You said there were two questions.
MATT: I forgot what the other one was.
ZAC: There’s another one that keeps getting asked over and over again. If you guys could be a different race, what would you be?
LAURA: A different class?
ORION: I think I would want to be Japanese because it would be a whole different cultural experience.
MARISHA: And they stay young forever.
ZAC: I thought that’s what they meant.
LIAM: Ukraine, definitely.
LIAM: I change my mind about that every day. I think about what to do once he kills me off.
LAURA: Yeah. I think I definitely, if I have to re-roll, which I don’t ever want to have to do, but I would want to be a tiefling.
TALIESIN: Tieflings are cool. I like being token human. Token human has been a lot of fun.
LAURA: I know! I also like being a human.
MATT: Humans are pretty awesome.
ORION: Dragonborn for life.
MATT: (laughs) Forever.
TALIESIN: My previous character was dragonborn.
LIAM: I don’t want to say, because I’m convinced Matt will kill me eventually, and I don’t want to spoil whatever I cook up.
LAURA: Oh, that’s true.
MARISHA: I might have to bring in a dwarf. It might be time.
MATT: If I could play a character, it would be a dwarf. Probably a dwarf bard. I love dwarves so much.
LAURA: You’re so good at dwarves.
LIAM: Can we hear your dwarf accent again?
MATT: Marisha, want to give us an example?
MARISHA: (Swedish accent) Oh, you mean this dwarf?
ORION AND MATT: (crack up)
MARISHA: (same accent) This dwarf accent?
ASHLEY: It’s a Swedish dwarf!
LIAM: (similar accent) Welcome to IKEA.
TALIESIN: That was a dwarf chef.
MARISHA: (same accent) Hello! Hello, welcome to Kraghammer.
TALIESIN: (imitates the Swedish Chef)
MARISHA: (same accent) Where’s the d20?
ORION: (Scottish accent) She’s the special dwarf.
ZAC: I have a good question to end out on. I also like what somebody in the chat room said that for Critical Role fans, you could call them Critters.
MARISHA: (gasps) Critters!
LIAM: I said that months ago.
LAURA: I love it!
ASHLEY: Oh, Critters, I love you!
MATT: Oh, that’s awesome. Thank you, Liam. Thank you, chat.
ZAC: So you guys have officially dubbed yourselves Critters, and by yourselves, I mean by Liam.
ZAC: The question I think would be good to end out on is, “What would each of you recommend to them to tell their friends to get them into D&D?” How would you recommend other people push D&D onto people?
LIAM: Live a video game while drinking with your friends.
LAURA AND ASHLEY: Yeah.
LAURA: Or hanging with your friends. You don’t have to drink.
ASHLEY: Yeah, but I feel that also the DM makes all the difference in the world. Find a good DM. Which, there isn’t anyone as good as Matt.
MATT: Or be one. That’s not true.
MARISHA: Step up.
MATT: It’s communal storytelling. You forge memories with friends. It’s a really cool improvised story that you all create together.
LIAM: And playing with someone who’s not a crazy talented voice actor is still better than not playing, so find a DM and start a game. Start your first game.
ORION: I tell people it’s not about math, it’s not about paper and pencil. When you were a kid and you went outside and played all day and you were just a kid? That’s what this is. It’s just remembering how to do that again with friends.
ZAC: That’s what you fucking tell people.
MARISHA: It’s pretend as adults.
TALIESIN: It’s a game that you can play with your friends that will create the kinds of bonded, shared experiences that created the friends you had in high school. The friends you just don’t get anymore. But you can get them by doing this. This is to make that high school friend again.
MARISHA: Totally. If you can find a group of friends that you can openly play D&D with, without them judging you.
LAURA: And even if it’s not people you know very well. If you find people that like D&D– so many people that we’ve seen online, and some of our friends, don’t have D&D groups, and they find a place to go and play D&D and meet those people. Honestly, I didn’t know you very well, I didn’t know Orion very well, when we started, and now all of us are best friends.
LIAM: Now we’re thick as thieves.
LAURA: It creates that.
TALIESIN: This is a group of people I see more often than any other group.
LAURA: I know, we see each other more than almost anybody else in our lives.
ZAC: I like the hashtag #BondageFriends.
LAURA AND MARISHA: Bondage friends.
ORION: Well, hold on.
TALIESIN: That’s a whole other group of friends.
ORION: I don’t love that hashtag.
TALIESIN: I see them about once a month, really.
LAURA: We’ve got to get going. Grog has a session in the morning.
ZAC: Yeah, so I think that’s good.
TALIESIN: It’s funny because–
MATT AND TALIESIN: It’s true.
ZAC: I think that’s a good time to close it out. Thank you, everyone, for getting us to that thousand shirts sold.
MATT: You guys were amazing. Thank you so much.
ZAC: Every month, we’re going to have a new special limited-edition Critical Role shirt going up on Teespring, but we’re also launching a merch store in June that will have lots of different Critical Role shirts, so you’ll have many options to choose from, and those will be shirts that live on forever, but the shirts that we sell on Teespring will be limited edition. You’ll only be able to have them within two weeks.
ORION: I have a weird thing, too. I’m doing a thing where if you have a PS4 and you follow me on Twitter, @orionacaba, every 20 followers, I’m going to randomly pick one person. I’ll tweet at you, and then tweet me your PS4 handle, and I’ll add you to my friends list and we can play together.
MATT: There you go.
ORION: So yeah, hit me up.
MATT: Guys, thank you all so much. Sincerely, for watching, for being amazing, and for tuning in to enjoy our silliness.
LAURA: We love you, Critters!
MARISHA: See you next week!