Critical Hit: A Major Spoilers D and D podcast
Celestial Crusade

This episode: After the grand tour of the Gulag Magnificent, it’s time to sit down with Asmodeus and get down to business.


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  1. Great show. Finally! I love when the PC not succeed. It put emphasis on how hard were the previous one to be swayed. And I’m not sure Ket will be at ease with his new patron! Loved the show guys.

    One quick note, Douglas, if you read this: hold on man!

  2. *Spoilers*
    I’m proud of you guys, it was a tough choice to make but you made the right one. I would have hated to listen to the episode where Rodrigo asked you to make good on your promise.

  3. Are you gonna get out of the Gulak without a fight??? That’s not like the Torqeltones, but I imagine that Asmodeus is not the kind of god that would let “random” encounter acure in his court. An assault by the Woid maybe? Could sway Asmodeus to join the fight.

    BTW Epic to get my name droped midshow :)

  4. Woot! Team failure, the spice of rpgs. Finally a smart evil guy who sees the benefit of letting them kill each other and lord over the weakened victor, unless he’s forced to join the war effort because of some unknown reason.

  5. I liked the mood and feeling of the setting. Rodrigo’s portrayal of off of the evil gods have been great, and “Evil-Inc” was a fun take on the devils.

    However, I was frustrated by the ‘choice’ given to the PCs. Rodrigo has done a very good job up to this point building on the theme of ‘How far will you go to succeed?’. We saw the charactes agree to sacrificing causalities, to giving up territory of other gods, to physically fighting for a cause. The turn inward, toward “what will I change about myself to win the war?” was inevitable, and good conclusion to the theme/question. Questions/themes like this are vital to the RPG experience (White Wolf builds entire game systems around similar questions).

    What irked me was that the offer seemed heavy handed. “Agree to do an undisclosed favor for me,” is different from “Agree to do a favor for me that I will tell you up front will involve you violating everything you hold dear.” By proposing the second option, you make it for two of the characters only (It would have been very OoC/metagaming for either 7OW or Ghostbeard to accept the deal). Perhaps it was just that the PCs failed to come up with a proper counter offer, but it never seemed like a choice for anyone but ket (which defeats the purpose of the ‘what will you give up’ question).

    Rodrigo is a great DM, and a wonderful storyteller. But the offer was just ‘off’.

    • Perhaps it was just that the PCs failed to come up with a proper counter offer, but it never seemed like a choice for anyone but ket.

      The lack of counter-offer was a big issue for the players, as well, as you can tell from our lengthy conversation…

  6. Great episode as always. I loved seeing how the various PCs responded to the ethical choice presented. It was essentially the Critical Hit version of the Trolley Problem
    I wonder how Orem would have responded.

    Also I really enjoyed Rodrigo’s portrayal of Asmodeus. The idea of Lawful Evil characters has always intrigued me. Maybe that’s why I’m a criminal defense attorney now. Keep up the good work guys.

  7. As a strong proponent of the notion that DND aligments can be useful fodder for addressing complex moral and ideological questions, I have to say this was one of my favourite episodes so far. Asmodeus was far and away one of the best portrayals of a god I have witnessed. Way to go Rodrigo. Evil is so much more fun when you get to be polite at the same time.

    Also, as a strong proponent of the notion that one should take every opportunity to attempt to trick and outsmart deific beings (especially evil ones), and perhaps because I did not have the pressure of an evil god breathing down my neck for an answer, it seemed to me that the party missed an obvious solution: Make the deal and then make a secret pact to gang up and stop each other when Asmodeus comes to collect. What could possibly go wrong? ;)

  8. Looking forward to seeing what the party will have to do down the road to make up for not having Asmodeus’ legions on their side. Potentially the Void’s continued expansion will make Asmodeus’ a little more willing to cooperate in the future.

    It did seem as if Rodrigo’s intention was to deny the party those legions. Other than convincing Asmodeus that the Void is much more of a threat that he realizes, there was no real option presented to the party. Which did seem to fluster the party, making this episode not one of my favorites. Ket’s group is definitely more suited to dealing with a fight than they are in negotiations.

    But Rodrigo’s portrayal of Asmodeus, and the entire setup of his kingdom, was classic stuff. Definitely one of the highlights of the season so far. I’d love to see the party encounter him again. Hopefully his patronage of Ket will give Rodrigo an excuse to bring him into the show again.

    • “Ket’s group is definitely more suited to dealing with a fight than they are in negotiations”

      Au contraire, In this case the two and 3/4 party members who did not want to go forward with the deal played this one properly IMO, according to their character backgrounds and classes.

      The greater good is served if you have the party with greater good in it negotiating with teh devil.

      Also I predict that Ket’s familiar, Guy is going to start to grow a VanDyke.

      • “Au contraire, In this case the two and 3/4 party members who did not want to go forward with the deal played this one properly IMO, according to their character backgrounds and classes.”

        Yes, the decision the players made was proper for their characters. But that doesn’t mean those characters aren’t better suited for combat than they are at negotiations. They did fail to convince Asmodeus to offer his support. And Rodrigo seemed to make it pretty clear that Asmodeus was the most valuable Dark Council member they would potentially get on their side.

        In character, Ket’s really the only one of the four who isn’t somewhat out of his element when it comes to trying to cut a deal with someone you can’t physically intimidate or to talk someone into doing something they don’t really want to do. And personally, I thought that fact really came out in this episode.

        Kudos to Brian, Matthew, Stephen, and Rob for playing it out fairly straight up in character – even as it became clear they weren’t going to succeed.

  9. The Great NateO on

    I think I’m enjoying the story more and more each time, even without the fighty fighty.

    But one thing. I would have thought if you could not get Asmodeus to provide troops, then at least you could have got some backroom support from him for a less nasty cost. I would believe that Asmodeus’ organizational skills would have proven beneficial in a fight. He could have been a command central, move other forces from place to place (demons are good at that), create battle plans, or weapons. All this without him using any of his forces, but instructing the other ones.

    Rodrigo a tip of the hat for another great episode of roll playing genius!

  10. Loved the corporate portrayal of the Gulag Magnificent. Really a nice touch.

    I was really looking forward to how master leader and negotiator Ket would handle a chat with Asmodeus. As usual, I wasn’t disappointed. All this evidence of attention to detail and organization everywhere you look, the leader walks in with zero prep (again), and bumbles around until someone else starts talking.

    Asmodeus’s demand was great. Was waiting for a request with some teeth in it and this one delivered.

  11. It’s almost like, in all this concern over hurting innocents, they didn’t realize that they might in affect be allowing every innocent everywhere to die.

  12. Ok, I started listening about 6 months ago, and have made it to this episode. The show is great and all, but I really want to know; was the “If it doesn’t have a tail it’s not a monkey” bit that Matthew said a VeggieTales Reference? Because that song is now stuck in my head.

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