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

This episode: The players react to the news about an upcoming new version of Dungeons and Dragons. Plus, the Celestial Crusade nears the end.


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  1. The Great NateO on

    What an Awesome beginning to the end, Rodrigo once again Epic Game Master Skills and story telling. Loved how everyone one leveled up and only Torq could level up by getting the snot beat out of him. Not sure if the rest of you are concerned but did the Raven Queen just become part of the Void or Dark Council? And is Ket part God now? Well Next Saturday will not be here fast enough. Thanks again for the best hour + of my weekend.

  2. Waow!
    Ket’s origin story finally reveald. (sort of) Epic, epic story for Ket. All of the sudden Ket is a very interresting charakter once again.

    Thx Rodrigo.

    The rest of the teams lvl up was also nice. We knew what way Orem and Randus was going so their story was kind of expected. Torq was really, really nice thou :) Now we know he will suvive the big fight.


  3. I haven’t listened to the game play portion yet, just the opening remarks about D&D 5e. THANK you, voices of reason. The people at WOTC must listen to your show, and they should seriously consider recruiting Rodrigo for more than just casual input. (I don’t mean to dismiss the powers of Rob or Brian, but over the years I’ve gotten a good understanding of what has made Rodrigo such a good storyteller/gamemaster… aaaaaand I liked it)

  4. …whoa. So Ket isn’t a gambling addict after all… he’s Yugi Mouto! now that we know more of Ket’s back story, he’s actually a pretty cool character. I was walking down the sidewalk listening to the Ket portion and fist pumped when Ket’s opponent was revealed to be the Raven Queen.

    Torq’s power seems like an awesome thing to play with. As a player, I love sneaky Gotcha type powers. Randus’ power is cool like that too.

    As for Orem, I like how Orem and the Dean are almost buddies now, after everything that happened when Orem first came to his campus.

  5. Because it has to be said: we need a montage!

    Great show. One of Rodrigo’s strongest points as a game master is his ability to reward players with new items/powers/what have you while not breaking the flow of the game to hand out loot. From Smith growing neck daggers to Torq literally getting the snot beat out of him by his own armor, every enhancement to the characters in Critical Hit has felt natural and seamless within the story.

    That said, one of Rodrigo’s greatest strokes of luck is that he’s got a full table of players willing and able to let go and roleplay their asses off. The contributions of the four players is really what makes the world and the story so rich and full, and the show would be seriously lacking without it. Imagine a critical hit where Rodrigo say “smith, your neck hurts, and now THERE IS A DAGGER GROWING OUT OF IT” and Rob responds “cool, what are the stats?”. That would be incredibly boring.

    So, thumbs up, you five, for taking something that could have been handled in thirty seconds- “everybody leveled, here’s your new gear, now roll initiative against these thousand void monsters”- and making it one of the most awesome hours of the entire show.

    • Yeah, I always love the upgrade sequences too. Even when they do break character and have Rodrigo talk to (usually) Stephen and Matthew about the choices they want to make about a level up and decisions about choosing this or that power instead of something else… its always very interesting and makes for an entertaining show to listen to.

  6. I do not begrudge Hasbro and Wotc a profit publishing DnD. I have several friends who played ADnD and take it very personally that the company ever changed anything with the game. I don’t agree. I think the game needed to change and I think that the 4e product was a very well thought out easy to play product. I like the combat and the magic and the skills challenges. Thus, I am concerned that after only 3 yrs the company is launching a new edition. It suggests that they lack faith in the game and instead of using it to tell more better stories they are going back to the drawing board creating confusion and distracting from the play. I won’t be buying this edition because I am not sure it will be providing me with any additional value or to put it another way. They will have to convince me that my game needs the new edition. Making the game “interactive” by including community participation in the design doesn’t really cut it in my opinion. I doubt any changes will give the company more faith in the product in the long run and this to my mind is very very bad.

    • I agree almost completely with you and Rodrigo, since he had much the same attitude. I don’t plan on playing 5E immediately, as I’m honestly still enjoying 3.5, 4, and Pathfinder. I don’t feel the need to add another ruleset in there, seeing as I already have enough confusion.

      Honestly, I anticipate that mechanically, 5E will be fairly similar to 4E. I think 4E has a lot of advantages over 3.5, being more balanced, but I think that to placate the players who preferred 3.5’s “deeper” levels of built-in customization, I think they’ll try to bring back more skills, a change to spellcasting, and things of that nature…

  7. What an amazing episode, I’m really curious to how Orem is going to rationalize the Spiral Tower teachings into his style. As usual, Rodrigo delivers great content in an original ed interesting way, fantastic job. It’s kind of weird having the guys pick their paragon before the big fight, but i guess it’s going to make thing more interesting.
    I’m thrilled to hear how the battle is going to go. Hope nobody died…
    By the way, where is Brenzen?

  8. Huh, me wonders if the Raven Queen dropping her patronage of Ket was so she could face him in a game to ultimately loose. It’s not too hard to think that one of the rules is that you can’t have a patron face his/her own player.

    Great show, I’m constantly surprised by how well Rodrigo made this story and how well it plot lines flows.

  9. Hey, totally loved the episode! I kinda missed what was the actual paragon path Randus took, game-wise. While I’m on the subject. Is there some page where I can see everybody’s character sheet, with all their items and such? It’s fun to keep track, but I gotta assume there’s a wiki or something somewhere…

      • I couldn’t figure it out either, and I thought Torq was taking Dreadnaught?

        Really? I seem to recall discussing it once or twice, but did we ever say for certain that I would actually be going with it?

        • Not sure, both were brought up but just seems like what I remember. Either way, it’s a good boost against flappy face monsters…

        • For those who missed it:

          Orem: Wizard of the Spiral Tower (very obvious, talked about before)

          Ket: Life Stealer (less obvious but easy to figure out)

          Torq: Iron Vanguard (Matthew used the name, when asking Rodrigo if Other ftrs could by just looking at each other know ” I see you’re and Iron Vanguard as well!”.)

          Randus: Self-Forged (he literaly implanted machinery into his body and Rodrigo talked about how his mechanical hand allowed him a specific paragon path, not much room for interpretation)

  10. 2nd run through the episode, I really enjoyed the transition from roleplay to game talk, i think it really helps grokk the epicnesss (paragonness?) of what just happenned (especially for power gamers like me :).

    Also, is the divine team going paragon? what did they go with?

    I can grow a neck beard too! Some neck beard, anyway…

    Love the explanation for being able to ride the device (Randus should get to name it!) and attack from it. (Par for the course from Rodrigo) Poor interns…

    2 story tie-ins for Orem’s paragon path? too awesome. It’s also great how Steven gets to figure out for himself how his character’s evolution leads to his paragon path.

    Again, what did Randus take?? It must be SO AWESOME!!

    Ket’s Paragon “event” was all sorts of awesome. It’s also super cool that the God Fragment PP’s powers do lend themselves to the Raven Queen’s theme

    Best appetizer ever, bring on the main event!!

    • BavarianGnomes on

      Rodrigo mentioned in one of the leveling-up podcasts, that The Other Third party members are all the Main group’s level minus one.

      And re: the re-skinning of the Paragon paths, I was surprised how well the flavor text fit the characters even as written.

  11. BavarianGnomes on

    Torq – Iron Vanguard – You become a vision of physical perfection, mighty in body and ruthless in your pursuit of victory. No one defends the front line of a battle better than you do, easily taking ground and pushing the enemy to and fro.

    Orem – Wizard of the Spiral Tower – You have decided to adopt the traditions of the Spiral Tower, the arcane teachings of the followers of Corellon. This links your use of arcane power firmly to the Feywild and the arcane-focused eladrin traditions. As a wizard of the Spiral Tower, Corellon’s longsword becomes your arcane implement and the secrets of the Feywild become pages in your spellbook. As a wizard of the Spiral Tower, you carry a longsword that glows with the arcane beauty of the Feywild.

    Ket – God Fragment – Gods, primordials, and other powerful beings are sometimes preserved in the Astral Sea after their deaths. Drifting through the starry mists like immortal flotsam, they slumber through the millennia, awaiting the divine spark that might reawaken them. As the ages pass, the drifting corpses transform into astral matter.

    (guessing here)
    Randus – Self-Forged? – Warforged are an intriguing race, and regard for them ranges from viewing them as property to accepting them as people. Most folks resent, distrust, or tolerate warforged. You take a different view: You want to become one. During the Last War, a few mastermakers who worked in the foundries that produced warforged became convinced that warforged were exemplars of perfection. Now renegades from their former employers, these individuals seek to improve their own forms by installing mechanical augmentations into their flesh.

    • BavarianGnomes on

      It’s a good thing his new paragon power gives him +3 to saves vs. Death!

      Road to Reawakening (11th level): You gain a +3 bonus to death saving throws.

      • Guys, I missed this the first time cause it was weridly worded, but at 16th level, Randus can never die! (of bleeding out at least) Somebody would have to be intent on killing Randus for them to make a coup de gra. Am I reading this right?

  12. About 5e: I played AD&D 2nd edition and loved it. Then 3rd ed. came in and I could never get used to multiclassing and those ridiculously complex feat trees so I didn’t played it at all. Then 4th edition came in and I was fairly interested on it, I played it and I love it until now. Now a new ‘iteration’ comes and I will do what I always do: check it out, try it and if I like it, switch over it. But if I don’t like it, stick to the awesome 4th edition.

    About the show:
    – Blue Torq and Red Torqs? Cool
    – Torq getting the crap beat out of him in order to be able to overcome death? Awesome!
    – The way Orem rationalizes Corellon’s story? Amazing
    – Orem getting a radiant weaponizing device? Sweet!
    – Randus performing open heart surgery on himself? O-M-G! Just incredible!
    – Ket facing and beating the Raven Queen? Wow
    – Ket actually defeating the Raven Queen and gaining a piece of her soul? Holy crap. The most amazing thing ever

    THANK YOU SO MUCH Rob, Brian, Stephen, Matthew and of course Rodrigo!

  13. Anyone else sad Orem didn’t take the Wizard Pimp paragon path? He gets a Lich familliar, can use feathered hats as an implement and Bigby’s Pimp Hand encounter spell! So much potential…

  14. I was looking forward to the advancement to paragon and I wasn’t disappointed. You guys are a true inspiration (literally, as myself and probably many other listeners have started our own games).

  15. Apologies if this hsa been answered before but.. lots of stuff to double-check, but I was thinking recently and talking about the Essentials thing reminded me..

    You guys complain about the Daily Magic Item rule with regards to “uses of daily magic items per day” and how confusing it is…. is there a reason you’re keeping it instead of using the Essentials version of that rule, namely that the rule no longer exists? Is it because you’re not using the rarity rules? Since you’re just giving them items anyway it seems like you could “stem the tide” of overpowered dailies anyway.

  16. I fell behind in my listening and just got to this pod now — I am still in the middle of it, actually. This is so awesome, I love the episodes where they roleplay and get new equipment. And I love that the Dean gave Orem the Eladrin Book of Mormon, basically :) Wax mighty in faith, Orem! :)

  17. XantharTheFlame on

    On a different topic, but still regarding this episode…. Is anyone else having trouble downloading it from iTunes? I haven’t been able to download it yet (been trying every day since it was posted). iTunes says “It’s not us, it’s them” of course. I finally gave up and listened to it directly from this site, but it’s frustrating.

    The next episode (#131) came through iTunes last weekend just fine too.


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