Lords of the Feywild

In this episode of Critical Hit: The quest is complete, and it is time for the heroes to return home! (queue the ominous music)

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  1. As I said on Twitter, my initial reaction to this episode was “Aww yeah, go Trelle. Wait. What? NOOOOOO! Rodrigo you monster! Why?” and it went downhill from there.

    Great episode. Heart-wrenching episode. I need a drink.

  2. I for one do not salute our 4e gnomish overlords. Pointed teeth? all black eyes? Give me the shorter, fatter gnomes of 2nd ed. Illusionists, and thieves not universe eating baddies.

    Now onto the seeming TPK, in the spirit of WOW the party should have conned spud as purple and been able to flee the map… :P

  3. Randall Newman on

    They got little hands Little eyes They walk around Tellin’ great big lies They got little noses And tiny little teeth They wear platform shoes On their nasty little feet

  4. An interesting way to end the season! The tension was high at first but as the encounter went on it felt a little bit like DM Fiat with all the +23 vs Will disintegrates. As Rob quickly caught on it was obviously a fight that was not supposed to be won. However, it would have been interesting to see how Rodrigo would have handled things if Ket’s petrification had actually hit :P

  5. Next episode:

    Orem, you awaken with Spud’s face over yours, he’s shaking you awake. Master Orem! Master Orem! You’ll be late for your graduation exam!

    You blink at the strange nightmare you had. I mean, consorting with elves and half elves? Terrifying!

  6. Nooooooo! You tiny, tiny monster! Surely there was a least one book in that library entitled ‘How to cope with the loss of a loved one.’! Only the army of the hedgehog people can save us now.

  7. “Dorks!”
    “Yeah, how long have you known us?”
    Great, great stuff.

    Never, never, never trust a gnome. They are small, filthy and they smell of cabbage.

  8. This would drive me crazy if I was a player. Why have us go through all the trouble of setting up combat and then put us up against something that’s essentially unbeatable. Seems like it should have been a skill challenge that had some variable bad outcomes, or just kept it as a story element. I’m curious to hear Rodrigo’s reasons for this “fake” combat.

    • I totally agree. This episode PISSED ME OFF!!! Both as a DM and a player, I have learned that you NEVER put your characters in a normal combat situation that is unwinnable. You just do whatever it is you need to do to railroad people without giving the illusion of victory. As soon as I heard that Trell missed after rolling a 17, I was MAD. It only got worse when Rob figured out that this fight was a railroad ASAP.

      Also, Spud is all of a sudden getting character development? We know nothing about him. We spent like 10 minutes with him and now he is the big bad? WTF?

      One last thing. Invulnerability potions….yeah right….Why did the party drink a second one after the person who drank the first one “died”?

      This whole episode just made me mad. A surprise villain that comes out of nowhere, an unwinnable fight, and wasting resources! (Arson, murder and jaywalking).

      • Yukon Cornelius on

        I second that emotion….

        That episode was a total cop-out.

        Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

        As a player I would have walked out.

        I will hold my tongue from being very unkind at this point because I am already fitting the bill as an internet douche-bag.

        This may have been my last listen to Critical Hit.

        You guys can do better. Really.

        • Don’t have an aneurism guys. Rodrigo is a smart DM and has been pretty explicit about never having players roll for things that *have* to happen. Which makes me suspect he’s got something way up his wizard-y sleeve. Who says this is really the end? I mean, we’re talking about the guy who pulled off a dream-within-a-dream double Inception deception!

          Personally, I thought it was a GREAT reveal. I had suspected something like this (“oh yes, and could you please channel this infinite energy for me to manipulate?”) But I figured it would be Orem’s father killing Master Althern.

          • Here’s a brief list of movies these people walked out early on in disgust, and reveals they may not be aware of:

            LoTR: Two Towers – Aragorn didn’t really go off that cliff. He survived. Eventually he becomes king and marries Aerosmith’s hot daughter.

            Empire Strikes Back – Luke didn’t plummet to his death under Cloud City. He was picked up by the Falcon after falling/getting his hand chopped off. They even made another movie after this.

            Interview With The Vampire – Tom Cruise comes back at the end and bites Christian Slater.

            Every Alien franchise film – there’s another alien somewhere.

          • That’s like saying bioware made a totally crapping ending to mass effect 3 just so they can show off how they will “fix” it. I don’t care if Rodrigo has a plan for the party, the thing that pisses me off the most is the combat being a foregone conclusion. I feel that Rodrigo should have done the same thing he did in season 2 where it was “poof, magic faerie dust, you are back on the prime material plain” and not had options that were totally NOT options.

          • Yukon Cornelius on

            I’m replying here because it won’t let me add my reply to lowercase matt.

            As I mentioned earlier, I thought it was a bit of a cop-out to have PCs engage in a combat with no chance of success. They’ve lost combat before but mainly because their roles sucked and the monsters were very very hard. Rodrigo is excellent at finding that fine line between fun and ridiculously hard combat. Those battles are extremely exciting (and yes a bit frustrating) to listen to, and you are kept engaged because there is a chance that it could go either way!

            However, that’s not the case here. Rodrigo had them roll initiative on a battle they stood no chance of winning.

            Now, I’ve been simmering a bit after listening to it yesterday and I will soften some of my previous vitriol, but I still stand by the fact that being put in that situation sucks the fun right out of a session. I’ve been on both sides of the table on this one. it is just my personal opinion.

            (And yes, while Two Towers wasn’t a spot on adaption of the novel the movie was fun to watch and I resent the remark that a nerd like me would get up and walk out. Preposterous! To whom are you referring, lowercase matt, when you say “these people.”)

            However, I understand now that I was indeed too harsh in my initial reaction to this particular episode.

            And yes, there were some good revelations brought to light. It’s a solid point you bring up about the channeling of all the energy through the trinkets. That’s something I hadn’t thought of up to now. It makes good sense.

            Respectfully yours,
            Yukon Cornelius

            P.S. Sorry to be such a debbie downer…

        • Mister Cornelius has taken the words out of my mouth. with this and later comments. I’m not putting down critical hit, but this is a serious low point in the series, and I seriously think this could have been done a great deal better than the way it was done.

  9. Dun Dun DUN! What an end to the season! Wow, didn’t see that coming. Though I caught on as soon as Trelle’s scimitar disintegrated. The fight did feel a bit DM Fiat, but it worked well!

    Though from a GM’ing perspective, I’m curious what Rodrigo’s thoughts are on fights PCs aren’t suppose to win. Having pulled this particular one off in style, is it better to have an “impossible odds” combat play out? Would it be better to give the PCs a slim (but plausible) chance to win? Would it better to do it in narrative, or as a skill challenge?

    Very cool ending to the season! Unless there are wrap up sessions coming up? When will we find out what happened to our heroes (or their next of kin)?

    • That is my question. Were the odds just ridiculously stacked, but the combat winnable or was it literally impossible, with it playing out as it did? Could the stars have aligned just so, in the event of no missed rolls combined with a series of exceptional rolls, or even an action the party simply didn’t think of, with the Torqueltones emerging victorious or was that never going to happen under any circumstances?

      • Well, considering that ket got the thing to miss when it rolled a 3, and that the creature wasn’t auto saving against conditions put on it, there MIGHT have been a chance, except that it was basically auto killing people when it hit. Conceivably if the party rolled natural 20’s they would have “hit” this creature.and perhaps the Stun condition might have done something if anyone in the party could have inflicted that upon it with a natural 20. Even better, perhaps someone could have knocked it unconscious (save ends) There are many powers that stun, and i can think of maybe ONE that knocks the target unconscious. I doubt it was actually a statted out creature, and the DM basically just had an idea of the defenses and attack bonus of this “creature” So this was rather a foregone conclusion.

        • I thought it was a foregone conclusion before the first role… one dude with the power of all four rulers of the Feywild? A dude that can, in a burst of emotion, expand space around him? Given what we know about about the previous lords, that’s a fight they should not and could not win.

          BUT… there is something to seeing how the party reacts to the fight, even if it is a foregone conclusion. Do they put up a fight? Do they try to run? What things do they say to Spud? How do they try to convince him? Etc. Maybe it’s not about the battle itself, but how the party reacts to the battle…

  10. OK, well here are my thoughts on what happens next –

    1. Smith enters the room and smacks Spud down and says “Dude they were going to build me a statue”. Round 1 FIGHT!

    2. They all wake up and the Hogba says “Got YA Suckers, now you can go”

    3. Spud comes over to our word and takes over Travelocity and the world, in that order.

    Would of loved to see Trelle backhand Spud and say “NO! Bad Spud” and make him cry.

    Well I have to say Rodrigo, you are AWESOME and everyone played outstanding and outdid themselves yet again. Oh dame now I have to save money for new character T-Shirts.

    THANK YOU ALL, Critical Hit is the BEST!!!!!!!!

  11. Aspiring Spambot on

    So, what would happen if Seven attacked Super Spud? Would his Ki Focus explode, or would he be paying a visit to Dr. Randus afterward?

  12. Oh my word, I am so scared to finish listening to this episode now. My heart can’t take the idea of a possible TPK, I like the characters too much! (Especially Randus, my favorite!) :( I guess the fact that I care shows that you’re doing a good job, but it also means Rodrigo has power over me and that’s not safe! :(

  13. Honestly did not see that coming with Spud. Seeing some of the feedback on Twitter before I listened to it I thought I was prepared. As they were entering the campus grounds I started trying to guess who the big bad was going to be.

    “It’s the Spring Queen, she’s pissed they never brought her a new charm”

    “Maybe it’s the Hogba, insisting they help him in another quest”

    “Ooooh! Maybe it’s the Baltinok and he’s decided Trelle’s friends look tasty”

    Never would I have guessed Spud, and the way Rodrigo pulled it off was amazing and believable within the context of the story. I literally said “No!” out loud when he disintegrated Torq while staring at Orem so he’d know what it was like to lose your best friend.

    Certainly another great season, last one ended in a great big epic battle and this one ends on a smaller but more emotional note. I’m on another listen through of the series, (4th time for some of the episodes), and it’s always spectacular. Keep up the amazing work and I look forward to the next season!

  14. ok, ok, ok. I haven’t listened yet, but if I understand everyone correctly, the group comes home, they celebrate and they give spud an nice, friendly group hug and everyone lives happily ever after?

  15. It was such a sad moment when they pulled back the covers and only found wilted flowers. Poor poor master Althorn.

    For those asking about an unbeatable fight, think about the lessons of the Kobayashi maru test, it is sometimes how you face a no-win scenario that truly shows your inner character.

    Torq offering his understanding rather than madly attacking with the axe was beautiful. A shame that Spud was too far gone in his loss.

    Beautiful work Rodrigo, from one GM to another I applaud you. Instead of meta-gaming how to beat the latest challenge, the torqeltones dug deep into their role playing personas.

    Best line: Ket “Is there a door” lol

  16. I think they were just transported to a different plane, Spud was so powerful he could just spelljammer them away. If there is a season break I would like to hear Matthew run a game.

  17. After the initial shock of, bursts into a million pieces my next thought was, ok time for the fight inside the M’Kraan Crystal. Alternately it could be fun if the players became Galvatron versions of themselves. Also the hedgehog underground resistance would make a great game.
    And I knew the Winter Queen resolution was too easy to the point of suggesting heavily a different boss to fight. Oh and lastly I know Stephen was choking to not say anything before he hit the end episode button so he could say “What gives Rodrigo?”
    Great actions everyone!

  18. There are so many places they can go with this! I’m pulling for reincarnation in the distant future by an alien race. Just drop them in the middle of an original Rodrigo space adventure.

    Good lord… I’m a dork.

  19. I would love to know if this was one of those “last podcast between a break”, that means the group would have to wait all that time with the rest of us >:D

  20. Oh dear, that poor mad gnome built himself an infinity gauntlet.

    I’m kinda sad that they haven’t really wrapped up the FeyWild storyline, this season has really been the Trelle and Orem(sp?) show and the other guys having really had anything to do.
    I’m really hoping that the next season has the party finally sent back to the Prime Material plane to deal with the consequences of their actions.

  21. From Spud’s last words to Orem, it sounds like they were being banished from the Feywild rather than killed. Once Spud started one-shoting the PCs it seemed to me that Rodrigo never planned this to be a fight the party would win – maybe they could have negotiated with Spud instead for a while longer but ultimately the season was ending with them being forcibly sent out of the Feywild without restoring the balance.

  22. It was just like how season 2 ended, except Bea was a *tad* less violent on her approach to porting people.

    Actually she did burn them to cinders, nvm….

  23. Ten years from now…

    “At the summer canopy’s twin towers, it’s 97 — with no relief in sight. This heat wave has sparked numerous acts of violence here in the Feywild, the most hideous of which has to be the brutal slaying of three priests last week by the gang known as The Spuds. And today police found a death threat on the door of police commissioner Candice Rivendorn… Ironically, today also marks the tenth anniversary of the last recorded sighting of the Torqeltones. Dead or retired, their fate remains unknown….

      • Yukon Cornelius on

        I don’t know if trust is the right word, lordshotgun. I mean, we are listening to a podcast of someone else’s D&D campaign. It is up to Rodrigo to run HIS game HIS way.

        While I might not like the situation he stuck the PCs in this episode it doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy it. They aren’t me, I’m not sitting at that table.

        Heck, Matthew probably loved it even more because he basically got to RP his way through combat (Matthew, I apologize for the assumption).

        I’m finding myself less and less upset now that I’m thinking about how many hours of enjoyment these guys have brought me through this podcast.

        The amount of content this podcast provides to its listeners is truly EPIC, considering the cost (FREE NINETY NINE!!!).

        Yes, there have been some episodes that aren’t as strong as other ones, but the same goes for my favorite TV show, movie, book, etc.

        I do have a question for Rodrigo:

        Are you still having a good time running this game?

        Also, about how much prep time normally goes into a session for PCs at this level (paragon tier)? I’ve only DMed PCs up to level 10 and like most games it fizzled out. It seems like this campaign is really a labor of love at this point. I mean in that in the most platonic sense possible.

        And you can be honest, it’s the internet. :)

        Thanks again, guys!

        • I believe I made my opinion about the hogba known in that specific episode’s comments but to recap, that small arc of 2-3 episodes did nothing to advance the plot (except in a very very roundabout way right now with spud going nuts over master Althorn depression death which could have happened regardless of the hogba’s time deley), held little to no characterization, and was just boring in general. To further expand on that last past, there was no combat, little player interaction, and the climax was watching an NPC do cool stuff to a dragon while the party watched.

          I listen to Critical Hit quite often at work, and in total have probably listened to it completely from episode 1 all the way up to present at least four times. Now, in ALL of those times, when ever I reach the hogba part I skip it and I feel that I lose nothing.

          Also, you said that in six months we’ll all be laughing. Which means that you are not laughing now. Which means you are not happy with what happened.

          So Matthew, are you happy with what happened? I am pretty sure that Rob is not, going by what he said about the fight being unwinnable and that you were supposed to lose. I think I heard some frustration in Trell’s voice when she missed on a roll of 17!

          I just think this whole thing could have been EASILY handled better. The largest change I would make would be Spud just waving his magical gnome hand and banishing the party. End Scene. As Stephan has done before, he has no problem ending an episode early, you guys always have listener mail to get through anyway.

          Anyway. It may seem like I have nothing but criticism, but I think this season of critical hit only had two really low points for me. The hogba, and now this. Problem is, as mass effect 3 proved, having a crappy ending is a good way to piss off your audience. After all, you guys are really pushing that monthly donation thing, by providing quality programs.

          • First, Thanks for your comments!
            Second, the break points are there for drama (in my best Dr. Smith voice)

            Third, I can understand why you are upset and why many listeners feel “cheated” – because you (royal) are invested in the story, the characters, and the world that has been created, and when people feel that “negative” change has occurred they get upset. We’ve all been there; when we learned who really was dropping presents under the tree at the holiday time, when our favorite team screwed up the game they should have won, when a show goes off the air because a network can’t pull its head out of its butt, or when a comic gets canceled. In some cases, negative change is just the perception of the event at that moment. Perhaps (six months later for example), you’ll look back at the events that have occurred since then and realize, “WOW! because of A, Z happened!” Yes, you may not have liked the Hogba episodes, but now in hindsight, those events played an important role in what you just heard – not just in the “big boss” reveal, but also in how the characters changed through that encounter (of course I say that from my perspective only). I imagine something similar will happen with this incident. In order for characters (and players) to grow, change (positive AND negative) must occur, and that is the root of a good story. Look how much of a downer Empire Strikes Back was. At the time no one knew if there would be another movie, or if they did, the revelations made, and the events that happened in that film were not positive. Also keep in mind without death, there can’t be life… Ket has become a beloved character of many listeners to Critical Hit, but he wouldn’t have been around if it wasn’t for the death of another character.

            Everyone needs to experience a catharsis – a release from strong emotions – I’m glad the comment section is here to allow all of our listeners to share their thoughts.

            In regards to “pushing donations”, yes we will keep doing that, as there are costs associated with this and all of the shows in the Major Spoilers Podcast Network. We want to ensure that we will be able to continue to offer quality programming for free for you, and for those that do contribute, we have many other things planned to take everything Major Spoilers related to the next level. But more on that… NEXT TIME!

          • If you listen (yes, again), there are certain incidents that each character or the party as a whole will refer back to frequently when they speak to one another. The Hogba Incident is one of them. It informed the listener and players about the Feywild and the dangers therein and I would say is a crucial bonding experience. Think about how many times the party references the incident.

            Recommended Playlist:

            -All Along the Watch Twig
            -The Fields of Autumn
            -And They Were Never Heard From Again

            True fact, what you heard in my voice was slowly dawning horror.

          • I think one point is being missed in all this discussion (atleast from the posts I’ve read). Critical Hit has (atleast for me) always been about the story. CH was really my first exposure to 4e and since then I’ve tried to join games that really underwhelmed me due to the fact that the GM’s were nothing like Rodrigo.

            I see no problem with an unwinnable combat being used for story purposes.

            At the end of the day CH is a drama with D&D as a vehicle for that story. For goodness sake if memory serves me right we had like 3-4 episodes in a row where we had no combat.

            Just my .02

          • Since for some reason I can’t reply to your comments, I will just reply to my own.

            Now. As for the hogba, I am probably alone in how I feel about that arc and how it was meaningless compared to the previous time critical hit had dream sequences.

            HOWEVER, it does seem like I am not alone in people being disappointed in this ending (and it IS an ending since you are finished with your primary feywild quest).

            Perhaps things will change how we perceive this episode in subsequent episodes but as for RIGHT NOW several people of your community feel cheated and unhappy with how things played out.

            Do we expect you or Rodrigo to do anything about it? No. We just want to let you know how we feel. Perhaps this is, as you said, purely cathartic but at least we can let you know what you can get away with story wise and what will bring out the unhappy people.

          • I doubt you’ll believe me, but, yes. I am.

            Where you see an “unwinnable combat”, I see a hugely successful Wham Episode, with a hell of an ending. Mileage varies, after all… Sorry it wasn’t to your liking.

          • I have listened to this point, and I am re-listening from the beginning (just finished ep 56).. and even to that point, there have been several times where some group, organization, NPC has asked the Torqletones to keep in touch via Sending Ritual, or animal messenger, or whatnot.. Master Althorn, Diamond Throne, the Elves of Blackwood, etc.. and the group forgets about it. It happens in real life, people forget. I remember when I was younger, on vacation or whatnot, Mom would always ask me to call when I got to my destination safely.. and I usually forgot. This resulted in a mother panicking, wondering if there was an accident or something else, until I remembered, or she got ahold of me.

            Imagine now Orem, Torq, Smith/Ket, Randus.. going on a quest where the potential fate of the world, or even a Plane of Existence are at stake, and they never get back to you. Did they fail? Did they succeed? Were they eaten by a giant Crocogator in an icy field? Are these groups and organizations just going to sit back, or should they proceed with plans in the eventuality that feces is about to hit the fan.

            When I first listened to the Spud episode, I was amazed at how cool it was. Was Spud really that much of an emotional wreck? Or did he, in fact, have something to do with the Seasonal Monarchs’ decent into madness, and now the PCs have ruined his plans? Maybe this wasn’t just some grief-stricken rage, but a pissed off tantrum? Or, maybe Spud had nothing to do with the slipping of the Monarchs, but he orchestrated the restoring of them, and had this plan to take power for a long time. Again, maybe it had nothing to do with the group forgetting to call home, and that was just a convenient thing to blame it on, because Spud didn’t want to come out say that he had been planning this all along.

            You may be disappointed, but I don’t think there has been a wasted moment. Even the Hogba episode helped to shape the group into the characters they are today, and I eagerly look forward to the future.

  24. Damn you magnificent monster Rodrigo. I can not believe that just happened. I was yelling the whole time not to attack but what are you going to do. Anyway I was debating on the 10 a month plan and jumped right in after this. Can’t buy this kind of entertainment for this many hours for the cost of one 90 min movie ticket. You guys rock.

  25. I’m trusting Rodrigo on this one. While I personally hate situations that seem to be set up as impossible (or virtually impossible) to win, in something like Critical Hit, there is a place for dramatic cliffhangers. If you have a GM you can trust, you can sometimes accept this. It was an incredibly dramatic episode though, and I’m certainly looking forward to the next one.

    As a GM, I don’t run villains that are impossible to kill. My players roll badly enough on their own that it’s possible to kill them normally. When you’re GM, you totally have the ability to write up impossible fights any time you want to. If your characters want that, that’s fine to do. Mine don’t.

  26. Ard Ri na hEireann on

    Rodrigo you crafty son of a gun! But as with the Astral Sea storyline when we supposedly lost Ket I’ve a feeling that a DM such as Rodrigo wouldn’t TPK a party for a bad decision (those accused exploding skeletons) This is just another segway that has been masterfully disguised. Also with the ammount of times Stephen said NEXT I think their maybe another transition to be made ;)

  27. I listened to the episode, and I hate only one thing about it… That it will be left as a season cliffhanger. Your crew does a great job of keeping us entertained in the offseason, but this will be in the back of my mind until the next season starts!

    Will the hedgehogs rise up against their gnomish overlord?

    Will Torq ever duck again?

    Will they be caught in some form of Anime-like existence, in which they are unknown to death, nor known to life?

    When will Rodrigo release my mind from this torture?!?

    Successful episode and season Critical Hit crew, a tip of my hat to Rodrigo and all the best from a huge fan!

  28. Loved this episode; definitely teared up. As a poor student, I’m looking forward to getting a real job and, consequently, the ability to financially support the Major Spoilers endeavor. I too want you to be able to quit your day-jobs and do this all day.

    Also – not that it matters – but my two cents on the nigh unwinnable combat that seems to be a point of controversy among listeners: the party made a choice to attack Spud. Personally, I loved that the party had the ability to make that choice, and the subsequent meshing of RP and combat. After their decision to attack, it might have felt cheaper to force a non-combat resolution of “Spud smites all of you before you can do anything” rather than giving the party that sliver of a hope of a chance to defeat him.

    After the massive demonstrations of power by the greater fey, Spud seems to be a “villain” designed to take the party to or perhaps through epic tier (fingers crossed that the story continues that long). I’m really looking forward to (slash hoping for) the chance to experience an everygnome antagonist that seems to be striving for order and safety in a chaotic world, as a counterpoint the moon gods.

    All that said – it’s their world; I’m just enjoying the ride.

  29. Background: I only ever played one game of d&d, and back then, it was ad&d. I have always been enamored with the game though, and consuming fantasy fiction in all forms.
    Here’s my take on all this: chill, pickles. Characters die. Sometimes. Sometimes they are teleported to different planes of existence, sometimes they go off on mystical voyages, and sometimes they die. And the game goes on. Or there’s a new game. Either way: GAME.
    See, it’s like fishing. Or knitting. Or sex. Even if it didn’t go like you had hoped, you still did a thing you like to do. If you didn’t catch a fish, you still spent a day on the lake. If you have to frog a scarf, you still had hours of creating fabric with sticks and string. And even if all your favorite characters get killed off, you still just spent an hour or so immersed in a world full of magic and hilarity. And you will again.

  30. I loved the episode. The tension was terrific and I can’t wait to see what happens. Something I think people are forgetting is that this is not only a D&D session but it is also entertainment and as such it worked excellently!

  31. Next season I’m hoping to see a lot more spotlight time for Torq and Randus. Torq started the Feywild arc with some cool character development that didn’t really get a chance to go anywhere this season. And poor Randus seems spend all his time just sorta hanging out until the party needs a magical magguffin to save the day.

    Wish list for next season:
    King Torq!
    or at least some sort of responsibility, be it an Orc tribe without a leader or a wayward congregation of Corellon in need of a priest. I think challenging Torq like that would really give the character room to grow.
    Randus Gets The Girl! (or boy, or sexy automoton)
    Aside from the fact that awkward RPG flirting is hilarious, directly challenging Randus with something that he can’t solve with Science-magic(!) is great story fuel.

    Anyway, that’s my backseat GM input ;)

  32. Not to be disrespectful to anyone, but I can’t understand why some people are so upset about the ‘unwinnable’ fight. Imagine Trelle hesitating to attack until the very last second, only to be both, frustrated and terribly scared when her weapons cracked. Then think in what Orem must have felt (yes, he has feelings) when his friends, one by one, were apparently destroyed and he was to blame for that (according to Spud at least).

    I don’t think this was the last time we saw the Torqletones, although I wouldn’t be surprised if not all of them make it back. And if this was their last appearance.. I’m pretty sure Rodrigo has a nice scene prepared for us.

  33. Great to see all of the comments here – even people who are disappointed with how things ended. All I can say is people approach role-playing games in radically different ways. Even within a single system like d&d 4e, which many would view as designed with a heavy strategic or “gamist” emphasis, there are diverging philosophies. To a player who enjoys 4e for overcoming challenges through tactical decision-making, being presented with a battle which you can’t possibly win can seem like a betrayal: It invalidates your entire reason for participation. After investing in a character with cool powers and synergetic teamwork, inevitable defeat is a bit like tearing down the curtain to reveal there is no wizard, just a bunch of nerds around a table. Unless you’re LARPing I guess, in which case there is still a wizard but you can tell his beard is totally fake.

    From that framework I can understand why some people are so upset. But the players at the Critical Hit table don’t necessarily come with that same perspective. Something that fails from one standpoint can make for tremendously successful narrative play.

    Where some people disliked the Hogba as a pointless tangent, I loved the world-building and character development as we slowly come to realize the strange logic of the feywild. Personally, I really enjoyed this ending (in a Stockholm-syndrome “Rodrigo hurts us because he loves us” kind of way.) I’m less interested in episodes that feature almost all combat and little role-play, but it’s unreasonable to expect the things we like to cater exclusively to our interests.

    I actually think it’s one of the really fascinating tensions within the show: as a DM your single goal is to design a story-environment which is compelling to your players, but as a form of popular media you strive to make a product that appeals to your listener-base. Critical Hit is successful because it manages to do both.

  34. I would like to say that I LOVED this episode. It’s possibly one of my favorite so far. When I realized the combat was nigh unwinnable, I was apprehensive at first. But then I didn’t mind it. It made for a masterful roleplay moment that I think all the players enjoyed.

    Rodrigo, keep doing your thing, man.

  35. Definately loved this episode, both from a story sense and as an opportunity to see the Critical Hit players role play.

    My personal favorite moment is Torq demonstrating how he really can be a cleric of Corallon by speaking to Spud’s true injury, rather than charging in and attacking like the Torq of episode 1 might have. Very few players can get past their original character concepts to reach that kind of growth. *applauds*

  36. you guys are too hard on Rodrigo. Remember the party attacked AFTER they saw spud eliminat 4 of the greater fey in one swoop. and I like the fact because the charactures would do that, not try to save thiere life and or possesions. Well played by all I say

  37. Im waiting for the new episode right now so heres my prediction and bare with me here,The party or just ket is saved by asmoudeus. also i want to give my two cence on the whole unwinable encounter thing. the argument made about movies haveing contrived events to save characters dosent hold water. in film there is a dramatic licence for proof of this you can look at DM of the rings which is an awsome webcomic or an episode of a web series called counter monkey entitled all jedi or no jedi. that being said while unwinable combats are usually a bad idea the climactic nature of this episode considering all thats happend between now and orems graduating and the raw power of spud (never thought i would use that sentence) i think a little dramatic licence is apropriate. the craftsman ship that has gone into the story of the torqueltones i would hope that the very least we could do for rodrigo is bare with him because i know that whats comeing is going to be encredibley awsome

  38. Rodrigo has crafted one of the greatest DnD Campaigns I have ever experienced. Since the beginning of the this incredible adventure, he has woven a very intricate tale; linking each season to the next. I have no doubt that this will hold true as we prepare for the beginning of the next season of Critical Hit. I put my trust in Rodrigo to deliver. He has not failed us in the past; nor do I believe he will fail us in the future.

    This episode delivered the same drama and excitement that each season finale has in the past. I for one have complete faith Rodrigo’s ability to create suspense and drama and just as many great movie director’s use misdirection to draw you into a film; I believe that this is what Rodrigo has done in this particular instance. I reminds me of the the old Saturday matinee serial adventures. We see Rocket Man trapped inside a car, which goes over a cliff. Then in the following chapter the next week, as the car plummets toward the jagged rocks below; we see our hero burst out of the door and fly to safety just in time.

    I don’t believe this in the end of our heroes, it’s just the intermission.

    Trust the Ridrigo!

  39. Loved the episode. And for the unwinnable combat Rodrigo is on record as saying every combat has a purpose. So I trust him to deliver on this, and Spud told Orem to deliver a message to others, meaning they survived.

  40. XantharTheFlame on

    I literally had to stop listening after Spud disintegrated Trelle, I was so upset by that. Bad enough every weapon, implement or whatever gets destroyed after each attack!

    I wondered if Spud would have listened to Orem if Orem had just once admitted responsibility (even though we all know it was not his fault), but later I was thinking it probably wouldn’t matter… In Spud’s frame of mind it would probably just end up being justification for disintegrating the party anyway! And it would not have been in Orem’s character in any case.

    All in all, I loved this episode, and the entire season, even the series with the Hogba because of the insights we gained into the Feywild and Greater Fey, as well as the characters themselves. There was so much great roleplaying this season by the whole cast, including Rodgrigo, that I can not wait until I get back to it again in my second listen (I’m still re-listening to season 2).

    Well done all of you, and I also have faith that what Rodrigo did was for a reason, and I believe this is not the last we’ll see of this party.


  41. Crazy episode! I would have never guessed in a million years that Spud would be the big baddie. I was expecting either a void monster or Orem’s father. As for the complaints, while I maybe see their point, I don’t see anything wrong with using combat as a storytelling device. It’s good to have to players take a loss once in awhile. I only hope that for once the party gets some peace and quiet before the next campaign starts, but considering the ending, I doubt it.


  43. Collin Jones on

    Looking back at this episode, probably one of the highest points in the series for me, I’m kind of disappointed in the audience here for criticizing so bad, I’d agree this is a bad move in a traditional game, but everyone here is experienced in gaming for the audience and Rodrigo is an expert at story telling he knows how to make a good show. This is classic suspense and dis-empowerment how many times in GoT do characters “die” and then show up later on.

    long story short great episode and I hope people complaining stuck around.

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