Lords of the Feywild

In this episode of Critical Hit, A Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons Podcast: Will the party survive the latest conflict?

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Crystal Groves on

    Man, what a cluster! Between Trelle throwing her forest-authority around, Torq getting so fed up he walked out of the scene, everyone was on a different page. Ket was right, what Trelle says goes in the forest and the whole voting this was a waste of time unless the PCs agreed on a plan that opposed Trelle’s. I was seriously almost yelling at my computer in frustration. The group is going to completely break if there isn’t a full-on heart-to-heart and get all this sorted out. I understand probably how Trelle feels but I honestly CAN’T understand why she’s doing what she’s doing at this point.

    As always, great episode. Can’t wait to hear more.

      • Looking forward to the resolution to all of this! I’m so upset with this episode but NOT because I hate any of the characters (absolutely no Trelle/Adrianna hate from me). I’m getting worked up listening to these episodes because I’m legitimately invested in these characters and when they argue (like right after the Moonsters in Basalt incident) I emotionally react. I want to scream at the characters for some of the decisions they make but only because I LOVE THEM. <3
        Take this ranting as a compliment. You guys seriously make my days better. You all deserve so much more than $10 a month.

  2. Ha. Crystal, I was just about to post the same thing. I know it’s a character Adriana is playing, but I did actually yell vocally at my iPad during the ‘little talk’ Trelle had with Ket. I’m afraid that, after exchanges like those in this episode, Trelle is the bottom of the pile in terms of the group.

    • Crystal Groves on

      Whatever is going on with the group dynamic is bound to end up being a really great upcoming role-playing episode but my husband, who was only half listening while he was doing something else actually asked, “are they STILL talking about what they’re going to do?”

      I’m wondering if Trelle’s hesitation to take command is going to lead to some serious repercussions. Leaders have to make hard choices and take responsibility for the consequences and when they are the sole decider in a situation then they are also the sole person responsible for the fallout (and we all know how uncomfortable she is having the entirety of her people looking to her for answers). It might be that she’s not afraid to be in charge, she just afraid of making an executive decision that hurts people.

      • There was also the issue of, when they agreed to help the Elves, everyone pretty much going to Trelle, and her agreeing that if they started this, is was to wipe the Moonsters out.. and now “well, wait,, we should vote”… What happened to the resolve she had after hearing the kind of damage these things were causing, and then SEEING the kind of damage they were causing.

        And yes, as Twilight Guardian, pretty sure the Elves vote was to follow Trelle and what she decided.. voting again and again just shows lack of leadership, lack of willingness to make the decisions you’ve already been trusted to make.

  3. Brandon Dingess on

    I trudged through this episode rather than enjoyed it because of all the vituperation at Trelle’s nonsense.

    I held out hope that Torq would would sneak back in after the elves dispersed, whack the thing with his axe, then say Corellon told him it was the right thing to do. Trelle’s such a hippy that she may have been able to accept a divinely inspired justification.

  4. When Torq walked out saying: “Don’t talk to *ME* about respect” I just remembered how Trelle actually said to point out if anyone was disrespecting him seeing how he is a 3/4 orc and would likely be the target or racism.

    I kept thinking: “Trelle is a horrible person!”, then realize she’s just a nature loving hippie with more authority then she can handle.

    Trelle went as far as have a talk with the group about how they need to “pretend she knows what she’s doing” while in the presence of the elves.

    It’s like if a park ranger who is happy living in his little wooden house in the middle of the forest becomes God anointed ruler of the country and has to make choices based on his knowledge of hunting and fishing…

  5. Fast-forward 50 episodes: the Torqletones are still in the Everdeep Forest. After Randus steps on a worm, Trelle becomes alarmed at the potential consequence of their footfalls on the pink-brothers. After a lengthy debate, the group sets out on a quest to petition the Council of the Long-Kind to return the soul of the fallen worm, at which point the skies crash into the sea and the world boils to dust.

    I’m not trying to be rude in any of this, I think everyone here are talented roleplayers. But seriously guys the pacing and tone of the show has REALLY deteriorated lately – and with it my interest. The first three-and-a-half seasons were a breathless adventure-story as the party races to avert destruction, wrapped in a candy-coating of classic improv comedy. The role-play sessions were hilarious (Orem and Darkmist, Ket’s gambling addiction) or dramatically furthered the plot (Meeting Azmodeus, Council of the Gods).

    Lately though, the characters have spent EVERY OTHER EPISODE either arguing about their feelings, coming to terms with their feelings, or arguing in minutiae about how much to tip their eagles.

    I don’t know if it’s a problem of format – the earlier episodes were much more linear in the choices Rodrigo offered the party, and maybe that clarity of action better suited the pacing of the story. Maybe it’s a change in editing – after all, the planning session for how to defeat the Void Cyst was cut.

    At any rate, the over-thinking doesn’t make for very compelling story, and the constant Days Of Our Lives squabbling has really changed the tone to the point that it just isn’t fun to listen to. Rodrigo, I think you are a brilliant GM – please please please just light a fire under their asses until the story gets moving.

    • Brandon Dingess on

      Yeah, this was definitely an instance where I felt it was incumbent on the DM to move things along after it just went on and on and on, like a couple of episodes ago where he was just like “OK, I’m bored. Fight over!” albeit a little too late.

      • Seriously… Ket: “Wait guys, we don’t know how long it will take before these eggs start to hatch.” Rodrigo: “The queen screams and monkey-lizards start to rupture out of the egg-sack. Choice time is NOW.”

    • The party faces a problem they haven’t seen before: an all powerful player character. Trelle can pretty much order the elves to kill the party and make a suit out of Torq if she felt like it, Trelle can pretty much railroad the rest of the party.

      The moment she said “I think we should kill it humanely” I knew it was going to go that way, while they are at the elves’ forest she rules.

      While we have had Ket for example basically run the party in the astral sea, they could always vote amongst players to see if they were going to follow his plan. But in Trelle case she has a *forest full of people* who will back her play. ket is completely right, she needs to make decisions not ask for a vote, because this is not a democracy, like it or not she is the head of a dictatorship right now.

      So rather then players picking what to do as a majority it’s become a “convince Trelle because even if the majority disagrees with her, what she says still goes”…

      Also it’s slow because as Rodrigo said in the last chapter the players are pretty much crippled and they *just* got what they need to get back to full power.

    • I agree with almost everything here. I resubbed two weeks ago and was rewarded with an enjoyable combat episode. Last week was a great level up episode two things I’ve always enjoyed about Critical Hit. This week I as reminded why I unsubbed.

      I want to love this show. I’ve listened to it for 4 years but since the King Spud episode, there has been to many episodes like this one. Which are just terrible to listen too. Needless arguments about details no one cares about.

      The issue is Trelle as a character is very indecisive uncomfortable with role as Twilight Guardian yet the elves defer to her judgement. This leads to Trelle looking for to other people make decision for her. Be it the other party members or the other Elves. This is a far cry from the very driven Trelle that we first meet in the Faywild in combat, it the mission, and her personal goals.

      To the issue of party fight, while there is nothing wrong with the party fighting its very boring to listen too and there isn’t much story really going on. “Let us argue how we are going to kill this thing which we all agreed has to die.” Fast ward 70 minutes “So we have taken a nap turn the monster to stone, then let it turn back into flesh then chop it to bits.” I was like please listen to Torq even though I knew that wasn’t going to be the case.

      Steven has often says he doesn’t care about feedback because he will do what he wants anyways. Which is his right but if this one my show I would have cut this down by about half hour if this was radio play or a drama you wouldn’t have that argument go on and on and on.

      I’m going to step away from the show again maybe come back later because judging from the way Steven said he is editing the shows now we can expect another 3 more painful talking episodes before anything happens again.

      My sense is maybe in 6 months or a year when the party gets to the Underdark things will pick up again but until that point this podcast is just not worth downloading.

          • I’m happy to come back. But like anything if one isn’t enjoy something know when to step away so when thinks pickup again your not so embittered against it you can’t enjoy it. I wish you luck I really do.

            End of the days its your creative vision as an editor, Rodigo as DM and all of the players working together. That make the show. Sometimes that alchemy works better than others.

            Your the captain of this boat on the podcast end Steven if your judgement is to keep or throw something I would trust your gut.

            Best regards

          • A problem with being a content creator is that you are essentially living some months/years in the future. Having a coherent discussion with your audience difficult outside the medium, because your premises are not shared. This leaves you in a situation that whatever you say seems ungrounded in reality, hollow and unsympathetic, despite being quite the opposite on all fronts.

            I recall when Apple switched to Intel. At the time the switch was announced, there was a lot of screaming/hysteria from software developers and users. It frankly closely mirrored our own dismay some years before when those of us that worked there learned what was to happen internally. However, in the intervening time between that discovery and the public release, we came to solve problems and realize that most of our fears weren’t really a concern, and certainly by now, it is clear the decision was among the best that Apple has ever made.

            At the time, though, you really couldn’t just tell developers that “it isn’t so bad”, or “nonsense,that isn’t a problem” or “not all Intel processors are like the Pentium IV you have been making fun of all along”. It would sound like you are pooh-poohing their concerns! …Even if it was entirely true, which we full well knew from years of experience at that point that it was!

            What they needed most was empathy. They were scared about uncertainty. They didn’t know whether their years of investment into PowerPC were going to be worth anything on Intel. Ewww! little endian! Not to mention, we handed them a big pile of work to do just to stand still and keep shipping a product. Livelihoods at stake and all that.

            So, if Stephen seems aloof or unsympathetic, that’s why. I hope the party finds common purpose soon, or Rodrigo hits them with a clue-bat. Until then, I remain on the edge of my seat, waiting the see how the time distortion field unfolds.

  6. I’m a fan of the show, for sure, but there is definitely a lot of aggression among the players/PCs lately. I’m also going to apologize ahead of time for what I’m about to say, but I can’t keeping listening to Trelle blather on about trees, decisions, her family, and humanely killing moon creatures. Compared to the earlier episodes (which were simply RAD), the last few (since the party left Randus’s family) have been uncomfortable to watch with the bickering.

    I love good roleplayers, but Adriana needs to take about half a step out of the role she’s put herself in and Rob needs to tone down the bossiness.

    Critical Hit has been home for my imagination for a long time and I’d hate to see a party split because of the derision in the group right now.

  7. I think something we should keep in mind is that this is a live-play podcast of a game, not a dramatic production like a radio play (though the drama is brilliant a lot of the time.) Anyway, I like it. :)

  8. This may be the worst episode the Critical Hit has ever published.

    I wanted to like Trelle. I wanted a strong female character. I was super excited when Trelle joined the cast. I even loved her design. I don’t know if it is the character or Adriana but she has to be one of the most frustrating characters in any fictional story I have ever seen. Nearly all of this episodes problems originated from that character.

    I don’t even know what to say. Is she out of her mind? The voting thing made absolutely no sense. She never properly explained why it was a necessity, only just that the others didn’t understand. What she said about the others during her conversation with Ket was absolutely ridiculous and seemed completely unfounded from a listeners point of view. As a character, Trelle often seems like a child throwing a tantrum in these situations. Listening to it is like listening to a child throwing a tantrum in the supermarket and usually produces a few cringes from me.

      • Frustrated (But loving) Fan on

        To be sure I LOVE Crticial Hit. I just started playing D&D about a year ago. I had heard about D&D podcasts, a medium I have loved for years but recently stooped listening to. I do a lot of driving all over the Midwest, so instead of spending the the hours of driving ahead fighting with my iPhones music library, using Rdio to stream more I downloaded a few and was hooked. That was April. I marathoned the show from the beginning until sometime in June when I got caught up.

      • No, it’s Trelle’s character degeneration that’s doing it. She was so good in the Feywild, too… I started playing D&D because of you guys, and am even GMing a group. The problem is with Trelle’s flanderization.

  9. Well, I have to say the party finally sounded like any of the game groups I have run at one time or another. There are times when players will disagree and it’s usually about something that they really agree about, just the method causes some consternation.
    I think two of the above suggestions would be useful as far as the podcast goes. 1) Edit the discussion (argument) out and return with the decision, 2) The DM should have stepped in a little sooner. Like they say on the Haste podcast, “When in doubt, something blows up!”
    Finally, I think people should give Trelle a break, I agree that the “hippy-ness” she exudes is hard to take with rough and tumble PC’s, but that dynamic makes for interesting situations. She just needs to come in to her own a bit. Also, the male/female roleplayer’s dynamic shouldn’t be ignored. Adrianna is female and she does not think like males do. (However, I would have preferred Trelle going all Ripley in Aliens with the queen instead of what happened. Just saying…)

    • I love this comment. Your’s and Saymoro. For years, people have been screaming to “leave it in! Don’t edit anything out!” and “Stephen doesn’t listen to feedback and does whatever he wants want to do.” But (for those that have been listening and following @majorspoilers on Twitter, or my open comment about editing at Nerdtacular 2013), you know I’ve been leaving more and more in because the fans have asked for it. Now the fans are screaming “edit it out! edit it all out!”

      In the future when I edit things because content needs to be removed, and people once again start screaming “Stop editing stuff out” maybe people will understand why … It doesn’t change the nature of the story – because this is all ad-lib at its best and nothing is scripted.

      • XantharTheFlame on

        For my part, I didn’t enjoy listening to this because I love all the characters, and I love this team, and I just want them to get along and be awesome!

        But just because I didn’t enjoy listening to it doesn’t mean I don’t WANT to listen to it! I am happy you are sharing all this. If you edit it out it hides some of the character undercurrents. This is roleplaying! I’m sure behind the scenes that Adrianna, yourself and Mathew are not actually upset with each other (I hope!)

        In the end, it’s your choice how much to edit out or leave in, and I’m happy you make the time to do it at all — PERIOD!!

        • We all live each other in that way you have when you are part of a team. Irritants are inevitable, but usually short-lived. Even the needling and slap-fighting and such…

          Critical Hit reminds me of family car trips, especially before seat belts…

          • XantharTheFlame on

            Agreed! And having now caught up a bit and listened to the next 2 episodes, I see more clearly the dynamic that is going on… and I think all of you are playing your characters extremely well!

            To anyone who is still anti-Trelle I say BOOOOO!!! You are obviously not paying attention and have no faith in the group.

            • Actually, many of us are. Trelle, as a character, has changed – her character has devolved and her character flaws have been exaggerated to the point that they are actually causing problems. The problem here isn’t Trelle herself, but rather what she has become – from a strong, well rounded character to a problem and a cliche. A textbook case of flanderization. That’s what’s causing the problem. If this were Feywild!Trelle, she’d be kicking ass and taking names, not asking everyone if it was okay to be kicking ass.

    • You say that, but she was awesome back in the Feywild. It’s not just a male/female perspective, nor the hippy nature that’s doing it. Her character has changed. She went from being a strong female character to an indecisive girly stereotype that often subverts the party’s goals.

  10. I am waiting for the day that Ket gets pulled into the ether for another “game” during a big fight. I would have thought the fight with the big queen of all Monkey-Lizards would have been something amazing, which fizzled out to nothing.

  11. Have to agree here. I look forward to the Critical Hit episodes, but have grown frustrated with the drama like this. what should have been 15 minutes tops, turned into a mess. I respect and enjoy the podcast, and it has helped me immensely in giving me a “happy place” to go during some particularly rough periods in the last couple of years. I have faith that it will turn around, but something does need to change.

  12. Critical Hit got me back into D & D and has been must listen entertainment for me for ages now, so thanks all involved for that. I sympathise with much of what has been said. At the same time I think it is worth remembering that this is (good quality) actual play not a radio play. This podcast fulfils many roles for many different audiences. For me it sets aspirational goals for things I would like to see in my game. I think you can learn lessons from when it doesn’t ‘float your boat’ as well, in terms of how you don’t want things to go. There are plenty of Radio and TV series that have run a long while that have very variable quality, and those have full time production teams and many scriptwriters. I for one will continue to listen avidly.

    • Thanks for the feedback! And you are correct, everybody gets something different out of these shows. Some people love the drama. Some people love the fighting. And believe it or not, some people love the hair talk… (I couldn’t believe it either). Keep listening! There’s a part with a kitten you are all going to love!

  13. Like many others, I found this episode a slog to get through. Edit or not, I don’t mind, as overall the entire Critical Hit campaign is an enjoyable listen. Although lately it has felt slow, but I guess that is attributed to the party’s circumstances re: Spud, Godking of the Feywild.

    But what we should be talking about is the absolutely realistic beginning of the episode! The giggles are a dangerous disease, lying dormant in d20s across the world and infecting players without warning. No DM can withstand its terrible symptoms.

    • I’m gonna be honest – when they’re joking and cutting up, it’s my favorite part of the show. I’ve fallen over laughing at work several times in this series. Even with the frustrations that come with Trelle’s character degradation, I absolutely adore the jokes that Adriana and the others come out with. While I’ll be fine if Trelle dies or is put on a bus (though having her restored to her former awesome self would be better), I don’t want Adriana to leave, ever. I can’t wait to hear her with a new character in the off season – I’d love to see what she does with it, and what fun can come out of it. ^-^

      Also, Ket fusing with a bird was one of the best things that happened in the show so far. Soooo many bird puns. XD

  14. I wanted to leave a slightly more constructive comment, since in hindsight my last was fairly snarky. I don’t think Trelle is a weak character, and I certainly don’t hate Adrianna. I also wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with sewing the seeds for more character drama (though I mostly enjoy the show for its ad lib comedy). But coupled with taking a more hands-off approach to progressing the narrative, this seems to have really mired down the pacing of the story.

    More frustratingly, it seems to be the same arguments being retread over and over ad nauseum. Now, I know this is what dysfunctional relationships are really like – but not every miserable couple wins an Oscar (that or the Academy has CHEATED ME ONCE AGAIN)

    In all honesty, the first time I tried listening to this episode I skipped forward about five times before giving up and just cutting to the last 15 minutes. And I used to listen to each episode multiple times just to catch the jokes and think about Rodrigo’s GM techniques.

    It’s disappointing when a show you like seems to drastically change tone, especially when it does so to the detriment of the things that first attracted you. For Critical Hit, that was epic storytelling and fast-paced comedy. Lately, there hasn’t been much that makes me want to keep listening.

  15. I enjoyed this episode. I feel like each player understands how their character feels and thinks and what beliefs they hold most dear. Now they are getting into more situations where those beliefs are in conflict and the characters do not know how to express their ideals nor how to resolve the conflicts. I also think the characters are trying to deal with the frustration of the world being continually in danger even though they have successfully saved it multiple times in the past. These characters feel real to me, and that is why I keep listening.

  16. i dont think I have ever commented before, at least on here, but i have been an avid listener for quite awhile now. Whilst the show isnt what got me INTO D&D, it IS what gave me the courage to DM. I felt compelled to comment given what happened in the episode, and the responses.

    I don’t agree that the answer here was to edit the show down. whilst it was very slow, it definitely gave context to the events that followed. I was glad to know what happened and why.

    As to the event itself…i don;t have NEARLY the experience of Rodruigo, but i suspect I’d have cut it short somehow myself. Had soemthing jump out, the queen attack them…. something. but that’s just me. I have a low tolerance for indecision at the best of times :)

    And lastly; I don’t think its fair to blame Adrianna for playing Trelle the way the character is built. When you set a character up, you build in facets, and then see what happens. It can be really hard to stick to a character when you hit a situation that goes against what you want, but you know your character would react a certain way.

    *****Enage TL/DR*******
    In fact if i may blather slightly: I am experiencing something similar right now. In our groups current Pathfinder campaign, I am playing a Samurai/Psionic Gestalt who works ina team as part of a large interdimensional police like unit. When I built him, I wanted a bit of a grim character, which is unlike what I usually play. The backstory involved him being the survivor of several dead teams, and so he hjas a sense of detchments from others, because he thinks they will all die while he lives. He is close to one other player character who joined with him, and has survived awhile with him. Seemed simple enough. he’s a bit grim and sarcastic and mocking, all to keep otehrs at a distance.

    Well recently we were in a fight where he lost his sword (Which is a big deal for a samurai) and believed that his survivor friend had died. Now Craig the player knew he hadn’t. But Sho didn;t, and i had to play it that way. So he snapped and leapt on a Hydra using only his bare hands. At that point I was on 9 hit points; I resolved myself that he would probably die, and that was OK; It was what he wanted. now he didn’t, though he has lost an arm and his sword, which makes him quite a poor Samurai. Luckily i can use Psionics to form a new arm, and the mission ended thereafter…. but that still means changes to the character.

    he was resolved to die, he recognised the shame of what happened, and he has been reduced as a warrior. i plan to have him reform his Aegis abilities to let him create psion armour, and become encased in it. He will assist the party as a warrior, but say little and contribute little. Thats a BEAR for me to roleplay (As you can tell I can be verbose) but its the way the character would act. And it’s hard!
    *********Disengage TL/DR*********

    I look forward to seeing Adrianna bring Trelle back into the group, or indeed lead the group as ket suggested. I suspect Torq is the kind of character wiho will be willing to discuss things.

    That said I did notice one thing: Trelle never actually ASKED Randis if he would be willing to spend 2 days synthesising a poison. In fact he was against the idea (Voting to just kill it). It would have been interesting to see the viote go through…. but then Randis refuse to comply! Ah well…

  17. Christopher Crissey on

    I love this show a lot. I keep playing the episodes late at night at work and “torturing” my fellow employees with this and the other Major spoilers shows. We had a discussion and much to my surprise they commented that if this was edited like the plans to destroy the Void Gods. people would prolly say the same things. Also have to agree with Craig that had Trelle just said ok and not fought the team on this it would have felt disingenuous to the character. Edited or not I will continue to gladly listen and yell at my ipod for as long as the show continues (may it have a long life). Also, theoretically, if Stephen starts to edit the shows again that will mean an overall loss of content (both C.H. and other shows that he could be editing in its stead.) Long live the Torqueltones (and friends)

  18. Matthew,

    I think instead of having Torq do the classic Western prayer/meditation, I think you should let him be more of a zen archer type, now that he follows Corellon and has a bow. Need a moment to think? Go practice archery… Pissed off at someone? Go practice archery…

  19. Lets take a vote. Adrianna was having PMS. Yes or yes? Seriously, stop being such a god damned hippy woman. Sick of your whining.

  20. Way too long to argue. Even if it wasn’t a podcast the GM should have sped things up. Also, the players should have realized that the elves were waiting for Trelle to vote and just given up and let Trelle have her way. If things went bad because of her decision then she will have learned the lesson. Arguing wont solve the issue.

    Honestly, I would think the elves would consider the moon creatures to be an affront to nature and want it destroyed as quickly as possible whether it was painful or humane. And big time hunters like Trelle would be right there with them.

  21. I think the disappointment from a lot of people stems from two things:
    1. Confusion over Trelle’s policy on violence. Trelle seems ready and willing to kill stuff in some situations, but not in others. It’s not clear why and at points seems to change. It also flies in the face of D&D being a game where most of the structure is built around killing the bad things. There is room for a small amount of the hippy-ness, and a small amount is actually endearing and one of the things I really like about Trelle. But, if you push it too far it goes against the very architecture of the system and creates a situation where a player is having their character trying to stop the very thing the system was setup to do.

    2. Leadership leadership leadership. The pace has slowed since the Spud incident and I think it’s because the roles are less clearly defined. Way back at the very beginning of Critical Hit it was pretty clear Orem was the primary decision maker (though he did a great job of getting the opinions from everyone). When Ket appeared he started chipping in on the leadership front, but it was still pretty clear when Ket was best to take the lead and when Orem was best to take the lead. In the Feywild Orem was mostly in charge, and Trelle would handle forays into the wilderness, but Ket still had his moments and Torq even started being more assertive. Now they’re all back in the natural realm and everyone (aside from Randus) is being assertive, often at weird times, and no one seems to be a clear expert on how to handle any one particular situation. Plus, there seems to be a lot of competing priorities (Randus’s parents, the forest, the feywild, etc). Four different people trying to be in charge with three different competing priorities…. Of course the pace is going to drag a bit.

    Hopefully the team can iron out their roles a little better and it will move along more quickly…

    Stephan, don’t let all the negative comments get to you! It just shows how much people love the show!

    • I have had some issues with Trelle’s motivations myself since the episode about the moon creatures on the coast as well. Rodrigo himself has identified them as abominations, which tends to be defined in this game as something outside of the natural order of things. As a ranger she should be vehemently opposed to these creatures.

    • Im not sure if Adiranna replies here, and this may be more incorrect, but my read was that Trelle likes to hunt creatures when they have a fair chance of escaping or fighting back. Creatures trapped or incarcerated are helpless, and therefore deserve pitty. That’s been fairly consistent to my memory.

      • While a valid point, this still skirts the issue of these things being an affront to the natural world. It seems that the “moonsters” would just not be something she would put up with as a Ranger. Just my two bits on it, and your observation is reasonable.

    • Agreed on lack of direction. Now that family problems are out of the way, Orem should reassert his family problem — Spud — and get the party back on track. Trelle should be able to get behind that.

      Also, the party is being down right stupid with time. It is quite likely that the black smithery where the new weapons are made has more than enough iron on hand (or premade weapons on hand) to make 7 weapons for the party and some pendants. How many weapons does a smithery make in a week? Would they have resources on hand to keep that rate of productin up? Yes, they would. You don’t need a ton of iron. You certainly don’t need to ship a ton of iron across a continent, and you absolutely should not waste time waiting weeks for the shipment when the FATE OF THE PLANE IS AT STAKE. Abandon the cart. Send a nice thankyou note to Staggzy, or whatever his name is, by snail mail / cheapest means available.

      Oh, and Orem, you should go with Torq to visit Aunt Tillie when all of this is over. It would make for a memorable episode.

  22. The issue I had with the discussions/arguments was Trelle’s insistence on following the Elven process of voting, despite the fact that we have been told that the Twilight Guardian tattoo is slapped on kids without a choice and the clan/tribe/village then waits to see if it activates later in life.

    Where is the Elven insistence on voting then?

    • To be fair, if Trelle was chosen as a Twilight Guardian without her consent when she was a child, it might be EXACTLY why she’s so insistent on voting now.

      • Had not thought of that. And thinking back upon Trelle’s character, she does seem hesitant (or maybe even resentful) of her TG role.

        Thank you.

  23. I have a feeling that in the last episode of the season, after the party has killed Spud (and argued for 45 minutes about how to do it), Trelle will finally lose it and chew everyone out before walking off into the sunset, never to be seen or heard from again.

    This would actually be pretty awesome, in my opinion. I mean, I see where Trelle is coming from. She’s a great character. She has strong morals, and is scrappy as hell about following them. I really, really like that.

    At the same time, when she does, I sigh in frustration. Ever since the fight in the marketplace in Basalt with the void creatures, she’s just annoyed the hall out of me every time she tries to get the party to do what she thinks is the right thing. Note that I’m SPECIFICALLY referring to Trelle, and NOT Adrianna.

    Adrianna’s a wonderful player, a great addition to the group, a very strong roleplayer and (from what I can tell from her on-mic persona) an all-around lovely human being.

    Trelle isn’t fitting in with the group anymore, and it’s causing problems. It’s partly because she’s too stubborn in her ways, partly because she’s too unsure of herself… and partly because everyone in the party (except Randus), and some more than others, are being dicks to her. I believed her when she told Ket that the group wouldn’t listen. Ket would have listened, and Randus would have. Torq would have objected, in that Torq way where logic and stupidity mix together and create brilliance, and Orem would have told her to shut up and let the men do the talking.

    So, I mean it when I say I’d love for her to lose her shit with everyone, give them a good shaming, and then tell them where they can stick their adventuring nonsense and go off on her merry way. It would be a great character development, to see her finally be able to stand up for herself effectively in front of the whole group at once.

    I’d also love to see a finale where she finally gains some perspective, lightens up and stops trying to swing her moral banhammer every which way she can.

    Either way, what I’m saying is that I want scenes like this episode to stop. Not to be edited out, but to stop. I’m getting tired of Trelle’s crap, as are the above posters. I want to hear this get resolved, though. Being sick of her crap has me invested in the story, curious to know what will happen when all this comes to a head. I just hope it resolves soon, ’cause I can’t stand another twenty episodes of this.


    TL;DR: I like Trelle, but this drama needs to be resolved somehow, ’cause it’s getting tiresome.


    On the subject of editing, Stephen, I’ll put in my two cents:

    1. I’ve always been in the “leave more in!” camp. My negative reaction to this episode does not change my opinion on that.

    2. The things that I really hate to have removed from the episodes are the banter between the players. I love this show not so much for the story anymore, but for the personalities of the people who are telling it. I love Orem, Torq, Randus, Ket, Smith, all the NPCs, and even Trelle. But what keeps me listening, more than anything, are the on-mic personalities of you, Rodrigo, Matthew, Rob, Brian and yes, especially Adrianna.

    3. If it were my show to edit, I would leave in as much joking around as I can, as much roleplay as I can, and remove most of the mechanics discussions. I would ask Rodrigo and the players to be more descriptive in combat, and to summarize actions at the end of each round, so that I could heavily edit most of the planning and rolling out and just get the story of the combat. Turn two hours of mechanics into twenty minutes of description, with a few “woo, I rolled a crit!” or “pleasedon’tbloodyme pleasedon’tbloodyme” bits in there for tension’s sake.

    This method of editing does work. See link in “website” field of my post.

    However, it’s not my show to edit, it’s yours. At the end of the day, you’re going to do with it what you want to do, and I trust you to do a good job of it. You’ve never lead me astray before. Your edits have always elevated the materiel, and Critical Hit is a high-quality show because of it. I’m an amateur audio editor myself, so I know what you go through on a weekly basis. You think it’s bad with podcasts, try editing 30 to 40 tracks in a 4-minute song. At least you only have to listen to each episode once or twice before you publish.


    Anyway… I dunno. I don’t know if this episode was good or bad. In the end it doesn’t matter. Did you guys have fun making it? If so, then who cares what I think? That’s the point of the game— to have fun.

    Adrianna, I know you probably aren’t reading these comments, but if for some reason you are… I’m sorry. Don’t let all the negativity get to you, girl. Just figure out where Trelle needs to go in life, and talk to your GM about getting her there. You’re awesome, and Trelle, while irritating, is pretty damn awesome, too. As a very long-time listener, and someone who would not be gaming today without first learning about D&D from this show, I am glad you are a part of Critical Hit, and I hope you remain that way for a long time to come.

    And this post was WAY more long-winded than it had any right to be.

    • “and this post was WAY more long-winded than it had any right to be”, says the guy who, a couple weeks ago, tried to convince the Major Spoilers pollsters that Ben Affleck would not honor the role of Batman. Yeah, that was me. Just sayin’. Take what I say with a grain of salt, ’cause sometimes I say some pretty dumb stuff.

      (I still think he’d be too recognizable)

  24. This was one of the best roleplaying episodes to date. Everyone was 100% in character and for some reason I came out of it loving Ket even more now. Thanks!

    • Yeah, Ket really doesn’t get the love he deserves. He’s essentially been acting as the glue keeping the party together, trying to make sure they’re all working well together and in synch, despite being hated on himself. The fact that he stayed around after the Basalt incident, and chose to calmly speak to Trelle this time rather than tell her off for her behavior in this episode speaks volumes about his character. Torq may be the moral compass of the party, but Ket’s definitely the Heart. I very much like and respect him for that.

  25. I enjoy the way Ket is trying to keep the team together, and how he’s trying to make Trelle see how she could have handled things differently. (Even though she seems completely incapable of accepting constructive criticism.) (Trelle the character, just to be clear.) I am curious about how the two “outsiders” to the team see themselves like they are not completely in the group in spite of the shared experiences they have had. I will say this though: as a player annd GM for over 20 years, I would have put the brakes on the whole wringing of hands bit they did for so long. As mentioned earlier in this LONG feedback thread: “The eggs are hatching, decision time is NOW!” I see why Rodrigo did what he did, but with any of my games that kind of timesink would have been mercilessly punished.

  26. Wandering Monk on

    It’s hard for me to get into Trelle as a character because Adrianna seems to blur the lines of how SHE would feel killing a moon beast and how the rest of the Critical Hit story tells us how Trelle SHOULD feel about killing a moon beast.

    I feel like EVERYONE in the entire world of Critical Hit knows that those things are not a part of their world’s natural ecology, that they are harmful to their world’s ecology, and that they absolutely need to be axed in the face, killed on sight, put down with extreme prejudice to preserve their world’s natural balance… except the one Twilight Guardian who is meant to be the most in touch with nature of any character in the game.

    I think Adrianna is great and I love her addition to the cast, but I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world if Trelle pulled a Smith at the end of this season and Adrianna came back with a character that was wildly different (and didn’t cry over slaughtering horrible abominations). Adrianna as an insanely violent pirate woman!! Woot!!!

    • i’d really love to hear Adrianna’s thoughts on her character, since this is all guess work on our part…. BUT, I think Trelle as a character subverts a lot of the thoughts of her race. and frankly, in some ways I think she is the most complex character in the party.
      Some examples of her dichotomies –
      1) She gets along just fine with Eladrin. Hell she LOVES an Eladrin, (Unless I misunderstand and the Eladrin hate elves but not the other way around.)
      2) Trelle is gay. Now I’m not sure how common/not common that is in this world, going by real world standards, that is still bucking the ‘normal.’ Please understand i use ‘normal’ as a word to make a a counter-point for the character, and not a judgement on who loves who and why.
      3) Trelle clearly loves to hunt, and seems to have the Elven love of archery and sword play, yet loves animals and cute things, which seems to war inside her at times.
      4) Trelle acts apart from other elves, in some ways even ignoring her implyed responsibilities as a Twilight Guardian to spend YEARS hunter for her true love in the most hostile environment she could imagine. Yet when returned to the forest feels she has to live up to her Gurdian status.

      I would be hugely upset if Trelle left the party. She offers a badly needed female perspective. on a very ‘Boy’ show. Guys dont just say “Here are my feelings, what are yours?” but Trelle comes in and changes that. Its awesome! The characters have ALL evolved, both individually and as a group because she is there.

      And all the comments that the group has splintered; I dont agree wiht that at all. if that giant had attacked Trelle, Torq would have been the first to step in and help her, angry or not. Not one of these characters would leave another to die or flounder.

      Families fight all the time.

  27. The Trelle cognitive dissonance episodes are so, so not fun to listen to. And we can explain it away and find something to appreciate about them, sure, but the bottom line is that they’re not interesting because the dilemma is dumb. Trelle just comes across as having no common sense, shrugs it off as a “cultural difference,” and we all groan. Count how many times she says “You don’t understand!” I love this show, but this stuff is not deep or emotional, it’s just a little weird, disjointed, and boring.

    • I just want someone to call her on it the next time she uses that phrase. “No, I don’t. EXPLAIN IT.” It seems to be her go-to reaction for everything, so forcing her to actually think about why and how to explain these things might actually cause her to think about it, and might cause her to realize that they would understand if she’d just give them the chance. I really want Trelle to either return to being the strong character she used to be, or to just… leave. She had her place in the Feywild, but now I swear her character has devolved, and it’s frustrating.

      This is where I really want to see some character growth happen. We’ve seen Orem grow a lot as a character, even to the point of rejecting his culture’s hatred of the elves, and denouncing his own family, which he used to be proud of, for their horrible policies. Trelle really need to start realizing the damage she’s doing to the party, and that the consequences of always doubting and countering the others really does. I’m not saying she should think like a man like other seem to imply, but rather that she shouldn’t just be contrarian and should put her view out there with some decent reasons behind them, rather than “because elf” and “you don’t get it”. And heck, giving her a real goal to chase would be nice. She’d regain that determined nature she lost after the Spud fight.

  28. Adding a woman to the group has changed critical hit to ‘Let’s talk about feelings podcast’

    If I hear Adrianna talks bout feelings or trees one more time I’m going to unsubscribe. I miss the days of Torq jumping out windows and even he has went soft with this preacher crap. Rob and Brian have remained true to themselves as Rodrigo sounds like he wants to kill the group for his sanity. Stephen has went corporate and only cares about the money, I miss his innocence when he first learnt the game.

    Long live the early days of critical hit, its become a chore to listen to.

    • Whoa, whoa, whoa…”adding a woman?”…are you serious?

      First of all, Adrianna isn’t a problem. If she were being a problem in-game then she wouldn’t BE in the game. It seems like the problems lately with the party are a fact of THE CHARACTERS personalities and flaws and how they’re interacting with one another, which may have happened even if Adrianna weren’t a player.

      Your complaint that only Brian and Rob have remained true to themselves seems false. Everyone’s characters have been through literally years of adventure and everyone is playing their characters beautifully. Guess what? Just like who you are now is different than who you were 4 years ago, the characters have also grown and changed. While you may miss Torq jumping out of windows and playing the big, dumb brute keep in mind he was 16 at the start of this adventure. He’s seen and been through a LOT and his decision to multiclass was completely in character with Torq growing up and experiencing the things he has. Rodrigo incorporated Torq’s multiclassing spot-on in the game as far as I’m concerned.

      If you don’t like how the story is going, that’s fine. Try to be a little more constructive with the criticism though. The “I don’t like it, therefore it sucks” commentary is neither helpful or welcome.

    • Ben, in case you haven’t figured it out, it takes money to make sure each episode of Critical Hit comes out. If you don’t understand that, then I’m sorry. If you think I care about money, then it is because I want out shows and sites to continue to entertain you.

      Also, that is your last warning.

    • Okay, let’s play the “use common sense game”. Does being a woman make Adrianna or myself all feelings all the time? No. It does not. I, as a woman, am just as angry at Trelle as you, a man, are. However, I have the intelligence to know the difference between the roleplayer and the character. Trelle is the issue here, and even then only post-Feywild Trelle. Bet you had no problems until Basalt, like the rest of us.

      As for Torq, WE are the ones who pushed that – the fans. Ever since his Nat20 Religion check on the moon, we’ve been pushing for this. He didn’t get soft – he instead harnessed the power of divine might upon his foes. If you’d pay attention to him, you’ll see just how awesome it’s made him – or rather, just how awesome he’s made Correlon.

      As for Steven, again, he’s doing exactly what we asked him to do. Stop editing stuff out. There is no “only cares about money” here – he’s made it blatantly obvious that he only wants to provide more content, to the point of mocking himself for talking about sponsors and donations and stuff. He’s been doing that this entire time, from episode freaking one, and only now you see fit to claim he’s a sellout?

      There’s no need for hissy fits like this. Anyone with a mind to think and ears to listen knows better.

  29. With the amount of back-story Adrianna and Rodrigo have done with Trelle I think if she was acting out of character, Rodrigo would call her on it.

    I think Trelle just has a very complicated history and she struggles with her decisions because of said mysterious past events.

    • I think Gary really nailed the meta-problem: there is some amount of room to play an ethical dilemma against killing monsters and grabbing loot, but ultimately D&D 4E is a system built around killing progressively bigger monsters and collecting progressively sweeter loots. Trelle “goes against the very architecture of the system and creates a situation where a player is having their character trying to stop the very thing the system was setup to do.” Regardless of her motivations, these episodes feel like someone slamming on the brakes until the story grinds to a screaming halt, and before it can start again everybody has to climb out of the car to shout at each other.

      Especially when the “dilemma” seems so painfully obvious that her character just comes off as having no common sense.

      • I think the problem’s a bit different. Trelle’s like that, sure, but to an extreme. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to kill monsters, but wanting to free them in the middle of a crowded street, or to suddenly not want to kill the boss monster that’s threatening her people and family after being fine with killing it’s children?

        Trelle takes makes moral dilemmas from obvious choices. That’s the problem, not the dilemmas themselves.

  30. K. Here’s the issue. There’s only so many times I can listen to Trelle tell everyone how important democracy is to her, and then have her constantly complain about the results of the democratic process. There’s only so many times I can listen to Trelle tell everyone how important the protection of animals is to her, and then have her joyfully go and hunt animals.

    But most importantly, there’s only so many times that I can listen to Trelle butt heads with the party without any change or growth in her.

    I get that she’s an insanely deep, well-developed character with a giant backstory. That doesn’t mean that she works within the group. And don’t get me wrong, disagreements and tension can be interesting to listen to at the start. But after a year, the EXACT SAME disagreements and tension have gotten old. Her character needs to grow. Not become perfect, but grow.

    I hope something changes soon. Otherwise, unlike Trelle, I’ll actually go through character growth. I’ll stop listening to the podcast.

    • ….yeah i can see that. Despite what i have said about Trelles Dichotomy, I do agree that Trelle doesnt seem to grow much as a character. In fact she seems to cause the OTHERS growth without any herself.

  31. In cannon I don’t think the elves selected her – I’m pretty sure the mark of the Guardian simply appears on a child. By whatever mysterious force, for some people the seed grows into a tattoo and the person becomes a Guardian. So Trelle’s band is obligated by mystical tradition to follow her ruling, King Solomon style.

  32. I commented earlier about the difficulty of this episode as a listener, but I’m honestly shocked with the level of negativity, Stephen-slamming, Adriana-slamming, and even gross sexist commenting. No matter how frustrated we can be as listeners, this is a FREE podcast. The good times MASSIVELY outweigh the rough times.

    Play on, Torqeltones!!

  33. This is the only response I’m going to give to these things. All of these questions have been answered in the show already. And I don’t even mean obliquely, some of these have been answered very frankly. Will this change anyone’s mind? I doubt it. I just figured I’d do some due diligence here. I’m not even going to look at replies to this, yes I am mean. I think it’s extremely important that you figure this out on your own, it will give you a much deeper enjoyment of the podcast if you can learn to listen more closely. I believe in you. I’m not the only player that considers these things and once you think more critically I think you’ll see a vast unfolding of the others as well. But I’m not going to spend 50 hours validating myself to someone that’s not going to hear it so this is what you get.

    I want to challenge people’s reading comprehension so I’m gonna do this like a 6th grade teacher:

    >>”Sometimes Trelle kills everything and other times doesn’t want to! Sometimes she wants to kill them humanely and sometimes doesn’t care!”
    What are the differences between when she does and doesn’t want to kill them? What is different about the conditions under which this happens?

    What are some real life scenarios where people would handle dangerous animals in a different manner than other times?

    Can you think of a time when you reacted to an animal differently than you would have under different circumstances? What were the circumstances?

    >>”But the moon monsters aren’t natural!”
    ‘Natural’ and ‘Aberrant’ are technical terms. Just like some things in the game are tagged ‘Dragon’ or ‘Fey’. These terms have nothing to do with in game perception, I’m sure no one would call a dragon ‘unnatural’, for example.

    How do the other elves react to this dilemma? What past events might explain why assimilation into a new habitat is not a strange concept to her?

    >>”She doesn’t know how to lead!”
    Can you think of any real world examples of leaders or heroes that are not characterized by imposing their opinion without consideration of the others? Hint: look outside Western culture, perhaps in anime.

    Can you think of countries that value voting? Countries that do not? Countries that have complex voting structures?

    Can you think of other times that the party has taken the time to vote before Trelle arrived?

    >>”Her culture is ridiculous and boring, I’m sick of it.”
    Can you think of cultures that have traditions that seem strange or unnecessary to you? Can you think of traditions that you follow that might seem strange or pointless to another culture?

    Can you think of cultures that treat animals differently and have different policies than we do?

    Is it realistic for 5 people from disparate backgrounds to have the exact same culture and views on things?

    Have you ever told a friend of yours that you found their culture or religion silly and inconvenient and that they should stop adhering to it? If yes, describe their reaction. if no, why not?

    >>”Your own female body is making Trelle behave in a nonsense manner!”

    >>”Your own hippie feelings are making Trelle behave in a hippie manner!”
    How much do you know about Adriana? Have you ever met Adriana? Do you know Adriana’s background? Do you know Adriana’s feelings towards animals or violence? Do you feel that the other players are also somehow incapable of separating themselves from the characters they play or just the one whose opinions you disagree with?

    Do other elves find her behavior strange? What are some in-game clues as to whether or not this is out of line with the way elves are portrayed in Critical Hit?

    >>”She’s supposed to be killing things, that’s what the game is about!”
    Can you think of times when you have played a game with a different priority or interest than someone else? Can you imagine that people playing the same game as you might do different things with it or that certain aspects of the game, while provided for, are not the crux of the game?

    >>”Trelle is arguing too much!”
    How many people does it take to have an argument? Are there other things the other characters could have done to settle this issue?

    >>”I can’t figure out any of the answers to these!”
    Sorry, that’s all I’m giving you, especially considering the mind-blowing personal attacks and assumptions.

    Pretty sure a lot of this hate is coming from people not liking the fact that an argument is happening. And when someone in the party in the argument is out numbered, it looks like “this is the person that is causing the argument” and looks like the “problem”. If the others had said “oh sure”, I’m certain no one would have gone “Trelle is making NO sense”, because the other characters’ actions would have “validated” it in your mind. It would have flown right past you.

    • So now everyone is upset because they didn’t think critically enough or weren’t listening well?

      Honestly most of us were giving you the benefit of the doubt, but with a condescending attitude like that you aren’t endearing yourself to anyone. People love this game and are thinking long and hard about it. There is a reason why so many people have posted about this all of a sudden and it sure isn’t because they stopped thinking. There is a massive disconnect between your character and the audience, and placing the blame entirely on us just seems either foolish or arrogant or something…

      We are on your side Adrianna.

    • Frosstbyte on

      With all due respect, Critical Hit is being made for an audience, and, beyond that, is advertised heavily to encourage a paid audience (not ragging on the advertising, I absolutely understand this is all expensive and I’m perfectly happy to contribute, and perfectly happy to be advertised to get others to support it, too). You’re not playing a game with friends solely for yourselves. You guys should have fun, and you should play your characters the way you want to, but if people are consistently reacting negatively to play sessions, that represents a loss in traffic, interest, and revenue. I would venture to suggest that if CH isn’t happening, you guys wouldn’t make the non-trivial effort to continue playing together. Somewhere out there in the vagaries of downloads vs. reviews vs. subscribers vs. pageviews vs. comments there is a break point where it no longer makes sense to produce the show. If that happens, we all lose. As a super invested fan before you were a party member, I’m sure you appreciate the level of investment people have in this show.

      That is all to say that people are commenting that Trelle’s characterization and actions and their inability to reconcile her character are leading them to no longer enjoy listening to the show. It’s led other people to post that they’re unsubbing or no longer donating to the site. Telling those people, “You aren’t paying enough attention, you don’t get my art, and, if only you did, you’d see how awesome it is” isn’t going to bring back their time, pageviews, donations, interest, etc. If anything, it’s going to alienate *more* people, people who like you, like CH, like MS, and want everything to succeed. And, in the interest of turn about, it would behoove you to think about why people are focused on Trelle’s actions in particular as changing how they feel about enjoying the show.

      What got us into CH, I think almost universally, was the humor, learning about the game with Stephen, and the fast-paced epic storytelling, rather than super in depth character studies prompted by tricky moral dilemmas, which has increasingly been a focus of these episodes. That doesn’t make one better than the other, but it does make them different. To use an exaggerated example, if in its last season, Breaking Bad fired Vince GIlligan and hired Chuck Lorre, who turned the show into a sitcom, some people would have still loved it, and some people would have filled the internet with hate about the butchering of a beloved series. CH is not the same show it was 25 or 50 or 100 episodes ago, in non-trivial part because you/Trelle (to the degree they are separate) are quick to engage character-driven moments and moral quandries, and Rodrigo is willing to provide them and indulge your interest in them.

      As an example, go back and listen to how much of “Twilight Guardian” is you and Rodrigo talking to each other, in which virtually nothing happens except everyone telling each other what’s gone on in the world. Before “Lords of the Feywild” (and, to a large extent, before episode 188) episodes like that simply didn’t exist. “Filling people in” was dismissed time and time again with “listen to these pods of casting” instead of roleplaying through the entire affair. Again, one isn’t better than the other, but they are very different to listen to, and they aren’t going to appeal to the same audience. It’s well worth considering the implications of that feedback, even if it doesn’t end up changing anything.

    • You know, most of the problems people have are with Trelle, not you Adriana. I’m pretty sure you and Trelle are two different beings. For you to answer with non-answers, essentially being accusatory instead of explaining why you took this angle with the character, is rather… disappointing. I expected better from you. The best way to answer these things would have been to explain the rationale of the character, rather than to retort with a myriad of counter-questions.

      This was demeaning of the audience, and I had thought you were above that.

  34. I rally miss the old interaction between the players when Trelle was not around. Do not get me wrong, i like Trelle but she is tooking too much space and overshinig the others.

  35. I guess I’ll throw my 2 pence into this discussion, my feeling is that a 5 person party is just too big for an audio podcast and I think the addition of Adrianna has changed the show just for the simple reason of that she is very focused and since her addition there have been a lot less of those just slightly too long silences and while they might seem like no big loss, those silences usually resulted in somebody not directly in the scene speaking up; quite a difficult thing I’m trying to put across I hope I succeeded. I think another symptom of having a 5 man party is hearing a lot less from the wittiest member of the group Brian.

    I do also wonder if the addition of a girl has made everyone else essentially ‘try to be cool’ and self regulate themselves more, resulting in a fair bit less off topic discussion (and leading to sometimes what I feel is slightly awkward flirting from Matthew D:) as well as being less open to directly oppose Trelle leading to these long drawn out affairs.

    Regardless I love what you do and I still recommend and listen to this and other podcasts every week.

  36. Even though you said you won’t read this Adriana I would like to thank you for posting. I have always commiserated with Trelle because she is similar to the types of characters I enjoy playing. I have had to endure groans from my party as my shaman who is scared of ghosts doesn’t want to call on a spirit to help the party with information. It is very tough to play a character whose outside the lines of a typical dnd game and you do it very well.

    After reading your post i decided to re listen to the podcast,and try to look at things from Trell’s perspective, and things did come out a little less one sided than I had thought. Torq did interrupt the vote, because he thought it was a stupid idea which is quite insulting to Trelle’s culture and the sanctity of elven voting. Orem “Oremed” by becoming bored and calling for the vote immediately without hearing everyone out first, which is also disrespectful. Trelle told Orem his vote on what to do about the creature wasn’t valid which might be the greatest possible insult to a character like Orem. Ket over analysed the situation and made the vote become a way more convoluted process than was intended. Randus stayed quiet and allowed the fight to happen without making his voice herd. I think after listening to the podcast again I can find some fault with every single character. I also hope ever character will admit they made a mistake and make amends instead of causing more fighting. I did not enjoy listening to Ket get threatened while Trelle got consoled, after the first mokeylizard incident. It just seemed so unfair.

    I also think every single character played the situation very true to their character. Torq has grown a ton over the series, but he is still thinks like a constable so when he sees something that might put “citizens” in danger his goal is to stop it before it has the chance to hurt someones culture be damned. Orem saw that there was going to be a vote and wanted to get it over with fast, because he was stuck down in a dirty cave with guts all over him and he wanted to get out. Randus stayed quiet and to help as best he could without letting his opinion cause more commotion. Ket tried to find the cleanest to solve the situation. Trelle did her best to act like a leader and show a strong face for her people, when she was challenged she did what I think a leader who is overwhelmed by their position would do she yelled accidentally, I believe, insulted Orem and told Torq he didn’t get it, which after years of hearing words similar to those has to be getting on Torq’s last nerves especially after finding enlightenment with Corellon. I of course am just inferring all this from listening to the podcast all these years the players could have had completely different ideas, but me being able to analyze and episode of Critical Hit really shows the strength of the role players.

    Other posters have expressed interest in hearing Adriana’s thought on Trelle. This made me want to hear everyone’s thoughts on their characters.I would love to hear inside the actor studio type episode where everyone discusses why they do the things they do.

    Finally I would like to thank everyone a critical hit for giving me years of fantastic entertainment. I think its safe to say if I didn’t have you guys for my car rides to and from class I would have gone nuts.


  37. The shear volume of comments on this episode highlights the issue. I found this episode painfully tedious. The debate seemed contrived, and the ending was anticlimactic. The tension between the players seemed higher in the last few episodes, maybe that played a part. For me, the fun factor in these has seemed wanting. Why am I commenting? Because I have been listening to these things for years and recently I find myself fast forwarding through these contrived ‘crises’ and looking for other things to listen to

  38. It was a long discussion at the beginning but since it lead in to the talk between Ket and Trell, which I found quite interesting, I’m fine with it.
    I kinda feel like it might be time for how the other quarter live. Possibly with a heavily primal party. Could be interesting having one or two of the other players being the nature focused characters for an episode or two.
    No matter what happens I’ll be listening because I know I can trust this show to have moments of awesome.
    Thank-you to all six of of you for making Critical Hit.

  39. I am amazed at how well Trelle is played as being absolutely clueless about power. Ket is completely right, of course, if inarticulate. I love the classic blunder of making as if to give the party an equal say in the matter, then arrive with an Elven supermajority to crush any possibility of dissention at vote time! Subtext: Talk all you want boys; Your opinion doesn’t matter! Ha! I’d be steamed too! Add dead-on insults like “ignore Orem” — yep you are staging just such an event right now — and you bet they will be disrespectful and walk out!

    Ket is also correct that the party is at risk. For the sake of the show, I hope Adrianna is able to put down Trelle’s idealism a notch and be more practical. She should have assumed the role of General Trelle and just told the party what to do, perhaps after soliciting input on technical details (in private!!!). She can vote if she wants, but just among the elves. The party would have done their duty at service to the elves, and even helped out when Torq inevitably wants to just kill it (as they did). They do their duty to save the Earth even though no one asks them to, so a request from the Elves fits right in. Trelle also needs to cut the party some slack on a few things, like what are obviously level awards, and not go into lengthy arguments about whether they can have them, or if dead people really still have a claim on them.

    Frankly, Trelle’s impracticality is getting people killed. Consider her brother, and the cave dweller in the fen of winters. Perhaps that is enough of a shake to get her to lighten up. If she doesn’t, it won’t be the boys who leave, but Trelle. She will feel isolated and unlistened to (which happens because she is impractical and stubbornly wrong and the party can’t afford that luxury) and will eventually conclude that she doesn’t really need to be on the quest to get what she wants.

  40. “Can you think of any real world examples of leaders or heroes that are not characterized by imposing their opinion without consideration of the others? Hint: look outside Western culture, perhaps in anime.”

    Not at all. Leadership is all about developing consensus and unity of purpose, and finding ways to bring a collection of individuals together for a common goal. It has very little to do with what the leader wants, and everything to do with the facts on the ground (which usually suggest a solution), the collectives’ reaction to it and a small sprinkling of good ideas. Leaders that run roughshod over the groups’ opinions do not stay leaders for long, as Trelle discovered. The Hitlers of the world are vanishingly rare exceptions, and even they have to be carefully attuned to the desires of the cabal that supports them.

  41. This episode is a shining example of why I have grown to hate Trelle as a character. Not to say anything bad about Adriana, who I like as person, but Trelle’s started to really infuriate me.

    Now, she was fine in the Feywilde. I actually liked Trelle then – but it seemed that the second the Camys subplot was wrapped up, she started to… devolve as a character. She can now be summed up in a few points:

    1: Finds everything cute
    2: Actively interferes with the party’s goals
    3: Is more concerned about how she looks than about the safety of the people around her

    Let’s go point by point on this fladerization of the character, shall we? First, she finds everything cute. And I mean everything. As a girl, I’m kinda offput by this, well, stereotype of female characters. She seems to play the role of “the Chick” in the party, a role Orem was perfectly fine in before and still seems to want to be, which I always thought was great due to the personality he put into it. But Trelle, while bucking the trend a bit being a strength based character (something girls usually aren’t), goes full 180 with being miss Baking Queen and Everything Is Cute chick. I know it’s an odd nitpick for some, but to me, for as progressive as Adriana is, I’m surprised she plays a female character with such girl cliches.

    Next is that she’s started to actively interfere with the party’s goals. The party sees moon monsters? They immediately go “protect the people from the moon monsters!” What does Trelle act on? “Free the cute abomination, unleash them upon the people.” KET WAS RIGHT to try and kill the Moon Monsters, and the rest of the party was wrong to jump at him about trying to do the right thing. I was fully hoping that Rob would have had Ket actually leave the party for a while after they turned on him like that. I know I would have if they’d have done the same to one of my characters.

    Finally, the fact that she’s more concerned with how people see her than for their well being. The most disturbing thing here is that the people in question are her own people and family – she’d rather them see her as being the “boss in charge”, and any and all dissension from the party was shot down and scorned. Worst of all, she told Orem, who’s sister she’s dating, that he “doesn’t matter”, and accused Torq, the most respectful member of the party, who goes out of his way to make sure he doesn’t offend people, that he was being disrespectful. Torq was right to call her out on it and leave. The worst thing, though? When Ket called her on all this, when he pointed out what she was doing, all she did was Dismiss, Deny, Deflect. She didn’t do it, it wasn’t her fault, it was everyone else’s fault. In order to appear as though she was in charge and that the party was her servants, she was fully willing to endanger the lives of her people.

    That is inexcusable.

    At this point in time, the only one she hasn’t outright insulted or dismissed is Randus, and as far as I know it’s because I just haven’t caught up yet (they just got caught by goblins where I’m at). Personally, I hope Trelle actually dies this season, so we can get a new character rolled, preferably one who works with the party rather than against them.

  42. So in combat Rob basically tries to tell everyone what to do every turn. Annoying. Trelle’s pointlessness, which I thought reached a high point with the Ket incident, has gone to a new level. Torq, Randus and Orem are played so consistently it’s why I love them so much. And while Rob’s combat take over annoys me the way he plays Ket beside that is awesome.

    I don’t know. It’s like we had Orem and friends and have been reduced to listen to Rob min/max every combat turn and Trelle preach beyond a point of tedium. I guess it’s to a point where I’d have quit the campaign personally as I don’t see how it could possibly be enjoyable. Hopefully the dynamic changes again as I have loved listening. Future person signing off.

  43. As a future person, reading the discussion here in the comments just shows me why I enjoyed this episode so much. Yes, it made me get angry at Trelle. However, I see this as a good thing. Liking a character is great and all but it’s the flaws that make them interesting. Trelle is in a position of power and she is also the link between the elves and the (at times not too elf friendly) party. And she is bad at both of these things. Adrianna plays Trelle’s low charisma score just as well as Mathew plays Torq’s low intelligence score. It’s just more subtle. I have rarlely been so invested in an episode, especially considering how little happened. Real discussions are just like the one in this episode: drawn out, repeating the same thing over and over again and in the end noone even knows what the discussion was about. Emotion takes over logic and everyone just tries to defend their position. Trelle desperately trying to get a vote going before it’s even clear what the options are is a thing I have definetly experienced in the past.

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