Lords of the Feywild

In this installment of Critical Hit: A Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons Podcast: From the mountain to the jungle, the journey is always an adventure.

This episode is sponsored by Fantasy Coin HQ

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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

    Agh, cliffhanger ending! Why are you making us wait an entire week to find out what happens to everyone?! Evil, evil people, you! XD

    Seriously, though, amazing episode. I really hope someone animates this!

  2. OK episode, there has got to be a better way to do skills challenges to make the story development more interesting. After 200+ episodes the difficultly is set so high that they seem to fail more than they succeed, and there is no incentive to use more than the same 2-3 skills every time. It is actually kind of tedious to listen to after all these years, as the challenges all hit the same beats. Maybe house rule some bonuses for using different skills, or bonuses for building skills off of each other, in order to promote group combos.

  3. This is my go-to-for-fun podcast. Whether it’s RP-driven or a combat-based episode, it somehow becomes the joy of my weekend listening. The story has always been wonderfully engaging and beautiful to imagine. I just finished catching up all the way from episode 1 and the story arc is EPIC. It’s astounding that the narrative and the main characters have grown and thrived since the beginning. (Well, except for Smith…)

    I’ve just gotta say the last two episodes seem very out of character for the show. 45 minutes and a typical/predictable skills challenge for a sponsored episode? Just over an hour of seemingly distracted/detached players before that? I will say “Boomp!” was a true CLASSIC. Well done.
    But how many shows did it take to get into and out of Diamond Throne or just through the castle? It was a bit stagnant for a side-quest plot point. Many of the latest episodes seem stunted—stopping at the first opportunity to stop. I know cliffhangers are nice things, but go back and listen to some of the Astral episodes. Even though it took a (very) long while to get to the ultimate goal, it was entertaining along the way. And each stop did something to advance the main goal or introduced plot twists like the horrible parasite, the double shadow, etc.

    Sure the older shows might have been a bit longer and more meandering, but it seems the current short-show editing choices are hindering the story flow. It’s been over a real-world year since Snail Rock and the team still has to find and get through the Underdark, make it to the Feywild and defeat Spud. The last stretch of episodes seem as if they’re being parsed to stretch out limited content, rather than move the story or enhance the entertainment value. Based on the current real-world pacing, this is taking even longer than the Astral War and that had two sets of characters on parallel adventures. It’s a GREAT STORY, so get it moving again. Please.

    • Thanks for your comments! Just a couple of points from your comments:

      First – Glad you love this series! We release these episodes to share our experiences with you.

      Second, keep in mind that there is nothing scripted or planned for any episode – The Dungeon Master has a plan for things that he would like to happen, but it is up to the players (who are all ad-libbing and doing improv acting) to move the story forward. Maybe there is something that should have happened but didn’t because of player actions, perhaps there is something that had to be invented on the fly based on something the characters did do.

      In regards to a short episode – When we hit a certain time mark (usually at the hour mark), I listen to find an out point that is a natural break point – this week’s ending was definitely one of those. If you look at the average time for all episodes, it us very close to an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.

      That is part of storytelling, finding those points where a chapter, episode, etc. needs to end. I’m sure everyone would love to hear a six hour episode, but that would mean you would have to go months between episodes, and I don’t think you want that. Episode endings and break points are created to ensure you have an episode very week of the year – and save for a couple of weeks during holidays and planned breaks, you do have something to put in your ear-hole each and every Saturday morning. Not many other real play podcasts do that.

      And let’s be honest, not every episode of every show is going to be a home run. There isn’t a series that has ever been produced that each episode is better than the last. Perhaps from your viewpoint, this episode is that for you – but for others, there may be a number of excellent plot points and elements that appeared; clarification on what happens with Orem’s clear rubble powers, a statement from Ket about not being able to father babies… and a well thought out fight that has our heroes captured by a group of monsters that usually skin and kill people… that’s pretty exciting to me.

      Also, in regards to sponsors, episodes are recorded months in advance of release – this particular episode was recorded around the first of February 2014 (at around 1:00 AM according to my notes) – there was no sponsor attached, and even if there was at that time, there is nothing that would have been done differently as far as content goes – content is not based on advertising, and vice-versa.

      Again, thanks for your comments! And thanks for being a Silver Member – your support keeps shows like Critical Hit going week after week. Sorry this episode didn’t do it for you, but those of us playing sure had a blast, and we are simply sharing those moments with you.

  4. Completely understood. Have no doubt that I love the podcast. I wear my Critical Hit shirt proudly around town. I listen to almost all the major spoilers podcasts and fully look forward to them every week.
    I guess, just having finished the marathon listening (there was a cross-country drive that let me catch up from the beginning) I’m jonseing for a more fluid pace. Now that I’m back in the world of week-to-week, I accept that everything will seem more…plodding? I’m just grumbly about it.
    To make my life easier, go ahead and quit your other jobs and record more. I’m donating all of 5 bucks a month, you should definitely do what i say. :-) Also, I think everyone realizes that Ket’s inability to father babies is due to the best birth control of all time–his personality. Plus he laid giant egg that he carries around in a backpack. With a demon. No one’s going near that mess.
    You guys take your time getting wherever you’re going. I’ll be there listening when you arrive.
    As far as the short 45-minute podcast, I’ll blame it on Zach since he’s not on the show.

    • Rob lays giant eggs every time we sit down to record…

      Also ” Also, I think everyone realizes that Ket’s inability to father babies is due to the best birth control of all time–his personality.” made my day.

      • Inexplicably, Ket is often my favorite character on the show. But it’s just so darn easy to make fun of him.

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