Lords of the Feywild

In this installment of Critical Hit – A Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons Podcast: Our thoughts and reactions recorded immediately after the previous episode.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

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...

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21 Comments

  1. October 25, 2014 at 8:58 am — Reply

    Here’s a “What if” I’ve been wondering for awhile – was Master Althorn always destined to die, or was that a direct result of not contacting him enough? The party did contact him after finishing with the Hogba, but then didn’t again. So, was Spud making his choices a direct result of what the party did, or was it all a part of Rodrigo’s master plan?

    I like to think it’s the former, and of course Rodrigo isn’t going to say either way, because it would show his hand. But this has been the thing I wondered the most about.

    • Frederick, aka Darth Macho
      October 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm — Reply

      I was thinking that if the party had kept updating Spud, something different would have happened, but probably something equally cataclysmic. One thing I was wondering about Althorn was if he was the wizard in Biium’s backstory?

  2. Matt
    October 25, 2014 at 10:16 am — Reply

    I personally would kind of like to see the next season with new characters. I loved this group, but it feels like a good ending for all of them.

    Except Ket. Would love a prologue for Ket to find out what happens with his career.

    • Frederick, aka Darth Macho
      October 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm — Reply

      I really want to see the Tuberville situation resolved!

    • Daniel
      October 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm — Reply

      I agree with you Matt. I feel like the show ended well, and its important to know when to end. If you compare the combat sections later in the season with ones earlier (don’t have specific examples right now) you can feel the ‘energy’ of the players/DM go down. The combat descriptions stop being as colorful and become more rote like’ I attack 32 vs ac, miss’. I think that is a sign of (the very understandable) player/DM/story burnout. Putting in hours and hours over the course of 5+ years into the same story can get to anyone, especially a small team doing this gratis (or as close to gratis as possible)! I love the crew and love their collective creative output, but I fear continuing this way, without some major shakeups (new story? new system? new DM? new style?) will only erode their current success.

      Thanks Crittites for becoming part of my life over the past 3 yrs. (i got in late :) ) I feel like I know each one of you personally!

  3. October 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm — Reply

    Lords of the Feywild have had so many great moment.
    Im so happy we got Trell on the show but my favorite part of this season was the fields of Autumn.

    My biggest “dissapointment” was the gang not helping Tuberville. I was like WTF? And i really hope that you will get back to that story line.

    Im soooooo sad to se Torq leave (I went back and listen to the first 2 seasons right after this seasons final – just to get my Torq fix) but all the carachters Matthew have made have been awesome so Im also exited to se what he comes up with.

  4. Drago
    October 25, 2014 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    I’m an Orem mark, especially when he’s being his arrogant, racist self. Kill your friends! I really loved how Stephen played him this season.

    Trelle I ended up not liking at all, especially after the moonster fight with Ket. But then I think Adrianna started to hit a stride with Trelle that I really started to enjoy and I came to like Trelle, especially when she got away from the heavy sighing talky talk. The Trelle sleeper hold had me in stitches (I found the finale to be really funny, not sad).

    Randus… I mean come on. Who isn’t a Randus mark?

    Ket for me was like Trelle. One episode I would shout “I can’t stand this character”, the next I’d be the biggest Ket fan boy on the planet. I also like that Rob was angry after the finale because things weren’t in Ket’s control and that lack of control is something Ket hates, which is awesome. When all is said and done, Ket is the guy who keeps things on track.

    Torq. I will say point blank I am glad he went w/the Hogba. Torq has seemed to fade as the seasons have gone on. I’m not sure the cleric stuff really clicked with him, maybe he needed more windows to jump out of and doors to run through? Torq was always wiser than smarter and above all, Torq would step in front of danger for the people I think he sees as friends and maybe family in a way. To me there was never any question that the party’s defender would do what he did season after season, happily step in front of danger and try to cut it in half. When Matthew made reference to Smith I got chills, it was such a Torq thing to do imo. It just seemed right for Torq to mention their fallen comrade who gave his life defending everyone. Torq is an elemental force, never count him out!

    Looking forward to the offseason events and the start of the campaign again. I do hope Randus and his flying ship pays a visit to the party members and gets them all together again. In particular I would love to know how Orem reacts to the sleeper hold abandon.

    • Dennis
      October 26, 2014 at 12:06 am — Reply

      Like and agree with your comments about Torq. I’ll miss him.

  5. Slappy
    October 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    Isn’t that Lunch?

    • Sayomara
      October 29, 2014 at 12:39 am — Reply

      I agree Slappy

  6. Papa_Sleestack
    October 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm — Reply

    You guys show surprise at people who listen to the whole show in a month.
    I’m a Carpenter and I work completely alone.
    I listen to critical hit one through every 1-2 months. I listen while I work and as i go to sleep.
    I must have heard it about 9 times now.
    If anyone likes critical hit related art check out my tumblr @daerneb to see me recreate the weapons from the show!

    • Frederick, aka Darth Macho
      October 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm — Reply

      I listen to it in work too. The repeatability is really surprising. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the entire Celestial Crusade arc, and I’ve gone back and listened to every episode starting with “Holes” so many times, and I never get tired of it. Also, every Christmas I listen to the episode where Rodrigo, Stephen, and Matthew discuss an X-mas themed adventure. It’s actually a tradition for me now.

  7. Rick
    October 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm — Reply

    Gonna answer the same questions you asked of yourselves in this episode:

    Regret/Thing I would’ve changed:
    Bit disappointed with the sleeper hold removal of Orem from the “I get to go with the Hogba” game, but not gonna dwell on it, and there was a pretty heavy stalemate there that needed breaking somehow.

    I may be wrong but I think Matthew wanted to retire Torq, hence being so insistent on him walking into the Hogba shaped sunset, and that’s cool, I think if that was the case I would have preferred him to disappear into a different, leading the young, angry wayward Orcs type sunset, have him retire that way and still roll a new guy for the next season, perhaps I’m reading too much into the occasional ‘Just a guy with an axe’ comments,but still was a nice, heroic sacrifice to possibly end a character on (I really couldn’t say one way or the other whether Torq will return, but i’m leaning no, TBH I’m not certain about Orem returning).

    Thing I found frustrating:
    The occasional bickering times, (the moonster incident, the queen moonster and the who gets to talk at the seven clans) wasn’t fun to listen to for me, and maybe would have preferred a bit of a heavier hand from Rodrigo, but again don’t want to dwell on negatives too much.

    Highlights of the season:

    An odd little bit from #181, Orem’s casting of History Revealed on the Winter Queen’s hand, some powerful imagery from Rodrigo there, in fact Rodrigo’s Feywild was truly fascinating, I think some of his WoD leanings have definitely come through here, the juxtaposition of beauty and horror and the sheer otherworldliness of the Greater Fey wouldn’t have felt out of place in a WoD campaign. Truly great work.

    Adrianna’s addition has to get a mention in highlights obviously, she’s funny, smart, and is really great at thinking in character and making those decisions that even if Adrianna thinks are dumb or whatever make perfect sense for Trelle, favourite quote illustrating this from the Potion Commotion ep: “OOC, I would’ve taken all their potions, times a million…all their crap and all their swords and the chainmail we don’t even care about”

    The alternate party was really nice this season, and the players have to be commended on their portrayals, Stephen had the Plague Jackal down instantly, Biium was great and obviously very funny in the hands of Matthew, Mother Mantis, cold, elegant and deadly, a great contrast to Trelle (not that Trelle isn’t deadly), my favourite scene with them I think has to be them taking watches and Bravest Rabbit taking two, it really struck a chord with me, adorable and perfectly in character. I wish they had been introduced earlier tbh, in previous seasons it’s been a great way for the players to let off steam and stretch their RP muscles in a new way.

    Honorable mentions: Stagsy and the introduction of his ‘wife’, the Hedgehogs, Ket and the eagle and subsequent bird puns, The DuThane children, Wicker Gnat, Randus as Pumpkin, loads of others.

    Overall I enjoyed this season and am very much looking forward to it’s return and to see what you guys have to offer in the off-season.

  8. DDP McCarthy
    October 26, 2014 at 7:56 am — Reply

    Hahhah, well I don’t think reading the comments has made me tear up before. Apparently still not over the finale.

    This doesn’t feel like the end of Orem’s story to me, but I think the events of the finale will define the next chapters of his life.

    I think one of the best things about this season is the fact that I have no idea who’s side Ket is on. For all I know, he is willing to do absolutely anything Asmodeus says and has been playing the party the entire time. I’m half expecting him to be running Tuberville next time we see him.

    Story-wise I think Rodrigo accomplished a lot. Most notable to my mind was having two periods of sustained tension, each carried off in very different ways. The first was in the Fen of Winters when the party were being hunted by the Golden Kind. In that case it was largely the frequency and difficulty of the fights which created that tension; it was very focused on the party and whether or not they could survive the next half hour, and the next, and the next… Then, back in the natural world, we had tension created in part by the extensive world building. Where every region is being affected not just by the weather but by the hangover of the moon falling, the political intrigue, the racial tensions, Asmodeus’ foothold which was gifted to him by not losing troops and priests in the Celestial Crusade. Oh, and by the way there’s a whole continent over there where only Corellon knows what’s going on!

    Those two sections of the season were a great showcase for how to put prolonged tension into a campaign so hats off to Rodrigo once again.

    The only off thing to me was that I was getting lost a lot during all of the travelling around in the natural world. I think the nature of a podcast makes it much easier to lose track of the broader geography in a story than when reading a book say.

    OK last thing: I just remembered that Torq taught a Cog to speak like him and the Cogs are clearly moving towards mimicking the humanoid races more closely. I will lose my shit if robo-Torq appears next season, and I don’t know if I mean that in a good way or a bad way.

  9. Double E
    October 26, 2014 at 11:03 am — Reply

    My thoughts (on Critical Hit!)

    I had a sneaking suspicion that Torq was gonna end up going with Blue. He was the one putting up the most resistance to agreeing to his terms. As for “never heard from again,” I’m not so sure… We already know that time spent with a Greater Fey doesn’t work the same way. Do we know if the characters aged when they spent all those years fighting alongside their friend? (Or rather, how much they aged, as time passed in both instances of reality.)

    I think a series of new books will be appearing throughout the natural world. Still working on titles. “Corellon Presents: The Three-Quarter Orc and the Spiral Tower.” “Just a Guy With a Axe: The Halston Thorkelson Story.” “Daydream Believer / Goin’ Down” (depending on if you read it from the front or the back). “The Adventures of Orem and Torq (and Also Some Other Jerks).” The author will of course be Torq’s bff and biographer “Orem Rivendorn, King of the Eladrin.” He already has the entire story chronicled in his Pods of Casting.

    Speaking of those other jerks (on Critical Hit), Randus’s new airship saves us a lot of trouble in the next season. We won’t have to spend half a dozen episodes figuring out how to get Trelle and her Sunshine Murder Friends to the Southern Continent. Though who knows what they’ll do after The Off Season. If anyone really wanted a new character, everyone has an out here. Trelle goes off to the Southern Continent by herself (and she is never heard from again). Randus explores the world on his airship (and he is never heard from again), Asmodeus gets pretty mad at Ket (and he is never heard from again). Though we could find out how The Other Fifth/Sixth/Seventh/Eighth/Ninth live and give each character a whole new party to play with. Torq and a party of Rakatekans (I don’t know if it was ever spelled out in the show, so I just guessed, but they feel like k’s to me) might be fun. (Would Epic Tier Torq be strong enough to cut the Hogba with his axe? In the face?)

    There are so many unanswered questions out there. We’ll just have to tune in again next week to see what happens!

  10. Oliver
    October 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm — Reply

    For me, the highlight of the season was definitely Rodrigo’s Fey Wild. Didn’t think he could top his Celestial Sea, but it was truly a beautiful piece of world building that led to some unforgettable moments (hogba, gnomes, pumpkins, alligators, and disintegrated imps to name just a few)

    Which leads to my only small complaint about the season which was the natural world just felt a bit dull in comparison (which I’m sure was intentional) and I didn’t feel the sense of urgency came through the podcast the way it probably felt for the players.

    For the off season pre gen, I’m hoping to hear Stephen run a 6 person party thru Hoard of the Dragon Queen or Lost Mines of Phandelver using the new 5e rules. More LMoP as Dragon Queen could easily take up a year of podcasts to get thru and I want to get back to Rodrigo’s world as soon as possible :)

    As for next season, I would definitely vote to see a whole new cast. I think these characters ended perfectly and wouldn’t want to see them jump the Tarrasque.

  11. Gary G
    October 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm — Reply

    Oh, the feels. So feelsy.

    Congrats to all of you on a truly great campaign.

    I think this story should end here for a few reasons. First reason being, that was a helluva ending. Second reason, it’s better to burn out than fade away.

    But my favorite reason? I would just love all of you to roll new characters so I can fall in love with this show all over again. Maybe in the same world, a few hundred years down the line, where the old characters are regarded as legendary heroes? That would be nice. Plus Adrianna would be there from the start this time, and that would be awesome too.

    GG Rodrigo. The feels, bro. The feels.

  12. steve24601
    October 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm — Reply

    Torq lives (if it is not too late, that might be great T-shirt or poster). I’d also like to see the next generation of heroes in 5e. Or maybe those guys in the first “how the second half lives” series of episodes. how did they fare during these several years?

    best moment: Torq falling down the well and the magic-y guys using a sending. with Torq responding “Hi… is that you orem?” beautiful

    frustrations: too many loose ends… tuberville, diamond throne chaos, problems in the southern continent, and when is the wedding?

    questions for the next mailbag episode:
    D&D always had traps in dungeons. Why no spike filled pits or other traps for Critical Hit?
    What do you think about the area effects of some monsters in 5e?
    any thoughts running a campaign along the lines of Frank Herbert’s Dune? Some high-tech (spacing guild) or modern tech (ground cars), but otherwise lots of fantasy elements (especially in combat).

  13. October 28, 2014 at 7:46 pm — Reply

    As for favorite moment

    2 words: Boomp Boomp

    I also really enjoyed the well episode and the magical pumpkin.

    All in all great show, I can’t wait to see what happens next season.

    Also, can we expect another interview with the robot overlord soon?

  14. archaeo
    October 30, 2014 at 2:54 pm — Reply

    The thing that always surprised me about this season, as I worked through it on my way through the huge backlog (I caught up just in time for the finale, more or less, and have been working on the series for well over a year), was just how _uncomfortable_ I felt during those sequences of major intraparty conflict. It was very much a “Why are mommy and daddy fighting” sort of response, but I also recognize it as good drama. I think the players were right to bring the conflict, and I think Rodrigo was right to foment it.

    I agree with everybody else, otherwise: bringing Adrianna to the table was the best move you could’ve possibly made, and I’m so glad she’s on the show.

    But yeah, man, great season guys. I didn’t realize how hooked I was until I ran out of backlog; now, this show is part of my schedule every week, part of my life in a way I didn’t anticipate it becoming, and I really just have to applaud how great you’ve all done in creating this engaging story.

  15. Meowzer
    October 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    Regret/Thing I Would’ve Changed: I feel like after they got back to the Natural World that should of been it’s own season, concluding in eventually killing Spud. This would of allowed them to flesh out things like Mandravo, Diamond Throne, the Exelarchy, and the such. It was so COOL to see how the world had changed since they left for the Celestial Crusade and it would of been awesome for them to expand on this. Also we need to know Torq’s backstory and more along those lines. I feel like after so many years we deserve that.

    Thing I Found Frustrating: The party’s general treatment of Ket. Like so often people talk about Ket like he is a super slimey snake. And I HATE that. I hate when you’re playing a bard and when you perform in the inn, and people start booing and throwing things at you. It is like, mofo I rolled a 27 on my Perform: Sing, and a 31 on my Perform: String Instruments it is god damn beautiful! So that kind of thing can get annoying.
    Ket is a very charismatic guy and he is extremely good at reading people, so when the party gets into something that involves diplomancy at all they should be asking Ket to handle it instead of telling him they all wanna talk instead. Non In-Game wise, Ket is BUILT to be a diplomat and to read people let him do it. And the whole Ket and Trelle situation? She tackled him onto the ground, and he used an attack that did like no damage to get her off of him. Yet they were so more harsh on him then her, it was freaking ridiculous. He was only protecting himself, and did so in a very controlled manner.

    Highlights of the Season: Orem and Trelle’s talks are always hilarious, and pretty much everytime they interact I laugh. Also Trelle’s interactions with the wolves outside the camp that one time, it really showed a lot of her character. Besides that, exploring the Feywild and learning more about it and going back to the Natural World and seeing the changes there.
    Nevermind, I lied. Stagsy, Stagsy is the answer.

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