In this installment of Critical Hit – A Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons Podcast: There’s trouble on the trail in the form of GOBLINS!

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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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47 Comments

  1. EricJude
    January 3, 2015 at 11:20 am — Reply

    This is my one: “A path! A path!”

  2. Tiles
    January 3, 2015 at 11:53 am — Reply

    Well, that was some … Rolling? Did the new dice come with disadvantage curse?
    Grids work for you guys! Plus pictures! Going to go back and listen to that car wreck again! Lots o fun. Thanks for another entertaining show.

  3. Prawns
    January 3, 2015 at 12:38 pm — Reply

    Loving the 5e jaunt and Rodrigo’s roleplaying!

    A point on the “there’s no way this could work in theatre of the mind” comments, I’d suggest you watch The Escapist Plays Hoard of the Dragon Queen. They didn’t seem to have any problems with it.

  4. Adam
    January 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm — Reply

    Prone œmeans: –
    your only movement is to crawl unless you stand up and end the condition;
    you have disadvantage on all attacks;
    creatures within 5 feet have advantage to attack you
    creatures further than 5 feet have disadvantage to attack you.
    I expect you found this in the appendix at some point but figured someone might find this useful to know.

    • Ian Ollmann
      January 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm — Reply

      Ref: PHB 5e, Appendix A, p 292

  5. Intense Wizardry
    January 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm — Reply

    Hey! I love the show. I was wondering though, (This is a question for Steven though anyone who knows can answer) what do you mean by Critical Hit “Stories”?

    • January 3, 2015 at 4:24 pm — Reply

      There is the main storyline that Rodrigo runs, there is the 5e canned campaign that Rob is running, and if you listen to things Rodrigo said during this episode, there is a third story to be told.

      • Tiles
        January 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm — Reply

        How is it I can see a trailer for Star Wars and no idea what is happening with Crit Hit in 2 weeks! It’s killing me. I would go premium if I had a clue what the future held. Third show??!!!?

      • January 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm — Reply

        Please tell me that “Brian’s Storytime Corner” (as Rodrigo put it) is a campaign of Paranoia. That would be a great start to 2015 – the year of Major Spoilers…

        • Tiles
          January 3, 2015 at 11:49 pm — Reply

          I thought you (Stephen) said (I think on major spoilers) a “Big Anouncement” on January 1st? I could be wrong but I have been checking often for this update!

          • Tiles
            January 3, 2015 at 11:55 pm — Reply

            Lastly, two observations, One, everyone is discribing their actions and powers with their own personal flavor text. At times brilliant and at worst, fast and listenable. Two, you are all laughing a lot more. This is happening on our (my) end as well. I now listen to combats twice.

          • January 4, 2015 at 10:04 am — Reply

            You’d have to track down where I said that. I think I said changes were coming in January, but that happened earlier when we moved to our new hosting provider (Rackspace) in December.

            • Tiles
              January 4, 2015 at 11:58 am — Reply

              I could be wrong about that quote. Here is what I think I know. Lost mines can easily take you two or more months to play/produce. That’s one show currently using the Crit Hit time slot. Our beloved torqueltones will continue in some form sometime in the future and now a third “drama”?.

              Lost mines as I understand started in September leaving October November and December to play and record something? What?

              You are holding back info of some kind and that’s ok . It is making this fan courious. And Ridrigo could spill some beans too please. I get nervous when he is quiet .

              Thx.

              • January 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm — Reply

                We recorded a bunch of stuff before November because we knew everyone would scatter during the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year time period (that’s why all discussions you hear happened BEFORE the DMG was released). We haven’t recorded anything in over a month and a half. “Off Season” content happens between the main story so we can recharge, try new things, and give Rodrigo a chance to plan for the next season of main game play. We will begin recording more content in a couple of weeks. For those who are Gold VIP members, we did reveal what was happening in the off season during the most recent live chat.

      • Intense Wizardry
        January 4, 2015 at 1:36 am — Reply

        Thanks for the answer!

  6. January 3, 2015 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    I hadn’t realized that while prone means “laying face down”, it often implies “especially face down”.

    This is how I am going to imagine the CH characters we they try to attack while prone… Eating dirt is a great explanation for why attacking while prone gives disadvantage…

  7. January 3, 2015 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    I hadn’t realized that while prone means “laying down”, it often implies “especially face down”.

    This is how I am going to imagine the CH characters we they try to attack while prone… Eating dirt is a great explanation for why attacking while prone gives disadvantage…

  8. Andreas
    January 4, 2015 at 1:17 am — Reply

    Great, great episode. This is still by far my favorite podcast.
    Thank you all.

  9. Drago
    January 4, 2015 at 10:28 am — Reply

    You guys have so much more energy in this campaign, love it.

  10. Robotguy
    January 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm — Reply

    You’re not the only one that has that dream, Matthew. You’re not the only one. I had to post to tell you that, it was a moral imperative.

  11. Sam
    January 4, 2015 at 11:51 pm — Reply

    It’s a shame you guys have had such rotten dice luck with this system. It sounds a bit like it’s tainting the experience. Still, the podcast was fun.

    Theatre of the Mind could be very difficult to pull off with Rob’s Rules as Written style. But otherwise it’s not too hard, especially if you just use minis to mark approximate locations. I would’ve loved to see (hear?) Malagog attempt to body splash the goblins.

  12. Stephenson
    January 5, 2015 at 5:33 am — Reply

    2nd level for killing 4 goblins and running around town and discovering plot hooks? Hope they stay at 2nd for longer.

  13. Ian Ollmann
    January 6, 2015 at 2:26 am — Reply

    Stephen, I liked the music in the preface to the show. Perhaps some background music would bring up the production value to the main show content to the next level. Feel like learning some amateur sound engineering? I understand there are only so many hours in the week.

    • January 6, 2015 at 8:07 am — Reply

      Thanks for your comments. We won’t be adding additional music to the story portion of the show.

      • Tiles
        January 6, 2015 at 1:09 pm — Reply

        How many more weeks of Rob’s game can we expect? When does the new season start? These games are fantastic!

      • Ian Ollmann
        January 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm — Reply

        As I learned today, A similar adventure is playing out on the “D&D Journey of the 5th edition” podcast. For a view how the other half lives (with background music) you can tune in there. It works pretty well.

        I’ll echo other’s comments that I find 5e more entertaining to listen to and your players shine better under this system. I understand Rodrigo’s strong reluctance to switch over — the characters probably won’t surivve the transition. This may not be so bad. The episodes without the Torqueltones (sp) tend to be a bit better.

  14. Mike
    January 6, 2015 at 5:28 pm — Reply

    Long time listener, first time comment-er. I really enjoy the Critical Hit podcast and thank you guys for putting it together. It is definitely one of, if not the, best D&D/RPG play podcasts out there. Enough fluff though and on to the reason I’m commenting.

    I audibly groaned and rolled my eyes when Matthew asked if he could run up and body slam one/all of the goblins and Rob responded with something along the lines of “If you don’t have a power/ability, then you can’t do it.” While I enjoy both 4e and 5e thoroughly, the issue I’ve seen 4e create is what I like to call the “Power Card Problem.” I read this somewhere a long time ago and I think I stored it to pull out when talking about this very issue because I think it sums up the problem (and the supposed solution in 5e) very well:

    “Fourth edition has trained players to look at their character sheet to see what their powers allow them to do. Fifth edition is, very specifically, the opposite of that. You say what you want to do, and you make a check to do it. You don’t have to have a power to do it, you just do it. Use a Strength contest to shove the other guy into a pit. Use a Dexterity contest against an enemy during your movement to fake them out; if you win, you gain Advantage for your attack this turn; if you lose, the enemy gains Advantage on their next attack against you. Dexterity check, DC 13 to swing from the chandelier and crash into your enemy: if you succeed, make a melee attack with +1d6 damage. If you fail fall flat on your face and take some damage. Strength check DC 15 to throw a barrel of water down the stairs; if you succeed, anybody on the stairs has to make a DC 13 Dexterity save to avoid being knocked prone and taking 1d6 damage. Dexterity contest vs. Dexterity or Constitution to throw sand in a guy’s eyes, blinding him until he uses an action to clear it out. Strength check to tip over a bookcase, forcing anyone on the other side to make a Dexterity save to avoid being pinned underneath. Anything you can think to do, you can do. But not if you’re looking at your character sheet for inspiration, because they can’t possible outline every possible action, no matter how many powers you have.”

    I know that you all record these way in advance and that this is all just going back in time to talk about something that literally occurred months ago now, but if I can try and break someone out of the Power Card Problem, I have to try. I don’t want anyone to think I’m just here to hate on 4e or start some sort of edition war or anything either though because 4e initially got me into D&D and I still really like it. I would still play 4e if my group wanted to, so really, I’m not trying to put you guys or 4e down or anything. I just see a lot of players have great ideas that always get shot down preemptively because there isn’t a power for that, or not an ability for that, and to me, that kills the spirit of D&D.

    Sorry for long rant.

    • Sam
      January 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm — Reply

      Hear hear!

      That is exactly my reaction (I winced when Rob shot Matthew down), and also my point-of-view. I started D&D at 4E, and it has its good points, but it’s rigidity was holding it back. Player character creativity should be encouraged and 5E has the flexibility to allow that.

      • Tiles
        January 7, 2015 at 12:19 am — Reply

        4e was a blast at times, but a definite tone switch happens when initiative is rolled. Very tactical.

    • Terry
      January 13, 2015 at 5:07 am — Reply

      Hey, Mike. I totally agree with your thought that getting bogged down with the idea of “what powers do I have” over “what can I do” can muck up the spirit of the game. I look at how Rodrigo has taken the rules of 4e and changed them where he thought it necessary (skills challenges and blast rules, to name a few). So, I think, if one was lucky enough to have an imaginative DM in 4e, one could still have scenarios like the ones you described in addition to having the power cards and it’s still just as good a game. I think, with the body slam ruling, it was akin to a kid asking Mom or Dad for a snack. “You can have one cookie.” “I want three cookies!” “One.” Hitting three dudes with a body slam is inventive and out there, but it’s too overpowered. It would be giving munchkin-y power just to satisfy flavor text the player “really wanted” (but then again, I think Matthew knew he was being a little tongue-and-cheek when he asked for it).

      Cheers!
      -Terry-

    • XantharTheFlame
      February 8, 2015 at 2:48 pm — Reply

      I’m afraid on this point I tend to agree. Sticking to the rules is good, and I tend to favour that style too. But in that instance I might have said something like he could try a Dex check to “hit”, then and opposed strength check to knock one down, maybe with a serious penalty since he was launching from difficult terrain… but either way his character would be prone at the end of it and no other actions…. that’s my two cents.

      Overall though, I think Rob is doing a good job as DM, and everyone else is obviously having fun playing — so in the end it doesn’t really matter. Keep up the good work, and thanks for doing the podcast.

  15. Ben
    January 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm — Reply

    It’s obvious to me that whenever the last 3 episodes were recorded Adrianna really couldn’t be bothered. Obvious she hasn’t read up on anything 5e related and her continuous out of character monologue is getting extremely tiresome. She has become the new ooc enabler of the group with attempted humour and one liners. Hope things have changed in more recent recordings.

    I think Rob’s doing an admirable job as DM and Rodrigo’s doing well at sitting back off the controls. It must be tempting for him to switch back into DM mode. Matthew has really improved on his technical and rules knowledge recently and I commend him for it.

    There is a general sense of ‘this is the off season and the campaign is less serious’, but I really hope the group throws itself into the game more to offer listeners better immersion than what’s happening currently. Again Matthew should be commended once again for dedicating himself to each and every character he’s played on the show.

    • Adriana Ferguson
      January 8, 2015 at 6:37 am — Reply

      you get that I’m playing a disinterested stoner, right…

      • Ben
        January 9, 2015 at 3:03 am — Reply

        Yes I get that and purposefully left it out as it adds a whole new level of annoyance whilst listening.

        • Tiles
          January 9, 2015 at 11:11 am — Reply

          I absolutely love what you are doing, it’s a fine line that you walk to have a snarky character that still moves the story. +1 your roleplay!

        • Gary
          January 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm — Reply

          +1 to what Tiles said, loving your character work

      • XantharTheFlame
        February 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm — Reply

        I got it, and applaud the roleplaying wholeheartedly, Adriana. The only times I cringe is when you use modern vernacular like “dude”, but I can live with it since the character choice is inventive & interesting — especially for an elf!

  16. Zaran
    January 9, 2015 at 7:58 am — Reply

    I would become a 10 dollar per month subscriber if you guys stick with 5e and stop doing 4e. It fits your style of roleplay so much better. You don’t have to abandon the characters either. Just remake them into the new rules or even start fresh at level 1. It’s totally feasible that with how you miss all the time that you guys are actually still low level.

    I apologize for being snarky, but I’m seriously dropping Critical Hit once you start playing 4e again.

  17. Tiles
    January 9, 2015 at 10:57 am — Reply

    They will make great stories regardless of system, (the 4e ending of last season had my eyes red with “emotion” ) . Under no circumstance would I drop anything except 4e combat episodes. But week to week it’s my number 1 podcast. And don’t forget a Rodrigo 4e skill challenge is pure brilliance.

  18. January 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm — Reply

    An example of pure Rodrigo brilliance:

    http://youtu.be/zvJItZ01UX0

    This stuff is system agnostic. Gotta love that about creative improvisation.

  19. Travis
    January 10, 2015 at 6:22 pm — Reply

    Matthew, I just wanted you to know that I instantly got your unacknowledged Real Genius reference (tiny pickles). Even if no one else did.

    • January 10, 2015 at 8:59 pm — Reply

      That joke was just for you (and anyone else that got it.)

      Despite what some will argue, for every joke I lampshade, there are three that I *don’t*. :)

  20. MTB
    January 12, 2015 at 6:50 am — Reply

    Really enjoyed this episode, bad dice rolls and all. Well done guys!

    Like many, I’d love to see you stick with 5e… Maybe that will be a spin off podcast if lotsa folks subscribe. Will be interesting to se how 4e combat feels to you after you return.

  21. Tom
    January 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm — Reply

    Really enjoying this 5e Campaign.
    I’ve complained in the past about Matthews rolls, but I’m not noticing it much at all here.
    As a previous commenter said, Matthew should definitly be commended for throwing himself into each session and character, and these rules seem to fit him much better than 4th edition.
    While Matthew is doing great, it seems that Adriana isn’t too interested in the off season since she keeps questioning what Rob reads to them. But to each his own and not every system can fit every player.
    Brian and Steven are doing great too.
    Love hearing Rodrigo do his thing as well.
    Keep it up!

  22. Tazsul
    January 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm — Reply

    I know it’s way to late to help, and you’ve likely already recorded all the 5e sessions, BUT Adriana got screwed! Cover isn’t -5 to hit it’s disadvantage! Neither of those crits should have been crits, the first one should have missed all together. Cover is very powerful. My players have learned to use it as often as they can.

    I just caught up to this point after an intense 3 months of backlog.

    Fantastic podcast, and Rob did an admiral job for a precanned new edition.

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