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In this installment of Critical Hit – A Major Spoilers Podcast: The players and GM reflect on the season of play.

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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.

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10 Comments

  1. D
    December 31, 2016 at 9:25 am — Reply

    I feel you guys must have been kicking yourself when you forgot to ask the God what the deal with that mind controlling egg was. Did you guys forget? Or did you decide to not bring it up then?

    • Samantha Nelson
      December 31, 2016 at 6:57 pm — Reply

      I definitely did not forget but didn’t want to show the creepy god who we were totally beholden to if we ever wanted to get back to our world something he might want. If we find a less terrifying god you can bet I’ll bring it up.

  2. December 31, 2016 at 9:27 am — Reply

    Wow! There’s so much to say about the season, so I’ll try to be as succinct as possible.

    First, great job by everyone for their contribution to this show. It’s such great role-playing and storytelling, that I genuinely feel that it is on par with big media franchises to me. I listen to episodes over and over in work and never cease to be entertained. Special thanks to Stephen for producing the show, and Rodrigo for his epic storytelling.

    Things I LOVED about the season:
    — The different vertices, the people that lived in them, and how they effected Orem in particular.
    — The southern continent, and getting to see how the humans, kenku, and minotaurs lived, and how all the towns and cities were distinct in some way. I really liked Monster Town and the town with the monkeys.
    — The faceless evil of the Salamander Coil and how much I genuinely hated them.
    — Honestly not knowing that Sekhar had a secret, or at least the nature of it. I honestly just thought Matthew was being cryptic, as he has held back info on his hit points or powers. When that crazy stuff was happening to him on the train, and then he got better after he went out to hunt, I thought that was all part of his primal powers, and that it was Rodrigo fitting in how he got a new daily power into the story. It never occurred to me after that episode that there was more to it.
    — Wonderful NPCs. Great to see the return of The Queen’s Rebellious Daughter, but I also liked her fellow Deva, the wererats, and all the other characters that Rodrigo played.
    — One of my favorite episodes was “There’s got to be a morning after.” because I can’t stop laughing about “flowers and butterflies” and the fact that it ended up canon because it actually made sense. Stephen’s well-placed moments with what started as a joke really put it over.
    — The ending. Although I didn’t want it to end there, and the months of waiting will be excruciating, I think that the story heading back to the Astral Sea is definitely what I was hoping for. I can’t wait to speculate on how it has tied into the story already, and to come up with wild theories that don’t make sense.
    — This list is far from succinct, so I’ll end there, even though I’ could think of a lot more things.

    Things that disappointed me a little:
    — I was really hoping that Trelle would make a guest appearance for at least a couple of episodes. I still miss Adriana’s presence on the show.
    — That Capricorn wasn’t a real religion founded when Sir Brenzin unleashed chaos on the ghost pirates in the Sea of Capricorn in Season 2. I also feel that Sir Brenzin, after traveling through time with Randus after the botched roll, leaves a lot of room open to bring him back Just sayin’, ;)

    Thanks again to all involved in this podcast. It is to my adult life what Star Wars was to my childhood.

  3. DNDL
    December 31, 2016 at 11:02 am — Reply

    I knew that this would either be the last episode, or the second to last episode, of the season. I figured that because they had amassed a small army of NPCs and launched an assault on the bad guy. Same thing happened in every other season right before the season finale. I was not caught off guard by the ending, but I was surprised that we didn’t get to see the outcome of the final battle. Presumably it went well since (I believe) they won that skills challenge. But maybe it didn’t, thus triggering the plot hook for the next season. I’m very curious to see what happens in the immediate aftermath of last week’s episode. I hope there is not a huge break in between seasons. While Modern City was fun, I just can’t get enough of Rodrigo’s story telling. I’m sure I’ll be happy either way, though.

    I gotta agree with Frederick Pagliarulo. I was very disappointed that we didn’t get even one episode of Adriana. I miss her terribly. I would have loved for the Mountain Ghost to be involved in the final battle, even in some small way. I honestly wonder if she left on a sour note or not. The programming note about her absence was really professional, and didn’t hint at anything. But I just can’t help but feel like her absence is especially heavy in some way. (Note: I’m not really asking for this to be addressed. I’m not sure I want to know if there was a more sour note to her departure than we saw. Just musing).

    However, I was very pleased with every other part of this season. I think Sam did an amazing job integrating into the group, and she really changed the group dynamic for the better. She is an excellent role player, and I’d love to see Sparkle in some non-espionage driven social situations going forward. I also am looking forward to seeing how LS will behave outside of her native continent (or plane for that matter).

    I’ve also gotta say that Matthew was a surprise for me this season. I looooooooved Torq so much, and miss him terribly. At first I actually really didn’t like Sekar* at first, but ultimately really enjoyed his character, especially his play off of Orem. I think what Matthew said in this episode about Sam’s presence challenging him to become a better role player (or maybe I’m putting words in his mouth?) really rang true. Matthew showed us a new side to his in-character interactions. Its not that Torq wasn’t complex in his own right, but Sekar really pulls out a range in Matthew that I appreciated seeing. Though I’d love to see Sekar let loose a little, just for the fun of it.

    Thanks for continuing the show, guys. And thanks to Rodrigo for all the hard work he puts into this show. I really appreciate it.

    *I know my spelling is terrible. Forgive me.

  4. Dinobite
    December 31, 2016 at 9:14 pm — Reply

    I personally really enjoyed this season. I would still say season 3 is my favorite but this is a close second.

    The strengths of season is we got lot learn a ton about the world that had only been hinted at in other seasons. There is a throw away about a western continent, that is as much we we know about the Eastern continent suggesting Just on the Bloom there is still tons more to learn about.

    Sam and Matthew were both great bringing in new characters. Enjoyed both and what they had to offer. And while it might feel over played to keep Sekar secret as long as he did. It also didn’t feel wrong as Matthew played Sekar it felt like something that he would have trouble letting people in.

    As for Little Sparkle all around great character. Good back story,good story telling and finally someone that doesn’t look like one of the 3 stooges in combat. In season 4 combat at time felt more like chore than part of the game. Little Sparkle brought the kick-but seemed to really upped the enjoyment for most of the players because at least 1 member of the party did well in combat.

    On a side note for combat. I’m not sure how much this function of 4 ed at higher levels or how these characters were built but with combat it often felt like if combat is 6 round and some people were missing 3 or 4 times during a combat that can’t be an overly enjoyable experience as a player and it felt really bad for Ket as season has gone on because it seems like not only is he always going last or close to it he couldn’t hit the board side of a barn.

    The biggest weakness of the season it seems like there was a lot times where there was odd man out where one of members of the party just didn’t have much to to do. Granted not as much as season 4 so improvement and hard to avoid at times.

    Overall great work take a rest be it months or even years and I look forward to the next season

    • January 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm — Reply

      A lot of why Ket doesn’t hit things is more on me rolling only a little better than classic Brian (4’s to 11’s instead of his 2-5) and a little bit of me not fully optimizing Ket in any given aspect. The initiative thing is never going to be good as Ket has little Dex and would have to drop way too much into other sources to bump the initiative in a worthwhile way.

  5. hagmania
    January 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    Sam is the best thing to happen to this podcast, she really breathed life into what had become stale combat episodes of previous seasons.

    Hats off to Rodrigo for relentless worldbuilding.

  6. January 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    Wow, thank you all for another great season.
    Loved the addition of Sam.
    What a great job by Matthew taking on a new persona, and how difficult it must have been for Ket with his giant ego to all of the sudden be out carisma’ed be the new girl in class :)
    I could write on for hours, but every word makes the ones before less impactfull.
    Never stop – never stopping :)

  7. Crystal Groves
    January 4, 2017 at 10:07 pm — Reply

    Sad to see this season come to an end but I’m excited for what comes next. Thank you for all the hard work you guys put in to making this podcast so great! I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store.

    So their characters got called away to attend a funeral? I wonder who it’s for. Maybe it has something to do with the Obsidian Huntress? Haven’t heard from her in a while. I like the name Rodrigo gave her but “Obsidian Huntress” (in addition to being really awesome) seems really significant. Or it could just be Rodrigo being good at naming things without it having any deeper meaning. Who knows? Only Rodrigo and he’s not telling.

  8. January 6, 2017 at 2:59 am — Reply

    Great season guys, I loved the dramatic reveal of The Thing that Shatters the Sky, wearing (if memory serves) the clothes Smith was wearing upon his death. My only concern that I’m sure will come up later is which other three gods’ clergies have been infiltrated by Capricorn, because I strongly believe that everyone’s favorite god of secrets may be involved in these rituals’ circulation.

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