Balance – Episode: The The Adventure Zone Zone: MaxFunDrive 2017/Transcript

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Transcript by the lovely volunteers at TAZscripts.

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[The The Adventure Zone Zone theme]

Griffin: Um, I guess I’ll walk us in.

Travis: [elongated] Yeeeeeeaah.

Justin: Um, yeah, do it. Wait, no, let Dad do it.

Griffin: Alright

Justin: Dad’s a radio guy.

Travis: Yeah, Dad can do this!

Justin: Give us a nice cheesy—

Clint: Okay, you want a nice cheesy open?

Justin: Yeah.

Clint: [Enthusiastic, cheesy radio voice] Hi everybody and welcome!

Griffin: Oh my.

Clint: We’re back with another TTAZZ! That’s right [Justin giggling] The The Adventure Zone Zone, that’s where the guys get together, have a little confab, answer your queries [Griffin sighs] right here. The The Adventure Zone Zone, take it away, fellas!

Justin: I wanna thank our father, uh, who is cosplaying as every Simpsons character you’ve ever hated. [Clint & Griffin laughing]

Travis: You know, it’s funny, somebody asked us—

Justin: All together in one human.

Travis: Somebody asked us why Dad, uh, both his character in Adventure Zone and Adventure Zone Nights is kind of like, sleazy, and it’s like, ‘Oh! Well, that’s just our dad if you tell him “Do a voice”.’ [Clint laughing]

Justin: Sleazy, sleazy guy!

Travis: Do a voice, Dad. Okay.

Clint: [imitating] I could’ve done Casey Kasem.

[Noises of disgust]

Griffin: You couldn’t have actually, legally, um. Hey everybody welcome back to The The Adventure Zone Zone. It’s been a minute since you’ve been here, huh? Like a year maybe?

Justin: Show— This show within a show.

Griffin: This show within a show. This— Uh, what’s the show on Twin Peaks called that everybody watches? The like—? Oh whatever, it could not be less important.

Justin: Oh, Appointment To— Oh, god.

Griffin: Yeah, shit. That’s gonna kill- I said that specifically to torment Justin for the next hour and twenty minutes, or however long we go here on The The Adventure Zone Zone.

Justin: Uh, Invitation to Love.

Griffin: Invitation to Love.

Justin: Phew.

Griffin: Um, we’re gonna answer a bunch of questions that people sent in, and talk about making the show, and— I think maybe it’s a little weird timing, considering there’s not that much left in the campaign, and maybe it made more sense to do this once everything was completely over 'cause I imagine a lot of the questions I, as the DM, won’t be able to answer, 'cause I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.

Travis: I tried to be very careful, I wanna say: I tried to be very careful— It’s so funny to me that like, when we announced this, we were like, ‘We won’t be doing spoilers’. The sheer number of people—

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: —like ‘What’s gonna happen?’

Griffin: ‘Who dies? Who’s gonna die? Tell me all of them! I want a list of all the deaths.’

Clint: Safe to say— Safe to say that you had at least what, twenty responses? Trav?

Travis: Twenty, twenty two. No, it was probably in the range of about four thousand? [Clint makes some kind of noise] Um, no exaggeration, it took me about three hours to go through the question. Lot of duplicates—

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: But we tried to, uh, go through the questions and ones that we can actually answer without ruining too much. I will say, there’s some stuff in here that’s probably gonna touch on what’s happened up ‘til this point, so if you’re aren’t caught up—

Griffin: Sure

Travis: —to episode 59, this is just kind of a pre-emptive, like, we’ll probably talk about stuff—

Griffin: We’ll definitely talk about stuff.

Travis: —that’s happened in all 59 episodes, so.

Griffin: Yeah, I think we’re gonna need to, like, unpack a lot of stuff that actually happened in episode 59 to sort of set up the next episode of the podcast, so if you haven’t listened to 59 yet, don’t listen any further to this one until you go back and finish it. Seriously.

Clint: And why haven’t you?

Griffin: Yeah, it was a pretty good episode, um—

Clint: Yeah, it was.

Griffin: Should we get going, or—? I don't know, I don't know, I forget the format of this. Who asked—

Travis: Well, this is— this is different. I think last year we asked each other, like, questions that we had, and this year we kind of put it up to the audience, so how about this: Let’s just all kind of take turns grabbing questions and asking each other, and I’ll start off with this, 'cause this is, uh, kind of a soft ball for Griffin. This is from Neil D: What’s the production process like for an episode? How long does it take to put each one together?

Griffin: So, we record usually a couple of days before the episode goes up and we go for—what do you think?—like I think most episodes are, like, on average like an hour fifteen or something like that? Um—

Justin: Yeah, when we record? I should mention, just as a caveat, we haven’t gone back and listened to the original The The Adventure Zone Zone.

Griffin: Yes!

Justin: So, in case we’re doubling up on answers, uh, tough shit, I guess!

Griffin: Yeah, sorry. I cut a lot out when I edit, which I usually do the day or sometimes the night before, because my, um, life is in shambles. And uh, I cut like a lot of— I cut a lot of stuff out, like this is the most heavily edited thing I make?

Um, and so just like cutting down the recording to something that is listenable without like, long long pauses for rule checks and um, like, decisions on what actions to take, uh, I cut like, maybe a fifth, or, to a quarter out of the whole recording, and that takes a really long time, and then I record the ad break and then I levelate (??) that, get that sounding good and then I cut the intro together which can take a long time if I have to pull— For episode 59, I had to pull a clip from episode 28 I think, and like fucking finding that needle in a haystack took me a really long time.

Justin: What was it?

Griffin: Uh, it was like a clip of Johann, talking about being, like, sad about the idea of being erased. {5:30}

Griffin: Um, and so, like, that can take a while. And then music recording—varies pretty wildly? I recorded the, I think the fastest I've ever done it was the TAZ Nights bonus theme from this year? Which I knocked out in, like, a half hour. Mostly using, like, premade loops in GarageBand. If I lean on those it’s a faster process.

Other songs like the chalice song took me fucking days to get that one going. Usually the music, I have a big longer lead-up time. And then cutting all of that stuff together can also take a really long time just, like, mixing all of the different tracks and sounds and shit together. Especially, like, episode 59 had I wanna say, like, fifteen different music cues in it? And it took me, like, half a day to make that. So like, some episodes take me days and days and days.

Justin: It doesn’t help that my brother, Griffin, refuses to break out of the Fifty Shades of Grey style relationship he has with Audacity.

Griffin & Clint: [laughing]

Justin: And will not free himself from its—from its beautiful, fuzzy shackles.

Griffin: Well here’s what I say about—Audacity sucks but, like, I've gotten to a point now where I've gotten pretty good at like doing it fast. like, I—

Justin: Just let me open your eyes to the power of REAPER.

Griffin: I know. Um, so, the answer to that question is, like, it takes a long time. I work harder on this than like anything and it’s just because, like—and I'm working harder and harder and harder, like, the past couple episodes? Like, I have doubled the amount of production time that went into it and I'll probably keep doing that to the point where, like, the very last episode of this campaign will probably take me, like, all—I will need all two weeks to get it going ‘cause I wanna stick the landing.

Clint: Let me add something to this too that I think will also answer a lot of other questions that we got in a kind of roundabout way. Most of, if not all, I would say, of the editing that you do, Griffy, is to clean things up...

Griffin: Yeah.

Clint: And it’s never, ever to change the story. That’s—that’s one thing I've… a lot of people ask about, like, did we know Griffin was gonna do this or did we know? No. There really is none of that involved.

Griffin: Yeah—

Clint: It’s really making it up on the spot as we go along, not on Griffin’s part but on ours.

Griffin: Right.

Clint: And Griffin doesn’t—is—is anal about not lettin’ us know what is coming and so there’s never any editing, I don’t think, you know, to, like, change a story element or take somethin’ out.

Griffin: Yeah, like, yeah. I get what you’re trying to say. There’s no, like, me saying like, “alright Merle, do this!” and then you do it and I erase my… prompt or whatever.

Clint: No, we don’t. That doesn’t happen. {8:10}

Travis: Well, that’s—that’s one of, uh, one question of about fifty, so we’re on— We’re averaging seven minutes per question.

Clint: [laughing]

Travis: Doin’ great.

Griffin: How about another one?

Justin: Are you deletin’ these as we read them, Trav?

Travis: I'm marking them so you’ll see a bunch of dashes on each one we do. [Someone knocking.]

Griffin: Cool.

Justin: Okay.

Griffin: I—can I read this one from Tickle Pickle, @Dissimon on Twitter, he says, “How early in the campaign did you have the whole plot sorted out in your head properly? When did you start dropping hints?”

Griffin: Um, and the answer to that one’s kinda tough to come by, but, like, I really did have most of the structure of the plot done by the end of "Gerblins". Like, I knew… most of that. [crosstalk]

Travis: [crosstalk] Let me ask you this, Griffin, let me turn it a little bit: what point in there, ‘cause we start—"Here There Be Gerblins" started with like, the pre-written, like, box, you know the red box campaign.

Griffin: Right.

Travis: What was the first kind of divergence from, like, the prewritten where you’re like, “okay, this did it”?

Griffin: "The Lost Mines of Phandelver"? There— I followed— Here’s how we followed it: you find the dead horses in the road, yes. You go to the gerblin cave, yes. You fight the bugbear, yes, although, like, I don’t think the bugbear’s name is Klaarg in the book and I don’t think you’re supposed to have tea with him and hang out, and like, that’s where things were like, "Oh, it’s more fun if we do it this way."

And then, like, you go to Phandalin, yes. And then, like, I think we jump straight to Wave Echo Cave after that? And that is the end of that book and we skipped the middle 90% of that book where you go and hang out with, like, an emerald dragonling and like, there’s a big castle. Justin actually—Okay, this is fun. When I was in Huntington for the—when we were all in Huntington for the TV show shoot, Justin ran a game of D&D for the Smirls that I played along with and you actually did some of the stuff in that book. Like, we went to that castle—

Justin: Yeah, it was fun. You missed all the good stuff.

Griffin: Well, yeah.

Travis: [laughing]

Justin: (??) —over there.

{10:00}

Griffin: But I mean, the—the thing is like, I think by like episode 3 I realized I wanted to get off the book so we jumped ahead to the end of the book, essentially.

Justin: Now, now this is my question though, Griffin, and this is something I've always kind of been curious about… um, what was your, like, plan when you started, um. Like, did you plan to just hop from… like, prewritten campaign to prewritten campaign? Or what was the…

Griffin: I don’t think—I don’t think I had a plan. I think I—’cause when we—

Justin: Dang.

Griffin: When we did the first episode, it was under the guise of you are on paternity leave, and so like, this was a filler and we didn’t even know this was gonna be a podcast. So when we started my mind was in this mode of “alright, well let’s just get an episode done so Juice can have a break.” And I think that’s been a detriment, I think to the show? Because there are—there—it’s tough, like, goin’ back and listening to those, that first arc, and some of it I've had to kind of… um, try to work into the bigger campaign?

But like, I really didn’t have that bigger campaign until that after that first arc was over? and I think that did us maybe a little bit of a disservice? ‘Cause it did take me a while to start dropping hints, right? Like. "Crystal Kingdom" is when I realized, like, I had the idea in mind for like, what the structure of the arc was gonna be, "Crystal Kingdom" was—I started to do some fuckin’ work to drop hints. That’s where you guys did like, the whole cosmosscope and learning about the idea of like, other planes and this other maybe evil? Plane? That was coming? And, like, the red robes showing up and all that stuff started really hittin’—hittin’ the pavement in "Crystal Kingdom.

Clint: Wait a minute, though, I'm gonna call you on that because, you know, goin’ back and adapting "Here There Be Gerblins" for the graphic novel, I've noticed a lot of things that either you were… brilliant in adapting or you were brilliant in just—like, there was a red robe in… you know.

Griffin: Yes. Yes.

Clint: And you—and so you know— But there are elements that I pick up all the time—I will leave notes for Callista, our editor, on the side that says, “I swear to god, this was in the episode.”

Griffin: Yeah. Um…

Clint: Is that more—was that more you just going back and retconning or was it…?

Griffin: No, that—that—that’s one very specific example of like, me dropping— I guess that was technically the first hint, although, like— That was the first red robe we see, right? And the red robe served sort of integral to the secret plot that you all learned about in the last couple episodes, so. Yeah, I guess that was sort of the first hint. But really, like, um, the last thing I wanted was for, like, all of this stuff, when it was revealed, for it to have no hints leading up to it whatsoever? Like, no, like, oh— I fuckin’ hate it in like, video games like JRPGS where like, you’re playing it and then the final thing happens and it’s some big bad that you, like—it has never been referenced before, you know what I mean?

And it’s just like, “I'm the big evil, uh, force of—force of evil that you didn’t know about until just this moment! And I'm the one you have to kill in order to win!” I didn’t want that to happen. Like, I wanted there to be some lead-up. So there’s stuff like the patches you first got during "Crystal Kingdom" as a Candlenights present, um, that was a hint. There—I tried to—"Crystal Kingdom" was, like, every episode I was trying to drop stuff on y’all that would set this up.

Travis: Well, so this next question, um, is, I guess ties into this ‘cause it’s for Dad and it’s also for Griffin and I think it’s a good example of what Griffin’s talking about as far as, like, the stuff from the first arc and Ian asks, “If Merle came from another set of planes—”

Griffin: [chuckling]

Travis: “—how could he have been related to Gundren Rockseeker? His blood opens the doors?”

Griffin: I got a good—I got an answer for that, but it’s not. That’s—that’s—that, my answer for that sucks and you’ll learn about it in… the next couple episodes? But it sucks, but that is—that’s the kind of shit I'm talking about, yes. I've set up this thing where, like, you guys are from another reality, right? You’re from another dimension or whatever. How can you have a—cousins in this world? And it’s like, well. Yep. Justin & Travis: [laughing]

Griffin: You got me, it doesn’t…

Clint: That doesn’t bother the DC multiverse. You got, Superman’s from Earth 1, 2, and 3, all livin’ on Earth Prime and they’re still related to other bei—I don’t know if that’s, that’s…

Griffin: That’s—no, I mean, they got me there. That was a good loophole. Here’s the thing: if you go back and you look for loopholes—and this is not a judgement, like, yep, you got me, fair play. ‘Cause that one I realized, like, at fuckin’ 1 AM one night I woke up with a start, like, “Ah, shit! He can’t have relatives here!” There’s gonna be stuff like that. And that’s what—that’s what I'm talking about, that first arc I just didn’t have it yet. I didn’t have—I didn’t know, at that point, I didn’t really know that they were from this other reality and so, like, I would just say some shit. And I'm sure there’s a lot of stuff like that and, um, I'm—I'm—I regret that, it’s a bummer, but. What can you do? Pobody’s nerfect!

Clint: Alright, let me—let me ask one, can I ask one?

Travis: Yes, do!

Justin: Yeah!

Clint: I got one that I think all thr—four of us can answer and it’s from @FrillyIceCream… [pretty much all of this is crosstalk]

Justin: Finally I get to talk and not just eat chili.

Clint: @FrillyIceCream says…

Griffin: Are you eating chili again? ‘Cause you were eating chili during the last recording.

Travis: Goddamn, Justin!

Justin: I’m on slow carb, baby! [shouting away from the mic] I only eat chili!

Griffin: That’s a good life. That’s good work if you can get it.

Justin: [laughing]

Clint: “How did the popularity of the podcast affect your outlook on the story and characters? When did you become invested yourselves?” [link]

Griffin: I’m curious to hear your boys’ answers to this.

Travis: This is a really good question.

Justin: Uh, I’ll tell you when I became invested was after… Okay, so, I made Taako and there was not a lot of, uh, elements to Taako that I had figured out early.

Griffin: Well, because you and dad took the pre-gen character sheets that came with the starter kit,

Justin: Right.

Griffin: And kind of put names on ‘em and there’s your—there’s your guys.

Justin: And some have argued that I decided to name him Taako in the exact moment that I opened my mouth and said Taako.

Griffin: Yeah.

Clint: You didn’t?

Justin: Some have argued that. [chuckling]

Clint: I would argue that!

Travis: His—historians have theorized.

Justin: Historians have theorized. Um, and there was a period where I just made him… dumb? Does everybody remember the period where I made him, like, wicked stupid for no…

Griffin: Yeah, he was just a trash bag there for a bit.

Justin: And I didn’t—and I did that because… I, I, I didn’t think he was funny enough? So I thought it would be funny to make him dumb and then—and it wasn’t ‘til I tried to do that that I started bumping up against, like, "oh wait a minute..." Like, that’s not right. Like, that’s not who this character is and that’s not who the person is. And so that made me feel ownership.

Justin: The weird thing about the show getting bigger is that in a way, I feel like less ownership now. And like—and in a good way, I think, in a healthy way. But, like, I see all these different permutations of Taako and he’s like, still a character I made up and that’s cool, but, I also think it’s cool that other people have their own spin on Taako and their own sort of take on him, um, and I think that’s really neat.

And I wanna encourage that, I think that’s—it used to irritate me, I think, from a consumer perspective when I would see creators do that? Like, "I don’t know, the decision is yours, it’s up to you," but, like, as a creator now I find that really interesting. Like, I find it really cool to let that space exist.

Griffin: I struggled with that for a bit ‘cause it felt, um, to be like noncommittal about canonical, um, look and design and aesthetic and all that, like, felt, um... I don’t know, fanservicey, in a way? In a way that I think I kind of struggled with for just a little bit but I kinda realize, like, I don’t think it’s us dodging some sort of essential question about what these characters look like, I think it is to us, actually, um, taking advantage of what is a pretty singular benefit to this being an audio medium. An audio-only medium, if this was any oth—if this was any other kind of medium, like, we couldn’t do that. And I think, it’s important to me that this show has, like, good representation?

‘Cause I—I—that’s—that’s important to me and I know it’s important to our listenership and I—I’ve—I feel like, and I try to do that with the characters that, um, the NPCs that y’all come across, but, like. I feel like this is a really cool way of doing that, of just saying, like, whatever interpretation you have, go for it. And because this medium doesn’t have, like, these canonical visual takes, then just let it ride and nothing’s—nothing’s wrong, everything is permitted.

Travis: Yeah, I—I hope this doesn’t sound like a dodge because it’s absolutely true; I don’t picture anything when I picture Magnus.

Clint: Mm-mm.

Travis: Like, I just don’t think that way? So, like, I see a lot of different…

Justin: Well, think about it. You’re seeing it from, when I envision scenes that are happening, I’m seeing them from my perspective.

Travis: Yeah.

Justin: Like, I’m seeing them from— I don’t see Taako doing stuff, I’m envisioning myself looking at the stuff that is happening around me through Taako’s eyes.

Travis: It’s like Myst, you know what I mean? like, I don’t see…

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: I don’t see my PC. And so, like, when I see, like, fanart and I see people’s drawings I’m like “yeah, that could be Magnus!” Like, “Yeah, in a universe, that’s Magnus! Yep! Mm-hmm!” And so, like,

Clint: And I think we… Go ahead, I’m sorry.

Travis: It’s just, it’s just never for me, like, this is my—and so it’s more like, for me, I—one of the weirdest things, as far as the popularity and like, investment in the characters goes, one of the weirdest moments I ever had was, I used to look through the Reddit—I don’t anymore, not because I begrudge anybody posting on Reddit, but it started to bleed into like, decisions I made? And I wanted to remove myself from that. But like, after an episode went up, I saw somebody post a comment, “that’s not what Magnus would do” about something I did as Magnus?

Clint: [chuckling]

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: And I was like, wait, what? What do you mean, “that’s not what Mag—” I am Magnus! What I—what Magnus does is what Magnus would do! and it was—like, I could not pretzel my brain around it. And it was, like, okay, to this person, this is what Magnus does and anything that di—but the thing is is like, people don’t work that way? Like, in real life? There—like, it’s not like, this person is good and so they never mess up, they never do anything bad, like, that’s just not— And so like, when I first started making Magnus it was pretty one-note heroic meathead who rushes into things.

Griffin: [sighing] Well—

Travis: Somebody talked about, like, the rogue, like, “that’s very un-Magnus-like to do a train in rogue!” And it’s like, yeah, but like, after a while he—of just rushing into things and almost dying, like—

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: There’s a certain amount of learning that comes from that, so characters grow and change.

Griffin: I think generally speaking, like, the investment that you all sort of have—and this is just my perspective as the DM, but I also think when the listeners became more invested in your characters—and this is definitely something we need to take to heart whenever we do whatever the next thing is for The Adventure Zone, um. That investment came when you all expanded—when the definition of your characters expanded beyond your Dungeons and Dragons character class. Because when we started, you were a wizard, and you were a fighter, and you were a cleric, and that was pretty much it?

But like, I feel like your characters really took flight and the show, frankly, like, got pretty good, when you were the disgraced former TV chef, and the, uh, carpenter—the carpenter whose town and home was destroyed, and the deadbeat dad who is kind of a hippie cleric with shaken faith. Like, that stuff that goes beyond you just playing your roles is when shit got really, really good. So no matter what we play next, if we play some, you know, fuckin’, uh, what? Like, uh, space game, like, I don’t want you guys to just be like “well, I made an alien and I made a pilot and I made a gunfighter.” Like…

{22:27}

Travis: I will say, Griffin, not to judge someone else’s game, but if there’s an RPG game where there’s a class that’s just “alien” it’s not—I don’t know about that game.

Clint: [laughing]

Justin: [crosstalk] Yeah, it sounds like that might be…

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah, there’s…

Clint: I will tell you. I will tell you a crystallizing moment for me. And it’s—it—it’s not the joke you think I was gonna make.

Travis: Aaah!

Griffin: Ah!

Clint: I think by the time we got to this moment, we knew somethin’ special was going on. And with my hand to God, I think "abracafuckyou" was a—was a turning point because that was one of the hardest I’ve ever laughed at anything we’ve done and it was—that—I know that sounds strange, but to me, that was kind of a distillation about what was so special about what we were doin’ that to me, that was a big—that was a big turning point.

Griffin: Yeah.

Justin: I did, I saved the show. Here’s another question.

Griffin & Travis: [laughing]

Justin: Saved it from mediocrity, we would still be soldiering on in mediocrity if not for me.

{23:26}

Clint: Sure!

Justin: Here’s a question. To me.

Griffin: Do you, you want me to ask it?

Justin: Um, yes. Why don’t you ask me that. And then I’ll ask one of you guys a question to you.

Griffin: Which one is it? Uh, this one’s from Taako’s boyfriend, uh, @goldclifftrust who says to Justin, “How much satisfaction do you get from blindsiding Griffin with new spells?”

Justin: None!

Clint: Next question!

Justin: No, I mean, it— The very short answer is, I wanna do… Taako’s life is dope and he does dope shit. That’s fact. And it do-- there are a lot of spells. Everytime I do a spell, like that, it is a balance for me of, like, doing some hardass stuff that is cool. But also, like, I don’t wanna mess up the thing?

Clint: Mm hmm.

Justin: And as much as Griffin says you can’t mess it up, you definitely can—

Griffin: No, you can super fuck it up. Defo. Def def defo. Yes.

Justin: But he always tells us that, like, he’ll figure it out. But, like— I don’t want to break his thing. So, like that’s always the balance for me. It is in no way about blindsiding Griffin with spells. If anything, it is a professional and familial curiosity as to how he will adj— course correct to what I am doing in any given situation. But it is never with the intent of, “Take this, Griffin,” because like, we could do that—

Griffin: Oh, dude, you could. Episode, episode, your first episode on the moonbase is like, Okay, I attack the director. Okay. [strained] That’s it! Thanks for listening, everybody! Bye!

Travis: Let’s— Let’s spin that into— there was— a lot of people wanted to know, Griffin,

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: if there were moments that were kinda fucked up of your planning?

Griffin: Sure.

Travis: Based on stuff that we did.

Griffin: This ranges- the answer to this is— [Weird-ass Griffin noise “uh yeahhhhh”]— I got— Here’s the thing, and I could spend a really long time talking about this, but like, the biggest thing I struggle with doing, being a DM and also being the DM of an actual play podcast, and those are two different jobs, with two different, sort of, demands.

And I think every DM has to make up this decision on their mind is, how much control over the whole narrative—the macro narrative—do you give the players, and how much do you keep for yourself? And I talked about it in the last The The Adventure Zone Zone about like how I try to give the micro story over to you guys, and like do whatever you want, while still trying to keep my hand firmly on the wheel of the bigger picture, um. And so that gets me in trouble.

Sometimes there are episodes, like I think all the lunar interludes have been an example of this, where just like I kinda need to take the wheel pretty much entirely because fuckin’ episodes— this last lunar interlude, 58 and 59, I had a million threads that I had to pull together? And so that meant I was talking a lot of the time.

I saw some people say like "well geez Griffin just give the other boys a script if you’re gonna do that" which I don’t appreciate necessarily, because y’all still— I feel like I still give you like the opportunity to do your own stuff. Not only that, when you guys had this conversation about Magnus you shouldn’t get back in your body I was like uhhhh fuck that wasn’t, like— I kinda thought you would, and then all of the sudden that next episode was completely different from what I thought it was going to be. So, like, I don’t think you’re necessarily completely on rails. But—

Justin: Griffin has never forbade us from doing anything.

Clint: Uh-uh, nope.

Travis: If anything, honestly, one of the things is like—D&D is a very collaborative game in my experience, and like, if your DM—and, not to judge anybody’s play style, but if you feel like, uh—the host of One Shot RPG commented on like, that I apparently said in an episode “this is important to me” so Griffin like, went along with it.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: And like, that’s how the game should work? So like, there’s stuff that we’ve wanted to do, and Griffin says like, “Yep,” but also simultaneously, we see, like, our DM is crafting a storyline, so why would we fuck with that just to fuck with it?

Griffin: Well, that’s a—

Justin: Here, let me give you an example of, like, this in action, right. In the beginning of— I guess it would have been towards the end of 58, beginning of 59, Dad and I were in a scenario where Travis knew—Travis had some idea—

Griffin: Oh, that made—magnify all of the, like multiply the complexity of all this by a billion thanks to the fact that like, I made it so that one of the characters knew kind of what was up, and the other two didn’t, and I kinda like, expected all of you to go along with it and you did not.

Justin: Yeah, well, we said to Griffin—and I don’t know, this probably wasn’t in the episode, but—at one point, we had to say to Griffin like, “listen, we know we are headed toward something happening in the, um, in the moonbase, but we don’t—we’re not there. Like, as characters—”

Clint: And we were not—we were not down with crossing, going against the Bureau of Balance.

Justin: We just had no—we didn’t have the motivation yet.

Clint: Right.

Justin: And we could feel the narrative wanting to go there but like, we as arbiters of our characters, like, in order to be true to them, could not roleplay that. Because it was like— we just weren’t there. Like, we didn’t have it.

Griffin: Which, let me like—when I envisioned that sequence I just thought like, “Oh, well, if they’re down, it’s gonna be this cool sneaking mission,” and that’s not really how it approached. Also like, you told me that and I kinda tried to give you a little bit more justification with the, um, you hearing that voice telling you to trust Barry, which, um, I don’t know if I should say who that was but I’m pretty sure everybody gets it and, giving you that stuff with Angus who kind of like, backed you up.

Like I was like, “Okay, well I need to course correct and do a little bit more stuff,” and also you didn’t take the scene in the same way I thought you did; you fucking walked straight into it and were like “Yo, Director, what’s up.” Um, I—part of me thought you might just be like.. If you had been like, “Hey, Director, somebody’s trying to cross you, we’re not down with it,” I would have had to figure out something on the spot and I would have freaked the fuck out, but, I would have had to figure it out.

Justin: Well, we wouldn’t have turned on—this is the problem is we couldn’t—and where we were sort of had our hands tied is we also didn’t want to leave, we couldn’t have left Magnus hanging.

Clint: Sure, right.

Justin: The problem is we didn’t have time for literally an entire episode of talking about it between the three of us to try and figure out what was going on. And also, it didn’t matter because we didn’t have all the—

Griffin: The clues.

Justin: The parts. [crosstalking]

Clint: But at the time—and each arc really and truly is a Whodunit for us. It may not be a murder but there’s always a mystery that we’re trying to figure out as we go through it. I tell you, this kind of ties in with one of the things—and nobody asked this question, but—one of the toughest things for me—and yet, one of my favorite things about this story, these stories—are those, uh, ‘Jury will kindly disregard the witness’ testimony’ kind of things, where, not only—there are moments where our characters are not supposed to know what the other characters know, but then we as the player are not supposed to know, and it— But, listen, that’s a level of complexity that I think makes it special because it does make harder, and it forces us to be better actors.

Griffin: It’s, um, I’ve been listening to a lot—and I talk about this on Twitter and I may have talked in the last The The Adventure Zone Zone, but I listen a lot to a podcast called Friends at the Table that, uh—Waypoint’s Austin Walker runs their game, and they work in dramatic irony in a way that is just delectable, and so like—there’s definitely been a lot more of that in the last few episodes, of just like "Clint knows shit that Merle can’t," and trying to play around that, um, as so often happens in Friends at the Table, is really really good shit.

Uh, I wanna get back to one last thing about this subject because I mentioned this spectrum and—there’s been talk about you guys fucking my plans up or whatever, and I think the reason you’re thinking like that is because we’ve been doing this this way, and I think it’s—the way it’s worked for us in which like, I am mostly guiding where the narrative goes and you all are reacting to it, but there’s another way of doing it in which I say, "You guys are at a bar and these people are in the bar, what do you do?"

Episode 1, that’s it, and then you set fire to the bar and it’s like "Okay well I know what Episode 2’s gonna be." and I’m reacting to the things that you do, and I feel like that isn’t the best way— That’s just not the right way for us to do it, right, because I don’t know—I the DM, I the person running the game, I don’t know how to make a good story out of that.

Because it’s just, it’s gonna be a lot of cooks in the kitchen and it’s gonna be like, unless we do all get together at that point and say like, "Alright, what are we doing with this thing?" then it’s not gonna be this cohesive narrative, it’ll be you guys being, just, murderous bandits as you run across the countryside, like— You know what I mean? [Agreeing hums] Like, it’s really—and so I get really defensive about people saying, like, "I wish Griffin would let the boys like, make more of a big decision."

Because, to answer the thing that we haven’t even talked about which was the point of the question of like, things you guys did, uh, the whole "Arms Outstretched” sequence where Taako soul-jars and you guys pull Magnus from death? I’m not kidding, I had a whole thing? In the Astral Plane…? Gone. Like, fucking gone. That was probably the biggest, most brutal thing.

Um, the chalice episode, which I think is probably the most important episode of the season—the series so far, where we like, finally get into your guys’ backstories, and then the chalice tries to tempt you, I fully fucking thought that Magnus was gonna take the offer, and I had two episodes worth of stuff—not, no bullshit, of like, parallel worlds and alternate timelines and like, dark—"the darkest timeline"-style shit happening, and you all trying to like, pull Magnus from the brink or like—I thought Magnus wasn’t gonna make it through "Eleventh Hour" full stop.

But, you didn’t take the offer, and so I was like "Oh! Okay. Walk away from that." And then there’s the littler stuff, like I mentioned in the last The The Adventure Zone Zone, like I had a cool battle on top of the train that Magnus kind of did away with with this wild acrobatics stunt. So like, I—I definitely take the reins in some episodes more than others when I need to like really get things tied down and tied back in because I’m trying to do kind of a complex thing? and I don’t wanna let anything go unresolved. Um, but at the same time like, it is not you guys reading scripts—I have definitely tailored like, the big picture stuff to like, suit the things that I think you all are enthusiastic about about your characters, and—and that’s the way I try to justify it.

Travis: So, before we answer more questions, the whole reason we’re doing The The Adventure Zone Zone is we are in the middle of the MaxFunDrive. So let’s talk a little bit about that, and we’re gonna fly through this and get back to your questions, and then we’ll do, like, a lightning round question section.

So, Maximum Fun is a listener supported network that means that we do some ads, but primarily the network and these shows exist because of listeners like you. So, once a year we do a two week drive where we ask you to consider supporting the shows and the artists that you love. We have a bunch of different levels that you can give at: For five dollars a month there’s something like a hundred hours of bonus content that you get access to. There's, um, I DMed a couple episodes of what we’re calling Adventure Zone Nights in a whole new—

Griffin: Hey, and let’s establish— let’s establish canon. Is it Knights with a “K”?

Travis: It’s Nights with an “N”— like it’s a play on like Baywatch Nights but—

Griffin: No I know I know I know I know I know I know I know, but it’s— this could also be a play on a play on Nights.

Travis: Ok sure, fuck it, yeah, it’s Adventure Zone Knights with a “K”, but it’s also in a quantum state where if you’ve ever spelled it with an “N” you are also correct retroactively. [Clint laughs]

Travis: Which, by the way, Stefin the Goldfish is also in a quantum state where it is both with a “v” and with a “ph” depending on if I remember how I’ve spelt it before.

Griffin: It’s all— it's an audio medium, folks!

Clint: And Steven’s ok, right? Stephen’s ok?

Travis: Oh, we’ll talk about that in a second, don’t—don’t get it twisted. But! So, for five dollars a month you get all that bonus content. And not just for Adventure Zone, for all the other shows on the network. And not just for this year, all the past years. It’s such a— such a bargain. And in the Adventure Zone Knights it’s a whole new world with new characters that I DM. Griffin—

Justin: [Singing] A whole new world~

Travis: Griffin, Justin, and Dad play as new characters. Justin plays as Troth, and she’s a monk Tiefling. Griffin plays as an eldritch bartender named Tom Collins, and Dad plays as kind of a disgraced blackballed bard named Lenny Manelito. And because we’ve hit 10,000 there’s going to be a part 2 to this year’s Adventure Zone Knights coming out very shortly, we’re recording that tomorrow. So that’s at five dollars, at ten dollars you get the bonus content—

Justin: By the time you’re hearing this we’ve already recorded it.

Travis: That’s true.

Justin: Twist!

{36:24}

Travis: Um, so at ten dollars a month you get access to all the bonus content. You also get your choice of an enamel pin, um, there’s one for every show on the network, and because we’re past ten thousand, if you are a ten dollars donor, after the—after the drive, you’re going to be able to purchase more pins, um, with the proceeds of that going to charity. Um, so at twenty—

Justin: [crosstalk] Nice.

Travis: At twenty dollars a month, you get a pin, you get the bonus content. You also get a keep in touch kit that has stationary, it’s got a rocket pen with four colors in it. You get a candle shaped like a rocket that smells like sharpened pencils and friendship, you get a rocket stamp; basically anything you need to keep in touch. And then at thirty-five dollars a month, you get the keep in touch kit, you get the pen, you get the bonus content, and you get some engraved beer mugs, um, engraved with the Max Fun rocket logo.

Justin: But you know what Trav, it’s not really just about the gifts. The gifts are nice, but what you’re really doing is helping to make more stuff you like in the universe. This show exists because of the Max Fun Drive, and it gave us the freedom to be able to create it, and we wouldn’t be doing it without it. So, like, by voting with your dollars—by voting with your dollars, [screen door creaking] you are helping to ensure that we make more cool stuff. And—

Travis: [crosstalk] Yeah!

Justin: —that’s really, um, that’s really amazing. We—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah—

Justin: We so appreciate your support and all of that.

Griffin: This show has grown a lot, and that means a lot to me, and um, like, the Max Fun Drive is like one way, in addition to just like, seeing— seeing how big and how passionate the community is, that like, inspires me to spend more time on it, like—I wouldn’t spend a bunch of time writing music and doing all this—doing all this stuff and writing and pre-pro and stuff—if like, I didn’t think there was a demand for it, if I didn’t think that like people were going to get some level of enjoyment out of that. So like, this show is what is because of— because of the Max Fun Drive and because of the people who support it, so, um...

Travis: So if you love Max Fun, and you love Adventure Zone, please consider supporting. Go to maximumfun.org/donate, take a look at the different levels, see which one’s right for you, and if you’re already a donor, please consider upgrading, because we count towards that. We’re— I think we’re gonna hit twenty thousand by the end of the drive, but we can only do that with your help. Um, so boys? I would like to rapid-fire lightning-round some questions at you—

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Specific for each one of you, and we’ll see if we can just knock out some of these.

Griffin: Yeah, cause we literally have a hundred or so on here still.

Justin: Uh— Can I do one first?

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yes.

Travis: [crosstalk] Go for it.

Justin: Uh, Dad, why does Merle not like Angus? {39:07}

Clint: Oh - um, actually that was a very legitimate character choice, ‘cause I’ve always kinda played Magnus— I mean played Merle as—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Clint: [crosstalk] See, I do it too.

Justin: [crosstalk] Fuck you guys still, to the moon.

Clint: See, I do it too. As a character who was really kind of insecure about his place on the team. He was never much of a team guy, and saw anybody that joined the party with distrust. If you look back, even Killian coming on, anybody that came on—

Griffin: Wow, I never—fuck, man.

Clint: I made the- I made the choice that Merle would always feel so insecure that, you know—what do they need him for? He’s a failed cleric, he’s short, [someone hitting their knee?] 90% of the spells he casts are failures, so anytime anybody came along with any level of competency, he saw that character as a threat to his position in the group.

Griffin: I feel bad for dumping on Merle in so many of the arcs, right? Like in "Crystal Kingdom" you were the one getting pursued because you had the highest death count, and now Pan has abandoned you, but I promise, that sweet— that sweet reward. I promise I have— I have plans for all you boys.

Travis: [crosstalk] Death. You mean death.

Griffin: [laughs] The sweet release of death.

Clint: The sweet release of death.

Travis: Okay, so, Griffin: who’s your favorite and least favorite NPC to play as and/or voice? {40:16}

[Justin laughs]

Griffin: My favorite is Angus, of course, um, although I’ve gone back and listened and there’s some pretty wide variations. The voice for Angus came from, um, one of the— it was a Superego sketch, and it was the one where they’re on the go—the, uh, like, one of the characters is on the tra— Superego is another comedy podcast that’s really good—um, there’s a sketch where’s there’s, like, this, just a guy on the train, and a bunch of weird folks come and talk to him—

Clint: [crosstalk] Oh gosh, I remember—

Griffin: And one of them was a ghostly boy—

Clint: I never knew that!

Griffin: Yeah, and uh, he was— he was— what does he say? He just talks about being ethereal and uh, [speaking in boyish voice] “Won’t you take my clammy, diaphanous hand?” [back to normal voice] or something like that. [laughter] I straight just lifted that from that. Although like now I just do [speaking in high-pitched voice] kind of a higher voice, hi [back to normal] um, and so,

Travis: [crosstalk] Alright, least favorite?

Griffin: [crosstalk] I like Angus, my least favorite is just any character that’s like [in deep voice] uh, down here, [normal voice] all like, twelve of them. [deep voice] Ahh, I talk in a low voice, I’m either Jenkins—

Clint: [interrupts] So it’s strictly based on voice, not character?

Griffin: I’m either Jenkins or I’m Johann or I’m any six characters. [normal voice] Like, yeah. [crosstalk] Um, I have like four—

Travis: [crosstalk] Um, Justin-

Griffin: I have like four voices that I try to do for everybody.

Travis: Justin, this is from [crosstalk] Rick Sanchez.

Justin: [crosstalk] Yes.

Travis: Have Taako and Kravitz been on other dates other than the one on the show?

{41:33}

Griffin: Hmmm.

Justin: I mean.. It would— You would be on the— I mean..

Travis: A lot of people wanna know this, Justin. They want to know more about the relationship between Kravitz and Taako.

Justin: But it is— but it— I’m not being flippant. It’s an essential, like, it’s an essential... disparate thing to me. Like it— I don’t— I don’t know, it wasn’t on the show. It’s up to you. Do you think they did? I don’t know. My part is done, like, I don’t have to do more. I did my part of it, by talking and recording it. Like, as far as I’m concerned, that’s my contribution to that stuff, and I don’t wanna fill in the grey areas where other people can like hang out and do whatever. I would, I would say, I’m sure— it seemed like they had a fun time.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah, on the topic—

Justin: Like, I guess? It seemed like they enjoyed each other’s company. But like, I just don’t wanna— I really feel pretty strongly that like, stuff that wasn’t on the show, I’m not really interested in, in making like, ruling statements on, ‘cause like if I— Y’know, I wanna leave flexibility for people.

Griffin: Um, I, I just wanna hop in here and say, like, the demand for Taakitz content is like— yes, definitely. Um, it’s a lot, there’s a lot, there’s a lot of demand for Taakitz content, and I do wanna say, if only, fucking, Magnus had not been pulled from the clutches of death, we would have gotten a lot more Kravitz time, but uh, now that this—

Clint: Oh thank you. Now see, now you’re dumping on me again.

Griffin: No no no, this, that was [crosstalk] one of my fucking favorite things that you guys’ve—

Justin: [crosstalk] No, that was my fault.

Griffin: You guys did a cooler thing there than I had envisioned. I’m just saying, like, I get a lot of tweets now where it’s like, “Wow, Kravitz wasn’t in this episode at all, and you set up this, like, perilous situation.” It’s like, I know. Kravitz is a really great character, but this is like, me trying to reverse engineer the stuff I was gonna do in the— in the, the— the astral plane, like, into the rest of— the rest of the story. [crosstalk] So it’s not like me ignoring—

Travis: [crosstalk] If we hit— If we hit twenty thousand new and upgrading donors—

Griffin: [crosstalk] No, stop. No stop.

Travis: —then we’ll release this as a deleted scene.

Justin: [crosstalk] Shut your mouth. Shut your mouth. No. I will say— I will say one more note about Kravitz. I know people really like the Taakitz coupling, and I’m into it for sure. I think the reason— if there is, if there is one reason, and I’m reading into this from Griffin—Griffin has not presented other opportunities for Taako and Kravitz to interact—but I will say this. I have— it is zero sweat off my brow to roleplay, uh, as a male fella, and uh, going on a date with another fella. I have zero—

Griffin: Yeah—

Justin: —issue with that whatsoever. It is, however, expo-nentially more weird to go on imaginary dates with my brother.

Griffin: Yeah, it’s— [laughter]

Justin: It’s like, a lot weirder.

Griffin: I don’t wanna— I don’t wanna trivialize this, right, ‘cause I know it’s— it’s like, [crosstalk] for a lot of people—

Justin: [crosstalk] No, I’m serious about it.

Griffin: No no no, I get it. I’m just saying like, it’s also the only date that’s ever been on the show, was the— I’m pretty sure, was the Kravitz— Like the only romantic date-

Clint & Travis: Uhhhhh….

Clint: [crosstalk] Merle and the Director had a spa date.

Justin: [crosstalk] I got some heat there.

Griffin: [crosstalk] No that was more of a— more of a hang sesh. But, um—

Clint: No, no, I think it was pretty much a date.

Griffin: Uhhhhhhhhh.. Kay.

Travis: Yeah, ‘cause it’s way less weird for Dad to go on a date with Griffin.

Griffin: I don’t wanna trivialize, like,

Clint: Alright.

Griffin: I like folks shipping our characters, right, like I’m into it, um, and—

Travis: Except for Magnus. Magnus has only had one love. He’s done with that.

Griffin: Yeah, he’s done—

Clint: Magnus. [laughter]

Justin: No, Steven.

Travis: Stephen.

Griffin: Um, how ‘bout another— [crosstalk] how ‘bout another—

Travis: Well hold on, so let me answer that question. So Stefin the goldfish.

Griffin: Oh boy.

Travis: Anytime anything happens to Magnus, everyone is very concerned with Stephen. Let me- let me just say this right now- if anything were to ever happen to Stefin, I would say it. Everyone’s very concerned that something tragic has happened to Steven and we’ve just failed to mention it.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: Stefin is fine. He will almost always be f— like I can’t imagine a scenario in which the payoff is gonna be something bad happening to Stefin. Steven is fine. If not— if you haven’t heard otherwise, safe to assume Steven is fine.

Griffin: Um, and, more importantly, there—there’s gonna be more Kravitz stuff real soon I promise. Hang in—hang in there, Kravitz-heads. [crosstalk] Umm...

Travis: [crosstalk] Umm... Get us...

Clint: [crosstalk] Krav-ites. {45:59}

Travis: @swiftmartyrdom asked me, "Does Travis still have Magnus’ old backstory written down somewhere, and if so could we hear some of it?" Here’s the thing: I wrote that backstory like, before we ever started playing, and once we actually started, this is—this is the most like, long-form improv I’ve ever done, like, years long?

And so that backstory, I don’t think— the backstory that you hear in the "Eleventh Hour" arc more now, like, more accurately reflects Magnus than anything I wrote a while ago. Like, it’s, it’s two different characters at this point. ‘Cause the backstory that I had was this really broken, like, bitter dude that had, like, seen some shit and was kinda forced into this heroic role, and like, it just— it is no longer representative— It was much more like Mal Reynolds? Um, but without the humor?

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: Um, and the Magnus you see now is much more like the humorous side of the—

Griffin: It also, it also— It didn’t fit the— Not just Magnus’ character, but it didn’t fit the tone of the show like, [crosstalk] at all.

Travis: [crosstalk] Yep.

Griffin: It was pitch fucking black, um...

Travis: It was dark. It was very dark. And, and— I will say that the one huge element that carried over into both is, is Julia, is the wife.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: And far as a lot of people I saw talking about like, like, y’know, women dying as part of the backstory. I will say for me, for me it is the maybe the most grounded character choice I, like as far as time— Someone asked, what’s a thing I have the most, uh, Julia asked—euh, how appropriate—“What’s the biggest thing you and Magnus have in common?” {47:42} And the reason that I— I made the decision to have, uh, his wife passed away is, umm, and it might get a little serious here for a second, but for two reasons. One, our mom passed away when I was 21, and it’s, like, one of the most impactful moments in my life to date.

Griffin: Mmm.

Travis: Like, it’s like what shaped me to be the person that I am, and inspired me to, like, do more good with the time that I have left in the world. So like, that was a big part of it. And then also, my wife and being married. Um, and my wife continuously inspires me to, like, constantly be— be a better person than I was before I met her. So like, those two things is like, what for me would make someone a hero, like I kind of combined those elements in one. So like for me, everything that Magnus is, is— is from that.

Griffin: Sure. I also like, um, I— I am also kind of like— Hmm. I totally get these criticisms and there— there’s been a lot coming in, uh, coming from, uh, stemming from, uh, Episode 59 and some of the stuff that, that came in there about like, um, uh, fridging, right? That concept, that trope of, uh, fridging women characters to inspire male heroism, and, um, I— I— I definitely get that, and I think we’ve definitely stepped in it. I’ve tried so, like, I’ve— I tried so hard to sidestep some bad tropes when, like, doing this show, like— It was important for me that there was never like a, y’know, like a princess for you all to rescue?

But I— I definitely fucked up in that like, um, the— the— the— the Bury Your Gays trope with the- with the Ram and Raven, Hurley and Sloane, at the end of the "Petals to the Metal" arc, which, ‘cause when I was writing that, I was like, “Oh, it’s the first, like, romance in the show, and I’ll give it a tragic ending,” without knowing that there was whole fucking like— that’s how most, uh, like, gay and lesbian relationships in media end, is with tragic endings, which I didn’t realize. And so I’ve stepped in that a lot, um, in that regards, and I think we’ve— I think we’ve probably also not done so great about avoiding, um, y’know, women— women dying for dudes to have, like, the— the kickstart for their adventure?

Like we haven’t done it a lot, but maybe a little bit more than I’m comfortable with, which brings me to Lup, which I’d like to just sort of clear the air about in the next two minutes if you’ll allow me. Um, I had the idea for Taako to have this twin that he couldn’t remember? Everybody has things that they couldn’t remember because of the voidfish, um, and I had this idea for Taako to have this— this— this— twin sister Lup, um, and... The question that we got probably most in this whole thing, uh, in— in prepping for this episode was, “Is Lup’s name actually Chalupa?” {50:29} And, here’s where— here’s where I’m at. And, [various laughter] about two— about two years ago, when I—

Justin: I—I— let me clarify, I asked Griffin this exact question—

Griffin: Yep.

Justin: —as I was listening to the episode, and his exact answer to me was, “What does your heart tell you?” [Clint laughs]

Griffin: Here’s where I’m at. When Justin made Taako, when, and I— I’m guessing here, but I’m pretty sure when you came up with the name Taako, it was just, “Isn’t this a silly thing to name your fantasy wizard in our roleplaying game?” It was— it was done out of, like, irreverent silliness, right? Um—

Justin: Yes.

Griffin: It was not— it was certainly not—

Justin: It’s because naming anything like that is so whack. It’s like—

Griffin: Sure.

Justin: It’s so lame ‘cause it doesn’t exist, and it’s just like here, [in an over-the-top voice] “I’m Grendlethorn Windstilen.” Like, fuck off, his name’s Taako.

Clint: Bramblepelt!

Griffin: And at the time, like Justin wasn’t— what Justin definitely definitely definitely wasn’t doing, and I don’t think there’s been like, much criticism to this— to this um, point, Justin wasn’t making a Latinx character and naming them after a Tex-Mex dinner food, right? That would be pretty racist, pretty problematic. It was just, "this is a silly name to name somebody." Okay.

I— when I had this idea for a twin he could not remember, I followed the same naming convention and thought, “Well, of course his twin would also be named after a Tex-Mex food,” and so I came up with Chalupa, and shortened it to Lup so that I, y’know, could have a name that I could say that wouldn’t give away the reveal, that also sounded like a cool, actual name, right? Um, and Lup has been referenced like, a lot— pretty much most of the arcs, um, her name has been referenced.

So, fast forward to like, now, and I think we’re all a lot more cognizant about how people consume the show and how people have headcanons for... basically how every character looks, and we encourage that, right, like, I encourage that, I think it’s cool, I think it’s the coolest thing about this podcast if I’m being frank. Um, and there are a lot of people now who have this headcanon for Taako being a Latinx dude, um, thereby as an extension, his sibling would also be Latinx. And now all of a sudden, if that is your headcanon, having two... two characters named Taako and Chalupa, who, that’s how you interpret them? That sucks, right, that’s, that’s—

Travis: [crosstalk, emphatic] Sucks.

Griffin: That’s very very very problematic. And.. So now, all of a sudden, I’m, uh uh uh I, as sort of—

Travis: Just to be clear, doesn’t suck because they’re Latino, [crosstalk] sucks because of the naming thing.

Griffin: [crosstalk] No no no, it sucks because the naming— we’re all, fucking, four white dudes, and— and that— that, I think, is pretty problematic if that’s how you interpret those characters. And it does kind of create a sort of like, Schrodinger’s racism? [laughter] Where, if you interpret these characters as— if you interpret these characters as Latinx, then those names are problematic; if you don’t, then it’s just like, “Oh, what silly names.” I, as the— as the DM, and the person who came up with the name for this other character, um... can’t say, like, “Well that’s on you, if that’s how you interpret them,” and also say like, “I want everyone to interpret their characters however they want.” Y’know what I mean? So, that being said, I— I— and I don’t want folks who like— there’s been a huge amount of people who are like, “Oh, Chalupa, I figured out your name, um... Griffin you’ve been setting up this joke for such a long time,” and I think there’s people who are like, um, y’know, into the name because they don’t interpret those character in the same way.

And I don’t want those characters— I— I— I— this is not a judgement on those people or anybody, it is just like, my own sort of discomfort at this thing now, based on how a lot of people—a lot of people, because a lot of people been reaching out—um, have interpreted it. So here’s— here’s— here’s what’s up, and I can make this decision because I can do whatever the fuck I want with the characters in this world or the world itself. Lup’s name is just, I think canonically, it’s just gonna be just Lup, right? That’s what we’ve been callin’ her, and um, I think that’s like the best way to kinda move forward. I think— I think— uhh, no I need to be a little bit more steadfast here.

Clint: Spell it L-O-O-P.

Griffin: No, Lup’s name is L-U-P, it’s how we spelled it, and it’s just— it’s not short for anything, Lup’s name is just— is just Lup, and I— that’s— that’s the end of the story. Because there’s so much more— there’s more stuff I’m doin’ with Lup, like a lot, a lot more stuff I’m doing with Lup, and I don’t— I don’t know. I don’t want anybody to listen to this podcast and be uh— uh— uncomfortable because of some racist un— undertones that were completely—

Justin: [crosstalk] Unintentional—

Griffin: Completely and totally unintentional, um, like I don’t— it— it is important for me that- that nobody sort of has that. And it’s way more important to me than, like, landing some two-year-old stupid pun, right?

Justin: Pseudo-joke.

Griffin: Pseudo, kind of lazy joke.

Justin: {55:23} Dad, I have a question here from Alison Wilgus. Uh, it says, “Has working on the graphic novel script and revisiting early episodes while adapting them affected how you feel about TAZ as a player?”

Clint: Um, it— oh, as a player it’s made me appreciate A) Griffin’s storytelling, Griffin’s worldbuilding—

Griffin: Thanks daddy!

Clint: Um, because really and truly by about the third or fourth story, it was obvious that— well even before that, that— that you had gone off the rails and started working on your own thing. Um, and it has— it has affected me in the fact that, it— when I realized that, it kinda made me realize that I had to up my game a little bit? And it, it’s sorta like what Justin touched on before, um, y’know, we... Y’know, when people are asking about do we do things that push Griffin’s buttons on purpose? Yeah, we do that, but do we do things to try to derail the story, no, we don’t. Um, in— in— uh— I’m bein’ honest here, I really think that we become actors?

And I— and I think we really try very hard to balance out like the riffs, y’know, like the meta kinda stuff and the current references and the pop culture references, with bein’— tryin’ to be pure to our character. And, honest to God, we really didn’t have characters until, I think, like the second arc? Maybe the third arc? For me, I think, a big moment was Merle getting his arm chopped off. That made me kinda realize that it was, it was real, and, y’know, this was— this was kinda y’know, full fledged character building.

And, y’know, that’s informed a lot of the things that have happened since then, uh, Merle’s attitude towards Magnus, a little bit, in kind of a fun way. But um, going back and re-doing the graphic novel— I mean adapting the graphic novel has just kinda re-impressed me all along, ‘cause man, I’m tellin’ ya, there’s a lot of jokes, but there’s a lot of heart—

Griffin: [crosstalk] A lot of heart.

Clint: And I think that’s what— that didn’t start showin’ until later, I think. We had a few flashes of it early on, but I think that’s when—

Justin: [crosstalk] Well—

Clint: —it became kinda special.

Justin: I think we didn’t know that we had— that the show had the capability for that—

Travis & Griffin: Yeah.

Justin: —early on.

Travis: I agree.

Justin: We didn’t— It wasn’t in our—

Clint: It was a joke fest.

Justin: Yeah, and it— We didn’t know that it had— Like, we didn’t— It’s like a car that flew [Griffin laughs] all of a sudden, it’s like, wait a minute, can we really—

Griffin: [crosstalk] That is such a good way of— cause I— I see—

Justin: [crosstalk] —we built— we built this to—

Travis: [triple crosstalk combo] We Grease-ending-ed it really bad. Like, the ending of Grease, like, wait what? Are— are they dead? What’s going on?

Griffin: I see folks recommending this show to other folks on Twitter all the time and it, uh, they say like, “You gotta listen to this show, like, it- the story goes some places,” and I see a lot of people say like it emotionally affects them and “Oh man, I cried so much during this episode,” um, and then somebody actually, and then— I see somebody say, “Oh, I’m gonna start listening to The Adventure Zone,” and then like, uh, a day later it’s like, “I just hit this point in The Adventure Zone where one of them murdered somebody and asked why they got a boner, like are you sure [laughter] this is the same one?” Um, I have a question—

Justin: [crosstalk] Uh—

Griffin: —here for all of you and it’s from @lilybesidetherocks who says, um, {58:54} “What are each of your favorite musical pieces Griffin has produced for the show?” Hmm, yes tell. [crosstalk] What are they?

Travis: I will say— I really really like, um— I just like the whole soundscape of the, uh, of "Petals to the Metal", but for me, I just really love the music Griffin made for this year’s bonus Adventure Zone Knights. I know you said you cranked it out in thirty minutes—

Griffin: [crosstalk] It’s a banger. No, it rocks.

Travis: It’s just really good.

Justin: Um, I like the Crystal Kingdom song. I think it’s the best— I find it very, like, to hear it later— I find it— I find it very—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Well that’s ‘cause you—

Justin: Like, chilling—

Griffin: You’ve got a lot of ASMR, like, stuff going on, and so I made that— Y’know, I thought that might be it—

Justin: Yeah, my brother can’t give me ASMR. I’m a normal person. [crosstalk] Like, that’s ridiculous.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Okay. [snorts]

Justin: I’m immune to your— your ASMR charms.

Clint: "Arms Outstretched"—

Griffin: Oh!

Clint: I think the music that—that—that— you had in there— that was pretty cool.

Griffin: Well thank— well thank you. I—I—I— [crosstalk] I asked this to you guys as a joke—

Travis: [crosstalk] You don’t get to talk, we talked about your stuff.

Justin: Let Griffin talk about the favorite piece of music that’s he’s written [crosstalk] himself.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Nooo...

Clint: For himself.

Griffin: I wanted to say for um— one of the like most interesting things about doing the music is I did like a mostly like, western sort of acoustic soundtrack for, uh, "The Eleventh Hour", right? And I got a lot of people saying like, “Wow, it’s cool that you’re sampling Bastion,” which is a really fucking great, um, uh... What would you say, like, twin stick RPG, sort of—

Travis: Mm hmm.

Griffin: —thing? Maybe not twin stick, that’s not the right word for it, but. Um, and a lot of people were like, “Wow, you sampled Bastion a lot,” and as the arc went on, more and more people were like, “Okay wow, you’re sampling Bastion in like, every song.” And I realized it’s because both me and the composer for the soundtrack for Bastion used like, a bunch of Soundcloud— Er, not Soundcloud, uh— uh— GarageBand, which is the software I use, uh, we used the same, like, pool of loops.

So this is— I wanted to clear the air about that, because I also saw a lot of questions about, like, uh, me— me— me yoinking Bastion’s stuff, and it’s like, well, I promise I wasn’t like, “Oh, I’m gonna take this from the Bastion soundtrack", um, it’s just we— we took from the same pool of loops. Because there’s stuff like slide guitars in Roswell’s theme? Um, like, I don’t own a slide guitar or know how to play it, so I used loops and it was just the same one that they used in Bastion.

{61:05}

Travis: Uh, we had a question from Felix, and I think we can answer this pretty quick. “Any chance we could see y’all playing some female or gender-nonconforming characters in future iterations of TAZ?” And I do wanna say, if you haven’t listened, uh, to the Adventure Zone Knights yet, you should.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: Justin plays, uh, as a tiefling monk who, uh, I believe identifies as female, [crosstalk] uh, named Troth.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Um, yes, Troth kicks ass. I—I—I—I think this is important, right? Like, I talked about, like, I want there to be good representation on this show, um, and... I just would wanna make sure that, like— I wanna make sure we do a good job of it, if we do it as player characters. Like I’m not, like— I wouldn’t be afraid, right, to play a woman or uh, a non-binary or non-gender-conforming character, um, I just would wanna make sure that, like, I don’t know, I did a good job and I didn’t fall into any [crosstalk] pitfalls.

Justin: [crosstalk] Remember when we just talked about how we made one stupid naming decision and it haunted us for [crosstalk] three years?

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah.

Justin: Like, we’re— it’s hard y’all.

Griffin: It’s hard but I can’t—

Travis: [crosstalk] But— but— but to answer your question, yes.

Griffin: Yeah. We’ll— we’ll do it.

Travis: We want to make great, interesting characters, and like, so, the answer is yes, but I don’t ever wanna do it as a stunt. I don’t ever wanna do it because like, “Hey, uh— hey fandom, do ya like this?” I always want it to be because it’s the right thing for the character, the right thing for the story, and the right for, for us and the audience, y’know what I mean?

Griffin: Yeah. It’s tricky— it— It’s a tricky balance, but it’s something that we’ll definitely, uh, focus on.

Travis: Uh, Griffin, I have a question for you that a lot of people asked, I don’t know the answer to, which is—

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: —you talk about in, um, Episode 59, like— Well, two questions. One, so Magnus has the new body, right?

Griffin: Yep.

Travis: And the physical stuff that he lost during [crosstalk] Wonderland is back—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Oh, does he still— Does he remember Kalen?

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: No, no no no. I— you— so the way that I kind of thought about this, and you all— this is what fucked me up when you guys were like, “Oh, don’t get back in your body, you’ll forget everything,” is we were kinda thinking about it in a different way, in that I was thinking that like, your memories and the things that you remember kinda resided in your spirit? Or whatever?

That was inside of the mannequin, and so when it was outside of your body you were technically dead, and so the voidfish didn’t work on you, and that’s why you were remembering those visions and all that shit. But like, I think your memory lived in your spirit, so when it got back in your body, just because your body was from a time before Wonderland, like your brain would still remember Kalen? That’s not really how I think about it. I— uh— and frankly like—

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: —that moment was too cool to take away. So like no, Magnus doesn’t remember Kalen, ‘cause I do kind of like this idea of Merle and Taako having to go on this vengeance quest for this dude they’ve never met before. That we may not— which may not happen, but just like, I’m not gonna take that away.

Justin: [crosstalk] So, I’m gonna— I’m gonna call it right— I’m gonna call it right now, we’re gonna have— At some point, we’re gonna do a live show, and it’s gonna be a two-night— hunt— the hunt for Governor Kalen.

Clint: [crosstalk] Oh, man!

Travis: [crosstalk] I’ll play— I’ll play as Kalen.

Clint: Oh, that’s excellent.

Justin: [crosstalk] Stunt spec— stunt spectacular.

Clint: Like a Rogue One spin-off, okay.

Travis: And for those- for those of you asking: K-A-L-E-N. Kalen.

Griffin: It’s not— I don’t think you meant to do it like Kalan, like Elliott Kalan from— [while Griffin is talking, Justin is making noises]

Travis: No, he’s named after Elliott Kalan. He’s named after Elliott Kalan. It’s just spelled differently.

Griffin: Oh great. [laughter] Um, hey folks, I’m gonna—

Justin: [crosstalk] Um, he’s named after Deus (?)—

Travis: [crosstalk] I’m sorry, there was one other important question Griffin.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: {64:15} Why was Garfield growing Magnus’ body? And I bring this up—

Griffin: I will never— I will take that to my fucking grave.

Travis: [crosstalk] I do wanna say—

Justin: [crosstalk] Is there a reason?

Clint: [also talking at the same time] But there is a reason.

Travis: —when we did the InterroBang live show here in Cincinnati in February, a— a— someone came up to me and was talking to me about Adventure Zone, and, this was after Magnus was in the mannequin, and they said, “Y’know, Garfield has been collecting these things, maybe he’s growing a body.” And I was like, “Holy shit that’s amazing,” and I said, “If that turns out to be the case, I’ll remember and thank you,” and I cannot [crosstalk] remember his name.

Griffin: [crosstalk] You did not do that. Oops.

Travis: And so, I am saying now, I was inspired to like, pursue that, [crosstalk] that was a joint collabo.

Griffin: [crosstalk] By that person.

Travis: —if you’re listening, please tell me it was you so I can thank you officially.

Griffin: Um, I’ll never say, I think it’s too, like— Garfield is such a nebulous, fascinating character to me, and... So much so that people do not know if he is... a cat or not. [laughter] Um, and so—

Justin: But that’s another great ex— that’s another great example of a character that was like, was a punchline, and then, just by necessity we started to hang other things on.

Griffin: But that’s The Adventure Zone, [crosstalk] that’s— that’s like why Daven— Davenport is the captain of fantasy NASA, apparently.

Justin: [crosstalk] But it’s like… yeah, right.

Griffin: Like, that’s— that’s what I’ve kind of been— that’s been the big payoffs, that’s why Barry Bluejeans is fucking alive again, like yeah, that’s, that's— And I don’t do that s— don’t do that stuff purely as jokes or whatever, but it’s a— certainly a— certainly a benefit. But like no, I’m not gonna tell you why Garfield was growing an extra Magnus body, um, he was a fairly evil warlock/mercantile-warlock guy? So like maybe figure it out, but like I—I— to me, leaving that a mystery is fucking hysterical, and I’ll never ever ever ever say.

Travis: Alright.

Justin: Um, we’re gonna— we’re gonna talk about the future of TAZ, but real quick, I wanna— We wanna make one last push for the MaxFun Drive. Maximumfun.org/donate is the— is the address you can go to, um, and if you enjoy this show, and I know a lot of you do... Um, it would really mean the world if you could kick in just five bucks a month. If you, if you like this show, and you want to like, help keep this and other stuff we do rolling, and, um, make it easier for us to make this stuff consistently, um, it really is the—the—the best way to do it.

We only do this once a year, and we come to you and say, "hey, please, if you can help out, if you can— if you can— if we all pitch in a little bit, then it makes it so much easier, and it—and it let’s us create stuff, um, and it really— it means a lot." For just five bucks a month, you’re gonna get days upon days of bonus content. If you can kick us ten bucks a month, you get all that plus, um, a pin, based on whatever show that, that you, you like the best. For twenty bucks a month, you get the pin, you get the bonus content, and you get a really cool "keep in touch" kit, um with all the stuff Travis listed before. But—but—but really, it’s just the act of, um, like, this network isn’t founded on, uh, a few hundred to two hundred dollar-a-month donors.

We certainly appreciate the people who are able to do that. But what it is built on, the strength of this network, is the multitudes of five and ten dollar and twenty dollar donors, like that— like that is what— and thirty-five dollar donors, like that is what the—the—the network is, is founded on, and it really is thanks to you that we’re able to make the stuff and we— we appreciate it so much, and if you haven’t taken to, and y’know, we’re— we’re down to the final days of the drive, so please, please please please, maximumfun.org/donate, and— and kick us a few bucks. It really would mean the world.

Griffin: Um, yeah. I don’t— I don’t really know what else to say. Um, your— The, the support the show’s gotten has changed my life, and, uh, it’s— This is like the first piece of fiction that I’ve ever done, and that like all of us collaboratively have ever done, and your response to it has been incredible, and the support that we got, um, in the last couple MaxFun Drives has been like, overwhelming, and just— just thank you so much! If you enjoy the show and you spend time with it and you have the means, just think about donating. Uh—

Travis: maximumfun.org/donate.

Griffin: Alley-oop. There it was. There was that slam dunk. {68:40} Um, let’s talk about what’s next. ‘Cause I can— I can say, um—

Travis: We’re gonna end the show. Bye!

Griffin: Yeah, bye! No, we, um...

Clint: Tell ‘em you’re joking, Trav.

Travis: No, it’s true. Thank you for all your support, it really means— but two more episodes and we’re out. [crosstalk] No no no no no. No no no.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Then we’re out. Take the money and run. [sings] Hoo hoo hoo! So, next in Adventure Zone is gonna be a sort of special thing? Um... For like in this campaign, it’s gonna be kind of a special thing that gets the— What I referenced at the end of the last episode, “The Stolen Century” is gonna be the name of it, and we’re gonna dive in. And we’re gonna answer basically every question up to this point, and my hope is that—

Clint: Except about Garfield.

Griffin: Except about Garfield and his— his— his purposes. Um, and my hope is that by the end of that, we will basically be at the starting line of the finale, which will definitely definitely take more than one episode to get through. Um, so, that’s sorta the road map for the rest of this campaign.

Travis: The Balance Arc. The Balance—

Griffin: The— The Bureau of Balance, Grand Relic saga. The Grand Relic— I—

Justin: It’s called the Balance— It’s called the Balance Arc. We came up with that whole kitschy name for it.

Travis: Balance Arc.

Justin: The Balance Arc.

Griffin: Balance. Okay. Um, after that, we’re gonna, uh— We’re gonna be transparent here, because we’ve kinda struggled with this a lot, um, because this show does have a pretty big following now and a very passionate following, and.. We struggle with this idea of doing something new and pulling the rug out from under people and the transition— no matter what we do, moving from this thing that a lot of people are really really passionate about to something new, even if that new thing is great or better— It will be a rough transition. And so we’ve struggled a lot with, like, the best way to do it, um, a way that will make the transition easiest for the listeners, but also will result in us starting in on the coolest and best imaginable thing that we could do... next. So...

Travis: And if— Let me, let me also say this. Just ‘cause I think this is— maybe this goes without saying, but I do wanna just reiterate, no matter what we do after this, it does not erase the, like, sixty-some, seventy possibly episodes of the Balance Arc. Like, that will be a thing that exists, you know what I mean? [crosstalk] It will always be there for you to go back to.

Griffin: [crosstalk] In fact, I— My, my desire to wrap up this arc and have it be done is, well, twofold. First of all, I think it would be— I think we’d eventually— it’d be shitty eventually, like, eventually if we kept doing Taako, Merle, and Magnus, it would be— it would be bad. I need— I need like— we need to be able to— to close this thing out, but also like, I love the idea of just like closing it out and there it is, it’s done.

This thing that the four of us made over the course of almost three years that like we can all be really proud of, here it is, it’s done, it’s got a nice little bow on it. There it is. That’s it. Um, so next u— what we’re doing next, I will say, we don’t have set in stone, um. Some— some— I—I—I—I think we’re just gonna try some stuff out for a little while, um- Travis has sort of brought up the idea of like doing some mini— mini stuff, some one-shots, um, [crosstalk] which will take a little while.

Travis: [crosstalk] Well yeah, so basically like, what I suggested was like, you know, we’ve talked about it before of like us all taking turns, y'know, GM-ing something, um, and, so like— Different mechanics, different settings, different stories, you know, one or two episode arcs of just like, "here’s what Justin’s vision of this would be, here’s what Dad’s vision, here’s what mine", that kinda thing where we try different stuff out instead of just trying to jump [crosstalk] head-first—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah.

Travis: —into like another big arc, um... Having little, you know, little excursions into— into different worlds.

Griffin: Un— Until we find what the next thing is— Like, what the next thing that makes sense, I—I, um— I have a few ideas— And then once we get, like, once we find our footing, and we feel really confident about it, and think we have something that folks are really gonna like, then we start in on the next big arc. And I think the next big arc probably won’t be as long as "Balance", it’s not gonna be two and a half years. I— I hope—

Justin: Yeah, I that we- we made a tactical error— Not a tactical error, but it’s like, figuring out as we go along. This show is always intended— Well, not always intended, it wasn’t always intended to be fucking anything.

Griffin: Right.

Justin: But to be a consistently produced thing, this show needed to be able to evolve beyond individual story lines, and individual specific games.

Griffin: Yeah.

Justin: Um, and— and it will do that, uh, we’re still going to be telling stories, and hopefully we’ll be better at it [crosstalk] from the jump than trying to back into it.

Griffin: [crosstalk] We’ll be way better at it! Yeah.

Justin: Dad, you’re looking at me furtively. [crosstalk] What do— what do you think—

Clint: [crosstalk] No, no no!

Justin: No, no— I don’t know what the word furtive means. But you’re just looking [crosstalk] at me thoughtfully.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Not what you thought it means.

Clint: [crosstalk] I am, I am—

Justin: [at the same time as Clint] I was just wondering if you had some thoughts.

Clint: I was just gonna say that, you know, Merle, Taako, Magnus, and—

Griffin: Everyone.

Clint: —Griffin, the DM, will continue in other forms. [crosstalk] I mean we got—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah, so—

Clint: We got the graphic novel that’s gonna be coming out.

Griffin: Yes.

Travis: We have the bedsheet sets that we’re working on, so— [laughter]

Griffin: Well, the big— the big thing that’s gonna be—

Justin: Spaceballs the cereal, Spaceballs the toilet brand.

Griffin: The big thing that’s gonna be germane to you, the listener, is— One thing we’ve talked about is just— Liveshows? Still gonna be Tres Horny Boys. Because I- I don’t know what the— we don’t know what the next shit’s gonna be, and so the idea of just like, once Tres Horny Boys’ thing is over—I don’t know if the next thing’s gonna be good for live shows. This thing— This thing is, but I— We don’t know. But this is one way we can keep their thing going with little side stories and— and stuff like that. Um, so, I think liveshows, we can still— we can still do "Balance".

One thing that I kinda wanna do is move away from D&D? Which I think is— I know there’s a lot of folks who play a lot of tabletop games who are kinda, um, uh, hard on D&D? Like very negative about it. Um, I still think it’s a great game, I just don’t know if it’s suited for our purposes really well. Like case in point— if you’re a magic user, there’s almost always a billion things you can do, and so most the stuff I edit out of the show is, um, Dad or Justin—and this is not a knock against them, um, ‘cause if we were just playing around a table it would not be a big deal, but because it’s an audio medium where there’s other people listening it is a big deal—uh, like trying to figure out what to do next because they have this huge multitude of options, um, and so like— I wanna move to something that’s more rules-light and more—and not to say that like, uh, D&D can’t be a narrative-heavy game—but something that is sort of more designed around that? Uh, and I’m gonna reference [crosstalk] Friends at—

Travis: [crosstalk] And we’ve already been playing this version of D&D as rules-light as we possibly could.

Griffin: Yeah, and we— I—I—I—I get a lot of flack from people just like, well that’s not how that works, there’s a lot of people who are very angry that I say the word bluff check instead of deception check, and it’s- first of all, I’m sorry, that’s what they call it in 4th Edition, get out of my butt, um. [Travis laughs]

Griffin: But like I— I just, I feel like something that is more rules-light where you guys can do things and interpret things using a smaller set of rules will be like, way way way better for us.

Justin: And it may actually make us adhere more—

Griffin: Yeah, sure!

Justin: Because there is that like issue of slippage, where…

Griffin: Yes.

Clint: Yeah.

Justin: You know, I’m not gonna talk about the material— I referenced— [Justin chuckles] I referenced material components for one of my spells once when it was a [crosstalk] cool thing to do.

Griffin: [crosstalk] And that was that. I’m gonna reference Friends at the—

Justin: And spell casting time.

Griffin: I’m gonna reference Friends at the Table here again because they, um, they— they use rule systems, uh, that are, uh— it’s a system kinda like how, uh, D&D is a- uh, part of the d20 system. There’s a system called Powered by the Apocalypse that I really like! It’s all, like— you just roll 2d6 and, and that determines fucking everything, and there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of games covering hundreds of different genres that like, I’m— I’m looking at that, like that could be— I don’t want to chomp their flavor but like I that is— it’s just better, like, it’s a better— it is a better, like, format for a— a narrative-heavy, like, game-light, actual play podcast.

And I don’t wanna like, um, I think, uh— I think Critical Role plays, uh, either D&D or Pathfinder, like, um— Like I’m not dragging actual play shows that do D&D because they’re fucking super super good. I just think as, as— the more we go along, the more D&D stuff I ignore, and I don’t know that we’re doing ourselves a, a service.

Clint: But let’s be honest, we’ll always have a debt to D&D.

Griffin: Yeah, for sure!

Clint: That’s what started TAZ.

Griffin: I think it’s a good first game to play, definitely, and for— it’s a fun game like, as a game... like a tabletop game, it’s just like— it’s not— I don’t think so suited to the way that we do the radio show.

Travis: And I also think it’s— it’s— I think it’s like just like these characters, just like Griffin said at the beginning, if we kept playing D&D, there’s other options out there, and like this is our D&D arc with [crosstalk] Merle, Magnus, and Taako.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yeah.

Travis: [crosstalk] And I mean like that’s—

Griffin: [crosstalk] So, specifics—

Clint: Do we— do we wanna toss out—?

Griffin: Yeah, so—

Clint: A couple of the genre ideas we’ve had?

Griffin: Yes. So, I—I— Dad, why don’t you tell them yours, ‘cause I— I’ve been— I’m excited about it.

Clint: Well I’ve got an idea to do a superhero story. And it’s a— it’s actually the basic framework of the story is based on a comic book premise that I sold years and years and years ago that just never came to print, and I’m—

Griffin: Is it Freejack?

Clint: —really— Uh, no?

Griffin: Can [crosstalk] I say that?

Clint: [crosstalk] No, that’s not the three— it’s not the 3 Ninjas Kick Back either!

Griffin: Did you ghostwrite both of those?

Clint: Uh— I don’t illustrate any of them I wrote ‘em.

Justin: [crosstalk] Ghostwrite.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Ghostwrite it.

Clint: No I didn’t ghostwrite ‘em, I got— I actually got credit for that.

Griffin: I thought you ghostwrote Freejack.

Clint: Uh, the first issue with Chuck Dixon I did.

Travis: [interrupting] This is so not what this is about!

Griffin: Alright, fine.

Clint: But anyway I’m lookin’ at a superhero setting. Um, and, just a— That’s kinda the idea I’ve been kickin’ around.

Griffin: [crosstalk] I’ve got a— yeah, go ahead.

Travis: [crosstalk] Um for— for mine— What I’m kinda lookin’ at is kinda inspired by "The Eleventh Hour", I would like to do kind of like an old west, uh, RPG? Um, and— and kinda focused on—More on like an old west, like, actual, you know, real world old west setting, so I’m gonna try to find a mechanic that works for that and write a story. People have asked about Adventure Zone Knights, if that would expand. I think that would be tricky, ‘cause there’s so much info that exists for donors only, but also like I just didn’t— I didn’t create it for an arc, I created it as a [crosstalk] one-off stories.

Griffin: [crosstalk] As like a one-shot, yeah.

Travis: So, maybe—

Griffin: I have an- I have an idea for a, um...like a Persona and Buffy-inspired, um, RPG about, uh— uh, like, um... sort of unsuccessful West Virginia ski resort town that monsters start attacking? [Justin laughs]

Griffin: And I also have an idea for a Cowboy Bebop and Battlestar Galactica-inspired, like, post-apocalyptic hip jazzy space opera.

Justin: I have an idea that— It is like a Sherlock Holmes, and we’re all Sherlock Holmeses, and we find different clues that are better than the other ones— [Laughing and slow clapping]

Justin: And it’s like, “But wait, you missed this!” And that’s like the whole thing is like, four, super smart Sherlock Holmeses— [Clint laughs and Justin breaks off giggling]

Justin: And also one of us is a vampire, but are we good enough detectives to figure which one it is? [All crosstalk with Justin]

Clint: Aaahh!

Griffin: Oh shit.

Travis: Oooo!

Clint: [crosstalk] Yeah, tell us about it.

Griffin: [crosstalk] I don’t know if— I don’t know if you’re joking but I wanna play that super bad. [Clint laughs]

Travis: Uh, so—

Justin: I’m obviously joking. We need to wrap up so bad.

Clint: [voice imitation] "Keep your feet on the ground—!"

Justin: No, hold on—

Griffin: Hold on, hold on, we need to say some stuff! We can’t just say the fucking outro! [Everybody laughs]

Travis: Yes, so as is clear, we are still kind of like, nailing it down, but that gives you kinda like a basic idea. The show will not stop.

Griffin: No.

Travis: When the arc is done.

Griffin: It’s too much fun.

Travis: And there will be— there will be some, like, you know, finding our feet and everything. And—once again, as has been up to this point, the deal with Adventure Zone—audience feedback and you guys buying in is going to kind of shape the way it goes. But that’s where we’re at.

Justin: To be clear, that— We didn’t mention those to like, put— This is not up for a vote.

Travis: No.

Justin: We’ll pick something that works and do it, but we of course want to hear from you— after we’re making the things.

Griffin: Yeah, and— And again, it’s a bi-weekly show, so it’s gonna take us a— It’s probably gonna take us a while, before we get onto the next big big arc, but I promise you, it’s gonna be fuckin’— I’m really looking forward to it. It is going to be so much fun to make new characters and explore new worlds and new genres and all that s— Like, I think it’s gonna be— I think it’s gonna be incredible. And I think the next thing we do, like I’m already— I’m already excited for it. So we hope you can get on board.

Clint: And we love Merle, Magnus, and Taako, we really and truly do and we kn— appreciate you lovin’ them, but I— Let me be the dad, and let me just say: just trust us.

Griffin: Just trust us! [crosstalk] It’s gonna be good!

Clint: [crosstalk] You’ve trusted us before—you trusted us before, keep trustin’ us.

Travis: Um, we also hope that you’ll consider donating to the Maximum Fun Drive, maximumfun.org/donate, support the art and artists you love, and then let us know. Um, but you’ve heard us talk enough about that, I think it’s time for us to wrap up. [crosstalk] I think— I don’t know how we end this, but thank you all for listening.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Yep. Thank you all for listening, thank you to John Roderick— no, thank you to Mort Garson, and just Mort Garson for the theme song "Déjà Vu " off the album Ataraxia. Um, that’s it! Thanks for listening to The Adventure Zone— The The Adventure Zone Zone, rather, and we’ll be back with a new episode next Thursday— uh, which is April... the... sixth, and... yeah. It’s gonna be big! Thanks for— thanks for comin’ along!

Travis: Alright Dad, now hit it.

Clint: Okay— [voice imitation] [crosstalk] So keep it real everybody, thanks for bein’ here!

Griffin: [crosstalk] I’m hanging up.

Travis: [crosstalk] Nope. Bye!

[Laughing]

[The The Adventure Zone Zone theme song plays out]

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