Balance – Episode 24: Petals to the Metal: Chapter Seven

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Get out of my dreams, and into my battle wagon! Hop in the back seat, baby! It's the Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"Petals to the Metal: Chapter Seven," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 24th episode of The Adventure Zone, from the arc which would later be named Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

BWAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! That's the sound of a horn, meaning it's time for the Battlewagon Races we've been building up to for six episodes to begin. BUCKLE UP. Taako holds a coronation. Magnus leaps before looking. Merle gets a face hug.

BWAAAAAAAAHedit | hide | edit source

The race has begun! Engines are roaring, dust is whipping up, and the battle wagons are battling it out. Spears, magic missiles are flying! Luckily, Hurley's on it, and they are pulling away from the track.

Almost before the race begins, the horn sounds five times: five battle wagons are out of the race, leaving Sloane, Hurley, and eight other battle wagons. Unfortunately, Sloane is well ahead, but Hurley says she can catch up as long as Magnus, Merle, and Taako can keep everyone else off their tail.

Team Jamaicaedit | hide | edit source

The Ram Battle Wagon is approached by a bobsled driven by four goblins in velociraptor masks. As the team rolls initiative, Justin asks a pertinent question: Are Battle Wagons creatures? The answer: maybe, on a case-by-case basis.

GRIFFIN: Can you charm a car? No.
TRAVIS: Well...

Also, Merle has a big giant button in front of him that he shouldn't push yet (but it's just right there).

Merle casts Enhance Ability on Magnus -- Bull's Strength! Magnus has advantage on all strength checks for the duration of the race, and he "fully Rocks out," meaning that his muscles glisten like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's and his eyebrows grow three sizes.

The first of the goblins attacks by trying to jump onto the back of the Ram's Battle Wagon. The goblin brings the spear down, but Magnus parries, moving like the water to meet him with a Shoryuken uppercut with Phantom Fist to send him flying under the bobsled. Two other goblins throw their spears, one of which hits, causing 14 points of damage.

Magnus fires an arrow at the driver of the bobsled, but it glances off the little windshield.

Justin asks for clarification -- how much would the DM say it weighs? Maybe a half a ton? Maybe 499 pounds? Taako casts Levitate on the bobsled, and changes the direction of the front of the bobsled... so it's just going up. Everyone onboard starts to panic, and one of the Velociraptors jumps off the back. It picks up speed, as it no longer has any friction to slow it down. The spear ends up gashing into the back of Hurley's Battle Wagon, but as the levitating bobsled hits that pivot point, it flips right over, ejecting its two remaining riders and flying off course.

Hurley yells at them how tight it was, and shifts into even higher gear. A horn blasts, letting them know they are six Battle Wagons down.

Gerbils be Crazyedit | hide | edit source

From out of the dust emerges the Gerbil Wheel, an imposing, 40-foot tall structure of wood and iron rivets driven by two dwarves in gerbil masks. Griffin clarifies that wood is not trees, and Magnus is very disappointed.

Merle casts Healing Word on Magnus, which restores 10 points of healing. He does it with a sage look in his eye.

Magnus is super ready to Phantom Fist at anybody who jumps on.

The Wheel swerves, and rolls directly toward the Battle Wagon, very narrowly missing Magnus and Taako -- Taako ducks down in the back seat, and Magnus leans backwards at, like, a 45 degree angle over the road (like he's on a sailboat!). The Wheel has cut a line right across the Battle Wagon horizontally. Hurley curses from the front seat.

Taako casts Crown of Madness on the Gerbil on the left. A barbed wire crown appears on the Gerbil's head, and the Wheel starts to wobble.

Merle uses one of the Repair charges of the Adamant Spanner, singing, "Ace is the place of the helpful hardware mannnnn" while he clangs it down. The gunner compartment pops back into place, but the gash in the back remains (although the roof has a great wax on it momentarily).

Meanwhile, Magnus makes his own makeshift grappling hook with his rope and his crowbar.

The Dolphinmobile appears behind The Ram, with two drivers whose war cry sounds like dolphin chuckles. Before they can make a move against Hurley's Battle Wagon, the gerbil with the Crown of Madness crits, pulls out a small hammer, and just fuckin' brains the other gerbil. The wheel wobbles, loses its balance, and just as it looks like it's going to crush our heroes, it falls instead onto the dolphins, crushing them. Thanks, D20! Two more horns blast, and eight are down.

The Claaaawwwwwww[1]edit | hide | edit source

A sudden silence seems to fall over the track, and from out of nowhere a claw rips the passenger door of Hurley's battle wagon right off. Merle is upset, mostly because he had a can of Cheerwine in the cup holder.

Taako sees that the dust storm off to the right looks... weird. There's something there, getting in the way of the dust, but you can't see it.

All of a sudden the claw shoots back, grabbing onto Merle. Merle is ripped from the car, dangled into the air, and then pulled down into a body of water, barely grabbing a half a lungful of air before being submerged (he's got those dwarf lungs, though). "SHIT!" yells Hurley.

Honey, I Shrunk an Octopusedit | hide | edit source

Despite not being able to see anything, Magnus rushes in and leaps over to where Merle was pulled, assuming there's a car or something there, much to Griffin's dismay. Magnus makes the leap and successfully hits the Battle Wagon, dropping the cloak of invisibility. Magnus just barely manages to get a hand on the vehicle.

The cloak dropped, Taako can see the full Octopus Gum Ball Machine, complete with giant blue spotted octopus and Merle, about to get hugged by a big, gnarly looking octopus, possibly to death.

Taako casts Reduce on the octopus, shrinking it to half its size and one eighth its weight.

The Octopi Drivers fire another hook, which grabs onto the same side of the car, attaching itself to the chassis. The car begins to shake a bit as Hurley continues driving forward and the Octopus car tries to pull it sideways.

The baby octopus surveys its new situation, looking a little dejected. It spins around and face-hugs Merle, biting his face with its little tiny beak, causing 8 damage, which is also covered in delicious octo poison, but dwarves have great constitutions to begin with and it does nothing.

Merle decides to clobber himself in the face with his Warhammer. The octopus provides a little bit of octo-padding, but Merle still hits himself. His hammer does loosen the octopus, but he still can't breathe.

While still hanging on with only one hand, Magnus hacks the wire of the claw that's connected to the car, releasing Hurley's Battle Wagon from the octo grasp. Magnus uses his second action to smash at the tank, and gets Railsplitter. Magnus uses action surge to hit it one more time, and the crack splinters out and the ball shatters.

As the deluge of water splashes them out of the tank, Merle lands right next to Magnus, hanging off the side of the Gum Ball Wagon. The octopus also manages to grab on with two tentacles, and the episode ends with the three of them hanging out together on the side of the vehicle.

Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Sponsored by NatureBox.

Sponsored by Casper.

Message for Pete from Rob: Happy birthday from your big brother. It's cool that you're curing cancer and shit, while I pillage Mother Earth for financial gain. Karma works on a per-family basis, right? Thanks for neutralizing my evil. [McElroys: his birthday is Sept. not today. Ramshom has been his gamertag for years, so if he was somehow woven into the Battle Wagon's lore... GRIFFIN: Well shit dude. If you want, you can pretend that Hurley the Ram is short for Ramshom.]

Message for Stacey, from James: Happy Birthday, Stacey! I'm hoping to cross narrative realms, and gift Variel an item from the Fantasy Gashupan (the roll is an 8), or maybe a blessing from Merle. Even after Variel's greed or ill-planned sexual escapades inevitably led to a humiliating end, the gift will not be wasted, as his party is not above grave robbing.

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Quotesedit | hide | edit source

Magnus needs to get his hearing checked, Part 1edit | hide | edit source

[3:08] HURLEY: Every time you hear one of those it means that we've knocked somebody out! We're already five down, so we're looking good!
[3:17] MAGNUS: WHAT?

Magnus needs to get his hearing checked, Part 2edit | hide | edit source

[3:40] HURLEY: I'll catch up [to The Raven], just keep everyone else off our tail!
[3:49] MAGNUS: WHAT?
[3:53] HURLEY: (louder) I'll catch up, just keep everyone else off our tail!!
[3:58] MAGNUS: What about ketchup?

Merle casts Enhance Abilityedit | hide | edit source

[7:02] TRAVIS: What do [Bear's Endurance and Bull's Strength] do?
[7:05] CLINT: I have to look on page 237 to tell me that.
[7:07] TRAVIS: Oh no! You ran into the Yeti in the caves; start over.
[7:09] GRIFFIN: This has been the DnD Player's Handbook Audiobook, hosted by Clint McElroy.

Magnus needs to get his hearing checked, Part 3 (post bobsled defeat)edit | hide | edit source

[16:00] HURLEY: That was tight!!
[16:05] MAGNUS: WHAT?

They might just be getting the hang of thisedit | hide | edit source

[18:40] CLINT: I cast Healing Word on Magnus... That gives Trav 10 points of healing.
[19:10] TRAVIS: I love that.
[19:11] CLINT: And I do it with a sage look in my eye and a little glint, and then I give him a Werther's.
[19:16] JUSTIN: Can I just say, this is a level of competent and responsible play I am not used to with this group.
[19:20] GRIFFIN: I know!
[19:23] CLINT: Oh, don't worry.
[19:25] TRAVIS: We're doing, like, good?
[19:27] CLINT: We'll work our way out of it.

This is some Hellraiser stuffedit | hide | edit source

[22:50] JUSTIN: I'm going to cast Crown of Madness on whichever one is not obviously steering the vehicle.
[22:54] GRIFFIN: What?? Okay. Um, they...
[23:02] JUSTIN: Are they working in tandem?!
[23:05] GRIFFIN: Yeah. It's almost like a Pacific Rim-style thing.
[23:08] JUSTIN: Well then the one on the ley-ft.

Taako casts Reduce and workshops a jokeedit | hide | edit source

[47:19] TAAKO: CalaMAR him!
[47:23] JUSTIN: Let me try it again.
[47:24] GRIFFIN: Yeah, try it again. You can do better.
[47:25] JUSTIN: Um...
[47:27] CLINT: Put the accent on the second... no, the third syllable.
[47:29] TAAKO: Cala... MAR him.
[47:30] CLINT: Mm.
[47:32] TRAVIS: Nice.
[47:32] JUSTIN: Hm.
[47:36] TRAVIS: How about Octa-Piss Off?
[47:37] JUSTIN: Oh, that's good;
[47:40] TAAKO: Octa-Piss Off!

References and Footnotesedit | hide | edit source

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