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tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


I have been making GBS threads up the Not Another D’n’D Podcast (otherwise known as NaDDPod) thread over in Rapidly Going Deaf for months now with chat about new episodes of shows on CollegeHumor’s Dropout service since the cast on that work (or worked) for CollegeHumor, and so I thought it was time to make a thread here in TVIV; where it’s really more fitting to discuss the subject. Hopefully other people have some interest in it too.

CollegeHumor started as an comedy channel on YouTube, doing skits of a few minutes apiece; though they did make a couple of dedicated shows after a few years. They eventually spun this off into a proprietary streaming service of their own called Dropout. Unfortunately, not long afterwards, the people who owned CollegeHumor pulled support. At which point one of the staff, Sam Reich, who has some personal wealth was allowed to buy up what was left and now owns CollegeHumor and Dropout. Sadly, he’s had to let dozens of staff go and now only a couple of dedicated staff remain, and the service doesn’t get nearly as much content as it used to. Still, it’s ticking along according to a Reddit AMA he did a while back, and things are slowly improving so they don’t appear to be in a danger of going under.

The service only updates a few of it’s more popular shows at the moment, but there’s still a couple of new episodes a week in total. The fact the service only gets a couple of new things a week may put some people off paying for it but because they’re a small service doing some oddball shows that probably wouldn’t get much play elsewhere, I don’t mind personally. If you’ve never heard of Dropout and/or don’t want to pay money for them though, they have put a lot of their older content on YouTube, and even some new stuff gets put on YouTube, so you can at least check out those. All CollegeHumor’s content is still there too.

CollegeHumor’s main attraction to me is the focus on improvisation through a lot of their content, as well as the fact that the people who write the various shows are often the star, rather than being a hidden group who don’t get any recognition. Plus, I just find a lot of their recurring staff charming as hell to watch. I'm pretty sure that with the older CollegeHumor stuff on YouTube that when one of the staff pop up to ask people to subscribe etc. after a skit that person is the one who came up with the skit and/or did most of the writing so you know who was responsible. Which is a nice way to give credit.

I’d like to start off by giving a brief overview of Dropout’s biggest shows, along with a couple of links to content on YouTube that can be viewed for free.

****

A Message from the CEO



Brennan Lee Mulligan records a series of short (4 to 7 minute) videos where he parodies CEOs of larger companies, highlighting the awful practices of companies like ABC (racist shows), Juul (targeting kids for smoking), Tide (making their products look like candy) and so on. There’s only been a few of them in total, and they’re all on YouTube, but they’re all worth a watch, if only because Brennan is great at acting like he’s losing his patience/sanity and becoming increasingly manic or distressed. This playlist has all but the latest episode available, along with some behind the scenes footage.

The latest episode is available here, with Brennan parodying the Oreos CEO in exasperation as his employees keep trying to improve the flavour of their cookie with weird recipes instead of just making one good product. There’s also some extra footage for some episodes on Dropout that’s not on YouTube. The latest episode for instance has 20 extra minutes of an off-screen employee reading out a list of nearly 200 types of weird Oreo cookies that the fake version of Oreo for this video make, while Brennan gets frustrated with them for all the really stupid poo poo they’re selling.

Breaking News



Guests are tasked with reading off a teleprompter in a fake news setting, but the catch is that none of them know what they’re about to read and the more you laugh, the more points you rack up; with the loser being the person who laughs the most. There’s no prize or anything, but it’s a great show to watch the various guests across the CollegeHumor and Dropout stable bounce off each other. I can recommend starting with these two episodes:

True Facts About Grant O’Brien: Grant O’Brien is asked to read a series of true statements about himself that are weird or awful. He’s fully aware of what’s about to happen going in, and presumably okay with it, but boy are some of them bad and the other guests roast him appropriately for it.

Tornado Jail: This one is good but not amazing for about half it’s run time, then it switches over to "on-the-spot reporter" Amy Vorpahl, who almost immediately breaks down, and her score shoots up from single digits to the highest point score in the series as she completely falls apart. Not because any one thing she was asked to read is particularly funny, but because her method of stopping herself from laughing is so stupid and just results in not being able to stop herself from laughing.

Game Changer



Sam Reich, now owner of CollegeHumor and Dropout hosts a game show that changes the game (almost) every episode. The contestants (almost) never know what game they are going to be playing, and have to figure out the rules as they go along. Games have included lie detector tests, dares, identifying a mystery guest, 1 minute cosplay and on. I believe this might be the only full episode on YouTube, but that’s okay, because it’s also one of the best.

Impressions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-6m0jW0X9E

The impressions the guests have to do start out quite simple, impersonating everyday animals (duck, frog), then step up to some more obscure animals (hyena, sea lion) before going off the rails as guests are asked to do things like impersonate a recording of a political speech so old it’s become unintelligible and so on. The above game is also one of the few times the show has repeated a formula, because there are two more impression episodes with (mostly) the same guests. The third one in the latest season subbing in Michael Winslow (of Police Academy fame) as the ultimate challenge of sound impressions.

If nothing else, the show is worth watching for this clip of Brennan basically losing his mind as he starts suspecting the game is rigged against him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88et7YlmzTs

Total Forgiveness



Ally Beardsley and Grant O’Brien compete to set challenges for each other with monetary rewards of several thousand dollars apiece, with the goal of earning enough to pay off their student debt. I can’t honestly say much about this one, because while it sounds good I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. Still, both Ally and Grant are entertaining comedians so I’m sure it’s worth a watch. I know from looking at episode descriptions some of the challenges sound awful too (as in “fun to watch; would hate to do them”): Grant being tasked to wear a dog’s shock collar for a day, Ally having to dye their hair so they look like an Oompa Loompa, Ally writing an awful stand up Grant has to perform, Grant making GBS threads his pants in publc, Ally intentionally mangling “the Star Spangled Banner” when performing in pubic and so on. I don’t know if this is true, but I suspect the above Breaking News segment about Grant is a dare from this. I’ll have to watch and verify at some point.



As an aside, the student loans they accrued sound pretty horrifying.

Um, Actually…!



A game show about pedantry for nerds. Host Mike Trapp reads out a factoid about something nerdy, with one incorrect bit of information included. Contestants must identify the one thing that’s wrong in the statement. They can interrupt at any point if they think they know the answer, and the show’s only real rule is “you must start your correction with the words Um, actually…”. Some of the show’s best moments are when someone gives a real specific response about why a thing is wrong, only for someone else to speak up a second later and go “Um, actually…they forgot to say um, actually” and then steal the point; because the show might only have one rule, but people regularly get so excited at knowing a thing and wanting to prove they know the thing that they forget it.

Topics range across movies, books, television shows, games, D’n’D, anime and more, and the show has occasionally done episodes dedicated to specific areas such as musicals, British media and so on. A good sample of the kind of technicality and spirit the show goes for can be seen in this image:



I don’t really have any specific episodes to recommend, but there’s a good few episodes up on YouTube if you want to check any out from that playlist. Some of them are cut down versions of full episodes that are about 10 or 12 minutes long, and some of them are the full episodes.

YouTube Mobile Live

Obviously, this isn’t a part of the Dropout service, but CollegeHumor staff used to do live shows on occasion that are still archived on YouTube and a lot of the ones I’ve seen are fun, so I thought they were worth a mention. Basically, the staff just came up with stupid gameshows, roped in a few people around the office to be contestants and had fun. So you have games like Blender of Death, Who’s 57?, Sports Drink or Body Wash? and so on. Smothie of Death has the host ask questions with food related answers to 3 guests, and the people who don’t get the answer have to put that food into a blender with the winner’s prize being not having to drink the resulting concoction, while the other two do. So they end up with fruit, fish, vegetables etc. all in one “drink”. Who’s 57? is just the cast having to try and name a celebrity who is 57, and the prize was the blenders from the previous game. Finally, Sports Drink or Body Wash had the guests presented with two containers, each of which had an ambiguous name attached and they had to guess which was the sports drink and which the body wash, before drinking the one whose name they thought sounded like a sports drink. Which resulted in several people drinking bodywash. Including two swallowing it. Basically, just the staff finding excuses to goof around, but they’re an entertaining watch.

Dimension 20



This is undoubtedly Dropout’s biggest draw, as the show is now on it’s 9th season in a couple of years. A Dungeons and Dragons actual play, with 6 guests playing a game hosted by DM Brennan Lee Mulligan. There are 2 non-concurrent seasons centered around a group of high school kids going to a pastiche of American schools in a fairly typical fantasy environment, with about 20 episodes for each of those full seasons. There are also 2 non-concurrent seasons about a group of people in a magical realism style New York. The only other full season of (roughly) 20 episodes is about a Game of Thrones style political thriller set in a Candyland, with the neighboring kingdoms based around fruits, vegetables, meat, bread etc. These seasons tend to have a steady cast of the same people (Ally Beardsley, Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, Lou Wilson, Siobhan Thompson & Zac Oyama)

There are also a couple of shorter seasons of 6 episodes apiece with no character levelling, where it’s just a group of 6 characters at a given level (some low, some mid range) bumbling through a roughly planned story. These tend to have a more varied player group, with Matt Mercer and Marisha Ray from Critical Role in one season, for instance. So you have Escape from the Bloodkeep, which is set around a group of villains in an obvious send up to Lord of the Rings after their leader suddenly dies because the Frodo analogue delivered the One Ring to the Mordor equivalent, and each of them scrambling for power in the aftermath of that event. The fun thing about this is that Brennan planned it out as culminating in a PvP free for all, with everyone competing for leadership, but despite all playing ostensibly bad people or monsters, they’re all so nice to each other and so cooperative that within a few episodes Brennan realized that’d never happen and he had to change the ending.

You also have Pirates of Leviathan, about a group of pirate wannabes on a pirate city called Leviathan formed by lashing hundreds or even thousands of ships together, as they come together around one plot to destroy the city. And Tiny Heist, which I haven’t watched yet, but is about a group of toys doing an Ocean’s 11 style heist from what I gather. There are also a few shows related to Dimension 20: Adventuring Academy, Adventuring Party and Foundry; though that last one only has one episode as of now. Adventuring Academy is Brennan chatting with other people in the D'n'D scene about why they love it, what makes a good DM/player, how to do certain things, why it can be therapeutic and so on. Adventuring Party on the other hand is Brennan hosting a chat with the members of a given season about the show. Some of them have one episode for each episode of the show, while others only have a few episodes for the whole season. Finally, Foundry is Brennan collaborating with someone else to create a character. As I said, there’s only one episode at the moment, with Lou Wilson, but it was a fun watch.

As to YouTube, the full first season of Fantasy High is on YouTube, as is the full first season of The Unsleeping City, and the full season of Escape from the Bloodkeep.

Dimension 20: Mice & Murder



Finally, there is Mice and Murder, a new season of Dimension 20 currently airing and on it’s second episode of a planned 10 episode run. It’s a murder mystery set in a rural Victorian England (1905, to be exact) that is identical to our own, beyond that there are anthropomorphic animals instead of humans akin to something like Wind in the Willows. So the Sherlock Holmes pastiche is an fox, his Holmes is a German Shephard, the Irene Adler is a racoon and so on. The story takes place in the town of Tufting Meadows just outside London. Connor McCabbage, a man who worked in one of the new textile mills, died a few weeks ago, and while Sylvester Cross, the most famous detective in England was called to investigate, he failed to find any evidence of foul play and the death was recorded as negligence rather than murder. His widow and others have doubts though. Now the local lord who employed Connor and called Sylvester to investigate is hosting a party at his manor (Loam Hall) to try and make people forget the fact an employee died, and all our characters are attending for various reasons.

Grant O’Brien as Sylvester Cross

Level 3 Rogue (Subclass: Inquisitive)
A Sherlock Holmes pastiche, since every whodunnit needs someone of that type. Grant decided that Sylvester is an aging Holmes who is just past his prime as a detective, having failed to solve his case for the first time going into the show. His Moriarty also died years ago, and he walks with a cane due to an accident. One of the best parts of the two episodes out for me was watching Grant mirror Sylvester by holding a pen or putting it in his mouth in place of a pipe, using an A4 pad in place of a newspaper, striking imaginary matches etc.

Ally Beardsley as Lars Vandenchomp

Level 3 Fighter (Subclass: Battlemaster)
The Watson of the story. A former soldier who serves as Detective Cross’ bodyguard and companion. Non-binary (as is Ally). Lars is very attached to Sylvester, viewing him as their best friend. Likes to mess with people, or at least go along with their silliness for their own amusement. While Lars doesn’t have a huge presence in the plot so far, Ally’s decision to play up the dog like mannerisms is fun. So Lars’ tail gives away their true feelings at times, even if they are trying to be circumspect, they sniff to detect things etc.

Rekha Shankar as Daisy D’Umpstaire

Level 3 Rogue (Subclass: Assassin)
Completing the Sherlock Holmes trifecta is Daisy as the Irene Adler/femme fatale of the story. An American con-artist who rose from humble beginnings (real name: Daisy Dumpster). She had a relationship with Sylvester years ago that ended on a sour note. She is now partners with Buckster $ Boyd. Grant and Rekha’s chemistry as their characters meet again for the first time in years, and both their characters fall apart because of it, is one of the best parts of the two episodes we have.

Sam Reich as Buckster $ Boyd

Level 3 Rogue (Subclass: Mastermind)
Yes, his middle name is Dollar Sign ($), though he tells people they can pronounce it “Cash” if they wish. Buckster is an oil tycoon and while he dresses in a cowboy suit, it’s a bit too clean and gives away that he’s just a poser who’s never actually done any real work in his life. Daisy’s new partner, and a bit of a grifter himself. It’s Sam’s first time playing D’n’D on camera, and I don’t believe he’s had much experience full stop.

Katie Marovitch as Gangie Green

Level 3 Rogue (Subclass: Thief)
The local grave digger, double dipping as a grave robber. Then triple dipping as the groundskeeper at Loam Hall. Gangie used to be a petty criminal in London, so Lars recognizes him. Low class, and not bothered about it. This is basically Katie’s first time ever playing D’n’D if I recall, and she’s a delight right out the gate. Brennan revealed in a behind the scenes bit that the whole gang played an episode zero off-camera that was mostly combat and because Katie’s character is so combat focused and everyone else (bar Ally) isn’t, that she easily bodied the rest of the cast. Which gives both her as a player and as a character a lot of confidence going into the game, and it showed, because she intimidates one of the other characters without hesitation as one of the first scenes, and sells it well.

Raphael Chestang as Vicar Ian Prescott

Level 3 Bard (Subclass: College of Eloquence)
The local priest, whose father and grandfather were both respected figures in the clergy. It’s given Ian a bit of a complex, because he’s not all that confident in himself or in his religion. He does speak truth to power at the pulpit though, and has been vocal in his distrust of the new mills in the area. A real highlight in episode one for me, because like a lot of the rest of the cast for this season, Raph is new to D’n’D and to Dimension 20 but is entertaining and sells his character well as a nervous pastor unsure of everything but trying his best.

****

There are also a veritable tonne of skits by the CollegeHumor gang on YouTube, many of which are a good laugh. I’ve watched a good few of them now, so I just pulled a few random ones I found fun from YouTube at random:

How Being in Public Feels for Men vs Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcoX9aCDeiM

Medieval Black Mirror: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1aSqZ23ydk

An Honest Call with Your Bank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSh7efnQfVc

High Stakes Ice-Breakers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T35KaUxiSU

Furry Superheroes Are Super Gross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Dyqas6Sm8

Well, well, well, Late for Work Again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw_FSlpo9KI

Finally, you’ll probably have noticed that Brennan Lee Mulligan’s name has come up a few times over the course of this. It’s because as well as being one of the most popular of CollegeHumor/Dropout’s contributors, he’s also a really nice guy by all accounts and is one of the main creative talents left there now. He’s the DM for all the Dimension 20 stuff, as well as being a researcher on Um, Actually…! and a common guest on other shows because of his propensity for theatrical outbursts. I’m not actually sure if he’s as involved in Um, Actually…! as much these days, with Dimension 20 becoming so big. Regardless, he’s great. Him and Grant O’Brien are probably my favorite regular staff, though I don’t dislike any of them.

Also, in thinking about it earlier, I believe this might be the first thread I’ve ever started on Something Awful. So

tsob fucked around with this message at 11:01 on Apr 20, 2021

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tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


Also, to make a regular post to start things off: I’m loving Mice and Murder so far. Rekha and Grant’s flashback of the relationship between Daisy and Sylvester was great; both because it was pretty emotive for how quick it was, because it was very funny at times and because Rekha being so frustrated about having to act dramatic against Grant was very charming to see. Is there any logic to her use of the term “tisch” to refer to dramatic acting, as Rekha did during the second Adventuring Party chat?

As to the [episode 2 spoilers]murder this episode? I suppose technically all the player’s characters had motive, but I don’t really see how several characters could be involved at the moment barring some major character shifts. Ian doesn’t seem like the type to harbour that kind of anger, wouldn’t have had the time to organize an elaborate murder even if he did given he only got told about being shifted to Siberia a few minutes beforehand and presumably doesn’t have the funds to hire someone to do it on his behalf even if he could. I can’t see Sylvester doing it either, since he displayed a bit too much moral fiber at times, refusing to work with Buckster to besmirch Badger’s image if it involved anything shady on his behalf for instance. They could all be hiding character development that’ll change that image, but it really seems like it was someone besides any of the main cast at the moment.

Also, re: Message from the Oreo CEO, I had not thought Oreos were a big thing here (Ireland), as while I have certainly seen them (and had some in the past), they’ve never been a major brand or thing people talk about to my recollection. Certainly not to the point that the appropriate aisles in a shop are bursting with Oreos. I looked out of curiosity while shopping today, and there were about 3 shelves of Oreos with 4 or 5 different types. Which, not exactly bursting to the degree Brennan was saying perhaps, since there were about 30 or 40 shelves of biscuits (or cookies, if you prefer), but still a lot more of a presence than I’d have expected. I don’t even think I’ve had an Oreo in several years. I did buy a pack though. Not the nicest biscuit I’ve ever had or anything, but pretty good.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



tsob posted:

Is there any logic to her use of the term “tisch” to refer to dramatic acting, as Rekha did during the second Adventuring Party chat?

haven't watched that yet but i'm guessing it's a reference to the prestigious film/acting school, the nyu tisch school of the arts

eke out fucked around with this message at 18:21 on Apr 17, 2021

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 26 days!


Yea she's making a joke about Grant and her 'going full Tisch' with their high drama choices and all because I'm pretty sure either she or he or both of them actually did go there. It's a deeply specific new york theater kid joke to make.

But yea, Dropout rules and Mice and Murder is fantastic. I actually missed out on the Unsleeping City stuff they did last couple seasons so I've been without fresh D20 content for a bit.

Speaking of, should I binge Unsleeping City? Obviously I know the cast is good and all but hearing Brennon describe the 'spirits of New York' involving 'just the actual man Andrew Lloyd Sullivan, with a big anime sword' thanks to Grant made me go 'oh yea I should watch that'.

The World Inferno
Nov 26, 2017





Since the start of the pandemic, been really enjoying CH's output. It's kind of like the "little video production company that could" in that they've spun off a few successful careers and shows, but maintain a pretty small presence. I'm rooting for them to rebound from the layoffs + pandemic one-two punch, and hopefully the boundless engine of Brennan Mulligan carries them through.

Game Changer is a hole lotta fun and I was happy to see they just kept making more episodes following the initial run for the current season.

sexpig by night posted:

Speaking of, should I binge Unsleeping City? Obviously I know the cast is good and all but hearing Brennon describe the 'spirits of New York' involving 'just the actual man Andrew Lloyd Sullivan, with a big anime sword' thanks to Grant made me go 'oh yea I should watch that'.

There are no bad seasons of D20, so if ya have twenty hours to kill, go for it my man.

I hope they go back to a Crown of Candy at some point, while it sounded like that was terribly stressful for everyone involved gently caress there's so much to explore in that space yet. Particularly if they run one where they're nowhere near the royalty of that world.

theCalamity
Oct 23, 2010

Cry Havoc and let slip the Hogs of War


sexpig by night posted:

Yea she's making a joke about Grant and her 'going full Tisch' with their high drama choices and all because I'm pretty sure either she or he or both of them actually did go there. It's a deeply specific new york theater kid joke to make.

But yea, Dropout rules and Mice and Murder is fantastic. I actually missed out on the Unsleeping City stuff they did last couple seasons so I've been without fresh D20 content for a bit.

Speaking of, should I binge Unsleeping City? Obviously I know the cast is good and all but hearing Brennon describe the 'spirits of New York' involving 'just the actual man Andrew Lloyd Sullivan, with a big anime sword' thanks to Grant made me go 'oh yea I should watch that'.

Wasn't it Stephen Sondheim?

Anyway, yes binge Unsleeping City. It's amazing.

I hope they return to A Crown of Candy, too. It really keeps you on edge with the "anyone can die" aspect of it and you can see it in the PCs. There's also this harsh juxtaposition where the cast would try to do some something zany and comedic and for it to be immediately crushed by reality.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 26 days!


theCalamity posted:

Wasn't it Stephen Sondheim?

Anyway, yes binge Unsleeping City. It's amazing.

I hope they return to A Crown of Candy, too. It really keeps you on edge with the "anyone can die" aspect of it and you can see it in the PCs. There's also this harsh juxtaposition where the cast would try to do some something zany and comedic and for it to be immediately crushed by reality.

it was Stephen Sondheim yes, which makes the joke even better.

Also same, Crown of Candy was super fun, I was sold about the time in the first episode when someone pointed out that the person giving this dramatic story about being war brothers surviving in the trenches together (and watching each other poo poo, for security) was a goddamn talking slice of cake with arms and legs.

The World Inferno
Nov 26, 2017





Crown towards the end loses a bit of momentum, but I'd argue the first half of it is just as griping as early Game of Thrones was. Man what a ride.

Ending the first episode on one of the characters – one of the young starry eyed protagonists – getting shot through the neck was just *chefs kiss*.

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Crown had to be cut short due to budgetary concerns, so two full combats were left on the table; a showdown in a hookah lounge in Uvano and a meat coliseum in Carne. Those two factions not getting fully fleshed out kinda miffs me now that it's over and I know we won't be getting more.

That said, the ending made me openly weep.

Farg
Nov 19, 2013



d20 loving rules

Instant Jellyfish
Jul 3, 2007

Actually not a fish.





Escape from the Bloodkeep is my favorite D20 mini arc. LOTR told from the villian's pov is just perfection and it includes some of my favorite NPC interactions ever (spoilers, obviously).

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Instant Jellyfish posted:

Escape from the Bloodkeep is my favorite D20 mini arc. LOTR told from the villian's pov is just perfection and it includes some of my favorite NPC interactions ever (spoilers, obviously).

brennan playing that character as the most lowkey, reasonable guy in the world with one absolutely insane obsession is so good

Poor Miserable Gurgi
Dec 29, 2006

He's a wisecracker!


Froghammer posted:

Crown had to be cut short due to budgetary concerns, so two full combats were left on the table; a showdown in a hookah lounge in Uvano and a meat coliseum in Carne. Those two factions not getting fully fleshed out kinda miffs me now that it's over and I know we won't be getting more.

That said, the ending made me openly weep.

Oh really? That's too bad. I can see why, they produced an absolutely insane amount of minis and models for that season. But yeah, it did feel rushed at the end, and some of the later characters never felt like they settled in too well.


I like the Mice & Murder filming method, though. Getting through the Zoom meeting episodes was starting to be a slog. The next D20 season should be another regular cast full season. I'm split between wanting Fantasy High Junior Year and something entirely new. Guess we'll see what Brennan comes up with.

theCalamity
Oct 23, 2010

Cry Havoc and let slip the Hogs of War


Poor Miserable Gurgi posted:

Oh really? That's too bad. I can see why, they produced an absolutely insane amount of minis and models for that season. But yeah, it did feel rushed at the end, and some of the later characters never felt like they settled in too well.


I like the Mice & Murder filming method, though. Getting through the Zoom meeting episodes was starting to be a slog. The next D20 season should be another regular cast full season. I'm split between wanting Fantasy High Junior Year and something entirely new. Guess we'll see what Brennan comes up with.

It seemed like they were saying these were filmed last year around February or March. I could be wrong tho

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


The World Inferno posted:

Crown towards the end loses a bit of momentum, but I'd argue the first half of it is just as griping as early Game of Thrones was. Man what a ride.

Ending the first episode on one of the characters – one of the young starry eyed protagonists – getting shot through the neck was just *chefs kiss*.

Crown of Candy is the one Dimension 20 season I've found myself struggling to finish too. As in, I've yet to watch the last episode or two, despite racing through the majority of it months ago. I just don't like Emily's new character essentially, so when one of the episodes opens with what is presented like it's going to be a very emotive flashback I bugged out and have yet to push into it. I'm not even sure what it is that annoys me about her, but perhaps it's just as simple as not liking that she has a new character that kind of rubs Siobhan's character wrong after the two of them played such close siblings throughout the rest of the show.

Instant Jellyfish posted:

Escape from the Bloodkeep is my favorite D20 mini arc. LOTR told from the villian's pov is just perfection and it includes some of my favorite NPC interactions ever (spoilers, obviously).

One of the best parts of Escape from the Bloodkeep to me is the way Brennan and Mike present Sokhbar's animal companion as completely stupid and weird in ways that make no sense and shouldn't be physically possible, but it's magic, so gently caress it, who cares. J'er'im'ah is great, and I I love that even his name is part of the gag with the dumbest possible spelling. The fact Matt Mercer declares at one point "J'er'im'ah is my favorite animal companion ever", before realizing what he'd said a few seconds later and going "except Trinket, obviously. Don't @ me" or something is just the icing on the cake.

The World Inferno
Nov 26, 2017





For me it's that she comes in so late and becomes The central character. I like the conflict she has with the Rocks family, but that plot kind of usurps their whole deal in a way that feels just slightly too tangential to the initial struggles. Her character has a dope backstory and the dragon stuff is great. I just don't like how much air it takes out of the beat up family, to the point where they almost feel like after thoughts by the finale.

...it's still all really really good tho. Praise be, Brennan.


Blood Keep also has Hamhead! And that apparently the final battle was supposed to be PVP, but they all decided to be best friends around the newborn baby the episode before so he had to scrape that and make a Gauntlet encounter instead!

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Poor Miserable Gurgi posted:


I like the Mice & Murder filming method, though. Getting through the Zoom meeting episodes was starting to be a slog.

yeah the cutaways to minis and maps and stuff are really well handled so far to break up the monotony of the zoom

also i like that they're increasingly willing to not have the game be all about combat, imo it's often the most boring part compared to the chemistry most of the people have together

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


The World Inferno posted:

For me it's that she comes in so late and becomes The central character. I like the conflict she has with the Rocks family, but that plot kind of usurps their whole deal in a way that feels just slightly too tangential to the initial struggles. Her character has a dope backstory and the dragon stuff is great. I just don't like how much air it takes out of the beat up family, to the point where they almost feel like after thoughts by the finale.


Yeah, that's probably a factor too now that you mention it. I did mean to say that one thing I started to find wearing with Crown of Candy by the end is that it felt like every single non-player character was waiting to stab them in the back. It seemed to happen just a bit too much, so that it lost any effect as a viewer by the time it turned out that cake slice dude betrayed them. The outcome was fun I suppose, in that it meant the whole family was now on the run with no resources, but in the moment I was just tired of it rather than shocked or anything.

Poor Miserable Gurgi
Dec 29, 2006

He's a wisecracker!


tsob posted:

Yeah, that's probably a factor too now that you mention it. I did mean to say that one thing I started to find wearing with Crown of Candy by the end is that it felt like every single non-player character was waiting to stab them in the back. It seemed to happen just a bit too much, so that it lost any effect as a viewer by the time it turned out that cake slice dude betrayed them. The outcome was fun I suppose, in that it meant the whole family was now on the run with no resources, but in the moment I was just tired of it rather than shocked or anything.

It makes more sense now, hearing that they cut things short and we likely lost an episode or two of roleplay along with two combat encounters, but the pacing really broke down at the end.

And yeah, Saccharina really turned into the Poochy of the campaign. Which oddly fit the GoT flavoring, as she mirrored season 8 Dany pretty well. The setting going from very low magic to having a high level caster just wrecking poo poo, and we were supposed to love her and feel sorry for her immediately for the emotional stakes to work was annoying. That coupled with a fairly boring macroscale wargame for the finale was unfortunate, because I loved everything up till then.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Breaking News is insane and I miss seeing new episodes of it. The Amy Vorpohl episode with the Tornado Jail is a masterwork of absurdism and True Facts about Grant O'Brien is loving brutal.

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


Man this week's episode of Mice & Murder was good. I'm really getting a kick out of Rekha and Grant's interplay; it's obvious the two of them are having a blast, but they have really great chemistry as old lovers. The constant sniping at each other is great fun, and I loved Sylvester just getting annoyed at one of Daisy's comments and shooting back "Yeah, well your real name is Dumpster", prompting Daisy to just chuck a book at him in annoyance. It's so petty on both their parts. The fact Grant rolled a nat 20 on his investigation and got pretty much every clue in the episode frontloaded to him was great too, as was his smug reaction to it and everyone else just getting annoyed that Grant was getting secrets texted to him. I wonder will we ever be able to find out what was in those texts in some form? The fact Grant figured out one of the things happening on his own rather than from Brennan telling him was fun too.

theCalamity
Oct 23, 2010

Cry Havoc and let slip the Hogs of War


I knew it was magnetism as soon as Brennan said that some of the things that were strewn around the room were metallic and mentioned the iron screws in one of the picture frames

All of them are really getting into it, especially Grant. He's even doing the thing where the genius detective does something that seems weird at first but then he explains it.

fancy stats
Sep 9, 2009

A man's man, wears a lot of denim, tells long stories and has oatmeal saved from this morning.



Grant sherlocking poo poo up this latest episode was a joy to watch.

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





I didn't do nuffin

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



"I'm really thinkin about ghosts and how much I know about them, but I don't want to steal his glory"

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


eke out posted:

"I'm really thinkin about ghosts and how much I know about them, but I don't want to steal his glory"

I really thought Lars was just going along with Lucretia to amuse themselves or humor her; it's even more fun that Lars genuinely believes in that and thinks Lucretia is the real deal despite how transparent she is.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Watching the 3rd episode of 'Mice and Murder', now I'm wondering if Brockhollow had picked up some shrapnel in his chest from the Crimean War?

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


If anyone hasn't watched it yet, the 3rd episode of Mice & Murder's accompanying Adventuring Party is well worth a watch, if only for the crew trying to decide what animal each of them is for a viewer question, leading to Brennan giving a very good defense of donkeys that basically boils down to the fact that he thinks of them as the blue collar workers of the animal kingdom. A defense that instantly made me rethink donkeys.

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Watching the 3rd episode of 'Mice and Murder', now I'm wondering if Brockhollow had picked up some shrapnel in his chest from the Crimean War?
Certainly possible, although my theory is that Someone stabbed Brockhollow in the chest while Mrs. Molesly was blacked out, and she only saw him struggling alone with the knife after she came to

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Froghammer posted:

Certainly possible, although my theory is that Someone stabbed Brockhollow in the chest while Mrs. Molesly was blacked out, and she only saw him struggling alone with the knife after she came to

My suspect is Constance and her husband Dr. Magpie. He might know of Molesly's epilepsy, and any shrapnel that Brockhollow had. when the EM generator activated the shrapnel dug into Brockhallow's heart and the badger was trying to dig it out as it killed him.

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


I've only just started the 4th episode of Mice & Murder, but can I just say: I love Brennan's puns. Barkus Aurelius, Naponyleon and myth of the Naponyleon complex because ponys are shorter than horses is solid gold punnery. Grant's "rifle" pun was great too.

Edit: Jesus Rekha, those rolls. The dice in this game are really screwing her everytime she attempts to do anything.

Edit 2: I spoke too soon, because Raph

tsob fucked around with this message at 19:35 on Apr 29, 2021

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

tsob posted:

I've only just started the 4th episode of Mice & Murder, but can I just say: I love Brennan's puns. Barkus Aurelius, Naponyleon and myth of the Naponyleon complex because ponys are shorter than horses is solid gold punnery. Grant's "rifle" pun was great too.

Edit: Jesus Rekha, those rolls. The dice in this game are really screwing her everytime she attempts to do anything.

Edit 2: I spoke too soon, because Raph

The dice have been mauling Rekha this entire game, but that one Persuasion roll of Raph's

seaborgium
Aug 1, 2002

"Nothing a shitload of bleach won't fix"


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

The dice have been mauling Rekha this entire game, but that one Persuasion roll of Raph's

Having blood spray out over the room in Roll20 was a nice touch I thought after that roll. I like the way they're adding extra stuff to Roll20 and having the miniatures do stuff on camera more this season. At least it feels like more, makes sense with the pandemic precautions but I think it adds a lot to the show.

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

The dice have been mauling Rekha this entire game, but that one Persuasion roll of Raph's

I think Rekha might be one of my favourite D'n'D players now, because her using the dice rolls to rationalize her characters feelings and vice versa, for good rolls and bad is a really interesting and entertaining way of playing. The fact she's decided that all the bad dice rolls she's had over the first few episodes are the result of her being thrown off balance by coming back into contact with someone she loved but couldn't be herself around is simple but brilliant justification that paid off really nicely in this episode when she finally gets a good roll after distancing herself from him a bit physically and having a moment to think to herself before making a roll so she could do it with advantage. Followed up by getting a nat 20 on attack roll on Sylvester that throws him off balance for the rest of the episode.

theCalamity
Oct 23, 2010

Cry Havoc and let slip the Hogs of War


The door to that room is obviously somewhere in the manor

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





The latest Adventuring Party features an Ally Beardsley who is tripping balls on mushrooms and it is a delight

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

And a new episode of Breaking News is up with Trapp, Tao, Raph, and...Amy!

tsob
Sep 26, 2006

Chalalala~


That was fun, and it's great news that they've made a new season of it to air starting today, but man, the Zoom thing is kind of weird on this. It didn't stand out as much for Amy and Mike for some reason, but the actual newsdesk characters (Raph and Tao) were very obviously on a Zoom virtual background and it just seems weird. Oh well. More Breaking News is more Breaking News. Also, I think Amy might have been trying that dumbass face thing again at the start of the episode while Raph and Tao were doing their bits, despite how disastrously it went last time.

Simone Magus
Sep 29, 2020

When the weather's fine, and it's sunny outside
I think about the time I kicked a boy til he cried.
I could have been wrong...
But I don't think I was.


Oreo CEO was amazing and totally accurate.

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eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Froghammer posted:

The latest Adventuring Party features an Ally Beardsley who is tripping balls on mushrooms and it is a delight

the entire 'masculine fertile' discussion is incredible

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