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Counter Monkey is a Web Video series hosted by Noah Antwiler, also known as The Spoony One. In this series, Spoony recounts various amusing and awesome stories from his Tabletop Game days, as well as offering helpful tips and tricks for other GMs. Recently it began to feature recordings of regular weekly Pathfinder sessions played over Skype, based on the Kingmaker adventure path and starring many of the same players from his other campaign. The name of the series comes from his days of working at a tabletop gaming store: "counter monkeys" was the employees' name for people who would hang around on the counter, never buy anything, but just tell long rambling stories about their characters and campaigns.

Spoony originally wanted to publish it in a book, but it later morphed into a blog (which can be found here, it also has a WordPress site) and eventually into a video series hosted on The Spoony Experiment along with his other reviews. Spoony has also mentioned hosting a weekly podcast or still trying to publish the stories, but these have not yet materialized.

The series can be viewed here.


Tropes:

  • Laser-Guided Karma: Vegan Steve ends up dying by pulling the Void card from the Deck of Many Things, an item he obtained by completely screwing the party over. Note that he drew it as his last card out of 11, after his first ten cards were beneficial, and the tenth card allowed him to escape his furious teammembers. It couldn't be more laser-guided than that.
  • Lensman Arms Race: "The Squirt Gun Wars", where the introduction of DMSO (which allows any drug to be instantly absorbed through the skin) in Shadowrun leads to the introduction of lethal DMSO drug cocktails and an arms race of super soakers, hi-tech water balloons, and fire hoses.
  • Lord British Postulate: Discusses in "All Jedi or No Jedi", when he put a cameo of Darth Vader into a Star Wars campaign just to add flavour, only for his campaign to instantly derail as all his adventurers became obsessed with trying to kill Vader.
    • Also the party in "Thieves' World" become obsessed with trying to kill the unkillable Tempus Thales, but in that one it's justified by the predicament they've found themselves in.
  • The Magnificent: In "Dungeon Mastering A Great Game", Spoony talks about how this trope can help make characters memorable and flesh them out, especially if the cognomen in question is particularly distinctive, using Game of Thrones as an example.
    • This is where his own alias comes from--his character "Tandem the Spoony" was so named because he wanted a cognomen that was a real adjective, but an incredibly obscure one.
  • Mass "Oh Crap": The players of Thieves' World as Spoony reveals the Wham! Line's consequence.

  Oh... oh no... as Tempus Thales and a squad of six guardsmen enter the room... a flask of acid crashes him in the face!

  • Mood Whiplash: Immediately after describing the above Eye Scream event, he whistles to his dog.
  • Never Live It Down: The "Leaping Wizards" incident.
  • Not Making This Up Disclaimer: Noah spends a good 15 seconds in "The Importance of Wearing Pants" reassuring us that he's not making up the story about the player who somehow left the house without his pants.
  • Not Completely Useless: "Countersong" is a bardic ability that allows the bard to mute over auditory magic. It is virtually never used and often forgotten about, since such attacks are extremely rare, but it saved Tandem's party from a Compelling Voice.
  • Off the Rails:
    • In "Vegan Steve and the Djinni of Jengai Fomogo".
    • Spoony himself does it in "Vampire: Spoony's Jyhad". In a Vampire: The Requiem LARP, Spoony's character is railroaded and brainwashed by the other players. His in-character response? Making a bathtub full of Semtex and blowing up the Prince and every other vampire in a one-block radius.
    • Pretty much all of the Thieves' World campaign. Spoony's original plan was for the PCs to slowly work their way into Tempus Thales' "favor" and assist him in overthrowing the city. After a textbook example of why not to interrupt the DM (see Wham! Line), the campaign turns into horrifically escalating war of atrocities between Thales and the party.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in the "Vegan Steve" video, where he plays with three different Mikes, and has to give them nicknames to differentiate between them ("Crazy Mike", "Big Mike" and "Store Mike")
  • Overprotective Dad: Zeus literally throws Tandem the Spoony off Mount Olympus for macking on his daughter.
  • The Power of Rock: In "Tandem's Last Ride", Tandem The Spoony sings an Iron Maiden song to break the Compelling Voice effect of the Caterpillar.

  Fucking COUNTERSONG!

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