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"Until next time, listeners, here's hoping all your dice rolls are... Critical Hits"—Stephen Schleicher, at the end of each episode
If you came looking for the Game Mechanic which results in high damage, that's over here.
This page is for a Spin-Off of the Major Spoilers Podcast, in which the hosts and a couple of their friends play in a 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign. The team is made up of gamers who are completely new to Dungeons and Dragons, those who have been playing since Third Edition, and even one guy who’s been playing since the AD&D days.
The plot of the campaign follows a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits as they try to stop The Void, a group of Insane Gods, from invading their plane of existence. The first and second seasons had them racing to keep the Moon from smashing into the Earth, and now, in the third season, they've been recruited by a Higher Power to help cleanse a part of the Astral Sea of the remaining Lunar Monsters. The group includes Orem Rivendorn of the Eladrin, Halston Thorkelson aka "Torq", Randus du Thane, and Smith the Sorcerer,who has since been replaced by Ket the Half-Elf Warlock. In Season Four, they're joined by an elf ranger, Trelle.
It does take occasional breaks to answer listener questions, and Stephen and Rodrigo have created a set of podcasts which focus on Game Mastering 101, with its own set of characters. (Episodes 58-62).
The show itself is a delightful pastiche of learn-by-example play, nerd humor and old-time radio serials. It is a great way to introduce people to Dungeons and Dragons 4th Editions and Role Playing Games, enjoyable to both old and new players or people just interested in a good fantasy story.
You can find the episodes here, or download them from iTunes.
This Series Provides Examples Of:
- A God Am I: Literally, The Thing That Shatters The Sky, plus all the other Gods of The Void.
- A Wizard Did It: Well, technically some Insane Gods did it - the moon is explained to be livable only due to the will of The Void.
- Action Girl: 3 Examples, two of which are friendly NPCs, and one PC.
- The Queen's Rebellious Daughter is a scientist who uses resonance to zap things. She's pretty handy in a fight.
- Bao Bel-Bina is a tiefling Avenger who serves Erathis.
- The third is Trelle, an elf ranger that recently joined the party.
- Adventure-Friendly World: The world is being attacked by insane extraterrestrial gods, who send their monstrous creations to attack, as well as having built towers on the Earth and the moon to draw them together.
- Adventure Towns: Moonhold, The Exilarchy of Cogs' city, and Diamond Throne.
- Alien Sky: Two: One happens after The Void's first attempt to smash the moon into the Earth, described by Rodrigo as constantly red, filled with clouds and roiling lightning. The second is when the heroes are transported to the moon, described as a bubble surrounding the planet with a blurry view of the planet itself.
- All There in the Manual: Rodrigo has posted a handy timeline for the Critical Hit Universe, and was kind enough to do an interview about the first story arc after it ended. He also answers questions about Critical Hit in the same forum.
- An Adventurer Is You: It's a D&D Game.
- An Axe to Grind: Torq's Weapon of Choice is a Great Axe.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Thoney's Airship floats because its hull is coated in "Astral Brine".
- Later on, many of Randus' ship designs are heavily powered by "Elasma", which can be vented, etc.
- Badass Normal: Torq definitely counts, being nothing more than incredibly tough and strong in a party of magic users.
- Bag of Holding: Technically, the gang has a Handy Haversack, but it's basically a bag of holding in backpack form.
- Big Damn Heroes: When the Torqletones shut down the tower in Episode 7.
- Blondes Are Evil: The evil cultist the Torqletones fight twice is handsome and has long blonde hair.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Void are gods who see no problem with creating and destroying entire races at their will, and constantly vie for dominance over one another, not caring who gets in the way.
- Body Horror: Plenty of examples, which is to be expected in a campaign full of Insane Gods.
- Some of the cultists who worship The Void allow themselves to become hosts to creatures from the moon that do this.
- There's also the little white creatures Orem and Smith fight - their eyes are misshapen, and their limbs are all different sizes, to the point where some walk on one hand and one leg because those are the two limbs who touch the ground.
- D&D Brian namechecks this trope when the Torqletones fight the Candle Heads for the first time.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: Torq is a half orc fighter with almost no skills... except killin' things. In this he excels.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Stephen constantly plays Orem as disdainful of Elves and condescending towards all non-Eladrin. No one seems to be disturbed by this. This is explained early in the show as a hypertrophied version of the trope when Rodrigo describes the eladrin to Stephen for the first time: "Eladrin are to regular elves as elves are to humans."
- Catch Phrase: The main one is Torq's "Uh... whut?", but Randus' "Indeed" is a close second.
- In the third season we appear to have Ket's "I don't cheat; I very rarely bluff" as a new one.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: Season 3 takes place in the goddess Erathis' City in the Astral Sea, which is definitely run by bureaucrats
- Combat Medic: Randus, who has a Magitek crossbow and some offensive spells.
- Cool Airship: Thony's Proud Baroness.
- Critical Hit: Torq scores these often, interestingly enough, Matthew is the only player playing by remote.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The End of Season 2 has our heroes defeat He Who Shatters the Sky
- Dumb Muscle: Torq.
- Dungeons and Dragons: They're playing it.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Void are a group of insane, evil Gods who inhabit the Campaign World's moon, plus the countless number of creatures they create and destroy on a whim, often sending them to fight the heroes.
- For Science!: Evoked by Randus occasionally, and The Queen's Rebellious Daughter.
- Game Master: Rodrigo, Stephen and Rob.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Randus and Thony.
- Genre Savvy: The players, for sure. Not so much their characters.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Ket is a Half-Elf, and Torq is a 3/4 Orc (His parents were a full orc and half orc, respectively)
- High Altitude Battle: With the Lunar Dargon in Episodes 27 and 28.
- Hit Points: Since this is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, absolutely.
- House Rules: Rodrigo has his own house rules when it comes to Skill Challenges.
- In and Out of Character: There's a lot, especially when the guys go off on a tangent.
- Indy Ploy: The Torqletones are really just making it up as they go along.
- Killed Off for Real: Smith at the end of season two.
- Kiss Diss: Orem shares one with an Eladrin named Simmy in episode 84.
- Large Ham: Matthew, Torq's player, is this 9/10ths of the time. Stephen also qualifies when playing Orem, and ESPECIALLY as a DM. GM Rodrigo has been known to Ham a little when playing NPCs.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Torq has pulled this once or twice.
- MacGuffin: The Four-Facet Key for the first story arc.
- Magitek: While not ubiquitous throughout the setting, there is definitely some of this stuff, from Randus' crossbow and familiar to The Exilarchy of Cogs.
- Malaproper: Torq malaprops multisyllabic words at LEAST once an episode.
- Mooks: The Lizard-Monkeys, our first introduction to lunar monsters.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The names of some of the Lunar Gods: She Who Slumbers In Agony, He Who Shatters The Sky.
- Our Monsters Are Different: GM Rodrigo loves taking monsters from the books and changing what they look like in order to give them an Eldritch Abomination feel.
- Running Gag: Torq jumping out windows.
- "Uhhhhh, funnelcake?"
- Shout-Out: Considering this is a show with 5 nerds, pretty much every episode contains a few references to movies, whether it's something one of the players say, or something within the campaign itself.
- Straight Gay: While Trelle does seem hesitant to admit that she used to date Orem's sister it seems to be more because of an awkward discussion due to who was listening at the time, rather than her being unwilling to share the fact.
- The Roleplayer: Matthew appears to to be a glorious mix of this and The Loonie.
- Title Drop - As the quote at the top of the page says, it's at least once an episode, plus whenever someone scores an actual Critical Hit.
- Unexpected Successor: Orem becomes this in the eyes of Torq when Moonhold's entire town guard with the exception of Torq die.