Bedtime stories to help grown ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night.
Magical meanders will soothe your sleep, while our heroes face an emperor and some lil' aliens.
Episode 956 – Lil' Bit of Consensus | Land of Tomorrow Ep 5
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, patron peeps, it’s time for the podcast you support and make possible. My patron peeps, I only sing to you at the start of the show. Thanks, my patron peeps.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out your…turn out the lights and…turn out…never had trouble saying that, I don’t know, 900-whatever intros. Alls you…what you could do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play, or you could do that in any order you wish, or put the lights down low. But alls you need to do is get…now I forgot what I’m supposed to say next. Get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake.
That could be thoughts, things on your mind that are things you’re thinking about, could be past, present, or future thoughts or thoughts…I guess can’t be…what, can you have future thoughts? You can have thoughts about the future. I mean, I could tell you there’s…I rarely make guarantees. There’s 100% chance of me saying I rarely make guarantees on this show at least once a year. But if I was gonna make a guarantee, there’s 100% chance I’m gonna have some thoughts in the future, plenty of them, ideally not all the time, though. Maybe they’ll be my…try to be in my body or feel my breath too. Then I’ll try to treat my thoughts…but you could be having…anyways, I’m here for you, not for me. But yeah, I have thoughts, too. I have thoughts about the intro already, so that’s the future.
The future’s already here, it turns out. That was pretty cool. We time…we…I don’t know, is that…was that a meta time travel? I mean, it’s meta talking about it, I guess. But whatever you’re thinking about, you could also be feeling something. It could be something you’re feeling physically that’s coming up for you or it could be something coming up emotionally in addition to or independent of all those thoughts. It could be changes in your normal routine, your schedule, temperature, weather, interpersonal stuff. It could be baffling. That’s a lot of the times, the old…it could be baffles. You could be in the baffle business. I mean, I know…I love saying baffle. Oh, don’t get me started say…I’ve already started saying baffle. So, what is it — and this is not a joke — what’s it a…when a word has two different meanings?
‘Cause you have baffles which I think…I’m actually not 100% sure what…so there’s…what is that, an…? So, there’s a noun; baffles. Has anybody ever had a boatload of baffle? That’s…would…if I had a baffle…baffles, baffles, baffles; come on down. We got a boatload of baffles. Just came in because they’re literally…we have them delivered by boat. You’ll be…come…we got it for the kids; we got everything. If you’re bourgeois, we got baffles for you. If you’re not, if you’re some other word that starts with a b, you…you’re gonna be feeling…how’s that…what’s that word? If you love bouillon, you’re gonna love our baffles ‘cause we got free bone broth for everybody. Oh boy, are you gonna…come on down to…are you baffled?
Because…so, whatever’s keeping you awake, I’m gonna try to take your mind off of that. What I propose to do which you’ve already seen is send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, and superfluous tangents which means I’m gonna go…I have a voice that’s not perfect for much of anything. I’m gonna go off-topic, I’m gonna get mixed up, I’m gonna overuse words, stumble between words, mispronounce things, be confused. Here’s something that is just honest; I have a…people say Scoots, you have a large vocabulary. I’d say well, I don’t mean to quibble with you but I have a lot of words I say. I don’t know if that means I have…that I can use in sentences, but I don’t necessarily always have a grasp of their proper meaning.
So what is the word for…is there a word for that? I was gonna say parlance because I know words but I don’t know where to properly use them. But it’s like, I know a lot of words; I just don’t know what all the words mean. So, that’s…so, it’s kind of a technicality, my…you say well, where’d you pick up your vocabulary? Mostly where I find it. I polish…I say oh boy, what are you, a…what is that word? Baffle. I love it. Let me pick you up. Let me dust you off. Then the baffle says don’t you want to know what I mean? I got a…nah, I got a general idea what…I got a general idea how to use you, put you to use. I could be a noun or a verb, I think. Really? Okay, so baffled; that would be the verb, right? I’m baffled by the fact that a word is speaking to me when I’m trying to get into a podcast intro.
How would you feel…which you’re now a proper noun…baffle…could…do you mind if I call you the baffle since you’re the first or the…? Then if you become my arch nemesis, I’ll call you the Baffler. I love it. Okay, so the Baffler; I…or what if you were my best friend and I called you…so, either way, I could still call you the Baffler. If this is…first we need to do some rapport-building later. My first stage of rapport-building was to offer you a bed of baffles. Okay, ‘cause I gotta get back to this pod…so, let me lay you down in a bed of baffles. Oh, that’s nice. Great. So, that’s the Baffler, future…in the future it will be known as the Baffler. Just a little word scrap I picked up out…when I was out for a…walking the dog.
In my mind, in this case. So, you know when people say my dogs are tired — this doesn’t have anything to do with anything else I was talking about but it popped in my head — are your dogs ever…usually if my…’cause people…some people…maybe it’s just in the US they say oh boy, my dogs are tired, meaning…I don’t know why you would call your feet your dogs but it’s just a saying. It means my feet are tired from walking. But I never heard anybody say my dogs are tired from walking the dog which is usually…if my dogs were tired it’d be walking…and then I’d say well, if I had…if my feet were actually…I’d have four feet; then my dogs wouldn’t be as tired. Also, my feet are nothing like dogs’ feet or a dog, really.
Oh no, I think they say my dogs are barking which all…if you talk about…what I’m talking about doesn’t make any sense, right? I mean, people say that sometimes. They say what is this nonsense you’re talking…? I say take a look at this, whatever, the way we speak in America or in the English language. People say…I mean, I would be confused. I say what do you mean your dogs are barking? Why’d you take your shoes off, one? Please put them back on. This is a sleep podcast. Okay, sorry. We’ve gone far afield. New listeners, I’m glad you’re here. A few things to know; I’m an acquired taste. You may have already noticed. It takes…not only am I an acquired taste; what that means is it takes some time to acquire a taste for this podcast so if you’re skeptical, you’re doubtful, you’re scoutful, you’re just not sure, that’s a really normal reaction to the first two or three times you listen to the show.
That’s what most reviewers say. Hey, it took two or three times…two or three times was the charm when I realized that Scooter’s just two degrees below charming. He’s kind of like…he’s disarming. He’s not charming; bit disarming, though. So give it a few tries. This is a podcast that one, you don’t really listen to. I think I’ve exhibited why you would kind of barely listen to me because a lot of my logic is a bit baffling, though I would say the most sensible thing…if you picked up a baffle on the street, dusted it off, established some [00:10:00] base rapport with it, decided to take it home, what better place to put it to rest than in a baffle of…you know, a…your bed with some baffles? So…oh, so if you’re a new listener, just kinda listen to the podcast loosely, just like it was sand go…running through your fingers. That’s one.
Also, this podcast does not really put you to sleep. It’s here to keep you company while you fall asleep or if you can’t sleep and that’s why the episodes are around an hour, is to give you plenty of time to drift off, so…and so you have some peace of mind. You say okay, wow, I got plenty of time to fall asleep. I’ll just kinda listen to this person talking. Eventually, that’s kinda the normal use case. At some point you say is he still talk…? Was he still talking about baffles? Oh no, now he’s telling a story. Did he…okay, and then maybe the next day as you become a regular listener, you have a conversation; honey, what was that pod…was that person interviewing someone called the Baffler? Was that a new comic book podcast? No. What would the Baffler be?
Well, it could be…I think in his interview, it was either the podcaster’s best friend…like, you have that one best friend you got a nickname for, the Baffler, or his arch nemesis which would be someone who’s either…I don’t know, someone who…I guess if you were using it a sentence you’d say the Baffler; someone who baffles or is baffling, or who uses…or maybe it could be they use baffles in some way. Since Scooter doesn’t have a strong grasp of what a baffle is, other than maybe the poofy part of whatever that thing’s called; a comforter, there could be…the Baffler could actually say no, no, I’m very straight…I’m the Baffler. No, I’m very straightforward. I’m not baffling at all. I just use baffles against Scooter and as his nemesis, to disrupt his sleep podcast. Oh, Baffler, you really don’t do that.
You’re just a figment of my imagination. That’s how I…that’s…oh, okay. Now I’m…what am I…? Okay, so I’m a…it’s a podcast that doesn’t really put you to sleep. It keeps you company. I’m applying for the role just like the Baffler’s applying for a role. I’m applying for the role of bore-friend, bore-bae, bore-cuz, bore-sib, bore-bor, bore-buddy, to be your friend here in the deep, dark night and keep you company as you fall asleep. The other thing that new listeners take some getting used to is the structure of the show. I mean, clearly if this is your first time listening, you probably are…you say wait a second, I tuned in. Now I’m baffled and this person keeps…I say yep, that’s…so, the structure of the show goes like this; greeting, friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
That’s so everybody feels seen and welcome. Then there’s business like listener support and then sponsors. Then there’s the intro. The intro goes from, whatever, minute six or something to minute twenty-something, so it’s about a…what is that? Well, it’s definitely not fourteen minutes long. It’s probably like fifteen to twenty minutes long and it kinda serves a few purposes; it gives people an idea of the kind of nonsense…so, a new listener; you say whoa, this podcast is weird and different. Not sure how I feel about it but it’s pleasant enough or it’s not bad, so I’ll keep listening. Oh, he’s trying to explain things and he’s kind of also demonstrating things and he’s kinda…I realize I don’t really have to pay too much attention to him.
That’s…can take two or three tries to get used to but for the regular listener, the intro…it’s a stretch. It gives you a twenty-minute buffer between your day life, your evening life, and your bedtime. It eases you into bedtime. So, for a lot of listeners, they listen as part of their bedtime routine. Now, some people are in bed, they’re drifting off…what up? You look great. I hope I feel as good as you look one day, getting there and getting cozy. But a lot of listeners are doing some sort of other activity as they wind down or they’re getting ready for bed. Maybe you’re repoofing…maybe you’re poofing your baffles.
So, it just helps ease you into bedtime ‘cause I’ve just found nothing…if I went to just telling you a story after I said rub-a-dub-dub, welcome to the sleep podcast, this is Scoots, get ready for some sleepy stuff, sh-sh-shoo-shoo-shoo, fra-fra-froo, and then I start…maybe I would just get…they say get rid of the nonsense words. Other than that, that’s great. That’s what a consultant would say, and then say get to the story. But that…I feel like I want to give you a chance to get comfortable and let the sun slowly set. Now, you could skip ahead. You could start the show at twenty minutes. That’ll get you close to the story or at the start of the story. 3% of listeners do that, and then some…a couple thousand people listen to story-only versions on our Patreon.
So, those are some options, but just give it a try and see how it goes ‘cause a lot of the regular listeners love the wind-down of the intro, or they listen during the day as well to chill out. So, that’s the intro, and then to keep the show free, we have our sponsors after the intro, then there’s a story. Tonight it’ll be our episodically modular series, an actual play podcast of some friends playing a roleplaying game. It’ll be very chill; don’t worry. Totally relaxing and very…just as confusing as this intro. I promise. A lot of speech…oh boy, are there gonna…is there gonna be…right in the middle, I can guarantee you this; there’s gonna be a long, drawn-out conversation right in the middle. Oh, boy. I was…been working on for five days, this conversation.
So, I don’t know how many characters are gonna make…I don’t know if there will be any exposition or backstory. I was trying to put a little bit of backstory into it but she was…the character, she was saying well, this is kind of subtextual. You don’t need…don’t worry; I’ll put so much subtext into my talking that…and I said that sounds like textbook sleep podcast stuff to me. So, that’ll be our series, then the show ends with thank-yous, so that’s the structure of the show. Again, it takes some getting used to but you can adjust as you need, as you find your way to the show or if you find it works for you. Now, it doesn’t work for everybody, like I said. You could go to sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou for other sleep podcasts or sleep audio because this show doesn’t necessarily work for everybody.
Most people it works for takes a couple times to get used to. The reason I care…I say hey, check out some other sleep podcasts if this doesn’t help is because I really believe you deserve a good night’s sleep whether I can provide it or not. It’s just a fact. You’re a human being; you deserve a nice, restful place. If I can’t do that for you, hopefully somebody else can or hopefully you say well, let me try a bedtime routine without sleep audio. That’s great because if your world’s a better place, my world is a better place, too. The other thing is I’ve been there, even…I mean, I record these podcasts not necessarily in the same order you hear them but I keep waking up wicked early, so I know how it feels; trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, mind race…you know, all that stuff.
So if I can help you feel a little bit better about bedtime and getting some rest, I’m happy to provide that. So, that’s it. I’m glad you’re here. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive. I appreciate you checking this podcast out and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to be here for you twice a week for free.
Alright, hey everybody, welcome to our ongoing episodically modular series, Journey Into the Land of Tomorrow. You could listen to this in any order. I’ll just give you the basics. This is a little bit of a listen-in live play, an actual play of a few friends playing a game, a roleplaying game. Now, they’re from another…they’re from the future or something. I don’t know how I…once again, I somehow got access to this recording, but they’re basically playing a bit like DnD which is a roleplaying game; really fun, theatre of the mind. But this one gets better ‘cause it’s set in a popular theme park that has gone past its prime. It really…really lulling stuff [00:20:00] because there’s no rides to go on, so they’re just walking around. But just interesting enough to keep you company.
You know who’s gonna be keeping me company while I record this episode is a Hollywood legend, a man who…I don’t even…sometimes I don’t even know what to say. Even though he has squeaky elbows and sometimes he says I don’t…I’m not moving but he is ‘cause he just can’t detect those mic…the man who moves in…not only moves in mysterious ways; who moves in microscopic ways that are still…I can…that still get picked up on the mic, but he comes out, drives all the way up here just to be with all of you, really, and to play a board game with me after if he can remain silent enough. So, without further ado, I’d like to turn things over to Mr. Antonio Banderas. Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for adventure into The Land of Tomorrow. Spaceship swoosh. Yeah.
Thanks, Antonio. Ready for another round of…the audience doesn’t know this but I’ve never had a victory of John August’s game One Bunny Kiss which one day…I recorded a unboxing of it. One day that unboxing episode will come out, but…so, yeah. I still have…Antonio’s bested me every time and everybody else I’ve played with. But one day I’ll win, but I had fun playing it every moment, almost. But without further ado, this is Journey Into the Land of Tomorrow.
Okay, is everybody ready to get started? Grenada of Darmok; I think your job is to recap everything unless you all want to roll for where everything is with your characters and everything that’s happening, because we did break in the middle of an act…I mean, in between actions, but…oh, yes, thank you. Thank you to my Dungeon Master, thank you for everyone being on time. Lord von Chill got me here on time. I am Grenada of Darmok. Now, I don’t like to talk about the trickster god, the god of tricks, Darmok. Lord von Chill does not like me to get deep into my belief system so I won’t even though I’m tempted. But I, Grenada of Darmok, are…Grenada of Darmok am a quick-fingered, fleet-footed rogue, you might say, rapscallion. I work for Lord von Chill.
I’m not a sidekick though, though I’ve been referred to one. I’m my own person. I’m just hired to…I work as a…I serve this party under the…I don’t know if I’m under the tutelage…I don’t know what that means. Lord von Chill wanted me to write…read out some thoughts he wrote down but I refuse because that wasn’t part of our working agreement. But I’m in a band of adventurers that I’m here with and I’m reviewing our adventure thus far for myself and my fellow adventurers so that we can…we’re all in understanding. So, I’m Grenada of Darmok. I work with the…Lord von Chill, a fighter of the highest class; powerful, brave, wealthy. That’s Lord von Chill. Please don’t speak; I’m speaking, Lord von Chill. You could just indicate with your head that you know more…oh, of course.
I’m also here with Zell, our other fighter, more of a working class fighter as we’ve been referring to Zell. But Zell has some personal connection to Lord von Chill, I…Zell’s…well, I believe we’re a group of adventurers so of course we have a personal connection to each one of us. But Zell’s been dependable in the heat and the cool of adventure. Also, we have our healer, our nurse. She’s a Florencian and her name…but not from…Florencian, like, I’m Grenada of Darmok. Florencian is your belief system and your kind of branch of healing and nursing. That’s Eleanor who also…now, not just for healing; I’ve seen Eleanor cause some…those who have opposed us have found out that Eleanor is powerful and quick and…quick, bright, too. I like working with everyone, not just Eleanor.
Finally, the quietest member of our party, Emwatta, a wizard assigned to our…I mean, that’s just a fact. Originally was played by someone who Lord von Chill was formerly friends with but we had another wizard, but then we were assigned Emwatta because the other wizard had a disagreement with Lord von Chill and they were…according to Lord von Chill, they were incorrect, but I get to be a little bit more balanced than…but so, they left the party before we even got the adventure really going, but the Wizard’s Council knew about it and assigned us Emwatta, some sort of acolyte; very quiet, who I’m told powerful in magic but we have yet to see that, but wise and actually very effective thus far, other than…I’d like to see a little bit more lightning or something.
Oh, that’s a higher level…okay, well, understandable. So, we are adventurers. We are here in a former theme park searching for a portal and actually not just a portal, but pieces of a staff or a stave or some sort of magic item that we need to assemble to close the portal, is my understanding. Once we gather the pieces, we’ll find the portal, we’ll seal it up. If the portal’s not sealed it could come under a evil influence that could use the portal for non-good things. I think it’s a portal to another world, and so we have to find it. Now, one of the impacts of this portal has been to bring life and sentience to essentially toys and…or combining sentient beings with plush animals or what are those…? Animatronics coming to life, becoming independent beings, both with good attitudes and not so good attitudes, as we’ve recently seen.
Right now we’re working with the Steam Genie who’s told us where a crystal that we seek is is part of this staff we’re supposed to reassemble. So, we’re here; we’ve scouted out the area, we’ve dealt with some little green people, gone back and forth with them, and now we’re laying in wait for Buzz Tomorrow who we hope to surprise, or I’m…I’m gonna go look around and see. I can’t remember the exact details ‘cause we talk even when the game’s not in session, so…and sometimes I think a few steps ahead. That’s my job as rogue. But so, you could correct me. Oh no, or was I…I can’t remember. But oh, you’re all looking at me. So, here’s what I remember so that we could start our actions based on this; is everybody in agreement with that? Okay, I guess I get to lead this week a little bit. That’s exciting.
So, we’ve…we know that…we suspect that the claw where the jewel is hidden is in a area that we’re not able to access, that this…the characters of this ride or attraction have declared battle on other attractions and we’ve been tasked with defeating them for the Steam Genie and turning the steam back on in exchange for now knowing the location of the gem. We’ve dealt with some of these little green people who…something about dystopia is the theme of this ride, that Hollywood sells dystopians and why can’t we follow Buzz Tomorrow into a utopia? We know that Buzz is working with the Emperor who is I guess at some point Buzz’s antagonist in the ride, attraction story, [00:30:00] the representation of dystopia possibly, but now they’re working together. I was hiding; I found a storage room.
I don’t know if I…where I think that steam connection…a control room, and I can get in there. I don’t know if I told everybody that or even if we took a break. I thought we just broke in the middle of things. Buzz is coming this way and we should be hiding and waiting for Buzz, and hopefully we would get…we would be able to act first. Is that where we are? Is every…? Dungeon Master, a theme park…adventure-guider. We’re all hiding behind wooden things that will not offer us protection but will offer us the chance to…hopefully I have one round of unheeded action if we…please tell us. Okay, so yeah, you…you’re all hiding behind different things, parts of…old parts of the attraction. Grenada had seen Buzz coming this way and you’ve all been waiting patiently for them.
When I say them, I think Buzz had three of the characters…smaller characters from the rides. I was calling them little aliens in my notes, but…coming along with Buzz. So, you wait until Buzz gets into the center of the room that you’re all in. You’re all hiding. Actually, it just happens to be the room where Buzz just gets ready to give commands and is talking with the little green people, trying to find something…it’s actually the thing you came through and Buzz seems to be doing some thinking and some talking, but you can’t really hear it. So, are you all gonna roll? If you go now, you’ll have one, yeah, one interrupted shot at Buzz. Yeah, yeah. We didn’t really talk about this but what if — this is Zell — what if I, Lord von Chill, we go after Buzz and Watta and Eleanor, you go after…you try to eliminate all the little greens and Grenada, you also go after Buzz?
Can we start rolling for that? Yes, you can. As far as…so, I just did the whole initiative first so that…just for…so Zell, you have first and you use your…you’re gonna use your bow? Yeah, I’m gonna use my bow ‘cause…okay, so you fire an arrow and oh boy, it lands right in the chest of Buzz, makes a plastic plunking sound but it went halfway in. Lord von Chill, are you gonna use…? Yes, I’ll throw…okay, your javelin; oof, right into the other side of Buzz, pretty sunk, pretty good. Watta, what do you plan to do? Shortsword against the green people. Okay, you use your short…twelve. Okay, twelve. Okay, yeah, you do. You take out one of the little…which one were you…? The closest one to me. Okay, that’s LA…Little Alien 3. So, that’s…you take that; you just get it and right in half. Grenada, I will use my short bow against Buzz.
Okay, you miss. Eleanor? Yeah, I’ll use my throwing stuff against one of the little…okay, you missed as well. So, now we roll for…now, we’ve already rolled for initiative. I’ll run through that just so everybody’s clear, but LA…Little Alien 3 is gone to the big farm and Buzz has sustained a twelve of damage. I know you’re gonna ask so I’ll say well, you could ballpark it as Buzz is pretty strong. That slowed Buzz down just a little bit but not a ton. Oh boy, okay. Oh, so the initiative is Buzz goes first, then Zell, LA2, Lord von Chill, Watta. LA3 would have gone first, then Grenada, then LA1, then Eleanor. Okay, and what does Buzz do? So, you’re all watching and you actually…Buzz had kinda moved into a position where Buzz kinda moved to the opposite end of the room, slowly backing up while this was all happening.
So, Buzz kinda has you all in a…within a cone if you know what I mean, and he raises his arm and he presses a button and it releases what I would call a sonic blast. It’s a blast of noise but it’s so powerful, it is more than just a noise; it has a physical bass-like element to it, and you all roll a saving throw against it. Zell; seven, so that’s…Zell, you sustain ten. Lord von Chill…okay, Lord von Chill only sustains five of damage. Watta; ten of damage. Grenada; five of damage, and Eleanor, five of damage. Oh boy, that is not good. Okay, and now it’s action time. Zell…hold on, hold on. Before we make any moves, could I bring up an idea here as…before we take action? Yeah, we’re in trouble, so…well, we gotta get out of the way of that, out of that sonic blast.
We can’t all be in the cone, so those of us that can do two actions; is any…how many people can do a surge or something or a second action? I know I can, so why don’t those of us that can surge close to…if we can get close and on the side of Buzz, then we’ll be out of the range of that thing ‘cause we’re not gonna last very long. I don’t know how many pulses that arm…sonic arm has. Okay, tell me more. Tell me more, Grenada. Okay, so Zell, you…I know you do have action surge or something like that, so if you…see what you roll. Go after Buzz but not with…I think in hand…we need to go…move. Okay. I could see if I could move after or before my turn, but yeah. I think it’s not that big a room; I could probably do it. It’s part of my action. Lord von Chill, I think the same thing.
Watta, you look like you’re probably in trouble too, so what if you try to move out of the way of…if there’s gonna be another thing? I mean, we still have a round of action so hopefully we’ll defeat this Buzz. But Eleanor and Watta, if you still go after these little green…we still got a couple green people. How does everybody…? Is that okay? We move and we separate and hopefully whoever has the highest HP, maybe you could jump in front of his thing, out of the three of us. Okay, does everybody sound good? I fully…I think…everyone’s nodding. Yeah. Okay, so, let’s see; Zell, twelve plus your bonus, so you…with your…you’re using your sword. You charge Buzz and use your sword. Is that…? Yeah, so I charge Buzz, use my sword, and you do ten of damage.
You slash right across…you open up…some plastic breaks off on Buzz’s control…front control panel. LA2 goes after Lord von Chill but misses. Lord von Chill plus…okay, so yeah, you do eight of damage. Oh wow, yes, I did eight of damage as I charged again. Also, I charged with my axe. Yeah, so you do eight of damage on Buzz. You crack one of Buzz’s shoulder plates and there’s sparks coming out. Watta? I’ll use my shortsword against an alien. Excuse me? Well, I’m sorry that Watta acted…Watta, you got a six. I’m sorry. Grenada, you go after Buzz. You got a eight. Okay, so you did five of damage with your shortsword. It was pretty good, pretty good. I chipped off something or, huh, cracked it. Cracked the helmet, actually, the face plate that Buzz has.
LA1, Little Alien 1 [00:40:00] jumps on Eleanor and gives Eleanor a little cutty-poo. Does three on Eleanor but Eleanor goes back with a sixteen and right after that, that’s the end of LA1. That’s the end of that round. Oh no, it’s not…is it the end of that round? Yeah, so that’s the end of that round. So, LA1 is now gone and LA3 was gone before. Buzz is teetering; Buzz is taking a lot. If you had to guess, you’d say sub ten HP. Zell, it looks like you’re a twelve. Lord von Chill, seventeen. Watta down to four. Grenada, twelve, and Eleanor, eleven. Okay, so we’re up but we should be able to be blocking Buzz from…yes. Can I jump in front of Buzz? Lord von Chill here; my…okay, let’s just…can you…we…can we roll please? I’m just saying when I moved, that’s where I moved, in front of…before, in the past. Okay, I understand.
So, let’s see. So, Buzz again uses the sonic blast but you and Zell are the ones that are on…in front of it. Lord von Chill, you take ten of…you take ten and Zell takes five. Oh dear, that’s not good. Yeah, you take ten…or, yeah, you take ten, Zell takes five. Zell, that’s even worse for you. What are you at, seven? Okay, so then Zell…well, I’m gonna use…I’m gonna take out Buzz. Okay, you got a six. LA2 actually jumps on Zell’s back and does a little slashy of three. Why me? Why me? Because of your location. Lord von Chill, ten plus five, so you do four on Buzz, so Buzz is definitely sparking now. Watta sorts…short…wait a second, why is Watta using…? Watta uses a shortsword, takes…seventeen, takes out LA1.
Grenada; twelve plus…okay, so…five…okay, so Grenada, you sink your shortsword into the opening on Buzz’s control panel and everything sparks. Buzz goes incomplete. Okay, so we’re pretty…oh wow, so Buzz is taken out. Do we find anything valuable? No, you don’t find anything valuable. I mean, some…no. You’re also not sure how loud that was. There was the sonic blast thing, so you probably…you want to probably…I don’t know. Okay, this is Eleanor here; we definitely have to do…I gotta do some healing here, so let’s see. I have…I think I can do six spells because the aid spell…last time I did the aid spell, was that…? Yes, you’re down…you did one aid spell. Okay, so I have…I can do one second-level and four first-level. Okay, let me do some math here.
Okay, so if I cure Watta, I could get…give…so, can I give seven to Watta? So that gets Watta up to eleven. Okay, and that was a first-level spell. Okay. Okay, then…let’s stick with first-level, then. Four…seven more…seven, four…seven, fourteen…so, I have twenty-eight more I can cure out of…oh no, wait; four, three…wait, I have four and I used one, so seven, four, twenty-one. So, why don’t I give seven to Lord von Chill? That’s fourteen. Oh boy, Zell, you definitely…you’re down to four, so seven for Zell. That gets Zell to eleven. Seven for Grenada. That gets Grenada to nineteen, and that’s it with those. Then maybe I could do this one and I could just treat both of you. That gives me fourteen more. So, that would give…I could give Zell up to eighteen and then I guess I gotta do myself, so I’m at eighteen.
So then Grenada’s at seventeen, Lord von Chill’s at fourteen, but that’s it. Wait a second, that…yeah. I don’t know because they’re gonna be coming soon. I think we should just head…do we have any…okay, I just want all of you to know that a steam bot came into the room. It had been watching you and it hands you all some small potions and motions for you to drink. Okay, so we drink those. What happens? You all got about…you’re all at full HP. It was only about…the effects were like, three to five hit points, so you still had to use…you still had to do all that healing, Eleanor. So it was…when it was…that was the max they were gonna…just in the rules; it was the max it was gonna give you anyway. You still…so, everyone’s at full hit points because of Eleanor, with a little bit of extra help from the Steam Genie. Okay.
Grenada, you’re kind of in the lead. Excuse me, I’d like to say something. This is Zell. Go ahead, Zell. What’s going on with Watta? What do you mean? Why haven’t you used any magic? This feels like it’s taking me out of the game because the Dungeon Master’s running a character that’s supposed to be a magic user. We could have used some magic during that encounter. Now I’m like, barely…I was barely hanging on. So, I don’t think I can keep playing. Okay, well, let’s…this is Eleanor. Let’s…can we please stay in character? Can you tell us what you’re feeling and what you…what resolution you want? Well, I’m just feeling like either the DM has created a character that is holding back or a character with conflicts, and I’m not…oh, you’re looking…yeah, please do it in character. Okay, give me a second.
Okay, Zell speaking as Zell; you know, I’m frustrated, Watta, and I’m gonna talk directly to you because you’re a member of our party. I don’t know where your magic’s been but we could have used it back there. I don’t think I can trust you as a member of our party anymore. I don’t trust your motivations because when we needed your magic, you didn’t even try to cast a spell. You just used your shortsword. So, I don’t know what…if you can tell us what’s going on with you, otherwise I would ask that you leave our party. Whoa, whoa, whoa, Lord von Chill here. You can’t just…that’s not…you don’t have the right to throw someone out of our party. Okay, well, why don’t we let Watta explain things and then we’ll go from there?
Okay, this is Watta and yes, I haven’t cast any spells and I don’t appreciate your tone or the way you’re looking at me or you’re speaking to me. I’m a wizard. I’m a member of this party. I’m committed to the cause and I don’t just…I’m not a performer. This isn’t a show and I’m not a busker to perform magic when you command, Zell. We’re a party of adventurers. I don’t work for you like other members of the party. I’m not here…I’m here to further what we need to do, not to follow orders. I’m not a soldier. I don’t even know what else to say. Also, I’m a little bit hurt that you would bring this up.
Okay, this is Eleanor; this is not a good time to be discussing this because those sonic blasts were really loud [00:50:00] and even though we’ve recovered, clearly we haven’t fully recovered and we really have to deal with this ‘cause that Zurg…Grenada said Zurg or whatever, the Emperor was bigger than Buzz. So, I’m trying to figure out if we can go down…we might not even have a chance to scout what we’re up against. They could be waiting for us and now you two are arguing, so here’s the thing; Zell, what do you want exactly? How can we resolve this quickly? Here’s how we can resolve it quickly; either Watta performs some magic right now, like maybe some shield spell for us, or Watta leaves the party. Okay, that’s not realistic though. I realize that’s what you want but this is not the time for that.
I mean, maybe the shield thing; could you do the shield thing? Or Watta, what do you have to say? I refuse to cast a shield spell on command and I don’t understand why you would vote me out of your party because I didn’t cast magic. Either you trust me or you don’t, Zell. It’s not like I’m telling you how to run…we’re supposed to be building consensus and it seems like something…either you could trust me as a member of the party or you can’t. So, I guess you could decide. Yeah, but it’s really tough for me to trust a member of the party that’s not run by the party. Okay, well, is your issue with the Wizard’s Council that I answer to or is your issue that I have…you feel like I have strained allegiances? Because it doesn’t seem like that’s…you didn’t have a issue with it ‘til just now.
Not to…maybe something came up between weeks, so if you’re gonna call me out…okay, whoa, whoa, whoa, this is Eleanor here; no calling everybody out here. Let’s stay in game and let’s get this resolved. I guess I gotta do more healing than I expected this week. So, there’s no…there isn’t gonna be any performing of magic and there’s not gonna be any throwing out of parties right this moment. So, is there another solution, Zell, that you could come up with? Yeah, okay, well if everybody wants to be all consensusy, we vote that…we could vote Watta out of the party for later or we could…okay, I see…let’s vote. Let’s have a vote as a party to have a vote later to vote Watta out of the party after this is resolved, or maybe I’ll just see what happens to Watta in the heat of things out there. Okay. That’s fine.
You have about thirty seconds to explain it. Neither you or Watta can vote so it’ll just be Grenada, Lord von Chill and I voting which again seems a bit…an interesting choice since you’re dating…I mean, not to break character myself but that’s a interesting choice, but fine. So, go ahead with your…okay, we can’t…why do we have a wizard that’s not casting spells? Something’s up with that. Maybe I could get somebody else…another wizard to come in and join our party even though the person we had…so, that’s my vote, is this is…yeah, that’s my vote and maybe if my vote doesn’t go my way, I don’t know if I’ll keep playing. So, you’re saying you’re gonna leave the party if you don’t get your way.
Again, that…maybe you need to think about…okay, we’ll have the vote to have the vote but in between any vote, you need to think about this. I want you to think about it for…I would assign to you, as the healer of this party, I would request that after we get through this, before the next vote, you present to me a…five pages from a journal you’re writing as Watta about how you would imagine Watta feeling if you were Watta and this situation came up. I vote to keep Watta in the party, by the way. Grenada of Darmok here. I vote to have a vote later to vote…to have a choice to vote out or in Watta. Okay, Lord von Chill, it’s one-one, so your vote.
This is ludicrous and I know this is gonna bring great displeasure with Zell, but…well, wait a second, you can’t vote different…you can’t have your two…you can’t play two characters and have them vote differently. I, as Lord von Chill, vote to keep Watta in our party and to take a leap of faith and see how things go. Okay, this is the DM; you have to make…this is the DM; you gotta…I’m gonna have to roll some dice here if things don’t change. Okay, well, I lost the vote. That’s fine. I guess we gotta keep moving, so what are we gonna do? Well, I was originally leading…Grenada of Darmok here, so I’ll…what if I scout ahead and try to look around the bend? Now, there could be a risk there but I could roll for stealth and see if I could stealthily…at least see if they’re…if they’re lying in wait for us, then we’ll be prepared and we could flush them out or something.
Okay, that sounds good. Okay, so you successfully crawl down the hall again, like you did before, look around the corner again, and you see that they’re waiting for you but…so you see the claw and you also see Zurg is kinda paying attention but Zurg and a couple of the little green people are working on the claw. It looks like it’s close…it keeps shaking and shuddering, so their attention is divided. Actually, you sit there and listen and you hear Zurg saying hurry up, hurry up, we could use the claw against them if we get it operational and then we could use it to get into the steam and take out the steam people. So, pick up the pace. Maybe Buzz took them out already but we have to be ready in case some of the steam bots or something come. Okay, so that’s good; they’re not expecting us. They don’t know about us.
That makes…they don’t know anything about us, so they’re expecting some steam beings. So, would we be able to have a surprise in there? No, the room that Buzz is…or that the Emperor’s in…the Emperor is in the back-left corner as you look down. It’s a track for the ride vehicle to go down. At the top-left corner is the Zurg and some sort of UFO, the Emperor. Above that is a claw and it looks like there’s three little aliens working on the claw and then two kinda standing as lookouts near the base of the hills that supposedly the Emperor’s flying above but those are just wooden things. So, it would be…it’d start out probably as a ranged encounter. Okay, so I report that back to the party, and are we ready? I think we’re all ready, yeah. Okay, well don’t say it like that. Eleanor, are you ready? I’m ready.
Grenada of Darmok, are you ready? I am ready. Lord von Chill, are you ready? I am ready. Zell, are you ready? Yeah, I said I’m ready. Emwatta, are you ready? I’m ready. Okay, so we go in and we roll, and what happens? Okay, so as you rush into the room, I’m assuming you’re all starting ranged and moving in closer? Yes, yes. Okay, so as far the initiative goes, it’s gonna go LA4, the Emperor, LA2, Lord von Chill, Zell, Eleanor, Grenada, LA1, Emwatta, LA5, and then LA3. Okay, so we rush into the room, ready for a range…at least the first round ranged, everybody? [01:00:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, so we do it and what happens? Okay, so it was LA3, 4, and 5 that were working on the claw. LA4 seems to be the fastest; jumps down and tries…it gets you…it trips on the way. Okay.
Zurg, the Emperor, you feel the…you feel the whole ground shake and then out of the UFO comes a projectile, a giant one, and it hits the ground in front of you and splashes A-C-I-D up on you. Let’s see, what do we got? Lord von Chill takes five, Zell takes ten, Eleanor takes five, Grenada takes five, Emwatta takes five. Okay, this is exactly what happened last time, though. Well, a little bit different; it’s like a…it’s a missile, an acid-splash missile. Okay, well, still…okay. Okay, then LA2 goes after Eleanor; misses. Lord von Chill got a three. Zell, you got a three. Eleanor; seventeen. You were…yeah, I was aiming for the Emperor. Okay, so you get five of…on the Emperor. Grenada; sixteen. Yeah, I’m also on the Emperor. Okay, six on the Emperor.
LA1 actually lands on Lord von Chill; like, somehow jumps up, lands on Lord von Chill, does twenty…six on Lord von Chill. That’s terrible. Emwatta starts to whisper the words of something and then sprinkles and twists and then a thunderwave comes out of the arms of Emwatta and doesn’t get to…let’s see, it takes out…doesn’t get…doesn’t…the wave does not reach Zurg but it does instantly…wow, it just…LA4, all…just falls to the ground. LA2; same thing. LA1; gone. LA5; gone, and LA3, gone. Is that all of them? All of them…all of the little aliens are now no longer operational after that spell by Emwatta. Emwatta narrows Emwatta’s eyes and looks at Zell, and then blows imaginary smoke off of her fingertips. That’s the end of that round. So, at the end of that round…so, Zurg is…or the Emperor’s still very functional.
Lord von Chill, you’re…you’ve been cut in half. Zell also. Wait a second, Zell took…I guess, yeah, Zell took…Zell, you’re pretty much cut in half, too. Eleanor, Grenada, and Watta, you’re down to all five but that means that Zell or Watta probably can’t handle another full acid splash. Okay, do we have any idea how long…? Is there anything we could observe? It does look like the Emperor’s having to reload the acid-splash missile, so you may have a round of time. Well, that’s good. So, we have to do it this time. Okay, so what’s the order now? The Emperor goes first? Yeah, the Emperor goes first and shoots out three small darts; one goes to Eleanor, lands…hits Eleanor, does a three. One hits Grenada, does three, and the other one misses Watta. Lord von Chill, you get a ten, so you…wow, you do nine on Zurg.
Zell misses. Eleanor; nineteen. So, six of damage on Zurg. Grenada; eleven plus five, so six of damage on Zurg. Watta casts thunderwave again and does ten of…right on Zurg with ten. Shakes the foundation of Zurg. So that means Zurg is definitely looking a lot weaker this round. Lord von Chill, you’re down to eleven. Zell; nine. Eleanor; eleven. Grenada; ten. Watta; nine. Oh goodness, so that means those acids could do up to ten, five or ten of damage. Okay, and oh no, Zurg gets to go first. Zurg launches another acid-splash missile. Wait a second, could we rush Zurg or can we do that? You kinda started talking before we had a chance to slow-mo…build consensus. Sure, so all of you rush…no, all of us that have above ten hit points rush Zurg. Sorry, I’m speaking…Lord von Chill took over again, I guess. Yeah, typical.
Okay, well, it’s typical that…so, Lord von Chill, Eleanor, and Grenada. Sorry Grenada, ‘cause I know you only have ten, but we rush. Okay, well, it didn’t matter because…what…sorry, I’m just running some numbers here. So, the Emperor shoots it up into the ceiling and it hits the ceiling and splashes down on all of you. But let’s see, rolls-wise, Lord von Chill, you take nine. Zell takes five. Eleanor; five. Grenada; five, and Watta, we don’t know. Watta’s out cold. Totally prone after getting hit with part of the splash. Oh no, but we don’t…we can’t pause now. Actually, we have no…nothing we could do except move forward. Okay, so we roll…so we’re going after Zurg though, or the Emperor. Yeah, so Lord von Chill, seven…twelve plus five; seventeen. So, you do nine on Zurg. Yeah, you really…you get Zurg good.
Oh yes, I did. Zell; one. Thanks. Eleanor; nineteen, and that’s it. Eleanor lands right in the center of Zurg. Zurg falls out of the UFO onto the ground and short-circuits. Okay, this is Grenada of Darmok here. I think before we search or anything, can we…would it be okay to lift…? I found a storage room on my last…last time, on the last adventure. I know we can get in there. I think we should just…for the time being, abandon things. We don’t have any healing. We don’t have any healing potions. I think we pick up Watta, carry Watta. If we can do that, I mean, stabilize Watta and then take Watta and lock ourselves in the storage room, is that…is everyone in agreement? Yeah, yeah, that sounds good. Okay, so you…okay, you successfully stabilize Watta.
You say okay, Watta’s kinda…Watta’s stabilized but not awake. But you’re able to create a little thing ‘cause there’s so much paneling and stuff. You easily create a carrier. You carry Watta back down the hall. At this point I’ll just tell you that any little aliens that see you are gonna freeze and they won’t engage unless engaged. You get the door open, you open this door that was kinda hidden. Like, it’s a door to a control room that now kinda smells like wet carpet. It’s actually the control room for both this attraction and the steam attraction. But basically it’s a lot…big enough that you can all lie down and rest. There’s only [01:10:00] the one door, so you can secure the door from the inside. You successfully all start to rest. I think that’s a good place to rest and to think about things and write journals from the perspective of other characters to see what…I mean, this is just a break for the week. We’ll just break right here and see where things take us. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]
- The Baffler
Notable Talking Points:
- Baffle Chat
- An emotional, subtextual argument that Scooter crafted for five days
- Stabilizing Watta
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Hi, you can call me Scooter.
Drew Ackerman is the creator and host of Sleep With Me, the one-of-a-kind bedtime story podcast featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, and Dr. Oz. Created in 2013, Sleep With Me combines the pain of insomnia with the relief of laughing and turns it into a unique storytelling podcast. Through Sleep With Me, Drew has dedicated himself to help those who feel alone in the deep dark night and just need someone to tell them a bedtime story.