EN World's Critical Role Roundup 006: Be the Chaos You Want to See in the World
  • EN World's Critical Role Roundup 006: Be the Chaos You Want to See in the World


    You've heard of flying carpets, but what about a fighting carpet? A rug ruckus, botched plans and worse rolls, multiple heists, and an explosive twist ramp up the action as Critical Role goes Coen Brothers!


    Episode Recap
    The Mighty Nein make their final plans to set the document forgery/heist plot in motion. As Caleb helpfully summarizes, the goal is to "tie Sutan to the Myriad, tie the High Richter to the Knights of Requital, and tie Sutan and the High Richter to each other." The plan: steal Lord Sutan's official seal from his house and plant incriminating forged letters from the High Richter, then plant letters to frame the High Richter in her house.

    The group splits up to do recon. Beau and Jester successfully case Sutan's house. The others go to the Guided Hand Infirmary, the medical practice Sutan stole from Dolan and Horus and gave to his own son. They hope to determine whether the son is corrupt, and also to try to find any helpful documents or handwriting samples.


    When you cause the DM make that face.

    Hijinx ensue at the clinic as the plan goes awry immediately. They end up fleeing the building -- Nott and Caleb are briefly pursued by Crownsguards, and Molly has to crash through a window to escape. They gain nothing from the experience, but it was highly entertaining.

    The next night is the pre-harvest festival gala for the city's wealthy set in the Tri-Spires. This event will get Lord Sutan and the High Richter out of their homes for the evening, so the heists can commence.

    Jester, Beau, Nott, Caleb, and Ulag break into Sutan's house first. They battle a surprisingly effective fighting carpet, which manages to render both Nott and Beau unconscious before being destroyed. The seal is found and the evidence planted. Nott fails to disarm the trap on the box the seal was kept in, so she is paralyzed for an hour.


    Sam held Nott's paralysis pose for 12 straight minutes onscreen!

    They escape Sutan's house with some difficulty, then head to the High Richter's house to complete the plan. Jester and Fjord impersonate the High Richter and one of her guards to enter her house while Nott, Caleb, and Ulag go over the wall and break in through the back door.
    After a whole game of mostly very low rolls, Fjord rolls a natural 20 on an Investigation check, locating and deactivating a trap. They go upstairs to the High Richter's bedroom, where Jester rolls another natural 20 and finds a copy of The Courting of the Crick under her mattress with a bookmark in it. They also find documents which prove the High Richter knew Ulag's wife was innocent, but sent her to prison anyway because she wanted to portray dwarves as violent and evil. Ulag is naturally furious, but glad to find this evidence.

    Caleb tries to swipe a spell scroll case they find, and Fjord strenuously objects since they are trying not to leave evidence of any break-in. Fjord summons his falchion and threatens Caleb with it, so Nott pulls her crossbow on Fjord, who gets ready to summon Eldritch Blast.
    Just then, the High Richter returns home and catches everyone in the house except Beau and Molly, who stayed outside as lookouts and rolled a series of lousy Perception checks. The High Richter gloats, boasting that she is going to send them all to prison or have them executed. Jester attempts Hold Person, which fails after a natural 20 saving throw. Ulag leaps onto the evil High Richter and slams a charge from a Necklace of Fireballs into her mouth, incinerating both of them. Caleb is too close to the fireball and is knocked unconscious.

    Outside, Molly and Beau see the explosion, then notice a high-pitched whining sound. They look toward the towering Zauberspire and see a spherical mass of black energy expanding through the side of the tower. The mass disappears, leaving a massive hole in the tower, which begins to crumble. Two figures leap out of the tower. Blue magical energy coalesces to hold it up, and two extremely powerful mages fly down from the top of the tower and begin casting bolts of energy in the direction of the figures who ran out, killing one of them. What is happening?


    When the DM causes the whole party make that face.

    Fjord revives Caleb with a healing potion. The windows blew out with the explosion and the house is on fire, so everyone escapes. Nott quickly pilfers the spell scroll Caleb wanted on her way out.

    Chaos erupts in the streets as the gala attendees run for their lives. The Mighty Nein slip into the sewer, where they encounter a figure wearing chitinous armor, like the drow's armor in The Courting of the Crick. He is holding a mysterious, gray, 12-sided device with handles. He speaks to them in Undercommon. None of them speak it, so Caleb begins to cast Comprehend Languages as the mysterious armored figure attacks. Cliffhanger!

    I've highlighted some of my favorite bits from the episode below. Which parts did you like best?

    Play of the Game
    Ulag's kamikaze strike, which kicked off a shocking and thrilling sequence of events.

    Quote of the Week
    "There's a meta-gaming pigeon."

    Unsolved Mysteries
    The plot kicked into high gear this week, so we didn't delve further into anyone's mysterious backstories. Instead, we can spend the week speculating on what the heck is going on with the attack on the tower, which is a more pressing concern.

    Character Notes
    I love Nott's habit of ending every Message spell with, "You can respond to this message."

    The brief standoff between Caleb, Fjord, and Nott in the High Richter's bedroom quickly got back-burnered by everything exploding, but they have some serious issues to resolve.

    This episode marked the second time a party member pretended to have a horrifying STD as part of some scheme. To be fair, claiming you have extreme syphilis is an attention-getter. Molly's attempt to fake it with scrambled egg-based makeup ultimately was unnecessary, but it shows real commitment to his mission of distraction.

    Context-Free Comedy
    "He took an hour to cosplay his d***!"

    contributed by Annie Bulloch
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Celebrim's Avatar
      Celebrim -
      Players will be players. Unnecessarily complex plans undertaken with insufficient intelligence and with vastly too many points of failure.

      No DM has not seen this before.
    1. Annie Bulloch's Avatar
      Annie Bulloch -
      Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
      No DM has not seen this before.
      Oh, definitely. Creating convoluted plans that don’t work out well is one of the hallmarks of the game! It’s a real challenge for the DM: maintain your poker face, try to follow their logic so you know what’s happening in your game, and attempt to think of everything you’ll need to do to facilitate their attempts.
    1. Istbor -
      Man... I really have to start watching these myself! Your summaries are excellent and leave me wanting more!

      Damn my lazy bones.

      I agree with the above. Players and complex plans are just to be expected. Especially when the DM has already thought up and expected a really simple solution. While I love the chaos that typically ensues I love even more when some half-baked crazy plan actually works without a hitch.
    1. Annie Bulloch's Avatar
      Annie Bulloch -
      Quote Originally Posted by Istbor View Post
      Man... I really have to start watching these myself! Your summaries are excellent and leave me wanting more!

      Damn my lazy bones.
      I’m glad! If it helps, each episode gets released in podcast form the Thursday after it airs. I know a lot of people who keep up with it that way, listening while they commute, etc.
    1. Sir KnightBJ's Avatar
      Sir KnightBJ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Annie Bulloch View Post
      I’m glad! If it helps, each episode gets released in podcast form the Thursday after it airs. I know a lot of people who keep up with it that way, listening while they commute, etc.
      I've been trying to get my GM to watch it for over a year.. maybe since it's a new campaign and is in podcast form, he might finally check it out!
    1. Annie Bulloch's Avatar
      Annie Bulloch -
      The podcasts make it easy to catch up. They’re trimmed down to just the gameplay, so you skip the announcements, breaks, and so forth. I know a bunch of people who jumped in with the new campaign and keep current with the podcasts.
    1. SMHWorlds's Avatar
      SMHWorlds -
      Love the summary. I do not always catch the whole episode, so this fills in gaps.
    1. MarkB's Avatar
      MarkB -
      Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
      Players will be players. Unnecessarily complex plans undertaken with insufficient intelligence and with vastly too many points of failure.

      No DM has not seen this before.
      The trick is to go through each step of the plan and think "will this be resolved with a single die roll?" With the swinginess of the d20, once your plan relies on more than a handful of skill checks, it's statistically near-certain that one of them will fail. So at each point you need to try and find a way to use a spell or ability for auto-success, or at least to be assured of having advantage on the check.

      And then you'll come up against all the things that you didn't think of or know about but your DM did, and it'll all go pear-shaped anyway
    1. Annie Bulloch's Avatar
      Annie Bulloch -
      Quote Originally Posted by MarkB View Post
      And then you'll come up against all the things that you didn't think of or know about but your DM did, and it'll all go pear-shaped anyway
      Yup. Sometimes you do a bunch of risky skill checks because you forgot you have Mage Hand!

      I didn't get into it in the recap, but they almost forgot to pick up Ulag. Things might have gone very differently if they hadn't remembered at the very last minute and sent Jester to go pick him up. Their plan had so many moving parts that they almost botched a huge element right there. But that happens to most parties eventually!
    1. MarkB's Avatar
      MarkB -
      What I've seen most often is that the party will discuss and discard so many plans that when they finally pick one, they get muddled up. Halfway through the infiltration, you realise that players 1 through 3 are doing Plan F, players 4 and 5 are doing Plan G, and player 6 wasn't paying attention and is just going along with it all.

      I love that the history-smut book turned out to be valuable research after all. Favourite line of the episode: "It was edubation!"
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