Dec 15

The Campaigns: Made Men – Episode 4 – Where things go wrong

Hello All,

Here is Episode 4 of our D&D Next Playtest campaign. This was an interesting episode to go back and listen too and edit.  By this point we had been playing for several hours and despite the fact that we were having a lot of fun with the game, I can tell people were getting tired. Side conversations kept popping up and we were getting easily distracted. I edited out as much of that as I could, which may cause for some strange, choppy cuts. There are a few things I wanted to comment on, about the game, though.

*************SPOILERS*************** I suggest listening to the podcast before you read this!!***********************

1. This was originaly designed to be a one-shot. As such, I gave each of the Pc’s some secrets that related to other PC’s or NPCs that might cause conflict. As the game progressed I tried to get these to start to come out and kept pushing the action as new thing after new thing kept happening.

2. There were *A LOT* of notes being passed from the Players to me. Mostly because of those secrets. I tried to cut out a lot of the dead air that these notes created, but from an in-game persepective they were very effective and helping keep the game moving, just not good for listening.

3. One of Yomi’s secrets is that he had hired Stannis to get the drugs that he never paid for. Yomi is a Rexan Addict and wanted to keep it from the other PC’s (you may recall that Yomi was trying to be insistent that he could handle the Stannis situation – now you know why!)

4. Yomi’s other secret is that he is also sleeping with Grexi’s girlfriend Alishia.  Niko as a player knew this, but supposedly Grexil does not (Actually though, Grexil does know. One of his secrets is that he is actually working for a rival gang: The Silent Sisters and Alishia is his contact. To keep up his ‘too dumb to worry about status’ Alisha and he worked out an arrangement where she slept with Yomi to make him look clueless).

5. As I’ve mentioned before: no matter how much planning you do, the Players will always do something you don’t expect. I never would have guessed that the Players would have decided to open the box of Rexan they had picked up. I guess as a DM I was trying to push the action as the game drew long – the Players were doing the same.

6. A lot of notes were being passed during that scene, because both Grexil and Yomi were taking baggies of drugs without letting anyone one else notice – this casued some confusion in and out of game later – but was awesome!

7. The Shaugin encounter was supposed to be the second fight of the session, but because the Players decided to avoid it, I allowed them too. I wanted another fight just to try out the mechanic’s but the character’s actions were so much more fitting I thought it worked out best (Yomi especially!)

8. My biggest mistake in this session was glossing over the Shaugin attack. Again, trying to push the action I wanted to get to the Princesses murder – which was one of the key-stone events. I wanted to make that such a big-deal  by making the Shaugin attack so minor in comparison, but listening back the Players didn’t see it that way and I should have handled it better (if I knew we were going to keep playing I would have waited a few ‘days’ before that murder happened.

9. At several points during this episode there was some weird ambient noise. Sounded like we were moving the microphones a lot. I did my best to cut it out, but there are times when the conversation couldn’t be skipped. Sorry about that!!


I hope you continue to listen. We have one episode left from the original one-shot sessions and then we continue the game in our regular bi-weekly sessions. The group is still having a blast with the game and many of the secrets are being revealed and keeping the players on their toes. I have a couple big-reveals coming up with Gradon, Zaine’s handler that will hopefully propel the game into new territory.


As always, thanks for listening and comments and feedback are always welcome.

Michael – AKA Mumbles


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    • Jonathon on June 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    • Reply

    Hello all-

    Started listening to this episode and it sounded like the end of the previous one. Sure enough, there was roughly a 5:30 minute overlap.

    While I was walking today, I thought about after the intro, instead of the overlap, you could have a recap of the last episode, and as an outro, you could have a “what will the adventurers do” statement.

    Michael is still doing a good job describing, but I was kind of confused when he said that the box was dropped 30ft from the dock and had to rewind several times to figure out this corn syrup Black Sea situation; did not know if it was a new system of water or just part of the sea that was all thick.

    Playing a low-int character is fun, but it heard like Niko was drawing out Grexil’s stupidity a bit too long; you can hear the frustration of the other players.

    Once I figured out the Black Sea and the attack was on… OMG… Did I just relive the 1980’s movie, “Humanoids from the Deep”? LOL Awesome!!! The sea creatures want our women!!!


    Even though you did call the black creatures coming from the water fishmen, Shaugin did not come to mind. I just thought that they were creatures created from the black goop in the water. Future reference for the listener is to just call them out what they really are.

    I noticed those weird ambient noises and thought they were either someone turning on a garbage disposal or sucking out the last of their drink through a straw.

    Actually putting in a spoiler section at the end is a great idea for those who did not figure it out and know what is going on. Now that we know what is going on, you can see it in future podcasts. It is kind of like the Star Wars movies… You watched episode 4, 5, 6, and now you watch 1, 2, 3, and you can see “who is who” and “what is where”.



    1. Jonathon,
      We’ve been constantly tinkering with the podcasts. One of my fears is that someone who is listening as they go and has to wait two weeks in between sessions might not remember exactly where things were. For that reason I started doing a bit of overlap to help a listener remember what was going on before it gets to the new stuff. I still do this but it’s now around a minute or two overlap. I also do ‘live’ introductions now where I record myself briefly recapping the last episode and then introducing the new episode for that reason as well.

      Most games we play last 3-4 hours. At the beginning of each game I will do a recap of the game before, but we sometimes get 2,3 or 4 episodes from each session so all i’m doing is trying to find an acceptable stopping point at around an hour for each episode to break at. I think the overlap and now, especially, the intro’s, are helping with that.

      As always,
      So glad you’re enjoying them. Please keep the comments coming.


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