Talks Machina Highlights - Liam’s Quest Part 2
  • This week’s Denise message: “If you were at Wondercon I was right beside you the whole time.”
  • No Talks Machina next week! Brian and Ashley will be on vacation. Marisha hints that there might be “a thing” in place of the show next week.
  • Advance heads-up on the new Vox Machina shirt! Info for buying will be on Thursday.
  • Little segment filmed at WonderCon where Brian quizzed CR cosplayers with a variety of trivia questions, including, of course, “What is Scanlan’s mother’s name?”
  • Travis abandoned the party four times in this episode. (everyone starts singing “True Colors”) The word “sausage” was uttered seven times, and the word “spaghetti” five times. 
  • Brian brings a picture of himself as a teenager to make everyone feel better about their own pictures that’ve been circulating since the episode. Travis: “Is that sharpie on your chin?”
  • Liam started planning this game before Stranger Things came out, so it was a bit more inspired by “It”.
  • A long time ago, Liam sent pictures of himself as a teenager to everyone in the text thread and they all responded by sending their own childhood/teen pictures back to him, but he couldn’t find that thread when he was setting up the oneshot. He had excellent one-line notes he sent to the artist for each of them.
  • Travis: “I might’ve tried to fight something, but I had no weapons. I had an inhaler.”
  • Liam: “I felt like I balanced it really well with a party of level ones and a demogorgon.”
  • The oldest kids in the game were the youngest IRL; it was just a switch.
  • Brian asks how intimidating it was to have Matt as a player. “Answer your question as though he weren’t sitting to my left in pajama pants.”
  • Kid!Liam was the dead body under the tree. The old man was also Liam. The idea was that Liam kept trying to be there with them through the dimensional shift, but there was already one Liam in that particular time, so squish.
  • One of the few places where there could’ve been a big divergence in the plot was if they’d managed to sneak up on old man Liam–he would’ve traveled with them.
  • Liam to Marisha: “Oldest or youngest, you’re still the toughest motherfucker in this group.”
  • Travis running away throughout the episode was true to life: he ran out of The Neverending Story, Jurassic Park, wouldn’t ride roller coasters, and didn’t see an R-rated movie until he was like 15. Marisha mentions that his reactions at Horror Nights are worth the price of admission.
  • Everyone got to pick their classes for the oneshot. Ashley picked rogue because it felt like what she would’ve been like IRL. Liam: “But you surprised us all and smeared yourself in blood and gore and screamed at the devil.” Everyone agrees that there may have been a multiclass there.
  • Unexpected things on Liam’s end: wasn’t expecting Ashley to be as metal as she was. Wasn’t expecting all the bowing to Satan. He wants to keep some of it ambiguous, but the group didn’t behave exactly the way he thought they would at the end. 
  • The crew was in on the last five seconds, but the lead-up defined what those last five seconds would mean. He’d thought about continuing the metaverse thing indefinitely, but with the way it wound up ending, he thought it was a pretty satisfying finale.
  • Marisha: “I’m an utter dumbass–” Ashley: “No, you’re not!” Long pause. Marisha, turning to Travis: “I’m an utter dumbass–” Travis: “Yes, you are.”
  • Ashley and her best friend put a full bottle of dish soap in the fountain outside the courthouse in Burbank. It bubbled up way more than they expected and was on the news. That was the tamest story she could tell from her teenage years.
  • Liam randomly selected which of them would die first in the demogorgon fight.
  • Brian asks Matt whether experiencing a TPK as a character made him less inclined to possibly cause a TPK with the main campaign. Matt, offscreen: “No.”
  • Marisha has a new tattoo on her wrist that’s the death saving throws indicator from the 5e character sheets.
  • Liam describing Marisha’s reaction to being squished: “It was like seven stages of grief… and then the bird over and over again.”
  • Liam got ideas from Neil Druckmann for specific lines to use to mess with Ashley.
  • It was a little over 20 minutes total of the speak-and-spell voice. Liam knew going in that Travis in particular would just lose it, which made it easier to slip in the more intense stuff. He’d had a lingering cough for a few weeks and was worried he wouldn’t be able to do the voice because he knew the scene wouldn’t quite have the same sort of tragicomic punch without it.
  • The crew was cued in on the phrase “Are you guys ready to play?” at the end.
  • Everyone agrees that they would’ve been good friends had they met as kids.
  • Liam on advice for new DMs who are nervous about trying something really off-the-wall. “If you’re scared of something, that’s what you should be moving towards.” Liam missed a window to say something to someone he lost last year, and so this game was his chance to come right out and say what he wanted to say most to these people.
  • Brian talks about Critical Role has always been about choosing your own family, and how that really shone through in the one-shot. “It was brilliant storytelling and execution… and executions.”

Talks Machine in the dark:

  • Liam first did the speak-and-spell voice when he was eight or nine years old. His son can do it, too. Travis tries to do it and goes a little Wookie instead.
  • As a ranger, Travis would have an otter companion because he loves otters so much. Everyone immediately reenacts the cute otter videos they’ve seen.
  • A Youtube ad for cheese dippers starts playing on the screen with the fireplace. Chaos ensues.
  • Marisha has a lot of dreams of the cast getting caught in a tsunami or a flood. Liam and Ashley have both dreamt of the cast just playing D&D.
  • At the next charity stream, Brian will let the cast decide what he should wear for an episode of Talks Machina.
  • Liam on Sam vs. Matt’s respective Vicious Mockeries: “Sam’s are more dopey zingers, and Matt’s… made me really feel bad.”
  • Everyone likes pineapple on pizza except for Marisha and Brian.
  • In terms of fighting classic horror-genre movie baddies, Ashley and Liam want to fight Xenomorphs, Travis wants to fight Freddy, Marisha wants to fight It.

So of the 9 people in the party, my halfling gunslinger was the only one to survive a TPK, with one hit point, after the DM failed to hit her with over ten consecutive rolls. I don’t even know what dice gods I pleased for this to happen. Iri will now live out her days having written a best selling book about the adventure with her demi-God boyfriend and eventually husband. What a campaign lmao!