Let’s say that, hypothetically, an unnamed Person in… Oh, I don’t know, the RPGideas family was writing a podcast. Where would one recommend she try to find voice actors knowing she has a budget of 0 and no expectation of making money on the project?
How it started, why it ended, and what to expect from the reboot
Over the past month the followers of this blog have quadrupled (wow) and many of you are asking “why did you end Thermohalia?”. Since I deleted the thermohalia tumblr a while back, a lot of those explanatory posts have been lost, so I figured I give everyone more context about what happened. Here we go!
For those who are new to the sortinghatchats system, our basics post is here. But to sum it up: the way we play this game, your “primary” house is WHY you do things and your “secondary” house is HOW.
We just really like defining our terms, okay. It makes us happy.
Lito is probably the easiest of the lot to sort– a Slytherin Primary and Slytherin Secondary who uses both these aspects of himself to survive, thrive, and find joy. As a Slytherin Primary, his first priorities are himself and the people he loves– a short list that tentatively grows over the course of the series. Lito’s journey is, among other things, the story of a young Slytherin coming into his own as a responsible agent. Lito wants things, selfishly and emotionally– he loves in the same way.
It is not Dani or the horror of her situation that drive Lito to make his decisions at the end of season one, but Hernando’s leaving. Dani’s situation threw Lito into angst and chaos, but he stood by his priorities– his career, his privacy, and his comfortable life. Hernando, both braver and then fonder of Dani than Lito, was the catalyst that pushes Lito to overthrow his entire world to be brave.
(By season two, however, Dani is solidly in Lito’s deepest circles of loyalty. She’s family, then, and if the plot of season one repeated somehow, it would go rather different.)
Lito’s Slytherin secondary is also fairly obvious, as he’s the sensate called on whenever someone needs a lie, a distraction, or a bit of help with overdramatics. His acting is not just a job and a skill, but something he finds deep joy, validation, and power in. It’s an important part of his personality– his ability to shift, perform, and transform.
Hernando, Lito’s boyfriend, is a Ravenclaw Primary, a contrast which causes both conflict and growth in their relationship. Deliberate, confident, kind, and cerebral, Hernando provides both practical ballast and a call to bravery for Lito– in turn, Lito’s passion, ambition, and flexibility make Hernando’s life a better, brighter place. But when it came down to a choice between staying with the man he loved, or refusing to be complicit, however indirectly, in terrible things, Hernando chose to walk away– and Lito, bless his heart, chose to follow.
(I would also acquiesce rather quickly to claims that Hernando is actually just a very “smart-flavored” Gryffindor).
Hernando loves Lito’s playful Slytherin Secondary, though his is a little quieter– a Hufflepuff Secondary. He loves Lito by waiting for him, by showing up and being present and waiting for him to be brave. He eventually acts as catalyst to change his and Lito’s world not by convincing, persuading, discussing, or charging at the issue but by simply walking away. Hufflepuff secondaries are often overlooked but often form the backbone or bedrock of whatever communities or efforts they support. By leaving, Hernando yanks the rug out from under Lito’s feet and forces him to learn how to stand.
Look also at how he pulls off the scene when his asshole student projects the pictures of him and Lito. He takes in the attack, and then with a patient confidence uses all his knowledge and skill as an academic and a lecturer to reclaim and transform the moment. He turns something meant to shame him into a moment of pride and beauty, while calmly forcing the attacker to shrink in shame of his own making. In spaces that Hernando has embodied and built– his home and relationship, his classroom– he can wield an immense and debilitating power, underestimated by those who expect strength to be something more straightforward and aggressive.
Dani is a Slytherin Primary as well, though I dither about her secondary– either Hufflepuff or Slytherin. Whichever one she doesn’t have, she occasionally pretends she does. I think she’s a Hufflepuff secondary (look at how she gets Lito the interview in Hollywood), but with a convincing veneer of Slytherin. She’s the “well I know a guy” version of the Hufflepuff secondary– at her happiest she is thriving and succeeding using the connections and knowhow she’s gathered, all in the service of people she loves.
Wolfgang is another Slytherin Primary– unlike Lito, who had to recalibrate to lift Hernando’s needs (and Dani’s) above his own ambitions, Wolfy is more likely to need to remember to value his own needs and wants. In some ways, he’s got a parallel arc with Kala, there, as she too goes on a journey to accept that she wants and that sometimes she can have and that doesn’t make her evil.
When we meet Wolfy, the only person he cares about is Felix, his scrappy, loyal best friend who I like to imagine one day gets to meet Capheus and watch terrible B action movies with him. Wolfy’s Slytherin primary is fairly obvious to any character with eyes, ears, or a brain stem, and so various plots around him turn on that loyalty– hurting Felix to punish Wolfy, rewarding him to court Wolfy. It’s a character role more often given to the sweet beloved and it’s rather delightful to see that dynamic play out with the gangly, startled Felix, who doesn’t understand how important he is.
Wolfy’s secondary is Hufflepuff– the house of patience and toil. A deliberate and reserved fellow, Wolfy just keeps going until he either breaks or succeeds. One of the assets being a sensate provides him is that he can borrow others’ flexibilities (or, rather, have those flexibilities anxiously thrust at him, when he seems on the verge of breaking). He and Lito serve each other especially well in this respect, with Lito stepping in to lie and maneuver when a flexible hand is needed, and Wolfy stepping in for Lito when he needs to stand in front of an oncoming force and refuse to budge, bow, or back away.
Kala, a Ravenclaw secondary, complements as opposed to supplements Wolfy’s secondary skills. When Wolfy’s resources and opportunities run low during his methodical murder of the men who almost killed Felix in season one’s climax, Kala steps in to provide additional destructive ballast in the form of kitchen sink explosives. Where Wolfy is terminator-level stubborn, carrying a host of earned skills and some terrifying patience to the battleground, Kala is prepared, inquisitive, and quick-thinking. As they both came into their own, and as they learned to lean on each other and trade strengths and skills, I think the pair of them would have turned into an even more terrifying duo of persistence predators.
Kala’s a Gryffindor Primary who’s interacted with very few real dilemmas in her life. She feels things strongly and with certainty, despite her lingering doubts about her ability to be a good person and to know wrong from right. It’s that strong desire to be good, to know what the right thing is and to do it, that marks her as a Gryffindor. She’s someone who cares about being passionate, righteous, and good, but she’s never had an enemy force to charge or a thorny path to defy. She’s always known what the sensible next step was– love her family, go to university, marry the nice man who loves her– but as she grows older she can tell there’s something missing. She keeps doing the “right” things, but she doesn’t care, and she wants so badly to care.
She worries she’s “bad,” maybe even just amoral, but the fact that this upsets her contradicts her worries– as does the fact that, when moral quandaries she does care about thump down at her feet, she reacts with immediate moral certainty. When she learns about the unethical activities of Rajan’s pharmaceutical company, her response is instant and righteous. It is wrong, she knows it, and she won’t stand for it. When shit hits the fan, Kala doesn’t dither or hesitate.
Despite that, much of her first season of story arc is Kala doing just that– dithering and hesitating over questions of love, fidelity, and marriage. She knows what’s supposed to happen, what she’s supposed to want, and she sits for most of the season in the middle of that quandary. On first glance, Kala can even look like a “burned” Gryffindor: someone who cares deeply about doing the right thing, but has lost their faith in their own intuition or goodness– or even in the idea of right and wrong itself.
But Kala’s not “burned” or frightened– rather, she’s just sort of morally bored.
Doing what is right and good matters to her, and Kala is passionate and unflinching when it comes to those big questions– and marrying and loving Rajan should be one of those big questions. The thing is– it’s not. Not for Kala, and so she’s left in a tremulous in-between where she can’t rely on her gut, instincts, or desires to drive her to action.
Kala has never really wanted anything before. She’s never had big, important decisions thrown at her feet, and she’s intellectually certain this marriage thing should probably be a big deal. But no matter how she struggles to care about this and make a decision that comes from the heart, she can’t force it on herself. The inability to care here and to act intuitively makes her feel adrift and insincere. It’s not just that she’s not passionate about marrying Rajan– she’s not even passionate about not marrying him. It’s all a wash. Adultery, psychic or otherwise, is something that Kala vaguely thinks she should care about– but she doesn’t.
(Rajan, like Wolfy and Dani, is a Slytherin/Hufflepuff– he cares first and foremost about the people he loves, and he’s even fairly good at it, caring for Kala warmly and respectfully.
Like Lito, Dani, and Wolfy, Rajan’s a Slytherin primary who hasn’t really bothered supplementing his “me and mine” morality with some sort of additional, larger set of guidelines. He wants to be okay, he wants Kala to be okay, and he likes to be nice. His quick and actual turn-around on the malevolent pharmaceutical practices is an aspect of his Slytherin– his wife cares and so as soon as he has time to digest her emotions, he cares, too, and morever, he acts in an immediate and effective way. It’s not even that he’s doing that to make Kala happy– it’s that it matters to Kala and therefore it is important and right.
His Hufflepuff secondary shows in the company he’s inherited and the ways he’s invested and buried in its mechanisms, his ability to play well with others without ever seeming to “transform” to do so (in the way a Slytherin secondary would), and his patient, kind courtship of Kala.)
In the style of Katniss Everdeen, the inspiring power of Capheus’s Gryffindor secondary astonishes him with both the quality and quantity of its effect. Gryffindor secondaries with such political and televised presences can becomes “figures” instead of people– despite their “realness” often being what the masses like and respond to in them. Capheus, like Katniss volunteering for Prim or mourning Rue, is just being himself– but it makes him into Van Damn the same way Katniss became the Mockingjay.
Capheus is good, and he believes in things until they happen. “I think it’s going to be a really good day,” he says. Capheus’s faith is something that can and does change his world. It’s the same thing that inspires even his enemies to like him– like the fellow who came to warn him mid-season 2 and promised him his vote if he lived.
On the primary side: Capheus has a strong and emotional sense of right and wrong, but also a willingness to hold himself away from things he think he cannot change. But, as he becomes more aware of his own power and how he might affect the world, he finds it impossible to keep himself in the shadows. He is like his father, which he and his mother fight about. Capheus cannot sit still when the world is broken and (and the “and” here is important) when he thinks he can change that world for the better. Like much of the cast, he’s a Gryffindor primary, who holds a strong and kind internal compass in his chest.
Losing her mother, her burdens dropped soundly on her young shoulders, left Sun growing up with a yawning absence and a sense of always trying to play catch-up. She was supposed to be her mother, to care for her brother, despite being a child herself. As an adult, she blames herself for her brother’s crimes and feels guilt for not being “good” enough– for not being who and what she was supposed to be.
Sun tries to build herself into what she thinks she should be– but she is at her strongest and most joyous when she is being what she is and just acting. There is a sense, with Sun, that she is always holding back– from that first clenched fist in her opening scene in the pilot to the moment she bursts into potentially murderous action in the season two climax. She has trouble trusting herself enough to act on her instincts– a “burned” Gryffindor who doesn’t believe in her own goodness, value, or strength– except for single spark-bright moments when she does. This might be why she likes fighting so much– for an instant, in the ring, she knows exactly what she needs to do and she does it unflinching. After a season of considering, dithering, and thinking, she makes the snap decision in the climax of season two to go after her brother and it is a release and a culmination.
Sun tries to use reason and logic, a Ravenclaw’s tools, to supplement for her lack of faith in her Gryffindor. Her mother gave her that initial rule— take care of your brother. And she does: we see in the beginning of season one how aware she is of where her brother’s likely haunts are, how practiced she is at finding him. She carries her position in the company with grace and conviction even when having to deal with sexists who dismiss her. When considering whether or not to take the fall for her brother, she doesn’t listen to her gut screaming against it but instead walks and thinks and tries to use her reason to convince herself it is the right thing to do. She continues on trying to follow her mother’s gift of a system– take care of your brother– at the expense of everything she has.
The Sun who leaves the prison is different from the lonely young woman who entered it– this “new” Sun would never had given up her life for her brother’s. After friendship, connection, and support from the other inmates (and her fellow sensates), Sun is far more convinced of her own value and her own right to freedom. After her mother’s death, her father’s distance, and the adult-sized burdens she’s carried since childhood, Sun before this lacked any evidence that she was worth something to anyone.
Painting with her friends, conversation, and camaraderie were all influential in changing Sun’s view of her value, but one of the most influential moments was when the guards were killing her and her friend came to her rescue. Sun believes in action more than words, and that was certainly a clear-cut message about what her friend thought Sun’s life was worth. As she heals throughout the story, she swaps out some of logic she uses to guilt herself instead for the faith her friends have in her.
Those friends also give a nod to Sun’s secondary– Hufflepuff. It is the work, patience, and time Sun has put into things that pay out in the end for her. This is as true in her fighting as it is in the kindnesses she pays to others. Her teacher, her inmate friends, and the cop with the crush on her are all examples of this– anyone who knows Sun knows she is good– so good they are all willing to fight for her in their own ways. Her teacher hides her. Her inmate friends support her and even kill for her. The cop, who has seen her grit and goodness exactly once, immediately believes her and wants to be on her side. Similarly, it is years of patience and toil that have left her talented and powerful as a fighter.
Riley is very tired and very sad, and that makes her sorting complex from the outside. Whatever her primary is, it’s burned to almost a crisp. She’s not a Slytherin, who prioritizes personal loyalties and obligations first. “Burned” Slytherins try to cut off all their emotional ties for self-protection, but Riley has no angst or barrier around caring for people, despite her losses. The same goes for Hufflepuff, the other “loyalist” House. Hufflepuffs care in a broader and fairer way than Slytherins, but the heart of it is still connection and obligation. “Burned” Hufflepuffs also try to limit their caring, exhausted and aching, and we don’t see that with Riley. She doesn’t seem to be avoiding connection when she’s hurting, and as she heals over the course of the series she doesn’t leap for and glory in the new connections she builds and accepts.
This leaves as options a “burned” Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, the two “idealist” Houses. Gryffindors value their gut where Ravenclaws value their reason– when a Gryffindor “burns,” they lose faith in their ability to know what’s right, to feel it, and to trust their intuition. When a Ravenclaw “burns,” they lose faith in their ability to think, assess, understand, comprehend, or decide. As Riley heals and comes into her own in season two, she seems to glory in her own growing faith in her inner compass. There is a delight in knowing her path and sinking her teeth into a fight that is particularly Gryffindor.
Additionally, like many young women who fall into the “manic pixie dream girl” mold, Riley is a Gryffindor secondary. Creative and genuine, the way she unflinchingly embodies what she does is apparent especially in her music and its reported effects on people. People are drawn to Riley, whether she wants them or not. She has a “shine” that’s exhausting, illuminating, and powerful. It’s what drew that one slick, creepy drug dealer’s notice, and also what lets her charm and win over our grumpy Scottish sensate friend. When entrenched in the paranoia of the sensate community, Riley cracks open their defenses with a moment of brave and risky honesty–letting him see where she and Will are–and, what’s more, he believes her when she does it.
Will, despite having one of the spottier character consistencies in the story, settles pretty soundly as a Hufflepuff Primary/Ravenclaw Secondary. He’s a loyal, dependable kid who hangs a lot of his identity and worth on his allegiance to groups and families– he’s a cop, he’s a sensate, and both these groups matter enormously to his self-image. He’s torn between those loyalties– abandoning his partner and his father, his obligations to his new sensate family. Of the cast, he’s by far the most sympathetic to Whispers, who is “like them.”
Will’s best skills are showcased in his early season two interactions with Whispers, when he plays Sherlock to identify where the holding cell is, gathering data, pulling information out of Whispers’s shoes and wall outlets, and extrapolating onward. He pulls long cons (pretending they were still in Iceland, etc) or detailed, sturdy plans. He likes prep, experience, and back up– he hates it when Riley has to go off on her own to Chicago without him or any fallbacks, but Gryffindor Riley delights in the movement. He’s a cop-flavored Ravenclaw Secondary, and effective with it.
Nomi’s yet another Gryffindor Primary in this cluster of Gryffindors. She has a strong and intuitive sense of right and wrong, something that drives her to make good and effective changes in the world. Stepping in to take the fall for Bug was a practical and selfless move that she carries with her humbly. She’s the kind of person who might claim and believe that “anyone would have done the same.”
It’s also something, however, that can lead her to neglect anything outside her cause of the moment. Nomi can get tunnel vision, such as when she abandons her sister at the dress fitting, not even waiting to hear the end of Teagan’s question. Nomi is deeply invested in whatever her highest priority is, which makes her an effective agent in the plot, but which also means she can abandon things (at least temporarily) that do genuinely mean the world to her. She loves her sister, but they got news about Angelica’s cabin and that takes priority in that moment.
Nomi can’t do things in halves– she’s all in, or she’ll have to get back to you later. Her sister, who seems to be a loyalist house (either Hufflepuff or Slytherin) is thrown off and disappointed by what surely feels to her to be a lack of Nomi’s affection (and certainly is a lack of Nomi’s attention)– but in the tradition of a good loyalist, Teagan seems to be always willing to be there when Nomi pops back into her life.
There’s a certainty and validation, as well as a mutual awe, that Nomi and Amanita find in each other here. Both Gryffindor Primaries, they supplement and support each other in the context of a larger and often disappointing world. In a bold Gryffindor way (Amanita is a Gryffindor secondary, as well as a primary), they make their own magic, joy, and beauty. Whether in the eclectic, personal space of their home, escaping a hospital in the back of a cab, sharing fries and pot brownies, or kissing in the forest where Angelica once burned down her own home and killed a man doing it, Amanita and Nomi light the scene themselves. They’re self-sufficient and self-motivated and self-soothing, burning from the inside out in ways they recognize in each other.
They approach situations differently in terms of methods– aka the secondary. Amanita is a beauty of a Gryffindor/Gryffindor, a sorting the writers seem to especially adore and respect. She is confrontational, brave, protective, and throws all of herself into everything she does– a set of methods that work out for her every time. She likes attention (“costume opportunity!”) for a good cause. She doesn’t maneuver, hedge, or negotiate when something is wrong in front of her– she tells off her ex-friend for her transphobia at their first Pride, she sets fire to the hospital as a distraction, breaks into the surgeon’s apartment with unconstrained glee, bursts into the aisle of Teagan’s interrupted wedding, and in general dives headfirst into the dangerous plot of Nomi’s new life.
Nomi, though also a Gryffindor primary, is quieter on the secondary. Nearly all her best successes come from years of work and her ability to humbly and truly mean the things she does. Friends hide Nomi and Amanita because of old favors and generosity on their parts. Bug turns over his whole life for them, because once Nomi turned over her whole life for him. There is a sense of fairness here. Talented and generous, Nomi’s yet another super-powered Hufflepuff secondary in the cluster. For a story that so loves the idea of skill-set-swapping and community, it makes sense there’d be an un-self-conscious love of the puff.
tl;dr the cluster: Sun - Gryffindor/Hufflepuff (burned) Nomi - Gryffindor/Hufflepuff Lito - Slytherin/Slytherin Will - Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw Capheus - Gryffindor/Gryffindor Riley - Gryffindor/Gryffindor (burned) Kala - Gryffindor/Ravenclaw Wolfy - Slytherin/Hufflepuff
a selection of non sensates; Amanita - Gryffindor/Gryffindor Hernando - Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff Daniella - Slytherin/Hufflepuff Rajan - Slytherin/Hufflepuff
Random Tip: Begin your campaign with a by-the-numbers story arc.
My office 5e campaign just wrapped up it’s first major story-arc. There are still threads that can be followed up on, and there are indications of a greater threat in the world of Edhenon– but we came to a satisfying resolution on a goal the players have spent four levels trying to accomplish.
The arc was pretty generic: The characters were attempting to join an adventuring guild in the city. There were side treks and mini-missions involved in that, but everything was built on gearing for their initiation event.
This required very little brainpower as Dungeon Master- Generic bad guys, generic macguffins, generic “Help us!” situations.
Over the last few months of play, the players have been able to learn about and fine-tune their characters personalities and their wants*, and I’ve able to quietly absorb all of that information. Now, as I’m setting things up for a second major arc, I’m filled to the brim with ideas on how to make their lives more interesting, and the consequences more personal.
The training wheels are off, and I can now hurt much more than the characters’ HP.
(*Player Pro-Tip: What your character wants is so much more important than your backstory. I’ve seen players fill up pages with backstory, and no idea of their personal direction forward. Don’t be that player!)
I’m kind of obsessed with the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon manga (or Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon for those who prefer the Japanese title) and Naoko Takeuchi is ace at drawing kisses. I wanted to see all of the kisses in one place, so I decided to make a master post. I’ll be listing them all from beginning to end, with what Act and story arc they belong in. So… enjoy! (This is a REALLY long post, so I’m putting it under a “read more”)
I am really trying to make everyone I know get into the adventure zone podcast because it’s the single most breathtaking adventure my ears have had the pleasure to listen too. There hasn’t been a single book, movie or game that have been able to beat the characters and world bulding of taz It’s just that amazing!
The problem is that all that starts appering later on and it’s really hard convincing someone to stay put for the 8 first hours (or so) Like “Hey this podcast is great you just have to listen to it for half a day before the really good stuff starts”!
Goosebumps fans, your wishes have finally come true — and with no negative consequences!
The beloved book series penned by best-selling author R.L. Stine is getting a comic book series, thanks to IDW Publishing, which is releasing the first issue later this October.
Though the Fear Street author (and admitted comic book fan) recently wrote a limited comic series for Marvel Comics featuring the character Man-Thing, he won’t be writing the Goosebumps comics. Instead, the first of three story arcs — fittingly titled “Monsters at Midnight” — will be penned by Jeremy Lambert (Attack on TitanAnthology;). X-Files: Origins‘ Chris Fenoglio will provide the art for the first arc, which will take readers back to Stine’s HorrorLand. Sisters Mia and Ginny stumble upon the terrifying theme park after stepping through a mysterious door in an old bookshop when they’re spending a boring summer at their grandmother’s house.
“My first reading thrill when I was a kid was the EC horror comics, Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror,” said R.L. Stine in a statement. “They introduced me to the excitement of reading. Now all these years later, I have another thrill — seeing my stories and characters come to life in a comic book series of their own.”
The first Goosebumps comic hits stores this October. See the first cover above.
The first story arc reaches an epic finale in volume 6, as Richard Aldana decides to move into the lion’s den to rescue Marianne and Adrian. He brings H and Cristo with him. Cristo will have his face revealed by the way, and trust me, you’ll be surprised.
Last Man 6 is as spectacular and addictive as ever. At the end there’s a huge cliffhanger leading into the second story arc. Unfortunately, much to my dismay, First Second Books has decided to quit. It’s probably due to low sales. The American audience was probably equally puzzled as the Dutch and Flemish by this amalgamation of styles and genres. Unfortunately so, because it really is one of the greatest comics of recent years. The fact that First Second Books decided to include the last 40 pages or so, rather than cut it short to give it a happy ending, gives me a sliver of hope that they might pick it up again if the upcoming game and television series manage to put the franchise back on the map. Until then, I can only hope Reprodukt—the german publisher—has more succes and will continue beyond issue 6.