• Quest Friends!

Ep. 20: Questionable Measures, Part 2

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

No gods or kings. Only Swag.

Listen as our heroes:

CONSIDER a disgraced captain!

POCKET mountains of silverware!

HAGGLE with a frogtaur!

Content Warning: References to animal cruelty

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

Previously, on Quest Friends…


[Opening theme, “Friends” by Miracle of Sound, begins.]


Kyle (as Haymish)

Hi! Welcome to Penny in Pocket, the best Cyphers and Numenera for the very best of adventurers. My name’s Haymish, how can I help you today?


Ari

So since I bought this castor clay thing, so I want just to have like a really big hat with like a feather coming out. I rolled an 11.


Kyle

That’s a good fucking hat.


Tom

Xoc would like to use farstep to just teleport up to the top of the tent and grab onto the float-stone.


Kyle

Again, that’s about six feet in the air, so I’m going to need some speed/defense to make sure you land on your feet.


Tom

Weee! [Dice rolling]. Mmm, with a five?


Kyle

Mmm.


Ari

Oh, no! Can we catch you?


Kyle

Yeah, Misha, try to catch him.


Ari

Um, I rolled a one.


Tom

Ooh! Oh...


Kyle

Oh, ohhh. Misha, you smash your head against the counter.


Ari

That’s perfect.


Kyle

A jar of something, we don’t know what, falls on your head, and you hear Haymish go:


Kyle (as Haymish)

Oh no! Jerald!


[Laughter]


Kyle (as Haymish)

If you want to build anything, you can talk to Ignatius. He’s down the stairs over there.


Emily (as Elee)

Do you have nails? If you have nails, can you make them come out of my fists?


Kyle (as Ignatius)

Like your physical fist, ma’am?


Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, like my fist.


Kyle (as Ignatius)

Well, um, yes, I suppose I can do that.


Emily (as Elee)

Am I Wolverine now?


[Theme intensifies.]


Kyle

So after a few hours of driving through relatively plain countryside, you see in front of you a wide, shallow hill, with tall, curling, greenish-blue trees. The hill is slowly moving horizontally across your vision, kind of like the moon at night. And the ground beneath you gently crests in a wave-like rhythm. As your vehicle gets closer to the hill, you realize, however, that these giant trees are instead sturdy vines, dozens of feet thick and tall. They look kind of like what would happen if you took someone’s hair and just magnified it. These vines tingle and curl over each other in a horrible mess that makes driving a little bit more of a hassle for Mauve. But the cluster as a whole seems to weakly point towards the sun in the sky. It takes some time, but your vehicle eventually finds its way into a small clearing, and Mauve slows it to a stop before getting out of the vehicle. At the other edge of the clearing is a shimmery, thin cylinder, about three feet in height. And she turns over to Everett and she says:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Alright, I’m going to go press that. Everyone else, stay in the vehicle.


Kyle

Do you listen to her?


Emily

Yeah.


Hallie

Yeah, sure.


Emily

I was going to go touch it, but I guess if she’s going to I’ll let her.


Kyle

She’s going to turn back to Elee and say:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Alright, you can go.


Emily (as Elee)

Yessss.


Emily

I want to go and hit it.


Kyle

Alright, so you walk up to this thin cylinder, and it just has a button on top, and you slam on down it?


Emily

Yeah.


Kyle

Alright. As soon as it’s pressed, Mauve yells:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Alright, get back!


Kyle

As the cylinder slides into the ground, and like a Whack-a-Mole, another pops up behind you. Then one on the left side of the clearing. Then the right side. This continues about a dozen or more times until eventually all the cylinders pop up at once and rotate around the exterior of the clearing, whirring with increased velocity and shredding off some of the vines unfortunate enough to have crept into the clearing. Then, with a jolt, the entire clearing starts to grind downwards like a freight elevator. The cylinders have since slowed, and as you move down deeper they follow you into the grass, then into the dirt, and finally, into Roulettia.


[Upbeat music begins.]


Kyle

It’s like looking into space, if the emptiness were somehow able to blind you. All around you are lights, lights, lights! Some built into this artificial domed horizon that covers the entire city, some coming from glimmering, wet clumps of fungi that crawl alongside the walls. Below you is a giant circle that shines up into the fake sky above. It’s segmented into four parts of alternating colors, a lot like a roulette wheel. Each segment, which bears its own unconventional architecture, bustles with endlessly roaming feet of thousands of humans and visitants. And while your eyes are immediately overstimulated by all these lights vying for your attention, your vision is still drawn to the largest, the fanciest, the most glamorous thing of all: a colossal platinum queen’s chestpiece, which stands unapologetically at the center of the whole city. But after a few moments, this glamorous sight gives way, as your platform sinks into a much smaller space adjacent to the city proper.


[4:55]


This one looks more like an old-fashioned wooden train station. Behind you, drab doors lead to drably described rooms: Navigation, Sanitation, HR, that kind of stuff. In front of you, half a dozen lines of folks are queued up in line to enter the city, each in front of a small arch. It’s the kind you’d see before entering most theme parks, and as the elevator comes to a stop, an automated voice chimes in:


Kyle (as Announcer)

[Bell rings for attention.] Welcome to the Spout. Please get out of your vehicle.


Kyle

And Mauve turns around to everyone and says:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Alright, y’all, time to get out.


Kyle

And she pushes you all out of the car and says:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Alright, I’ve got to take this vehicle and put it in parking, so just, you all stay here and I’ll be back in a couple of seconds.


Kyle

And she and Everett kind of bustle off. No, she bustles off with the car and Everett just kind of stands awkwardly to the side of the platform with you.


Tom

Xoc is just taking in the splendor of the lights:


Tom (as Xoc)

Wow, I never saw anything like this in the Beyond.


Kyle

And it’s kind of funny because at this point you’re in that drab room, so you can only see the lights from through these archways. So it’s like, what Xoc is inspired by is one tenth of what you would see when in Roulettia proper.


Tom

Xoc is also pretty inspired by this drab room.


Tom (as Xoc)

Have you seen the craftsmanship in this woodworking? It’s very bad!


All

[Laughter]


Kyle

Alright, as you look around, you can see that Everett, he has his face in this brochure, it’s just buried inside of it. And as you turn over you can actually see that there are a whole bunch of brochures kind of on the wall. A lot of assassin services, and they’re like, competing with each other like, you know, get one for 50 shins. And then next to it the one like has crossed it out and said no, 30, 20, 10, exposure!


Hallie

[Laughing] Exposure!


Kyle

So you see all those, but then on top of it all you see, the top row all has a bunch of brochures for Roulettia. Do any of you take that?


Hallie

I take one.


Emily

Can I grab one of the assassin brochures?


Kyle

Yes, you do. The assassin is, um, the assassin is--what is the assassin’s name that you pick up?


Emily

Steve Rogers.


Kyle

What? Steve Rogers?


Hallie

[Indignantly] What?


Kyle

You find—


Tom

It’s too late, it’s canon.


Hallie

Nooo.


Kyle

You find an advertisement for Stephen Rogers, murder victims who don’t bounce back. So you pick up that one. He beats people to death with a shield, which is very impractical, and you very much appreciate it. He’s--he’s one of the worst. Like he’s the only one you’ve heard by name, and it’s usually because he’s getting shit-talked.


Ari

So it isn’t Captain Rogers?


Hallie

No.


Kyle

He had a cap’nship. His cap’nship was taken away from him very quickly.


Emily

Perfect.


Kyle

Alright, you take up the brochure proper, Hop.


Hallie

Pr-hopper!


Kyle

I hate you. It did say, on this brochure, there’s a whole lot of advertisements, and in the center you see this big, colorful, really kind of hard-to-read map. But there is text that you can read, and this is what you’re able to make out:


[Whimsical music begins.]


Kyle (as Brochure)

Welcome, crooks and criminals! The Ninth World may have rejected you for your different ideas, your inability to conform, and your tendency to murder hapless bystanders, but in Roulettia, no dream is too small, no hunger too insatiable, and, most importantly, no pockets too deep! Our humble city is housed in the excavated chest of a baby mantle. This lucky lad landed far, far from home, burying himself barely beneath the earth’s crust and swimming all around the Steadfast. Now our baby buddy is home to brightly glimmering bioluminescent fungi that eat at his insides, as well as many of the Ninth World’s most wanted. It may seem harsh, but life’s a gamble, kid, and in Roulettia this is no less true than anywhere else. Visit one of our five prime locations:

A short walk from the Spout, you can find Gamblestrip Navarene, a cozy recreation of the best the Ninth World has to offer. Try some Rhubarbian hot hounds, or step back to Charmonde with the line that leads absolutely nowhere!

Strapped for scratch? Make your future fold at the Land of Tomorrow, where pop-up fortune tellers and gambling games will tell you your fate, and then let you defy it.

Of note are the hourly aneen races. Bet on your favorite wailing mess and watch it stumble your way to glory! Note: A shimmering barrier has been recently installed around the track to prevent disgruntled customers from shooting any of the aneens during the race.

But why let the aneens have all the fun? Drop on over to Piper’s Pit, a primitive settlement stolen from its time by our baby mantle’s hungry stomach. In the center, you can compete in gory fights to the death, and kids get their first battle absolutely free!

But not all gambling is financial. If you’re feeling dangerous, why not take a walk down to Manny’s Prosthetic Intestine? A labyrinth of steel and guts that’s been praised as the deadliest rollercoaster in the Ninth World. You’ve gambled with your scratch, you’ve gambled with your pride, now gamble with your life!

And of course, at the center of it all is Funbuck’s Funhouse & Hotel. Come on in for the most professionally rigged games and deathly deep sleep you’ll ever enjoy. And don’t forget to browse the newly open Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats and JET.CO Combination Store!


[10:10]


Roulettia: Memories that will last a lifetime, lifetimes that will last an hour.


Tom (as Xoc)

This sounds like a terrible place!


All

[Laughter].


Tom

Xoc also says that in character.


Kyle

Yeah, and you would know Xoc that a mantle--mantles are these creatures from the Void, far, far beyond. They basically are—they’re giant, planet-sized manta rays that have little whale like spouts that expel excess kind of like gasses which are actually good gasses for humans. Kind of like how plants breathe out carbon--how plants breathe out oxygen. That’s kind of what comes out of their spouts.


Tom

Oh noo.


Hallie

When he’s done, Hopper goes:


Hallie (as Hopper)

I agree, this sounds like the worst place I have ever been.


Emily (as Elee)

This sounds like the best place I’ve ever been!


Hallie

He’s going to eye Elee’s assassination brochure.


Emily (as Elee)

This guy beat people to death with a shield. Did you see this?


Hallie

[Laughter].


Kyle

Everett is going to lean over:


Kyle (as Everett)

[Scoffs] beating people to death with their own shield? That’s so blunt and classless.


Kyle

And he points to this thing and is like:


Kyle (as Everett)

This guy goes back in time and kills you before you were born.


Hallie

[Laughter].


Kyle (as Everett)

Now that is a class-act.


Hallie

Hopper has kind of taken the brochure at the mention of shield from Elee and is looking at it like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

How does he do that? What? I don’t think that would work.


Kyle

So you read it, and then Mauve comes back and she has this little like coupon or key you know that you take when you put something in storage. And she says:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Alright, let’s all get in line, get into the city. Remember, don’t take anything they offer you.


Kyle

And so she goes forward in line and she and Everett are in front of you, so they take their place and go through those, you know those little, like, spinning bar thingies that they have?


Hallie

Turnstiles!


Kyle

Yeah, they go through the turnstiles. Then you come up and you see this very brightly faced man, whose face is just, it’s just split in half and opened, and there’s nothing in between it. So it’s like, half a face, a gap, and then half a face. And he just says:


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

Well hello! Welcome to Roulettia. Can you check in your weapons, please?


Hallie

Uhh.


Ari

Not again! [Laughter].


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

I’m just kidding with you guys! You guys are good sports! Keep all your shit, we don’t care! Murder is the second highest paying occupation here.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

So yeah, just come on in. Have you guys been to Roulettia before?


Hallie (as Hopper)

No.


Emily (as Elee)

No.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

Well in that case you’re going to want one of our EZ-Life brands. It’s pretty simple—


Kyle

And he picks up this like, you know those stamps that you put on the back of your hand, like to come back in? He picks up a stamp, but instead of like, the--where the stamps should be, there are a dozen brightly glowing yellow lines that kind of look like a brand that would just sear you. And he says:


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

So EZ-Life is something that our mayor, good ol’ Tommy Funbuck, put in systems because well, we were just killing each other too often. It’s part of the EZ-Life model program: When you die, it will take all your body parts, suck them inside of these little lines, which will map themselves to your body, and then they’ll go inside one of our pods and just make you a brand new one! It doesn’t cheat death. You know, if you die by old age, you can’t come back, and if you use it too many times you’re just going to be too tired out to keep using it. But even though it doesn’t prevent death eternally, it does make living … just a little bit easier. It’s absolutely free. Do any of you want one?


Ari

I want Misha to scan this person to see if this person is a robot or a human, because all of this is really sketch.


Kyle

Okay. Yeah, give me a roll for that scan. I haven’t decided—I want to figure out.


[Dice rolling.]


Ari

I rolled a one.


Hallie

[Laughter].


Tom

Oh no.


Kyle

You know exactly what he is—


[Dark, ominous music begins.]


—and it is so terrifying, so horrifying, that you want to scream and get everyone out of the city.


Ari

Oh boy.


Kyle

And yet your mouth is forced silent.


[Music suddenly ends.]


Ari

Oh, no.


Hallie

Alright.


Kyle

So yeah, that’s the answer to is he human or is he—


Ari

Misha is going to look pretty panicked and try to gesture to people, but not being able to move.


Tom

Xoc will notice that and like, put sort of a protective arm out in front of Misha and say:


Tom (as Xoc)

You touch us, you lose an arm.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

Hey! I’m just offering. It’s just my job. I’m just trying to make things easier for you.


Kyle

And as he says that, you hear a scream, you hear: [Pained screaming.]

And right in front of you, you see a guy splat onto the earth. And you see a dozen pairs of green lines on the back of his hand blip up, and you basically see all of his body get absorbed into these lines, which then transfer over to what looks like a giant Tupperware container, but on its side. And the lines spread out among the Tupperware container, and all the flesh that had been sucked in just kind of squirts itself back out into a new body, and he’s like:


Kyle (as fallen guy)

Oh!


[14:55]


Kyle

And he brushes himself off and keeps walking.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

See? I’m just trying to do that for you, making things a little bit easier.


Hallie (as Hopper)

So that happens often enough that you had to create a resurrection machine?


Kyle

Hey! It’s not a resurrection machine, alright? You cannot sue if it does not bring you back to life.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, ‘cause you’d be dead!


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

Yeah, exactly! But it just takes your flesh and it reorganizes it in a less permanently scarred fashion. But as I said, the machine isn’t perfect!


Kyle

He’s going to say:


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

The machine isn’t perfect—actually, no, don’t tell my bosses I said that. The machine is perfect, but if you use it too much, you, uh, probably won’t come back. And it doesn’t fix old age, so it does not, [louder] it does not


Kyle

And he turns around to everybody:


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

It does not cure death. But if you do get killed, it will bring you back to life.


Ari

Misha is just lightly shaking at all of this.


Hallie

I’m going to take my chances and not do the weird thing.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

You sir? You ma’am?


Kyle

He points to Xoc and Elee.


Tom

Xoc will charge up his laser hand.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

Hey! I’m just—I am doing—I-I appreciate the spirit, but I am doing my job here, offering. You just have to say no.


Emily (as Elee)

No. I’m, to be honest, I’m probably going to die of old age before anyone manages to kill me.


Kyle

Okay. You said no. That’s all you had to do. Now I just have to ask you 10 more times, and you have to say no 10 more times, as per company policy.


Hallie

Can we just start walking past him?


Kyle

Uh yeah, you can just walk through—


Hallie

I’m just going to walk past him.


Kyle (as Split-Faced Man)

That was always an option!


Emily

I want to whisper to Xoc:


Emily (as Elee)

You can still shoot him from here.


Tom (as Xoc)

I probably won’t, though.


Emily (as Elee)

But you could.


Tom (as Xoc)

He might not deserve it. He didn’t try to touch any of us.


Ari

Misha is just going to mentally say to Xoc:


Ari (as Misha)

I don’t like this place, let’s all be careful.


Ari

But just to Xoc. They don’t want to--that thing to hear them.


Tom

Xoc will nod and mentally respond, like:


Tom (as Xoc)

Yeah, we’ll watch each other’s backs. We’ll stick together.


[Upbeat music begins.]


Kyle

Alright, so you walk past him and you enter into Gamblestrip Navarene. And it is weird. You see a whole assortment of just weird-ass stuff. The whole thing is like a fake recreation of a Ninth World town, but it’s filled with humans you’ve never seen before and at least a thousand visitants every second.

To your right, you see what looks like a large, green Sour Patch Kid eating a bag of smaller versions of themselves. So basically a visitant who looks like Sour Patch Kids eating a bag of Sour Patch Kids. Robot signposts with maps and other information bob back and forth on their poles as if dancing to some invisible song. And every other alleyway seems to have a deal that’s gone bad down it. And these bad deals are especially prevalent right next to the EZ-Life pods.

In fact, you see one woman who is sitting in like a typical chair next to an EZ-Life pod, and every time her rival comes out, she just shoots him with a revolver, in which point he gets revived again, and they just keep on repeating this every 15 seconds.


Emily

Oh no.


Kyle

But Mauve keeps pushing you forward to that giant, platinum queen chest piece you saw earlier, which you would recognize as Funbuck’s Funhouse & Hotel. And as you walk inside this giant tower, you’re struck with this gaudy, bright red carpeting with platinum banisters and handrails. Essentially take any place in the hotel where gold or literally anything else than the red shag carpeting would be, and it’s platinum. It is solid, 100% absolutely (maybe) real platinum.

The air is running with the sounds of slot machines and grumbling patrons. It has some machines that we would expect. It has slots, and there’s like a crane game that’s full of cyphers and artifacts, but then there are some that are more weird, like there’s one machine that just has two hands, one picking up someone by the scruff of their collar, and then the other punching them in the stomach, as just bills of money come spewing out of their mouth.

But up some steps, you find a circular space with balconies that stretch many, many floors above you. And in the center stands a giant fountain, with the water shooting up to make the moving shape of a giant man in a top hat as tall as his torso. And he’s just pointing around saying:


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck)

Hey, it’s me, Tommy Funbuck! Hope you have fun in my casino! Check out the hotel and win some cash, cash, cash! Spend it on my Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats store, and you can also get some JET.CO swag there as well, although it’s not as good as my swag, of course! Just swag on your swag over there and get some new swag!


Emily (as Elee)

I’ve changed my mind, this place is the worst.


Hallie

[Laughter].


Kyle

In addition to the statue, there are like, normal, human-sized versions of him, kind of like a dozen of them around the fountain, which also is very wet around it. And as Mauve walks up to the fountain, one of these smaller Tommy Funbucks appears and is like:


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

Hey! I’m the Tommy Funbuck IT system. How can I help you spend all your scratch today?


[19:55]


Kyle

And she just turns around and she’s like:


Kyle (as Mauve)

I cannot deal with this shit today. Can one of you—just ask him—can one of you just ask him where the store is?


Emily (as Elee)

No.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Where is the store?


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

Well I’m glad you asked, Mr. Hopper Scotch. Roulettia has over 100 versatile stores. So what store are you looking for?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Why do you know my name?


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

Hey, hey, hey! Everybody knows the devilish Hopper Scotch here!


Hallie (as Hopper)

No, that was weird. I didn’t like that.


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

Well of course, you know why! [long, awkward pause] …swag!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Where’s the store?


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

What store, Hopper Scotch?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, what store are we looking for?


Kyle

Mauve is just going to say:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Just the biggest--the biggest store.


Hallie (as Hopper)

The biggest store!


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

Oh, that would be Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats and JET.CO combination Store. You just want to swag your way over to that corner—


Kyle

And you can see, there’s a couple of doors: One is leading to a hotel, and then there’s a giant door that’s just adorned with the words “Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats.” And then in like font, 20 times smaller, “plus JET.CO.” He’s like:


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

Just swag on your way over there and you’ll have it.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. Thank you.


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck IT System)

In fact, Mr. Hopper, let me show you the way!


Kyle

And the fountain steps out, but as soon as it steps out of the fountain space where it’s like shooting up the water, it has nothing to maintain its composure. So it just splashes onto the ground and joins the giant puddle that’s around this fountain. You think that’s probably a programming error that happens a lot.


Hallie

Okay. So can we just leave it there?


Kyle

Uh, I mean you can’t pick it up because it’s gone.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay, we’ll go to the store I guess.


Tom

Xoc will just pick up the hem of his robes so it doesn’t get caught in the puddle as he steps through it.


Emily

Elee had her fist up to like, punch it, and looks a little disappointed that it’s now just a puddle.


Kyle

Alright. So you all walk through these giant doors—


[Cheery music begins.]


—and you’re in basically a giant department store. It looks almost identical to Walmart, including that ceiling that just doesn’t bother to hide any of the internal wires or ventilation systems, and a droning, simplistic 10-second melody just plays on repeat over and over and over again. And as you walk in, a salesperson with a technicolor newsboy cap and a vest approaches you. He looks a lot like a large bullfrog with colorful gills that fan out the side of his head. He hops forward on two sets of sturdy, strong legs and waves with an extra pair of supplementary arms much higher than his torso. And he says:


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

You have now entered Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats. You’re welcome!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Hi, uhh—


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

Hi! Feel free to spend all of your scratch on any of our wonderful services.


Hallie

Okay.


Emily (as Elee)

I have a hat, thanks.


Hallie

Oh, can I look at Everett and be like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

I promised you a hat awhile back.


Kyle (as Everett)

[Scoffs] I don’t even want one anymore!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay!


Kyle

And as he says that, he sidles closer to you:


Kyle (as Everett)

Let’s get going.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, where are your hats,


Hallie

I’ll ask the thing that greeted us.


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

Why hats, they’re everywhere! But mostly they’re under that giant hat over there!


Kyle

And you can just see a giant hat in the center of the store that’s kind of overhanging everything else. This is labeled “All Hats Are Here.”


Hallie (as Hopper)

Ah, alright.


Kyle

And then he’s going to turn over to Elee and be like:


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

You certainly have a hat, ma’am. We have a very equitable hat return program. If you want to take part of it, we even take disgusting old broken hats!


Tom

Xoc is going to immediately walk by with Misha like:


Tom (as Xoc)

[Uncertainly] Oh, we should all go look for something else now, shouldn’t we? M-Mauve, where would we find the granulated azure?


Kyle (as Mauve)

I’ll take care of that, honey. You guys just--just have a good time and we’ll meet back when we’re done.


Emily

I want to crack my knuckles and stare at the frog guy.


Kyle

Okay. So you’re all free to go shopping now. It’s a lot like a grocery store, so instead of Penny in Pocket where you know you would buy something and immediately get it, in this case you’re going to put it inside your cart, which you’ll then hold on to and then you’ll purchase at the very end of the day. Does that make sense?


Hallie

Yeah.


Kyle

And then the only other thing to mention is that Roulettia’s currency--I’m actually going to do this as an advertiser.


[Bell chimes.]


Kyle (as advertiser)

Hi! This is the Roulettia Information System, just here to let you know about our currency, scratch. Scratch is a kind of paper currency that will get you a lot farther than those simplistic shins. You get a lot more bang for your buck, as every shin is worth 63 scratch! What a bargain!

And there are machines all over where you essentially can trade out your shins for scratch. A hyper-inflated currency, because everyone keeps on printing more of it. So you have the shins that you have now. If you have any experience, you can spend one experience for five shins, if you want to do any conversion there. I’m going to trust you to keep track of what you spend and how much shins you have. That make sense?


Emily

Mm-hmm.


Hallie

Yeah!


Kyle

Alright, let’s go shopping.


[Upbeat music begins.]


[25:00]


Kyle

Hello, and welcome to the announcement break for episode 20 of Quest Friends! I am Kyle, your GM, and very tired moving boy. I was moving this past weekend, which is why this episode is a couple of days late. But it’s here now. And the intro and outro music it uses is “Friends” and “Hitoshio,” both by Miracle of Sound. Even better, the song that played when the party first went into Roulettia, called “Messing with the Best,” is also by Miracle of Sound.

We’ve got a pretty big announcement and call to action this week. Because as of this past weekend, Quest Friends has officially passed 10,000 downloads. It’s past quiet hour so I can’t be, like, super loud, but [whispering] yeaaaaaaaaah! That’s me screaming, like doing like a crowd. Like [imitates crowd noise]. Okay, that just sounds like I’m a hisser, whatever. Anyway, we’ve had 10,000 downloads, which is a super big deal and super exciting, and we’re super thrilled. We’re over the moon, this is very strange to us. And to celebrate, we are giving away one set of Monte Cook Games dice.

So they have three sets. They have a set of Numenera Dice, a set of The Strange Dice, and a set of Cypher System Dice. And since we couldn’t decide which one was our favorite, we figured we’d just let the winner choose which one of those three dice sets they’d like. The link to this contest can be found below. It’s one of those really simple Gleam ones where it encourages you to visit our website, visit our twitter, our YouTube, our other social media accounts, because we have a lot of them now.

So all you’ve got to do is register by noon central on Sunday, August 5. That’s the day before next episode. And then on next episode, during this announcement break, I will announce the winner. And then I’ll e-mail that person later that night so they know they got it. So really encourage you to check that out. Not only do you get cool dice to thank you for being so supportive of us, but you also get a link to all of our cool social media accounts, including, and I want to put a spotlight on this, our Tumblr, which now has an open ask section. So encourage you to check out that Tumblr, check out that giveaway by Sunday, August 5. And again, the link will be in the description below. So that’s a pretty big announcement, and that’s all I’ve got for you today. So thanks so much for listening to Episode 20, and I will see you again on Monday, August 6. See you then.


[Upbeat music begins again.]


Tom (as Xoc)

Misha Jarvis, the way I see it, we have two significant problems ahead of us. First, I don’t think we understand how economics work. I want to learn more about this inflation and why all of these currencies that people just make more of lose value. Second, we need to learn about the human art of haggling, and how we can do this better.


Ari (as Misha)

I also am severely inexperienced with financial exchange. So I would like to also learn about this art to be able to get the most out of this strange place.


Tom (as Xoc)

I believe that if we divide and conquer with our Datasphere searches, we can find all of the answers to the questions we have.


Ari (as Misha)

I will approve of this. Let us try and find what this all means.


Tom

Alright, which of us wants to look up how to haggle?


Ari

Um, can I use my new skill to get skilled at haggling?


Kyle

Yes. So you can get trained in haggling for the remainder of the scene, which will be while you’re shopping.


Ari

Okay. I, as an out of character person, do not know how to do this, so this will be very interesting.


Kyle

As you reach the Datasphere—


[Static, chaotic noise emerges in the background.]


—just a rush of images, even more overwhelming than Roulettia itself, rush into your brain: Images, pictures, sounds of people haggling. And above it all you just keep on seeing this [high, gravelly voice] hunched over woman with--with a greying face.


[29:44]


Ari

Oh no.


Kyle

And like literally, her face is growing more grey and pale. And you get all this information and you think, you’re a little bit better at haggling.


Ari

Okay.


Tom

While Misha is doing that, can Xoc contact the Nano Spirits then?


Kyle

Actually, I’m going to give you another GM intrusion.


Tom

Oh dear.


Kyle

Who do you give the other point to?


Tom

I give this other point to Elee for her truly excellent speech on the boat.


Ari

It was a good speech.


Kyle

So, you reach out for help. And what was it you were specifically going to ask?


Tom

I was going to specifically ask, why is scratch worth so much less than shins, even though shins are also backed by nothing and you can make more of them just by finding shiny bits of plastic on the ground?


Kyle

So you call out, asking for help. And suddenly you feel a large slam on your back as Loell says:


Kyle (as Loell)

Hey, buddy! I didn’t know we were going to be contacting each other so soon! You need my help?


Tom

Xoc just takes the hands off his temples where he was concentrating and says:


Tom (as Xoc)

[Hesitantly] I...wasn’t actually calling you?


Kyle (as Loell)

[Disappointed] Ohh.


Kyle

He looks genuinely a little hurt at that, like:


Kyle (as Loell)

Well, I can probably still help you out. What’s your problem?


Tom (as Xoc)

Okay. Why is the currency here so different than the currency in the Steadfast? It’s all just garbage people found on the ground.


Kyle (as Loell)

Wait, you’re calling shins just junk you pick up from the ground?


Tom (as Xoc)

Well, yeah.


Kyle (as Loell)

Well in the Beyond, maybe. But in the Steadfast it hasn’t been like that for awhile. Come on, man. Know your history. In the past people could just pick up anything shiny or dust something up to make it look shiny and there we go, they have fake shins. But after that it was super hard. So Roulettia, they realize that paper currency was easier to make up. So they use that because it’s super easy to just write down whatever amount that you want.


Tom (as Xoc)

That’s another good question. How old are you?


Kyle (as Loell)

What? Uh, huh. I’ve plumb forgotten. Huh, isn’t that something?


Tom (as Xoc)

I guess that is something.


Kyle (as Loell)

Alright, let me know if you need anything, okay buddy? Hey, you still figuring out what story you’re going to tell me about yourself?


Tom (as Xoc)

When I was little—


[Contemplative music begins.]


—I lived by one of the freshwater seas in the Beyond. And I remember, I was a little confused at first, because the information from my tutors and from the Datasphere said that water from the sea had salt in it, so it would burn open cuts. So I didn’t want to wash my scratches in there for awhile. And I got sick because of it. Horus was very mad at me.


Kyle (as Loell)

Horus?


Tom (as Xoc)

He found me out in the Wastes, when I was little.


Kyle (as Loell)

That was it? He was just a dude that found you?


Tom (as Xoc)

Well, he raised me. I mean, the whole community did, but him more than others.


Kyle (as Loell)

Xoc, you want a little bit of advice here? You can save words like that by just calling him your dad. Would have made it a lot simpler.


Tom

And Xoc looks away like he hasn’t really ever thought about this before:


Tom (as Xoc)

Dad? That’s--that’s a word for humans.


Kyle (as Loell)

[Confused] Yes? Yes. Yes, and?


Tom

Xoc just sort of blinks at him for a bit.


Kyle

Alright, well, let’s just get to the whatever. This is a story, let’s get to fucking shopping.


Tom

So Xoc is now going to turn back to Misha, presumably because we’ve finished up these conversations at the same time:


Tom (as Xoc)

Well, I still haven’t learned anything—


Kyle

[Laughter].


Tom (as Xoc)

—about economics at all, but maybe we can buy something good here.


Ari (as Misha)

Worry not, I am quite an expert at the art of the haggling at the moment!


Hallie

[Laughs] Noo


Ari (as Misha)

So I will get us all the things we need.


Emily

[Groans, laughs.]


Tom (as Xoc)

Perfect!


Hallie

Ohhh, Misha, no.


Kyle

I’m so excited for this. I’m so excited. Alright, let’s go shopping.


Tom

I’ll buy the Gorg socks. Xoc will just ask if Misha thinks they look nice.


Kyle

Alright, so Tom, how do the Gorg socks work?


Tom

Alright. So the Gorg socks are a pair of socks adorned with the frowning face of a balding man. When placed on a creature or object, the creature takes the appearance of the balding man, but does not change size or shape. Additional faces can be used to make other disguises, and those faces are added by placing the sock on whoever you would like to make a disguise of. Once the face is added to the sock, it can be used as that disguise indefinitely. But it has a one in D20 depletion roll every time a new face is added.


Kyle

Alright, so you go and grab these socks, which seem almost to groan as you pick them up. Like,


Kyle (as Gorg socks)

Ughhhhh.


Kyle

And as you’re picking them up, you actually turn over and you see, next to you you see other clothing. You see some pants, you see some socks, you see some shirts, and then you also see some tri-top chest binders. And looking through them, you see the large, friendly figure of Ignatius, who was the blacksmith from the Penny in Pocket Penny Brothers’ shop.


Emily

I want to go and slap Ignatius on the back and be like:


Emily (as Elee)

Heeeeey!


Kyle (as Ignatius)

Well hello! Ohh! [Nervously] Hello, ma’am? It’s a pleasure--it’s a pleasure—it is a pleasure [clears throat] pleasure to see you today.


Emily (as Elee)

You remember me?


Kyle (as Ignatius)

[Stammering]. Yup, yup, yes I--yes I do.


Emily

I’m going to clench my fist until the spikes shoot out and be like:


Emily (as Elee)

Remember?


Emily

And kind of wave it around.


[34:59]


Kyle (as Ignatius)

I was about to ask what brings you to Roulettia but I don’t think I need to anymore!


Emily (as Elee)

I’m not murdering anybody today, actually.


Kyle (as Ignatius)

Well, I’m very glad—glad to hear that. So you’re all on vacation too? It’s not my first choice of destination. Every year we get to pick a day off, and Tattertop got to choose this year. I’m enjoying it as best I can, but Haymish isn’t taking it too well.


Kyle

And he points over and you see this large box that kind of looks like a dunk tank, and it’s just called “The Killjoy Box.” And inside of it, you see as like—you know the sample person you put inside of a picture, the stock photo?


Emily

Yeah.


Kyle

As the stock photo, the sample of how this works, inside the Killjoy Box, you just see Haymish sitting there with like a little lemonade stand that says Penny in Pocket. And he has just like a little briefcase to his side. And then Ignatius just says:


Kyle (as Ignatius)

Yeah, my little baby brother just can’t stop working it seems. Well, it was nice to catch up with you!


Kyle

And he grabs a handful of white and black chest binders and goes on his way.


Emily

So there’s something I want to buy from JET.CO.


Kyle

Okay. You walk into the JET.CO side of the store, and what was super fancy and nice, now the 10-second beat is like five seconds long and it’s just so much more drab, and you can tell that Tommy Funbuck, the owner of Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats, clearly wanted this part of the store to look inferior. But what do you want to buy from JET.CO?


Emily

A bag of something has caught my eye, and I open it a little to reveal hundreds of spoons.


Hallie

[Laughing] That’s...


Kyle

Yeah, read the description for that.


Emily

All the spoons you would need, made out of almost every substance imaginable. It’s just hundreds of spoons.


Kyle

Alright. You pick up those spoons.


Emily

And then I just want to kind of like cradle it in my arms like, this is--this is really exciting.


Kyle

Alright. Are you going to stick it in your cart?


Emily

No, I’m gonna hold it.


Kyle

Okay! What else are we getting?


Ari

Misha is going to see this t-shirt, that it just interests me as an out of character person. And so it interests Misha as well, because I have no idea what it does. So, it’s the Manny Mantle t-shirt.


Hallie

Noo…


Ari

It just has a face and whoever wears it is doomed. I don’t understand much about it.


Kyle

Yeah, so the doomed is one of the descriptors, you know, like you can be like, a clever nano who—you can also be a doomed something.


Ari

Yeah.


Kyle

So, whenever you are wearing that shirt, it is such a nerdy shirt, especially in this town full of like, hardened criminals and murderers and stuff, that you get the doomed trait. So you will get all of the benefits and all of the drawbacks of having that trait.


Ari

Right.


Kyle

Because wearing that t-shirt is basically you screaming to life, “Punch me, I deserve it.”


Ari

Okay. Well, I feel like that’s a thing that might be fun to have.


Kyle

Yeah, so you’ll have to tell me whenever you have it on or off. Do you put it on?


Ari

Yeah. Well, I want to put that on, then I also want to grab the brilliance cloth, which it evades the thoughts of anyone touching it, has the ability to slowly change shape and color but not consistency. And your change requires about 10 minutes. A garment of brilliance cloth can be made into any other garment, for example, but it can’t be made protective. And I want this since I have the one hat that I think—I don’t think it was one use, last time I checked, right? The one that shifted into my—


Kyle

Like the disguise kit?


Ari

Yeah. I had like a specific hat.


Kyle

Yeah, no, the disguise kit will work, but every time you try to do something unique, like making a hat, you have to roll a depletion roll. But yours hasn’t broken yet.


Ari

Alright, cool. Yeah, and I also want to compliment it with a brilliance cloth as well. So I’m going to grab that.


Kyle

So you walk up to buy it and you see Haymish—he sees you and he gets excited and he perks up. And you see him start to mouth:


Kyle (as Haymish)

Hi! Welcome to Penny in Pocket, my name’s Haymish, how can I help you today?


Kyle

But he pops up and he starts mouthing that and you can’t hear him say anything.


Ari

Okay.


Kyle

And you see him sigh, and you see him point, you see him point to this button on the outside that’s just this bright, red button.


Ari

Okay, I guess Misha is going to press it.


Kyle

Alright, he’s going to sigh and say:


Kyle (as Haymish)

The Killjoy Box only lets you hear me if you choose to hear me. [Sadly] That’s why it hides killjoys. Alright, what do you want, Misha?


Ari (as Misha)

Oh. Uh, first of all I appreciate you remembering my nomenclature. It spared me the time of introducing myself once again.


Kyle (as Haymish)

Of course! I remember all of my best customers, even if they do kill my best friend.


Kyle

And you can see an empty jar where Jerald was last time you went to Penny in Pocket.


Ari

Ohh, Misha is going to kind of ignore that and say:


Ari (as Misha)

Well, um, I see that you have a quite unique cloth, and I would like to purchase that.


Kyle

Oh, absolutely!


Kyle

He reaches into this briefcase and reaches down really far, and he pulls out the brilliance cloth.


[39:57]


And he says:


Kyle (as Haymish)

Can you--can you press the other button?


Kyle

And right beneath the big button there’s another, smaller—it’s a switch. It’s like a light switch.


Ari

Okay. Misha is going to do that.


Kyle

You press it, and at the bottom, you know, kind of at the bottom of a vending machine, they have the little part that slides out and lets you grab whatever you bought from the vending machine.


Ari

Oh yeah.


Kyle

Yeah, he pushes the cloth through a slot like that and takes your shins.


Ari

Cool. Sounds good.


Emily

I also want to get something from Penny in Pocket.


Kyle

Okay, what are you going to buy?


Emily

So I’ve got my armful of spoons, and I spot the larder watch, which is a small, golden pocket watch that digitizes things. Can be used to store one object up to the same size as the user. Whatever is stored is kept out of time and space, hence the name. The technology was originally used to store food. After pulling out a stored item, the player must roll a D10. If they get a 1, the larder watch no longer works.


Kyle

Okay. You go to Haymish and you buy that.


Emily

Yeah.


Kyle

And then what are you going to do?


Emily

[Laughter]. Can I put the spoons in it?


Kyle

Yeah, you can—are you trying to smuggle the spoons?


Emily

Yes.


Hallie

Oh no!


Kyle

This is a very advanced security system, give me a DEX or an INT or some kind of roll to successfully steal the spoons.


Hallie

Oh nooo.


Emily

[Sighs] Fine, I’ll pay for them, but I’m going to haggle, hardcore.


Kyle

So you pick them up, and then you see the frogman with the newsboy cap from earlier pop up and say:


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

Would you like to put those in your cart?


Emily (as Elee)

I don’t know, will I get to keep them?


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

Absolutely!


Emily (as Elee)

Is there any chance that they’re going to be taken?


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

Absolutely not!


Emily (as Elee)

Okay.


Emily

I’m going to put them in the cart.


Kyle (as bullfrog salesman)

Alright! Stick them on in!


Kyle

And he lifts back, and he opens up his wide mouth, and you suddenly see his nametag which just reads “Cart.”


Emily

Elee is going to dump the spoons in roughly.


Kyle (as Cart)

Thank you! Do you want to put your socks in there too, sir?


Kyle

And he turns over to Xoc.


Tom (as Xoc)

No, I like carrying them.


Kyle (as Cart)

Alright, your loss! But if someone mugs you, you still have to pay!


Tom (as Xoc)

I can live with that.


Kyle (as Cart)

Alright. Oh, looks like someone just bought something and needs to put it in their cart!


Kyle

And he hops away.


Tom

So quick question. Does Elee still run on the rules of she needs mechanical repairs to heal back some of her pools when she takes enough damage?


Kyle

Misha does, but Elee works on the rolls of golem healing from The Strange core rulebook. So basically she can’t have her first healing roll of the day.


Tom

Gotcha. Okay. That actually makes this even clearer. So Xoc is going to wander over to the Killjoy zone, to the Penny in Pocket, say hi to Haymish, and then he’s going to pick up a major glowglobe for 10 shins. And a canister of spraymetal for five shins.


Kyle

Alright, so what do those do?


Tom

A glowglobe is an orb shaped device that illuminates everything in short range with soft light. It can over in the air on its own, it can be attached to things, and a major glowglobe will just keep going. It’s the Energizer of the Ninth World.


Kyle

[Laughter].


Tom

That’s not part of the actual tagline. I made it up. I’m very proud of it. Spraymetal is basically a canister that heals machine bits. You spray foam on it and it repairs machine bits. So presumably you would heal the same amount as sprayflesh, right?


Kyle

Yeah.


Tom

Okay, so it would just heal fi--six points, then, because I want the cheap one.


Kyle

Okay. You buy both of those things, and Haymish hands them on over to you. And he seems pretty happy with himself and he’s like:


Kyle (as Haymish)

Man, this is the best vacation ever, right Jer—ohh…


Kyle

And now he’s sad again.


Emily

Oh no.


Hallie

Nooo, poor Haymish.


Kyle

Anything else? Elee or Xoc, anything else you’re going to buy?


Emily

I think I’m good with mine.


Kyle

Okay, [sing-song] Hopper Scotch, what you going to get?


Hallie

I would like the time crisps.


Kyle

All right, what are the time crisps?


Hallie

The time crisps are potato chips that when eaten allow their user to crunch time and loop back up to one turn, where they can make a minor change, either by re-rolling a former action or making up a brand new one. Anyone not using the time crisps will notice any changes that might have occurred, but will not remember how they were made. And the number of crisps in a bag is determined by rolling a 2D4 plus two.


Kyle

Okay, roll me two D4s.


Hallie

Alright.


[Dice rolling.]


Hallie

Do I not have a D4? I have a D6 but not a D4, let me pull up—


Tom

I could roll a D4 for you.


Hallie

Yeah, go ahead. Roll two D4 for me.


Tom

Alright, I will roll this D4 twice. That is a two and a four.


Hallie

Nice.


Kyle

Alright, so you can use them eight times.


Hallie

Yeah boy! And in addition to the time crisps, I would like the Very Nice Socks.


Kyle

What are the Very Nice Socks, Hallie?


Hallie

Socks that provide an asset to all social rolls against a target for the remainder of the scene, assuming you can get the target to look at them for five seconds or longer. Recovered from a dangerous mirror.


[44:58]


Uh, when I was laughing to myself earlier, before we did the warm-up, I had just noticed the ‘if you can get the target to look at them’ thing with the very nice socks. So my question is, do you have to be wearing them?


[Long silence]


Kyle

Hot damn, I guess you don’t.


Hallie

[Laughter]. Yes!


Kyle

Oh no! I’m very concerned.


Hallie

Got me some socks!


Kyle

What have I done? I could have just said yes to either—oh no!


Tom

You made the right choice, Kyle.


Kyle

[Laughter]. I was like oh, I don’t need to have a depletion roll for those, those aren’t that powerful.


Hallie

Okay, I would like to, from Penny in Pocket, I would like to buy the social adamant clothing for 20 shins.


Kyle

What is that?


Hallie

Adamant silk can be used on clothing to make it five times as strong, and extremely resistant to stains and dirt. Due to your extreme cleanliness, all social interactions become one step easier. Cannot be combined with combat type adamant clothing.


Kyle

Yeah, that sounds good to me. So you write that down and Haymish writes a little note on his hand to tell Ignatius to start working on that adamant clothing, and it will be ready for you next arc, when you come into the store.


Hallie

Woo! So hang on, I’m double checking my character sheet. Okay, yeah. And I had 5XP, so I traded 2XP for 10 extra shins, just so we’re on the same page there. Okay, yeah, I had enough.


Kyle

Okay, you got everything you want?


Hallie

Yep!


Kyle

Alright, so you still have to get a hat, don’t you?


Hallie

Sure do.


Kyle

So this whole time, Everett has been sulking behind you. And he’s been occasionally moving a little bit closer and kicking the back of your heels, because he doesn’t want to say that he wants to get a hat, but he really wants to get a hat.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Do you want to get a hat?


Kyle (as Everett)

[Sighs]. Fine. If you’re gonna make me.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, I’m going to make you. Let’s go get a hat.


Kyle

Alright. You’re trying your hardest to be cheerful and he is not responding.


Emily

Oh, dad.


Kyle

Alright, so yeah, let’s just play out the scene.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. How about this one?


Hallie

And I’ll pull down whatever random hat is there.


Kyle (as Everett)

[Sighs]. It’s so tacky.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Like tacky in a ‘you really hate this’ way, or just tacky?


Kyle

He doesn’t say anything, he just looks at you.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay, we’ll put it back. How about this hat?


Kyle (as Everett)

I guess that one is--it would make me look pretty cool, maybe.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. Do you want to try it on to see if it make you look pretty cool?


Kyle (as Everett)

No, not in public!


Hallie (as Hopper)

How are you going to know if you’ll like it if you don’t try it on?


Kyle (as Everett)

Because I just know, okay! It’s okay. It’s an okay hat.


Hallie (as Hopper)

How about this hat?


Kyle (as Everett)

Are you--are you trying to just make my life miserable?


Hallie (as Hopper)

No, I’m trying to do the opposite.


Kyle (as Everett)

Okay, ‘cause it feels like you’re trying to make my life miserable.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Why don’t you pick out a hat that you like?


Kyle (as Everett)

[Sighs].


Kyle

And he just goes down the line.


Kyle (as Everett)

Boring. Bland. Bleached. This one shouldn’t even be for sale. And then this—


Kyle

And he picks up a propeller beanie.


Kyle (as Everett)

This is the most disgusting, horrific, horrendous thing I have ever seen in my life.


Kyle

And he’s gripping it really strongly, and he struggles putting it back. And he’s just like:


Kyle (as Everett)

Let’s just go home.


Hallie

Uh, okay. I’m going to pick up the propeller beanie and be like—Hopper is genuinely confused, he’s like, should I try reverse psychology and pretend I hate the hat as well? Yeah, I’m going to do that and be like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, you’re right, this is the worst hat I’ve ever seen.


Kyle (as Everett)

Okay, it’s not the worst. I was exaggerating. I mean, it’s got colors. A lot more than you do, browncoat.


Hallie

What is Everett wearing? Is it all black? [Laughter].


Kyle

[Laughter]. It’s all black.


Hallie

I’m going to look at him and raise an eyebrow and be like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

A little bit like a pot calling a kettle black, but okay.


Kyle (as Everett)

Black is cool ‘cause it’s all the colors. You would know that, if you learned things. Read a book for once.


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Strained] That is a cool fact that you told me, Everett.


Kyle (as Everett)

It’s not that cool!


Kyle

And you can see he’s blushing a little bit. He’s a little excited that you called something he said cool.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Well I think this hat is priced well.


Hallie

And then he’ll check the price. Is it priced affordably? Is it okay, or is it like, oh no.


Kyle

It is 20 shins.


Emily

That is an expensive hat. A full suit of armor--


Hallie

This is as expensive as the clothes Hopper just—the fancy silk for his clothes that he just bought. He’ll be like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

I think it’s priced reasonably [clears throat]—do you hate it enough to buy it?


Kyle (as Everett)

[Exhales loudly] …yeah.


Hallie

He’s taking such a—yeah, I’m going to like push it at him and be like


Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright, let’s go.


Kyle

You start walking back to the front, and he is like fidgeting with it. And he’s like, telling facts and he’s trying to be bored but he’s like super excited. He’s like:


Kyle (as Everett)

Oh, did you know that apparently if you’re small enough, it will let you fly or whatever? And you can like, Mr. Mako said you could remote drone it or whatever. I don’t know, it sounds pretty boring to me, like, I mean, it has so many colors and you can see all of them, which is cool I guess.


Kyle

And he’s just saying that. And as you walk by, and I’m assuming you kind of meet up with the rest of the party and you’re all on your way back?


[49:55]


Hallie

Yeah, while he’s doing that, I’m going:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, mm-hmm. Yeah, mm-hmm. No, it--it does sound cool.


Hallie

It’s simultaneously what you do to get a kid to stop talking, but Hopper is also genuine about it. He just doesn’t want to appear that genuine because he has no idea how to act around Everett.


Kyle

Alright, you’re going to walk to the front of the store. Do you do anything before you reach the front of the line?


Ari

Yeah, so Misha is going to just be looking around, and then their gaze is going to stop on this hat that’s standing out to them from the rest of them, and it is this really nice looking fez. They don’t really see anything that is peculiar about it. They just like the color. It’s like a really bright red fez, they think—they try it on, and they try it on for a little bit, they really like it, and so they just toss it in the cart, not knowing exactly what it would do.


Kyle

As you throw it away, just Cart, like, pops up out of like a stack of nearby t-shirts. He pops out of a stack of nearby t-shirts as like a predator popping out of the grass, and he just goes:


Kyle (as Cart)

[Big, watery gulp].


Kyle

And it falls straight in his gullet, and he just keeps on running.


Ari

Alright.


Kyle

Alright, what does the fez do?


Ari

The fez is actually called the Fez of Infinite Hunger. It willingly consumes shins from its wearer, occasionally giving out minimal rewards. No one has yet found where the money goes. For every five shins, the player rolls a 1D100. They have 20% chance oddity, one out of 20, 60 percent chance of cypher, 21 to 80, 90% chance artifact, 81-99, and 1% chance of getting any oddity, cypher, or artifact of their choice, so long as it can be purchased at other shops, can be found in the rulebook, or is approved by the GM.


Kyle

Yeah, you grab that hat. When you put it on at first, you could have sworn you heard a faint:


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

Mmmm, yesssss.


Ari

Oh boy, that’s terrifying.


Kyle

But that voice goes away as soon as you take it off and throw it. It’s like:


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

Mmm, yes. No, wait! Wait!


Kyle

And gets thrown away. Alright. You’re at the front of the line, and then Cart pops up and he’s like:


Kyle (as Cart)

Well hello there! [Regurgitating noise.]


Kyle

And like, just outside of his gullet, all the things that you decided to put in your cart just pop out onto the little checkout area. And he calculates and he’s like:


Kyle (as Cart)

Well, this will cost you…


Kyle

And he says, however much you have to pay, subtracting the stuff you bought from Penny in Pocket.


Ari

Misha is going to try and say:


Ari (as Misha)

Well, that seems like a reasonable price, but I do believe that—


Ari

Oh no, actually no, before Misha does that, they’re going to take this elderly woman’s voice—


[Mysterious music begins.]


Ari

Because that is what they associate with haggling. And then they’re going to be like:


Ari (as Misha)

Alright, but hear me out here. This sounds like a perfectly reasonable price, but I believe that getting all of these items together means that we can get a discount, as it seems that they are grouped together and we are giving a lot of benefits to your store. Therefore, I believe that getting all these things together merits—


Ari

And then they are going to offer 10% off discount price of whatever the price that they said was.


Hallie

Hopper looks genuinely impressed that Misha knew what a bulk discount was.


Tom

Can Xoc provide an asset to this?


Kyle

What does Xoc want to do?


Tom

I kind of want Xoc to just like, very slowly slide one of the coupons we were showed earlier across the counter. Just really slowly slide up coupons.


Ari

Oh yeah, I guess if we all have these coupons.


Hallie

Well the coupons are for specific things. You could try.


Ari

Right!


Kyle

Okay, so you want to try to apply these coupons?


Ari

Yes.


Tom

We don’t have to. That was my dumb idea.


Kyle

Okay no, that will be an asset. I can justify it. Alright, give me a roll.


[Dice rolling.]


Ari

I got a five, so.


Tom

But one step better from my asset? Huh, huh?


Kyle

Yeah, so it would have been two steps easier because you were trained in haggling.


Tom

True.


Kyle

And he’s going to look at you and going to be like:


Kyle (as Cart)

Well, I haven’t seen these coupons anywhere before. I mean, they seem legitimate, but we aren’t five finger coupons, so I don’t think that would apply for us, and I don’t think there’s a bulk discount. This is very difficult for me, because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know—nobody has asked for a discount before. They usually just steal.


Ari (as Misha)

Well, there’s always a first time for everything, isn’t there? Plus, isn’t it better for you if we get you some money as opposed to no money? Therefore, I think that it’s better to apply this discount to us, because otherwise we might just steal it anyway.


Emily

I want to chip in:


Emily (as Elee)

I was going to steal this … but I didn’t!


Hallie

[Spit take.]


Kyle (as Cart)

Oh, well, um, well how about—five finger coupons, what if I did 5%?


Ari

Misha is going to be like:


Ari (as Misha)

Mmm. That is quite an interesting offer. How about if we settle for 7%?


Kyle (as Cart)

Well, seven isn’t an easily divisible number.


Ari (as Misha)

How about 6% then?


Kyle (as Cart)

Well six also isn’t—it’s really multiples of five that are easily divisible.


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Whispering] Misha, he’s right.


Ari (as Misha)

I can help with the division if that is something that seems a problem to you.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Uhh, I’m an accountant!


[55:10]


Kyle (as Cart)

Okay, that sounds fair to me! We’ll do—what percent were we going to do again?


Ari (as Misha)

Um, I believe it was 8%.


Kyle (as Cart)

Alright. 8% it is.


Kyle

And you check out everything else, and you will get back 8% of the money that you spent. And I’m assuming you already went through the exchange machine and got this money back?


Ari

I assume that?


Tom

Probably.


Kyle

So in that case, we’ll figure this out after the fact, but you’re basically going to have to calculate how much money you had.


Ari

Oh, this is going to be fun.


Kyle

You’re going to have to calculate how much money you spent on things at the store. Not at Penny in Pocket, because you already paid for those.


Ari

Right.


Kyle

And then you’ll have to convert that into scratch, because scratch machines don’t convert money back to shins.


Hallie

What have you done?


Kyle

So you’re stuck with this useless fun money.


Emily

Oh no!


Hallie

Oh no! [Laughter].


Kyle

I’ll treat that as a GM intrusion. Ari, who do you want to give your other point to?


Ari

I think I am going to give it to Hopper because he had to deal with Everett’s nonsense.


Hallie

Woo!


Kyle

Alright, so you all meet out up front. Mauve has done some shopping. She says:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, I wasn’t able to find the granulated azure. I’m going to do a little bit more hunting. I mean, it looks like we’ve got some time to kill, so how about we head out and we meet back here in a couple of hours?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Sounds good.


Tom (as Xoc)

Seems fair.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah.


Kyle (as Mauve)

Sounds good. I’m going to take Everett with me. I think he’s a little overstimulated.


Kyle

And as you can tell, Everett is actually kind of holding his breath, which is an actual anxiety response to being around so many people for so long. He’s just been hiding it successfully this whole time.


Kyle (as Mauve)

Just got to keep him close at hand and make sure he doesn’t get in trouble, but I’ll see all of you in a little while?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah!


Emily (as Elee)

Unless we get murdered!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Unless that happens.


Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, if you were going to get killed, it would have happened by this point.


Tom

That feels like a camera look moment.


Hallie

[Laughter]. I’ll do a camera look.


Tom

And they all walk away, and you have your Roulettia brochure. So what are you all going to do?


Hallie

Before we part, can I just look at—I just want to compliment Misha on their haggling, in character. Hopper is very impressed. He’s going to turn to Misha and be like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

That was incredible. When did you learn to haggle?


Hallie

Thinking back to when Misha has a kazoo that they clearly got swindled all their money out of buying.


Ari (as Misha)

Yes, I happen to be quite an expert at the art of the haggle. And I expect this to be useful in many other situations.


Ari

They are not going to say that this is going to be a thing that’s going to get lost, they’re just going to pretend that this is a thing that they’re now good at.


Hallie

Alright. I just wanted to do that. We can move on now.


Kyle

Cool. So you all take a look at the brochure, and you have some time to kill. You see a whole host of locations which I’ve sent to you in that little brochure description area, and you also—Xoc, you see actually in the advertisements, you see an advertisement for someone called The Great Vespari, who is performing in Piper’s Pit. And the tagline for that says “Fake Esoteries, Real Magic.”


Tom

Xoc is going to gasp a little bit upon seeing that and be like:


Tom (as Xoc)

Is that a stage nano? I’ve--I’ve never gotten to see one of those before!


Tom

And Xoc is going to turn to Misha and say:


Tom (as Xoc)

Do you want to go see a stage nano?


Ari (as Misha)

Sure. I have also never experienced this sort of human before.


Ari

And then Misha is going to put on their new hat, and their new—


Kyle (as the Fez of Infinite Hunger)

Mmm, yesssss.


Ari

—shirt—


Hallie

God.


Ari

—to be ready to go to that with Xoc.


Kyle

And then what are Elee and Hop going to do?


Emily

I am interested in either Prosthetic Intestine or Land of Tomorrow.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. I’m deciding between the Land of Tomorrow and Manny’s Prosthetic Intestine. I don’t know, what do you want to do? I kind of want to go look at the deadliest roller coaster in the Ninth World.


Emily (as Elee)

I’ll go with you.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. Yeah, let’s go to the roller coaster.


Kyle

Alright. Two of you head off to Piper’s Pit to see the greatest stage nano in existence, and the other two of you head off to a roller coaster that is certain death.


[Closing theme begins.]


Kyle

And as you split up and agree to meet back later, the view of us as an audience goes back a little bit, and we see, hiding behind one of the alleyways and staring at you, the back of a classic trenchcoat and a trilby hat, and the hand grabs the trilby hat, pushes it down on their face, and walks out of view.


[Closing theme intensifies.]


Kyle

[Singing] Isn’t Roulettia the best?


Emily

Yeah.


Hallie

God.


Tom

At least it’s not inside a space whale anymore, because Kyle was like, this isn’t a space whale, Tom, you’re fucking dumb.


Hallie

I also thought that! I was like, I bet it’s inside a whale!


Kyle

Nope. Now it’s inside a space manta ray.


[59:55]


Tom

I hyped up the space whales to Kyle, and then he actually read about them and learned that it was all a lie.


Kyle

[Yawning] I mean, they’re kind of like whales, a little bit.


Tom

You know, shaped like manta rays.


Kyle

No, they’re just manta rays, Tom.


Tom

They’re like space whales, but shaped like manta rays and have no whale-like features.


Kyle

I was excited because I was going to like, have these giant, white arches that were clearly the whale’s ribs.


Tom

It’s a space whale. It doesn’t have ribs.


Kyle

It could have ribs.


Hallie

Why wouldn’t a space whale have ribs?


Tom

I mean, I don’t know!


Hallie

Just because you’re in space doesn’t mean you don’t have basic anatomy.


Tom

It could be very different in space.


Hallie

It could be. No, it could be, but it could also not be.


[Episode ends – 1:00:37]

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Numenera and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC. Content derived from Monte Cook Games publications is © 2013-2017 Monte Cook Games, LLC. Read the full disclaimer here.​

Intro/Outro music by MiracleOfSound

Intro: "Friends" (YouTube, Bandcamp)

Outro: "Hitoshio" (YouTube, Bandcamp)