• Quest Friends!

Ep. 29: Questionable Measures, Part 11

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

S01E29: The moguls hear from a pair of instigators interested in pitching something much bigger than a single product.

Listen as our heroes:

GAMBLE with their lives!

DEVOUR knowledge!

HEAR the people sing!

Submit an item: https://goo.gl/forms/JMgvHsqlWlV64Jw22


TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

Previously, on Trash Tank:


[Trash Tank’s dramatic theme music begins.]


Tom

He doesn’t really get what these people want. And absolutely none of them are people he trusts not to kill him at the first opportunity.


Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

I promise that I personally will not bring your innocent friends to harm.


Kyle

This man who calls himself Regular Bob is a species of visitant, which is what we call alien, called a rorathik. One thing that they’re infamous for is that they have a very unhealthy addiction to kills of glory.


Ari

The fez is actually called the Fez of Infinite Hunger. It willingly consumes shins from its wearer, occasionally giving out minimal rewards.


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

Mmm…yes.


Ari

Boy, that’s terrifying.


Kyle

And almost challengingly, he says:


Kyle (as Ashen)

Hopper Scotch?


Hallie (as Hopper)

You talking to me?


Kyle (as Ashen)

Hopscotch! Anyone want to play hopscotch over here?


Ari (as Misha)

What is hopscotch?


Kyle

Death. Poker.


[Trash Tank theme intensifies.]


Kyle

Hop and Misha, you are back in the Land of Tomorrow, about one hour out from when the Tenth World Exhibit and Auction begins. Things have calmed down a little bit. A lot of the biggest spenders have gotten ready for the exhibit, so many of the gambling games have shut down. But those that aren’t, are advertising even harder. Except for one.


[Mysterious, somewhat ominous music begins.]


Kyle

Across a hallway of people yelling for your time, an array of angrily flipped tables and chaffed chessers players, you see a man with spotted auburn hair, square sunglasses, and a beaming smile looking right at you while twirling two humming pearls in his right hand.


Hallie

Are we still holding the stuff that we got back from Fancy Tom & co.?


Kyle

Yeah, I mean, you have all the stuff. You have the blueprints, you have the simplified version of the blueprints, but the big thing is you have that announcement being like, oh, come win this prize. And you’ve got two pearls of your own.


Hallie

Great. Hopper will look at the letter. He’s holding the pearls and he’ll turn to Misha and be like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Misha, I think I’ve got to go over there. I think--I think--I think I’ve gotta play a game.


Kyle

So you start making your way over there, and he is getting super excited. Like that smile is just getting bigger. But as it happens, your walkie-talkie crackles to life again. And you hear a voice on the other end say:


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Uh, Mr., uh, Mr. Scotch, are you there?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, yeah. H-hello, what’s up?


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Hey, uh, Mr. Scotch, it’s uh, me, uh, Regular Bob. I’m an employee of, uh, Ms. Stiles.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

I’m just calling because I got some documents here, and uh, Ms. Stiles said that if I ever got confused about anything, I should just call you, uh, ask a question. You got a quick second for me, uh, Mr. Scotch?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Sure.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Alright. Uh, so I’m just uh, I’m filing these, um, I’m taking care of these files in, uh, Ms. Stiles’ drawers, and she’s got, uh, a pretty big folder right here about the Jagged Dream. Uh, I just wanted to verify that uh, you uh, a couple days ago went in and you actually, uh, broke into one of their lairs, like, fought, uh, one of their leaders? Uh, looks like a Ms. Layeni? A Ms. Vera Layeni? Uh, and got away and lived to tell the tale? Uh, I just wanted to verify that that information is--is correct?


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Suspiciously] Yes.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Alright, uh, sounds good. That’s mister—that’s very impressive, uh, by the way, Mr. Scotch. I uh, haven’t really heard anyone do something that impressive before. Like, you and your friends are uh, really uh, really something. Is there anything more, uh, you want me to add to this document before I put it back in Ms. Lorraine’s drawers?


Hallie

As Hallie, I’m very confused. What he said was correct, right?


Kyle

Yeah. He’s just verifying. Because Ms. Lorraine is like, he wants to call in case he wants to verify anything.


Tom

He’s verifying our eligibility of something alright.


Hallie

Alright. Alright, so then as Hop, just:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, thanks. I guess.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Of course, Mr. Scotch. Uh, I’ll let you know if I, uhh, need anythinggg… [Trails off into a groaning sound]


Kyle

And it blips off as he’s like, kind of his voice just kind of drones off a little bit.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. That was weird.


Hallie

And he just kind of, like, shakes it off and keeps going towards the hopscotch guy.


Kyle

Yeah, hopscotch guy. His name is Ashen.


Hallie

Ashen, that’s what it was!


Kyle

And as you get closer, he starts twirling harder, and he’s like:


Kyle (as Ashen)

Hop Scotch? Are you here finally to play hopscotch?


Hallie (as Hopper)

I guess so.


Kyle (as Ashen)

Alright, well come on, take a seat. Unfortunately our employer said that we can’t bring your innocent friends to harm, so I’m sorry; your companion cannot play. It will just be me and you. But I think that will be more than interesting.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Bring it on.


Kyle

And he flips his left hand, and you can see a dozen lines of yellow light, which is the EZ-Life brand. And he’s like,


Kyle (as Ashen)

Uh, do you have one?


[5:00]


Hallie (as Hopper)

Sure don’t.


Kyle (as Ashen)

Uh well that’s going to be a problem there Mr. Scotch. If you would just uh put your hand in our temporary brand? It will wear off after about 30 minutes or so.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Do I have to?


Kyle (as Ashen)

Unfortunately that’s the only way we play here in Roulettia, unless you want to literally play with sticks and stones. And to be honest, I uh…


Kyle

And he looks down at his suit and just, like, wipes off some dirt.


Kyle (as Ashen)

I’m not, uh, really feeling that today.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Before we get into this--


Hallie

And he’s holding up the flyer.


Hallie (as Hopper)

--What’s the prize for this?


Kyle

He’s going to smile and say:


Kyle (as Ashen)

Well, uh, Mr. Scotch, one of the keys of gambling is never revealing your hand. So all I’ll say now is it’s something you’ll want to take a look at.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Well it’s not like revealing your hand. It’s just telling me what I get out of this.


Kyle (as Ashen)

[Sighs.] You always have to be so difficult about this, don’t you? Why did you go with Mac? Mac got you to come along easy enough. What, is it me? Is it me? Is there something wrong with me? Like, I’m trying my hardest here to have a genuine, threatening but entertaining presence, and you’re just getting in the way of it.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Well--well--well--


Hallie

Hopper is sensing genuine distress on the part of this man and will go:


Hallie (as Hopper)

W-we-well--well, I’m ascertaining the level of threat. You know, is it worth it? Is this prize worth it?


Kyle (as Ashen)

Well…


Kyle

He’s going to pull up a file that Lorraine just has on Hop Scotch for all her employees to use. He’s going to be like:


Kyle (as Ashen)

Uh, well, it has a book. You like books, right? You’re a fan of books?


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Upset] Yeah.


Kyle (as Ashen)

It’s a book. It’s a very good book. I hate it. It’s incredibly boring. So you’d probably love it.


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Exasperated] Alright, fine! Fine!


Hallie

[Laughter] And he’ll throw the flier down and say:


Hallie (as Hopper)

But I need to do this EZ-Life thing? I don’t like the EZ-Life thing.


Kyle (as Ashen)

It’s the only way to play. Again, unless you want—


Kyle

And he picks up just a bag of rocks.


Kyle (as Ashen)

Unless you’d rather play this way.


Hallie (as Hopper)

No.


Hallie

And he’ll--I--he’s--he’s doing the hand thing. He doesn’t know. I do.


Tom

[Distressed exhalation]


Kyle (as Ashen)

Well I’m very glad you’ve finally come to your senses. Let’s begin, shall we?


Kyle

I’m gonna say you put your hand in, and you feel, like, a little inky stamp. It’s like someone did an ink stamp on your hand.


Hallie

You get like at a carnival or something.


Kyle

Yeah, and it kind of chills up your spine a little bit, and you come out and you see these dozen dull yellow lines. So they’re not as vibrant as the ones that are actually permanently installed.


Hallie

Okay.


Kyle

They’re a little duller, because they’re not quite as there. Uh, Misha, what are you doing during—like how are you feeling during this whole scene? What are you up to?


Hallie

Well, I mean, normally Misha would be fairly interested in this situation, and potentially even worried on Hopper Scotch’s behalf, but they just went through some things, so I think that they would be kind of out of it a little bit, and they are just kind of sitting in a corner. And, like, they haven’t really even noticed what Hopper is doing. Like they’re kind of looking at, into a distance.


Kyle

Okay. So you’re kind of stirred from your moment a little bit, as you hear a voice on the top of your head say:


[Swarthy, accordion-driven music begins.]


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

Mm, yes, this game is incredibly boring. Mmm, I hunger for real scratch. I heard there was a gambling game back there where we could make me plenty of money. Mmm, mmm, mmmm.


Kyle

And the fez kind of gets muffled as your scarf reaches up and just starts muffling it.


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

Mm, no, really I’d give you half of the paym—I’d give you a fourth of the payment.


Hallie

[Laughter]


Ari

Misha first is going to be looking around confused, because they’re not realizing where the voice is coming from. I guess finally they’re going to eventually realize that it’s coming from their hat, and they’re going to reach for it to take it off.


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

No, really, we’re going to win plenty of scratch! Don’t you want scratch? I’m so hungry! I’m so hungry!


Kyle

What are you doing with the hat as it’s, like, pleading?


Ari

Uh, they’re taking it out and they’re looking at it and saying:


Ari (as Misha)

I do not care at the moment for any monetary currency. So if you are truly hungry, you might have to wait until later. I do apologize.


Kyle

As you’re saying that, your scarf is just kind of waving the end of it, like waving a fist, and it’s now brushing like get it out of here. [Jokingly] Get it out of here! Get the hat out of here!


Ari

Yeah, Misha will notice that and will say:


Ari (as Misha)

I also happen to notice my scarf does not like you. Therefore, I do not know if I like you as much either when you’re so talkative.


Kyle (as Fez of Infinite Hunger)

I can talk less. I’m just hungry.


Ari

I forget, like I do—I think I have a couple, so I guess Misha would just take one shin and give it to the hat.


Hallie

We all had 242 scratch left over from—


Kyle

No, we spent that. We spent that so fast.


Hallie

On what?


Kyle

We spent that on the pi-Pods.


Tom

Yeah, we just burned it on pi-Pods.


Ari

Ohh.


Hallie

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I did.


Ari

Never mind if I don’t have it. Because if not I was going to take one thing and give it, one scratch and give it that.


Kyle

Okay. The hat’s just going to be grumbling to itself and the scarf’s going to be like, it’s going to be just one end is going to be like “Dude, what the fuck? Why aren’t you throwing this away?” So they’re both very upset at you.


Ari

And Misha is just going to push the hat a little bit away from them and be like:


Ari (as Misha)

Uh, until you are quieter, I will put you here, as I do not care to listen to your conversation at the moment.


[10:10]


Kyle

Just the hat?


Ari

Yes, just the hat. Not the scarf.


Kyle

That’s good, because as soon as you move it, you see the scarf went to push it off and is just kind of laying down. As you put it away, can you roll me a perception?


Ari

Oh boy, I’m using my lucky die.


[Die rolls.]


Ari

Oh, and I rolled a 20 with my lucky die. That’s why it’s my lucky die, see?


Hallie

Nice.


Tom

Ooh!


Kyle

Alright, so you see a lot of things.


[Jazzy, suspicion-raising music begins.]


Kyle

As you turn, you see a bar. And at that bar, you see just a lot of folks, they’re just getting some drinks, eating some pi-Pods. You see Mac is just sitting at the end, and they’re just holding a notebook, and they’re just intensely looking at you and looking at Hop. And you kind of can get the idea that Mac has probably been trailing you for awhile now ,and you just haven’t noticed them. But they’ve been following you, and they’re scribbling down notes in the notebook. And you move the fez and you see them look down and start scribbling more notes. So you get the idea that Mac has been following you for awhile.


Hallie

Oh no.


Kyle

But you also see a projector that’s made out of fountain bits, like you saw, you know, at the Tommy Funbuck statue? You see this fountain projector, and on it you see a TV show—


Kyle (as announcer)

TRASH TANK!


Kyle

And you see it introduce itself, and you see the Great Vespari—ugh—Tommy Funbuck—ugh!—and Lorraine—


Everyone

[Chorus of “ughs” and disgusted noises]


Kyle

And then you hear exactly the premise and it’s like, oh man, it’s either going to be good or it’s going to be trash, and whoever gets trashed gets trashed…’cause they get killed. They get thrown in the garbage. And you catch some random person getting sharked. And then you see a new set of two people.


Ari

Oh boy.


Kyle

Xoc and Elee, you walk out onto the main stage of Piper’s Pit, where you confronted the Great Vespari earlier, and you see a massive crowd--or no, group of, like, robots, of very rudimentary robots that are just used to clap and cheer and pretend to be an actual audience, except for one lady in the back who is genuinely there and she’s got a purse on her lap, and she’s like:


Kyle (as lady)

Woohoo! Woo! I love this!


Kyle

Like, she’s loving it, but everyone else is faked to fabricate a live audience. On this panel in front of you, you see on the left, the Great Vespari. You see in the middle, Tommy Funbuck, and you see on the other end, Lorraine Stiles. And you walk forward with Elee and Loell. How are you three feeling right now? Well how are you two feeling right now? I know how Loell feels, because I’m him.


Tom

Xoc is a mixture of confused and scared. He has a plan still, but he’s just a little worried that this might be the end of his journey.


Emily

Elee is mostly consumed by rage. Just like, at this situation and life, at all three of the judges. And she’s like, clenching and unclenching her fists. The spikes are probably going in and out because she’s just trying not to talk.


Kyle

And I should note that Soe is not with you, even though she got trapped seeing Tommy’s secret like everyone else. Mauve used a large amount of her favors from Tommy to convince him that Soe won’t say anything and get her out of it. So those three are out of the picture. They’ve now left and are watching you from a safe location. But you two are very much in danger still. And in front of you, Tommy Funbuck looks forward and he says with kind of a sneer:


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck)

Well welcome back to Trash Tank. I’m your host, Tommy Funbuck, and now we’re gonna see our next contes—


[Buzzer sounds.]


Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

Trash!


Kyle

And he’s cut off by Vespari, like slamming the trash button, just being like:


Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

Trash! Trash! Trash! Trash! Their idea is trash!


[Thumping techno music plays in the background.]


Ari

Oh no!


Kyle

And Tommy looks from him back to you and says:


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck)

Well, looks like it’s going to be a short one today, my dudes.


[Techno music continues.]


Kyle

Hello and welcome to Episode 29 of Quest Friends, Questionable Measures Part 11. I am Kyle, your GM, and I am back after our holiday break with more episodes and more announcements. Yes, that is what I do at this moment. So I’ll keep the announcements quick today to get right back into the episode. Our credits song, as usual, is “Hitoshio” by Miracle of Sound. We’re going to the Podcon soon. Hallie, Emily and I will be going to Podcon 2 in January. I think it’s the 19th and 20th. Regardless, if you’re going to be there and you’re a listener, we have a table. If you want to stop by, also just let us know. Like, we’d love to say hi to any listeners who are there at Podcon. This is our first convention as a podcast, and my second convention ever. So I’m really nervous, but also really excited. But as for an actual call to action that everybody can do, we are officially two-thirds through Questionable Measures, which is going to be 15 parts. And I know that for sure, because we finished playing it back in December. That gives me about a month and maybe a week from today until we record our first session for the next chapter, chapter four. And I need NPC names, I need location names, I need to restock Penny In Pocket for all of that. And I figured I’d reach out for anybody who might be interested in helping me out with something like that. To anyone who might want to help me out. So the one thing you can do like always is Tweet or Tumblr out about the show using the hashtag #QuestFriends. Anyone who does that, their name will be put in a name pool, which I use to name characters, items, et cetera, et cetera. I figured out the majority of, like the core kind of cast for chapter four because it’s going to be a mystery show. And I would say 75% of those names were pulled from the name pool. The other thing you can do is if you’re interested in providing an item, a cypher, an artifact, really anything in Penny In Pocket, please just any time really in the month of January, you can feel free to message out to the show, I’ve got an actual form below. Anything that you share with us for item ideas—I might change the name, might change the mechanics a little bit, but they will be put down in the show as something that our characters can pull from and buy at the store Penny In Pocket at the beginning of the next arc. Don’t feel any obligation to fill anything out; I’m going to be putting down a whole host of items as well. But if you’re interested in potentially getting your name on the show that way, that is a thing that you can do. Otherwise the most important thing you can do is as always just listen to the dang show, which I’ve been getting in the way of by doing all these announcements. So, our next episode will be out on Monday, January 21st, and I will see you then.


[16:50]


[Techno music resumes.]


Kyle

So Hop.


Hallie

Yeah?


Kyle

When you get that brand on your hand, on your left hand, you can see—or are you holding the pearls in your left or right hand?


Hallie

Hop’s left-handed, so he would do his non-dominant hand into the brand.


Kyle

Okay, so that brand is on your right hand, and on your left hand, you see the two humming pearls turn into two blank 12-sided die.


Hallie

Okay.


[Educational elevator music begins]


Kyle

The game of hopscotch is played with two 12-sided die. They’re blank. That’s why the brand is necessary, because essentially what’s going to happen is you’re going to roll the die. And when you hold the dice with your hands, the dozen lines on the back of your branded line, it will essentially fade, so it will only show you the amount. So if you rolled a four and you touch it with your hand, the back of your brand will reveal only four of the dozen lines.


Hallie

Ah, so you can’t cheat and say you rolled something else?


Kyle

You can’t cheat, and it’s also a way that you can roll the dice but also have them clearly hidden, because the back of the card is the back of your hand.


Hallie

So that’s how you see what your hand is literally? It’s your hand.


Kyle

Uh, yeah. Eyyy!


Hallie

Eyyy!


Kyle

I didn’t even think of that pun. You roll both dice and you bet how many points from your Might, Speed, or Intellect will you want to bet. You can do this on a temporary basis; essentially you’re going to lose those but you can get them back. The permanent basis is that you lose your maximum, but if you succeed, you gain maximum points to that pool.


Hallie

Okay.


Kyle

So you’re essentially trading either permanent maximums or just temporary amounts. So if you need to heal up at all, now could be a way to do it. But you’ll have to bet in the same pool that you want to heal in.


Hallie

Okay.


Kyle

Whoever wins is the highest of the total of the two die. If you want to re-roll one of the die, you can re-roll it with a D10. If you want to re-roll both die, you use a D10. If there are any re-rolls after the re-rolls, you bet again, and then you figure out who wins. And if you fold, if you choose to fold, they’ll only pull half the points that have been bet. Does that make sense?


Hallie

Yes.


Kyle

So Ashen is going to look at you:


Kyle (as Ashen)

So are we playing temporarily, or permanently?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Let’s start with temporarily.


Kyle (as Ashen)

Alright. Do we want to be pulling from our swiftness, our strength, or our mind?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Let’s do mind.


Kyle

Alright.


Hallie (as Hopper)

I lied. Speed. Let’s do Speed.


Kyle

Alright, you’re each going to bet one Speed point as a betting start.


Hallie

Okay, good.


Kyle

Alright, roll your D20.


[Die rolls.]


Hallie

D12?


Kyle

Yeah, roll your D12.


Hallie

Twice, or just once?


Kyle

Twice, because it’s two dice.


[Dice rolling.]


Kyle

I’ve already rolled mine and I know what I’m going to do. I’m kind of automatic. So when Hop puts his hands down on the two die, what does he see?


Hallie

He sees a 3 and a 10. Okay, so I’m assuming because this is like death poker, there’s like a bluff mechanic. I can see through motives and lies. Would that help me see through any bluff he has?


Kyle

Yeah, you can roll to see through his bluffs.


[20:00]


Hallie

Yeah, I’d like to do that please. I need to get out my D20. Alright. I’m rolling to see whether he has a good hand or not, judging by his—


[Die rolls.]


Hallie

That’s a three, so...


Kyle

No clue.


Hallie

No.


Kyle

No idea. Those square sunglasses, ooh.


Hallie

Alright.


Kyle

So he’s going to look at you and say:


Kyle (as Ashen)

Hop Scotch, let’s do four. Four on the table? Sound good to you?


Kyle

So are you going to match the bet before you re-roll?


Hallie

[Upset] Yes.


Kyle

We’ve got now five INT points on the table.


Hallie

Speed


Kyle

Five Speed points on the table.


[Die rolls.]


Hallie

Shit—sorry, they keep bouncing on my—


[Die rolls.]


Hallie

A six.


Kyle

He doesn’t re-roll. He looks at you and he’s like:


Kyle (as Ashen)

Alright, how much on the table? Unless you want to back out of course. No shame in that.


Hallie

Okay. Um. Do I have to raise? But that’s going to give it away. Hopper’s not good at these games. The thing is, I’m trying to do like, the mathematical probability that he has a higher number than me, and it’s just a little bit too high for Hop’s comfort, but he doesn’t want to give away that he’s not doing great.


[Dramatic guitar and drum music begins, heading into this showdown.]


Hallie (as Hopper)

I’ll stay.


Kyle (as Ashen)

Alright. Yours first, or mine?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Please, after you.


Kyle

He’s going to put down his hand and he’s going to turn over and reveal 11 bright lines. And then he’s going to put his hand on the other dice, and the 12th line lights up.


Hallie

How—did you actually roll that well? Ugh! [Angrily] Fuck you! [Resigned] Alright.


Kyle

And as that, you feel five—


Hallie

Great.


Kyle

You feel--actually no, Hop calculates Might, Speed, and INT, that’s canon.


Hallie

That’s right.


Kyle

You feel five speed points leave your body.


Hallie

Great.


Kyle

And enter into his. And he’s like:


Kyle (as Ashen)

[Sighs pleasurably.] And she told me you would be a challenge.


Kyle

Alright, we’re going to move over. Misha, are you doing anything as you’re watching this disaster on both ends?


Ari

Um, yeah, so Misha is going to look at the screen after they--so Xoc and Elee, especially after they saw the shark thing, but they also are really angry about Mac just being there. So I want to ask first, are there any cigarettes in the floor?


Hallie

[Laughter.]


Kyle

Uh, yeah. You can see a trail of them leading, you don’t know how far back, but they’re leading back a pretty far fucking way.


Ari

Okay. So I want Misha to take as many as they can in the general area and then—


Kyle

Okay, you got twenty. You got twenty because you rolled twenty last time.


Ari

Okay, excellent. So they’re going to pick twenty cigarettes and then they’re going to approach—


Kyle

I’m going to mention this, you could go and pick up 100, but you would be all the way back at like the rollercoaster—


Ari

No!


Kyle

And then back at like, the hotel. So I’m assuming you don’t go that far.


Ari

No, yeah, they don’t want to go back there anyway. They’re just going to take them in the vicinity, and then they’re going to approach Mac and say:


Ari (as Misha)

It appears as if someone keeps picking this up. And if you want to cover your trail, you should stop throwing this.


Kyle (as Mac)

[Exhaling smoke] Kid, I’m not the one who needs to be covering their tracks, ‘cause I’m not the one with secrets to hide.


Ari

Misha’s going to look at their notebook, and then back at Mac and say:


Ari (as Misha)

How much have you witnessed?


Kyle (as Mac)

Saw you take those blueprints, saw you go on that rollercoaster ride, and now you’re trying to win some prize? [Exhales smoke.] I’ve seen enough that makes you seem like the biggest suspect of all, but, could just be me.


Ari (as Misha)

So you just witnessed us being on the rollercoaster.


Kyle (as Mac)

Uh, something like that. Saw you putting up a pretty big fight against some, uh, pretty unsavory folk.


Ari (as Misha)

Who are you doing this for?


Kyle (as Mac)

I’m doing it for the law. Ms. Stiles might trust you, but you adventurers are always the same.


Ari (as Misha)

Well I do not believe Ms. Stiles trusts us, but I also do not trust you, as you have no right to be spying upon people. So you are going to hand me this notebook.


Ari

And they’re going to look at them in the eyes when they say that.


Kyle

Do you want to roll to intimidate?


Ari

Sure. I’m trying to think if I have something that I can use to intimidate.


Tom

[Chanting] Lucky die!


Ari

Can my scarf also be like, menacingly looking at…?


Kyle

Yeah, just like [hissing] we are Venom!


[Die rolls.]


Ari

Sixteen! Actually, I want, so that people don’t think that I horde XP, I want to spend one so that, like, my scarf looks especially intimidating, like it looks like they have little tendrils of stuff coming out of them.


Kyle

Mac’s going to take the book.


Kyle (as Mac)

Alright, I see. I understand.


Kyle

Going to take it, close it, slide it to you, pull out another one.


Kyle (as Mac)

Theft of evidence. That’ll be the first thing on the new list.


Kyle

And we’re going to flash back, we’re going to move over—yeah, this is a lot of hopping around. It’s basically--it’s basically a combat, I’m just not saying it. We’re going to move to Xoc and Elee, and Loell is kinda looking at you and he’s like:


Kyle (as Loell)

Alright, buddy, it’s showtime. Let’s pitch the worst thing ever: nothing at all.


[25:00]


Tom

Alright. So while we know that Loell is sort of pulling the strings here, do I as the player get a bit of free reign to freestyle here?


Kyle

Yeah, essentially you’ll freestyle, and he’ll just remind you of things. So that will be the way of playing it out without having me just keep interrupting.


Tom

Alright then.


Emily

Also, I just rolled really quickly.


Kyle

Yeah, you rolled. What did you roll for?


Emily

Um, so I was rolling to see if Elee was going to keep her comments to herself. So basically a composure check. I did not succeed my composure check.


Kyle

I’m just going to let you two play out this trash fire. I don’t--I don’t think I need to add anything here. I’m just going to let—


[Dramatic beat.]


Tom (as Xoc)

Hello, to everyone here at this lovely, historic, live audience.


Kyle

The woman in the back goes:


Kyle (as woman in the back)

Wooo! Wooooo!


Ari

Can I say that as Xoc starts speaking, Misha turned around to the screen?


Kyle

Yeah.


Tom (as Xoc)

Uh, we are here to pitch you the greatest idea. Do you hate spending money to make money? Do you wish you had a profit margin of all of it? All of the money?


Hallie

[Laughter.]


Tom (as Xoc)

Well, we have something for you.


[Brass-driven, confident theme begins.]


Tom (as Xoc)

Invincible grandma? Thing of the past. Now we have the latest and most innovative, most phantasmagorical of creations. We have, Brainbud.


Tom

And Xoc waves his arms through the air like the Spongebob “Imagination” rainbow.


Kyle

Loell is doing it with you.


Tom

[Laughter.]


Kyle

Kind of like just being like he’s actually doing the pitch at the same time as you, to help match your movements and help you feel confident.


Tom

And then Xoc continues:


Tom (as Xoc)

People love entertainment. So entertainment makes money, and entertainment advertising makes even more money. But paying people? No one likes doing that.


Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Oh, I absolutely hate it.


Kyle

And like, Tommy Funbuck is fuming with rage about the idea of paying people for their labor.


Tom (as Xoc)

What if instead, you paid them with something else? Something that didn’t cost you a single scratch? [Chimes ring to emphasize Xoc’s pitch.] Exposure!


Emily

So like, Xoc’s speaking pretty loudly, so in a medium tone that is supposed to be under her breath, but because I did not do well in my composure check, it is louder than it was supposed to be:


Emily (as Elee)

Are you capitalist shitbags who don’t want to pay your workers or care about anyone?


Kyle

Um.


Emily

And like, throughout Xoc’s speech, she will be saying snarky, mean things in the background.


Tom

If I’m allowed a little bit of creative freedom here, I imagine that, Xoc, like freezes for a moment like, uh, what are we doing? But Loell is just like:


Tom (as Xoc)

Oh, that is just right, E-Elee Badge. We don’t want to pay workers. No, no, that’s not what we’re here for today. Instead, you create a prestigious collection of the finest entertainment, an especially awesome channel, and then you draw all other content creators in Roulettia—nay! The Steadfast! Nay! The Ninth World! And with the power of exposure, a promise of the signal boost, that they will suddenly be attached to your massive influence and network, they will make content for your new service for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. They’ll just do it for free.


Kyle

So I’m not even going to have you roll there, because that was incredible.


Hallie

It was.


Kyle

And Tommy Funbuck, you know his secret, so he wants you dead. But even he has put his hand back from the trash button, and he’s kind of leaning back. And that’s when Lorraine pipes in.


Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Xoc, darling. Your speech? Lovely, amazing, incredible. But, there are a few details that are missing here. How are you going to organize all this information? The big thing—exposure. What does exposure even mean? Exposure to the elements? Exposure to bad influences? What are we exposing them to and how on earth will that convince them?


Kyle

And Tommy Funbuck looks at her and he kind of nods and is like:


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck)

Oh, she’s right, I’m a very thoughtful investor.


Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

[Sounds of skepticism]


Kyle (as Tommy Funbuck)

And I want to know how you plan on getting all this done.


Kyle

And you can see him lean over again. And we are going to move over to Hop for his second round of hopscotch. And like, uh, fucking Ashen is gloating here. He’s very proud of himself.


Hallie

Hopper’s pissed. Because the last thing that Ashen said was like, “oh, she said you’d be a challenge,” right?


Kyle

Yeah.


Hallie

So, question, first of all: When I designate someone as guilty it says it helps attacks. Are we going to go with only physical attacks, or can I argue that—


Kyle

Yeah, you can argue that.


[30:00]


Hallie

On like an asset to bluff things now.


Tom

I fucking love it.


Hallie

So Hopper will sit up a little bit straighter, take the pearls again, and go:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Let’s go permanent this time.


Emily and Tom

[Distressed gasps]


Kyle (as Ashen)

Oh, I like this. You aren’t as talented as she says, but you are as bold. Let’s go permanent.

[A guitar strums dramatically and ominous music begins.]


Hallie

And then before we roll I want to make a little bit of small talk and just say:


Hallie (as Hopper)

So how’d you come to work for Lorraine?


Kyle (as Ashen)

Well you know, she knows a talent when she sees it. Thought she could use my skills.


Hallie

Hopper raises an eyebrow and goes:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Just to play hopscotch?


Kyle (as Ashen)

Roulettia is a high stakes game, you need to have someone who you know can win.


Hallie (as Hopper)

So you haven’t worked for her for very long then.


Kyle (as Ashen)