in which i send a naughty d20 to the “fuck off” bag

The second episode of the Penny Arcade D&D podcast is online, so if you've been shivering with antici…pation since we rolled for initiative last week, grab yer boots and get ready to dance:

Part 2 continues with a roll for initiative!

Acquisitions Inc. gets the drop on the sheltering guards (with faces painted like skulls), opening up with a brutal tide of iron.

But the armed guards are not without their backup, and soon enough the fight is joined in full. Overwhelming strike, (Jim's) magic missile, scorching burst, and even the legendary d12 are all employed in the battle… to various degrees of effectiveness. How well does the newest member of Acquisitions Inc. perform? Well, everyone has trouble their first time.

But in the end, they learn how fast minions fall… and why you bring Jim Darkmagic to the party!

If you're subscribed to the podcast in iTunes, you won't miss a single episode, but if you don't go to the homepage at WotC, you'll miss the awesome artwork that Mike and Scott have made to go with each episode, and nobody wants that.

38 thoughts on “in which i send a naughty d20 to the “fuck off” bag”

  1. Nooooo! Last week you had a link to the mp3, which I could download. Wizards is blocked here at work, and now I cannot listen to it… um… during my lunch break.
    Can someone link the mp3, like Wil did last week? (from gleemax (i suppose they have to have it there first))

  2. Already listened to it this morning. Awesome podcast.
    Any chance you might post your character sheet? I noticed that the returning characters have some new powers and equipment. Did Wizards basically let everyone “re-roll” their existing characters?
    I haven’t played D&D before, but I was considering picking up the quickplay kit that includes Keep on the Shadowfell and those same pregenerated characters, but I’ve read complaints that they are simplified and pared down to fit on a single page, so you’re missing powers, magic items, etc…

  3. We all started out at 3rd level, so I got the usual set of stuff (magic items + gold) that you’d get when you start a character there, and the other guys got to level up from last time.

  4. Yip I loved the d20 to the Fuck Off Bag thing.. man i openly laughed here in the office. (I see another t-shirt design in this)
    I love these podcasts, because inevitably we find things we’ve done incorrectly in our own games (I didn’t know you could shift without fear of opportunity attacks — was I reading something wrong in that – or was that an ability?). I think they’re a great learning tools, as well as, amazing entertainment.
    Should auction off the metallic d20, Wil. People would jump all over it! hahaha.

  5. If you shift as your entire move action, you can go one square in any direction without provoking an attack of opportunity. For an Eladrin, it’s extremely useful, especially my Avenger, who has this awesome power that allows him to shift, pull an opponent with him, and then hit the hapless victim once he gets moved into the new place. It’s really awesome for setting up flanking, or saving an ally from the same.

  6. Keep on the Shadowfell is a great starting point for someone getting back into the game. I’m currently DM’ing KotS and it’s well laid out, entertaining, and easy enough to get your feet wet.
    The character sheets in the starter kit are not as elaborate as the Character Sheets that you would generate from scratch (or using WotC’s Character Builder) but it’s enough to get you started.
    I’m also taking part in The Scales of War Adventure Path written in the Dungeon Magazine issues you get with a D&D Insider subscription, as a player. It’s starts you off as a lvl 1 character and takes you on an epic path to lvl 30.
    The D&Dinsider subscription is worth the investment if you can afford it. You get TONS of material via Dragon and Dungeon magazines and the Character Builder alone is worth the cash. (and no, I don’t work for Wizards .. i’m merely a HUGE fan!)
    My advice (for what it’s worth – which could be squat -but here it is). Try it. But be fore-warned – once you start, it’s hard to stop!

  7. Cripes! That would have helped out A LOT in some of my battles in Scales of War. It IS VERY USEFUL FOR Flanking, I agree!!!
    Thanks for that, Wil!

  8. Agreed on the Insider. NB: the character generator is Windows-only, which could be lame, but allows Mac and Linux guys like me to grab our PHBs, some dice, and actual pencils and paper to create our characters.
    I’m convinced that if I’d used a character generator to create Aeofel, he wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as he was, and I wouldn’t have “known” him as well as I did.

  9. Thank goodness. I was jonesing for the next podcast! Pretty sure Jim trademarked Jim’s Magic Missile. It should probably read Jim’s Magic Missile (R) now.
    I can’t wait for the next one!

  10. I understand, completely, about the organic part of doing up the entire character from scratch. I did my first Warlord completely from scratch and would say that if someone is doing this for the first time – doing up a character sheet from scratch will teach you A TON about the game and helps you develop a great back story for your character.
    I do, however, enjoy the convenience during the Level Up times.
    Safe to say, the guys at WotC did a great job with it.

  11. As a non-player I can definitely say that character building is an intimidating process, so a generator is a big selling point for me, especially since it makes cards for all your powers and stuff.
    Maybe it’s good to go through and build with pencil and paper and then go through the generator to get a nice, clean print and the cards.
    I definitely need to make things as easy as possible because if I’m ever goign to get to play, it’s going to be with a bunch of people who are all new, and I’ll probably have to submit to the role of DM, even though I’d probably rather be a player.

  12. The video podcast Tycho suggested would be totally awesome for next time. :)
    I *love* listening to these podcasts but the DM in me screams every time Chris doesn’t tell poor Binwin (who has obviously never read any of his char sheet. I have players like that in my groups.) that as a Fighter he actually *can* attack an enemy he has marked when it shifts away from him. And glosses right over the fact that his Reaping Strike does damage on a miss.
    I know I’m being anal, but I run a game to have fun. So if a character doesn’t seem to grasp the abilities and powers of his class then I like to be a little extra helpful at the beginning.
    I try to ignore those issues and listen to it for the social interactions of other fellow geeks though. :) I was hoping you were going to take a Bard (they can damage and enemy by insulting them!! Rock!!) but they really did need a striker so good choice. Welcome to the party Wil!
    Oh! And I’ll be DMing at the Worldwide D&D Day in Apex, NC so if anyone is in that area feel free to pop into All Fun and Games and join my table. :) I’ll be the one without any hair since I’m shaving it off to raise money for cancer patients on St. Baldrick’s Day.
    Oh wow….this is a really long post….
    I’ll be going now….

  13. Growing up in a small town in the Bible belt, there was never anyone in my town with whom to play DnD. I’ve always been nerdy but mainly stuck to video games and didn’t feel to bad about missing out. However, I LOVE Penny-Arcade and so listened to the first podcasts. Somehow that woke a deep hunger in me that I had no idea existed. Since then I’ve found some nerdy co-workers (one of which is an experienced DM) and started a campaign.
    When the second series came out I listened to the first podcast at work and almost caused a problem because I was laughing so loud. It was so funny to see you, an experienced “campaigner,” try to sit down and introduce your character to that group. I felt so bad for you, you had put in all that work to make your guy great and they didn’t pay enough attention! Just like the girl at the grocery store with your t-shirt?

  14. Yeah, that “member of the blogosphere” would be me, and why this guy didn’t just say that is a mystery. Maybe I’m just too hard to find online, or something, and I should work on my SEO.

  15. If you guys want to hear more recorded RPG fun check out They have very friendly forums and hours of stuff available. I’m mostly a lurker there (made just one post). I’m almost done with their recording of Keep on the Shadowfell. There are some hilarious moments.

  16. I used to be deeply into Games Workshop stuff like Advanced HeroQuest & Warhammer, but never knew anyone into D&D, so never got a chance to delve into it. I’m sure I’m just being pathetic or something but walking into the bookstore and seeing several thick (and expensive for a “Am I even going to enjoy this?”) tomes is rather off putting.
    My only experiences so far have been with Baldurs Gate (1&2), Neverwinter Nights et. al. on the PC (played BGII with a mod that made it much closer to D&D rules) and I’ve loved what I’ve played there.
    It’s great to hear these podcasts, I wish they were videocasts, that would be totally awesome. Can’t help but feel like we’re missing visual humour and stuff as well :)
    Here’s looking forward to the next podcast.

  17. Catching the meaning of the thunder was awesome, i had to comment for that alone. I played runequest for a while and much like you threw a lot of effort into backstory and name, and also had my name shortened down to al, so i felt your pain in ep 1. What really surprised me about the podcasts is the level of teamwork.
    When i played i must have been with the least constructive team ever. A thief and muscle character had banded together as a subgroup to dominate the rest haha, and looted from within the team. Another character was secretly addicting half the party to human flesh, which was troublesome for me in the wilderness as the only human in the party. Also the fact that said guy was the healer meant i narrowly avoided decapitation the first time i needed his services and was crippled when another character tried to swat a fly off my shoulder with a large hammer.
    Luckily, the DM was a good guy, so he worked my recovery into the plot in fairly short order. I still played the game, but felt i was now occupying the role of emergency food supply. XD
    The game we played never got into the kind of tactics you guys talk about in d and d, flanking shifting etc, which sounds awesome in play. Listening to the podcasts he really raised my level of interest again, may be time to dust off the old bag o dice, and invest in some d and d manuals.

  18. Hi Wil,
    I listen to the pod cast in bed last night and my laughing work up my wife who thought I was having a seizure… I’m banned from bringing funny podcasts to bed now, but it was worth it.
    Steve Porter

  19. I never had a fuck off bag. I would just stick troublesome d20s in the microwave for 3 seconds. If that didn’t do the trick, then I’d get out the slingshot and send the little shit out the window. I’d make sure the other dice were watching, as a deterrent to misbehavior.

  20. I haven’t played a purchased adventure since I was in high school and I play every Wednesday and Sunday. Over the years we have stripped out game system down to the bare minimum and never moved past 2nd edition. The more game system we play with, the less time we get to actually roleplay. I haven’t played the “board game” style of roleplaying since at least 1988. I coined a term with my merry group of players, we “role” play and others “roll” play. I feel as though WoTC is now making a video game on paper. Describe world in minute detail, tell characters what is happening until next battle incurs, then roll many dices and use every skills and maxed out stat you have to overcome your enemies.
    It seems that people are afraid to actually roleplay these days and tend to just joke around and advance square by square through a Dungeon or city adventure. However roleplaying is all about fun and as long as people are having fun, then more power to them.
    I should post some of our roleplaying sessions online and see what kind of response I get from them. Great podcast though, I really enjoyed it, even if it was COMPLETELY different from what I do twice a week.
    Good fun!

  21. I can’t believe I didn’t know about these podcasts. Awesome. Almost as good as playing the game. My problem is, none of the losers around here will play D&D. Maybe I’ll just dust off the old rule books and play with myself.
    Wait… uh, you know what I mean.

  22. I listened to this with my little girl (she’ll be two soon); not only did I get to hear the podcast and thoroughly enjoy myself, I got to hear my daughter jabber at the podcast as if she was playing along with you guys. Double happiness. Nerds in action and nerd in training.

  23. Just about spewed when you sent the d20 to the “fuck-off” bag. Saved my monitor and keyboard by clapping my hand over my mouth.
    Love the podcasts; thanks!

  24. Maybe the author wasn’t sure if it was kosher to let the secret out and didn’t want to incriminate the person who blabbed first (you).
    Your blogs always come up first and second in a Google search for your name, so your basic SEO is good. Maybe you need to work on spidering. That would catch more of the keywords.
    BTW, I am the same person who asked this question, I just got tired of the long string of google ID gobbledegook that comes up whenever I post a comment. Now I have a typepad account and it’s all your fault.

  25. Wil, there is rumor that someone took pictures of the game when you played D&D up here in Washington during the podcast you guys recorded. Any chance it was you? We’d love to see some pictures!

  26. Someone may have pointed it out already, but it sounds like you weren’t using the correct attack modifier for your character. Interpolating the data based off of what’s stated in the podcast, your character has a 16 or 17 Wisdom score (+3 modifer), resulting in a total of +4 to attack (+1 from 1/2 level, rounded down).
    However, when you were reading off your attack powers, you listed the “weapon” keyword, so that means you should be getting the benefits of weapon proficiency (assuming your character is proficient with his weapon of choice). For a basic longsword, that proficiency bonus is +3. Also, if it’s a magic weapon, you would get an enhancement bonus for that as well (and it’s within reason for a level 3 character to have a +1 magic weapon).
    Next time, don’t sell your attack bonus short! For powers with the “weapon” keyword, your character should have had something along the lines of +7 or +8 to hit. I’m surprised the WotC DM didn’t catch it, although I do remember him saying he thought your attack bonus “sounds low”.

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