‘The Daughter of Storms’ is a fun hybrid episode: some combat, some character development, lots of fun role-playing. Plus, we found out why the Crescent Moon Trading Company is after the statue!
Dimension 20 regular seasons tend to follow a certain rhythm. There are 1-2 roleplaying and exposition-heavy episodes with a fun combat episode to break up the talking. With the Side Quests being shorter, there’s not really room for that kind of separation. We end up with episodes like ‘The Daughter of Storms’, which starts with combat and ends with the unlikely group of characters deciding to form a crew to handle the absolute nightmare situation they’ve uncovered.
In short, you never know what you’re going to get with a Side Quest. That’s AWESOME. I very much enjoy the regular D20 seasons, but it’s nice to sprinkle in a little chaos every now and then.
There were some amazing character interactions in this episode. Specifically:
- Cheese and Stimey bonding over loving the cookie part of Oreos more than the filling. They’re entirely wrong because the right way to eat an Oreo is to dip half in milk until it’s soft and then eat the cookie and filling off the intact half together, but it was a cute bit.
- Bob being an absolutely delightful ray of sunshine who thinks the best of everyone, and no one quite being able to disappoint her. I love how she hasn’t really done anything aggressive yet. She’s leaning hard into roleplaying, to the point where when Krystina Arielle drops out of character for a second I’m startled.
- Jack fanboying over Bob in the most gentlemanly way possible.
- Sunny speaking to her God Jane for the first time and the mutual lovefest that followed. It made me think about how great it must be for heroic deities to get their first paladins and clerics.
- Marcid and Jack navigating a deep conflict of interests and repeatedly seeming at the point of more combat.
Myrtle wasn’t as prominent in ‘The Daughter of Storms’ as she was in the first episode. That’s fine. Aabria Iyengar is a good player who knows how to share the action so everyone gets their hero moments. I am definitely not sulking because she’s my favorite character and I wanted to see more of her.
Side note, I appreciate the effort she puts into her makeup and “fidgets” when she’s not actively talking. It’s easier to connect with her character when Aabria’s staring down the camera unblinkingly and snaking her head around.
The whole first part of this episode was contentious as all get out. I honestly wasn’t sure how Brennan was going to get the players on the same page when they wanted such different things. We had Marcid, who needed to bring The Daughter of Storms back to his employer and already felt he was compromising by not killing Cheese as directed. He was directly opposed by Myrtle whose Goddess demanded she regain the stone and punish those who wanted to use it.
Jack wasn’t as direct an opponent, even though he and Marcid got into the most physical exchange. He does know the stone has something to do with his ship sinking now. On top of that, it turns out one of his “lost crewmates” is actually alive and working for the Crescent Moon Trading Company. The connection to that betrayal furthers the gap between him and Marcid.
Bob- well, she doesn’t realize how mad she’s going to be with Crescent Moon in general and Marcid in particular. He did stand by while Trixie was- hmm. Is her tiefling friend still alive in a way that matters? Or is she very dead? I get the feeling she’s being used as, I don’t know, a battery or something. Whatever’s happened, Bob’s sweet demeanor might actually crack.
Bards can be scary, you guys. Especially when they also have Cleric levels.
Sunny and Cheese didn’t really have a personal stake in being against Crescent Moon or Marcid, but the rest were a daunting obstacle. I wondered if maybe Marcid was a decoy character and B. Dave Walters was going to have a new character spawn at some point.
Luckily, Marcid spawned a conscience instead. I guess there are some things even a pirate won’t stand for. (Plus, you know, if Crescent Moon’s plan succeeds he’ll probably get wet and he hates the water.)
Speaking of Walters, we did see the consequences of that safety mechanism he used in the first session. Sunny’s parents are no longer CREEPILY INTENSE about religion. They knew she’d found a new deity and were just messing with her. This is how a good DM handles those safe words: a quick edit to the storyline to make sure a trigger isn’t hit again. I wouldn’t have noticed the change if I hadn’t been watching to see how it was handled. Very smooth.
I have to admit ‘The Daughter of Storms’ feels a little disjointed. That’s a natural consequence of the characters themselves having so many conflicting goals, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a story failing. It did mean I felt comfortable making a snack mid-episode and just turning the volume up instead of pausing.
There were also several small tech issues in this episode mainly related to signal disparity. A few times one player didn’t seem to realize another was still speaking, or started down one line of conversation while another was still being hashed out. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the episode, but there was some saltiness over on Reddit when some viewers thought it was intentional bulldozing. (I guess it could be? But it reads to me like a signal issue.)
But! The Big Bad Plan reveal made up for those minor irritations. Crescent Moon is doing all of this because the stone uses Divine Magic which make storms produced by it Acts of Gods (thus making damage covered fully by insurance). It’s an insurance scam.
Perfection. It’s storylines like this that make me love the Fantasy High setting. I love seeing what happens when you try to figure out how “modern” society would operate when magic is on the table.
Plus, I really want a My Clerical Romance t-shirt.
All told, we’re in a good place to get started next week. Remember, without a DROPOUT subscription you can only watch Pirates of Leviathan live on YouTube. It airs Wednesday nights at 7 EST and there are just 4 more episodes since Side Quests are shorter.
Did you catch ‘The Daughter of Storms’? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments or join us on Twitter!
Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.
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