The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 17 “Fire Drill”

fire drill

The Thundermen were able to bring the Centaur herds back together, appease the Spirit of the Scarlet Woods, and keep one of the magic apples to turn the real Heironymous back into a person… but the fake Heironymous knows what they’ve been up to, and he doesn’t plan to let them get away with it. What does Travis have up his sleeves for “Fire Drill”?

When the group, including Althea, Rhodes, Mimi, and Moon (who… I think Travis forgot about), get back to the town of Last Hope, they find out what Travis is up to almost right away. There have been — and what a coincidence this is! — demon attacks over the last 24 hours.

Since Calhain was working for the fake Hieronymous, Hieronymous knows the boys know who he really is, and now he’s sending out attacks over the village in what I can only assume is part of a slightly disguised search for the boys.

I only say “slightly disguised” because Hieronymous obviously wouldn’t want to expose his true form as the demon prince, and it would be suspicious for him to just go and find the Thundermen himself. What better way than to have them all kidnapped by a surprise demon army?

The boys outdid themselves this time. Although I enjoy all the episodes, this one had me gasping out loud and at the edge of my seat several times.

The pit fiend was exciting for more than just the special effects on its voice; throwing a CR 20 monster against three level-five characters? Getting nat-20s on its attack rolls? Busting Sir Fitzroy down to one hit point almost immediately?pit fiend in fire drill

If my DM did that to one of my groups, we would run away. I applaud Griffin realizing this was part of the overarching storyline and sticking around to rescue his friends.

Remember when the firbolg bought that glue and we all thought it was a ridiculous but adorably in-character thing to do? When he jumped onto the pit fiend’s face and got stuck there, I literally gasped and then started laughing. It was an amazing callback and not something I ever would have thought of, either as a player or as someone just listening at home. It was a brilliant bit of roleplaying, and I love that Travis just rolled with it.

Another of my favorite bits was when Griffin dropped Sir Fitzroy out of his range in order to cast a spell. As part of Sir Fitzroy’s Path of the Wild Soul subclass (from the Unearthed Arcana AKA Wizard of the Coast’s playtest material), Travis can make him roll on the Wild Magic table when he casts a spell. The idea of Sir Fitzroy casting a spell and suddenly growing a full eight inches to 6’ 4” (that’s growing a full 20cm to land at 193cm, according to my math)?

Amazing. Brilliant. Hilarious. I’m so glad Griffin rolled that twelve.

And, okay, I haven’t checked Twitter yet so I don’t know what the general reaction to this was, but I do love the return of Breeze Through The Willows and her Pegasi Clan at the very end. It was a little bit of a deus ex machina, but I so, so love that character AND the general idea of a herd of pegasi swooping in at the last minute to help support the Thundermen from demon attack (something they had already been struggling with).

It was a beautiful call-back to tie “Fire Drill” in with the beginning of the campaign, and I can’t wait to see where Travis takes us next.

What did you think of “Fire Drill”? What questions do you still have that need answers?

Author: Kate

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