Episode 05 Transcript

(Intro music: “Minor Apprehension” by Jackie McLean)

Grace: Hello, and welcome to Starting Tools, a Dungeons & Dragons podcast for fools. I’m your co-host, Grace.

Tom: And I’m your other co-host, Tom.

Grace: How are you—

Tom: So, Grace…


Tom (cont’d): You kind of had a Menacin’ Maggie sort of night, didn’t you, bud?


Grace: I’m not sure if it’s Menacin’ Maggie if you drink three Mike’s Hard Lemonades and sort of go wild.

Tom: No, but, like…come on. It’s not not Menacin’ Maggie.

Grace: Yeah, that’s fair.

Tom: It’s not Burgoo, so, like…


Tom (cont’d): I feel like Menacin’ Maggie…

Grace: (Overlapping) What can I say? Just wilding out, kind of.

Tom: Yeah. So, we have a time difference when we record, because…we have a time difference.

Grace: Yeah. I’m in—oh, also, this isn’t underage drinking, any narcs out there. Because I’m in New Brunswick, and I’m nineteen, so I can drink, so. Try again, idiots.

Tom: Take that. You cowards. So, Grace, Grace had a wild night. She had, like…three lemonades. They weren’t even Mike’s Hard. She just had three lemonades.

Grace: Somebody mixed seltzer and lemonade and told me it was a hard lemonade.

Tom: She got super drunk. But she—we were texting, setting up a record time, while she was in the midst of her little Mike’s Hard Adventure. So, um…we made a plan to record at 11:00, my time, which is…what, 10, 12 for you?

Grace: Which is 12 for me. I thought it was 10, though, because, uh…I knew there was an hour difference, but I forgot which way the hour went.

Tom: Because you were being hung over and stupid.

Grace: And Tom, let me tell you, the dread that I felt….the dread that I felt at 2 AM, setting an alarm for 10 AM…I can’t describe it.


Tom: Why, Grace? You know that it was noon!

Grace: I didn’t, though!

Tom: Just, like—alcohol and time zones.

Grace: It wasn’t a good combination. Anyway, so if I feel—if I sound, like, slightly hung over to you, well…you just—you know how it is.

Tom: It’s because you’re hung over.


Grace: That’ll do it.

Tom: On three normal lemonades.

Grace: All right, Tom, you want to start our show?

Tom: Yeah. So, what is this show?

Grace: This is a podcast called Starting Tools. And we make really bad characters using Dungeons & Dragons as a creative tool.

Tom: (Overlapping) Which edition, Grace?

Grace: Fifth edition. The fifth of them.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: There’s been five. Okay.

Tom: Worst fucking episode already. I feel the energy, like…

Grace: This is an energy called, “I just chugged 32 ounces of water.”

Tom: I’m in the middle of a normal-sized glass of water, so I guess we’re even.

Grace: Pussy. Idiot.

Tom: Fuck.

Grace: Hey, Tom, got any ideas of what you want our character to be today?

Tom: Yeah. So we’re on D&D Beyond, the good D&D sharing website.

Grace: Yeah. Sort of the thing that, um…there was something that stood out to you right away, wasn’t it?

Tom: Yeah. I don’t know how to pronounce it. Could you say it for me, please?

Grace: It’s pronounced aarakocra. [A/N: Upon further research, it’s “coke,” not “cock.”]

Tom: Nice.

Grace: They are bird folk—

Tom: (Overlapping) You said cock.

Grace: Yeah. So we already got those jokes.

Tom: Yeah. So it’s a—

Grace: (Overlapping) We already got good jokes.

Tom: —it’s like a really ripped eagle. But what I see is a pigeon.


Grace: It kind of does look like a pigeon. They have wings…

Tom: (Overlapping) Buff. Maybe a seagull.

Grace: They’re cool as hell. Generally—I don’t know, in some versions, they’re kind of villainous and evil…

Tom: All right.

Grace: But, uh, I’m just a big fan of them. There’s also the Kenku, which is another bird type, who are some of my favorite characters to play, but, like, we don’t need to play one today.

Tom: Those are the ones who can’t fly, right?

Grace: Yeah. Kenku can’t fly, and they also can’t talk. They just mimic people.

Tom: I like that a lot more, because a pigeon—you never really see pigeons soaring.


Grace: Yeah, that’s true. We can just make a pigeon kenku. And, like—she doesn’t need to talk. We don’t need this character—wait, is kenku not free to play? Dude, I’m gonna piss myself if we can’t play a kenku.

Tom: Why is all the good shit, like, behind a paywall?

Grace: Goddamn motherfucker! God Jesus! Shit!

Tom: Didn’t we already make…didn’t we already make, like, a centaur, though?

Grace: Yeah, but, like…

Tom: We can’t make all of our stuff, like, pay-to-play.

Grace: Yeah. I’ve played a kenku before, so I was obviously playing, like, some off-brand shit.

Tom: Well, can we play the other version?

Grace: Yeah, for sure! I’m also fine going off the grid and finding something. Oh, I found kenku.

Tom: All right, dope.

Grace: Heh heh.

Tom: Yeah, fuck the system. We’re on D&D 5E dot wikia dot com.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Which is a good criminal website.


Grace: Good for people who don’t want to support the Wizards of the Coast. Because of what they did.

Tom: One of the people we follow on Twitter.

Grace: The only person we follow on Twitter.

Tom: Highkey: FUCK the wizards.

Grace: They know what they did.

Tom: I hope they take our podcast down.

Grace: Cool. Are we just going to play a pigeon?

Tom: I’d like to get pigeon-y. I know we’re doing animals, but, like…I’d love a pigeon.

Grace: Me too. Me too.

Tom: All right, all right.

Grace: Yeah. What do you want our first—do you want to do the rolls?

Tom: Oh, yeah, sure. Grace—I made you a promise last episode, did I not?

Grace: You did.

Tom: And what was that promise?

Grace: You would come up with a different version of the theme song—you said every week, but I am…you know…we’ll figure that out.

Tom: Hey, man? Hey, man?

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: Never fucking doubt my power. I need you to be absolutely silent right now.


Grace: Fine.

Tom: You ready?

Grace: I’m ready.

(Smooth, funky, vaguely indie “Basic Rolls”)

Grace: (Overlapping) Holy shit.

Tom: (Overlapping) Never. Never doubt my power!


Grace: Tom, that was, like, some serious Arctic Monkeys, like…

Tom: I felt a little Radiohead-y, I felt a little Arctic Monkeys-y…

Grace: Yeah, things got a little experimental. It was a waltz, it was…a lot of things.

Tom: It was heartbreaking.

Grace: Holy moly.

Tom: Yeah. So, um…

Grace: Jesus Christ.

Tom: Yeah, so, real quick, don’t you ever, ever doubt my ability to produce a song a week.


Tom (cont’d): I will do this until the day I die, Grace.


Grace: (Overlapping) Yeah, that was impressive, not gonna lie.

Tom: (Overlapping) I shit you not. Thank you. Let’s get these rolls going.

Grace: I am gonna start rolling.

(Dice rolling sounds for the next few minutes)

Grace (cont’d): Maybe you can pitch the, uh…pitch some basic ideas to me. You know? About this character.

Tom: All right. The pigeon…I’d love him to, um, you know, I feel like we make a lot of outlanders, a lot of outsiders? I’d like this to be a very well-liked pigeon about town.

Grace: Yes! Yes! Yes, you’re so right.

Tom: I’m not saying his other friends have to be pigeons. Maybe he’s friends with an old man that feeds him bread.

Grace: Yeah! So a super high-charisma pigeon.

Tom: Yeah. This is—


Tom (cont’d): Holy shit, I just choked.


Tom (cont’d): Yes. This is a pigeon that could run for mayor.

Grace: Y—this is a mayor pigeon.

Tom: (Overlapping) Is this pigeon running for office?

Grace: (Overlapping) This pigeon is a mayor.

Tom: I’d like this pigeon to run for school board.

Grace: (Overlapping) This pigeon is going to run for office—for the school board? For the PTA?

Tom: Yes.

Grace: Now, does this pigeon have a child? Is this pigeon a cool, single dad?

Tom: Yes. That’s exactly what this pigeon is, Grace.

Grace: Aw, fuck yeah.

Tom: This pigeon is doing his best to raise his kid.

Grace: This is banging. I love it.

Tom: Right out the gate.

Grace: So, okay. Just—basics: this pigeon is a dad. This pigeon is super high-charisma. This pigeon has a child, and is running for school board, and that’s kind of its, um, mission. Yeah. It’s good to have an overarching mission.

Tom: Yeah. Like, he can go on magic adventures, but, like, nothing that’s gonna make him look bad. He’s a responsible parent.

Grace: No, that’s good, and it’s kind of something that limits him. Like, “Should I kill this dragon right now? Because what if the dragon—like, what if word about this gets about town, and now I’m anti-dragon?” Fuck yeah.

Tom: Well, we gotta start somewhere, so let’s start with those roles. Yeah.

Grace: Would you like our ability scores?

Tom: Yeah, could you just pull up our…

Grace: Gonna start with our highest: 16. Then we have one 13, three 12s, and then one 10.

Tom: Okay. So he’s never dipping into the negatives.

Grace: No, that’s really good, yeah.

Tom: Um, I think we gotta pop that 16 in Charisma.

Grace: That’s what I was thinking. So that’s a +3 to Charisma, which is great, with public speech.

Tom: (Overlapping) That’s gonna help at the polls.

Grace: Exactly.

Tom: I think it takes…um, I don’t know, maybe 12 in Dexterity? Because he’s got to open a lot of jars for his kid.

Grace: Yeah. I do want to remind you that kenku—you get Dexterity increases by +2.

Tom: Okay, so let’s put the 10 in Dexterity, and get rid of that 10.

Grace: Exactly. And then we have a 12. So. 12 in Dexterity, which is a +1.

Tom: Yup. So, um…what. Let’s take that 13 and put it in Strength, because it takes a lot of Strength to be a parent.

Grace: (Overlapping) Really. Yeah. Huh.

Tom: (Overlapping) I think so. Right.

Grace: Here, I’m going to make a suggestion, and this is kind of just, like, a life hack, if you’re playing D&D, I don’t know—we get a +1 to Wisdom. So we can put that 13 in Wisdom and get a +2. And a 12 will have the exact—the exact same impact, because it’s +1.

Tom: Grace—Grace, what you just typed—instead of +2, was underscore and then an @ symbol.

Grace: No, it wasn’t a good typing job.

Tom: No, but I appreciate your D&D tip.

Grace: (Overlapping) We know what it means. Just sort of a D&D tip.

Tom: And I like that he has a 14 in Wisdom, because he’s kind of a wise dad. He helps his kids sometimes.

Grace: Yeah. Do you want him to have a 12 in Intelligence, then?

Tom: Yeah. Because he’s not the—he ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

Grace: But he can help his daughter with math homework.

Tom: Yes. Does he have a son or a daughter? It doesn’t matter.

Grace: Yeah, it doesn’t matter. We’ll figure all that out.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Because he’s gonna raise his kids the same no matter what.

Tom: Exactly.

Grace: He’s a great dad.

Tom: Great dad.

Grace: Um…kenku have shorter life spans than humans.

Tom: Oh, no.

Grace: They reach maturity around 12 years old and can live to age 60.

Tom: So…this guy’s a dad. What should we put him at? Like, 30?

Grace: I’m…50. 15. This is a young dude.


Tom: Oh, all right.

Grace: They reach maturity around 12—

Tom: He had kids young, and he’s like, he’s still figuring it out. But he’s doing a good job. He’s a good dad.

Grace: So, like, 16 years old, maybe?

Tom: Yeah, 16. Oof.


Grace: 16 dad. 16 year old dad.

Tom: Hey. Hey, gross.


Grace: This is awesome.

Tom: Um, so…

Grace: They’re about five feet tall?

Tom: Oh.

Grace: And weigh between 90 and 100 pounds.


Tom: This is kind of a skinny dad.

Grace: Oh, a thin dad!

Tom: Sort of a hundred-pound, uh, five-foot-tall dad.


Tom (cont’d): Just sort of a thin little dad.

Grace: I love that. His feathers make him look, like, kind of poofy, but other than that. Our speed is 30 feet, and we can’t fly, so, good news, everyone.

Tom: He doesn’t need to fly. He’s gotta stay grounded.

Grace: And our Initiative is +1, because that’s our Dexterity, and our initiative is +2 at level one.

Tom: Yeah. All right. So…what’s next? Should we go through all the kenku stuff?

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: We don’t even have a background for this guy yet. So let’s just start with…

Grace: Yeah. Um, you have Expert Forgery, which is, like, you can duplicate others’ handwriting and stuff. Anything, really.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: You have Mimicry, which means that—so, kenku—the lore behind this is, I think, they had their voices stolen? They made a deal with some kind of devil. So they lost their ability to fly, and lost their ability to speak, and now kenku are being punished for generations afterwards.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: So this dad can only mimic what other people say.

Tom: Okay. So maybe he takes—maybe his kinda speeches for school board—he takes things that other people have told him about parenting and being a leader.

Grace: (Gasp) Yeah.

Tom: And he compiles them all, and people are like, “This guy’s got some good ideas!”

Grace: And really, isn’t that what fatherhood is all about?

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: I also think—he’s a dad, right?

Grace: Yeah. Kind of his whole character.

Tom: Yeah. One would say. Dads usually have kind of, uh, bad taste in movies.


Grace: That’s a fucking lie.

Tom: Well…I think his favorite movie is definitely, definitely a Mike Myers flick.

Grace: Cat in the Hat?

Tom: Yes.


Tom (cont’d): Whoops. Yup.

Grace: That was the first Mike Myers flick I thought of. I’ll put that in “Additional Features & Traits.” (Overlapping, typing) Favorite movie…

Tom: I’d like his campaign speeches to be entirely in Cat in the Hat quotes.

Grace: (Gasp) Holy shit. Holy shit.

Tom: Grace, I’m going to start looking up some quotes in the background while you’re doing this…

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: …And I’m going to try to compile a speech real quick.

Grace: That is so powerful. I love that. And I’m just going to let you know—you get proficient in two skills, just by being a kenku, which is Acrobatics, Stealth, Deception, and Sleight of Hand.

Tom: Holy shit. This guy’s a ninja dad.


Grace: Yeah. Maybe Deception? Because…I don’t know, do people know that he can’t speak?

Tom: Oh, so he’s, like… “This guy sounds a lot like Mike Myers!”

Grace: “No, he’s just—it’s his favorite movie, so he’s quoting it! He’s really good at quoting it!” Yeah, Deception.

Tom: I see a lot of script websites, but I don’t want to get a virus.

Grace: Oh, I’m going to look it up. (Typing) Cat in the Hat…quotes. Cat in the Hat…full…script.

Tom: Movie quotes.

Grace: Oh, yeah, script-o-rama dot com.

Tom: Jesus.

Grace: This sucks. This sucks.

Tom: I’m just on Rotten Tomatoes. Grace, you focus on the character sheet—I’ve got this one.

Grace: Yeah, I’m gonna drop this into the chat.

Tom: Oh, God, did you—don’t send me a link.

Grace: No, it’s totally safe, it’s totally safe. Okay. Back to kenku. So you get one more skill—Acrobatics, Stealth, Sleight of Hand.

Tom: One more?

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Probably Deception.

Grace: No, we already did Deception.

Tom: Oh, another one in a different…

Grace: You fool.

Tom: Okay, sorry, sorry.

Grace: Yeah, you get two of them.

Tom: Holy shit.

Grace: We can’t have Deception twice.

Tom: He’s very good. Probably, um—

Grace: Oh, Tom! If you really want him to be really good at deception, we could double the proficiency bonus.

Tom: What does that mean?

Grace: So that means he gets a +4, plus his Charisma, so that’s a +7.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: This is not in the rules, but I’m just kind of going for it here.

Tom: You’re just sending it? All right, fine.

Grace: Yeah, you get a +7 to Deception. And you—

Tom: Another one…probably Stealth, Grace?

Grace: Oh, no, no, Tom. If you want to have two skills—like, you can have two skills—

Tom: Oh, so we’re just doubling Deception.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m saying, that’s what I’m saying.

Tom: Cool, cool, cool.


Grace: I want to be really good at it. Um, can I suggest a class for this guy?

Tom: Oh, um, yeah, sure. What class?

Grace: I think he should be a Bard.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: Bards have to be really good at public speaking…

Tom: Oh!

Grace: …And that is kind of what this dude’s thing is. Yeah. So he doesn’t need to be a musicians, he could be a public speaker.

Tom: Yeah. Maybe he did some def poetry back in the day.

Grace: Oh, yes! He absolutely does some def poetry!

Tom: Okay, so. Isn’t there, like, a background that’s like…leader, something like that?

Grace: Leader…let’s see. We can also homebrew something. We can take a background and sort of replace it with something else.

Tom: Uh…PTA member. Concerned citizen.

Grace: (Overlapping) Politician. Concerned citizen. Politician…is there a politician?

Tom: I feel like there should be.

Grace: There absolutely should be.

Tom: Gladiator.

Grace: Gladiator.

Tom: He’s the dadiator. [A/N: Sorry I didn’t laugh at that joke.]

Grace: (Overlapping, not listening to good joke) Yeah, okay.

Tom: (Overlapping) So there is one, okay.

Grace: I think we should have a politician background, kind of homebrew this shit.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: And I think your skills…the skills you should get should be Persuasion and Performance.

Tom: Okay. Yeah, that’s good. Because he’s gotta be like, “Vote for me! And also vote for me.”

Grace: Yeah.


Grace (cont’d): (Overlapping) Is that a line from Cat in the Hat?

Tom: (Overlapping) Sorry, I’m kind of distracted by how bad all the Cat in the Hat quotes are.


Grace: No, it’s got pretty good dialogue, I think. From what I remember.

Tom: Uh, can I read you some? Can I fucking read you some?


Grace: Yeah. Yeah, tell me about it.

Tom: The cat in the hat says: “Who’s this?” Sally Walden—who I think a kid is—

Grace: That’s Dakota Fanning, yeah.

Tom: Yeah, okay. “That’s our babysitter.” The cat in the hat: “Wait, so you mean that you pay this woman to sit on babies? Well, that’s disgusting!”

(Prolonged laughter)

Tom (cont’d): And that’s his campaign speech.

Grace: That really got me. That’s the joke that he starts out with.

Tom: All right, here’s another one. Grace?

Grace: Yes?

Tom: Fish: “Aah!” The cat in the hat: Flush fish in toilet. That’s what it says. Fish: escape sewers in toilet. Water, water, death. In parentheses.

Grace: Wait, what are you talking about?

Tom: (Overlapping) I don’t know what any of that fucking means!

Grace: (Overlapping) Is this actual dialogue?

Tom: This is on Rotten Tomatoes dot com!


Grace: Water, water, death?

Tom: I’ll mention The Cat in the Hat is sitting at a comfy 10%.


Grace: Tom, that means that one in ten people you see on the street enjoyed Cat in the Hat.

Tom: Oh, God.

Grace: If you’re in a room with twenty people, two of those people enjoyed it, and one of them is me.

Tom: And the other one is a criminal who’s going straight to jail.


Tom (cont’d): All right.

Grace: Genuinely? I saw this movie when I was eight, and it scared the ever-loving shit out of me.

Tom: You saw this movie? I think you got scared, and then our parents didn’t let me see this!

Grace: No, no, we got scared during The Grinch and then our parents didn’t let us see it. This was another live-action, um, Dr. Seuss that…

Tom: Live-action movies are fucking terrifying.

Grace: Yeah. Okay.

Tom: But not to Pigeon Dad.

Grace: Okay. We got distracted.

Tom: Yeah, oh my God. Pigeon Dad, Pigeon Dad.

Grace: Pigeon Dad. Two proficiencies! Let’s have…Forgery Kit and Calligrapher’s Supplies. I don’t fucking know.

Tom: Yes. Why would he forge things, though? He’s a good dad.

Grace: Um…hm. Maybe he needs it sometimes to…forge notes for his kid? I don’t know.

Tom: Oh, maybe, like…hm.

Grace: Well, we know that he uses the calligrapher’s kit for, like, math homework or whatever.

Tom: Oh, yeah! So, he helps his kids with homework, but he does it in their handwriting sometimes.

Grace: Oh, this is just cheating.

Tom: Kind of a cheating dad.

Grace: It’s fine, it’s fine, he’s a good dad.

Tom: He’s—no, he’s a young dad. He’s still figuring things out, Grace.

Grace: Yeah, true, true, true.

Tom: He makes mistakes, he’s fallible.

Grace: (Overlapping) Languages…yeah, he’s not perfect. Um, I am going to say: this guy seems Lawful Good to me. Is that fair?

Tom: Yeah, he’s a lawful dad.

Grace: The law is the best way to govern this…yeah, lawful dad. The law is the best way to govern this school, and he needs to take control of it.

Tom: Yeah, exactly. With Cat in the Hat quotes and nothing else.

Grace: It’s a really good movie.

Tom: I’m very sorry, but I just have a name for this guy bouncing around in my head. It’s not really a good fit for him, but I need to get it out in the world so it leaves me.

Grace: Okay.

Tom: It’s just “Stupid Pigeon.”


Grace: Maybe his name is Stupid Pigeon. (Realization) Tom? I am telling you something, right now. We have accidentally made a character that I made before.

Tom: Whoops.

Grace: Her name…her name was “Veek” because she misheard a guy calling her “Freak.” And that’s what she repeats. Their names are, like, the first thing that they hear—

Tom: (Overlapping) Oh, no!

Grace: —And it could be something like—yeah. Yeah.

Tom: Stupid Pigeon!

Grace: Stupid Pigeon is his name.

Tom: All right. Stupid Pigeon is his name.

Grace: Because somebody saw him on the ground and said, “Ah, Stupid Pigeon,” and he was like, “That’s me. That’s me.”

Tom: “I like that, that sounds good.” Um…

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: But Grace, I feel like there are some key differences here. Veek was not a dad.

Grace: No, she sure wasn’t.

Tom: Yeah. So I’ll take that. So, do we need to do more stuff with kenku, or are we good there?

Grace: We’re good on kenku. I’m kind of moving on to politician/PTA dad member.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: I think he gets…extra language.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: So, uh, I don’t know. What language are you speaking?

Tom: What’s, like…the cutest language? Because he wants to, like, sing some cute songs to the kid.

Grace: What language? 

Tom: I don’t fucking know, you’re the expert!

Grace: I don’t know. Maybe Halfling. Maybe his kids go to, like, an all-halfling school, because they’re pretty short.

Tom: Whoa!

Grace: Yeah. I don’t know.

Tom: That’s crazy dude. Yeah, sure.

Grace: And he needs to, like, communicate with them. Yeah.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: I like that. Well, technically, kenku know—no. This is just a language he can understand. Because, like, they can say any language, they just understand them.

Tom: Okay. Yeah.

Grace: And let’s say…

(Something falling)

Tom: Did something just break?

Grace: (Overlapping) Commoner’s Clothes, 15 gp, and then this, website I’m reading suggests “a political manifesto you helped write.”

Tom: All right, so, let me just pull up some Cat in the Hat quotes.

Grace: But that’s, like, a school handbook, right?

Tom: Oh, political—yeah, I guess so. Um…okay. Uh, let’s see.

Grace: Yeah, got any good quotes for me, Tom?

Tom: The cat in the hat: “The name S.L.O.W. is better than the last name we had—”

Grace: (Overlapping, laughing) I remember this scene.

Tom: “—Super Hydraulic Instantaneous Transporter.” Conrad Walden: “Oh, you mean—” The cat in the hat: “D’oh! Quick, to the S.L.O.W.!

Grace: (Close to mic) He’s saying shit.

Tom: This makes me angry.

Grace: (Close to mic) Mike Myers said shit.

Tom: He did not. Get away from my ear.


Grace: (Normal distance from mic) New ASMR.

Tom: All right, okay, I have his political manifesto.

Grace: Oh, great.

Tom: “Stop! That’s my mom’s dress!” “This filthy thing?” “She was going to wear that tonight, and you ruined it.” “Honey, it was ruined when she bought it.”


Grace: So what kind of—

Tom: (Singing) Gonna paste it in the chat. The chat is where it’s going.

Grace: How this this a political manifesto?

Tom: Sort of, just, you know, sort of…

Grace: Yeah, okay. I’ll put that in—we can put bits and pieces of his political manifesto in “Treasure,” let’s say.

Tom: Maybe he’s talking about, “it was ruined when you bought it—” Uh, kind of about, like the school system, and, you know, not everyone gets an equal, uh, chance to succeed.

Grace: Yes! The current system is riddled with corruption. Kids aren’t given the same chance as other kids.

Tom: “This filthy thing?”


Grace: “This filthy thing?”

Tom: “Stop, that’s my political system!” “This filthy thing?”


Grace: That’s the title of his cool book.

Tom: This Filthy Thing?

Grace: Cool. God, this is baller.

Tom: This guy is rough.

Grace: Tom, can we—I have a proposition for you.

Tom: Sure.

Grace: His background doesn’t specifically say he gets a trinket, but we’re homebrewing this. Can we make sure every one of our characters gets a trinket? 

Tom: Yes. Because that gives us a chance to roll the d100!

Grace: Exactly. I really want to get the goblin hand.


Tom: If we do a hundred episodes, we should theoretically get the mummified goblin hand.

Grace: Exactly, that’s what I’m saying! Roll the dice, come on, goblin hand… (Dice rolling) That’s a five. “A brass ring that never tarnishes.” Cool.

Tom: All right. I notice he also has a ring in his thing—maybe the brass ring is his wedding ring, Grace.

Grace: Oh my gosh.

Tom: But he lost his partner.

Grace: Oh…

Tom: He lost his partner…

Grace: (Overlapping) From a lost love…

Tom: (Overlapping) They died…from diseases.

Grace: Oh, dang.


Tom: They got the—they got the plague, I guess. I don’t know.

Grace: They got the bird plague.

Tom: They got the avian flu, Grace!


Tom (cont’d): They died of bird flu. Because Stupid Pigeon—

Grace: (Overlapping) The dumbest joke.

Tom: Stupid Pigeon gave them bird flu and killed them.

Grace: What a dumb fucking joke. Wait, was his partner a pigeon, also? Or a kenku?

Tom: Does that work? If they’re not the same race?

Grace: Who fucking knows. Maybe she was, like, an elf or something. I don’t know.

Tom: Either way, Stupid Pigeon gave her avian flu.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um…want to roll for—oh. So we get a feature called Political Presence.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: “You are commonly taken for face value as a person of great standing. People will likely treat you like a noble or assume you of that lineage.” Ooh. “You can attain audiences with nobles or officials—” So, school board officials—“easily, as they may often see you as one of their circle.”

Tom: Okay. So. Yeah, like—this guy named “Stupid Pigeon,” he comes from a royal background.

Grace: Yeah, they’re like, “I don’t know, this guy knows what he’s talking about.”

Tom: And he’s just like (Awful Austin Powers voice) “I’m the cat in the hat!” (Normal voice) I don’t know what Mike Myers sounds like, Grace.


Grace: Not like that, that’s Austin Powers, dude. He has other roles—

Tom: (Overlapping, Austin Powers) “Yeah, baby!”

Grace: He has other roles outside of Austin Powers. Maybe Stupid Pigeon hates Austin Powers. He only watches The Cat in the Hat.

Tom: Maybe he thinks it’s sexist. He thinks it’s sexist, and he won’t show his children Austin Powers.


Grace: Stupid Pigeon is a male feminist.

Tom: Stupid Pigeon is very respectful.

Grace: Oh, yeah.

Tom: But he still loves The Cat in the Hat.

Grace: Yeah, just like the cat in the hat. Suggested characteristics?

Tom: Respect women, just like the cat in the hat. The guy who famously gets a hat boner at one point in the movie.

Grace: Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s just biology. You can’t stop it.

Tom: That’s a hat boner, Grace.

Grace: It’s part of his body!

Tom: Ugh. God, it’s fused on.

Grace: It’s his cock. Be nice to him.

Tom: It’s his lung. That’s how he fucking breathes.


Grace: He was breathing in that scene, and his hat was just expanding.

Tom: Oh, God.

Grace: Now, this has become less of a D&D podcast, and more of a Cat in the Hat recap podcast.

Tom: We are really off the rails. It’s a mix of you being hung over, and a mix of me being burnt out. Like, I just…

Grace: I’m going to start rolling for these suggested characteristics and nobody can stop me. (Dice rolling)

Tom: Uh, yeah, suggested characteristics.

Grace: We got a one and a seven.

Tom: YES! D1—okay, the first personality trait is “Listen to me! Look at me!”


Tom (cont’d): Which I love.

Grace: Perfect. And I think the second one is equally as excellent, which is, “I’m esoteric, meaning I’m better than these uncultured swine surrounding me.”

Tom: This is a different dude!

Grace: This is a different dude. We gotta roll again. I just really enjoyed it. That’s—that’s a four. “The people deserve better. I will be their guiding hope.”

Tom: That’s him. So, “Listen to me, look at me—the people deserve better.”

Grace: He’s an unbelievable public speaker. When we get into bard stuff, we’ll, like, jack up his performance.

Tom: Really homebrew this. Make him, like, the best speaker. Period.

Grace: Yes. Ideal. (Dice rolling) Um…Dictator.


Grace (cont’d): It’s one.

Tom: It’s an actual one?!

Grace: It’s actually a one. I rolled a one, and I am shaking right now.

Tom: Grace, read it.

Grace: “I will become the sole, undisputed leader of this country.” Of this school.

Tom: That’s so fucking ominous.

Grace: It’s what he deserves.

Tom: No, but, like—is he gonna be a dictator of this PTA?


Grace: Yeah. I’m just gonna change every word in this to make it “PTA” or “students” or whatever.

Tom: “The students deserve better. I will be their guiding hope.”

Grace: And, um…

Tom: You know, dictator…maybe he’s kind of a nice dictator.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! Listen, the school board needs a powerful leader. They can’t deal with this indecision. They need a strong leader.

Tom: They need a kick in the ass, and he’s wearing the right boots.

Grace: Exactly. (Dice rolling) Five. “The world is but a bunch of connections. I need as many as possible to achieve my goals.”

Tom: That’s chaotic, Grace.

Grace: Yeah, that’s chaotic. You want to roll again?

Tom: Let’s roll again.

Grace: (Dice rolling) Um… “We all need to work together to unify and achieve the goal best for everyone.”

Tom: Yeah! But as long as I’m the dictator.

Grace: Yeah. I also want to point out one, which is, “I have family to whom I promised I would change the world.”

Tom: Oh.

Grace: Which, I feel like—

Tom: (Overlapping) Okay, that would be good.

Grace: Yeah. I feel like his bond to his kids are the best—is, like, the defining thing about him. And can I pitch something to you?

Tom: Yeah, sure.

Grace: His kids’ names are Sally and Conrad.

Tom: Are those the kids from Cat in the Hat?

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Hey, I’m going to fucking murder you. It’s a good idea. Do it. Do it.

Grace: Sally and Conrad Pigeon.


Tom: (Overlapping) Grace—

Grace: (Overlapping) First name Stupid, last name Pigeon.

Tom: He’s very bonded to his family. Also, maybe when his wife was on her deathbed, she said, “Take care of our kids.” And he was like, (Deep voice) “I’m gonna.” (???? voice) “I’m-a gonna!” (Normal voice) That’s not what Mike Myers sounds like.


Grace: No, but I want you to keep guessing what he sounds like.

Tom: (???? voice) “I’m-a Mike-a Myers!”

Grace: After this, we can watch The Cat in the Hat, and you can—I mean, it’s worse than what you’re doing right now.

Tom: Yeah, no, like…I believe it.

Grace: Yeah. All right. And for the flaw, I got (Dice rolling) a four, which is, “I don’t like pain. I’d rather run than ever fight. Actually, I just let others fight my battles.”

Tom: I think this guy stands up for his fucking kids, though.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What’s a good flaw? I don’t like any of these flaws.

Tom: Um… “I care too much.”


Grace: I care too much.

Tom: “I’m a dad, I’m still learning. I’m still learning, and I make a lot of mistakes when I’m raising my kids, but I’m doing my best.”

Grace: Yes. I think he’s paralyzed by fear that he will make some sort of crucial mistake, and as a result, he’s kind of overprotective.

Tom: Yeah, he’s kind of a helicopter parent.

Grace: Yeah. (Typing) “I’m a helicopter parent.” There it is.

Tom: Yeah, no. That’s for real. We’re making a PTA parent.

Grace: All right.

Tom: Pull up that Bard, if we’re done with…?

Grace: Yes. I am so excited for Bard. Okay, so. Your hit dice, at level one…you get eight, plus your Constitution…I think that’s just eight, right? Yeah, eight. Oof. That’s eight hit points, baby.

Tom: That’s rough. That’s not great.

Grace: Not fantastic.

Tom: Not awesome.

Grace: We get light armor, we get simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, and shortswords. Um, I’m just gonna add those in.

Tom: Yeah. I think that this guy probably doesn’t carry too many weapons, but he carries enough to protect his kids.

Grace: Yeah. I mean, you can’t bring weapons into a school board meeting. That’s just not cool.

Tom: Well, yeah, he has to leave them at the door. I’m talking about at home.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He also gets three musical instruments—

Tom: (Overlapping) I get three musical instruments?!

Grace: Three of them.

Tom: Oh, wait, that’s proficiencies.

Grace: Yeah. You don’t get to keep three musical instruments, but you do get to be proficient in three musical instruments. So, uh, choose wisely, my man.

Tom: Um, no, I’m not gonna. Maracas!


Grace: Oh, yeah! They should all be things from that scene in Cat in the Hat, where he kind of goes wild.

Tom: Is there a tuba in there? Feels like there is.

Grace: I don’t know, but I want him to play tuba, so yes.

Tom: And maybe, like, cymbals.

Grace: Sure. Maracas, a tuba, and cymbals.

Tom: Just some loud shit.

Grace: And we actually get to keep one of these instruments. So which one do you want him to carry around at all times?

Tom: Cymbals, so he can get peoples’ attention.


Grace: Love that. Love that so much. Um, something else that he can do, as a kenku, is he can just copy sounds with his mouth. So if he ever wants to, like, play the cymbals and the tuba at the same time, he can crash those cymbals together, but he can also make tuba sounds with his mouth. So.

Tom: Oh my God, Grace. That’s a one-man band.

Grace: Yeah. This is why kenku are the best.

Tom: Yeah, no, that’s amazing. Yeah, let’s do that.

Grace: It’s incredible. And we get to choose any three skills.

Tom: Any three skills? Okay, how about Medicine, because what if one of his kids slips and falls?

Grace: Oh, good, he’s proficient in Band-Aids.

Tom: Nature, because he loves taking his kids on walks.

Grace: Yes. And I’m going to have—oh, we already have Performance. Then choose another one.

Tom: How about, uh, Animal Handling?


Grace: Fuck. Now, you’re just doing this to spite me at this point. At what point is he going to encounter—at what point is he going to encounter an animal?

Tom: A fucking family reunion, Grace.

Grace: Learn from my fucking mistakes and don’t give your character Animal Handling.

Tom: No.

Grace: We have not encountered a single animal.

Tom: Maybe his kids want a puppy, and he’s like, “I’ll get a fucking puppy.”

Grace: Yeah. “I’m a good dad, fuck it.”

Tom: “I’m a cool dad.”


Tom (cont’d): So that’s when it’s gonna come up.

Grace: Yes. So that’s when it’s gonna come up. Good, great, cool.

Tom: Uh, Grace?

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: Starting equipment—I’d like—my options for weapons are a rapier, a longsword, or any simple weapon. I’d like a longsword. I’d like a very long sword.

Grace: I mean, it’s gonna look long. You’re five feet.

Tom: That’s so long, it can protect my kids so good.

Grace: Yeah. I’ll change the name from “longsword” to “bigsword.”

Tom: “Kidprotector.”

Grace: Oh, that can be its cool name. “Kidsaver.”

Tom: Yeah. Kidsaber. Grace. [A/N: Sorry, I ignored this one too! Didn’t hear it.]

Grace: Would you actually like a rapier instead of a longsword?

Tom: Yeah, sure.

Grace: I mean, we’ll still call it Kidprotector. Make no mistake.

Tom: No, no, no, no, no. Don’t worry.

Grace: But with a rapier you can use your Dexterity, I believe?

Tom: All right, cool.

Grace: Yeah. Your Dexterity, rather than your Strength.

Tom: This guy is…kind of dextrous.

Grace: Oh, no, what? Why did I think Dexterity was higher than Strength? Ignore me. It’s a longsword. Whatever.

Tom: It’s a longsword.

Grace: It’s exactly the same.

Tom: It’s a bigsword.

Grace: It’s the bigsword. Oh, this one? It’s pretty big. Which is…1d8 piercing damage.

Tom: Big enough to protect my kids, who I love!

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Fuck, I love this guy.

Grace: I know, he’s awesome!

Tom: He’s just, like…

Grace: (Overlapping) You also get a Diplomat’s Pack…oh, wait, you also get a dagger.

Tom: All right. Cool.

Grace: So…

Tom: Yeah. Man, this dagger—

Grace: (Overlapping) You want to name that one, too?

Tom: Yeah. Can it have my dead partner’s—my dead spouse’s name?

Grace: Yeah. Aw, man, I love that.

Tom: What’s the mom’s name in The Cat in the Hat, please?

Grace: Oh, good, good. (Googling)

Tom: Grace?

Grace: Mom name…Cat in the Hat mom name. (Pause) Does she have a fucking name? Or is she just Mom?

Tom: It might just be…yeah, it’s Mom.


Grace: Maybe that’s her name.

Tom: Her name is Mom Pigeon.


Grace: Mom Pigeon. I’m just gonna write “Mom” for the dagger.


Grace (cont’d): And he’s like, “You don’t need a mom, because I’ve got a mom right here!” And then he stabs somebody.

Tom: Jesus.


Tom (cont’d): And then he says, “Looks like you’ve got mom issues!”

Grace: Oh, God!


Tom: Oof.

Grace: Got a mom right through the trachea.

Tom: Jesus!

Grace: Cool. Diplomat’s Pack, or Entertainer’s Pack, Tom?

Tom: Oh, he’s an entertainer. Actually…

Grace: You’d get some cool shit in the Diplomat’s Pack.

Tom: (Overlapping) Yeah. I saw I got some perfume.

Grace: Yeah. Which would you like more: two costumes or perfume? Because those are really the best—oh, you also get soap.

Tom: Oh, shit. This is a clean boy.

Grace: Yeah. Diplomat’s Pack.

Tom: Diplomat’s Pack.

Grace: Bath time, boys!

Tom: God. (Singing) Splish splash.

Grace: (Singing) Splish splash, I was taking a bath. (Speaking) Um…we got your musical instrument, and you get leather armor, which is 11 + Dexterity, so I think it’s 12. Yeah.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: You’re gonna take a lot of hits, dude. But it’s fine, because you’re not in battle.

Tom: I take a lot of hits for my kids, you know?

Grace: Yeah. I want to tell you about my favorite thing about bards.

Tom: I’d love it. I’d love to hear it.

Grace: So…let’s see if I can find a really good definition of it, because I’m not good at explaining things. Okay. So basically, Bardic Inspiration is—if it’s your turn, you can use a bonus action to turn to one of your friends in battle and inspire them.

Tom: (Overlapping) Yes!

Grace: So you would use your craft of choice for that—yeah. Like, for example, if you were a trombone player, you would pull out your trombone and be like, “Keep on fighting, dude!” and play them a little ditty. But, like, for, um, our guy here, Stupid Pigeon, he might go ahead and, um, do a little bit of a speech. He might quote something from Cat in the Hat, quote a really inspirational quote, and they would feel strong enough. But what they do is they get to add a d6 to one of their ability checks or attacks or save rolls.

Tom: Yup. That sounds good.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Dope.

Grace: So that’s pretty dope. And you get to use it equal to your Charisma modifier, which is your highest, so you get three times every times before you take a long rest. So that fucks.

Tom: Jesus.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Um, Grace, I do have the—I am on script-o-rama dot com. It does say “not secure.” And I’m just gonna read this intro real quick.

Grace: Yeah, go ahead.

Tom: This is my bardic inspiration. “There are gajillions of stories / Of mischief and fun, / But to keep things simple / Let’s start with just one / About a mom, and two kids / And a house, and a hat—”

Grace: (Laughter)

Tom: Shut the fuck up!

Grace: (Laughter) Sorry—

Tom: “About a house—About a mom, and two kids—” You’re fucking me up! “And a house, and a hat—”

Grace: You’re doing great. Keep going.

Tom: SHH! SHH!!!!

Grace: (Laughter)

Tom: “That oddly enough / Was worn by a cat.”

Grace: Oof.

Tom: HEY!

Grace: I’m just saying it’s odd! I’m cheering you on!

Tom: Hey! HEY!

Grace: (Laughter)

Tom: “In the valley that stretches / From this hill to that hill—” (Laughter)

Grace: I have a question.

Tom: Sure.

Grace: How many hills are there?

Tom: It’s just such a fucking bad line.

Grace: It’s a bad line, yeah! Okay.

Tom: Um…okay. Uh, “A city is nestled—”

Grace: Is that it?

Tom: No!

Grace: (Laughter)

Tom: No! “A city is nestled / That city is Anville.” Now I’m fucking done! Jesus Christ!

Grace: That’s the intro to the movie huh?

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: It’s not very good, not gonna lie.

Tom: It took us a year!

Grace: Like, I could do a better job.

Tom: That took us—do it!

Grace: (Regret) His name is a cat…he’s got a hat. And…I’ll tell you that.

Tom: Very nice.


Grace: Cool.

Tom: Great.

Grace: So that’s what bardic inspiration is.

Tom: What is this podcast?! What is this podcast, Grace?!

Grace: It’s—this has been a Cat in the Hat recap podcast—

Tom: (Overlapping) That’s a different fancast.

Grace: (Overlapping) Yeah, let’s do a fancast. Thanks for tuning in this week, guys. You get spells!

Tom: Oh, finally! I get the music spells!

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Or whatever I do. Public speaking spells.


Grace: Yeah. For any components that don’t have specific costs—like, if you just need a pinch of dust or whatever—you can use your uh, cymbals as a spellcasting component. So don’t even worry about it.

Tom: (Cymbal crashing noises) Let’s go! Let’s go!

Grace: Yeah. (Clapping) Dancing Lights! Dancing Lights! (Not clapping) You get two cantrips. You know four spells, and you get two first-level spell slots.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: So choose two cantrips, my dude.

Tom: Um…

Grace: I’m gonna suggest one thing.

Tom: Sure.

(Phone ringing)

Tom (cont’d): Hold on!

Grace: Oh.

Tom: Hold on!

Grace: That’s a phone.

Tom: Hold on, it’s my dad.

(Elevator music)

Grace: Welcome back to our Cat in the Hat recap podcast.

Tom: We’re back.

Grace: Welcome back, cat-heads.

Tom: Sorry, I had to call my dad.

Grace: Yeah. Dad burst into the recording studio.

Tom: Okay, um, oh my God…

Grace: Okay, we were on cantrips. I was going to suggest we do Prestidigitation, which is not a powerful spell, but it’s, like, a flavor spell. It’s just kind of a good time.

Tom: All right.

Grace: It can be good if you’re doing a performance. You can do things like create a shower of sparks…

Tom: Oh, shit.

Grace: Yeah. You can also clean things, so it’s good for bath time, you know what I’m talking about?

Tom: Yeah, bro. Like, “Yo, clean your fucking room! Just kidding!” Ka-pow!


Grace: “I’m a cool dad!”

Tom: “I’m a cool dad today!”

Grace: Yeah. That would be really cool. And that’s also awesome, because that’s what the cat in the hat does at the end. He invites Thing One and Thing Two to come and clean the house.

Tom: Oh.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Hey, do they get paid, Grace?

Grace: No.

Tom: Oh.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: All right.

Grace: No, it’s an uncomfortable movie on many levels.

Tom: What’s our second…I’d like to do—not Vicious Mockery, because he’s a nice dad.

Grace: That’s true.

Tom: Animal Friendship! Animal Friendship!!

Grace: That’s a level one spell. We’ll get to that. I need you to choose a goddamn cantrip, Thomas.

Tom: (Overlapping) Oh, wait, it’s not a cantrip.

Grace: No.

Tom: What’s Mending?

Grace: Pretty much what it sounds like. You can fix things.

Tom: Oh, all right!

Grace: If his kids’ clothes tear, he can fix them. Build a deck.

Tom: Totally. He’s a single dad, he’s not, like—he needs all the help saving money he can get, so, like, yeah, he can fix his own clothes.

Grace: Yeah, exactly! He’s pretty smart.

Tom: He’s a crafty dad.

Grace: So we have two spell slots, we know four spells, our spellcasting ability is Charisma…

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: I’ll fill in all this stuff later.

Tom: All right, cool.

Grace: We get four first-level spells, I think…yeah.

Tom: All right. So let’s do those. Animal Friendship! Animal Friendship! Animal Friendship!

Grace: This is so goddamn stupid, Tom.

Tom: Animal Friendship!

Grace: So fucking dumb.

Tom: Grace, Animal Friendship!

Grace: I mean, sure, yeah. Why the fuck not?

Tom: What if a bear is on the school board?

Grace: What? Why would a bear—

Tom: What if a bear is on the school board?

Grace: I don’t think—I’m confused about your understanding of D&D and the magical world we live in—

Tom: Grace! Animal Friendship!

Grace: That’s fine! Okay, okay, okay.

Tom: Uh…how about…Heroism?

Grace: Yeah, there are a lot of spells. Heroism?

Tom: Speak With Animals!

Grace: “A willing creature you touch is imbued with bravery.”

Tom: Oh, sweet!

Grace: Yeah. “Until the spell ends, the creature is immune to being Frightened and gains temporary hit points equal to your spellcasting modifier at the start of each of its turns.” Whoa.

Tom: Grace, maybe his kid is going to the dentist, and he has to, like…

Grace: (Gasp) Yeah! And he touches him, and he’s like, “It’s gonna be okay, Conrad.” And then he’s brave, and he just does it.

Tom: Just sends it. Um, yeah, so that’s good. I saw one that was like, communicate with animals, so let’s go back to that one.

Grace: Tom—this is—

Tom: Maybe Speak With Animals?

Grace: Speak With Animals? Yeah. Here’s the thing—

Tom: Animal Messenger! Animal Messenger!

Grace: What’s—what’s Animal Messenger? What are you seeing? Oh, that’s level two. We can’t do that.

Tom: Fuck. But we do have Speak With Animals.

Grace: Yeah, I mean, if you want to spend it on Speak With Animals, why the fuck not?

Tom: This is so funny.


Grace: Here’s the thing—I really like the animal spells! I think they add an interesting flavor to the game! But if you DM won’t add any fucking animals to the game, what is the point?

Tom: Okay, well, I guess the DM just has to use animals.

Grace: Guess I’ll just use Thunderwave for the fiftieth time?

Tom: I’ll do Thunderwave. Thunderwave would be good, because this guy really needs to protect his kids.

Grace: Thunderwave is really powerful, yeah. Like, if this guy gets really angry…man. On a failed save, they take 2d8 thunder damage and are pushed ten feet away. On a successful save—

Tom: (Overlapping) What if—

Grace: —they take half as much.

Tom: What if he’s walking up to the ice cream truck with his kids, and it starts to pull away, and he’s like, “I wasn’t finished!”


Grace: That would push the ice cream truck away. Ten feet further.

Tom: “Conrad needs his Dippy—Conrad needs a SpongeBob pop!”


Grace: “Get Sally a Dippy Bar!”

Tom: God.

Grace: Yeah. Thunderwave. This is awesome.

Tom: Conrad needs his, um, Sonic the Hedgehog popsicle with his gumball eyes.

Grace: “Conrad gives me the gumballs!”

Tom: “Sally needs a Choco Taco!”

Grace: Great. We have four awesome spells. Only one of them does any damage, but it’s fine.

Tom: Disgusting.

Grace: Um…that’s all we need for Bard…

Tom: (Overlapping) No, Grace, can we—

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: Can we have a sidequest where he’s trying to get his kids a dog?

Grace: Oh, I love that. Yeah.

Tom: And that’s why he has all the animal stuff.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s trying to become a member of the school board, and he’s trying to become the president of the school board—the dictator, really—but he’s also trying to get his kids a dog.

Tom: This’ll actually—this’ll actually kind of lead us into backstory.

Grace: Yeah, which is where we need to go anyway.

Tom: Yeah. Let’s go do that, then knock out Appearance.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: So, what do we got? You want to do Appearance first?

Grace: Sure. We can get a build for the character. I mean, a lot of it is nonnegotiable. This bitch is gonna have a lot of feathers.

Tom: Grace. I want him to be bald. No—


Tom (cont’d): No, I want him to have a full, rich coat.

Grace: Yeah. A full, rich coat of black feathers.

Tom: All right. Um…loving dad eyes.

Grace: Loving dad eyes. Yes. I’ll put that in “Eyes.”

Tom: Loving dad eyes.

Grace: What color?

Tom: Black.

Grace: Skin. Feathers. Hair. Fucking feathers.

Tom: Um…uh, big stupid beak.

Grace: Oh. I love that. That’s why they call him Stupid Pigeon. Because of his big, stupid beak.

Tom: Everyone looks at his beak and says, “What an idiot.” But he’s also very charismatic.

Grace: Yeah. No, they love him. But they hate his beak so much. That’s the only reason…

Tom: That’s the only reason it’s even a contest.

Grace: The only reason he has +3 rather than +50 is because of his big, stupid beak.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: It sucks.

Tom: Um…what else? That’s pretty much it. He’s a bird.

Grace: I think he has cute Tommy Bahama shirts.

Tom: Aw, yeah. He kind of has a Hawaiian-shirt-dad-look going on. He wears khakis.

Grace: And a camera around his neck…yeah.

Tom: Is he on vacation, Grace?

Grace: No, he’s just taking pictures of his kids.


Tom: Aw, because he loves them so much! That’s nice.

Grace: And khakis, you said? Yeah.

Tom: Uh, Grace? What you’ve said is “Loves to take pictures of kids.” Could you clarify that they’re his kids?


Grace: Oh, no.

Tom: Grace.

Grace: Oooh.

Tom: Would you mind—would you mind clarifying that? Thank you.

Grace: And suddenly, Stupid Pigeon takes a sinister turn.

Tom: Stupid Pigeon is…not gonna win.

Grace: He’s revealed as not Lawful Dad, but Chaotic Evil.

Tom: Chaotic Pervert. Khakis! Stained!

Grace: Yeah. Love it.

Tom: That’s it. We’re good.

Grace: I love this outfit that we’ve put together for this guy. He kind of looks like a really cool dude.

Tom: I can’t wait to see the fan art for this one, Grace.

Grace: Oh, yeah.

Tom: Um…

Grace: Backstory. Do you feel ready to wild out on this backstory?

Tom: Yeah. So, backstory is when Grace types everything I say verbatim, and it becomes law.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: I don’t know why, when I do backstory—I’m adjusting right now—I always just lean back.

Grace: To get those creative juices flowing.

Tom: I just let the words, like, fall out of me.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: All right, so, get off the Cat in the Hat script for me, right now.

Grace: Sorry, I’m just looking.

Tom: Right now.

Grace: Uh…sorry, I’m hypnotized by it. Sorry. Okay. Okay. Let’s go.

Tom: So. Stupid Pigeon was born into a big family of…

Grace: (Overlapping) Good start.

Tom: …other stupid-looking birds. But he moved out at a very young age, because he was being a rebellious teen. The second he stepped out of his house, someone yelled “Stupid Pigeon!” at him, and then that was his name. His parents did not name him.

Grace: That guy—so his parents just didn’t make any sounds or noises until this dude was, like, two years old—

Tom: No. They were a very quiet family.

Grace: Yeah. Love that.

Tom: So. Stupid Pigeon met, uh, a woman named Mom.


Tom (cont’d): They fell in love and had two beautiful children named Conrad and…Sally?

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Okay. Then Mom died from avian flu.

Grace: Then Mom died from avian flu.

Tom: Unrelated incident.


Grace: Uh, what species is Mom? Is Mom, like, a high elf?

Tom: I think that’s up for interpretation.

Grace: Okay. I love it. Maybe—maybe Stupid Pigeon doesn’t really know.

Tom: Yeah. So. He made a promise to his dying wife: that he would protect their children and give them the best life he could offer. Sorry, you just spelled “childrne.”

Grace: Childrne. Yeah, it’s kind of a cool new spelling that I’m going with.

Tom: Kind of chill.

Grace: Kind of cool.

Tom: Um…what else. Uh, he is currently making a desperate gamble to become dictator of the school and leader of the school board. His opponent…is…Grace, are you ready?

Grace: I’m ready.

Tom: His opponent is named…Li’l Sandy.

Grace: Whoa.

Tom: Grace.

Grace: Wow! Hold on. We’re combining—wow.

Tom: Shared universes.

Grace: Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Starting Tools Cinematic Universe.

Tom: Li’l Sandy wants to run the school and train the children to fight.

Grace: Oh, wow. But, you know…he’s not going to have any of that. Not safe.

Tom: Stupid Pigeon—Stupid Pigeon would rather die than have his children go to a school that is run by Li’l Sandy. And so his campaign begins.

Grace: You know what I love about this, Tom?

Tom: What?

Grace: You call, like, a D&D campaign a campaign, but this is literally a campaign.

Tom: Yeah, right?

Grace: Like, he’s literally going to become dictator of the school.

Tom: Yes. What was his sidequest, Grace?

Grace: Sidequest…to get his kids a dog.

Tom: Oh, right.

Grace: That was just a fun thing.

Tom: He also wants to get his kids a dog. Uh, Allies & Organizations…

Grace: Allies are Conrad and Sally, aren’t they?

Tom: They’re his allies. But also: the PTA.

Grace: Oh, yes, okay. So he’s allied with them. He’s not trying to take them over.

Tom: Well, he’s trying to take them over, but they’re like, “Listen. We don’t like that you’re trying to dictate us, but it’s better that it’s you than Li’l Sandy.”

Grace: Yeah. And it was super inefficient beforehand.

Tom: Yeah. And, you know, like it or not, he’s really making things happen here.

Grace: Right, he is. It’s a benevolent dictatorship, really.

Tom: Um…Additional Features & Traits…does he have any treasure? His kids.

Grace: His treasure is his kids. Unfortunately, I have filled the Treasure box with just Cat in the Hat quotes, so, uh…

Tom: Okay. Well. Okay.

Grace: Have you ever seen, like, the song and dance scenes from it?

Tom: No.

Grace: It’s really good. That’s kind of how I imagine his campaign speeches going.

Tom: Oh, God. Hey, you don’t need to pull it up.

Grace: No, I’m not going to make you watch it right now…

Tom: Okay.

Grace: But this is just kind of a fun game for anyone at home. Go look up, like, the Carmen Miranda dance scene that he does.

Tom: Car—oh, no!


Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Oh. Oh, Jesus.

Grace: I want to see if I can find a picture of him in that whole outfit right now.

Tom: Oh, you don’t need to.

Grace: Oh, no, I’m just finding some fun…just some fun cats—

Tom: (Overlapping) Cats wearing…

Grace: (Overlapping) Cats in a fruit hat!

Tom: Aw, that’s cute.

Grace: This is delightful! Gonna save that.


Tom: All right, we have to get back to our podcast real quick.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Um…so, what? What else do we—

Grace: Yeah, this is what he looks like. I think we need to wrap on me showing you a picture of this.

Tom: Oh, NO! NO!!!!!!

(Laughter, mostly from Grace)

Tom (cont’d): (Muffled screaming)

(More laughter)

Tom (cont’d): God fucking damn it.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: All right.

Grace: At one point he grabs—he grabs his coconut titties.

Tom: All right. There is the picture. Just put them all on the Twitter. Just put them all on the Twitter.

Grace: No, I’m not gonna make anyone look at these.

Tom: No, put them on the Twitter, Grace. They need it.

Grace: Except for you. I’ll make you look at these.

Tom: Fuck.

Grace: Okay, you feeling ready to wrap this bad boy up?

Tom: Yeah. I think we should give him some Inspiration, though.

Grace: Oh, you’re right.

Tom: Can we—I’m not sure if we have enough space—can we just write “Your wife is proud of you?”

Grace: (Typing) I can write “Your wife.”

Tom: (Borat) My wife.

Grace: (Borat) My wife. (Normal) I think he likes Borat, too.

Tom: Oh, yeah. He’s a dad.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Uh…player name? I guess…Dad.


Grace: I just wrote “Dad.” Shoutout to Dad for coming into the middle of our podcast.

Tom: Oh, yeah. This one’s for Dad.

Grace: Adam makes a surprise appearance.

Tom: Don’t doxx our dad right now.

Grace: Background…PTA Member…oh, his saving throws. What the fuck are bard saving throws? Goddamnit, I’ll figure it out later.

Tom: So, what do we have to plug?

Grace: Um, okay. You can find us on Apple Podcasts and on RadioPublic, and on our website, which is starting.tools, which is also where we post character sheets and transcripts.

Tom: Those are also all gonna be linked to our Twitter.

Grace: Yes, our Twitter, which is @ToolsStarting. And if you want to tweet about the podcast, please use the hashtag ToolsStarting—

Tom: Nope! Nope! Use the hashtag #ToolsCast.

Grace: Yeah. Use the hashtag #ToolsCast for that one, which is the thing about it.

Tom: I think we’re still the only posts on that.

Grace: Yeah. So, you know, if you’ve got any thoughts on this episode, or other episodes—oh, also it is a huge, huge help if you leave a review on Apple Podcasts.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: This is, like, a number-one way that we get new listeners, is if you leave a review, and leave a five-star rating—

Tom: (Overlapping) Even if you hated it.

Grace: Yes, leave a five-star rating, and then put your opinions in the comment part of it, but please, please, please—

Tom: (Overlapping) The five stars we need.

Grace: Yeah. It’s also—we have one review—

Tom: Let’s read it. I think it’s high praise.

Grace: We have one review, and it’s by “biggest fan,” and then he puts a lot of the emoji faces next to it. And it says “listen.” And it’s five stars, and it’s titled “yes.”

Tom: Our theme music is Minor Apprehension by Jackie McLean. Listen wherever you find music.

Grace: Yup! I’m just gonna put it out there again—please leave a review.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: It’s the best thing you can do to help, and it would also be really fun.

Tom: Yeah. Google the phrase “cat in the hat fun fun fun,” if you’d like.

Grace: Yeah. I’m kind of staring at those pictures right now.

Tom: I am, too, because you’re screensharing.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: And it’s making me really, really angry.

Grace: Just keep on scrolling, huh?

Tom: Please stop scrolling down, because it’s going to get highly sexual soon.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: All right. Thank you for listening to Starting Tools, we’ve been the tools.

Grace: Yes. Thank you so much.

Tom: We’re sorry.

Grace: I’ve been Grace.

Tom: I’m Tom.

Grace: See you next week.

Tom: Bye.

(Outro music: “Minor Apprehension” by Jackie McLean)

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