Episode 08 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: (Loud inhale) And I’m your other co-host, Tom.

(Laughter)

Grace: Why would you start like that?

Tom: It’s a good energy.

Grace: Why is that the energy you want to put out into the world right now?

Tom: It’s sick boy energy, and that’s all I have to offer, Grace!

Grace: What sort of illness—listen, I don’t want to get too personal, but what sort of illness is this?

Tom: Uh…I don’t—it’s like sore throat, stuffy nose, very tired, very cold, very hot.

Grace: Oh, hell yeah. The sleepy boy illness.

Tom: Sleepy boy time! So I’m running on…uh, fumes.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah. So that’s gonna be kind of the vibe for this episode. And it’s either going to be super boring, or it’s going to be fucking unhinged.

Grace: Could you take some cold medicine? Like, right now?

Tom: No.

Grace: Just, like, take a shot of NyQuil?

(Laughter)

Tom: I’m not gonna fucking—yeah, I’ll just get super tanked real quick, hold up.

Grace: Could you just find some coke right now, and snort that, and have that be—

Tom: (Overlapping) Those are very different vibes! NyQuil and coke, are you kidding me, my friend?

Grace: We’ll go back and forth. We’ll, we’ll switch.

Tom: Fantastic. Then I’ll be evened out.

Grace: Yeah, exactly. That’s how it works.

Tom: So, what’s this podcast, when I’m healthy?

(Laughter)

Grace: Yeah, we should explain what this podcast is. Um, this is a Dungeons & Dragons podcast where we endeavor to create the worst characters through the Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition character creation system.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Um, we make bad characters.

Tom: Yes. Dungeons & Dragons: Piss Edition.

(Laughter)

Grace: Dungeons & Dragons: Piss Edition…that should have been the name.

Tom: And that’s just—God. That’s an alternate title.

(Laughter)

Tom (con’td): I’m telling you, we need to get a Patreon and just start releasing, like, alternate titles. And that’s the only content.

(Laughter)

Grace: Sounds good.

Tom: I’ve got another one off the top of my head.

Grace: (Overlapping) Yeah?

Tom: Borat—Borat voice, very dice.

(Laughter)

Grace: I actually like that a lot.

Tom: Sick boy energy, I’m telling you, it’s gonna—

Grace: (Overlapping, Borat voice) Very dice.

Tom: —fuel us— (Borat voice) Very dice.

Grace: We could just make character from Borat. Which would be good, if I had ever seen the movie Borat and could tell you anything about them.

Tom: (Throat clearing, normal voice) My wife.

(Laughter)

Grace: Hey, it’s me, (mispronounced) Sacha Baron-Cohen!

Tom: (Overlapping) Sacha?

Grace: I was in Les Mis and Sweeney Todd.

Tom: Sacha Baron-Cohen just wants to be in musicals, but everyone’s like, “Very nice!”

Grace: Make a Borat 2. Is there a Borat 2?

Tom: God, I don’t know. And we can’t Google it! We can’t! Oh no.

Grace: Holy fuck.

Tom: Oh, there’s a—wait, what?

Grace: Is there a Borat 2?

Tom: Wait, it says, like—he signed—

Grace: Oh—

(Laughter)

Tom: Is a Borat 2 coming out?

Grace: Hold on. This is a Reddit post—

(Laughter)

Tom: Oh, no.

Grace: From 2016.

Tom: Oh, buddy.

Grace: Now, I just want to say—there is an article right above it, when I Googled Borat 2, which said, “Sacha Baron-Cohen signs for Borat 2.” From 2007.

Tom: So that means it’s probably coming.

Grace: (Increasingly sad) “Huge fan of the movie. Just not sure if Borat 2 will be released. There were rumors it will be after Bruno. Thanks.”

Tom: Rumors is spelled R-O-M-O-U-R-S. Rom-ours.

Grace: That’s my favorite Fleetwood Mac album.

(Laughter)

Tom: Aw.

Grace: This is making me sad.

Tom: Yeah! We gotta close out of this—we’re on the Reddit r/Borat.

Grace: Oh, fuck, I didn’t even realize!

Tom: Very nice! Fuck it, let’s browse.

Grace: Sometimes, Tom—

Tom: Yes?

Grace: Sometimes I get myself psyched up for the podcast, and I think, “Today, we won’t make Borat jokes.”

Tom: No.

Grace: And then we do end up on the Reddit for Borat.

Tom: I’m very tired, Grace.

Grace: Tom, you had a specific idea for today’s episode.

Tom: Yeah. So, I texted—I texted Grace—I was feeling kind of a manic energy. Just feeling, like, really wild, and ready. Ready to go.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Um, and I texted her, “We’re making a goblin.” I wasn’t asking—

Grace: (Overlapping) Which I like.

Tom: “Could we make a goblin?”

Grace: Yeah. I like that decisive kind of energy.

Tom: I was saying what was going to fucking happen. So we’re making a goblin.

Grace: We are making a goblin.

Tom: And we’re going to make him the worst. We are going to go—we’re going to make him the worst character we possibly can.

Grace: Yeah. Goblin is, um…hold on, I just gotta get the page pulled up.

Tom: I mean, goblins are pretty good starting grounds to make awful, awful boys.

Grace: Our goal is kind of to create a goblin as it is. This is just getting to the…getting to the meat of it immediately.

Tom: Yeah. Um, so let’s make a scummy boy. Like, we’ve made a couple of fun guys, recently. Like, Fiesta Fabio was really good…

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Stupid Pigeon was just, like, a dad?

Grace: We just made a good dad, as it turns out.

Tom: But I feel like part of what our podcast was started to create, uh, was just awful, awful, awful, awful characters.

Grace: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tom: A lot like Longman “Urkgub” Good.

Grace: Yeah. We can really get into the body horror aspects, I feel, with the goblin.

Tom: Now, I know goblins are traditionally small.

Grace: Mhm.

Tom: Can we make him massive?

Grace: Ooh. How big you thinking, here?

Tom: How big is a goliath?

Grace: Goliath—aren’t they, like, eight feet?

Tom: Okay, think bigger.

Grace: Ooh. Um…ten feet.

Tom: Mm.

Grace: Eleven?

Tom: Grace?

Grace: Thomas?

Tom: Grace?

Grace: Now, how big are you thinking, here? Because I feel like I’m just going to name numbers—

Tom: I’d like him to be twelve feet tall!

Grace: You’re talking about a dragon here.

(Laughter)

Tom: (Overlapping) No, I’m talking about a goblin!

Grace: (Overlapping) You’re talking about a dragon. Oof, okay. I mean—Starting Tools is all about pushing boundaries, might as well make a twelve-foot goblin.

Tom: Twelve feet even.

Grace: Twelve feet even.

Tom: (Overlapping) Wait, we should probably put weight in.

Grace: (Overlapping) I think he should kind of be a thick boy, too.

Tom: Yeah, we should put weight.

Grace: Oh, yeah, weight. What is an appropriate weight for a twelve-foot goblin?

Tom: Look up how many, like…how many pounds is a goblin.

Grace: So goblins weigh between thirty and fifty pounds. Let’s say…and I want this goblin to be on the thicker side, so let’s say a three-foot, five-inch goblin is fifty pounds.

Tom: Okay. So let’s do the math.

Grace: Okay. I cannot—how many inches is three-five?

Tom: Grace, just divide, uh, twelve by three point five. Let’s round up to three and a half feet.

Grace: Twelve divided by three point five…okay, times, um…fifty.

Tom: I don’t think that’s right.

Grace: This does not seem right.

Tom: No, he’s gonna need to be a lot more than that.

Grace: This—

Tom: Why are you taking math advice from a very, very ill man?

Grace: It’s probably better than the math that I’m going to come up with. Okay, so—

Tom: Uh—

Grace: You know what we could do? Let’s say a four-foot goblin would be…seventy pounds. Seventy times three equals…

Tom: (Overlapping) Do you have to plug that into a calculator? [A/N: Yes]

Grace: Goblins are really small! I know, like, a six-foot guy—Jesus Christ!

Tom: Yeah, this guy is small, small.

Grace: Are we going to make a twelve-foot, 210-pound goblin?

Tom: Yes.

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): And that makes me think—he’s tall, but he’s also wide, you know?

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s got a wide stance, I think. Kind of a Flat Stanley situation.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Yeah!

Tom: Absolutely. Um, so let’s…what should we do, Grace?

Grace: I want to start delving into this guy’s personality and motivation.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: So I want to do some ability scores.

Tom: Yes. Now—Grace, Grace, I’d love you to tell me what we do for ability scores.

Grace: What we do is that you write a song every week off of the joke song that you made once.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: And you just write a new song.

Tom: Now, I’d like to mention—the reason you haven’t been having high-quality recordings in the last few weeks is because I’m kind of in between recording devices.

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: But what I do have is…

(Synth sounds)

Grace: Oh my goodness. I’m getting some funky synth sounds.

(Synth chords)

Tom: Can you hear that all right?

Grace: I can hear it great.

Tom: All right.

Grace: All right. Play that funky music.

(Synth chords play to the tune of basic rolls theme song)

Tom: (Singing live) Now it’s time for basic rolls / We’ll roll for elves and orcs and trolls / What will we do? / We’ll roll the dice. (Speaking) Great.

Grace: Yeah! Yeah!

Tom: I like how I—I like how I ended it on a sour note there.

Grace: I like how it was very science-fiction-sounding, you know?

Tom: Yeah. (Whistles spooky tune)

Grace: All right. I’m gonna start rolling. And do you want to tell me a little bit about who this guy is, you think?

Tom: Uh…unkillable beast that was spawned out of an act of hubris.

Grace: So was he created in a lab like a Frankenstein?

Tom: Uh, he was created in a horrible experiment.

Grace: Oh, good. Nice. This is kind of spooky, for Halloween.

Tom: Yeah. It’s—we’re almost at our Halloween episode. This is our preemptive Halloween episode.

Grace: Yeah. Whole month of October’s Halloween episodes, baby.

Tom: Yet another way that we’re beating the Joe Rogan experience in terms of podcast.

Grace: Yeah. He’s doesn’t have a fucking Halloween episode.

Tom: Fucking—I, I—we’re gonna have two!

Grace: Yeah! Two of them! We’re gonna have three!

Tom: I mean, it’s gonna line up so our Halloween episode is near episode 10, which is kind of fun.

Grace: And as we all know, 10 is the scariest number.

Tom: It’s the month of October, which is very scary.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Uh, I’ll tell you what’s scary—that we have not even made ten episode of this show and I already feel, like, completely emotionally exhausted.

(Laughter)

Grace: Just because of the beasts we’ve made?

Tom: Yeah, like, I love doing the show, it’s a lot of fun—interacting with the fans—

Grace: (Overlapping) What are you, a coward?

Tom: —the fanbase, but, like—

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): It’s just, like—I feel afraid of the things we made, and, like, put out in the world.

Grace: Okay, so, my problem is that I don’t feel afraid enough of the things that we’re making.

Tom: (Overlapping) Because you’re not a coward.

Grace: So I want to make the worst, like—something really, really scary.

Tom: Make something you should feel—I’m just going to toss another thing in there, don’t know how we’re going to homebrew this thing—but I’d like him to be extremely wet and extremely mad.

Grace: Yeah, I’ll just put that in the “wet” ability score. Oh, he’s got an 18 in that! Would you check that out!

Tom: Wow, would you look at that!

Grace: Actually, Tom, I can read you the scores, if you’d like.

Tom: Oh, yeah, yeah, lay it on me.

Grace: Great. So, no joke—I got an 18.

Tom: Holy fuck.

Grace: I rolled three 6s in a row.

Tom: Jesus!

Grace: So that’s—

Tom: (Overlapping) Strength. Strength.

Grace: No, no, no, no, no. Because guess what, Tom? I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we get a +2 to Dexterity. We could make that bad boy a twenty.

Tom: Oh, fuck.

Grace: We can make our Dexterity a 20 if we want.

Tom: He’s extremely dextrous. Let’s do it.

Grace: Yeah. Well, okay, first I’m going to read the rest.

Tom: Yeah. Lay it on me.

Grace: So we got the 18, a 15, two 13s, one 12, and one 9.

Tom: Holy shit. Not terrible.

Grace: Yeah. So what I’m hearing is because you want him to be slippery, we put the, uh, 18 + 2 in Dexterity?

Tom: Yes. He’s very big and very flexible.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Uh, that 15 is gonna go in Strength, Grace, because he has to be able to crush people.

Grace: That’s true, that’s true.

Tom: One of the 13s I’d like in Constitution, because we get a little up to that, too

Grace: Oh—do you want the 15 in Constitution, or Strength?

Tom: Uh, Strength, please.

Grace: Good, okay. Which is a +2. And then we can put the 13—one of the 13s in Constitution, plus one…

Tom: Yes. Intelligence, uh, 13. Because, like, he’s got intelligence.

Grace: You have to be smart to be this tall.

Tom: He’s, like—

Grace: He didn’t get here on, like, mass alone.

Tom: Here’s a concept? Maybe he’s the perfect predator?

Grace: He is the perfect predator.

Tom: So, you don’t need a lot of Wisdom or Charisma, but you probably need more Wisdom, like, intuition?

Grace: That’s true. Wisdom impacts your scores like Perception, and stuff, which, if you’re hunting a person, would not be…

Tom: Charismatic—Charisma can be a negative one. He’s not well-liked.

Grace: Yeah. You don’t need to be charming when your hands are this big. I keep on picturing, like—

Tom: Grace, this is Urkgub! This is—we’re making—

Grace: Oh, fuck! Oh, fuck!

Tom: No, if his hands are big, they need to be bigger than Urkgub’s. In proportion to his body.

Grace: Maybe he doesn’t have hands.

Tom: Now, what are you proposing, Grace?

(Laughter)

Grace: Maybe whatever Frankenstein made him…they said, “This guy is so big and so hot he doesn’t need hands.”

Tom: So hot?

Grace: Yeah. He thought he was making him really sexy, but he was just, like, a really big pervert, is the thing.

(Laughter)

Tom: All of our characters are perverts, Grace.

Grace: No, no, no, no, no. I want to make one thing clear: this goblin—this twelve-foot mass of a man—is not a pervert.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: The man who made him is a pervert.

Tom: Now, Grace.

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: I’m sort of running the numbers, and, like, uh—what weight did we make this guy? 210?

Grace: 210.

Tom: All right. So, that’s not a lot for, like a six-foot-five person. Like, 210—

Grace: (Overlapping) It’s not.

Tom: Yeah. So what I imagine is happening is that this guy is twelve feet tall, and he has so many, like, extra vertebrae.

Grace: (Disgust) Ooooohhhhh.

Tom: So, like, his midsection is whipping around.

Grace: (Disgusted, terrified noises)

(Laughter)

Tom: Aah! Aah!

Grace: Aah! Yeah, this guy is fifty percent spinal cord…

Tom: Oh, my God.

Grace: Like, twenty percent neck.

Tom: And his arms and legs seem normal, until you look closer and realize there’s one joint.

Grace: Yeah. And no hands.

Tom: Oh, my God. Yeah, no hands. I don’t think he needs hands. He will club his opponents to death.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: (Overlapping) What the fuck are we making?

Grace: I’m kind of drawing up a sketch of this guy…

Tom: Please don’t.

Grace: Um—to kind of—I’m just sort of sketching him up right now, to see what you think of this guy that I’ve made?

Tom: Put it on the Patreon.

(Laughter)

Grace: The secret Patreon.

Tom: Secret hell Patreon.

Grace: I just want to get your opinion on of this is the right about of spinal cord.

Tom: Uh—hold on, are you sending it on the chat?

Grace: Uh, yeah, I’ll text it to you. And I’ll put this on Twitter. Just sort of—some look into my arts. Which is kind of what I’m into right now.

Tom: I don’t think what you’re making is, uh, art.

Grace: It’s kind of art.

Tom: I really don’t think so. Hold on, just waiting for it to get sent down from Canada. It’s arrived! I am shaking with fear!

(Laughter)

Grace: (Overlapping) So, yeah, I’m thinking seventy percent spine.

Tom: (Overlapping) Oh, no! Yeah, that’s right!

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Um, the legs and arms are good…

Grace: The only reason he’s called a goblin is because all these body parts were collected from goblins.

Tom: (Overlapping) Oh, my God.

Grace: (Overlapping) So his arms are, like—stitched together.

Tom: (Overlapping) Thirty different goblins, just…

Grace: Yeah. Thirty different goblins in a trenchcoat.

Tom: Oh my God, no. In a meat suit.

Grace: In a meat suit, yeah. There’s not a whole lot of meat, but it’s there.

Tom: I’m, like, ill, you can’t do this to me!

(Laughter)

Grace: I just want to make sure this is totally right? So, there was some mad scientist who wanted to make a man—a really hot man—and so what he did was he got, like, fifty goblins, and he stitched parts of them together.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: And now there is a super tall demon walking the earth.

Tom: And he’s very good at hunting for his dinner.

Grace: Yes. Dripping, loves to hunt…oh, Tom!

Tom: Oh, yeah. Very wet, very mad.

Grace: Very wet, very mad. Okay. I am, like, fucking jamming out right now—

Tom: Oh, Jesus!

Grace: What?

Tom: I saw—I see what you’re—oh no.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m very excited. Um, I think—as soon as you said hunter, I said, “Oh, I know what this guy is,” and it’s a ranger! And I’m so excited, because rangers are always what I play!

Tom: Yes! Let’s go!

Grace: We’re gonna make an Aragorn—I don’t know, I never read Lord of the Rings. Whatever that guy is, we’re gonna make a hunter. [A/N: I was right, just saying. It was Aragorn]

Tom: But dripping wet. I can’t stress enough how wet he is.

Grace: Dripping.

Tom: I notice that a goblin trait—

Grace: (Overlapping) It’s hard for him to hold on.

Tom: Yes. But he does.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Um, I notice that one of my traits is Darkvision.

Grace: Yes. Which is useful, you know.

Tom: That’s gonna be good for hunting.

Grace: Your speed is 30 feet—

Tom: Holy fuck.

Grace: Yeah, let’s get all this goblin stuff out of the way. Your speed is 30 feet, which at first I got angry about, because—you’re twelve feet tall! Your legs are gonna be bigger than that! But then I realized that those three joints are so hard to move on.

Tom: (Overlapping) He’s still figuring out his body a little bit.

Grace: (Overlapping) It’s so hard. I think that this dude is, um, two years old.

Tom: Oh, God.

(Laughter)

Grace: Yeah, that’s just sort of my take on the situation.

Tom: Uh, player name: both of us.

Grace: Yeah…

Tom: Yeah. Oh my God, he has +5 initiative.

Grace: He has +5, because his Dexterity is the highest it can possibly be.

Tom: Holy fucking shit. So strong.

Grace: We also have a trait which is my favorite, favorite goblin trait of all time. It’s Fury of the Small.

(Laughter)

Tom: Oh, this guy is not small—but he’s furious!

(Laughter)

Grace: This doesn’t work for him! So—when you damage a creature with an attack or spell, and the creature’s size is larger than yours, you can use your attack to deal extra damage. The extra damage equals your level.

Tom: Holy shit.

Grace: So, if—I’m gonna say this guy is Large. And then…his size is Large…I’m not sure if there are any sizes larger than—yeah, dragons. Dragons are larger.

Tom: (Overlapping) Fury of the Large.

Grace: He can still use Fury of the Small for that. He also has an action called Disengage, which is, like—you can hide or disengage—no, you have a trait called Nimble Escape, which is—you can use the disengage or hide action as a bonus action on each of your turns.

Tom: Yeah. Which is very good, because after each strike, you must retreat.

Grace: That’s true. And he’s so tall, he just kind of blends into the trees.

Tom: Oh, God. He stands up completely rigid and lets his arms stretch out.

Grace: Yeah, he covers himself with leaves…oh, and we can speak, read, and write Common and Goblin.

Tom: (Shouting) Oh, GOD!

Grace: Yeah.

(Laughter)

Tom: He’s intelligent, too! That’s the worst part. He’s mad.

Grace: Frankenstein’s monster was really smart.

Tom: He’s mad, wet, and he understands the language.

Grace: Oh, he’s mad and wet and he understands it all.

Tom: Um…this is a bad guy.

Grace: What background is there that is “motherfucker,” you know?

Tom: Uh, we are definitely going to need to homebrew that background.

Grace: (Overlapping) We’re homebrewing this one.

Tom: And I’m thrilled.

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: I’m thrilled, because that’s when we’re really going to be able to give this guy some traits that are unholy.

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): I’d like him to have talons.

Grace: Okay. Homebrew—homebrew me a trait off the top of your head that goes with “I was made in a lab.”

Tom: Um…the—fuck—teeth the size of…small daggers.

Grace: This is not a trait, Tom.

(Laughter)

Tom: That hold your mouth open. Oh, wait, like a thing that he can do?

Grace: Yeah! Like, an entertainer gets “By Popular Demand!”

Tom: All right, well, shut up!

Grace: Teeth is—teeth is not a good feature.

(Laughter)

Tom: This guy can smell you as soon as you start to sweat.

(Laughter)

Grace: No, Tom! That’s too powerful! It’s too powerful!

Tom: This guy—if he—this guy eats blood—

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): —and he grows another vertebrae.

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): No, every time this guy eats someone, he absorbs them into his system!

Grace: This is a whole fucking new class that we’re making right now. And, while I’m thrilled about it…

Tom: Hey, Dungeons & Dragons! Hey, Wizards of the West Coast! [A/N: I know it wasn’t a joke, but Wizards of the West Coast is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.]

Grace: Get at me, yeah! People are homebrewing classes all the time! There’s blood hunter—we just made one called blood eater! And it’s—you eat it, and you grow an extra vertebrae!

Tom: I’d like him to—wait, here’s one.

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: It’s called Very Very Very Sharp Teeth. And the thing is—

Grace: (Overlapping) I feel like—now, that was just your first idea.

Tom: (Overlapping) No, no—

Grace: (Overlapping) And you’ve just done it again.

Tom: You know how, like Popular Demand, you can stay at people’s houses and stuff?

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: This guy just fucking chews through the wall of the house and sleeps in their bed.

Grace: Oh, I like that.

Tom: He kicks them out and sleeps in their bed.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah, okay—

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): —the trait you wrote was called “Eat Wall,” which I love.

Grace: You like that? Okay.

Tom: Eat Wall

Grace: So, it’s kind of self-explanatory, but I do just want to write something, because it’s kind of hard to Google “Eat Wall” and find anything useful.

Tom: “You will find lodging and food, because you ate their fucking wall.”

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Oh my God. Let’s just add another trait, while we’re at it? I’m so sick, Grace.

Grace: No, this is great, this is great.

Tom: This is so dangerous that you’re typing stuff while I’m doing this. Um…uh…you should have one that’s called…uh…Upside Down Like a Bat, Sneaky Sneaky Like a Cat.

Grace: Sn—uh…um—so, Sneaky Sneaky Like a Cat? Is that what you just said?

Tom: No, I said Upside Down Like a Bat, Sneaky Sneaky Like a Cat.

Grace: Is this just a fun poem that you’ve made for me?

Tom: (Overlapping) No. I—

Grace: (Overlapping) Or does it have any…traits?

Tom: He can hang upside down from trees like a bat, and pick up people as they pass underneath him.

Grace: I like this. Yeah.

Tom: But then also when he’s on the ground, he can prowl silently, and people need to do a Perception check to hear him.

Grace: Okay.

Tom: Right?

Grace: Yeah. Yeah. Um…I think that this is just a sort of fun trait that you’ve given him that might not have any—this is more backstory, kind of. Character building. Because I could just give him proficiency in Stealth, or whatever.

Tom: No. No.

(Laughter)

Grace: Okay. Um—

Tom: (Overlapping) Should we do—

Grace: We’re obviously going to get to roll for a trinket. What do you think his proficiencies are, as somebody who was made inside of a laboratory out of spinal cords?

Tom: Uh, he probably has a good understanding of meat.

Grace: Oh, meat proficiency, is what you’re thinking.

Tom: Proficient in meat.

Grace: I can give him a—

Tom: Oh, I forgot that there were, like, actual things. Well, Grace, he’s proficient in Stealth, he’s proficient in Survival.

Grace: That’s excellent, because even being born is Survival, you know?

Tom: Yeah. He’s proficient in—probably Animal Handling.

Grace: You get two proficiencies in your background.

Tom: (Louder) He’s proficient, probably, in Animal Handling.

Grace: (Sigh) Oh my God. I’m going to tell you something.

Tom: Sure.

Grace: As a ranger, you will get to choose your skills, and one of them will fucking be Animal Handling, and we will get to that shit.

Tom: Okay.

Grace: But for now, let me build this beautiful homebrew background that you’ve created in your mind.

Tom: So are we doing background first?

Grace: Yeah. I’m kind of—I will, straight-up, type up this background, which is Made In A Lab.

Tom: Made In A Lab. Lab Creation.

Grace: With traits such as Eat Wall, and the fun poem that you made.

Tom: It’s more of, like, a legend around him.

Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tom: I’m going to write him some theme music later.

Grace: Oh, great! Sounds good!

Tom: I just want you to prep for that.

Grace: How about the tools? Uh—what sort of tools does a, uh—

Tom: Haunted One! I saw Haunted One!

Grace: This is not a background for you. This is for Curse of Strahd.

Tom: Oh. Lame.

Grace: Yeah. You can get a Monster Hunter’s Pack. Do you want that?

Tom: I am the monster. I don’t need that.

Grace: Oh, true. I’m not going to give you any tools. You don’t deserve them.

Tom: Yeah. I’m the tools.

Grace: I will give you a trinket, though.

Tom: Yes. We did peak last episode, but—

Grace: We did peak last episode, but there’s still a chance we’ll get a 69.

Tom: Or a 42.

Grace: Or a 42 and then a 0. Which would be—no, I can’t get that, never mind. (Dice rolling) We got a 92.

Tom: All right, let’s figure that out.

Grace: Which is—

Tom: Oh, God. That’s pretty haunted.

Grace: An ornate brooch of dwarves design.

Tom: Fuck. Uh—

Grace: Maybe his scientist—his scientist dad, not Frankenstein, is a dwarf.

Tom: Not Frankenstein.

Grace: And that’s the only thing he left behind.

Tom: Oh, I like that. Of course, the goblin has no idea what it is.

Grace: No. He thought it was a snack. But he can’t eat it, because it just falls out his dang stomach.

Tom: No, it got caught around his neck.

Grace: Aw, man.

Tom: He got a six-pack ring stuck around his neck.

(Laughter)

Grace: That is part of his design, that he does have a six-pack ring stuck around his neck. So I am just going to put that into…

Tom: Yeah, pop it in. Six-pack ring stuck around neck.

Grace: (Typing) Oh, no.

Tom: Very nice.

Grace: What items do you have? Do you think you have, like—

Tom: I think I have, like, tattered clothing that is barely on me.

Grace: Yeah. Common clothes, um….

Tom: A lot of water on me. So, like, wetness.

Grace: True. Is that, like, an item? Do you need to grease yourself up? Is it a safety thing, that you need to grease yourself up?

Tom: No, but it allowed me—I secrete a certain type of oil that allows me to slide along the forest floor.

Grace: Oh, gotcha, gotcha. I’ll put that in, um…in traits, as well.

Tom: That’s why I’m very wet. Oh, Grace…

Grace: So, like, Daddy’s Special Stuff.

Tom: She put…she put Daddy’s Special stuff on the document.

Grace: That’s what he calls it. It’s a mucus.

Tom: He—are you under the impression that this man can speak?

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Are you under the impression that his jaw is not permanently agape and filled with razor-sharp rows of teeth?

Grace: He writes it. He has an Intelligence of 13, he can definitely read and write.

Tom: Oh, God, that is so scary, though, isn’t it?

Grace: He has a special chalkboard that he hangs around his neck, and he writes it.

Tom: He scratches it in with his teeth.

Grace: Yeah, with his big, long teeth.

Tom: Ooh, yeah.

Grace: All right, well, we just designed a fun background.

Tom: That’s not fun. And it’s barely a background.

(Laughter)

Grace: It’s good enough.

Tom: Let’s go into ranger stuff.

Grace: I’m kind of torn here—

Tom: Which—Grace, should we do, like, flaws and stuff, before we…?

Grace: Oh, absolutely true! We can invent our own flaws!

Tom: Uh—apex predator.

Grace: Personality traits! Wet.

Tom: Personality traits—wet. Mad.

Grace: Wet, mad—

(Laughter)

Tom: Near—wait. Wet, mad, and nearby.

Grace: (Overlapping) Ideals—wait, what?

Tom: Wet, mad, and nearby.

Grace: Ideals…big. Hit.

Tom: Gotta have dinner.

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Goblin to goblin. Scientist dad gone…find.

(Laughter)

Grace: His bond is scientist dad gone, comma, find.

Tom: Flaws…what do you mean.

Grace: Flaws…too hot.

Tom: Not familiar with the term.

Grace: Um…big stupid.

Tom: Oh! He has an Intelligence of 13!

Grace: That’s smarter than my actual-ass D&D character.

(Laughter)

Tom: Too long.

Grace: Flaws—I don’t know. I mean, this guy—

Tom: How about body hurts?

(Laughter)

Grace: Oh, true. I’m not joking when I tell you that I will make an actual background for—what did we call it? Made In Lab? Lab Beast?

Tom: (Overlapping) Lab Beast.

Grace: Lab Sin. Sin Against God.

Tom: Yeah. How about just…like, not the game?

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): This just isn’t what the game was designed to be.

(Laughter)

Grace: This is exactly what the game is intended for.

Tom: Oh, God.

Grace: This is Dungeons & Dragons 5E operating as intended.

Tom: Alignment: Neutral Evil.

Grace: Neutral E—well, he does kill people, like, a lot.

Tom: He doesn’t understand evil as a concept, but he practices it quite a lot.

Grace: That’s true. He’s spiritual, but not religious, in terms of murder.

Tom: Jesus. Neutral Kill—Grace put his alignment as Neutral Kill! Keep it!

(Laughter)

Grace: That was a mistake! I like it!

Tom: It’s fine. Neutral Meat.

Grace: Neutral Meat. Damn.

Tom: This isn’t even a D&D podcast anymore!

Grace: Sure isn’t.

Tom: Uh-huh.

Grace: We are barely clinging to Dungeons & Dragons right now.

Tom: I mean, he’s going to be playable.

Grace: Oh, yeah, he is absolutely playable. We have made a character with bonds and flaws and everything.

Tom: This is a guarantee. He’s playable.

Grace: So, I’m kind of torn right now, because pretty much everyone agrees that rangers got nerfed in 5E, which means, like, it sucks, and if you want—so, you could play as Unearthed Arcana, which is what I do, but I also want this to be, like…I want to get sponsored by Wizards of the Coast. So we can’t do off-brand shit.

Tom: Wizards of the Coast would never look at us if they saw us in public. Because we’re—

Grace: (Overlapping) We’re innovating. We are innovating.

Tom: We’re taking their good game and making it a bad game.

Grace: We are innovating and making new classes, which is something they they encourage.

Tom: How about you’re fucking welcome? We’re doing your job for you.

Grace: Yeah. We just made a better class than, I don’t know, fucking warlocks.

Tom: I’m going to wake up tomorrow and not remember that we did this.

Grace: Good! Good!

Tom: Yeah, I mean, probably for the best, right?

Grace: Man, I love our special boy that we’re making.

Tom: Let’s do ranger. Let’s do it.

Grace: Yeah. So our hit dice at first level are 10 plus our Constitution modifier. Um, Constitution. that’s a two…that’s a twelve. We have twelve hit points. That’s not bad at first level.

Tom: Also, I’d like to see you catch me.

Grace: Yeah. I mean, like, you don’t even need to worry about getting hit.

Tom: No. They will never catch me.

Grace: So we’re proficient in light armor, medium armor, and shields…proficient in simple and martial weapons…no tools…and you get three skills from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival.

Tom: Uh…Grace…

Grace: Yeah? Yeah, Tom?

Tom: I’m gonna do (Yelling) Animal Handling!

Grace: What animal sees this guy and doesn’t run away screaming?

Tom: Gonna handle them with my mouth.

(Laughter)

Grace: Oh, maybe…maybe they see your special boy, and they aren’t afraid of him, like everyone else is. They don’t run screaming.

Tom: They understand.

Grace: They understand what it’s like to be big and tall and made of spines.

Tom: I do.

(Laughter)

Grace: What other skills would you like? You get two more.

Tom: Uh…Nature.

Grace: Nature is good. And can I suggest Perception?

Tom: Sure.

Grace: If you want to see some guys that, you know, you just want to crunch.

Tom: (Singsong) I can smell blood!

Grace: Yeah. This seems good to me. This seems fine. This seems good.

Tom: Kind of a fine character.

Grace: This seems all very good to me.

Tom: That’s the first thing people are going to say when they hear—when they see our character. They’ll go, “Man, this guy’s fine. He’s fine.”

Grace: Yeah. This guy’s good. This is the game operating as intended. Boy, I sure am glad…I sure am glad Grace and Tom made this man out of spines.

Tom: A good thing to remember is that he’s okay.

Grace: Yeah. Um…would you like scale mail or leather armor?

Tom: Um…I’d like scale mail.

Grace: Okay. I will tell you, that will put your stealth at a disadvantage.

Tom: (Overlapping) Can I have no armor?

Grace: So if you’re trying to be a stealthy boy—

Tom: (Overlapping) Can I have no armor? No armor, please?

(Laughter)

Grace: Would you like no armor?

Tom: I’ll take none.

Grace: Because leather armor doesn’t put you at a disadvantage, it’s—

Tom: I’ll take none.

(Laughter)

Grace: I think—I mean, that only puts your AC at one less, and your Dexterity is already so high, so, I mean—your armor class is 15, dude.

Tom: Holy fuck!

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: I’m unkillable.

Grace: Like, that’s not bad. All right, so, no armor…would you like weapons? You can either get two shortswords or two simple melee weapons.

Tom: I don’t have hands.

Grace: Oh, that’s true. You could hold it in your mouth. Which of these could you hold in your mouth?

Tom: Uh, can I tie one of them around my arms? Tie some flails around my arms!

Grace: Oh, that’s actually a very good idea. Yes. You should get two flails.

Tom: And that’s how I, like, knock my enemies unconscious.

Grace: Yeah, this is good. This is all very good.

Tom: Sort of fine.

Grace: Another good thing too is that—I’m assuming that as a ranger, you’re not very much built for, um, melee combat—

Tom: I’m not built for anything!

Grace: You’re built for loving.

Tom: I’m built for chomping!

(Laughter)

Grace: Okay. You also get a longbow. That’s nonnegotiable, that’s just one thing that you get.

Tom: Uh, do I have to use it?

Grace: Um, it’s very good for sniping, I assume. So if you’re from a distance—

Tom: (Thinly veiled rage) What sniping could I conceivably do with my hand stubs?

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Are you crazy? Are you a crazy person?

Grace: I mean—I mean, you’re right—

Tom: Are you out of your mind? Of course I’m not going to be doing any fucking sniping!

Grace: I’m really sorry. It was very rude of me to suggest that.

Tom: (Overlapping) Oh my God, dude!

Grace: (Overlapping) It wasn’t cool.

Tom: That’s wild, that you think I have the range of motion to pull a bow back!

Grace: Leave him alone! I love him.

Tom: Maybe one of my goals should be getting hands.

Grace: Oh, that’s very true. I will say, though, because it’s a finesse weapon, you can use your Dexterity. So, like, that gives you a real big bonus.

Tom: Fuck, I’ll figure it out.

Grace: He’ll figure it out. He’ll figure it out. He’s got his whole lifetime to get hands.

Tom: Which—I mean, his lifetime is going to be incredibly short.

Grace: He’s two years old and already dead, yeah.

Tom: He’s not going to last very long.

Grace: Would you like an explorer’s pack, or a dungeoneer’s pack?

Tom: Uh…I’d like…aw, I get fifty feet of rope in both.

Grace: Yeah. You get a waterskin in both…

Tom: (Quiet) Skin…

Grace: The thing with the dungeoneer’s pack is that you get those things that you jam into a wall and climb up with those…

Tom: (Overlapping) Oh, jeez.

Grace: So, if you think you’re going to be doing a lot of climbing…

Tom: Yeah. I mean, when I’m not eating a wall, I’m climbing it, so give me the dungeoneer’s pack.

(Laughter)

Grace: Great. Great.

Tom: And you can quote me on that.

(Laughter)

Grace: Tom Victor: “When I’m not eating—when I’m not eating a wall, I’m climbing it.”

Tom: Oh, God, don’t quote me, quote our friend here!

Grace: You said it! You said it, pussy!

Tom: What should this guy’s name be? [A/N: Genuinely didn’t hear this until I edited the episode. Sorry, Tom.]

Grace: Wow. And let’s get into other ranger stuff…at first level—

Tom: Oh, so we’re just powering through?

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: All right.

Grace: At first level, we don’t get any spells, but we do get my favorite—my two favorite things about rangers, which is why they’re the most special boys on the planet. Um, Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer.

Tom: All right, what do we got?

Grace: So, Favored Enemy—you have experience hunting, tracking, and talking to a specific type of enemy. This can be a beast, a dragon, a celestial, an elemental, a fey, um, an undead…undead are really useful, because, um, they’re—you’re pretty much going to find them at any level. But we’re not worried about being useful here.

Tom: Uh, I notice that there are plants there, as one of the enemies.

Grace: Yeah. Strangely enough, plants are featured as a favored enemy.

Tom: So…I think—

Grace: (Overlapping) I don’t know. Does he hate plants?

Tom: Maybe he hates plants.

Grace: Because they get to live.

Tom: I don’t think it’s that deep. I just think he sees something that’s not meat, and he’s like, “Can’t eat that.”

(Laughter)

Grace: I love that, yeah.

Tom: Can’t eat that, can’t mate with that…

Grace: Can’t eat that, can’t fuck it, I don’t know what the point is.

Tom: I don’t think this guy’s doing any fucking, on second thought.

Grace: No. He doesn’t have a dick, is one thing about it.

Tom: (Overlapping) Can’t figure it out. Or he has too many, but none of them are really attached where they’re supposed to be.

Grace: None of them are in the right spot. They all kind of disappear along the spinal cord.

Tom: Oh, don’t—oh, we can’t.

Grace: Yeah…

Tom: Yeah. No dick. No dick.

Grace: No dick.

Tom: No dick necessary.

Grace: Natural explorer… (Laughter) No dick required. Natural explorer is that you, um, you are particularly familiar with one type of natural environment, which can be arctic, coast, desert, grasslands, mountains, swamp, or the underdark.

Tom: Oh, I’m, uh…deep in the forest.

Grace: Yeah, deep in the forest. The only place where he can really blend in with all those trees, huh?

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Um…that’s all the shit for ranger.

Tom: Oh, God. I’m dreading this next part.

Grace: I know. Okay, Tom. Here are my questions. What is this boy’s name?

Tom: (Overlapping) Uh…I think, um…

Grace: (Overlapping) We can—we can go to a goblin name generator.

Tom: Yes. And then we’re going to fuck that, right?

Grace: Yeah. We’ll, we’ll—it’s just a jumping-off point, you know?

Tom: Yeah. It’s what we did with, um…the character who will not be named.

Grace: Yeah, the character who we sort of created as a jumping-off point for this.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: [A/N: Spelling gets pretty experimental here. I didn’t save the names, so I’m just going off my own pronunciation.] Cort. Bleucks. Ang. Selluck. Pans. These are all—ooh, one of them’s just Hog.

Tom: Hog!!!! His name is Hog.

(Laughter)

Grace: (Overlapping) Is his name Hog? Can it be Hogg with two G’s?

Tom: (Overlapping) His name is…no. His name is Big Hog.

Grace: So how many G’s?

Tom: Can his name be Hog, with an ellipses? And then an exclamation point?

Grace: I love that. Hog.

Tom: Hog… (Pause, shout)

(Laughter)

Grace: It’s kind of a bonus surprise.

Tom: Yeah. Just like him! Because you’re, like, “That’s a lot of spine. He’s probably done.” But he’s not!

(Laughter)

Grace: You just keep on looking, and he goes up.

Tom: All right, so, let’s go to appearance. Let’s start with eyes, skin, and hair. (Singing) Eyes, skin, and hair. (Speaking) That’s another little jingle.

Grace: The less successful sequel to Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.

Tom: (Singing) Eyes, skin, and hair.

Grace: (Singing) Eyes and eyes and skin and hair.

Tom: (Sining) And skin, and skin, and skin, and skin!

(Laughter)

Grace: (Singing) Leg.

Tom: All right.

Grace: All right. Do you think that this guy has a handsome face?

Tom: No. I think that his eyes are very arachnid-like, in that there are so many of them.

Grace: Eyes: eight.

Tom: (Overlapping) Roughly.

Grace: Because I think he’s got the one head, he’s got the normal head, but his creator added different parts.

Tom: Yeah. Uh, skin—wet.

Grace: Yeah. That’s a given. Hair—does he have hair?

Tom: Plenty.

Grace: Plenty! Haha.

Tom: “Pletny,” is what you wrote.

(Laughter)

Grace: Pletny! Haha.

Tom: Plenty! Folks…

Grace: I forgot that…I forgot that for appearance, we wrote “six-pack ring stuck around neck.”

Tom: Yeah…he got into some dumpsters.

Grace: Yeah.

Tom: I mean, we can use the full Allies & Organizations section for appearance, because he has no allies and no organizations.

Grace: Nobody wants him, yeah. Um, so…twelve feet tall, mostly—I would say 80% spinal cord.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Collected from different goblins.

Tom: Yeah. So a little stitched up.

Grace: Um, arms and legs trisect. There are three separate parts.

Tom: (Groans) Yeah.

Grace: Um, what’s the word for that, when there’s three joints? Triple-jointed?

Tom: Well, that just means he can fucking…

Grace: Well, he can.

Tom: He can.

Grace: He’s got a Dexterity of 20, he can do whatever the fuck he wants.

Tom: Yeah, for real. Um…what else. He’s very hungry.

Grace: (Overlapping) Very hungry.

Tom: (Overlapping) No hands.

Grace: Yeah. No hands, very hungry…um, sparse clothes.

Tom: He’d love to eat.

Grace: Um…I mean, what’s the face like? I don’t want to get too close to the face. And nobody does, because it’s—

Tom: Yeah. Do you know what the face of an anglerfish looks like?

Grace: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tom: Yeah.

Grace: Anglerfish mouth.

Tom: It’s like an anglerfish up there.

Grace: And it’s up there. It’s twelve feet up there. I’m kind of imagining almost anglerfish-like for the face, too? The way the eyes stare? All eight of them.

Tom: Yeah. Like, upwards, sort of.

Grace: Yeah. Just looking upwards to God, wondering, “Why?”

Tom: Yeah, come on, man!

Grace: Why did this scientist make me? What was his goal? This is making me want to reread Frankenstein, which is a much better book than the story we’re telling right now.

(Laughter)

Tom: Actually, I beg to differ. We are the fathers and mothers of science fiction.

Grace: Mary Shelley wishes—Mary Shelley wants what we have.

Tom: Mary Shelley could never create hog…….! All right, so, that’s fine. This is fine.

Grace: This is all good, and kind of what Dungeons & Dragons should be. It feels, to me.

Tom: Grace, I’m gonna add mood chord progressions in the middle of my…what’s the next thing called? Background?

Grace: (Chanting) Backstory, backstory.

Tom: Backstory. So backstory is when Grace types whatever I say, verbatim.

Grace: Can I make a request?

Tom: Yes.

Grace: Make it super spooky. We are telling a retold version of Frankenstein here. Make it real spooky.

(Sounds as the synth warms up)

Grace: This all sounds fine.

Tom: This is fine.

Grace: This is great. This is fine.

(Janky chords)

Grace: Gotta be quieter than that, if you’re doing this.

Tom: (Overlapping) It’s a little…it’s a little loud.

Grace: It’s gotta be subtle. It’s gotta be way, way subtle.

(Subtle, music-box-like song)

Grace: Yeah. Oh, Danny Elfman, is that you?

Tom: Okay. It was a pretty…dark, and pretty stormy night when hog…….! was created. There was a group of fifty goblins out at the local tavern. And they were really angering this strange-looking fellow in the corner of the bar. So he decided to invite them over for a drink. At least, that’s what he told them. What he really did was chop them up so right, and just start using any adhesive in his house to seal them together. I’m talking hot glue, tape, uh, stitches…

Grace: That’s all there is.

Tom: It’s all there is. Um…and when he was none, he created a creature named hog…….! He immediately realized what he had done, and left before he got killed too. But not before draping an amulet around his creature’s neck and saying, “I’m very sorry I made you.” But in hog…….!’s young mind, he interpreted these words as a test—a test to come find his father. So he retreated into the forest, because people were trying to murder him. For good reason. He had recently eaten a couple of the neighborhood dogs. Here he stays. Locked in the woods.

(Laughter)

Grace: Locked in the woods?

Tom: It’s a figure of speech. Until his father finds him…or he finds his father. And real quick? Uh—

(Dissonant final notes)

(Laughter)

Grace: Uh—good! Sounds good.

Tom: So, kind of music. Uh, I hope that all of that audio is unusable.

Grace: I hope so, too, because I don’t want to think about it again. Man, this is…

Tom: So, this is—bad.

Grace: This is a scary-ass story we’ve made, Tom.

Tom: Very scary. Happy Halloween, mon frère.

Grace: Happy Halloween! Jesus Christ.

Tom: Uh…yeah, so…

Grace: Can I say something?

Tom: I guess I should mention—yeah, sure.

Grace: Um, I love him.

Tom: Yes.

Grace: I know he’s scary, but I love him.

Tom: Oh, that’s it? I thought you were going to say, “I love him, but…”

Grace: (Overlapping) No, no.

Tom: (Overlapping) Which would be the appropriate response, because this guy sucks.

Grace: No buts about it. I love him so much.

Tom: He’s abysmal.

Grace: He’s just hungry.

Tom: He’s—he gotta eat.

Grace: This is gonna be Tim Burton’s new movie. Mark my fucking worms. He’s gonna, like—

Tom: hog…….!

Grace: hog…….! Exclamation point. The musical. It’s kind of like Edward Scissorhands. There’s this monster, and nobody understands—

Tom: (Overlapping) Kind of!

Grace: —except for one girl—

Tom: (Overlapping) Kind of like Edward Scissorhands!

Grace: It’s kind of like Edward Scissorhands.

Tom: Grace, it’s kind of like Edward Scissorhands?

Grace: It’s kind of like Edward Scisshorhands, but better.

Tom: Johnny Depp will be playing the role.

Grace: He will not. I will not let Johnny Depp anywhere near hog…….!

Tom: Do not touch my fucking project, Johnny.

Grace: Stay the fuck away. No, Sacha Baron-Cohen will be playing him.

Tom: No, Grace, Sacha Baron-Cohen, and I will play him in a trenchcoat.

Grace: You know how there was that movie that came out, like that M. Night Shyamalan movie, and it was about that guy who had, like, seven personalities?

Tom: Yeah?

Grace: But then at the end of the movie, it turned out that it was a sequel to Unbreakable? This is Borat 2. But it’s a sleeper agent.

Tom: Holy fuck! No! We’ve come full circle, and the circle starts and ends with “Very nice!”

(Laughter)

Grace: We are ouroboros right here, eating our own tail.

Tom: Ouroborat. Ouroborat! Grace…Grace…

Grace: Yeah?

Tom: It’s ouroborat.

(Shocked laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Grace.

Grace: Oh my God. Oh my God.

Tom: So that’s our episode.

Grace: Tom…what a, what a trip.

Tom: (Overlapping) What an adventure.

Grace: It’s been a delight doing this podcast, as always.

Tom: I’ve had a very good time, yeah. No, there was a good vibe in the air tonight.

Grace: There was something special in the air.

Tom: Maybe it’s how sick and tired I was.

(Laughter)

Grace: Um…

Tom: So—what have we made, Grace?

Grace: We made a hero. We made a podcast.

Tom: (Overlapping) A nice meat boy, yeah.

Grace: We’ve made a…good transition…into our final minutes…which is what we use to plug things…so, see, what I did there, it was kind of a good transition.

Tom: Oh, smooth, brother.

Grace: Smooth as butter.

Tom: Very good. Very nice.

Grace: (Overlapping) Very nice. Um…okay. So, our theme music is Minor Apprehension by Jackie McLean, it’s a good jazz tune, you can find it wherever you find music. Um, for our podcast, you can—if you’re already listening, you probably already know where to find it. But you can find it on Apple Podcasts, on RadioPublic, and now on Spotify.

Tom: Hey, we’re on Spotify!

Grace: Yeah, it was easier than I thought it would be. I’m very confused about how any of this works. Um, you can also just listen to us on our website, which is starting.tools, which is also where we post character sheets and transcripts. Um, get updates—and if we ever say we’ll post a picture or whatever—you can get that on our Twitter, which is, um, @ToolsStarting. And if you want to tweet about the podcast, please use the hashtag #ToolsCast.

Tom: Uh, Grace, I do fear we’re going to get a lot of hate mail after this episode.

Grace: I don’t see why we should get hate mail. We made a beautiful story. This is the best character we’ve made. This is a great story, and we, we, we homebrewed—we made a background!

Tom: I just think you’re objectively wrong, like…

Grace: I think I am correct in every way, about everything, so jot that down, first of all.

(Laughter)

Tom: Uh, did we plug our email?

Grace: Oh, no, please send us emails, guys!

Tom: Grace wants emails so bad. I don’t know why.

Grace: I check the email every day, and there’s never anything there! It’s really sad. It’s like Charlie Brown looking for a Valentine.

Tom: This is like that song, Stand, dude.

Grace: (Overlapping) Oh, our email, if you want to send something—

Tom: (Overlapping) Except they won’t write us.

(Laughter)

Grace: Our email is, um, startingtools@gmail.com. Just, like, send us whatever.

Tom: It’s so easy, you guys.

Grace: Just send us whatever. Oh, also, speaking of things that are easy! Um, leave a review!

Tom: Yes, please. We need those. On any platform. Very good.

Grace: (Overlapping) Yeah. Wherever. However it works.

Tom: You can just sort of whisper it to yourself, or put it on the podcast app…

Grace: Yeah, the second option is better.

Tom: Probably the second one.

Grace: The whispers don’t really work.

Tom: Second one’s better. I mean, yeah, maybe if a lot of people whisper, we’ll get five stars, but, like…it’s a lot easier if…

Grace: A lot of people, it does work. But at this point, you just gotta put in the hard work.

Tom: And if everyone keeps giving us five stars—so far, I think—

Grace: (Overlapping) Also, if you write anything funny for your review, we’ll read it on the podcast. So.

Tom: Yes. Oh, also, the more people—I think we’ve had about a thousand people give us ratings so far—

Grace: Yeah, I think it’s—let me just check so far—it’s two thousand, is the weird thing.

Tom: Oh, that’s crazy.

Grace: That’s kind of cool.

Tom: Let me just refresh again—oh, it’s back down to one.

Grace: Oh, can I just refresh? Hey, it’s, uh, 420.

Tom: Nice. Um—

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): So, and every review that we get—especially the five-star ones—that’s just going to help us succeed in our goal of beating Joe Rogan.

Grace: Yeah. We unplugged his wi-fi last week, and it didn’t go as well as we thought, because he did just plug it back in.

Tom: Yeah. What are we going to do with Joe Rogan this week, Grace?

Grace: Bite him?

Tom: We’re going to bite him so hard, right now.

Grace: Eat his hair?

Tom: Yeah, I guess. Chomp chomp.

Grace: Chomp chomp.

Tom: Oh, that’s mean, he’s bald!

(Laughter)

Grace: Oh, I didn’t—I don’t know what Joe Rogan looks like!

Tom: Oh, he’s bald as fuck, so I guess mission accomplished.

(Laughter)

Grace: Hell yeah, we did it!

Tom: Yeah! Yeah! Sorry Joe Rogan, a little bit!

Grace: (Sings victory music)

Tom: Stop!

(Laughter)

Tom (cont’d): Oh my God, I’m so tired.

Grace: Yeah. Just, like, chug some NyQuil…do some cocaine…whatever you gotta do.

(Laughter)

Tom: Just look at this character sheet. Just stare.

Grace: Whatever you gotta do to feel better. Okay, um…I’ve been Grace.

Tom: I’ve been Tom.

Grace: Thank you for listening to Starting Tools.

Tom: We’ve been the tools.

Grace: Nice. All right.

Tom: Hell yeah, brother.

(Outro music: Minor Apprehension by Jackie McLean)

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