Fans of Friends at the Table

So, I had tried listening to Counter/Weight early last year but fell off about 12 episodes in. Lately though, I’ve been hankering real bad for an AP pod with some weight and politics, so I decided to come back to FatT through Marielda. I liked the first two episodes (Quiet Year) quite a lot, and was enjoying episode 3 in the way you enjoy a “these are the PCs” episode. But the end of E3, when Jack reveals that he’s playing identical twins in the middle of a train heist may have been my favorite moment in an AP uhhh… ever?

I’m in.

9 Likes

That reveal timed with the music is such beautiful editing, and honestly sets up so many good moments across Marielda where really good shit happens in tandem with the amazing theme.

I feel like Marielda hits a good sweet spot where the Friends were really nailing how to combine the AP they’d done, with Jack’s music and Austin’s intros to bring home the episode they’ve recorded. Shout out to Ali/anyone else who edits the cast for nailing the invisible work needed to get the right flow to it all.

4 Likes

100% agreed. Marielda has for a while been my go to first season recommendation for exactly those reasons, on top of being short enough to be a reasonable ask for more people.

On falling of Counterweight – this happened to me a number of times too. It was the last season I finished (just recently, in prep for season 6), and while I ultimately loved it once I was fully in it, I’m even more convinced than I’ve ever been that it really shouldn’t be the go to recommended starting point it so often is. For a few reasons, but especially that, as funny as the first few arcs are, the confusion about MechNoir rules and debating over good adjectives really create a lot of early roadblocks.

In my head, Twilight Mirage is the better sci fi starting season – on top of starting with pbta right away, they had as a show really figured a lot more out (2 extra season’s worth of experience) and better audio quality. I’m also biased though, since it’s also just my favorite season. I’m gonna be elistening to that season in prep too starting today, so maybe it’ll be a similarly rough start to C/W and I’ll just have been wrong, either way I’ve been really looking to it.

I wouldn’t say roadblock, but episode 19 of Counter/Weight has been something of a speedbump. A new format/ruleset has been introduced (for the fourth? time, not sure), all the players choose new characters to control, it’s a lot.

2 Likes

Hi friends, I have been listening to Season 1 lately and really getting into it; it’s exciting to hear that it improves quality-wise moving forward. I can’t wait to see how everything plays out!

2 Likes

Agreed, though I personally think the second or third episode of that game is where I think the season really hits its stride. From there on every episode is good to great, and the arcs become way more interconnected.

@mundanesoul It definitely does. Each season is just a lot more confident than the last, and things like Jack’s music and Ali’s production dramatically improve.

1 Like

I found Twilight Mirage a lot more rough to start than C/W, it took me longer to get a feel for each ‘half’ of the setting with the initial party split. It also ended up becoming my favorite season, the finale is one of the best things I’ve ever listened to (although Partizan might take that if the main series is even half as good as the prologue games they’ve been playing).

Also, while I’m talking about Twilight Mirage and have this in my brain: Axioms are Clow Cards in spaaaaace

1 Like

COUNTER/Weight’s messiness never really grated on me. The season is where I think Friends at the Table found it’s voice as a podcast. The constant inter-season system switching, hacking, and using systems to build on systems is definitely a staple at this point and I love C/W for getting there in the messiest, most roundabout way possible. Really adds to the text and overall message of that season imo.

That and as a huge mecha fan hearing Austin say “we could have made them look like anything but we made them look like us.” gives me fucking chills ngl.

9 Likes

Listening to Bluff City for the first time and the Messy Business arc is awesome.

4 Likes

Would someone tell me what they like about Signet? I don’t understand the appeal of Lawful Good characters.

I don’t know if I liked Signet herself, but I liked having a character in the mix who was slowly checking out of the ‘being a hero’ business and becoming disillusioned with the whole thing, it contrasted well with characters like Tender and Fourteen. For the same reason, I’d dispute that she’s Lawful Good (although I’m heavily influenced by the Cadent’s speech during the holiday special as I don’t remember a lot of the smaller actions Signet took that would add up to that assessment).

1 Like

I’m not sure if you listened to all of TM, but Signet’s tendencies for resolving problems in an orderly, conflict-light way (which I guess is some of what you mean with calling her Lawful Good) get fascinatingly complicated in the back half of that season, where those tendencies lead her (as well as Echo and Even, but she leads the way here) to perhaps the biggest mistake any character makes in that season: to consolidate the Advent Group as a major force in the sector. She may not be the most likeable, but I really liked that, or at least found her a very interesting character to follow from there. Also, early in the season there’s all sorts of cool shit happening with her and Belgarde.

4 Likes

Also she’s a fashion icon

7 Likes

Yeah I would say Signet isn’t just lawful good either. If you want to see a surprisingly appealing Lawful Good character, let me tell you about Hadrian, Sword of Samothes, Defender of the Undieing Fire, Order of the Eternal Princes

5 Likes

I think Hadrian is variously Neutral Good or Lawful Evil.

Holy moly, I forgot she was leading the charge to bring those groups together.

This might be true for the series as a whole, but I just finished the episode where Hadrian refused to the leave the cave until the Word Eater or he was dead because of his vow to Samothes, which felt pretty LG to me.

3 Likes

I think every character has morals that change and develop over the series, but Hadrian is a Paladin dutifully following the word of his god and enforcing that god’s will even when he doesn’t understand or agree. He literally has a move called “I am the Law”

1 Like

Hadrian is LG there, LE in moments like the murder of Jericho Alum, and NG at Old Man’s Chin.

edit: I think that Hadrian has more character variety, whereas Signet has a greater tendency to be one-note (LG). Probably because Hadrian serves an empire and Signet serves a utopia. The empire will always be messier and so will a character whose primary purpose is service-to-empire.

Hadrian has a stated alignment already, mechanically, and that’s Lawful with the drive to “deny mercy to a criminal or non-believer.” That doesn’t exactly seem to me like anything people on this forum specifically would categorize as “good” but it certainly reflects Hadrian’s devotion to Samothes rather than what is “good” or “evil” in Hieron. Even if Art had chosen the “Good” Dungeon World Paladin alignment he would have to “protect someone weaker than [him]” as his character’s drive, which still leaves a lot of room for complication. How do you define “weak” etc.

The systems they play don’t really lend themselves to categorizing characters on the traditional 9-point scale imo. Hadrian can both refuse to leave the cave and kill Jericho without debate as to whether he’s LE of LG. He’s just an extremely devoted Lawful and the goodness or evilness is left to resolve in actual play rather than as an arbitrary field in character creation.

4 Likes