DM Notes: "First 48 Hours" Arc Finale
Hey Dice Droppers,
As promised, I am back with the DM Notes for episodes eight and nine of Dice Drop: Evolution. In these episodes, we finally get a look at the main antagonists of the podcast, Evolution. A cult of mutants and human slaves who want to take control of Eden for mutantkind.
Thank you, guys, for being patient for this blog post, it has been a month in the making, and I can finally talk about the finale to the first official arc.
So, without further ado...
I am dedicating this post to both the final episodes of Arc One, because the two episodes really go together as far as the story goes. “Lost and Found Family” and “Of Monsters and Men” both acts to close out the story that we had set up from Episode 0 to the end in separate ways.
“Lost and Found Family” is the final ‘rest’ episode going into the finale. The team returns to the warehouse with suspicions under their belt, having a long night that began back in Episode 3 and ends with Episode 7. Understandably tired and frustrated, the team must rest up and finally put all the clues together to find the professor.
So, this episode acts to tie together a few loose ends from the previous episodes. First, was Hood telling off Remi for her outburst at the club that very nearly compromised the mission. I knew it was going to be an explosive confrontation. I knew that Remi had some pent-up aggression that needed to be worked out. There had been truly little time in the whole arc that Remi had to grieve for her parents. But the other side of that altercation was Hood, also not having time to grieve for his paternal figures. He had some rage he needed to work out, and a lot was left on the training room floor with that battle.
Both Elena and I prepared for a full-on confrontation between Hood and Remi, and while there was very little arguing between the two, the fight between them was certainly tense. Although, I was honestly unsure of how that battle would play out. I was not expecting Remi to win that fight against Hood, but it turned out to be a great moment between the two characters.
The other part of this episode was what would happen with the gang-member named Skull. What was the information that he had for the Professor, and why was he giving up this information that could get him killed?
Having River and Oswald interrogate Skull was honestly an excellent choice on their part. River and Oswald at that point in the story were honestly probably the two scariest members of our Hero Party. River, who could suffocate a man exceedingly easily and showed no qualms in doing so, and Oswald who could go from wise-cracking to ass-kicking in a snap. Not to mention, the information that Skull had to offer was something that River had to hear for herself. It was River who had the most emotional connection to the Evolution Hideout.
Although, two moments that blossomed in “Lost & Found Family” were not planned and organic between the characters.
The first and most prominent, was Oswald and Remi as they headed toward the city. Oswald comforting Remi gave a rare look at a serious and caring side of Oswald that we really hadn’t seen much of up to that point. It was also a great moment of teambuilding between two teammates that had been forced together.
The other moment that happened organically, was River and Rodney. Rodney was trying to keep River from rushing off without backup and incidentally revealed Rodney’s feelings for River, if even for the briefest of moments. Rodney, who had spent the most time with our heroes in the past day or so, showed that he was thoroughly impressed by the team, and had even developed a bit of a crush on River.
First shown in the announcement trailer, Evolution is a terrorist group who wants to take down the government that had been oppressing mutants for centuries. In “Of Monsters and Men”, we get our first official look at the group and their omnipotent leader. Our heroes finally have a lead as to where Professor Lancaster is being held and our heroes rush to the rescue.
So, I knew this was going to be the finale going into this episode. Being such, I had a few points I wanted to hit. The first was revealing Barney to be a mutant and agreeing with the cause. Barney, who was established as River’s paternal figure in the Episode 0, was to be the first real loss to the team. I knew he wasn’t going to survive the episode, no matter what happened. Going out heroically as he did was the best-case scenario.
Oswald’s Parents were a late addition to the plan, considering I hadn’t known what had happened to them until the week before recording. When Oswald mentioned his parents in “Lost and Found Family,” I knew I had to incorporate them into the episode and explain where they had been for nearly 20 years. This led to an emotional scene for Oswald and the rest of the team as Oswald tried to find information where there was none but could infer a lot from their condition.
Finally, there was the example the Leader was going to make of the Professor. This would have established the Leader as a formidable foe. The first time you truly meet the primary antagonist, he is fully prepared to kill Professor Lancaster. It would have set him as the Big Bad Evil Guy for our Heroes to fight.
Alas, this being a tabletop RPG, things do not always go as the DM plans.
River and Oswald decided to intervene. As a Dungeon Master, this was the moment, I was proudest of the players. This is what makes playing a tabletop RPG fun. When the players step in and produce a thoughtful way around a problem. They needed to rescue the Professor. That has been their mission since the start.
They accomplished their mission. The Professor is now unharmed in the warehouse. Remi is not an orphan within a couple of days. The “First 48 Hours” Arc wrapped up with a happy conclusion for our heroes.
However, we know that a happy conclusion is destined to be short-lived as we roll into Arc 2.
So, with that guys, what did you guys think of the first Arc of Dice Drop? What was your favorite moment? What were your theories going into Arc 2? Did you have any theories that came true in the first few episodes?
I will be back with DM Notes on Monday to talk about the first mission of Arc 2. Be sure to check out our podcast using the episodes tab at the top of the page. Also, be sure to check out our social media page, like comment and subscribe wherever you follow us and listen to our podcast.
Thank you for reading and listening. As always, stay safe!
Your Dungeon Master,