A Familiar Problem: Sprinkle's Incredible Journey

"A Familiar Problem: Sprinkle's Incredible Journey"
One-shot episode
Episode no.Episode 48
AirdateJune 23, 2022 19:00 PT
Running time3:49:06
Game systemA Familiar Problem
Starring
Marisha Ray as Game Master
Laura Bailey as Nugget
Heidi N Closet as CLAPP
Matthew Mercer as Toby
Isabella Roland as Joanne
Travis Willingham as Sprinkle
Links and related articles
Episode chronology
Previous
"Dignity: An Adventure with Stephen Colbert" (OSx47)
Next
"Generation Nord" (OSx49)
List of one-shots

"A Familiar Problem: Sprinkle's Incredible Journey" (OSx48) is a special one-shot played by Critical Role Productions. It follows the familiars of adventuring parties, both "beloved Critical Role favorites", including Sprinkle and Nugget, and new familiars. It is played in the A Familiar Problem system, a one-page TTRPG developed by Grant Howitt and Marisha Ray and published through Darrington Press for Free RPG Day.[1]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-show[edit | edit source]

A Familiar Problem, the system they're using, written by Marisha and Grant Howitt, is available at your friendly local game store on Free RPG Day (June 25th, 2022) or you can check out Darrington Press's website to learn more! Marisha wants to dedicate this episode to the dearly departed Dagon.

Part I[edit | edit source]

It is evening in Nicodranas, and Sprinkle has had a very busy few days, having been purchased by a blue girl with horns and then brought into the sewers of the city to fight some kind of water creature and see a man get his hand chopped off. He is now, however, in the Lavish Chateau and things seem calmer, and he wonders if this might be his home now before he's put in the blue girl's hood as she and her companions head out. Unbeknownst to her, Sprinkle is struck by the building's sign and falls from her hood onto the street, and when he collects himself, she's gone.

Nugget poofs besides him briefly, then poofs again into an alley across the street, where Sprinkle follows. At the back of the alley they find a group of three other creatures rummaging through the trash: a blue and green crab named Toby; an octopus named Clarence Ladasaul Abraham Pawtucket Pat (CLAPP for short) with her own bucket; and Joanne, an older pseudodragon with a large cigar. Sprinkle begs them not to rob them, and Nugget vomits up some of what he'd previously eaten; CLAPP takes the bones and Joanne assures him they're not going to attack. Sprinkle sees an opportunity to leave and seek his freedom, and convinces the rest to head to the Open Quay. The other creatures let him know they can't go back to the pier and that CLAPP doesn't like water, but are interested in the prospect of perhaps finding more relaxed people on the beach who might adopt them as familiars.

Their first plan is to disguise themselves as a person, with Nugget as the legs, Sprinkle as support, CLAPP as the arms, and Toby and Joanne as the face. This goes badly, and they decide instead to abandon this plan and cross the street to see if there are other options. While they scare some of the passers-by and have to dodge obstacles, they quickly find a cart and Toby uses his Summon Horse ability to conjure a horse, whom they name Ed. They also find a broken bottle rocket.

Eventually, they reach the outskirts of the city, on the edge of the jungle, where there is another cart parked, and a merchant and his two apprentices anxiously searching for some mice. Sprinkle and Nugget quickly identify the merchant as Kestiff Drudy, from whose cart they were recently purchased. Drudy goes to take a nap and the familiars must play Don't Wake Drudy to sneak around him. They decided to free the other creatures in the cages. Joanne casts Mist with her cigar to obscure them as they pick the locks, and attempts to explain to Nugget the concept of how his teleportation works, which Nugget does not entirely understand. CLAPP chooses to free the tiger cubs, despite the exotic birds flirting with her. Sprinkle uses his door magic to free Trish, the peacock, who gives him a lemon peel and then walks into the jungle.

CLAPP attempts to cross the road and escape into the jungle. Nugget looks for the mice, but only finds a somewhat hostile squirrel. As Toby tries to cross the road, he falls off Nugget and awakens Drudy. Toby attacks, and Joanne joins him for backup. A fight breaks out, and the familiars successfully not only disable the assistants and Drudy, but Toby also takes his knife. They escape into the jungle as the sun begins to set.

Part II[edit | edit source]

The familiars begin to make camp and relax for a moment. Nugget picks up the scent of mice and follows it, and CLAPP and Toby follow Nugget. They come across a small hut made from a hollowed out tree trunk, decorated with banners and hung with dried herbs. Toby goes to investigate, followed by Nugget, as CLAPP hangs back. Meanwhile, Joanne offers Sprinkle her cigar and tries to see if he's capable of calming down. The two also discuss what they will do with the tiger cubs.

A voice speaks from the tree trunk, and Nugget looks in to see a number of glowing mushrooms and a very old bullfrog, who introduces herself to the group as Froga Yaga. Joanne and Sprinkle catch up, Joanne trying to awaken the sleeping tigers. The familiars see that Froga Yaga's backdrop is fireflies caught in spider silk, and that she is missing a leg, which she has replaced with a chicken bone. She asks the group if they'd like to hear their fortune told. CLAPP is uninterested but both Sprinkle and Toby are very eager. Froga Yaga tells Sprinkle there's "a light behind [his] eyes". When CLAPP asks her how she lost her leg, Froga Yaga replies that she'll answer if they permit her to tell them their fortunes. She pulls out a tarot deck, drawing first the Pervy Deer (The Lovers), then the Rabbit and the Murder Baby (Rebirth), and finally the Unlucky Fucks Card (The Tower). She interprets this as meaning they are on a path of self-discovery, but may experience hazards along the way, and that the future in particular is full of terrors. Froga Yaga then realizes Sprinkle and Nugget have recently crossed paths with the Harbinger of Screams, the Verminator, the Talon of Assmoldius, the Bird of Prey to the Wildmother He Doesn't Find You: Professor Thaddeus. She tells them he is the one who took her leg, and who had terrorized the jungle before being captured.

Froga Yaga tells the group to follow the stream down to the beach. They give her some bones, and she gives them some mushrooms. Sprinkle immediately eats the mushroom and begins to hallucinate, then blacks out. A different voice emanates from his mouth and tells the familiars to reunite Sprinkle with Jester at the docks, promising them biscuits if they do. Sprinkle comes to with no recollection of this. The familiars leave the baby tigers with Froga Yaga and head towards the beach. They reach a point in the stream they need to cross, with no bridge other than a rotting log. Most make it, but Sprinkle falls just short of the opposite bank, and is carried away downstream over a waterfall, and his spine cracks on the rocks. CLAPP pulls him out, despite her dislike of the water, and he is revived. The party walk further down the beach and come across the bodies of the mice. CLAPP investigates and determines that Professor Thaddeus was the murderer, and Sprinkle panics. He sprints into the ocean, but Joanne drags him out and he calms down.

The group continues along the beach, coming across a massive statue of a woman built into the sea cliffs, whose eyes flash with light. This confuses them, and CLAPP panics. Joanne tries to calm her down by singing to her, and Sprinkle casts Speak with Object on her bucket, who also calms her. CLAPP realizes the statue is likely not a threat, and the group resumes their journey towards the docks.

Photograph of Marisha Ray and Archie, a Eurasian eagle-owl, featured in this one-shot, by Critical Role.[art 1]

As they approach the docks, they find a battle in progress. They also see Professor Thaddeus, who lands on a ship's mast and tells Sprinkle and Nugget that he must kill them because they've seen him at his most vulnerable. (At this point, Archie, a Eurasian eagle-owl is brought out and sits on a perch behind the GM chair). As the combat between the blue girl and her friends, and the pirates on the docks, rages, so does the battle between the familiars and Professor Thaddeus. Toby becomes pinned by a green man's falchion and snips off his own claw to escape, and the stress causes him to rage and attack back. Thaddeus successfully injures Nugget, who also panics. CLAPP tells Toby he's her familiar, which calms him down, but Nugget keeps teleporting before he can be calmed. Joanne, CLAPP, and Toby all cooperate to throw the broken bottle rocket towards Professor Thaddeus, knocking him out of the air. Nugget finally calms down and pins him, telling the others to escape as he has a home back at the Lavish Chateau.

The rest of the group makes it to the deck of a ship, which begins to sail away. Sprinkle is quickly picked back up by Jester, who gives biscuits to CLAPP and Toby. Joanne leans back on the deck, happy to finally retire.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

Official art of the familiars, by Mariana DiMercurio.[art 2]

Returning[edit | edit source]

These characters previously appeared in Campaign 2 or any other Critical Role work.

New[edit | edit source]

These characters have not previously appeared in any other Critical Role work, though they may have been previously mentioned.

  • A horse pulling a cart with familiars
  • Froga Yaga, a fortune-telling bullfrog
  • Three blind mice (corpses)
  • CLAPP's bucket (animated by Sprinkle)

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This one-shot takes place on 14 Cuersaar 835 PD, within "Dockside Diplomacy" (2x35), and events from "Beyond the Boundaries" (2x32) through "Encroaching Waters" (2x34) are mentioned.
  • The deck used for Froga Yaga's fortune is the DruidCraft Tarot. The cards pulled were The Lovers ("The Pervy Deer"); Rebirth ("The Rabbit and the Murder Baby"), which takes the place of Judgement; and The Tower ("The Unlucky Fucks").

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Announcing A Familiar Problem: A One-Page RPG from Darrington Press.
  2. "A Familiar Problem: Sprinkle's Incredible Journey" (OSx48) at 1:39:31.

Art:

  1. Photograph of Marisha Ray and Archie, a Eurasian eagle-owl, featured in this one-shot, by Critical Role (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Official art of the familiars, by Mariana DiMercurio (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.