Why, Matthew?! Why?

"4-Sided Dive: Why, Matthew?! Why?"
4-Sided Dive episode
Thumbnail from "4-Sided Dive: Why, Matthew?! Why?" (4SDx15).[art 1]
Episode no.Episode 15
AirdateAugust 1, 2023 19:00 PT
Running time2:12:13
Links and related articles
Episode chronology
"4-Sided Dive: A Very Special Six-Sided Dive" (4SDx14)
"4-Sided Dive: Kiss and Tell" (4SDx16)
List of 4-Sided Dive episodes

"4-Sided Dive: Why, Matthew?! Why?" (4SDx15) is the 15th episode of 4-Sided Dive, discussing up to "Aid of the Tempest" (3x66) with Taliesin Jaffe, Matthew Mercer, Sam Riegel, and Travis Willingham. The guests played Superfight.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Cold open[edit | edit source]

Travis is the Tavern Keeper after multiple attempts to roll low enough not to be. He introduces 4-Sided Dive's Canned Bits, created by Moppo.

What the fuck is up with that?[edit | edit source]

Matt: What the fuck? More specifically, what exactly isn't working about magic right now? There is a logic to it - spells like Sending are interfered with (similar to telecommunications during a solar flare), and spells with a closer tie to the gods often work better in specific locations. The out-of-game reason for this is that having too much information can reduce the stakes of the narrative. The gods meanwhile are reaching out to anyone who has expressed interest, which is why FCG has gotten more from the Changebringer recently.

Do all the gods have champions? Not necessarily but often they do. What's more variable is the nature of the champions they have - some do not "hold the office" so to speak during times of relative tranquility but can easily reassume the mantle as needed, some are a permanent state (as with champions of the Raven Queen) and some are entirely temporary exaltation of someone for a specific scenario. Some gods have one very powerful champion, and others have spread out the power among a number of people.

What's going on with the Betrayer Gods? They are actually more likely to have champions because they need resources and agents in Exandria.

Who's on Ruidus and what's going on there? Ludinus and Liliana are on the surface of Ruidus, but Otohan has not been spotted. Ira Wendagoth is there, however. The cast wonders if Ruidus was originally created from part of Exandria, and why the gods didn't just throw it deep into space, and Matt points out that they tried to.

Anything you want to talk about during the party split? Travis wishes they could see the Wolf-King again.

On Hearthdell and those crystals that went into Ashton's hammer: Taliesin thinks there were no good intentions from the Dawnfather missionaries in Hearthdell; they simply wanted control of that town. The crystals came from the cave in Irriam Canyon and refract magic - they split the spell in multiple directions though it may weaken each individual effect. Taliesin has spoken to the spellcasting party members about them. Travis offers to have Chetney cast his spells into it and the cast discusses what partial invisibility might look like.

Ashton has purpose now. What the fuck is up with that? It's a combination of learning about the Hishari in more depth; learning about the eidolons and elemental creatures; and seeing how Bor'Dor's story went. Ashton's more generalized anger now is more focused on specific people.

The group's "better half" (Chetney, Fearne, and Orym) had a vision from the Raven Queen: Vax is screaming, which was a surprise as Travis thought he was consumed immediately during the ritual. It's not clear if this is slowly consuming him, and it seems like the ritual created the bridge but did not fully succeed.

On Ludinus' plans: To that end Matt confirms that Ludinus's plans were to unleash Predathos the night of the apogee solstice, and that failed due to the sabotage. It is worrying that Ludinus, a very intelligent and old person, is so confident that Predathos will do as he specifically expects.

We saw Keyleth: Her wounds are not healing due to the Gray Assassins' toxin, and the cast discusses the implications of that. Matt notes that the tapestries of Vox Machina's exploits are mostly gifts to her, not things she sought out for herself. Fearne didn't steal anything, nor did Ashton, who likes Keyleth a lot actually. Sam talks about some of his adventures in the homes of the rich and famous, and then everyone makes fun of him for his shirt, which he says looks like Omar...but he purchased it for himself.

The Tower of Inquiry: Round 1[edit | edit source]

Vorbote: What trait of one of your fellow party members is your character most jealous of? — pulled by Matt, 40:58

  • Travis: Chetney is jealous of reading people's minds, though not hearing everyone's thoughts unprompted.
  • Sam: FCG is jealous of Fearne because she can experience so many animal forms.
  • Taliesin: Ashton is also jealous of Fearne because Nana Morri is such a cool family member.
  • Travis also mentions that Laudna's Form of Dread would be useful. Matt and Taliesin agree though possibly in real life rather than for characters in-game.

kaiti_rae22: You all play DnD professionally and some appear in other campaigns across the genre as well. How do you keep it fun for yourself and not turning too much into something that you have to do out of obligation? — pulled by Sam, 44:45

  • Travis: The focus is always on entertaining each other more so than trying to play for an audience.
  • Taliesin agrees with Travis and says it's fairly easy to forget once they're running that it's filmed.
  • Matt also agrees that their friendship with each other makes it natural and fun rather than work.
  • Sam: Wait, you guys are getting paid?

The Deep Dive[edit | edit source]

Taliesin: Ashton learned that Abaddina was part of the Hishari. How is he handling that revelation and does he want to go back and talk to her more?50:28

They definitely want to go back! He didn't think to ask her, because why would he, but now that he knows he wants to return.

Sam: How is FCG doing having parted from F.R.I.D.A. for now? What was that goodbye like for them?52:31

It was sad both to say goodbye to FRIDA and to Christian Navarro, but Sam doesn't want to repeat leaving the group, and FCG's the only divinely-associated pro-god member of the party! But aeormatons live a long time, so they can just catch up later and reunite. The cast then talks briefly about some of the other romances since then.


You'll find out later; Matt's not answering :)

Matt: Why did you choose Wildemount and Issylra for the party split? What factors determined the two party makeups?56:59

Wildemount was to allow time to explore Chetney's backstory, and Deanna needed to be with him, and Uthodurn's proximity to Molaesmyr allowed an interesting sidequest opportunity. Issylra was because it is largely unexplored within the past campaigns, and it is also a "continent of extremes" with the very Prime Deity religious Othanzia, the heart of which is Vasselheim, whereas the areas outside of that tend to either be non-religious or worship nature spirits. It also offered opportunities to explore Ashton's backstory, though not all were taken.

Travis: The bounty on Chetney's head was set by Tuyen Otwana of the Prism Emporium. How is he feeling to know that his past actions have come back to collect?59:24

Travis, at least, loves it, and considered going willingly with the bounty hunter to find out who sent him. He originally worried he was from the Claret Orders, following up on how Chetney bit FRIDA.

Taliesin: Ashton is ready to be a hero. What in particular inspired this desire and focus, to the point where he is requesting clothes that are 'legendary hero fashion?'1:02:11

The encounter with Bor'Dor and Laudna killing him in the cave made them realize how much they cared, and that they did have something to lose. Dani remarks that this, and him taking Prism away, reminded her of how punks take care of each other at shows.

Sam: FCG's connection with the Changebringer seems to still be going strong, with her giving a clear direction with the coin. How are they feeling about the Changebringer lately?1:05:10

Good! Sam likes it because he hasn't done much with deities in the past. He admits he's a little hesitant to talk to her too much and spend time during the scenes but Taliesin and Travis encourage him to do so.

Matt: Two guest characters have betrayed the party now - Yu and Bor'Dor. How did you go about making sure that these interlopers were very different from each other?1:09:47

Matt spoke with Erika Ishii and Utkarsh Ambudkar about their characters' goals, and also warned them that they might be found out before their plan was enacted so they should be prepared. He specifically told Utkarsh about Yu as a past character who betrayed Bells Hells, and gave him background on what was going on in the world with the solstice and the Ruby Vanguard, which was when Utkarsh asked if he could play one of the Vanguard. They also checked in after the episodes, and Utkarsh did consider having Bor'Dor grow to like the party, but decided that the character would remain firm in his beliefs. Taliesin confirms the scene absolutely landed at the table.

Travis: Chetney made the toys from Orym's childhood. What was that revelation like for Chetney and you at the table?1:13:14

Chetney knows his impact! He was a very respected woodworker for a very long time and knows his toys were sold worldwide. This goes off into a digression in which Travis mentions an interest in making a pact with Nana Morri to become young again.

Taliesin: What did Ashton think of the people of Hearthdell and the eidolons?1:16:35

Hearthdell was too provincial for his taste, but he is thinking a lot about the eidolons and their connections to the primordials and where he may have come from.

Sam: FCG clearly felt guilty during Laudna's outburst regarding Team Wildemount having a good time. Does her response color how he feels about things moving forward?1:18:37

It does; both in terms of the stress FCG has taken but also that FCG wants to be a team player, but is also the only person who is unambiguously in favor of the gods.

Matt: How has it been exploring the ups and downs of religion within Exandria? Not just faith in the Prime Deities, but different kinds of faith like that of the Loam and the Leaf and Zephrah.1:20:46

It's been fun to explore faith as a theme given how differently people respond to it or practice their religion. It's also an opportunity to explore the fantasy trope of having a pantheon in a new way, and how the world would respond to a threat to that pantheon.

Travis: How did Chetney feel being bait for the demon while trying to get the flowers?1:22:03

It was awesome! Chetney is the stealthy character, so it's what he does, and the combat was great.

The Tower of Inquiry: Round 2[edit | edit source]

Dio Raven: If your character had to pull from The Tower of Inquiry, what would their approach be? — pulled by Taliesin, 1:24:21

  • Sam: FCG would take the R2-D2 approach and find the exact right spot to push out the block.
  • Travis: Chetney would lovingly seduce the wood.
  • Matt: Ludinus would stand 120 feet away and have someone else do it for him.

thwolff18: This question is actually for Dani. As the official lorekeeper, has there been anything that has come up in game that has completely taken you by surprise? — pulled by Matt, 1:26:03

  • Dani: Almost everything! Jester giving Isharnai the cupcakes probably threw her the most, but it's all wonderful and surprising!
  • The cast agrees, and Taliesin says he should have figured out Bor'Dor from the Pipe of Remembrance but that also took him by surprise.

Superfight[edit | edit source]

Taliesin presents a moose in a suit of armor, and Travis presents a hippo that can fly. After a discussion of mass, velocity, maneuverability, Sam's and Matt's votes result in a tie, and Dani breaks the tie in favor of Taliesin's moose.

Taliesin: Speaking Primordial, communicating with the earth elemental, meditating on the rocks around them... What did it mean to Ashton to begin to get in touch with his earth side?1:45:52

Ashton's never found connection with the gods or the natural world before, only with other people, and they've had bad experiences with other people, so this is very new. He likes it - it feels uncomplicated, but very real.

Matt presents Ghengis Khan with the ability to summon anything from a hardware store, and Sam presents the Marshmallow Man who is also made of guacamole. Matt says that Genghis Khan and his army will devour the Marshmallow Man, but Sam argues that the lack of nutritiousness will fell them and the lack of challenge will dispirit Genghis. Travis and Taliesin vote Genghis the winner. Sam reveals that his other option was a werewolf with a nail gun.

Matt: Things like the Gau Drashari and the apogee solstice were introduced during Brennan's run on ExU: Calamity. How has it been taking those concepts and fleshing them out more in this campaign?1:55:24

It's been great! Calamity allowed Matt to expand upon a lot of historical elements that hadn't previously been explored and put them in context. Collaborating with Brennan and Aabria on EXU has been great in general.

Taliesin presents hipsters but there are three of them, and Matt presents a nudist piloting an attack drone. The hipsters, who are generally apathetic and unimpressed, thwart the nudist's attacks by hiding out in their various haunts. The nudist grows increasingly frustrated and angry. Travis's and Sam's votes are split, and Dani awards the hipsters the win.

Taliesin: Ashton has shown off some new Chaos Burst abilities - can you tell us some more about what these new abilities do?2:06:02

The abilities refresh on a short rest and are reactions. He rolls a d4 to get one - it is random. Taliesin can't remember them all offhand but the one Ashton used most recently teleported the person who hit them 30 feet away.

Dani presents Taliesin with My Stop Smoking Coach for the Nintendo DS, over which the guests marvel in skepticism and surprise.

Outro[edit | edit source]

A voice says "Oh, it worked, sire. They love your canned bits, and soon they'll love you and only you."[1] Moppo is shown, dimly lit.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The drink special on the chalkboard during the Twitch countdown was "Blue Gooch Gimlet" in reference to the cast joking that blue perennem flower sounded like "blue perineum".
  • The consequences, which were not invoked, were: during Superfight, the guest may only frame their arguments in terms of how many Travis Willinghams their villain can fight, eat, lift, romance, and similar.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Why, Matthew?! Why?" (4SDx15) at 2:11:41.


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