Why Are You Like This?!

"Why Are You Like This?!"
4-Sided Dive episode
Episode no.Episode 8
AirdateNovember 1, 2022 19:00 PT
Running time1:54:01
Starring
Links and related articles
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"4-Sided Dive: Fun Scary" (4SDx07)
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"4-Sided Dive: That's Just Right" (4SDx09)
List of 4-Sided Dive episodes

"4-Sided Dive: Why Are You Like This?!" (4SDx08) is the eighth episode of 4-Sided Dive, discussing up to "A Dark Balance" (3x38) with guests Taliesin Jaffe, Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, and Sam Riegel. After the break, they played Hand to Hand Wombat.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Cold open[edit | edit source]

Matt serves as the tavern keeper for a second time and delivers the opening monologue from Laudna's "sad, sad dark dimension" while eating a cookie.[1]

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

On the return of Vox Machina: Matt played everyone except Scanlan, Grog, and Vax. He has been somewhat stressed - ever since Marisha and Liam created Laudna and Orym respectively, with their strong ties to Vox Machina, he has wondered if Vox Machina would show up and in some ways hoped they wouldn't, at least not until later in the campaign, and then suddenly had to play four of them in an episode.

Sam comments that Percy was "a bit of a dick", to which Taliesin replies that he always was, even when he was younger. Sam thought Vex might loosen Percy up, but Matt points out that Percy still has a lot on his mind - the governance of Whitestone, his own traumatic past, current events, the spread of guns, and the distribution of residuum. Taliesin mentions that Percy has chilled out, but Marisha argues that he brought most of the Pale Guard and Rifle Corps. Sam then defends Percy, noting that Percy has reason to mistrust any reference to Delilah. Matt confirms that had Vex and Pike not stood up for the resurrection, Percy would not have helped, but would have let Bells Hells go. Marisha asks why Keyleth and Percy's conversation seemed a bit cold, and Matt points out that the two, while long-time friends, do often find themselves at odds, and they are also both very busy people. Sam asks if they're having an affair. Everyone else denies it, and Marisha and Taliesin joke that there's no way this could happen without Vex's approval and, most likely, instigation. Matt also notes that it would make sense for Keyleth to leave due to her duties, and that he admittedly did not want to juggle even more members than the three he played for most of the episodes in Whitestone. Everyone then makes some Keyfish jokes.

In general, Whitestone is justifiably paranoid. Matt talked to Taliesin before playing Percy to get some information on how he thought Percy would have decorated his office. Marisha asks about Percy's cane, which Taliesin does not answer. In general, Matt tried to get feedback from the players on how their Vox Machina characters might have changed in the past 30 years in-game. Everyone notes that while there was some call for them to play both their Vox Machina and Bells Hells characters, it would have been a conflict of interest for Bells Hells' story, plus it would have been confusing, so while everyone had input, they did not play the characters.

Matt discusses that he's long wanted to have previous characters show up in a world with multiple subsequent campaigns, but it's important that Bells Hells make their own way through the world and fight their own battles. Everyone likes how Matt played Pike. Matt notes that Vex was only as generous as she was because she realized Laudna was her effigy. Marisha points out that Laudna did not realize she had been intended to look like Vex. The cast likes that they got to see Gwendolyn de Rolo.

On Whitestone: Fearne talking to the Sun Tree and the Sun Tree being mostly unchanged was extremely fun. Sam asks about the rifles and technology in general in Whitestone; Taliesin replies that anything particularly advanced is kept secret and would not be for regular use.

Circling back to Gwendolyn, Percy sees a lot of his own qualities in her and is trying to encourage her to use them in a productive and healthy way - much as Percy might have had his life gone more smoothly. There are several comparisons of Percy to the elder Batman in Batman Beyond.

On Laudna's "Darkstone": The switch from Laudna being called "Matilda" in her memories to being called Laudna was supposed to signify that "Darkstone" was starting to crumble and Delilah was struggling to maintain it. Laudna was born Matilda Bradbury, and changed her name to Laudna some time after her first death, when she had been on her own and isolated for a while. It came from something she came across in her travels, which Marisha is leaving for later discovery!

Sam asks if Laudna is immortal (Hollow Ones do live indefinitely, though as we've seen they can be killed) and it comes out that between Keyleth's Timeless Body (high level druids age a year for every ten years), Beau's Timeless Body (high level monks age and live a normal lifespan, but do not experience physical detriments from aging) and Laudna, all of Marisha's characters age very slowly or do not age. The cast jokes about this.

Everyone likes that this campaign has had a lot of journeys into people's minds or consciousnesses, and enjoyed the trip into "Darkstone". As they discuss this, Dani lets them know that everyone at the table just before they left "Darkstone" were people who were either kidnapped or killed by the Iron Shepherds: Marisha, as Laudna, was offstage, and as they went to 0 HP in the fight against Delilah, Sam (as Fresh Cut Grass and Liam (as Orym) joined her. As they had respectively played Beau, Veth, and Caleb in Campaign 2, they were the only ones of the original Mighty Nein line up who escaped the Iron Shepherds. Marisha adds that it was pretty nice watching from offstage, and she made herself comfortable. Sam expresses some jealousy, which leads to a digression about how FCG can definitively be resurrected if he dies because he is confirmed to have a soul now.

On fighting Delilah again: The actual creature was called The Shade of Delilah Briarwood, and was meant to reflect that it's unclear where she is on the boundary of life and death, but that her powers are diminished. Pike said there was a chance that Delilah could be gone forever, and Matt rolled and knows the outcome, but that is secret information to be played out in the campaign. Marisha has asked Matt, but he is not telling the cast until it comes up in-game. This turns into a digression about how Travis often asks about lore, and how Matt sometimes will deliberately mislead him to throw him off.

Marisha wonders if she'll still have her powers without Delilah, and Matt points out that she was able to bring Pâté de Rolo to life with Find Familiar after her resurrection. The cast discusses Pact of the Chain's mechanics.

If each of you had to do a one man show of something - be it book, movie, TV show - what would it be and why? Sam is not sure because there's only a few things he's seen enough to be able to do a one man show of. Many of them are from when he worked on a cruise ship as a teenager and saw the same few movies repeatedly. He thinks that probably the most likely candidate is Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, or possibly Spacecamp. Taliesin is also unsure because many of his film picks are too weird. Marisha thinks she could do Popeye, which Matt points out would be an interesting challenge because it has a huge cast that talks over each other.

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

Lunard-ying: How did you come up with your character's name? — pulled by Marisha, 35:15

  • Marisha: Laudna's reason for picking the name Laudna might come up in-game. As mentioned before, Laudna was inspired by some nightmares Marisha had had about creepy flower girls, and she began researching the young women who painted flowers in factories and who were poisoned by Scheele's Green, an arsenic-based green pigment often used for silk flowers. One of the most famous cases that shed some light on the issue was the death of Matilda Scheurer.[2] Marisha decided to take the name Matilda from there.
  • Sam: He learned that the smell of fresh cut grass is a distress signal, because the grass is being cut, which is how he named FCG.
  • Taliesin: Ashton is named for one of Taliesin's friends who is punk and "genderless"[3] and Greymoore was chosen because it sounded generally Dickensian.

calypsolucia: Did you all have 1:1s/2:1s with Matt before the game started like you did with Campaign 2? If so how did they go? — pulled by Matt, 40:52

  • Yes! Marisha and Laura had one, as did Taliesin and Sam. Ashton and FCG's encounter was with an NPC who is still in Jrusar but whom they haven't called upon yet.
  • Sam jokes that he and Laura chose similar accents for Imogen and FCG, to which Matt points out that this is how accents work, and also, different people sometimes have the same name and it does not mean anything.
  • Travis didn't do a 1:1 because Bertrand Bell was a known quantity, nor did Ashley or Liam because they had played Fearne and Orym already.

unsnopable: What's your favorite one-on-one roleplay moment with your character so far this campaign? — pulled by Sam, 43:32

  • Sam: He really liked going into Imogen's dreams in "A Dark Balance" (3x38). This turns into a discussion about all the psionic/psychic themes this campaign, which leads to a Criss Angel joke, and Marisha mentions he would be a good Generation Nord special guest. He also really liked when FCG attempted to do couples therapy with Gus and Ogdes.
  • Taliesin: He has liked some of Ashton and Laudna's conversations. Marisha remarks that Ashton was very quiet after Laudna's resurrection, and Taliesin replies that they'll have to talk later in-game because there was so much going on during the episode. Taliesin also liked Ashton and Percy's interaction because they both clearly could not stand each other.
  • Marisha: She really liked the conversation Laudna and Imogen had when Laudna broke the gnarlrock on the Silver Sun, as well as the conversations with various other members of Bells Hells when the two of them were fighting.

The Deep Dive[edit | edit source]

Matt: How did the skill check system work for Laudna's mind? Were the successes/failures weighed differently depending on the moment?49:10

In general, yes - it was to an extent based in the role-playing and how characters reacted in key moments, rather than simple questions such as Perception checks.

  • Sam compliments Matt on this, and Marisha asks what would have happened if Orym hadn't found the tunnel from the house to "Darkstone." Matt replies that they could have gone through the woods and had encounters there, and would have still eventually made it to the city but would have been more drained.
  • They also talk about Whitestone Andy, whom Matt incorporated into the story. Marisha and Sam wonder if he's still terrible, if he grew up to be nicer, or if he died under the Briarwoods' regime.

Taliesin: What was it like to argue with Percy as Ashton? Is there anything else you wished you could have said to him or that you expected Percy to say to Ashton?52:14

It was very satisfying! Taliesin liked that both Percy and Ashton saw each other as equally angry and forceful people but with opposing viewpoints, and he'd have happily gone on longer.

Sam: Your Vox Machina character, Scanlan, did not show up in Whitestone. What do you imagine Scanlan's reaction to Laudna would have been and where do you think he is right now?53:43

Sam says that Scanlan does like weird...and he'll leave it at that. It's possible Bells Hells will run into him anyway! He lives in Marquet much of the year with Kaylie.

Marisha: Did you give Matt any stipulations for Laudna's resurrection ritual? Was there anything the players could have done that would have resulted in a more or less favorable outcome for Laudna's soul?56:12

She did not: while she did want to attempt a resurrection ritual, she wanted to otherwise let it play out, and if it failed, it failed.

Matt: What inspired Lord Eshteross to bequeath the skyship to Bells Hells? Did he believe they would have more use for it than the textile company?57:20

After the cast makes some jokes about estate tax, Matt points out that Eshteross had set his affairs in order once he knew Otohan Thull was after him. He felt Bells Hells were trustworthy and were going to be dealing with Otohan as well, and would benefit from having a skyship. Sam and Taliesin both say that they'll miss Eshteross, though it makes sense that he'd die at this juncture.

Taliesin: How does Ashton feel about the Hishari popping back up? Is this a curiosity that has long sat unsated or has he pushed away this vague memory of his parents?58:48

Marisha asks if Ashton was once an aasimar and Taliesin says technically, yes.[note 1] Ashton has not really delved into this and generally has avoided thinking about it, but Taliesin expects it to come up now that Ashton's becoming more comfortable with the group. He notes that Ashton has not had a lot of physical contact, and generally avoids it due to their chronic pain.

Sam: Pike has confirmed that FCG has a soul! How does this make FCG feel, particularly in regards to their perspective about their life? He seemed a bit displeased with the discovery initially.1:02:03

Sam says FCG is less displeased and more shocked and unprepared. He's spent so much of his life as a caretaker and putting other people first and it's actually a responsibility to have a soul. They are not quite sure how to care for themselves as well as for others. He's also now worried about what it means if he dies, since he is now a person and not a thing.

Marisha: How does Laudna feel about her friends having fought Delilah for her? Does Laudna believe Delilah is gone and if so, how does she feel about that?1:04:01

Laudna feels bad for having been a problem her friends had to deal with and take care of, so she will be grappling with that. She also isn't sure if Delilah is gone or what will happen with her powers. Marisha feels this was something of a "reboot" for Laudna and will see where it goes.

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

shibaface: What moment from the campaign has had the greatest impact on your character so far? — pulled by Taliesin, 1:07:53

  • Sam: For FCG, it's the flapping wings in Bassuras...Shithead remains at large. But more seriously, being introduced to the Changebringer seems to be a big change for FCG, and for Sam, who has never really played a religious character.
  • Marisha: For Laudna, dying. Hard to top that.
  • Taliesin: For Ashton, it's finally getting out of the contract with Jiana Hexum, and then feeling like they could move forward, and also digging into some of the lost memories.
    • Marisha brings up that Ashton was willing to re-enter a debt with Jiana after Laudna died, which Taliesin confirms; Jiana might have been able to help bring her back, but would not do so without a price being paid.

lowrilly: Choose any 2 characters you've played and imagine they are stuck in an elevator together: how would that interaction play out? — pulled by Matt, 1:10:58

  • Marisha: Hazel Copperpot would corner Keyleth and refuse to let her leave until she had an interview.
  • Sam: Nott would think Tary was attractive at first before getting very annoyed by him.
  • Taliesin: Molly would slowly drive Percy crazy but then if they both got high together they'd actually get along quite well.
  • Matt: Essek would admire Gilmore's sense of style, and Gilmore would be flattered but want to know why someone who floats needs to take the elevator.

merethemermaid: There have been some wild Natural 20s throughout the campaign so far, and almost every time this happens I always hear "Take a picture of that shit!" My question is, what is the most memorable Nat 20s you've rolled so far this campaign, and do you "have a picture of that shit?" — pulled by Sam, 1:15:20

  • Matt often doesn't take pictures now because someone sitting near him, often Travis, can verify it.
  • Marisha's natural 20 death save for Laudna was pretty good.
  • Robbie Daymond did get a picture of the two nat 20s he rolled.
  • Empathy domain means that FCG now gets advantage on a roll if an ally rolls a natural 20.

Deep Dive during the game[edit | edit source]

Marisha, Taliesin, and Matt read and answered these first three questions simultaneously, so the answers are somewhat unintelligible.

Marisha: How does Laudna feel about coming back to life for a second time and seeing Whitestone in such a state of growth and healing?1:29:06

It was great to see the city in such a positive state, but it also feels a bit like a fever dream that she can't believe.

Taliesin: A bit more detail has been revealed in regards to Ashton's chronic pain. How long have their carried this pain and how do they balance it with their incredible strength?1:29:06

[completely unintelligible at the start] "I felt like it was a nice chance to have that happen."

Matt: Rest in Peace, Lord Ariks Eshteross. What was it like to kill off this beloved character, in a way that ensured that Bells Hells couldn't help him? Was there a chance he could have survived?1:29:06

There could have been a chance he survived, but it just didn't work out for the circumstances because the party was not present and thus could not have helped. It made for a good story beat though.

Sam: What has it like for FCG, the therapist, to truly experience someone else's trauma via both Ashton and Laudna?1:32:58

Traumatic! Also, Laudna is still not a trusted ally, and this reminded Sam that FCG will want to bring Laudna into Imogen's dreams.

Matt: What were the entities that existed in the shadow of Whitestone? The spirits of the boy and Laudna's parents?1:37:14

They were echoes or shades that the shade of Delilah could manipulate, as she still does have some of her necromantic abilities.

Sam: FCG seems to have caught the attention of the Changebringer. How does FCG feel about this connection and what was it like to chat with the priest in the Horizon Temple?1:39:45

FCG might need a little more structure, as the Changebringer is a very open and more flexible deity. Sam isn't usually very interested in the lore of the deities of Exandria, so this is somewhat new to him.

Marisha: Pâté lives! How does Pact of the Chain impact Laudna and what is it like for her to see her oldest friend come to life?1:45:02

It's weird! This is why Marisha chose Pact of the Chain - to bring him to life.

Taliesin: What was it like to have Imogen and FCG in Ashton's head? Did you know that his mind could trap them within? How much is Ashton aware of the literal infinity within their mind?1:45:25

Ashton thinks it's cool and hopes to be able to trap people later with this, as he doesn't like people messing with his head. They also do have weird dreams.

Sam: What was the thought process behind using the Compulsion spell during Laudna's resurrection ritual?1:48:07

It's hard to find resurrection ritual actions that aren't simply persuasion, so Sam was looking through his spells, and ultimately picked Compulsion to compel her back. While Imogen disagreed with the approach, Marisha points out that it could have worked.

Taliesin: What was it like to return to Whitestone and see how it's grown over the years? Was there a specific moment that stood out to you?1:49:46

Everything was great! He does wish they'd noticed the streetlamps. He did like the Heart of Whitestone and Percy's office.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The drink special on the chalkboard during the Twitch countdown was "Vodka? *shrug*"
  • Omar was present during the episode with his Go Pro Omar Cam.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. It's not clear if Marisha meant genasi and said aasimar, nor if Taliesin meant aasimar or genasi here.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Why Are You Like This?!" (4SDx08) at 1:20.
  2. Died Famous, on Scheele's Green (archived).
  3. "Why Are You Like This?!" (4SDx08) at 39:36.

Art:

  1. Thumbnail from "4-Sided Dive: Why Are You Like This?!" (4SDx08). 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.