Podcasts/Episode I-59

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The Letters Page: Editor's Note 59

Original Source

Intro

It's another thrilling day, here on the cusp of the spooky months! We're excited for what's to come...

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:52:09

Before we get into answering questions, interacting with the chat, and telling stories, we go over the monthly schedule! (That is, after goofing around a bit, as per usual.)

  • Tuesday, October 4th: Episode #226: Writers’ Room: NightMist and Alpha vs The Court of Blood
  • Tuesday, October 11th: Episode #227: Writers’ Room: Tome of the Bizarre Vol. 3 #11
  • Tuesday, October 18th: Editor’s Note #60
  • Tuesday, October 25th: Episode #228: Writers’ Room: Writers’ Room: The Story Christopher and Adam Mention Wanting To Tell in Editor's Note #49

(We give a mild story spoiler about each of these during the recording. Listen and find out!)

Then, we get into answering questions, interacting with the chat, and telling stories! It goes pretty well, and a bit longer than the usual Editor's Note!

Join us next time for Episode #225, which is a Writers' Room episode featuring both Greazer and Fashion?! Who authorized this?!?! It's gonna be... well, interesting likely doesn't even begin to cut it. Time will tell!

Join us then!

Characters Mentioned

Summary

Note on Schedule

  • The Tome of the Bizarre Vol. 3 #11 and “Story that Christopher and Adam mentioned wanting to tell” are both stories involving werewolves at least to some extent, so October is gonna be a Spooky Month with a sub-theme of werewolves.

Questions

  • Does “time travel was possible due to OblivAeon shattering the timelines” and “time travel is no longer possible after OblivAeon’s defeat” mean that it’s only impossible in Universe 1 or the Multiverse writ large? Are alternate Las Capitans still able to time travel if they’re outside the “sandwich bag”? Is inter-reality travel still possible outside as well? Time/reality travel for those outside of the sandwich bag are still possible, but more difficult. The Shattering of the Timelines made such things relatively easy/common and that’s when we get things like Visionary crossing timelines or the Miss Information consciousness swap. Now, there are still ripple effects happening in the Multiverse from the Shattering and you’re more likely to wind up outside of your home reality somehow than you were pre-Shattering (and that’s tied into the ongoing Prime War plot) and various Singular Entities are working on that issue. So, yes, time/reality travel is possible outside the sandwich bag, but it’s not “easy” and things are “tenuous/bad/fragile”.
  • What happens if a Singular Entity is inside a particular universe when a timeline split happens (I assume they just wind up in one of them: see OblivAeon after the Rook City shenanigans)? They just shunt into one of the resulting realities. It’s relatively trivial for them to just jump between realities, though, so it’s not a huge problem for them.
  • Is RPG Voss truly Singular? No. Scion Voss was for a very brief period after taking the power (before using most of it to seal that universe away from the Multiverse).
  • Is Aeon Girl? She is singular, but not a Singular Entity - the trick here is that she only exists once in the Multiverse because she was created in the sandwich bag which doesn’t experience timeline splits. If/when the bag goes away there’s no reason she wouldn’t generate alt-universe versions normally from there.
  • You’ve mentioned that the options for Universe 1 splitting in the bag are either 1) splits don’t happen or 2) one of the resulting realities would get shunted outside of the bag - in the latter case, what would happen to any Singular Entities (say, Wager Master) within the bag? Barring Wager Master (or something of comparable or greater power) does a specific thing like what resulted in the two Wager Masters situation in the first place, he’d either just stay in the bag or would get dropped outside of it. We wouldn’t keep splitting him.
  • [Letter preamble mentions that Wager Master is the only Singular Entity in Universe 1] They don’t think that he’s necessarily the only one in there. He’s certainly the only one we know about. They ballpark the number of Singular Entities in the “thousands but not tens of thousands” range. We only know about a relatively small number of them, but then again only a small number of them are “doing anything of note” rather than just passively being themselves.
  • Let’s assume that both Wager Masters learn of the existence of the other simultaneously; how exactly would he emotionally process this? How long before they made a wager against each other? Or would they just high-five and move on? Oh, one of them already knows. The one outside the sandwich bag has the information necessary to realize that the fail-safe he set up would have been triggered by the thing Voss did and is keenly interested in what’s going on here. They’re going to have to skirt the core of this question, though, because the story of what happens when they meet is definitely something for later.
  • Did La Comodora crash her ship into OblivAeon before or after the timeline split? If after, what happened to her in the Vertex timeline? Is she stranded nowhen like her Universe 1 counterpart? It was before - she crashed the ship into no-shield form 1 of OblivAeon (and after this he’s in the “cracked” form 2). No, wait. Reviewing the art, it looks like the moon dropped on him as form 1, and maybe the ship crashing into him is what made him form 3. [That matches the sequence of events in the OblivAeon Episodes. Regardless, if La Comodora sailing out in the time-stream counts as not being in Universe 1 when the split happened, she wouldn’t have split along with it.] Anyway, the sequence will be made clearer in the art for Definitive Edition.
  • So, the last time that the main reality split before Universe 1 was sealed away was when Vertex split off when Setback pushed the button on Chrono-Ranger, rewinding the destruction of Rook City - what was the next most recent split? As in, is there a known reality that’s basically just the continuation of the main comics continuity if the OblivAeon event hadn’t happened? Splits happen all the time - it’s still only splitting on when there’s a noteworthy difference, but given how big the Universe is that’s likely happening a lot. The trick is that we don’t really ever know about the alternate reality unless there’s a story reason to know about it. When Setback did the time thing it’s not like the writers pointed out that this event created a new reality. It was the later Vertex writers who chose that event as the split point years later. That’s the usual sequence for timeline splits in the Metaverse - the writers have a story they are telling and then, if it matters to the story, they pick a spot on the timeline where they say this new reality had branched off from there. If they wanted to do a third publishing line as in this question’s prompt, that’s how they would do it.
  • Why are minor changes on the flow of Earth history more important to the annihilation of timelines than, say, there being an Earth at all? Well, “there’s no Earth” is likely a split reality too. It’s not that Earth history is more important - it’s just that those are the splits that we see. There is an infinite arbitrarily large number of timelines and the ones we concern ourselves with are the ones for which we have a frame of reference.
  • When Fright Train swears in a comic, is it censored with Steam Whistle? Not all the time, but there’s at least one time where they’re fighting on a train or something and you get the sound effect text blocking out his speech bubble for this effect.
  • Could the two Wager Masters meet and let one of them go be with Madame Mittermeier? [The answer consists of further questions:] Well, in that case how do they decide which one gets to be with her? Would she still be in love with either/both of them? Who can say? That sounds like a situation ripe for drama. Time will tell.
  • I noticed you two struggle with calling Aminia by her not Miss Information name; do the Freedom Five have a similar problem in not calling her Aminia, and does she try to reject this sort of familiarity? Oh, yeah. Legacy in particular has a hard time with it.
  • [Regarding the earlier question about other Singular Entities possibly trapped in Universe 1] Is it the Singular Entity of getting trapped? Yes.
  • Is there a reason that [DE] Legacy wasn’t included in at least one or more of his group heals (in my own experience I do kind of feel he can come off a little squishy without it and it makes me less willing to use his other abilities that hurt him some or take damage. It didn’t strike me as that much of a HP boost to himself since it’s normally a 1 here and there, but could still help out some)? The thing here is that Legacy is such a force multiplier for the team that his presence at the table results in noticeably higher win rates. As such, Legacy’s been nerfed to exclude himself from the heals/damage boosts/card draw he provides to the team. People often look at decks and expect them to be strong “internally”, but that’s not how this game works - it’s designed to be collaborative. You’re finding that Legacy could use some protection or healing? Great - which other heroes can provide that for him? You’re a team working together to do things that nobody can do on their own.
  • Has Ansel G. Moreau ever encountered a filming where, as the star, he was forbidden from doing certain stunts? Did he drop the project because of it? Has he ever actually ended up delaying a movie because of stunt-related injury? Yes to all. Like, the filmmakers know that his “thing” is doing his own stunts, but look; this stunt is a very specific thing that we have an expert on hand for, etc. [There’s a joke here about “spending” a stunt person to die performing a stunt because stunt performers “aren’t real people” - in case this becomes a running gag this is where it started.] They think that there was a movie that he was in that had a series of super-risky stunts that they were not willing to risk Ansel G. Moreau on. He refused to be in the movie if he didn’t get to do all of his own stunts so they “agreed” to cut the ones that they wouldn’t let him do from the film. Then, after he was done with primary photography, they did some pick-up shooting to get those stunts done and added them back into the movie without his knowledge. Outrage! It then became his mission to recreate each of those stunts in other films to prove that he could do them. They also think that eventually he has enough pull in the industry to get to enforce his will on such things like Tom Cruise does (flying in jets, hanging on the outside of planes, climbing the Burj Khalifa, etc.). Eventually, of course, he gets horribly disfigured and stops doing that kind of thing.
  • Count Barzakh’s hand of glory: is he always holding a candle? Does he have a candle stashed away that he gets out for special occasions? Or does the hand itself just glow and effectively function as a candle? The hand of glory is by definition the hand/candle/magic combination so, yes, he’s always holding the candle.
  • Do Greys (the aliens) exist in Sentinel Comics or are they represented by Voss’s genebound soldiers? Some older Cosmic Tales or Tome of the Bizarre (like, way back) likely had them, but yes Voss’s soldiers kind of fill that slot later as they were certainly using that “look”.
  • Did Joe Parsons have a daughter, Josephine? If he did, what were her stories like? Dealing with sexism and misogyny, in addition to the racial issues Joe had to deal with? What was her Legacy power? If there is an analogue to America’s Newest Legacy in the Joe Parsons timeline (they’re not sure that she’d be named Josephine), it would be in a later Joe Parsons Disparation story. They’ve indicated that there is at least one later story with him, but they’re not going to speculate on what the content of said story would be. That’s a whole Writers’ Room. As of the story we’ve already seen he doesn’t have a child. It’s hard to just riff on that setting - there are fewer Legacies due to the different in “start point” for the family line and the timeline is more different from our reality than the main line reality is so it takes more work to sort out.
  • So, Wellspring granting the Parsons line superpowers was a relatively recent addition to decades upon decades of Legacy lore; were there any previous weird explanations/origins for Legacy’s powers that didn’t stick? For sure, yes. There had likely been a bunch over the years.
  • This feels like it was a Hell of a “lore bomb” for Legacy! How did the Metaverse react to this? Were there fans who dismissed this as a seemingly clumsy retcon or something that “ruined” Legacy forever?" How do Metaverse fans feel about the Wellspring origin 20-ish years later? Adam would compare this (favorably) to the Spider-Man story “The Other” which retconned some of Spider-Man’s origins to be somewhat mystical. It’s a very divisive story that Adam happens to like and he thinks that the Legacy/Wellspring thing was similar. By the time we get to the “present” in the RPG era it’s just accepted as the explanation, but back when it was first talked about there was quite a controversy surrounding it. There’s both the “purists” who want them to “just have powers because” rather than having an explanation, but there were also people who had previously found the whole Legacy think boring but who are brought in now that there’s some weird explanation. This was also the first time that Sentinel Comics had gone all in on an explanation for Legacy’s powers rather than it just being whatever some random writer thought up that would probably get ignored by the next one. This is The Truth™ regarding Legacy and the company sticks to its guns regarding it and so by now even readers who didn’t like it have at least accepted it. Adam also points out that most comic collectors will still buy and read the book even if they hate it because of the completionist tendencies.
  • How big are the various realms? Do they expand nigh infinitely like the material plane? Or perhaps they have edges? They expand “nigh infinitely” unless the nature of a particular realm involves it being bounded in some way.
  • Where do fey from other cultures exist? Are they within the currently known fey realm or do they exist in another? So we have the vaguely Celtic fey creatures that we’ve established as The Fey-Court etc., but they think that that’s just one “kingdom” within the one fey realm that exists and so we’d see other cultures’ fey-equivalents just existing elsewhere in that realm that’s basically just another Earth. The fey realm is more closely connected to Earth than most such realms given that it’s not that hard for fey creatures to cross back and forth (they can do so “pretty casually”) and we hear stories of mortals finding themselves there by accident.
  • Is there a big difference between the powers of Thorny Devil and Lion Man both of them seem to be strengths-based biting types? The powers are pretty different given that Thorny Devil doesn’t actually have animal-related powers; he just uses an animal theme, but you’re right that they both kind of present as strength-based biting types, although Lion Man is also “slashy” with the claws whereas Thorny Devil is “pokey” with the spikes.
  • Does anyone have a themed car? They’d have to think about that. Somebody probably does. Adam suggests Tachyon since “the character that needs one the least” is good fodder for such things.
  • I have a question regarding the time split that lead to the Sentinel Comics Universe and the Vertex Timeline. We’re told that the split point was when Setback pushed a button on Chrono-Ranger, rewinding time around them so that Chrono-Ranger is not so severely injured, downloading CON into his badge, and also undoing the damage to a sizable chunk of Rook City around him. My question is when exactly did the timeline split happen? There can’t be a version where Setback didn’t hit the button, because the split hadn’t happened yet, or did it actually happen before Setback found Chrono-Ranger? Did time split after the press and in one universe nothing happened? The “going back in time” bit is the split point. We know in the Mist Storm Universe that Broken City is a thing, so the big attack in Rook City still happened. The time split is “is there a ‘Broken City’ y/n?” Hmm… Okay, Christopher thinks he has it. The button gets pressed regardless. One branching path from there is in Universe 1 where time gets reversed and CON gets downloaded. In the other, pushing the button “untethers” Jim Brooks from time/CON and he becomes this strung-out Renegade.
  • What is the criteria for “close enough” for timelines to collapse? Could OblivAeon create a minor split and then “undo it” to collapse them? There isn’t a classification of splits - it’s a handwavy plot device that you can make two separate timelines “similar enough” to begin with. How does anyone do that? So it’s just presented as “this is what OblivAeon is doing, you better stop him” and left at that as far as the mechanics of it go.
  • You’ve mentioned that Thorathians try to have 2 or 4 children due to their cultural fixation on pairs - has Grand Warlord Voss’ influence caused a shift towards having more children to “replace” those who die in combat? Maybe making 4 the new “ideal” over 2? Sure. Given that 4 is a pair of pairs that’s always been a “good” number anyway. The trick had always been not over or under-shooting the target. If you go to 3 and stop you’ve messed up the pair. If you go to 5 you probably should then go to 6, but that’s three pairs which is also awkward. Now, 8 is something but you’re really pushing things.
  • Have Thorathians ever tried infiltrating Earth? If so, how did they go about disguising themselves given that it seems unlikely that they’d want to genetically or surgically alter themselves? If so, was it mistaken for a Biomancer plot? They’re not a subtle people. The more likely tactic would be to gene bind some humans to use as their sleeper agents in preparation for a more usual invasion. There are other aliens who might try this sort of thing (and, yeah, Biomancer confusion is there as an option for those stories), but it’s not the Thorathian way. The Censor/Strike Force Invasion story is about as subtle as Thorathians get.
  • We know that Universe 1 is a slice of bread in a sandwich bag and the Void is jelly - where’s the peanut butter!? You don’t want to put peanut butter and jelly in the sandwich bag! If you put the Void in there with the single slice of bread it would make a mess, let alone some peanut butter metaphor. [Note that the original sandwich bag metaphor came about with the understanding that the loaf of bread was already covered in Void jelly before removing the bread slice and bagging it, so it’s already a messy metaphor.]
  • Have the pages of Sentinel Comics ever shown Greazer coming across a bounty job for Voss? If so, how did he react? Nobody has a bounty out on Voss in the way that Greazer would come across it. They also don’t think that “bounties” on that type of figure, even if they ever happen at all, actually get taken up/are ever successful and Greazer would never take such a job. “You come at the king, you best not miss.” And a bounty on Voss would have a high miss rate.
  • Are there any announcer tables at the Bloodsworn Colosseum and, if so, which one gets broken the most often? As much as they like the professional wrestling gimmick regarding the Colosseum, the actual benchmark for what it’s like is Roman gladiatorial combat, not pro wrestling. There are announcers, but they’re up in a “booth” rather than being “ringside”.
  • How durable are Thorathians anyway (Sky-Scraper is tough but Kaargra gives her trouble whereas Voss goes mano a mano with Legacy)? Thorathians in general are bigger, stronger, and tougher than humans. Powered Thorathians are even more so. Kaargra was a big, strong warrior originally. When we see her, she’s been empowered by the Bloodsworn force. Kaargra could also trade blows with Legacy or Voss no problems. They think that Voss would beat Kaargra in a protracted fight. Voss is built to be the physical embodiment of a war machine. He’s everything you’d want from a warrior and from a leader. Kaargra is “beyond peak gladiator”, but there are still differences in emphasis.
  • How the dickens do you pronounce “Ruoenf”? Those were the people gene bound into Voss’s Grunt Guards. They basically say /runf/ (roonf).
  • The Zenith Gauge is this alien metal that empowered Chokepoint and the list of alien metals only seems to be growing - blightsilver doesn’t seem likely, but is the Zenith Gauge related to Schema, the Cosmic Codex, or Calfix? Is it Varusiod tech? How much Varusiod tech do we actually know about? The Zenith Gauge is not related to any of those things. None of those things is related to any of the other things (well, the Cosmic Codex is related to the others in that it’s related to everything [Christopher: ugh… I’m exhausted by that answer]). The Zenith Gauge is certainly related to some far off alien thing. It’s not even Tarogath’s beyond the fact that he took it from the Enclave of the Endlings. It’s not even necessarily the specific metal that the Zenith Gauge that’s important, but rather its construction. You could probably make a Zenith Gauge out of “normal” materials if you knew what you were doing, it’s just less likely to hold up over time/be less well-suited to the job.
  • How large of a book was Cosmic Contest? Was it bigger than Guise’s Biggest Book Ever Christmas Spectacular? Initial thoughts are that Cosmic Contest is 100 pages and is quite likely bigger than Guise’s Biggest Book Ever Christmas Spectacular - the former was published in May 2015 vs. the latter’s December 2013 so even if Guise’s book was the biggest ever Cosmic Contest came out later and so may have eclipsed it. There’s just not as much story in the Guise Christmas special. Maybe it gets that big if they also reprint an older story in there too. It’s also possible that since 100 page specials could happen, they pad it out somehow to get to 108 pages just to be on the safe side. The last 8 pages might even be blank with a Guise note at the end pointing out that he added them to make sure he had the biggest book. Ads can also help get its page count up. Cosmic Contest was a square-bound, prestige format book as well and likely didn’t have ads.
  • Were there any editorial mandates regarding Cosmic Contest (e.g. NightMist learning how to Be the Gate, Baron Blade winding up in the Realm of Discord, and Argent Adept banishing Dark Visionary/becoming the Dark Conductor)? The biggest piece of setup that was necessary was Argent Adept “fixing” Visionary. While not the point of Cosmic Contest it was certainly a point. However, they also think that these are less “editorial mandates” and more “writers figuring out what they’re going to be doing over the next few years and setting things up accordingly” and then using this one big book to get the pieces in the right places.
  • So, a lot of created-during-the-podcast-era characters weren’t included in the Cosmic Contest brackets because they didn’t exist yet, but do you have a meta reason for why they weren’t included in the event? Did some writer just really hate werewolves and so refused to include Alpha or Apex? Was there some other event going on at the time that prevented Darkstrife and Painstake from participating? Christopher and Adam have discussed this “problem”. The heroes they’ve introduced since then are a bit more “fringe” than the ones included so having the roster as it is for them at least makes some sense, but you’re right that some of the new characters are more “notable” than some that were included. Ultimately, the writers just had to pick - they weren’t set to include “everyone” in the first place, so people were going to be left out regardless. There’s also the possibility of another event going on at the same time that they could use but need to revisit off the air.
  • In episode 76 you mentioned a plant that grows extremely quickly by consuming oxygen but is kept in an airtight container (which doesn’t kill it, just makes it go dormant) on the Wagner Mars Base and in episode 83 you mentioned that K.N.Y.F.E. blew up the base - did the plant survive the explosion? Yes
  • Did the container it was in survive? No.
  • Is it now a dusting of particles spread across Mars, just waiting for some oxygen to come along? Yes.
  • Is anyone looking for the plant? No.
  • What sound does Balarian make? Adam thinks eerily silent, but you hear things in the back of your mind. Christopher thinks a breathy, high-pitched (without being “squeaky”) laugh. Why not both!? They also come up with the idea that they can “parrot” sounds, but it sounds hollow/off. “What if they parrot, but they’re allowed to lie?” So they might say something in the voice of your ally to trick you into doing something.
  • Were there any C or D-list heroes who suffered a permanent death at the hands of villains (not including WWII Legacy and Bunker)? Yes, definitely. For example, Adam has drawn the death of Sk8-Blayde.
  • How would you run a game of the Sentinel Comics RPG one-on-one? If truly one-on-one, the number of actions they can do is just that one hero so you’ll want to tune the encounters to have limited NPC actors at a time. Like, you can still have a villain and a bunch of minions, but the villain might just monologue at the hero until the minions are defeated. They’re just set-dressing until the minions are dealt with. Similarly, let the Environment challenges have super long tails to them - they tick down rarely, “get better” once the minions are destroyed (like defeating them counts as a check on the counter), etc. Think of the end of the first Spider-Man film where the Green Goblin presents a choice. You can 1) save Mary Jane, 2) save the children, or 3) fight the villain. That’s two, one-checkbox challenges and a villain. You just need to keep in mind that the number of player actions per round is 1 and tune things accordingly.
  • Are the weird alien metals/artifacts/etc. going to be fleshed out at all in DE and associated Multiverse era Letters Page episodes, or are you all creating a bank of things for future RPG content? They are neither intentionally setting things up to explain later nor are they banking things to save for the RPG. They’re creating things - sometimes it’s important to explain things in the moment and sometimes that is dealt with later. They have the best intentions to explain everything that they set up ever, but nothing ever lasts forever and when this podcast ends it’s likely that there will still be loose threads that weren’t tied up. Also, dangling threads do add to the verisimilitude of what they’re doing here. [Another note for possible future running gags: the idea that they’ve been training AIs to write and answer questions so that the podcast can continue indefinitely after their deaths.]
  • In the Sentinels RPG era, is there an equivalent of a Justice League, where a large group of heroes work together to solve problems that threaten the world or connect with each other to form teams/duos (without being part of government organizations, like G.L.O.B.A.L.)? How would you implement it so that the suspension of disbelief is maintained when any hero part of the group doesn’t immediately call upon other heroes? The Sentinels of Freedom and G.L.O.B.A.L. are explicitly there do so that kind of thing. Even Dark Watch to a smaller degree. The Prime Wardens still exist. The Sentinels of Freedom is likely the closest analogue. Re: calling in other heroes and suspension of disbelief - people are busy. There’s editorial room to add to/change up the lineup for the Sentinels of Freedom pretty regularly. The Freedom Four/Five were these specific heroes (sorry Unity), but the SoF have a lot more leeway to have people come and go. It’s designed to have a rotating roster.
  • With the creation of new heroes and villains, how would Cosmic Contest have changed? Or would they still be excluded because reasons? Christopher doesn’t really want to change it given that they’ve put the work in already for the zoomed-in detail on events there. Adam thinks that if they were to go back and take a look they’d realize that “yeah, [other character] would work better here.” At some point they’ll do that and one of them will be proven wrong. Adam still thinks that some minor villains could get swapped out without disturbing the overall beats, but Christopher thinks that it doesn’t need to, especially given the possible “other things going on” to explain absences.
  • Follow-up to Thorathian children in the culture question: If two is good, and four is better, and twins are blessed, what is the cultural view of twins being born second, leaving the family with the dreaded 3, or even more accursed 5 or 7? There’s some disappointment there, but the more optimistic Thorathians would think that it’s a good sign. They had a kid, then when they were trying to complete the pair they instead got twins!? It’s a sign that they’re destined to have 4 total! It’s portentous.
  • I don’t think it was specifically mentioned in his episodes, but what gimmicks/focuses did Tarogoth’s race have? Ley line stuff it would seem, but what did they do with that (considering that Maerynian and Thorathian gimmicks seemed to make its way into the gameplay)? They’ll get into it, but it matters very little given that by definition as an Endling, what Tarogath’s people did with their ley line stuff is largely irrelevant to the games. He’s the only one left. Anyway, they were a race of people that cared a lot about art and aesthetic expression. They had a solar-system-spanning civilization where they had terraformed the various planets to fit into certain aesthetic categories and you’d choose which one to live on based on your preferences. They had very little “magical type” stuff going on, so Tarogath’s embracing it was notable.
  • Adam - you’ve said before that you worked in theater; what were your favorite productions/roles/etc.? They both were! Adam’s biggest role was as Oliver Warbucks in Annie. His most fun role was as one of the brothers in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Annie has a ceiling to it in that he was playing “old, bald, rich guy” and even as well as he thinks he did playing “old” as a young person, he did better with that when he played Oz, which was also maybe his best performance (Christopher was the Scarecrow and his brother Anthony was the Tin Man). Oz is quirkier and so there’s more to do there than as Daddy Warbucks. In Joseph Anthony was Joseph and Christopher did the lights and whatnot as he was in college by that point (coming back to help with the tech stuff during a reprise performance). Being a brother in Joseph is as part of an ensemble and you get to play off of each other and that was a lot of fun.
  • Christopher - in the live shows we’ve seen that you have a lot of tattoos and they all seem rather elaborate/well-thought-out, so what’s the deal with the little squiggle on your wrist? This makes for exceptional radio as Christopher proceeds to show off a number of tattoos.
    • Adam thought the least-thought-out one is the Ardbeg Scotch logo on his arm, but that was his second tattoo ever and the first one likely to be visible to people in general so he thought about getting it for a long time, but that’s fair that the design choice was not deliberated on much - it’s a good looking design, but there’s also the connection Christopher has with his grandfather (who he hasn’t really talked about much on the air, but is his most directly important family member to him in his life) and they connected as adults over it.
    • His actual least-thought-out tattoo is an award winning one. Christopher’s tattoo artist was entering a competition to get the best one done in 4 hours. Christopher’s secret tattoo super power is that he can ignore tattoo pain - he still registers it, but knows it doesn’t matter and so doesn’t flinch or whatnot, so the artist can go faster (especially on shading) than is the case for most people. The competition was in 2 months and Christopher typically deliberates a new tattoo for years before getting it done and he didn’t have anything in mind at the time. The artist mentioned maybe a childhood pet and Christopher said that he’d raised goats. The artist thought that he could do a cool goat tattoo that would look good with Christopher’s overall tattoo aesthetic, so tell me about the goat. Christopher sent over some pictures and talked about how he lived in a pasture surrounded by day lilies, etc. He was a sweet goat named Theodore and was Christopher’s childhood companion. They show up at the event, the artist shows him the picture he’s drawn up for the tattoo and Christopher agrees, so let’s do this thing. For a 4 hour tattoo most people could do a small intricate thing or a medium-sized thing, but just the line work. The front of Christopher’s left thigh from just above the knee to just below the hip is this tattoo of Theodore’s face with some stained-glass looking halo and day lilies in the foreground, complete with shading. So that’s the least-thought-out one.
    • The squiggle on his left wrist ties back to his maternal grandfather, mentioned previously. He died several years ago - Christopher was at the Gen Con where they were holding Sentinel Tactics tournaments that were being live-streamed and he got the word while between the semi-finals and the finals that he was announcing. His brother called him, but he’s at Gen Con so he keeps having to tell his brother to speak up/repeat himself, so he feels really bad about making his brother shout over and over at him about their grandpa dying. Then he has to go right back into the gaming stuff since he doesn’t have time to process it right then. Anyway, in the last several years of his life, his grandpa would write him a letter about once a month. Just regular old printer paper, but hand-written. He’d just talk about whatever he’d been up to lately and/or asking after things that Christopher had mentioned recently. Just a stream-of-consciousness style of letter about the kinds of things that they would have talked about if they were together in person (and after Christopher moved from Kansas City to St. Louis they didn’t get to see each other often anymore). He’d write until he got to the bottom of the page and then would sign off and send it. They were the best. Another note, however, is that despite how important they were to each other, his grandpa was not the type of person to have ever said “I love you” to Christopher. There was no question that he loved him, but he never said it. He always signed off on his letters with “Good luck, Granddad” and Christopher knows what that means. Additionally, his grandpa always wore a watch on his left wrist, but with the face on the inside of the wrist. He had an almost nervous twitch when talking to people where he’d flip over his hand to look at the watch on his wrist, so Christopher associates that wrist movement and looking at it with his granddad. The tattoo is on the inside of his left wrist and is the “good luck” from the very last letter that he wrote to Christopher, something like 2 or 3 weeks before he died. It’s the tattoo that took the least amount of time to get done, but one that gave the artist the most worry because there’s no room for touch-ups or anything - he’s just got to get it right on the first try. He had one person hold Christopher’s arm in place and another holding either side of the wrist and he just did it. It’s great - it’s even got a little spot trailing off from one of the lines from where granddad’s pen skipped or something.