2016 – Our Favorite Moments

Let’s face it: 2016 has been a pretty crappy year. From the celebrity deaths to the presidential election, there weren’t many high points to reflect on. But fear not: we here at Saving Throw have put together some of the best moments from this past year to pick up your spirits! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the best Saving Throw RPG moments of 2016!

Gaurav Gulati (Never Tell Me the Odds, The Lost Brigade, Roll for Shoes)
My favorite RPG moment of 2016 will probably make me sound like complete asshole, but… it was the first time during a game I was playing that someone started crying.

Let me set the stage: we’re playing Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars RPG, and are delving deep into a hellish prison planet known as The Pit. We were all recruited by Merce Leck (played by the wonderful Amy Vorpahl) to rescue his secret wife Tamaya, as well as a long lost Jedi who was kept in the deepest part of the prison.

We finally find Tamaya, and she’s being held hostage by the mad warden of the prison. Merce and our team manage to defeat the Warden and save Tamaya, as well as the missing Jedi named Iron Gan. Everything seems hunky dory until Iron Gan begins monologuing… it seems all that time in the prison has turned him a little bit crazy. Not only that, but he was apparently on a planet that Merce had “purged” with the Empire. Darkness took him over, and first he killed the warden by decapitating him with his lightsaber. And then he turned his attention to Merce… and cut him in half in front of all of us.

This took us ALL by surprise, most of all Amy, who was half in tears and half laughing because she didn’t quite know how to react. I don’t think David quite expected that reaction either, but that’s always how it goes, right? The unexpected moments in RPGs are the ones you never forget, and that one will be in my mind for a long time.

 

Nick Levy (Shadowrun)
Playing an angel in service to the Word of Purity in a game of In Nomine [ed: not on stream]. My team defeated a powerful demon seneschal serving Addiction and were in the process of destroying its anchor (a giant multi user hookah). My angel, Cluriel, shifted to the celestial realm to watch the demon be destroyed. It summoned the last of its power and attacked me, stripping Cluriel of a Force (roughly equivalent to losing a level). It hurt, but the satisfaction of watching an enemy of Purity be shredded for eternity was worth it.


Meghan Caves-Callarman (Black Bag, Roll for Shoes)
My favorite moment is the “intercepted high five” from the first Roll 4 Shoes game we ever played on the channel. It was one of those times when the dice behaved just as you’d want them to!

 

David Crennen (Never Tell Me the Odds)
My best moment of 2016 is the rousing, spontaneous Sea Shanty that the players started singing at the end of the our 7th Sea game.

 

Traycee King (The Lost Brigade)
Dayl Clawthorne (my character on Barky’s Brigade) butt raped a dude with her sword because she thought HE was raping the girl tied to his bed. Apparently, the girl liked being tied up so it was a very confusing situation.

 

Jordan Caves-Callarman (Black Bag, Roll for Shoes)
Observe: almost 20 entire minutes dedicated to the feasibility of flicking a match at a man covered in strange fruit pulp, in the hopes that he would be immediately immolated. This was one of the first things I watched on Saving Throw, and it remains one of the most entertaining for me.

And it was made all the better when he later revealed his character had retractable claws that ENTIRE TIME.

 

Michael Holmes (Phoenix Dawn Command, Never Tell Me the Odds)
This is the single best roll I’ve ever had in an RPG. And I mean, like over my entire gaming career.

I was SUPER stoked to be able to join the NTMTO crew for a Friday night game, the same day I was let go from my job of two years. I was in a weird headspace, and an escape to hyperspace was just what the doctor ordered.

So I showed up, Amy V. brought pizza (and let me say, it was an honor and a privilege to be seated next to her), and we were off to the races. Well, kinda. I botched ALL of my piloting rolls trying to get us out of a super-heated plasma storm with plasma dragons chasing us, and we eventually limped to a safe place a few parsecs away.

Suffice to say: I definitely had to redeem myself.

The game went on, the macguffin was found, and the foil to our plans blew a hole in a derelict Star Destroyer, with the danger of getting sucked in to the vacuum of space a VERY real possibility.

My turn came. I knew I had one chance to make this count. Boosts, difficulty, and skills were all tallied. I was rolling a FISTFUL of colored polyhedrons, and this could go colossally badly. After the results were examined, all of the threat and advantage cancelled each other out until only a SINGLE TRIUMPH remained. And that felt god dang good.

But the EXTRA TRIUMPH one of our players bought me? Allowed me to save the day, the lives of the crew, and look damn cool doing it.

HUGE thanks to Gaurav, David, Teline, Amy V., and Dom for letting me come prove my worth in a galaxy far, far way.

 

Teline Guerra (Never Tell Me the Odds, Miss Adventures, Roll for Shoes)
It is hard to choose just one moment. I have made many memories with Saving Throw that I treasure: worshiping the great god Kroger; A.R. Oomba; every second of Miss Adventures. But there is one particular moment (or series of moments) that I am particularly fond of.

The place: Granga’s Gambles. The bizarre group of adventures, led by General Jan Dodonna in a fake mustache, had just disembarked into this garish, tacky, pleasure palace. Root, the lost Ewok, is never really sure what is happening. The whole universe confuses her, and the way she explains this all to herself is superstitious and barely good enough to help her cope. She is riding her baby Rancor Yerp into this flashing, strange-smelling morass.

Some security guards spot her and hustle her off to an arena where terrible creatures fight to the death to amuse crowds of equally terrible gamblers.

But the moment Root set foot in that arena, she achieved clarity. Here was a place where things were simple. A thing comes in; kill it or be killed. The smell is familiar: the metallic tang of blood. The feeling is familiar: complete confidence.

Root is physically weak, but clever. Yerp is immensely strong but too young to act independently. Root was always mentally tough and ready to face whatever came, but this was the first time she had the brawn to back it up.

The way David set it up, I faced three opponents of increasing difficulty, and I would get one roll for each. I know that you should never tell me the odds, but those dice rolls, the odds were stacked harder and harder against me.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you felt like something was so right, it had to happen that way? There was never a moment in that fight that I ever had any doubt that I would crush those rolls. And I did.

As Root and Yerp ate the heart of their last victim, suddenly the lights went out and people fled, and Root was dropped back into her regular life, where she relied on a chubby space angel and a murder god/droid to get her someplace that she wasn’t sure she’d ever find. But for a while, everything was clear. For a moment, Root was able to be fully Root. It was bloody and violent, but to me, it was beautiful.

 

Michelle Otis (Black Bag)
Ben’s [ed: fellow Black Bagger Ben Dunn] character Terry is trying to save a bunch of people from three hitmen, who are firing rounds into a Denny’s… but just winds up holding a headless corpse.

 

Mac Beauvais (Phoenix Dawn Command, Roll for Shoes)
When we were playing Roll for Shoes during the 24-hour stream, I ended up playing a lady with a rather resourceful beard. Unfortunately, I also later managed to accidentally catch my beard on fire and blow off my hand before being bayoneted. However, instead of extinguishing the fire, I pulled myself further on the bayonet and set the bad guy on fire with my beard thus earning the skill Flaming Death Beard. Achievement unlocked.

 

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Giveaways! Yep!

We’re nearing the end of the year and so what better time to have a couple of giveaways!

To start us off, in celebration of reaching over 1 million views on our YouTube channel, we’re giving away a Loot Crate to a random commenter on the video. All you need to do is share your favorite memory from Saving Throw over the last couple of years! The winner will be selected on December 30th, so be sure to watch this space. And thank you for watching and sharing our stuff! You’re awesome.

Additionally we’re giving away an EPIC Thanos-inspired miniature hand-painted by the master behind Iron Tusk Miniature Painting!

To be entered to win, just check out our current Gleam.io contest! You can unlock more entries by completing others. It’s quick and easy!
CLICK HERE TO ENTER! Winner will be selected January 1st!

Thanks again! And good luck!

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2017 Saving Throw Questionnaire

We’re about to usher in a brand new year, and thus it’s time to see how we’re doin’! Here’s a short questionnaire to provide some feedback and let us know what’s working and what we can improve upon. Your responses are much appreciated. Thanks!

Here is the link to the survey!
https://goo.gl/forms/5Zz9JBu9WQoQvsNw1

The survey closes December 3rd – so you’ve got roughly 2 weeks to fill it out. Shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes though. Thank you for your help!

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Phoenix Dawn Command – Journal Entry #10 – Idalia

**Editor’s Note: We will be featuring some character backstories & recaps from our Phoenix Dawn Command actual play series. Be sure to watch the adventure LIVE every Saturday night at 5p PT/8p ET on twitch.tv/savingthrowshow!**

by Tara Strand as Idalia, the Devoted.

It was my 2nd Crucible where my deeper lessons began. In it I found myself in a lovely village somewhere, and I soon discovered that no one could sense my presence. There were several groups of villagers whose lives I found myself guided around, and for what felt like weeks, maybe months, I got to simply observe them. I became familiar – and a fair bit attached – to their stories and their interactions, the ins and outs of their days, their dreams and goals, their hopes and fears… Then finally there would be a threat to anywhere from one to all of their lives, and I found I was able to intervene. The threat was always different, and so was the outcome. Sometimes I could save everyone, sometimes I could save no one, and all kinds of combinations in between. What I learned and what I experienced was different every time, and my Mentor – a floating being of almost total light whose androgynous shape I could barely make out through its glow – spoke directly into my mind words to help me process and master my experiences. Once I left that Crucible not only had I gotten to deal with a whole new slew of threats, but I’d managed to combine a healthier sense of detachment with my care and compassion.

My later Crucibles followed a similar thread, nuanced in ways to teach me lessons we’d come to find I needed after each death. And then there was my 5th. In it I was shown long term outcomes of so many of the situations in which I’d been able to intervene, both in my Crucibles and in the other reality. Terrifying and beautiful. I saw the interplay and balance between “good” and “bad”;  the constant swinging of the pendulum: joy-peace-suffering-peace-joy-peace-suffering, and on. I saw the effect of our perceptions, and the ever-peaceful face of The Dawn.
This higher appreciation of the co-existence between all forces could nearly cause me to forgive the existence of The Dread. But I also saw that the suffering they bring is wholly out of balance. The very existence of the Phoenixes is the other end of the pendulum. By the end of this there WILL be peace. There must.
Sidenote: I’ve also come to wonder if these Crucibles where I’ve been such an unknown force to those I champion is perhaps why direct interactions with some of our especially grateful groups of mortals at times leaves me a bit… heady. Ok, a completely full of myself, demanding, impetuous prima donna! Some instances more than others. Hm.
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Phoenix Dawn Command – Journal Entry #9 – Varya

**Editor’s Note: We will be featuring some character backstories & recaps from our Phoenix Dawn Command actual play series. Be sure to watch the adventure LIVE every Saturday night at 5p PDT/8p EDT on twitch.tv/savingthrowshow!**

by Mac Beauvais

The fighting had become tedious to Varya.

The Wing had been sent to clear out the township of Mardenford and they’d come up against a new foe: Wailers. The Wailers it seemed were powered by their Dawn essence. Bodies that should have remained dead after the Chant had worn through them could be reanimated by the very Phoenixes sent to make the town safe again. What did that say about them?

And then there were the human companions. Varya was built for taking damage, and in comparison humans were so delicate. It was difficult for her not to become frustrated when she had to reign in her attacks to shield them from damage. Humans were a hinderance.

Of course, there were also the Phoenix companions. She was connected to them, but simultaneously felt apart. The cycle of death and rebirth was quickly becoming numbing.

Then there were the shards they had been collecting, a seeming source of power for the Chant. The Marshals thought they were closing in on something, but Varya questioned this silently.

They made way for a smaller township outside of Mardenford where it seemed another piece of the puzzle might lie. Varya tried to keep at the back of the group as they negotiated entry beyond the guarded gate. A handful of people were all the known survivors of this Chant outbreak. The rest of the population was likely inside the fortress carved into a mountain at its back, and the likelihood is that they had all succumbed to the Chant.

The Wing entered and went to work in their usual manner wading through a few scuffles with Wailers. It was all quite routine until Varya noticed Ink heading towards a chamber at the end of a corridor. She sighed and trailed after him.

Without warning, four doors of slammed closed behind them, sealing them in the room. The doors could be manually broken, but it wouldn’t be easy and it would take time.

Ink cleared his throat behind Varya. She turned to him and she could see that look again, the one of curiousity and worry he had whenever he really looked at her. He seemed to be collecting his thoughts. Inopportune time or not, it appeared he’d kept things bottled up long enough.

“I know,” he began, “in the time we’ve been together it has made you very uncomfortable for the time we spent when I was in your head. And I understand that.”

He began to tell her that he believed they all had a greater purpose and did not understand why she could not see that she had a great destiny before her.

“I don’t know about destiny,” she snarled. “I died and was supposed to go somewhere else but instead woke up as a fucking monster!”

She could feel the rage boiling within her.

He continued to tell her there was a part of him that could not deny that she might be a manifestation of the Dread, but that he believed in her and forcefully added, “do not succumb to the monster.”

He thought he knew, he thought he really knew. He continued on and quoted some forgotten volume of text that Varya could not have cared less about. But he didn’t know. He wasn’t the one having to fight it and not be sure if it was really an “it” and not just her.

And then, he blinked momentarily out of existence. Simply disappeared. Something was wrong with him, but she was so mad she didn’t care. Not until he blinked back in and reached for her hands. In that moment, she gasped, he was seeing into her. It was like the time he’d spent in her head, but more intrusive. He could see her memories, her thoughts. He could see “it” or her or whatever it was, and as he receded, it followed.

Whatever he had done had drawn it out of her.

“What have you done?!” She snarled, her head swimming and the words having trouble forming.

Again she’d felt that snap, like the snap of anger when she’d been fighting the fear and the Dreadknights. Her body contorted, becoming more wolf than human. The beast had her in its grasp, or maybe it was her true self in control. Whatever it was, it was angry.

She leapt at Ink, claws outstretched, trying to restrain herself but barely curbing the blow. He blinked out again before she could land another. When he returned he said something about flooding the chambers and indicated the pipes above. She leapt and damaged them, but a part of her wondered if what she really hoped for was that she could drown the beast.

As the room began to fill, she sensed that the other members of the Wing were also in trouble. However, they had been successful in unlocking the cell doors and so she tore out of it, trying to direct her bestial rage somewhere more useful.

Her blows were savage as she plowed through the enemy. Chanter after Chanter and Wailer after Wailer, she struck with fury beyond her comprehension. All were nearly destroyed, but the rage wasn’t ebbing like it had the first time. Ink had tapped into too deep, and it would not be quieted without putting the others in danger. She knew of only one place that could contain it.

She bolted past her companions for the terrible shard fragment that had been giving the Chant its power, and as she clutched it, she let everything burn out to ash.

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