Recap / Acquisitions Incorporated

Acquisitions Incorporated began as podcasts, available through the official Wizards of the Coast website, then transitioned to live events at Penny Arcade Expo events around the United States, and is now also available as The Series on Penny Arcade TV. The podcasts and live adventures to date are (see also the official Portfolio):

  1. "The Keep on the Shadowfell" (podcasts). Recorded in May 2008, the first half of the adventure sees the newly-founded Acquisitions Incorporated venture into Shadowfell Keep in pursuit of Irontooth, the leader of the local kobolds and goblins, while the second half (with a different DM) has the party confront a death cult of Orcus. This adventure is an abridged version of The Keep on the Shadowfell, the first module published for the fourth edition.
  2. "The Tower of Goldenhawk" (podcasts), recorded in February 2009. Several months later, the party is joined by an Eladrin intern Aeofel, just in time for a mission from the local militia captain to scout out the abandoned tower of Goldenhawk. This and all subsequent adventures were written and DMed by Chris Perkins specifically for the podcast, although a modified version of this one (titled Storm Tower) was published in the Dungeon magazine.
  3. "The Ambershard Manor" (podcasts), recorded in August 2009. The party is sent to root out a gang of bandits on the eastern road, and eventually track their quarry to the Dwarven necropolis-city of Hammerfast. But the mission becomes personal when Binwin learns the leaders of the bandits are the Ambershards, sworn enemies of the Bronzebottoms. It doesn't end well.
  4. "The Prisoners of Slaughterfast" (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Played live at PAX Prime 2010, this adventure sees the surviving members of Acquisitions Incorporated gather to perform a ritual to bring back their fallen comrade, only for it to fail for an unexpected reason. To get their friend back, Acquisitions Incorporated must travel To Hell and Back — literally.
  5. "The Last Will and Testament of James Darkmagic I" (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Played live at PAX Prime 2011, this adventure follows Acquisitions Incorporated as they travel to the Darkmagic Estate, Jim's childhood home in New Hampshire, for the reading of his late grandfather's will. Once there, family rivalries soon escalate and the party are thrown into unexpected adventures and shocking revelations.
  6. "The Lost Episode" (part 1, part 2). This adventure was the first to be played by D&D5 rules, live at PAX Prime 2012. It opens with the heroes waking up in an evil lair that's equal parts Gary Gygax and J. J. Abrams, tied to the altar of an imposing demon. Before long, Acquisitions Incorporated meet a mysterious Drow girl who seeks their help, and warns them of the dangerous "others"...
  7. "Ark of the Mad Mage". This adventure was preceded by "tryouts" for the new intern (1, 2, 3) and played in two sessions:
    1. Part 1 (podcasts) returned to the podcast format in July 2013. It saw the party stranded in the Forgotten Realms, having headquartered at Waterdeep and taken on Viari as a new hire to replace Aeofel. Binwin gets a girlfriend, Omin has a religious conversion, and the party set out to find the lost ark of Halaster, the Mad Mage.
    2. Part 2 (intro, video) concluded the adventure live at PAX Prime 2013 and saw the party venturing into the lowest levels of the dungeon in order to find Halaster's orb, the key to opening the eponymous ark. The quest leads Acquisitions Incorporated to a mighty weapon, just in time to save Waterdeep from a monstrous threat.
  8. "Tyranny of Dragons" ties in with WotC's eponymous 2014 metaplot concerning the Cult of the Dragon, which was launched simultaneously with the fifth D&D edition. Season eight was played in two sessions:
    1. "Dragons Over Easy" (intro, video). Played live at PAX East 2014, this adventure opens with the party enjoying the benefits of fame, success and franchising — particularly Omin, now a Masked Lord of Waterdeep. Soon, however, Acquisitions Incorporated find themselves crossing wits, words and swords with their most dangerous enemy yet when they are enlisted to retrieve a clutch of dragon eggs from Dragonspear Castle.
    2. "Five Heads are Better than None" (intro, video). Played live at PAX Prime 2014, it sees the party trapped inside Dragonspear Castle and fighting for their dear lives, when an unexpected ally returns with reinforcements. From there on, their adventure transitions into the most epic High-Altitude Battle yet and culminates in a shocking revelation.
  9. Season 9 tied in with not one, but two of WotC's metaplots launched in 2014 and 2015: "Elemental Evil" and "Rage of Demons", respectively.
    1. "Playing With Fire" (intro, video), played live at PAX East 2015. Having arrived to Baldur's Gate safely, Acquisitions Inc. find their local chapterhouse besieged by the Flaming Fist mercenaries and fire demons, and must organize the last ditch defenses to repel an imminent assault by the Elemental Evil.
    2. "Darkmagic vs. Do'Urden" (intro, video), played live at PAX Prime 2015. In preparation for Acquisitions Inc.'s merger with the Dran Enterprises, the latter's CEO (and Omin's sister) decides to evaluate the party's performance by sending them into the Underdark to deal with Drizz't Do'Urden, who had lost his mind to a demonic Hate Plague.
  10. Season 10 (intro, backstage & retrospective) consists of two standalone mini-adventures played at PAX East 2016, Acquisitions Incorporated: The Series (teaser, podcasts), and the live finale at PAX West (formerly PAX Prime).
    1. "How Not to Host a Murder" (video) was a mini-module ran by Mike, with Chris joining the party as Drizzt. Jim invites his friends to his 40th birthday party, complete with a fake murder investigation, only to be murdered for real by one of the guests. The module can be downloaded here.
    2. "I.S.T.A.R. Facilities" (video), ran by Pat immediately after Mike's module, put the party through Viari's unauthorized and therefore top-secret testing and assessment facility for new AcqInc interns. Can be downloaded here.
    3. The Series - "Part One" (episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). With Dran Enterprises still working on the buyout paperwork, Portentia reveals to AcqInc the location of the dwarven vault where her and Omin's sister keeps a piece of the Rod of Seven Parts. The crew disguises Omin as Auspicia and infiltrates the Horn Enclave, narrowly dodging detection, and secures the piece of the Rod, just as the entire facility goes into lockdown due to a (seemingly) unrelated theft. Binwin and Jim spend most of the game locked up in a box, and team escapes the Enclave before they can find out who set them up.
    4. The Series - "Part Two" (episode 9, 10, 11, 12). Upon returning to the Waterdeep office, the team finds the entire staff slaughtered and Portentia kidnapped by the Zhentarim in retaliation for the thefts that AcqInc were framed for at the Enclave. Before they can act on that, however, they receive a proposal from Dran Enterprises to join forces to retrieve a second piece of the Rod from a white dragon lair deep in the mountains. It ends even worse than their trip to the Ambershard Manor.
    5. The conclusion to The Series and thus to the entire season 10 (intro, video) was played live at PAX West, and also streamed in cinemas across the US. Regrouping at the Battle Balloon, the party decides to take the fight to Auspicia and her Mysterious Employer Stratovar, a cloud giant with ambitions of world domination. With the help of their old dragon pal Vandal, they breach Stratovar's flying fortress and trick their enemies to fight each other, while they get away with six pieces of the Rod.note 
    6. "The Holiday Special", published on January 6, 2017, was the first non-free installment of the series (available for just $5). On the way back from Stratovar's castle, Viari realizes that one of the artifacts there was probably stolen from his own hometown of Nightstone and convinces the rest of the party to check up on it. From there, the story segues into the weirdest mix of Yet Another Christmas Carol, Saving Christmas... uh, Deadwinter Day, and a bunch of other holiday-related, if twisted aesops.
  11. Season 11 is based mostly on the 2017 adventure module Tomb of Annihilation, which is a reboot of the classic Tomb of Horrors, with some elements (like Whelm and the Yawning Portal Inn) thrown in from the Tales from the Yawning Portal anthology, also published in 2017 by the Wizards.
    1. PAX South 2017: With the AcqInc business in Waterdeep down due to recent scuffles with the Zhentarim and Binwin's retirement, Viari and Môrgæn decide to lift Omin's spirits by presenting him with the mythical sentient warhammer named Whelm—which the party first has to steal from the Zhentarim, who plan to auction it off to the highest bidder. After many hijinks and more than a little cosplay, Omin does get his hands on Whelm, but his jubilation is cut short by some very grave news.
    2. PAX East 2017: Omin's agents retrieve his sisters' lifeless bodies, only to discover that his newly-gained resurrection spells won't work—and on top of that, Jim falls prey to a necrotic curse targeting those who had been brought Back from the Dead. To discover what's trapping the souls of the dead and sapping the lives of the resurrected, Acquisitions Inc. (with the newest hire K'thriss Drow'b in tow) has to go on a quest to the Spine of the World to speak to an ancient oracle guarded by frost giants.
    3. "Enter the Trash Witch" (podcast) was a "surprise podcast" published two weeks ahead of the PAX West game. Upon learning that the source of Jim's affliction, the Soulmonger, is hidden under Chult, the party travels to Port Nyanzaru on the Battle Balloon and begins investigating. En route, Omin makes use of an infernal contract to summon a tiefling sorceress named Strix to temporarily bolster their ranks.
    4. PAX West 2017: Before heading into the jungles, Omin, Viari, and Strix help the slowly-dying Jim win a dinosaur race on a triceratops they name "18". Finally arriving in Ommu, where the Soulmonger is supposedly hidden, they fight its defenders, with Jim and 18 double-teaming a monstrous Tyrannosaurus rex. Strix saves the wizard's life, earning a release of her contract from Omin.
    5. PAX Unplugged 2017: With Rosie Beestinger magically summoned from Red Larch to replace Strix, the party ventures deeper into Ommu, where everyone except her is turned into children by a stray curse and has a fight with the Red Wizards of Thay in this weakened state. In order to enter the Tomb of Annihilation, they make a deal with the lich Valindra Shadowmantle, before going back on it and instead allying with the local yuan-ti against her.

The series now has a Best Episode crowner.

The "C" Team

Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team (teaser) is a spin-off series DM'd by Jerry and starring a party of new players as AcqInc's newest franchisees.

Season 1

The first season of The "C" Team is chronologically set roughly between PAX East 2017 (when Omin drops K'thriss off at Red Larch) and PAX Unplugged 2017 (Rosie's first stint with the "A" team) live games.

  1. The intro trilogy ("Franchise Opportunities", "The Test Market", and "In Good Standing"; animated recap) sees the "C" Team, the newest chapter of Acquisitions Incorporated operating out of Red Larch in the Dessarin Valley, arrive at their designated HQ, the Dran & Quartier inn, only to be trapped in a weird illusory world constructed by Jim Darkmagic on Omin's behest as half-aptitude test, half-hazing ritual.
  2. "Dungeons and Wagons" (part 1, 2; recap). Having successfully navigated Jim's illusion maze, the "C" Team embarks on its first official excursion to stop a band of goblins marauding north of Westbridge. Along the way, they acquire a badass cart, get embroiled in an artistic feud, and liberate a dragonborn egg that Donaar grows very attached to.
  3. "Doomgate Inn" (part 1, 2, 3). The "C" Team is tasked with providing security at a vampire party, but things take an unexpected and gruesome turn when Team Bellerophon of AcqInc gets involved. On their way back, they stumble into a subterranean monstrosity known as "the Wandering Crypt" and finally discover the true purpose of the "C" Team.
  4. Stream of Annihilation Crossover was played in the middle of the "Homecoming" arc, but chronologically fits before it. While exploring a traveling fair that made a stop near Red Larch, Donaar is separated from the party, who then find themselves teleported to a strange tomb buried under Chult.
  5. "Homecoming" (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The party receives a request to deal with a rat infestation in the town of Nemezir, which just happens to have been built upon Walnut's destroyed ancestral grove. Before long, the heroes are caught in a crossfire between the cult of the evil goddess Maelith and an illithid Elder Brain trapped in the sewers and must take sides, with dire consequences for the city.
  6. "The House Wins" (part 1, 2, 3, 4). The "C" Team takes on two competing job offers simultaneously, one asking to provide security for the river-going Dragon's Hoard casino operated by lizardfolk and one to break into its vault, and complete both after a brief foray into the Plane of Shadow. Along the way, K'thriss receives an tempting offer from Dran Enterprises, Rosie catches up with her favorite daughter, while Walnut and Donaar each get laid.
  7. The "Jimterlude" occurred in the middle of "The House Wins" arc, with Mike DM'ing for a session and the party magically summoned by Jim Darkmagic's apprentice to win the Wizard Kart for him and thus to help Jim undo a curse he accidentally put onto himself.
  8. "Last Stone's Day" (part 1, 2, 3). The party is tasked with seeing the Dran & Quartier through the upcoming Last Stone's Day celebrations while its owner is off attending her wife's latest performance.
  9. "Anchors Aweigh" (part 1, 2, 3, 4). The party travels to Neverwinter to free a young lady imprisoned in a tower, only to discover that nothing is what it seems. Along the way, they help the local AcqInc chapter, Team Naiad, deal with a merfolk problem, while Walnut and K'thriss get way over their head into some divine affairs, with the latter losing both of his eyes in the process.
  10. "Paterfamilias" (part 1, 2, 3, 4). Dragonborn princess Sorsha, the mother of the egg that Donaar rescued back in "Dungeons and Wagons" (now hatched and named Chronaar), orders the "C" Team to her notoriously xenophobic city of Skolla on the eve of a violent coup by the acolytes of the evil dragon goddess Tiamat. Although they manage to slay the cultists' leader, the party, Sorsha, and Chronaar must flee the city.
  11. "Return to Doomgate Inn" was a standalone Halloween Special, played live at TwitchCon 2017, with the party temporarily assuming the roles of the monstrous, erm, human-adjacent patrons of the reportedly haunted Doomgate Inn, whose new proprietor tasks them with retrieving a barrel of rare wine from its perfectly safe and normal cellar.
  12. "Dran Incorporated" (part 1, 2, 3, 4). The party finally finds some time to devote to pursuing their overarching goal and manages to locate the Wandering Crypt at its winter quarters northwest of Red Larch. To gain entrance into the Crypt, Walnut unleashes the Nemezir seed onto it, allowing the party to enter its bowels, fighting off its strange inhabitants, and ultimately to rescue the long-missing real Auspicia Dran.
  13. "The Night of a Thousand Hours" was a Christmas Special played live at PAX Unplugged 2017. Two weeks after Auspicia's rescue, Dran & Quartier is assaulted by changelings pursuing a "royal changeling" baby, whom the "C" Team then has to deliver to safety of the Wayrest Chapel deep in the woods west of Red Larch.

Season 2

The second season will kick off with a live game at PAX South 2018 and continue as weekly live-streams afterwards.

Spin-off games

Acquisitions Incorporated has twice dabbled in systems and/or settings other than the standard D&D:

  • Dark Sun (podcasts). Played between seasons 3 and 4, featuring Jerry as the DM and Mike, Scott, and Kris Straub (subbing in for then-regular Wil, long before becoming a regular himself as part of The "C" Team) as the players.
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (video). Played live at PAX Aus 2017 (first time at that event) in the middle of Season 11, with Mike as the GM and Jerry, Kris, Holly Conrad, and newcomer Jesse Cox as players.

Other side stories

These are side stories produced by the creators of Penny Arcade and PvP, starring the core cast of AcqInc but most likely not canon in any way:

See also Binwins Minions.