Acquisitions Incorporated is a Dungeons & Dragons party who have been the protagonist of a series of online D&D adventures since 2008. A collaboration between Penny Arcade and Wizards of the Coast, the series was originally created to showcase the then-new 4th Edition of D&D, but soon evolved into something of an improvisational comedic fantasy thanks to the fun dynamics between the players and excellent Dungeon Mastering by WOTC producer Chris Perkins.The plot centers on the (mis)adventures of the eponymous Acquisitions Inc., a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits banded together in a pseudo-corporate formation on a quest for fame and wealth. Originally consisting of The Leader Omin Dran (Jerry Holkins), The Big Guy Binwin Bronzebottom (Scott Kurtz), and The Smart Guy Jim Darkmagic (Mike Krahulik), they were later (temporarily) joined by a number of corporate "interns", a full list of whom and their associated tropes can be found on the characters page.The series began as podcasts, available through the official WOTC website, before transitioning to live events at Penny Arcade Expo events around the United States, which can be viewed here, here, and here (as well as on YouTube). All adventures to date are listed on the recap page. Another podcast was produced to showcase the newly-resurrected Dark Sun campaign setting, but did not feature the characters of Acquisitions Incorporated. Wil didn't appear, with Kris Straub subbing in, and Jerry served as the DM in place of Chris.
In Season 6, the Drow girl speaks in French. Blocked by the DM when the players translate her French.
Wil: So, she said she wants our help to steal the eye?
Chris: You have no idea.
All There in the Manual: The official Wizards of the Coast podcast did a few episodes about converting the Acquisitions Incorporated characters to D&D Next, which helps explain why everyone's abilities are so different in the PAX 2012 games. Among other things, the mechanics for Wizards were still in early beta, the new Fighter mechanics were very different, and Aeofel is technically a Cleric because an Avenger class/build hadn't been designed yet.
Badass Boast: Aeofel, all alone in hell, facing Cetrine Ambershard and a Devil lording over a fortress full of minions and artillery, makes numerous claims of how he will extract a price in blood from all of them.
Cetrine: Acquisitions Incorporated will be a footnote in the pages of history! Aeofel: Acquisitions Incorporated will not be a footnote, Acquisitions Incorporated will write the book!
Jerry/Omin is pretty good at these.
Omin: Percival, let me save you a lot of time. We're better than you. Each of us, individually, are better than you. If we all hit you at once, you will explode.
Bag of Holding: The party acquire one in season 1, although it doesn't feature in later campaigns.
Base on Wheels: The Darkmagic family manor (which isn't actually on wheels; it "merely" teleports).
Big Damn Heroes: Splug, the temporarily foe-turned friend goblin employee, pulls one at the climax of season 1 where he saves the party from another defeat.
Done epically in the first live PAX game where right after the bad guy is taunting Aeofel for how his friends have abandon them, the party appears on a hell beast to rescue him.
Blatant Lies: After hiring Viari as their new intern, the guys try not to mention what happened to their last one.
Binwin: We will always, always... protect our friends.
Jim: Don't worry. Your safety is our number one priority.
Omin: "It has been zero days since our last intern death".
Bolivian Army Ending: Never used in-game, but Jerry believes that all adventures should conclude with...
Brief Accent Imitation: Omin, when yelling for the french speaking Danielle to find the switch that controls the acid trap in Ep 6.
Omin: S'il vous plait!
Cliffhanger: "Dragons Over Easy" ends with the party attempting to sneak out of Dragonspear Castle with a clutch of eggs, past a green dragon and its minions... only to run head-on into a second green dragon. This was a result of the PAX East 2014 live show running fifteen minutes over before the party had reached the final encounter.
Content Warnings: Most published recordings of the AI's sessions are prefaced by a warning along the lines of "This podcast features adults, using adult language. You Have Been Warned."
Curb-Stomp Battle: In "Dragons Over Easy", thanks to a combination of the DM's amazing rolls and the party's poor ones, the villain ambushes the party kills Jim, Binwin and Môrgænnote They get better... before any of them can take a single action.
Defeat Means Friendship: After defeating Irontooth and his lackeys, the only surviving goblin pledges his loyalty to the party, if only so they won't kill him. He proves his worth later in the campaign.
Jim: Have we room for a new hire?
Deliberate Injury Gambit: It's a common tactic of the team for Binwin to charge in and get surrounded, whereupon Jim drops a fireball on all of them, Binwin included. Binwin is not always in on this plan but generally comes out of it looking better than the bad guys. This happened so often in Season 1 that the players joked it was an all-purpose plan: "When in doubt, set the dwarf on fire." In fact by Season 3, they've learned to use it to their advantage, where Binwin gets temp hit points when he gets wounded, and Jim gets better stats to hit enemies if his friends are in the field of attack.
Downer Ending: At the end of season three, the party hasn't helped Barton or Hammerfast, neither of the chief villains have been captured or defeated, and Aeofel is dead.
Early-Installment Weirdness: The original podcast series, which was recorded to help teach players about 4th Edition rather than purely for entertainment value. Wil/Aeofel wasn't part of the party yet, the others were still learning the rules and feeling out their characters, and half the adventure is D Med by James Wyatt (one of the lead designers on 4E) instead of Chris Perkins.
At the climax of season two, Binwin and Jim are down, and Omin and Aeofel are in bad shape as well. Omin breaks out an encounter power, but rolls a 1. With some divine intervention from Aeofel, he gains a re-roll and tries again. And rolls another 1.
In the second PAX game:
Wil: Oh yeah, so I run down the thing, and I land on top of the bear, and I, like, flip in the air, and then, as I'm coming down, I sort of, like, barrel-roll a little bit, and then I flip again, and then I come down here so I land just like this, so I'm flanking this guy. Yeah, and it's super-cool! And there's rock music playing while I do it, and I'm gleaming cubes on my way there, and as I come down, I use my Avenging Echo against him... ohhh, I rolled a 1.
In the third PAX game, Omin rolls a 1 on his first roll while the others roll well into the double digits. That roll being a Constitution save.
Wil: Is he dead? Chris: No, he's just very, very unconscious. Possibly for the rest of the show.
Viara: Friend dwarf, do you have any forge tools? Not to be racist here, but your people carry, like, forge tools around, right? Jim: Uhhh... Omin: Oh... Binwin: Wow...
Film Noir: Parodied when Omin is aimlessly wandering through the city searching for a way to get his powers back.
Gag Penis: The whole penis conversation from season two. Apparently dwarven penises are shaped like tuna cans.
"When women see it, they say it's time for some more chicken of the sea."
Graceful Loser: When the guys beat the Ambershards' gatekeeper, he willingly opens the only entrance to the manor and leaves.
Honor Before Reason: Two uses combine in the third season. First, It's Personal for Binwin when the party is raiding the home of Clan Ambershard, which had ruined the Bronzebottoms. So while everyone else wants to get the treasure and leave, he leads them straight into a confrontation with Leer, the Big Bad. This leads to Aeofel swearing his Oath of Enmity on Leer, and once that happens, he pursues even when (both in and out of character) he realizes it means getting separated from the team. Which ends with Aeofel meeting his end in an acid pit.
Hopeless Boss Fight: The first encounter with the dragon cultists in "Dragons Over Easy" is so blatantly rigged against the heroes that it was likely intended as one of these: the cultists wipe the floor with the party before they can even act, sparing only Omin, who happens to be both the leader (for whom their bloody message was intended) and party healer (who can quickly get his people back on their feet).
Scott: This isn't the first time I have double-teamed someone with a fey.
It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: For the Will and Testament of James Darkmagic I campaign, it is explained that Jim's family is not from New Hampshire, but rather the much more fantasy-sounding "Newhamp Shire".
Kiss of Death: Jim instantly bites the dust when he brazenly kisses the succubus that the party encounters in "Ark of the Mad Mage".
Player Punch: In-universe, in a meta way. The near-Total Party Kill in "Dragons Over Easy" was obviously intended as this for Jerry—and it connected real good, because the first thing he said afterwards amounted to "We are taking those bastards down—and hard."
Used by Binwin after the villain pulls a Who Are You? before the final encounter of the second season.
Binwin: We are Acquisitions Incorporated and we are here to acquire your ass!
Also, in season eight, Jim gets one (subverted in that he gets killed after saying it but before making any actions):
Jim (to Omin): Let me off the chain, boss. This dog's gotta hunt.
Running Gag: Plenty of examples. Jerry rolling ones, Binwin getting caught by traps, no one being able to pronounce Aeofel's name, Jim setting Binwin on fire, and Scott getting his teammates killed. In the 2011 Live game, every time Jim Darkmagic's cousin Olivia makes a comment, Mike mutters "Shut up Olivia."
Sadistic Choice: In The Lost Episode, when Aeofel is dangling from a rope above an acid pool where Jim is stranded, both of them almost botch a roll to grab each other's hands, so the DM rules that they grab hands but Aeofel has to decide whether to let go or to fall into the acid himself. His phobia of acid ultimately wins over the Power of Friendship. Wil and Mike get Bonus Points for actually playing this entire scene out over the gaming table.
Shaped Like Itself: When Jim is trying to describe the artifact that they're after in season 3.
Zethir: Magic coat?
Jim:Yeah, it's like a coat, but it's magical.
Shout-Out: Plenty. It's a table-full of geeks, remember?
Terrible Interviewees Montage: The Tryout videos in 2013, as Omin, Jim and Binwin interview candidates to take Aeofel's place in the party for their seventh adventure. There's a few Expys of well-known characters.
To Hell and Back: The entire plot of the first PAX game involves going to a hell plane to bring back Aeofel from the dead.
Too Awesome to Use: The magical scroll in season 2 ends up not getting used despite how useful it could have been.
Torture for Fun and Information: In "Ark of the Mad Mage", a miniaturised wizard trapped in a cage is being uncooperative, so Jim holds his new pet raven up to the cage to scare the wizard into talking. The raven leaps out of Jim's hands and eats the wizard.