Vicki: Some of us, yes. I'm the some of us.
Maq: Some of us dramatically describe our outfits for five minutes.
Jemjammer is an actual-play podcast set in the Spelljammer setting of Dungeons & Dragons. The game is DMed by Kit Walker, and the players are Mackenzie "Maq" Weaver, Annie Craton, and Kit's mom Vicki. The podcast launched in 2018 after three of the ladies put their Jem and the Holograms fancast The Jem Jam on hiatus due completing the animated series and comics.''
Our story begins after a strange and fantastic series of falling stars land in the wilderness surrounding the coastal city of Stormhaven. Three part-time adventurers—the boisterous elven bard Cacophony (Maq), the no-nonsense aasimar cleric Jylliana (Annie), and the stoic human ranger Ælfgifu (Vicki, pronounced "Alviva")—come across a disheveled woman trying to reach one of the landing sites. As they help her they discover the stars are actually ships that sail beyond the limits of their planet, and soon they are embroiled in a cosmic adventure.
This podcast contains the following tropes.
- Absolute Cleavage: Cacophony is introduced wearing a tunic with a very deep v-cut.
- Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: Cacophony pronounces Alana's name differently every time she says it. (Alana, Alana, Elana, etc).
- Accidental Truth: While Max explains why the Vodoni royal family has a grudge against him, Wyn jokingly asks him if he's secretly a prince. The party is floored to find out that he actually is.
- Action Girl: All of the party, naturally.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Oft-stoic Jylliana can't help but burst into giggles because of The Spicy Tuba.
- Adventure Towns: Stormhaven is both a coastal shipping town and surrounded by dangerous swamps and forests, which has made it a natural hub for adventurers and bounty hunters.
- Alien Lunch: Ælfgifu goes to a space station pub for lunch and orders the chowder. It looks at her funny.
- Archer Archetype: Ælfgifu is more closed off than the other women in the party, and she's a ranger.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: When Jyllana asks how you can get tides in space.Grak: How do you get a big rock in space? It just is. LET'S GO!
- Badass Preacher: Jylliana is the group's cleric and operates out of a temple, but she's also the only party member wearing plate armour and wields massive hammer. She also has spells that can, and have, completely disintegrate opponents.
- Beast Man: Mr. Hurst is a Giff, or hippopotamus-man.
- Big "NO!": The moment Cacophony asks about The Spicy Tuba instrument, everyone in the pub does this.
- Brick Joke: In episode 8 Cacophony mentions having faced a giant sewer octopi in her past. She and Jylliana also get sidetraked by the word's grammar (Jylliana says "octopi" is plural, Cacophony tries to correct to "octopodes". In the next episode they encounter one tentacular, beaked creature.Jylliana: Oh my god! Sewer octopodes!
Cacophony: I told you!
- Blob Monster: The party encounter several oily slimes in the sewers of Port Meridian.
- Boom, Headshot!: In "Starfall", Alana's gun disintegrates one of the the giant spiders in a single shot.Ælfgifu: Cacophony, next time we let her go first.
- Celestial Body: The constellates are beings hundreds of miles wide and made of light that live in Wyldspace, and are seen as constellations from planets. Jylliana sees the Serpent Constellation from the deck of the Kestrel, and it looks back at her.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Aelfgifu cannot remove her Ring of Flight once it starts sending her back and forth between planes. Cacophony says it's either cursed or she just needs butter.
- Concealed Customization: Jylliana states she's only going to wear the helmet she found at the end of episode 7 if she can toggle the display on and off.
- Cool Helmet: Inverted. Jylliana loots the Space-Fun Helmet. While it does reveal invisible objects and give advantage on saving throws, it also makes her look like an asshole.
- Cool Starship: The Kestrel, the ship that brought Alana and her crew to this planet.
- Costume-Test Montage: Episode 19, "The Shopping Episode", is entirely one of these as Cacophony takes Jylliana and Aelfgifu on a spree to try on dresses before the Space Prom.
- Crossover: Episodes 15 and 16 are a crossover with associated podcast The Fallen Gods.
- Crossover Ship: Tuatha lusts over Lachlan during The Fallen Jammer.
- Dance Party Ending: The Fallen Jammer crossover ends with everyone dancing at the Pub. Jylliana dances with Lachlan, Tuatha with Mr. Herst, Mara with Flint.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Jylliana has dark skin but platinum blonde hair, which causes her to stand out despite her wanting to blend in.
- Death World: Herena is a planet covered in sandstorms and hosts a dead civilization. The only living things there are treasure hunters and World Eater cultists.
- Dem Bones: The Kestrel encounters a ship crewed by animated skeletons in episode 5, aptly titled "Ghost Ship".
- Didn't Think This Through: In attempting to get some soldiers out of his way, Artie casts gusts of wind and blows out all the candles (the only light source) and creates a perpetual gust of wind inside an already cramped and busy room.Artie: I don't know how to turn it off...I just wanted some tea.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Jylliana has begun having dreams of a shadow spreading across the sky prior to the story's beginning.
- Drop the Hammer: Jylliana wields a large hammer in battle.
- Establishing Character Moment: The fact that the first thing Maq mentions about Cacophony is her giant bosom is a clear indicator for both of them.
- Fantastic Racism: Unfortunately prejudice against Half-Orcs is present in many spheres, though some are better than others and there are many that don't judge them at all. Lachlan points to his home of Eberron as a place where they're looked down on but not necessarily persecuted. He faced playground bullying for being half and half, but had loving parents. He also wants to find an all-orc city out in space.
- Flash Step: Cacophony knows Misty Step and is able to use it to escape a room full of fighting soldiers in episode 27.
- Full-Name Ultimatum: After Annie finds out that Kit wasn't keeping track of a real spellcaster in a group of illusory ones and just rolling a dice to see if the party hit the real one.Annie: Kittington Middlename Walker!
- Gag Boobs: Maq is sure to mention Cacophony's giant bosom when first describing her.
- Ghost Ship: Episode 5, "Ghost Ship", has one manned by animate skeletons.
- Giant Squid: Maq had a run-in with a sewer octopus before joining the party. Later when the party encounters a grick (which is really more of a giant worm with tentacles), they consider it one.
- Giant Spider: The first monsters the group encounter is a trio of giant spiders. This is just a taste of the neogi, giant alien spiders that can control minds and breed by having their young burst from their corpses. The party has to fight them after they attack Alana's ship.
- Grail in the Garbage: The Dragonlances were legendary artifacts that were all said to have been destroyed. Finn's been using one as a spit in his kitchen, and it isn't discovered until the Fallen Gods party arrive.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Grak the Dohwar (penguin-person) joins the group in "Port Meridian", played by Rio.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Cacophony gets these when she's possessed in episode 18.
- Hate Plague: Blackjammer's Sword can cause one when it's wielded without proper protection.
- Have You Seen My God?: One of Jylliana's early plots is dealing with her connection to Ethla being interrupted due to her travels in wildspace.
- During the Fallen Gods crossover, the two parties find Sister Takaris, a cleric to Mishakael who began to go mad when the gods of Krynn (including her own) disappeared. It doesn't help when she shows up on Lunitari worshipping a new god: the World Eater.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Grak is wearing one in their first appearance. It's their only article of clothing.
- Heroic BSoD: Jylliana has one when she tries to pray at a shrine to Ethla and hears nothing. This is furthered by one of the groundskeepers nearby informing her that most gods can't hear their subjects in wildspace and vice versa, which shakes Jylliana to her core because she's always been able to feel her goddess.
- Hollow World: Kofuspace is a sphere where every planet is like this. Since nearly the whole sphere is solid, the planets are actually concave bubbles within the solid material.
- I Am the Noun: When asked if she needs to buy healing potions, cleric Jylliana replies "I am the healing potion".
- Intimate Healing: Jylliana ends up falling into this several times with Max, such as cradling his head or touching his shirtless torso to cast Cure Wounds.
- Instrument of Murder: The turtle bartender of the Spicy Tuba also has a tuba on display, which you must never ask him to play. Because when he does, he activates the flamethrower inside.
- "Join the Army," They Said: While fighting the giant spiders in episode 1.Jylliana: Leave the convent, they said. Go to Stormhaven, they said. Travel the world, they said. Nobody ever said anything about the giant spiders. You can't convert the giant spiders! You just have to deal with them!
- Jumped at the Call: Cacophony is eager to be hired by Alana to find the fallen stars.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Cacophony's hair is usually blue, but changes colour often.
- Lame Pun Reaction: After Cacophony uses one in the form of "Vicious Mockery" against some slimes ("Slime flies when you're in the sewers"), Vicki asks if there can be a penalty for bad puns. Annie points out that the puns have been getting better and worse simultaneously.
- Large Ham: This is the only level on which Cacophony operates. Maq also falls into this while describing Cacophony's actions.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After an extended break between episode five and six, Jyllana jokes that the docking procedure they began in the previous episode felt like it took eight weeks to complete.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: As they're leaving Krynn, Jylliana stops in a bookstore and buys the Dragonlance novels because she likes historical fiction.
- Lizard Folk: Finn the cook is a Kobold.
- Loud of War: When ambushed by bandits, Jylliana uses the spell Thaumaturgy to increase her volume to "voice of god" levels, then shouts at the bandits until they flee in terror.
- The Makeover: Cacophony insists on doing hair and nails for her companions before the Space Prom. It's more this for Aelfgifu than Jylliana, as Aelfgifu has no real concept of fashion, has never conditioned her hair, and only bathes occasionally.
- Magic Music: Cacophony can do this with her viol by nature of being a bard.
- Malicious Misnaming: Captain Ridian refers to The Kestrel as "The Pigeon".
- Macross Missile Massacre: Tuatha tries to dispel the undead magic on the dragon, but fails and uses the Wild Magic...unleashing a volley of Magic Missiles instead.Kit: You know in Mechwarrior where you fire all your weapons at once?
Annie: Yeah it Robotechs! It Macrosses!
Kit: You Macross this fucking dragon.
- Mood Ring Eyes: Cacophony can change her eye colour at will, including giving herself heterochromia.
- Motion Capture Mecha: Not a mech, but the Kestrel is piloted by a person plugging themselves into the ship's helm and maneuvering it with their arm gestures. It makes drinking a glass of water somewhat difficult.
- My Nayme Is: Ælfgifu is pronounced "Alviva".
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Navarres was investigating something called "the World Eater" and its associated cult, who are responsible for the attack on Stormhaven.
- Never Live It Down: Cacophony almost died to a carpet.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Stormhaven is attacked by Draconians, which are undead dragonborn-like abominations.
- No Indoor Voice: Cacophony shouts a lot, to the point where Kit has her re-do stealth rolls on occasion to see if anyone heard her exclamations.
- Nonindicative Name: Episode 22, "The Spicy Tuba", does not feature the titular pub until the last few moments. While Jylliana and Cacophony try scheme to have the bartender play said instrument, the episode ends just after they ask him and can discover why Kara warned them not to.
- Noodle Incident: Cacophony, Ælfgifu, and Jylliana have had a few adventures before the story proper starts, on account of the players having adventures with the characters as well. One such mission mentioned to Alana involved stopping a murderous scarecrow rampaging through town.
- No Ontological Inertia: After Sister Takaris is taken out, all her copies and her Draconian army disintegrate painfully or explode.
- No-Sell: Mr. Hurst is stuck in a pool of acid, but resists it so much he only takes 1 damage each turn. It's basically vinegar to him.
- Not Good with People: Ælfgifu was raised predominantly in the wilderness and isn't used to other people, preferring the company of animals. She's certainly tried to associate with others, but she still finds her companions quite bewildering.
- Obvious Trap: The suits of armour in Spider Chateau. Jylliana predicts that they'll activate when the party passes their line of site. When Grak tosses a rock past them they attack, and Jylliana and Cacophony high-five.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Ælfgifu's earliest memories are of a caravan she and her parents were on being attacked and her parents dying. After that she was raised by a kind man in the woods.
- Overly Long Gag: When the group is ambushed and Cacophony has to rouse everyone from their sleep to fight back, Jylliana spends a good five minutes waking up and gathering up her stuff. It almost lasts into the fight itself!
- Perplexing Plurals: An odd inversion where Cacophony briefly uses "octopi" to refer to a singular sewer octopus.
- Punctuated Pounding: How Aelfgifu kills Takaris.Aelfgifu: I! *slash* Have had! *slash* Enough of you! *stabs her through the head*
- Refuge in Audacity: After blowing their cover twice while trying to sneak into the White Manor, the away crew is able to approach the front door directly without getting attacked because the guard is so dumbfounded that he just wants to see how things play out.
- Running Gag:
- A side-effect of Cacophony's Eladrin moods is that each session has her determine a personality trait and flaw. At the beginning of the story her trait is that she craves chocolates and fine wines, and her flaw is being so generous that she gives things away to the point that she runs out of supplies. Thus, many scenes involve Cacophony pouring wine into a goblet and handing it off to her friends and acquaintances for almost no reason at all.
- Jylliana's armor makes her bad at hiding. She goes "clink clank clonk".
- Mr. Herst trying to build houses of cards. He used to do it in the wardroom, but after several instances of them collapsing in there he's moved them into his quarters.
- Schmuck Bait: As soon as Kara tells her not to let the barkeep play The Spicy Tuba, Cacophony starts trying to devise a way to get him to do so.
- Shipper on Deck: Mr. Hurst is happy to help Jylliana and Lachlan get together, and eagerly agrees to carry her up the stairs if he ever catches her starring wistfully at him while driving.
- Shout Out:
Annie: You magnificent bitch! You did the Hook thing!
- When the party is ambushed whilst guarding the Kestrel, Cacophony bluffs that the group are searching for a white hart to become queens of the land.
- While Jylliana is trying to wake up at this time, Ælfgifu calls out "Danger Will Robinson!"
- While searching for a way out of the sewers in "The Catacombs" and Cacophony finds a secret door, Annie can be heard quietly chanting "secret door, secret door, secret door!". The chant returns in episode 26.
- When Captain Ridian starts to go up the stairs, then turns to a footman and says "where's the carpet?" Then the footman stomps on the stairs and the stairs flip around to reveal a red carpet surface. In real life, Annie slams on her table.
Maq: He's not throwing away his shot!
- When they find Blackjammer's Sword, it's described as "old as balls".
- When Kit rolls an intelligence check to see if a guard in episode 26 does something stupid. He does.
Rio: When you're young scrappy and hungry you just have to go for it.
Maq: He should really learn to wait for it, Rio.
Annie: *deep sigh*
- Space Station: Port Meridian, which is built into an asteroid.
- Space Whale: The Kestrel encounters a pod of these, called Kindori, in "Into the Void".
- Spy Catsuit: Cacophony has a red and black one for stealth missions. It pairs with black two-inch heels (as opposed to higher, glittery ones in her regular apparel).
- Survival Mantra: "Ethla knows that we are weak and yet she asks for strength" is Jylliana's, presumably a prayer to her Goddess Ethla. Later it's mentioned that she's expanded to muttering the entire holy text while inside the neogi ship.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Lachlan definitely didn't try to dock too hard during his first stint as a Spelljammer crewman, and certainly didn't cause it to burn up on entry.
- Take Over the World: In the backstory the Vodoni Empire tried to conquer the universe under Emperor Vulkaren's rule. They've calmed down since then, but the royal family and it's associates still try to get a hold of powerful artifacts in the hopes that they can jumpstart the conquest again.
- Technologically Advanced Foe: Alana is this to the giant spiders from the first episode, since she has a gun that can disintegrate them. They're not sure how to react to that after it happens.
- Tempting Fate: During the Jemjammer crossover, despite almost everyone causing distracting noises—Tuatha hurling fireballs and talking loudly, Cacophony tripping on her heels and hitting something metal, Mr. Herst being a giant hippo man—the Draconians on Lunitari repeatedly fail their perception checks and ignore the group.Jylliana: Maybe we can get out of this without anybody noticing us.
Solvin: *fires arrow, hits Draconian dead on*
*Draconian screams in agony, and Jylliana immediately looks at Tuatha.*
- Transflormation: Mr. Hurst is encased as wood seemingly as a precautionary measure after the Kestrel crashes.
- Unflinching Walk: Cacophony does this as she sets the neogi ship to explode, though rather than a walk it's a slow-motion run. Again, while the others run at normal speed.
- Verbal Tic: Cacophony calls others "my dear" and "my love" quite often. Jylliana doesn't like it.
- Wall Master: The party encounter one in episode 7 in the form of a rug monster that tries to eat Cacophony.
- Waxing Lyrical: When they land at Port Meridian and try to figure out what to do, Cacophony declares that the proper action is to find a girl named Brandy and tell her she might be a fine girl, but your life, your lover, your lady...is space sea.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jylliana is afraid of spiders, which is a concern when the first encounter the group faces is a group of giant spiders. And gets even worse when she finds out the creatures that attacked Alana's ship are neogi, who are giant, mind-controlling spiders.
- This is actually a fear shared with Jylliana's player Annie, though it's been confirmed that it's at a level she's okay with.
- Wine Is Classy: Cacophony's mood in the first session drives her to crave classy wine, so she buys a bottle and four goblets for her and the party. And anyone else she can hand the wine off to.
- With Catlike Tread: When Vicky asks why Annie keeps failing stealth rolls, she points out that Jylliana is wearing noisy chain mail. This lack of stealth comes up a few times.Annie: I go clink clank clink clonk!
- Wrong Context Magic: The Ring of Flying that Aelfgifu looted from Krynn has unwanted side effects when taken out of it's sphere of origin, something the gods there are notably capricious about. It causes her to blink in between her own reality and the Feywild.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time works differently in the Feywild, with events over there occurring faster than those on the normal plane.
- You Owe Me: A lot of information exchange works like this in Port providence. Xilwin sought out the reason behind Aelfgifu's disappearances, and in return indebted herself to the proprietor of Club Gehenna. Upon informing Captain Bondar of this situation, she's greeted by a loud "You did what?!"Jylliana: At least it wasn't me this time.