Follow TV Tropes


Podcast / Shuffle Quest

Go To
Just guess where they're going next.

Shuffle Quest is an Actual Play RPG podcast featuring Tom Harrison (your favorite GM, the best GM) as the giant stone head Olmec, who sends his crew of Dungeons & Dragons characters into the various realms of pop culture and fiction. The cast consists of Joe Anderson (Ruddy Dayton), Gwynn Fulcher (Omie Heck), and Codex Melcher (Terok Nor). Olmec abducted Ruddy, Omie, and Terok from their lives in Faerun and sent them on a quest to save the multiverse. Allie Reid (Phia) joined the main cast in August 2018 with her own mini-arc establishing her backstory before meeting the rest of the crew in "Wolverine is Italian."

The podcast ran from July 2017 to July 2023 and contains the following primary arcs:

  • Sittin' on Chrome - Our heroes find themselves in the world of Men in Black. They are tasked by the MIB with locating a missing alien named Bill Lawrence Obb and uncover a much deeper plot involving cryptic VHS tapes and crack-dealing corgis.

  • The Hell Saga - Our heroes' next mission sends them to the action-packed realm of Dragon Ball Z. After changing species and almost immediately dying, Ruddy, Omie, and Terok must battle their way through the multiple levels of the Home for Infinite Losers and gather the Dragon Balls to wish themselves back to life. Guest starring Stephen Winchell as Master Sal.

  • Mobius Striptease - This arc takes place in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog... as seen through the lens of DeviantArt. In this version of Sonic's world, the Mobius Tree has become an erotic dystopia. Terok transforms into an anthropomorphic slow loris named Elbows, while the humans Omie and Ruddy are made into slaves. Guest starring Allie Reid as Lord Peepers the Owl.

  • Blood Highway - The SQ Crew travels to the world of Mad Max. Ruddy's sword turns into a car. Omie gets loaded up on morphine. Terok becomes known as "Fuckcrow Steve." Guest starring Ian Belknap as the Ginormous.

  • Wolverine Is Italian - Ruddy, Omie, and new team member Phia journey to the world of Marvel Comics and their minds are put into the bodies of superheroes. The bodies of other superheroes have been also hijacked by otherworldly consciousnesses, and it's up to our crew to figure everything out.

  • Such Great Heights - The crew travels to the soggy, 19th century England of Wuthering Heights and become embroiled in the Gothic machinations of two neighboring estates, the Hildebrands and the Vermillons, not to mention their own amplified emotions. Guest starring Ray Goldberg as Luella Hildebrand.

  • Shuffle Quest goes Wrestling - In order to unwind a bit, the crew jumps into the world of Professional Wrestling in middle America, adopting the personas of Phianomenal (Phia), Daughter of Helaman (Omie), and Human Fighter (Ruddy). Guest starring Adal Rifai as Rob Bot and Nathan Paoletta as Dragon Master.

  • //relic-ad.Ventures - Back on the trail of the Red Star, the crew enters the cyberpunk world of Android. The denizens of this world already seem to have the Red Star well in hand, but when the crew is shocked by an encounter with a long-lost ally, everything they knew is put into doubt.

  • Spice Up Your Life - Our heroes travel to the universe of noble houses and weird spice politics that is Dune. The Shuffle Crew is sent to investigate a rogue sect of Bene Gesserit priestesses on Arrakis, but what they find is more than they bargained for. Guest starring Jen Ellison as Hitomie Bertex.

  • Fortnitemare - The gang is sent to the already-mashed up world of Fortnite, where everyone and everything seems to be nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

  • Finale - Olmec is hijacked and brings the crew to the biggest, strangest world yet: the real one. The secrets of the Red Star Army are revealed, the truth behind the destruction of the universes is learned, and the Shuffle Crew meet their destinies. Guest starring Codex Melcher as Terok Nor.

This podcast contains these tropes:

    open/close all folders 

  • A God Am I: Olmec casually refers to himself as "kind of a god".
  • Action Girl: Omie. She's got the brass knuckles to prove it.
  • Aerith and Bob: Character names include Olmec, Ruddy, Hardcore, Funfetti, Dunkaroo, Hentai, and (Goblin) Joe.
  • Affectionate Parody: Terok's past takes place in a D&D parody of Cheers, called "Salutations".
  • Agony of the Feet: Shadow rather violently impedes Sonic's ability to run.
  • All Just a Dream: The Christmas special, maybe.
  • All There in the Manual: Tom took a vote on Twitter to determine the fate of the Mobius Tree after the SQ Crew's departure. Fans voted for Peepers to be victorious in a fight against Arouse, who he agreed to work with to improve their world.
  • Anachronism Stew: Terok's references are all over the map. Justified in that he spent most of his time in "Sittin' on Chrome" absorbing modern culture.
  • An Adventurer Is You
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The Tales From The Crypt holiday one-shot, led by Codex Melcher.
  • Animorphism: In "Mobius Striptease", Terok becomes a slow loris. However, Ruddy and Omie stay the same. In "The Hell Saga", Ruddy becomes an anthropomorphic talking dog.
  • Apocalypse How: The core premise of the story is that the characters must stop the multiverse from crumbling and different universes from crossing into one another.
  • Ascended Extra: Hardcore joins the team after The Hell Saga.
  • Back from the Dead: Pretty much all the characters in The Hell Saga.
  • Bad Boss: Corgligula, for sure.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Ruddy is the brawn (and frequent voice of reason), but it's a toss-up between Omie and Terok for beauty and brains.
  • Big Good: Olmec. Also Elohim, for Omie. Terok also follows some kind of knowledge god.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: In fan art, Ruddy is often drawn a bit stocky, while Omie is short and Terok is tall and thin.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Olmec, while already pretty huge, gets much bigger in his interior, which seems to be indefinite in size.
  • Brain Bleach: You might need it after "Mobius Striptease".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Try seeing how long the actors can go without doing it. Especially Codex.
  • Charm Person: One of Terok's tactics is to seduce the enemy. Omie manages to win over Corgligula by giving him a belly rub.
  • Compressed Vice: Terok sure does get over his cocaine addiction rather quickly.
  • Consummate Liar: Arouse.
  • Cool Starship: Olmec, if you use the term "starship" loosely.
  • Crossover: The premise of the show.
  • Darker and Edgier: "The Hell Saga", if only for the frequent gruesome deaths.
  • Due to the Dead: Omie spends a lot of her free time watching over Altea's body, waiting for the day she can take her back to her family on Faerun.

  • Eccentric Townsfolk: The citizens of the Mobius Tree. They spend their days in a state of bacchanalia. Peepers the Owl, a resident, finds it strange when they go to the ball at Arouse's mansion and no one is publicly copulating.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Olmec begins by announcing himself with a booming, reverberating voice. Then he addresses the group in a more mild-mannered way in one of his human-sized forms. "Now that you say that, I can see why you'd think this was a kidnapping... I feel really bad."
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: As implied by the arc name, pretty much everything in the world of Men in Black is chrome. Terok also gets an iPad in place of his spellbook.
  • Expy: Arouse the Mink is one for Minerva Mink from Animaniacs. Also all of "Salutations" for the cast of Cheers.
  • Fantastic Drug: Inverted. The mystical eladrin Terok gets high on crack.
  • Finishing Move: Peepers bitch-slaps the Erotic King to death.
  • Flashback: In "Blood Highway", the episodes begin with flashblacks to Terok's past in Faerun, which takes place in a fantasy version of Cheers.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Corgligula. Referred to by Omie as a "little bread butt".
  • Genre-Busting: Shuffle Quest contains as many genres as it has universes. Right now, it's at high fantasy/urban sci-fi/anime/video game parody RPG.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Terok's iPad. Unfortunately, he mostly uses it for far-right conspiracy nonsense.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Peepers wears glasses and loafers. Sneakers and gloves seem to be standard fashion in the Mobius Tree.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Terok.
  • Hotter and Sexier: "Mobius Striptease" for the Sonic World. Your mileage may vary on that.
  • I Have Many Names: Terok's identity changes the most throughout the arcs, varying from "Elbows" to "Fuckcrow Steve".

  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Bloodraven.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Terok's voice began as a bad Patrick Warburton impression. Then there's Hardcore, played by Glenn Close.
  • Organic Technology: Possibly Olmec. He's a stone head, but his facial features seem operational. He also has an elevator inside him. It's anybody's guess.
  • Origins Episode: There is a secret, unedited session zero in which the cast plays D&D as their characters before Olmec arrives. It explains everything about Altea and Goblin Joe. You can hear it if you're a Patreon donor.
  • Planet of Steves: In "Sittin' on Chrome", Goblin Joe explains that there is an entire planet of goblins in that universe. This is why he didn't change species.
  • Podcast Fantasy Casting: Glenn Close as Hardcore.
  • Reference Overdosed: Terok. Oh my god, Terok.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Tasha, Tom's character in the Christmas episode. She's always been here. Who's Terok?
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Terok/Codex.
  • Running Gag:
    • Terok getting bored with conversations.
    • Omie finding people to discuss religion with.
    • Omie getting motion sickness.
    • Ruddy getting exasperated by shenanigans.
    • Peepers meekly saying "Don't do that."
    • The increasingly creative ways they devised to kill themselves in "The Hell Saga".
    • Terok looking for the sauna inside Olmec.

  • Science Fantasy: It's what you get when you drop D&D characters into the world of Men in Black.
  • Self-Deprecation: Tom frequently makes fun of the show's concept. Codex often makes fun of themself.
  • Shared Universe: Or rather, shared multiverse. Olmec suggests that any number of fictional universes could exist within Shuffle Quest. Even that one? Even that one.
  • Shout-Out: So, so many.
  • Spell Book: Terok has one in his normal form. It turns into an iPad when he becomes Agent T.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Ginormous.
  • Team Dad: Ruddy. He's your dad. He's also an actual dad.
  • The Bus Came Back: Jicama, Salsify, and Ramp from "The Hell Saga" make a surprising return in "Blood Highway".
  • The Stars Are Going Out: Olmec reveals to Terok that the multiverse is beginning to disintegrate and entire worlds are being destroyed.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In Terok's self-description, he refers to himself as a wanderer, "on a steel horse I ride".
  • Weaponized Animal: The flaming Tasmanian Devils in "Blood Highway".
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Omie's accent is "Southern". Where in the South, nobody knows. Not even Gwynn.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The team's reaction to modernity in Sittin' on Chrome. They were so disinterested in the world around them that it screwed up Tom's ability to provide exposition.