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Web Animation / Thrilling Intent

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Just your average group of walking natural disasters.

"We live in a world carved by adventure, crafted by heroes and sages whose great deeds have defined generations. You come now to the Free Isles because you, too, share the spark of courage, the belief that this world must be defended — that mysteries must not remain unsolved. This is the beginning of your chapter in the ever-growing legend of humanity."

Thrilling Intent is a web series chronicling Pathfinder sessions of a group of role-players.

Actually, that's a bit inaccurate. Let's start again.

Thrilling Intent is a web series produced by a group known as The Third Wheel, which chronicle the misadventures of the adventuring team of Markus Velafi, Gregor Hartway, and Aesling (best just to call her Ashe). After being hired in Meadshire, a town entirely dedicated to allowing people to pay to be "adventurers," the three are sent to fight a monster that has been causing more slaughter than the usual costumed sheep. After beating up a creature made entirely of human remains, they end up getting arrested for being too strong to be legally considered human by dozens of guards decked out in full cardboard armor. And that's only the beginning.

This series has a few things that set it apart from most videos of tabletop sessions. For one thing, these adventures are not simply displayed as a few people sitting around a table talking - instead, the videos display a detailed map of the area, using tokens featuring detailed illustrations to represent characters. It also uses several still images on top of that to display conversations, and occasionally entirely animated cut-scenes for more cinematic moments. In addition, most of the dice rolling and other monotonous parts of role-playing games is done behind camera, leaving only the action for viewers. And while the system is Pathfinder, it is heavily house ruled, the main rule of which seems to be the Rule of Cool.

Now with a Character Sheet.

The series can be viewed here

Thrilling Intent contains examples of:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Played for Laughs with the unenthusiastic office worker in the Tax Goat Dimension, who claims that his dragon-man form is this, but says so like he's reading off a paper.
  • Alternative Calendar: No one quite sticks to a standard time-keeping system, and Kyr proclaims himself to have been born on the "17th of Duckmonth".
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: As the sprites move to different sides of the screen during conversations, this often comes into play.
  • Ambiguous Gender: While Ashe is referred to as "she" for most of the game, pronouns are rarely used and she is androgynous in appearance. To make it more confusing, Markus refers to her as a man twice.
  • Animation Bump: While most conversations and battles take place with sprites moving slightly or the pogs, there are some scenes which are brilliantly animated like Gregor's final attack against Charoth and the fight against Narn in episode 100.
  • Arboreal Abode: Ashe grew up in a hollowed out tree. Also Word Of God states that she has hollowed out a tree near the bar.
  • Art Evolution: Jackson's art was already amazing from the beginning, but as the series goes on and more characters and sprites are introduced you can really see his improvement.
  • Back for the Finale: Not exactly the finale, but characters from previous arcs are called for help during the BIG WAR arc.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Not just a single battle, but an entire arc. Shockingly enough, the final battle against Narn is completely free of fire.
  • Befriending the Enemy: A lot of the people the group fights against often end up joining them, including but not limited to: Charoth, Inien, Colvin, Horaven, etc.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Very much Gregor's mentality.
  • Body Horror: The drum in the earliest episodes is filled with people bits.
    • When Markus uses Iconoclasm his arm warps and he no longer has bones in it. Same thing happens to Zalvetta since he is bound to Xin.
  • Canon Immigrant: Jackson's version of a goblin, as seen in their Fiasco stream, was later used in the Tension stream, and mentioned again in the Tension/SPELL hybrid stream.
  • Cardboard Prison: Given it was made to convince ordinary people they were adventurers, the Meadshire prison is deliberately one. Gregor pointedly refuses to break out, despite this.
  • Chekhov's Gun: An deviously dire discharge in the form of Iconiclasm.
    • Also, the oven mitts that Kyr gives Markus and Ashe in the first episode of Romance of the Four Clans show up in the last episode.
  • Christmas Episode: The Holiday Special involves Markus' holiday of "Splendor's Eve", and the Alarani holiday "Tax Day". Most of the episode is spent running from the Tax Goat.
  • Creator Cameo: Each of the guys watch Markus' demonstration of magic in the first episode.
    • They show up again when Matt DMs - the third Tension/SPELL livestream - in the yoga room. Koh kills Jay.
    • Additionally, they all make appearances as corpses in the Dungeon Truck arc.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: With Markus, Ashe, and Gregor, respectively.
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted. Adivian attempts this with Gregor, but Gregor refuses to formalize their deal due to a lack of trust. They do still make a deal (that being Adivian will take credit for it when the Nine Shrines group puts a stop to other planes slipping into their reality, and in exchange Adivian will stay out of their way and provide occasional assistance), it's just limited to a verbal agreement.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Markus' progenitor demon is implied to be one with the way his tiefling abilities have begun manifesting. The Tax Goat most definitely is one.
  • Eldritch Location: The dimension anything reclaimed by a Tax Goat is sent to.
    • The "Space Inbetween", where Markus ends up several times throughout the series.
    • Chateaux de Harlo, Harlock's house, is covered in snow and mist, monsters that are extremely powerful and dangerous when provoked, time is stopped, and a Steward of Crowhenge Castle has made its home there.
    • Crowhenge Castle, and maybe Freeark in general.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Markus' new demon form when fighting Xin during the climax of the BIG WAR arc is arguably this.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The early episodes showed dice rolls. The series has since moved on from this as it breaks up the action and it seems most things run off of Rule of Cool anyway.
  • Enemy Mine: Narn could arguably be this when they join the group in the BIG WAR arc.
  • Fanservice: Both Gregor and Thog have lost their shirts at various points. To top it off, they get new images in conversations to reflect their now shirtless selves.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The main trio fit this description well. (Gregor, Markus, and Ashe, respectively)
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Ego: Gregor
    • Id: Markus
    • Superego: Ashe
  • Gargle Blaster: Kyr definitely qualifies as this.
  • GMPC: Kyr, most notably, although when Inien and Thog join the team they could be considered this as well. Fortunately all of them are very well done characters.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Many of the Altreian "paladins" were slaves who chose not to complete the quest that would grant them their freedom in exchange for partying forever. Averted with Ashe, Gregor and Markus who complete the quest to gain their freedom as soon as possible.
  • Hates Being Touched: Subtle, but Ashe carefully removes the hands of anyone who tries to touch her. Averted in later episodes after she opens up to others and begins to enjoy hugs and hand-holding.
    • Harlock dislikes being touched and finds hugs gross.
  • Hero of Another Story: The SPELL livestream features different characters on a different adventure, but is definitely in the same world as the main story. They even run into Dont.
    • Their Tension livestreams and the Dungeon World stream as well. Dungeon World and the first Tension stream are more tangential than anything, but as they take place in Alaran, they definitely exist in the TI 'verse. After that, supporting characters, and even the main characters on occasion, appear in the Tension Streams.
    • Their Fiasco stream, if you're grasping at straws. Though there's no actual reference to Thrilling Intent canon, Jackson's version of a goblin was later integrated into the first Tension stream.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Ashe suggests this when Markus and Kyr crowd around the corpse of a corrupted spiritfolk she killed to harvest its bits.
    Ashe: I'm starting to wonder who the real monsters are ...
  • Kneel, Push, Trip: The group attempts this frequently, with varying levels of success.
Then, during the climax of the BIG WAR arc, they defeat Xin with a truly epic one.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Lampshaded in the Village of Corpses arc, several times.
    • In the Dungeon Truck episodes, Ashe suggests the group does this. This is quickly shut down as a terrible idea.
  • Madeof Explodium: Kyr made that? Yep, definitely explosive.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The party's general reaction to learning they are back in Meadshire.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: They fight Narn, then teleport, and take a nice little breather.
  • Noodle Incident: Gregor apparently once fought a tornado. Why, and whether or not he won, is never made clear.
    • Gregor is also used to sleeping on a wooden plank surrounded by men looking down at him and has seen the effects being cooped up in a small space has on a man.
    • Markus also has a few of these moments, as details of his various adventures arise, but never the whole story.
      • Although, in episode 31, when telling the group his backstory, he hints that the majority of his tales are either embellished or completely made up.
  • Our Angels Are Different: In this setting, angels are beings of pure fantasy and chaos that can be summoned through alchemy. They exist as a collective being while up in the heavens, but different part of that being can split off when brought down to the material world. While well-intentioned, they are not uncontested pinnacles of virtue nor arbiters of morality (though they do judge the aasimar on if they break their oaths), and are just as capable of harm as other beings, partly because they don't fully understand human morality.
  • Portal Pool: Through this, you can get to the Ban Village
  • Pungeon Master:
  • Quick Nip: Ashe carries a hip flask.
  • Raise Him Right This Time: Charoth.
  • Running Gag: Markus falls down, a lot.
  • Signature Move: The gang's attempts at table-topping can be seen as this, as well as Markus' Eldritch Blast and Ashe's neck-stabbing.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: In the Village of Corpses. It was Verne. Or was it?
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Kyr and Markus get caught up in it.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Ashe's name is spelled Ash in the credits of some of the earlier episodes. Markus' pog was also originally spelled "Marcus".
    • Kyr invokes this trope by changing his name from "Kier" to its current spelling upon finding out that it is a name in Onorhant.
  • Three Plus Two: Ashe, Markus and Gregor as the original trio, with Kyr and Thog joining them shortly after Dealing With Death. Inien also tags along occasionally.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Rat gives one of these to Markus.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Markus is prone to ingesting random substances he finds, usually ending in him being poisoned.
  • Two Girls to a Team: When Inien joins the group.
  • The Unpronounceable: The bored dragon-man office worker in the Tax Goat Dimension is dubbed "Dr. Scales" by Markus because he claims his name is this. He later says two such names and apologizes to the group. The names are "Sharon" and "Ricardo".
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: The first time Markus drinks Fog Apple Extract.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: Or, as it is named In-Universe, Velafitine's Day. Markus sings a love song for most of the room, with Kyr backing him up.
  • Word of Gay: With Kyrlos after his dying thoughts were of Zeke.
  • Word of God: Third Wheel often talk about things outside on the show on their twitter.