- "In this business I've learned not to ask too many questions."—Commander Red
MCDM Productions presents "The Chain" is a Dungeons & Dragons livestream following the adventures of the interdimensional mercenary company known as the Chain of Acheron. The stream begins at the end of the Chain, as they take and fail their final contract. Their defeat serving as the Prologue, the campaign proper begins as they reach Capital, "The greatest city in this or any age."
The Dungeon Master is Matt Colville.
We're going to have to get our hands Tropey.
- Action Prologue: The whole first few episodes serve as an exciting prologue to the pitched campaign, that is, the Chain suffering a great defeat and recuperating in Capital.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Played with, as Capital's aristocracy has a few distinctly distasteful traits (sexism, extreme prejudice against the upstart Guilds, lust for power), but, as stated by the DM himself in the Worldbuilding streams, they'd all also be willing to lay down their lives for their city and its people.
- Badass Army: Currently downplayed by the Chain of Acheron. But they've seen better days.
- City of Spies: Capital. As The Chain's own spy pointed out, "Half of this city is spying on the other half." Basically every organization in Capital, major player or no, has some kind of information network, from the churches to the broadsheets.
- Doomed Hometown: The Commander grew up in Blackbottom which will likely not make it through Ajax's assault in one piece. That is to say, the Lieutenant who became the Commander.
- Expy: The Chain as an organization is one to The Black Company.
- Faction Calculus: The various and myriad organizations in Capital all have diverse functions and powers. The clearest dividing line splits between the wealthy, but relatively new Guilds and the politically powerful, but considerably less liquid Nobility.
- First-Episode Twist: Within two hours of the stream Ajax the Invincible appeared and in another hour The Commander was dead.
- Field Promotion: After The Commander's death, the Lieutenant gets one of these. Matt further emphasizes it by taking Phil's character sheet, crossing out "The Lieutenant" and replacing it with "The Commander."
- Good Old Fisticuffs: The Lieutenant is a pugilist, a homebrew class that combines the fist-fighting of the monk and the street smarts of the rogue.
- Happy Ending Override: In a sense. Matt's previous campaign had ended with the elven vampire Lady Sariel gathering up the Teeth of the Dragon to use to overthrow Ajax. Ajax handily defeats her and shatters the most powerful of the Teeth within seconds of her attacking.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: The Commander tells the rest of the company he's a dead man and to leave him when he's caught in Relg's grasp during Ajax's ambush.
Judge:: "I don't take orders from dead men."
- No One Gets Left Behind: Judge sums up the Chain's collective response:
- Subverted in that they do leave him after he dies and is devoured by the demon lord, Relg.
- Killer Game-Master: Averted. While three Player Characters die in the first five episodes, each death was organized behind the scenes between the involved player(s) and Matt.
- The Missing Faction: A major element to the politics of Capital is that the Prince is dead, meaning that the council that he served as a tie-breaker on cannot agree on anything, putting the city in something of a political deadlock, and that his former territory is tantalizingly up for grabs, with every major faction (including, to some extent, The Chain) wanting to move to seize them.
- In a similar vein, the Dead Lady, the woman that controls the tax income of the city, is aggressively neutral, as her only goal is to have her deceased husband revived.
- Plot-Triggering Death: the death of The Commander at the hands of Ajax sets in motion the premise of the campaign; the Chain recovering from a failed contract in the city of Capital.
- Straight for the Commander: The Commander barely lasts two rounds against Ajax's Demon Lord minion before he's the former commander.
- The City: Takes place in Capital, which is an absolutely massive Mediterranean-style city full of wonders, from flying carpet taxis to newspapers.
Hey, trope you.