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YMMV / Counter Monkey

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  • Awesome Ego: Tandem the Spoony, hands down. His exploits include:
    • On the journey to Wonderland, he rescued his party from a Compelling Voice with some quick thinking and an oft-forgotten bardic skill, won a duel with a twentieth level monknote  and slew a lich at the end of the journey.
    • Early in his career, he boasted that his character was the greatest swordsman in the world. This earned the ire of a master swordsman, who challenged him to a first blood duel... and lost.note  The swordsman would latter parrot this boast around similarly powerful foes, hoping to get Tandem killed, but the bard bested them all through luck and guile, finally shutting him up after slaying a ten-foot, tree-wielding gladiator.
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    • On a comeback adventure, he initiated the fight between the party and the Black Dragon by insulting it. Tandem ended up striking the decisive blow by stabbing it in the spine, crippling it enough for his fellows to finish it off by shooting lightning through Tandem's rapier directly into the dragon's spinal column. To top it off, the entire party was unscathed by the dragon's attacks.
  • Awesome Music: There are now Episode Title Card intros for the videos featuring "The Bard's Song (In the Forest)" by Blind Guardian, sometimes replaced by the van Canto cover.
  • Broken Base: His "3d6 In Order" video and mindset has its fans, while others strongly disagree with an old-school thesis that, by Spoony's own admission, doesn't really work for any version of D&D after Second Edition. (The game is currently in its fifth iteration.) Similarly, some agree with his assertion that the use of other systems of stat generation that result in generally higher and stabler stats caters to powergamers and munchkins and encourages a toxic mindset of play, while others complain that using Honest Rolls Characters frequently screws over players who come to the table with an idea of what class they want to play, since the chance of rolling up stats completely opposed to their concept is high. Notably, an Honest Rolls Character has a less than one percent chance to qualify for some classes even in the editions of the game more friendly to it.
    • His review of 5th Edition D&D was full of Back In My Day and The Reason You Suck against modern players. His Nostalgia Filter is turned Up to Eleven when he complains about the lowered lethality of the game compared to 2nd Edition. note 
  • Complete Monster: Tempus Thales, from the Thieves World story, is the most powerful soldier in the Ranken Empire, and only finds joy in war, murder, and rape. Charged with keeping the peace in the city of Sanctuary, he is initially an ally to the players, torturing twenty guards to death for robbing them. He then starts sending the players on jobs for him, planning on overthrowing the Ranken Prince in charge of the city with their help. Both Tempus and Noah's plans for the players are ruined when one of the players accidentally hits Tempus in the face with acid. His patron goddess then refuses to heal his face until he gets revenge on the players. When Tempus gets fed up with his failed attempts to catch the players, he starts taking more extreme steps, bringing in the Ranken military to brutally punish anyone who breaks the law. He then publicly declares that he will kill a random person every day, before brutally raping one of the players' Love Interest to death, and enacting a massacre on the citizens in the ensuing riot. When the players finally confront him, Tempus kills one of them, declaring that everything is their fault for not turning themselves in, and rips out and eats the heart of another to reclaim his healing.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Whenever Spoony wants to see how "the Original Dungeons and Dragons did things" he gets out the Rules Cyclopedia. The Rules Cyclopedia is part of the Basic Dungeons and Dragons (aka BECMI) line, which are actually a separate product. The Original Dungeons and Dragons (OD&D) rules are only contained in the booklets of the White Box set, which is actually on Spoony's shelf in some of the older videos.
    • He also didn't really research the Castle Greyhawk module, which he attributes to Gygax to demonstrate how poorly the man made modules, was in actuality written by numerous people with no contribution from Gygax himself.
    • In "Circle Strafe" Spoony complains that DMs don't make dragons don't fight intelligently, because a dragon who fights smart will make for a very difficult opponent and will probably wipe out the party, and as part of that rant he quips "it ain't like fucking Skyrim." As anyone who's played Skyrim can attest, dragons are difficult fights: dragons fly around and strafe enemies with their Breath Weapon, only landing briefly (and even then they specifically go for out-of-reach places like rooftops) unless they're critically injured, the only way to fight them in the air is with magic or a bow, and even in melee they're very powerful (with a bite attack that's pretty much a One-Hit KO). In other words, Skyrim dragons fight exactly the way Spoony says dragons should fight, and unless the player is a mage or keeps a good bow on-hand, they're going to be very challenging for much of the game until you get Dragonrend.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • In the Thieves' World saga, after Tempus Thales skullfucks an innocent woman to death, the PCs decide to make their rebellion against the Prince a bit more brutal. So much so that Spoony himself is wary of his companions' mental stability.
    • Inverted in Shadowrun: The Code; rather than the players being disgusted with their DM, Spoony was horrified by the players executing helpless security guards and hurling their bodies outside, calling in the Godzilla Threshold immediately thereafter.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: He recounts in "Tandem's Last Ride" that he dislikes when players refer to each other simply by their classes and/or race. Many years earlier in the board game Dragon Strike that he reviewed, the game itself does not assign names to the characters other than the villain and the king; they are simply Warrior, Wizard, Thief, Elf, and Dwarf.
    • Half-this half "embarassing in hindsight", at the age of 10 he created a D&D character named Lance Stormshield.
    • In "Thieves's World Part 2", when discussing how to kill Tempus Thales, he quotes an NPC who asks "How do you want to do this?" Fast forward a few years and that becomes another DM's signature Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Most Annoying Sound: The guy sitting near the camera in the D 20 Live session, who spends about a half-hour repeatedly making forced and unfunny references to Skyrim in a blatant attempt to draw the players' attention.
  • Mr. Fanservice: As a character, Tandem the Spoony generally portrays himself as a dashing, swashbuckler type. In the ConBravo D 20 Live game, the party is tasked with escorting their host's daughter - an attractive young woman - around town. Spoony's reaction? Without saying a word, he removes his hat and shakes his hair down.
    Big Mike: Good God, man, tone it down a notch!
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • All of "The Toilet Pizza." To whit; a tale of a pizza he mysterious found wedged in the back of a bathroom stall that was so stale that it had become solid. And then he tricked another player into taking a bite.
    • He spends a fair time of "Vegan Steve & The Djinni of Jengai Fomogo" discussing how the group usually ordered pizza from a Peter Piper Pizza next door, because none of them wanted to leave the game for very long, except the pizza they made was extremely greasy and disgusting, to the point the slices were limp in their hands and toppings would slide off. He claims he once put a napkin on top of a slice and it dissolved from the grease. He also calls attention to the fact that a benefit of having pizza for their game was that it could be eaten cold; thankfully he does not describe what pizza like this tasted like after it had cooled.
  • Pet-Peeve Trope:
    • Spoony is obviously no fan of Villain Protagonists, feeling that they're usually created an excuse for player(s) to act like violent, psychopathic assholes and disrupt the game For the Lulz. He devoted one whole video ("So You Want to Be Evil") to shooting down the conceptnote , spends portions of several Vampire: The Masquerade videos complaining about how the current World of Darkness setting practically forces you to play a completely unsympathetic character, and of course "Shadowrun: The Code" is all about him taking his revenge on a party who went kill- and torture-happy for no good reason.
      • To a more general extent, he has difficultly putting up with the Chaotic Neutral alignment altogether because people tend to abuse it as the "do anything they want" alignment without dipping into the "evil" categories. He even admits to turning down one player's character of said alignment, even though it was very well made and appropriate for said alignment... even though he follows up with stating that, like most Chaotic Neutrals, said character really had no motivation to join an adventuring party.
    • He also hates the attempts to add balance and prevent death later editions of ''Dungeons and Dragons" put forth, feeling that making things too easy takes away from the accomplishment of actually getting a high-level character.
    • Munchkins and Min-Maxing. Spoony feels like an interesting, flawed backstory makes a great character, not high stats. He even has a book for using 3d6 dice rolls to determine a character's backstory and flaws virtually at random. He even notes, the few times a player got undesirable rolls from that book, Spoony told the player they didn't have to keep it. The players inevitably chose to keep the bad rolls anyway, since it got their wheels turning.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: At the start of "The Jedi Hunter", Spoony says that he hesitated to tell the story for this reason, remarking that his character's anti-Jedi tricks seem a lot less clever nowadays because later Star Wars media like Knights of the Old Republic popularized a lot of the same ideas.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guy: Spoony can be hard to watch when he gets into a grind of shouting about how spoiled modern gamers are and how much less challenging modern games are... even though cooler heads would generally say this is because modern tabletop games are better-designed rather than simply easier.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: For better or worse, Spoony is firmly a child of AD&D second edition. Many of his complaints about modern versions of the game sometimes struggle to stay on-topic and avoid going into great detail about how modern players are mollycoddled babies who don't have to earn their fun.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Some fans recommend watching the Thieves' World episodes last for this reason.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Discussed in "Beware the Woman, For They Come From Hell", where he talks about the trend of female NPCs in D&D being Always Chaotic Evil (especially if they act attracted to any of the players) and suggests that the DMs who do this have some issues with women.

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