About 2 months ago, I watched ‘Episode 0’ of the new Geek & Sundry series, Titansgrave. It is show that follows the adventures of a number of internet and voice over celebrities as they play a brand new Role Playing Game designed, in part, by Wil Wheaton. It’s based on a game system that I had not heard of before but I enjoy G&S’s Tabletop series and have always been fascinated by RPG’s such as Dungeons & Dragons.
It may sound rather droll, the idea of watching a bunch of people roll dice and (hopefully) talk in character voices as they try and kill monsters and acquire treasure but I was super surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I even broke part of the unspoken commuting rules by bursting in to laughter on a train carriage at some of the incidents the party found themselves in (attracting some evil stares in the process from my fellow commuters in the process).
Episodes were released weekly and I slotted Titansgrave in to my weekly schedule of YouTube videos and podcasts that I watch/listen to. In waiting for a new episode one week, I stumbled across another G&S show called ‘Critical Role’, featuring a group of 9 voice over actors as they take part in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It transpires that they had been playing for roughly 2 years before they were invited to stream their sessions on the G&S Twitch channel and it went down very well and now they are continuing this on a weekly basis (Thursday nights, but 7pm USA time). Each episode was between 2.5 hours and 4 hours long, as these were streamed sessions, but I was hooked and worked my way through the back catalogue as quickly as I was able. I’m sure it a combination of the players’ personalities and that they are voice actors but the interactions between the adventuring group themselves and with DM and the characters he creates to inhabit the world are outstanding and have caused me to break out laughing on many occasions, be it to the detriment of Abi still asleep first thing on a morning, or the commuters on my train home after work. Grog and Scanlan have some particularly entertaining discussions at times.
Abi was around every now and then to watch parts of the episodes and we quickly decided we wanted to take part in a game of D&D. Unfortunately, we did not know of anyone who would be interested in playing with us, particularly on a regular basis. So, I sat down and scoured the interwebs and looked into if it would be possible to run a campaign for a solo adventurer, with me as the Dungeon Master. I found some very rough algorithms on how you can work how challenging a monster is for a party of varying sizes and so I bought the rule books and sat down to work out the first part of what would hopefully turn in to a long campaign. Abi rolled her character, a Wood Elf ranger in case you are interested, and then we sat down one afternoon and tried it out.
Full of excitement to be playing and nerves in case I accidentally killed her in the first ‘chapter’, we managed to fumble our way through bits and ended with a successful outcome. Since then we have played another 3 sessions, some longer than others, and Abi’s character is still alive and doing well and I know find myself trying to work out appropriately challenging quests to send her on. I hadn’t exactly intended to end up being a DM, but it has certainly proved entertaining in it’s own way and certainly fulfilling seeing the spine of story you had in your head evolve in to a fleshed out story with the assistance of the player(s).
If you’ve got some time to kill and fancy watching (or even just listen to) either Critical Role or Titansgrave, head over to www.geekandsundry.com and select the relevant show from the list. Titansgrave is more of a futuristic RPG, with guns and spaceships whilst still having a magical element, and Critical Role is a more typical fantasy setting, based around the D&D 5th Edition rules. Titansgrave episodes are approximately 25-45 minutes in length whilst Critical Role is a minimum of 2 and a half hours (and definitely worth the time commitment).
Thanks for bearing with me through this post. I had thought I may start to write up what happens on each stage of our adventures, even if just so that we have something to look back on and remember what happened in the early stages of the story line. I am also intending on having miniatures of characters that we can use when using maps to work out positioning during combat and exploration of dungeons. I’ll post pictures of these once they have been acquired.
Peace out x