|That guy |
Showing off how rpging works is usually done with Ham Factor Five, even by talented people. But these games are way more fun in person without most of the hamming.
I'm glad you put this up here Pillager, and I like Geek & Sundry's Tabletop a ton. I'm just having trouble watching this, or any of their rpg shows.
It seems to me like the best rpg show would be a podcast, and tell a story with only about 5% ham. Unfortunately, it would also take a lot of talent to make it interesting.
Obviously it's a lot more fun playing the game than listening to it, that's why when people are trying to make it into entertainment they have to make it funny and/or campy and/or written to be nonsensical.
I've watched a good deal of PnP sessions via Youtube, and in my professional opinion, I'd say that this particular video is about average on the ham and very high on the production values. On paper this kind of video should work, and yet, something about it seems off, very off indeed.
There's an aura of awkwardness permeating the entire session, and I think this awkwardness stems from the way it's shot - the lighting and the sound and the vaguely pretty people, to me it looks very much like a reality TV show, and this "reality showiness" sucks most of the intimacy and warmth out of their gaming session. It feels cheap, an expensive kind of cheap, like that Steampunk TV show someone posted a couple weeks back; it's too bad, to, because Vin Diesel is an awesome guy, and I'd love to see what his gaming sessions are like without all the bullshit.
I haven't listened to it yet (only seen the documentary) but Dan Harmon's potcast Harmontown sounds like a lot of fun to listen to, even if you've never played D&D like I haven't, even though I know the rules pretty well, I think, at least better than Monopoly.
It kinda sucks too.. for a little while there were all sorts of D&D bar leagues popping up and that helped get rid of the "I'm gonna be in someone's house" sort of fear I've always had of trying it out. Not that I mind being in other peoples' houses but it's still kinda weird, especially since I'd be that guy who posted an ad on craigslist looking for people to play D&D with..
And the weird part is I DO have friends who have a Settlers of Catan or a D&D or something just sitting around, and they say it's awesome, like they got it for Christmas from a friend who says it was awesome, and it's never fucking opened! It's like people plan on board game nights which just turn into drinking box wine and fuck it, let's see what's on Netflix.. that's why I never go.
My favorite is GentlemanGamer. He's got a very nice voice (no homo), and he tends to run very RP-heavy, talky games, using less common systems like Vampire, Numenara, and Call of the Cthulu.
I should also mention that I was watching a D&D dork channel the other day which has very high production values, while not being as alienating as this D&Diesel thing:
They use a lot of miniatures, with fun GoPro camera angles, music, and computer-generated visual effects. I'm actually not that keen on the session itself (at one point, a player wants to stab a mother and her child at the same time, and the DM says "you can't do that, because it's not in the rule set". Always a bad sign when the DM can't adapt the rules to a perfectly reasonable scenario!) but the time and effort they put into their videos is pretty nice.
|wtf japan |
So you'll do this and not Nerd Poker?!
for a complete storyline to fit in 30 minutes requires a lot of preparation. I expect the DM did a lot of voice rehearsing, and certainly wrote most of his content down beforehand. It was a very linear storyline that serves as an intro to something, but the DM is working far harder than anyone else here.
Vin diesel is clearly a jock who enjoys watching, and somewhat participating in nerdy pursuits. But that's why I like him; he's honest, aware of his limitations, but eager to participate. He's positive, and he has no insecurities at all. He actually reminds me a fair bit of some of my old college roomies, who were similarly down with the nerd way of things, but had enough "normal" in them to still a.) hold down a job b.) have decent relationships with women, all while c.) being honest, upright, and humble. This is probably why I've been a fan of vin for at least 12 years or so.
I recall reading about Vin's love of PnP gaming a long time ago but haven't seen much proof of it. Now that I see how he plays, which is to kind of be the crowd-pleaser, it was kind of a feeling of relief. The people he's paired up with are all nerdy and very white. But Vin also has a lot of stress for his PR efforts and has his agent to please with this video. He is forced to be stiff and he looks like he can't relax. That's where the palpable awkwardness comes in.
Thanks for posting this.
not to mention that this is all blatantly a PR effort in general, hence the hamming, but I do think there's some honesty here. That's why I like the moments when the players have to think about their actions. To reduce the risk of vin or the players seeming uncool they just cut that (and hence, the whole point of PnP) out. That's the major criticism of this, it'll set the wrong expectations for people looking to try this out. Maybe. (or maybe it'll actually help PnP gaming out, who knows)
or vin is just an idiotic meathead.
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