at last, it can be revealed . . .

So this is why I got to spend the entire weekend making a D&D 4E character without feeling guilty about it at all:

For those of you who enjoyed the D&D Podcasts, we’re recording another session on Thursday. Jim Darkmagic (of the New Hampshire Darkmagics), Binwin Bronzebottom, and Omin Dran of Acquisitions Incorporated make their return to the table, while William “Wil” Wheaton joins as the new hire, playing an unreleased class. Yes, that’s correct: we have a celebrity guest. This is the big Goddamned Leagues, people.

I loved those D&D Podcasts, because it was like listening to me and my friends play in high school. I can’t wait to actually participate in one (I’ve written a backstory that fits into their campaign, even,) and watch Jim Darkmagic set Binwin on fire firsthand. I also can’t wait to find out who the celebrity guest is, because that’s going to be awesome.

I don’t have a character generator, or a subscription to D&D Insider, so I had to create [Awesome Character Name Redacted] the old school way: on the floor of my office, flipping between the PHB and Adventurer’s Vault to make sure I was investing my limited magic item budget in the wisest way, and then double checking to ensure I had applied the bonuses correctly. I hadn’t touched the 4th Edition character creation rules before last week, and I haven’t created a character from blank paper in over a decade, so I’m pretty sure that when I get over to the Penny Arcade Secret Headquarters of Doom to play tomorrow, there may be some serious pointing and laughing at me when I show off my character sheet and my errors are revealed for all to see. I hope they don’t do it in front of the mysterious celebrity guest, because I want to make a good impression.

The process of creating my character, who I guess I can tell you is an Eladrin (because I’ve always thought high elves were cool) and is a new, secret class out of the PHB 2, awakened all these slumbering memories of some of the happiest times I’ve ever had, and I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to do this tomorrow. It feels too good to be true, you know?

Last night’s Child’s Play dinner raised over $200,000 and my harebrained idea to auction off “have a beer with Gabe and Wil and Kurtz and Khoo and The Other Mike at a bar around the corner after the auction’s over” went for $2900 and ended up being a ridiculously fun after party with Enforcers and Rock Band. Want to know how much beer I drank? One half a Double Bastard. Want to know why it was only one half? Because Sean from Harmonix bumped into me after the waiter put it into my hand and me and my friend Chris ended up wearing half of it. If anyone was wondering why I walked out of that bar, seriously soaked in and stinking like beer while staying completely sober, now you know. Goodtimes.

And check this out: because this week isn’t cool enough already, I’m going to Microsoft in about an hour to finally do a podcast with Major Nelson. OMGINORITE?!

This really is turning out to be the best week, ever, and I haven’t even disclosed the stuff that’s locked behind various NDAs.

I’m an incredibly lucky guy. I need to keep saying that so I don’t take any of this for granted.

35 thoughts on “at last, it can be revealed . . .”

  1. I saw this mentioned in the news post on Penny Arcade today.
    I cannot WAIT for this to be put up on the internet. I listend to the entire 8-part podcast for nearly 2 months straight at work…and the only way it could possibly be better is by having you join them!
    This is gonna be awesome. I’m going to break out Hero Quest and get some friends over with the new podcast playing in the background.
    Any idea about when they are gonna have it edited together and released online?

  2. I picked up the D&D podcast just for the Penny Arcade session, and as you said, it brought back memories of why I played that game (minus several generations) to begin with.
    So glad that we haven’t heard the last of Jim’s Magic Missile(tm)!

  3. I posted this on another one of your entries, but it was at the very end of the comments and I just wanted to make sure more people knew about it.
    I don’t know if you watch the internet show Pure Pwnage…but on Saturday, December 6th Troy Dixon (who plays “T-Bag” on the show) died in a car accident:-(
    So, so sad…
    If you don’t watch it, I highly recommend you do…there are currently 18 episodes out there. The more into video gaming and video game culture you are, the funnier it will be. It starts out very amateurish and silly, but around episode 4 a story line starts to really become solid.

  4. I’ve played two modules of 4e Rules .. and there was definitely a learning curve (I have an Eladrin too!) .. but the game play with miniatures is AWESOME!!
    Playing with my son and seeing him GOO all over the Skeletal Knights on the map FOR HIM to DESTROY!!! — PRICELESS!!!

  5. Wil,
    My friend and I have been playing 4e with our children. It’s been a blast. I totally have a DnDI subscription, so if you want to try the character creator, I’m sure we can work something out.
    Are you doing any public events while your in Seattle? I’d love to see you in person doing something.. you know.. cool. 😀

  6. Yep, sometimes when you create a new character, the blank sheet is the place to start.
    Very cool that you get to play with that group…plus, I also believe that the celebrity guest is you.

  7. Doood. On the floor with paper and pencil is the only way to roll. That’s why they make the PHB flat, so’s you can write on it. I dunno bout these here “newfangled’lectricWOWinspired4e” methods… when I’m yer age I’ll still use paper.

  8. Hey Wil, I’m writing a paper about how television is the best medium for storytelling, better than radio or film currently, and I’m using Battlestar Galactica as an example. I remember reading on your blog not too long ago that you engaged in a debate about BG with your barber or bartender or someone…do you have any thoughts on television as the best medium? I’d love to quote you and use you as a “scholarly/fracking cool” source on my paper. Thanks!

  9. So all of this is entirely over my head, not having played D&D before (*ducks rotten tomatoes*), but a huge congrats to you . I know enough to know that this is a big deal. And I can’t wait to hear about the other projects in the works.

  10. Yay! GO TEAM ELADRIN! I love my Cleric. She totally rocks. Have fun playing the game, today. I’m a noob to D&D, and I love 4e. Of course, it probably helps that my husband’s the DM, and he’s HAWSOME. Have a great time!

  11. Wil,
    Have you or your group ever checked out Castles & Crusades? It’s a fantasy based “rules lite” system created very much in the same vein as 1st Edition AD&D. As you may or may not know, we worked with Gary Gygax for the past 5 years before his passing in April. If you are interested in C&C for you or your group drop me an email ([email protected]), and i’ll be happy to send you some books to check out.
    Richard McBain

  12. Have fun!

    Going to be starting a campaign with my wife and sister-in-law soon.

    Been listening to the podcasts(with Mike, Jerry and Scott), to get a ‘feel’ for 4E.

  13. Wow, Wil you are the king of Geeks. I Salute You. I, once again, havent ever played these kinda things but by the time I was born they were already “not cool” anymore but if something is dubbed “not cool” then I think that its cool. And I think that YOU should be the celebrity guest. Good luck! (p.s. is Grondzilla your wife? Just curious….)

  14. I’m afraid I must disagree with the generally accepted theory above that you are the celebrity guest, Wil. You can’t be the celebrity guest, as “celebrity” is far, far below your actual status.
    Seriously, I’ve been hearing reports that you’re worshipped as a god by geeks in small developing nations. You should really get over there and check that out. Some of the virgin sacrifices are pretty hot.

  15. Damn you, Wil!!! Now I have to go out and get me some DnD books. I was resisting the urge successfully until I read your post.
    …and how the hell did you find Double Bastard??? I’ve been searching high and low for that. >:(
    …well, have fun playing, you lucky duck.

  16. You are totally lucky. Except for the fact that your luck is self-inflicted from the depths of your geeky coolness. That makes it more ‘reaping the dividends’.
    What is most awesome for you is your ability to be as geeky-cool as you want and your career not suffer. Many of us would like to use leetspeakgibberish as casually and as wantonly as you can, but us professionals have to deal with our obstacles (like bosses… or students since I’m a school teacher. Don’t want ’em asking too many probing questions.). [much envy]
    Okay, enough hero worship.

  17. Something very weird happened to me recently and it’s your fault! I’ve played many games and really like penny arcades’ humor and critic of video games, plus I’ve played a little bit of D&D here and there so I enjoyed the podcasts. Anyways, my memory for celebrity names is kinda dull, so when I read William “Wil” Wheaton and went to his blog I was thinking blah I don’t care about some guy and his blog, thinking he is some internet blog Celeb. You see, in the past couple years every now and then I decide to watch a few episodes of “The Next Generation” and I actually missed many episodes when they were on TV cause I was born in 1987. So just a few days ago I decided I’d dust off the DVDs and watch some good ol’ star trek (sorry but I’m not a huge enough fan so I’m only up to Season 5). Going through some of the special features and seeing the interviews you had back in 2001 finally got me to decide to wiki your name because I liked your acting in that “The First Duty” episode and your story about how you met Gene Roddenberry for lunch. I checked out the “writing” section and saw you had a blog, and whad’a ya know, the link took me back to your blog! AND that’s when I realized this is the same blog dude penny arcade is going to play D&D with, amazing! It was one of those crazy mind-bending philosophical moments; for me whereby I either realize my subconscious is guiding my desires and curiosity (maybe decided to watch star trek because subconsciously I saw Will Wheaton’s name on penny arcade) or my journey in life is speckled with seemingly coincidental yet improbable occurrences that may or may not be random and it makes me think about how God has a good sense of humor.

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