Wil Wheaton’s 2009 Dwarven Dungeon Delve of Doom! Benefitting the Child’s Play Charity

I'm about to head out to RinCon, and before I left, I wanted to make sure I let everyone attending know that I'm doing what I think will be a pretty awesome fundraiser for Child's Play while I'm there.

First, some history: Way back in the olden days, when 8 bits were enough to blow your mind on a 13-inch television and digital watches were a pretty neat idea, the concept of the Dungeon Delve was born. It's pretty straightforward: a group of players and a Dungeon Master sit down together, and the players have 45 minutes or so to make it through the end of a short dungeon, while the Dungeon Master does his best to kill them. The delve ends when the players defeat the final boss (or solve the final puzzle, or something like that), the time limit is reached, or the players all die horrible but noble and heroic deaths.

It's different from the collaborative storytelling experience that we experience in my regular D&D games, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun, and the time limit makes it perfect for running at conventions.

So, with that bit of historical context in your heads, allow me to announce …

Wil Wheaton's 2009 Dwarven Dungeon Delve of Doom! Benefitting the Child's Play Charity.

I'm going to run two delves; one on Friday at 6pm and one on Sunday at 12pm. There are five spots open for each delve, and they'll be available on a first come, first served basis starting on Friday when the con opens. 

Because I'm doing this to benefit the Child's Play Charity, I'm asking for a $50 donation to get into the game. For that donation, you get:

  • A "very special, very awesome" gift bag from my friends at Wizards of the Coast. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I talked to my friend there yesterday, and OMG is it going to be awesome. And special. But mostly awesome. 
  • Your very own set of dice to take home with you, engraved for the occasion, and provided by the good people at Gamestation dot Net.
  • Your old pal, Wil Wheaton, as your Dungeon Master.
  • You'll also be supporting an absolutely wonderful and worthy charitable organization.

We'll provide the characters, the minis, the dice (though you are of course welcome to use your own) and the dungeon. All you have to bring is your imagination and a donation to Child's Play.

To get into the game, all you have to do is sign up at the main registration desk before the available slots are filled. Even if you've never played D&D before, you can still have a lot of fun, in a relaxed and non-serious environment, with players and a DM who will certainly help you understand what's going on.

I'm pretty sure these spots will fill up very fast, but even if you can't get into the game, there will be space to come and watch us, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

97 thoughts on “Wil Wheaton’s 2009 Dwarven Dungeon Delve of Doom! Benefitting the Child’s Play Charity”

  1. Excellent idea! I can’t wait to see how well this works out!
    I’ve got a site and blog about the positive promotion of roleplaying games (including using RPGs for charity) – http://www.theescapist.com – and I’ll make a post about this over there to help spread the word, and the idea!

  2. This is a wonderful, wonderful idea. I’ll second the people above who want this at PAX next year (or Emerald City ComiCon, for that matter), and I hope that there are other celebrity DM’s out there who would be willing/able to do this or similar events to help benefit Child’s Play. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if every member of Acquisitions Inc were auctioning off their DMing skills for charity at an event together? I see world-saving potential here…

  3. Regrettably, I will only be down in Tucson on Saturday only due to both short on funds and a Marvel home game on Sunday. However, Wil, I intend to see you there plus a few other things. Best of luck with the Delve and if I had spare change to toss into it I would.

  4. Indeed I am. Just waiting on 3 of my friends who are waffling on whether or not THEY are going before I buy tickets for the group. Easier to make 1 trip to the box office than 4. :)

  5. ::Grumble:: Another event that’s a bazillion miles away from my location. I’m starting to feel like there’s some sort of Con Nazi, screaming “No D&D Con event for you!” But I’m not gonna go there again, promise.
    It’s really awesome that you’re playing to benefit Child’s Play. They’re another great organization and I really commend you for doing this benefit for them. A lot of sick kids will be able to feel a little more at home while they’re hospitalized because of you and everyone who buys in on a game ticket with you. You really are a nice guy, Wheaton.

  6. Hahaha! I take it that you’re a fellow East Coaster too, huh? Wil and I have been debating about this for ages, and after one night when I had way too much to drink I said some things that weren’t very nice so I promised him that I’d knock it off. I guess eventually I’m gonna have to scrape up a crapload of nickels and dimes to get my butt out to see him at an event on the West Coast. If the mountain won’t come to the East Coast, then I suppose we’re just going to have to take the East Coast to the mountain – AKA Wil. It’ll be worth every penny, at least IMO.

  7. Another model you and Child’s Play could consider would be auctioning off the seats in one of a couple of events. Bet they’d go for more than $50 …

  8. That’s really cool, Wil, I hadn’t heard of that charity. I love the Amazon link, too. We won’t be able to make it to Rincon, but I’ve already donated some games to the local hospital. Thanks :)

  9. Wil, this is such a terrific idea. I hope it turns out well and that you can keep on running events like this, so that one day, in a fiscally generous future, I might be able to witness, or, gasp, participate in such a thing.
    Regardless, be sure to tell us all about it on here if people are willing to let you and if you have interest.

  10. Digital watches will always be a pretty neat idea, especially for those of us who don’t automatically know whether it’s AM or PM when we wake up…. just sayin’!
    Sound like a cool event, hope it goes well for all involved.

  11. I would give my right nut to play D&D with you Wil…
    OK… maybe not the right nut… but damn that would be cool!
    Can’t wait to see you at W00TSTOCK
    Bill Teeple
    San Jose, CA

  12. This sounds like an awesome time, and if I were not at the other end of the country, I’d be sorely tempted to come. But a total of $500 for Child’s Play doesn’t seem like that much for the level of awesomeness that will doubtless be present at this thing. I think next time you do this (because it will surely be a huge success and a regular thing you do at least once a year from now on), you should also charge a significantly smaller, of course) donation for front-row seats in the audience. People should still be able to come see it free, of course (well free excepting whatever it costs to attend the convention, anyway), but ringside ought to come at a premium. Say $10/person, if its $50 for a seat at the table itself.

  13. Cool. You’ve got me thinking about this now too. :) Similar sort of thing but with a limited number of players at once. When one character dies the player gets a score and a new player sits in. At the end of the event prizes are given to the high scorers and with the extra players throughout the day the funds raised for the charity should be higher. Especially if the GM is a bastard. :)

  14. Hey Wil,
    Didn’t have any other way to ask you, but October 17-18 I’m gaming for 24 hours for charity – the Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Center is again the beneficiary of Extra Life. I won’t be table-top gaming, but I’ll be playing WoW for 24 hours. I have NO sponsors yet, but I’m asking everyone I know – and I know you even if you don’t know me πŸ˜‰ – to help by sponsoring with anything they can.
    If you *can*/*want to*, you can sponsor me at http://www.sixcupsofcoffee.com/ and hit the ExtraLife link in the upper right.
    I think it’s a good cause, but given no one I know has sponsored me yet, maybe only I think that… :(
    – John

  15. Hi Wil, bloody brilliant idea mate. Used to run some similar Warhammer Monster/Dreadnought Arena tournaments to raise money like this. Everyone’s a winner when youre having fun and raising money for charity.
    No hope of me making the event seeing as I reside in sunny England so have made a $50 paypal donation to the Childsplay cause. (tried to purchase games from Amazon for the Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool but the checkout was a bit borked).
    Have fun at the Con mate,

  16. Wil,
    I think its great your using something you enjoy to help a charity.
    Any news on the PVP/PA Podcast dice auction? When it might happen; where it might be found?
    Keep it up.

  17. Wil – Just wondering about the source of the delve you’re running. Did you create it or is it provided from another source? If you did write it, it would be awesome if you could share it.

  18. Here’s a quick true story from the last ten minutes:
    I run a weekly D&D game with my wife and friends. I’m also a middle school teacher. My students are currently working on a project so I have some time to sit at my desk and do grades. A student came up to my desk to ask for help and noticed my 4th ED Monster Manuals 1 and 2 as well as my awesome leatherbound DM journal (I have to get my monster stats together for tonights game). She started jumping up and down and sqeaked, “You play D&D? Me and my Dad and his friends play every week!” At that point five other students went, “OMG, really? So do me and my dad!” My heart just filled with geek love.

  19. So… when you aren’t DMing the D&D gig is there any chance you’ll be out in the Exhibitor’s section selling some books? I’ve been wanting to pick some up but I’m an instant gratification kind of girl and hate waiting on shipping… I live in Tucson and if you’ll be available to harass (mildly) on Saturday I might come on down.

  20. AH bugger, just read the previous blog psoting that you’ll be gaming all weekend. Since I can’t do pen and paper/board gaming due to the fact that my Dyscalculia causes me all kinds of frustration when dealing with stats, rolls and percentages… I will most likely stay home then. But I hope you enjoy our city. It’s finally cooling down out here so the weather should be perfect for your stay.

  21. A) throwing my hat into the ring of people who wishes they could go.
    B) putting up a donate button on my guild website so as to promote donations to the charity. (Because to me, the experience is awesome, but the charity is just that much cooler!)
    C) You may have started something bigger than you realize! πŸ˜‰

  22. Found out about this last minute. Hope to meet you at the event and share in the gaming experience. I haven’t cracked a D&D book since 2nd edition back in the late 90’s. Short drive to Tucson. Well, wish me luck! :)

  23. Could always run one of the events at $50/seat, and the other as a prime-time event with seats sold via online auction. That would probably be ok with most. Now, if ALL of your events were for big contributions, then it might get a little backlash because of accessibility.. but let’s face it. You’re pretty accessible! :)

  24. I’d like to join this club (Central Indiana, here).
    Maybe if we all scrap together our nickels & dimes, we can pay the Honorable Wil Wheaton to come to our side of the country.
    Just thinking out loud. :)

  25. As a former child patient (*many* years ago), I can attest to the powerful impact something like that can have. You spend most of the day sitting alone, in your room, lonely, with only the TV to keep you company until the nurse needs vitals or the lab needs a sample, etc, etc. No one has time to spend with you, to help pass the time. And the more time you have on your hands, the more time you have to think & worry, notice the pain, feel lonesome, cry, etc. We didn’t have video games then, and VCRs in the rooms were unheard of. You really look forward to whatever break you can get.
    Hey Wil, even if we can’t play, can we send donations with a memo citing you & your efforts?
    And thanks for doing what you do. You are SO good at it!

  26. Next day and … worked out great. Got there a few hours early and the line had already formed! Friday’s run was awesome. Wil is a great DM and makes it fun and interesting for everyone. He was gracious enough to fill me in on the finer points of 4th ed, and the veterans of the group aided as well. The lucky 5 for Sunday’s run are going to have a blast!

  27. I know that this reply has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter in your post, but it was just too funny not to share. The CW network in my area just recently started showing Next Gen reruns again. Tonight’s episode was “Sarek.” I literally could not stop laughing during the whole episode because everyone were at each other’s throats.
    Wesley seemed to get flak from everyone, though. First, he and Geordi almost got into a fistfight in engineering and then his Mom totally bitch-slapped him! Then Ten Forward totally turned into mosh pit, which I have to admit was funny as hell to wath.
    I really hope that your synopsis will wind up in a future volume of Memories of the Future. It’s just too funny forwords! not to was very amusing to me for some reason.

  28. Hey Wil, just wanted to let you know that I totally sorta kinda started playing D&D because of you! A couple of people that I see during lunch sometimes are starting a D&D game for every other day between classes and at first when they were talking about it I was like “ehh..” but I thought, “hey, this is the game Wil Wheaton plays! hell yea!” So they’re helping me make a character and everything. It sounds like a pretty interesting game, the only thing I’ve ever played that seems similar is Risk, which, besides chess, is my favorite strategy game ever.
    Yea. Just wanted to tell you that you inspired another hapless geek to start playing D&D. If my soul is doomed it’s all your fault πŸ˜›

  29. I have no fucking idea what language I was writing in the reply above this one, but in my own defense, I have been doped up on cold/flu meds for the past couple of days after being exposed to hospital germs. My Stepdad had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago and I must have caught swine flu from the other patients or something. Stepdad’s doing a lot better now, but he really put a scare into my family.
    But getting back on point: the last line in the last paragraph was supposed to read “It’s just too funny not to!” Oh, and the last word in the second paragraph was supposed to be “watch.” I have no idea where the hell that other sentence (the one in bold) in the last paragraph came from. The NyQuil must have taken over and wrote that shit.

  30. I have been listening to the D&D podcast for the past month and I don’t know why it took so long to dawn on me that I was listening to Wil Wheaton playing the Avenger. Color me clueless, I think it resembles Blonde in one hue or another.
    I did enjoy your character until the biter end, assuming that acid is bitter.
    After all of those years as an Ensign on my favorite TV sit com of all time TNG Wil Wheaton is promoted to Red Shirt for Acquisitions Inc… jk
    BTW they should have saved your rear, I wasn’t there but I am confused how the Cleric allowed that to happen.

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