Amber Benson, Meghan Camarena, and Michelle Boyd join me for GLOOM on #Tabletop

This week's new episode of Tabletop is online for your happy funtime enjoyment:

If the embed isn't working, or you want to see this in glorious SUPER MEGA HD, I've got you covered, because I love you.

A few notes:

* We have no control over the ads that run during Tabletop, so it's likely that you saw some bullshit Crossroads GPS political ad that's full of manipulative lies. I wish I could get YouTube to stop running these things on our show, but I have absolutely no say (nor does anyone at G&S) in the advertising. I do not endorse any of the ideas, products, or services that are advertised alongside Tabletop any more than the cast of Modern Family endorses the ideas, products, or services that run during their show. I wish I had control over this, but I don't. I'm told that if you don't want to see "sensitive" ads (which includes gross political ads) you can opt-out of "sensitive" ads in your preferences.

* It wasn't until we were editing this episode that I saw that Amber made an (unintentional) illegal play at the start of the game. Oops. Ultimately, it didn't really affect scoring, and it certainly didn't affect our enjoyment of the game, so it isn't the biggest deal to me, but I know that sort of thing is important to some viewers.

* It's been brought to my attention that some of the other players got away with a couple of technically illegal moves during the game. Again, for serious players, that's an important thing that shouldn't happen; for us, it didn't affect the fun we had while we were playing the game, but if we were to play a second round, I would make sure that everyone read the cards carefully so it didn't happen again.

* This leads into the final point: When we were putting these episodes together, we decided that nothing was more important than everyone having fun. We knew that we were going to make mistakes (we made more on Gloom than we did on any other game, mostly because everyone was having too much fun telling the silly story, and I was the only person at the table who had played Gloom more than once) and we knew that there was a certain type of person in the audience who was going to savage us for making those mistakes. We knew that, in that person's eyes, we were worse than Hitler for making rules errors or playing with a less-than-optimum strategy, and we decided that we aren't making this show for that person.

Okay, I think that covers it. Thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy the show!

51 thoughts on “Amber Benson, Meghan Camarena, and Michelle Boyd join me for GLOOM on #Tabletop”

  1. You’ve said many times that the role-playing aspect of D&D is more important to you than the math and stats and stuff, so personally I would expect you to get more into the story of Gloom than the mechanics. You’re of the opinion that the fun of the game is more important, and nowhere is this more important than in a show the purpose of which is to make games *look* fun for viewers who perhaps aren’t into tabletop gaming at all or who have fallen away from it in the age of computers and consoles. I think your approach is perfect. And frankly, I think you could even use ‘illegal’ moves to your advantage on the show: dedicate a segment (or a companion video) to technical mistakes…

  2. I’ve always loved the feel of this as an introduction to new games. Of the games featured so far I’d only ever played Zombie Dice, but I hunger for each new episode. As my group’s self-proclaimed Rules Lawyer, I’ve never known the difference if/when rules have been broken but like you said, it’s not the point of the show. It’s about having fun, and getting new people into games. If you were to be calling each other out on the rules every other move, it would definitely take away from the show and the fun. Thanks for this show! It is my favorite thing online.

  3. I don't have nearly as much fun playing Gloom when we don't tell the story; I honestly believe that's where the game lives and comes alive.

  4. As the winner of the PAX Prime 2011 Gloom Tourney (by virtue of being the only one to show up, which seemed appropriately Gloomy to me) I heartily approve of this segment. :) You guys got way more into the story than I manage to – though I at least manage to read the card story descriptions.
    I am thoroughly enjoying watching Tabletop, and so is my 6 year old. She now talks about the one where Wil’s wife knocked over all the trains.

  5. Wil, thank you so much for this show. It’s a great way to get a feel for a game that’s much more informative than reading a review or trying to grasp the rules.
    Before I watched your Settlers of Catan episode, I had heard the name of the game, but knew nothing else (except for overhearing some odd comments about sheep and wheat). After watching your game, I got a group organized at work to play once or twice a week after 5.
    So. Much. Fun.
    Thank you so much.
    …Rob

  6. I laughed so hard at this episode, and you’ve seriously raised the geek quotient in this house. We were re-watching The Guild: S5 this morning and “got it” when Zaboo pulled out the stack of Munchkin games during the road trip. Every episode is great!

  7. The truth of the matter is that the types of people moaning about rules transgressions on your program are in dire need of a serious Munson-ing. If they cannot grasp the notion that you are trying to get people to see the joy in gaming they really should be using teh Google with a eye to the words ‘a life’. No doubt the same crowd complaining about how Arkham Horror and Defenders of the Realm are ‘too easy’.
    Anyhow…excellent idea for a show Wil…many thanks from one representative of the vast sea of Dorks out here.
    HM
    p.s. Any chance we could sign up not using this craptastic ‘Social networking’ methodology?

  8. Heya. Even though I opted to try to set up a ‘Typepad’ account so that I could do more than lurk it essentially pointed me at Facebook in order to register. Truth be told I’m not the biggest fan of the tendrilly goodness of stuff like Facebook and hoped that ‘typepad’ would have had a more specific registration that was outside of the ‘let’s try to advertise to this person’ continuum. Or am I being naive to think such places still exist?
    In plainer English. It appeared that none of the options I had to register to speak on your blog weren’t connected to some form of social enginee-I mean networking. Or was I blind and missed a Typepad option that wasn’t somehow welded to Facebook?
    Not a biggie really. Just I long for the days when people could play in their sandboxes without corporate douchery hovering at every corner.

  9. I've always required some form of registration, because it keeps spammers and trolls to less than a half of a percent, instead of close to fifty percent like it was before.
    But it shouldn't be forcing you to sign in with Facebook; you should be able to use Typepad (which isn't gross or social networky at all, unless you want it to be.)
    When I move back to WWdN in the next couple of weeks, there will be considerably more and better commenting options.
    Thanks for your feedback!

  10. Hey Wil,
    I’m sorry to beat the deceased equine but it looks to me like Typepad is (as I suggested) intertwined with Facebook now. I went back through the initial process just to see if I was delirious but got the same result. If you choose ‘register’ your (or in this case ‘my’) only option is to select the ‘f connect’ button on the registration page which makes it pretty obvious they (essentially) insist that you register ‘via’ your facebook account. When signed in to ‘Typepad’ (after registration) one’s dashboard is very obviously connected to Facebook (so we can all share this big squishy exciting adventure together dontchaknow!).
    Just an FYI. I will now cease and desist on this vein.
    Did I mention that tabletop is pretty damned awesome? And I quote ‘Bless Wil Wheaton’s little heart’ sayeth the captain track pants (for reals) who runs my local game store. A few weeks into your show and they were stocking ‘Smallworld’ and ‘Zombie Dice’ and ‘Ticket to Ride’ because the people they were a askin. I’m still waiting on him to order me Tsuro. I can confirm that you are helping to drive the geek economy.

  11. Are you sure you have to link to FB? You can't use an email address?
    Because if that's the case, that's gross and horrible.

  12. It doesn’t look like it. There is one and only one option. You can confirm this quickly by going to Typepad…logging out and then trying to ‘register’. Give it a go…tell me I’m nuts (cause I really really want to be wrong).
    HM
    p.s. This is one of the most perverse ways of IRCing I’ve ever run into! ;)

  13. I watch the show via the YouTube app on my television – 47″ 1080p goodness, and no ads at all! It’s the best.
    Honestly having that ability is the only way I could watch a long-form show on YouTube – a 19 inch monitor is simply too small for such viewing.

  14. I’ve been hoping for Gloom since you started the Tabletop series! I just learned to play a few months ago at Norwescon (a friend of mine cobbled me into one of his games) and it was incredibly fun when the story started rolling!
    elizabeth (since I can’t figure the name thing out in the signin…)

  15. I agree. Watching you guys, I was much more into the story you all were telling than learning how the game is played, which is probably a good thing since there were apparently so many mistakes made, lol. But since I’ve never played, I wouldn’t have known anyway :)

  16. Thanks Henry,
    It never occurred to me that I’d get commenting priveledges without going through the registration process so I clicked on the ‘register’ option by default and its only option appears to be the ‘fconnect’.
    Lurnin is gud!

  17. Wil,
    I just wanted to relate a couple of things. First, I always thought youtube was great for funny cat videos, but we’d never actually watch “real” full length television shows on youtube. Our Panasonic TV has youtube built in, and so now the entire family gathers around the TV to watch Tabletop. FWIW, Tabletop proved me wrong. Production value are excellent, and everyone here looks forward to the next episode.
    Second, I was just looking at Castle Panic on Amazon and five the top seven “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” are games that have been on Tabletop. (One is an expansion to Castle Panic, so of course it’s listed.) That seems to me to be a huge indicator of the impact of Tabletop. Well done sir.

  18. There should be a game called Rules and Regulations Nazis. It has 5 books of each 300 pages with rules. If you find one of the other players breaking a rule, you can kick him out of the game. The last one standing wins the game and will be crowned The Wesley*
    Yes, I had to go there with Wesley Crusher. How could I not. That he is one of my favorite TNG characters needs no mention.

  19. Wil,
    I was having a crappy week at work and tuned in Friday to Table Top. For 31 minutes and 24 seconds, I forgot all about work. For what it’s worth, thank you. Best of luck and much success to you and the Geek and Sundry crew.
    P

  20. I loved this episode! It has given me a real jones for that card game, and I’ve already solicited some of my more imaginative friends to play. And like many others who’ve commented, I found the storytelling aspect of it to be the most fun. Seriously. Without it, the game doesn’t look like it would be much fun at all. Of course, I’m a sucker for narrative, and for improv, so this game seems to have been created just for me!

  21. I loved this episode! It has given me a serious jones for that card game, and I’ve already solicited some of my more imaginative friends to play. And like many others who’ve commented, I found the storytelling aspect of it to be the most fun. Truly. Without it, the game doesn’t look like it would be much fun at all. Of course, I’m a nut for narrative and for improv, so this game could have been created just for me.

  22. Meh who cares if you guys made illegal moves, its a “show” before anything else and if you had to stop the flow by saying, “oh that -was- a great story, but you cant do that its against the rules” it would have been lame.
    On the note of the political ad’s I use firefox with the ablock plus add-on, and I never see any ad’s on youtube videos.. in fact I didn’t even know they existed, I’ve been using this browser set-up for so long lol. Good stuff Will

  23. Well frankly I’m going to be showing my girls this episode of Tabletop to my girls precisely because of the storytelling aspect. Given they way they’ve modified Munchkin to suit their nefarious purposes I doubt we’ll mind any so-called ‘illegal’ moves. The hard part is going to be finding a copy of the game since the stores here keep selling out of the games that appear on Tabletop. Well done Wil!
    I am going to have figure out how to avoid explaining what a three-way is to nine-year old girls though. :)

  24. Great episode Wil. This game looks interesting … I really like the clear cards. They allow for a great mechanic of partially changing the cards below it.
    I just played my new copy of Tsuro last night based off of a TableTop episode. Very simple but fast and fun for a large group (we had 7 playing).
    It was nice to see Amber Benson again. I recently watched Buffy all the way through and I was always a fan of her character.

  25. Wil, I wish you would just stay away from politics in general. Saying that you have no control over the ads is fine. Peppering in comments about the ad being “bullshit” and “gross” is like taking a big dump on the head of all your fans who don’t agree with you on this particular point. It’s demeaning.
    You’re normally a great guy, especially on gaming and geekdom (which is why I come here.) But when it comes to politics, it’s like you turn from Wil to Parrish. It’s not a good look, dude.
    The motto at the top of the blog says “Don’t be a dick!” You’re not 100% on that one, yet.

  26. Ditto this. Love your articles Wil, love Tabletop (just ordered Settlers of Catan for my kids, they already love Munchkin!) but don’t like the “everyone is gross who doesn’t agree with my politics” attitude.

  27. I’m with you on this one, Wil. I saw a comment on BGG about how in TTR, you didn’t draw more tickets after you had completed your routes. I responded back that you didn’t break the rules becuase that’s an option, not a requirement, on your turn.
    As for Gloom, I’ve played the game once and it was OK. We hadn’t played the storytelling version, so I don’t know if that hampered my enjoyment of the game or if I still would have just said “Meh” after it was done. Not my favorite, but to each their own.

  28. You misunderstood me. I didn't say "everyone is gross who doesn't agree…" I said that the ads themselves are gross because they are misleading, dishonest, and manipulative.

  29. “We knew that we were going to make mistakes (we made more on Gloom than we did on any other game”, perhaps, perhaps not, but in Get Bit you really slaughtered one of the guests keeping him behind after a bite =))

  30. Well, I’m gross and I don’t agree with your politics, so maybe you should change your tune. I, for one, believe it is everyone’s God-given right to prefer beige shelf-liners to those pale blue ones.
    As far as TT goes, I don’t think you allow enough illegal moves: the most dramatic play I’ve ever seen on the show was when Anne went all explody on the trainset.
    I think some of the critics might have lost sight of the fact that TT is entertainment to introduce new games to new players. Who cares? I played Robo Rally about 3 times before any of us even remembered that our bots were armed and we had plenty of fun before that.
    The rules matter, they just don’t matter so much when learning/teaching. If you like the game well enough to play it repeatedly, you’ll figure out the rules.

  31. Thing is I have yet to watch a political ad for anyone or any side that is not misleading and manipulative at best or out-right lies at worst. I’ve seen both GOP and Dem ones on the videos and find them equally filled with false assertions and attacks. Perhaps I read too much into it that you were attacking one side over the other. I tend to be cynical that way when it comes to politics.

  32. Dude, stop hectoring him about politics. I get it, you don’t like them, but last time I checked with a permission slip from the Dept. of Homeland Security, this was a free country. Wil’s got a nice beefy platform (which he built wif his own hands), a point-of-view (which he built wif his own hands) and is obviously producing enough attractive content to attract ne’erdowells like you and me.
    So yeah, he’s free to opine and you are free to whine about it, but don’t you realize how much easier it is to ignore politics you don’t care about instead of getting all schoolmarm on the opinions of others?
    After all, nobody in the world is as smart as me or as correct on politics as I am. If I spent all my time correcting every political persuasion I thought was wrong [except the Free Taco Tuesday Party – those anarchists can die in a fire], I’d have no time left for doing the funner, fiddlier things in life.
    Just let it go. After all, it is more than possible that when you have to explain to someone that they misunderstand you when they thought you were being a dick may be because you really are a dick, but that doesn’t have to be true for others.
    Sometimes people do misunderstand. This is a case: the exact words he used were “gross political ads.” The misunderstanding was obvious “gross people” was never the intent, overt or covert.
    End the game of spot the dick.
    Mmmm. Spotted dick.

  33. I have been following your twitter/facebook feeds and blog for some time now and I have to say you’re definitely one of my favorite geeks out there! With that said, I understand if it might be too much hassle, but what are the odds that you guys can add captions to the #Tabletop shows? As a deaf geek, I’m feeling deprived of a potentially awesome experience and, unfortunately, YouTube’s “automatic captions” suck as they caption almost none of the dialogue. I don’t know how to go about doing it, but I do know that #TheGuild did it for all the episodes shown on YouTube, so maybe Felicia Day can help in that if it’s something you would consider?

  34. It’s a little annoying seeing everyone pile on folks who like to, y’know, follow the rules of the games they’re playing. Sure, folks got to have a great time telling a story as they played cards, but with all the close-ups of the cards saying neat things like “hand size +1 while this is on top” or “draw two cards”, it would be neat to see the players actually following the text that you’re zooming in on. :)
    That said, you need to get a copy of ‘Once Upon a Time’ and play with these folks. Or even better, ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen’.

  35. You can block specific ads on youtube! I have been doing this on my BF’s gaming channel since some ads are just bizarre. All you have to do is get the link from the website it leads to and go to your adsense account, there is a tab that says allow/block ads and you can add the url. Works like a charm!
    Also, love the show! We watch it every week and have bought almost every game that was shown (if we didn’t already own it).
    Now waiting for you to play some Epic Wizard Battles! :D

  36. We enjoyed it enough to go out and buy the game last weekend! BUT I must say, this is the first TableTop that, after editing, didn’t explain the rules very well. *shrug*
    You’re cultivating quite a family of fans over here. Fanfam? :) Who cares what you call it… we’re enjoying our time together thanks to your suggestions :) Thanks!

  37. Well, to be honest, this episode is why I bought a deck to play with my friends. We are kinda sinister geeks, but we have fun.
    (Also, I’m thinking this is the closest we may ever get to a “Cards Against Humanity” tableTop episode without having it flagged by YouTube.)

  38. I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but for them to caption the episode themselves, they need to have an actual transcript of the whole episode that they can then put into YouTube’s captioning software. The Guild is successful with it because they already have a script in place.
    HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that people can’t just transcribe the whole episode for those purposes. Just, someone has to do it first.

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