New #Tabletop: Elder Sign (or, in which I have a tentacle party with Felicia Day)

The newest Tabletop features a really fun dice game set in the Arkham Horror universe called Elder Sign.

Fantasy flight Games publishes an epic game called Arkham Horror that I just love. In the game, the players assume the role of Lovecraftian Pulp Investigators who are all working together to stop one of the Great Old Ones from devouring the world.

You know, like you do.

Arkham Horror is a complex, intricate, incredibly difficult, beautiful game. It's more like a guided role playing game where the board itself is the GM, and there really isn't another boardgame out there (that I can think of off the top of my head, anyway) that plays like it does. I would love to play it on Tabletop… but it takes a minimum of three hours, and if I put it on the show, I wouldn't do the game justice. There's just no way to edit a 3 or 4 or 5 hour game into 30 or even 45 minutes, while staying true to the heart and soul of the game.

Luckily for us, Fantasy Flight also publishes a cooperative dice game set in the Arkham Horror world called Elder Sign. Designed by Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson (who also designed Arkham Horror), it takes about an hour to play, and while it isn't a scary and complex as Arkham, it is still beautiful and challenging. It was perfect for my show.

Follow this link, if you don't see the embedded video above, to watch Elder Sign at YouTube.

While I have your attention: 

At GenCon last weekend, the most frequently asked question I got was "When do you start the second season of Tabletop?"

The next most frequently asked question was, "What are you going to play on the second season?"

My answer to both of these questions is: "I have no idea, because we don't know if YouTube is going to fund a second season."

What usually followed was a series of confused noises and some stammering before the final question was asked: "How do I help you get a second season?"

Here is the answer:

The best and most effective way to support Tabletop — in fact, the only way that Google even cares about — is to subscribe to the channel, like and comment on the episodes (if you, you know, actually like them) and encourage everyone you know to do the same thing.

Google cares about interactions like that on their Premium Channels (like G&S), and while we all know we're never going to get the same numbers as the longtime YouTubers who are getting five million views per video, I think that if we can stay up in the six digits, we'll get another season.

It's amusing to me that we're not dealing with a studio or a network, but we still have to hit certain numbers to get more funding (just like we would if we were on broadcast television.)

Finally, I'll leave you with this:

image from

You'll have to watch Tabletop's Elder Sign episode for context. But beware… there are some Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.

32 thoughts on “New #Tabletop: Elder Sign (or, in which I have a tentacle party with Felicia Day)”

  1. Given the surge in enthusiasm and (more importantly) sales TableTop has spurred, I would think that even if Google decides not to renew, some game developers/publishers/retailers might be willing to sponsor another season.

  2. I only have the Android version of that game and while nicely made, I’ve given up on it because I never got even close to winning.
    When I started watching the episode I though, “Hey, they actually aren’t bad and this seems to be easier in real life” but then I saw you roll and was reminded on my failed adventures on my phone.
    Note on the video: In the credits it says “Games provided by North Star Games” I assume this was a copy/paste error from Say Anything as it should say Fantasy Flight Games.
    This bit of the credits in the description underneath the video is correct.
    I think I’ve liked all the videos so far but just to make sure I’ll go back and check.

  3. I notice that TT now has a link to buy the games shown on the show at Target. Let me get this straight, you got a major box retailer to carry and offer indie games? AWESOME! I notice you also suggest checking your “Friendly Local Game Shop.” That is so cool!
    Also, if you do get a new season of TT, might I suggest “Betrayal at the House on the Hill”? It is a cooperative game til one player turns rouge. You have no idea who it is until it happens. A fun game, and should make a very fun episode.

  4. Is there an option to subscribe to TableTop, or can you only subscribe to G&S?
    Also, I have to admit I’m not as enthusiastic about subscribing to or supporting TableTop as I was a month or two ago. All of the talk about encouraging people to have game nights with their families and friends was one of the things that I liked about the show, and my daughter quickly became a fan. But between the mature themes of Fiasco and some of the frat-boy humor in Say Anything, I now feel like I have to screen the episodes to make sure they’re appropriate for her. If that’s the kind of show you want TableTop to be, I wish you all the luck and success in the world, but it’s not something I’m going to care about (or care for) as much.

  5. Hopefully even if Youtube goes insane and doesn’t give us a season 2, Tabletop could continue in some other form. Perhaps as a recommendation blog?
    I always wanted to get into these types of board games but never knew where to start, so the recommendations brought about by each episode has been great! (though, not so great for my wallet)

  6. I played that a couple of weeks ago, it’s good fun and would fit well into Tabletop difficulty level and time frame for games.
    I was the werewolf and managed to win by turning everyone else into werewolves, too. 😀

  7. I would love to subscribe to TableTop. Unfortunately, I’m not interested in GeekandSundry’s plentiful other programming. :/ Would it be possible to make a show, in youtubes technical sense, of Tabletop? I think TheGameStation made Retro Hardware a “show” so that you can subscribe to it without having to wade through the dozen or so other series they produce.

  8. I loved this episode and specifically this game. I picked it up at the Fan Expo in Toronto the day of the show (some astute game shop owner saw this was the show you were doing last week and bought extra copies…she made many sales). I played it with my wife for the first time last night, and we had a blast. We had the same ancient ones as the show, and sadly I rolled as well as you did, but my wife rolled like Prady and contributed 10 of the 13 signs needed to take “he who shall not be named” down.
    My wife loved this game, thanks Wil :)

  9. This sentence (fragment), “It’s more like a guided role playing game where the board itself is the GM,” had me wondering if you’ve played the Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game? It plays sort of like a solo RPG with the playbook GMing you.
    I’ve started playing the Android version of Elder Signs. Wow! It really punishes beginners, but it’s a lot of fun once you figure out the best ways to use your inventory. Thanks Wil.

  10. When tabletop first premiered, I was disappointed that it would be biweekly. At the time I thought that a good way to fill the off weeks would be to have a multi-episode D&D campaign. It’s a bit unfair to Wil to have him NOT play the one game that is arguably the most influential in his life. It would also be a great way to showcase other long-form games like Arkham Horror
    If Google greenlights another season, I hope we see something like this.

  11. Another great show, will make sure I comment over at Youtube, hope you get another season. Brilliant stuff. Although the ententacled Felicia Day is just disturbing.

  12. If for some horrible, horrible reason Season 2 is not picked up, would it be possible to start a new YouTube project called “BarTop”? I think it would be awesome to see you do 8-10 episodes of homebrewing with your friends. You could do an episode for each type, or your favorite copy cat recipes, or anything really.

  13. Hi Wil –
    I was wondering if you looked into posting Tabletop episode on Amazon. It would be great PR for the game itself, and maybe expand your viewership at the same time.

  14. I have to tell you Wil! Fiasco was an unbelievably exciting internet experience, one of the most fun viewing experiences I have ever had online. I *loved* it. Especially the richness of the episode, with the full set-up and the two episodes for gameplay. It let me get a real sense for what the game felt like and provided ridiculously awesome entertainment as well.
    Then you mention Arkham Asylum. Wil. I understand the limitations of the Tabletop medium, and a four-hour game is just not plausible for what you’re trying to accomplish with digestible half-hour episodes. But Wil. If you filmed you and friends playing Arkham Asylum I would buy a DVD of it on the spot. And I have to believe others of us would, too. Offer it as a special for diehard Tabletop fans! Please! The Fiasco episode has already been reviewed, in a few places I’ve seen, as the greatest RPG documentary ever made. If you did Arkham you’d blow it out of that water; it would be an enduring monument to the gamer world. Come on! How fun would this be?!

  15. The video, as of 08/28/12, is Felicia’s latest FLOG instead of the TableTop video! Just want to make sure it gets fixed so people can watch the proper thing!!

  16. There must be a second season as I require you to let us watch a game of Cards Against Humanity. The fun being had with this game that spills over to Twitter indicates that it would be more fun to watch than an all kitten version of “An Evening Wasted with Tom Leher”.

  17. ltr-ftp…
    just went back and liked all the tabletop videos on youtube. i already spread the word with every new episode on facebook but forgot to like. sorry for that – i really want you to get the chance to continue this project. keep it up!

  18. This is one of the many great, great games that my brother has introduced me to, so I’m glad to see it get some well deserved promo on TableTop. It definitely is much better to play in person than online but it is nice to have the portable version available.
    It took us a couple goes to get all the rules down correctly but once we did we really enjoyed it. You can never be complacent with it as it can turn against you so quickly…. The variety of characters to play and their special strengths really give so many great combinations that you’ll never get bored.
    For a game with just as much fun and variety but quicker and with a few less pieces, I highly recommend Forbidden Island. Maybe I’ll see it on TableTop one day.

  19. Really enjoyed elder sign.. I have questions..
    1, will the guys from big bang theory be on table top, cos that would be epic.

    2, do you intend to come to England for memorabilia or something? That too would be awesome..

    1. I would love to have any of the cast from BBT who is available to come on our show if we get another season. Kevin Sussman plays Dragon Age RPG with us later this season.

      I may be coming to England before the end of the year.

  20. I don’t how you guys handle the show or how it gets its seasons or anything, but if your going to do a second season or whatever, you should see about doing a special. Then you do one long format game that gets cut down to say 1 hour 1 hour 15 minutes or so. The rest are normal episodes. That way you keep your format and get to do one longer game too.

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