“You see an iron door at the end of the corridor. The door has three lightning bolts engraved on it.”

When I played D&D as a kid, I always wanted to be a magic user, not because it was easy, but because it was hard*. I died a lot in those days of d4 hit points and three worthless levels of cantrip spells before you got to do anything, but when a wizard survived and got powerful enough to melt goblins with fireballs … boy, was that awesome.

I don’t play as much as I used to, and I haven’t even run a game of my own or played in a regular campaign in a couple of years, but with the recent release of classic D&D modules as PDFs, I feel the itch to run Basic rules… you know, for kids.

GS-Tabletop-LogoIf I was going to play, though? I think I’d have to be a barbarian or fighter now, because I have fallen in love with the d12. It’s such a beautiful die, and it just doesn’t get any love at all (that’s why I chose it for Tabletop). I know it’s kind of weird to choose a class based on what kind of dice you’ll be rolling, but it’s where I find myself at the moment … and I’m really okay with that.
…Hmmmm I was going to write all about what it means to switch my preferred class from magic user to fighter based on the die I’d be rolling …. but now I can’t stop thinking that a Geek & Sundry show where I run a classic D&D campaign using Basic rules — maybe a modified module or series of modules or something like that — for six or eight episodes would be pretty awesome. Like, maybe a visit to the Lost City?

The walls of this room as plain stone. An oblong box made from stone slabs lies in the center of the room. Written in several languages on the side of the box are the words: "May the curse of darkness destroy all who dare desecrate my resting place." The box is 3' high, 7' long, and 3' wide. - From The Lost City (Dungeon Module B4)
The walls of this room as plain stone. An oblong box made from stone slabs lies in the center of the room. Written in several languages on the side of the box are the words: “May the curse of darkness destroy all who dare desecrate my resting place.” The box is 3′ high, 7′ long, and 3′ wide. – From The Lost City (Dungeon Module B4) Yes, this is actually mine and I actually scanned it. It was printed in 1980.

I mean, I’ll stay focused on making season two of Tabletop happen, but once we get that locked down, I bet an RPG show would be really, really great. (At least for me, because I’d have an excuse to play it: “Sorry, Anne, but I have to read this module and these rules and prepare these characters … because it’s my job and I have to do it so we can eat.“)

*I’ve written about this before, but I can’t find that post or story or column despite 20 minutes of searching. If it rings a bell for you, please let me know so I can link it.

93 thoughts on ““You see an iron door at the end of the corridor. The door has three lightning bolts engraved on it.””

  1. I’d love to see that show. Also? Please invite me to be a magic user!! You could kill me off in the first round, I don’t care. But it’d be awesome to say that I melted a goblin or two while WiIl the Strong had my back!

  2. That would be entirely excellent. I know my entire family (my husband, who has been playing D&D since it was first created, and my son who is 11 and getting more and more interested in learning about RPGs from Mom and Dad) would truly enjoy that. We’ve played a more-or-less consistent story world campaign since 2000, playing D&D 3.0, then D&D 3.5, then moving to Pathfinder when the D&D 4.0 rules disgusted us by the dumbing-down of the game system. I’d love to see a show that helps me remember what the game was like back when I was in high school.

  3. There are a number of AD&D modules designed for tournament play that would be perfect for sessions with a strict time limit. C2, Ghost Tower of Inverness comes to mind, mostly because I’m currently running an upgraded 3.5 version of it with my group. That module is designed to be completed in under 3 hours.

  4. Oh, yes, please! I would love to see a show in any medium that regularly displayed real people enjoying real RPGs for an extended number of episodes. I’d love to see it in Pathfinder, but any system would be good enough.

  5. By all that is the magnificent Wil Wheaton, you must do this. My opinion only. 😉 No one presents gaming like you do and I imagine it would be a great practice for people who want to grow up and follow your profession. It will let them know whether they have the natural talent required by an actor to separate themselves from their reality long enough to fully engulf another persona. When I was little, I thought I wanted to be an actor. Then in high school, I tried out for a very small part in “To Kill A Mockingbird” at which point I realized I have no talent for embracing another human being’s life. LOL!

  6. I’d be all about that RPG show. I love to watch/listen to you play with the PA guys. It fills my RPG hole that I can’t fill with real participation right now because of .

  7. Wil, Would it be a condensed version of a game or an on going multi-part? I’ve always wondered how they go. I’m am mmorpg’er I’ve heard these games can go on for months, slash years GULP!

  8. We choose to play Traveller, and the other things, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. We ask not what our game can do for us, but what we can do for our game.

    Good times!

  9. I love Table Top. My favorite episode(s) was Fiasco, probably because of all the great and creative story telling that happened during that game session. And also it was obvious that everyone was having a fun time being creative too. That’s the thing I love about RPG’s like D&D as well. If you could find some way to make this happen that would be amazing. :)

  10. Hey Wil, two questions: I believe you liked D&D 4th ed. (based off of a review you wrote) but how do you feel about D&D next? And the last question would be, what is your favorite version of D&D and why? Or if you don’t have a favorite version, why not?

    1. 4e is a lot of fun, but I’ve fallen out of love with it as the years have gone by. I really dislike the power cards and how MMO0-like it can be.

      I’ve played Next, and really liked it. However, it has a long way to go before it’s ready for prime time.

      My favourite version will probably always be Basic, because that’s where I started.

      1. Very cool, I agree with you on the 4e. I’m very excited about next because it seems like it would be even more fun compared to 4e. I got into D&D recently, only after accidentally stumbling onto the PAX shows of you and Acquisitions Inc. I saw how much fun you guys were having so I bought the 4e red box, and then got a few of my friends hooked!
        In that regards, I just wanted to say keep up the great work pushing for games on Tabletop! It really helped me understand that its okay to play games that are considered “nerdy” or “uncool” as long as I’m having fun with my friends. So in that regard myself, and the inner-nerd in me, would like to say thank you very much!

  11. Would love a TableTop eppisode on the Pathfinder Beginner Box or maybe Mice and Mystics – our son is 7.5 right now and is playing some games with us, Mice and Mystics is in range right now and the Beginner Box will be in a couple – both would seem to be good introductions for kids and also a good way for parents to get into it with their kids!

  12. I would certainly watch that show because I love gaming shows and you, sir, are a great gaming presenter.

    … but I would be wishing you’d play Call of Cthulhu, because I stopped liking D&D back when it was still AD&D. Sorry.

  13. Sign me up!! I’d love to do a D&D early edition. And I haven’t RPG’d in, like, forever. :-(

    I have always had a soft spot for mages, but it might be fun to play something entirely different. Oh man, now I’m going to have to do some *research* (cough) to see what I might want to be in our adventure.

  14. Greetings Sir!
    I am a huge fan of TableTop and thank you so much for doing the show. Love seeing new games to try and the banter is so funny too.

    I also watched the google hangout and you talked about perhaps a RPG only show like Tabletop. I would love something like that! I know TableTop takes time to edit and film, but honestly I think this would be a wonderful idea. I personally would love a ‘season’ consisting of a run through of a single game system of so many levels. But again the sky is the limit. Great stuff all the same from Tabletop!

  15. I grew up with the Moldvay edition, making thousands of characters just…well… ‘cos. I loved it, but I have moved on.

    I got back into the hobby after a long absence partly filled with other games, by running a game for my oldest’s tenth birthday, That group is still playing together four years later (which is enormously long for young teens) but we moved on to 4e, found that the game stopped being fun, and went over to Savage Worlds.

    I would watch an RPG Tabletop show (in a way I already have: you played Fiasco) but that is not the point. I would watch the stuff you do out of trust.I What you said below about Tabletop shows how a hobby can be opened up to new people because you make it approachable. Show people the new cool RPGs. Show them the stuff they can buy and play without having had an RPG childhood.

    For me, one of the essential parts of being a geek is the moment when you can show someone a cool thing, open up their world to something fun, strange, complicated and beautiful. I think you have the position and leverage to make that happen for the NEW generation of RPGs, the stuff that talented people like Vincent Baker (Apocalypse World, Murderous Ghosts), Jason Morningstar (Fiasco, Grey Ranks) and Paul Czege (My Life with Master). are making now. You can get their stuff noticed. With great power…

  16. I would watch that show, Wil. Partly because I miss the Acq. Inc. games so much (and have a big crush on Chris Perkins and his sexy sexy creativity), but I’d still enjoy it without Jim, Omin, Binwin, and AEOFEL!
    BTW, you’re doing a great job with Tabletop, keep up the great work!

  17. Pick any of variants of D&D out there and play. Just picked up the old Red box D&D last weekend. So nice looking thru it again, unfortunately it didnt come with dice and a crayon….
    Personally, Im sticking with Castles and Crusades. It is the most flexible system Ive tried without the complexity of most modern versions.

    Good luck and I think a lot of us will be watching :)
    (Id fly down there to play with ya 😉 )

  18. I love watching Table Top. It’s a great way to discover new games, and it’s fun to watch you all play together, especially when it’s people you have chemistry with. I would definitely watch a RPG Table Top show, whether you did one campaign or showed off different games. Make it happen!

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