When we’re in production on Tabletop, we shoot two episodes a day. Each episode takes around five hours to film, and by the end of the fourth or fifth day in a week, we all get a little silly from sleep deprivation.
Before they leave for the day, we ask all the players to sign a few copies of the game they played. We keep these signed games in a vault at Geek and Sundry, and give them out as prizes, or offer them for select charity auctions.
Last season, when we were shooting Lords of Waterdeep, I went to sign the cover of the game, and thought that the artwork sort of looked like Escape From New York. I was feeling a little silly, so this happened:
This copy of the game lives in the Geek and Sundry offices, and will remain part of our permanent collection.
Speaking of Tabletop, here’s what’s coming up for the rest of this season. If you own a game shop, you may want to talk to your distributor about getting extra copies of these upcoming games, if you experience what I’m told is called The Tabletop Effect:
December 26th – Carcassonne
January 9th - Tsuro of the Seas
January 23rd - Ticket to Ride Europe
February 6th - Fortune and Glory
February 20th - Lords of Vegas
Oh! And speaking of Lords of Waterdeep, which is one of my very favourite games of this year, the iOS version is really great.
My birthday is coming up next week and my brother insists on getting me something. He asked me what I wanted and told him I wanted a board game. He asked which one and I kind of blanked ajd told him I’d get back to him.
Being a fan of Table Top I went through and picked out my favorite ones but can’t decide on which game I want. Currently it is a choice between Munchkin, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Elder Sign and Pandemic. Which one would you pick?
This is a fairly common question, though the games are a little different each time. Here’s what I answered:
Those are all very different games, so it depends on what kind of gaming experience you want to have.
Munchkin is silly, pun-filled, and about messing with your friends. It also has about nine million expansions.
Pandemic is about working together in a game that you’re probably going to have fun losing.
Elder Sign is about working together in a heavily-themed game that is very random because of the dice.
Betrayal is about working together — until you find out that one of you is trying to murder the rest of you with kill death. It’s more of an RPG in a box, and is really fun if you treat it that way.
So I can’t tell you which one is best, but hopefully that information can help you make an informed decision.
I can’t say “Oh, if you are choosing from these games, this is the one to play,” because they’re all great games in their own way. I would, of course, try to direct t away from a game that wasn’t fun at all, or had a terrible rule book, because I believe that’s a moral imperative when games are being discussed.
I was recently at a game shop to pick up this game called Hive that is insanely fun. While I was there, I watched an employee try very hard to help a young woman pick out a game. They went through all the aisles, and he explained each game in depth long after she’d lost interest in it. This happened because he wasn’t asking the right question: what kind of game do you want to play? because he was asking questions about theme (you like Torchwood? Well, this game is blah blah blah) that didn’t help her at all. I didn’t want to jump in, but it was killing me to watch this happen. He was trying so hard, and it was like they were speaking the same language but weren’t able to exchange anything of substance between them.
I don’t know what, if anything, she decided to get, but I hope she left with something because the world needs more gamers. One way we can help make that happen is to know how to talk to them, so they can find their way into our hobby, and feel at home there.
Today, we’re shooting a Very Special Episode of Not The Flog, where I’m going to share some of my favorite horror-themed tabletop games. I have a pretty big list in my head, but I’m sure there’s something awesome that I’m forgetting, so if you wanted to maybe get onto Not The Flog, tell me the title of the game you love, why you love it, and what your favorite Halloween candy is. I’ll pick some and put them into the show, which is coming out sooooooon.
This week, Ashly Burch, Keahu Kahuanui and Michael Swaim join me to play one of my very favorite RPG-in-a-box games: Betrayal at House on the Hill.
I’m a huge fan of Ashly’s work in Borderlands 2, and after I met her at Valve last year, I became a huge fan of her as a human. She’s really awesome and a hell of a lot of fun to play with. If you like things that don’t suck, check out Hey Ash, Watcha Playin’?
Keahu and I have a ton of friends in common, but we’d never met until just before we shot this episode. Since then, we’ve become very good friends, and I even get to be a Bad Idea Bear for him from time to time when giant pizza is involved. Thank you, Tabletop Gaming, for helping me make a new friend. Oh, and Keahu is on some TV show about wolf hunters or something like that. I think it’s animated.
Michael Swaim knows Felicia, and is a lifelong tabletop gamer, just like me. He also writes for Cracked.com. Felicia suggested that I invite him to the show, because he’s hilarious and fun to be around, and she was pretty sure we’d like each other. I hate to admit it, but Felicia was right.
This was so much fun to play, and so much incredibly awesome stuff happened, we ended up cutting it into a two-part episode (but fear not! Part two comes out next week, because we love you and don’t want to make you wait two whole weeks for the second part. Did I mention that it was awesome? It’s awesome.)
When I get home from Texas, we’re shooting a Very Special Episode of Not The Flog, where I’m going to share some of my favorite horror-themed tabletop games. I have a pretty big list in my head, but I’m sure there’s something awesome that I’m forgetting, so if you wanted to maybe get onto Not The Flog, tell me the title of the game you love, why you love it, and what your favorite Halloween candy is. I’ll pick some and put them into the show, which is coming out sooooooon.
Anyway, turn down your lights (where applicable) and enjoy the show!
I don’t care about awards, and prefer to just let the work speak for itself, but it’s not hyperbole to say that it’s the Stanley Cup of gaming awards, and it is given by a group of people who I deeply respect and admire.
This show would not and could not exist without some very wonderful people, and all the work they put in from the very beginning of the first season. I owe them an incredible debt of gratitude for the work they’ve done and continue to do, and for making it possible for me to share my love of gaming with the world. We’re making something that’s more than just an entertaining show; we’re bringing families together, helping kids with learning disabilities, and this weekend in Chicago, a lady told me that Tabletop made it possible for her to communicate with her autistic son for the first time in his life. So it is my great honour to share this with
Our Director, Jennifer Arnold
Our First AD and Associate Producer, Adam Lawson
Our Executive Producer, Sheri Bryant
Our Associate Producer and Games Guru, Boyan Radakovich
Our amazing editing team, lead by Steve Grubel
Everyone on our fantastic crew
My dear friend and partner in crime, Felicia Day
I also want to thank everyone who watches Tabletop, plays Tabletop games with their friends and family, and creates the games we love to play. We will keep making this show as long as people will watch it, and as long as we can somehow pull together the funding to make it possible.
Congratulations, Team Tabletop! I’m so proud of us!
I had a truly wonderful time at Wizard Comicon in Chicago this weekend. I met thousands of people who love the things I love, and spent a whole lot of time geeking out about the games we love to play and the universes we love to visit.
Here’s some of the really awesome cosplay I saw:
I love love love that these young women decided to cosplay as the characters they love, even though those characters are male. I’ve seen tons of Doctor Who cosplay from women, and I think it’s extremely awesome that these ladies are not letting gatekeeper dipshits tell them that they can’t cosplay as the characters they love because of their gender. Kick ass!
I also got to see some really great examples of people getting excited and making things:
I also made some custom Cards Against Humanity cards, that you shouldn’t look at, because they’re kind of NSFW.
I got to see some really neat stuff that I didn’t know existed, like Cosmic Boy action figures (I was excited because I played Cosmic Boy on Legion of Superheroes).
I also got to sign a bunch of Robin stuff, because I play the Tim Drake Robin in DC Universe Online, as well as a bunch of cool Blue Beetle stuff (I played Ted Kord on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and so far I’m the only actor to play that particular role!) that I wanted to just keep for myself.
At the con, I met a delightful young woman called Marty. Marty’s friend Hannah is the creative genius who made sure the world knew about Wesley Crusher’s Sweet-Ass Motherfucking Bouffant. I was so excited to meet her, I had to sign special pictures for the two of them:
To Hannah: Look at this fucking sweet bad ass motherfucking fez. And what the fuck?! That’s right, it’s a false fucking moustache on top of a real motherfucking hot shit panty-dropping real moustache!
Back right the fuck up and look at this sweet-ass motherfucking non-bouffant.
In gold, Wil fuckingWheaton
We laughed really hard while I was writing these things down, which made me very happy, on account of me being easily amused.
I had a great weekend, and I though I have a few more stories to recount, I’m in the airport waiting to go to Indianapolis for GenCon, and it’s time for me to get on my plane and go PLAY MORE GAMES!
My editors at Geek & Sundry are amazing, and work very hard to turn hours of footage from several cameras into an awesome episode of Tabletop.
This is what the timeline looks like for next week’s episode, Star Wars X-Wing.
You can click that to embiggen and get a closer look. For those of you who do editing, you are probably going O.o right now. For those of you who don’t, each one of those boxes and lines represents a cut or a graphic or some other thing my editor, Steve, had to do to create this episode. I think he spent about 40 hours on this one episode.
All creative work for television and movies is a collaboration, and everyone is working together in service of something that’s bigger than all of us individually. Everyone works hard on their specific part of the process, and if we’re lucky, it all comes together to be something awesome.
My friend Amy came to Tabletop to shoot a behind the scenes vlog for Geek and Sundry. You can see a little bit more of our set, and meet some of our crew. I can’t embed it, so go watch it and then come back to read something awesome.
Okay, here’s something awesome: I got this lovely note on tumblr, and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. I asked reader RM if I could have permission to reprint this note that she sent me, and she said yes. I hope it makes you feel as happy as it made me feel.
So the last thing I thought I’d do was send fan mail to Wil Wheaton. Yet, here I am doing this happily against the wishes of my past self who constantly told my dad I would never like the ‘stupid nerdy things’ he enjoys.
He always told me one day I would. I didn’t believe him. Then I discovered everything you’ve ever done and made and I realised a lot. I do enjoy ‘stupid nerdy stuff’ but I learnt that what I thought of as stupid nerdy stuff isn’t stupid or in fact how I viewed something being nerdy.
Because looking back I noticed that I always really loved science and super Heros or vampire slayers but I thought in order to like that I had to be a certain way. I was wrong. And I’ve learnt to leave the part of me that stereotyped behind. So thanks to you and my dad I’m not ashamed to share my love for astronomy, Mythbusters, and discoveries.
I will never say to myself ‘I’m not supposed to like that’ anymore because no one is in charge of what I’m supposed to like. And if I like it then that’s what I am supposed to like because I do. I’ve never been supposed to like anything either so why should I not be allowed to like something. Plus, what fifteen year old doesn’t like super Heroes anyway. We all secretly want to be one anyway. No shame in that.
RM’s note to me delights me, because she’s learning to feel comfortable with who she is, and what she loves. One of the many things I just adore about Amy and her vlogs for G&S is how unabashedly enthusiastic she is about the things she loves, and how infectious her love for those things is. I don’t know if RM will grow up to become as enthusiastic as Amy, but hope that RM’s note inspires other young people — especially young women — who are struggling to embrace their inner nerd so they can share her with the world.
50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong