Category Archives: Tabletop

Today’s #Tabletop Hangout

Last week, I had a meeting at Geek and Sundry to discuss several geek and sundry things, some of them related to my show Tabletop. We all thought it would be fun and awesome to do a live Google Hangout Q&A thingy for all the people who love the show and are sadface that there won’t be new episodes until January. We were pretty excited to have a whole hell of a lot of fun tonight.

In light of Friday’s mass murder in Connecticut, though, it just felt wrong to me, and I thought we should postpone it for a week or more. I discussed it with some of my cow orkers at G&S, and we decided that we’d do whatever I decided. Unable to make a decision I felt good about on my own, I went for a walk with Anne, and asked her opinion and advice.

“Gaming is a family activity, and people watch Tabletop with their kids,” she said, echoing something Tabz at G&S had said to me earlier in the day, “it seems like giving anyone who wants a break from the sadness and horror we’re all feeling an hour to talk and think about things we love and the people we love is a good thing.”

I’ve said before that Anne is the brains in our relationship. She’s also the heart and soul.

After 9/11, we canceled our shows at ACME because none of us felt like we could be funny. I’m feeling similar emotions now… but I don’t have to be funny or perform. I just have to not suck, and I can do that. I can still provide an hour for us to talk about games, about the production of the show, and maybe share some stories about how gaming is important to my family.

So that’s what I’m going to do. For an hour tonight, from 6pm Pacific time, I’ll be taking your questions about Tabletop and gaming. @GeekAndSundry will have all the details you need to know so you can watch and submit your questions.

A map of a dungeon that never was, but may someday be…

Because project Get The Garage Organized was such a success, I was inspired to spend a little time on a related project, called Get My Office Organized.

In the process of cleaning up, going through stacks of papers and a considerable number of boxes, I found the dungeon map I drew for the title sequence of Tabletop. You only see it for a moment, and even then it’s just a small part of it, but I still drew a whole map like I would have in 1982. I’m confident that I don’t have to explain why.

I hereby release this into the world under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License for anyone who wants to use it (I suggest the original D&D red box rules), on the additional condition that you share with me how you populated it.


Some say that an ancient river runs through these tunnels, leading to parts unknown.
This image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

Tabletop returns with all new episodes in January!

shirt dot woot is #Tabletop-tastic

For the next seven days, shirt.woot is offering some awesome designs — including mine — as part of their Tabletop-tastic sale:

Roll +1 for fashion! This week we’re

featuring some of our favorite board game- and tabletop RPG-themed designs on hoodies, totes, and tees! Because how else is everyone going to know you’re more civilized than they are?


If you need a new How We Roll T-shirt, always wanted a How We Roll hoodie, or your very own How We Roll tote bag (I’m in for thee, because they are amazing and perfect for carrying my games to gameday), you have about 160 hours to make it happen.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And I just noticed when I was making those links that they’re also offering How We Roll Remixed, which is the same design but on a black shirt. So, you know, now Neil Gaiman can wear one.


A few pictures from GenCon

Today and tomorrow, I'm narrating the audio version of Zach Weinersmith's The Trial of the Clone. I'm up nice and early because I'm apparently on the same schedule as my puppy.

In place of a proper post about GenCon (which was exhausting but lots of fun), here are a few pictures of awesome things I saw while I was there, starting with epic cosplay:

Walter, Donny (RIP) and The Dude.

Walter, Donny (RIP) and The Dude.


The most terrifying and perfect Corinthian cosplay I've ever seen. She made the eye pieces out of soft leather and affixed them with spirit gum. Amazing.

Dalek and River Song

Adorable Dalek and River Song

My favourite part of signing is meeting people who love the same things I love, and geeking out about those things. It's genuinely wonderful to talk with hundreds of people who are from The Tribe, you know? Signing for hours and hours at a time can get tiring, though, and one of the ways I restore HP and Mana during the day is by amusing myself when it's appropriate. Here are a few examples of me doing that at GenCon:

Edition Wars

This is from a game called Edition Wars. GMs are trying to get players to play their system, and you can make your own GM. So I made myself.

Sheldon Cooper

I sign a LOT of Big Bang Theory things, and whenever I get a chance to sign a picture of Jim as Sheldon, I write something like this on it. It amuses me almost as much as it tends to amuse the person I'm signing it for.

A ranking of Moustaches

Just, you know, ranking Moustaches on a scale of Hitler to Brimley. Like you do. And, yes, I realize I spelled Chaplin wrong.

Munchkin Cards

I'm also asked to make Munchkin cards from time to time. These are two of the ones I did this year. Steve Jackson even made them tournament-legal for the duration of GenCon!

People make me amazing things, and give me wonderful gifts at cons. Here are a few of the things I got to bring home:

8-bit Wheaton dice bag

This is a handmade, hand embroidered dice bag with 8-bit me on it!

Lego Sparks McGee

This Lego Sparks McGee is best in life.

Tabletop Fan Art

Tabletop fan art!!

I was so busy signing, I only got to play two games: Fiasco with my friends, using a playset they wrote me for my birthday, and True Dungeon with many of the same friends, where we sent the Draco Lich (Formerly known as the dragon Smoak, who I kind of one-shotted in 2010) to the void. You're welcome, people-who-no-longer-live-in-fear-of-the-Draco-Lich.

I can't even count the number of people who told me wonderful, personal stories about how Tabletop has touched their lives. When I have some more time, I'll share a few of them.

New Tabletop! Say Anything with Matt Mira, Jonah Ray, and Josh Cagan!

Casual party games are a great infection vector for introducing tabletop gaming to our non-gaming friends. For experienced players, they're also fantastic palate cleansers between games of Puerto Rico and Power Grid.

This week's new Tabletop is a really fun, quick, easy, and profoundly silly party game called Say Anything.


If you like Say Anything, you'll probably like other casual tabletop games, like Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, and the three quick casual games we've already played (Tsuro, Zombie Dice, and Get Bit!).

These games are easy to learn, play very quickly, and can be found just about anywhere, from your Friendly Local Game Shop to big chain bookstores.

Introducing As Seen on Tabletop.

Tabletop on Geek and SundryEvery day, I get emails, messages on Twitter, and Ravens from people who have played a game because we played it on Tabletop. The stories and pictures are super awesome, and I want to share them with the world.

So I set up a Tumblr called As Seen On Tabletop for viewers to share your stories and pictures from your game nights, game days, and game shops.

You can either use the SUBMIT function there, or you can send email to tabletop (at symbol) wil wheaton (dot goes here) net.



The newest #Tabletop is a real #Fiasco!

The newest episode of Tabletop is Fiasco, my absolute favorite storytelling RPG of all time.

Fiasco is "a game about ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. It won’t go well for them, to put it mildly, and in the end it will probably all go south in a glorious heap of jealousy, murder, and recrimination. It’s designed to be played in a single session, usually around two and a half hours, with no prep."

When you have a Fiasco, you use a playset to establish the things the players are going to ruin their lives trying to get, who they are to each other, and where everything is going to get all fucked up. Some of my favourite playsets are Los Angeles 1936, Dallas 1963, and Flyover.

Saturday Night 78. A Fiasco Playset written by Wil Wheaton and Will Hindmarch, and Jason Morningstar.

The playset we used for Tabletop was written by me and Will Hindmarch, and Fiasco's creator Jason Morningstar. It's called Saturday Night 78. It is described thusly:

New York City, 1978. Last year, the city endured the chaos of the blackout of ‘77 and the terror of the Son of Sam killings. This year, Studio 54 makes millions by giving beautiful plebs and dazzling celebrities a place to party at $20 a head. Condensed sweat rains from Studio 54’s mirrored-laminate ceiling—sweat evaporated from the brows of celebrities, maybe—and falls back on the dancers below.

This is a time of rock and disco, of reckless hedonism and casual sex, a time before consequences. Debauchees high on blow, poppers, or Quaaludes dance and laugh and lust and cry in swank clubs and dirty dives all over the city. Whoever your characters are in the daylight, come dark they transform into sordid stars or disco royalty, beautiful disasters or pitiable victors, ricocheting off each other into the glittering wreckage of imploded parties. Every Saturday night the city’s alight with spectacular fiascos.

What's that you say? It sounds like an awesome setting that you'd like to use yourself? We've got you covered! You can download Saturday Night 78 for free right here, and use it in your very own Fiasco. And if you do, you know that I want to hear all about it in the comments.

Make your own Zombie Dice Brain Counters

One of the most frequently asked questions about Tabletop is: "How do I get those awesome brains you used as counters in Zombie Dice?"

They were made by our AMAZING art director and prop master, Nick, (who made the show look incredible, and still came in under his budget) out of some kind of foam that apparently kills you if you eat it, so I can't exactly tell people to go and do the same thing we did.

…but look at what Mel From Hell showed me on Twitter just now!

image from
This was made with Sculpey, and is awesome. So now you know how to make your own cool Zombie Dice brain counters. 

Get Excited and Make Something!

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!