We also completely screwed up the rules. For I think the 10th time this season.
I am furious, I am embarrassed, and I need to put there here so I can just refer to it when this almost certainly happens again this season:
We had a producer whose primary job was to make sure we knew the rules to the games, and played correctly. I trusted this producer to be on top of these things, and I trusted this producer to ensure that we played the games properly.
For the first two seasons, this producer did a fantastic job. A couple mistakes got through, but it wasn’t a big deal. Everyone makes a mistake now and then, and the show has always been more about the fun of playing the games than anything else. But something happened in the third season. I don’t know if this producer was careless, overwhelmed, didn’t care as deeply as previous seasons, or just didn’t do the same amount of preparation that was done for the first two seasons. I don’t know why this producer failed to do the most important part of the job so many times this season, but I’m pretty fucking pissed off that the person I trusted to make sure we played the games correctly let me down. I trusted this producer so completely, I spent my time and my energy on other aspects of production, instead of diligently reviewing the rules before every game like I’d done the first two seasons. I feel really, really awful about this. I feel embarrassed by this.
We have a very ambitious production schedule. It’s grueling for all of us, but this season wasn’t any different than the previous two seasons. There is just no excuse for something so fundamental to the show to have been so completely screwed up almost half of the time this season. My trust and reliance was misplaced, I guess, and for that I am embarrassed, I am angry, and I am sorry.
Tabletop is more than just a show where we play games. Tabletop is where millions of people from all over the world go to see how games are played, and to discover new games. We have a responsibility to our audience, and we have let a lot of you down. This is even more infuriating to me this season, because this season was literally made possible by people reaching into their own pockets and trusting us with their money. We had a responsibility to take good care of that, and we didn’t.
Ultimately, I am the host and the face and the identity of Tabletop, so ultimately this falls on me. I take responsibility for these mistakes. I am the executive producer and creator, and it’s my responsibility to ensure that everyone is doing their job. It’s my responsibility to deliver the best show I can, and too many times this season I failed to do that.
To the developers whose games we’ve messed up: I am profoundly sorry. I sincerely hope that your sales aren’t hurt by our mistakes, and I sincerely hope you will accept my apologies.
If we do another season of Tabletop, I will ensure that this never happens again. If we do another season of Tabletop, I’m going to very carefully vet a couple of experts and producers to take on the responsibility of ensuring we’re playing games correctly, and I’ll spend even more of my own time getting up to speed on the rules for each game.
So all of that said, please know that Kingdom Builder is a really great game. We had a lot of fun when we played it, even though we completely butchered the rules.