I’ve played various table-top role-playing games for years. Now its become a thing to make videos of those games and show them on various sites like youtube, etc.
I’ve watched a bit of a few and found them generally unwatchable since my gaming style is not being murder hoboes (a term to describe characters who do little other than kill things and other characters and take their stuff). I did take the time to watch an entire episode of one on the newly reincarnated G4 network here in the US. It is an officially supported game by Dungeons & Dragons aka Wizards of the Coast aka Hasbro (yep the big toy manufacturer), called “Invitation to Party”. You can see the first episode here.
Rather than having a party made up of classic character types – fighter, thief, cleric and mage – we get a warlock, sorcerer, bard and rogue (which is generally like, but not always, a thief). And rather than having humans, half-elves, elves, we get a dhampir (half elf, half vampire), a reborn (someone who is dead but still walking around), a human, and a rabbit person, something called a harengon. With that, all I can think of is the six-foot tall green meat-eating rabbit, Jaxxon, from the early Star Wars comics.
All of the characters seem to be some variant of evil in alignment too, which seems to be required for the scenario which is that criminals who are going to be executed are recruited by a leader of a big city to find evidence for a plot to replace other leaders with duplicates (quite an important plot for third level characters). Said leader has no problem with them killing their way out of the city’s prison, which makes her alignment seem very questionable.
She also has not one way to control these characters and have them actually complete the mission. They have nothing to gain from the mission other than some minor requests for money, or property.
Now, that being said, the actors are pretty good. I call them actors since the patter between characters is suspiciously smooth for a supposedly live game. Sometimes the dialogue is outright hilarious.
There is also the strange thing that low roles are nigh non-existent in the dice rolling. I’ve never seen so many 20s (the best you can get in order to succeed at a action) rolled in such a short space of time.
It wasn’t an entirely wasted evening, but I have to wonder about the choice of story and characters if Hasbro wants this to be an introduction to D&D and role-playing. Evil characters, in my experience, are limited and tedious. When I play, I want to be the hero. I just can’t see these characters growing to be heroes.
2 thoughts on “What the Boss Likes – G4’s new filmed D&D game, Invitation to Party”
Some people seem to have an obsession with and really like characters that are some variety of evil or semi-evil. I don’t play DnD or other role-playing games much, but I’ve seen it in discussions about the kind of fiction people like. Personally, I agree with you. Maybe not heroes, but there’s a lot more potential with characters who have more or less “good” goals or alignment. Though it can get complicated, sometimes, telling whether a character is “good” or “evil” or which one more.
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it’s often interpreted as “edgy” when playing an evil character. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that if someone wants to play a character like that, it’s far more revealing than they might think. They end up being people that aren’t fun to be around.
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