Kickin' It Old Style

How many of y'all played D&D back in the day? OK, not many.
Well, I think you'd still enjoy the podcast of the gentlemen of PvP and Penny Arcade (three online comic strip artists, two comic strips) playing the new version of D&D with a dungeon master from Wizards of the Coast (current developers of D&D). It is, essentially, listening in on a bunch of silly geeky guys play a role playing game. Once in a while they get kind of vulgar, and only once was it a little dull (I don't know why, I think they just got too serious about the fight and stopped the play acting and silliness. It may have something to do with the DM, who switched midway through the series). One of the guys from Penny Arcade is a geek, but had never played D&D before, so his reactions are interesting (plus, it means there is a lot of explaining how things work in the early episodes). Since they are cartoonists, each episode is documented with a drawing or two depicting something that happens during the episode. It's fun to have going on in the background while you're doing something else.
Series 1: Episode1, Episode2, Episode3, Episode4, Episode5, Episode6, Episode7, Episode8

The second series adds Wil Wheaton (of ST:TNG and general sci fi blog geek fame). The silliness continues with the better DM and a better balanced game. Wil makes a great addition, as he's obviously experienced in gaming and role playing and also less likely to be distracted by drawing cartoons during the game. There's some great teamwork too. I love the way they discuss things before taking action. There are two bursts of highly vulgar talk, followed by lots and lots of giggling. Rudy the Undead Hound (ep 7) nearly brought me to tears and a series of very unfortunate rolls of the dice in episode 8 made me giggle so hard my face and diaphragm hurt. There is lots of geeky gaming humor and they're obviously having lots of fun. I downloaded it for my entertainment files and really hope they come out with another series. Hilarious!
Series 2: Episode1, Episode2, Episode3, Episode4, Episode5, Episode6, Episode7, Episode8

Edited to Add: I'm listening to these a second time and the second series is definitely funnier than the first, but the first has some good info that helps you to follow the action.


Eric said...

Back in the day? If all my homies were still local, instead of scattered to the winds, I'd still be running a game. That's the kind of geek I am. :-)

As it stands, I still have a regular Neverwinter Nights appointment with an old college buddy (NWN being a video game adaptation of the D&D 3.0 rules).

I always get behind on the few podcasts I listen to, so I haven't been following the PA/PvP/Wheaton sessions, but I've been sort of aware of them through the various participants' comics and blogs. I sort of regret not having had the time to actually tune in.

If you haven't read some of Wheaton's blog posts on playing D&D with his stepsons, you should. They're excellent reading.

Charley said...

Are you kidding? I was such a geek that not only did I play back BEFORE there was AD&D, when AD&D came out our DM created his OWN campaign world. I ran a Ranger, Neutral Good, tracking specialty, fairly handy with a bow, not a big beastmaster, but awfully fond of Dryads ;).

I even worked in my Lord's forest preserve at one of the hunting lodges ;).

Once that DM retired I ran a Ravenloft campaign for some friends. If I had a crew of people to play with I would most definitely take the plunge into the new edition. It's been too long since I played! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Anne C. said...

Thanks, Eric, I will check out Wil's posts. I like his writing style and should really have him in my RSS feeder.

And for full disclosure, guys, I played AD&D, but only had my brother and sister to play with. I loved being the DM and inventing adventures and worlds to go with them. My brother was DM for me a few times, but the adventures he came up with had way too much loot (really really cool loot, like an intelligent sword).

Charley said...

Intelligent swords? Really? Please tell me that you had to fell a dragon or travel to the higher planes and complete a series of ridiculously hard out of your class quests in new and imaginative ways to get that kind of loot!!!!

I'm reminded now of some of the funny things I did as DM during the ravenloft campaign I ran. I had the fun of watching a female dwarf player character (who was my IRL girlfriend at the time) fail a saving throw for disease after she decided to seek out some male...company for entertainment at the local tavern. ;)

I was also a fan of using music to set the tone and mood of a campaign event. Example - I had the party be summoned to a lord's keep (and he was a particularly dastardly fellow) and during the run up, as I described the scene and the NPCs present I played Tchaikovsky's Slave March. It was glorious!

Ah, memories!!!!!

Eric said...

Oh, an intelligent sword handled well by the DM wasn't always loot... at least not good loot. ::evil::

But the best treasures were the ones players would find in Call Of Cthulhu campaigns. "But I don't waaaaaaant the ring, it's probably maaagiic--you can have it." "But I don't want it. Why would I want it?" "Your SAN's higher, it probably won't hurt you as much." "I refuse to accept anything we found on the body... in fact, I refuse to look directly at the body... or to stand anywhere near it." "Can my character go to the hospital yet?"

Ahhh, good times. :-D