Nov 192013

This week we have Brian Patterson of d20monkey fame on the show for our first skype interview!
At around the 7 minute mark we abandon all pretense of the interview format and just have a kickass discussion about the Boner Fairy, the d20monkey store, pathfinder card game, coop games, Zombicide, bringing players into roleplaying, Sentinels of the Multiverse, D-day dice is hard, estimated play times, the importance of word of mouth reviews, being positive, playing what you like, 4e d&d, elemental bound wizards in Karthun, realism in gaming, transistor powered roller skates, Dustin’s pun based soda dungeon, the secrets of game mastering, Ghostbusters, Brian finds himself in an abandoned cabin in the woods…, having a southern accent is like herpes, Lost Cities, our favorite games, suspender based games, Gears of War the board game, Smallworld,
Power Grid, “I’ve heard con stories”, d20monkey plans for Christmas, Dustin confesses his undying love for the comic, and the d20monkey adventure game.

Aug 192013

Driving away from GenCon! This episode wraps up this year’s coverage of the Best Four Days of Gaming. We get in our traditional GenCon interview with Jason Bulmahn, the soon to be traditional interview with Brian Patterson of d20Monkey fame, and talk with Derek Guder about the show itself!

We hope you enjoyed our coverage of the con and would love it if you let us know what you thought about the con, our coverage, or any great gaming stories. Use the comments or drop a review on iTunes.

Oct 162012

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Undergophers are back! This week we have a quick summary of just where the hell we’ve been and what we’ve been doing there. The always awesome Kat is out special guest this week as we talk about the death of old campaigns (RIP SpellJammer campaign), the birth of new campaigns (Marvel Heroic and Top Secret S.I of all things), we talk about our kickstarter addictions (including the d20monkey kickstarter which you should be a part of!), the most meta game of Fiasco ever, new jobs, new houses, new games, and new recording equipment!

This episode clocks in at 21 minutes.

Aug 152012

The first of our “Live” GenCon episodes, this one is extra live (and extra noisy) because it’s out annual recorded from the Car podcast. We discuss everything we’re looking forward to at GenCon, the Future of Paizo seminar, Tracy Barnett’s School Daze, Brian Patterson’s D&D, Dick Jokes, and D20monkey, the awesome that fills the vendor hall and manage to drop the mic more than twice! Also, we may be developing a new bacon food-like product in the future.

Jan 112012

Dungeons and Dragons is the oldest and most well known RPG on the planet. That is a fact. Most people don’t know what the hell D&D is. That, sadly, is also a fact.

D&D is is one of the biggest tabletop RPG brands in existence, but your average person on the street doesn’t know anything about it other than it might be a computer game of some sort, it’s nerdy, and it could very well be satanic.

I have a humble suggestion for correcting this.

D&D Needs a well written and well drawn cartoon to spread awareness.

First, I’d like to point out that I personally think that the fact that D&D doesn’t currently have a cartoon is negligent at best and criminal at worst. The fact that someone from Hasbro Marketing wasn’t sitting in the Limo outside of WotC waiting for the ink to dry before mining the 30 years of IP they had just acquired for ideas is something that I think all their shareholders should wonder about. But this is a positive article, so let’s stay positive.

A D&D cartoon would accomplish two things. First, it would spread awareness of the D&D brand. Yes, people know of D&D, but they don’t know about D&D. A well written D&D cartoon would link the concepts of fun and adventure with the brand in the minds of people who had never been exposed to the game itself. It also puts the brand in places that will get it more attention: DVD sales. Once the first season is produced then it’s on video shelves of big box stores like  Best Buy and Walmart, places that don’t generally stock D&D books and games. That puts the brand out there, and it makes it easy for grandma to buy it as a gift. Little kids don’t know they want D&D, but if they watch an awesome cartoon they’ll want EVERYTHING D&D.

Second, it gets D&D into the hearts and minds of kids. This seems like the first point, but it’s a seperate thing. Kids don’t have money to spend, their parents do. But as someone who grew up watching Power Rangers I can tell you that I didn’t have a Megazord under the christmas tree just because Mom thought it looked fun. Kids will watch a kickass D&D cartoon and want D&D toys and D&D DVDs and D&D games. This is where you will see you’re biggest increase in customers and the biggest surge of new players of the tabletop game, but only if you manage it well.

The D&D cartoon would need to be timed with the release of a new D&D Red Box. The art on the box needs to be from the cartoon (make the same guy fighting a dragon, but make the guy the fighter from the series and BAM! nostalgia for the old guard and a hook for the new.) The PreGens in the box need to be the characters from the cartoon, their powers and abilities need to be things that the kids can see them do in the show. Maybe the archer has a bow of light, that bow NEEDS to be on that character sheet. The monsters in the new cartoon red box all need to be drawn in the style of the of the cartoon. It needs to scream “You already know you like me! Buy me and play me!” to the kids that watch.

“I get it,” you say “This is a great marketing tool, so what else is new?” I’m glad you asked.

You’re going to want to make sure that the cartoon kicks ass on many, many different levels. You want to appeal to as many different demographics as possible. (I believe the popularity of My Little Pony with the “Bronies” should be evidence enough of the importance of cross-demographic popularity.) I’ve got a number of steps that can be followed to ensure the cartoon’s success.

Hire People from the community to develop the cartoon.

This one is the easiest. You’re going to want the D&D community to be on board at the ground level, so you’re going to want to have some people who are well respected and well known in the community to help develope the ideas and polish the concepts that will go into the cartoon. My suggestions would be people Like Tracy Hurley from Sarah Darkmagic and Brian Patterson from d20Monkey. They both have a lot of good insights about the game and the issues surrounding the game. I think they both would be excellent for developing the core ideas of the characters and the world that the show takes place in. (Also, I’d love to see the cartoon in Brian’s art style.)

Hire the writers of Avatar: The last Airbender

Now that the core ideas of the show are developed hire people who have a proven track record for writing amazing fantasy cartoons. They can take the ideas and characters and run with them, weaving the same sort of immersive and critically acclaimed stories that got them on this list.

Hire voice actors popular with the cross demographics

This one is another easy one. Nathion Fillion: Popular, well known, geek cred. He’s the fighter. Felicia Day: Popular, well known, tons of geek cred. She’s the leader of the group. Seth Green: Sacrastic, well known, plays with toys for a living. I smell rogue, don’t you? There are a thousand big geek names that I could throw out. Vin Diesel, you know he’ll need a cameo at some point. Tim Curry, he’s already in the booth recording his lines for the first season’s big bad.

Use as much D&D as possible

What I mean by this is D&D is almost 40 years old at this point, there is so much to draw upon, don’t just rely on the same old tired “bad guy has a dragon” crap that is in every other fantasy show. Set the damn thing in Greyhawk or (my personal choice) Eberron. Have the big bad be a Mind Flayer. Have them have to run from a beholder at first level. Visit White Plum Mountain or Waterdeep. Trek through a desert with a Tri-Kreen guide. Use it all!