Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Which The Warlock Assembles the Dream Team...

Something I managed to skip--don't ask me how!--were my remarks on my GenCon experience this year. Yes indeedy, the PlatinumChick, Will the ManMan, BoardGame Karen, and yours truly found ourselves at GenCon Indy this year.

I will be honest, though. I didn't get to see much of the show. I did manage to swing by the GameWick booth to say 'hi' to El Willy and his crew, but I almost immediately had to ship out to my game--a private Eberron game run by none other than Keith Baker, the creator of Eberron. Little did I know, though, that we would be joined by C.A. Suleiman (author of Dragonmarked and several other Eberron books) as well as E, the infamous blogger from Geek's Dream Girl!

After a brief meet-and-greet, Keith got the game started. Our characters were all members of the Order of the Ebon Skull--a military order in Karrnath which was defamed and banned at the end of the Last War. However, this involved a pretty major twist--all of our characters were either undead or necromancers! I ended up playing Mandible, a former con-artist turned flameskull. Keith really did a smashing job making these characters unique and interesting, while keeping the "feel" of 4e.

All told, the game was really a blast, but it got me thinking. I got to game with some of the big names of the gaming industry, in their own setting. But if I could game with any celebrity--whether they're an actual gamer or not--who might it be? As such, my lovely readers, here's my list!

Stephen Colbert: This one's almost cheating, as Colbert's a self-professed gamer on his own, back in the days of 1e and 2e. He's just got such a sharp wit and a conviction about him, both in real life interviews and in his 'show persona', that I had to include him. Classwise? He'd make for a perfect Paladin or Warlord, leading the charge into battle with carefully crafted repartee.

Bruce Timm: This is a guy who needs no introduction. As one of the masterminds behind the DC Animated Universe, Timm's writing skills and creativity are without peer in the Western animated world. In the interviews I've seen with him, both live at conventions and recorded on the DVD releases of his animated series, Timm displays a craftiness and a deep knowledge of his subject material. He'd make for about the most epic wizard I could imagine, building plot upon plot, contingency upon contingency.

Lady Gaga: Shocked by this one? Don't be. Of all of the musical minds out there, Gaga's got to be one of the most creative of the modern era, and she's not afraid to make a statement. It's likely that she's never slung dice in her life, but I doubt that would stop her! I'd love to have her at the table, dicing up baddies as a Red Sonja-esque barbarian or avenger-chick, replete with the most fashionable chainmail-bikini that gp can buy!

Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw: Yahtzee is the mastermind behind the tongue-impaled-in-cheek web-series, "Zero Punctuation", which is hosted on "The Escapist" web magazine. While I doubt that Yahtzee would be willing to descend "back into the basement" for a session of D&D, I could easily see him joining the party as a snarky, dagger-slinging rogue or a sardonic warlock.

Mario Batali: For those of you longtime followers of my blog, you'll know that I'm a self-proclaimed foodie. I love small, family-owned restaurants, and I follow Food Network and the like as if it was my job. My favorite celeb chef of all time has been Mario Batali: the Rutgers-educated, clog-wearing, maestro of Italian cuisine. In addition to his affable nature and personality, Batali absolutely looks the part of a classic Viking warrior. I've joked before that, as an Iron Chef, he carves turkeys with a battle-axe. Having him jump in as a straight-up, sword-and-board fighter or warden would round out our group perfectly.

So, how about you, gamer nation? Who would you ask join your table for a night of dice-slinging action?


  1. Thunderforge11:12 PM

    No Vin Diesel?! He's the first one on my list! I mean, he's a guy who has played for well over 20 years, he constantly talks about how great D&D is and, well, he's Vin Diesel!

    I second Colbert too. Fun guy!

    From the gaming world, I'd have to invite Jerry Grayson, creator of Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone. I've talked with him at a few cons and he is incredibly passionate about all things gaming. We even had a great conversation at Origins talking about our love of the d6 system, especially Star Wars d6. I think he would be a really fun person to game with. Turns out that as part of a ransom fundraiser for an upcoming Hellas product, he promised that if someone donated $2,000, he would personally "come to your home and hand deliver the book, run a two night adventure over a weekend for you and your friends, and wash your dishes and detail your car." If I had $2,000 to burn, I totally would have.

    If we can bring back a few who have parted for one last game, I'd invite Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. I'm told they were always fun to game with and although I'm not a fan of Gygaxian dungeons, I think it would be really enjoyable to play with him. Dave Arneson seems to be a bit more towards my style of play and he too would be great to have around.

    I'd also be interested in inviting Charlotte and Emily Brontë. I hated Wuthering Heights, but it fascinates me that as children in the early 1800s, they created a game that looks suspiciously like a modern RPG, complete with toy soldier miniatures (more info here under header "From fact to fiction"). I think they would really enjoy seeing their childhood pastime as an adult form of entertainment. And I'm sure that they would care more about the story than the stats, which is how I like to play too.

    And Machiavelli. How memorable would he be to have him in your party?

  2. Sounds like a great party, Will!

    I did try to stay away from game designers and even actual players (Colbert was an exception, based on his sheer coolness-factor). However, I don't think there's a gamer alive that wouldn't want to throw down with Gygax and Arneson for a night.

    The Bronte sisters are a unique choice--I was only vaguely aware of their childhood minis battles, so they'd definitely add an interesting twist.

    Man, Machiavelli's a great choice, but I'd rather have him GM! :D