A recent storyline in the Knights of the Dinner Table comic book has our company of HackMaster role-players struggling with a shrinking community. When confronted with competition from television, video games, mobile devices, and more entertainment outlets than you can wave a wand at, how do they reverse the decline in appeal of pencil-and-paper gaming? … and could those efforts prove more entertaining than the game itself?
Yes, says Rolling High, a new Web series from Penfound Productions, which strike the opposite extreme of The Guild: rather than feature the antics of hardcore gamers immersed in their virtual reality, Rolling High chronicles the recruitment and experiences of untested gamers new to the likes of Dungeons & Dragons. The first episode debuted yesterday, with a Kickstarter campaign soon to fund the rest of the season.
Their first episode shows plenty of promise. In this premiere, as in KoDT, we see characters wanting to realize their self-perceptions by inserting themselves into a fantasy world, role-playing not a created character so much as the person they want themselves to be. I expect future shows will reveal more about the characters through the foil of the fiction, making a lively and accessible show for both veterans and virgins alike. (Though is it just me, or is the DM's audio a bit out of sync?)
Could Rolling High be the next Guild? Rolling High may not have the star power of Felicia Day, but some would argue that, despite the previous successes of Buffy and Dr. Horrible, it was The Guild that made Day a star among geeks.