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D&D Comedy: Comic Character Concepts

In a mystical WORLD of beauty, four brave HEROES shall awesomely assemble and use their AMAZING gifts to save ALL from the forces of DARKNESS! In other words, me and four comics will be playing Dungeons and Dragons in a few weeks. Being the Black dungeon master, I’ll be playing the evil darkness of course.

It’s a role I’m used to since I’ve run table top role-playing games (RPGs) for nearly twenty years. If any sentence was meant to express the feeling of shameful pride, it would be the one before this one.

Role-playing games for you frequent sex-havers and comedy fans is when players take on the role of a hero in an improvised play where success and failure are determined by rolling dice and strategy. Its World of Warcraft and other online games minus the computer graphics but played with pencil, paper, math and ACTUAL social skills.

Despite deprecation, I’m excited to combine my two passions and pleased with the players I’ll have. Comedians are of course creative people and most of the fun we’ll have, and eventually share with you readers, will come from collaborating on the story. Unlike most improv troupes however, our tale will likely be funny.

The group will include local laughinator Jeff Scheen, comic podcaster and fellow contributor Jeff Conolly, enthusiastic gamer/entertainer Erik Kitter and our very own head-geek-in-charge headliner Mike Bobbitt (his link would take you here, why bother).

The kind of character player’s create is very close to their own personality. I haven’t known these guys for long, but watching their acts is a window into their souls, so I’m already starting to imagine what kind of heroes or medieval miscreants they’ll make.

Scheen is a very imaginative performer whom uses improv skill to organically build his bits. He would make a decent Bard – a jack of all trades traveling adventurer skilled in musical magic and martial prowess. If his dreams of comedy success ever completely fail with no chance of resurrection, he’d run good games as a homeless man with his imaginary friends.

Conolly is a very smart comic with a laid back presentation and also a veteran gamer. I can easily see him as leader type like a Cleric – think Gandalf from Lord of the Rings with much BALLSIER powers.  With his experience in older more complicated versions of D&D, he’ll be very helpful in advising those players new to the game. My evil forces will try to kill him first.

I haven’t hung out with Erik a lot, but he seems excited. He would make a good Rogue – a sneaky thief-like adventurer. I say this cause I can’t even remember his act -now  that’s STEALTH!

Mike has a very aggressive style on stage and has impressed upon me the importance of confidence. He isn’t that versed with D&D so a simple character class would benefit him the most. I think he’ll enjoy the directness of a good old fashioned fighter, effectively treating every monster in the way as Khal Drogo would treat a heckler.

Conolly, host of the Nerd Comic Rising podcast, will be recording the session so you’ll be able to hear how things pan out.

Anybody got any comedy/fantasy/history concepts or scenes I should have ready for them?


Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows : A Muggle’s Review

I’m not a fanboy of the Harry Potter persuasion because I’m not a young adult that grew up with the books, a female fantasy fan nor a poser trying to lure a fangirl out of her Hogwart’s uniform. I am a certified fantasy nerd and will not reveal any spoilers for those that are too cool to read the novels, but Harry wins in the end as you should expect. Read a book.

I’ve read none of the books, but I have seen all the Potter movies to see what the fuss was about. Overall, they were decent but not moving. Owing to being a series for kids, I forgave them for not having balls – which for most of the characters hadn’t dropped yet. All the while, I’m waiting for Harry to come into his own and stop being a Harry Sue character – constantly protected from heroic sacrifice by magical creatures, competent adults and ugly red-headed sidekicks written as less important.

Run, Ron! RUN!

I watched Deathly Hallows part two directly after watching part one, I’m a vet of the Lord of the Rings Extended version – yes, my life is that empty.

Part one established a dark high stakes tone in the beginning with so many supporting characters deaths, then it winds down to a magical hide and seek scavenger hunt around the world with Hermione doing research. The cutaways to show the effects of the Death Eater take over where good, but too far in between. It has a slightly more dreadful feel than when the Republicans took the House.

Finally, there’s some magical intervention that gets things moving when they can finally start destroying horcruxes (horcruxi? whores’ crotches? Is that where Bellatrix was hiding them? That’s Lastrange.)

We learn what the Deathly Hollows are, but not why they aren’t the “Deadly Hallows”. These are English speakers, right? The story arch peaks with the death of the cutest character to date, more sadness then a tonal shift to “AW SHITTLEBERRIES! Now, it’s personal!”

Yeah ... c'mon ... *wimper*

Part 2 had the much more quicker pace that a finale should. Action, tension, action, tension – you know, like a movie. Voldemort is made gradually weaker with each destroyed horcrux with the backdrop being a magical war I’ve been much anticipating. Harry and Snapes’ relationship is fully revealed, which satisfyingly transforms our view of the headmaster. Our “hero” fated to save everyone is going to actually have to take one for the team, team being the world – about time.

Potter goes forth to die and is merely knocked out by a loophole in wand etiquette. This bothered me. Voldemort’s entire goal is to kill Harry, yet he doesn’t check the apparent body himself? He could feel whenever a horcrux was destroyed, but not this most important one in the series? That’s as dumb as a Jedi Chosen One taking a Sith Lord at his word.

Dumbledore’s ghost tells Potter he can stay in Heaven’s subway or go back and make sure all those deaths for his sake were’nt in vain. What kind of asshole would stay, especially when there’s a Weasley wet for him?

Harry survives. Neville Longbottom comes through amazingly, then Potter shows Voldemort how to kill an enemy.  Flash forward: Harry knocks up Ginny and Ron does the same to Hermione, kids go to Hogwarts, the Circle of Life plays in your heart and the end.

A Real Hero

So, again, somebody else makes it possible for Harry to  succeed. Neville fills his shoes to destroy the last horcrux with Hermione and Ron serving their usual role as bait. As soon as Voldemort is mortal, it’s a done deal? Wasn’t he a badass before all this?  There’s a likely stated reason for this that I missed in previous exposition, the point is I didn’t find Harry’s victory all the heroic, but I guess its par for the course.

These are a good pair of movies, and I’m sure emotional investment in the series will make it awesome, but for me it was worth the price of admission: $5 bootleg.