Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Asterisks on Today's 'Axe' Episode

I will be busy DMing when todays episode of I Hit It With My Axe goes up (noon Eastern I believe). But here are some notes in advance...

-Justine's character is really a half-orc wizard--the other half just happens to be medusa (not gorgon in D&D a gorgon is a goofy bull-monster, and this is D&D, not Greek mythology). Other than the turn-to-stone thing, all her stats are as-rolled during filming.

-Is having Justine be half-medusa unbalancing?

In theory: no. She's a lower level than everyone else, she can't use her gaze weapon if her friends are looking at her, and it doesn't work that well. Plus Justine's newer than everyone else so she doesn't really know what she's doing--in different hands it might've been devastating.

In practice: also no. Having now seen 3 sessions of Justine playing D&D, I can report back that, practically speaking, she spends no more time center-stage than anybody else. Plus Justine's not a dick, so she doesn't hog the spotlight.

-She explains how it went down pretty well, but in case anyone missed it: I basically said "If you want to do this, then you're the object of the quest and you're half-medusa, do what you want with that information. If you don't, you can just be anybody you want."

-Connie's D&D anxiety dream brings up a relevant point for new players--I touched on it here. Basically, social situations where you're expected to be creative are a lot more tense and meaningful for certain people (I want to say "women"--in my experience this usually applies to women--but I know men who also have this issue. I can think of two right now.) You might have some friends pretending they're too cool to play when really they're just afraid.

-The person occasionally in the background is Caroline Pierce. She's wil be guest-starring soon but was in town doing some movies and had nothing else to do so hung out and watched us tape. She plays a history teacher in our Cthulhu game.

-All the PCs except Kimberly are on the ground, and, though a lot of the sequences where people are grappling up the walls to the doorways have been cut out, they happened. ( In case you're wondering how people got around.)

-As Chris of Vaults of Nagoh pointed out, the goblin palace is based on the Forbidden City in Beijing. The girls don't get too far into it before deciding to try to assassinate the king for kicks and running back the way they came.

-The credits play over the sketch of the palace and some hit-locaiton sketches, designed to be used with this system. I only use it on special occasions. Fighting a hydra is always a special occasion.


  1. Will the Cthulhu game make it into the show, or is it all-D&D, all the time?

  2. I have to admit I'd love to see your players in a Cthulhu scenario as well.

  3. I'd be happy just reading an account of a CoC game, even.

    When I used to run CoC (Delta Green, more often than not) with a bunch of DnD guys, it... never went well. Part of that was my fault - I was inexperienced and kept trying to railroad them (which is easy as hell with CoC and Delta Green in particular). But the main issue is their solution to EVERYTHING was "shoot the shit out of it!"

    "Guys... just looking at it almost drove you mad."
    "Ima' cap the bitch."
    "You can't... look, you can't 'cap' the Dark Young of Shub-Niggrath. It's 30' tall and not %100 corporeal."
    "I've got a grenade."
    "BULLSHIT you have a grenade! Why would you have a fucking grenade!"
    "I always have a grenade."
    "What, was it just sorta sitting around in your dashboard, along with some sticky pennies and a packet of ketchup?"
    "Hey, I'm that kinda guy."
    "Fuck this. You all die. Screaming. Get out."

  4. I would also like to read about your players in a CoC session. Demand for this seems to be building among your loyal masses!

  5. Also, great episode. I find myself looking forward to reading the comments on the Escapist as well, because every single episode has some nerd weirdo writing something stupid, only to be promptly put in place by one of the girls. This week it was both Mandy and Connie, so far.

    It makes me smile on the outside and the inside.

  6. I have to admit CoC curiousity. :) I'd like to hear all about it -- it doesn't matter to me if it's filmed, Zak does great summaries.

  7. The secret to Delta Green is that even if you blow up Cthulhu with a suitcase nuke, all you get is a radioactive Cthulhu. & he was probably already radioactive...with telepathic madness.