I Hit It With My Axe: Episode Two: F*ck. A Medusa.

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why the hell is this on the escapist!!!!
i can hardly believe it, the days of Unforgotten Realms are very, very over
this is the first real step towards me wondering how low the escapist will go.
game dogs was "meh" but this is "your joking, right?"

Okay, it has a funny concept. (Albeit, not one for me) But deep, deep down, it has its roots in the true, youth dream. "Have ridiculous conversations with your friends, film it, and try to sell it." I mean, who hasn't thought that they could do that at some point or another. It encounters the same problem as every other story that you try to tell about your friends. "I guess you had to be there." The comedy might not be bad. It might be entertaining. But maybe you just had to be there.

This show proves to me, not even breasts can make D&D interesting :|

This is actually pretty enjoyable. I mean, it's porn stars and D&D. How the hell can't this be awesome?

I love watching noobs play pen and paper table top stuff. No one is ever actually patient enough to role play, they just want to progress as fast as possible.

Still, I can see why people aren't too fond of this.

I don't know about this series. I watched the first episode and was like "ugh." I watched the second episode and was like "ugh." Then I read the relevant posts at Zak's blog, and now I want to see episode 5. I probably won't watch any episodes between now and then (the actors aren't particularly entertaining), but all this early hate makes me wonder how the series will develop.

Just my two cents here...

I had no idea this site existed until I learned from Zak's site that there was going to be a web show based on his blog. I had heard of it sometime last year and the name "Playing D&D With Porn Stars" sounded like a gimmicky way to get readers. Eventually, I checked it out, and it is now one of the first OSR sites I read. If you want solid insights into DMing, D&D or plain creativity, this is the site to visit.

As far as "I Hit It With My Axe" is concerned, this gives me a chance to see in action the personalities I've been reading about for the past couple months. As such, I enjoy it. I don't visit The Escapist for any other content; maybe in time, I will. But I find it odd that this section has been such a bitchfest. At any rate, I'll be watching, and hopefully, the following episodes will be longer. 5-7 minutes is way too short. 10-20 seems like it would convey more of the game sessions effectively.

that was pretty sweet... I don't know, i just find girls talking about random junk kind of interesting and kind of amusing...plus it had freaking sasha in it!

The DM was a little....blah.

A DM should really become his/her characters, really make the world come alive (or for God's sake at least make each notable NPC sound different or have a different mannerisms to make them more memorable).

Sure you'll look like a goon (we all do, trust me, I've been doing this for over ten years now), but hey, at least you and , more importantly your players will have more fun and become more invested in the adventure.

As for the players, ah I believe Shamus Young said it best:

"Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu."

Damn. They make my players seem downright docile. They were the ones who really kept this thing funny for me.

EDIT: "The political structure of the goblin city"? Wow. That may actually be a good quest hook: finding out that the goblins actually have a civilization more radically advanced than any on the surface, like Rapture from "Bioshock" complete with a mad Randian Capitalist goblin at the helm? That would be awesome!

I'm going to record my grandmother playing bridge and I'm gonna call it "I hit it with my dentures"

It's good background noise, like a commentary track. I'm not expecting super pow-wow action from these videos, but it's interesting to listen to the things that are happening while I occupy myself with other things.

I like it a hell of a lot better than Game Dogs at least.

Also, Zak isn't really GM Material. The whole imagination thing doesn't really work if, you know, you can't imagine it.

I was one of the defenders of the first video, I liked the idea because I had a lot of fun listening to the Penny-Arcade podcasts. However, even now with the playing I so desperately wanted to hear I'm leaning towards a bleak perspective. If it was 10-20 minutes long with non-disruptive cuts then I could definitively approve or dissaprove. However, with all the many breaks in interaction I'm left in a limbo of "not sure if want". Give me the whole thing or, as another poster commented, more than 15 seconds of any given event. Its all so disjointed I can't find myself caring about these personalities, characters, or whatever incomprehensible story is going on.

Regardless, I'll still listen to the next one while browsing the web at the office. That's right, listen not watch. The fact that they're porn stars/strippers is of secondary interest to me. Even Satine seems always readily eager to point out that she's a FORMER pornstar and desire to be known on her other merits as an illustrator. A humble suggestion. Grab me with the playing, please. Something so visually mundane as D&D requires a different approach from your usual documentry/reality show format. Listen to just the audio, edit it down to what is reasonable yet entertaining regardless of how long it is, then find the relevant footage and make it thus. I don't know if its the Escapist putting limits or the editors in charge of the show whittling it down on their own but even people who 'like' the show are not entirely content.

How about instead of DnD they just have a bar fight. I'd enjoy watching that.

That was super boring. My DnD group are more entertaining than this! I wonder if I can get paid by escapist by just leaving a camera angled at us. (I usually don't have shows I hate unless I can just look around and see a group of people I would find more entertaining)
-Unlikable cast
-No jokes I laughed at (I am not sure if there was anything I could call a joke in there)
I lost all faith in this series.

Wildrow12:
The DM was a little....blah.

A DM should really become his/her characters, really make the world come alive (or for God's sake at least make each notable NPC sound different or have a different mannerisms to make them more memorable).

Sure you'll look like a goon (we all do, trust me, I've been doing this for over ten years now), but hey, at least you and , more importantly your players will have more fun and become more invested in the adventure.

As for the players, ah I believe Shamus Young said it best:

"Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu."

Damn. They make my players seem downright docile. They were the ones who really kept this thing funny for me.

EDIT: "The political structure of the goblin city"? Wow. That may actually be a good quest hook: finding out that the goblins actually have a civilization more radically advanced than any on the surface, like Rapture from "Bioshock" complete with a mad Randian Capitalist goblin at the helm? That would be awesome!

I feel like you should be the DM of th
is series the guy it is now doesn't make a interesting story in my opinion.

Mcface:

mechanixis:
I really want to like this, guys, but it's shaping up to be "stupid, unattractive, and fairly self-important women squabble for five minutes, the show."

Pretty much this, when did strippers and porn stars get so boring?

When they start playing DnD instead of playing with there vagi- You know what nevermind.

Satine Phoenix:
Actually, Mr Magnuslion, I'm a Comic Book Illustrator who happened to strip and do porn for a couple of years of my life. The Idea of the show is that girls like to play D&D too... Even Porn Stars and Strippers and Hairdressers. Maybe you'd like to watch a show that has all Female Paralegals playing D&D? Either people like watching other people Play Dungeons and Dragons or they don't. Personally I love watching people play D&D and listening to various D&D pod casts. Its not for everyone and we know this. If you didn't like the idea in the first place, why would you watch it? The TV show the Bachelor doesn't interest me at all but I don't go on the Bachelor's forums going on and on about how much it sucks. Why would any one waste their time commenting on a show that they wouldn't watch no matter who was cast in it?

I don't know why this show randomly popped into my head at work but for some reason it did, got me thinking that people are focusing too much on the fact you're porn stars.
We know some of the escapist videos are gimmicky (Looking at you Game Dogs) but this show didn't appear so for me, unlike most people.
Clearly your profession has put a tint on most of the viewers opinion, which I'm afraid is quite a sad thing indeed.
For me this was just -women- playing DnD, I won't lie some of it grates on me but that's just partial back and forth moments.
Looking forward to the next episode though.

Archon:
So with "Axe," we aren't necessarily trying to reach the people who are already coming here. We're trying to reach new people with something we think is cool.

I actually respect that stance, and can understand why you wouldn't want to test this stuff on us first (that, and the feeling that this whole series has been recorded already)

However, I can see where a lot of these complaints about the editing were going though, it's as much about content as it is editing. The Virtual Reality entry in the 09' film festival had terrible camera-work to the point where a third of it was recorded on a webcam, but the content was hilarious. To this day, I'm quite saddened that the 2nd place entry didn't get a series either, when Unskippable did back in 08', and look how much content the ENN guys have on this site as a result.

That said, I'll be giving this a miss. Maybe it's because I prefer porn stars sticking to what they do best, not stumbling through a game that most of them clearly haven't played before

My point is that these shows are really testing our patience. I saw some extremely strong competitors at the Escapist Film Festival, and I believe the winner of this year's award isn't even here yet. I didn't even see this, and it's getting posted...

It's like...the people at the Escapist had a favor called in from a friend. As a business, I understand how it *could* be popular, and the premise of the show is sound, and is a great concept. It's new in the womanly aspect, however, the arrangement and the GM (the CORE of the series, even though the hot chicks are the center) needs to really step up his/her game about 8 notches.

I see this in the shows submitted to The Escapist every time. It's a great concept, but... fails because of bad implementation (that goes for games in general, as well). I had to comment that on a lot of submissions this year (even though I didn't have time/energy/anti-laziness to post my comment on every show).

I do want to make a huge comment:

Saying that a show will pick up after X episodes is doomed to fail.

You don't see shows on NBC, CBS, FOX or whatever giving the excuse "Well, just wait until the fifth episode." It's a LAME excuse. The first episode should be the draw episode. It's the episode that makes people want to watch the show week after week. It gives the basic premise and gives the opportunity to get into the show, because if you make your show fail right out of the gate, people will bitch about it for 1-2 weeks, and it will get it's initial popularity, but people will not watch the show when it actually gets good.

An even bigger comment:

If you have to make an excuse about why your show isn't good, you're doing it wrong. Yahtzee has made this point many times; one part of a game should not sell another. It's the same with shows.

So, basically this is what would happen if you filmed 95% of the people who play D&D. Why is that entertaining?

ucciolord1:
This is actually pretty enjoyable. I mean, it's porn stars and D&D. How the hell can't this be awesome?

I dont know but it's trying.

Last week i wasnt too impressed, this one is better but i dont find it funny. Maybe its not supposed to be, maybe its supposed to be like playing D&D with these gals but meh, i never played D&D so maybe its just going over my head.

I just think Unforgotten Realms did a better job at basically the same thing.

I dont know i'll stick with it for another week, and if i still dont get it i'm just going to assume its for a very niche crowd.

PedroSteckecilo:

De Ronneman:

EL SNIP

To be honest I do, because I find it easy for a dungeon master to break a game if he decides pretty much what happens to everyone, the amount of exp you gain and where you end up 'n stuff.

As for not having fun with it, I said, in the piece you handily cut of the quote, that it's " dreary(for non-intimi) old D&D, no matter who plays it..."

I talked about who played it, but it also shows what I am, someone who never got D&D, and therefore is not able to judge the game.

Not to say I hate fantasy or anything, I like Warhammer and read the LOTR books(not just the movies, then declare to be a buff).

I was more responding to your implications that "having a social life" and "roleplaying" are mutually exclusive elements.

I suppose I just don't understand why people consider DnD and other RPG's "anti-social". Hell RPG's almost REQUIRE you to interact with other people face to face and are far more "social" by my measure than being an anonymous twat over Xbox Live.

It's odd, I've been roleplaying for so long I often ask myself what do people who don't roleplay even DO with their Saturday Nights that's so much more special than what I do? I mean I suppose if your single you might be out looking for a date, and if your Significant Other is a non-gamer you probably want to spend time with them, but what about everyone else?

I dunno, most of my friends are roleplayers, my girlfriend is a roleplayer, this is what we want to DO with our Saturday Nights instead of wasting our money drinking over priced booze and listening to painfully loud music at a crappy bar, why is that so weird?

PedroSteckecilo:

De Ronneman:

EL SNIP

To be honest I do, because I find it easy for a dungeon master to break a game if he decides pretty much what happens to everyone, the amount of exp you gain and where you end up 'n stuff.

As for not having fun with it, I said, in the piece you handily cut of the quote, that it's " dreary(for non-intimi) old D&D, no matter who plays it..."

I talked about who played it, but it also shows what I am, someone who never got D&D, and therefore is not able to judge the game.

Not to say I hate fantasy or anything, I like Warhammer and read the LOTR books(not just the movies, then declare to be a buff).

I was more responding to your implications that "having a social life" and "roleplaying" are mutually exclusive elements.

I suppose I just don't understand why people consider DnD and other RPG's "anti-social". Hell RPG's almost REQUIRE you to interact with other people face to face and are far more "social" by my measure than being an anonymous twat over Xbox Live.

It's odd, I've been roleplaying for so long I often ask myself what do people who don't roleplay even DO with their Saturday Nights that's so much more special than what I do? I mean I suppose if your single you might be out looking for a date, and if your Significant Other is a non-gamer you probably want to spend time with them, but what about everyone else?

I dunno, most of my friends are roleplayers, my girlfriend is a roleplayer, this is what we want to DO with our Saturday Nights instead of wasting our money drinking over priced booze and listening to painfully loud music at a crappy bar, why is that so weird?

+1 It isn't hard to beat loud crap music and overpriced booze. I must be getting long in the tooth! LOL When I can get everyone in my gaming group scheduled for a game it makes an excellent night in.

I like the Medusa holding up a mask so she can talk to the PCs without turning them to stone. I like Mandy wondering about the political structure of the goblin city. I enjoyed the energy in the rapid-fire discussions among the players about the best way to proceed.

But what I like best of all are the commenters who think Zak is a terrible DM based on a couple minutes of actual DMing. That's among the funnier things I've read this week. I hope Zak finds them as funny as I do. I've been DMing thirty-three years-a long time, but not the longest by far-but I wouldn't dream of judging a DM based on so little actual information.

On the contrary, after reading Zak's excellent blog for quite a while, I'm excited by the opportunity to watch how he runs his games. That's part of why I'll like it more when the episodes are longer and less edited.

To the producers at The Escapist, your decision to air this show brought me to your site, and I'm not the only one. You are indeed reaching some new people.

they should let Sasha Grey do what she wanted. Its perfectly within the bounds of what a tiefling (a demon for crying out loud) would do. Especially if she's playing chaotic evil or something...

And i intend to keep watching... I wanna see where this DM is taking these people... Although... Goblins first up... Isn't it normally Kobolds...

Wow. As the DM for my gaming group, I find this show oddly appealing. Maybe its because it strikes so close to home. No matter what sort of awesome adventure you have lined up for your players, and no matter how many countless hours of work and planning went into its creation, the entire thing can be destroyed in an instance by a few assholes deciding they'd rather kill the quest giver :)

I would suggest putting a bit more work into the process of editing. This thing flows as well as cement through a straw. Only because I can recognize all the elements do I follow the show's progression. Keep in mind an audience that might know nothing of DnD and I think you would make a better product all around.

That was surely... odd.

The concept is interesting (or, at the very least, unexpected), but I think the problem hinges on the fact it is poorly edited. It is a tad amusing, but I don't see myself following it if it stays the way it is. Maybe a look at the videos done by WotC where they play with the Robot Chicken staff could give a few pointers on how to make it right. Who knows?

I see that opinions are divided already. Leaning towards the hate, I'm afraid. But comparing it to Televisual entertainment isn't right. This is the internet. The point of being the internet is that people are free to make and then show us whatever they feel like and see if anybody digs it as well. And you're not forced to watch it if you don't want. But criticize you may, just don't act as if it was made with the explicit purpose of annoying or exploiting you.

Also, since half of my gaming group is female, the whole "OMG hot girlz playing games!" angle doesn't really phase me. Sorry, you'll have to put some actual work in to hold my attention on this one.

Melancholy_Ocelot:
This video belongs in the cesspools of boring YouTube videos. It's about as exciting as watching a guy play Guitar Hero but you can't see the tv.

Man, no matter what angle its at. Watching anything to do with Guitar Hero is boring. (playing it is fun though)

This strikes me of one of those things that sounds good on paper, "Nerds like DnD, Nerds like porn. So DnD played by porn stars", but it turns out very boring. Watching other people play DnD isn't very fun generally speaking. Especially with the kind of pacing you got going here, not really all that much going on.

I guess it also seems kinda, cheep I guess. Not in terms of cost but rather in gimmick. yes, there job is to look good having sex on camera, and nerds are predictable people you tell them there are boobs involved and they'll watch anything. So if that is the gimmick you should play to it. Sure it would be a cheep gimmick but at least you'd be upfront about it.

But prehaps not, maybe the idea is to show that not all people that play DnD fall into the, nerd that lives in his parents basement and has never had a girlfriend model. OK, that's all well and good, and maybe it would make a good article, but not so much a good ongoing series.

But that being said, if your doing this just to have fun and play the game, more power to ya. It just doesn't make a good video series.

Mr.Wiggles:
Improvement!HAH!!!!!! Good One!

Ya see the problem here is the concept is terrible!The writing is also terrible!The show is TERRIBLE!!!!

There is a reason most porn-stars don't have successful acting careers!!!!

Also... you try understanding when they like kinda like y'know and your all like "Hey man..like what are you like...doing?"and there all like "Dude!!! WTF Are you saying ? like

You are aware that they are not acting, right? That this is real? There is no writing or scripts or multiple takes. Its just them sitting down, playing DnD, and recording it. I understand what they are trying to accomplish with this. I see it. Its there. They haven't reached it yet, and possibly never will, but I do see it.

Oh, this just goes to show you. Whoever plays DnD sounds like they're just fucking around, but in fact they are having fun. Hahaha and it brings back memories of my old group.

silversun101:

Mr.Wiggles:
Improvement!HAH!!!!!! Good One!

Ya see the problem here is the concept is terrible!The writing is also terrible!The show is TERRIBLE!!!!

There is a reason most porn-stars don't have successful acting careers!!!!

Also... you try understanding when they like kinda like y'know and your all like "Hey man..like what are you like...doing?"and there all like "Dude!!! WTF Are you saying ? like

You are aware that they are not acting, right? That this is real? There is no writing or scripts or multiple takes. Its just them sitting down, playing DnD, and recording it. I understand what they are trying to accomplish with this. I see it. Its there. They haven't reached it yet, and possibly never will, but I do see it.

Thats probably a flaw in itself! Any DECENT TV show is scripted and acted! Even shows such as Mock the Week ,which boasts its comedians improvisational abilities, are scripted.

Mr.Wiggles:

silversun101:

Mr.Wiggles:
Improvement!HAH!!!!!! Good One!

Ya see the problem here is the concept is terrible!The writing is also terrible!The show is TERRIBLE!!!!

There is a reason most porn-stars don't have successful acting careers!!!!

Also... you try understanding when they like kinda like y'know and your all like "Hey man..like what are you like...doing?"and there all like "Dude!!! WTF Are you saying ? like

You are aware that they are not acting, right? That this is real? There is no writing or scripts or multiple takes. Its just them sitting down, playing DnD, and recording it. I understand what they are trying to accomplish with this. I see it. Its there. They haven't reached it yet, and possibly never will, but I do see it.

Thats probably a flaw in itself! Any DECENT TV show is scripted and acted! Even shows such as Mock the Week ,which boasts its comedians improvisational abilities, are scripted.

It... what? What are you talking about?

This is like a documentary. Or "reality show", though I use that word reluctantly and with utter disgust. They are sitting down to play a game, and they want to film it to share their experiences with the larger public. The "hook" is that the majority of the players are also in the adult entertainment industry in some form or other, but they aren't playing a role. Its just a group of friends enjoying an afternoon game.

You can't honestly tell me you think this is supposed to be scripted or in any way planned out ahead of time?

Megido:

De Ronneman:
You edited the second I clicked "quote", so you get sent off with only a minor rant:

NO: I do not think all people who play D&D are nerds.
YES: I realise you don't play it alone.
YES: I am a gamer, and I do consider myself to be quite the nerd to be honest.
YES: I am a dipshit at times, but only on weekdays. On weekends I'm a loveable guy.
YES: I stereotyped, but only because it's easier to make a point with stereotypes. Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels somewhat insulted by the idea that we(the nerds, gamers and other social challenged people) should watch a series about adult actrices(and actors, but noone cares for them) who do nerdy(apologies) things, just because of their profession.

I genuinly feel insulted. Not by you(Megido), but more by the guy(it HAS to have been a guy) who decided to pick this show for the Escapist...

You make a good point. Maybe one of the reasons I dislike the show so much is that I feel the same way as you; insulted that it is supposed to (and apparently is much to my dismay) appeal to the "nerd" crowd.

I really wish stereotypes weren't true, but the fact that this boring show is supposedly very popular is kinda throwing that right in our faces. It has no merits beyond that it contains attractive women, yet, according to Archon, it has had the biggest opening of any show on the Escapist. I can only hope that's due to the shit storm it's causing, and not because lots of people actually like it.

We all know why there are stereotypes: they're usually founded on either TV or Newspapers. They usually have a core of truth, but as with all general statements, there are too many different people. 1 stereotype for 1 group isn't sufficient. Stereotypes are there because they're popular and immediatly recognisable. That's mainly TV's(and film's) fault.

The fact it's such a big opener is also easily explained with one question, the one burning in all our minds when we heared it was coming up:
"Are there boobs?"

Now the buzz is gone, the dustclouds waivered by the wind, we take a good long look over the battlefield, realising the giant army we just crushed was an anthill. We looked at it from a distance with binoculars. Little did we know, what we saw was unreal, a lie.
Now we've seen the bigger picture, gained insight on the series, and come to realise it is not a golden army of crotchless panties, but a puddle of piss without tits.

And about the whole "let's employ pornstars" thingy, are we suposed to know them? I, for one, am not a regular viewer of porn, which is to be said, only for laughs, but does ANYONE know them by name or something?

Pretty, nerdy, horny - whats not to like?

I think it is interesting to see people play DnD, especially people that are new to the game. Anyone that has played the game knows that it starts off slow, always have and always will. The fact that their adult performers really don't matter....don't hurt, but don't really matter. Watching it does make me want to haul out my old DnD books though. I think this will only get better as it goes, if not at least it is a unique idea, so tired of seeing the same thing over and over again.

Again, so recognizable. Players are scatterbrained psychopaths obsessed with loot, I feel for the DM. (I can almost hear him think: "wait, what? no don't kill my quest-givers!! please?)

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