I Hit It With My Axe: Episode Eight: Don't Tell Us, Right Now!

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This was an enjoyable episode. It shows through that you're enjoying the game, and Justine seems (as said) more into it than Sasha did.

Some cuts felt a little too fast still, but overall this was really good. Looking forward to the next one =)

I've only ever played the computer game versions of DnD (baldurs gate, neverwinter nights) so my perception of it is probably a bit skewed because of that but watching this makes me want to give it a try. I know some people that play their own version of DnD and they said I could join them sometime so maybe I will.

I must admit I wasn't to sure about the first couple of episodes but it's definately gotten a lot better since then. Keep it up :-)

Arlyn:
I'm not going to dis 1st ed it was the groundwork for a functional game system, but it was just the ground work. More rules were implemented, changed, and improved upon because the game system is flawed, just like Zak's DMing is, in my opinion. In any case, he wasn't even running a 1st ed game. Or he was running a 1st ed game using newer books, which seems less than effective. And in any case, my main issue is with the girls playing. No, I do not like the way Zak runs, but his players don't know enough about the game for him to run it properly. They'd all die every five seconds and the majority of the campaign would be character creation. Everyone would get bored.

Well, if you don't think OD&D and 1st Edition were a functional game system, we will simply have to agree to disagree. I've been running six players from The Escapist team through OD&D for the last 47 weeks consecutively and the game has been functioning just fine.

I don't dislike 3.5 at all; much of what it did was beautiful, from ascending AC to streamlining saving throws to unifying the game mechanics. But it also introduced lots of broken mechanics too. My D&D 3.5 campaign requires more house rules than my OD&D campaign to make it work.

I seriously want that cookie that Connie was eating. Looks incredibly tasty.

Also, you guys need to come visit so we can play together. :D

Archon:

Arlyn:
I'm not going to dis 1st ed it was the groundwork for a functional game system, but it was just the ground work. More rules were implemented, changed, and improved upon because the game system is flawed, just like Zak's DMing is, in my opinion. In any case, he wasn't even running a 1st ed game. Or he was running a 1st ed game using newer books, which seems less than effective. And in any case, my main issue is with the girls playing. No, I do not like the way Zak runs, but his players don't know enough about the game for him to run it properly. They'd all die every five seconds and the majority of the campaign would be character creation. Everyone would get bored.

Well, if you don't think OD&D and 1st Edition were a functional game system, we will simply have to agree to disagree. I've been running six players from The Escapist team through OD&D for the last 47 weeks consecutively and the game has been functioning just fine.

I don't dislike 3.5 at all; much of what it did was beautiful, from ascending AC to streamlining saving throws to unifying the game mechanics. But it also introduced lots of broken mechanics too. My D&D 3.5 campaign requires more house rules than my OD&D campaign to make it work.

I don't think first ed was completely disfunctional, I just think it left too much room. There were too many situations in which house rules became almost necessary for the game to run smoothly, at least in my experience. I think WotC saw most of those problems and fixed them. It was by no means perfect (otherwise there wouldn't be so many ways to make Pun-Pun), but it was an improvement to the system. I acknowledge that it's completely possible that the DMs I played with were just crap, but all the 3.5 games I've played ran smoothly as far as the rules were concerned. So, as far as I've seen, first ed was faulty, and there's a better rules system now. If you think something is too broken, simply don't allow it, and the problem is fixed, easy. Where as in first ed there was a list of house rules almost as long as the PHB itself.

And this is why the Storyteller system is superior!

*flees*

Programmed_For_Damage:

rddj623:
Zak, your goblin voice is awesome!

Amen to that brother!

Yes, I agree. Zak really hits it with his goblin voice. I think every DM has his own prefered voice. My old DM reigned supreme at old people. I usually get my players with animal voices (badger/sheep) and overstimulated faeries.

And to, again, agree with most other posters here, I too thought this was the episode this far. (I really appreciated the names coupled with the players.)

chepenoyo:
And Rorschach, we can totally tell it's you. This "II2" handle isn't fooling anyone who's read your journal.

I thought that dialogue structure looked somewhat familiar! Now I can't help but read those posts in a Rorschach voice, which has made them a lot funnier. Thanks!

I just wanted to say that after i finished watching these videos I checked up on some of the actresses 'other' videos. I have to say that "I hit it with my axe" has really opened my eyes and revolutionized the way i see actors. How that they ARE people too. I like these videos because they invite the viewers to stop being at an arm length and really get to know these people. There is no falseness about any of it and its just like you are just hanging out and gaming.

Any of these people are people i would want to run DnD with and not just care about what they do in their professional life. That being said doing something that they like for a living shouldn't looked down upon at all...especially something that takes as much balls and confidence as porn.

That was the first episode that really made me LOL. Very entertaining. Good job ladies and DM!

Susan Arendt:
I seriously want that cookie that Connie was eating. Looks incredibly tasty.

Also, you guys need to come visit so we can play together. :D

Where is the Escapist located? I'd love to play AND check out the office while I am at it [I can afford time for a good D&D game]. On a side note, what you guys do for the gaming industry is tremendous, in my opinion. Gaming, afterall, can be and is a social medium =)

Easily my favorite so far. Opposites is just the sort of stupid madness where goblins excel, & the success of the much-maligned mushroom book was great pay-off. I feel like the crew had a lot of fun, which made it a lot of fun to watch.

So I've watched all the episodes so far, and while the show is...interesting?...to say the least, maybe I'm just too used to seeing pornstars doing something other than play D&D.

I'll keep watching though. I have never played or watched anyone play D&D, so I'll chalk it up to a "learning experience". Yeah, that's it.

Ha, this episode was great. The previous ones were just okay, but I throughly enjoyed this one. The Bizarro language bit was awesome, I actually laughed at it. I need to use it in a game so that everyone gets confused.

richgfong:

Susan Arendt:
I seriously want that cookie that Connie was eating. Looks incredibly tasty.

Also, you guys need to come visit so we can play together. :D

Where is the Escapist located? I'd love to play AND check out the office while I am at it [I can afford time for a good D&D game]. On a side note, what you guys do for the gaming industry is tremendous, in my opinion. Gaming, afterall, can be and is a social medium =)

We're in Durham, NC. I should try and figure out how to have an online D&D session so we can play with members of the community...

Susan Arendt:

richgfong:

Susan Arendt:
I seriously want that cookie that Connie was eating. Looks incredibly tasty.

Also, you guys need to come visit so we can play together. :D

Where is the Escapist located? I'd love to play AND check out the office while I am at it [I can afford time for a good D&D game]. On a side note, what you guys do for the gaming industry is tremendous, in my opinion. Gaming, afterall, can be and is a social medium =)

We're in Durham, NC. I should try and figure out how to have an online D&D session so we can play with members of the community...

I can't see D&D being played online (I haven't done it myself). The face to face interaction shared is probably the hardest thing to replace (I wonder whether playing with group webcams on a site like http://www.stickam.com/ would alleviate the problem...)

You guys are in North Carolina... doh, that's too bad. I'm in California -- would love to have dropped by and checked out the office. Again, what you guys do is super cool!

Justine seems way too nice to be a porn stsr.

I'm really glad to be reading the positive comments regarding the episodes.
I believe Mandy brilliantly explained what some people seemed to have such a hard time understanding.

I enjoy this RPG, I enjoy Zak's DMing, the hybrid of the type of D&D we're playing, our characters and the real life people who rolled them up (my friends).

I'm sorry you get heartbroken or upset when you feel like this is being marketed to you, specifically because people assume that if you love D&D/videogames that you're lonely and love boobs. Hey, sometimes I'm lonely and love boobs too, I'm not upset because someone offers me something that I like. Maybe I don't like it. Just because someone assumes I like, LA ink for example, because I have tattoos, doesn't mean I'm going to curse Kat Von D, her friends and the creators and insult them. I just say, "Heyyy, look at that, perpetuated stereotypes, weird." Then I don't watch the show and I move on. Then I watch something like Freaks and Geeks and laaaaauugh and try to have a good time, because I like good times.

One more thing. I think it's silly to compare this show with mass marketed shows with a high production value. "Why is this show poorly lit, poorly edited, not in HD, not written with additional stereotypes and misogynistic one-liners and mainstream actors, WHY ISN'T THIS SHOW FRIENDS, I WANT TO SEE RACHEL, JOEY AND CHANDLER ROLL UP THEIR CHARACTERS WHYYYY".

Okay thank you for reading this and being awesome and liking it and talking about how much you like it, I like those of you who do that!

<33, Frankie

frankieface:
I'm really glad to be reading the positive comments regarding the episodes.
I believe Mandy brilliantly explained what some people seemed to have such a hard time understanding.

I enjoy this RPG, I enjoy Zak's DMing, the hybrid of the type of D&D we're playing, our characters and the real life people who rolled them up (my friends).

I'm sorry you get heartbroken or upset when you feel like this is being marketed to you, specifically because people assume that if you love D&D/videogames that you're lonely and love boobs. Hey, sometimes I'm lonely and love boobs too, I'm not upset because someone offers me something that I like. Maybe I don't like it. Just because someone assumes I like, LA ink for example, because I have tattoos, doesn't mean I'm going to curse Kat Von D, her friends and the creators and insult them. I just say, "Heyyy, look at that, perpetuated stereotypes, weird." Then I don't watch the show and I move on. Then I watch something like Freaks and Geeks and laaaaauugh and try to have a good time, because I like good times.

One more thing. I think it's silly to compare this show with mass marketed shows with a high production value. "Why is this show poorly lit, poorly edited, not in HD, not written with additional stereotypes and misogynistic one-liners and mainstream actors, WHY ISN'T THIS SHOW FRIENDS, I WANT TO SEE RACHEL, JOEY AND CHANDLER ROLL UP THEIR CHARACTERS WHYYYY".

Okay thank you for reading this and being awesome and liking it and talking about how much you like it, I like those of you who do that!

<33, Frankie

XD
That was hilarious and extremely to the point. Thank you for this post. :)

richgfong:

Susan Arendt:

-nip, tuck-

We're in Durham, NC. I should try and figure out how to have an online D&D session so we can play with members of the community...

I can't see D&D being played online (I haven't done it myself). The face to face interaction shared is probably the hardest thing to replace (I wonder whether playing with group webcams on a site like http://www.stickam.com/ would alleviate the problem...)

You guys are in North Carolina... doh, that's too bad. I'm in California -- would love to have dropped by and checked out the office. Again, what you guys do is super cool!

I've played quite a bit online and quite a bit in person. With the right tools, I actually tend to prefer playing online. ( apparently people just don't look at my six-and-a-half-foot frame and think 'petite little elfgirl' :-( ) There are a number of tools that help facilitate this, and my favorite tools are all free:

- A virtual tabletop software (I prefer MapTool) to emulate miniatures and provide a chat room with RP-specific features like virtual die rolling and GM-only text.
- Voice chat software if you prefer not to use text chatting. Mumble or Ventrillo are probably the most popular specialty clients but I'll bet Skype would do fine.
- Character sheet software. I'm fond of PCGen, which runs really slowly but can make damn near anything if you spend some time with it. I've got an Earth Mephit Mystic Theurge, an elven sorcerer/psion lich, and a character with a homebrew class and a homebrew race, all that I was able to make with PCGen.

frankieface:
One more thing. I think it's silly to compare this show with mass marketed shows with a high production value. "Why is this show poorly lit, poorly edited, not in HD, not written with additional stereotypes and misogynistic one-liners and mainstream actors, WHY ISN'T THIS SHOW FRIENDS, I WANT TO SEE RACHEL, JOEY AND CHANDLER ROLL UP THEIR CHARACTERS WHYYYY".

I DO love the show and pretty much have no complaints about the latest episode (or even the last couple) but good editing is good editing. There's nothing silly about wanting a coherent (although I was never confused about what was going on, there was less emotional impact) narrative. Its easier and doesn't require a high production value to put something into Premiere/After Effects and leave it alone. For instance, ditching the guitar-riff cuts is a huge boon to the show, I think.

Anyways, most of those concerns were pieces of constructive criticism about earlier episodes in which I suspect people were still getting settled in on how to proceed with the show. Cheers and here's to many more episodes in the future.

I DO love the show and pretty much have no complaints about the latest episode (or even the last couple) but good editing is good editing. There's nothing silly about wanting a coherent (although I was never confused about what was going on, there was less emotional impact) narrative. Its easier and doesn't require a high production value to put something into Premiere/After Effects and leave it alone. For instance, ditching the guitar-riff cuts is a huge boon to the show, I think.

Anyways, most of those concerns were pieces of constructive criticism about earlier episodes in which I suspect people were still getting settled in on how to proceed with the show. Cheers and here's to many more episodes in the future.

I totally understand. I was exaggerating, and just meant it as a, "this show is not House, it will not be lit or edited like House, or have the same structured storyline as House." Maybe it can, I mean, what's it take to get the editor and writers of House to edit and write our episodes?? I'm kidding.

That post was mainly a response to try to get people to lighten up. Not everyone will like everything that happens and I understand it. I've just read some unrealistic expectations and I thought they were ridiculous and wanted to clear some things up.

I like the guitar-riffs, because I think we all (the players & DM) like metal, and we're typically usually listening to metal when we play. Doom metal, black metal, power violence. I mean for me at least, it really sets the mood. Like listening to Emperor before an epic battle.

Ah well, anyway I understand people have different opinions about what they like to see and hear. Thank you for watching the show, I'm glad you like it.

Also just to make Frankie's point about the music cut ins extra clear--it's there to provide added emotional impact to the condensed tense or important events of our game in the originally very short episodes. To help illustrate what we were all thinking or feeling--something epic is about to happen--the music playing in the backround suddenly becomes heavy and emotional for us as it syncs with our fears, hopes, expectations for what is about to happen to us. KK says "nice" or "metal" as a heavy guitar rift cues with her about to roll a 20 (for example). That's fun for us and wouldn't have come through in the edit without making a point of it.

KK is really good at rolling crits by the way. Which is appropriate for her barbarian class and personality.

And since some of you have asked for this, a quick summery of our characters:

Me: I'm a tiefling cleric of Vorn. I'm 4th level. I've been playing this character since mid August 2009. I was left as an infant on the steps of the Cathedral of Vorn and as such the recentness of my demon lineage is uncertain. It is suspected among the priestesses who raised me that it's fairly recent and so I had extra vigorous moral instruction. My name is Tizane Ildiko. In Hungarian it means "Gypsy Warrior" but I believe there are alternate spellings to the one I chose. I'm very bossy. I try to be cautious. I seem to be the "mom" of the party, which makes sense since I'm the one who has to heal everyone once they've gotten into trouble, so I tend to sometimes try to think of ways to get everyone else to avoid "excessive trouble". I grew up playing video games and so only played my first game of D&D at Christmas 2008.

Frankie: Frankie is a dark elf thief. She is now 3rd level. She's been playing with us since just before Christmas (2009). Her name is Varla. She really likes to sneak and hide and shoot stuff from far away and occasionally needs to be reminded that she can cause darkness and backstab everything. She saves the party a lot by doing that. She also very much likes to loot and steal.

Kimberly Kane (we call her KK): Is a 2ond level half elf barbarian named Rookia. She started playing with us in December. She is from the frozen north of the world we play in and so is half what we call "white elf". She likes to have guard dogs and has very good luck when rolling to hit things. She is brave and independent and likes her ale.

*aside* The world we play is all covered in ice and snow and in perpetual winter everywhere as far as we know.

Satine: Satine has been playing D&D since she was 15, so that's over ten years. She likes to play wood elves and is also a thief. Her name is Mirror. I think she's 2ond or 3rd level. She is very adventurous and inventive. She likes to pickpocket fancy things from nobles and think up crazy ways to get stuff done. She's very protective of her belongings when we do stuff she always retrieves her ropes and grappling hooks. We've been playing with her since fall 2009 I think.

Connie: Connie is playing a halfling thief. Her name is Jinx. She likes animals and likes doing nimble little tricks that the rest of us can't. She is reckless and bold and loyal. When she gets injured (she has bad luck with that) she likes to get revenge and when she is denied that she gets a bit impatient but she always seems calm and quiet. Jinx is quirky. Connie has also been playing with us since fall 2009.

As for the DM and guest stars you all can figure that out for yourself with minimal effort. You can also check out www.dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com and click "players" for play reports and additional insights into our characters and gaming anecdotes.

I seldom comment, but I feel it's appropriate to voice my opinions here.

First of all, let me congratulate you on the best episode yet. There was an energy in the room that wasn't felt earlier, and it's always funnier to watch people enjoying themselves (then again, given your chosen profession, you probably knew that :) ). There's also better lighting, which helped. I like how there seems to be a story emerging, that will really help the dynamics of the show, which has felt a bit wishy-washy so far. Also, backwards goblins were awesome. I'm so stealing that.

On the show as a whole, I find it to be watchable. My favourite girl is Kimberly, because she comes across as the most imaginative. The blanket trick was a great idea, and it's a pity it didn't work (Tangent: I know she rolled a 1 on her attack roll, and that's why it failed, but a blanket does have a fixed size, that's not a variable of chance. Then again, it could be argued that the size determination decided how it twisted in the air, and therefore how big effective area it produced. Just a small, anal retentive comment.). She also seems to be really into it, which, again, makes her fun to watch.

Also, Frankie is cute :3

I wasn't too impressed by the first episodes, but I do agree with what Zak wrote on his blog (a blog I'll be following from now on, as an aside), that it gets better after episode 5. The documentary style isn't an instant sell for me, and I don't watch any "reality shows" (don't get me started on the hypocrisy in the genre name alone -.-), but you manages to make me stick, which is good on you. Naturally, very few reality shows have porn stars playing D&D, so y'know... that probably helps.

Which brings me to the discussion that has raged on the recent video comments. I think the fact that the show stresses the porn star bit in it's description is to make a contrast against the actual content. Porn actors and role-players are both very stereotyped populations, evoking very distinct images in most people's minds, and would probably be put as disjunct sets in any Venn diagram. Showing that there IS in fact an overlapping is a point that deserves to be made; porn actors are normal people, role-players are normal people, and sometimes, porn actors can even be role-players. Every contribution helps when it comes to dispelling prejudice.

I will raise my hand and admit to being guilty watching the first show by virtue of it being... well, porn stars doing nerdy stuff, which... was hot. Which it is. But I think there's more to it than that.

You go, girls (and boy)! Game on! :D

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it" - Terry Pratchett.

Really loved the premise to this goblin palace and the backwards talking; the whole "I will not hit you" type style banter was awesome.

Dunno about the whole made for tv look but regardless a good show since the first one and it seems like I will be watching the rest too!

I have since had the chance to get chatting with my game group and it looks like D&D may well be back on the table this summer. So a big thanks girls & guys for giving me the inspiration to go and dust off a few minatures and maybe even look at going as far as dming a campaign myself.

Since some people on the forums seem to (mistakenly) think that a high comment count seems to indicate popularity of a show, I now feel compelled to post in every IHIWMA from now on just to show my support.

The show is great but I've said that before.

The Sword are awesome, completely appropriate music. I'm fine with it cutting in and out, why the hell not, beats silence and you can't exactly have it "in the background" and get the same effect.

Not that fussed about the rotating personnel, as long as Frankie is always in it. Justine seems a bit more into it than Sacha, which I guess is good, but then I didn't mind that Sacha wasn't that into it - the 'bored noob' perspective was actually a good thing to have and to me is just as valuable as someone who might be more enthusiastic or experienced.

Editing doesn't bother me, better to have too many edits than too few. Narrative cohesion, pfft. The minutae of what exactly is happening isn't something I'm that fussed about, the meat of the show is the dynamics between the DM/players and the general vibe of feeling like you are there with the players, in the room... something that no other show I've seen covering the same topic has ever captured...

I wish my girlfriend and her girfriends were into D&D.

KK really comes off like some of the gung-ho gamer guys I've known in the past (only a lot prettier, and -- y'know -- female).

The others really come across as gamers. Some early in their career, others a bit more experienced. But RPG gamers -- the roll-the-dice, talk-crazy-tactics, go-off-on-tangents type of people I know and have known in my gaming career.

It's like going to a convention and listening in at an open gaming table.

Keep it up, y'all.

BonsaiK:
I wish my girlfriend and her girfriends were into D&D.

My wife couldn't be less interested, but I don't mind. I figure having separate hobbies keep us from becoming a gross "couple" connected by an umbilical cord. Think of it as being...healthy?

You know, the trolls coming here might have a positive unintended consequence, as The Escapist is able to ban a lot of the misogynists who might otherwise be "passing" in the general population. So on the upside, there is that.

Panayjon:
And this is why the Storyteller system is superior!

I'm with you actually; I run my Weird Fantasy game with the WoD rules & it works. Then again, whatever works-- the story is the thing, etc.

Mordicai Caeli:

BonsaiK:
I wish my girlfriend and her girfriends were into D&D.

My wife couldn't be less interested, but I don't mind. I figure having separate hobbies keep us from becoming a gross "couple" connected by an umbilical cord. Think of it as being...healthy?

Well that's true, but I was thinking more from the perspective of filming it. Oh well, I'll have to settle filming what she does for a living currently instead...

Mordicai Caeli:
You know, the trolls coming here might have a positive unintended consequence, as The Escapist is able to ban a lot of the misogynists who might otherwise be "passing" in the general population. So on the upside, there is that.

No. Smart trolls never use an account they care about losing.

EDIT: My mistake, I misread that. But misogynistic comments are almost always lulzy, so why on earth would you want to lose that?

VSimmons:
Firstly, let me get something out of the way: I have never actually watched this series.

That's just great.

VSimmons:
Now, having said that, I have read numerous comments by people on these episodes. I thought that I should chime in since every point made thus far has been, for lack of a better word, retarded. These usually fall into two forms:

"HURR THIS IS OFFENSIVE CAUSE THESE WOMEN WOULD NEVER DO THIS STUFF ON THEIR OWN AND IM BEING MADE FUN OF CAUSE THEYRE HOT AND PATRONIZING ME AND USELESS OUTSIDE OF PORN DURR SPACESHIP TACO BELL"

or

"DERP THIS IS AN INTERESTING SERIES AND IS NOT AT ALL BEING ADVERTISED AS WATCHING PORN STARS CAUSE THESE WOMEN ARE PEOPLE TOO DERPA DERP I HAVE A LAMPSHADE"

That tone is uncalled for. There are other arguments brought up than those, on both sides. Myself, for example, lean towards the latter example, but there's definitely no denying the show is being marketed as "D&D with porn stars". I just don't see why this is a problem, and as explained in my post above, I think it is an idea with merit and benefits.

VSimmons:
Both of these arguments are invalid. A job has no bearing on hobbies that a person has, and this clearly *is* being advertised as "Watch hot women play D&D".

Both of these are true.

VSimmons:
Personally I think The Escapist made a huge mistake of trying to increase viewership of a series with the unappealing premise of "Watch people play D&D" by trying to spin it as "Featuring adult film performers Kimberly Kane, Zak Sabbath, Mandy Morbid, and Satine Phoenix, with a stripper named Connie, and a hairdresser named Frankie comes a reality web video series chronicling the adventures of a dungeon master and his stripper and porn star friends playing old school D&D. Guest-starring Justine Jolie."

That sounds to me like a decision that a major television network exec would do. I would think that the smaller size of The Escapist would allow for better decisions, but apparently a few bad ones still slip through.

Why is that a mistake, though? You don't quite clarify that. Because people disagree about it? This is the internet, it's built on porn and arguments.

VSimmons:
I'd also like to hear a response from somebody who works on the series to my post, since I know they read this.

But you're not asking anything :P You talk about how you summarize your impression of the majority of the arguments, and then present your own view (while admitting to not having watched the show, which doesn't really help your case), which is... okay, but there's really not much to say about it.

VSimmons:
Also, 5 dollars says an overzealous mod decides to either put me on probation, suspend me, or ban me for this post. If that doesn't happen I'll donate that 5 dollars to charity.
EDIT: I'll now wager 20 dollars, since it's for a good cause.

As long as you break no rules, they don't have the authority to ban you. I think it looks fine, you should be in the clear :)

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