Geek & Sundry has always been well known for some pretty outstanding content of the nerd variety, particularly with its TableTop series, which has turned a whole new generation of nerds onto the wonders of table top and role playing games. This summer Wil Wheaton has brought us a new series based on a game of his own creation called Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, which uses the Fantasy AGE engine that you may know from the Dragon Age RPG, and applies it to the brand new world of Valkana.
Basically, if you’re not already watching it, all we can say to you is what, what, WHAT are you doing?! Get onto the Geek & Sundry website or YouTube channel right now! You’re only a couple episodes behind! Now is the time to catch up!
For those of you who need a bit more convincing than that, here’s more of a pitch:
Now, if you’re a fan of sci-fi or fantasy, you’re going to love this world. Valkana is a place ruled by both magic and science, and has been ravaged by war and stands on the brink of destruction as an ancient evil that has not been seen since days of chaos resurfaces. Who’s going to save Valkana? Why, our band of mighty heroes, of course!
The game master is Wil Wheaton, and his job is to lead our group of heroes through the game while enforcing the rules. The magic of table top RPG is that the game is limited only by the imaginations of the characters playing, unlike videogames, which are limited by programming. This means Wheaton’s job is to not only move the players through the world of Valkana, but to react to everything each individual says and does, which can alter everyone’s fate in the blink of an eye.
He’s joined by Hank Green (Vlogbrothers, Sci-Show) as Aankia, a rogue saurian with an adorable robot sidekick named Jeremy, Alison Haislip (Attack of the Show, Team Unicorn) as Kiliel, the half-dwarf half-elf archer (fans of The Hobbit movies squint in her direction and mutter “we see what you did there”) who’s searching for her unknown father, Yuri Lowenthal (Naruto, Dragon Age, Ben 10) as S’Lethkk, a half-orc half-saurian mage with a secret, and Laura Bailey (Soul Eater, Dragon Ball Z, Final Fantasy XIII) as Lemley, a human warrior with a bionic leg and arm (THAT HIDES A SWORD NAMED DR. LOBOTOMY) as a result of an accidental explosion, by her own making, that killed her parents.
What a cast, right?!
Here’s their bio cards from G&S:
All of the characters and the history of Valkana are described with much more detail in Episode 0 of the series.
The amazing setting and cast of characters wouldn’t be half as awesome if the players weren’t so heavily invested in the game. The first two episodes are full of fun and laughter and silliness, which turns the show into an actual adventure and not just this weird thing where you watch some people roll some dice. Wheaton himself does voices and accents for all the NPCs, which livens up a storyline that is already a ton of fun. I mean the entire first episode is about saving a keg of beer! The second one involves pranks with dead birds! What other table top games boast catchphrases like “save the beer, save the world,” or the promise of payment in the form of “five gold and a party” (which you can get as a t-shirt)? It’s hard not to laugh out loud throughout the gameplay.
What really takes the series to the next level is the absolutely incredible animated artwork to go along with it. We get to see all the characters in each new environment, which truly brings the story to life in a way that some people may not be able to appreciate with word-of-mouth alone.
The series is incredible so far, and whether you’re already a huge fan of role playing games, are looking to get into them, or have never had an interest before, this show will appeal to you. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself searching for a group of buddies to start gaming yourself, because it’s hard not to believe that it’ll be all sorts of fun after watching this.
Titansgrave is the ultimate nerd party, and Geek & Sundry are giving us front row seats all summer long with weekly episodes. You can catch Episodes 0-2 on YouTube right now, as well as Episode 3, which premiered today on Geek & Sundry’s website. If you’ve already started watching the show, let us know what you think in the comments!