Posted by Thomas Deeny as Other
Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, the roleplaying game spinoff show from Geek & Sundry’s TableTop, debuted yesterday with two episodes. “Chapter 0” is an twenty minute introduction to the setting and characters, which is followed by the first actual play video. (Watch here: http://geekandsundry.com/shows/titansgrave/)
The show was funded as a stretch goal from the TableTop Season 3 crowdfunding campaign at IndieGoGo, which raised $1,414,159 over the course of a month with contributions from over twenty-two thousand people. Wil Wheaton, host of Titansgrave and TableTop, has said he’s always wanted to feature roleplaying games in TableTop, but the format of the boardgame show didn’t work to feature an actual roleplaying campaign. Branching a roleplaying game campaign out into a separate show would allow him to deliver “a season of narrative storytelling that’s as compelling and interesting and shocking and moving and exciting as any fully-scripted program on television,” he said. While TableTop has featured roleplaying games before, they were mostly one-off games like Dread or Fiasco.
Pre-production began in late 2014, with Wil Wheaton working with his son, Ryan, and Green Ronin‘s Nicole Lindroos and Chris Pramas in the development of the campaign’s setting and storyline. “This project has basically eaten my life for the last six months,” remarked Chris Pramas. The game uses the AGE (Adventure Game Engine) system that Green Ronin created for the Dragon Age RPG, which was featured in a two-part TableTop episode. The AGE system was chosen because Wil wanted to use something that would “facilitate storytelling and character-based roleplaying. I wanted an elegant system that let the players do awesome things a lot of the time…. I didn’t want a system that was overly burdened with charts and math and minis and everything that I feel kind of gets in the way of us making up a story and telling it together.”
The game was played over a five day period in late March and early April. Ten episodes will be released weekly, telling the story of the campaign.
Several items about the game played in Titansgrave will be released over the next few months. The Fantasy AGE book from Green Ronin and the Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana world and adventure book — the “very first adventure campaign created for [Fantasy AGE]” — are planned on a Gen Con 2015 release. Chris Pramas explains that Fantasy AGE “is a core rulebook for the system and you can use it with a huge variety of settings. Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana is a book that features world information and supporting rules, and the adventures that are featured on the show. This means you can play your own version of the campaign the cast got to experience.” Several sci-fi and fantasy authors have been contacted to develop short pieces of fiction for Titansgrave, said Wil Wheaton. “Holy crap you guys, some amazing writers are going to be working with us,” he said.