What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.
So, with a gazillion cable TV channels — why is it there is so little on TV that appeals to me, as a gamer? I mean, you can’t spin the dial without stumbling into a network televising some folks in dark glasses gathered around a poker table playing Texas Hold ‘em. But where’s the love for roleplayers?
Was “Lord of the Rings” not proof enough there exists an audience for fantasy? Yes, there’s been a smattering of stuff here and there, action-adventure in the form of “Legend of the Seeker” and farcical comedy with “Krod Mandoon.” But really, do I have to look back at the 1990s and admit that weekly episodes of “Xena: Warrior Princess,” cheesy as it was, at least delivered a dose of swords’n’sorcery?
Am I resigned to going on hulu.com and watching the same 14 episodes of “Firefly” over-and-over to get the vibe I want?
I want drama, the same level of drama delivered on a network schedule, packaged to fit the gamer in me. Is that too much to ask? Putting aside the fact that networks program for general audiences and advertisers — not a small consideration, I’ll grant you — it’s long past time that places like Waterdeep and Sharn entered into the public consciousness.
Forget about trying to package D&D itself for public consumption, though. Feature films that don’t deliver on quality or audience have killed the brand on that level. It’s time some pitches for episodic TV came in the side door.
So, here’s my pitch for some rpg-friendly gamer TV:
Law and Order: Special Inquisitives Unit
Cue up those deep chimes (“bong-bong”) for the next episode of detection and prosecution of Sharn’s seediest crimminals by following Red Cloak Inquisitives Trice Etanials and Garber Moon through the course of the day, from the heights of City of Towers down to its gritty Cogs.
Survivor: The Isle of Dread
A shipwreck, pirates, phanatons, giant oysters, rakastas, a zombie cult in Tanaroa and, of course, man-eating dinosaurs will all kick the next elimination challenge up a notch. Thems that gets voted off will be the lucky ones!
Armed with the latest forensics devices developed and imported from Lantan, Marek Atone and his team unearth clues to bring killers to justice, whether they are low-life drug dealers or black marketeers dealing in rare and dangerous magic items.
Jousting with the Stars
Celebrities — or what passes for one these days — are put through the paces week-after-week as they prepare for the king’s tournament. But it’s more than archery contests, sword-on-foot matches and jousting — there’s also courtly intrigue and dancing (you knew there was dancing in there somewhere). Who will be crowned tournament champion?
Sigil: Misadventures at the Center of the Planescape
The circus has come to the upside-right center of universe. Kalinda Ferranesque is the tiefling manager of a traveling menagerie with a boatload of problems —debts, family, questionable past associations — in addition to the chore of putting on an interesting show for the jaded philosophers with clubs. Let the hijinks ensue!
The Amazing Race: Eberron
Nothing like a dash across the Mournland, avoiding living spells along the way, or a trip into a drow temple on the coast of Xendrik. Puzzle out the next clue as adventurers see the sights of Keith Baker’s creation.
A Shot at Love with Loviatar
What the hey!?! A little late-night trash to satisfy even the most purient of roleplaying interests. It airs following Charm School with Elaith Craulnober.
Volo’s Guide to Dives, Diners and Drive-ins
As much as I’d like to see Alton Brown prepare Gnome Stew on an rpg-version of Good Eats or a gaming version of Iron Chef: Rogukan, I think Volo is the perfect host for a food-themed show as he finds the best comfort foods in the Realms and then shows us how they’re prepared.
So, put on your programming hat. What gaming-inspired shows would you like to see on TV?