DumpStat - Dungeons and Dragons Podcast

DumpStat Interview: Dominic Ciarrocchi (From Arcane Helpdesk!)

July 30, 2021 Horizon Kingdoms
DumpStat - Dungeons and Dragons Podcast
DumpStat Interview: Dominic Ciarrocchi (From Arcane Helpdesk!)
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From the Arcane Helpdesk, Harry’s “Spells and Cantrips” and “Dungeon Support”  himself, it’s Dominic Ciarrocchi! Brill talks RPGs, creating Sketches and even a little Star Trek!

Check Dominic on all his TikTok and all his socials for some awesome sketches!

TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMdv3sHcp/

Link tree for everything he does:
linktr.ee/trayce59

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(auto-transcribed)

Brill  0:10  
Hello ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls comrades of all ages I'm of course, arch leche Berlin. This is DumpStat. But today, I do not have my regular co host that being docked. I have Dominic Soroti Tick Tock star to the world, and awesome support and helpline for all d&d Adventures over the internet. How are you today? Sir? I am I am. Well, and I'm very happy to be here. I appreciate that. I appreciate you coming in because we have all the questions to ask you. Because when it comes to what you do, you are the Office of fantasy you have one character who has been giving support help to all sorts of d&d families, friends, and anybody who will hear it. You have been the guide to dungeon support and spells and cantrips. Harry, I appreciate those sketches.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  1:02  
Well, yeah, I've done to date I've done 103 of them.

Brill  1:05  
103. Here's, I know, we're gonna get into like your kind of beginnings as a person and fantasy and RPGs. But that actually brings up an interesting topic, though, when you're trying to think up a new sketch and a new kind of something that a lot of people deal with within d&d, like the deck of many things, or maybe a dragon or maybe they got caught in some kind of Mimic. Do you have difficulty coming up with those sketches? Or do they kind of just kind of ping up all the time as these d&d universals almost?

Dominic Ciarrocchi  1:37  
It really depends. Sometimes I will come up with an idea that comes from my day job, I actually work in a in a call center. Oh, wow. and have been for

Brill  1:48  
that makes all the sense in the world

Dominic Ciarrocchi  1:51  
for like, 14 years between two jobs. Okay, so one of my more popular videos about like, where I was, like, the guy called in, and he was like, I need help with my spell. What spell the fire spell, like you realize there's 35 of those, right? Like, something happened that day at work that was very similar to that where someone was like, Hi, I need service on my machine. And I'm like, okay, who are you? And he said, who he was. And I was like, Okay, what company you're with. And he named a National Service company that has subsidiaries in 18 states. I'm like, I'm thinking to myself, my god, you're not helping me here. It took like five minutes to drag it out of him where where he needed service and do all that. So that's where I got so and I went home that day made that video that day, and it was a smash. You know, sometimes that happens,

Brill  2:34  
right? You just have that inspiration from your everyday life, you have a well of constant kind of tragically annoying, it seems from your videos, because I do enjoy kind of just the roll your eyes working Steve kind of nature to the actual sketches. I think that's very relatable to a lot of us.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  2:51  
And I think that's one reason why I've had some success with this format. You know, I try to come up with stuff that covers multiple kind of multiple spheres of humor, as it were like, you know, I tried to I tried to do stuff that gets the people who are super into d&d and super knowledgeable about d&d, I tried to do stuff for people who work in tech support or call center jobs, or just any kind of customer support Ryan Hale answering phones nonsense, because that is just soul crushing a lot of the time. And people can relate to that. Right. And, and sometimes I just tried to do stuff that I just generally think is funny. And so I feel like if I can hit two or three different kinds of humor in a video, it'll probably do okay, and be well received.

Brill  3:35  
Well, and also, there's just the ridiculousness of the actual hobby in the game, right? Yeah. Where you have these kind of funny realizations that almost every d&d player is kind of experienced, like burning down a town or, you know, fighting off another evil Colts or Oh, god, what does that sword that curse sword? Do? You know? These are things that as you play, you're probably going to experience a lot of DMS like to use those cliches because some of those cliches aren't necessarily bad, but it is funny when it's like, oh, you also got trapped in a gelatinous cube. So it would be it would make sense that we would have a dungeon support tech. Is there any actual d&d situation that you had in a game that you said, Oh, this needs to go into a sketch?

Dominic Ciarrocchi  4:18  
I have not been playing d&d. Very. Alright, wait, hold on. How can I How can I answer this? Okay. I, I got I got back to d&d a couple of years ago, okay, after many, many years not playing any kind of tabletop role playing game for various reasons. I'm in a couple of games right now, and I haven't had a lot come up in those games where I'm like, this needs to be an arcane Help Desk video. But I've had some stuff that happened in the past that I've put into videos so there is that

Brill  4:43  
well, I was just curious just because there are times when you know you at least for me, I'm I know I'm far more on the dungeon master side than it seems you are you are a player through and through, correct. Currently, yes. Right on that later. Okay. Well, I mean, in In regards to like, what my player do players do the darndest thing sometimes. I'll be sitting there going like, Oh man, I need to bring this up in a DumpStat episode, there was probably the most recent one that happened to me last year. And this is something I've talked about endlessly. In my high level campaign, a player of mine decided to use a wish spell and how it was worded and how complicated it was. and ended up essentially bringing a city that was devastated bringing back not only the people who died in the cataclysm, but also everybody from like the past 1000 years return so your grandma, every generation is now walking in this one city and we kept joking about how we over saved the city like you saved it, and then some It was too much. And I was I was laughing so hard at that concept. I was sitting there going like I need to I need to bring this needs to see other people. People need to hear how ridiculous this one Cleric is. Oh, that's, that's good. Thank you. Well, with with you actually playing right now. So you are on persoon playing fifth edition. Correct. It seems like you are Yes. Okay. Yes. That's my preferred edition of d&d. Okay, and you had played what edition prior to fifth edition,

Dominic Ciarrocchi  6:14  
I played a little bit of three, five, my God's probably back in like, 2002. Okay. 2002 2003, somewhere in that neck of the woods. I was playing a little I was playing a little three, five, and then I did not play any d&d until probably 2000 802 1010, something like that. Okay. And then I played some Pathfinder, you know, d&d 3.75.

Brill  6:38  
And just about, I will

Dominic Ciarrocchi  6:40  
die on that hill, that Pathfinder is an edition of d&d, like, Yeah, it

Brill  6:44  
really is. It operates the same way. There

Dominic Ciarrocchi  6:46  
are people who argue that point and they're like, Oh, no, no, it's Pathfinder is totally different. I just kind of give them the look, I'm like,

Brill  6:51  
I mean, it's, it comes to the point where if I just took all the lore I have from the Forgotten Realms and Fey room and just walked over to Pathfinder, a lot of it would just line up, it's the same. Absolutely, yeah, you know,

Dominic Ciarrocchi  7:02  
so I played, I played a little bit of Pathfinder, and then again, ended up kind of taking a break. Most of that was just life stuff, just not being able, but not having time, or having a group that I could get with the play roll 20 wasn't as accessible, right as it is now. Yeah. And, and it was really the only game in town for a while as far as virtual tabletops. You know, and getting in all that stuff. And then a couple of years ago, about two years ago, a friend of mine was like, hey, I want to start a game. It's gonna be remote because we live all over the place. I want you in this game. I was like, I want to be in this game. And now that has kind of fallen apart due to life things. But I'm in an in person game with my best friend and a couple of other people. There's like four of us total dm included. It's very small party. And I'm playing a game on Twitch with some folks from tic toc. That's been really fun.

Brill  7:48  
So when you actually are jumping between additions, you say that five years your preferred edition now? Is it just the kind of simplified accessibility of the edition? Is it lore? what draws you to fit the dition? More so than past editions of d&d, including Pathfinder? We'll add that in? Of course, absolutely.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  8:06  
No, Pathfinder I most I usually referred to as math Finder. And I know a lot of people do and, and I'm not I'm not trying to hate on on Pathfinder, it's just, I feel like when a group knows that they're about to level up, and they are horrified at how long it's going to take them to do so. Right. That should be that is that is instructive on some possible design flaws of the system, or maybe design challenges of the system. I'll put it that way. And like I like to play spellcasters. So Oh, my

Brill  8:38  
God, I have that in common. It seems we are both leaning towards wizards. It looks like Yeah, yeah.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  8:44  
Well, it's funny. I've actually never played a Wizard in d&d, but I can roll back around to that. And so people will ask me well, or they'll comment, and they'll say, Yeah, well, you know, 3.5 until I die fifth edition is to dumb down and I disagree with that sentiment, I think that it's, I think that it's streamlined. And I think that it's appropriately streamlined. DND has had a surge in the last several years god yeah. And and I think that that is in very large. Part Two, the fact that fifth edition is the most new player friendly and player retention friendly version of d&d that has ever existed. And then, of course, you know, you get you get, you know, your celebrity d&d and critical role and, and, you know, dimension 20 and the adventure zone, you know, all those all the big, you know, d&d podcasts and streams. And I think the sum of those two things, and then people sitting around with nothing to do for 18 months. Oh, yeah,

Brill  9:37  
absolutely. Kobold definitely kind of push things forward. Yeah. I mean, Wizards of the Coast right now is producing something close to four or five books a year now. Yeah, I mean, it is a boom of content, which is fantastic for me, because I love the hobby. I'm here for it. But it was interesting to see this just flood of people when I started to bring stuff up from like older editions because I already Started in 3.5. There was the sort of I was bringing in ancient knowledge, ancient powerful druidic knowledge that no one could fully comprehend. Like, I remember I was talking to this one player who just got into 5g. And I'm like, What do you think about the mode Ron's? And he's like a mode trots. And I was like, yeah. How's a mode? Try? Aren't they weird? You know, and there's just and there's just fun things are coming up. I mean, right now, I know they're doing a fizzbin fizzbin the fabulous from Yeah, Dragonlance he's coming in with a bunch of dragons for gem dragon, which I love talking about the alignment problem. Not that not that it's a problem, but it makes gaps and that's what gem dragons were there to fill their the neutral dragon. Yeah. And it's interesting to see how they're going to update them. And I hope give more lore. I hope so. Yeah. Now when it comes to actually just going through fifth edition, do you have a you say you are kind of leaning towards spellcasters. But you have yet to play a Wizard? Yep. What classes have you played? And what do you enjoy? almost exclusively sorcerers. Really? Yep. You're a special breed?

Dominic Ciarrocchi  11:10  
Yeah. So So what I like about Sorcerer, I mean, so so back when I was when I started playing three, five. Okay, I was like, I was like, I kind of want to play a spell caster. And I looked at wizards and I looked at how like spell selection worked and how spell memorization was in three, five and I was like, This is dumb. I want to play Sorcerer. Like, like, that was my reaction. I was like, I was like, You mean to tell me I have to know how many times a day I want to cast detect magic. Like specifically that one spell. That is insane. And that was my take on it at the time. And it was like oh, sorcerers plus like, I kind of like you know, the whole not exactly the wild magic thing, but you know, it's kind of it's in my blood. This is my birthright kind of thing. I really dig that. I've played a lot of Dragon sorcerers because I just really love that flavor.

Brill  11:57  
Okay, because it's interesting to me just because Sorcerer is one of those classes where when we get an updated subclass to Sorcerer I always have the same reaction of like, do they know what they're doing with Sorcerer? They know where they're going with this thing. Just because like I know last week got abhor aberrant mind and the mechanist I see the mathematics the clockwork. Right, exactly. The clock works all the mathematics of the universe is in my soul. And it gives me with our algebra or something. Yeah, algebra gives me magic. Right, exactly. And I always kind of wonder because mechanically, I always think Sorcerer sound. I just don't see those players. Yeah. And I always find that interesting because it's either the lean towards something like Warlock seems to Phil where Sorcerer was at one point in d&d, and it's interesting now to see what people are playing. Yeah, because if I see a Sorcerer, it's usually wild magic.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  12:52  
Yeah, I and I've not played a wild magic Sorcerer yet. I don't always love that level of chaos. But I'm not opposed to it. If I if I had a game where where I thought that would really rad a concept that I really thought that would work. I'm playing a Chateau Sorcerer right now. And I am loving every minute of it. Oh, yeah.

Brill  13:08  
No, I think mechanically, a lot of people sleep on. It's kind of like some of the better classes of Ranger people don't play right down because of the bad rap it got vanilla, D and D. Now people are kind of coming back around to it sorta with certain sub classes. I want to play one. Well, you do know. Yeah. Well, I know you play in Artificer as well. I believe I do. Tell me a little bit about that character because I saw a lovely mini for it recently.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  13:33  
So I'm playing this Gnome Artificer. And this is my, this is in my live game like my in person game with my friends. Right. He has an Artificer armor and his name is Tobias Spark. Whoo. Yeah, he's Toby Spark. Yeah, because he's Iron Man. Of course. Like, this is like this is not that I make no apologies. No, I make no attempt to hide.

Brill  13:57  
I bet I make I make no bones. This is who I am my soul lay bare.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  14:01  
Because I when I was looking into the armor or some class, and it's like, okay, so like, the first thing is that you can you can use your armor as a as your spell focus as your arcane focus. And you can Don and doff your armor in a single action. That's,

Brill  14:17  
I mean, it's it's crazy. What Artificer is right now in d&d? Yeah, I mean, we have we're doing a rhyme campaign, right. And our gift who's been going through this identity crisis, he started out as a Barbarian who didn't want to max strength. And he wanted that to be a negative. He wanted to do all this weird stuff with a character to the point where we got into a fight with Wolves. And he stabbed a wolf and did no damage mathematically Ah, and we were all incredibly impressed. That's a word. So he's been going through this like he's an alien and Icewind Dale like he doesn't know what he is. And it's it's very complicated, but yeah, he right now has drawn to Artificer and he comes up to me and he goes, Hey, so I invented electricity. I'm about to have a weaver and Matt like Mac, and I'm going to make about 40 bags of holding. Do you have any objections? I'm like, Yes, yes. Several returning my lovely like scary snow campaign and, and to max powers like I can't handle that. And that's it's been interesting to see how that classes have evolved and kind of changed from a very vanilla thing to what Tasha's brought in which is just anything you I mean, I love the fact that you're that you're a Gnome Yeah, Artificer that works fantastically Gnome Tony Stark sound.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  15:44  
And I was I was when I was getting ready to play this character. I watched a recording of a live stream with some of the d&d devs and they made no secret about the fact that like armor is based on Iron Man, like, that was a big influence for them. They specifically talked about one of the spells that you get that is always prepared when you're in armors. Magic Missile, right? And so yeah, no, no, the tank missile tank missile,

Brill  16:10  
okay. Basically, like,

Dominic Ciarrocchi  16:11  
you know, you hold out your arm and a little compartment opens and crystal comes up and shoots out. Like, like, that's the kind of stuff that they were talking about on that stream. And I was like, yep. I'm here for this

Brill  16:23  
is what's interesting about it is just I always, I'm always interested to see where DMS can't land on it. Because there is kind of that there is some of that initial pushback for having too much sci fi kind of invading a fantasy setting, quote, unquote, I know. Like I get it, I can kind of understand it. But at the same time, if a person goes, I'm Tony sparks, I'm a Gnome Iron Man, I'm gonna go well, I have to iron Fey, you're allowed in like I have to, I have to let this go down. You just got Gnome just too much of a fun thing to say. And

Dominic Ciarrocchi  16:55  
I'm really I'm just really having a good time with it. We've only played two sessions so far, because we're trying to play like once a month, because we're all busy adults. We just had to miss a session last week due to some other plans. And all of us were also doing this other thing. So hopefully, we'll get back into that. It's a totally homebrew campaign in a homebrew campaign world that my buddy who's dming and his friends have been putting together for I think, 12 years. Oh, man they've been they've been building this this campaign world. So that's always

Brill  17:23  
been kind of that one funny thing that I mean, I'm very much on the DM side of the screen. So when it comes to building your world and kind of the world building process, it's always intimidating when you hear what other teams are doing. When it's like, oh, I've been crafting this world since I was 11. And I have three languages built up. It's like I don't have that. Like I have a tavern and a bar wench. That's why I have a name Susan be nice. Yeah, exactly. I mean, and it's in it's always interesting to see so you've been they've been building this world for a world for a long time. And now you get to kind of rampage in it as a I hope a billionaire soon.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  18:06  
Well, we'll see. I took the guild merchant background. So like, but I've like stolen money from the guild for our project. And they don't know about it yet. So it's gonna be interesting. We we've inherited a bookstore, me and the rest of the PCs. And so from an estranged uncle, so our dm kind of took some inspiration from candlekeep Mr. eyes were like, we're like we have this bookstore. And you know, 95% of the books in the bookstore, just mundane books, but like 5% or not. And there's gonna be some plot hooks.

Brill  18:35  
5% when you open up, you start to hear like an Elder Scrolls theme that

Dominic Ciarrocchi  18:38  
starts to build slowly. Oh, my God. When we when we went to the bookstore for the first time and opened it up. We were attacked by swarms of books our now like, yeah, like swarms. Like, like construct books. Why

Brill  18:51  
believe that is from candlekeep right now.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  18:53  
Yeah, it was it was hysterical. And like, and we're a Wizard, a Sorcerer and an Artificer? Right. That's that's the party, right Wizard, Sorcerer Artificer. And so like, none of us want to hurt the books.

Brill  19:07  
Exactly. You're, we're all educated people. We don't want to be those types. We don't want to do that. Yeah, we don't. We're trying to be the page master out here. We don't want to start anything. So it's been fun. Well, here's a question though. Just kind of you kind of explained why you like art Artificer and why you like Sorcerer? Is there any ffiv class that you personally think is lacking or not really impressive? I'm always curious to see what class people kind of stay away from more so than usually the race combo just because with Tasha's rules now you can kind of make anything ever frankly, you can scan mix and match and do whatever. I'm a fan of Fey. Yes, as am I I think it's the first step into 5.5 to be completely honest.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  19:48  
Yeah, I could really get into all the reasons why I think it's a good idea, but let's just suffice to say I think it's a good idea. I've gotten some hate on some videos because of because of my opinions on such There's no class that I would not like to play. Okay, I would like to, I would like to get a lot more experience in, in some of the classes that I have not really played at all, which is I've really never played a marshal class. It's just been a long time. I'm definitely not in fifth edition. So, you know, I definitely have some thoughts and some ideas and things that I really want to do. I mean, I know that Rangers got a lot of hate. But I think that, I think that they really, I think that they got some much needed help and Tasha's absolutely, they did the class that I like the least is not an official class. And so we're not gonna, you know,

Brill  20:32  
I think they're mystic or blood Hunter. It's one of those two, it's blood hunters, and they're terrible. Okay, yeah. I mean, every time I actually get a player who comes up to me because I've had that where a player comes up to him to say, I would like to play blood Hunter, I always have to do kind of the same spiel of like, hey, this mechanically might not be what you're looking for like this might not be exactly what you want. And if in if in when in the middle of this campaign that you say I kind of don't want to do this. We can put you as something else whether that be Death Domain Cleric or such and such.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  21:08  
Yeah. Oh, my God. I don't want to I don't want to spend too much time on it just because like it's a it's a it's a hot take.

Brill  21:13  
Oh, yeah.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  21:14  
That I sometimes get get a lot of hate for. And that's fine.

Brill  21:18  
Anytime you touch the well not even will say there isn't really a narrative, but there is kind of like this one bubble of critical role. Oh, yeah. That there is one wave of that audience that can kind of get kind of touchy about certain things. Oh, absolutely. We did a whole critical roll episode where we kind of broke out our feelings. My basic feeling is I'm happy it's there. It promotes my game. I really dig it never got into the actual campaign. Never, never could sit down and listen for hours on end. Just kind of do it.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  21:49  
And what I was trying to explain to people on some of my videos about it is look if you like blood hunter and you really want to play a blood hunter then play a blood Hunter. Seriously. Yeah, exactly. Like No, I'm not telling you that you shouldn't play it or that you're bad for liking it. I'm saying that it's okay to like things that are objectively bad.

Well, my God, that's there like that's kind of a bad Look, my guy you know, saying that you're gonna you know, you're kind of shaming people. I'm like, I love plenty of terrible things. I love some movies that I should probably be ashamed of. Oh,

Brill  22:23  
oh my god.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  22:24  
Like it's okay to like things that are objectively not well

Brill  22:26  
designed. Oh, absolutely. I mean, I completely honest. That's a that is a major functioning and part of DumpStat is us making terrible references to things that should not ever be referenced. Our last latest thing, factor fiction beyond belief with Jonathan frakes.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  22:43  
Jonathan frakes. Oh my god. Are you so good, though?

Brill  22:46  
He would TMG fan Can we do that? Yes, hell Fuck yes.

Dominic Ciarrocchi  22:51  
I am. I am here for it. Oh my god. Trust me, we're in good shape.

Brill  22:56  
Good because I I have been walking. It's not just the bad puns, etc. It's the fact that he comes in aggressively into beyond belief factor fiction. He's just there. We just watched an episode where he walks into a dark room. It's this beautiful kind of Victorian set, he strides in because he's like seven feet tall. He's a Sasquatch of a man. And he strides in dramatically. And there is an animatronic gorilla on the ground. And he goes sapiens, and I'm like, Oh, my God, I'm here. Whatever he says next I am. I believe him. He owns my attention forever now. And probably my favorite one was there was a story about a cursed chair with the hooded chair. Right? And it's all about people dying. Jonathan frakes kind of leans in at the end of the story. And he goes, hmm, is this truly a curse chair? And Shall I sit on it and he turns to sit and my audience my viewing group shouted No, don't do it. It's cursed. Because we believe in it because it's the 90s. And he stops there for free. He sits down and he gives you the cheekiest Look, because he know he got us 20 years ago. It's incredible. Yeah, great show. Oh, my God can't stop talking about it. Did he try to Riker into the chair that he tried to do the Riker his legs are It was like a six foot hooded chair. But his legs are long enough. He could do it if he wanted to. he could. He could wrap it around the Sun if he really needed to

Dominic Ciarrocchi  24:26  
Jonathan frakes is great and has and he has actually directed more minutes of Star Trek than any other person at this time.

Brill  24:34  
Oh, absolutely. And it's it's kind of crazy. Just because I remember when I was going through the TMG and just kind of walking through. I was just like, man, I love the fact that Riker is just this kind of not just sex positive, but like, he's so chill. If somebody is like, I'm gonna steal your girl. He's like, whatever, dude, I fucked everything in the galaxy Don't even start. She'll come back in Fine. He knows he knows that no woman. No man can resist that beautiful walk like Riker stride who could stop him? Who could stop him?

Dominic Ciarrocchi  25:09  
Oh my god. I'm a huge fan though. I'm a huge fan of Next Gen. That was my Star Trek growing up. So yeah,

Brill  25:17  
absolutely. I started out with the original series just because I went back because of my uncle. I always loved that and old Doctor Who. And now we've jumped over to tangy dips, Deep Space Nine, I've been trying to tear through all of it right now. I'm on Voyager. Ah, so we I get people who asked me now about my Star Trek preferences. There you go, listeners, you'll learn something about me. Yo, when? So? Getting back, we're zoning back into fantasy. Now that beautiful world? So do you have any prospects of actually dming? Is that something you would like to step into at all? Well,

Unknown Speaker  25:54  
I've done a little and it's just not something that I'm always super confident in myself with I get, I get a little overwhelmed because I've I've had some incredible dungeon masters and storytellers in my life. So I just, you know, I always have that fear that I'm not going to be able to, you know, to live up to and to roll with, with whatever insanity my players are going to are going to throw at me. But all that having been said, a little teaser, because by the time this by the time this comes out, I will have done a video about it. Almost certainly. I am planning to so I'm in I'm in New Jersey, and there's a convention in December, called Pax unplugged in Philadelphia. It's a Pax convention, but it's mostly based you know, it's it's unplugged. It's not about video games about board games, tabletop games. LARPing those kinds of things. Awesome. Okay, I am planning to try to set up and run a short series of one shots at the convention as hairy.

Brill  26:54  
Oh, shit.

Unknown Speaker  26:56  
Oh, that's gonna be great. I kind of dropped the lead a little bit for it in a video with the major team the other day, okay, and where like something happens and the caller can can't fix it. And it's too big a problem. So I dispatched a major team to like teleport to his location and deal with the problem. Main stands for mobile arcane guidance emergency by the way. Oh, that's good. Because Because I am a slot for a good acronym.

Brill  27:26  
I need that on a hoodie when I walk in the door. To know that I'm a slot for a good acronym.

Unknown Speaker  27:32  
Meet Me and my best friend Shawn worked on that for like a half an hour to come up with that acronym, because we are both very serious about

Brill  27:41  
naming for anything with d&d usually takes a team huddle, normally nine times out of 10

Unknown Speaker  27:47  
Oh, yeah, so I am seriously considering so I'm doing my best to put this together. You don't have to like on my side with this. You don't have to, like apply to run games at PAX, there's a there's a free play room with literally hundreds of tables. And you can just go and kind of stake your claim in a table and put a cone in there looking for group area and then someone and then it can literally drive people to your to your table. So that's something that I really want to do, I'm putting I'm putting a little bit of an adventure together. I'm trying to put together some swag for the adventure, to give people you know, something that they can take away with them. And I'm probably going to try to livestream some of it while I'm there. I don't know if that's going to work because again, there's like a couple of 100 tables in this hall that might just be prohibitively loud,

Brill  28:31  
you're gonna have to bring in your own walls to like block off your section and just soundproof it nicely.

Unknown Speaker  28:36  
So there's that that is that is the thing that I am, like I said, I'm gonna do I'm gonna do a video to announce that at some point soon. I'm kind of laying the groundwork with some other things. And one of my co workers actually runs d&d. He was like, well, I'll run a work game with some co workers, but that means you have to run a vampire game like sort of playing Vampire the Masquerade since 2000.

Brill  28:59  
Oh, shit. So your your deep end? Yeah, that's

Unknown Speaker  29:02  
been my like, that was my introduction to to tabletop role playing games with Vampire the Masquerade.

Brill  29:07  
Interesting. That's, that's a very, I don't I'm not trying to install you and say odd. But that is a quite a unique start to actually bring you into the hobby.

Unknown Speaker  29:17  
Yeah. Well, you know, I would say that a lot of people who get in to playing who got into the hobby with like, Vampire the Masquerade probably didn't end up in d&d. No, like, they probably stay. They probably many of those folks probably stay in the urban fantasy supernatural end of things

Brill  29:36  
I was about to say. It's a kind of an entirely different genre of game, frankly.

Unknown Speaker  29:42  
You see what happened was, so I go to this, I go to this game. I was dating this girl and I met one of her friends and he was like, Hey, dude, you look like you would like to play vampire because I had a golf phase. And I was like, Yeah, sure. So So I went to this kid's vampire game and was immediately hooked and after about A year year and a half of that one of the players had started going to a fantasy LARP live action role playing game and recruited me and, and the person who brought me to vampire. So we all started going to this fantasy LARP I am still playing a fantasy LARP Oh, wow. 20 years. And so and and I and so we then made some other friends there and played some d&d with those folks on like, you know, Friday nights that we weren't LARPing. So like, it's been a whole, it's been a whole thing.

Brill  30:28  
Let that be a lesson to all of you all nerdy hobbies Connect, and it's an ever falling web, you will plummet into more and more things that you can join. What is your advice for keeping a 20 year LARP game going LARPing being connected to d&d, it seems almost harder to actually get that going. Because there's not a virtual aspect unless you do something in VR, which I guess that's a possibility, which I'm here for. Absolutely. However.

Unknown Speaker  30:55  
So that game had been running for several years before I joined it. And on a good weekend, pre pandemic, you know, we were getting we you know, it was a it was a game that would get 100 to 125 players a weekend. Oh, wow.

Brill  31:08  
A healthy large

Unknown Speaker  31:09  
full on full on combat, large buffer combat light touch combat. You know, not not a battle again, I'm not I'm not, you know, disparaging such but not like a battle game like dag aware or, or dark con.

Brill  31:22  
Yeah, not none of the games where you see a guy get knocked over in a suit of armor. And then, you know, the tick tock video ends with like a funny sound effect.

Unknown Speaker  31:32  
But yeah, so I mean, you know, it all just comes down to you know, you got to have a good crew, you've got to have, you got to have passionate managers running the game, you've got to cycle new management in because people burn out, you've got to have a really good culture at the game. And you've got to be welcoming to new players. Because the lifecycle of a larper is about five years, really, for most markers, you've got, you know, so it's a bell curve, right? You got you got your players who come to a couple of events, it's either not for them or their life situation changes. So you get them for like, maybe a year, maybe sometimes less. And then on the other end of the bell curve, you've got your lifers who played you know, who play that LARP or several larps, for for 1020 years ago, the middle of that bell curve is about five years, right? That is my experience where like, you get people, you know who they come in, they play for a couple of years, and then their life situation changes or what have you. And then they're just not in, they're not in a LARPing anymore. So it so you're constantly churning the player base, right? You've got you've got constant turnover. So LARPing, especially as a hobby, because it's physical, you need to keep getting new people like like games die for lack of new players. When it comes when it comes to larps,

Brill  32:49  
I imagine there has to be like some toll at some point for a very constant larpers just because you are wearing armor and running around and doing combat. And there's also just a personal investment to I imagine there's that kind of story being told, is there a grandiose story that is trying to be told throughout this long standing LARPing game,

Unknown Speaker  33:09  
that game? Yes, the game I'll give it a quick plug is called mystic rounds, it's in South Jersey. And you are you are part all the all the PCs are part of this organization called Guild Hall, there have been all of these ages, you know, tied to the five gods that created the original, you know, the created the realm, and we've been through the age of nature and the age of life and the age of death. And at the end of the age of death, this organization called Guild Hall was created and brought about the age of quarter. Okay, and now we're about 1020 years into the age of order. And the next stage in the cycle is the age of chaos. And we're trying to consistently stave off the age of chaos, you know, brother turns on brother and bla bla bla bla bla, so that's been kind of the big overarching story. And there have been literally hundreds of plotlines over the course of 20 years, you know, 2025 years of this game?

Brill  33:59  
Yeah. Well, I mean, do you do you cycle through characters for this game? Or do you remain as one constant character

Unknown Speaker  34:06  
I mean, that that varies player to player I've got I still have the first character that I played at that game. He's a Ranger. So funny story when LARPing I like to play combat characters.

Brill  34:17  
Okay, when you can actually walk up and smack somebody, you're like, oh, I'll go for it. Then. If it's just imaginary now,

Unknown Speaker  34:24  
I also play awesome play casters as well. Like I like to, you know, I'll play anything in a LARP okay, but yeah, so I've got a, I've got a Ranger that I've been playing for, like since March 2002. And so so just coming up on 20 years, I've got a Wizard, a Cavalier, and a Cleric at that game. So you know, so so I've got several characters and I've NPC the whole time. I've been a manager there. I've I've run big plot arcs there and you know, in written, you know, whole weekends and stuff. I mean, you know, it's hard to be in a hot That long and not get into not get involved into into all aspects of it. Oh, of course, especially when it's a community based hobby like, like, like LARPing. A larger community based on gaming is community based course.

Brill  35:10  
And I mean, that's kind of the benefit of what we do and part of our hobby. It also intersects with d&d and Renaissance fairs and something like that the few times I have actually LARPing, I will say it was pretty exciting to try to battle a bunch of orcs that were coming over the hill. However, I've also noticed that if it comes to LARPing, or any thing, Renaissance Faire, I know what I am as an MPC, I am a merchant, I sell little trinkets, and I rip you off that is absolutely where, where I feel

Unknown Speaker  35:43  
most at home, and those characters are essential. I'm serious, they're essential to that they're essential to the fiction and, and, you know, they're kind of a trope for a reason and they're and they're necessary, you know, you need, you need those kinds of characters for the, for the players to to kind of go up against and have to try to deal with so No, I'm serious. I'm here for it.

Brill  36:02  
And also, it's part of that role playing part where not everything you interact with, you can really hit with a sword if that was part of what we were doing for d&d, it wouldn't be all that interesting. As a matter of fact, wild beyond the witch light, the new book that's actually coming out from Wizards of the Coast, they have literally made a very Undertale statement, when they said that there will be encounters or all their encounters within this quest can be solved through just role playing, and it tries to reward clever role playing kind of a very interesting direction to see DND headed more towards that RP element rather than just mechanical battles. Totally here for it. I am I just because I like to make dramatic speeches for my evil Wizard. I like to I like people to notice me. So no, he's monologuing. Exactly. He knew that when I start monologuing all my players go fireballs come in. Okay, we know what happens next. So what actually comes to you sort of mentioned this earlier, when it comes to LARPing and Renaissance? What do you think are good components to like good d&d culture, making sure that we're accommodating and communicative, and bringing people in what do you think are good traits to kind of instill in home to promote? Well,

Unknown Speaker  37:16  
you know, you kind of you kind of just set it, you know, you know, be accepting, you know, you've got to be accepting, and you've got to be welcoming, not everybody is outgoing. And that's okay. You need to have people in your organization that are not every not everybody needs to be, but you need some aspect of that, you know, a lot of people who are drawn to, you know, live action, role playing tabletop role playing, you know, you know, going to Renaissance fairs, and other kinds of conventions and festivals, a lot of those, a lot of people who are drawn to those places, are looking for a place to be accepted. Right, you know, not everybody is, you know, there are a lot of people who are super outgoing, and they go to these places, because they like attention, and that's great. But, but a lot of folks just they, they want a community to belong to,

Brill  38:01  
you know, and they and they want to, they want to be somewhere with people who, who get them and who understand them. So be those people, you know, you know, be if you need, you need to want people to come to your organization or your organization isn't going to survive, right? You have to be able to welcome new people into the actual organization and accept them for who they are. Because I think you're right, most people who want to play in these games are certainly looking for something to belong to, and to also play out a fantasy as well. They want to escape to a certain extent.

Unknown Speaker  38:34  
Yeah. And there's a certain aspect of, of LARP design that that a lot of games don't get, which sounds really shitty of me to say, but like, I've been to larps, where as a new character, there is literally nothing I can do. We're getting attacked on Friday night, I'm hitting things, and I'm a good Fighter. And I'm landing shots on this NPC and they're like, no fat, no effect, no effect, no effect, no effect. And they hit me with something and I go down immediately. And the big powerful players are like, you are literally wasting our time and resources. Go sit down. Oh, like and I'm like, Well, fuck you very much. I'm leaving your game. Like how like, like, What? Why are you? You know, and I understand that well, while the whole weekend is not like that this was supposed to be a high level encounter. This is an encounter that happened Friday night and hour after game on when you've got new players looking for something to do you have made bad choices. Like no new player wants to hear that news. You want to you I'm not saying you need to cater the entire experience to your new players. You've got these big experienced players with all these powerful abilities and they want to swing their swords and and yell high numbers. Cool. Give them that but don't have that happen right at the don't have that happen right at the place where the new players are hanging out and are going to get squashed.

Brill  39:50  
That's true. I mean, I mean frankly, there is kind of that fivey especially in which new players now are going to play fivey is built to make you feel Like a hero? Yeah, you have powers, as opposed to older editions and I'm playing older editions. I'm not an Avenger by level five, like I am and fivey Yeah, like I get, you know, there are classes and subclasses now where like, for instance, Genie Warlock, I have a vessel that I can transport into, and I can heal my party members in my lamp, that would have never happened in earlier editions, maybe for some crazy rule in 3.5, late in 3.5, but that's about it. So I can see where maybe some of that old d&d is rubbing up against that new mindset. But at the same time, you got to be accepting of new players coming in. When I first started, I wanted to play a Mind Flayer I like I didn't want to play any of the classic Lord of the Rings races. And I told my dm at the time, like, hey, this squid guy, he looks cool. I want to play him. And if I had a non accepting dm, he would have been like, no, stop it. You can't. But he was trying to hook a new player in because once d&d gets to talk to you, it's overdue and you are in it for life. It is. There's no escape. Once you're the you accept that lifestyle. But he let me play he loved me play as a lower kind of depowered Mind Flayer. And it was a lot of fun. That's great. But had he not done that? You know, it could have been a whole different story. And that's something that you kind of have to remember, when you actually do a session zero? Do you have any particular advice for a DM who is going through a session zero or a player who's going through a session zero?

Unknown Speaker  41:32  
This This topic is very important to me, session zero is necessary. And it is never too late to have a session zero. You can have a session zero after playing for a year, right? You can go back you can you can get everybody together and say, Hey, I feel like we need to talk about some stuff. And it doesn't need to be a negative conversation. But But frank discussions about what about what is and is not acceptable at the table in and out of game is vitally important. Something that I like to say is, is everyone has to be playing the same game. And, you know, people are like, What do you mean, we're all play d&d, of course, we're playing the same game. But I mean, people have to people have to be playing the same, the same kind of DNA, right. So, you know, if you've got two players at the table, who want to be murder, hobos, and start bar fights and swing from chandelier, and two players at the table, really want to get into defining what morality is, and no like in like a deep existential way. Absolutely. And and your other player or two at the table, want to want to get into like toppling a city state with political intrigue, there is a fair chance you're not going to have a successful game. Because all of these players want all of these vastly different things. And there is a good chance that they're going to be butting heads at the table, unless you have a conversation about it. so that everyone can kind of be invested. And say, cool, you want these elements, you want those elements you want these elements, I like to do stories about these elements do we think we can make a campaign work with when we all want these different things, you know, that is so important, because when players are clashing is when you're going to have problems, characters can clash all day long. You know, and and if the player says, I want this character is down for that, but me as a player, I am fine with whatever we do. Awesome. That is the butter zone.

Brill  43:23  
Exactly. And it's also it's helpful to also make sure that the DM is cognizant of what the players want, especially, just because when you're dming and getting into a campaign, I have had, I mean, sometimes those sessions zeros need to go longer than you kind of expect, just because there are some times maybe someone isn't exactly forthright about it. And maybe you even have to say, hey, after the session zero, there's any private messages you want to send me about anything, please let me know. I absolutely. I had one player who was very, very kind of against the idea of someone being charmed and charmed to do things without their consent. They were very just I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to see it in this game. Can you make sure that doesn't happen? And they didn't want to say that in front of everybody. But I'm like, awesome. Well, I was gonna use yarn to chuck them out of here. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  44:15  
Man, that's the thing. You know, consent is incredibly important and necessary in all things, you know, and, and it can be it can be revoked at any time for any reason without even explaining the reason, you know, like, that's, that's a thing that I think more people need to kind of onboard. And so people need to be flexible too. Because, you know, it's easy for it's easy to be at a table and the DM say something like, does anybody have a problem with scenes involving torture? Right, right. Yeah, everyone at the table is like, no, seems fine. Cool. Awesome. You move on a couple of sessions go by, you're walking on a scene with someone being eviscerated or like graphically graphically tortured, right? And the DM is really getting into the getting into the into the core. No pun intended into the guts of it, you know? And then you know, and then a players like, you know, I am suddenly not okay with this, it's okay for them to speak up and say that, you know, and there are people who are like, well, you said, You're okay with it, you can't take it back. Alright, pal can't settle down. Like, like, why do we need to make people feel uncomfortable?

Brill  45:19  
exactly when we also have to make sure that you know, people are dynamic, they change over time, there are different things that they may until they see it, they might know they're not okay with it until they think of it or see it. That's why you kind of have to confirm what you're thinking about. Because you could say, Hey, I'm thinking about torture, but what they think it's torture and what you were kind of plotting to be like cenobite torture, like some, like El Rey, shit. Yeah, there has to be that conversation that back and forth. Yeah. And I think that's important to have Not to mention, you kind of as a DM need to be able to cater to everybody, and make sure that if you see, like, just these two, like players clashing constantly, you gotta have to be able to address that directly and make sure you can communicate that well.

Unknown Speaker  46:05  
Absolutely. And and, you know, there's there's this big misconception that like, well, any problems that you have at the table? You know, you've got to solve them in game. No, I completely disagree. I completely disagree. There are some things that yeah, it would be better if it's a character problem. Sure. But if it's a player problem, oh, you can like, Hey, can we can we stop and have a conversation about this, please? You know, like, and, and that's, that's okay. We're all trying to tell the story together. So let's not fight about it. Let's, let's let's solve this problem in the best way that we can and tell a story together. That's what we're here to do. We're not here to compete with each other.

Brill  46:43  
Well, I mean, one of those things that is popular, and it's the one part of probably the d&d hobby that like, it's that dark shadowy place that I'm kind of ashamed of, is the fact that there is a whole network of people who kind of tell these DND horror stories from Reddit, and people eat it up. Yeah. And they go, Oh, bad. d&d is so bad. I listened to the stories. And if the DM or another player even just gave like a quick text message, most of this stuff can be avoided. Now, there's always going to be kind of that guy who is just too over the top too emotional something. And it's always a guy, I don't know why. It's just disgusting. If that comes up, then you need to be able to direct it well, and I can't that's one of the other things that it's, it's hard to be a DM you have to you are bringing people into your personal theater, you're refereeing for people, and you're kind of building the jungle gym that they're gonna play on. It's a lot of just juggling all the time. And I think that's why kind of, to your point earlier that dming can seem intimidating or hard at first, especially.

Unknown Speaker  47:50  
And it can be difficult for people to advocate for themselves. Oh, yeah. You know, especially when you're in when you're in a situation there. You know, Dungeons and Dragons has been around long enough and people there's kind of this cultural idea that the DM is in charge what they say goes in that is the end of it. Right? And yeah, when when it maybe comes to a rules adjudication maybe but not when it comes to, to your comfort level at the table. Oh, yeah.

Brill  48:14  
When you're an adult, you are talking to another adult and you are trying to play a community of game

Unknown Speaker  48:18  
yeah. And like not to go on too far of a tangent. But like, I'm a I'm a fight director, I do stage combat. You know, I write I write fights for plays, and things I do. I do fight choreography, and we're gonna have you fight Editor Goblin event. All right, I'm here for it. But there's a we have the same problem in theater, where actors don't feel like they can advocate for themselves against like, the director. And you have to saying that you have to seems kind of harsh, but like you, you are your own advocate and you need to be your own best advocate. And if something makes you uncomfortable, do you need to speak up? It is it is it is your duty to to, to find a way to speak up. And and you know, because no one's artistic vision is worth your comfort or, you know, or your body autonomy. And, and we run into this man like me my best friend Sean, we both do this. And, you know, we've, we've we've written fights, you know, for for some pretty heavy duty shows that involve like some really like Trickery, kind of subject matter. And, you know, someone can be okay with something in principle, like, hey, there's going to be we'd like to put a choke in this scene. Are you okay with that? And someone would be like, Oh, yeah. And then the hands get close to the throat and all of a sudden they're not okay with it. And that's okay. We can tell this story another way. Yeah. You know, absolutely. And, and the takeaway from that is like, you can do that in d&d, too, you know, just because, you know, just because you had a very specific idea as to how you wanted to seem to go, if a player is getting uncomfortable with it, like pivot, find a way to pivot, you know, you know, or one of my favorite things is this Fade to black. You know, if it's something that is going to happen, and nothing can stop it, and like, especially if it's kind of happening off camera, and you're just explaining it to the players for flavor, you'd be like, and I think we kind of know where this is going, we're going to fade to black and right, I don't have to get into all of the details. And that can be for for violence, it can be for sexual encounters, it can be for, for, you know, you know, for for someone being like humiliated, all of those things can make people really, really uncomfortable. And there's no reason to force people through it. Which is not to say that, that it's not good to kind of stretch your limits every once in a while, and like, you know, test your comfort level, but like, you shouldn't be forced to do that. Oh,

Brill  50:39  
absolutely. And I mean, that's kind of one of those things that you as a DM are going to have to make just some call some decisions at times when you are trying to run a game because there is still that atmosphere of people respect their dm usually or try to there. There has always been this idea of, you know, if you're if you're a very nice, sick, sadistic dm, you're like, I'm God, you know, there's good, there's always been that stupid complex. So but at least there are players who will probably ask or defer to you on a lot of things. Just in my experience, that just seems to be how it operates. Even though there are times where I'm like, Hey, man, you could you could tell me, you know, it doesn't, I don't want to just be the top guy. But the things that my players have decided on is despite the fact that our high, very high level campaign that's been going on for a year and a half, now we're at level 15. My god, that's awesome. It's great. And we've been playing since they've been level four, it's been fantastic weekly game, but also there is kind of this growing thing that we've hit a very new and interesting dilemma for me, at least as a DM I've never done this high before. And that means my players are just atom bombs just walking around can eviscerate anyone with a single glance. And they know that. So every all of the players have been very different. And they need to kind of band together to survive. And now we're kind of crossing that bridge where they don't need each other to survive. They can they can kind of handle themselves no matter what. And now there's kind of that thing where well, they're all very different characters. And they're all kind of evil. Oh, geez. So it's fun. But there's still kind of this kind of agreement. Everybody has that. We don't want to do PvP, but we just don't want that to happen. So despite that, and they might do it probably at the end of the campaign. But as of right now, they don't want that clouding things or blocking things. So they have to come up with very clever ways. Why this character that would probably normally attack their friend here and do a betrayal, why they wouldn't and why they still need to have them in their lives. It's a very fun dynamic that the players aboveboard in the meta say, we don't want to PvP that brings up all sorts of problems, people could get heated, we just don't want to deal with it entirely. And now they're kind of these walking notes. However, tip for DMS. If you want to just scare your high level players, I recently used fire newts on them fire newts are a CR two monster However, they are six foot tall orange lizard. If your players don't know what they are, they for some reason, respect them. And I had a level 15 fart party just fearing for their lives by these giant lizards that they just assume were more powerful. They weren't they could have walked through them like butter. So sometimes you got to just bear your teeth as a DM to keep them in check. Yeah, kind of jumping off the point of dealing with a good culture or something like that. I assume if it comes up with a toxic player, you are more so in the camp of being direct with that person and probably a warning system might imagine.

Unknown Speaker  53:36  
Well, you know, nothing quite so you know, nothing quite so you know, like, like corporate like, okay, you're gonna get a warning, then a written warning. And then well, I

Brill  53:44  
just assumed sassier the tech support.

Unknown Speaker  53:48  
But now, you know, if it's if it's really egregious, and it's something you got to take up at the moment, then yeah, do it. But otherwise, just, you know, send him you know, have a conversation after the session, you know, or between games like Hey, man, like, or, you know, you know, hey, hey, my human face, things are getting a little things are get a little tense. Because of this, this and this

Brill  54:07  
carbon, you've been a little weird. Yeah. What's going on my dude? Yeah, exactly.

Unknown Speaker  54:12  
You know, it's possible that they don't realize that they're making other players or the or the dn miserable, right, that's entirely possible. I don't think that's outside the realm of possibility. So unless you try to have that conversation, you're not going to know for sure. No one wants to kick anybody out of their game. So, look, confrontation is hard. I hate it. I hate personal confrontation. I really, really do. I avoid it at all costs. But sometimes you can't, you know, sometimes you gotta you got to fortify and, and say, Hey, you know, the game is kind of suffering right now. Because there's some things that are going on. I would like to talk to you about it, you know, and just, it doesn't have to be this. You're being an asshole and you keep it up and you're out. You know, unless you've had several conversations and that's where you got to They,

Brill  55:01  
unless it's gotten to a very dark point, that shouldn't really happen between adults then yes, of course.

Unknown Speaker  55:07  
But like, it's weird how how relationships can get there? Oh, yeah. Like, I've got some, I have some acquaintances that I'm like, how does anybody tolerate you on you know, for more than an hour at a time? I don't understand. And they've got friends who will go to the mattress for them. And it's because they've grown up together. And it's a guy, he's an asshole, but he's kind of our asshole, kind of a thing. Like,

Brill  55:34  
he shouldn't we should let him go.

Unknown Speaker  55:36  
Most friend groups have that person asked maybe too much some of the time. And like so it's it's kind of easy to to grow accustomed to someone who's a little toxic, right a lot of the time. And you know, and that can build, you know, and so, so yeah, it's, it can be it can be difficult sometimes. But you know, when you got to when you got to draw the line, you got to draw the line,

Brill  55:59  
plot twist. New subject. What do you think about the new settings of ffiv? way? No, it's fine. Let me say the new settings you mean like Theros to anything from the Magic the Gathering universe seems to be invading d&d. How do you feel about that? I noticed you add a couple of mentions about strict saving, which by the way, is just Hogwarts. I believe it's

Unknown Speaker  56:22  
basically except there's five, right? There's like five colleges.

Brill  56:24  
I believe there's five colleges.

Unknown Speaker  56:26  
So I am not imagine the gathering player. I have not been for a very long time. I did play like 20 years ago. God, I'm old. But I'm here for it. Because if you know, again, I'm here for growing the hobby. And if it brings Magic the Gathering players into d&d, great you know, if it gets if it gets d&d players playing Magic the Gathering and it helps that community out great. I am not likely to get back into Magic the Gathering. I don't have the money or the time for that kind of a hobby. Oh, it's

Brill  56:54  
expensive.

Unknown Speaker  56:55  
Yeah. And, and I don't hate on it. But like, that's one of the reasons why I got out of it. I was playing keyforge a couple years ago, okay, because, you know, the collecting aspect of it isn't quite so egregious as with, as with other collectible card games, but I'm also not a huge fan of competitive gaming. I really like cooperative gaming. So So magic is doesn't really work for me. Okay. Because again, like you're, it's it's head to head competitive like that is that is the model for that game. That's not usually where I where I like to have my phone when I'm playing. So, but I'm absolutely here for the crossovers. I know that magic does a lot with their lore, and their art is always gorgeous. And they put a lot of thought into those kinds of things. So I mean, you know, the the rising tide raises all boats. Oh, absolutely.

Brill  57:41  
Is there any new book that's kind of coming out on the horizon that you are looking forward to? And you're like, Yes, I really want that thing. I want it right now. Please give it to me. wizards.

Unknown Speaker  57:52  
I really want to get into the Fey wild stuff. I'm super looking forward to that. There's a changeling game. I've been playing for a while again, going back in the world of darkness. I love the no face stuff.

Brill  58:02  
Oh, yeah,

Unknown Speaker  58:02  
I have a fairy star tattoo on my shoulder. So it's a seven pointed star. Like you know, I'm super here for it. I'm really, really looking forward to it. There are rumors and rumblings Ooh,

Brill  58:16  
tell me the hot scoop. Well,

Unknown Speaker  58:17  
I don't know that it's a hot scoop. It's just you know, some things that have been coming up and some of the some of the more recent expansions are kind of obliquely pointing to Spelljammer may be coming

Brill  58:27  
back. I believe it is. I think that is definitely on the horizon.

Unknown Speaker  58:31  
Yeah, it hasn't been announced. Like, like, this isn't me trying to you know, you know, be that guy with the scoop.

Brill  58:36  
It isn't like all these different books. I mean, that not to spoiler alert, but in Rime of the Frostmaiden there is a Spelljammer side quest, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes there's the GIF, not the gift, the gift. Who are Hippo people that are Victorian, for no reason. The neogi have made their standard parents. I mean, all we really need are starships and we're off to the races.

Unknown Speaker  58:58  
Yeah. In Tasha's. The oh god was called the blue curtain.

Brill  59:02  
Yes. To go to different material planes.

Unknown Speaker  59:04  
Yeah. So like, they're, they're definitely laying the groundwork. And I am 100% here for it, because that kind of gets into that sort of pseudo sci fi right. But it's so fantasy like it gets that crawl thing for me, which I love that terrible movie.

Brill  59:23  
It's a special film. I love it. I love it so much. I walk I remember stumbling into a friend of mine. He was cuddled up on the couch with his girlfriend. And I was like, What the fuck is that noise? And I go around the corner. And I see the beginning scene of that movie. So it was the changelings dying? Yeah. And I'm like, I look I look at my friend of yours. And I'm like you're subjecting your not murdered girlfriend to this. And he goes Oh, yeah. If she stay and she, by the way, they didn't make it. They broke up and I blame. No. I entirely complained that. Well, he's also he's also the kind of guy that will like, I remember he was talking to me and he goes, Yeah, I don't know if I can go out this one girl and I go, Why? And he goes, she called dark crystal dumb and I'm like it is conduct are kind of silly. And he goes kind of objectively dumb. Yeah. And he looked at me and he goes, I don't care. She can't. She can't hang. Oh, snap. Yeah, exactly. What's old

Unknown Speaker  1:00:33  
I in that I just said, Oh, snap on, ironically.

Brill  1:00:36  
I mean, Hey, man, it's good. I've, for me anyways, I think that Spelljammer is just Yeah, they're what the writers who are talking about in d&d right now when you see them kind of go through all the I mean, there's a candlekeep side quests that Spelljammer it's been hinted at throughout fivey. To the point where I can't imagine like, I imagined Spelljammer way before I see dark sun ever making a reappearance for fifth edition. And I had no idea that dark Sun was so controversial, as you know, how many people say all that, you know, I had a terrible time with dark sun. It's one of my favorite settings, but I could absolutely see why some people take that. It's aggressive and very anti magic. So I can imagine what Apple might not love it as much Spelljammer I mean, I have a ton of Spelljammer books. It's just funky freshmen. It's weird. I don't know how they would do because five years kind of had a little bit of an issue with vehicles in the past. I wonder how they would actually do the Spelljammer is the actual ships the ships. I'm not sure but I'm I am willing to find out. I am here for it with my Tony Stark Gnome we were as the second they actually start pushing. I want them to make another Artificer class that is more focused on just Spelljammer stuff. I think that would be way cooler. Like a ship mechanic or something. Exactly. I think if you release Spelljammer you kind of have to update a few classes to do more psionic things. Oh, yeah. Maybe have more silvered weapons or something? I can do that. Yeah, maybe have a, a race that was or a lineage that was infected by the neogi? or some kind of Mind Flayer stuff. There's a lot of fun things you could do. I've run Spelljammer sessions. They are difficult to run.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:31  
I bet.

Brill  1:02:32  
I mean, there's a lot of there's a lot of lore just to understand because you can read and learn all about Fey rune, but until you learn about the Gnome automaton wars don't come at me, dude. It's a lot. You're gonna have to sink into it. And there's dinosaur people and planets and moons that are controlled by Beholders have fun. Yeah, I will. Good. So you're excited for stuff that's coming out? You've kind of given me a rundown of a little bit of your history with some things. Here's something that I'm always curious about for just d&d personality as a whole. Is there a monster or flavor of monster that you're just in love with drawn to think the design is awesome? At DumpStat we do wander in monster where I just gush about a bunch of different monsters that I enjoy. So I'm always curious to see what other d&d personalities kind of resonate with. I like monsters that are weird. dope. That's a good start. Like,

Unknown Speaker  1:03:32  
yeah, I don't know how to I don't know how best to. So like, in the in person game that I'm playing. We came across a monster very, very early. That is not an official monster came from like, some some some third party monster supplement. Okay, I think it was called, like, the tome of monsters or something like that. And it's called a double rat.

Brill  1:03:52  
Oh, I have not heard of this before.

Unknown Speaker  1:03:54  
The double rat is awful. And like we had, and none of us as players had ever seen this before. Right. So like it was so it was kind of neat. So like so so we faced so this rat pops out of a crate, and immediately turns into four rats

Brill  1:04:10  
now, and one of the

Unknown Speaker  1:04:12  
methods start, and the original rat bailed, and jumped back into the crate. And then after the first round of combat, those three rats all turned into four rats each Oh Christ, right. So there's so like, so so was turning into a swarm of rats. None of us really had a UI stuff ready to go. And so like they're only doing one day. God What were they doing? They were only doing one damage a piece. But I was like, I am the tank as an Artificer and my armor. As you know, ac 78 Right,

Brill  1:04:44  
right. You're You're pretty sturdy. You're sturdy Gnome,

Unknown Speaker  1:04:47  
but hit die, you know, David die, so like, not not super high on the hit points, right. And if you roll enough dice, you're gonna hit so like they're so so we're dealing with this and they keep on Applying, we eventually dealt with it. I remember I remembered well after the fight that I had Thunder Wave prepared and I was so pissed because that would have been the perfect spell do would have been absolutely perfect because they're all low hitpoints they had four hit points apiece, we came to find out pop

Brill  1:05:15  
just all at once. Oh

Unknown Speaker  1:05:16  
my god, except the prime the prime rat. I don't know if that's what it's called. But like the original rat has, like 25 hit points, right? Like for Right, okay. But here's the thing. So the fights over, we clean up, you know, we go to take our long rest, because you know, it was getting towards the end of the day, we take our long rest, we wake up the next morning, and one of our players had grown and sloughed off a stillborn clone. Oh, shit. And I'm like, only one of us. And we were like, I'm sorry, what the hell,

Brill  1:05:48  
Sir,

Unknown Speaker  1:05:49  
this is and after like, you know, a solid half an hour of role playing an investigation and history checks and looking around the bookstore and the notes of our of our strange now now deceased uncle, we found out that the double rats can infect you with toppling disease. Two of us made our saves one of us didn't. And and so it's a low save, but it but you can fail. It's a concept like a DC 12 concert or something. And so every time you take a long rest, you grow and slough off a stillborn clone until you pass that safe.

Brill  1:06:25  
Oh my god.

Unknown Speaker  1:06:26  
Like

Unknown Speaker  1:06:30  
horrifying. What do you do with the clone? It's it's very specific. It was never alive. It cannot be resurrected. It's not like, you know, you know, you didn't just you know, sort of commit a murder. Like it's it's, but like, what do you do with this clone?

Brill  1:06:47  
What What do I What do I have to do with this? Do I chalk this up people? I have no idea

Unknown Speaker  1:06:52  
we're gonna bury in the backyard. And then we come to find out there's a there's a nimble, right. Like construct who who helps to run the store? Who was deactivated, we fixed him? And he was like, would you like me to put it with the copies of the master. And we all turn to when I'm sorry, what happened to our uncle? like seven times. So like, so we were saying that like in 200 years, some archaeologist is going to go digging around in the backyard and find like seven perfect skeletons of the same Gnome and one Tabaxi. But so monsters like that I find very, very interesting. And I and I love when there's this weird crap that happens afterwards, that you kind of have to deal with these consequences that aren't just Well, you have six levels of exhaustion. Congratulations, you're fucked. You can't play. Like, like, like, those are things that I don't love. Because like that's not engaging, you know?

Brill  1:07:47  
Oh, absolutely.

Unknown Speaker  1:07:48  
You know, you know, I like I like a weird crap that makes you have to react, as opposed to just be like, well, I can't play half my character.

Brill  1:07:57  
Right? Well, I mean, that's why I'm drawn to things like spell casting. Yeah, where you can really start to customize. For me anyway, spell casting is where d&d meets the road. It's everything to me. Yeah, it is where you get to see some of the best mechanics of the game. I mean, probably one of my favorite things that recently happened. That I think is hilarious. We're so high level right now that one of my players is just is talking to me. And he goes, I think I'm gonna need a simulacrum. And I, and I look at him and I go, Okay, so how do you want to do this? And he goes, I want to do this in secret, just so that when we actually have a combat, we're fighting, and then I can have him run in from the side and say, he's my twin brother. And I'm like, That's such a weird and complicated plan. And he's like, Yeah, but I have the resources and time, I think I can do this. And that's, and that's kind of the joy of kind of those later levels. I mean, my my lovely, my lovely girlfriend and partner. She's actually in that campaign. And she is, this is her first ever d&d campaign. And it's been wonderful. So Susie, Oh, absolutely. She I love her just because she has never been kind of the simple character kind of a thing no matter what, even when she started. She was for the character right now is ayyan t Warlock. And dealing with Warlock and doing the ion t thing and a party is very interesting for a new player. But seeing her kind of use these spells now and really become creative with them is hilarious, her new mission, right and how is she stolen and gotten away with most of the party's magic items? And they don't really seem to notice or care half the time. And it's very interesting as a DM for me to see my girlfriend go. Oh, yeah. How can I hold on to your bag of holding and then go? Yeah, we trust you snake person. And I'm just a DM and I look over to see my girlfriend just snickering in the corner like I got their bag a whole day. I'm like, That's not good. You're not good enough.

Unknown Speaker  1:10:00  
I got the bag of holding and everything.

Brill  1:10:03  
Exactly, you know. And there's kind of that there's that very funny and interesting dynamic that I've gotten to watch over playing for so long. Yeah. So the last thing I kind of want to ask you, as we kind of phase out a little bit, is, what are your actual goals kind of moving forward as you grow this massive, beautiful office, corporate America for d&d? And also with these projects? Like what what are you kind of striving for what what merge? What are the future plans that you're kind of aiming for with what you're doing? Oh, God, I wish I knew. No, no, I feel the same way. Sometimes people always come up. So what's next for DumpStat? Like, fuck, dude, next week, we we got we're doing an episode on Bulbasaur for wandering monster, I have no idea.

Unknown Speaker  1:10:53  
Now, so people have been asking for a while for more lore about the arcane Help Desk. So I want to expand a little bit on that. I like to keep it vague, because that allows me to just kind of do whatever I kind of come up with, I don't write myself into a corner that way. Right. But, you know, I do have a merch store. Right now I have a Spreadshirt store for but it's just like, you know, t shirts and hats with just the arcane Help Desk logo. I want to do more stuff. I want to get some more stuff up there. You know, with like, you know, have a magical day and you know, you know, you know, spells and cantrips My name is, you know, with a blank line. How may I help you? You know, like stuff like that.

Brill  1:11:29  
For acronyms. Exactly. Oh, that's a good one. That's a goodie. It's a solid hoodie.

Unknown Speaker  1:11:35  
Oh, man, I have to put an acronym in that statement somewhere. Oh,

Brill  1:11:39  
for slot. Absolutely. I don't even know what that is. But um, Zach's can be spells. I

Unknown Speaker  1:11:44  
don't know what the rest is. And so so my best friend Sean, I've mentioned him a couple of times, he has been a real help and a real driving force with some of what I'm doing. He's really trying to support me in this. We've been working together with all kinds of different projects for like, for 15 years now. So I just want to do more. I don't even know what more means. You know, I'm starting to get into YouTube and posting these things up on YouTube. It'd be real fun to do, like, kind of longer form content. But I don't know what that looks like yet. Yeah. Is there a lot of logistics involved with writing long form episodic kind of content? Like sets, costumes, actors, like, that's a lot. I'm not just going to assume that my friends are going to help me to do this for free. You know, so absolutely, I have a hard enough time getting paid to do fight directing jobs in you know, you know, down here in, in South Jersey, let alone You know, asking my friends to act for me for free. So, although a lot of them would be like, I want I volunteer, you know, and that's a different story. That's a different story.

Brill  1:12:45  
Right?

Unknown Speaker  1:12:46  
I want to do I want to do more, more of this stuff. I want to do, you know, I just I want to raise awareness for you know, you know, for positive things in d&d, and you know, in some of the stuff that we're talking about earlier about inclusivity you know, I just want to do all those things. People ask me a lot like where I got my wand? I have that, uh, that forged steel wand that I'm always twirling in my videos. Oh shit.

Brill  1:13:11  
Oh shit. I want one. Where do I get one? Well,

Unknown Speaker  1:13:15  
so I got mine from a blacksmith named laforge that is the name of his of his business.

Brill  1:13:19  
Oh shit. That sounds legit as fuck if I walk up to it is like what do you do? I'm a butcher. What's your name make

Unknown Speaker  1:13:28  
that's just that Oh, so the name of shop is the forge and he does a lot of the East Coast Ren faire circuit. He does the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair, the Philly Ren fairs in New Jersey run fair. You know he's all over the place. I have been talking to him about getting a couple of dozen from him so that I can resell them to people so that I can help people get these so that's something I'm working on. I don't know what the logistics of how I'm going to do that yet. I don't have like a web store that's mine. It might just be okay Pay Pal me money and I'll ship you one who knows. I've got some other little things that are going to be showing up in videos very soon. They probably will by the time this has aired so I have a friend of mine 3d printing sending stones arcane Help Desk shorting Help Desk sending stones that looks like a gem with the with the arcane Help Desk logo like in Boston it

Brill  1:14:15  
you might even might get a call from me the arch. They might be like, I just don't know how to control my minions. Can you just give me some advice? Of what am I doing wrong? Have you tried a health care plan? I know that Mike's supposed to I just resurrect them.

Unknown Speaker  1:14:32  
But um, you know, like so so as far as like merchant stuff like I want to I want to get into doing that I'd love to do more more collaborations with other with other d&d creators on Tick tock, you know, I'd like to, you know,

Brill  1:14:44  
just,

Unknown Speaker  1:14:45  
I just I want to see where this is gonna take me I want to see where this is going to go. I still don't feel like I even deserve any of this. I literally fell into the arcane helpdesk. I did one video back in back in October of last year and it and it hit me The first one it was like, it was like my biggest video today, or at that time, it was like 40 50,000 views and I lost my mind. I was like, Oh my God. And now here I am, I did a video of my first dungeon support video hit a million and a half views in like a week.

Brill  1:15:15  
Oh my god. And that

Unknown Speaker  1:15:16  
was the real kick that got me from like, 17,000 followers to like 60,000 followers in a week. Oh my god.

Brill  1:15:24  
Seriously. That's, that is the that is the Mojo I am going to stand for me this is not this is not the

Unknown Speaker  1:15:31  
humble brag thing. Like I, I, I genuinely do not believe that I deserve good things. Oh, like this is I'm gonna get into this. Like, I'm not gonna try to bring the room down. Like I've liked how my brain works. And now you know, at at time of recording, I'm looking at like 150,000 followers on tik tok. And it's just, I'm dumbfounded,

Brill  1:15:52  
right? I mean, it's incredible what you know, you kind of go through and I do find it fascinating. It's one of the reasons why I reached out to you in the first place, is I noticed that your message and what you were trying to promote over this game in this hobby I really connected with and I loved, I loved your sketches, and I still love your sketches. And I felt that what you were saying was kind of what we were saying over here. And it's very reassuring, at least to me, when I hear that another person is kind of sitting there going like, Fuck, I made this character. And they need to Lauren, because we get questions all the time about so our church, how long have you kept captive? And I'm like, Oh, that's right. I play a skeleton on TV some number of years.

Unknown Speaker  1:16:37  
He pauses on zero number. And yeah, it's just, you know, and and we've been and Shawn and I have been expanding on things like a while ago, someone asked me if if they could if they could have Harry as their patron as their Warlock patron. Yes. So I said, Sure. And I made the arcane helpdesk subclass, Warlock subclass. It's up on d&d beyond

Brill  1:17:03  
check that

Unknown Speaker  1:17:04  
section. And then a couple of weeks ago, I haven't posted this one yet. I'm having some trouble with the formatting on d&d beyond, but like we did the Cleric domain of human resources, oh, I really had to do like the Paladin oath of security, because of the security guard, it takes their job way too seriously. But I've got several ideas to kind of, like fill out some of those some of those subclasses and, and stuff, and I just really kind of want to see where the arcane health best can take me. You know, it's, it's, it's been, it's been a wild, it's been a wild ridiculous ride. And while I'm not expecting monetization out of it, but I am getting a little from a couple of different places. And right, like, it's, if it helps to pay for itself, that would be fantastic for like props, and, like, you know, better camera equipment, things like that, you know, maybe maybe it gets to the point where I can, where I can quit my, my current job and do something part time, you know, I don't think that is absolutely i don't think it could ever, like be my sole source of income. Right? You know, but like, I would love to not have my soul crushing day job.

Brill  1:18:10  
As, as what I like to remove that as well. I would like to be Ilitch full time.

Unknown Speaker  1:18:16  
Just you know, have a job where like, I can just show up, do my job, go home and not feel like I'm taking my job home with me and taking the stress out. You know, if I had to find, you know, like, some some bullshit part time job where I make, you know, you know, $15,000 a year and the rest of it, you know, you know, which is not a lot. And, you know, and just, you know, the rest of it comes from, you know, you know, these other side hustles they are getting help this stuff, I'd be thrilled about that, you know, especially to have some more scheduling flexibility,

Brill  1:18:42  
my God. I mean, that's, that is the goal, I think of a lot of people in this field right now is to try to find a way to find, you know, monetization, I mean, people ask us a ton, like, how do you sound that? Well? How does your editing process work this well, like, how do you guys do it? With our stupid like three dude, team, we have two very talented people, and I recruited them. So that's kind of that's basically what it boiled down to. And I tried to pay them. You know, that's kind of especially our editor. That's something that I, I've always kind of maintained, despite the fact that it is a financial burden that times I will make that attempt. Because I believe if you are a good at what you do, you should make some form of money out of it. Yeah. And that's the goal of a good portion of this. And the other goal is just to express our art and to be you know who we are and make lovely sketches about somebody drawing a card from the deck of making medicines and making a terrible mistake.

Unknown Speaker  1:19:40  
Oh my god. I hate that item. So much as to why it's a painkiller. And I don't understand why people don't like get that. But like, anyway, but Yeah, I am. And that's what I like. I like to think that I'm a storyteller, and that's what I'm trying to do. You know, and I've learned a lot about video editing and video effects are For the last year, because I do all of it myself, I haven't. And I don't I don't edit my videos in the TED Talk editor like I filmed them on my webcam I edit in third party software, I've paid for the spell effects that I use in the videos, you know, all like, you know, when I'm like, you know, when I answer the phone or hang up the phone and just any spell effects you see,

Brill  1:20:19  
I there has to be a lot of editing that goes into some of that, of course, I mean, your videos are great when it comes to just sound effects.

Unknown Speaker  1:20:26  
The the normal video, the strict haven video that I did last night took me probably 3540 minutes. Yeah. sween finding it assuming filming it editing it during the during the captions, because that's a manual process. Which I'm happy to do but God does it add time. Does it add editing time? Oh, and all that stuff. And then you know, and then letting it render and then rendering the second copy that I put up on YouTube because I put the end card on, and just all that stuff. And like, you know, it sounds like oh, well, I have so many firstworldproblems like, you know, these are things that not a lot of people think about I upload videos to tick tock YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Right. And every single one of those is a manual process. And it's a separate process and it takes time. Yeah, you know, it takes it takes a couple of minutes per video to upload. Like after I'm done shooting the video. I'm spending 20 minutes uploading it to all to everywhere.

Brill  1:21:23  
Right and you're doing all of this with a magnificent beard. I don't think people understand that. I don't even know what to say. Oh, I mean, I I just imagine I anytime I see somebody This is just a quick tangent. Anytime I see somebody with a glorious Merlin beard. I always have the same thought I had when I first watched like Dumbledore and the first Harry Potter movie as a kid I would just go they got a trip on that they that has to get in the way somewhere does that has to end and L and you know wizards like have curled elven shoes when they walk around to there's definitely something getting caught somewhere. Rose it's all flowing.

Unknown Speaker  1:22:06  
Oh my god, don't get me started on robes. You constantly wear my videos but like if I'm LARPing I'm not gonna wear that. Like, oh, you know, armor or not even the armor like no, like if I'm playing a Wizard like I'm not. I'm going to dress in like a doublet and a shirt and some pants and boots. Like I am not going to wear a robe or a cloak. No, you get caught on things.

Brill  1:22:29  
Like Have you seen Have you seen fizzbin the fabulous He is currently wearing short shorts.

Unknown Speaker  1:22:35  
And it looks his booty looks and I can see I haven't seen the the art up close. But it's one of those things like from from The Incredibles with Ed Gnome. She's like no capes. Let me tell you something. Oh, yeah, as a larper of twice a fantasy larper of 20 years. No capes. No capes. I've seen people get tripped and like oh and like and and take pretty nasty falls because someone accidentally steps on their cloak while they're trying to run. I've seen I've seen people get in game killed because their their cape gets caught on something or their robe gets caught on something and they can't get away. Like, I'm just saying like, no capes.

Brill  1:23:12  
Oh, absolutely not. I think honestly, that's a good place to give the final advice. I appreciate you coming on here. I appreciate you talking to me. Can you tell me where people can find you? And any last parting words to the DumpStat undead army who I am happy to let you all know that some of you have been asking me to be a patron. I'm too lazy to do that. Be Harry, Harry's a much better patron. Where can we find you? And any last parting thoughts for these zombies that we record for?

Unknown Speaker  1:23:46  
All right? So you can find me on tik tok at Dominic siroki. That's do on my nicci ar e ch II. Yes, that's a lot.

Brill  1:23:55  
I'm sorry that an acronym for that?

Unknown Speaker  1:23:57  
Jesus. No, you can also um, most of my stuff is on. God, I'm trying to think of the best way to get to it. It's like link tree I have a link tree that's posted on my tik tok but you can also get me on Instagram at Wizard desk on Twitter at Wizard desk, Facebook at arcane Help Desk, you know and and my my link tree with the rest of the links are posted in on in my bio on all of those places. So if you can find one of them, you can get to everywhere else. If you're if you're so inclined. Yeah. My advice is just to have fun. Like if you're like my d&d advice, specifically, is have fun, don't stress, make mistakes, but have fun doing it. Learn and just, you know, tell great stories together because that's what that's what this is all about.

Brill  1:24:44  
Absolutely. And I also want everybody to tune in next time. I have Dominic on where we watch all of Willie Jonathan's frakes everything has ever been. We're going through it. Oh my goodness is glorious day. Glory several days. Glory several days of beyond belief. And you will always be bamboozled by that cunning punster. So thank you very much for sitting down with me. I appreciate your time and I would love to do something like this with you in the future hit me up. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's been great. It has. Thank you all for watching. Thank you for coming on. We will we are on every Friday for DumpStat. So tune in next week. I'll talk to you guys later. Bye bye.


(Cont.) DumpStat Interview: Dominic Ciarrocchi (From Arcane Helpdesk!)
(Cont.) DumpStat Interview: Dominic Ciarrocchi (From Arcane Helpdesk!)