Next Wednesday evening at 6:30 on the Gencon Twitch Channel. Here’s the link.
That was the lead. Here’s the explanation.
Turns out, I’m an ON. Original Nerd.
If you went to high school with me, you probably didn’t know I was a Dungeons & Dragons devotee. I kept it in the closet. It wasn’t cool then, and I cared about cool. I had met the game in the sixth or seventh grade when I was already a fantasy reader and Tolkien junkie, and it had been love at first sight. D&D made it possible for me to dream up my own worlds and characters and stories and to share them with friends. Fast forward to 2014, when I published my first fantasy novel, and you can see how that story arc played out. Or at least seemed to play out. Because a year ago a former student pointed out this new thing called D&D “actual play” live streams on Twitch.
I checked it out, and it blew my mind. People were actually video streaming their weekly D&D games. I used to make fun of people who watched YouTube videos of other people playing video games, but I’m a honeyed ham if I didn’t suddenly GET it. Live stream D&D sessions are suspenseful, funny, alternately action packed or thoughtful, character-rich, and strategic. Plus, since it is in fact a kind of nerdy improv storytelling, it is often full of surprises.
The most famous of these D&D live streams—now with hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers—is called Critical Role, led by voice actor Matthew Mercer for six other voice actors in LA. From the moment I learned of it I binge-listened to Critical Role’s podcast version on my walks, and after a while I had a “Lightbulb!” moment. How hard could it be to create one of my own? (Bha! Answer? INSANELY hard, but that’s a story for a different post.)
Of course, I didn’t know any voice actors in Seattle, but I did know a bunch of fantasy writers… What if I could get a bunch of fantasy authors together for a weekly game and live stream it? What if we could get sponsors and someone to produce the shows?
That was sixteen months ago. Next week—after hundreds of hours of practice sessions, video production, and planning—we stream our first live session on the GenCon Twitch channel. We’re calling it Dungeon Scrawlers. (Hey, the internet voted on it; at least it isn’t Dungeon McDungeon Face. )
The members are, in alphabetical order, Erik Scott DeBie (our DM), Erin M. Evans, Rhiannon Held, Randy Henderson, (me) Stephen Merlino, Emily T, and Yang-Yang Wang. Several of us know each other from critique groups, three of us are Writers of the Future award winners, and the first two have well over a dozen Dungeons & Dragons novels to their names.
Looking forward to that first session! If you miss it, we’ll post it on YouTube a few days after. All the links are on the Dungeon Scrawlers website. 🙂
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