Legendary Games is a small indie developer of tabletop role-playing games. Their latest release is a new edition of D&D, the venerable fantasy role-playing game. This new edition features a lighter, faster, and more imaginative game system, and mixes elements from fantasy and science-fiction.
The dirt league is a series of fantasy-themed pinball machines currently only available at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. The game, which has you controlling a character that flings dirt around a massive hole, is based on the popular Dungeons & Dragons animated series. Viva La Dirt League is the latest game to be released by the Hall of Fame, which also offers games based on Star Trek, Superman, and Star Wars
“To say ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ is a niche product is an understatement”, says Todd Coleman, the director of the Netflix original series ‘Viva La Bam. ‘The concept of making a series based on a product that is so inextricably linked with the hobby in which the characters in the show play is unprecedented in the history of television and in the world of tabletop roleplaying. ‘I believe it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to share the fun and beauty of tabletop roleplaying with a new audience and we’re very fortunate to be in such a position to be able to take advantage of such a unique opportunity. “
The new Dungeons & Dragons series from Viva La Dirt League debuts today. D&D Logic, a new scripted series from the New Zealand-based sketch comedy channel, is a witty take on tabletop roleplaying, similar to how NPC Man and PUBG Logic tackled MMORPGs and PUBG fans. The ten-episode series chronicles a D&D game, presenting the action “in-world” through the eyes of the characters who must cope with the players’ often baffling and unexpected behavior.
I reached out to series creative leaders Adam King and Robert Hartley via email to hear more about D&D Logic and to learn more about the show:
(Photo courtesy of Viva La Dirt League)
: Viva La Dirt League is a sketch comedy show that focuses on video games. Why make the move to a D&D-focused series?
Adam King (Adam King): People’s interest in our material stems not only from the fact that it’s “comedy skits,” but also from the fact that we go deep into the games and communities we mock. We like to believe we’re presenting genuine, relevant situations in a humorous and unique manner, whether it’s fantasy MMOs with NPC Man, PUBG, Red Dead, Dark Souls, or the realities of retail job and daily life. So, given our and Rob’s enthusiasm for D&D, we decided to take it a step further.
Robert Hartley (R.H.) Also, D&D isn’t as different to the world of video games as you would believe. Players build customizable characters and adventure in an open-world sandbox game in high fantasy settings such as World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, and many more, occasionally joining up with other players or NPCs to embark on missions and fight monsters. Even before considering Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and other video games based in D&D worlds, that seems very D&D to me.
Is this a completely written production, or did you have the actors and writing staff play D&D for the show?
King: This campaign, unlike our D&D campaign on our second channel, is completely staged. Though I think we could go the opposite way and play some games based on the show’s narrative? Rob may be able to throw some more light on the situation.
Yes, this one is completely planned, but I did want the actors to have some idea of what they were going to be parodying, so I invited those who hadn’t played before to my house and gave them an introduction oneshot. They pretended to be the characters they’d be playing in the series, but nothing from the game made it into the scripts… yet.
(Photo courtesy of Viva La Dirt League)
Could you describe D&D Logic’s fundamental plot? What kind of campaign is it, who are the characters, and so on?
King: On this one, I’ll hand it up to our brilliant writer, Mr. Robert Hartley.
While it was essential to me that each skit could stand alone and be viewed without regard for the others, I also wanted to reward people who did watch them all in sequence with a sense of closure. Season one follows the same basic narrative of a short campaign: meeting the rest of the party, learning how to fight, learning a bit more about each other’s faults and talents, exploring the campaign environment, and battling a Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG) at the conclusion.
What were some of the difficulties in getting D&D Logic from idea to completion? What was the difference in production between Epic NPC Man and any of your previous sketch comedy shows?
D&D Logic is by far one of our most important projects. It has our largest cast, with nine major characters and all of their outfits getting a full makeover. Four figures have complete prosthetics and face paint, while the other three have less prosthetics, more varied settings, and lengthier drawings. This project has pushed our team to the ultimate test, and I am certain that it will show on screen.
Hartley: D&D 5th Edition offers 13 distinct classes to choose from (wizard, fighter, rogue, barbarian, and so on), and I knew I wanted this to seem more like an ensemble than a single protagonist. After all, the whole purpose of the game is to play as a group of adventurers, collaborating to overcome the obstacles that are presented at you. As a result, I wasn’t sure which courses to concentrate on at first, so I gave each of the 13 classes a role. Then, during a production meeting, I was informed that this would need a substantial increase in cast size and money! So I went through and typed out four of the courses, perhaps for a future season.
(Photo courtesy of Viva La Dirt League)
Several live-action or animated D&D projects, including a full-length film, are currently under development. Why is currently the best moment to incorporate D&D games into more conventional media?
King: As a newcomer to Dungeons and Dragons, I can see that the game is experiencing a huge revival right now. People’s interest in the game is either lightly piqued or they’re already fully immersed and looking for ancillary content to enjoy even more, whether it’s their desire for interaction within storytelling, the acceptance of geek/nerd culture into the mainstream, or even just people jumping on the hot topic.
Hartley: Yes, Adam has said it succinctly. I can’t explain why D&D has lately become so popular any more than I can explain the form of a flame. I may conjecture all I want, but what good does it do anyone? All I know is that it is being played by more people than ever before, and that D&D material has a following.
Would you like D&D Logic to go longer than the original 10-episode run if it proves to be as successful as some of your previous shows?
King: Even before we began filming, we were sure that our audience would like D&D Logic, and we were already talking internally about what we wanted to show in Season 2, Season 3, and beyond. We’re even putting up some small easter eggs, character points, and narrative elements in Season 1 that won’t be revealed until subsequent seasons. So we’re definitely thinking about future seasons.
Hartley: I’ve got a list of around 50 skit ideas, so I’m hoping it keeps going! And, as Adam points out, I’ve purposefully built up gags that I don’t want to pay off until season 4 or later! I’m accustomed to playing the long game as a DM!
Is there anything more you’d want to say to entice our viewers to see the show?
King: If you like D&D, you’ll appreciate how closely this program is tied to the gaming experience and the D&D community. If you’re a fan of VLDL, you’ll appreciate seeing all of the familiar Viva cast members, in-jokes, and comedic style. This tribute to the difficulties and tribulations of a group of friends playing games together will appeal to fans of humor and nerd/geek culture in general.
Hartley: I couldn’t have put it any better. There’s something here to suit a wide variety of interests.
The cast of D&D Logic includes Robert Hartley (Ash vs Evil Dead, 6 Days, Shortland Street), Adam King (Epic NPC Man, Bored, Baelin’s Route), Phoenix Cross (Buzz Cut, Ahikaroa, Baelin’s Route), Byron Coll (Jack the Giant Slayer, Power Rangers Ninja Steel, Shadow in the Cloud), Emmet Skilton (Young Rock, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, You may watch the first episode above or on the Viva La Dirt League YouTube page.