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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dungeon Master

As mentioned last week one of the events H4773r and I particpated in was Dungeon Master. Dungeon Master is a cross between LARP and theatre. The Dungeonmaster group employs actors who have previously rehearsed a scripted RPG-like event. On the night that Dungeon Master performs audience members are invited to submit a "character" that will then participate in the theatrical event. It sounds more complicated when I try to explain, but it's actually very simple and involves some great improv.

H4773r and I had expressed interest in participating as characters and were given a "character sheet" to fill out. The character sheet asks for your names, race, class, stats, and any other information you might want to add. I decided to create "Bellafrose" a female, human sorcerer who likes to set things on fire. H4773r created "Nye Kwill" male, human cleric who had a habit of falling asleep at odd intervals in order to "meditate and commune with his god."

Bellafrose and Nye Kwill (photo courtesy of Rayne Stransky)

Once everyone was settled into the room the Dungeon Master himself began to explain how the show would go and as well as the "rules." The two main rules, all combat must be performed in slow motion and all spells cast must be rhyming couplets. We only had 10 spells to use for the whole evening and the same spell could not be repeated twice.

And then show began. Our story began in the area of Atoll, where all of the stories take place, with a meeting of fans for a special panel of Dr. Prozac Dr. Efraim Zoloft (Thanks, Rayne!). Just as Dr. Prozac Dr. Zoloft made his appearance he was kidnapped by evil people A.K.A. "goths". A party was then assembled to find the goths and retrieve Dr. Prozac Dr. Zoloft.

Dr. Prozac Dr. Zoloft being held captive (photo courtesy of Rayne Stransky)

Our party consisted of one actual actor from Dungeon Master who was our guide, myself and H4773r as our characters, and (I'm not kidding when I say this) several children. Ok, they were more like tweens and a teenager, but barely. I don't recall what the kids were playing except for the teenager who played a dumb, but very funny, half-giant and another tween who also played a sorcerer and was very good at rhyming couplets.

Party has been assembled (photo courtesy of Rayne Stransky)

The "game" basically goes as such: an actual rehearsed scene with the Dungeon Master actors is performed that moves the RGP story along. That scene is then followed by a scene with the audience members as the party and other Dungeon Master actors. For example, right after the party was formed we began another scene in which the party was asked if we wanted armor and weapons. We voted yes, even though we were reminded armor and weapons would slow us down, physically. The game went more or less smoothly. We managed to solve our clues as to where the goths were hiding, and even convinced some kind of Rat King, who makes all the traps in Atoll, to let us pass. We had finally reached the goths, when the main female goth began monologue-ing and H4773r used the opportunity to slay her (it was actually pretty funny). We then began an all out battle in which most of the party died (including myself and H4773r). However, not all the party died and were able to return Dr. Prozac to his panel.

At the end of the story Dr. Prozac Dr. Zoloft was able to give his speech which mostly talked about how a party should play in order to succeed and then everyone was invited back onstage for bows. Additionally, the audience votes for it's favorite audience participant. As I mentioned in the previous post, H4773r won. It's unfortuate we don't live anywhere near Los Angles otherwise we'd very much take advantage of his winning prize, free passes to the rest of the season. I'm hoping he can go back in December for the end of the year show. I really think H4773r won the audience over when we were discussing the vampire blood needed to barter with the goths and H4773r made an excellent "Twilight" reference.

H4773r accepting his reward (photo courtesy of Rayne Stransky)
Aside from their live stage production Dungeon Master has also progressed into the webseries world. If you're into webseries such as The Guild, Legend of Neil, or Standard Action then you'll definitely enjoy The Legend of Atoll series. 

H4773r and I had a great time with event. You can read his thoughts on the event, here. I think it helps that we're also both actors. And I would very much like to see and/or perform with them again next time I'm in Los Angeles. Meanwhile if you're in the L.A. area you should check them out. Tickets are only $10 and it's guaranteed no show is ever the same.

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