Monthly Archives: April 2014

Why Wheaton is crowdfunding Tabletop Season 3

It was when Google/YouTube started this channel initiative that Felicia Day submitted her proposal for the Geek & Sundry channel and then approached Wil Wheaton, and Tabletop was born.  Well, apparently Google decided that they weren’t getting much of a return on their outlay and are no longer funding these things, so the only way to continue production is to find other funding sources.  Thus, Indiegogo.

One thing that I did not realize initially on reading the Indiegogo proposal was that it’s a form of funding that I hadn’t seen before: flexible funding.  With this model, contributions go immediately to the project rather than waiting to see whether the funding level is reached by the deadline.  The goal for Tabletop was reached a long time ago, they’re now up to $650,000 of their original $500,000 goal: the more money they raise, the more episodes get made.  And if they reach $1 MILLION dollars (in requisite Dr. Evil voice), they’re going to produce an RPG series.

In this blog post, Wheaton explains why they need so much money.  It boils down to: good quality television production is very expensive as it requires good people, and no one is getting rich on this project.

My current Flash Point set up

I am unabashedly a huge fan of Flash Point: Fire Rescue.  I think my main reasons are that it’s cooperative, it can be played solo or with only two people, and it has a very visceral feel to it.  I’m not a big fan of abstract games, but that’s just me.  But there is one problem with Flash Point that’s almost inescapable: lots of fiddly bits and maps.  I have all of the expansions, including the bonus Dangerous Waters map that was funded as part of the Kickstarter for Extreme Danger, and I hated my organization.  I had lots of little plastic bags filled with stuff, and prior to Extreme Danger, I was rapidly running out of box space.  Fortunately ED included a second box, but even more fortunately I remembered an old solution used with the 1980’s Avalon Hill classic, Up Front: a fishing tackle box.


I went all over to craft and hobby stores, I went to Home Depot and Lowe’s.  No one had exactly what I was looking for, namely something that I could shift the internal walls to vary the size of the compartments.

I found my solution at Walmart, I think it was under $10.

It works pretty good, though it does take a little longer to set up a game.  But cleaning up is faster, and all I need is my original box with all of the maps and rules and my smaller box and I’m ready to game.


Speaking of gaming, I did a solo Flash Point Saturday that was great.  The first time that I played the submarine I got my butt handed to me.  I was running four roles: chief, veteran, rescue dog, and structural engineer.  Unfortunately the structural engineer and dog got trapped in the bow of the sub, the vet got blowed up, and I couldn’t get the chief from the back of the ship to extinguish the entry point and then get to the bow to free the dog and engineer before the sub sank.  Very frustrating game, but sometimes that’s the way the dice rolls.  Saturday I did a re-match, this time starting with the captain, the structural engineer, and CAFS.  The firefighters were able to clear a path for the engineer to extinguish all the hot spots and deal with initial explosion damage, after which the engineer became the haz mat tech and dispatched the three hazmats, and then became the generalist.

At the end game, I’d almost rescued all of the people and only had one damage cube on the board in a non-vital area.  And I succeeded in extinguishing all of the fire.  I’ll tell ya, that felt pretty good,  The only POI killed by a flashover turned out to be a false alarm, so no deaths!

I got lucky with explosions, and dealing with all of the hot spots as soon as possible was a definite help.  I think on the sub, a better strategy is to keep your non-firefighters working with a firefighter and keep one firefighter in the bow, one in the stern.

Speaking of Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop, he’s crowdfunding Season 3

I have to be honest, I haven’t watched Tabletop.  My excuse is mainly that I don’t get to game very much up on this mountain, and I’m sticking to it.  Still, I know it’s a good program and was quite pleased to hear that he’s bypassing Google and trying to directly fund the next season.   And considering that he’s $422,000 in to his $500,000 goal with just over a month remaining, he’ll make it.

For those not familiar with how Tabletop was initially funded, it all came down to Google wanting to manufacture quality content for YouTube.  They announced that they would be accepting proposals to fund some production, and Felicia Day started working on a proposal for the Geek & Sundry channel.  She approached Wheaton and asked him what he wanted to do if he had the money, and he told her that he wanted to sit around and play board games with friends.  In a nut shell: Tabletop.

Geek & Sundry, along with Tabletop, have been fantastically successful, and the love for Wil’s program is definitely being expressed through donations to his Indiegogo campaign, of which I will be participating.

Celebrate Tabletop Day with a free RPG bundle!

Lots of good stuff in here: Traveler, Call of Cthulhu, Eclipse Phase, Night’s Black Agents, Firefly, etc.  They’re mostly demo packs, but still an excellent overview of new RPGs that might be worth checking out.

I have no idea how much longer this free bundle will be running.  Their web site has been getting slammed, so you might have to refresh your browser over time to get in and get the bundle.

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