I’m a huge fan of YouTube and the on-line video revolution. It’s no secret that audio-visual media is moving on-line, and has been for quite a while. The ease with which creators can put their work in front of an audience has meant an explosion in web-based nerd entertainment. Whatever your geeky persuasion, you’ll find hours of entertainment on YouTube.
I’m subscribed to a plethora of tabletop gaming vlogs, covering everything from game reviews to play-through demos to how-to videos about miniature painting, campaign creation and so on. Excepting play-through vlogs, most are only 5-10 minutes long which is a perfect length for me; I can watch one while I wait for breakfast to cook in the morning, another while I eat, and so on. I usually manage to watch three to eight videos a day, in times when I’d just be sitting idle anyway. And now that I have a smart phone this is actually smart, I can watch many of these videos while I’m on the move as well. With proper head-phones, of course, I’m not a jerk.
Here are three of my favourite vlogs, in no particular order:
The DM’s Craft – Though I’ve fallen out of the habit in recent years, I used to love building unique props and location models for my tabletop games. In the last year or so I decided to get back into crafting, and along the way I discovered The DM’s Craft. Whether you are just starting out as a crafter, or have been building things for your tabletop games for years, this video series is a gold-mine of tips, tricks, and ideas to spruce up your game sessions. There are projects for all skill levels, ranging from basic things like simple dungeon tiles to elaborate and unique setting locations. My personal favourite is the video on creating a gelatinous cube; it’s so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. If you want to build cool things to impress your layers, this vlog is for you.
Game Geeks – If you play tabletop RPGs, you know game books can be expensive. It can be hard, without knowing anything about a particular book or game, to plunk down your hard-earned cash in blind faith that the book will be worth it. For years I’ve relied on game review sites to help steer my purchases, and Game Geeks, hosted by Kurt Wiegel, is one of the best. While I watch many review vlogs, Kurt’s is my favourite because he’s a GM just like me. Because I know he runs his own games, I feel I can trust his opinion on the usefulness of a particular book or resource. He reviews a wide range of books and game types, and while he has a self-professed bias towards certain game styles, I’ve never noticed it get in the way of a fair critique of any book. Definitely check it out before your next big RPG purchase.
Epic Level TV – Technically this is a channel, not a series, but it has a lot of tabletop goodness packed inside. The first show you’ll likely recognize from Epic Level TV is Dungeon Bastard, featuring comedic old-school gaming advice from the Dungeon Bastard himself. DB is a character played by Tom Lommel, and if you grew up through the hobby you will recognize someone just like the Dungeon Bastard. But besides this, ELTV offers really entertaining videos for tabletop nerds: Interpuppetary Nerdgasm, a nerd culture show hosted by felt puppets; their newest series, Force Push, about a group of nerds trying to help their friend develop force powers; as well a run of comedy shorts related to tabletop gaming. My personal favourite is the Rolling High video explaining how attacks of opportunity work. I think gamers of all stripes will get a kick out of something on ELTV, and possibly many somethings.
Those are three of my favourite vlogs. Do you watch vlogs, and if so do you have a favourite? Share your recommendations in the comments!