One of the biggest additions to G4’s relaunch last year was their own live Dungeons & Dragons show called party invitation. Since it started last fall, the show has had its fair share of intensity and hilarity as it shows what D&D can be without taking itself too seriously. The show is currently going through its first campaign titled The Scoundrels Of Waterdeep, using a mix of G4 talent and special guests to come along for the on-screen shenanigans, often taking center stage for incredible interactive play for the set. . game and watch you unfold completely out of the blue based on the decisions they’ve made along the way. Today we chat with two of the people involved in the show, the DM himself B Dave Waltersand party member Kassem Gharaibehas we discuss the birth of the series and how it has gone so far.
BC: Hi everyone! First of all, how is it going for each of you with the relaunch of the G4 and working in the new offices?
KG: The recovery was magnificent. Looks like the training wheels are off now that we have a home.
Dave, how did the concept for the series come about and when did you start discussing it with G4?
BDW: I had the chance to work with G4 during D&D live earlier this year, and they reached out to me quite early in the development process to bring J&D on TV !
What was the process like for you to join as a DM and plan a story that would work for a network?
BDW: I’ve been lucky that my history with Wizards of the Coast has generated a lot of trust, so it wasn’t hard to get everyone to approve of my ideas. I really like Dungeons & Dragons in general and Forgotten Realms in particular, so I wanted to make sure we captured what makes J&D, J&D while blazing uncharted territory. I basically try to serve the past and the future at the same time. The biggest challenge has been trying to plan as far in advance as TV requires while trying to maintain the spontaneity and agility that define TTRPGs, but I think we’ve managed to make it so far. ‘now.
With so many J&D– related shows on Twitch and YouTube these days, what specifically have you done to make sure party invitation not only stood out from the others, but had its own vibe that was unlike the others?
BDW: I know intimately the abundance of J&D content available; I’m a LOT of it! I think the thing that fixes party invitation apart from our format and the scale at which we can tell our story. G4 has built a powerful team on both sides of the camera to allow us to push the boundaries of the kind of stories we can tell here. I’m so used to sitting at a table or on a remote call and painting pictures with words; getting up, moving around, having lighting and audio queues is wild. But it allows us to create a viewing experience that nothing else can compare to. There aren’t many firsts left in this world, so being the FIRST TTRPG on TV has been a blessing and a challenge that I’ve been blessed with.
Kassem, how does it feel to be invited or invited to participate in the show?
KG: At first, it seemed strange to ask someone relatively unfamiliar like me to participate in the initial campaign, but I’m glad they did. I think it’s important for people who don’t play J&D to understand that it’s actually very easy to get started and a lot more fun than you probably think. This was certainly the case for me.
How was the process to create your character and make it stand out and fun while still being useful at the party?
KG: The character creation was really great. B Dave really made this process fun. We were encouraged to find traits that would physically hook us to the characters, as well as interesting stories initially, but also allow us to have fun learning more about ourselves over the course of a campaign.
At some point, did you all sit down together for a Session Zero and think about how the series works? Or did you just go with the flow the first time the show first aired?
BDW: Not only did we have a zero session, but we still meet weekly to figure out how to keep raising the bar. Now we’re getting to the point where other people are actively suggesting things to try and ways to innovate; it’s really important that everyone feels they have a stake in this project that we are creating together. As the cast and crew become more comfortable with the path we’re blazing, the sky’s the limit.
KG: We definitely had a few sessions that gave us the opportunity to play our characters and set up how our characters all ended up in jail together in Episode 1. That was so important to me because I had a lot of doubts about how to play and feeling the pressure to play J&D “law”. I had a lot of questions and sometimes I didn’t know what I was doing, but those were the days when I learned the most. I still learn so much every week.
How was it for everyone playing that first game live on the network?
KG: The first game happened so fast and I don’t remember anything. It was a whirlwind experience and I was told people loved it?
Dave, how did you manage to manage the storytelling with a chaotic crew and a format with commercial breaks and a time limit?
BDW: Without a doubt, the hardest part of it all is managing breaks. Trying to find a moment that will keep both cast and audience engaged every 12 minutes or so is no small feat. Traditionally, TV shows benefit from editing to make it seamless, but we have to do it live. Luckily, we have a small army behind the scenes helping me stay on track (thanks to Adam Rady)!
So far, as we do this interview, you’ve had a few shows and had a few guest appearances. What are you all looking forward to as the show progresses?
KG: Above all, I can’t wait to see what will happen with Ignius. Because I have no idea. I had no idea this was where we would be as a band, and the uncertainty, while uncomfortable, is the part I keep coming back for. Hope Ignius gets what he really wants at the end of the day.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the series as they watch the story unfold?
KG: I hope audiences see a bunch of silly people having fun who really care about their characters and what happens to them. I also hope that people who have never launched a D20 will find friends and start their own campaign. It’s hard to put into words, but the feeling of everyone suspending reality for a few hours to help create a story together is so gratifying. There is no such thing. There is a reason J&D has existed for decades. I’m glad we can tell our little story to a few people each week.