Role-playing Related Web Series

Posted on Mar 14, 2018

A list of the role-playing related web series I've watched (and enjoyed)

Cheap digital video production and free (or very cheap) internet-based venues for them has resulted in a wave of niche-interest low budget web video series. Fan-made productions are certainly not new and someday I might catalog all of those fan films based in the Star Trek universe which I loved, but making more episodes of an already successful TV show with an established format seems somewhat obvious. For role-players, the idea of translating their fantasy role playing worlds onto the screen in live action film grows out of the LARP (live action role-playing) tradition where games are acted out IRL (in real life). This genre is not for everyone, and there are a lot of "in jokes" in most of these productions which only someone familiar with role playing will get, but the work and love that went into all of these productions is just awe inspiring.

This post is intended as a list of videos and shorts about role players or where role players in-game stories have been translated into a video format.

I don't intend to include video series of people actually role-playing like Acquisitions Incorporated (AI) or Critical Role, there are just too many and except for AI none of them really hold my interest very long. I'm also not going to include videos where actors are role-playing in one or two episodes of their regular show as in Stranger Things, Freaks and Geeks, or Community.

I'll try to update this post with all the role-playing related fan flicks I find, please feel free to suggest more and I'll update the post.

Journey Quest (all three seasons) 2010, 2012, 2017

Created by Matt Vancil. imdb describes it as a series that follows a "group of dysfunctional adventurers on a quest to discover and destroy the mythical Sword of Fighting ... a comedic adventure through the fantasy world of Fartherall.

Gamers: Humans and Households (3 episodes) 2013

Created by Matt Vancil. this very short series flips the genre where a group of actual fantasy heroes attempt to deal with the hazards of normal life in a roleplaying game set in the mundane (real) world.

Gamers: Dorkness Rising (full movie) 2008

Created by Matt Vancil. No, not "Darkness Rising (2017)" this is instead the tale of a gaming geek who is trying to write a serious module playtesting the game with his disruptive and immature friends. The action shifts between the game world (and their game personas) and the real world where they play the game in the back of a game store.

Standard Action (three seasons over 6 years) 2010 - 2015

Created by Joanna Gaskell. gets panned on imdb and the writing is definitely pretty silly, but the characters are endearing and the in-jokes can be funny.

One Hit Die (two seasons) 2013 - 2015

This fantasy genre web series uses a mock-u-mentary style comedy to tell the tale of a party of adventurers

The Guild (six seasons) 2007 - 2013

Created by Felicia Day. Not technically role-playing but had to include in the list because its just awesome. Now over 10 year old, The Guild tells the story of a group of friends who play a MMORPG (massively multiplayer on-line role-playing game).

Larp (2011)

Created by Sean Keller. This is a fantastic short film that follows a group of Larpers who have a run-in with some real-world crazy folks, romantic side quest.

The Wizards of Aus (six part series) 2016

Created by Michael Shanks. Perhaps not technically role-playing related but uses so many gaming tropes that I think it counts. Australian comedy series about Jack the Wizard who has had enough of life in the Magical Realm and decides to migrate to the real world in an Australian suburb.

Pagan - A Medieval Short Film

Created by Optio Productions, an independent film company formed by a bunch of film students. This is also technically not role-playing, but is definitely in-genre based in medieval england but with magic.

Harmon Quest (two seasons?) 2016

From the producer of Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon. A suggested submission, this is an animated series (not live action) but is animation of people playing a role playing game so it gets a pass. note: the full series may not be available free.