In Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, Tieflings, as any fule kno, are a race of beings descended from a mighty human empire whose regular interbreeding with demonic beings caused the downfall of their civilisation, and a range of crossbreed demihumans with big horns, pointy tails, and a certain whiff of brimstone.
In a similar story of bravery and foolhardiness, I recently had a go at providing some online content to an upcoming BBC drama series. I wish Tieflings had been around then, because they could have really helped me out.
Wizard of the Coast, the new(ish) owners of the Dungeons and Dragons IP, have just released a Facebook application that allows thee, oh gentle noob, to have a crack at the whole roleplaying game thing. Well, sort of. What it does is allow you to generate a character, then watch as they go on an adventure in (more or less) real time, chewing your nails each time they fall for a flamethrower trap, or are ambushed by drow, and cursing the system mechanics that allow you to spend your discovered gold pieces on potions of healing, but not actually use them until the end of the adventure.
The app is good. Go to it:
D&D Tiny Adventures Facebook App
But how could Tieflings have helped me out in the swampy morass that is BBC 360 degree commissioning?
Well, the big thing with drama series at the moment is for them to have an online element, so that in the wasted few seconds that viewers aren't watching television, or iPlayer, there can still be a way for them to do something that involved having the BBC logo hovering somewhere in their vision. And the online content has recently been very good. Some might say that the online content has been, of late, rather better than the shows they're supposedly supporting. I wouldn't say that though. Noooooo.
So, the thing I was working on was for a new BBC Drama series, which by the way looks as though it will kick ass, in a near-deserted, post-apocalyptic Britain sort of way.
Now for me, the draw of all those 28 Days Omega Legend Of The Dead type things is how I, personally, would survive. And I would, ho yuss. Well all right, I wouldn't, but it's fun to imagine how I might. I want to put myself in the setting, actually be there with my home-made crossbow, my carrier bag full of looted fizzy pop, and my ethanol-fueled hillbilly-armoured Hopper Bus. And I was trying to explain in the meeting that a sort of online-roleplaying element type thing would be OMG the perfect accompaniment to the series - you could either put yourself in it, or randomly generate a starting character with a random number of looted health packs, batteries and shotgun cartridges and go from there.
Except it was really difficult to explain, because it sounded like a wanted a World of Warcraft type thing, which needs a budget of kerjillions and a flying aircraft carrier base (Blizzard have three of these, they sound awesome), whereas in fact I wanted something closer to those old Fighting Fantasy books, which of course sounds much less nerdy.
So, having failed my Bluff roll, we eventually settled on a series of video diaries which would interlink with the main action in the series, as overseen by the series creator (an equally cool idea by the way). And then momentum at a higher level seemed to evaporate completely, and I never heard about it again.
Next time I get asked to come with ideas for online content to accompany a drama series though (and who knows, it might even be for my own show), I can point to the D&D Facebook online app and say 'Look! Like that! Only with ninjas/spacemen/architects/whatever'.
In the meantime, if anyone wants to send Tiara Burnyhands some potions of healing, they would be gratefully received, ta.
EDIT: actually, not sure you can do that yet. But if you click on 'Friends', you can send +1 healing points. Thanks Piers!
UPDATE: "Tiara Burnyhands easily dodged the bandit lord's attacks and quickly subdued him, humiliating him in front of his band of thieves. Tiara Burnyhands was hailed as a hero when she returned the village's meager treasures."
In your FACE, bandit lord!
Ooh, I have actually got work to do.