Forget your World of Warcraft. Leave your Final Fantasy behind. Tabletop role-playing games are serious business.
That is, essentially, the gist of GOLD, the sports-drama web series with a rather unexpected sport at its center: competitive tabletop role-playing a la Dungeons and Dragons. We first covered GOLD back in October of last year when we interviewed show creator and actor David Nett, before the show debuted in November. Now we’re four episodes into the six-episode season, and things have started to pick up steam. With shooting completed on the first season, creator Nett says they are now switching gears into planning Season 2 and locking up a sponsor for the series.
The season began with the prologue episode “Dark Clouds Gather,” where we were introduced to the best team of Goblins and Gold players in the United States during team leader Jonathan Drake’s (David Nett) bachelor party. We’re also introduced to the tensions between the various team members – tensions that are expanded upon in the first episode, which takes place two years after the prologue. During those two years, the American G&G team has taken the silver twice while their British counterparts take the gold, Jonathan is sidelined from competition due to a gaming-related injury, and team asshole Richard Wright takes the lead in an attempt to shake the crew out of their perpetual second place and get former team alternate Sam Rodriguez into fighting shape. Meanwhile, the British team, refusing to get complacent, engages a retired legendary Game Master to help them with their final preparation for the World Championship. This is the world of GOLD – a world where RPGs might as well be the Olympics. And so far, it’s pretty compelling.
To be sure, several different shows have taken games and other rather nerdy material as the focal point – The Guild takes the idiosyncrasies of online role-playing game interactions and superimposes them on the real world, while Pure Pwnage goes one step further and integrates aspects of the games themselves into the real world. Then there’s Streamy-nominated Project Lore, which feels kind of like an ESPN post-game show for World of Warcraft.
GOLD, however, is a completely different beast entirely; it feels like a sports drama. Jonathan copes with injury and the stress of his career on his marriage. Dave muses about how the game is changing – because it’s being supplanted by online role-playing games. Sam has to get used to the pressure of letting the team down as he adapts to a new position. Even Richard, who is admittedly rather unsympathetic at this point, is doing what he has to help his team win. That the cast does such an incredible job connecting these classic sporting show moments to something as seemingly ridiculous as a bunch of aging guys playing Dungeons and Dragons is nothing short of spectacular. GOLD is one of the few shows that can tell a niche story to a wide audience. I’m eagerly awaiting the next few episodes.
I’m really proud of the work we’ve done this season on GOLD, and I think the next two episodes are awesome. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them. As we wind down Season 1, please know that we are totally committed to keeping GOLD rolling into Season 2, and that the best things you can do to help are to watch the videos and spread the word. -David Nett, creator. (www.goldtheseries.com)