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D&D 4E I know exactly what 4e needs -- Mr. T!

KoshPWNZYou

First Post
Ok, stay with me here.

For those of you who haven't being paying attention, Blizzard Entertainment is producing a series of new ads for World of Warcraft, presumably aimed at the 148 people who aren't playing the game yet. In these new ads, fairly well-known celebrities talk about the characters that they play in WoW. The first two produced are the most noteworthy -- Mr. T speaking about his experiences playing a Night Elf Mohawk (of course!), and William Shatner (theatrically) talking about his Tauren Shaman, 'a conduit ... of the ancient forces ... of nature.' If you haven't seen the ads on TV yet, you can view them here

Now these ads have gotten me to thinking. D&D has a strong fanbase of 148 people. We're rabid in our support of the brand and we keep the families of WoTC's employees fed and clothed by purchasing all their products. But since said employees would prefer houses with more than two rooms, they are working on a brand new edition of the game. It seems like they're banking on the 'shock factor' of a diabolism-themed player race and class, more fluid DM-friendly rules, and heavy usage of anime art to increase the brand's appeal and bring in new players. But let's face it ... D&D has to compete with the Colossal Dragon of the gaming industry that is WoW. Since the two games are polar opposites that are incapable of sharing fanbases, I feel that we need to attack the competition more directly.

-We- need TV ads like that when 4e hits the shelves! -We- need to have celebrities telling the public that 'your game' is D&D, not that rigidly structured video game that they're playing now.

What do we have as far as celebrities go? That's the tough part. All we can really boast are Vin Diesel and Wil Wheaton. Don't get me wrong now. Both Vin and Wil are fine actors and tremendous individuals. But they're not Mr. T and Bill Shatner. Earlier this year a Harvard study listing the 50 greatest exemplars of 4WES0ME in America had Mr. T ranked in the top 5; Vin Diesel narrowly missed making the list. Vin is a fine physical specimen, but he does not encourage quite the fear that Mr. T does that new holes will be ripped in my body. And while targetting Trek fans would be a sound approach to advertising a game like D&D, it would be foolish to counter Will Shatner with Wil Wheaton. If Shatner is the big Willy of Star Trek, Wheaton is the little Willy. I can already sense the WoW Willy envy on the part of WoTC ... so that's not going to work.

My thought is that we have to go outside the current fanbase and convince a celebrity to jump on the D&D bandwagon. I don't think we can afford to aim for any really big names (Tom Cruise isn't signing up for this). Blizzard's approach was very sound -- target lower-tier celebrities who are in need of exposure and money because their popularity has long-since waned. Give them a $90 set of books for free and some TV time, and we can make them D&D fanatics overnight. William Shatner would frikkin -pounce- at an opportunity like this! But because we're not thinking faster than the people at Blizzard, that window has already closed. After a long night of drinking and brainstorming, I came up with two candidates:

Hulk Hogan and Jerry Seinfeld.

Ok, now Hogan -would- come with a bit of baggage. He is a notorious egomaniac who has gotten embroiled in legal disputes with everybody that has gone into business with him. Plus there is the small PR concern surrounding the fact that more steroids have gone through his body than the San Francisco Bay area. But after falling as far as 17 on Harvard's 4WES0ME list in the 90's, Hogan got all the way back to 9th place on this year's list thanks in large part to his reality show. Plus, D&D was at the height of its popularity at the same time that Hogan was. If we want to achieve that kind of popularity again, what better link to those good old days could we build? It's simple. We give the Hulkster a set of the 4e core books and about $500, and not only do we get to film an ad spot starring the sports-entertainment megastar, but we can hope that his family is shown playing the game on 'Hogan Knows Best.' That kind of exposure is solid gold! I can just see the ad now:

"Let me tell you somethin' brotherrrrr! There's a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and the Hulkster is already its number one fan! I know that all my Hulkamaniacs don't like unpatriotic things like heavy reading and deductive reasoning, but the new Fourth Edition takes all that stuff out of D&D!" cue shots of happy teenagers moving miniatures around a table and failing to role-play "It's the easiest to run Dungeons and Dragons ever, dude! No more long streams of words to read; now all the rules are explained with little pictures ... just like a comic book, brother! Now you can do COOL things like throw fireballs at hordes of orcs and channel rad streams of magic through your sword ... as many times as you want, no holds barred! There's no stoppin' Foureemania, brother! And for all you PANSIES out there that just want to sit in front of your computers all day clickin' on Orcs, I got a question for yooouuu -- WHATCHA GONNA DOOO, VIDEO GAME GEEKS? Watcha gonna do when the Hulkster's 24th level Dragonborn Warlord runs WILD ... ON ... YOU?! /flex"

Tell me that doesn't put up some fair competition with the Mr. T ad! And don't forget Seinfeld, a former -huge- star that we all thought was dead before he suddenly re-emerged in the world of animated cinema (a sure sign of career desperation):

"What is the deeeeal with fourth edition? Have you heard about this? I'm still trying to figure out what 3.5 was supposed to be. And don't get me started on the Companion Set. And have you heard some of these naaaames they're throwing around? Golden Wyvern Adept? Emerald Frost? How did the wizards at Wizards of the Coast come up with these things? 'Uh, yeah, hey, I'm Jerry Seinfeld, Platinum Comedy Master. You may remember me helping you out with my Hyperactive Hyena Laughter Aggro just a month ago. Yeah, that was me. Well, I'm afraid your club manager pulled his Diamond Turtle-Shell Check Bounce maneuver on me. Could you help me out with that?' And whaaat is with the Tiefling, huh? Is it a devil? Is it a demon? I don't even know what the Succubus is anymore. You keep changin' it on me, Wizards! Stop changin' iiiit!"

Ok, maybe he wouldn't work out as well. I'll brainstorm it a bit more. If we can pry Patrick Stewart away from whatever Shakespeare he's doing these days, we -might- be able to land him. I won't count out the Star Trek audience yet. But there's no way we're settling for Scott Bakula.

I have to wonder what Wizards is paying Scott Rouse for if -I- have to think of things like this.
 

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Meowzebub

First Post
Yeah, but then there are Paladins and Warlords. Tell me Stephen Colbert is not a Warlord. Extolling those around him to do better. Shaking off the injury of a broken wrist. Hell, Aragorn gave him a sword for Pete's sake!

Plus he is out of the closet as a D&D devotee. He told Fresh Air on NPR that he owed a lot of his improv talent to his early D&D days, and didn't he write a section for the 25th anniversary coffee table book?

Colbert has my vote!
 

Traycor

Explorer
NaturalZero said:
2 words....Stephen Colbert
I can see it now...

"Why is 4th Edition going to take the market by storm? Two words sum it up. DIRE BEARS!!!! But not only that, they have the wrist-strong bracelet of ogre power."
 


KoshPWNZYou

First Post
Meowzebub said:
Yeah, but then there are Paladins and Warlords.

Mmmm. Good point ...

"I'd like you to meet my Dungeons and Dragons character, America -- Golbert. Golbert is an 18th level Dwarven Warlord, bravely defending the traditions, values, and treasure vaults of his clan by leading the battle against the forces of darkness which constantly threaten their subterranean fortress of light -- hordes of goblins, armies of fiends, and the unspeakable menace that is the tree-hugging elf nation of the Mistwood Forest. But I can't play a Warlord in just any edition of Dungeons and Dragons, America. Not in 3rd Edition, a relic of the industry pushing broken power attacks, characters with 18 magic items, and monsters with 14 spell-like abilities on a nation already suffering the disease of having too many choices! And that's to say nothing of the Bards -- the hippies of D&D. No, the answer for me, nation, is the Fourth Edition! The American Edition! Now Golbert can call upon an array of martial maneuvers to inspire and invigorate the brave fighting men under his command as they bring the hammers of dwarven justice and patriotism down upon the heads of the Mistwood Bards! No more singing about 'saving the ecosystem' for you, Aluviraniel! Let freedom and their skulls ring, Golbert! What's -your- game, America?"

Very hard to do this considering what Wikiality has to say about D&D...
 

MatrexsVigil

First Post
KoshPWNZYou said:
Mmmm. Good point ...

"I'd like you to meet my Dungeons and Dragons character, America -- Golbert. Golbert is an 18th level Dwarven Warlord, bravely defending the traditions, values, and treasure vaults of his clan by leading the battle against the forces of darkness which constantly threaten their subterranean fortress of light -- hordes of goblins, armies of fiends, and the unspeakable menace that is the tree-hugging elf nation of the Mistwood Forest. But I can't play a Warlord in just any edition of Dungeons and Dragons, America. Not in 3rd Edition, a relic of the industry pushing broken power attacks, characters with 18 magic items, and monsters with 14 spell-like abilities on a nation already suffering the disease of having too many choices! And that's to say nothing of the Bards -- the hippies of D&D. No, the answer for me, nation, is the Fourth Edition! The American Edition! Now Golbert can call upon an array of martial maneuvers to inspire and invigorate the brave fighting men under his command as they bring the hammers of dwarven justice and patriotism down upon the heads of the Mistwood Bards! No more singing about 'saving the ecosystem' for you, Aluviraniel! Let freedom and their skulls ring, Golbert! What's -your- game, America?"

Very hard to do this considering what Wikiality has to say about D&D...

That is the best thing ever!

-P.C.
 


Goken100

First Post
Arkhandus said:
This thread wins. :lol:
QFT. Kosh roxorz, nicely done.

Might I suggest some SNL alums instead of Jerry Seinfeld? I'm a fan, but he's a little too proud to do a goofy D&D spot, it doesn't feel right. Now Dana Carvey... talk about a funny guy desperate for some exposure. There's a bunch of 'em, pick your favorite! :)
 

ivocaliban

First Post
Colbert is the way of the future! And with the writers still on strike now would be the perfect time to get him onboard. I'm all for this idea.

Seinfeld is way out of WotC's price range, I imagine. Colbert might be, too, but I have the feeling he'd be more likely to do it based on his history and love for the game.

There's also Patton Oswald (although gnomes are out in 4e... :uhoh: ) and Vin Diesel if you need someone to fill the Mr. T "tough guy" role.
 
Last edited:

withak

First Post
There are a few celebs who actually play/have played D&D: Vin Diesel, Matthew Lillard. I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting, and plenty who just haven't admitted it publicly. :p

I can see a D&D ad featuring Vin Diesel being really funny (and successful).
 

mhensley

First Post
KoshPWNZYou said:
He'd never do it.

A world of darkness? Tieflings and Warlocks as player choices? Six-legged ettercaps?

4e is way too liberal.

Fantasy has a well known liberal bias. ;)

3eonnotice.jpg
 

skullking

First Post
I reckon Ozzy Osbourne would be a good choice - I can see him talking about his bat eating warlock then complaining about the dog :):):):):) on his character sheet! :lol:
 

Dragonhelm

Knight of Solamnia
Those commercials are cool! D&D definitely needs commercials like that.

Get Leonard Nimoy to counter Shat. He would, of course, have to play an elf (or eladrin). He's cerebral enough that he could pull off being a spokesperson for a "game of the imagination" (bring back that catch-phrase!).

And hey, what about the Hoff? David Hasslehoff is obviously our man. Well, maybe not. Maybe we could get KITT, though.....

How about Tricia Helfer as a drow in full body makeup? Mwror....
 

olshanski

First Post
My guess is that WOW makes as much in a week as D&D makes in a year.
Will the advertising bring in as much revenue as it will cost?
 

Brown Jenkin

First Post
olshanski said:
My guess is that WOW makes as much in a week as D&D makes in a year.
Will the advertising bring in as much revenue as it will cost?

Not if you hire cheap. Get Gary Coleman to talk about his halfling character.
 



Ranger REG

Explorer
olshanski said:
My guess is that WOW makes as much in a week as D&D makes in a year.
"There's a sucker born every minutes."

And yes, I do mean MMORPGers. :]

P.S. I am so disappointed in Mr. T and the Shat (William Shatner). :(
 

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