Dungeons and Dragons is a game that brings people together. It’s a way for friends, family, and complete strangers to sit around a table or behind their computer screen and create a shared story. Whether you want to slay the dragon or go off on your own quest and have the dungeon master ad-lib it all, D&D is – at its core – a game about fellowship.
It also has a huge online presence with shows like Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, and Relics and Rarities. It’s shows like that and Wizards of the Coasts’ annual streaming event that has paved the way for Lost Odyssey: The Book of Knowledge. The charity event features Deborah Ann Woll in the dungeon master seat and benefits the Autism Society of America. The players will be Matthew Lillard, Satine Phoenix, TJ Storm, Kate Welch, Xander Jeanneret, and a mystery unannounced character.
We’ve written a lot about the show in the past and are looking forward to it. So much so, that we reached out to the event directors behind the DM screen, Rob Miller and Douglisio DiMuccio, to get a little more information before Friday’s show.
NS: How did Lost Odyssey come about?
We met Satine in a tavern, which is quite fitting. The adventure starts in a tavern.”
We wanted to have an event that was sort of hyper theatric in a big theater setting that lets all of the world sort of see what this community can do when it rallies together and Deborah took that up and ran. The game is absolutely perfect for a theater setting and we’ve been absolutely blown away by [Deborah’s] vigor and approach to something like this. She’s a natural-born storyteller. I take that back, she’s a practiced storyteller, not natural born. She’s good at what she does and cares about what she does. She’s a huge reason that this whole thing is becoming what it is.”
Roll20 came onto this very early on. The cause was very near and dear to their hearts. They came on and supported us in a way that literally made this whole thing possible for the Autism Society. I will say, look forward to some Lost Odyssey materials coming out for Roll20 in the future.”
NS: The live show is being turned into a documentary, what led to that idea?
We wanted to put something together for the Autism Society of America. We’ve been seeing all these studies done on how the game helps those on and off the spectrum but specifically with promoting socialization and creative thinking. We had taken some time to sort of start to study the community a little bit and we realized there wasn’t really an all-encompassing documentary that told the story of what was happening right now like why the resurgence in D&D was taking place now. We thought we should absolutely be doing something that benefits the Autism Society and sort of kicks off this film by making the community a part of it. So, we’ll be filming the live event, the audience, and the story on stage and those will kind of become the heart of that documentary.
NS: What was the process for choosing Deborah as the DM?
To be honest, Satine and Matt were huge door openers for us. They’ve been absolutely integral in making sure this thing came together. When we sat down with Matt, we still didn’t exactly know what the event was going to look like. We knew it was going to be this big theatric setting. We knew it was going to benefit the Autism Society. We knew what we wanted to do but Matt’s first suggestion, without hesitation, was Deborah. He said Deb would love this.
NS: How will it stand out from shows like Critical Role or Wizards live-streamed events?
We’re really kind of embracing the theater setting. We knew that we wanted it to be a charity event. We knew that we wanted the community to show that it was rallying together behind one cause. If we were going to do that, we wanted to differentiate the show that you saw on stage as much as possible. Since we are in a theater setting we want to embrace that with the lights in the theater and the sounds in the theater. We have Syrinscape coming from Australia to do the live mixing in the theater.
We are going to be having videos play in the theater that are intercut throughout the game that aid the players along their way. We have a secret guest player with a big theatric reveal. We are kind of treating it like if there were a theater tech team and effects designer for a stage show.
NS: What was it like working with Wizards of the Coast?
Wizards of the Coast have been incredibly responsible stewards and key keepers of this game. I think they are absolutely incredible at listening to their audience and remaining humble and serving the game and not just themselves.
NS: What can we expect from future Lost Odyssey events?
What we’re doing doesn’t just stop at the event. Lost Odyssey is a kickoff. For the next two months, once the event starts, we have our charity campaign on Tiltify that’s going to be running from November 15 through January 15. Throughout that whole time, you can donate and you will be able to look at different rewards available from all of our different sponsors.
Deborah’s making us hardpressed to think about anyone else DMing. We are open to the idea of Lost Odyssey possibly being a different DMed or different charity-driven event every time we do it.
No matter what year of Lost Odyssey we’re doing, if it becomes annual which it’s looking like it will, we’re always going to be looking these streaming personalities from the D&D world to be playing their iconic characters in the game. We think audiences are so used to that by now, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of these known names and known stories sharing a universe and coming together. Lost Odyssey is exactly that. We want some of your favorite adventure heroes from some of your favorite myths all sort of coming together in this one lost story that they are all a part of.”
NS: Where can fans watch the event on Twitch and Tiltify?
The show will be streaming exclusively with Geek and Sundry. Afterward, the VOD will only be available on Roll20 for one month.
NS: Is there anything else you would like to share about Lost Odyssey?
Anytime you enter into a story or a character, you carry so much weight so much more than that character within that story because you have your whole life living in them. As much as people can pass off going to the movies, reading a book, turning on Netflix, or playing a game of D&D, as escapism. I think you’re actually engaging with life. I think you’re applying everything in your life and engaging with that story. That story and that character lives with you and changes you and lets you learn from it. I think it’s important that people remember that stories are fun, things can be hilarious in them but stories are what make us human.
You can check out the final trailer for Lost Odyssey below.
I want to thank Rob and Douglisio for taking the time to speak with The Nerd Stash. They have a passion for storytelling and you can expect to see their dedication when the documentary releases in 2020.
Lost: Odyssey: The Book of Knowledge will be live Friday, November 15 starting at 7:30 pm PST.
Scott’s been gaming since he could hold a controller in his hands. He’s a journalist who loves Dungeons and Dragons, video games, tabletop RPGs, and comic books. He has an intelligence of 6, he knows what he’s doing.