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This page contains odd trivia or background facts about the show that don't quite fit anywhere else!

  • Setting up for a DCA stream in June 2016 [1]
  • Greg Bilsland sets up the first DCA stream in March 2016 [2]
  • Chris Perkins directs the first DCA stream in March 2016 [2]
  • Pelham Greene sets up a DCA stream in March 2018 [3]
  • A better look at studio d20 [4]
  • Host's POV during a stream, looking at Sean Mayovsky and Pelham Greene.[5]
  • Chris and Pelham preparing for a game.[6]


DCA! TriviaEdit

Wizards of the Coast's digital marketing manager Greg Bilsland was DCA's first producer.[7]  He approached Jared with the idea of forming a live-streamed show of four internet personalities to play a campaign of 5E D&D run by Dungeon Master Chris Perkins.[8] After recommending Holly, Nate and Anna, the five of them proceeded to have their first adventure on 3/15/16, which continued semi-weekly for the part of the first season until a regular weekly schedule was established. The shows were created to be 1hr 45min long,[7] but have run longer on occasion.

  • Where does the art that is used in the show come from?

For the first season, Jared used a fanart portrait of his character from another D&D campaign.[9] Holly used an early concept picture of a dustman drawn by Tony DiTerlizzi. The origins of Anna and Nate's portraits were not revealed, although fans speculated that since Paultin's image had dark hair, it was re-used from another source. Their official group portrait [10] became the source of the character icons used in later seasons. Kris Straub drew the Waffle Crew in the Acquisitions Inc style for the crossover event, creating new character icons for them in crossover games. Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms made a poster of the characters using the portraits from their games. WotC has also begun to put up fanart before the beginning of the show (you can submit it here; include your Twitter handle/email).[46]

  • How much work does Chris put into these stories?

Per Chris:[11] "I generally have a pretty good idea of where the next week's story is going, so I'm not afraid to present episode titles ahead of time." As for prep work for the episodes, "I try to prepare as little as possible as DM. I usually limit my notes to one sheet of paper per session." In more detail, he explains, "Before each session, I type up a "one-sheet" -- a single sheet of paper that I put in a binder. Written on it is the episode title and date, the list of cast members present for that episode, a list of key NPCs, a very brief summary of what I expect to happen (what I call the "TV Guide sysnopsis), and some notes on what happened previously." He showed off a few such sheets on Twitter. The 'previously on' recap is one of his trademark rituals in any campaign, which he credits with "sett[ing] the tone for the session" and advises to "keep it short....hit the highlights, and let the players' memories fill in the gaps".[12] As for the session itself, when things go unexpectedly, "I roll with the punches".[11] According to Chris, the mark of a good DM is being able to handle the story going off track and improvising on the spot.[13] He does try to put his players in situations that will evoke both tragic and comedic moments to fuel the story, such that "my job is just to keep the roller coaster going, and make sure the course is interesting".[13] When he is caught off guard by developments, he admits, "I have the benefit of being able to end a session whenever I want, in case I need more time to think about repercussions".[11] Likewise, "I don't think about how a session will end until about 5 minutes before the end, at which point I'm just looking for a great moment on which to hang or close out the session." In terms of planning for the entire season, "I know roughly how many sessions or episodes are in a "season." I create an episode guide that is constantly being updated to reflect unexpected twists and turns. I do try to anticipate what the players will do, and they surprise me about 50 percent of the time".[11]

  • What does DCA look like behind the scenes?

The players and Chris connect via Zoom.us,[14,15] which brings up an image of the five callers on each of their screens, although they will also usually have another window open to see the formatted Twitch output and chat. The players usually log on shortly before the stream to chat and catch up, something they missed when they were briefly made to only log on for the recording.[16] On the WotC side, the conference feed is edited for A/V mixing, adding the title sequence, applying the overlay with character stats, maps, NPCs and the corner text, and the output is then streamed to Twitch.  These duties were initially overseen by Trevor Kidd,[17,18] the former Community Manager at WotC, when DCA was filmed in a small conference room. Over time, WotC began filming their Twitch streams in larger offices (such as 'studio d20') with better recording equipment. Sean Mayovsky (Tech Director) and Pelham Greene (Marketing Coordinator) took over the job of setting up and running the streams, with Pelham becoming the new "corner text guy" in DCA.[19] There are many other people at WotC credited with making the show what it is, as listed by Chris (for season 3) here. After the stream ends, the cast have a group chat where they talk about "how much we love each other and [love] playing together, mostly. And screaming. And then following [that] up...by texting each other in all caps for a few hours." [20,43]

  • Who has been a guest, and how are they chosen?

There have been 34 guests on the show who voiced NPCs. Mark Hulmes and Satine Phoenix got to play different characters twice, as well as guest DM an episode (73 and 120, respectively). Dani Hartel has also voiced two characters. Matthew Mercer did a brief cameo DM appearance at the start of episode 5. The guest appearing in the most episodes is Rachel Seeley (ep 77-84). While the details regarding how guests are chosen has not been revealed, to date they have included popular personalities from the internet or other media who are familiar with D&D (except for Holly and Anna's husbands, who were forced to learn on the spot). Chris has hinted that scheduling tends to be the biggest hurdle for having guests make an appearance.[21] The cast have mentioned that they would like to invite Patrick Stewart, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Patton Oswalt, Mila Kunis, Jim Butcher, Jackie Chan, Tony DiTerlizzi and Chris Evans, and have a real appearance by Mathew Mercer.[13,22.23,24,25,46] The players otherwise do not know ahead of time who will be appearing as a guest until they connect to the conference call, and even then, will not be spoiled about who the guests are playing[13] Sometimes Chris will give the guests pre-established characters, and give them information about their character stats and background ahead of time.[25] Other times, Chris will only give them general ideas and let the guests flesh them out ("I can work anything into a campaign!"),[43] or even let the guests make up their characters entirely, which includes a contest that invited three fans onto episode 113.

  • What happened to episode ____?

The very first DCA opening sequence aired on Episode 22 of Season 1, showing a pan shot of creepy doll versions of the cast in a Barovian setting during a thunderstorm with the refrain "I want to play in your D&D game" repeating in the background. This opening was again played during episodes 54-58, 82-84 and 115. A new opening for season 2 was made by animator Adam Phillips[28,29] that showed the cast fighting a hill giant who is singing the "I want to play" song before he is killed. Season 3 showed a brand new animation drawn by Kirk Shannon of the Crew being killed by traps in the Tomb of Annihilation and taunted by Acererak while a jaunty banjo tune is playing.[30,31] In episode 87, the tune was replaced by Anna singing a verse from "The Parting Glass" that fan DoctiOfficial put to music (Anna has also sung her own version of the 'I Want to Play' theme). The season 4 animation shows alternating silhouettes of the characters and future NPCs, drawn by Caleb Wood.[32] The episodes themselves include several stage performances (eps 24, 51, 65, 69, 95-96, 115, 120) made by the cast during conventions or stream events (Nate finally appeared in costume in 95-96 after missing multiple live shows due to other commitments or flight issues[33], although Anna and Holly had already made a Paultin costume for him[34]). Episode 65 was only partially recorded due to technical issues. Episode 44 was played from the POV of the Crew's pets, played by Anna, Holly and Jared (in episode 102, Jared again played Waffles, while the other cast members played kid NPCs). Episode 88 was partly DM'ed by Anna, and featured the rest of the cast playing their evil clones, with Chris playing an imp familiar. Although not assigned an episode number, Chris performed a sock puppet recap of eps 1-64 for Halloween 2017. The Crew also participated in a DCA/Acquisitions Incorporated 'C-Team' cross-over Twitter Secret Santa Exchange that is officially canon (it isn't explained when or how it actually took place, but Anna is planning to organize further such events in the future).[35] There are also 4 episodes from the Acquisitions Incorporated universe that feature Strix and are canon in the DCA universe (the episode at Pax East 2018 is not DCA canon), an episode at PAX Unplugged 2018 that features Evelyn, as well as a C Team episode that features Diath, and a 5-part crossover 100th episode between the C Team and DCA that features all 8 players and both DMs. JBrooksDev created pixelated intros with digitized versions of each show's opening song that were played during the crossover. Paultin has appeared in episodes of the shows "Dark and Dicey" and "Sirens of the Realms", and although his character's disappearance in the former was never explained, Nate incorporated his 'crossover shift' into the actual story of DCA episode 119. Episode 115 at TwitchCon 2018 was run as a LARP, with the cast and Chris interacting with the stage and each other in costume.

  • How long will DCA continue?

Given that DCA is being used by WotC to advertise their product, it will likely continue for some time. In November 2018, Chris Perkins announced that he was stepping down as DM for Penny Arcade's Acq Inc series, possibly to focus more on WotC's own series.[47] While the characters were at first leveling up relatively quickly, with Chris initially predicting that they would reach level 12 or 13 by the end of Season 3,[16] they remain at level 11 midway into season 4. Anna has said that the players are aware that campaigns tend to end after characters cap out at level 20, and that, "We talk a lot about how we have no intention of ever ending this game. In fact we actually specifically had a talk with Chris where we were like 'it's okay if we don't level 'cuz we know when we hit 20 it's only a matter of time'".[48]

  • What is in store for Season 4? (*spoilers follow*)

WotC released the adventure module 'Tomb of Annihilation' on 9/19/17, which was covered in season 3. The next two book releases were for resource guides, Xanathar's Guide to Everything (11/21/17) and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (5/29/18). Chris included material from Tome of Foes in Season 3, such as the shadar-kai[36] and the balhannoth.[37] 'Tome of Foes' alludes to the Blood War and the planes, and many fans hoped that the next adventure module would be about Planescape[38-40], which would tie in to the Skizziks/Lorcatha subplot. However, on 6/1/18, "Waterdeep: Dragon Heist" was announced, and its content was teased in the the DCA episodes filmed at the "Stream of Many Eyes". Season 4 of DCA has continued to cover content from 'Dragon Heist', and its sequel, "Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage" will likely be used in the second half of the season, especially since Chris revealed that Season 4 will be the length of two seasons (60 episodes).[42]

Per Chris,[41] Season 4 will be very different from what they've done in the past. "I am looking to tie off a lot of loose ends; get the Waffle Crew back on their feet, and set them up for what will be a rollicking super fun season 4, which tonally is going to be very different from [the heaviness of] Season 3.... The story for Season 4 is not what I would call harrowing.... They're going to be in a new setting, they're gonna make a bunch of new acquaintances...a bunch of new NPCs... there's going to be so much going on that it'll be hard to keep track of, but it'll be kind of fun chaos.... I'm looking to bring in a bunch of fun new guest stars...but most importantly, I'm looking to discover new depths to each of the Waffle Crew characters. Every one of them is going to...change and evolve a little bit; mature in some ways; find new friends, potentially." Chris mentioned that he wants the players to take more of a lead this season in deciding where their characters need to go next to have a meaningful journey on their character arc. "I also would like ...some things from the past to come back in new and unexpected ways." He alludes to people and events that never got followed up during the show (such as Diath setting the fire primordial loose on Ironslag) and suggests "let's see what those consequences are". When Holly jokingly referred to Mr. Shambleface and said "remember when this was our biggest problem?", Chris smiled and remarked, "It still is".[37]

Other DCA-related material Edit

  • Official DCA Wiki - also a great resource, and has the backing of the officials at WotC
  • DCA TV Tropes page - can you spot them all?
  • PowerScoreRPG's DCA Episode Guide - synopses of all of the episodes; includes plot analyses and background lore. This guide was later discontinued as synopses were instead uploaded to the Official DCA Wiki.
  • DCA fanzine Twitter page - charity project for Child's Play (new anticipated release late 2018, ~90 pages, pdf form will also be available for ~$10).[26] Bonus comic drawn by Kayla Cline, stickers and acrylic tokens available with pre-order.[26,27]
  • Waffle Talk - DCA episode discussions by fans PowerScoreRPG and Flyingsciurius, with various other co-hosts and occasional guests (from ep 77 onward). Airs Thursdays at 4PM PST on Powerscore's Twitch channel.
  • Waffle Press - DCA episode and D&D lore analysis by fan SageofSorcery on his Twitch channel Fridays at 8PM MST (from ep 85 onward)
  • Gwydionae's Tumblr has a timeline that marks each day spent by the Waffle Crew characters on DCA
  • Dice Camera Action trivia quiz - in celebration of the 100th episode, 100 trivia questions split into 10 themes were created for fans to test their knowledge of the show
  • Graphic Novel about Strix meeting Baba Yaga and learning magic - drawn by Kayla Cline and written by Strix, anticipated release late 2018, ~70-100 pages. Can watch progress weekly on Kayla's twitch channel. Discussed on Waffle Talk.
  • Strix's Guide to the Multiverse - to be written by Holly. Discussed on D&D Beyond (starting 31:35).
  • Strix and Evelyn were briefly unlockable characters on Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (they are available again during special events). Diath became available in July, and in this video Jared shows him off.
  • New versions of the D&D games Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights to be released by Beamdog will have portraits and voices from the Waffle Crew available for download.[44,45]
  • The Crew now have their own merchandise, with sales currently limited to PAX Unplugged 2018.

ReferencesEdit

[1] https://twitter.com/The_Trevor_Kidd/status/747920329608048641

[2] https://twitter.com/The_Trevor_Kidd/status/709904131624800256

[3] https://twitter.com/Gregtito/status/976232310453321728

[4] https://twitter.com/PelhamGreene/status/960995956605923328

[5] https://twitter.com/Gregtito/status/948331199033876480

[6] https://twitter.com/Gregtito/status/981305976962732032

[7] Chris Perkins AMA #2. DCA Reddit.

[8] "Jared Knabenbauer on Dice, Camera, Action and Characters". D&D Beyond.

[9] Diath Woodrow (fanart) by Magp1e. DeviantART.

[10] https://twitter.com/wizards_dnd/status/923306410536038401

[11] Chris Perkins AMA #1. DCA Reddit.

[12] Chris Perkins: The Dungeon Master Experience. 2/7/2011

[13] "Dragon+: The Wafflecrew. 9/5/17".

[14] How to Stream like DCA? DCA Reddit.

[15] May have been answered. DCA Reddit.

[16] "Ask the Wafflecrew Anything Panel at PAX West 2017". Twitch.com.

[17] https://twitter.com/The_Trevor_Kidd/status/803735979873996800 and https://twitter.com/The_Trevor_Kidd/status/798710703725023232

[18] Who ever does the comments each episode in the bottom right hand corner of the stream is the real MVP. DCA Reddit.

[19] https://twitter.com/PelhamGreene/status/979088042064429056

[20] I'm Anna, I play Evelyn. AMA. DCA Reddit.

[21] Dice, Camera, Action! AMA with Chris Perkins. Reddit AMA.

[22] Chris Perkins AMA. DCA Reddit.

[23] Dragon Talk, 7/10/17 - Jared Knabenbauer. Dragon Talk.

[24] Pax East 2018 - Dragonfly Theater - Wafflecrew Tea Time Q&A. Twitch.com

[25] https://twitter.com/sunnyseeley/status/959201160228847616

[26] Waffle Talk: Discussing Dice, Camera, Action Episode 86 (47:00-56:45)

[27] Waffle Talk: Special Guest Kayla Cline Discussing Dice, Camera, Action Episode 87

[28] Strix Animation Time Lapse. YouTube.

[29] https://twitter.com/ChrisPerkinsDnD/status/811046090208251905

[30] https://twitter.com/ChrisPerkinsDnD/status/907433764862664705

[31] Dungeons & Dragons - Dice, Camera, Action Intro. Kirk Shannon's website.

[32] https://twitter.com/calebdwood/status/988912985815973888

[33] Favourite Moments and Discussion from Ep. 69 - DCA @ PAX Unplugged! DCA Reddit.

[34] found this on Twitter. on Anna's account closest thing we'll probably get to a Paultin cosplay. DCA Reddit.

[35] Acquisitions Inc: C Team: S2 E7 Table Talk Discussion. Penny Arcade Website. (18:20-20:18) 

[36] https://twitter.com/ChrisPerkinsDnD/status/966138347558023169

 [37] DCA Episode 86. (post-episode announcements) 

[38] Waffle Talk Discussing Dice, Camera, Action Ep. 90 with Mazzmatazz.

 [39] Updated: Upcoming D&D Products for 2018. Tribality.com. 

[40] [SpoilerThe Wafflecrew in Sigil? Rumors about an upcoming Planescape guide]. DCA Reddit. 

[41] 'Dice Camera, Action' Season Finale and Beyond. D&D Beyond. 

[42] https://twitter.com/ChrisPerkinsDnD/status/1026246522793472000

[43] "Ask the Wafflecrew Anything Panel at PAX West 2018". Twitch.com. 

[44] https://twitter.com/Wizards_DnD/status/1035992924880662528

[45] https://twitter.com/WriteLeeWrite/status/1036277356317405184

[46] Dragon+: Wafflecrew Q&A, 9/5/18. Part 1, Part 2.  

[47] https://twitter.com/TychoBrahe/status/1067284861004668928

[48] Waffle Talk: DCA 102 Guest - Anna Prosser Robinson