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  • - Woohoo.

  • WIL WHEATON: Did you know that classic fairy tales are

  • actually more gruesome and horrible than we

  • know them to be?

  • They were actually designed as morality tales to terrify

  • children into staying out of the woods, listening to their

  • parents, and never talking to wolves.

  • For example, in the original "Rapunzel" the handsome prince

  • climbs her hair only to find out that she is actually an

  • alien dragon controlled by a robot.

  • She eats him.

  • In the original unedited "Cinderella," the glass

  • slipper is actually her cousin's face.

  • It is too horrible for me to describe on a family program.

  • When these tales reached American shores, they were

  • sanitized for a more delicate audience, though they retained

  • their classic characters.

  • Today on "TableTop," Chris 'Doc' Wyatt, Amy Berg, Mike

  • Phirman, and I will find out what happens when a fairy tale

  • is created in these modern times.

  • Will it be sanitized and gentle?

  • Or will it hew more closely to its gruesome, robot-filled,

  • 16th-centure roots.

  • We will begin, as we always do, once upon a time.

  • "Once Upon a Time" is a wonderful, cooperative,

  • improvised storytelling game with a fairy tale theme.

  • Players will work together building a story from a hand

  • of cards, each containing a fairy tale element, like a

  • crown, a kingdom, a dragon, a sword, or a witch.

  • I may have made a robot card and put it in this deck, but

  • you can't prove it.

  • The players will work together to tell a fairy tale by

  • playing cards out of their hand and incorporating the

  • elements on those cards into the story.

  • There are three ways you can become the narrator.

  • The active narrator can pass control of the story to you.

  • If the active narrator mentions an element you have

  • on a card in your hand, like a dragon, you can play that card

  • and now you are the narrator.

  • Finally, we have these cards called "interrupts," which we

  • will explain when they come up in play.

  • This is not really a competitive game.

  • This game is really about telling a story.

  • But we are all sort of working against each other in one

  • significant way.

  • Every one of us will have a secret ending that only we

  • know on a card just like these.

  • We will try to steer the story slowly toward

  • our preferred ending.

  • The first player to use all the cards in their hand and

  • bring the story to their desired

  • conclusion is the winner.

  • A lot of us playing this game are writers, and to paraphrase

  • one of my very favorite writers, the

  • story is the thing.

  • Let's find out what happens once upon a time.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: My name is Chris Wyatt, but everybody

  • calls me Doc.

  • I am an independent film producer.

  • I was one of the producers of the movie "Napoleon Dynamite"

  • and a few others.

  • I'm also a freelance animation writer.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: My name is Mike Phirman, and I'm known for

  • music comedy.

  • And I'm known for being the "Phirm" half of "Hard 'n

  • Phirm," which is a music company duo.

  • AMY BERG: I am Amy Berg.

  • I write TV and movies and stuff.

  • WIL WHEATON: Rules for "Once Upon a Time" state that the

  • player who looks most like a storyteller goes first.

  • So, how many pilots have you sold this year?

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: That I can talk about?

  • None.

  • WIL WHEATON: How many pilots have you sold this year?

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: To friends, or to actual networks?

  • WIL WHEATON: Probably networks.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: No, none.

  • WIL WHEATON: OK, I have sold zero, although my show

  • TableTop was renewed.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: Congratulations.

  • I'm glad to hear about that.

  • WIL WHEATON: How many have you sold, Berg?

  • Sorry.

  • How many pilots have you sold, Berg?

  • Is it more than zero?

  • AMY BERG: It's more than zero and less than 10.

  • WIL WHEATON: Is it more than one?

  • AMY BERG: Yes.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: Inclusive?

  • WIL WHEATON: Is it more than two?

  • AMY BERG: Possibly.

  • WIL WHEATON: Is it three?

  • AMY BERG: It is three.

  • WIL WHEATON: I knew that.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Game over.

  • WIL WHEATON: Yay.

  • All right, you're going to go first then because you are the

  • most storytellery.

  • All right, so everyone has looked at their endings?

  • Yes, all right.

  • I'm not quite sure how this is going to land here.

  • My ending is a cautionary tale, as fairy

  • tales so often are.

  • You must learn the importance of choosing the proper

  • companions.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: I've got an ending that involves a tyrant.

  • It says the tyrant was destroyed and

  • everyone was happy.

  • Which means if I'm going to win this game, I've got to

  • introduce a tyrant at some point.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: My ending card was a little disappointing

  • because it was evildoers are thrown down the well.

  • AMY BERG: So my ending is, two people who are very much in

  • love somehow get parted.

  • One of them perishes, and the other one is

  • injured in that process.

  • I totally got this.

  • All right.

  • So, gentleman, once upon a time there lived

  • a giant named Frank.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: I love giants.

  • WIL WHEATON: Frank the giant.

  • AMY BERG: Frank lived in a cave.

  • WIL WHEATON: I love him already.

  • AMY BERG: Yeah.

  • Frank lived in a cave.

  • WIL WHEATON: Frank the Giant lived in a cave.

  • OK.

  • AMY BERG: And he was very, very nervous about most

  • things, because he's a giant and he was

  • the only one around.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: There are no other giants?

  • WIL WHEATON: Is he the last of the giants?

  • AMY BERG: He's is last of the giants?

  • He's the last remaining giant.

  • WIL WHEATON: Frank, the last of the giants, wow.

  • AMY BERG: Which means, you know, no getting it on with

  • you a giant girl, because, like, there's none left.

  • It's just him.

  • So he's very nervous that people are going to discover,

  • possibly find where he lives.

  • Because he's an outcast.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: Because people want to kill him.

  • AMY BERG: I think people want him dead.

  • I think he's scary.

  • He's different from everyone.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: If people saw him, what would he do?

  • AMY BERG: I think I think they would challenge him

  • verbally to a duel.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: OK.

  • Verbal duel with a giant sounds--

  • they kill all the other giants verbally?

  • AMY BERG: No, they use this weaponry.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: They were fighting, I guess, the giants.

  • Weapons?

  • AMY BERG: Actually, it was bigger than that.

  • It was actually a global thermonuclear war.

  • WIL WHEATON: Whoa.

  • AMY BERG: And he's the last one--

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Card number three is global therm--

  • WIL WHEATON: There was a global thermonuclear war.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: How many of these would survive that?

  • AMY BERG: When you get a card that says "global

  • thermonuclear war," you think two things.

  • Oh crap.

  • And this could be really cool.

  • The people who started the war, they were just trying to

  • get rid of the giants.

  • And luckily, his--

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Just trying to do a typical giantocide.

  • AMY BERG: His personal giant cave was protected with

  • whatever material protects people from

  • that kind of radiation.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: Plastic sheeting.

  • Plastic sheeting protects you from nuclear--

  • WIL WHEATON: There's no plastic

  • sheeting in a fairy tale.

  • AMY BERG: I think maybe aluminum foil or

  • something like that.

  • So he was protected, and so were the people

  • that caused the war.

  • Because they live in a bubble in the village

  • where they all live.

  • And the people are known as the Nordic

  • Tribe of um, um, um--

  • WIL WHEATON: I think three ums means you're rambling.

  • I think three ums is a ramble.

  • AMY BERG: Fine.

  • I took a card.

  • Go.

  • WIL WHEATON: Great.

  • So, Frank, the last of the giants, has a terrible secret.

  • In this cave, he has a fire pit.

  • And then that fire pit, of course, burns a fire.

  • AMY BERG: Really?

  • WIL WHEATON: However, it's not natural fire.

  • AMY BERG: What?

  • WIL WHEATON: It is a muse of fire.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Fire muse.

  • WIL WHEATON: It is a muse of fire.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: And this is the Secret?

  • WIL WHEATON: Yes.

  • The muse of the fire is named Steve.

  • Steve the fire muse and Frank the giant are in love.

  • And their love can never be--

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: Consummated.

  • WIL WHEATON: Consummated is a word I was trying really hard

  • not to say.

  • But it's one that's going to be there.

  • No, it's a word that [INAUDIBLE].

  • AMY BERG: It's on tape now, buddy.

  • If a fire muse and a giant want to get together, I say

  • that's a-OK.

  • WIL WHEATON: The question is not, would I date a giant

  • named Frank.

  • The question is, how did I ever get over it?

  • Frank and Steve now live alone in this cave.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: That's tragic.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: So people, they don't know

  • where he is, though?

  • WIL WHEATON: No, because it's very far away from the bubble

  • village where the protective people live.

  • And every day, Frank the giant and Steve the fire muse do

  • this thing that Mike's going to tell us.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Oh yeah.

  • I've played "Once Upon a Time" every day

  • for the last 17 years.

  • So I should really win this game.

  • I've played it twice, maybe a handful of times.

  • So what they do is, they will go down to the

  • local swamp, right.

  • Every area has a swamp.

  • WIL WHEATON: Every cave has swamp attrition.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: They're popping up everywhere.

  • WIL WHEATON: You pay extra for that.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: That's true.

  • So they have a pretty decent swamp.

  • AMY BERG: Which is kind of messy, though, I would

  • imagine, because of the war.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Yeah, it's probably a lot more red than

  • it used to be.

  • And giants bleed a lot.

  • WIL WHEATON: Yeah, full of blood.

  • CHRIS 'DOC' WYATT: A fire muse isn't threatened by the water

  • in this swamp at all.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: By the way, swamp.

  • WIL WHEATON: Glad you got that out there.

  • Good work.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Yes, the swamp was Arugapharrrrr.

  • WIL WHEATON: Arugapharrrr.

  • AMY BERG: Arugapharrrr.

  • MIKE PHIRMAN: Arugapharrrr.

  • AMY BERG: So, Phirman named the swamp rarrrrrr?

  • Or something.

  • I might have been missing a constant or a vowel.