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URealms: Serious Vs Silly: What are your thoughts?

edited February 2019 in General Discussion
So i know Urelms is a mixed shot that has elements of both comedy, as well as action, drama, and other serious things thrown in there, and i wouldn't have it any other way. But after seeing the "Cheese Wheel" lore stream i couldn't help but start feeling like some things Rob and DB were talking about crossed some invisible line of "too silly" in my eyes. (Nothing against you Rob, just personal thoughts.)

I realized that i always tended to gravitate and enjoy the more Serious moments of Urelms rather then the silly ones. Like yes, laughing and having fun is an important part of the show, but in the long run, serious things like Golestandt's escape, Gwenneth getting stabbed in the gut, Gwen starting the Ageless Purge, Galen's powerful "I Didn't!" moment at the end of private investigator, i can remember all of them in vivid, powerful detail. In contrast, the Murder Bro's antics while they were high on EXP, Justin's "Ahem" changes in "Jewel of the dingo isles", whatever was happening in the Blood Snake Queen... Honestly at this point i couldn't tell you a thing about what happened. They were funny yes, but not really super memorable in my eyes.

What about you guys? Do any of you prefer the sillyness but find the serious stuff boring? do you find the show hits the perfect balance between the two? any other opinions about? Been feeling like this might make for good conversation material, so lets give this a shot.


  • I think it's best to not just look at the silly and serious parts as two separate things but more as assets that strengthen the other. If you have a show that's 'just' serious for instance you get something like game of thrones where a character death can feel important, but many of them are just like "whoop there goes another one". The fact that those kinds of hard hitting moments don't happen every single campaign is what makes them memorable in my view. Aside from that many of the more silly things can leave us with interesting characters or interesting lore. The sandbolds campaign itself (up until the end) was kinda silly, especially with milbee's character, but if you look at the lore it left behind of a corrupted almost cult like organization which was then destroyed by maelstrom, it gets a lot more interesting.

    So yeah the silly things themselves aren't quite memorable, but they can enhance serious points or make other things much more interesting by supplementing them with characters/lore. 

    I will agree that the whole cheese wheel thing is maybe a bit over the top. But I also can't deny that there's a part of me that loves to see Rob and Deadbones take something that sounds absolutely stupid and turn it into something that could actually make a story. I think the reason things like the cheese or walruses sound so absolutely silly now is because they haven't yet been told in a campaign or other format rather than just talking about them. The way a story like that is told can actually make it quite interesting or give weight to it.
  • URealms*

    The silly stuff is my favourite parts
  • I came for the silly stuff. I got into the show because it was improv and roleplay where the cast doesn't take things too seriously.

    If i wanted a serious time. Id just re-read Lotr or Game of thrones for the 100th time.
  • I think Rob just really like ideas that are well thought out. So there's not really a line for how something is "too silly". For example: the Cheesewheel is a hundred times more silly than the Magma stone, however the Cheesewheel is a lot more interesting because of how much fun it is to think out how it affects the world. It goes into the theme of characters saying stuff without it necessarily being true like their theories for how it keeps rolling. It's slowly cutting the world in half because it's constantly digging deeper and deeper into the ground. The idea for something like the magma stone is mostly just there because there's a winter stone so it adds symmetry. There's no thoughts of how it affects the world, how people attempt to utilize/deal with it.

    Even if your ideas are silly doesn't mean you don't have to take them seriously.
  • Personally i'm far more invested in the serious stuff and to be fair I probably take the show too seriously. Now the silly stuff irratates me and I would rather get my laughs with URealms in public games.
  • I agree that the cheese wheel felt a little too silly, but it also didn't feel out of place enough for me to say "That can't be in the world of URealms". I enjoy both the silly and the serious moments though. I think that's what makes URealms what it is. Some of the stupidest moments are some of the most memorable. 
    There's a lot of funny or less serious moments that are super memorable for me. Such as:
    • Deadbones rolling a 1 and falling off the edge at the end of the Catacombs campaign.
    • Combat has started during the first campaign.
    • The Elephelk jumping over the frozen lake during Death of Virgo
    • Tree law.
    • Fuck the Kobolds and everything that came with it.
    • Can I include the entirety of the recent Deadrealms campaign?
    • That time Phineas reversed the medusa effect.
    That's just the first things that came to mind. Now that I think about it, a lot of comedy comes from extremely lucky or unlucky rolls.
  • OH yeah don't get me wrong, i do love the silliness of the show, and it does enhance everything overall, i think i just prefer the more serious stuff. If for example i was given a choice between a campaign about Galen dealing with the struggle that he's effectively killed his sister and turned her body into a war-mongering monster who's going to get everyone killed, VS a show about Bojojo the walrus clown who specializes in juggling pot-puppies and his quest to find the perfect sticker for his scrapbook, then i'd definitely pick the former every time.


    Definitely a lot of good points.And where would we be without "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONEEEESSSSS!" or the Carpet of Holding? :P
  • I think in a roleplaying game like this both silly and serious are meant to blend together, which is why I think the way it is right now is perfect in Urealms. 

  • I think Urealms has a pretty good balance between serious and silly, but i do think parts of the plot would be better if the show was serious.

    Also, is it just me, or is this site almost unusable? There is no way for me to post tnreads, the PM system redirects me to an error message, and the search engine is so basic that it is almost impossible to search anything that has more than one word.
  • Personally, I really enjoy watching silly things be recontextualized in a more serious manner. One of my favorite things that this show has done was with the fuck the kobolds song turning from a random joke song that was completely improved into Maelstrom fucking over Jo Krystaal. The cheese wheel is definitely something goofy and silly, but it's also important to remember that it was introduced in a goofy and silly context. While I doubt it is possible to entirely make a cheese wheel be the most serious plot element, it is certainly possible that an interesting story could be told around it.

    Besides, it is worth remembering that a lot of the best stuff from URealms can be simplified down to something really silly if you just look at it on the most basic level. The most famous wizard is literally just a magical book. An assassin kills some people, and then has the people they killed's child. A dragon builds a magical bullshit tower and gives a wish to anyone that climbs it. Very few of the events or characters of URealms were ultra serious when first created, they just morph into that as time goes on and they become more fleshed out.

    While I prefer the serious aspects of the show, if the show didn't have a more goofy nature it would be worse. There are tons have standard fantasy shows on the internet, and while URealms definitely has some concepts that I haven't seen anywhere else, the focus on comedy really makes it shine. Also the lore can be hard to get into at first and the comedy makes it easier for new viewers. It is also worth remembering that this isn't a book. There are some stories that are much harder to tell with tabletop, and some stories that are much easier. As interesting as a show diving deep into a character, their motivations, and their internal conflicts would be, it is *really* hard to tell that type of story with tabletop games.

    tl;dr: Most things are silly on the first pass, that stuff is then usually recontextualized and told in a more serious matter to make it fit.
  • I worded that wrong. I didn't mean it would be better if serious, what i meant to say is that parts of the plot would be interesting to see in a more serious context.
  • To start off both are important some of the most serious aspects of the show are rather silly. Lyn’s dragon sex magic let’s her be one of the greatest spy’s in the realms for example both very silly and serious. I feel like there is a line to be crossed but they haven’t even came close to crossing it even with the cheese wheel. 

    But I do need to say the serious is way more important, as if we do don’t have the serious we lose a lot of our care and investment we have in the show. Take a look at deadrealms, do we really care what happens during these, do we really care about these characters, not really. We could skip a deadrealms campaign and not miss anything, sure they can be funny or interesting, but I can’t find them to be any important. I have no obligation to watch a deadrealms, because it’s not serious.

    However a urealms campaign I will watch and rewatch every campaign because I love the story I love these characters and want to see them develop. This is what keeps me coming back to watch each show, not the jokes.
    Now more on what I said about the show not not silly with the cheese wheel. I’m fine with something like that because even as silk as it is, I still find it both possible with the already established lore, as well as interesting and adding to the story. Not to say it’s impossible to cross that to silly line, they way to cross this line is to have conflicting story’s if they change it so Kallisto was dead instead of phanto and they did it as a joke with no explanation that would cross that line. And I don’t think they are going to cross that line, as look how much work they do keeping the timelines straight.

    tl;dr The serious is what is keeping us invested in the show.
  • The majority of my favorite parts are the serious parts, but I still love the silly parts (unless they drag on and on cringey, killing the mood - but the same can be said for serious parts) the serious parts aren't impactful until the sillyness has developed the characters.
  • Personally, I come for the silliness and stay for it and the seriousness. The mix of the two makes for a very interesting world, and a very good series. It's part of why I liked the Classic Unforgotten Realm shows; it was 2 morons in a world that was trying to be serious but was ultimately just as silly. It's very Monty Python-esque; you could even argue that it's spiritually similar to Holy Grail.

    The blend of both is what makes the game, and the show, which is my only problem with Nader's Unforgotten Tales, it tries to downplay the silly too much, or at least the first (and so far only) one did.
  • @friskyBrisky

    i'm thinking the opposite for NUT. (oh god is that really the acronym?) It's better that it's more serious because it takes place wholey from the perspective of the characters that exist in the world. You could easily say that the presence of Old Gods is what creates silly moments, so of course in an area where the old gods are not present, we'd get the whole, real story, and the real story isn't always funny, especially when death and combat are involved.

    plus Nader is supposed to be telling us about the story that happened, and the Story is not always synonymous with the jokes told within it.
  • While season one has the highest number of flaws be it lore inconsistencies or being all over the place; I think it captured that 90% comedy, 10% serious formula Rawb always talked about quite a bit. Like the whole silly campaign where a bunch of ex-boyfriends of Gwenyth have to escort prisoners to a labor mine prison; the whole thing is filled with jokes, but right at the end those jokes are recontextualized by way of Gwenyth being stabbed in the womb. I think the season finale was my favorite of all of them for a similar reason, not because it was funny, but because it was a completely serious campaign that while funny throughout, was much darker in tone. 

    I do like later seasons though, but I think adding more silly things will be good as I feel the ratio to silly/serious stuff slid a bit towards 65/45 with the whole ageless war stuff. I enjoy the war, but it's definitely harder to get into the mood of the goofs when you're seeing the politicians and high ranking nobles of Urealms do silly stuff in a serious situation when compared to seeing a bunch of low-mid ranking soldiers, goblins, thieves, and so on do stupid stuff.

    So yeh glad to see more silly stuff, but I hope the serious stuff stays as if Urealms does go on for like 10 seasons having a more serious toned season or two versus a more serious toned comedy season or two isn't a big dealio; but maybe focus in more on the serious stuff when doing that as to not undersell the tragedy.
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