Half-Elf, Pink, and the Bard - A Review of All For 1

Review by Adam Ray

I am constantly scouring the internets for the tastiest content in and around the things I love. It's kind of all I do. New ways to optimise how I play Battle Royales. New decks in my plethora of card games. New things to bring into play in Dungeons and Dragons. So when my attention happens across excellent visual media like this, not only am I all over it, I'll rewatch this excellent slice of internet TV multiple times and look into the very attractive and talented people who made it.

All For 1 is a web series on YouTube by Deerstalker Productions from Australia. These independent film makers have done wonderful things with cosplay showcases in the worlds of League of Legends, Overwatch, and AFK Arena. When you have professional grade costuming and make up, why wouldn't you use it to make cosplay? It's the right thing to do.

The first episode of their Dungeons and Dragons themed web series, came out tail end of 2019. It features a Fighter, Bard, and nondescript Mage (likely a Sorcerer) meeting at a tavern. We go through all the tropes of a common table together – bad Perception and Stealth rolls. The Bard trying to seduce key NPCs. Party guests in the form of an overacting Warlock and frustrated Cleric. The murderhobo problem, and the dreaded Rules Lawyer are all addressed in this hilarious series.

As the world closed for obvious reasons, there was a possibility that this series would go down with the company. A sponsorship from Film Australia saved them. Yes. The Australian Government is sponsoring D&D comedy.

The latest episode, Bardic Inspiration, released one week ago is truly their best. The first one I saw, it provides the perfect entry point for the whole season, or a dramatic turn towards their being a big creator of D&D content. The constant show tune that tells the story is swelling and grips you from the off. Knowing the characters, you can instantly understand why they're there, and root for their daring antics – but if the characters are new to you, then you learn all you need to know from the perfectly paced song.

I love the trope in live-action D&D media which features the characters at their best in accurate settings and period costumes, but it frequently cuts to the same actors playing the same characters around the table. They follow the format consistently, and the added comedy of the Dungeon Master being every NPC in the earlier episodes makes such extra comedy.

This is a series I'm going to keep up with very closely, as it's the kind of content I'd love to make. My background in writing, intense knowledge of D&D, and expertise in movie making could see it become possible. That's how I know this show to be a winner: it's brought legitimate Bardic Inspiration. You can find the entire series for yourself on their YouTube channel right here.


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