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IZOMBIE: Liv Masters DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

IZOMBIE: Liv Masters DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

Warning: This recap contains spoilers, undead and otherwise, for the iZombie episode “Twenty-Sided, Die.” Go find some brains to eat if you haven’t watched yet.

iZombie had me at Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). “Twenty-Sided, Die” saw Liv ingest the brains of a dungeon master (DM) who met an untimely end. Even better, Liv got to run a game so we saw a female DM on television, which is always terrific. But before we discuss Liv on DM cerebral matter, let’s talk about how we’re moving closer to D Day.

Discovery Day, the day when the world finds out zombies are real and living among them, seems to be imminent. The zombie hunter and conspiracy theorist group Ravi infiltrated unfortunately has a lot of accurate information. They’re intolerant and armed, and—why yes—it is symbolic of racism problems in America. Ravi had to put himself on their radar more than he probably wanted to in order to stop the idjits from kidnapping a zombie (which they did anyway). I’m not okay with anything happening to Don E., for the record.

The new guy in charge at Fillmore Graves, Chase (played by Veronica Mars alum Jason Dohring), isn’t as uh, calm, as Vivian was. He’s all kinds of intense, and in the current precarious situation, I don’t think his brand of leadership is going to be helpful. I get the impression he’s willing to make human sacrifices to protect the zombie secret. Ruh-roh.

The Meal

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If you’ve read fantasy novels, you know some of the most common food found in the pages are items such as crusty bread and juicy meats. Dishes like stews, meat pies, and cheese are all often featured. Liv’s meal seemed to be inspired by fantasy tavern fare. She turned Dan’s brain into a pot pie. Mmm. The brains were like the chicken or beef in the filling. She poured her stew-like mixture into a ramekin and topped it with pastry. My mouth shouldn’t water over a brain snack and yet…

Later in the episode, Liv decided she wanted to get off of dungeon master brain for her date with Justin. She slurped down one of the brain mush packets from Fillmore Graves.

Liv

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Before I talk about how Liv picked up Dan’s analytical and storytelling traits, let me get an obnoxious part of the episode out of the way: all the men in the D&D group were in love with the single female player. One of them had a tattoo with her name. I have so many eye rolls about this point in the plot. So. Many.

Aside from the Zoe obsession, I don’t know how realistic it is to assume a dungeon master approaches all scenarios in life as if he or she is running a game. Dan, however, was so into his DM role he carried a set of roleplaying dice around his pocket. From that small touch, I can roll with (ha!) the idea of him always putting himself in the role of DM, regardless of whether a game is happening. From Liv’s mimicking, we know he used a D20 to help guide his decisions. It’s safe to say Dan was into D&D, to the point the game permeated into his whole life.

Honestly, a DM’s skill set isn’t the worst one to have. We saw it manifest it Liv. A DM worth his or her salt has to be a solid storyteller, a planner, an analyzer, and a fast thinker. On Dan’s brain, Liv was able to assess situations and observe elements she maybe wouldn’t have noticed before, like if someone looked a little shifty. Details can make a D&D session—a non-player character’s scar could be key to unlocking a quest or answer—so Liv was more attuned to them. This particular brain was well suited to investigative work.

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Liv put her DM traits and knowledge to the test by holding a gaming session in hopes of triggering a vision. She pulled Ravi, Major, Peyton, and Clive around the table, and I adored seeing how much Ravi and Clive got into the game. Clive was skeptical and unsure of how adults could play a game of what is essentially make believe for hours, but he insisted they continue playing even after Liv had her vision. They pulled an all-nighter. Though I haven’t had anything close to an all night session since my younger days, I remember the feeling of getting so lost in the world you lose track of time. My hope is the episode inspires some viewers to give D&D and other roleplaying games a try.

Fellow D&D players, what did you think of the way the game and its players were portrayed in the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Images: The CW

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