Perception Check

The show’s intro plays a bombastic and epic title screen of fire and ominous lighting on a d20. The music which starts out subtle with a simple banging of drums becomes intense as you’re pulled into what you think is going to be an epic adventure to rival all epic adventures. The words “Perception Check” fades in and you’re ready for what this show is about to throw at you…and then…

You see…Puppets…

Perception Check is part of the latest show line on Hyper RPG which features “Felted Friends” [Puppeteering], Vulgar Humor, a growing Meta Narrative that breaks the fourth wall, a group of outlandish players playing Dungeons and Dragon and an audience that knows how to cause chaos for the cast and crew. For the most part it is hard to describe Perception Check without describing what is happening on the foreground and background. The best way I can describe it is as an Avenue Q skit about over enthusiastic DnD players and their tired and thankless Dungeon Master.

Just like the name suggest, “Perception Check” is a show that suggest you pay attention to everything that is happening or you’re going to miss something truly interesting.

So let’s break it down in two parts.

What is Perception Check the DnD campaign about?

Three travelers and a guest companion are off on an adventure of find a cure for a curse that kills anyone that has been resurrected by magic. It’s filled with zombies that the audience can throw at the adventurers, as well as any other chaotic things like “holy hand grenades”, “rabbit curses”, and giving the players GM powers that they can throw at them.

It’s a confusing campaign that seems to always drift off into the absurd. If you thought Valiant Vanquished was off the rails, then this campaign never had any to begin with and it’s going 400 mph. What starts off as a simple adventure ends up involving “Ironman Armor”, resurrected pets from past DnD sessions, and disturbing zombie reunions with dead parents. In fact characters are able to be resurrected, petrified, dissected, and even tortured without any fanfare. The sessions move along so fast that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the bombastic things happening. And yet, Perception Check the show knows how to help keep up with all the crazy things happening.

What is Perception Check the Show about?

The show is about three excitable DnD players (Amber, Chunk, and Cucumber) and their straight-laced GM: Ryan. They are usually assisted in these adventures with the help of a guest player who always seems to be out of the loop with a lot of the shenanigans the other players have. The adventures they have in game are wild, but their antics and personality on the show are what draw a crowd.

We start with Cucumber. He’s green, scheming, and always want to be the center of attention. He causes most of the dramatic outburst that happen on the show. This ranging from flipping tables, yelling at Zac, starting a campaign for him to become the CEO of Hyper RPG, to firing CEO Overlord Zac, and even fist fighting with Chunk a few times. He gets his feelings hurt easily and has a vindictive streak which usually ends up torturing the other player characters. He’s the player that brings Out of Character drama in game and it’s fun to watch. We all know a player who has been a Cucumber at one point or another.

Then there’s Chunck, the loveable Blue felted friend who never seems to be fully paying attention to what’s happening. His mind is always on his stomach. His motivations mostly align with eating something. And he usually goes along with whatever is happening or until he’s influenced by something or someone around him. Giving him GM powers always seems to backfire on the other player.

Amber (the character) is described in the promo video as the “Token Girl” which is the opposite of what is happening on the show. She encourages a lot of the antics that Chunk and Cucumber pull. She’s crafty, cunning, and helps move the show forward whether that involves rolling Chunk and Cucumber’s dices or helping move the Perception Check goals along. If Chunk and Cucumber supplies most of the jokes, then Amber “puppeteers” the show’s progression.

We finally have Ryan. Ryan is the GM, but according to Cucumber in promo video “no one cares”. In passing this just looks like a passing remark by an obnoxious character where we get to see a little bit of his personality, but that line has another meaning. Ryan is the GM of Perception Check the DnD campaign, but is also the host of Perception Check the show.

He keeps the campaign’s story together, but he’s also like the host in a reality tv show. He is able to keep the story semi-coherent, but he can’t keep the players in line with their antics. They throw a fit, that’s fine. They start a fight with “CEO Overlord” Zac now “Underlord” (the character played by the real person)also fine. They flip tables is fine too, the host may express some annoyance but…that’s not important. As long as the campaign is set, whatever. And doesn’t that remind of a few shows you’ve seen on TV where the cast get into fight on stage or throw a fit in interviews, but the host doesn’t do anything. It’s an interesting look.

Ryan “The GM” has an interesting style of GMing which seems to focus on beats rather than the long story moments. You’re not getting long and detailed descriptions of the world, that’s your job to paint. He makes sure that you’re following the beats. It helps keep the story moving forward. So a meteor fell on the planet and gave the players Dragon Abilities, that’s fine as long as it doesn’t overpower the world or move away from story beats.

This allows the episode to bounce back and forth between DnD session and Perception Check the show.

The show is interesting because it’s interactive. It embraces the absurd in ways that you would only find in a show like Avenue Q, Crank Yankers, the Eric Andre show, and Tim and Eric. It’s amazing to watch the comedic abilities of the cast in this production. The show is layered with jokes about comedy, about social commentary, and also about DnD itself. A lot of which I don’t want to spoil for you like why puppets are called “Felted Friends” because it’s something that you have to experience for yourself.

And they don’t just stop at what we see on screen, the background narrative involving being called Puppets, the arguments between each other in the Twitch chat, the changing of each other’s name cards to insult each other are small touches added to the show.

It’s an amazing show to watch and wish more people were talking about it. You can watch it live on:



I am a writer, game dev, and appreciator of Pop Culture and the Occult.

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I am a writer, game dev, and appreciator of Pop Culture and the Occult.