Comic Relief will hold an online Dungeons & Dragons event to raise money to support charities through the coronavirus crisis.
The fundraiser takes place next week and will be live-streamed. Comedians Nish Kumar, Sue Perkins, Ed Gamble and Sara Pascoe will be taking part.
Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game where participants play as fantasy characters such as wizards and rogues and go on adventures and quests. A gamemaster tells the main story and participants have to roll dice and make decisions that can stir the plot in different directions.
The public will be encouraged to give to Comic Relief, and for a minimum donation of £1 will be able to take part in polls to vote on which comedian will fall victim to a curse, what monster they want players to battle and what magic item will help them in their quest.
The fundraiser will be held on 8 May via fundraising platform Tiltify, where it currently has a fundraising goal of £10,000.
It is hosted by Comic Relief together with D&D’s creator Wizards of the Coast. Questing Time host Paul Foxcroft will be the gamemaster.
Liz Hadley, head of new ventures at Comic Relief, said: “We’re incredibly excited to start this new quest alongside the team at Wizards of the Coast, some excellent comedians and a brilliant Dungeon Master. The polls are a great fundraising tool that allow us to engage the audience and raise money to support those most impacted by Covid-19.”
Sue Perkins said: “I’m lucky to have travelled all over the world, but this might just be my biggest quest yet. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I’ve heard that Paul Foxcroft is one of the finest Dungeon Masters in all the land – and I do so love a good Dungeon Master.
“Covid-19 is impacting each and every one of us. I’m incredibly happy to get this chance to support those most vulnerable in our communities.”
Dan Barrett, senior brand manager at Dungeons & Dragons, said: “We believe the social connection and fun of watching and playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons can be helpful to those of us feeling isolated in this time of social distancing.
“So, please stay safe at home, and together with Comic Relief, we'll bring the adventure to you. All we ask is that you donate if you’re able to help support those most vulnerable amongst us in the fight against Covid-19.”
Comic Relief started experimenting with gaming fundraising earlier this year, when for the first time it launched a gaming campaign for Sports Relief called Game Raising.
With all in-person fundraising activities suspended during the lockdown, many charities have been scaling up their virtual fundraising, including gaming fundraising.
Back in March, Help For Heroes launched its Hero Up gaming campaign to raise money for wounded veterans, and ex-army veteran Paul Colling will now be doing a 24-hour gaming marathon for the campaign on 8 May, for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Last month, the British Red Cross held a 24-hour virtual fundraising event that included a range of gaming, music and art sessions and raised about £12,000.