Podcasts and shows to consume while you’re in-between sessions
By Jacey Gibb, Distribution Manager
Welcome to Dinguses and Dragons, a weekly column aiming at demystifying and introducing the game of D&D to new and potential players
If it was logistically, mentally, and physically possible, I would play D&D every day. But I still have to go to work, maintain relationships, and take care of my pets—so instead, I limit D&D to once a week.
But just because you’re focused on other boring life stuff doesn’t mean you can’t get a daily D&D fix. There are so many amazing and hilarious projects that you can watch/listen to while you wade through real-life stuff. Here are a few personal recommendations:
Dimension 20: Have I mentioned this lil’ show called Dimension 20? Oh, I have? Really? On multiple occasions? Well, it must be a great show then. This actual-play game from CollegeHumor’s Dropout platform was what sparked my interest in D&D back in 2018, and it deserves every bit of praise I throw at it. Currently, in its sixth season, the show alternates between a full-length season with the regular cast (Zac Oyama, Lou Wilson, Ally Beardsley, Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, Siobhan Thompson) and shorter side-quest seasons with different casts each time, while Dungeon Master (DM) Brennan Lee Mulligan remains the constant throughout. Each season is wildly different and wildly fantastic. The latest seasons are only available on the Dropout platform, but earlier seasons are on YouTube.
Not Another D&D Podcast (NADPOD): almost as influential to my own playing style as D20, NADPOD is a hilarious, heart-warming story of three friends traversing the kingdom of Bahumia. Exceptionally DMed by Brian Murphy (also of D20), the party is comprised of Axford, Caldwell Tanner, and Jake Hurwitz (of “Jake & Amir” fame). The show has also featured several D20 cast members (Mulligan, Oyama, Thompson) who pop in for multi-episode arcs. (Mulligan’s deceased gunslinger character Deadeye Cybin is particularly memorable.) The first campaign of 100 episodes wrapped up earlier this year, but a new campaign is on the horizon.
Critical Role: one of the most popular D&D podcasts, Critical Role, has been around since 2015 and has made Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer something of a D&D icon. (Side note: you can also catch Mercer in the second and sixth seasons of Dimension 20.) I find the larger cast a bit overwhelming at times, but in the capable and creative hands of Mercer, it’s still a treat.
HarmonQuest: a wonderful, unique show where comedians act out a roleplaying game and the footage is intercut with animations of said roleplaying. The main cast is Dan Harmon, Erin McGathy, Jeff B. Davis, and Spencer Crittenden— but the featured guests are always delightful (and have included Paul F. Tompkins, Aubrey Plaza, Kumail Nanjiani, Nathan Fillion, and Gillian Jacobs). The mashup of animation and real-life sounds jarring, but it plays to the comedic elements well.
The Adventure Zone: another long-running D&D podcast, this time from the McElroy brothers (and their dad) of My Brother, My Brother and Me fame. There’s something innately wholesome about intergenerational D&D playing, but don’t let that lead you into thinking this is family friendly. The McElroy love their absurdity so buckle up for plenty of inappropriate guffawing. My biggest gripe with Adventure Zone is it’s a dude-heavy platform, whereas the more diverse shows/podcasts tape into deeper storytelling.