Now, it should be no surprise to anyone here that I enjoy podcasts. I cut my teeth on My Brother My Brother And Me for my early beginning. Have listened to the occasional intersection of that interest and my love for pro wrestling in podcasts such as Wrestlesplania. And may even be starting my own. But that’s an article for another time. What this article is about is the amazing phenomenon that has exploded in the RPG community. The thing that nearly all of us have at least one of us listening to. A fun endeavor that both enriches us and inspires others to listen.
What I’m talking about is actual play podcasts. You may have already read some of my earlier podcast reviews or other articles about podcasting and RPGs. But this is going to be a bit of a roundup of them. A brief list of a select few all put together to maybe put the thought “Hey, this would be a fun listen” into your head.
Let’s dig in, shall we? And maybe I can turn this into a weekly thing.
………OK, knowing me it’s gonna be monthly. Podcasts are long and take a while to get the character of, OK?
Yup! The first is a Masks: A New Generation podcast. Big surprise from me, I know. But that doesn’t take away from just how absolutely engrossed I am in this podcast. While The Rollout Podcast have played many systems and games, what I am going to be talking about here is their phenomenal Young Vanguard series.
The story begins with the group being a ragtag band of superheroic teens who all come from different walks of life, be it the cosmic channeling Boom with a lot of anxiety, the hopeful dubstep musician The Get-Up Noise, the social media entrepreneur Pippa, or the curse-filled android Beep-Boop. And we can’t forget that the game is excellently GM’d by Evan Saft, who can balance humor and drama with equal weight and skill.
This misfit crew is all united by one single thing: each was basically adopted by a member of the premier team, The Vanguard. That’s right, we got a dad squad!
However, what starts off as a comedy series shows it is far from afraid to tackle issues such as parental abuse, queerphobia (both internal and external), and the pressures of being in the limelight. It is a show that has crossed into dangerous territory for me personally, but I never held it against them, because they never do it to provoke or offend, only to explore and treat with the seriousness it deserves. It is what truly sold me on the series and earned its spot in this article.
And will eventually earn it’s own full “Why You Should Listen” article. Believe me, it’s coming.
Dungeons and Da Asians
If you follow me on Twitter, you know very well I have issues with D&D 5E. Some may call it even beef. My criticisms, both in meme form and seriousness, are clear. What I have no beef and only love for, however, is this D&D 5E actual play podcast.
Dungeons And Da Asians, being a 5E actual play run by the amazing Asians Represent podcast (check out all their episodes alongside this, I can guarantee you won’t regret it) is a fantasy game in the Kingdom Of Xia that follows the exploits of agents of Empress Zhouxia: the serious and stoic direct servant of the Empress, La Ning, the mercenary and often jovial Sky Soldier Dong Feng, and the prankster and fun loving W’Leed. Together they are going to explore this realm and you will love every second of it.
I cannot overstate how much I adore this game as I listen to it. Everything about it is so unique and intriguing, further weaving mysteries as it goes forward. Beginning with a town nearly entirely consumed by jade originating from a stone that fell from the sky, the story only improves from that already amazing strong start.
Furthermore, Dungeon Master Daniel Kwan shows how capable and adaptable of a GM he is. I’ve personally learned a few techniques from listening to him DM this game that can apply to any game, such as his little collaborative rule for coming up with encounters when travelling that the whole party would be interested in.
All in all, picking up your device and starting Dungeons And Da Asian’s is something I can only recommend.
Fighting Evil By Moonlight is what they say, right? Well, while I may not have watched Sailor Moon (Yet), the Magical Girl genre is one that has only interested me further and further the more I have learned about it. And one of my first exposures to it was this Sailor Moon RPG actual play.
One of the many self-contained series that make up the games featured on the Cool Kids Table podcast, Sequinox follows a group of high school girls who discover an odd creature named Tellie who grants them the spectacular ability to transform into magical forms that must fight the Stars themselves come to life.
GM’d superbly by Shannon Manor, the cast is filled with personality. The not so bright but lovable Chell. The “Would rather be anywhere else” Hannah. The rather enigmatic Sid. The awkward and endearing Yukiko. Together, they bicker, hug, and do so much more that sums up the experience of being a teenager. A teenager who also happens to be fighting against evil stars.
Sequinox’s first arc was the first series I sped through when listening. Every episode had the perfect mix of humor and action, while never sidelining the characters for the sake of a riff. This is a beautiful magical girl actual play and you don’t have to wait ’til moonlight to listen. Go do it now!
This is only a small sampling of the podcasts out there for you to listen to. And while I definitely plan to write more of these, you don’t need to wait for me to write about them to go out and discover them yourself.
They’re only a quick google away!