Actual play podcasts are a hot thing right now.
It seems that anyone with a microphone is and a set of dice with more than six sides is recording a podcast. Now I have been spending time on this topic doing research yah research ....that is it research. I have gathered a list of some of the best to cross my earbuds. Some of these have poor audio quality and some have full production value and a budget. I ask you to ignore that and listen to the content. Most shows will start off small and when they start to get backers on pateron will upgrade their podcasting equipment to something a little more professional. I happen to know one podcast that recorded their entire first season on the gamemasters Samsung phone. (Star-Fall cough cough)
I would like to note that any comments by me will be in Blue
Why should you listen to an independent RPG Podcast?
Independent podcasters are the lifeblood of the Podcasting world. These creative people are doing what they love and inviting you to the table as a spectator. These Gamemasters and players come up with the most creative adventures. Some are true to the rules and some throw the rules out the window. Listening to these podcasts you will learn all kinds of great GM/Player skills. Most of all these podcasts are just fun. I highly recommend that you listen to at least five episodes as it takes a little while for everyone to really get into character. by then it will be too late as you will be addicted to the podcast :
Great way to learn new games you have not purchased yet. Think of it as a free sample.
Why should you support an RPG Podcast?
Podcasting is not free. it's Cheap, not free. Many of these gamemasters are spending their own money to produce their podcast. Many will have products, Patreon pages and or Ads in order to keep the show going. If it was not for our backers we would not be able to publish our show at all. Become A Patreon backer even if its just $1 a month. It adds up trust me.
Other ways to support the show are free and perhaps more important. Tell someone about their show. Getting the word out is such a difficult task that there are entire forums and Facebook groups dedicated to this problem. Simply telling someone about the show or posting an episode on Facebook or Twitter is a huge help.
Contact the Podcaster!! Trust me they will love it. There have been a few times where I was thinking that nobody cared about the show and I received an email from a listener. It does wonders to inspire the cast.
What RPG podcast is on my Player Right now?
I'm going to start off with the shows that are actually on my phone at the moment. These shows are near and dear to my heart.
Steam Rollers actual play Podcast
Each show takes you on a rollicking Steampunk adventure filled with
mystery, monsters, and steam-powered machines! Follow along as our party of role-playing adventurers finds themselves in one adventure after another where their decisions,
and the luck of the dice, determine what happens next!
This Podcast is on top of the list because I just love it that much. It just happens this is the show that inspired me to start my own. The use of sound effects to accent the show is well done. The WORLD BUILDING is amazing almost like the creator is an author ... oh wait he is!!!. The co-host Robby grows on you quickly. The cast, as well as the story-crafter (Steampunk for Game Master), are likable though Jameson Mayfield is an evil bastard. Even if you know nothing about steampunk you are going to want to download this one.
Star-Fall Actual Play Podcast
Star-Fall is a Science fiction RPG podcast that is told using Short stories, audio dramas, and Actual Roleplay. What happens when A new oppressive religion invades your planet? You run and that is exactly what the characters do. The unlikely group of heroes consists of a Male Escort, his father, A Alcoholic doctor, a bartender, a massive lizardman, a psychic alien introvert and a four-armed fish ant. This comedy is filled with character development. This is not the podcast to listen to if you like strong female characters.
Mech battles, daring escapes from asteroid belts, Space Pirates and Aliens who discuss human mating habits by getting it all wrong. We are an LGBTQ & Polyamory friendly podcast.
Norkek and Hedda are a spinoff animation part of the Star-Fall Universe. These two Aliens talk about human nature while eating fast food. This is my first attempt at animation and I am having a lot of fun with this.
Yes, I listed my own podcast. Every podcaster should .. helps you make a better show. We start off with a very low budget and basic knowledge of editing and roleplaying but we get better. I know that if you can keep listening to episode 5 you will be hooked. The cast has a mix of experience but all have become really amazing roleplayers. Season two is almost ready.
1 Billion years in the future, the Earth is a truly unfamiliar place. A hodgepodge of strange creatures, bizarre devices, and relics of past civilizations. It is a beautiful and cruel world in equal measure. In this land of wonders, four people will begin a journey that, by its end, may shake the planet to the very core. Of course, they will have to survive that journey first..
I am a huge fan of this show! As most of you should know on Twitter I am a big fan of anything Monte Cook Games. This podcast really does Numenera Justice. I love the characters. The humorous banter between the characters is amazing and I love the GM. OH, and they have a Were-hedgehog !!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?!
Fantasy & Scifi Podcasts
Now I have only had a short listen to these at the moment. but they have been added to my listening list. Many of these podcasts are part of a group of RPG Podcasters called TTRAPS on facebook
Tails from The Dark Dragons Inn is a long-form, serialized, high-fantasy, improv fiction podcast driven at its core by tabletop role-play.
It tells the tale of a band of heroes called “The Scales of Justice”, seeking to learn more of their world, and themselves as they race to intervene in the plans of the Cult of the Dragon and their cataclysmic ambition. Season two leads quickly to Baldur's Gate where a dark shroud lies over the city and a mystery awaits, with the heroes in the center of its tangled web.
Featuring a diverse cast and released weekly on Sundays, with its heavy focus on storytelling over gameplayTails from The Dark Dragons Innis the perfect gateway from Audio Drama to RPG podcasts and comfortably appeals to audiences of both. Find out more and subscribe through http://tftddi.co.uk
Very Random Encounters
Tabletop Potluck born when a diverse group of friends found themselves wishing for more representation in their actual-play podcasts. The team chose to be the change they wished to see in the world, striving to showcase representation in all forms: players, characters, and games. Just like at a delicious potluck, different people can bring a vast variety of experiences to the table. Now, every Monday, Tabletop Potluck brings diverse stories to their listeners, as well as in-depth sessions and discussions of various tabletop roleplaying games.
Our episodes go a bit like this: we play a game on air, usually for the first time ever for at least one member, and then we all create a smorgasbord of recipes related to the game's themes, and discuss what we like and dislike about the systems. With both examples of gameplay and reviews, we hope to give our listeners everything they might need to decide to try a brand new RPG.
We're so thankful for all of the support we've gotten so far and we can't wait to continue this journey with you all.
You can find us at tabletoppotluck.libsyn.com, and wherever else you get your podcasts.
We're a great choice for someone who has never played an RPG before because we're also new to most of the systems we play. That being said, we keep it fun and interesting by bringing in the storytelling dynamic of a tight-knit group of friends (many of whom are actors). Our discussion potlucks are helpful for people who want to learn more about the mechanics of the system, while our storytelling episodes give good examples of what gameplay might be like.
is a comedy actual-play RPG podcast set in a variety of pop culture worlds. Olmec, an extradimensional stone head, has discovered the multiverse of fiction is collapsing, and recruits three fantasy adventurers from the world of Dungeons & Dragons to act as his agents and save reality. Each arc focuses on the cast’s adventures in a single pop culture universe, as they grapple with danger, mystery, and a hilarious dose of culture shock. The players use the RPG system most closely representative of the world they’re in (we always try to use officially licensed games if possible)! Currently, our heroes have rescued the universes of Men in Black, Dragon Ball Z, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mad Max from certain doom.
Shuffle Quest arcs are six episodes long and are separated by single episodes focused on the cast recovering in Olmec’s head (in addition to being their quest-giver, he also acts as their means of transportation between universes). Episodes range from 50-90 minutes.
Our show is professionally recorded and mixed, and thoroughly edited to trim digressions and rules logistics. Shuffle Quest is ad-free and is funded by listeners like you through Patreon.
Why would someone who has never played an RPG want to download your podcast?:
The shifting pop culture settings keep the show both fresh and familiar, allowing listeners unused to the settings of RPGs to quickly understand the context due to the pop culture touchstones we play with.
I tend to avoid Pop Culture focused podcasts. We even go out of our way to avoid them in our own podcast. I'm saying this because EVEN I ENJOY THIS PODCAST !!! I am only a few episodes in and enjoying it the whole time. This is a must for new players!
PROMO VIDEO: https://youtu.be/9b7wf7GAwvI
"Quest Friends!" takes place ONE BILLION years in the future, after multiple advanced civilizations have risen and fallen. From their ashes, four foolhardy adventurers face off against ferocious foes, including robot cowboy shopkeeps, vision-inducing skin spiders, and really awful kazoo playing.
The show has been praised by fans for superb pacing that keeps listeners anxious for the next episode, a cast of players and characters that are "cinnamon-roll pure," and a world that is bright, vibrant, and farcically goofy. It's also very accessible for listeners unfamiliar with roleplaying games, as the focus is on the world and story being told, with the actual gameplay systems taking more of a backseat.
The second part of a two-episode mini-arc starring one of the main characters is dropping today. It's a completely isolated story that gives a great taste for what Quest Friends! is about!
We are a 5e, D&D, actual play, narrative focused, sometimes funny podcast. You know, like 95% of all the other podcasts, but we've got eldritch horror. We also have guests on occasionally to play their own characters that we incorporate into the narrative.
Welcome brave traveler to Sylandrian, a city steeped in murder, mystery, and madness. Stagnation and complacency have run rampant, and something monstrous churns behind the dark. A group of private investigators are the only thing that stands in the way of injustice and despair. Let us join them now, for another exciting episode of The Beholder's Eye!
Our podcast can be great for people that don't play ttrpgs, because we focus on the narrative and try to make the gameplay/ mechanics side of things as unobtrusive as possible. We can also be a great introduction to what makes ttrpgs amazing, collaborative storytelling.
SoundCloud link - https://soundcloud.com/thebeholderseye
Side Character Quest
A one-on-one improvised fantasy adventure podcast. The host stays the same, but every few episodes, we rotate in a new guest playing a new character in the same world.
Side Character Quest (SCQ) is an improvised fantasy adventure podcast. Like other shows, it uses tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons as a framework for the improv, but unlike other shows in this genre,* the games are played with the host/DM and onlyoneguest/player. The guest goes on a quest over the course of several episodes, and when the quest is complete (or when they fail), they leave and a new guest comes on! The new guest plays a new character on their own journey, but the setting stays the same. As the show goes on, more of the world is revealed.
Episode titles all begin with the name of the guest's character, so new listeners can easily see where a new character arc begins. Listeners can start with any character arc, but it is recommended they start with Season 1 Episode 1, "Sir Rodrick Begins His Quest."
Twitter Handle: @SCQpodcast
Website: www.sidecharacterquest.com(Right now this just redirects to our Twitter page. We plan to update this when our rebranding is complete.)
"Why would someone who has never played an RPG want to download your podcast."
The unique (I think) format of our show makes it really easy to pick up. Though there is a larger story being built, each arc has been designed to be self-contained. You might get more out of it by listening to all of them, but maybe you want to start with a particular guest! Maybe you don't want to commit right away to listening to the entire backlog of a new show? Don't worry! With SCQ, each self-contained arc aims to be between only 2 and 8 episodes long.
(The small number of people on the show (just the host and a single guest) also means it is easy to learn who's who.)
Fate and the Fablemaidens is an all-women, family-friendly actual-play D&D 5th edition podcast created by four friends who love goofs and games. You could say we have goofs on goofs on goofs... and dragons. And new episodes every other Monday.
Under the unpredictable guidance of Fate (Renee Rhodes), three adventurers – Merryweather (Rebecca Eckert), the gnome artificer; Wynni (Laura Hutton), the halfling bard; and Twyddle (Samantha Turley), the changeling barbarian – are thrown together on a fateful trip. When they set sail that day, all they planned for was a relaxing, three-day boat tour – a pleasure cruise. Instead, the world starts falling apart around them – literally.
We hope to be accessible to anyone, even those who have never played a TTRPG. To that end, we try to explain our rule-based actions, but also just have fun in the hopes that our audience can have fun with us.
I just subscribed to this one! I have also encouraged my Daughter who wants to start running Dungeons and Dragons 5e to listen.
PAN, the Pagan Angel Network, brings you original, fast-paced horror stories using the tabletop role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Player FM, SoundCloud, iTunes, or CastBox for a new episode every Sunday!
PAN's ongoing flagship series, Millennium, follows a network of innocents in the year 1999 who uncover an international conspiracy to bring the world under the worship of an all-consuming, prehistoric god. The emphasis is on player choice in a sandbox-y open world, and although the comedy flies fast and thick, the campaign is ultimately a dark (though fantastical) simulation of how humanity might reach its end. In addition to Millennium, PAN has already aired the dystopian coming-of-age limited series The Scrud and the three-part, audio-drama-by-way-of-found-footage The Oklahoma Coast.
Why would someone who has never played an RPG want to download?
PAN is about storytelling, not game rules, and although it makes great use of the unique storytelling possibilities that come with collaborative tabletop RPGs, it never spends much time on crunchy combat or other things that might lose the RPG-uninitiated. Above all, PAN wants to immerse you in the story. In the summer of 2018, PAN will also begin to air multiple non-RPG-based horror series, since its creators know that their listeners' tastes are as broad as their own!
MFD9K is a Dungeons and Dragons real play podcast. A home-brew sandbox world, with a 22-year rich history in the making by previous adventurers who have become both myth and legends, saints and deities.Having been birthed in 2nd edition, it has adapted and grown over the years to become what we are recording for your ears.
This Podcast is set around 2nd edition rule (Thac0/Saves/Class creation/XP Charts) while working in rules from 3.5/D20/4/Next and so on. Using Themes from all Realms of Sci-fi and Fantasy. The system is a little clunky and crunchy...however it works for the story we've been telling for so many years no.
**It's also a big HOMEBREW - and we welcome any content anyone wishes to let us playtest for you!**
In this podcast, the Dungeon Master/Father teaches his coming of age son how to Role Play with good close friends and a long time player of the DM's world. We interact with our fans on the server. Listeners can vote on gifts for favorite players. Lucky listeners join us during live recordings.
Our Discord welcomes all Enthusiast of Tabletop RPG's. We may be a DnD focused podcast, but our Discord caters to DM/GM/ST/LK/etc with world building help, connections to Artist and Composers, Game Developers. We love helping new gamers build a character in whatever system is they are playing in. We have several different text based games playing in 3.5/Pathfinder; 5e; Godbound; Shadow-run (on hold); and new DM's thinking about starting new games! We also recently added the Discord Dungeons Bot. You can play a text based style video game while you wait for your turn in the game your playing. Joining our server does not require you to listen to the podcast!
People listen to us because....
If you love an on going amazing story of drama and adventure told by a group of several long time friends. An original show about laughter, slaying beasts, Lore filled Trials and tons of addictive inside jokes...its Dungeons and dragons at its finest.
Podcast Host Site - http://mfd9k.libsyn.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/MFD9K
Twitter - @MFD9000