Cross stitch pattern of some The Adventure Zone catchphrases. “Magnus rushes in!” with Railsplitter, “Taako’s good out here.” with the Umbra Staff, and “I cast Zone of Truth!” with the Extreme Teen Bible. Download the PDF here: The Adventure Zone Pattern
Grid Size: 80W x 71H
Design Area: 5.57″ x 4.86″ (78 x 68 stitches)
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I’ve been listening to a lot of D&D real play podcasts lately. Of course, The Adventure Zone is my favorite, but there are tons of others. Here’s my initial opinions on some of them after listening to a few episodes.
The Legion of Renob: Like The Adventure Zone, but for people who wish Griffin would shut up and let the boys do what they want for a change. The characters are funny but not very nuanced. Lots of interesting solutions to problems, but not a lot of direction or plot. My biggest issue is that the audio quality is awful even after they upgrade. Sometimes it can be hard to understand what characters are saying especially because one of them wears a helmet and distorts his voice even further. I’m torn, because this would be one of my favorites if there were fewer players and better audio/editing.
BomBARDed: Like The Adventure Zone, but for people who wish they would stop goofing around and just play the game already. The characters and setting are pretty bland and there isn’t a lot of humor. The fun comes from the gimmick of having a whole team of bards played by real musicians. They play music in each episode using randomly chosen chords. It’s unoffensive.
Friends at the Table: Like The Adventure Zone, but for people who wish Griffin had even more power to enforce the rules and plot. I skipped the zero episode of the Twilight Mirage arc, but episode one was still half character creation and worldbuilding. There was one episode of actual play and then the third episode went back to worldbuilding with all new characters. There’s a good story here, but it lacks humor and the flexibility to break the rules when it makes sense. They use a system where the DM needs to constantly be asking the players how they feel about an action they’re taking and it does nothing but break the flow of the action.
The Dungeon Rats: Like The Adventure Zone, but for people who wish the boys goofed around more and Griffin took more fan feedback. This is another one with a lot of players which can cause scenes to go off the rails really quickly. The characters are funny, but it falls into a lot of the same pitfalls as Legion of Renob. There are some female players so it’s easier to tell people apart and the audio quality is better. The gimmick here is that fans can submit items, monsters, and plot points like the audience for an improv group. It seems to work pretty well. I’m interested to see how this goes.
I haven’t found anything that clicks so well with me as The Adventure Zone did. It reminded me of the best parts of my own D&D adventures. I think my priorities are story, humor, audio quality/editing, and adherence to the rules comes in last. I like the rules to be there for structure, but I don’t care if they’re followed or not. I’m still looking for the ultimate actual play podcast. Leave a comment on what I should try next.