Anyone have recommendations for roleplaying podcasts? Preferably not D&D. Not that there’s anything wrong with D&D; I’m just looking for something more character or story driven than dungeon crawling.
Highly recommend Knights of the Night. They have done Hunter, Dresden Files, a homebrewed Clockwork Dominion setting, a few other things, and are currently running through Nights Black Agents. Really focus on story above all else (barring the second part of Hunter) and wonderfully edited to remove a lot of fluff and tangents RPG sessions always manage to cause.
Discussion or actual-play?
Either would interest me. I like talking theory as well as listening to stories. Thanks for the recommendations!
The two I kind of listen to are :
Friends at the table : I think they are in their 6 seasons, but each one is played in one of two settings, either Sci-fi or Fantasy. But in both cases, they put a lot of thought on what the world is like, not to lean on tropes but to actively think about the politics and dynamics of a fantastic world. They are very good and entertaining to listen to, even though it is a time investment. I’m slowly getting up to date and it feels a bit daunting. They made a flowchart to help someone new to the podcast a place to start listening.
Very Random Encounter To be honest, I only listen to their first 5 seasons, I do not know if it is still going on. I loved it though, they make short 30min episode, three player and a GM play through a différent system every season, and as much thing as possible is roll at random : plot hooks, characters, NPC, Names,… But it is still feels very constructed and they really manage to make a cohesive story each time !
I’m involved in:
I also enjoy:
How We Roll Podcast - I’m only listening to their Cthulhu stuff rather than the D&D.
The Esoteric Order of Roleplayers - not enjoying their recent stuff as much but when they do Cthulhu they do it well. (Hmm, I see a pattern here.)
The Grognard Files - discussion with a retro bias.
The Film Reroll - starting with the setup of a film, then playing through and seeing how it might turn out.
I have just started listening to Six Feats Under, starting with their Mouse Guard campaign.
Verry random Encounters is still an ongoing podcast, right now they are playing through the Fellowship rpg.
(Just subscribed to Six Feats Under. Thanks @Scribbs.)
Some of my favourites:
Hearty Dice Friends : Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor answer your RPG questions and (more recently) design games on the fly. I’ve listened to every episode and it just gets better and better.
Story Roost : Actual play sideshoot from Gamers with Jobs. Sometimes Rob Daviau! And, one time, a tiny bit of Jeff Cannata.
Rusty Quill Gaming Podcast : Their recent ‘Monster of the Week Special’ actual play was entertaining, but it’s all good.
…also anything involving Jeff Stormer (All my Fantasy Children and Party of One Podcast). I think he has a wonderful outside-the-box imagination and sense of humour.
I know you want to avoid D&D but the first season of The Adventure Zone barely has any dungeon-crawling, is much more story-driven and an original, not really traditional fantasy world. Plus they don’t take it very seriously whatsoever (until nearer the end) so in terms of laughs per minute, I would put this one at the top.
They also dip into a PbtA system for part of the story, and the second season is using Monster of the Week - you can skip straight to season 2 if you don’t want to listen to the D&D parts. The stories aren’t tied together at all.
Among the fodder that fills my morning commute with something less then dread, I follow some actual play stuff I’d recommend.
Neoscum. This is an actual play pod in Shadowrun by a bunch of Chicago area improv people and it’s simultaneously amazingly funny, heartwarming, and extremely inappropriate in the best way possible. The GM is one of the best I’ve ever heard on a podcast (I’ll recommend the first best in a sec), and everyone has fantastic chemistry. Great stuff. Neoscum good.
The Dragon Friends. This is mostly a D&D one but it’s definitely not about dungeon crawling. It’s recorded live in Sydney from a bunch of comedians and is, if anything, more inappropriate than Neoscum. But it’s also sidesplittingly funny, features live musicians which adds an unexpected amount of flavor to it all, and occasionally bounces to other games to keep it fresh/weird. Wouldn’t recommend it if live audience recordings bug you but they do a good job with it.
Autonomic. The GM here, Kat Kuhl, is probably the best I’ve ever heard run a session and is formerly of The Campaign Podcast, a Star Wars one that ended but may also be worth checking out. But Autonomic is appropriate for all ages and is meant to be a bit more kid-focused, but its a unique setting and system that’s much more about story, interaction, and character development than it is fighting and looting. It has a tremendous amount of heart but is also often quite silly.
I highly recommend Film Reroll, Friends at the Table, and the Adventure Zone (yeah, I don’t want D&D either but they play it real fast and loose and it’s not endless combat and dice-rolling. Much more storytelling than most D&D play I’ve encountered. And as was said, they move to other systems afterwards.)
I’ve struggled to get into Knights of the Night, but I started with their very earliest stuff so maybe the experience is better when they’ve had more time doing a podcast.
Campaign-as-run-by-Kat-Kuhl ended, but they’ve continued with a new GM, setting, and system. I’ve not really listened to either but One Shot generally does good stuff so probably worth checking out.
Speaking of which, this is the main One Shot site: http://oneshotpodcast.com/
They do a bunch of other actual play, including the titular One Shot that kicked everything off that does one-shot adventures in a wide variety of systems and genres, the aforementioned Campaign and Neoscum, Adventure (roleplaying as fan fiction), A Woman With Hollow Eyes (using Monte Cook’s ridiculously overproduced Invisible Sun system, GMed by Darcy Ross of Monte Cook Games), etc.
I mostly have listened to One Shot with a smattering of the other stuff, but as I say, it’s generally worth checking out. They also do podcasts about roleplaying, which I have almost without exception not investigated. (They did bring in the fantastic System Mastery to their network, though. Listen to that. The idea is they review old and out of print RPGs - mostly - and crack jokes about them. Which isn’t to say they don’t stumble across the occasional good idea in an otherwise trash game or even occasionally a good game. The history of RPGs is…amazing.)
A very heavily narrative horror roleplaying campaign using various stages of beta rules for a homebrewed system the GM has now Kickstarted for general access. Some really great horror storytelling and layered characters here.
Originally spun off a roleplaying discussion podcast, which seems to have faded into the background as the actual play has been much more successful. A mix of one-shots and campaigns, released roughly 50/50 (or sometimes 33/33/33 if they have two campaigns on the go). They tend to lean horror most primarily, with lots of Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green one shots (and a couple campaigns), as well as Eclipse Phase and sometimes things like Chronicles of Darkness, Fear Itself, Slasher Flick, etc. But there’s been fantasy, supers, espionage, Warhammer 40k, Palladium games, noir… I particularly recommend anything GMed by mad genius Caleb Stokes - God’s Teeth (delta green), Know Evil (Eclipse Phase), one of their two playtest campaigns of Red Markets (the zombie economics RPG he wrote), No Soul Left Behind (Better Angels - and available as a campaign book for same), Nagalisitu (playtest campaign for his Reign setting), etc.
Not podcasts, but I also really dig a lot of the stuff Adam Koebel is doing on Roll20’s Twitch channel (and archived to their Youtube), and the various Rollplay campaigns on itmejp’s Twitch/youtube are also mostly pretty good. There are ways to grab just the audio to listen to if you aren’t up for watching it as a video (I usually am not) and you don’t miss all that much really by doing so. It’s not like they’re doing a lot of visual storytelling.
I would like to second and third The Adventure Zone podcast - the first season is D&D, but features some of the funniest and perhaps most engaging storytelling in any roleplaying podcast that I’ve tried to listen to. Their new season is a play of Monster of the Week which has been excellent, and honestly this is just a podcast worth starting from the complete beginning and getting to know this group of folks.
Three brothers and their dad playing D&D should be a good hook for anyone imo.
The first season of Campaign (Star Wars), is the gold standard of improv-style RPG actual play for me, and holds a special place in my heart. Recommended!
Plot Points delves into the theory of RPG’s, and is frequently interesting.
One-Shot is the best way to enjoy discovering all kinds of weird indie RPG’s you’ve never heard of.
Pretending To Be People is also a strong shout - it’s a Delta Green RPG actual play.
Oh man, God’s Teeth was absolutely amazing to listen to. When I first heard it was being printed into its own Delta Green campaign book, I immediately had to buy it to run it through with my players. I think its definitely one of the strongest introductions to be had with Delta Green.