Of all the DnD podcasts out there I don’t think there is one more entertaining or enlightening one that The Adventure Zone.
There’s a lot a player or DM could learn from the show. First and foremost the Brothers McElroy (and their Dad) are setting out to make an entertaining podcast, not podcast their game. This has the benefit of placing story and character first, but might frustrate a listener when the players choose comedic bits over hit points.
The DM starts with the Mines of Phandelver book, but truncates it to skip to the end and launch his own home brew campaign which is in two words: bonkers fun. The transition is seamless unless you know the original book.
A few things any player or DM can take away from listening:
- Improv: The four players all have legit improvisation chops and use them to their advantage, both in creating memorable NPCs via a little voice acting, and in devising tactical or role playing solutions to the encounters they face. The golden rule of improv is Say Yes to any suggestion and it’s used to great effect in this game.
- The Tactical Fighter: If your fighter only stands in the middle of the room and whacks things with the biggest weapon then you are doing it wrong. The Fighter Magnus uses the terrain to his advantage, attacks in clever ways (like ripping a gear golumn’s arms off) and supports the other players. If you think playing a standard fighter is boring, there
- A Player’s Journey: What started as a joke about the wizard Taako inventing Tacos has now become a compelling, if silly, character story arc in it’s own right. This is an example of a DM saying yes to what might seem like a goofy suggestion, and allowing the group as a whole develop the idea into a story line that’s fun and unique. When will he discover tortillas? how? It’s very fun.
Anyway who cares what I think you should just go listen.