Not Another D&D Podcast or NADDPOD is a gameplay podcast for the popular tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons, produced by Headgum. The show is enjoyable because it stands out from the ocean of D&D podcasts circulating around the internet. This can be credited to the show’s band of loveable characters who take us on a surprisingly emotional journey from the first episode. Fans of the internet comedy website CollegeHumor will recognise the show’s primary cast and recurring stream of guests.
Actor and writer Brian Murphy hosts the show, creating an in-depth fantasy world for his players, while perfectly balancing an exciting plot with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humour. Joining Murphy are three fellow CollegeHumor castmates. First-time player Jake Hurwitz dives right into the magical world of D&D with an “anything-goes” spirit and helps engage new listeners who are new to Dungeons and Dragons. Emily Axford’s chaotic energy is contagious as she keeps things interesting with her hectic gameplay choices. Caldwell Tanner brings a sense of childlike (particularly in the first campaign when his character’s story develops into the emotional centre of the show). Their hilarious brand of storytelling lends itself well to the quirky, often times life-threatening, situations the characters find themselves in.
The outlandish humour of the show comes straight from the cast’s experience with improv comedy, with many of their guests coming from a similar background, including Brennan Lee Mulligan, Nathan Yaffe and Siobhan Thompson. Their chemistry and long-standing friendships are evident throughout the show as ideas bounce off each other with hilarious results.
Complete with interesting world-building guest-players and atmospheric sound effects, NADDPOD feels less like listening to a bunch of friends playing a game and more like you are being transported into a magical realm of monsters and mayhem. The show is fun to listen to and is accessible to people without any Dungeons and Dragons experience. The cast of the show don’t get too bogged down on the game mechanics and Murphy is quick to explain any confusing choices or actions for the benefit of the audience. It is all about embracing the unique, fantastical appeal of Dungeons and Dragons and they are not afraid to bend the rules for a bit of dramatic flair.
So far, the show has two campaigns (or “seasons”) and is currently just over 30 episodes deep into the second. But NADDPOD provides plenty more shorter series to enjoy as well including a number of one shot games and bonus campaigns, such as the ongoing Trinyvale series and The Mavrus Chronicles. There is also an ongoing series called D&D Court in which the cast review “cases” submitted by fans, based on their own at-home games.
As if all that wasn’t enough, they also host a page on Patreon which features their “show-after-the-show” The Short Rest, in which the cast chat in length about the game after each episode, giving fans a greater knowledge of the world Brian Murphy has laid out for his players, and the cast get a chance to explain their reasoning behind the moves they make, or what they would have liked to do in a situation if given the chance.
Now onto their second campaign, the show continues to go from strength to strength, making it easy for first-time listeners to join in and catch-up on the action. The show’s continued draw comes with the cast’s ability to keep things interesting by regularly introducing new stories and characters. Episodes keep to an easy digestible length, rarely exceeding the two hour mark, breaking away from the typical long-form episodic content of the genre. Thanks to this, it is never too difficult to keep up with the show’s weekly upload schedule and this show is perfect for fans of shows like Dimension 20 (and featuring many of the same faces) and Critical Role.
In a world that is over-saturated with Dungeons and Dragons gameplay podcasts, Not Another D&D Podcast provides a refreshing take on the format, placing it among the best of its kind.
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