Best ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Podcasts
One of the best ways to learn the rules of Dungeons & Dragons is to dive into an actual-play campaign—either through livestreams on Twitch or YouTube, or through a recorded podcast. But even if you aren’t interested in learning how the tabletop roleplaying game works, getting into these stories told by Dungeon Masters and adventuring parties full of talented players is a really fun time.
Actual-play campaigns have become increasingly popular over the last decade, and for good reason. But where do you start? And what if you just want to hear about Dungeons & Dragons news from Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast? Don’t worry: We’ve got you covered with this list of the best Dungeons & Dragons podcasts.
The Adventure Zone
The Adventure Zone is an actual-play podcast starring Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy, and their dad, Clint McElroy. The show started in 2014 with the “Balance” campaign, which Griffin DM’ed as his first real foray into that role. “Balance” follows a small group of adventurers on an epic quest involving powerful magical relics, memory erasure, liches, and long-lost family. This arc is currently being adapted into a series of graphic novels illustrated by Carey Pietsch and published by First Second.
The Adventure Zone has since produced a number of additional campaigns, some of which use systems other than Dungeons & Dragons. The current campaign, “Steeple Chase,” is run on Blades in the Dark and Game Mastered by Justin McElroy. New episodes are released every Thursday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Critical Role is arguably the most popular Dungeons & Dragons actual-play show to date. The show started as a home game for a group of voice actors and friends and it has since become an enterprise unto itself. Main campaigns are DM’ed by Matthew Mercer, whose content for the show has also been adapted for Wizards of the Coast, including the world of Exandria and the Blood Hunter class.
Critical Role is currently in its third main campaign, “Bells Hells,” and new episodes air Thursdays at 7PM ET on Twitch. Episodes are then uploaded to YouTube, and the podcast is released on Apple Podcasts and Spotify on Thursdays. In addition to the ongoing campaign, the cast also releases a ton of bonus content, which is also accessible on these channels.
d20 Dames follows four friends as they explore a fantastical realm while solving mysteries and befriending monsters, led by Dungeon Master Kat Kruger. The show’s first arc, “The Good Fortune Campaign,” runs across four seasons. Its current arc, “Wanderleaf,” launched in June 2022 and new episodes are released every other Tuesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Dimension 20 is College Humor/Dropout’s official Dungeons & Dragons actual-play, with a series of campaigns spread across 16 seasons. The majority of episodes are locked behind a paywall, but each season premiere and a handful of full seasons are available for free on YouTube. You can also check out past campaigns on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
The newest campaign, “Neverafter,” puts a unique twist on fairytales under the guidance of DM Brennan Lee Mulligan. New episodes are released every Wednesday.
Dragon Talk is the official Dungeons & Dragons podcast released by Wizards of the Coast. In addition to product news, the podcast also features previews and interviews, with regular guests brought on to talk about all things D&D. Episodes are released every Wednesday on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
Dungeons and Daddies
Dungeons and Daddies launched in 2019 and its first season hurls four dads into a fantasy world to rescue their lost sons. In the second season, a group of kids have to fix the world their grandparents destroyed. (Sound familiar?) Episodes are released every other Tuesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Not Another D&D Podcast
Not Another D&D Podcast is an actual-play show starring a group of comedy writers and creators. It launched in 2018 and the group has since produced a number of series. Not Another D&D Podcast is currently in its third campaign, “Ba-Two-Mia,” which leans into absurdity in a big way—it’s also more sci-fi than fantasy, which may be of more interest to some listeners. New episodes are released on Apple Podcasts and Spotify every Thursday.
Rivals of Waterdeep
Rivals of Waterdeep is a long-running actual-play series, with cast members who rotate DMing responsibilities from season to season. The show started as an official Wizards of the Coast series, but has since gone fully independent ahead of its upcoming 15th season. Rivals has adapted a number of classic Dungeons & Dragons adventures and modules. During seasons, new episodes air Sundays on Twitch, and episodes of the podcast are released every Thursday on Apple Podcasts.
Transplanar RPG is an all-transgender, POC-led dark fantasy actual-play show with more than 100 episodes available to stream on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube depending on if you want to just hear the podcast or watch the videos. New episodes air live on Twitch on Saturdays at 8PM ET, and new episodes of the podcast drop on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5AM ET.
Currently, the main campaign in Transplanar RPG is entitled “The Second Stranger.” It features eight characters in two parties attempting to restore balance to the world after the apocalypse, led by GM Connie Chang. According to the official synopsis, “The stars vanish. The Eight gods are severed from the world like loose threads. Strange monsters crawl out of the lightless void. Fate weaves our broken heroes toward a destiny they never asked for. Shattered gods grow hungry. The Stranger approaches.”
Venture Maidens is “a femme-forged” Dungeons & Dragons 5e podcast set in the Planes, where fate itself is at war with the people of the world—including the adventuring party. New episodes air every Wednesday on Twitch, and podcast episodes are released every other Sunday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also catch up with the campaign on YouTube.
(featured image: Wizards of the Coast)
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