I’ve recently become obsessed with a podcast. It tells the story of an elf, a dwarf and a human on a quest to find magical items called Grand Relics. During their journey they meet interesting characters, face numerous dangers and discover fascinating facts about their companions and themselves. So hooked have I become on the podcast that I’ve already binged the more than 60 episodes currently available, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in the story. What is this intriguing podcast? It’s The Adventure Zone!
The bi-weekly series is part of Maximum Fun’s podcast network and features three brothers, Griffin, Justin and Travis McElroy, and their father Clint. Griffin is the game master for the three players, and together they play what is essentially a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, though for the current story arc they’ve moved to a slightly different format that still involves dice. Each episode is only about an hour, which makes it easy to listen to whenever you have time, and each does an impressive job of telling part of these adventurers’ story in that time frame. I love how I never know what to expect in an episode. It's really grown from the first few episodes to include humor, drama and everything in between in a compelling story. I’ve never had a podcast surprise me so much with a cliffhanger or reveal, or make me feel so invested in the characters, as this one.
It is the adventurers and their tale that I love most about The Adventure Zone. I think it shows the potential to tell amazing stories with Dungeons & Dragons in different ways. Something I really enjoy about the podcast is that it doesn’t focus strictly on following every rule and limit of the tabletop game, instead using it more as a base for telling this amazing story. Part of that is taking into consideration the listening format of the podcast, but I think it's really led to the growth of a stunning world created by Griffin and a great evolution of some unforgettable, diverse characters, both made by the players and made by the GM as NPCs. The Adventure Zone has inspired me to have a little bit more fun and think out of the box when it comes to my character in my own D&D campaign.
For anyone looking for a D&D podcast to listen to, or just a podcast that will make you laugh, make you think and tell a great story, I hope you make the leap and enter The Adventure Zone!