Actual play or live play RPG podcasts are everywhere these days. Originally I had no interest in subscribing to any of these podcasts. Why would I want to listen to other people play RPGs? The idea didn’t appeal to me at all. But, one day I bit the proverbial bullet and actually sat down and listened to one of them. I could not believe how much I enjoyed it! Now I am officially hooked on these podcasts and I’m here to tell you why you should be too.
3 Reasons To Listen To Actual Play RPG Podcasts
One Weird Trick That All GMs Should Know
One of the drawbacks of RPGs is that their is no good way for players to learn how to GM other than playing under other GMs and learning from them. Players that don’t have access to multiple gaming groups are limited to learning from one GM. They may only play with another GM at cons or other events. Actual play podcasts allow you to sit in with other gaming groups without having to leave your home. You can witness the tools and techniques that other GMs use in their games. You can then adapt the ones that you like to your campaign and also avoid making mistakes that you hear the GMs on the podcasts make.
I Want To Learn
There are a lot of different RPG systems out there on the market. GMs and players may want to branch out from the existing system they use and try something. However, there are some hurdles to overcome when launching into an unfamiliar system; the biggest one being actually learning the system. In a perfect world a group could employ a GM experienced in that system to run a few games for them to learn. Unfortunately, we don’t all live in a world where this is possible. Actual play RPG podcasts allow you to learn a new system by hearing it actually being played. Hearing it played can allow players and GMs to make informed decisions about whether their group would actually enjoy that new system or may just be good for filling in some holes in their understanding of the rules.
Probably the best part of listening to actual play RPG podcasts is how much fun they are. You may expect going into these podcasts that they will be highly produced and cut out a lot of the interaction between the players around the table. In the majority of cases, this could not be further from the truth. Listening to actual play podcasts is just like sitting at the table with a gaming group. There are jokes and laughter, silly voices and character names, and the back and forth banter that you would expect from your Friday night gaming sessions. You will find that the only negative is that you can only listen to the fun and not truly join in.
Here are some actual play podcasts that I enjoy, but feel free to recommend more in the comments.