So when I wrote about Heroes and Halfwits many months ago, it was the first time I’d ever really experienced Dungeons and Dragons. I didn’t know much, except that there was a lot of dice rolling and stat building, but I felt like I learned a lot from listening to it. Their Dungeon Master Frank was pretty experienced, and the players were not, so I learned how the game works along with them.
I discovered The Adventure Zone a few weeks ago– and listened to maybe one episode because it was hard to get into it when they didn’t know how to make captivating story telling and get comfortable in their roles- but I returned to it.
I’ve just finished Episode 27, and throughout all the 26 episodes before it, the game has been a barrel of laughs. Merle, Taako, and Magnus are all very lovable idiots, who really don’t know what they’re doing, but they make it a blast to listen to their idiocy. If it isn’t Taako screaming “Abraca-fuck you!” as he casts magic missile, it’s Merle dirty talking some vines to clear the path, or Magnus thinking punching anything is a solution to a problem.
But Episode 27 surprised me with… great emotional depth. The DM of The Adventure Zone, Griffin, has crafted a very deep and sprawling plot, with a cast of both lovable and hilarious characters, as well as many near-death experiences for our cast of heroes, but he surprised me with a love story that broke my heart.
You don’t expect to find such depth of emotion in a board game, y’know? And yet it really reveals the strange and unique experience that is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign– full of laughter, loss, and sometimes love.
If you have a couple hours to kill, listen to The Adventure Zone podcast. I swear by the end of the first campaign “Here Be Gerblins,” you’ll be hooked.