Imagine how much fun it would be if colleges offered courses in Dungeons & Dragons, or Pathfinder, or MERP, or whatever your favorite tabletop RPG is. Heck, call it RPG101 and have it cover a variety of tabletop games, with maybe even some of the best RPG video games included ‘cause they deserve to be. That’s a course I could definitely get into.
If you have a profound passion to learn and know all the tabletop RPG things, allow me to share with you some of the best audio podcasts I’ve found that I think would be a perfect fit for an official RPG101 course. Mind you, these are Dan Carlin-level podcasts. The episodes aren’t as long, but they cover RPGs with the same intensity and depth of info as Carlin does military history and politics, and with a good deal more humor and adult language.
Dragon Talk is the official Dungeons & Dragons podcast produced by Wizards of the Coast. Hosted by Shelly Mazzanoble & Greg Tito, Dragon Talk is the one podcast to listen to if you’re an avid D&D DM / player.
Since 2012, when the podcast launched, the show has covered probably every D&D topic available through 4th edition and now into 5th. Its current show segments include Sage Advice, with WOTC’s Jeremy Crawford discussing D&D’s rules in detail, and Lore You Should Know, with WOTC’s Chris Perkins and Matt Sernett discussing official Forgotten Realms lore and canon.
Critical Episode: Liam O’Brien and Laura Bailey on Critical Role
“The RPG Academy Podcast is the flagship program of The RPG Academy Network.” The RPG Academy Network, and the RPG Academy Podcast, cover a variety of RPG info through audio and video podcasts and blogs.
Like Dragon Talk, The RPG Academy Podcast has been providing quality content since 2012, so there’s a lot of RPG goodness to dive into here. Of particular note is DMing 101, where the hosts discuss encounter, adventure, and campaign creation in great detail. For example, in the first DMing 101 episode, Synergy Session w/Devon, a pack of Magic the Gathering cards are used to inspire and create a D&D campaign.
Critical Episode: Welcome to Detention, Episode 5!
Dungeon Master’s Block is a podcast with a sole focus on Dungeon Mastering. The podcast episodes target info regarding rules questions and answers, discussions on D&D editions, homebrew, world building, campaign ideas, and more. There are the standard DMB episodes, and also the more specialized DM-Nastics episodes, a podcast dubbed “The gym for Dungeon Masters to work out their minds.”
Critical Episode: DM-Nastics 25: Cover It All
Role Playing Public Radio was launched way back in 2007 by Ross Payton and Tom Church, after the two returned from attending Gen Con. RPPR covers all the tabletop gaming stuff you can think of, as well as non-tabletop RPGs. Episodes include an interview with Red Hook Studio co-founder Chris Bourassa (Darkest Dungeon), and a panel discussion on the realities of breaking into and working for the tabletop gaming industry.
Critical Episode: Dungeon Crawl from Here to Eternity – a tribute to Gary Gygax
The Save or Die! Podcast (SoDcast) launched in 2010, with a focus on classic D&D games “from the first box set of 1974 to the last of the 1990s box sets.” SoDcast has also covered info on other RPGs, such as Swords & Wizardry, The Hero’s Journey, and Labyrinth Lord, to name a few. SoDcast is the podcast you’ll want to listen to if you’re interested in learning everything you can about the history of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG.
Critical Episode: Save or Die Podcast: Interview With Tracy Hickman
Watching Twitch streams and Youtube videos is a great way to stay in touch with the world of RPGs. However, audio podcasts have their benefits, as well, including not having the expectation of being visually entertained. Audio podcasts allow you to soak in their content while also rolling up a new character, drawing maps for the next adventure, or planning out the next campaign story. And the podcasts on this list are specifically suited to inspire and encourage your RPG hobby and career to the fullest.
Do you listen to these podcasts? What high quality RPG podcasts are on your must listen to list? Share them with us in the Comments below!
Header image credit: Wizards of the Coast
Blog image credits: Wizards of the Coast, The RPG Academy, Dungeon Master’s Block, Role Playing Public Radio, Save or Die!