Feb 10, 2021
Hello and welcome to Succotash Shut-In, the Soundcast Stimulus Package, Episode 239. I’m your every-other-weekly host, Marc Hershon, and the chief purpose of this show – right after our prime directive: Entertaining YOU – is to support and promote comedy soundcasts AKA podcasts up, down, and across the internet. We started almost 10 years ago, in April of 2011, with the idea of spreading the word about soundcasts in general – which were having a little trouble gaining traction – and comedy soundcasts specifically because, well, we love comedy. And comedians. And the idea of being part of this exciting medium.
Tyson Saner, who had stepped in for me as the regular host a few years ago, and I decided to start pumping out our show on a weekly basis for the first time since Succotash started. And we’ve been at that for nearly a solid year now. In fact, if you missed last week’s Epi238, entitled Clippin’s and Andy Dick, Tyson featured clips from a trio of soundcasts including the Jock Doc Podcast, Battle of the Bald, and Trashy Trashy. In addition, he had a quick chat with comedian/actor and professional gadabout Andy Dick. You can still hear the show via Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, the Laughable app, iHeart Radio or even at our homesite, SuccotashShow.com!
This week it’s my turn back in the barrel and I thought it would be fun to go a bit “niche-y”. For many years — many MANY years, actually — I have been an inveterate player of Dungeons & Dragons, a popular version of what’s known more broadly as a tabletop role-playing game. Since the early 1970s, players have gotten together around a table, created various versions of fantasy fiction characters – like knights, wizards, and thieves – and played them in a variety of adventures all over seen by a kind of referee or Dungeon Master, if you will. The DM, as they’re known, basically runs the world in which the characters live and establishes the adventures these folks pursue in hopes of gaining treasure, defeating monsters, rescuing maidens, etcetera.
During the past year, a lot of gaming groups – including mine - have had to adapt to the pandemic restrictions just like everyone else. And through online resources like Zoom, Skype, D & D Beyond, and Roll20.net, they have kept right on adventuring. There are a number of soundcasts dedicated to role playing – not just Dungeons and Dragon – and they have been able to muddle through. Some using programs and websites like I just mentioned and some have actually created socially distanced and safe studio space in order to keep playing in person.
I wanted to give you a taste of what this somewhat different soundcast experience is like, so I went questing for a quartet of clips from The Adventure Zone, AllD20, Critical Role, and Nerd Poker. This episode is brought to you by longtime sponsor Henderson’s Pants and their new Scavenger Slax!
Are you ready? Adventure…awaits!
One of my favorite shows in the RPG genre is Nerd Poker, featuring a bunch of comedians and writers. The ringmaster is Brian Posehn, and the regular crew of campaigners include Blaine Capatch, Sarah Guzzardo, Ken Daly, Chris Tallman, and Dungeon Master Dan Telfer. We last featured these guys back in 2017 on Epi153 and, if I had my druthers, I would play with this group of lunatics. With so many jokers around the table (or the Zoom gallery), the adventures tend to move along fairly slowly because these guys are always breaking each other up. In this clip it take almost five minutes for Brian to get around to having his character – a monk named Donny – get around to swinging his sword on the enemy.
The AllD20 soundcast is one I just started listening to and, while they’re a little bit more into their characters than the Nerd Poker folks, they still can’t help collapsing into cascades of laughter once in a while. It’s the nature of the game, as you know if you’re had a chance to play. They’re a D&D group in Las Vegas but they play in a homebrew world called Avlonia. I can’t find a listing for the cast but they introduce themselves and the characters they play at the top of every episode and they are having a ball. In this clip, the characters have been on trial and judgement is just now being passed on them…
I am just scratching the surface of the role playing genre of soundcasts with this episode. Hard to do it all justice with just four clips and there are tons more games than just D&D. But there’s no way I can talk about this type of show without spinning a few minutes of Critical Role, a show that has a HUGE following and rightfully so. The entire crew, from the DM through all the players are, as they say at the top of each episode, “a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors”, and they get to strut their stuff every week for between 3 and 4…sometimes even 5 hours of game play. Matthew Mercer is highly regarded for his skills as a Dungeon Master, because of his storytelling and worldbuilding skills as well as his characterizations. You see, one of the job of the DM is to portray all of the various characters that the player’s characters meet during the course of their adventures. And the cast is wonderful: Marisha Ray, Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham, Ashley Johnson, and Taliesin Jaffe round out the current campaign. I picked a clip from a recent episode where the adventurers who go by the name The Mighty Nein, are in the midst of fighting an ancient white dragon…
The last show I’m clipping in this genre for this episode has ventured away from strictly playing Dungeons and Dragons but it’s manned by soundcast favorites the McElroys. Their list of shows is crazy, including My Brother, My Brother, and Me, Sawbones, Bunker buddies, Schmanners, The Besties, Can I Pet Your Dog? and a TON more. The shows are hosted by one or more of the McElroy brothers, their wives and even their dad, Clint, who is a key part of The Adventure Zone, along with brothers Travis, Justin, and Griffin, who serves as the DM for the games. I haven’t been following regularly so I’m not sure how they’ve ended up where they are today but it seems to be some kind of school and in this clip, the crew is bent on wreaking havoc in the name of justice…or something.
Thanks you for letting me let my nerd flag fly high today. I’m going to give a shout out to the Demonbane, which is the name of the fellowship the players I DM every week call themselves. Remember that you can find links to shows and most of the people in them that we’ve mentioned here on Succotash Shut-In at the blog for this episode on our homesite, http://SuccotashShow.com.
Tyson will be here next week with an array of soundcast clips for you in Episode 240. And I’ll see you the week after that.
In the meantime, remember to socially distance, wear a mask, wash your hands and, if anyone asks if you’ve heard any good soundcasts lately, please remember to pass the Succotash!
— Marc Hershon