No one should be surprised that I’m spotlighting another Dungeons and Dragons podcast in this week’s pod nod. While I love a good NPR or lifestyle podcast, DnD podcasts are something else. Done well and they make you feel like you’re hanging out with a group of friends, listening as they tell a story and play a game all at once. The best thing about The Dungeon Rats is that you actually get to participate and join in on the story.
The plot of The Dungeon Rats is as follows, a group has killed the entire royal family of Naporia and have been sent to an endless dungeon as their punishment. As listeners, we submit our worst monsters and scenarios to the Court of Crowns and do our best to keep them trapped in this dungeon.
Headed by the DM Patrick O’Rourke, the podcast follows a team of five as they travel through the endless dungeon encountering dangers like blink corgis, a small group of halfling scouts, lusty dragons, Dwayne “The Rock Golem” Johnson, and Embassy Suites. Coming originally from Twitch, in which Patrick would get live suggestions and ideas through commenters, the podcast has not lost its interactive touch. And despite not knowing much about the Twitch streams, I jumped right into The Dungeon Rats and got addicted.
I found The Dungeon Rats through Aram Vartian, who DMs his own Dungeons and Dragons podcast called Godsfall — more on that in the future, it’s another favorite. I’ll admit that a lot of my curiosity for this podcast was in seeing how Aram played as a character instead of a DM and I ended up bingeing this podcast though most of my week back from San Diego Comic-Con.
While some of my favorite DnD podcasts stick to a pretty rigid storyline with intricate plots like Godsfall or Sneak Attack!, the very nature of The Dungeon Rats is much more carefree and pliable, lending itself to being influenced by us, the listeners. While the monster of the week is up to the whims and fancies of the listeners, the players are an entertaining bunch that sticks to their strong personalities and characters. On top of that, the podcast is well produced, complete with music and sound effects that add to the atmosphere of the story.
Even though I love the humor and the wacky situations that the gang is put into every week, you can pretty much count on me to be hooked on a DnD podcast because of the characters. The group has a great chemistry and despite the large size, the story is easy to follow and it’s easy to listen to even if you’re not really into Dungeons and Dragons. The characters themselves are all non-humans and non-elves, which is also a breath of fresh air, the team includes a half-orc, a derro, a dust goblin, a tiefling, and a dragonborn.
Twenty-two episodes deep, The Dungeon Rats is still a fairly new DnD podcast. It has started explaining its overarching plot, but there’s still a lot of room to grow. I’ll admit that when I first started out, I felt a little lost in the world and visualizing what was going on. It’s definitely like being thrown into the deep end of the pool, but the tone of the gameplay and voice acting was enough to keep me around. While it’s hard to keep track of the characters initially, you soon get the hang of it.
There’s still a lot of story to tell and to write, so if you’ve got a monster in mind, head on over to their site and suggest one! I highly suggest this podcast, especially for you seasoned DnD players who have had some really great campaigns or monsters and are in a sharing mood!
Gold’s the opposite of bats.
I’ve never trusted frat bros, I trust frat gnolls even less.
Dwayne “The Rock Golem” Johnson is the only way in which I will reference The Rock from here on out, jabronis.
Remind me, is “In The End” a Cher song?
RIP the name Ben, it is never a good baby name.
How do I express how much I love Rhoda? Justine, if you’re reading, I love the way you play that boy crazy dragonborn, I feel deeply akin to her, which considering my own romantic trials and tribulations is probably pretty sad.
While I’m at it, I love Rhoda and Bugfly and their friendship? It’s rare to find interesting and exciting female characters, especially in DnD podcasts, but a female friendship that’s not only strong but doesn’t feel cheap? That’s damn near impossible. A+ to Justine and Surena.
Alex Collyard, please narrate my life for me as Dare-Ill?
I can not and will not believe or accept that Gilf has a +4 to Charisma.
I love Belagard’s backstory, especially when we got a look at his past life, and that switcheroo scenario is so crazy that it somehow works perfectly.
Aram, I love that your DM voice and Belagard voice are the same, now I visualize Godsfall with a DM that looks like Belagard.
I always spend some time looking at podcast websites when I write these, and can I just say, good job to Patrick O’Rourke and Carlos Luna (and anyone else helping out with the site). I love the character sheets and I especially love the monster manual, I need more entries asap.
Every time the show transitions to the Court of Crowns that intro sound clip kind of terrifies me?
I’m still not 100% sure who Rot is, only that is he is the master of the metagame.