Gaming Podcasts and Streams

“We don’t learn sports like baseball or soccer by reading the rules – we watch and quickly learn how to play.” — Mike Mearls

Sometimes the easiest way to learn is by watching. In the last few years an explosion of quality actual play podcasts and streams have surfaced. Not only do they reveal the basics of roleplaying games, they also show how the setup and outcome of each game session is driven by the gamester and players. Here are a few to get you started.

Critical Role – A cast of D&D-playing voice actors, led by Dungeon Master extraordinaire Matthew Mercer, have become a phenomenon as they take on evil and bring their characters to life in words and deeds.

Friends at the Table – Austin Walker and friends have played through multiple campaigns using several different systems, from Dungeon World to Stars Without Number.

Role Playing Public Radio – RPPR covers a lot of ground with their actual play podcasts, from D&D to Call of Cthulhu, Fate to Night’s Black Agents. Profanity included.

Saving Throw – The crew at Saving Throw have produced a slew of videos, including their extremely popular How to Play Pathfinder series.

TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana – Actor and author Wil Wheaton created the fantasy world of Valkana, which comes to life in this actual play video series, which uses the Dragon Age game system.