It truly is the era of the D&D podcast. With news of an upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie, as well as a growing number of appearances of the game in popular media like Stranger Things and Community, it’s safe to say that the tabletop role-playing game is having a moment.
This has meant a surge in D&D podcasts and web series, where you can watch people the game for real, and enjoy the storylines, battles, and character moments as if you were a part of the game itself.
Watching or listening to a D&D live play show can also be a great way to get an idea of what the game is really like, how the rules work, and whether you would want to play yourself. I first fell in love with D&D watching the early episodes of Critical Role (one of the best known D&D podcasts), and am now a seasoned player and Dungeon Master, thanks to how much fun they made it look.
Ready? Let’s take a look at the best D&D podcasts and shows that can help you ignite your love for one of the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
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1. Critical Role
We couldn’t possibly make a list like this and not include the powerhouse that is Critical Role. Easily the most popular D&D show out there, this bunch of “nerdy-ass voice actors” get together every Thursday night (7 pm PST) to stream their ongoing game of D&D.
Currently in Campaign 2 and with hundreds of episodes under its belt, there’s plenty to catch up on if you’re just starting as each episode is around 3-4 hours long. But don’t let that intimidate you, as the intricate and lovable characters mean you’ll be able to consume more of it than you think in one sitting.
If you enjoy Critical Role, you can even run your own D&D campaign in the same setting with the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount sourcebook too.
Where to find: You can watch the show live every Thursday on Critical Role’s Twitch and YouTube channels at 7pm PST / 10pm EST (or 3am GMT the next day) with the VOD available immediately for Twitch subscribers, and for everyone else the following Monday. You can also listen to the podcast version, uploaded every Thursday, one week after the broadcast.
Confused by time zones? There’s even a site to countdown to the next episode for you: WhenIsCriticalRole.com
2. Dungeons And Daddies
A very different style to Critical Role, but another favorite is Dungeons and Daddies. This podcast follows four ordinary fathers as they get yanked into another dimension and must rescue their own kids from the dangers of this new world. Filled to bursting with humor and hijinks, this is a group of people learning to play D&D by doing just that – playing it. So, if you’re looking for intricate gameplay and tactics, this isn’t for you. But, if you want to laugh out loud as these real-world dads try and survive D&D – we highly recommend giving it a listen.
Where to find: You can listen to the Dungeons and Daddies podcast on Spotify with new episodes uploaded every other Tuesday.
3. Acquisitions Incorporated
Acquisitions Incorporated is another D&D show that has now been immortalized with its own official D&D book. With the original series DM’d by Chris Perkins, one of the game designers for D&D, and the latest series (The C Team) run by another famous D&D face, Jerry Holkins, you know you’re in for a treat with this show. A great balance of comedy and accurate play, this is a great choice for those new to the world of Dungeons & Dragons.
Where to find: The new Acquisitions Incorporated episodes air every Wednesday at 4 pm PST on their Twitch channel. You can catch up with old episodes on their Twitch and on the Penny Arcade YouTube channel.
4. Force Grey
For those looking for a show that doesn’t have such an overwhelming amount of content, Force Grey is a good option. Featuring Matt Mercer as DM (who also DMs Critical Role) and a cast filled with familiar faces like Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil, True Blood), Brian Posehn (The Big Band Theory), Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project, Pitch Perfect), Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike), and Dylan Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) it’s easy for newcomers to get into. They do have a few house rules as well to make it as easy to play and follow along as possible!
Where to find: Force Grey has ended (at least for now!) but you can watch new episodes of the most recent ‘official’ Dungeons & Dragons stream, Nights of Eveningstar, and catch up with all of Force Grey on their YouTube channel.
5. Not Another D&D Podcast
No, it’s not a typo, Not Another D&D Podcast really is what it’s called. Starring a cast packed with comedians and writers, it’s no surprise this show often tops out lists like this. The show has a heavy emphasis on comedy, and the DM manages to keep the players focused while allowing their silly humor to shine through – the perfect combination.
Where to find: New episodes of the Not Another D&D Podcast air every Friday on Spotify, where you can also listen to all the previous episodes.
6. Girls, Guts, Glory
Dungeons & Dragons has often been portrayed as very much a ‘boys’ hobby, but that simply isn’t true (and don’t let anyone tell you differently). Girls, Guts, Glory is a D&D show helmed by a talented and interesting group of women who swap up the DM each season to keep things interesting.
7. High Rollers
Often dubbed the ‘UK version of Critical Role’, High Rollers is another incredibly popular stream. There are two D&D shows on High Rollers right now to dig your teeth into – High Rollers: Aerois, their main campaign, and the new High Rollers: Curse of Strahd where they play through one of the official published adventures from Wizards of the Coast. Aerois is even split into chapters to make it easy to jump in without having to catch up on every episode so far (although, come on, what else are you going to do?).
Where to find: New episodes of the main campaign Aerois air on Twitch on Sundays and their recently started Curse of Strahd playthrough airs there on Thursday nights too. Episodes are then uploaded onto YouTube the following week.
You can also listen along to the campaigns on their Spotify page.
8. Dimension 20
Dimension 20 is host to a whole range of amazing D&D shows, with some incredible players and entertaining storylines. A particular highlight is Escape From The Bloodkeep, where we get to watch a party of villains play for once, instead of heroes. They are definitely a lot laxer on the rules on Dimension 20, so this is the choice for those looking for a more entertaining experience over a mechanically-correct one.
These are just some of the amazing actual play Dungeons & Dragons shows out there right now, and we wish we could include more of them (but we’d be here all day). With D&D becoming so popular, there are more and more shows appearing every week – which means even more amazing content to choose from!
You also don’t have to be limited to just D&D shows either. There is a huge range of other tabletop RPGs receiving the streaming treatment now as well. So, you could go full goth with some Vampire: The Masquerade, get weird with some Call of Cthulu or even embrace color and cutie marks with some My Little Pony RPG (yes, it’s real, it’s called Tales of Equestria, and it’s adorable). Whatever your preference, you’re sure to find an amazing livestream or podcast for you, and we hope this selection helps you find it.