Before making a tabletop game of my own, I listened to hundreds of hours of “real-play” RPGs. Back when commuting to work and taking lunch breaks were part of my life, I’d listen to groups of friends go on adventures in far away worlds.
Even if you’ve never played a game like Dungeons & Dragons before, it can be a lot of fun to listen to people play. The best tabletop shows are less about the rules and more about the journey. Here are some I recommend.
This is the gold standard of real-play RPG podcasts. Hosted by three brothers and their dad, the first arc of the series (which has 69 episodes… nice) is probably one of the best podcasts ever made.
If you’re thinking about building your own world, Friends at the Table is a great listen. The show’s hosts are fiercely imaginative, and the editing is solid.
Most RPG shows out there aren’t hosted by famous people, and Sneak Attack! is one of them. But the whole point of real-play podcasts is to feel like you’re a friend in the party, and the shows with real-life friends are usually the best at that.
Even as someone who loves D&D, the first arc of this series is excruciating to listen to. The early episodes take hours to resolve single battles, and the inebriated hosts often get bogged down after progressively forgetting more and more rules. But if you can make it through a rough start, you’ll be rewarded with some characters that feel like family.