Do you know what The Adventure Zone is?
If you answered “no” but you like great audio storytelling, may I suggest jumping in at the setup episode for this current arc? It’s a long-running actual play roleplaying podcast by a family of funny, thoughtful and inclusive writers/actors. If you start at the link above, no prior knowledge of the show is required.
After the conclusion of their years-long main arc, “Balance”, the McElroy boys (Justin, Travis and Griffin of MBMBaM fame) and their dad (Clint) are taking turns running short 5- or 6-episode campaigns as a way to narrow down their next long-form story. This is the second-to-last mini-arc, and as much as I’m looking forward to a longer adventure, each of these has been superb (Clint even made me like “tights and fights” superheroes with “Commitment“).
If you are familiar with The Adventure Zone, then you probably already know that Travis’s new arc “Dust” just started, and it’s high in lycanthrope content. The western / supernatural crime procedural continues TAZ’s trend of storytelling excellence. Griffin plays Errol Ryehouse, a permanently-half-transformed werewolf. He’s an excitable politician who leans into his semi-lycanthrope status with enthusiasm as he strives to protect his neighbourhood from crime, vampires, and bad zoning laws. There’s also Gandy Dancer (an orphaned magic user played by Clint) and Augustus Parsons (an asshole and cashew magnate ghost played by Justin). The story so far involves a murder investigation that starts at midnight and which must be concluded by 8 a.m. the next morning, lest the werewolves and vampires of the territory take matters into their own hands.
The first episode of gameplay came out March 1st and it’s really, really good. Future episodes will arrive every Thursday around 11am Pacific. You can subscribe in Apple Podcasts, or in the podcast app of your choice using the direct feed.
Trying to enumerate why The Adventure Zone deserves your attention – especially if you’re not usually into roleplaying podcasts, roleplaying, or podcasts – is too big a job for me to tackle in a single blog post. The show packs a ton of story into each episode, making it hard to provide an overview that remains both comprehensive and interesting to people who aren’t already listening. All I can do is recommend it as ardently and sincerely as any other thing I’ve posted about on this web site in the past 10 years: please listen to The Adventure Zone.
To close out this post, here’s a tiny sample of Twitter fan art depicting Errol, Gandy and Augustus. #TheZoneCast fans are prolific (there were over 40 pieces of art of these characters posted in the eight days since the arc started) and I love popping into that hashtag every now and then to see how characters are being portrayed.