Critical Bits host Joel Ruiz talks Spider Day, roleplay

It all started with a box of toy plastic spiders.

Today Critical Bits, an actual play podcast using the Masks system, celebrates its one-year anniversary. 12 months of the three unlikely teen heros Gene (Paul Byron), Kim (Shannon Strucci), and Ace (Shelby Lee) blundering their way across Heavendale in an attempt to thwart evil. Things go well… sometimes.

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Here There Be Gerblins: Episode One | Pod to Page

Welcome to my listen/read-through series of the first arc of The Adventure Zone! Each installment of this series I will listen to an episode of the first arc of TAZ: Balance, then the accompanying pages of the graphic novel adaptation. We’ll compare, contrast, and see what the McElroys have done to retroactively massage a fully-formed narrative into a Dungeons & Dragons starter kit.

It’s here, the beginning of the adventure. I’m thrilled to be taking on this quest with you, dear reader. Let’s get tucked in.

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The End of Time & Other Bothers | First Impressions

EOT_promocard_apr15The End of Time & Other Bothers is an improvised role-playing game set in the fantasy universe of popular medieval fantasy podcast Alba Salix, Royal Physician. Launching the same day as this article’s publication, this role-playing game podcast is far closer to a traditional audio-drama at the DNA level than your bog-standard tabletop RPG podcast, and that is a fantastic thing.

Before I dive in, a quick disclaimer: This will probably be one of the more unique takes on The End of Time & Other Bothers.  Why? I’m one of the few people left alive who love quality audio dramas, have a soft spot for sword ‘n sorcery, and dig a diverse cast who hasn’t heard a single second of Alba Salix or either of its spin-off shows.  Continue reading

Early Impressions: Magic Folk (Episodes 1-3)

Occasionally I come across certain podcasts worthy of discussion and critique, but the show in question doesn’t have enough published content produced to justify a fully-scored review. Early Impressions fills this gap. 

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Magic Folk is currently available on iTunes/Stitche

Magic Folk is a Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition tabletop actual-play podcast, much in the same vein as the D&D monolith that is The Adventure Zone*. The party consists of human druid (with an adorable owl friend), Claire the dragon-born wizard, humanoid bird barbarian Kiss, and human accordion-sporting bard Bernan. There’s also a human paladin NPC named Gomec, but we’ll get back to him.  Continue reading