Review: Gagmen RPG Podcast
Tabletop gaming talk show.
If you’re a tabletop gamer you need to be listening to this show. I can’t put a finer point on it then that. The Gagmen RPG Podcast is unique, entertaining, and can actually help make you a better DM/player.
In an effort to produce a better podcast myself I’ve lost count of how many “Tabletop RPG” centric podcasts I’ve listened to. I can tell you confidently The Gagmen RPG Podcast stands alone in it’s content. The premise of the show is to construct and present a campaign to it’s listening audience. Each episode is a different campaign idea. These presented campaigns span time and space. The latest episode (as of this review) presented listeners with an adventure through a steampunk Goblin city, asking players “Which side of the revolution will you be on ?” While the episode before presented players with a campaign centered around aliens quietly taking over your hood, body snatcher style, and how you might deal with them without conventional weapons.
Dare I say that Gagmen may be the “Deadpool” of RPG tabletop podcasts. While most podcasters are aware of their audiences the Gagmen often times poke fun at the podcastaverse as it were. It’s hard to explain, but now that I’ve said, when you hear it you’ll understand. As they go about explaining the campaign of the episode they don’t miss an opportunity to poke fun at RPG tropes and often meander off into hilarious tangents. The show is evenly balanced between explanation of the campaign and verbal hijinks. On a technical note, the hosts do a fantastic job pacing and complimenting each other. In a show that is essentially a campaign panel show, four hosts can often times muddy the narrative. The Gagmen RPG podcast does not, it stays on track even when it’s off the rails.
How can a podcast make me a better DM/player?
Well this is the meat of the show. Each episode’s presented campaign is broken down into its core elements: plot, setting, theme, characters, and conflict. Each element is fleshed out in such a way to give you a buffet of adventure from which you can pick and choose. And of course you could eat the whole thing. Their website Gagmen.net boasts a downloadable PDF to qoute “give the busy DM plenty of material to create or customize their own adventures” The Curse of Silverlake has even been impacted by one of their tangents. In one episode they challenged the trope of cookie cutter monsters. The typical graduation of adventurers from, kobolds to goblins, from goblins to orcs, from orcs to ect, ect. I immediately evaluated the monsters in Silverlake and elected to creatively diversify the fodder through which my players advance. The fruit of which has not yet appeared in our show teaching me another lesson. Unique monsters make for unique adventurers. Unique adventures make play that creates the coveted gaming experience of “the story artifact”. Moments in gaming that players and DMs will recall for years to come. I should be doing this from the beginning of my campaigns. The Gagmen gave me this from a tangent. A tangent. So I repeat, if you’re a tabletop gamer you need to be listening to this show.
Now on to my podcast Holy Grail. How does Gagmen approach the community? In short, very well. With a simple facebook message they were kind enough to mention us on their show. Like previously mentioned, I’ve listened to a lot of tabletop rpg shows. And I almost always try to engage them is some fashion. I’m a firm believer in podcasters building friendly and supportive relationships. Most shows, simply ignore you. Gagmen on the other hand was very supportive and took a moment out of their Goblinopolis episode to discuss our show.
They have a very active facebook page and a fantastic blog on their site Gagmen.net. If I could make one suggestion. I would encourage them to listen to an episode or two of “Gaming and BS” They have a community segment of their show that I think Gagmen could pull off excellently in their own Gagmen style. The audience engagement that comes from this kind podcast interaction is worth it’s weight in gold.
So in summary, Gagmen RPG Podcast is a show that will remain in my listening roster for a long time to come. It should most definitely be in yours. While other shows might discuss tabletop gaming, this is the first that really offers to enhance your gaming in a very direct way. And while you’re growing your gaming muscles, you’ll be laughing the whole time.
Anthony from The Curse of Silverlake.