The Formal Gamer: A Dungeons and Dragons Podcast
The Formal Gamer is a live play podcast that in it’s current season features the adventures of Honey Nightshade, Porcho, and Tidus in the land of Helan-Skaa. I’ve had the pleasure of following their adventures from the first episode of season 4.
In the vast sea of live play podcasts The Formal Gamer sets itself apart in many ways. The quality of production is far superior to most other live plays which allows the listener to enjoy the show without having the fourth wall come crashing down around them. The intro is bold and crisp setting you up for a perfect transition into the world in which you are about to spend an hour of your precious time. The players commit to staying in character and the DM does a fantastic job of keeping things moving along. There are moments of player interactions outside of character but it doesn’t hinder the charm of this podcast. The Characters often times find themselves in ridiculous and entertaining situations that merit players breaking character and cracking jokes. This is rare in a live play, often times, live plays break down completely when players slip far out of character, the mood and momentum is lost requiring the DM to refocus everyone while listeners sit and wait. This is not the case in The Formal Gamer. The humor never stops.
Honey, Porcho, and Tidus are some the richest and most memorable characters I’ve come across in a live play. You’ll remember them from the first episode you listen to and they’ll probably stick around in your stable of fictional characters that you’ve enjoyed spending time with. Honey for example, is a foul mouthed fairy whose youth has faded and been replaced by sarcastic venom. Porcho is an acrobat whose modus operandi is to be “Casually Mysterious”, he is Porcho. And Tidus, a Drow that has forsaken his kind in hopes of redemption. I challenge you to find more memorable characters in other live play podcasts.
Another area in which the Formal Gamer really shines is in community. They are active on their facebook page, friendly, and responsive. This is rare. They are also quite supportive of other podcasts and makers in general. I say this having been the beneficiary of a mention in their intro not once, but twice. The second time I didn’t even ask. And in the intro no less. That’s prime show real estate. It demonstrates a friendliness to the community to a degree that is extremely rare and in my opinion is an example of how we should support each other.