Roleplaying has always been present in my life in some form, starting with simply running around in the woods slashing at enemies (trees) with my sword (stick). Supported by my allies, the Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and the Sesame Street crew, I was unstoppable. Of course as I grew older my roleplaying became much more structured, and involved more people. My friends and I would create a setting, define characters, and simply pass a notebook around as we each took turns writing our characters’ parts in the story. This evolved into live group chats on MSN messenger (some of you suddenly feel old). Eventually this ever present interest led me to my first venture into Dungeons and Dragons, which never fully got off the ground aside from a few initial sessions.
Years later I got involved with my current D&D group, fulfilling a long dormant desire to again play pretend with friends, creating fond memories of tricking baddies by pretending to be “book salesman,” an ever so important brick, a jet propelled Minotaur, an attack plan on a boss that involved a dwarf, a thunderwave, two spears, some rope, and a pit, and an uncanny knack of simply bashing our way through every puzzle rather than solving it. My ventures into cooperative storytelling are always a highlight of my week.
Recently I started looking into other RPG systems and settings. Mostly to share with friends, who would not be as interested in a fantasy setting, my passion for role playing games. I found out that there are…
A LOT OF ROLEPLAYING GAMES!
It was quite overwhelming! How was I ever gonna find a system to share without a lot of money, and even more time!? Even though on my own I was able to settle on the ever accessible Star Wars universe in the form of Fantasy Flight’s wonderful system (for more information check out my review of The Age of Rebellion Beginner Game), I was still rather curious about all the other systems I came across.
Then a friend of mine introduced me to a podcast, simply called “One Shot.” The concept is simple: the host James D’Amato gets together a group and does a short adventure/story per month, each time featuring a different system. Part of what makes this particular podcast so entertaining is James is a trained improv performer and he often invites other performers to join him in these adventures. Along with that James does a fantastic job encouraging the group to really get into their characters and actually play them out, leading to more than a few fantastically hilarious “bits”.
Along with “One Shot” is the sister podcast “One Shot: Campaign” which is a continuation of a one shot story in the Star Wars system I mentioned earlier. “Campaign” features Kat Khul as the GM, bringing to the table her storytelling genius and an iron patience required to GM a group prone to taking their characters on shopping trips, giving listeners a reason to get excited two times a week! Both podcasts are fantastically done and consistently fascinating, and entertaining. With a large library of episodes already available for listening, new listeners have quite the ear feast to make their way through. The library so far features Dungeon World, Feng Shui, Dread, Everyone is John, Legend of the Five Rings, One Last Job, Monster Hearts, Numenara, Sailor Moon, Heroine, Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf, Ehdrigohr, Atomic Robo, and plenty more!
If you are interested in exploring roleplaying games for the first time or looking to expand into a new system and are intimidated by the cost or the hundreds of pages of reading sometimes required this podcast is a great way to start that search. If you are already an experienced role player, without a doubt you will be highly entertained as you listen to each group play each system and have fun doing it too!
Most importantly these podcasts do one thing extremely well. Their goal; to share a love of roleplaying games with the world.
You can find the podcasts on their website http://www.oneshotpodcast.com/, iTunes, and a number of podcatcher apps.
You can also follow them on twitter, James @oneshotrpg and Kat @wolvesarekuhl