So I have a confession to make: I have never played a tabletop role playing game (TTRPG). I have always wanted to play one, but was “scared away” for various reasons. When I was younger, I didn’t know anyone that played tabletops, and when I was older, it seemed like I wasn’t allowed to play. The people who I saw playing didn’t seem to be very welcoming of queer people. I honestly forgot about my desire to play in the intervening years, until I came across the podcast Join the Party. They helped me realize that tabletop games were for everyone and that I was welcome. It opened up this new world to me, one that before was boarded off with a big “Your kind isn’t welcome round here” sign. It really got me listening to more actual play podcasts because they became more accessible to me. I now knew that TTRPGs were not limited to gamer dudes, but were for everyone. It led me to my current obsession, 20 Sided Stories.
20 Sided Stories by Sage G. C. is an actual play podcast where actors and improvisers play a role-playing game. Each season is a completely different story, with a new world and new characters. They also use their own system to to set the rules of the game.
20 Sided Stories began May 2, 2017 and is currently on its third series. It releases a new episode every Wednesday.
I was introduced to 20 Sided Stories when I tweeted about actual play podcasts:
I get this question a lot: do you listen to actual play?
The answer is yes, but I’m REALLY picky about them. I’m not going to listen to a bunch of dudes just hanging out. If you have soundscapes and your players voice their characters, send me your actual play podcast
— 👻🎃🎃 ADR 🎃🎃👻 (@Audiodramarama) August 23, 2018
I received a message in reply where Sage gave me a description of the podcast and included a review that Wil wrote. I was so impressed by how it was pitched to me that I started listening to it that very day. I am sharing this to show you how important it is to take the time to not only make your pitch professional, but also personal. If you take the time to properly pitch your podcast to your audience, it will pay off.
This podcast is the perfect example of why I consider actual play podcasts to be audio drama. I rarely write about the sound design in an audio drama because it’s not something that I am equipped to talk about in detail, but in this situation, I need to mention it. The attention to detail and the fact that each story is scored with original music makes this podcast stand out from the crowd. The series are all self-contained, so new listeners are able to catch up very quickly, or listen to a different story if the current one is not of their liking. The actors also change as well, so each series is a completely new experience. I highly recommend giving 20 Sided Stories a try.
I cannot wait to share even more with you, so be sure to stay updated by subscribing to the mailing list. If you have any suggestions for future posts, have an audio drama to pitch, or want to chat you can find me on twitter @AudioDramaRama or email me at AudioDramaRama@gmail.com
20 Sided Stories cover image by Sage G. C.