I recently started listening to some new podcasts.  That statement is almost always true, because my podcast consumption is constantly churning as I get tired of the remarkable lack of insight in Slate’s Political Gabfest or I realize that I haven’t actually listened to an episode of the Splendid Table in months, or what have you.  And so when my collection of podcasts has winnowed down to the point where I don’t have anything I want to listen to while I walk the dogs, vacuum, buy groceries, et cetera, I search out some new ones.

But I’ve enjoyed some stuff recently!  If you like things, maybe these are things you’ll like! I just started these recently, is why I picked these to describe and not others.

The Adventure Zone is a D&D game which differs from most podcasted D&D games by being really well-edited.  I don’t know how long they play to get two one-hour episodes, but I’m guessing it’s at least three full hours, maybe four.  The players are a father and three sons, the McElroy family; the youngest brother runs the game and the others play Merle the dwarf cleric, Taco the very stupid wizard, and the fighter whose name I have forgotten (I could look it up but I’m not going to).  The McElroy brothers have another podcast called My Brother, My Brother, and Me which is general-interest comedy.  Though I’ve never really gotten into it, I’m guessing that years of editing acumen have been honed on the My Brother whetstone and are only now being turned to a pastime notorious for squeezing twenty minutes of fun into four hours of play.  It’s got the occasional dick or fart joke, which isn’t my thing, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Worldbuilder’s Anvil is an odd duck and I’m not sure if I ought to be recommending it.  In a typical ten or fifteen minute episode, creator Jeffrey W. Ingram discusses a single very specific aspect of creating a fantasy setting (for your D&D game or novel), then suggests you write a love note to your spouse and hide it somewhere they’ll find it, so it’ll brighten your day.  In the dozen episodes he’s released since the start of 2015, he’s hit topics with a lot of unstated assumptions, which I can sum up by saying his process looks like it will eventually result in something more like a game of Sid Meier’s Civilization than Middle-Earth.  Worldbuilding, as a topic, interests me, and it’s something that I haven’t heard other podcasts address.

I already mentioned Slate’s Political Gabfest aka How Is It These Professionals Have Such Unconsidered Opinions?, but I will recommend Slate Presents Lexicon Valley because it has Bob Garfield (of On the Media, which if you aren’t already familiar with then you and I are probably interested in different podcasts) and unlike on On the Media, Garfield swears a lot.  Which surprises me every time I hear it.

And now to close, a list of all the podcasts I’m subscribed to, according to the app on my phone:

  1. Ask Me Another (the other public-radio quiz show)
  2. Escape Pod (SFF shorts; I have a huge backlog of these to listen to)
  3. Go Bayside! (defunct podcast about Saved by the Bell that I didn’t really like so I don’t know why I listened to every episode)
  4. Guild Wars Players News (I picked a GW2 podcast at random in hopes of learning what had happened in the game in the last year or so; this was the week before the announcement of the Heart of Thorns expansion)
  5. Harmontown (round-table comedy discussion; Dan Harmon created Community and I have a fundamentally unhealthy interest in Community)
  6. I Should Be Writing (Mur Lafferty reminds me that I should be writing)
  7. Jimquisition (round-table discussion of the week in video game news, I think? I just picked it up recently)
  8. Jordan, Jesse, Go! (I didn’t know I was subscribed to this.)
  9. Judge John Hodgman (probably the most consistently high-quality comedy podcast I know of; rarely my favorite but never terrible)
  10. Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff (still more round-table discussion, this time just two guys, and about topics of interest to enthusiasts of the kind of RPGs published by Pelgrane Press)
  11. Movie Fighters (it’s the only podcast available in which some guys watch a bad movie and talk about it)
  12. NPR: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (an earnest man interviews people about pop culture)
  13. Obvious Logic (something something liberalism; maybe defunct; done by a couple of people I used to know in Boston)
  14. On the Media (mandatory public-radio media criticism)
  15. Planet Money (haven’t I unsubscribed in disgust from this yet?  Oh yes, I have like three times, and yet I keep coming back)
  16. Pop Culture Happy Hour (fun round-table discussion of current pop culture)
  17. Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men (exactly what it sounds like, two people discuss topics in the X-Men 1963-present)
  18. RPG Design PanelCast (the best way I know of to hear Rob Donogue discuss RPGs)
  19. Serial (defunct true-crime)
  20. Slate Presents Lexicon Valley (vide supra)
  21. Slate’s Politcal Gabfest (vide supra)
  22. Slate’s Serial Spoiler Specials (defunct discussion of Serial, the defunct true-crime podcast)
  23. System Mastery (not always well-informed discussion of old small-press RPGs, mostly horrible ones)
  24. the Adventure Zone (vide supra)
  25. Canon Puncture (round-table RPG discussion, maybe defunct)
  26. Dead Authors Podcast (comedy podcast starring Paul F. Tompkins as H.G. Wells interviewing [comedian] as [dead author]; uneven)
  27. Dinner Party Download (basically the same as Bullseye)
  28. Drabblecast (see Escape Pod)
  29. the Dungeons and Dragons Podcast (I actually have not listened to this in over a year I think)
  30. the Pod F. Tompkast (defunct Paul F. Tompkins comedy podcast)
  31. the Splendid Table (cooking show I have listened to maybe two episodes of in the last year, maybe)
  32. the Tobolowsky Files (autobiographical storytelling from an accomplished character actor; maybe defunct)
  33. the Tome Show (actually like six podcasts in one; I’m on one of them regularly; they’re all about D&D in some way)
  34. the Walking Eye podcast (defunct RPG round-table discussion)
  35. This American Life (the killer app for podcasts)
  36. This Feels Terrible (see Harmontown)
  37. Thrilling Adventure Hour (uneven comedy podcast that made me a fan of Annie Savage of all people)
  38. Twenty Sided Diecast (round-table discussion of video games)
  39. War Rocket Ajax (comics discussion)
  40. Welcome to Night Vale (uneven surreal comedy-horror, super uneven, did I say it was uneven?)
  41. Wiretap from CBC Radio (Canadian depression comedy)
  42. Wits (the other public-radio comedy and music variety show recorded in Minnesota)
  43. Worldbuilder’s Anvil (vide supra)

In my defense I did not realize there were so many.  Those in bold are the ones that I prioritize whenever I have to choose which to hear first.


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