6 Dungeons & Dragons Actual Plays That Are Easy to Start Listening To

Cover art from Monster of the Multiverse shows a man riding a dragon against a cosmic backdrop.

Cover art from Monster of the Multiverse
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons actual play shows have been popular for years, but the phenomenon really kicked off seven years ago when the McElroy brothers started The Adventure Zone podcast using the newly released Fifth Edition (5e) of the incredibly popular role-playing game as a basis for their comedy storytelling. As the scope of the medium expanded to other games as well as YouTube and Twitch (Critical Role and Friends at the Table are obvious mentions), actual plays have become an art all their own.

New shows pop up all the time, and many have been going for years! It’s hard to know where to start as more and more people experiment with different ways to distribute and play games for an audience. But, to help you get into it, here are six APs where you can either catch up quickly or jump right into a season.

2 / 8

Of Mice and Men and Monsters

Of Mice and Men and Monsters

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Image: Of Mice and Men and Monsters

Of Mice and Men and Monsters has been recording since 2020, and even though it’s one of the longest-running AP on this list, it has less than 50 episodes on its stream and its format is hugely easy to access. A genuinely entertaining and fresh take on D&D, OMAMAM takes inspiration from classic literature in each of its five to 12 episode mini-arcs, making it a perfect show to drop into.

Children of Éarte

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Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil, True Blood) leads this Demiplane-produced Twitch-based AP that has literally just started. Taking a more modern approach to D&D, Children of Éarte is a fairy tale gone wrong aboard a train through a magical realm.

4 / 8

The Borros Saga: Banesbreak

The Borros Saga: Banesbreak

The Borros Saga: Banesbreak cast

The Borros Saga: Banesbreak is a brand-new D&D stream from Pixel Circus that features the likes of Aabria Iyengar (Critical Role), Kailey Bray (Hyper RPG), and Saige Ryan (Black Dice Society), and others, alongside Vince Caso (The Guild) as the DM. The show is a time-traveling genre bender that rips characters out of the realm they thought they knew, situating them in a homebrew world with an expansive backstory. The show airs on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. PST on the Pixel Circus Twitch channel.

Roll 4 Rainbow

Roll 4 Rainbow logo card

Roll 4 Rainbow is is a trope-filled extravaganza with all the things we love about D&D podcasts, including evil doctors, strange temples, and of course, everyone being absurdly horny all the time. It started in 2021 with a 20-odd episode D&D arc and has just started a new season… but unlike the other APs on this list, it’s a Call of Cthulhu game set in a summer camp. I stand by its inclusion because variety is the spice of life, and its first season is a perfect month-long marathon.

Reckless Attack

Reckless Attack characters

With only 25 episodes, Reckless Attack is a polished, exemplary AP that is classic D&D with some very excellent elemental twists. Set in a homebrew world and inhabited by wonderful, diverse characters, this is a game that everyone’s going to be talking about soon. Follow the adventurers through Ryxia as cataclysmic events threaten the tentative peace that the world has only recently come to know.

Transplanar RPG

Transplanar Title Car

Here it is! The last AP I’m recommending, and the one that’s been around the longest, having started in June of 2020. There are tons of episodes, but Transplanar has a handy recap guide that makes it easy to drop into the game at any season. The current DM, Connie Chang, is becoming a big name in the indie TTRPG scene, and this all-transgender, POC-led livestream is set in a homebrew non-colonial, anti-orientalist world based on AAPI mythologies. It’s fantastic, and it’s less than halfway through its fifth season, which means you have plenty of content to catch up on. Transplanar streams on Saturdays at 7 p.m. CT on Twitch, and podcast episodes drop on Tuesdays via Spotify and Apple Podcasts, making it easy to tune in whenever you have time. 

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