“The Adventure Zone” is a comedy/adventure podcast loosely based on Dungeons & Dragons.
Image from TheZoneCast Twitter

When a friend of mine told me about the amazing podcast she was listening to, I did not expect it to be about Dungeons & Dragons. Now, let me say this. I have nothing against Dungeons & Dragons, but growing up, it always seemed to be the last echelon in one’s nerd status – meaning that if I did start to play Dungeons & Dragons, my “geekyness” would be so permanent, “nerd” would have to be etched onto my grave. However, she highly recommended “The Adventure Zone” and she’s never steered me wrong before, so I gave it a try.

This year, I started to commute to King’s instead of dorming, which meant I was left with a good 25-minute car ride full of empty space both to and from school. Podcasts seemed to be the best way to fill up my quiet mornings. One morning, I selected the first episode and gave it a try as I drove myself to school.

For those of you who have never heard of this podcast, “The Adventure Zone” is a bi-weekly comedy/adventure show hosted by three brothers, Griffin, Travis, and Justin, and their father, Clint McElroy. It started off as a goofy one-shot when the four of them recorded their first time playing Dungeons & Dragons together. Eventually, it became it’s own podcast and now has over 60 episodes.

It starts off with three characters: Magnus, Merle, and Taako (yes, it’s pronounced just like the Mexican food). Each of them is a different class. For example, Taako is a wizard. Their adventure starts when Merle’s cousin offers the three of them a deal: they have to guide a cart of supplies to the next town and ensure it arrives safely. On their journey, they encounter a goblin that sounds like Kelsey Grammar, but looks like Common, a giant spider named Bryan, and a magic umbrella. Let’s just say, it all goes downhill from there.

While I was listening to the first episode, I was a little confused. I’m very unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons, so for parts of the episode I felt as though I was trying to interpret a foreign language. They explain the rules as they go, but for someone who was looking for a distraction from school, I found myself trying to keep up with all of their math. However, the McElroy family did manage to make me laugh here and there so I kept going and I am so glad I did.

While I have never played Dungeons & Dragons, nor do I have any idea how I would start, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I’ve spent listening to this podcast. Using their voices, knowledge of storytelling, and senses of humor, The McElroy brothers and their father manage to craft a story that leaves me laughing out loud in my car when I’m by myself. What started out as a goofy family board game recording session turned into something with a life of its own. I’ve found that after a long, stressful day at school, an episode of The Adventure Zone is the perfect remedy to turn my mood around.

If you are interested in laughing, hearing a good story, or would like to vicariously play Dungeons & Dragons through someone else, then this podcast is for you. You may feel a little confused after the first episode, but give it a chance until episode two and I promise they will make you laugh out loud at least once.