With all the amazing "Let's Play" videos for other tabletop board games, it's no wonder that the mysteries and improvisational nature of sandbox Dungeons & Dragons sends folks running to the dark corners of the interwebs in search of ways to watch the game being played. Look no further, because I have a problem and an obsession with watching people play D&D and I've put it to good use by collecting some of my very favorite games so that you can pencil them in and watch the magic happen!
Acquisitions Incorporated has been doing live games at PAXes around the world for over a decade and last year, Penny Arcade transmuted this fan favorite into a weekly Twitch Stream Event. The game is Dungeon Mastered by the inimitable Jerry Holkins, also known as Omin Dran and the writer of Penny Arcade the webcomic. The featured players are illustrator and designer Amy T. Falcone, Penny Arcade Director of Events Ryan Hartman, D&D Game Designer and #babywizard Kate Welch, and cartoonist Kris Straub.
Current Classes: Paladin, Druid, Monk, Warlock
Style: This game feels informal and genuinely like friends doing their best to make each other laugh and create great role playing opportunities for the table. It's tempered by Jerry's incredible characters and always on point diction - the man has a diction affliction! That being said, if you're looking for a combat heavy game, this isn't where you'll find it. There is definitely combat, but there are never battle maps.
If 3 hour games aren't your thing and you'd like to see a more edited version, you can watch Acquisitions Incorporated: The Series.
“Acquisitions Incorporated: The C Team" airs live on Twitch Wednesdays from 4:00 - 7:00pm PST
D&D Game Designer/Writer and DM to the Stars, Chris Perkins leads host and video game personality Anna Prosser Robinson, artist/cosplayer/storyteller Holly Conrad, game reviewer and comedian ProJared, and voice actor/musician Nathan Sharp through the newest D&D published campaigns in Dice, Camera, Action.
Current Classes: Paladin, Bard, Sorcerer, Rogue
Style: Good natured fun that gets darker as you go on. Chris Perkins offers lots of difficult decisions and victory is always short lived for "The Waffle Crew." Watching this show is a great way for DM's to see how to weave prewritten campaigns into unique character choices. The game is played online and the players never seem disconnected despite playing from lots of different areas. Due to playing online, this game doesn't typically use maps and as such, works well as a podcast.
Dice, Camera, Action! airs Tuesdays at 4PM PST on the D&D Twitch
Watch DM Matthew Mercer play Dungeons & Dragons with a group of nerdy ass voice actors in one of the most epic live RPG's on Twitch, Critical Role. Other performers include Same Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Rey, Liam O'Brien, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, and Travis Willingham. The first campaign wrapped up in the fall of 2017 and featured over 100 episodes. The current campaign is nearly 30 episodes strong. The setting is Exandria, a rich fantasy world created by Mercer and expounded upon in both his Tal'dorei and Wildemount campaigns.
Current Classes: Rogue, Cleric, Monk, Wizard, Barbarian, Warlock
Style: Immersive role play is a hallmark of Critical Role. These performers drop into character and never falter. Character death is a real threat to be feared. Mercer is a tough but fair DM who shows his finesse by playing off of player choices at the drop of a hat and changing tacks quickly. Giant Dwarven Forge maps area a hallmark of this stream. With a huge cast, these actors are skilled at giving focus to each other and supporting the gift of a storyline that Mercer weaves around them. You will laugh. You will cry. You will love. Your life will probably be changed. If you're not watching or listening to the podcast, it's time to start.
Critical Role airs 7-11pm PST Thursdays on Twitch.
Produced by Dungeons & Dragons on Twitch, Force Grey explores the Tomb of Annihilation and features Matthew Mercer as the DM, and players Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, Brian Posehn, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Dylan Sprouse.
Current Classes: Rogue, Barbarian, Bard, Paladin, Druid.
Style: Matt's fearless attack of NPC role play and the skilled cast wring out all the story telling you could ask for from the campaign module and the pre-edited format makes it very easy to consume the episodes and get a feel for Tomb of Annihilation.
Style: High production quality and bite sized edited 30 minute episodes make this show less intimidating to consume for new players.
You can catch up on the Force Grey series here.
The female powered roleplaying powerhouse game features Kimberly Hidalgo, Alice Greczyn, Erika Fermina, Rachel Seeley, Allie Gonino, Sujata Day, Kelen Coleman, and DM Kelley Lyn D'Angelo. These talented performers have a whole series of prerecorded and edited 15 minute episodes that make them easy to consume. Ichabod Ferndweller is must see TV. If you're looking for something with a longer format, you can on D&D's Twitch Channel.
Current Classes: Druid, Ranger, Paladin, Bard, Fighter, Cleric, Barbarian
Style: This fun-loving group is a joy to watch and character races tend towards the fantastical from Tieflings to Pixies to Dragonborn.
There's only one hard and fast rule in Sirens of the Realms and that's that everyone has to take at least one level of bard! Join Dungeon Master and D&D Community Manager Satine Phoenix as she takes an all-girl band on adventures throughout Faerun. This eclectic medley of heroes left the safety of their homes to follow their dreams. What could possibly go wrong? This stream stars Vivid Vivka, Kate Elliott, Ladee Danger, Cynthia Marie & special guests along the way.
Classes: Bard, Ranger, Monk, Druid, Wizard
Style: It's great to see a lady heavy game in the space and Satine is an experienced DM whose love of the game and her players shines through. With many special guests like Taliesin Jaffe and Jason Charles Miller. This game makes liberal use of maps, miniatures and interesting foes from across the D&D cannon.
Watch Sirens of the Realms Tuesdays at 6PM PST on the D&D Twitch Stream.