Want to share your D&D stories with the world? Well, a D&D Podcast is what you might be looking for! You’ll be able to show off your amazing worldbuilding and your characters to the world. So here are some tips to get you started and make the most out of your time!
1. Technical equipment for a D&D podcast
What tools will you need to run your podcast? Read on to find out!
A podcast is all about recording yourself (and your friends) and sharing it with the world. So let’s start with the technical stuff! The most important thing you’ll need is a decent microphone. Your audience won’t be able to see you, so having good quality audio is a must. Avoid recording in rooms with noise pollution too (for example, windows that let in the noise from a busy street), and give the room a proper sound treatment. If you don’t have the budget for that, hanging blankets on the walls will help reduce the amount of echo.
And yes, this goes for your players too—regardless of if you’re playing remotely or in person, you will need dedicated mics for everyone. If you’re playing remotely, tell your players to record their own audios instead of recording everything yourself. This will make sure the quality is as high as it can be, and since each player will be on their own track, editing will be easier.
Finally, don’t forget about music! You can either find royalty-free music (or commission it), or you can use your usual music and remove it in editing. If you’re looking for royalty-free music, check out our album, Embers of Inspiration.
2. Editing—where the magic happens!
Let us walk you through a suggested workflow for producing an episode!
After recording the episode and getting the audio from your players, it’s time to edit! Now, this is won’t be a full editing course (this would take many blog posts), but here is a suggested workflow you can use:
- Put all the tracks together: Since your players will have started and finished the recordings at different moments, you’ll need to check that you synchronize them properly. A quick solution to make this easier is to have a countdown before pressing record—this way, the delay will be minimal. Make sure the audio levels are equal for all players and that the music (if any) isn’t too loud.
- Remove background noise: If a player coughs, their chair squeaks, or there’s an ambulance in the street, mute that player’s track temporarily. Of course, you can only do that if the player wasn’t speaking at that moment.
- Remove stuttering: to offer the cleanest product to your audience, remove all the “uhm”s and “errr”s you can find, especially if there are many in the same sentence. If you restarted a sentence while recording, remove the first try and leave only the one without stuttering.
- Consider censoring swearing: depending on the tone and the target audience of your podcast, you can censor out swear words.
- Consider cutting out long scenes: this will depend on your editing style and on what you decide as a group. You could cut out certain mechanical moments which slow the game down. like where you ask for initiative results (and leave out the order only), or you could shorten conversations that take too long. See what flow works best for you!
- Last revision: after all these changes, make sure all tracks are still properly synchronized.
As you can see, this is quite the long process… but no one said producing a podcast would be quick! If you have players in your group who want and can help you, you could also let them edit parts of the episode to lighten your workload.
3. Adapt your play style to the D&D podcast
You’re no longer running a game for your players—you’re running it for the world!
Your home game will have a very different dynamic from the podcast game. For example, most people don’t have the patience to sit through a four-hour podcast episode without pauses—while you might very well do that in your home game! Of course, you can just cut a single session into two or more episodes when you’re editing, but if you do that, you’ll need to make sure that something important happens in every episode.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is pacing. This is already important in regular games, but your players are invested in your game, so they won’t leave it just because an encounter is taking too long. But your audience will! This is not only on the GM, though—your players have a big role to play too. They should talk more clearly, avoid talking over each other, and be quicker at taking decisions. I know, it sounds like a dream game, but this will help you take your podcast episodes to the next level!
4. Less rules, more story
How to make the story flow better for your audience?
Most sessions have discussions about rules at some point or another, especially with D&D or other rules-heavy systems. But while your audience might be interested in the system’s rules, they don’t want to hear your group argue about them. So, if someone asks a rules question during the session, try to come up with a quick answer and check the manual after the session. Or you can discuss it as usual and cut it out in editing.
Combat scenes are the ones with the most rules discussion: initiative, combat moves, class abilities, spells, action economy… If your players get stuck with the rules, experiment by adding a timer. This will force them to be quicker, so they will skip most of the rules talk too.
5. Have fun—and check in with your players
Making your games public can be stressful—make sure everyone’s having fun!
If you’ve been playing D&D for a while, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a session 0. Well, if you’re doing a D&D podcast, you need to have them all the time! Knowing that your game is public might add pressure over them, and they might feel an obligation to keep playing. Maybe you don’t need to have a full two-hour conversation, but talking to your players out-of-game to make sure they’re still enjoying the game is extremely important.
Having fun is the most important part, as always. You need to make sure that everyone around the table to enjoying the game. If you’re not having fun while playing, your audience will feel it! Pausing (or even ending) the podcast is always an option. The most important people in your game are still your players and yourself.
Now you’re well on your way to becoming the new D&D podcast star! World Anvil is the next step in mastering your campaign—sign up today!