Romancing the Dungeon describes itself as “A Softcore DnD podcast about finding that special someone in a world full of peril, monsters and heartbreakers!”.
Sound bold? The series picked up a bronze award in the recent Irish Podcast Awards.
I got the chance to ask the team some questions. I was, of course, curious about the romance angle.
There are very few DND podcasts/streams who not only refuse to shy away from romance, but embrace it as strongly as we do. The show began as inspired by RomComs but we soon found that we were naturally drawn to the drama of real life relationships and how messy they can be. Organically, we began exploring relationships with parents, exs, friends, strangers, mentors, and more, and that is what the heart of Romancing the Dungeon is now.
Does this work for the fans, though? It’s not uncommon to find gamers turning to RPGs and actual plays for escapism. Who wants more heartbreak?
Seeing these relationships displayed so honestly, all of the good and the bad, makes the characters relatable. We’ve received many messages from fans saying that they see something of themselves in one character or another, either through trauma the character has experienced or through their reactions to things that have happened to them. We don’t dance around how messy relationships are, and as fantastical as our world is, our characters are so devastatingly human you can’t help but love them.
Declan, Romancing the Dungeon’s DM, added;
I think she show has an audience, has done well, because we put effort into the editing and production of the show; it is still at heart a game with friends, sat around a table, rolling dice and just having fun!”
The team estimates there are a good few years left in the show, and Declan has plans for other projects. It’s about evolution;
The podcast will continue to move along, and we will continue to challenge ourselves to one up our story telling. And as this chugs along we have branched out into other projects as well. We stream on Twitch 2-3 times a week with everything from other campaigns to exploring new systems with one shots games.
Louise, who plays Fia in Romancing the Dungeon, told me;
The world that our DM has created is vast and exciting and I think we all want to see what other mad/crazy/wonderful adventures he brings us on, whether it is with these characters or others. We have already started a stand alone stream (Saving Grace) that goes down a more gothic root that ties into the world of Romancing the Dungeon, and will have repercussions on the story for the podcast characters in the future.”
Dungeons, romance and charity
The other, which took €1,500 for Planned Parenthood, was important to the female majority group.
We were watching our friends in the States panicking about losing rights, knowing that we have made connections with fans in America who were experiencing a terrifying decision; we had to get involved, how could we not. We rand 7 one shots over 2 days, again with a number of incredible volunteers who were all as passionate about the cause as we were.
Amber, who plays Hephaesta, explained,
Planned Parenthood was a no-brainer, as soon as Roe v Wade was repealed. We had been debating a few different charities at the time, but the instant the decision was made in America, our decision was made for us as well. As an American myself, I was behind this decision full force. It could have been my health and autonomy threatened, had I not left the country. I have friends and family being directly effected by this decision, we had to do something. It was admittedly harder to get sponsorship. We expected this, it’s a polarizing topic and many people want to avoid getting involved, especially small businesses who are just trying to get by. We found some great support, though, and it was a fantastic event.”
Thoughts on One D&D
I had to ask about the big D&D news, which is the new edition and edition less One D&D. Many gaming groups, newish to the hobby, have never been through an edition change and while the podcast group admitted they are terrible at keeping up on nerdy news, James, who plays Cael, had something to say;
The rise to mainstream popularity D&D has seen in the last few years has meant a lot of new folks coming into the hobby, with new ideas and new types of stories to tell. Along with this comes a renewed focus on the rules we’re using to tell those stories, how those rules are imparted, and whether they’re still relevant. A refreshed version that accommodates for new people and new stories, taking into account the lessons learned from the current edition, can only be a good thing! We can all agree that DnD, and TTRPGs in general make us happy, that’s why we partake in them, and anything that makes the world of gaming more accessible is a win as far as we’re all concerned.
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