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The Adventure Zone – A Comedy D&D Podcast You Need To Listen To

Art by @ryoassuka, of Merle, Magnus and Taako during the fourth arc of the podcast, ‘The Crystal Kingdom’.

It’s rare to find good, wholesome, fun podcasts to listen to that you want to recommend to anyone despite their tastes and The Adventure Zone fits all those bills.

The official podcast art for The Adventure Zone as on iTunes
The official podcast art for The Adventure Zone as on iTunes

The Adventure Zone is a free Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) comedy podcast run by comedian, entrepreneur and Forbes 30 Under 30 Griffin McElroy, who runs the podcast as editor, music producer and ‘Dungeon Master’ to the campaign. D&D is a tabletop game played through rolling dice and creative thinking as you guide your character through scenarios and battles invented and described by a Dungeon Master. The Adventure Zone’s players and co-hosts are Griffin’s two older brothers, Justin and Travis McElroy, and their father and radio personality Clint McElroy. The group have fantastic synergy and rapport, ready to encourage and make fun of each other where needed.

Other than Griffin, the group start out without any knowledge of D&D to begin with, so you can learn alongside the group as they create their characters and begin to explore the fantasy sci-fi world that Griffin creates for them. The cast includes; Justin’s Taako Taaco, the aloof, sarcastic and slightly dumb elven wizard whose main goal is to make fun of everything and invent the taco in this world; Clint’s Merle Highchurch, the long-suffering dwarf cleric who just wants to do good, preach from his ‘Extreme Teen Bible’ and instead has to take care of a bunch of idiots; and Travis’ Magnus Burnsides, the human fighter-rogue (aka a ‘ruff boi’), who wants to do justice, probably fistfight a bear, and adopt a dog.

Split into hour-long podcasts, there are currently 59 episodes released, split into six main arcs. The podcast is available on iTunes and the Maximum Fun website for no charge and all music written for the show can be found on Griffin’s SoundCloud for free. Fans can pay to have messages read in the middle of the episode, or tweet using the ‘#thezonecast’ or ‘#taz’ on Twitter to become namesakes for various characters in the episode. There is currently a graphic novel, The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins in production, loosely based on the podcast’s first arc.

The Adventure Zone is good, wholesome storytelling – not relying on cheap shock tactics or obscene plots to interest the listener. With a whole cast of characters and custom music written by Griffin McElroy, it’s a fun fantasy sci-fi podcast with a bunch of family members enjoying (and sometimes attempting to ruin) the world built around them. Since I began listening just a few short weeks ago, I’ve wrangled at least 15 friends into listening, taught myself how to run a D&D campaign and another eight friends into playing with me, and had some of the greatest fun laughing to myself alone in a car. I wanted something light-hearted, funny, easy to listen to and that’s TAZ in a nutshell. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone looking for a good laugh on their travels.

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