D&D sessions are like small episodes where every player gets the chance to become an actor. Even if the group is small, everyone will still benefit from a great sense of adventure. If you can’t find a group to play with, the closest thing that you can do is watch any of the best D&D shows running today.
It takes less than a minute to find a D&D show in Youtube or Twitch. And we’ll help you get started with the suggestions from this article!
The Best D&D Shows to Binge-Watch
Fun Factor: 4.5/5
Character Development: 4.9/5
- Excellent production value
- A skilled and experienced cast
- Great drama and excitement
- Long sessions in the campaigns
- Some audio and editing problems
Critical Role is the most popular D&D show today. The show features an elite team of professional voice actors and their D&D adventures. Currently, Critical Role has finished airing two big campaigns with two parties: Vox Machina and The Mighty Nein.
The best thing about Critical Role is the fact that it embodies the real essence of D&D. Within the show, you’d find interspersing moments of joy, sadness, anger, weirdness, passivity, hope, and despair. Every character also has a fleshed-out backstory that keeps the campaign exciting and spontaneous. Watching Critical Role is like reading a book and playing a game at the same time!
Critical Role also showed the competence of professional DM Matthew Mercer. He ran most sessions with pure expertise, awareness, and fairness. In the Critical Role channel, viewers can even check out exclusive tips offered by Matt Mercer himself.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect show. The first campaign of Critical Role is a hodgepodge of controversies and audio problems. Editing in the first campaign is also subpar compared to the second campaign. Still, you’d see remarkable progress throughout the first campaign’s later sessions.
Critical Role’s community growth is noticeable over the past years. Around the world, thousands of fans watched the show and contributed to various Critical Role forums and sites.
The third campaign of Critical Role will start streaming in October 2021.
Fun Factor: 4.5/5
Character Development: 4/5
- Fun and easy going
- Unique office humor
- Laid-back yet skilled cast
- Office jokes get stale after a while
- Somehow appeals to a niche audience
Acquisitions Incorporated is a great show that combines the elements of big business and high adventure. In Acquisitions Incorporated, viewers get to follow the members of the eponymous adventuring corporation. Throughout the series, the Acquisitions Incorporated group will handle numerous jobs and clear out ruins for the sake of money and a bit of prestige.
Light-hearted humor is the selling point of Acquisitions Incorporated. The production set is not as vibrant as Critical Role, but it’s enough to generate a relaxing, laid-back appeal. Watching Acquisitions Incorporated is like observing a group of long-time friends relax and share jokes with each other.
If you want to use the Acquisitions Incorporated style in your campaign, you should check out the official Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook. The book contains refreshing game concepts such as jobs, responsibilities, and a fantasy-corporate atmosphere.
The Adventure Zone
Fun Factor: 4.5/5
Character Development: 4/5
- A great balance of comedy and drama
- Entertaining encounters
- Awesome audio effects
- Overwhelming content
- Slow start
The Adventure Zone started out as a podcast, just like many other D&D shows. As The Adventure Zone kept growing, it reached hundreds of viewers from Youtube and Twitch. Hosted by the McElroy brothers, The Adventure Zone is an exciting adventure show filled with jokes, long discussions, crazy antics, and 5E rule recaps.
Before you start binge-watching The Adventure Zone, keep in mind that the show has a rough beginning. In the first few episodes, the McElroy brothers struggled to learn the defining concepts of the 5E ruleset. As the episodes go by, the brothers developed a keen understanding of the rules, and the story moved forward easily.
The Adventure Zone also has tons of content distributed in Youtube and other platforms. The scattered content might overwhelm viewers, especially those who are new to D&D. If you’re starting fresh with Adventure Zone content, just focus on Balance – the first season of the show.
Dungeons and Daddies
Fun Factor: 4.5/5
Character Development: 4/5
- Awesome improv
- Fun and spontaneous comedy
- Simple yet relatable characters
- The plot is not too unique
- Scattered content
The premise of Dungeons and Daddies is simple: a group of average suburban dads and their sons were magically teleported to the Forgotten Realms. Later, the sons were kidnapped, prompting the dads to undergo a daring rescue adventure. Throughout the adventure, the dads and their sons will encounter many thrilling events and intriguing scenarios.
Dungeons and Daddies is a light-hearted show driven by humor, jokes, and the occasional drama. Even if humorous quips and comments fill every episode, they don’t break the flow of the narrative. The experience is nearly similar to watching Monty Python over and over minus the boredom.
One small problem of the Dungeons and Daddies show is the scattered content. Viewers might have a hard time picking the platform unless they visited the show’s website first. Dungeon and Daddies’ Youtube channel just contains teasers, and other independent channels have small summaries. Still, you’ll have a great time watching the animations, custom sketches, and even TikTok renditions of Dungeons and Daddies.
Quick Tips on Enjoying Your Favorite D&D Show
Get Your Sourcebooks Ready
Watching a D&D show is a relaxing experience but this doesn’t mean that you can’t flip a sourcebook open. In any D&D show or podcast, you might encounter a confusing rule or a strategy that you want to use for a campaign. A nearby sourcebook will help you find a term without losing the momentum of the D&D show.
The best books that you can flip open while watching a D&D podcast are Monster Manual, Player’s Handbook, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide. You should also include other books used in your favorite show.
Make Some Notes
Note-taking is not just for die-hard nerds. Even beginner D&D enthusiasts can benefit from active note-taking while binge-watching their favorite shows. Some important things that can be noted down are encounter ideas, roleplaying cues, exclusive DM tips, do’s-and-don’ts, promo codes, jokes, and pop culture references.
Over time, separate note cards might get clunky and difficult to maintain. To organize your notes, you can just get a handy organizer or notebook. With a handy notebook, you can jot down notes even if you’re listening to a D&D podcast on the go!
Prepare Some Minis or Tokens
Minis or game tokens are essential for game sessions, but they can also make your D&D binge-watching marathon more interesting. You can use the tokens to visualize the battlefield or double-check if a player’s move is remotely feasible. D&D minis are also excellent pieces that can lift your mood.
Nowadays, it’s easy to order miniatures from online shops and special artisan stores. You can even order bulk miniatures and tokens to save money.
Don’t Forget Snacks
Snacks are great for keeping your mouth busy while watching or listening to a D&D show. There are many types of snacks that you can prepare. You can even combine two snacks and get something interesting from the mixture.
Some of the best snacks are nuts, dried fruit slices, potato chips with dips, fries, and chocolates. As long as the snacks don’t mess with your concentration, they can make your binge-watching session worthwhile.
How to Make Your Own D&D Content?
Do you want to make your own D&D show in the future? Well, it’s not easy but you can always follow some tips to get started.
Check out our tips on making wonderful D&D content:
Document Your Campaign Progress
Many DMs forget the process of documenting their campaigns. They focus on running the adventure and monitoring every aspect of the table. Whether you believe it or not, the process of documenting is important in building your D&D content.
Documentation eases the flow of the post-session review. During the review process, you can just check your notes and figure out which campaign areas need further improvement. Once you’ve reviewed and edited the notes, you can start making the draft of your D&D content.
These are the popular methods for sharing your content:
- Exclusive email content
- Social media
While documenting your campaign, don’t forget to ask insights from your players. They might share some information that you’ve forgotten or some important pieces about their backstories. In-depth documentation will also help you determine the general flow of your campaign.
Share Your D&D Ideas
D&D is a flexible hobby that contains nearly infinite ideas about encounters, monsters, NPCs, stories, and treasures. Discussing unique ideas is a great strategy that will make your D&D content more valuable than ever. But before you can start sharing ideas, you need to choose a platform first.
Facebook is an excellent place to share your ideas. You can make a Facebook page and share at least two ideas per week. Growing your D&D Facebook page might take a while, so you must be patient and focused. You also need to adhere to Facebook policies before reaching out to large communities or groups.
A blog is an easier alternative to Facebook. Through a blog, your ideas will have a ‘personal touch’ that real D&D enthusiasts can appreciate. As much as possible, try making one blog post a day. Afterwards, cross-share your blog post in Facebook and other social media accounts that you have.
If you have the knack and resources for making videos, Youtube is the best route. Sharing D&D ideas through a Youtube channel is laborious. The process involves money, scheduling, production setup, and remarkable editing skill. You can outsource the process if you have extra money or perks to spare.
Figure Out Your Campaign’s Uniqueness
What makes your campaign unique or extra special? This is the first question that you must answer because it will serve as the focal point of your D&D content. Take a look at Critical Role. The show emphasizes drama and the real dangers of adventuring in an untamed fantasy realm. The Adventure Zone, on the other hand, is popular because of its humorous approach.
To know your campaign’s unique factor, just read your early notes. Is there a common thing that players loved about your campaign? Did the players comment on how you could improve the campaign further?
Once you’ve pinpointed the best thing about your campaign, you can now flesh it out with content ideas. Perhaps your campaign will shine greatly through a funny, laid-back narration or a deeply serious tone. Keep experimenting and do not lose your focus!
Think About Marketing
It’s common for content creators to forget about an important administrative process: marketing. Without a dedicated marketing effort, your platform will never reach the target audience quickly. This can lead to a low conversion rate, low sales rate, and an overall slow growth. D&D enthusiasts love to explore new content, but they’re often distracted by other bigger platforms with deep marketing strategies.
You probably heard about ads and their effectiveness. While they are beneficial in the long run, ads can drain your finances quickly. It’s even trickier to make ads focused on D&D and other TTRPGs. Instead of using ads right away, you can settle for organic marketing methods like social media sharing and posting. Just make sure that you have a unique product related to your D&D content.
Take note of these simple D&D products that you can make:
- Custom character sheets
- Exclusive PDFs of D&D ideas
- Custom NPC and monster cards
- Custom art
- Stories, lore pieces, and letters
- Premade backstories
- Subscription boxes
- Custom D&D accessories
- Custom minis
Marketing your new D&D products will take time. Just be patient and don’t hesitate to ask the help of other marketing professionals.
Get Some Equipment
Equipment is necessary to make all types of D&D content. If you want to run a D&D blog, you need a working laptop or a desktop computer. On the other hand, you need reliable cameras and mics for live play streaming.
Don’t go overboard when it comes to equipment. You should start small instead of burning money on high-grade equipment without any assurance of ROI.
These are some important gadgets for your D&D show or site:
- Stream deck
- RGB keyboard and CPU case
- High-quality headset with mic
- Extra cords and sockets
- D&D-inspired custom table
Try to avail promos while ordering gadgets and equipment. Usually, manufacturer promos come with extra products that you can use.
Awesome Products From Popular D&D Shows
Sometimes, watching your favorite D&D show is not enough. You might feel the itch to buy the show’s advertised products as a form of personal support. Well, there’s nothing wrong with buying such products as long as you have an extra budget.
Take a look at our top picks:
The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
The setting of Critical Role thrives with magic and danger even though many areas are still shrouded in mystery. Instead of reading the encyclopaedic web pages of Critical Role wiki, you can just get a copy of The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.
The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount is a DM-friendly book that contains the lore of Wildemount and Exandria. Inside the book, you can find eccentric monsters, cool player options, powerful spells, and refreshing encounter ideas. Guide to Wildemount is a must-have book for DMs and players alike.
Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron
If you want to play a grittier RPG with themes of science and magic, you should grab a copy of the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron. This book is a common staple in various D&D shows, especially the ones running under homebrewed formats.
Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron has a unique formatting style that combines elements of lore and other optional rules. Reading the Eberron sourcebook is like flipping through a detailed old-school manual loaded with small stories and anecdotes.
Various D&D Minis and Figures
While theater-of-the-mind is the traditional narrative option in D&D, many players still prefer the visual-tactical aspects of tabletop gaming. Seeing the position of enemies and objects requires lower mental energy and clears any source of confusion. The best items that can represent objects and entities are D&D minis.
WizKids is a top provider of official D&D miniatures. In any WizKids store, you can order dozens of minis with different styles and textures. Most of these minis are unpainted, so you can just unbox them and start playing right away.
Best D&D Shows – FAQ
What is the most popular D&D show today?
Answer: Currently, the most popular D&D show is Critical Role since it has many spin-offs, one-shot adventures, and cast commentaries.
How do D&D shows make money?
Answer: D&D shows make money through various means like affiliate marketing, sponsorships, direct product sales, and corporate events.
What platforms are commonly used by D&D shows?
Answer: Twitch is the most common platform used by D&D shows, followed closely by Youtube.
What are the qualities of the best D&D show?
Answer: The best D&D show has an equal combination of presentation value, character synergies, humor, and great in-character drama. However, most shows don’t have all of the mentioned positive qualities.
Instead of looking for the very best show, just take note of your favorite choices and watch them as often as you like!
Are all D&D show participants professional actors?
Answer: No. D&D show participants come from all walks of life. Some are cartoonists, designers, writers, and marketers.
Every D&D show has a unique factor that viewers can hold on to. It’s tricky to find the best option because people have varying tastes, affecting the overall popularity of D&D shows. But if you’re a solid D&D enthusiast, you’ll probably have a few favorite shows to binge-watch during the weekends.
Can you suggest an underrated D&D show to our list? Let us know in the comment section below!