Nerd Poker is the D&D podcast that is a gameplay vehicle for comedian Brian Posehn and his friends that are also voice actors and generally funny people. Please note the link listed below is for the current iteration of Nerd Poker, which is most properly referred to as “Brian Posehn’s Nerd Poker,” and it is the outgrowth of an older podcast on which Brain appeared. I will place that link in the review section, but I want to save my reviews for podcasts that are current.
|Nerd Poker||Audio Only||http://brianposehnsnerdpoker.libsyn.com/||Weekly||PC-PG L|
Brian Bosehn’s Nerd Poker debuted in late April of 2017 with a new podcast of D&D that is played around the dining room table in Brian’s home.
The main game is set in a homebrew world on a continent called Amynna. The initial episode provides some backstory to the history of the land and the reason that adventurers have come there.
While the original Nerd Poker show appeared on the Earwolf network, the new iteration of the game appears to be a stand-alone show that is not part of a larger podcast or entertainment network. The show does have a Patreon page where listeners can subscribe for early access to new episodes and also get special content.
Nerd Poker is made by some very funny people, and like most funny people they can get very distracted very easily when something tickles their funny bone. One of the things you will hear on occasion is apologies to newer listeners that their show has so many sidebars. If you like humor you will probably not mind as most of these sidebars are in fact very funny.
In an episode that was created for the Stream of Annihilation event that Wizards of the Coast held to launch the Tomb of Annihilation campaign, one of the players explains for new listeners that there’s so much deviation from actual D&D because, “There’s nothing in the Player’s Handbook that says a dog can’t play basketball.”
Because the players are talented actors you will find great characterization. One of the primary characters is named Tom Diretto, a rogue based on the Vin Diesel character from The Fast and The Furious franchise of films, whose tagline is, “I live my life 30 feet at a time.” And the rogue also is voiced in a very good Vin Diesel impersonation—which is all the funnier once you know that Vin Diesel is a big D&D geek himself and enjoys playing the game when he gets the chance.
I make mention of the numerous sidebars and the very obvious pop culture references both as a lure and a warning depending on what you want from a real play D&D show. You’ll get good stories and great characters in Nerd Poker, but you’ll also get “in-your-face” immersion breaks with pop culture references and so much breaking of the fourth wall that you’ll almost feel like you are sitting at the table without a mic. If you like that style then I think you will absolutely love this show.
On the other hand, if you want a show that takes itself seriously, takes the rules of the game seriously, and tries hard to stay immersed in the world of the game, this show may prove more frustrating than enjoyable to you. I happen to like this show because I think the rules should serve to help guide the game, but that the rules should never stand in the way of telling a good story as long as everyone is enjoying it. The same goes with world building and role playing as well in D&D.
Finally, I give this podcast a PG rating with a special designation of L for language because it can get a bit salty at times. If you are not a fan of casual profanity in your podcasts, or if you are screening podcasts for younger listeners, then you should be aware of this fact.