Dungeon Rats combines two genres—real play podcast and improvisation session. The trope that drives the show is submissions from listeners for traps, challenges, puzzles, and monsters that the PCs have to face and overcome. Thus, while the DM selects the submission for use, it’s up to listeners of the show to keep tossing out new ideas to keep the show moving.
The first season of the show revolves around the Rats trying to escape the Endless Dungeon. This dungeon is a prison where the Rats were confined after confessing to murdering the Royal Family of Naporia, and every enemy, challenge, trap, and puzzle is submitted by the listeners.
|Dungeon Rats||Audio Only||http://neonrival.com/thedungeonrats/||Twice a month*||PC-PG L|
This podcast started in 2017, and it is a collaboration of the Neon Rival improvisation group and Aram Vartian of Godsfall.
Dungeon Rats is set in a homebrew world called Naporia, and more specifically in a prison called the Endless Dungeon.
Dungeon Rats is part of the Neon Rival network, a podcast network out of Chicago featuring a number of voice and improvisation actors.
Dungeon Rats is an entertaining show that has a couple of unique elements. The first is the interactive nature of the challenges that the Rats face every week, which are all submitted by fans during the first season of the show. This element of the show makes it a real interesting mine of ideas and possibilities for a DM that is looking for inspiration of unique and interesting challenges, traps, or enemies to throw at their own adventuring group.
Another nice element of the show is the unique soundtrack that Carlos creates for every show. Carlos is one of the cast members and a producer for Neon Rival, and he has composed the theme music and composes a full soundtrack for every episode. That soundtrack is also overlaid with a full library of sound effects, similar to the episodes of Godsfall.
The show does use some mature language, and most of the episodes are tagged as Explicit in many podcast apps. I would recommend screening the podcasts for any sensitive or young listeners. There is not a whole lot of explicit language, but there is some adult language, and some listeners may find certain episodes to be a little too close to real world headlines that could be disturbing.
Personally, I find fantasy monsters acting monstrously to be totally expected; however, it’s clear that the creators and producers of the show believe that some listeners may have a much different threshold for what they think is simple fantasy violence and what might be disturbing. Let me be clear—everything I have heard in my listening to some of the Season 1 episodes is pretty mild compared to what you might see on Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, but if there are people who find those shows beyond objectionable, then it would be appropriate to screen episodes for sensitive listeners or youngsters.
There is a Season 1 and a Season 2 out so far, with Season 2 starting to chronicle the adventures of the group after their escape from the Endless Dungeon. In addition to these episodes, Dungeon Rats have participated in some of the big adventure release events that Wizards of the Coast has started to organize.