This podcast is not unique, but it is unusual in that the entire cast of DM and players are women. This gives the show a different vibe and it makes the roleplay and gameplay feel a lot different than many of the other shows I have reviewed and games that I have played in personally. The game is set in a homebrew world of the DM’s own creation, and while the adventures and combat are all very classic D&D, the game play and table talk have a real “slumber party” feel to them, which might catch some male listeners off guard. As the guys from the RPG Academy say, “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right,” and it’s clear the girls are enjoying this game, so that means there’s an audience that will enjoy it, too, even if that audience doesn’t include you.
|Roll Like A Girl||Audio Only||http://rolllikeagirl.com/||Weekly||PC-PG|
Roll Like a Girl started in the summer of 2017.
Roll Like a Girl is set in a homebrew world. The adventures begin in the town of Helmforth, where the new (level 1) adventurers meet at a job board set up by the local adventuring guild. The first few adventures have a one-off feel to them, and gradually the threads of a larger story and more long-term campaign arc begin emerging as they complete various tasks in and around the town.
Roll Like a Girl is not advertised as being affiliated with any larger podcast network.
Roll Like a Girl has a number of interesting elements to it. First and perhaps most importantly, the show follows the rule of “don’t overplan the story too much” by initially plopping the PCs down in a small town with small problems to tackle. This lets the players and the DM get to know more about each other and allows the backgrounds of the PCs time to develop. This is a good tip for new DMs, who have a tendency to develop a huge story arc and think it would be awesome for their players to explore it, only to find that the PCs decide to take a left turn and investigate something completely unrelated to the main plot. Letting the PCs develop the background of their character and give the DM some details allows a collaborative world-building that frankly makes the DM’s job a little easier and also allows the players to feel more engaged and connected with the game world.
A second element that the show introduces is extremely girly on the surface and wonderfully classic D&D in its execution. At some point the PCs find a clue to a much larger story arc by attending a cupcake party. Yes—cupcakes. And these are arcane cupcakes that inspire prophetic visions when someone eats them. It’s a wonderfully wicked and devilishly devious way of putting a dramatic twist on something that would otherwise be a purely fun and completely throw-away sidebar to the adventure. Feasts and eating have been a trope in fantasy literature and media ranging from The Hobbit to Game of Thrones to World of Warcraft and beyond. Using the food as a plot device to reveal a new thread in the arc of the show is something I very much enjoyed.
My d6 rating is a little lower than it might otherwise be for two reasons. First is simply from my personal taste in shows, and second is a slightly muddy production quality that is probably born of people learning to create audio content as they go. I have to admit that this show is new to me, so my review is based only on a listen through the first ten episodes of the podcast and that certain elements may have changed over time.
As for my taste, I have to be honest: I really love women, and I also do not have a woman’s sense of humor—thus, I feel like I’m really not in the target audience of this particular podcast. I find myself rolling my eyes and shaking my head at some of the most girly elements of the show—at the same time, it’s obviously coming from a place of fun and true enjoyment for the players, so it absolutely belongs in their show. At the same time, there are things that the DM in this show does that I like and I’m not afraid to unabashedly steal to use for my own games, and that makes it a show worth following.
When it comes to audio production, there are a few issues like one of the players always seeming to show up in mono and only on one channel of a stereo output and a slightly muddy quality to the audio. The leveling is not as consistent as it could be from one player to the next, and that could be simply lack of knowledge on the part of the player recording the show or lack of a good meter to show how each player’s sound levels compare to the others. Someone who puts a premium on absolute audio and production quality may be more harshly critical of the show for that reason alone, but I think the content merits a listen. The players and DM are also conscious of proper recording etiquette, so there’s not a lot of background noise from keyboards clacking or snacks being munched to disrupt the audio.