Dice and Valor is a podcast that originates from Arizona in the United States and includes two different ongoing campaigns, one in Call of Cthulu and one in Dungeons & Dragons. While the podcast is fairly new, it suffers from the curse of amateur production, meaning that the audio quality can be distracting at best and infuriating at worst. The role play and the storytelling are good, but the audience for this show will be limited to those who can stand poor quality recording until they invest in a better recording setup and learn better podcast recording etiquette.
|Dice and Valor||Audio Only||http://www.diceandvalor.com/||Irregular||PC-PG|
Dice and Valor started in the summer of 2018.
Dice and Valor has different settings depending on the game. The first part of the Call of Cthulu game is set in early 20th century New England, while the D&D game is set in a homebrew world created by the DM.
Dice and Valor is not advertised as being affiliated with any larger podcast network.
I think Dice and Valor could be a worthwhile show if the cast would invest a little time and a little care in more carefully recording, editing, and producing their shows. The biggest impediment to listening to this podcast is that the GM and players insist on violating every rule of podcast etiquette possible and then do nothing to try to clean up the audio in post-production.
First it sounds like they have a single microphone to pick up the players, while the D&D DM is on a separate mic that is set to voice activation mode. Unfortunately, she speaks so quietly at times that the mic clips off parts of her description, and there are gaps of silence where there should be exposition or description of a location or enemy action.
Secondly, there is no accounting for the fact that some of the players have naturally louder speaking voices than others, so that (especially in the D&D game) there are moments when the sound gets distorted badly from someone projecting so loud it sounds like they are screaming into the microphone.
Both the Call of Cthulu game and the D&D game suffer from players and/or the GM failing to follow the most basic and simple of recording rules like silencing their electronic devices and refraining from snacks while recording. There are hideous sounds of cans and glasses crashing on the table and loud crunching sounds of the players eating chips during the game session, and even worse trying to talk with their mouths full of food. I believe they also must have their mic in a tabletop stand that has no shock absorption, because when they occasionally bump or move the table, it sounds like the room they are recording in is falling down around them.
These blunders in recording can be chalked up to inexperience at best or to just plain laziness and lack of caring about their show at worst. I think the stories may be worth listening to if the audio problems were addressed, but as it is, trying to listen to this show is just a complete waste of time. The players and GMs do seem like they are having fun playing the game around the table, and that’s fine—but if they just want to have a weekly game they should quit recording it and just enjoy it with their local gaming group. If they do insist on creating a show, then they need to consult some more experienced podcasters and follow some basic rules of etiquette.
A good start would be turning off all their electronic devices so there are no dings, beeps, bleeps, chimes, alerts, or ringtones during the recording. A second good rule would be setting up break times in their session and disallowing any snacking or drinking at the table while the mics are recording. Finally, if they are limited in the ability to have multiple mics, they need to move the microphone to a floor stand instead of a table stand and then physically arrange the players so that the most soft-spoken are closest to the mic and the loudest are furthest away. And the DM needs to spend some time either adjusting her mic’s pickup on the voice-activated recording or change the setting so that it is always on except when she manually mutes it. I’d really want the cast to invest a little time in listening through to edit their shows, or at least try to listen to them in the same way they listen to shows that other people produce. If they did they would quickly identify a lot of areas for improvement and they could be on their way to producing a show that’s worth hearing.