OK, If you play a ton of Dungeons and Dragons and consume a load of D&D fan content, then making your own podcast has probably crossed your mind. I created my show back in 2017. I posted weekly and ran a series of four live shows. The intention of this blogpost is to inform rather than to dissuade. Here are some realities to consider when turning a D&D game into content.
Actually playing D&D is going to take a back seat to content creation and promotion.
Let’s say that you have a pretty production light show and you plan to upload with the only editing being adding an intro and outro. Even then, you would probably listen to it once at the bear minimum giving you a 1 to 1 time spent editing to playing D&D. If you want an audience, you’ll need to do some sort of promotion/marketing. Posting in each social media channel once a week will probably bring up your production time by another few hours (this doesn’t include the initial time spent setting up a website and writing copy for episodes). So now, at a minimum, the ratio of producing content to playing is 2:1. If you’re the Dungeon Master for this game, you’re going to have to add in the amount of time you spend preparing a game, which could easily be another couple of hours. Ultimately you’re probably going to cut a lot of your time actually playing so that you can produce and promote your content, so think real hard before you trade in that time you could spend actually playing with your friends.
Your players will be performing.
If you just setting up cameras or mics in front of your regular weekly session, make sure that your players are up for that. Just because you’re the DM doesn't mean you own your game. Collaboration is the heart of D&D and what goes on at the table belongs to each player, and they have a say as to whether their play gets recorded and aired on the internet. Not everyone is a natural performer, and even fewer people are professional performers. For Fate and Fables all the players are cast from the Melbourne comedy and acting scene. Most regular folks will be quite nervous role playing with their friends let alone to a recording that will go up online (especially if theres very little editing). The fact is, performing is work even when it’s fun so make sure the players have signed up for it.
You can find your own balance.
For several reasons, including audio faults and DM/production burnout, I took an eight month hiatus from Fate & Fables, my own podcast. In that time I started a new weekly home game with some friends. This was the best thing I could have possibly done because it made me realise that I enjoy playing D&D more than I enjoy producing content. I tweaked the balance of production to play so that I’m only releasing episodes over a handful of months a year, and only when I have a fun idea for a game. The point being, if you still fancy making content from your D&D game, you’ll find what balance works eventually. When it’s a labour of love, you’ll be fine if no one listens to it because you can be proud of what you’ve made regardless. Come jump into the D&D podcast community, I can’t wait to see what you make.