What is Dragon Friends?
Dragon Friends is a monthly improvised comedy show and bi-weekly podcast in which a group of comedians and novice role-players play through campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons.
Comedy show AND podcast? How?
The Dragon Friends show runs at the Giant Dwarf Theater in New South Wales, Australia each month. The session is recorded live on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, divided into two sections and then released as a podcast once every two weeks (although occasionally delayed if the 2nd Tuesday of a month is awkwardly placed).
The Stream of Annihilation was on the DnD twitch channel in a combination of pre-recorded sessions and live broadcasts with chat interaction.
Do I need to know D&D to listen to Dragon Friends?
Nope! The D&D rules are kept very unintrusive, and the majority of humor is based on the setting and characters rather than the game system being used. You can understand and enjoy all of the show without knowing anything about D&D, other than what you'll learn by listening.
What makes this different from other D&D podcasts?
Dragon Friends is a D&D themed comedy show, not an actual play podcast, although there are improvisational components. The players are professional comedians performing in front of an audience, which gives the sessions a unique humor and energy. The game rules and settings are designed to emphasize this and create a fast-moving storytelling experience. There's ongoing background music played on the spot by Benny Davis or a rotating cast of featured musical guests. And alcohol may also be involved.
What game system do the Dragon Friends play?
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, but with some changes and adaptations. In the Star Wars Special, they played Edge Of The Empire. Although Season 3 is themed on the cyberpunk setting of Shadowrun, and Season 5 is themed around Call Of Cthulhu, the rules used are still those of D&D 5E.
What changes are made to the game system?
Note that this section is most definitely for D&D nerds, and you don't need to understand any of this to listen to the podcast!
Most of the changes made are to reduce on-camera (or on-microphone) bookkeeping and maintain the fast pace of the sessions.
- XP is milestone based.
- Initiative values are taken from a pre-generated list rather than rolled at the time of combat.
- HP of enemies is reduced to avoid repetitive combats.
- The effects of skill checks, especially social ones, is deliberately exaggerated and DCs are lower.
What adventures are they playing?
In Season 2 they play a variant of the Ravenloft 2nd edition module adapted by Dave Harmon. Although there is an "official" adaptation of this module for 5th edition, Curse Of Strahd, that is not used in this season.
In Season 3 they play an original adventure based on the setting of the Shadowrun RPG.
In Season 4 they play an original adventure based on the Spelljammer setting for the (much older) 2nd Edition of Dungeons And Dragons (then called Advanced Dungeons And Dragons)
In Season 5 they play an original adventure based on the setting of Call Of Cthulhu.
In the Stream of Annihilation they play the official module Tomb Of Annihilation.
In the Star Wars Special they play the Edge of the Empire Beginner's Set adventure Escape from Mos Shuuta, using the pregenerated characters from that set.
What does (X) D&D term mean?
Most of the time, you can understand the story without needing to know the occasional bits of D&D jargon that are used in the episodes. But for a quick glossary, see Dungeons & Dragons