Friday, March 05, 2010

Review: The Order 66 Podcast

d20 Radio LogoThis is the first, and as far as I know currently the only, podcast for the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Saga Edition Roleplaying Game. (There was a short lived official podcast, but that is the only other one I am aware of). I have been listening this show since episode one, and it has earned its place as one of my must listen podcasts.

Nearly every week, GM Dave and GM Chris, along with many other guests and occasional co-hosts, bring us the latest in Star Wars Saga Edition gaming news. They’ve provided reviews of the various rulebooks as they’ve come out over the last couple years, though the line is coming to an end, so that part of the show is not likely to continue.

The real value of this podcast, however, is all the advise and rules discussions the hosts have in nearly every episode. The meat of each show is usually built around advice on a particular topic, and is often applicable to other game systems. In addition to rules discussions, character builds, and story building, they have also discussed topics such as player relations around the table.

The show also features many ‘bits,’ such as the popular “Postcards From Commander Cody,” which add both humor to the show, and an additional source of ideas for your game.

One item of particular note is that the game designers themselves have guested on many episodes. These shows with Rodney Thompson, Gary Sarli, and others are amongst my favorites, with rules clarifications and behind-the-scenes looks at the design process.

Though this may be the only podcast for Star Wars Saga Edition fans, we are lucky it is a very good one. The beginning episodes were, quite honestly, not that great, but the hosts have grown a lot in experience and now produce a great podcast for gamers. It is also the flagship podcast of the wonderful d20 Radio network.

  • Podcast Website: d20 Radio

  • Find This Review At: iTunes Music Store

  • Disclaimer: I have received no special considerations for this review.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Review: The Tome Show Podcast

Old Tome Show LogokJeff Greiner’s The Tome Show podcast has been a staple on my iPod since I discovered it in early 2007. Since its inception the show has focused on the Dungeons & Dragons product line from Wizards of the Coast; starting with 3rd edition and shifting over to 4th edition along with the products.

What started out as a largely one-man ‘news and reviews,’ amateur sounding show has grown a lot over the years. The show now has a bi-monthly format, with one show being a ‘review’ show, and the other being an ‘advice’ show, which I enjoy a lot. The reviews shows usually highlight one of Wizards major releases of the past month. They tend to be in-depth and fair, with numerous insight into how one can use the featured product in their game. Advice shows often tackle interesting topics, also in-depth, usually working on situations the hosts have encountered, or building things the hosts plan to use in their own games.

Though the show has no permanent co-host, there is a rotating cast of guest-hosts pulled from the ranks of fellow RPG podcasters, bloggers, and other community members. This is a marked improvement over earlier shows, as it gives the show a variety of viewpoints, and ideas bounce around a lot more freely. It’s also nice to put voices to people I may know only through Twitter, their blogs, or other sources.

When people ask me what D&D podcast to listen to, this is usually the first one I mention. It’s got good production values, and great, useful content. The Tome Show is a member of the Vorpal Network.