Fascinated Friday: Critjuice, or Drinking & Dragons

As you all know, for Fascinated Fridays, I often like to talk about my latest obsession.  The thing that I am all excited and geeked out over lately.  Right now, that is the podcast Critjuice, and so for this Fascinated Friday, I am going to introduce you to this amazing, enjoyable experience.

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You see everybody, I am a big old dork.  And there are few things I love more than a good role playing game.  A chance to roll some funny shaped dice across a table and tell some amazing stories with some friends is something that I adore.  It is actually how Joe and I became friends, and our game time shaped our growth as collaborative story-tellers to an insane degree.

But between work, fatherhood, and now a second full time job bringing you all amazing fantasy novellas like this one , we don’t have nearly the time to play that we once had.

And this has left me lonely and unfulfilled.

Fortunately there is a remedy for this.  One of my great pleasures of relaxation is listening to actual play podcasts.  Basically, these are recordings of people playing role playing games.  Yes.  Recorded versions of people doing things you wish you were doing.  It is exactly what it sounds like.

Nerd Porn.

And I love it.  It is how I pass my drive to and from work every day.  I have found some amazing ones in the past.  The Dread episode of Roleplay DNA for instance, is amazingly good fun.  http://p5productions.com/roleplaydna/2015/02/11/actual-play-dread-part-1explicit/  I also have a deep love for Dusque and White Dove and what they are doing over at Rolecasters http://www.rolecasters.net/ and never miss a chance to listen to them.  They have a great playthrough on Youtube right now you can check out.

But after devouring my favorites, I was looking for even more good nerd porn.

And then I found Crit Juice.  http://www.critjuice.com/

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In their own words, Crit Juice is “A podcast following professional actors & comedians playing Dungeons and Dragons while under the influence.”  Yup.  Drinking and Dragons folks.  They have made D&D into a drinking game.

And what a drinking game it is.  The boys are playing 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons, a much maligned version, but a version near and dear to my heart.  And with certain rolls of the dice, not only are drinks consumed, but also, the crit decks make their appearance.  These crit decks are created by user submission, and they are awesome.  And as the evening goes on and the game continues, these little campers get drunkity-drunk.

And it is magical.

You see, the amazing thing about Crit Juice is that it shouldn’t work.  It should be a train wreck of epic proportions each and every session.  And yet, it is amazingly fun to listen to.  Compelling even.  The reasons for this are two-fold.

1)  The cast. http://www.critjuice.com/players/   The guys playing are all actors and comedians.  Many of them have improv backgrounds and resumes that most sketch comedy shows would kill for.  But they are not up there doing shtick.  These guys are actually just genuinely hilarious people.  They seem like so much fun, I would consider trading my firstborn for a shot to sit at the table with them (think about it.  He’s pretty cute and almost potty-trained.)

2)  The DM.  http://www.critjuice.com/david  The designated driver on this party bus through mordor.  This guy.  Wow.  First off, he is the straight man for the drunken entourage of players he has to wrangle through adventure after adventure, and he does so with a grace and patience that defies the imagination.  And he is killing it while doing so.  He is crafting story, doing voices, building character relationships.  Hell, judging by the reaction of the players, even his maps are on point.  And the whole time, he is doing this with a group of improv comedians getting progressively more drunk.

I’ve taught middle school for years and that prospect scares even me.

The show is genuinely hilarious.  I am tearing my way through their first batch of episodes now, and loving it.  If you have never experienced a tabletop roleplaying game before, take a listen, and these guys will make you want to join the fun.  If you have, you will wish as badly as I do that you could get a seat at the table.

Until next time, keep finding things you love.  Even if they make you down your drink when you roll a 1.

I know I will.

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