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The Experience Quest — a TTRPG Talk Show

The Experience Quest — a TTRPG Talk Show

By Sarah (CritCat)
Well met! The Experience Quest is a TTRPG variety podcast hosted by Sarah and focused on the experiences of players, gamemasters, and creators. With an emphasis on Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) 5th edition Sarah discusses her experiences running and playing the game. Episodes featuring guests bring fresh perspective and incredible tabletop role-playing tales! What quest will you embark on next? Enjoy the episodes at your own pace, in any order, and check out the companion blog for more content. This podcast was formerly titled "Critical Catastrophe"
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A thrilling battle recounted with far too little annunciation!
Episode 3 of The Experience Quest. Rin, Sgaoileadh, Tam, and the NPC Brazen face off against a horrible aberration in an abandoned ruin. Grappled, restrained, poisoned, stunned — there's much for the heroes to overcome in this thrilling battle! Will they triumph or have they met their match against this otherworldly foe? Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
21:06
January 6, 2021
Creative success fueled by passion and ramen! feat. Laura and Hector from A Few Burnt Hairs
Episode 2 of The Experience Quest. If you love D&D and candles this one is for you! Sarah talks shop with Hector and Laura from A Few Burnt Hairs, a D&D and dark fantasy themed online store. In this energetic episode, the trio discusses everything from DMing the game to entrepreneurship fueled by passion, coffee, and ramen. Check out their website https://www.afewburnthairs.com/ or connect with them on Twitter @AFewBurntHairs. Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com 
01:29:01
December 23, 2020
A new quest beckons
Episode 1 of The Experience Quest. What does a Dungeon Master (DM) burning out on their main campaign do when a new quest beckons? Answer the call, of course! Sarah reflects on her Magic Awry campaign and chats about what one-shots she's been playing in and DMing. Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
56:51
December 9, 2020
S0:E14 | Season 0 finale and transforming into The Experience Quest
The final episode of Critical Catastrophe before it becomes "The Experience Quest." Join me for a rundown of what's changing and what to expect with the new podcast name. If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
10:37
November 25, 2020
S0:E13 | Interview with Mark, a full-time DM with over 20 years of experience!
Season 0, Episode 13. Tune in for an incredible interview with Mark! It's bursting at the proverbial seams with realistic DM advice for running a stronger game with engaged players and a healthy table. Mark has over 20 years of experience DMing. He runs 6 concurrent games using D&D 5e, all set in his homebrew world. He is a full-time paid DM with a growing community of players and viewers. Learn what it takes to DM professionally, how to curate players, and how to avoid burn out as a busy game master. You can find Mark on Twitch at twitch.tv/dm_themarkknight or on Twitter @TheMarknight. If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
01:36:43
November 12, 2020
S0:E12 | Ody has inspired homebrew, DM experience, and the most fascinating beard to grace Crit. Catastrophe!
Season 0. Episode 12. CONTENT WARNING: Alcohol and drinking games. This episode features Ody, a homebrew creator for Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition. He has experience to share with publishing work on DM's Guild, tips for writing content, and hilarious stories from his time as Dungeon Master. Check out his work with the links below. Follow Ody on Twitter @OdyWrites and check out his link tree! If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
56:03
October 28, 2020
S0:E11 | Make traps visible!
Season 0, Episode 11. This is a companion episode to the Make Traps Visible blog post (linked below). Let's explore why it is beneficial to let your players know that there is a trap in the vicinity with helpful clues! If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: https://www.criticalcatastrophe.com/post/make-traps-visible
18:47
October 21, 2020
S0:E10 | Let's talk breaking tropes and creative worldbuilding with Sword & Quill's Zein (Party Chat)
Season 0, Episode 10. In this episode, I sit down with Zein, the Dungeon Master of Sword & Quill podcast. He's a narrative designer, pen and paper enthusiast, and an entrepreneur with a video game studio. His experiences and creative spirit make for a riveting conversation! We discuss his work on Sword & Quill, worldbuilding, language, diverse NPCs, and tackle some tropes we've encountered at our tables. Find out what unique takes Zein has implemented in his homebrew world of Ryva! You can find Zein on Twitter @swordquill1 and listen to his podcast on the Sword & Quill anchor page. Check it out! If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
01:18:38
October 14, 2020
S0:E9 | From gaming tropes to character hopes ft. Ethan (Party Chat)
Season 0, Episode 9. Ethan returns to Critical Catastrophe for a party chat about tabletop gaming tropes! Along the way we discuss all sorts of influential media, tropes we love and dislike, and some very strong feelings about movies, anime, and games. To top it all off we share our tabletop character ideas. A cleric pâtissier? A masked half-orc monk? Why not! You can check out Ethan's latest articles at rollwithit.blog and can find him on Twitter @RollWithItBlog. Be sure to investigate his blog when you're finished here!  If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
01:23:00
October 7, 2020
S0:E8 | Philippa's journey from player to TTRPG writer is a treasure trove of insight (Interview)
Season 0, Episode 8. This interview with Philippa Mort is packed with insight, gaming experiences, and advice for getting started as a TTRPG writer! Philippa's journey from player, to GM, to author of TTRPG modules is an inspiration for anyone considering the hobby or looking to start writing content. Her work studying medieval religious history provides expertise as we discuss how history has shaped the game we run. Find out how she got into tabletop gaming, what hobbies and interests are incorporated into her creations, and what advice she has to offer as both a GM and a writer.  You can find Philippa Mort on Twitter @MortPhilippa. Visit her linktree to check out Craft Witch / Witch Craft on Itch.io and Spiretop on DM's Guild. If you'd like to read more about the discussion we had regarding medieval vs colonial influences, you can read Ash's article on mixedupinclassics.wordpress.com, which touches on problematic aspects of D&D.  If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
52:33
September 30, 2020
S0:E7 | Exploring nuanced characters with Amy (Party Chat)
Season 0, Episode 7. Join me and Amy as we explore nuanced characters, discuss opinions on character flaws, and delve into the qualities of a good character for a shared gaming table. We play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) together and each have a catalog of fun and interesting characters to chat about in this Party Chat episode. Why didn't Harlan want to join the adventure? Is it reasonable to always have a weapon drawn - always? The barbarian critted with what weapon?! Stay tuned to find out!  If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
48:49
September 23, 2020
S0:E6 | The power of player choice - plan the conflict, not the outcome
Season 0, Episode 6. Dear Dungeon Masters (DMs), have you ever had a brilliant idea and forced it upon your party? Players, have you been caught in narrative cutscenes? This solo episode is all about avoiding the use of force as DM. Instead, learn to promote choices your party can make to interact with the scene. I explain how to avoid taking away player agency, why to avoid it, and how to build choices into scenarios. With these straight forward examples, you'll be able to identify what not to do and how to alter the way you think about conflicts and outcomes. This advice is TTRPG system agnostic and a lesson I've personally had to learn. Check out the companion blog post: https://www.criticalcatastrophe.com/post/use-choice-not-force  If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
17:13
September 16, 2020
S0:E5 | Ethan's decade of gaming weaves a tapestry of tales (Party Chat)
Season 0, Episode 5. This Party Chat episode features Ethan! He's a writer and Dungeon Master (DM) with a broad range of experience across a variety of tabletop games. With a decade of playing and DMing, he has the wisdom to spare and a collection of outrageous game tales to share. Join us as he brings much-needed energy to the episode and we discuss what makes gathering together at the gaming table so entertaining! We've barely scratched the surface, so stay tuned for the follow-ups to come! You can check out Ethan's awesome writing at rollwithit.blog and can find him on Twitter @RollWithItBlog. Be sure to investigate his blog when you're finished here!  If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
01:07:17
September 9, 2020
S0:E4 | Devil in the Details - How fiendish lore transformed my campaign
Season 0, Episode 4. In this solo "blogcast" style episode I lay out the canonical differences between devils and demons in Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition (D&D) and how, armed with that knowledge, I transformed my homebrew campaign. It was a journey of personal growth as I went from ignoring the established lore to embracing it. It all began with Milva, the cursed goat lady... and how she changed the campaign forever. Join me on this journey and discover what your TTRPG's lore can do for your game. If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
30:19
September 2, 2020
S0:E3 | Jak Started his D&D Actual Play Podcast How? (Interview)
Season 0, Episode 3. This episode is an interview with Jak, the Dungeon Master (DM) of an actual play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) podcast called "The Five Crystals." Jak, an incredibly chill and charismatic fellow, takes the time to explain how he got started podcasting, gives advice to newcomers, and goes into detail about running his Five Crystals campaign with the lovely cast. Find out who's editing behind the scenes, what Cubemaster's (Aligrax) famous catchphrase is, and learn the secret behind how Jak and friends took a concept and turned it into a real-life actual play podcast. The answer was quite a surprise! Check out Last Nerds on Earth's podcast "The Five Crystals" on a podcast platform near you! All their links can be found here and you can follow Jak on Twitter @LastNerdsEarth. If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
01:09:03
August 29, 2020
S0:E2 | Amy Breaks out of the "Creative Box" (Party Chat)
Season 0, Episode 2. In today's "Party Chat" segment I sit down with Amy, a long time friend of mine! We have a casual conversation about our beginnings in D&D 3.5e, the transition to 5e, and our shared experiences with this massive creative world of tabletop roleplaying games. Amy explains the "creative box" she found herself stuck in and what it took to break free of it and fully enjoy Dungeons and Dragons. Join us in this chill chat and find out if you, too, have a creative box blocking you or if you're rolling free! If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
47:55
August 29, 2020
S0:E1 | Fantastic Characters and How to Make Them
Season 0, Episode 1. "Fantastic Characters and How to Make Them" teaches the fundamentals for creating a fantastic character in Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and other TTRPGs. This isn't about races, classes, feats, or crunching numbers. These are guidelines for creating a character that will play well with others, contribute to the shared story, and still have a unique personality and background. I also touch upon the infamous phrase "but that's what my character would do" and address it head-on. The whys and the hows are upfront and center, as I explain why these tips are critical. You can read more about the topic in the companion blog post "How to create a fantastic character for Dungeons and Dragons and other TTRPGs." Check it out! If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
26:44
August 29, 2020
S0:E0 | Welcome! The Dice Don't Run the Table
Season 0, Episode 0. Welcome to Critical Catastrophe! I am Sarah and this is an introduction to the TTRPG talk show with an emphasis on Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition (D&D). In this episode, I lay out the podcast formats and explain who I am, what you'll get from Critical Catastrophe, and how to participate! I recommend starting here, but all episodes can be listened to in any order.  Episode Formats: Blogcast - Solo episodes with informative content about playing D&D and other tabletop roleplaying games. Party Chat - A casual conversation between host and guest exploring all things D&D from experiences and stories to discussions about game mechanics and running the game. Informal Interview - A deep dive that showcases the guest and their projects. Learn more about others who share this creative space! If you'd like to be a guest on Critical Catastrophe you can find me on my blog or on Twitter @CritCatastrophe. Let's collaborate! Intro and Outro Music: "The Drunken Siren" by Philip Melvan from the Tabletop Music Bazaar. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: www.criticalcatastrophe.com
10:26
August 29, 2020