July 31, 2017

EP. 195 — Checking In On The Modern State of Dungeons and Dragons

Thanks to those plucky kids in Stranger Things and the larger proliferation of nerd culture, we’re happy to announce that Dungeons and Dragons is officially cool now. And as with many things that are either retaining or finding success almost a fifth of the way into this new century, DnD is doing it by adapting to the times. Groups can now conduct entire campaigns online (no more meeting in mom’s basement); YouTube, podcasts, etc. have created more DnD content than the average player knows what to do with; and the DnD-style role-playing game has expanded to multiple genres, so players who would rather walk on broken glass than participate in anything with the word “Dragons” in it, can play a comedy, horror or sci-fi RPG game.

DnD is so cool, its reach has expanded to prison, the coolest place. Yes, prisoners are playing DnD instead of dominoes or chess or the stabbing game (never heard of it? It’s the game where you just stab people).

The reach and stature of Dungeons has expanded so much, after having our first African-American president and our second criminally insane one, who knows, in a few years, we may have our first president who goes by Zudlud Geodeheart, the Deep Gnome Barbarian. President Geodeheart could probably pass some healthcare legislation. 

On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is taking his great axe, 100 gold, and a poison resistance elixir around Los Angeles for a sort-of state of the state of Dungeons and Dragons. First, he’s joined by Cracked’s Michael Swaim to speak with Spencer Crittenden of HarmonQuest, and they talk about what it’s like being one of the most famous Dungeon Masters in the world. Later, Alex speaks with documentarian Elisabeth De Kleer, whose viral article and video about prisoners who play DnD shines a humanizing light on how table-top RPG games can provide a therapeutic effect on the incarcerated and even patients with mental illnesses. Lastly, Alex sits down with Geoffrey Golden and Lee Keeler, who have adapted the cult-comedy classic “Wet Hot American Summer” into an RPG game coming out later this year.

East Coast! The Cracked Podcast is coming to you! The Cracked Podcast will be a part of the Now Hear This podcast festival in New York, taking place September 8th-10th. For $20 off your ticket, head to NowHearThisFest.com and enter code ‘CRACKED’ at checkout.

West Coast! Pack an extra life, some elixirs and a poke ball. The next live Cracked Podcast is Saturday, August 12th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Alex Schmidt asks Michael Swaim, Adam Ganser, Monika Scott, Mike Drucker and Brodie Reed, “what is the best video game universe to live in?” Tickets are $7 and available here: https://goo.gl/WCKg8f

Guys. Gals. Aliens. Did you miss the premiere of Cracked’s newest podcast, Cracked Movie Club? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of time to catch up. Hosts Tom Reimann and Abe Epperson feature a new director each month as they do a deep into four of the director’s films with jokes, insane behind-the-scene stories and crazy fan theories. And July is devoted to none other than Steven Spielberg.

Listen to their episode about Raiders of the Lost Ark here: https://goo.gl/ygBfW1

Listen to their episode about Jurassic Park here: https://goo.gl/FK9gV4

Listen to their episode about E.T. here: https://goo.gl/aQmqzD

Listen to their episode about Jaws here: https://goo.gl/NdGi31

And to hear the newest episode each and every Thursday, search for Cracked Movie Club in your podcast app of choice or click here to find it on Apple Podcasts: https://goo.gl/fQ2o72


Spencer Crittenden on Twitter: https://goo.gl/3WqEi5

Article: Cracked: 5 Ways Your Dungeon Master Can Ruin Any D&D Session: https://goo.gl/fJj4p2

Video: Deadliest Warrior: Apache vs. Gladiator: https://goo.gl/RWe2Uf

Video: HarmonQuest: Episode 1: https://goo.gl/q0ka3m

Dragons in the Department of Corrections: https://goo.gl/1iumQr

Article: Vice: Dragons and the Department of Corrections: https://goo.gl/bMC9n6

Video: Vice: Escaping Prison With Dungeons and Dragons: https://goo.gl/RNpcgv

Video: CNN: The Bard Behind Bars: https://goo.gl/oYooRX

Scholarly Article: Wayne D. Blackmon: Dungeons and Dragons: The Use of a Fantasy Game in the Psychotherapeutic Treatment of a Young Adult: https://goo.gl/3VsbYp

Dragons in the Department of Corrections: https://goo.gl/1iumQr

Movie: Wet Hot American Summer: http://amzn.to/2vJTBhD

Wet Hot American Summer Fantasy Camp: https://goo.gl/XJ2BCg

Wizards of Cockblock Forest: https://goo.gl/m36d8q

Recent Episodes

January 26, 2020

Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.

Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/why-fear-based-democracies-arenE28099t-free-with-jason-pargin/

January 19, 2020

How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!

Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/5-parts-u.s.-economy-that-are-stranger-than-you-think

January 12, 2020

Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.

Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/9-times-pop-culture-accidentally-taught-people-to-save-lives/