“The Adventure Zone” is a comedy-parody Dungeons & Dragons podcast hosted by the Mcelroy family (of Monster Factory and “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” fame) that has been releasing episodes bi-weekly for the last two years. Varying knowledge of D&D, hilarious character and superb plot-writing by Griffin Mcelroy, their Dungeon Master, make the podcast a must-listen even for those who have never considered themselves interested in tabletop roleplaying games.
The three heroes of the Adventure Zone are a good-natured and dog-loving warrior named Magnus Burnsides (Travis Mcelroy), an unlucky cleric, Merle High church (the brothers’ father, Clint Mcelroy), and Taako, a rather dense elf on a quest to invent the taco and name it after himself (Justin Mcelroy).
Though the adventure is mainly moved along by the Mcelroy’s snarky and often inappropriate humor, the plot and characters are incredibly rich and diverse and it’s easy to find yourself genuinely rooting for the characters or even find yourself shedding a few tears.
The plot quickly escalates from the first arc “Here There Be Gerblins” (in which our heroes befriend a bugbear and accidentally have a hand in turning a city into glass). “Murder on the Rockport Limited” is a murder mystery aboard a luxury train with a time limit and a surprising twist. Our heroes get behind the wheels in “Petals to the Metal” as they set out to win a dangerous race reminiscent of a fantastical Mad Max movie to save a town from being engulfed in vines by a thief with a mysterious power over plants. In “The Crystal Kingdom” arc, Taako, Magnus, and Merle don futuristic suits and explore a lab filled with hostile robots and an elevator museum. The current arc is “The Eleventh Hour” in which the three are trapped in a Groundhog Day loop. In between each arc, is a “Lunar Interlude” in which the heroes rest before their next mission and visit Fantasy Costco to haggle with Garfield the Deals Warlock.
From “The Crystal Kingdom” onward, the Adventure Zone also began to feature an incredible soundtrack composed by Griffin himself to accompany the story. The music and sound editing are incredibly professional and it makes an excellent backdrop for homework, walking, or even falling asleep.
The Adventure Zone is an amazing listen, even for people who aren’t familiar with podcasts or D&D but just want to listen to a hilarious fantasy adventures.