Swung back to actual play for a little bit, as I needed something for a couple of long car drives, and picked this one up because of the premise. It seems like an obvious choice, combining actual plays with portal fantasies, but it's not one I've heard much of. I think Dungeons & Daddies might have done it? Tell me in the comments of any others.
Anyway, in Cast Party, Sebastian (sound engineer), Blueberry (actress), Xander (camera man) and Jett (star actor) are filming the climactic scene of their most recent flick, when their colleague, Kingsley the (pretend) wizard, manages to do some (real) magic. Lots of special effects later, they all wake up in a mysterious forest, surrounded by bits of set that came with them, and rudely interrupted by a small group of farmers who are a bit worried by the (presumably high level) magic.
A quick wander to the nearest village later, and it seems that while magic is common, the religion of the world isn't very fond of it, and so Kingsley is immediately banged up for breaking the rules, though luckily the others magic to get themselves released. Now they have to work out where they are, what the hell is going on, and how to retrieve Kingsley, because he's probably the only way they've got to get back to our world, from the fantasy land of Fendraeya.
Naturally, as a D&D actual play, we've got a range of character types, linked to either their character in the film, or their profession. Sebastian, for instance, with a love of sound, becomes a bard. Blueberry, who was acting as a nature-loving elf (with a real-world fondness for environmentalism) ends up as a druid. And three episodes in, they're only just working out how these abilities manifest. It'll be interesting to see how well and how long this can be played, until they slip back into the main position of D&D players and just calling their spells etc, but for now I'm enjoying the exploration.
Not very far into it really, to put a few thoughts down, but it's one I'll keep listening to. The cast take it fairly seriously, so it's not too jokey, there's not too many mood breaking moments, and it's got a few nice tweaks of sound and music where appropriate. They're also a competent group in terms of performance, with limited table talk and a lot of character work.
At the minute though, distressingly my favourite element is one of the non-canon episodes. The show has a patreon, and while it will eventually go exclusive, at the moment on the public feed there are a couple of episodes that sit between the main shows. These generally have the silliness turned up a lot, particularly with the most recent "Enter the Pungeon", in which every enemy, trap and puzzle is a pun, some more tortuous than others. Listening to them work out the secrets behind "Here be Dragons" and the Library Elves is very entertaining.
But in total, a nice actual play, with an clever twist on the format and a fun cast. Worth giving it a go.