Listen: I am trash for dumbass asshole bards.
Disclaimer: Although this is a requested review, the following thoughts are 100% my own.
Queer Dungeoneers is an all-queer actual play podcast “about being who you are by being someone different.” A crew of four strangers team up to break a dam and end up trying to stop the end of the world. They also deal with a strange number of worms.
I absolutely adore Queer Dungeoneers’ party. They are the perfect example of a party of misfits, consisting of a thief called Jolene Jolyne, an egotistical swan that was turned into an elf, an antisocial druid who regularly turns into a bear, and the absolute blessing that is Kremora. As you may have guessed from that summary, Queer Dungeoneers is not interested in taking themselves seriously. They’re here to have fun and be an escape from the real world and they do it so well. This doesn’t mean that they don’t deal with serious topics – episode 11 is emotional as heck – it just means that their primary focus is to let queer folk have a place where jokes and fun come before the intense tragedy.
I love that while the cast and characters are queer, it’s not the main focus. They’re allowed to go on a quest and have adventures and just exist. There’s no big romance or love story – except for Nimay’s very obvious crush on Kremora, but really who can blame her? – so you get a story where queer people are befriending and looking out for each other, something that feels so important during a time when our community can feel increasingly fractured.
The episodes aren’t that much shorter than regular actual play episodes – typically about 30-35 minutes compared to the usual 45 – but the complete joy that the players have makes them feel like maybe five or ten minutes. They also include really good recaps at the beginning, and the storyline is kept fairly straightforward, so I found that even listening to them a bit more spread out, I had no trouble keeping the story straight in my mind, which is promising going forward when I’ll have to – sigh – wait for the new episodes.
I would recommend Queer Dungeoneers to fans of more lighthearted actual plays like Prism Pals or shows about mismatched disaster parties like Inn Between.
cw: zombies, raised voices, blood, injury, death, grief, fire, murder, violence