Spiders are the Evil.
Disclaimer: Although this is a requested review, all of the thoughts expressed here are 100% my own.
Honestly I don’t know how to describe this besides “the most adorable team of mismatched characters goes to find a missing person and accidentally causes the end of the world and then has to defeat an evil cult and a badass on rollerblades.” Oh, and it’s an actual play.
Quest Friends! has a really cute aesthetic, both in the official art/fanart, and in how the GM, Kyle Decker, describes the settings. They describe it as reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender and it really is. The characters they meet, the cities they visit, and the destruction they cause is all very A:TLA (you can almost hear the cries of “my cabbages!”) It gives you the same warm, fuzzy feeling that A:TLA gives, as well as the rip-your-heart-out-and-make-you-sob feelings (please let MISCHA keep their memories this time…)
The characters are all great, but I want to focus on Elee. Is she my favourite? Absolutely. Was I expecting that? Not at all. See, Elee is set up as being the Tough One With A Dark Past Who Will Kill. And I mean… She’s definitely that. But she’s not the caricature that I was expecting because she has this incredible backstory and this amazing soft lil heart and is completely motivated by protecting her loved ones and that? That shit is my jam. That shit’s so damn good. Also: Elee is an old woman. It is so rare to find elderly characters in fictional podcasts, especially characters that are so incredibly complex. Most are just one dimensional grandparent figures. The only characters I can think of that break this mold are Clint McElroy’s The Adventure Zone PCs.
Quest Friends! only weakness is that they do struggle with pronouns quite a bit. One of the leads and a secondary character both use they/them pronouns, and the players do slip up from time to time. They always correct themselves though, and have issued public apologies when they don’t. It’s clear that they’re trying hard to get the representation right, even if they mess up.
Overall, Quest Friends! is a cute actual play that is sure to leave you with the warm fuzzies and keep you thinking about the characters like… all the time (they’re all very good, not just Elee, I’m just biased).
I would recommend Quest Friends! to people who like more lighthearted actual plays like Prism Pals or stories about strange apocalypses like Queer Dungeoneers.
cws: violence, death, spiders, murder, existential talk, death threats, gambling, manipulation, toxic relationships, grief, drowning, miscarriage, injury, blood, choking