Where to start with the Dice Funk Series

THIS WILL BE SPOILER FREE!

When people ask for podcast recommendations Dice Funk is always a series I’m surprised few people have heard about. There are now so many 5th Edition D&D (or Dungeons and Dragons) podcasts that you don’t really need to roll a dice very far to land on lists of hundreds. All of this need for enjoyable podcasting and yet one of the best out there is often missed by many. Unlike Critical Roll or other behemoth podcasts you don’t actually have to have listened to 100 episodes to get all the jokes and enjoy it. Dice Funk starts every season with a new story, new setting, new characters and a new theme. Stars and the players change between seasons and this makes every season feel unique and different.

I’ve been backing the series on Patreon for seasons now and even remember a time when the Credits were at the end of an episode. These days they’re grown so big and wild they need a separate show entirely (it has its own jokes and fantastic banter both with creators and the community) With a new season around the corner it’s a great time to have a look at where to jump in. Fire up those podcast apps and get ready to download some fantastic tales to get you where you need to be!

The easiest to listen to – Season 6: Purgatory

You’d think a season set in a Planescape-like setting, where factions were battling out for the stakes of how Gods will function in the afterlife, would be quite heavy going but the players lift the setting to be such an incredibly enjoyable experience that’s easy going throughout. The party are the ‘new’ Furies, tasked with solving problems in the realms and with the delightful King Badass keeping things jovial, Nifyx bringing the drama and the murder pals of Blake Ferris and Cordelia Heller the season keeps you guessing right up to the end. The murderous misadventures are an absolute delight and you could see this easily being animated by Cartoon Network Studios in a Steven Universe style.

The season that’s the Least and most like a standard D&D campaign – Season 2: Lorelei

All of Dice Funk uses D&D 5th Edition more as a framework for the story telling. The rolls, skills and combat are a secondary system in place only to help make things more interesting. Usually a huge shift to the story and plot can come at a botched or critical roll and it’s the best thing Dice Funk can teach a DM about how to host a game. Lorelei is the only season of Dice Funk I struggle to get into, the antics of Violet Skittles Unicorn are just a bit too far for me to enjoy. Regardless the tone is incredibly light and you can expect a standard journey through a magical Wind Waker-esque land occasionally thrown wildly off course by a decision or roll.

The one nobody really remembers – Season 1: Stoneroot

Stoneroot is where the cover art for Dice Funk originates from. This was also the only season (so far) Austin hasn’t been the DM. The tone is impressively dark and drenched in a doomy foreboding feeling throughout. Johnny Maloney does a fantastic job of taking the 3 players through the adventure and Austin creates a brilliant trope with his character Anne, using the ‘butt touch’ for a boost to stats. There’s a strong commitment to the players rolling with their characters choices that has stuck with Dice Funk in every season and I feel this is the makings of what Dice Funk has that sets it worlds apart from other podcasts. The audio quality is a little ropy at times but if you want a dark and gory tale with plenty of combat then you’re gonna love season 1.

The most interesting story – Season 5: Markov

Markov is by lightyears my favourite season of Dice Funk. It absolutely blew me away and still shocks me how incredibly twisty and fantastic the story is. Every character commits to the role they’re playing in a way that not only makes the stakes feel serious but results in some incredible development. There are real ‘anime’ moments that are jaw dropping to listen to and the conclusion is simply out of this world. Being set in space, Markov is the go to number 1 recommendation if you just want to dive in to the best Dice Funk has to offer. Illithids, action, romance, side splitting humour and a fantastic story. It has everything you want in a D&D podcast and buckets more.

The one set in a school – Shardpoint Academy (Various One-shot episodes)

Technically Shardpoint Academy isn’t a season but as there have been 4 episodes so far, it has become more than the original One-Shot that started it. Shardpoint Academy is a short series where Michael Schiciano steps into the DM shoes and past cast members sometimes come back as new players for some enjoyable shenanigans. Technically sitting between season 3: Ilium and season 4: Valentine, Shardpoint is a great alternative to other magic school ips and hopefully we’ll see more in the future. It’s just a great way to decompress between big epic adventures with some great moments. If you fancy another short Dice Funk mini-series; Law Offices of Guns, Puns, and Justice is fantastic, it’s Ace Attorney blended into a Dice Funk style of madcap hijinks.

The Classic – Season 3: Ilium

Ilium was the first season of Dice Funk I listened to and a few friends I’ve recommended have gotten in around this time to. Season 3 was Austin’s 2nd season of DMing and not only did it have a change of cast early on, it set many Dice Funk-esque things that would go on to shape how the show would play out in future. I’d love to go into what makes season 3 so mind-blowingly enjoyable but it’s a similar issue with The Beginner’s Guide, Inscryption or any other piece of media where the natural surprise of the developments as they occur is one of the best parts. Ilium will have you wanting to stop to take it in but desperate to hear how it all shakes out.

The one with the most shocking “OH MY GOD” moment – Season 4: Valentine

When season 4 originally came out I dropped it pretty hard. Valentine takes a fair while to find its feet and after season 3 it really does need that breathing space to get going. One of the best things about Dice Funk is that if you don’t find a particular season is your cup of tea, you can skip it without worrying about listening to the next. With this in mind, I happily missed 4 and when 5 ended I was so desperate for more I went back, listened to 4 and oh my. Valentine is the season of Dice Funk where I had to go back and listen to a single episode 3 times to process it fully. The mixture of incredible talent and commitment from the players makes Valentine the slow burn up to a punch that is incredibly tantalising.

The Likely Future – Season 7: Wormwood

If you fancy a post-apocalyptic D&D podcast then Wormwood is the season for you. Despite the setting and events that occur this season of Dice Funk is told in a surprisingly light way. Looking back it’s packed with the usual Mad Max tropes that you expect from a Dark Sun style setting. Filled with gore and horror at every turn like you’d expect but for some reason it’s all told with this positive energy that flows into the narrative. If Wormwood had a HBO adaptation it would come with multiple warnings beforehand but aside from the graphic nature there is a staggering amount of hope throughout and it’s one of the most positive seasons.

The Latest One – Season 8: Grendel

As I write this, the final episode of Season 8 Grendel has gone live. Rather than the usual Dice Funk adventure resulting in numerous NPCs found along the way, the village of Grendel was designed to be a single location with more of a focus on the characters and the developing events that occurred to them. Long-time fan artist (and incredible talent) Cosmignon was brought in to design the characters appearances prior to the season (check them out here) but all of this planning doesn’t stop the players new and old from causing Austin to change plans each episode. There has been an impressive shifting throughout the season and Grendel will go down as creating the greatest Austin villain in Dice Funk history.

The Next – Season 9: Arabella

It’s Dice Funk tradition to have a post mortem on the past season where not only the players get a chance to answer some fan questions but also discuss what their characters have gone onto do after the conclusion. There isn’t a lot known about Arabella yet but you should definitely keep an ear out for the first episode which is set to debut on the 13th February 2022!

LINKS TO THE GOOD STUFF

Podbean – https://austinyorski.podbean.com/

Patreon & Episode 1 of Season 5 – https://www.patreon.com/posts/dice-funk-s5-01-21305224

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC7OB3QR2K_Dbr4gnQ7ax7A

Apple Podcasts – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dice-funk-d-d-comedy/id1050971057?mt=2

The Discord – https://discord.gg/YMU3qUH

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