I’m not a big actual play fan. The only group I’ve been able to consistently listen to are my friends at Twin Cities By Night, and even then, some of the games don’t really catch me and keep me coming back for more. I think that’s about to change with this new Department of D&D (DoD&D) game put on by the Military Gaming League. For those who might not know, I’m a US Army veteran who served for about 7.5 years as a mechanic. While I didn’t love the military while I was Enlisted, I did love the people and this podcast fills a nostalgia niche while also being really entertaining.
I asked the folks at the Military Gaming League to provide some details on their show, which I’ve collected below. Anything in italics is a direct quote from the folks at DoD&D.
1) What’s the general theme of the podcast?
The game is a satire of military stereotypes, but it leans into the feeling of camaraderie and unity that lives within the military. The story follows a group of real world military members who find themselves dropped into the Forgotten Realms, where they need to wrap their minds around what is happening while also taking action and saving the world. The in-game group includes 3 soldiers and 1 sailor who have banded together due to their strange circumstances and their shared backgrounds.
2) Why start an actual play series with a military focus?
We saw how popular D&D was in the military community and wanted to create content that gives military and veterans a little more of a personal feel when listening to a D&D podcast while also allowing civilians to get a satirical glimpse of the military. We always strive to create content that gives a sense of family and belonging to service members and veterans.
They really hit the money here. The first two episodes have quite a few in-jokes and military humor moments that really hit home for me. Even if you aren’t a veteran you’ll get most of the humor, but being a member of the veteran and military community made some of the moments really shine as hilarious. I laughed the entire time.
3) Who are the players and their characters?
John, known as Ltvyrus, is an Army veteran who is playing PV2 Lance Wakeman, an Army medic who becomes a grave cleric.
Jaydon, known as Hephaestus, is active duty Army who plays SPC Anthony Foster, a "radio dude" or communications who becomes a rogue.
Heather, known as PinkChaos, is a Navy veteran who is playing PO1 Louise Ripley, a Navy missile tech who becomes a combat paladin.
Drake, known as McQ2, is an active reservist in the Army who plays LT Todd Wise, a West Point graduate and infantry officer who becomes a ranger. (He’s a classic LT, and has rolled terribly every time he tries to use a compass or map)
Mike "Devil" plays as the Deputy DM or Deputy Defense Master and Travis "ShamShield" is the DM (Defense Master).
The players are already diving head first into classic D&D murder hobo behavior and the military style antics on top of that make things even funnier.
4) How can we get involved and support the Military Gaming League (MGL)?
The best way to get involved from both the military and civilian side, is via our Patreon. We built our Patreon in such a way that individuals are not just subscribing to a tier, but rather joining an elite unit within MGL that we do special events with and have special rewards for. So those who join one of the 4 units will get both MGL rewards and DoD&D specific reward and it really helps us push out bigger and better content for everyone but also supports MGL and its mission to support service members and veterans through gaming. https://patreon.com/militarygamingleague
If someone is US military or veteran, they can join MGL through our website at https://militarygamingleague.com. MGL as a whole touches more on the esports side of gaming however if we see benefit, we do initiatives such as DoD&D.
5) What is the future of the MGL?
We see MGL growing into a powerhouse in the esports world that caters to a different type of gamer: military and veteran. We really want to showcase the skills that our players have but also to have a space where the military family exists in the gaming world. The easiest way that MGL grows and is able to put on these gaming events is by growing our playerbase, which means getting the word out to as many service members and vets as possible.
Well, I for one am excited to see where this group goes and I’m not a big supporter of the Military Gaming League itself. I invite you to come join us in checking it out and supporting them doing what they do.
With 20+ years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C.
Art courtesy of Military Gaming League
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