Dice Exploder: A TTRPG Design Podcast

Dice Exploder: A TTRPG Design Podcast

Each week on the Dice Exploder podcast we take a single tabletop RPG mechanic and break it down as deep as we possibly can. Help fund season 4 now!
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Hello and welcome to DICE EXPLODER!

Hello and welcome to Dice Exploder! My name is Sam Dunnewold, and each week on this podcast I meet up with a new cohost and we take a single tabletop RPG mechanic and break it down as deep as we possibly can. It's a show about studying the nuts and bolts of how these games work, from crunchy tactical combat all the way to one word lyric games.

No matter what part of the RPG hobby you come from, if you're interested in how these games are put together, this show is for you. I've covered storygames like Blades in the Dark, classics from the old school dungeon delves and elfgames scene, concepts from the world of larp, weird stuff on the bleeding edge of the hobby, and right now I'm in the middle of a series on Dungeons & Dragons itself. Whatever I'm covering, I do my best to make it comprehensible, accessible, and welcoming no matter what your background is in the hobby.

On past episodes I've talked with designers like John Harper (Blades in the Dark), Meguey Baker (Apocalypse World), Jason Morningstar (Fiasco), and Idle Cartulary (Advanced Fantasy Dungeons).

I've covered games like Mork Borg, Dungeons & Dragons, Lasers & Feelings, Blaseball, Brindlewood Bay, and more.

The first year of the show has been nominated for an ENnie award (vote for it now!)

If you've never listened to an episode before, I especially love the one with Alex Roberts all about Love and Pity in Kagematsu and the one with Mikey Hamm about, what else, exploding dice.

Dice Exploder is my love letter to RPGs, and I make it for you. Help me bring you a fourth season.


Wait, who are you?

I'm a Minnesotan game designer, screenwriter, and podcaster (professionally even beyond this show) who lives in Hollywood like a chump. I'm the designer of Doskvol Breathes, Northfield (with Jason Morningstar), and the Golden Cobra winner The Hench Union Larp. I was a judge for the 2022 The Awards. I used to work for The Onion, where I appeared in the photo for this headline. I have no colon.

Plus, you know, I host Dice Exploder. This is my main RPG related thing.


What's in Season 4?

Well you can already check out the beginning of it: Season 4 kicked off with an episode all about For The Queen by Alex Roberts featuring my cohost Kimi Hughes of the Happy Jacks actual play network. We're cruising forward with a miniseries on Dungeons and Dragons featuring...
  • Ema Acosta (Exiles, Crescent Moon) on "rule zero" and how D&D, for better and worse, is almost more medium than game
  • Sam Roberts (Escape from Dino Island) on 3e's prestige classes, the fascinating failure that defined D&D's 3rd Edition
  • Tristan Zimmerman (Shanty Hunters, the Molten Sulfur blog) on "the adventuring day," a designer-facing mechanic which warps the entirety of 5e around it

After that, I'll do a couple episodes on the state of actual play, followed by a return to classic Dice Exploder: specific mechanics from all over the hobby, with special attention paid to the bleeding edge and overlooked classics. I already have a few of these in the bank, too.

The shortlist of mechanics on my list to cover includes:
  • The Sooth Deck from Invisible Sun and custom oracle cards in general
  • The Beast and other games either about or that incorporate sex and sexuality
  • Wreck This Deck and other mechanics that feel transgressive
  • A Collection of Improving Exercises and creating art as a game mechanic
  • Love Letters from Apocalypse World and making custom content for your table (a sequel to my episode on this topic with Nychelle Schneider)
  •  At least one episode about a larp

It's going to be another banger season.


When will season 4 come out?

Season 4 is, at least in part, already coming out! You can listen to the first episode now wherever you get your podcasts. This campaign will determine how long it goes for.

Funding Target & Stretch Goals

The base goal of this campaign is $2,500 USD. That'll cover my costs through the end of this D&D mini series plus the other couple episodes I already have recorded, for 6 total. But that's not the end.

I love my dad, he's a very smart guy who plays a lot of games and would love it in the Dice Exploder community Discord, but he's always wanted to keep his distance so I'm not uncomfortable. This is your chance to tell him and me both: "welcome, we promise not to make it weird."

We're keeping it simple this time. I don't have any particular additional cohosts lined up, just a long list of people I want to have on the show and mechanics I want to cover. For every $600 past that first stretch goal we raise, I'll do another episode, to a maximum of 10 additional episodes.

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