Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Go Die In a Hole: a Podcast for You

 Back in 2019, me and Nick put our microphones together and made a podcast called Go Die in a Hole.  We made 2 episodes.  It was a magical journey in which I learned how much I hate the sound of my own voice.

The concept:

Go Die would be a podcast where we analyzed adventure design, specifically dungeon design.  There aren't a lot of podcasts that focus specifically on dungeon design.  

* Which elements of the dungeon work well?  Which elements suck?

* How does the dungeon's layout affect how it plays?  How's the flow and the tempo?

* How well does the dungeon tell a story?

To explore these questions, we would spend 1 episode exploring a dungeon in rapid fashion: one person would be the DM and the other person would be the entire party.  Combat would be resolved in a single roll, or would be hand-waved entirely.  

Then we would spend episode two discussing the adventure.  The focus would be on (a) how information about the dungeon is presented to the player, (b) the types of decisions/problems that the dungeon presents, and (c) how a party would make these decisions.

We only sorta succeeded at these goals.

Anyway, now we made two more, so there's four in total.  And I guess that's pretty cool.

Episode 1

I run Nick through B1: In Search of the Unknown, written by Mike Carr in 1979.  It was the adventure that was included in the first edition of Basic D&D.

Episode 2

We talk about B1: In Search of the Unknown.

Episode 3

Nick runs me through CM8: The Endless Stair, written in 1987 by Ed Greenwood (creator of the Forgotten Realms).  It was an adventure for the Companion Set.

Episode 4

We talk about CM8: The Endless Stair.


Hopefully it won't be 2 years before we record another one.

Thank you, Nick, for your melodious voice and vorpal wit.  You have a better work ethic than me, and I resent you only slightly for it.

Note: not a Patreon post.  Psh.


  1. *pushes up glasses*

    AHKTUALLY, we didn't come up with the play/conversation divide until we had a discussion about how we could improve on the first two episodes.

    The first two episodes are both alternate between play and discussion.

    1. I think it's time for a retrospective episode, so we can dig into the origins of the podcast.

    2. We literally have a lost episode we could talk about.

  2. "Run some DnD for me, daddy" Ha! I've been reading your blog for like, less than a year I think (like... what is even time anymore) and it's already one of my favorite RPG blogs

    1. (wait, was that Nick? I'm terrible at podcasts because without knowing people's faces I can't tell who's speaking, even if I've been listening to the podcast for a year or more, and this is the first time I hear any of you two -_-)

    2. I'm the one that sounds like a dullard eating a bread roll.

    3. Arnold was the player in this one, and indeed the boi who wanted Daddy to run some D&D for him.

    4. > I'm the one that sounds like a dullard eating a bread roll.

      Honestly both voices sounded smooth to me (tho I can relate to "I hate my own voice")

  3. I thought both of your voices were pleasant to listen to!

    I don't know if the format is quite there but I'm excited to listen to any future episodes!

    I especially liked the discussion about the optimal number of interesting items per room and Arnold's dislike of the mapping challenges that were common in older modules.

  4. I just wanted to chime in and say that these vids were awesome. I really enjoyed the way that you talked in down-to-earth ways about playing the old school modules in old school ways and the things that you liked and would change. It was awesome . . . do more!

  5. In addition to the great discussion and tips on dungeon design, it was excellent to get a sort of 'live' perspective on how your minds work during play. The way you phrased questions (not "what do you want to do" but "what do you wan to do about the thing I just said") really sealed things I hear on your blogs about keeping the game focused and moving.
    This is a good way to work on DMing when not playing AND DMing when playing.
    I really enjoyed it.

  6. It's a great idea and I'm going to listen to it. I really like your ideas Arnold. Your voice doesn't sound weird in the slightest to me.

  7. Loved this analysis and there were some awesome inspiring ideas in Arnold's dungeon riffing.

  8. I'm sorry if this ends up being my thirst post of the same comment -It doesn't look like its working from my phone?

    I really enjoyed this -scratched my Blogs On Tape itch

    Don't know why you hate your voice, A -you sound like stoned Lee Pace (which I think is default Lee Pace)

    Some great ideas came out of some less-than-amazing dungeons

    I hope you guys do Keep on The Borderlands at some point. I've never played it, but since getting into old-school gaming I've become fascinated with the impact it had on the game

  9. I think this format is perfect and the combination of design talk with actual play and banter is great. I think this has the potential to become something tons of folks are really into listening to.

  10. Just finished listening; these were wonderful and I'll definitely be tuning in for anything else you put out.

    I really liked the discussion of "what to steal" and how to twist seed concepts from the modules into more interesting and unique ideas, both in the after-the-fact discussions and on-the-fly. Even the highly sped-up play was interesting, too, in the way you guys approached things and what you chose to cut or expedite versus what you let breathe. I think it's something to think about with what we can afford to drop when trying to fit more fun and meaningful play into a standard session as well.

    Lastly, Arnold, your voice is great. I honestly think you sound like Christian Bale (With the caveat that over the past few days I did watch the Dark Knight trilogy followed by American Psycho, and thus am biased. Needless to say, I was amused when you brought up American Psycho [the book, but whatever] as I was thinking about it.) You're hilarious, too. "A door happens to you", showing your buttholes to the eyeballs, the gnomes and goblins...

    TL;DR: Great stuff, more please!

  11. had a long drive today and I binged the whole series. I eagarly await more. I quite like your voice Arnold, you remind me of OneyNG.

  12. I listened to episode 1 today. I really enjoyed the insights and ideas. Especially when you made the comment about 500 bricks that your players could block up a passageway with. Really fun to listen to, with the benefit of being helpful from one DM to another.