Podcast of Waterdeep Retrospective

Finally! The Podcasts of Waterdeep event has begun and we can share the incredible insanity known as the NxNQ PoWD Ep1 “Waterdavian Nights” show. With guests Satine Phoenix and Andrew Young, plus our current cast of Tiffany, Chelsea, Elizabeth and Joe, this was such a joy of an experience – they all brought their A game and I’m thankful for every laugh, touching character moment, and in-video costume change.

But holy Hell, it wasn’t easy getting here.  Come with me…and you’ll see…a world of pure collaboration.

We were invited by Victoria to join the PoWD group as one of the podcasts being featured during the event and, believe me, we could not have been more thrilled to join the star studded talent being pulled for this event.  Coming from our table where planning a storytelling-centric ttrpg podcast with 6-7 people any given month, it was a pure joy seeing Victoria and Josh corralling a herd of overly exuberant cats to get the ball rolling.

And yes, I chose episode 1 because I must be a masochist. And with that additional pressure on myself to kick this 10 episode multi-show story off w/a bang, I began planning.

It was hard because this planning was concurrent with the final four episodes of NxNQ’s Volume 2. I’ve had the framework of these episodes in my mind since coming up with the concept for Antilia – a runaway train of events that cannonballs into a major twist at the end, and the last thing I wanted to do was sell either story short (PoWD or Vol2).  So I started planning, researching, brainstorming, and digging into potential plot ideas fervently.

Around this time two things happened – we found out our guests (hahahahaha NO PRESSURE GAIZ) and Tiffany and I went to GenCon.  GenCon was its own incredible experience, but I got to excitedly squeal with Victoria and Josh in person about ideas and enjoy with others involved podcasters (such as Celeste from the Venture Maidens and Joe from You Meet in a Tavern) on the day it was officially announced by WotC!  It was great!

But riding that high…and the frenetic anxious energy from D) all the above, I flew back from Indianapolis to Atlanta renewed, refreshed, and my creative spirit on fire.  I sketched out 80% of the story on that plane ride back from Indy, and was beyond thrilled to play this game.

The next couple weeks were a stressful, anxiety filled blur capped by multiple wonderful moments – a group Zoom video call with all 10 GMs collaborating, excited discord discussions about pulling plot threads or characters from show to show, and mischievous planning with Dungeon Dave, the DM for Dragon Friends (side note – getting to collaborate with Dave is one of my top ttrpg moments ever! He’s a pleasure and a gentleman, exciting and hysterical, and getting to tell a story collaboratively with the Dragon Friends will be a memory I cherish for years).  Logistics, cat wrangling, detail planning, coping with life events, and final survival to gameday made early August a complete blur. But we did it, we got there!

We recorded a Wednesday evening after work, everybody rolling up excited and a little slap happy.  I was pretty chill leading up to gameday, but when I sat down getting ready to crank up Zoom, start the call, game run a game that *I* thought would be fun, rp heavy, and give some wonderful rp moments, I definitely started to second guess everything. But too late! Andrew and Satine called in, we had some brief session 0 table talk, did mic checks, recorded the cast intros, and then showtime.  

The PCs kept me on my toes. And boy howdy did they apparently enjoy that initial meeting scene cuz I couldn’t get them out of there! But honestly, the game went so naturally and we all shared so many laughs, at ease and sharing a collaborative, fun game of dnd.  For those who have run low stakes tables with six PCs, its saying something when we did this episode with that many people and everybody had a blast, equal play time, and got to indulge multiple facets of their characters.

The evening ended way too soon and we said our goodbyes.  I saved the audio (and backed it up thrice!), made notes and prepped to begin editing.  After a weekend full of chores and the next NxNQ gameday, I flew out cross-country for a work trip. Jet lagged and overworked, I begun editing the show into its final form.  Coordinating with a couple surprise collaborators (like in the intro and outro scenes), getting it pulled together, and exporting it was both grueling and thrilling. Editing was concurrent while most the other GMs were recording their episodes, and stories were being shared back and forth of all the insanity taking place in the other episodes.  The group bonded. It was the type of project we started podcasting for in the first place – inclusive, collaborating storytelling that showcased cool, talented, nice people doing fun gaming.

So as the episodes began to wrap and were delivered, a slight sadness took hold realizing the frenetic, hectic, and frankly insane event planning was coming to a close. And it looked like it was all going to come together!

We kept making jokes among the GMs in discord, and separately jokes within our NxNQ private chat, and shared personal experiences about the game.  This story has taken on a life of its own so much more than just a few friends gaming around a table. It’s become something truly special and this PoWD event allowed us to share it with others, collaborating and doing something really incredible most of us never expected to have the opportunity to do.  

And now. Now its finally come out, up and available for the world to see.  You all get to see our particular mix of story, humor, drama, and hope. This episode starts the 10 episode story – each has its own unique voice and all the stories’ voices have combined to make something wonderful.  

For a guy who grew up the awkward teen, always on the outside looking in and taking solace in books (The Hobbit…then Lord of the Rings…and once my precious Tolkien books devoured, being turned on to the Forgotten Realms, Drizzt, and Waterdeep by my local public library), getting to do an official episode in the City of Splendors for Wizards is a true homecoming for me. And guess what – my inclusion of Artemis Entreri in the party’s game was my own little wink to young, awkward, uncertain teenage me.  A wink and a nod that guess what – life throws a lot our way, everybody fights their own battles, but in the end if you surround yourself with good people, life affirming people, ones that love and support you in everything you do, the places you will go will amaze even yourself.

So thank you. Thank you for listening. For your support. For reading. For your feedback and stories and art and kind words. They mean more than you’ll ever know. Please, enjoy Pas Scaltula and the Waterdavian Nights heisters, and let me know what you think.

Until next time.

You can check out our episode as well as everyone else’s on the Dungeon Delve podcast feed.

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