[NSFW] Crystalis D&Dcast – Part 1: The Adventure Begins…If We Ever Leave the Inn

Mountains. Monsters. Mado. It's GameCola's first videogame-themed Dungeons & Dragons podcast, featuring Crystalis!

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Crystalis-Title-1AStory Navigation: | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 |

From the moment I saw Vangie Ridgaway’s “Gamer Girlfriend” column about playing Dungeons & Dragons, I knew this day would come. On the surface, there was no way a tabletop fantasy role-playing game requiring that many rulebooks and dice would ever fit in on a website about videogames…yet it wasn’t long before we started discussing the possibility of a GameCola D&D session, held via podcast from the comfort of our very own homes.

Preposterous. It would never work. We’d all have to buy our own Mountain Dew, for starters.

Somewhere along the line, I had mentioned that I had some D&D experience under my Belt of Giant Strength. Somewhere along the line, someone publicly let the cat out of the Bag of Holding that I knew how to run a campaign. From then on, there was no turning back: We were having a Dungeons & Dragons podcast, and I was hosting it. And with Pelor as my witness, we were going to make this podcast about videogames. Specifically, one videogame: using the mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons, we’d be playing Crystalis.


To celebrate another anniversary of The END DAY—the apocalypse of October 1, 1997, which I’m sure we all remember—GameCola staff members Alex “Zebu” Jedraszczak, Christian “Tornel” Porter, Vangie “Asina” Ridgaway, and Mike “Kensu” Ridgaway have taken on the personas of the four wise men (or “wise persons”) of Crystalis for this, the first and longest installment of a D&D campaign that we swear was only supposed to run for one or two sessions.

In this part, you’ll hear…

  • A superb editing job by Alex “Zebu” “Jeddy,” who makes me sound like I know many more words than “like” and “um.”
  • Six minutes of uninterrupted exposition that will cause you to fall irrevocably in love with my voice. Or writhe in pain.
  • Deliberations over such crucial decisions as whether or not to order dessert.
  • SHOPPING! Which always takes forever.
  • An amazing impression of a drunk person that goes completely unappreciated by the group, probably because it starts sounding like that guy from Kung Pow around the 35-minute mark.
  • Putting out a fire…with a sword.
  • A battle with a dragonsnake and a turtlepod, whatever the heck those are.
  • The first signs that Kensu is going to have way too much fun with that polymorph spell.

…and much, much more! But you’ve probably already skipped ahead and are listening to the podcast right now.


The adventure begins here!

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About the Contributor

Since 2009

Nathaniel Hoover is almost certainly GameCola's most verbose staff member, and arguably the most eclectic. As administrator of the GameCola YouTube channel (GCDotNet), occasional contributor to every article category on the site, and staff editor, you're pretty much stuck with him wherever you go. Sorry.


  1. My gosh, this was great! The Concentration Mountain part made me laugh harder than I have in a really long time 🙂 I’m glad that this is going to be a continuing series at least for a while, based on the ending “next time!” I assume you already have the next part at least recorded?

    Also, it was great to finally get to witness (not litterally or course) an actual D&D rules based adventure. I’ve heard a lot about the various aspects of the game but this is the first I’ve really seen of those rules in action, it was a great learning expeience.

    From your experience, are many D&D games usually this cheery and jovial? I had used to imagine that things got very serious and that tomfoolery was mostly frowned upon, even though that’s what I’d want to do in the games 😛

    Thanks again for an awesome Podcast!

    1. There will be at least a few next times! We’re aiming for weekly releases. As far as D&D is concerned, it depends on the other players…! Some people are very serious, require rolls for everything, and expect everyone to act in-character the entire time. For others, it’s an excuse to concentrate on mountains and polymorph drunk people. It’s mostly up to the DM!

      1. Right on. D&D is really just a rules system that you apply to an interactive story; ultimately, it’s your story, and the sourcebooks are just there to give you inspiration and structure…if you want them. Just as movies run the gamut from deeply serious narrative to outrageous self-parody, so too do D&D quests.

        Granted, the story only works when the participants are respectful of the tone of the story, the DM, and their fellow players. Even the goofiest of campaigns can fall apart if people are being silly to the point of counterproductivity…but by the same token, even the most depressingly serious campaigns can benefit from an occasional laugh.

        As long as everybody’s having a good time, it doesn’t matter so much what happens. But, in order to ENSURE that everyone is having a good time, both the DM and the players need to be attentive to the mood of the group, and adjust themselves (or each other!) accordingly.

        Anyblather, glad you got so much out of this, Joe!

  2. Now I want to run my own DND game, based off of Fire Emblem 2. That’s probably not a good idea; as soon as this episode went into combat situation, I lost all ability to understand what was going on.

    Also, how many experience points does it take to get a level up? From the way points were given out in the game, I got the impression that it’s not 100 points = 1 level, like in most games.

    1. That could be a lot of fun! Combat is one of the most complicated aspects of D&D, but it’s far more difficult in audio-only format, because (a) you’re not seeing everyone’s position on a combat grid or battlefield map; and (b) you’re not seeing the DM’s top-secret notes keeping track of hit points, etc.

      For this campaign, experience point gain and experience requirements for level-up are aligned with the values specifically found in Crystalis. Normally in D&D, it’s 1000 XP to 2nd level, and the XP amount required for each level keeps getting larger and larger in accordance with a neat little formula.

      1. Fortunately, all the stats and battle info for the Fire Emblem series has been uploaded to the Internet, in crazy detail. It can’t be too hard to use that as a basis.

  3. This was awesome! I loved every second of it, can’t wait for the next one! Wish I could do this but I have NO IDEA how.

  4. This is outstanding!!! I loved every second. I’m the best shop owner of all time! “medical herbs”…lol. No Turtle shell shield though?

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