Almost Bedtime Theater

Review of Almost Bedtime Theater TTRPG podcast!

Almost Bedtime Theater is a father and daughter (and sometimes cousin) podcast about family friendly tabletop RPGs! With lots of in-game shenanigans, review commentary from grown ups and kids, and a wide variety of systems tried, it’s a great show for anyone wanting to listen with young players.

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Almost Bedtime Theater, at a glance:

Almost Bedtime Theater
at a glance
Format: Reviews/one-shot actual plays of indie RPGs,  a 4-episode Dungeons & Dragons 5e arc, and some RPG basics.  (30 - 60 minutes) 
Cast: dult and 1-2 kids (father/daughter/cousin)
Language: PG - no swearing or lewdness
Themes: Exploration and a bit of chaos
Combat: Occasional, dependent on the system
Mood: Lighthearted and shenanigans while still having a coherent and flowing game

What is Almost Bedtime Theater about? 

Almost Bedtime Theater is a father, daughter, and (sometimes) cousin podcast where they take different family-friendly tabletop RPGs and adventures, review them, and play them on the show!  So, it is a combination of a review/talk podcast and an actual play podcast focused on trying out and discussing games from the perspective of kids and parents.  The show covers indie games and a D&D actual play, and it currently has 18 episodes.

Who would Almost Bedtime Theater be great for?

Almost Bedtime Theater would be GREAT for kids, families, and classrooms!  There’s kids actually playing, so it’s easier for young listeners to connect and engage when they feel like they’re represented.  Everything is kid-friendly; there’s no swearing or mature themes, and the tone is one of playful and fun chaos.  With that chaos though, everyone still keeps it together and has a coherent game!

For adults, it’s a great way to check out new systems and learn about different strategies for playing tabletop RPGs with younger players and some of the things you can expect in those games. Dan, the dad and GM of Almost Bedtime Theater does a fantastic job of both keeping the story centered and involving players in that story at the same time.  Through his guidance, he keeps it on track, so there’s a coherent path, but there’s still freedom for the kids.  He’s a great model for anyone looking for examples of how to play TTRPGs with kids.

What is unique about Almost Bedtime Theater?

Almost Bedtime Theater has quite a few elements that make it special.  It cycles through different systems, so you get a view of many different types of game.  There’s a review portion of the show, so you have both players and the GM talking about the highlights of the story and mechanics from an “out of game” perspective.  The kids are really involved throughout the whole show; they have input during the review portion, and they get to help create the world via prompts from the GM.  There’s kids playing the game (versus adults playing a game with characters that are kids) and having fun just enjoying the experience, so other kids can connect with it too.  It’s a family game and project, and you can see how these games create part of that family bond.  

And… I could keep going.

At its core, Almost Bedtime Theater is a podcast that both parents and kids can connect with and see themselves in, and it simultaneously provides entertainment in the form of a fun TTRPG actual play AND learning from the reviews and vicariously experiencing playing a TTRPG involving younger players.

Our favorite parts and episodes of Almost Bedtime Theater

My favorite parts are when Dan, the GM, asks the kids about what’s in the world.  During the Adorablins episode (which is definitely a favorite and the first one that we listened to), the kids came up with some wonderful descriptions of the trees in the world they landed in, and it added so much color and wonder to the game. 

The D&D mini-series within the podcast is also great – my kid has been asking to specifically listen to D&D after hearing my partner and me talk about different D&D shows and movies, and this one is safe to tune into while still meeting that D&D requirement.  Moments like when Rachael went into giggles over Kail or getting worried about what would happen with the dragon were great and had kiddo reacting and getting into the story too.

I also loved the Fae Team episode!  It’s a game written by the creator, and it’s really cool getting to see the group play their own game and just have fun with it.  The Fae Team episode is also FULL of some funny animal names, hat-based shenanigans, and Halloween mysteries.

I’m also biased in that they did do an episode on one of my games, which was the first time I heard something that I had written played on a show!  That was a GREAT feeling, and I loved hearing the team try it out!

Overall thoughts on Almost Bedtime Theater

We really like this podcast.  It’s cute, fun, and joyful while also still being informative, which is a hard combo to pull off, but they do it extremely well!  I love being able to share an AP podcast with my kid with confidence that this one is always going to be safe to listen to with him.  It’s a wonderful show, and I highly recommend checking it out! 

Where to find Almost Bedtime Theater

You can find Almost Bedtime Theater through their bio.link here!

You can also find some other features on Almost Bedtime Theater and publications from the creator on the TTRPGkids site here: 

Almost Bedtime Theater - a tabletop RPG podcast for kids

Interview with Dan and Rachael, Almost Bedtime Theater co-hosts

Review of The Fae Team

Review of The Librarian’s Apprentice

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