Review: Dungeons & Dragons & Daughters, as written by Dan of Almost Bedtime Theater

Dungeons & Dragons & Daughters (D&D&D) is an actual play podcast featuring a father, his twin daughters, and a rotating guest playing through a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5e). The first 20 game sessions, and their associated bonus episodes, are a fun way to introduce kids 8 and older to a more traditional way of playing D&D, with regular combat, iconic monsters, and yes, dungeons.

This article was written by Dan from Almost Bedtime Theater since he and his daughter have a history of listening to D&D&D, and it inspired them to create their own kid-focused TTRPG podcast! Thank you Dan for guest writing this article and sharing your XP about another pod!

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What is D&D&D about?

D&D&D is an actual play podcast that follows Curt Bolin (Daddy the Dungeon Master), his twin daughters – Sam (Meme the elf druid) & Birdie (Gallexsy the elf wizard) – and a guest (Dave/Deb the halfling cleric) as they play through a campaign of D&D 5e. They start out new to the game and learn as they go, giving the audience the opportunity to learn the mechanics as well.

The podcast began in 2017, when the girls were eight, and the campaign wrapped in early 2023. Over the course of the game the trio battled terrible foes, traveled through time, and created an awakened chicken. They also saved the universe.

Who would D&D&D be great for?

The first 20 gaming sessions, the associated “Out of the Dungeon” episodes, and the two episodes of Sam running the game for Women in Tabletop Gaming Month, are a fun way to introduce kids 8 and older to a more traditional way of playing D&D, with regular combat, iconic monsters, and dungeons. These episodes cover the initial story arc of the campaign, and thanks to the rules discussions, listeners can pick up on how to play over multiple sessions. They may even get inspired to run their own game – like my kiddo did – after hearing Sam do so. For folks with D&D experience, it can also be entertaining to listen to this next generation discovering classic D&D creatures and tropes.

Be aware that some of the content in these first 20 episodes may not be appropriate for all kids, so you might wish to listen to the episodes beforehand and/or review the episode write-ups available here. For example:

  • Combat occasionally includes descriptions of gore and can sometimes be intense. 
  • Sentient humanoids are fought and killed (e.g., kobolds, werewolves, koa-toa).
  • Alcohol and alcoholism are mentioned frequently as a point of humor. One of the player characters (PCs) has a thing for whisky and another is alcoholic.
  • PCs die (spoiler: they get better), as do friendly non-player characters (who generally don’t get better).

While there is plenty to enjoy in the episodes following that first arc, as the players get older the content has some considerably darker moments, like PCs gathering dog corpses to craft a flesh golem (Episode 32) and physically torturing a prisoner for information (Episode 61), that put it beyond the scope of this review.

What is unique about D&D&D?

The most unique thing about D&D&D is that it’s not only an actual play featuring kids, but that it’s an actual play featuring kids with over 75 episodes! Early on, Curt mentioned in an interview that they were only going to keep playing for as long as the kids were having fun. Six years in, they’re still playing.

Other notable features include the “Out of the Dungeon” episodes where they talk about leveling up their characters and the fact that the third PC in the group – everyone’s favorite halfling cleric – is played by a variety of folks: friends, guests, and Mom. Not only does the rotating player offer different takes on the character, but the players are often new to the story (and sometimes even to RPGs), which means listeners get the chance to be reminded of what’s going on and how to play.

Our favorite parts and episodes of D&D&D

My favorite part of the podcast is the silliness and creativity driven by the kids. From their enthusiasm, to their nicknames for spells, to the menagerie of pets, to their unapologetic willingness to run roughshod over what could be considered the “expected” way to play, they are clearly having a blast and that is so much fun to listen to.

One of my favorite episodes – which is actually two episodes – is of Sam (then age 9) taking over as the Dungeon Master for her dad and sister. The chaos is real, and it reminds me so much of the games my kiddo would run when she was that age.

I also rather enjoyed the recently released wrap-up episode, where we get the chance to find out what the kids thought about the campaign; where Curt got his inspiration for the story, the Muskelators, and some of the notable NPCs; and what’s going to happen next.

Overall thoughts on D&D&D

D&D&D offers an fun, actual play introduction to more traditional D&D, providing listeners with the opportunity to learn the mechanics of the game along with the players. The first 20 game sessions form a solid story arc for ages 8 and up, though some content may not be suitable for all kids.

Where to find D&D&D

You can find Dungeons & Dragons & Daughters on YouTube, PodBean, and other podcast apps.

Thank you Dan!

And again, thank you Dan for writing the review to share your XP with us! If you want to hear more from Dan, you can find more here:

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