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Roll Britannia | Parley: Brian & Ned from Encounter Party




Hello, fellow adventurers! Today, we're diving into the fascinating world of "Encounter Party," an innovative D&D-based TV show. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the brains behind this creative endeavor, Brian David Jenkins and Ned Donovan. Let’s unravel what makes "Encounter Party" a distinct gem in the realm of D&D storytelling.



Join the Party


Encounter Party Logo

"Encounter Party" began its journey in 2019 as an enthralling audio adventure, conceived by the creative minds of Brian David Judkins and Ned Donovan. After captivating listeners with three riveting seasons, the duo revealed that the podcast was always more than just an auditory experience; it was a proof of concept for a larger ambition. In a groundbreaking move, they transformed their vision, transitioning "Encounter Party" from the realm of audio podcasts to the dynamic world of television. This strategic shift was part of their grand plan, using the success and appeal of the podcast to lay the groundwork for its evolution into a televised format. This transition, in partnership with eOne and Wizards of the Coast, allowed "Encounter Party" to reach new heights, blending the imaginative world of Dungeons & Dragons with the thrill of television storytelling.


The show gathers a talented cast of actors who bring a unique blend of charisma and depth to their roles. This ensemble, which includes both new faces and some returning from the podcast, showcases remarkable chemistry, a testament to their shared passion for the narrative.


The Cast and Their Characters


Encounter Party Cast
  1. Brian David Judkins as the Dungeon Master: The orchestrator of the fantastical world, Judkins guides the narrative with a masterful blend of challenge and storytelling, weaving a tapestry where fate and choice collide.

  2. Ned Donovan as Flik: Serving as an executive producer and actor, Donovan breathes life into Flik, a character whose journey is as mysterious as it is integral to the unfolding story.

  3. David Lee Huynh as Vinh Erikson von Longstrider: Huynh portrays Vinh, a character whose journey is marked by a blend of bravery and introspection, adding a layer of complexity to the group’s dynamics.

  4. Sarah Babe as Ulavina Thrift: Babe's portrayal of Ulavina adds a distinct flair to the ensemble, her character's journey intertwined with the threads of fate and prophecy that run through the show.

  5. Andrew Krug as Dryddian Rootwalker: Krug's character, Dryddian, is a pillar of strength and wisdom, guiding the group through their perilous journey with a mix of strategy and intuition.

  6. Landree Fleming as Asher: Fleming’s Asher brings a unique perspective to the group, offering insights and decisions that often change the course of their journey.

  7. Khary Payton as Tolo: Payton's portrayal of Tolo adds an element of mystery and depth, his character's actions and decisions pivotal in the unfolding narrative.


Show Synopsis:

"Encounter Party" revolves around a gripping premise: six strangers are bound by a prophetic dream, a harbinger of doom that foretells the death of two among them. This shared nightmare sets them on a path of destiny and danger, as they race against time to unravel and possibly alter their fated ends. The central question that haunts their journey is a philosophical quandary as old as time: Can fate be changed once foreseen?


Encounter Party Studio

As the characters delve deeper into this enigma, they confront not just external threats but also the internal turmoil of knowing that death could be imminent for any of them. This existential dread is compounded by the reality of the game—they know that while they can walk away from the table, their characters might not escape their demise.


Transitioning from Podcast to TV

Brian and Ned shared their journey from podcasting to creating a TV show. They emphasized that the transition maintained the essence of the game while enhancing the production value and engaging a broader audience. The move was always part of their grand plan, using their original podcast as a stepping stone.


Maintaining Show Identity Across Different Mediums

Despite the shift to a visual medium, "Encounter Party" retained its core identity. The creators strived to keep the vibe consistent, ensuring that the TV show resonated with the podcast's original fans while attracting new viewers.


Unique Aspects of 'Encounter Party'

One standout aspect of the show is its approach to storytelling. Ned & Brian discussed how they keep the game and story fresh for both the players and the audience, using techniques like private informatio n and unexpected twists. They aim to mirror the audience's experience with that of the players, creating genuine reactions and a dynamic storyline.


Encounter Party Table

The Creative Process and DM Techniques

Brian, acting as the DM, shared his approach to balancing creativity and gameplay. He emphasized the importance of having a clear goal and engaging players in story-focused gameplay. The show’s structure is carefully planned to fit into a designated number of episodes, ensuring a tight narrative.


Impact on the D&D Community and Future Directions

"Encounter Party" has positively impacted both the D&D community and newcomers to the game. The creators hope to continue expanding their reach, bringing unique storytelling and gameplay to a wider audience. They also discussed the potential influence of their show on other indie creators in the D&D space.


Personal D&D Preferences of the Creators

Brian and Ned shared their favorite character builds and playstyles, offering a glimpse into their personal preferences in the game. This section adds a relatable and human touch, connecting the creators with the audience on a gamer-to-gamer level.


Advice for New DMs and Players

For those new to D&D or DMing, Brian and Ned offered invaluable advice. They encouraged new players and DMs to focus on storytelling and imagination, emphasizing the fun and collaborative nature of the game. Their insights are a treasure trove for anyone looking to delve into the world of D&D. - Check out the episode for more!


Dungeon Master


"Encounter Party" stands as a shining example of the versatility and depth of Dungeons & Dragons as a storytelling medium. Brian and Ned, with their unwavering creativity, passion, and vision, have demonstrated that the boundaries of traditional D&D gameplay can be stretched far beyond conventional limits, creating a truly extraordinary experience.


Each episode's ability to blend suspense, emotion, and the inherent unpredictability of a dice roll into a compelling narrative is a thrilling journey, inviting the audience to become part of an adventure that's as unpredictable as it is captivating.


Encounter Party airs every Tuesday and Friday at 9 PM on Freevee and Plex, offering viewers a unique opportunity to join this remarkable journey.


Don't miss your chance to be part of this extraordinary adventure, where fate and choice intertwine in an ever-evolving dance, and every episode promises a riveting ride through the rich tapestry of Dungeons & Dragons.



FAQ


What inspired the transition from a podcast to a TV show?

The TV show was always the end goal. The podcast served as a proof of concept to pitch to studios.

What advice do the creators have for new DMs?

Can "Encounter Party" be enjoyed by those new to D&D? 


Remember to catch the latest from "Encounter Party" and join us next time as we continue to explore the enchanting world of D&D. Until then, happy adventuring!


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