What do you know about Rivals of Waterdeep? The show has been running since the early 90s, and it has been broadcast on TV and radio in many countries, and has been translated into several languages. Its been translated into Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Greek, and Japanese. 100 episodes has been made, and more are in the works.
We’re proud to announce that after 100 episodes of Rivals of Waterdeep, the Dungeons & Dragons podcast and weekly D&D campaign, we have now completed our first season of podcast episodes! This has been an epic adventure, and we’ve learned a lot along the way.
It’s been twelve years since Wizards of the Coast first published Dungeons & Dragons, the role playing game that forever changed the industry and the lives of millions of gamers around the world. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of the Forgotten Realms, the latest entry in the twenty-six-year-old fantasy story, is celebrating its 100th episode on Thursday, July 8, 2017.
The long-running Dungeons & Dragons liveplay show Rivals of Waterdeep celebrates its 100th episode this week. Launched back in 2018 during the “Stream of Many Eyes” streaming event, Rivals of Waterdeep has become a leading innovator in the D&D streaming space, building their own stories within the official sandbox of the Forgotten Realms, the campaign setting and home to many of D&D’s recent campaign-length adventures. Rivals of Waterdeep often incorporates elements of these adventures into their own story, without necessarily committing to that adventure’s full storyline. In some ways, this makes Rivals of Waterdeep a perfect partner for the D&D brand – the show expertly demonstrates how a table can take “official” D&D content and make it their own.
Shareef Jackson, Tanya DePass, LaTia Jacquise, Masood Haque, Brian Gray, and Eugenio Vargas make up the cast of Rivals of Waterdeep. Every season, the program rotates the DMs, which is one of the show’s main novelties. This provides each 10-episode block its own flavor and enables the actors to explore a wide range of topics and stories without becoming bored.
The longevity to Rivals of Waterdeep is impressive, not only because the show’s characters are on the cusp of reaching the fabled “Tier 4” levels that most D&D campaigns never reach, but also because of what the show means to the wider D&D community. Notably, Rivals of Waterdeep’s cast are all people of color, offering important representation to a group typically underserviced in both the D&D streaming space and the wider tabletop roleplaying game community.
(Waterdeep Rivals photo)
Speaking to Tanya DePass, LaTia Jacquise, Brian Gray, and Eugenio Vargas via a video interview, asked about the show’s longevity and what it represented. “I remember those first episodes,” Jacquise, who joined the cast of Rivals of Waterdeep during Season 6. “I live tweeted the first episode because I was so excited to see a bunch of Black people and people of color playing D&D, and y’all were from Chicago, [Jacquise’s hometown.]” Jacquise also pointed out how important it was to see the show continue over the past three years. “It was amazing to see Rivals continue to come back season after season, especially when you saw the other shows that Rivals premiered with start to taper off, either because they were finishing or because they were going on breaks or hiatuses or whatever. It’s amazing just to have that representation and to continue to see that representation.”
Although Rivals of Waterdeep originally launched as a Wizards of the Coast-produced show, it recently spun off and became a Rivals of Waterdeep-partnered show, providing them with more freedom to grow their brand. DePass noted that change has provided both the show and cast with more opportunities in the wider D&D community and TTRPG spheres. “We’ve gotten way more sponsors, more partnership opportunities,” DePass said. “We have two characters in Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, and a birdie tells me there may be more coming. Warriors of Waterdeep just approached us. So we’ve gotten just more visibility. A lot of us have been guests on other shows. Brian’s been doing a lot of cool stuff, like he did a Humblewood one-shot recently for Roll20.”
Although a program with 100 episodes may seem to have a large backlog of episodes to catch up on, the show’s strong continuity is one of its assets and allows for greater narrative flexibility. When asked how the program keeps things new, Gray replied, “There’s so much from the past to choose from.” “But what I appreciate about it is that we’ve got slice-of-life episodes. ‘Oh, what is everyone up to?’ That has nothing to do with battle or magic, right?’ We’ve had those times when they aren’t dependant or dependent on a particular fiction or product coming out, such as “Okay, it’s a road trip episode.””
(Waterdeep Rivals photo)
Rivals of Waterdeep has been a bulwark in the D&D streaming space, which seems to constantly shift and change by the week. “I’ve noticed a definite surge, and a good surge, in online streaming of D&D and other properties,” Gray noted when asked how the streaming space has evolved during the past three years. “And what I’m loving seeing is I’m seeing people who are just enjoying streaming TTRPG content, and they are not trying to make it like Rivals. They’re not trying to make it like Critical Role. They are saying, “Hey, I can now play TTRPGs with my friends who may be separated by hundreds or thousands of miles. And we can all get together,” and they stream it. And they’re showcasing worlds they like, systems they like. They’re going back and they’re reclaiming things that weren’t written very well, or they’re making changes that need to be put into old setting books. I would love to say because of actual play shows like Rivals of the Waterdeep, everybody has realized that they can do this. They can have this fun and then they can stream it if they want.”
When asked what wishes the cast had for the future, many cast members said that they hoped the program will remain the same experience that they enjoy. “Fingers crossed,” Vargas added, “I’ll hope for a long, long future.” “That said, a part of me wants to say…and this isn’t about stagnation, but a part of me wants to say that the program just continues doing the same thing. More DM rotation, more table perspectives, more fun, real buddy antics, more of everything. Because that’s what I like, and I believe many of us do as well. It’s what piqued my interest in this program. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it, in certain aspects.”
The 100th episode of Rivals of Waterdeep will air this Sunday, July 25th, at 1 PM ET on Dungeons & Dragons’ Twitch channel.
“Playing Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games is not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.” That’s what a new survey says. The survey of more than 1,000 gamers was conducted by the University of South Florida. Forty-five percent of gamers said that they had played for 10 years or more.. Read more about rivals of waterdeep perrin and let us know what you think.
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