RPGMP3 is the great great granddaddy of Actual Play or Live Table Gaming (it has had a lot of names over the years). We were one of the first gaming sites to publish a podcast via iTunes and have a history of being a friendly and inclusive place to talk about gaming and geek related topics of all kinds.
RGPMP3 has been recording and podcasting tabletop games since 2003. We have assaulted the ear holes of the unwary with all kinds of gaming awesomeness, from mainstream DnD and Pathfinder to indie games like The Mountain Witch and Pirates of the Spanish Main to homebrew systems and settings.
We also provide a place for contributor groups to display their own tabletop game recordings getting an instant audience and allowing the site to present more content to listeners. We run our own server allowing us a great deal of control over how our content is delivered and consumed.
How It All Began
Back in 2003, we were all at the University of Bradford in the UK and Dean was running a game of Dungeons and Dragons. We were playing Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Paul (of Cthulhu), who runs Yog-Sothoth.com was playing with a minidisc recorder and a boundary microphone that Lindsay had given him and he recorded the session. He uploaded it to his site and the idea got some positive responses from the folks there. As it was not Lovecraft content, we talked and decided to set up a site that was not specific to Cthulhu and start podcasting the games direct from the table. Paul chose RPGMP3 as the name and the site was born. I took on responsibility for the site and we started recording everything we played.
The full campaign game was World’s Largest Dungeon. It is still a very popular place to start on the site as it has some very iconic characters and ran for 40 sessions. We got a lot of attention from the gaming community during that time and developed a busy forum that was tolerant of conversations and diverse opinion as well as friendly and accepting.
Over time we started hosting other groups from around the world and have continued to do that, providing a place for groups to share their diverse gaming styles with the world, helping GMs with ideas, discussing rules and generally being a great place to hang out while providing all kinds of audio for everyone to listen to. Some of the most prolific groups on the site include Strand Gamers, Bradford Adventuring Guild (BAG) People, Sugar Fuelled Gamers, Thistledown Gamers Guild, Yorkton Gamers, and the ever wonderful Whartson Hall Gamers. Some of these groups continue recording on site to this day, others have faded away over time and still others have spun off sites of their own.
The people who listen to the audio have always surprised me. I never expected people around the world to be so interested int he games that we were playing. We have a lot of people who listen to the audio when they are commuting, some while they are working, we have even had people listening while they were recovering in hospital. I am always excited to hear from anyone who enjoys the audio on the site, especially if it has helped them when they were in the rough spot or going through a tough time.
How Things Have Changed
Nothing stays the same. We have adapted as time as moved forward. The main RPGMP3 group from Bradford is now spread around the world following their own adventures. New gaming groups have been created in their wake. The minidisc player has been replaced with higher and higher end audio equipment, binaural recording heads like the Head of Vecna and other marvels.
Some groups have moved to game online, which brought in some of the popular and prolific site users as players over the years and led to video recordings of the games being added to the YouTube site. Recently the main RPGMP3 group made the jump to live streaming on Twitch, posting to YouTube and the podcasting through the site to try and catch as many users as possible in the net of audio awesomeness.
Right now the site is in its fifth incarnation. We have moved from a simple forum to a complex social media backed page supporting thousands and thousands of downloads a month. We have always been supported by out strong Patron community and we have recently made the switch to Patreon to help us give them the best value possible for their ongoing support.
The site has thousands of audio recordings and many many video recordings of live games. I hope you enjoy being here. Take the time to look through the old games, listen to some of the recordings. Sometimes the audio may be a little shaky compared to what we can manage these days but there is so much to learn. So many games and adventures to enjoy. Many players and characters to grow to love. This site truly is the history of gaming. It grows and evolves but the core stays the same. The love of the game and those who play it.
As always, lets sign off with the sites long-standing motto.