I'd like to thank my Mum...
I genuinely would like to thank my Mum, but other than that we would be remiss if we didn’t pay some very well deserved credit to some of the others out there who make Dungeons and Dragons actual play podcasting, online play and table top play so much fun to be involved with.
If you listen to some of the bigger Actual Play podcasts, you are going to run across Syrinscape very quickly. As they say "Epic Games Need Epic Sound" and Syrinscape provide hundreds of sounds and FX and mixes in a very easy to use online platform and App. Works very well for live play and, as we found out, plays well with Loopback Audio and Audacity for some clever production options as well.
Incompetech.com is a royalty free music website that has hundreds of mixes covering loads of different styles. It serves very well as a central hub of music for videos and other publications - and also as a source of fabulous background themes for our podcasts.
For those interested in recording and mixing different sources via different channels into a mixing deck such as Audacity, Loopback provides the virtual cables that link them all together. We've used Loopback to connect Syrinscape to Audacity, thereby allowing us to record the Syrinscape outputs directly into an Audacity track, where it can then be mixed further. It's pretty easy to use and we've found the free version more than enough for our needs.
Audacity is a free digital recording and editing software platform that is hugely powerful. It is where we do all our editing and production of the Billowing Hilltop podcast. It's a beast of a programme, and takes a bit of time to learn the in's and out's - but there is masses of really well written support documentation to lead you through it all and in the end it is well worth it.
If you play, or are interested in playing your game online, Roll20 is a great tool to have and it seems to have become pretty much the standard as it does lots and lots of things to make life easier, so you don't have to switch between so many tabs or books. You can load up maps, documents and other add-ons, such as decks of cards. You can also generate your character sheets here and can click on an attack or save or spell etc and it will roll the dice for you. It tracks initiative and has dynamic rulers to measure distance…and the list goes on.
Whist we sometimes look back fondly at the good old days of paper character sheets, in reality we all thank the stars for Hero Lab and the massive burden it carries in Character Sheet generation and management across so many genres.
Combine Discord with a little plug-in called Craig-bot and you have a hosted chat room that also records each input channel separately as a downloadable file and in a fair few formats. The resultant sound quality is very good and it is very easy to use.
We absolutely have to give a standing ovation to Brian Criswell who did the astounding job of converting the 5E Age of Worms adventure path. He's also known as "TORMYR" at enworld.org - an invaluable source of all things D&D; forums, information and interest plus podcasts and newsletter. Thank you Brian. Our lives are better because of you.