Lightheart



Adventures

Cover photo for DoubleDM Interview saying new episode featuring Emil from DoubleDM

049 – How to start a TTRPG discussion podcast with Emil of the DoubleDM podcast

 

Today we get the pleasure of hearing from Emil, one of the hosts of the DoubleDM podcast, which is a discussion show between two Dungeon Masters and the occasional guest. This show has been around for just over a year now; about the same amount of time as mine, and it was pretty cool getting to chat with another podcaster about how their show has grown and their processes have evolved over the course of the past year. We talk about the importance of just starting and not waiting for it to be perfect and that it’s okay to ask for help. Emil was a wonderful guest, and he has some great nuggets of wisdom to share.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Time Stamps

  • 00:00:00 Introduction & Updates
  • 00:03:31 Emil Introduction
  • 00:08:37 TTRPGs in Germany
  • 00:16:04 Bringing variety into your campaigns
  • 00:18:43 Introduction to the DoubleDM podcast
  • 00:21:50 How Emil & Nils started their podcast
  • 00:31:59 Improving Forward
  • 00:35:50 How their podcasting process has changed over the last year
  • 00:42:38 Deciding on topics for each episode
  • 00:45:55 What has been the most challenging part?
  • 00:50:02 What has been the most rewarding part?
  • 00:50:56 Upcoming projects
  • 00:54:14 Where can people find you?
  • 00:55:50 Wrap-up

Find Emil & DoubleDM at:

Show Affiliates / Some of Courtney's favorite things

  • FloDesk Easily create gorgeous emails. Get your 1st month free & 50% off for your first year.

  • Found Familiar Delicious coffee meets Dungeons & Dragons artwork. Use code lightheartadv for 10% off your order.

  • Friday Afternoon Tea Grab a cup of tea with blends based on your favorite nerdy series. Use lightheartadv for 10% off

  • Dice Envy creates beautiful dice in a variety of materials. Use lightheartadv for 10% off your order

  • Buzzsprout is my fabulous podcast host! Try it for free & receive a $20 Amazon gift card if you sign up.

Transcript

Courtney:

Hello & Welcome to Episode 49 of Roll Play Grow, the podcast for tabletop entrepreneurs, creators, and fans. I am Courtney Stover of Lightheart Adventures, and in this podcast, we talk to the creators behind the brands in the tabletop roleplay gaming space about who they are and how they are turning their passion for gaming into a career.

Today we get the pleasure of hearing from Emil, one of the hosts of the DoubleDM podcast, which is a discussion show between two Dungeon Masters and the occasional guest. This show has been around for just over a year now; about the same amount of time as mine, and it was pretty cool getting to chat with another podcaster about how their show has grown and their processes have evolved over the course of the past year. We talk about the importance of just starting and not waiting for it to be perfect and that it’s okay to ask for help. Emil was a wonderful guest, and he has some great nuggets of wisdom to share.

If this is your first time tuning in to Roll Play Grow, hello! This podcast is a part of Lightheart Adventures, which is a small company I co-founded with my husband. We also do blogs, one-shots, and maps that you’ll find over on our website, lightheartadventures.com. And next week is episode 50 of ROll Play Grow! I realize that I totally missed doing an anniversary episode back in January, but you know, I was recovering from a rather intense surgery and moving to Seattle, so I’m choosing to forgive myself, and we’re treating episode 50 as the fun look-back episode I would’ve done for an anniversary celebration. This means that Brenton will be joining me again, but this time he’s going to interview me! We’ll chat about what the last 14 months of podcasting have been like and I’m sure we’ll also talk about that pet merch store that I keep teasing but never actually launching. It’s fine. We will get there; I promise. I definitely hope you’ll tune into that episode next week. So please make sure you are following me on Twitter at KetraRPG or LightheartADV and be sure to subscribe to Roll Play Grow on your favorite podcast player. I’ve got some absolutely AMAZING guests coming up, and you will not want to miss them!

Today’s affiliate is one for my fellow entrepreneurs out there, who may be looking to upgrade your email marketing. FloDesk lets you make gorgeous emails that are completely automated, and I cannot speak highly enough of them. You can see an example of this by going to lightheartadventures.com. If you have popups enabled, within a few seconds, you’ll see a sign-up show up for a free D&D one-shot, or you’ll find other ways to get that sign-up throughout the website if you have pop-ups blocked. That sign-up is powered by FloDesk, and then it will email you a free one-shot and add you to an automated email workflow that I set up long ago. It’s very user-friendly to make new, gorgeous emails, and it’s very simple to schedule individual emails or create a workflow that messages your contacts week after week. If you use my affiliate link, you’ll get 50% off your first year. Go to lightheartadventures.com/ourfavoritetrinkets to learn more about FloDesk and our other favorite things.

I think I’ve talked enough for now, so let’s go meet Emil.

Courtney: 

I am so excited to now introduce you guys to Emil, one of the hosts of the Double DM podcast. Hello! How are you doing today?

Emil: 

I’m doing very fine. Thanks for having me.

Courtney: 

I am really excited to get to chat with you. I’m glad that we were able to make it work out. You know, you are just a couple hours ahead of me.

Emil: 

Well nine hours, but yeah, it’s, it works out.

Courtney: 

Just, just a few. Emil, can you please introduce yourself a little bit? Tell us a little about who you are, where you live, and how you got into gaming.

Emil: 

I am Emil. I’m 22 years old. I am currently I’m working on my bachelor’s degree for a university. I live in Germany. I live in Berlin, Germany. And how I got started into TTRPGs is a rather fun story, actually. I think in eighth grade and high school, I one of my friends asked us while we were going on a school trip: “hey, do you guys want to play a game?” And as eighth graders as well, we were obviously like, yeah, let’s do it. And he pulled out this weird round dice thing that none of us knew it was a D20 and showed it to us and said, this is what we will be using to play. And everyone was, everyone was like, wait, that’s not a dice. A dice is six sided. What, why is…huh? And he explained that this is the TTRPG. It wasn’t D&D actually. Some abridged version of The Dark Eye, which is the biggest German role-playing game you can find, which is also fantasy, but a lot more low fantasy than D&D It’s just a little bit of magic and way more medieval role-playing and yeah, he said, Hey, let’s play this. And he let us create characters on the train where we were going. And then for every night of that five day school trip, we played for like three or five hours. When we came back, he told his father about the group, and his father invited all of us to play in his campaign or in the new campaign that he was starting with his kids. That campaign has been going on for nine years now. We are currently in the last chapter. Just two days ago. We wrapped up the penultimate chapter of that. It’s a long journey.

Courtney: 

Yeah, I bet there’s gotta be some mixed feelings about that coming to an end soon.

Emil: 

Oh, yeah. We’ve went through so much. I mean, we started in eighth grade and now I’m graduating university. Everything of that is the span of this campaign. So we grew up with these characters. Our friend that has played the longest, has been playing this same character for 14 years. And it’s getting very close to, well, your characters might die. That takes a lot of toll when your character is nine years old and you’ve been learning and growing with this character actually, right. We kind of using them even as tools to grow up. It’s a lot of feelings when you hear ugh, this, this character can actually die. Oh yeah. Right. That’s something.

Courtney: 

So have there been no character deaths at any point before?

Emil: 

Luckily not a few very, very close calls. Meaning one of us was already in the realm of death. But this game has a few rules that make it just like D&D as soon as you hit a a certain level, it’s very easy to revive someone. There are potions that can revive someone back to full health, even after they have been killed in any gruesome way you can think of even when they’re reduced to atoms you can basically revive them at some point. So there’s a lot of ways to do it. But it has to happen in the right way, and we’ve always just cut the corner for that one. But our GM has already said that he expects one of us to actually die before the campaign is finished now.

Courtney: 

The just anticipation and dread that has to be there.

Emil: 

Yeah. There’s a lot, especially when you’re a big, bad evil guy or well, big, bad evil woman in this instance. The first elf ever created by the father of six elements, dragon, it’s a lot of weird history stuff in this game though. Just this first elf is our BBG and well, In the whole history of The Dark Eye, which is also in its fifth edition, and it has like 30 years of lore written into it setting just like The Forgotten Realms in D&D for example, there was one instance where she was actually part of an adventure that was published. And the only thing that her stat block said was she doesn’t need to roll. She always succeeds. She’s a God.

Courtney: 

No pressure.

Emil: 

Yeah.

Courtney: 

That’s really interesting. So Just realizing, I obviously know nothing about what the tabletop scene is like in Germany. So, I mean, you’ve got this game, I know that you do play Dungeons and Dragons. Like what other games are there that are like specific to German?

Emil: 

I would say there are a few, but not much that I know. I, I, the German scene more takes a lot of English games and translates them. There’s a lot of Kickstarters here in Germany that translates games. There’s obviously the German, there’s a German version of D&D. But there are a few. I would say probably the three biggest that I know, and I’m not saying that these other three biggest, but The Dark Eye, which is definitely the biggest, then there is which doesn’t have an English name Splittermond, which is kind of translated as ghetto moon which is also a fantasy game. It’s a lot more story focused than The Dark Eye, which is more mechanic focused while Splittermond is more role-play focus. And then there is Contact, which I don’t know if it’s really one of the biggest, but it’s the one that I played a lot. It’s also one of the worst systems I’ve ever played. If people are coming over from, from my show, listening to this, they will know that I do not like the system, even though it’s been, I’ve been playing it for six years. It’s a system that if you’ve ever played one, the EXCOM video games. That in TTRPG where, none of the calculations the computer does for you or, well, all of your calculations, you, the computer task will be half, you will have to do as the player. So that means if you’re wanting to fire a gun, that means wind resistance, cover of the enemy, cover of you. I don’t know which bullet are you using? Which targets zone are you hitting? Which, and how bright is it in the room you’re shooting in and all of these different modifiers and circumstances that play into this one role you have to do. And a lot of different stuff, just make the system a cluster fuck of rules that is even worse, then Shadowrun

Courtney: 

Okay, so I have to ask if you dislike it so much, why have you been planning it for six years?

Emil: 

Because there was nothing else. We started playing the system and we enjoyed just playing together. At that point, I think this was a Contact was the first game I ever GMed. And it was, that we just wanted to play something that wasn’t fantasy. And because none of us knew good enough how to search for Sci-fi tabletop role playing games, we just took the only one we knew. For four years, that was the only system we knew that even did Sci-fi. After that, we only realized that there was a bigger English market we now had access to. Since we were all Germans, we didn’t speak English very well at the time, so even buying an English book wasn’t an option if we knew it existed. And then at some point we were like, okay, no, the system is bad. But then we said, okay, I had a plan laid out this many chapters for the campaign I also don’t want to switch systems. I don’t want to stop this campaign. I want to play this through. And after that, we were going to play a different system. Now I’m playing D&D with that group.

Courtney: 

So tell me about the transition then from The Dark Eye and this game that you loathe, to D&D.

Emil: 

Well at some point, obviously, we learned that D&D was a thing. It was kind of maybe always at the back of our minds, but never was really an option, and when we played The Dark Eye and at some point, then one of our friends went: “the Quickstart rules for D&D are free. I want to run an adventure. Who wants?” And three hours later, three friends of mine, and I sat around the table playing D&D. We played Lost Mines of Fandelver as everyone kind of does when they start with the D&D and know nothing about the system. Yeah, from there on out, I went instantly to the gaming store right after that session and bought The Heart of the Dragon Queen book and said next week, I’m running my first session of this new D&D campaign. I’m running. No questions asked everyone. Please create characters here. You have the PHP. I just bought it as well. And that’s how the transition went. I just went ahead and did it instantly, no questions really asked. I just wanted to play this game more because it was so much fun the first session.

Courtney: 

How long ago was that?

Emil: 

I think in November this year, it will be four years. That that first session was played. Yeah. That, that, that has to be true. Yeah. We recently, we last year celebrated three years of that campaign and then. No, no, no, no, no, wait, sorry. We didn’t celebrate three years because that campaign went on hiatus because different life circumstances, but it would have been three years. That’s right.

Courtney: 

I guess it’s like, wow. All right. It’s 2022. So it’s been about four years for me too, since I started really playing D&D. I played other games before, and I’d done a couple of one shots or, you know, started a campaign that went two sessions and then the DM went nevermind. And so I guess that’s really only been the last four years for me too. It’s interesting. It feels like it’s been so much longer.

Emil: 

Can I ask you a question as the other host of this, Which other systems did you play in those one shots before?

Courtney: 

So sorry for the one shots I did some D&D one shots, but the game that I did for more of a campaign before that was a game called Through the Breach. It is based off of a small, like miniatures game called Malifaux, or the that produces it is Wyrd, spelled W Y R D Basically it started as a miniatures game, kind of like Warhammer, but on a much smaller scale, because you can play with an army of like five to 10 figures instead of hundreds. And yeah, it was just a setting that I really, really liked. It’s based on 1800s, Santa Fe America times with like all the wild west stuff, but it adds in an element of magic where basically magic has always been around. It is starting to leave the world. Everyone across the world is kind of freaking out that magic is dying and they accidentally open a breach to another world. And at first it seems like everything’s going to be cool. They find out something like a resource that they’re able to use to get their magic back, but there are some people that live in that planet that are not exactly happy about the intrusion. And they fight back and uh, one day there’s a big old blur and the breach just closes with no warning with a body thrown through and the word Ours etched onto it. And they spend the next hundred years trying to figure out how to open the breach again. And then one day it just reopens again on its own and they go back through and it looks like there’s been signs of recent conflicts, but they still have no idea what happened to all of the people that were there before. But it’s like wild west meets steampunk meets magic meets horror. It’s it’s fun.

Emil: 

I mean, I enjoyed that, especially since you were listing all of these different genres that mash up together. I am a, I’m a person that loves when, when someone mashes different things together to create something that I’ve never seen before, even if it’s, even if it becomes this weird glob of everything. If you’re doing it in a setting, because for example, Shadowrun, I love the setting so much, but the rules just keep me from playing. But the setting of we have magic, we have cyberpunk, we have the matrix, we have weird magic matrix. We have this and we have Cowboys and now we also have ghosts and yes, please. I love mashing things together and just having something for everyone, I think. Yeah. I think having something for everyone, that’s really where I think that something really becomes fun, especially as the TTRPG, because in a movie I can totally understand that you only want one off three, four genres that you want to see because in just a two hour span, it would probably just break all immersion you have with this movie, but in the TTRPG, where you play 100 sessions over years, there’s stuff there can be a place for all of that stuff.

Courtney: 

Oh, yeah, you definitely need to get some variety in there. And that’s what I’m finding I’m really loving about just tabletop games in general is that you can have even the most basic, generic inspiration, like “I wanna do Lord of the Rings” or something. It can just turn into something so different and unique to every player and every DM.

Emil: 

Yeah, right. And one of the biggest things I always say is that people can and should, and that people can and should steal shamelessly from everywhere for their own games. Sure, if you’re creating something and wanting money for it, you should make sure that you’re not just ripping off someone else, but if you’re creating something for your home game, take the plot of the movie you just watched, take the plot of the video game. You just take the setting, take characters. You don’t have to care what anyone else says on the internet that you should or shouldn’t do. Do what you want for your home game, because it’s for your own enjoyment. After all, I made a whole TTRPG system just based off. I want to play the video game Dishonored in TTRPG form, even though it has a TTRPG, I want my own. And then I did it.

Courtney: 

That is amazing. Okay. Well, I do want to get into your podcast a little bit. So for any of my listeners that are not yet familiar with your show, tell me about the DoubleDM podcast. What’s it about?

Emil: 

Double DM podcast is a podcast about two dudes: myself and my co-host Nils that try to tell you how to run your games without telling you how to run your games. I think that’s the best description I can give. We try to give- every single episode we give advice, inspiration, insight into running TTRPGs. But we never want to say, this is how you have to do it. Otherwise your game will fail or won’t work, or everyone will hate you or whatever. But we still think we have a lot of insights we can share with people, and that’s what we do in our episodes.

Courtney: 

So, how did you meet him?

Emil: 

I did meet Nils at a birthday party of a mutual friends. I met these friends through school and they invited me to their birthday, and I went to their birthday and they introduced me to Nils. And Nils and I, well, we knew of each other’s existence for like four years, but never really spoke outside of these birthdays until we realized the other one was also very much into tabletop role-playing games. And then it was over. That birthday we realized the other one plays TTRPGs, and enjoys them because I was wearing a Critical Role jacket that I still own. And. He was like, wait, I know that show. Do you also play TTRPGs? Yes, of course I play. And then we started talking and I think we did, like, we talked about our different campaigns and one shots for three hours straight until one of us had to leave. And then we bonded more and more over that. We played a lot of video games together over Discord. And probably one or two years later, the pandemic came round, and it was Christmas 2019, so, right. So the first year of… wait. Christmas, 2020 time was weird. Where my mother got infected with the virus and we had to quarantine and like every normal, 20 year old person at that time being in quarantine, I was bored out of my mind.. I wanted to do something. And at that time I have basically daily talks with Nils about our campaigns and what we do and asking for advice, how would you do this? Do you have any advice on this? Can you help me homebrew this creature? And then I was like, hey Nils, wanna do a podcast? Wanna do a podcast; also happy new year because I asked him on January 1st. Why ever I did that? And I was like, why not do a podcast? And he was like, sure, let’s do it. And over the course of, I think a month or one and a half months, we got everything together and then did a podcast. And since then we’ve been releasing weekly episodes.

Courtney: 

Okay. That’s awesome. So obviously though, it wasn’t, you know, snap your fingers and you have a podcast. So talk to me about those first couple of weeks, months, however long it took you of, yeah, sure. Let’s do a podcast. And then what.

Emil: 

I am often a very pragmatic person that has a lot of chaotic tendencies. So what that means is I make a list of stuff I want to do right at the beginning, so, okay. I want to do a podcast. How do I even do a podcast? And then I go researching what one has to do for a podcast. There’s the obvious on there. Okay. I have to record. Okay. But what do, I need to record. Okay. I need equipment. I need editing software. I need information that I can actually; I need an episode. I need to create everything for this episode. What do I need to create for a podcast to be distributed to different platforms? I need social media, how do I do social media and all of that stuff? And I write everything off that down. And then I do all of that stuff. Realize that the list is incomplete and don’t read anything else don’t to just wing the rest that is not on the list. So we were very sure, okay. We need to record an episode. We need recording equipment for that. We both had already good enough mikes on our gaming headsets that were, would suffice at least for the beginnings. So we said, okay, we have that, but kept in mind instantly to upgrade the equipment if we want to do this podcast for more than like just five or six episodes. So. Then we needed recording software, how to record a podcast. There’s a lot of different ways. And our first episodes were recorded in Audacity. I recommend every podcaster to not do Audacity because that program is the hellspawn of programs you can find. It crashes way too often. The sound is not very great and all of that stuff. And we went through a lot of different things. We did OBS with screen recordings, and then at some point we found Zencaster through a great friend of ours. Eli from Mary role-play who recommended us Zencaster and since then we’ve been using Zencaster non-stop and it’s a great website and yeah, so we needed recording stuff, but then when you know, editing software where great Audacity can also do that again, never use Audacity for that. Please. Try to find something else. Reaper is great use that. But yeah, we just had some way to get our foot in the door basically. Then we looked at, okay, how do we distribute our podcasts? We found Anchor, which we are still using today to distribute our podcast to every podcasting site we have. We made social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, mainly and been using those to promote episodes, connect with communities and talk with people. But yeah, we, we set everything of that up basically in the first week. And then we’ve been like, okay, we need to record an episode. Then we needed. Okay. How, how do we even, what is our podcast about? And from today’s perspective, that talk we had was not great because we didn’t know what we were talking about because we were like, okay, we want to podcast where we collect our DM musings, where we talk just our day, our daily talks recorded. I can tell from experience that no one wants to listen to these talks. We needed a lot more structure, but we didn’t have that in the beginning, but it was at the beginning. Just we need to record something. Okay. Let’s talk about, well, first episode is a new beginning. So our first episode topic was starting with TTRPGs, how did we start? What are our stories? And so people get to know. So that was key. And then we did a lot of different stuff. Nils as he’s the one who has any artistic talent on from us two, which I have, none of. I don’t draw, I don’t do music. I can’t do anything of that. And he is good enough or he’s very good and created logos, banners, art, and everything for the show that we could use. And I think that were all the blocks we made before we started releasing on February 7th, 2021. Yeah. I think those were all the blocks we had.

Courtney: 

Okay. So it took you about just over four weeks then.

Emil: 

Yeah which arguably, is less time than you should probably take to create this, to, to actually think this through and make the good thing. But at that point we really hadn’t, we didn’t know a podcasting process. We didn’t know how podcasters would do stuff and how we would do stuff and, fast forward today and how we do stuff today. If I would now start a new podcast today I would do a lot of stuff way differently, just because I didn’t know any better back then. And now I know a lot better of stuff that you, you don’t have to do or stuff you have to do, but I think that one of the big things for us was we have to do this. We have to put our foot in the door. We have to release an episode because if you were to wait six months to actually release our first episode, that sensation, that magic of, “Hey we are making the podcast” would have gone away and we would have never done it. So it was really like, we have to do this now so this hyper fixation doesn’t go away before we actually create something. Because after that, we can cling onto that and just say, okay, we can keep creating, keep creating. The hyper fixation, never went away, but it might have, if we waited too long.

Courtney: 

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think there is a really big difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it.

Emil: 

Yeah. I think it’s the, it’s the biggest leap of faith you can do. You can plan all you want. You can wait until it’s perfect, but releasing something into the world is something you will always have to do. It will always feel a little scary. It will always feel like maybe you could have, in retrospect, you could always have done something better, but releasing something you’re happy with in that moment needs to happen. And if you do it, it almost always feels great. Universally true. I’ve talked to different people from podcasting, from streaming, from releasing tabletop role playing games on D&D home brew or music or whatever. And they all say you, at some point you will have to release something. So do it as soon as you think you’re happy and ready with what you have. And then do it. You will always have something to criticize later. And then you can, that just means that you’ve grown as a person. In retrospect, look at your first episodes and think that isn’t perfect. That just means you’ve grew as a creator. You’ve grew as a person and you’ve become better. You now know stuff you didn’t know before, so that’s just experience you’ve gained. If you never released the first episode, you would have never gained that experience.

Courtney: 

It’s so true, like it’s funny. I actually think about how all the time I’m like, I don’t know that I want to go back and listen to my first couple of episodes again. I just, I want to continue believing that they were awesome.

Emil: 

I feel the same. I’ve never listened to my first episodes ever again, after listening to them for the first time when they were released. Because very soon after I realized they were not great. But that’s okay. I’m not going to take those down. One of my podcasting friends, a lot of my podcasting friends actually, always were like, oh, our first episodes are so bad because, well, just like us, they just started because they wanted to, they didn’t put in the polishing work. You have some podcasts, which I know, you know, Reckless Attack have put in into their show. I will always praise Nathan and the whole Reckless Attack crew for what they’ve done for showing that people can create such polished works right from the gate, from the get go, which a lot of people don’t do. I mean, even Critical Role. When you look at it now, the first episode has so many audio issues, so many issues with talking and all of that stuff. They, they also started, oh, they also were figuring stuff out. And if Nathan is listening and listening to this, your first episode is better polished than Critical Role at campaign one episode one. Period. And that means something. But a lot of people didn’t put in that polishing work and that’s okay. You don’t have to, because a lot of us just do this because they want to, and putting in the polishing work is a lot of effort. It’s a lot of dedication that I knew in the beginning. I wouldn’t have, if I have to put that in before even starting. I would have never released my first episode if I had to spend six months polishing the product, the project and the episode. Then I would have never released it just simply of that, but I always tell a lot of my podcasting friends when they are like, “oh, our first episodes, aren’t that great. There’s a lot of audio issues and there’s things that would have cut out and I would have done things differently” and yes, that’s great. Please be proud of your project because a lot of people fail at the releasing step. And that’s always kind of sad to me when people fail at the releasing step so that you’ve even released something is such a great milestone. You should celebrate, even if it’s not great, by your perspective. I think it’s great that you release something. I think that’s great that you put your foot on the door and said, Hey, I am here and I’m here to stay. And then you can improve on what you already have, and it doesn’t matter where, at what step milestone you’re at, if you’re a polished, actual play, if you’re just a few friends sitting around the table with a phone in the middle of the room recording, and just uploading that to Spotify. Both of these are great starting points, but the one thing you will have to do is always focus on improving forward. And that is true for everyone.

Courtney: 

I a hundred percent agree. Like there’s a saying that I really like that is “done is better than perfect.” It’s just, you gotta, you gotta start and you can’t compare yourself to the other shows that are out there, even if you’re comparing yourself to a newer show. And like you were saying, like Reckless Attack started off amazingly polished and really well done. And you know what, I know for a fact that they had kind of an advantage because Nathan, I went to college with him. Like he has kind of a radio background and he’s a really good interviewer. And so he already came into this with a lot of the knowledge and background that a lot of us just don’t learn until we’ve been doing this for six months, a year or more. I know it’s hard. You’re always going to compare yourself, but like you can’t, you just, you got to do it. You got to get out there.

Emil: 

Yeah. And I think it’s also not bad to compare yourself. The problem, if you become fed up with comparing your, with comparing yourself, but if you come fed up with what other people are doing, you, you can compare yourself. You kind of, you can be like, okay, this podcast has way better polished audio. Why? Do they have better mics than us? Do they have better editing software? And then you can, most people, especially in this TTRPG space are very happy to answer questions and help you if you ask them, but you will have to ask them. I, for one, when I switched over to Reaper from Audacity, I just messaged David and Jonathan from Reckless Attack: how do you guys edit, and they were very helpful in helping me figure out how Reaper actually works, because I didn’t know frick about this program. And they were like, Hey cool, we can help you. You will need these free four pointers. These videos helped us. Do you have any other questions? And that was like, okay, I will look at this. I will work with this. And I started working with it and I will say our audio quality has improved since starting with Reaper. That is only because I was like, okay, how do they do this? I want that too. Or at least I want something like that too. And then I just asked, Hey, can you help me? And a lot of people will help you if you ask them. If I’ve been asked a couple of times already of how to start a podcast because I have been doing this for quite some time now. And people were like, okay, you do seem to know what you’re doing, which arguably by myself, I do not know what I’m doing. I just do stuff, but okay. People ask me and I’m like, okay, cool. Here are the pointers that helped me. And here are some tips that I learned along the way. I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, come to me. I will have time for you at some point. I can always, I will always try to help people before. I think it’s just part of, I think it’s just part of the core philosophy of also my project. I want to help people run their games. I want to help them create the best experiences they can around the table. I want them to create the best characters they can. I want to help them just be just have a great time playing these games, and if someone tells me that our show has helped them, that makes all the stuff I went through with the show worth it.

Courtney: 

I feel like we’ve touched on this topic a little bit, but how has your process changed from episode one, to now a little over a year doing the show?

Emil: 

So I think the process in theory, stayed a lot of the same, but a lot of the blocks have changed completely. I feel like it’s still Nils and I meet up for recording. We then put the episode into recording, into editing Blackbox, pull the episode open needs to be edited, edit it, and upload it and reduce it to the world and promote on social media. That has stayed through the whole show, always the same, but obviously a lot of stuff changed. Stuff changed about how we approach our recordings. At the beginning, it was like, okay. Yeah, let’s talk about new players at the table. Cool. Let’s do that. Nowadays, it’s we have lists of all the topics we want to do and all the guests we want to have on the show, and are like, okay, which of these are we taking for the next episode? Think what we’re taking, say, okay, let’s do this. And then we, over the course of, at least three days when we were recording is collect thoughts, any musings we have, any stories we have that relate somewhat to this topic. And then we write– we always call it a script, but it’s not a script. It’s just some talking points. It’s bullet points. It’s questions that help us guide our show. And there can be, for example, our first questions for the newest episodes is always some kind of philosophizing. 

For example, the newest episode of the show is player comfort. And we were like, okay, what does comfortable even mean? Because if you don’t know what comfortable means, you can’t talk about what it means to be comfortable or what it means to make people comfortable around you or in your audience at your table. So it was a lot. And then we collect that and then we talk about it before we start recording. We changed a lot about especially mic discipline or discipline in recordings that in the first few episodes we were moving our hats a lot. We were playing around with different fidgeting toys on our tables. And yeah, we stopped doing that because it’s just way harder to edit if someone moves their head around all the time and the audio is always different. Editors can hear those sorts of things. And they hate it. Everyone here who’s edited a podcast, knows that a guest that moves their head too much or has too much background noise or has too much different other things going on. They are going to be a pain in the ass, but they still do it and make you sound great. 

So we changed a lot about how we approach it, I think, and in general, I think the biggest thing we changed is how we approach everything we do with this project and product. And that is because we take it a lot more serious now. And I mean, everything, I take everything I do with this project and product 100% serious. I take every guest we have on our show serious. I respect them and respect their time. I make sure they are, they have all the information they need about us and about the show. I make sure that they have enough say in what becomes part of the episode in which does not because we cut out some stuff from sometimes. I make sure that they are comfortable recording with us and all of that stuff. When someone I try to take Twitter and social media and generally connecting with communities very seriously and try to not be someone that people don’t risk. I try to respect people, always. I always try to make sure that people are feeling safe and that people are feeling good. And I’m not in situations where I put them in which they are comfortable in. And yeah, I just approach everything very seriously and respectful because I think that’s one of the biggest things that helped me stay in this and create a better product is being serious about it because you won’t be able to improve your product much if you think it’s just a side thing that you do on the weekends, maybe, maybe not. Maybe I released an episode in two weeks. Maybe not. You, you need to be serious about it or people know, people will know and people will be like, if you don’t take your product seriously, I also won’t take it seriously.

Courtney: 

I love that. I think it is really important to have the right mindset of, you know, is this something that I’m just doing for fun and I don’t really care or is it no, like I have a goal. And you know, whether that goal is helping people or getting the word out about a topic. You have some really great points.

Emil: 

Oh, yeah. I also want to say that. If you don’t want to take your stuff seriously, that’s also an option, right? You don’t have to take your stuff as serious as I want, but I think if you, especially, if you’re wanting to make money off of stuff, you need to take the stuff seriously, because it’s something that might be come your, that might make you financially stable, that might actually pay something for you. And if you don’t take it seriously, it becomes way more unstable. As it becomes a way more unstable source of income or whatever for you, if you don’t take it seriously, because you never know when some people decide to just not vibe with your stuff anymore because you change something. And also not to say, hey on Twitter. I am, I post a lot of weird stuff and as well as one says, shit post a lot of different things. So it’s not like I’m this always serious business, personal, all of that. I still crack jokes every now and then, but that’s part of the product. That’s part of the Double DM podcast that we present everything in a fun and enjoyable way. Behind the scenes, I take everything seriously. I have deadlines. I make sure that I give my guests enough notice, that they know what we’re talking about, that they have enough inflammation that my co-host has enough information, that I treat every episode as a full on episode or not just where this episode is my favorite and this episode is not, this episode is just so I can fulfill the timetable. Yeah. Then that episode won’t be your best episode ever listened to because you’re not taking your episode seriously yourself. So yeah, I think thinking about your stuff way more as a serious thing you’re doing and not just a hobby makes it all easier to approach the stuff in general to become better at stuff. I feel like if you’re taking stuff serious, it’s way easier to improve on things. If you’re taking it seriously.

Courtney: 

Mhm. How do you decide on what topics y’all are going to talk about?

Emil: 

That is a very fun process in that Nils and I have a Discord server where we put everything we need for our podcasts. So that is show notes. That is clips; that is posts on Twitter and all of that stuff. And then we just have a list there, a big post, which has a long list of episode titles or nearly episode titles. For example, if I go into that list now, there’s going to be a very different things on there that haven’t even crossed off. For example, we have an episode on note taking. So one of our notes in our list is note taking and that is then that, and then we decide, okay, what do we want to talk about this week? And then one of us says, I want to talk about this because this is relevant to myself right now, or because I think I have a lot of very good points on this right now, or just because we want to, and then we take that and then we say, okay, this is this week’s recording topic. We will meet when we record, this is what we talk about. And as for what comes onto that list is everything. I never throw away an idea. 

We never throw away anything. There’s some things on that list that probably will never become an episode because they’re just not good topics, but I still throw them on there just to make sure that, Hey, maybe I can spin something later out of this. And maybe I can make this into, okay– this topic doesn’t really fit. Like it’s an episode that we would do, but this adjacent thing, that could be something very fun, and then I can just change the point and then put it in there and then Nils and I say okay. We want to record, we can look at the list and select whatever we want to do. We all have a list of, we have a long list of guests we want to record with, because well, as a show that is not located in the US, it’s a lot harder to schedule with people sometimes. Especially if they are in the PST area, which for this show might’ve worked, but there were few episodes where we scheduled with PST people and had to reschedule six, seven times before even this working out. But, yeah. And then we always like when, when we have a guest it’s going back to, I want my guests to feel comfortable. I make sure that the guests selects the topic. I want them to talk about the thing that they want to talk about because not everyone is the expert on everything. So letting them decide what they want to talk about and then bringing their hot topics or their ideas and their inspiration to the table. It’s a lot in making sure that my guests provide the best information possible and that the episode with my guest feels, as the best episode that I can create with them.

Courtney: 

That sounds really thoughtful, honestly, like, I appreciate how much preparation goes into that, cuz I know i t can be a really hard with the discussion podcasts, especially when it’s a weekly one, I’ve just week after week. Like, okay, well, what are we going to talk about this time? But I appreciate the, the variety of topics that you have already, and I’m excited to keep following that as you grow. I do want to make sure that we have some time to go over some of my more signature questions, if you will. You have been doing this for about 14 months now. It’s really been just over that since you decided that you wanted to do it in the first place. So through out all of this journey that you’ve been so far, what would you say has been the most challenging part?

Emil: 

Scheduling with my own cohost. My co-host works in retail and has a schedule that is decided every single week. So it’s always like, okay, can you record this Thursday? No, I have to work. Okay. Can we do Friday? Yes. But only at this specific point in time. Okay. Somewhat works. Let’s do it and yeah, that, but no other thing is probably getting people interested in educational content in a place where there isn’t a need for people telling you how to do things. Right. And as I said, our show is inspiration and insight into running games in a space where no one asks when no one wants to tell you how to run your games. Because TTRPGs are, everyone can play however they want. And that’s one of the true core tenants. I always try to adhere by. Play however you want. If it works for your table, it works. And I can’t tell you otherwise, but I can still provide insight into what I think some people can do to fix the in quotation marks problems they have. For example regarding dungeons or puzzles, which is a very hot topic apparently for TTRPGs because they challenge the player and not the character. And I’m always like, yeah, but if you would make them challenge the character, you wouldn’t have a problem. So why do you say that? And, yeah that’s one of the things, for example, that we discussed in our puzzle episode. I think that’s still where we don’t tell people how to run their games. We can’t tell you put in puzzles in your games, but we can still tell you that puzzles can in fact challenge the characters and not just the players and how to do that. I think that has been the most of the hardest part, really, in how do I get people to figure out that my show is helpful for them because we have a lot of stuff that, that can help them without making it sound like, “Hey, I know how to run your games better than you do,” because that is something I will never say to someone because I don’t.

Courtney: 

I mean, honestly, as somebody who is still newer to your show, I feel like you guys have a really good chemistry going like. Every one of the episodes I’ve listened to, you’ve just been super friendly and it feels really approachable. And so I have to say, I have not once felt like you were saying, this is how you have to play your game, like you’re doing it wrong.

Emil: 

That’s really reassuring to hear.

Courtney: 

Yeah. It definitely feels really just helpful on here’s some suggestions and you have some really good discussion going because you don’t always agree. And I think that’s why it makes your show super interesting

Emil: 

Mm, yeah, I think with Nils, especially we, we don’t always agree on a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of stuff we actually don’t agree on and I like, I can see your point, but no, I do it differently. And I think, especially in those moments, that always shows that. Everyone can run their games differently and still discuss the things and how they do stuff, which is why I really enjoy also talking to people on Twitter about certain things. Because especially if we’re both on the same page as you run your games and it’s fun for you. Perfect. I don’t want to change your opinion. I just want to state mine. Then I’m always for down for it, because that always leaves me with a lot of insight into that I could maybe consider next time. There’s been a lot of things where I changed my perspective on things after I tried Nils’ approach or someone else’s approach that we’ve had on the show or listened to on Twitter, for example.

Courtney: 

Well, let us flip that question around. What, instead, over the last year, ish, what’d you say has been the most rewarding part?

Emil: 

Right from the get-go it was connecting with the TTRPG community. It was connecting with the many creators that I by now call my best friends in the whole world. I can’t shout them all out, but Nathan from Reckless Attack, someone we’ve talked about already, Allie from Dice Drop Evolution, Eli from Mayday Roleplay, and there are a lot of different people that have helped me grow as a person, as a creator, and connecting with these people, getting to know them and also I’m helping them with their problems and their projects has been a lot of fun and the most rewarding part, really.

Courtney: 

Yeah, I have to agree. It’s been really amazing getting to connect with so many different people in the community. So I, I hear you on that one. I would like to know if you have any upcoming projects or goals or things that you’re excited about, that we haven’t talked about, that you are able to talk about.

Emil: 

Yes, one very big thing is that for nearly a year now I have been having this thought in my head. A year ago, it was just a thought. Now it’s an actual project is Double DM was not supposed to just be a discussion show. It was always supposed to be more of a production studio even you could say where we produce live a lot of different shows. We are currently producing our second show, which was called Titans Call it’s a D&D 5E actual play podcast set in a very dark and grim world where the players are the heroes that are kind of a light in the dark, in a world that is on the brink of apocalypse really. It’s players are in, in the first episode I have talked about this a few times already, so I can just say that, we’ll be, witnessing the beginning of the apocalypse, and we’ll have to try to make sense of everything that happened because there’s a lot of different things that happened. And the only question they had is why and what, and how and what …ehh? That has been the feel from our players since we started that. That is coming out at some point. I don’t know when yet, because we are still in the recording process of that, but yeah, we are also producing an actual play. We have plans for future actual play shows and more different shows, but that’s really just written in the stars. But for now it’s really our actual play show that is coming out, especially, or definitely this year, probably in two or three months at this time.

Courtney: 

That is really exciting. I will be looking forward to that.

Emil: 

Yeah, I am too. Just today, I’ve been messaging a lot with Nils who is again, the resident artist for Double DM. So he is mocking up the first promo piece for that right now. And with Titans Call, the name is really showing what the show is about in the first few episodes, because especially the word Titan, because all of us when we were playing that and all of my players and me were on a big attack on Titan hype when we were like, okay, we want to do this. And that’s kind of every model of this. So a world that is beautiful, but cruel to its people. There’s a lot of mysteries involved. And then I watched Godzilla vs Kong and was like, okay, I want Godzilla in this in some way or form. Okay. We have only one type is Godzilla now and new smoking up a promo piece that is a very reminiscent of, of, of the movie Godzilla, of the movie posters for Godzilla for us, and I think it’s going to look epic, and I’ve been very excited seeing the sketches he has made already. So that has been the fixation and happiness of the day.

Courtney: 

That’s super cool. I’m excited for you. Well, thank you Emil for coming on that today. If people want to find you, find Double DM, where should they go?

Emil: 

Well, first of all, thanks again for having me on this show. Where they can find us is everywhere under the name Double DM, really. If you’re wanting to listen to the podcast, just search on Spotify, apple podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts with Double DM, that’s where we will find all our episodes. We’re also in the process of uploading everything to YouTube if you’re preferring that platform. That’s not everything yet, but around half of the episodes already. So also yeah if you want to check out the podcast, you can do that that way. And if you want to check us on social media, it’s always under @DoubleDMpod, just at the little pod at the end of DoubleDM to signify that we did a podcast on social media. So we are very active on Twitter with daily content, daily memes, shit posts and connecting with people, talking about projects and, and discussing TTRPGs, in all ways, shapes or forms. And yeah, that’s about it where people can find us.

Courtney: 

Awesome. I will link to all of those in the show notes. But seriously, thank you so much for coming on. This has been a really fun discussion, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you.

Emil: 

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure, really to be on the show and talk to someone that has interviewed a lot of cool people before and now becoming part of that roster of, of cool people is, has been very fun.

Courtney: 

I just enjoy getting to talk to cool people like yourself and y’all make my job really easy.

Thanks for dropping by! We would love to know who would like us to interview, so please drop a comment here on the blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Discord to let us know who your favorite creators are! If you’d like access to more maps and content, including downloadable PDFs of our adventures, check out our Maps Patreon or Podcast Patreon. We’re able to do what we do because of all our amazing Patrons!

Recent Episodes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *