microphone-with-headphones_id621612_size480I’ve written before that I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I currently hold subscriptions to 25 shows that I listen to on a regular basis predominantly on the subject of role playing games, comic books, and other geekery.  On average, I listen to somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 hours of podcasts each week.

I loves me some podcasts.

Frequent readers of this blog know that I often write about the podcasts I listen to, offering my review.  My policy on podcast reviewing is that I listen to a lot of a show’s episodes before sharing my thoughts.  It’s only fair, I think, to dive deeply into a show’s content, taking a wide sample before reviewing.   At times that was rather painful in the case of Kicked in the Dice Bags.  (Blogger’s Note: Some may find the following offensive in nature)…

KIDB's Chris Mais (center) at Fear the Con 2

I first heard about Kicked in the Dice Bags a few months ago while surfing the Spooky Outhouse boards.  I saw mention that a buddy of mine, Chris Mais, was co-hosting an RPG podcast.  Chris and I gamed together at both Fear the Con and Fear the Con II.  I’ve had the good fortune to have him at my table for both of my FtC And a Little Child Shall Eat Them sessions.  He’s a great player and a friendly guy.  Anything Chris is involved in has gotta be good, right?

That was not my initial conclusion.

The first of their shows I heard was Episode 4: Fwappage, in which Chris and his partner in (sex) crime, Jonathan Landreth, open the show discussing Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend.  Quoting Chris…

But you let it marinade, though.  That seed of hate, so that it would become great hate sex.  So that she would then crush your penis in her vagina like Grape Ape.

grape_apeNever mind the disturbing imagery of Grape Ape’s vagina, or that he uses it as some kind of revenge weapon.  Clearly, this is not your daddy’s podcast.

Or, I thought at the time, mine.

Jonathan and Chris love the raunch.  Left to their own devices they talk at length about their bedroom misadventures, porn,  masturbation and anal hygiene.  The subject matter is often coarse.

In Episode 8: It Burns, Jonathan and Chris discuss their own “porn bloopers” in which Chris reminisces about hooking up with a woman at her home.  She owned cats.  Chris was allergic.  Hijinks ensued involving Chris sneezing repeatedly on her back during the event.  Jonathan  then chatted about shooting his load so hard in a girl’s face that it was much like the Kennedy assassination.  Back and to the left.

KIDB's Jonathan Landreth: Sometimes a boy just likes to feel pretty.

I have to say that I have one of the weakest stomachs in the world.  It’s an easy thing to gross me out and KIDB often does.    There have been times when the KIDB discussion has become so unsettlingly graphic that I have turned the show off for a time just so that my belly would calm.  I have experienced similar podcast inspired nausea when listening to Kevin Smith’s Smodcast. Which is interesting, because Landreth cites Smodcast as his inspiration.  Mission accomplished.

It would be easy to discount Kicked in the Dice Bags as crass and crude – and it is – but it is also more.  I hesitate to describe their gaming discussions as advice.  They’re more experience based personal observations.  Which is awfully fun.

They have discussed at length their attempts to rehabilitate problem players as well as problem GMs.  They’ve done so with a candid, raw voice.

In Episode 6: Meter Harlots, Chris shares his observation of key elements of any role playing game

The Six or Seven (actually eight) Shits of Role Playing as Described by Chris Mais:

  1. Kill shit
  2. Pray to shit
  3. Steal shit
  4. Buy shit
  5. Wizard shit
  6. Zap shit
  7. Talk shit
  8. Run from shit

Where I think the guys really shine is in their guest episodes.  They bring on folks from other podcasts to essentially just chat.  And it’s great.  You rarely get to hear guys like Joe Selby (Podge Cast, A Boarding Party), Meg and Josh (Brilliant Gameologists) and Ryan and Shane (Save Against Frostbite) kicked back, jawing leisurely about whatever strikes their fancy.

Sound quality on their initial episodes was borderline, but never unlistenable.  I didn’t have any difficulty discerning what the guys were discussing.  That said, the sound has improved a lot from episode 7 on.

There are those who have complained about episode length.  Episode 5, for instance, was two hours forty minutes long.  I enjoy a lengthy podcast (that’s right, I like it long).  I listen while working in the yard and performing other chores, so the company is welcome.

Another bonus, Jonathan is committed to getting a show out every week.  There’s a lot to be said for that regularity.

Kicked in the Dice Bags has won me over.

It has emerged as one of my favorite podcasts.  It’s not in my top three, but it is in my top five.  It is a show that I am eager to listen to when it drops to the feed.  I usually listen the same day.

Kicked in the Dice Bags has succeeded in doing in just a few episodes what other podcasts fail to do in twenty.  They found their voice.  It is raw, crass, and often outrageous.  Yet it is a voice that is uniquely theirs in the realm of RPG podcasting.

I’m a fan, guys.  Keep up the good work.

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