podcast pinpoint

Podcast Pinpoint: Party of One

Release Frequency: Weekly.
Average Episode Length:1 to 1.5 hours.
Backlog Size:337 episodes since 2015
Logo of the podcast Party of 1, featuring two featureless ghost figures playing a tabletop roleplaying game, one holding a book while the other holds a wizard figurine. Both hover in front of a 20-sided die containing the text "Party of 1"

Party of One is a phenomenal example of a complete podcasting package. The premise of the show is simple: TTRPG lover (and resident Superman expert on my corner of Twitter) Jeff Stormer sits down with a friend to play a two-player tabletop game. The secret sauce of Po1 lies in that low player count. While other actual play podcasts feature sprawling multi-year campaigns with casts upwards of five people, generally shackled to a certain Wizards of the Coast property, Po1 provides a veritable buffet of some of the most fascinating roleplaying experiences available. I’m firmly of the belief Stormer et. al. nail the heart and soul of Po1 in this line from the press kit: “By focusing on two-player games (also called One-On-One games or RPG Duets), the show is able to capture a sense of intimacy and intensity rarely seen in actual play.”

Of course, Po1 is a podcast with a different co-host every episode. One must be in the mood for constant swings in tone if attempting to listen to several episodes in one session. Each new game and host combination brings a new vibe that may or may not be one’s particular flavor. For some the backlog might be more of a menu from which promising episodes are plucked, rather than something to burn through chronologically. 

Then there’s Stormer himself, who captains the Po1 Twitter account in a wholly uplifting fashion, frequently spotlighting marginalized voices in TTRPG. It’s difficult to find a time when @PartyofOnePod isn’t promoting a TTRPG kickstarter or retweeting a voice in the community than needs amplification. Po1 and its crew fully understand that being part of a community means more actions than clicking Upload on a new episode.

Banger Episode.

In the application form I ask podcasters to provide what they think is a banger episode that should be the one I listen to if I’ve never listened to the show before and am only giving it one chance. By sheer coincidence, I’ve listened to a few Po1 over the years and can say with some confidence 326 – Decaying Orbit with Sidney Icarus is a great starting point. The game Decaying Orbit is wonderful and the joy of hearing creator Sidney Icarus listen to Stormer fully playing in the space they created had me smiling for quite some time. 

Depiction of a stop sign graphic reading "Conflict of interest corner" layered over a generic photo of a protest. A protest sign in the background simply reads "NO!" and the framing of a protestor's funny hat gives the implication a wide-eyes cartoon penguin is holding the sign.

In the interest of honesty I reveal any prior association with the creator(s) of this podcast that could have influenced opinions.

With Party of One I have followed the show/Stormer’s account for a couple of years and am on the record of positively reviewing Stormer’s (hilarious) side project Talkin’ Nog. I also once asked his opinion of what would be good Superman trade paperbacks to pick up as a relative newcomer to reading the character.

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