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The Adventure Zone returns to its original setting for a special 3-part series

Merle, Taako, and Magnus are back in action with Dungeon Master Aabria Iyengar

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The Adventure Zone will return to its original setting for a special three-part Dungeons & Dragons adventure. At the head of the table will be Aabria Iyengar serving as Dungeon Master. Episodes in the Imbalance series will begin Nov. 10.

The Adventure Zone is an actual play podcast created by Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis “Big Dog” McElroy, and their father Clint McElroy. Its original arc, which began in 2014, was called Balance. It blended an intricate high-fantasy story with elements of science fiction. Its main characters include Taako, Magnus Burnsides, and Merle Highchurch.

[Disclosure: Justin McElroy and Griffin McElroy co-founded Polygon before going full-time as podcasters and content creators. Though they still occasionally collaborate on projects at Vox Media, they’re disconnected from all editorial decision-making.]

Aabria Iyengar’s name has been all over the actual play space since this summer when she hosted a special mini-campaign called Exandria Unlimited on the Critical Role channel. She was recently announced as part of Battle for Beyond, another mini-campaign where she’ll play a character alongside Brennan Lee Mulligan (Dimension 20).

Actual play experiences are booming, as is the fifth edition of D&D. Dimension 20 recently announced its winter line-up of new campaigns, including a mini-campaign led by Gabe Hicks. Critical Role is now several episodes into its third full campaign, which has yet to be properly named.

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