Some of the biggest names in tabletop RPG actual play recently announced a joint storytelling venture called Worlds Beyond Number. The independent podcast will house both a long term campaign and several planned side-stories and one-shots.
Teased via Twitter in the final moments of 2022, Worlds Beyond Number will bring together Brennan Lee Mulligan and Lou Wilson of Dimension 20 fame, voice actor and prolific actual play guest Erika Ishii, and Aabria Iyengar, who has spent the last two years helming her own campaigns with Critical Role, the aforementioned Dimension 20 and just about everywhere else.
Mulligan will run the initial campaign, titled The Wizard, the Witch and the Wild One, and the crew claim they want to luxuriate inside “a sprawling world scratched out on graph paper behind the DM screen, characters crafted and pored over with the excitement of a kid opening presents,” according to the project’s landing page. Listeners should expect to stay with this initial crew for the long haul - years, not months.
Other, smaller projects will be produced alongside the main campaign and will embrace systems, games and settings beyond D&D 5E. Given the ongoing criticism of the popular tabletop RPG arising from a leaked OGL licence draft, that might be for the best. Both Critical Role and Dimension 20 have expanded their RPG portfolio via side stories (and not coincidentally with Iyengar in the driver seat), proving the actual play audience isn’t as system-dependent as some would assume.
Taylor Moore of Fortunate Horse will be designing Worlds Beyond Number’s creations, bringing his own established history with the company responsible for producing tabletop RPG podcasts such as Rude Tales of Magic, Fun City and Oh These Those Stars of Space.
Perhaps the most interesting facet is a planned 12-hour Session Zero campaign in lieu of normal (read: boring) character creation. The Children’s Campaign episodes will introduce both the main cast and their wider world via episodes dropping throughout February.
Worlds Beyond Number will be a creator-owned venture and plans to initially fund itself through a Patreon, though it’s hard to imagine the cast’s combined star power won’t foster immediate success. More information will be revealed in the weeks leading up to the first official episode on March 1st.