The Oxventure: Iconic D&D

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Dungeons & Dragons is one of those games that markets itself as a serious endeavour, but in reality, its players make their own light-hearted mayhem in between the combat and the quests.

Created as part of the former’s YouTube subscriber celebrations, sister gaming journalism channels OutsideXbox and OutsideXtra originally started it as a one-shot, but the show has become one of the brand’s most loved features. Run by friend and Dicebreaker member Johnny Chiodini, the five Oxventurers run into mischief and mayhem across the fictional world of Geth.

While not completely in the realms of believability, this is Dungeons & Dragons at its finest; watching a group of friends have fun and entertaining audiences. Each player’s character is heavily inspired by their own interests, from Andy’s love of history being turned into pirate rogue Corazon to Ellen’s love of animals (and especially cats!) now becoming a Druid called Merilwen, Luke’s musical nature being a Bard called Dob, and Mike’s infamous tendency to set stuff on fire resulting in a Dragonborn called Egbert the Careless.

In November 2019, they also released a charity single in aid of Mind titled ‘Literally Everyone Else in the World’, named for their DM Johnny Chiodini’s regular introduction. It’s an ode to their long-suffering Dungeon Master, but even when the events of his storyline are thoroughly derailed, Johnny leans into the chaos and the jokes. This is how the beloved archaeologist NPC Alfred Strangetide ended “An Orcward Encounter” as a baby archaeologist.

While initially a pre-recorded show, the Oxventure made its way to live audiences at EGX and Rezzed beginning 2018, and livestreams since the beginning of lockdown in 2020. Being in the audience for the live shows is an experience in and of itself, with gags not making the final episodes being little in-jokes for fans, and there’s just something wonderful about sitting there surrounded by fans equally as enthusiastic. I’ve been lucky enough to be there for three shows, including their Hallowe’en-y special “Mind Your Manors”. Some of the heckles from the audience, from a joke about that scene in Titanic or the group of chanting monks called the LADS, and quotes as utterly bewildering as “the dragon-man who believes in the sky cow doesn’t believe in ghosts”.

The show itself has some utterly iconic moments. Whether the running gag of Egbert’s negative-one modifier for his wisdom, the skeleton army’s incident with the orphanage, or Dob’s love of the spell thunderwave, each brings along something that builds the world of the Oxventure into something memorable.

It’s utterly nonsensical but it is a barrel of laughs and you’re almost certain to find each show laden with references to their favourite video games or popular media. This comedy of errors is exactly what it feels like when playing Dungeons & Dragons, and whether you watch from the very beginning or pick and choose your adventures, you’re in for a treat.

Oxventure is available to watch/listen to on YouTube. You can watch the crew’s previously mentioned charity single below.

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Second-year archaeology & history student and Culture Editor 2019/20. Loves archery and Assassin's Creed, and still hoping to one day find the doorway to Narnia.

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