We are living in the golden age of actual plays. Found in podcasts and Twitch streams, actual plays are live productions of roleplaying games — most often “Dungeons & Dragons” — that combine the spontaneity of improvisation with the rich worldbuilding of high fantasy. But while some actual plays build diverse casts and stories, the medium too often remains overwhelmingly white and male. Just as with film and television, original stories made with and for communities of color need our attention.
This is why fans have been so excited — and, if the latest Kickstarter numbers are any indication, financially supportive — for “DesiQuest,” a new “Dungeons & Dragons” actual play developed by South Asian creators. As of this writing, “DesiQuest” is being prepared as a three-person campaign, with “Dimension 20” and “Critical Role” alumna Jasmine Bhullar set to GM. The cast will include a talented collection of writers, voice actors, and performers, including Sandeep Parikh (who also directs), Rekha Shankar, and Anjali Bhimani.
According to Kickstarter, the plan is to create between five and ten full-length (“three-hour”) episodes of the original series. Funded in a single day, the campaign has moved onto the stretch goals of adding players and increasing production value, which can help set “DesiQuest” apart as a top-tier actual play. And with a list of rewards that includes soundtracks, world guides, and watch parties, your contributions will come with some sizable rewards, too.