Dungeons and Doctorates is the marquee show on the Dungeons and Doctorates network. The show was created by Benjamin Keirnan in January of 2019. Dungeons and Doctorates is a serial fictional narrative production performed under the framework of an actual play Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game. The game is facilitated by game master Benjamin Keirnan whom describes the game world and interprets the actions and interaction of the player characters Harold, Meredith, and Potentia; portrayed by Ross Balch, Johanna Howes and Kate O'Sullivan respectively. The show follows the lives of the main player characters as they navigate life as a post graduate participating in the PhD program.
The events of the show take place in the city of Firamustus, primarily the campus of Firamustus University, however on occasion other locations within the game world.
The main characters are Harold, a Human, noble born and city boy druid who follows the Circle of Stars. Meredith, an enthusiastic Halfling bard hailing from the countryside, and Potentia, an enigmatic High Elf wizard hailing from overseas.
As an actual play production the final version of the podcast is a lightly edited recording of actual game sessions. The show is not scripted, nor is it a recreation of the events of the game. The final podcast consists of the majority of the game session with only some in player discussions, mostly rules clarifications and recall, being cut, while character actions and dialogue remain largely intact. Music and soundscaping are added over the top for listener immersion along with some mid-roll messaging with this final mix resulting in the published podcast.
Although the players never know coming into the session what the events of the game will be, the world building is a collaborative process. This means there is some work behind the scenes between the players and game master to develop elements of back story as well as other world elements that may effect character progression and future events.
Recording sessions are often segmented into multiple episodes and released according to the publishing schedule. The show is produced one or two sessions in advance to account for production delays in order to ensure regular and on time publishing.