The Games

We did not intend to start an actualplay podcast, or indeed any podcast. Way back in the depths of mid 2016, some folk from a small World of Warcraft guild called “Penance” decided  they should run “some form of RPG” over the guilds teamspeak server. That was to keep us sane during the many, many months of running the same raid content. This originally was going to be a ready-made engine such as Dungeons & Dragons, but to significantly reduce the need to buy any books for creating characters, spells, etc. Nikoli decided to rebuild his previously stripped down cyberpunk RPG engine into a fantasy RPG setting. This uses minimal rules for creation and needs minimal prior knowledge to join. This was a much easier way to bring in everyone who was interested in at low (or no) cost.

The Penance RPG system allows for complete free-reign for its players to choose how they want to deal with issues they face. If they want to use some form of elaborate trickery to get past a guard or set a building ablaze they can. However, for every action there is a consequence, and sometimes this sense of karma can come back to bite them. Hard.

We feel that telling a story with the characters and allowing them to grow and change makes for a better experience. The story and characters develop and weave together organically. Our storytelling is collaborative and so every character action is important.

We also have a varying number of characters per recorded episode, typically between 4-8 Characters plus the DM every week. This depends who is free to record the episode that week. The characters that aren’t present are said to be “asleep on the cart” or “in the bag of holding” and will return in future weeks. This allows for a greater variety and keeps each episode feeling fresh and dynamic.


Largely, any system or campaign we adapt to our own system is run largely the same as our homebrew engine. In doing so, we attempt to keep the feel of the original – this has included D&D 5e and Call of Cthulhu. In addition, we enjoy and take inspiration from many other forms of gaming and wider entertainment. Board games in particular have a place close to our hearts.

For each of our subsequent series, including the current ones, we’ve have a different cast for each project. This has several advantages – we get to play with more awesome people, have more diversity in our cast and helps ensure each campaign has its own feel. Our first Halloween series was hugely enlightening as to how we can expand to include different styles and locations, despite some painful time zone differences.

We are and have been LGBT+ from our very first session with a 50:50 male and female identifying balance. In our tales and characters we strive to de-toxify the worst aspects of old-style roleplay (OSR) and TTRPGs as a whole. This includes pushing back against sexism and misogny as well as the deeply racist colonial attitudes found in many, mostly, older RPGs.

Our racial and ethnic diversity took longer to work on. We are taking this into account for current and future series. This is something that we will always be working towards, whether it be adapting published systems or in our homebrew settings. Internalisation means that we need to remain conscious of these issues, there is so much improvement that all of us can make.

While we are on multiple social media platforms, we do not use TikTok due to their stance on LGBT+ content.

Technical Aspects

We use a “theatre of the mind” style game, recorded via Discord which allows us to make servers for each cast.. The cast use a variety of mics, several use a Blue Snowball. Editing is done on Audacity, with Youtube videos created on LightWorks.

Very little, we endeavour to leave as much of the base content as possible, but it is sometimes necessary to remove elongated tangents or repetition. As a rule, we do not censor the content in the podcast – we feel that being able to explore some adult themes in storytelling and the subsequent consequences to the player interaction creates a more organic story overall. 

Yes. We have been incredibly fortunate to have some very talented creatives within our casts. Due to not being able to receive a list of the music for the Original Series, during the current re-editing process we  are replacing the music. These new tracks and those for subsequent campaigns were composed and performed by Daniel Boström (Ora Dulce, Q Kintara.)

In addition, the logos and graphic design  is by members of the cast, primarily the logos by Jon Moore (Stilgar, Kubroq). Several series have art created by members of those casts.


Yes, we do (as of March 2018), you can find our Patreon here. We are very grateful for all your support and are starting to expand into more projects. Many heartfelt thanks to our Patrons. Tiers start from just $1 and give access to stat blocks for Penance Friends & Foes, as well as other interesting rewards such as dice and behind the scenes content.

If you would like to support us but not on a monthly basis (we understand, we’re skint too, which is why your help is so valuable to us), then we also have a way for you to buy us a coffee – hmmm tasty caffeine! We also offer a Bard’s Tale in exchange for the coffee or patreon pledge

Always! Theres a range of ways you can support us, many of them free. These include following/liking/sharing us on social media and telling people what you like about the show. You can also buy a range of merch which you can see here, if there's other things you would like to see then let us know!

You can come talk to us on Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Tumblr  Reddit

We’re pretty friendly so you’re very welcome and chat. If you are looking for a way to catchup on previous seasons and story lines, each of our series pages have a quick summary of where in the arc each part of the story occurs. 

While we are on multiple social media platforms, we do not use TikTok due to their stance on LGBT+ content.