Travis: What did you expect to happen?
Griffin: YOU TO CATCH A FUCKING FISH IN THE FISH MINIGAME! Am I out of my mind? Is that an unreasonable expectation? To give them a fucking fishing minigame — Taako makes the lake float, Travis jumps in with a rapier like "let's get it done!" and Dad makes the fucking shit teleport away!
Clint: Welcome to the Adventure Zone, Griffin.
The Adventure Zone is an Actual Play podcast featuring the McElroy Brothers (Justin, Travis, and Griffin) playing assorted Tabletop RPGs with their father, Clint. The podcast began in late 2014 and new episodes are released every other Thursday.
The podcast initially focused on a single Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Balance, with Griffin as the Dungeon Master. Afterward the four McElroys took turns directing short experimental arcs until one of them, Amnesty (also DM'd by Griffin), was chosen for expansion into a full second season. As of Summer 2019, Amnesty has also finished as a series, and now as of Autumn 2019, Graduation has become the current story campaign, DM'd this time by Travis instead.
Thus far, the podcast contains the following arcs:
- The Adventure Zone: Balance (2014-2017) is a D&D campaign run by Griffin. It follows human fighter Magnus Burnsides (Travis), elven wizard Taako (Justin), and dwarven "cleric" Merle Highchurch (Clint) as they attempt to hunt down powerful, world-destroying artifacts at the behest of an organization called the Bureau of Balance.
- In the same continuity is the adventures of the Hogsbottom Three, run by the hosts of bad movie podcast The Flophouse.
- The Adventure Zone: Amnesty (2018-2019) is a Powered by the Apocalypse campaign run by Griffin using the Monster of the Week hack. As mentioned above, Amnesty began life as an experimental arc before being picked up for the second season. A Monster of the Week story taking place in the fictional ski town of Kepler, West Virginia, following the tourist trap owner Edmund "Ned" Chicane (Clint), the amateur magician Aubrey Little/The Lady Flame (Travis), and the park ranger Duck "It's a nickname" Newton (Justin) as they hunt down dangerous monsters coming from a mysterious stone gate in the woods.
- The Adventure Zone: Graduation (2019-) is a D&D campaign run by Travis, following three students enrolling at the prestigious Hieronymus Wiggenstaff's School for Heroism and Villainy... or rather, its (somewhat less prestigious) Sidekick and Henchperson Annex.
ExperimentsA series of short, "experimental" arcs using various systems and run by alternating GMs, done to help decide what to do for Season 2 proper. Amnesty began as one of these before it was chosen to become the second season.
- The Adventure Zone: Commitment (2017) is a FATE campaign run by Clint, set in a world of superheroes inspired by T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. It follows the super-agile ninja warrior Chris "Remy" Rembrandt/Springheel (Griffin), the genius shapeshifter Nadiya Jones (Travis), and the HR ace Irene Baker, who can become the host to the storm goddess Kardala (Justin), as they join an experimental program for a humanitarian NGO called the Do-Good Fellowship.
- The Adventure Zone: Dust (2018) is a Powered by the Apocalypse campaign run by Travis using the Urban Shadows hack. Set in the Weird West of Crescent Territory, it follows the late cashew baron Augustus Parsons (Justin), the traveling wizard Gandy Dancer (Clint), and the former-politician werewolf Errol Ryehouse (Griffin) as they investigate a murder while preventing the prominent vampire and werewolf families' feud from boiling over.
- The Adventure Zone: Hootenanny (2019) is a Lasers and Feelings one-shot run by Griffin. A 'Space Opry' following an interstellar country band with a constantly changing name, including arcade machine turned standup bass playing android Shoots McCracken (Travis), Benny Gene Esserit, Prince of Marrakis (Clint), and deeply conservative, cryogenically frozen balladeer Pepsi Liberty (Justin).
- The Adventure Zone: Dadlands (2019) is a one-shot using an RPG of the McElroys' own design, featuring Brennan Lee Mulligan as a guest DM. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited only by dads, it features Briquette Hoggins (Griffin) of the Grill Dads clan, Chip Hugginsby (Justin) of the Vacation Dads, Coach Red Ruffinsore (Clint) of the Sports Dads, and Guy Ferrari (Travis) of the Car Dads, who go on a journey to recover the remote that controls a miles-high plasma screen television in the middle of the Dadlands.
- The Adventure Zone: (K)Nights (2016-2017) is a D&D campaign run by Travis. It follows half-elf warlock Tom Collins (Griffin), human bard Lenny Manolito (Clint), and Tiefling monk Troth (Justin) as they carry out missions as the new leaders for the thieves-guild-turned-resistance-movement The Beasts of the Ring. Available exclusively to those who donate to the podcast's publisher, Maximum Fun.
- The Adventure Zone: Elementary (2018) is a very silly one-shot run by Justin in a rules-light system called Four Sherlock Holmes and a Vampire (Who Is Also One of the Aforementioned Sherlock Holmes); it follows Sherlock Holmes (Travis), Sherlock Holmes (Griffin), "Sherlock Holmes" (Clint), and Sherlock Holmes (Justin) attempting to solve a mystery, and also one or more of them might be a vampire. Available exclusively to those who donate to the podcast's publisher, Maximum Fun.
- The Adventure Zone: Fur (2019) is a Honey Heist one-shot run by Travis. It follows the unhinged polar bear "The Thomas Crown Affair" (Griffin), the incompetent sun bear Puka Malone (Clint), and the retired grizzly bear Gerrrf (Justin) as they pull off the heist of the century: stealing a briefcase of pure manuka extract worth five million dollars from the 2019 Sacramento Honey Con! Available exclusively to those who donate to the podcast's publisher, Maximum Fun.
- The Adventure Zone: Lords of Crunch (2020) is a modified Lasers & Feelings one-shot run by Justin. It follows three breakfast cereal mascots, Weedy (Clint) of Buddz Hemp-Based Breakfast Cereal, Skipper Little Dipper (Travis) of Honey-Dipped Oats: Sugar Berry Blast, and Sylvester Stud (Griffin), of Flav-O-Corp's Nutrient-Enriched Fiber Squares, as they attempt to save their home dimension of the Keriopsis from being destroyed at the hands of the evil Horatio. (And his band of murder perverts.) Available exclusively to those who donate to the podcast's publisher, Maximum Fun.