Worlds Beyond Number is a distinctive show with several parts. The show is about storytelling. But the storytelling happens in a different way, because these stories occur through games. More specifically, they occur through tabletop roleplaying games.
Tabletop roleplaying games need a bit of imagination and improvisation. Luckily, the four hosts (Brennan Lee Mulligan, Aabria Iyengar, Erika Ishii, and Lou Wilson) are well-equipped. They hold backgrounds in voice acting, improv, sketch comedy, and the like. They're self-professed general media nerds and make the Worlds Beyond Number podcast beyond enjoyable.
For those unfamiliar with these games, the podcast hosts take players on an adventure. However, the game has rules about how they behave. Famous examples include Dungeons & Dragons or Blades in the Dark. There's all the usual stuff of games-combat, drama, intrigue. But it's all determined by the role of a dice. This means that chance guides the stories in Worlds Beyond Number.
The hosts say they use the tabletop roleplaying method for two main reasons. One is obvious: tabletop roleplaying games are fun. The second is that it allows the hosts to remain on the same side of storytelling as the audience. They don't know what's about to happen either! This makes Worlds Beyond Number as intriguing as possible.
The epic stories the hosts make up can go wherever their imagination heads. For example, the story might be long-form and span many years. Or, it might be shorter, taking up a single episode. It might be a comedy, a tragedy, or a tragic comedy. It's a bit of a mystery, making up (more than) half the fun.
Worlds Beyond Number is a compelling storytelling podcast spoken through games. Four hosts take turns to add input to the ongoing storyline. A backing track and sound effects punctuate the stories to make them more realistic. It is engaging and clever. Listeners may enjoy this show if they find tabletop roleplaying games entertaining.