About Happy Jacks

About the Network

Happy Jacks has been combining tabletop RPGs and humor to create high quality content since 2009. We’ve assembled a diverse cast of seasoned entertainers, tabletop RPG experts, and nerds to bring you some of the most engaging tabletop content out there. We have a top-rated weekly advice show and dozens of actual play shows in different systems, including many indie and narrative systems.

We are a not-for-profit network and never accept ad or sponsorship money. We are completely sustained by our incredible Patreons who keep the lights on, our content hosted, and drinks in the studio mini-fridge.

Why did we go with this model instead of the much more common (and lucrative) sponsorship model that most content creators use?

  • We want the freedom to be ourselves instead of catering to companies for money.
  • Sponsorships are a form of advertising, and we don’t ever want to have to hide our true opinions from our community.
  • We think that it’s important that there are high quality tabletop RPG shows out there that feature real friends playing whatever they want, however they want, just like the millions of home games that happen every day around the world.

Consider supporting our endeavors if you like our content.

Frequently Asked Questions

ANYWHERE YOU WANT! We have something for everyone. All of our content is available as podcasts or on our Youtube channel.

  • Our weekly tabletop RPG advice show is based on topics sent in from fans around the world. Each episode is stand-alone, although there may be jokes and references to previous episodes. You can listen to the most recent release immediately. We are proud of our many years of quality tabletop content, but the backlog is optional.
  • Our actual play podcasts are all listed on our actual play shows page and can be viewed chronologically or by RPG system. There are may great current and past campaigns.
  • Our one-shots are single session or 2-3 session games that are perfect for someone who doesn’t want to commit to a longer story. A lot of them are rarely played systems, playtests or samples of a new game that is just being introduced to the RPG community.

Yep, nobody gets on a Happy Jacks show without being recommended by someone who is already on the crew. The original crew met each other performing as musicians at the Southern California Renaissance Faire. Through the years many others have joined our ranks, most of whom met Kimi through cosplay, her time as a fitness coach at a now-defunct nerd-themed gym, local gaming conventions, or just bumping into each other at the comic shop. Now that we are doing more online gaming, we have also met a bunch of friends through online gaming communities, and if we click with someone we invite them onto the crew! The friendships are real and we hang out a lot, even when we aren’t doing Happy Jacks stuff.

Happy Jacks’ original crew are folk musicians who talked about D&D so much between shows that they decided to use their studio to record a podcast. The music in the shows hints at that unique origin story. The intro songs are written by Stu, who started Happy Jacks. Some of them are performed by him on his solo project, the Angryfolk Band (or Angryfolkband). Other versions are covers of these songs by Kimi’s band, The Mary Sues. All the versions of these songs are available whereever you get your digital music. If you hear music at the end of an an advice show episode, the majority songs come from the Poxy Boggards (www.poxyboggards.com) which Stu started and in which Stork, Tappy and many other hosts can be heard. If you’re hearing women’s voices in harmony, it’s probably the Merry Wives of Windsor (www.mwow.net) which has been home to Kimi, Claire, Jessie and Clara. Occasionally, we reach out to friends or bands who we admire and ask to play their music, but it will only appear if we have their express written permission and we will always credit them and link to their online hubs. Most of the music we play can be found on CDBaby.com, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and other online music retailers. For what it’s worth, most bands will get the largest cut from your purchase from Bandcamp or CDbaby, rather than iTunes or the other big sites.

We’ve been making these shows since 2009. In that time, we have inevitably developed some inside jokes and references. Here are some of the ones that you will hear a lot on current shows and if you dive into our backlog: TO BE FAIR! — Usually followed by other people echoing, “To be fair!” or maybe even singing it. This is a quote from the show Letterkenny, which we think is hilarious. ALLEGEDLY— This is another quote from the show Letterkenny. It involves an ostrich… allegedly. GOOD NEWS! — Refers to CADave’s character in Stu’s first Legend of the Five Rings campaign. When things when particularly well, Dave’s character would enter the sake/tea house and announce, “Good News! I’ve negotiated better sake prices from our wholesaler!! (or whatever).” TWO DAYS! — Refers to CADave’s character in Stu’s first Legend of the Five Rings campaign. In the first scenario, the party was to locate and stop some bandits robbing local farms. After the daimyo of the valley told them that he was unimpressed with their performance, and how it was shaming the family that sent them, Dave’s character interrupted and said, “Two days. We’ll solve this in two days,” thereby setting a time limit to solve a mystery that they, so far, had zero clues for. STORK IT — Refer’s to Stork’s ability to roll really poorly. Now used when anyone rolls like Stork. Got a critical failure? You storked it. WHY PROBLEM MAKE WHEN YOU NO PROBLEM HAVE YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE? — This is a quote from the Polish Bear Hunter character (Robert Stoltenberg) in the film Troll Hunter (watch it on Netflix, it’s fantastic). NO MERE HEDGE MAGE — Refers to a moment in Stu’s old D&D campaign. He made a bad ass wizard for the party to fight. The wizard mocked the party’s confidence saying “I am no mere hedge mage!” and then was promptly killed in one round by the party’s amazing rolls and some friendly rhinoceroses.

We don’t read every email we are sent, but themed emails generally work best for our show format. If your email fits into one of the following categories, we always like them: GMing Horror Story – Stories about terrible GMs or terrible players, and bad behavior. People learn a lot from these stories. GMing Triumph – Stories about how a GM overcame adversity, recovered from a bad decision, or otherwise turned failure into success. GM Confession – Stories (usually personal) about mistakes you’ve made as a GM and what you learned from them. New Player Stories – We love to hear about people who are just getting into the hobby! We will celebrate the good moments and help them with advice for the challenges. First Impressions – Trying a system for the first time? Going to a specific convention that you’ve always dreamed of? These are fantastic stories. If your subject line briefly describes the topic involved, that helps out a lot. Emails that reference topics discussed many times before on the show probably won’t get read — unless they bring up a new and interesting angle.

Happy Jacks, with a few rare exceptions, has never been an interview show. We do often have guest hosts on our shows, often from tabletop conventions, other tabletop RPG shows, or game companies. They will share about their current projects but also read emails and give advice with us. These guests usually appear on the show after receiving an invitation from us. Feel free to contact us if you think you’d be a good guest for our show. Please note: We do not accept payment for appearances. We are a friendly group, but we value the trust of our audience and will be honest about our opinions of RPG products.

Crowdfunding has become a huge part of the TTRPG scene in recent years. Even big companies are regularly Kickstarting their games to get in on the action. It’s almost impossible not to talk about crowdfunding projects when you have a show about RPGs, especially one that focuses on indie games as much as we do. BUT, while we may mention or talk about crowdfunding projects, Happy Jacks RPG as a network rarely helps to campaign for projects unless we are familiar with the publisher/author and trust them. Individual hosts may share projects they have backed or even play games that are in the process of crowdfunding, but that does not constitute official support by the Happy Jacks RPG Network. We NEVER TAKE PAYMENT to play games. If you see it on our network, it’s because we are interested and want to try it out. We will be honest about our opinions, both positive and negative.