Fantasize Me

Do you love character building in D&D? Zach does! Fantasize me is a podcast created by Zach Katz. Each episode (with the exception of Brendan Fraser) is between 35 minutes to an hour long, perfect for commutes to work or a nice long walk. There is a selection of both imaginary and real people. At the time of writing this article there are 45 episodes. Every episode is a character build from level 1 all the way up to level 20 in great detail. Not familiar with D&D or not a fan of character building? Don’t worry as Zach does a great job teaching what each thing does and how each class feature changes as that class gets leveled up.

Each episode has the same format that I have learned to appreciate. Zach starts from the character background, picks the race and then rolls stats. Zach rolls a single d6 four times then drops the lowest roll. After making all the rolls, each number gets placed into the different statistics and the starts the process of going through each level. Each character gets an introduction, but if there is more information about the character we the listeners get a mini history lesson as well (I very much liked the Elizabeth Báthory information before the character creation). At the very end of each episode Zach goes over the entire character sheet from compete stats, which levels in each class that was taken, to each of the pieces that individual is able to do. It is a very detailed character creation that has brought to life some great character ideas.

Some things that I appreciate is that for every step in the character build, Zach tells the reasoning behind his choices and gives a detailed description for each new thing that the character gets. As a DM I really enjoy listening to the creation process of some iconic individuals and hear the reasoning for the choices. In the moments that Zach was debating between taking two different options (such as picking between two feats or whether to do a stat boost vs. feat) it was laid out to us the listeners the benefits of each choice and why Zach went with the choice he did. Even the few times I did not agree with a choice that Zach made, he explained it well enough and the characters worked out so well in the end that each episode I have listened to has been a success with a well thought out character that makes sense and true to the character being portrayed.

Thoughts From the Fox

I overall enjoyed listening to the different characters created by Zach. As a DM I loved hearing each individual choice that was being made and many of the character creations have been great renditions of these beloved characters/people. Some of my favorite episodes I have listened to include Bruno from Encanto, Sir Charizard, and Loki. The whole Halloween Season from 2021was also fantastic with classics such as Jack Skellington, Mortician Addams and The Headless Horseman to name a few.

Zach has a nice calming voice to listen to and many of the episodes are well spoken. At times Zach can be a bit “thirsty” for some of the characters that he creates and says statements in such fashion but for the majority of the listening experience it is clean and safe for work. The podcast is easy to listen to, as Zach seems to be talking to you as a friend or someone he’s familiar with; and just like when you talk with a friend, sometimes Zach does get off topic or gets distracted going off on a tangent. I love that he calls himself on it and even when things get derailed it is usually still related to the topic or character that is being built and when refocused he gets right back into character building mode.

There have been many things that even I as a DM learned through listening to Zach. He goes through so many different races, classes and feats that the combinations that he uses are pretty clever. There have been a few times I even took some inspiration for an NPC or personal character based on some of the characters that he made on Fantasize me because the class combination he made was cool or he reminded me of a background/feat that I really wanted to use. If you hate character creation, this podcast may help bring ideas to you as well to help spark some characters of your own or you can build your own character based on/reflected by one of these Fantasized characters. Character building can be such a daunting task but Zach does a complete epic level character in under an hour and takes you along for a well thought out ride. He doesn't focus on min/maxing but rather what makes sense to bring a certain persona to life and overall what will make that person fun to play.

Want to Listen for yourself?

Check out “Fantasize Me” podcast at Anchor, Spotify or Apple Podcasts. If you have a character suggestion for who Zach should create into a 5e character next you can email him at Love what Zach does? Consider buying Zach a Coffee on his Kof-fi here. You can also find five subclasses in his Ko-fi shop for free and three other works of his such as "The Tome of Peretion," "Mundane Backgrounds" and "The Elemental Codex" for purchase.