The Spark Network

Imagine What Your Idea Can Do



Taking Initiative is a Dungeons & Dragons 5e actual-play podcast.  The game is primarily centered around the storytelling and role-playing, but it certainly doesn't shy away from the humor, both in and out of game.  The DM and players range from beginners to veterans, giving it a wide spectrum for both the group and its audience.  Come for the people, stay for the story.

Its first campaign uses the Curse of Strahd module, much to the surprise of its players.  Episodes 1-9 are under the arc title House of Spoops.  Episodes 10-19 are under the arc title Barovian Rhapsody.  Episodes 20-current are under the arc title The Gunman Comes Around.  Episodes release every other Monday.

The first episode of Hackinstone's Gambit released during Wizard of the Coast's Podcasts of Annihilation on September 18th, 2017.  This adventure features Adam and Joel of D&D is for Nerds and Sage from The Venture Maidens.  The adventure continues biweekly on the Taking Initiative RSS feed opposite the Curse of Strahd episodes.

If you'd like to support the show, gain access to bonus content like cross-over games and one-shots, and get the episodes before anyone else, feel free to visit our Patreon at


Cast & Crew

Jon "Bucky" Buckmaster


-The Spark Network Co-Founder
-Artistic Director
-Ven'dahlar Greymire

Your friendly neighborhood Bucky grew up in the mystical land of Long Island, N.Y., where he discovered who he truly was: a big f&$%in' nerd.  From video games and comics to film and TV, he embraced every nerdy thing he could find, but his particular skill set desired more.  Bucky graduated with a B.A. in theater, so improvisation skills plus tabletop role-playing caused everything to change (when the fire nation attacked).  When he's able to leave his editing cave and enjoy some free time, he plays a ton of video games, struggles to get in shape, fails to get in shape due to eating all of Donna's baked goods, cries about his inability to afford his tattoo addiction, develops accents and characters, and works in a post production facility for TV and film, alongside most of the other members.

Donna Fenimore


-Callista Burgenson

From hair dying to baking, Donna does it all, but now she can add "nerding" to her repertoire. She could think of nothing more fun than playing zany and wacky characters with her best friends in the world. Donna enjoys survival video games, as well as Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and telling people she’s half Asian with the normal response that no one can see it. But she is. It’s factual.

Nick Figueroa


-Kent Brickwood of the East Farthing Brickwoods

Nick is a feature color assistant from Jersey who has no idea who let him work in the film industry, but he absolutely loves every second of it.  He loves traveling more than being home and has a laughably horrible memory, which may be due to the overwhelming amount of useless comic and movie knowledge.  Nick never takes himself seriously, but will never turn down a dance battle.  Ever.

Josh Perault



-The Spark Network Co-Founder
-Website & Distribution Director

Josh is an online/conform editor with credits in season 8 of CBS's Blue Bloods, season 2 of USA’s Mr. Robot, HBO’s High Maintenance, and the feature films American Assassin and Keeping Up with the Joneses.  Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Josh graduated from Dowling College and started working in Manhattan to accomplish his goal of becoming an editor.

Drew Tillman


-The Spark Network Co-Founder
-Continuity and Project Manager
-Mykil, Abraham, Ferguson

Created out of mud from a swamp deep in the heartlands of Georgia, Drew has since turned into a voracious reader, a storyteller, and an enthusiast for playing games with his friends. Now, he lives in New York and spends all of his free time creating things and listening to podcasts.

Notable Credits/Guests/Thanks

Celeste Conowitch of The Venture MaidensTaking Initiative guest player, Rictavio

Morgan Conroy: Into Ivy Mansion guest player, Clementine

Kati Kawaguchi of Nerds on a Roll: Barovian Rhapsody, The Gunman Comes Around and Hackinstone's Gambit logos

Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech): Royalty-free music (credits in each episode's description)

Christian Madera & Zach Glass of The Once and Future Nerd: Hosted our pilot episode

Neil Martin: Theme songs and additional music; Into Ivy Mansion Editor

Loren Peterson of Nerds on a Roll: Guest DM for Lab Rats

Kyle Reagin: The Spark Network logo design/template

Sage Stafford of The Venture MaidensHackinstone's Gambit guest player, Ramiel

Zach Valenti of Wolf 359: Taking Initiative guest voice, Strahd Von Zarovich

Joel Zammit & Adam of D&D is for Nerds: Hackinstone's Gambit guest players, Raindrop and Thunder

Our Patrons

Kit Battlebeard (Adventurer)
Moritz Fornoff (Adventurer+)
Max Hadson (Mercenary)
Kati Kawaguchi (Mercenary)
Stuart Lange (Adventurer)
Thirsty Puppet (Mercenary)
Sage Stafford (Mercenary)
Robert Segarra (Mercenary)
Brittany Sipe (Adventurer)
Christopher Tate (Mercenary)
Venture Maidens (Town Guard)

Previous Logos


Original Logo: House of Spoops

by Josh Perault


Barovian Rhapsody

by Kati Kawaguchi

Hackinstone's Gambit

by Kati Kawaguchi