I’m sure a lot of people will focus on critical hit rolls and such for this, and you could go on about them pretty easily, but I’l do something else.
So I guess most people have heard of Critical Role, Matt Mercer et al’s broadcast game of D&D via Twitch and YouTube.
I came very late to the party, and didn’t get very far.
When I had the time to watch, they were entertaining enough, but I arrived a little way into series 2 and never managed to catch up.
Let’s look at the stuff I loved about it.
The voice acting was top notch. That’s unsurprising given the talent at the table.
It did encourage me to move towards the ‘silly NPC voices’ side of DMing, but didn’t really stick. I lack the confidence to really go with it.
I’m trying to work on that.
From what I saw, the characters are enjoyable, and the players have taken the time with the DM to build some kind of backstory that works for each of them, and ties them to the setting nicely.
And the downsides?
The episodes are just so long.
I know, I know. That’s how long a game can get. I’ve listened to podcasts and watched episodes of games on YouTube, but given the length of the ongoing series as well it was just too much of a time sink.
I got as far as the Pumat Sol introduction episode, which was episode 8. I didn’t actually reach the Pumat Sol introduction though, because I barely got a few minutes into the episode.
How do I know it’s that episode? Because there’s plenty of clips on YouTube of great moments, and I’d already seen the introduction weeks before.
New players and expectations of how D&D works have definitely been flavoured by Critical Role. Is that a bad thing? It can be I guess.
I’m no Matt Mercer. My games aren’t storytelling epics, but I try and make them fun and interesting, and I read a lot of stuff to use for backdrop and inserts. I don’t check out nearly enough play videos or podcasts, (though that’s my aim going forward too).
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d love to get back to it at some stage (though I might just wait for series 3 and new characters again now), and I even picked up the combined miniatures pack when they did the Kickstarter for them.
I know some people watch and have no interest in rolling any dice themselves. Tat’s fine too, it’s an entertaining show.