Hello guys! Welcome into the new year and to a new blog post – and something that might maybe, possibly turn into a series? I thought, I could write a series of blog posts about all random things that I love and, if you like it, I’ll publish them maybe monthly? (That could change since I’ve got Uni going on again) If you don’t like it, I’ll probably still do it anyway. If you find any facts or dates that are wrong, please feel free to correct me.
Before I get into the nerdy awesomeness that is Critical Role, a tiny disclaimer:
I am not getting paid for these blog posts. I am simply writing them because I love these things that I am going to write about and if you end up liking them too, that’s brilliant! If not, that’s fine too.
Alright. Now that we got that out of the way. Question one.
What is Critical Role?
Critical Role is a web series produced by Geek and Sundry, which made its debut on March 12 in 2015. It is centred on a group of voice actors, who meet up and play Dungeons and Dragons – live on twitch, while thousands of people are watching.
Their first campaign, which followed the tales of a group of characters collectively known as Vox Machina as they battle their way through the world of Exandria on the continent of Tal’Dorei, ended on October 12 last year. But fret not! The new campaign started on January 11, 2018 and if you missed it, you can still catch up when the episode is uploaded to YouTube on Monday.
Critical Role’s second campaign is set in Wildemount, 20 years after Vox Machina’s adventures.
Who is a part of Critical Role?
I’m only focusing on the people we see onscreen every Thursday night here. For the sake of staying spoiler free, I will only mention the characters from the first campaign as you get to know them during the first episodes.
Matthew Mercer Dungeon Master/DM
Most people might now know Matt as the voice of Jesse McCree in Overwatch. But, as everyone from the cast, he has a bunch of other roles under his belt (i.e. Levi in Attack on Titan or Leon S. Kennedy in Resident Evil). As the DM, Matt leads the sessions and voices NPCs – although the others sometimes do what they want, which often results in fun shenanigans or them getting into trouble.
Ashley Johnson Pike Trickfoot
Ashley Johnson is best known for her role on the NBC TV show Blindspot and for voicing Ellie in The Last of Us. During the first Campaign, we meet Ashley as Pike Trickfoot, a gnome cleric with a special connection to her goddess.
Laura Bailey Vex’ahlia
Laura has voiced characters like Nadine Ross in Uncharted and Fiona in Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands. Her first character on Critical Role is Vex’ahlia, a half elven ranger, who is always accompanied by her animal companion, Trinket, a bear – who gives expert massages!
Liam O’Brien Vax’ildan
Liam voiced Gaara in Naruto Shippuden and Gollum in Middle Earth: Shadow of War, among others. On Critical Role he took on the role of Vax’Ildan, a half elven rogue and twin brother to Laura’s Vex’ahlia.
Marisha Ray Keyleth
Marisha’s roles include A.J. Mason in Friday the 13th: The Game and Mikoto, Effie and Oboro in Fire Emblem: Fates. Her character during the first campaign is Keyleth, a half-elven Druid.
Sam Riegel Scanlan Shorthalt
Sam voiced Griefer in Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode, amongst others. On the show he plays the feisty gnome bard Scanlan Shorthalt.
Taliesin Jaffe Percy
Amongst Taliesin’s roles, you will find credits for additional voices in Elder Scrolls Online and Dragon’s Dogma, as well as a part in World of Warcraft: Legion. Taliesin’s character on Critical Role is Percival “Percy” Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, a human gunslinger.
Travis Willingham Grog Strongjaw
Travis played Castamir in Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Thor in various Marvel games and Harvey Dent in Telltale’s Batman. On Critical Role’s first campaign, he took on the part of Grog Strongjaw, a goliath barbarian – who likes to rage.
Orion Acaba Tiberius Stormwind
Orion left Critical Role sometime after it started to focus on his own projects, but he had taken on the role of Tiberius Stormwind, a dragonborn sorcerer.
Apart from the amazing cast, Critical Role also lives through its crew and the community (lovingly called #Critters).
Why do I love it?
Not only does Critical Role give you the opportunity to follow the adventures of a bunch of brilliant voice actors, but you also get to connect with an amazingly supportive community. Sometimes heartbreaking, but mostly making you love until you cry, Critical Role has introduced me to the world of Dungeons and Dragons and actually made me want to play it myself. (I do have a group, but we’re trying to work out the logistics first.) If you want to spend hours watching fellow nerds play a tabletop RPG that has been around for ages and afterwards chat with others who watched it as well, then Critical Role might be the thing for you. And let’s not forget the epic tales, bloody battles and wonderful characters you get to know as well.
Where you can watch it.
Critical Role’s new campaign airs – as usual – on Thursdays on Geek and Sundry’s twitch and Youtube channels at 7pm Pacific Time (which would be 3am UK time and 4am Central European time). If you can’t make it to the livestreams, the episodes are being rebroadcasted on the twitch channel throughout the weekend until they are put up onto the Youtube channel on the following Monday. And there’s also the possibility of listening to the podcast, which will be updated with last week’s episode on Thursday of the following week.