This past Thursday, things in New York got Critical….Critical Role that is! Matthew Mercer and the Mighty Nein put on an epic show at the United Palace Theater. The night started with early access for VIP ticket holders who got to partake in a Q&A with the cast. While in the Q&A was occurring, general admission holders lined up outside the venue. There was a sea of campaign cosplays, critical work t-shirts, and a camaraderie of strangers unified in the love of Dungeons and Dragons solidified with free pizza and donuts..At 8:00 pm the main doors opened to general admission allowing fans to buy some limited edition merchandise as well as stock up in some expensive snacks and beverages. Then 9:00 pm came upon us and we took our seats waiting for the magic to start.
Critical Role is a live streamed Dungeons and Dragons campaign that is broadcast weekly. The fans of Critical Role have adorned the nickname “Critters”. The Dungeon Master for Critical Role is the talented Matthew Mercer. Critical Role, after finishing its first campaign (Vox Machina) ended in 2017, is now in its second campaign following the Mighty Nein. The players in this campaign consist of: Travis Willingham, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, Sam Riegel, and Ashley Johnson. The cast consists of incredibly talented actors who have been prevalent from anime, video games, tv, movies, and voice acting. The game is hosted by Brian W. Foster. The complete list of the team can be found here.
The night started with some incredible fan art playing on the projector while the crowd filed in. Critical Role is known for some having an amazing group of fans who are wildly talented. They consistently celebrate these fans by sharing the work that brings some of their campaign adventures to stunning visual portrayals. One of the most notable works of art came from the artist Ilya Salnikov. After the artwork finished displaying, Brian W. Foster, entered the stage and the crowd exploded with cheers and support.
Video Animation done by Ilyra Salnikov
The show was beginning and the fans could not wait. One by one the players were introduced. Each cast member came out decked in Pirate gear that supported where their campaign was currently taking place. Everyone loved that they were in costume. Matthew Mercer entered last and set the tone for the evening. The live event was going to be 1 hour ahead of the live stream on twitch. This meant the crowd had to keep from posting any spoilers on-line not to wreck it for the rest of the world watching. The biggest news was that each person who attended the live show received a $25 gift card to Wyrmwood, which is a store selling incredible works of wood constantly used by Critical Role. There was also a code provided to redeem a percentage off of books purchased on D&D Beyond; which is one of the biggest resources for those playing Dungeons and Dragons.
After the introductions had finalized, the show was ready to begin. The lights dimmed and a hush fell over the eager Critters. It was time for season 2 episode 37 to begin. Over the next three hours the cast transported the audience along their adventure. The charisma between the cast was captivating. The pure talent of each member kept all of the fans engaged. I would go into detail, but you should really watch the campaign from the beginning.
If you love Dungeons and Dragons, or just enjoy incredible story telling I strongly urge you to check out Critical Role. If you are in the Tri-State area, Critical Role will be present at the New York Comic Con. Check out their panels if you can! This group is a great at giving inspiration to table top role players and Dungeon Masters alike. Even if you just want some influence on voice acting or improve you will find something of value in Critical Role. I look forward to seeing where the adventure takes the campaign. To all my fellow Dungeoneers may all your critical’s be successful, and your parties have the healers you need. Adventure awaits!