Critical Reaction: Critical Role’s New Campaign Begins
Last Thursday, if you were paying attention to our Twitter, you probably noticed a massive flurry of fangirl squeeing and general excitement as Critical Role kicked off their new D&D campaign live on the internet in front of 100,000 of their closest friends. There is something awe-inspiring and beautiful about sitting down with your best friend, logging online and watching a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons and knowing that people across a dozen time zones are doing the exact same thing. As a recovering theatre nerd, I know exactly what the energy was like behind the scenes: nervous, exhilarating, bounce out of your sneakers ridiculous. I wish I had been there. But to tell you the truth, that’s a big part of why I love Critical Role. Because it’s live, and stripped down and up close, it feels like the theatre (which is spite of what the infamous Artagan says, you should not avoid), and the cast goes out of their way to show us backstage. It’s generous and beautiful and it makes me furiously happy.
So anyway, there we were, sipping wine and eating takeout, waiting in nervous anticipation. And readers, let me say, the cast absolutely nailed it. The first session of any campaign is hard, for an endless number of reasons. And most of these will be compounded, not eased by a live audience of fans and lost Twitch commenters (who often stay and become critters <evil laugh>.
I want this post to remain, more or less, spoiler free so that if you aren’t watching already you can leave here and enjoy it unspoiled, but let me just say, I adore all the new PCs, I am in love with the new continent and social structure and if there isn’t a #TeamFrumpkin shirt by tonight’s episode, I will cry. Watching this cast explore new characters is so much fun, and I’m so excited to discover these new people together. I think this campaign will be a little darker and a little weirder, and personally, I find that awesome. Darker and weirder is kind of my Thing.
If you haven’t given Critical Role a try yet, I really hope you will. This is the perfect time to dive into this amazing experience, join an amazing and welcoming community of gamer nerds and fall in love with D&D.