Critical Reaction: Warlocks and Frumpkins and Pastries, Oh My!
Spoilers abound, proceed accordingly.
Last Thursday, Critical Role hit session 3 of their new Wildemount campaign and you can really tell that they are starting to find their stride. And can I just say, I am loving every moment of it so far. Everyone at the table is starting to lean into their characters, make discoveries, share secrets and overall settle into these new skins. I find myself regularly giddy thinking about our favorite nerdy-ass voice actors and their poor squishy characters. So squishy. I want to fold them up in bubble wrap and save them from even the most basic of injuries. Or become their healing potion fairy. One of those. Indulge me as I gush about these new PCs, who I really hope live to see level 3.
Fjord was this week’s revelation for me, moving from simply a great departure for Travis Willingham as a player to a character I need to know everything about immediately. I’m fascinated that he chose warlock in the first place, but the teasers this week for an oceanic theme? Excuse me while I faint. His falchion? Super dope. His falchion covered in barnacles and glowing with otherworldly powers? Hells to the yes. Not to mention, the pure giddiness in Travis’ voice as he blurts out “I have a spell save DC y’all!”, that’s DnD, folks. It’s also adorable.
Caleb continued to grow on me, as Liam finally settled on the perfect accent and Caleb bought his first books, showing off a far more excitable scholar underneath the reserved and shabby exterior. I think I speak for all us of when I say we relate to the thrill of new books. (#TeamRavenclaw) Though I don’t buy into the werewolf theory, the Remus Lupin vibe Caleb gives off works for me in a big way. Plus, the way Liam describes his spellcasting gives me chills. So evocative, and I just know that if he keeps it up, the art will be ever more tremendous and mind-blowing. And since the art is what I’m really here for in the end, I’m excited. You should be too, friends. Go search the criticalrolefanart hashtag on Twitter, thank me later.
Jester solidified as my favorite tiefling cleric ever (sorry Artesa Novestris, tempest cleric of Melora I am over you) by petting Frumpkin while casting spells. It was RP perfection and about the purest moment of careless joy I have ever seen on the internet. And I have been to a lot of places on the internet, friends. Laura Bailey has let it go into a whole new realm of character building and improv with her adorable, disarming cleric. Her explanation on this week’s Talks Machina that Jester enjoys the game of “saying yes” sums up this unfiltered, awkward tiefling perfectly. Well, that and her love of pastries. And petting cats during tense zombie battles.
You didn’t think I forgot everyone else just because I didn’t list them in the title, did you? I would never do that! Plenty of love to go around.
Beau showed tactical and psychological brilliance in the battle against the Devil Toad, going straight to Toya and taking her out of the fight. By negating whatever magic Toya was casting through her song, Beau gave the team an advantage, and took the Devil Toad’s focus, which allowed the others to close in and land some good hits. It may not have been the most epic series of blows ever landed by a monk, but it was smart, decisive and pivotal to the fledgling party’s success in a very tough fight. Also, like Liam, I am really digging the way Marisha details her attack blows. I can see Beau perfectly in my mind’s eye, running across the ruins and thrusting her staff up under the dwarf girl’s throat.
Taliesin’s character Mollymauk is still the game’s biggest mystery. But this week’s reveal that he’s a variant tiefling with access to one of my favorite spells in the game made me positively giddy. Vicious Mockery is a fun, brilliant spell. Vicious Mockery in the hands of the immortal and fabulous Taliesin Jaffe? Pure. Genius. I cannot even tell you. I’m so excited to see what he does with it. And with the Bloodhunter class. And well, really, if he wanted to just host a show where he told stories about working at Ren Faire, or wandering around LA doing whatever, that’d be fine too. I’d watch.
Look, we don’t deserve Sam Riegel. He’s too good for us, and too good for this world. I think this has been well established. He’s brilliant and funny and he’s managing to play a gender flipped monster race, live on the internet, without being cliche and gross. Seriously, think about that for a minute. I’ll wait. Are you back? Good. Nott, the Brave is 200 pounds of pure Dungeons and Dragons genius rolled up in a 10 pound bag and Sam killed it this week, RPing the hell out of Nott, terrified in battle, firing off her crossbow and getting the killing blow on a zombie.
All I have to say about Yasha is that HELLS YES Ashley will be there this week. I cannot wait for more of her acerbic, strapping barbarian badass.
One last note: If you haven’t watched this gif on loop for five solid minutes, you haven’t lived. Courtesy of this talented individual.
So, that’s my recap/gushing for the week. Is it Thursday yet?