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Critical Role - The new campaign

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That's right! The first campaign for the Critical Role gang came to a bittersweet, emotional close after five long years. 

 

The new campaign, set in a different corner of Exandria and after a few decade time jump, kicked off on Thursday, 11th January 2018. 

 

The gang have a snazzy new table! 

 

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And in spoilers below are the new character cards:

 

Spoiler

 

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Fjord - Travis

 

Nott - Sam

 

Caleb - Liam

 

Jester - Laura

 

Molkymauk - Taliesin

 

Yasha - Ashley

 

Beauregard - Marisha

 

 

Where can you watch this exciting new campaign unfold? Don't worry, @MDY has got your back:

 

 

More details coming soon...

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Quickie catchup for new viewers..

 

What is Critical Role?
 

Critical Role is a weekly livestreaming Dungeons and Dragons game starring a group of close friends and self proclaimed 'nerdy-ass voice actors' (whom you WILL have heard if you've played pretty much any game made in the last decade.)


Its first campaign centered around a party of heroes known as Vox Machina, playing in Matt Mercer's homebrew world of Exandria.
The show has become something of an internet phenomenon, the first episode of this new campaign finished earlier today and drew around 100,000 live stream viewers.. :blink: (to say nothing of the majority of viewers who will watch later either on-demand or on YouTube!) CR has spawned it's own D&D setting book, comic series, art books and an expansive fan community.

 

The success of the show is down to both Matt Mercer's incredibly well realised world and storytelling as well as a cast that are all immensely likeable and really brought to life the characters they played for the last 5 years.. The emotional investment they have for the whole thing is what really sells it. It's also frequently hilarious and the fact it is all essentially an entirely improvised story which can twist and change completely based on a single decision or a roll of the dice help make it an addictive, compulsive viewing experience..

 

The second campaign is the perfect jumping on point - it's set in a completely different region of the world with all new low-level characters with no connections to the previous ones.. You can of course watch the first campaign - there's a forum thread on it here - but there's a LOT of it (115 episodes and somewhere in the region of 350 hours of actual game play!) So interested viewers might just want to start here instead..

 

The cast remains the same from the first season - they are:

Sam Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Ray, Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer,

Liam O'Brien, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, and Travis Willingham.

CRCast-1.jpg.ee9bc25f307287671bdf1b5d1d88f8cf.jpg

 

 

Episode One is now posted (about a dozen posts below this..)

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They definitely hit the ground running, that was really good :D Seems like an interesting selection of classes and an interesting story set up. It's also going to be amusing to see how long they can hold the accents for!

 

 

Laura as Jester is probably my highlight so far, pretty much all gold. Sam with low charisma breaks my heart, but it's going to be hilarious anyway.

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Mirasha as a monk? This will go fine...:P


Haven't watched/listened yet - but there's some interesting choices there (and some very lucky rolls :P). No idea how some of them play, so will be fun to see different classes. Even the more staple classes (Wizard/Cleric) have chosen interesting sub builds.

 

 

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Not watched it yet, but peeking at the character cards, Laura has played a version of her character before - in couple of one-shots nearly 2 years ago..

Spoiler

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Hexx said:

Is Blood Hunter new/homebrew?

 

Yes, it's a class Matt homebrewed - originally for the one shot/promo that Vin Diesel played in when he was promoting his Last Witch Hunter film..

 

He then reworked it further and published it on DM's Guild.. (Travis actually used it in that one-shot I posted just above..)

http://www.dmsguild.com/product/170777/Blood-Hunter-Class

& there's a further Werewolf-y subclass for it also - Order of the Lycan..

http://www.dmsguild.com/product/175606/Order-of-the-Lycan-for-Blood-Hunters

 

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Looks interesting. Like the look of Warlock/Hexblade as well (god I want to be all the DnD characters. Except a druid).

 

You didn't tell me Dan Casey was in the video! Screw Van Petrol I'm in!

 

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23 minutes ago, Hexx said:

Looks interesting. Like the look of Warlock/Hexblade as well (god I want to be all the DnD characters. Except a druid).

 

You didn't tell me Dan Casey was in the video! Screw Van Petrol I'm in!

 

 

Hexblade looks like a really fun subclass! :D Looking forward to seeing how many of them will pick one of the new ones from Xanathar's Guide..


Dan is also in a couple of one-shots the DM tips/Ep12 and it's for charity sequel Critical Trolls (along with Liam, Orion and Marisha.)

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8 minutes ago, MDY said:

 

Hexblade looks like a really fun subclass! :D Looking forward to seeing how many of them will pick one of the new ones from Xanathar's Guide..

 

Yeah I'm really interested to see what Travis does with it. He's always seemed to be constrained by RPing Thick-o Grog. Seeing him properly cut loose the noggin should be fun.

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Got around to watching the first episode of this today and really enjoyed it. They're off to a great start for sure. I love the new mix of character classes and Matt once again showing how exceptional he is at drawing everyone into the settings and surroundings he creates. As for the rest, early favourites are Jester and Nott, with Laura being especially adorable as her new creation. Her accent reminded me a little bit of Dexter from Dexter's lab, but maybe that's just me :lol:

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Agreed @Sie, amazing start.  I loved the first encounters between the characters, hearing the new accents and getting a sense of the new personalities.  The card game (and fallout) between Nott and Jester was hilarious.  Matt was as amazing as ever. 

 

This is is going to be epic :wub: 

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I can see your point but I guess they are trying to avoid problem of having to change the intro when campaign/characters change.

 

As for the episode itself it was fantastic - I will admit I was sceptical having seen the oneshots. During oneshots I thought "yeah it's fun they are playing different characters temporarily but it's still vax and keyleth etc".... I thought that I could never see past the original characters to what they wanted to do "next", but the new campaign caught me between the eyes and ears on episode 1 - some more than others but this is a superb start.

 

And Matt Mercer knows how to set a scene - the world building based on one small town was superlative. I noticed alot of him reading from notes but even so it was sublime writing for a D&D campaign to draw in characters to a situation.

 

EDIT - and I loved the retro reworking of the theme tune - it was just a perfect  mix of old tune and 80s TV show tune.

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They had me at Travis in a sleeveless top.

 

Edit - Dear Lord I’ve never watched a proper episode before. Give me the edited Podcast without all the intro!

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@Hexx There was way more preamble than usual for this one.. it's usually more like 5 mins before play starts..

The new intro was fun - whether or not it grates after a bit - we'll see.. They have a bit more budget now, so maybe in a few months (when they're past the first few 'squishy' levels..) we'll get a new character intro..

 

Really liking most of the new characters already - it's certainly a more interesting mix this time round - even though we have both 2 humans and 2 tieflings, the addition of a goblin and an assimar mean we've not just got the usual d&d races (& no elves at all!)..

 

First impressions..
 

Spoiler

 

Looks like Fjord (Travis) is in with a good shot of being the unofficial party leader and party 'face' this time round. He's got the best charisma in the group (it'll be strange having Sam being so FAR on the other end of that spectrum!)

Ford seems to be very forthright and honest : "I think if you say it, you're supposed to do it," - but Warlocks don't usually draw their power from nice things..
The Hexblade subclass means Travis still gets to be a big guy who hits stuff, but that and a decent INT should give him a lot more overall versatility than he had playing Grog..

Bonus points for incorporating Travis' IRL cat allergy and I love the southern drawl (Texblade?)

 

Marisha still seems to have gone for a more socially awkward character - just in this case 'cos Beau is a bit blunt and tactless.. But she seems more fun already - I've seen her referred to as 'dirtbag Korra' which is kinda perfect.. A monk is also a big switch from druid - no more tanking damage with beast shapes and high HP.. Monks are a bit of a glass cannon, can wreak havok with incapacitating strikes, but they are more vulnerable too.. She gets to choose her Monastic path next level so it'll be interesting to see which way she goes - expectation seems to be she'll go for the new 'Way of the Drunken Master'..

 

Laura rolled REALLY well on her stats - so Jester should be pretty capable all round (and it's nice to see her back from that long ago one shot!), she's sweet and upbeat - lacking Vex's sarcasm - if still a little morally questionable in other areas (unless that's just her Laura showing!)

 

A few people seem disappointed that Liam is seemingly playing another depressed/dark 'edgelord' character, but it's a little early to tell if Caleb is much like Vax in that regard yet.. It may just be due to the seeming trauma of his and Nott's 'Day 0' adventure or other recent events.. It doesn't mean he'll be like that for the duration.. He's certainly a LOT more cautious and less selfless than Vax.. ducking into the crowd for cover.. (though that's only sensible considering his weedy HP! He clearly rolled badly when he leveled up)

 

Nott - Sam as a little Goblin girl - complete with terrible cockney(?) urchin accent.. is of course delightful.. it remains to be seen if she's a viable character or not!

Either way it should be fun! :D

 

Yasha - Ashley gets finally gets to be a proper 'monsta!' (Travis looked so proud at THAT moment!) Loving her brusque manner.. Hopefully she won't be gone too often..

 

Mollymauk - I feel we saw the least of Molly and it didn't reveal much - there's definitely a lot of mixed messages there - the preening outer showman (albeit with lower CHA than you'd expect from that sort of character) - but the fact that he's also a Blood Hunter* seems very much against type.. So there's definitely some misdirection there..

*A Van Helsing 'monster killer' type - I suspect Taliesin went with this at least partially due to his love for the Hellsing series.. (he was ADR director for the US dub..)

 

 

 

Official character art:

Spoiler

DTrlN4KXcAE1GBU.jpg

 

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Yeah listened to just over an hour and a half of it. God I hope the messages/intros were just for the new campaign :P

 

Oh god they're doing this accents forever? Haha. That's gonna hurt someone's throat.




Liam's being a moody edgelord again. Wooo

 

However they're really into their RP again which is nice and they all seem different characters. (Liam and Marisha seem possibly close to before, but not expys)

 

Matt is such a great world maker


It's also really nice to see them be crap at stuff and low ability

 

 

 

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I've started listening to this, but I'm only up to Episode 13. With each episode being like 2 and a half hours, they seem to be adding new ones faster than I can listen to them.

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I recently started Series 1 and am on Ep20. Is it likely there will be spoilers for the first campaign in season 2? Would like to watch this while it's current, so I can join in discussion etc.

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They've said they'll (try) to keep spoilers for the first campaign to a minimum..

The new one is set on a different continent (Wildemount) and 20(-ish) years later than Vox Machina's adventures, so it's very doubtful they'll run into anything familiar early on..

 

Matt laid out the geography and political structure of the area in his opening description, so it looks like he has plenty planned for them in this whole region before there would be any reason for them to venture further.. never mind back to the original campaign's continent (Tal'Dorei..)

 

I think they will have an excursion over there eventually, but I don't see it happening for a good while..


 

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18 minutes ago, Kzo said:

I recently started Series 1 and am on Ep20. Is it likely there will be spoilers for the first campaign in season 2? Would like to watch this while it's current, so I can join in discussion etc.

 

Campaign 2 is new characters, new continent and about 900 years later I think.


They said at the start of this one they know people are still listening so no campaign 1 spoilers (either in game or in real people talking to each other I assume)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Hexx said:

Campaign 2 is new characters, new continent and about 900 years later I think.

 

It's definitely only about 20 years later.. VM's story ended in the year 815 PD (Post Divergence*) - Campaign 2 starts in 835 PD.. (Though Matt accidentally said '335' in the live broadcast - he dubbed over it with the correct date for the Youtube upload..)

So there is the potential to encounter surviving characters from the previous campaign.. but as I say I don't think it'll happen anytime soon..

 

 

*Not a spoiler (it's just part of the lore of this world) but new viewers won't learn specifically about this event until later in the original campaign..

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Episode 2

 

 

 

Really enjoying the friendship forming between Jester and Nott - even if they did flounder around, despite having already found the answer they were looking for! :lol:

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Although I am only in the twenties of Season 1, I thought I'd try out Season 2 for a break. Most of the way through Episode 1 now and it's really good. The new characters seem promising and Kaleb/Nott are set to be an amazing duo. It's been surprisingly funny too, I found Felicia Day a bit annoying in her first guest episodes in Season 1, but Jester in Season 2, although her voice is annoying, really makes me chuckle. Great banter between all the cast.

 

Matt's scene setting/narration is brilliant, I'm listening to the podcast and the way he describes the theatre show was superb, I could picture it all so clearly. I think I prefer the podcast because you can conjure up how it all looks in your head.

 

I imagine this show must be making quite a lot of money now that their viewership is so high, with regular sponsers too. Do you think the cast get paid much?

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14 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

I imagine this show must be making quite a lot of money now that their viewership is so high, with regular sponsers too. Do you think the cast get paid much?

 

Unknown.. I think as actors any additional regular income must be welcome..

There was a reddit AMA (a while back when the show was a lot newer) with the former production manager and he said the show needed 7,000 subscribers to break even..

That works out at about $35,000 - Twitch fees used to be around half of that - though G&S have likely negotiated a better deal since, due to it's popularity..

 

The remaining $17K(ish) would have been split (in whatever ratio) between the performers and staff working behind the scenes on the stream.. there were 14 at the time.. so if it was an even split it would be about $1250 per month.. But they would also have to reserve some of that for other expenses (food, wardrobe, resources for building/maintaining the set, replacing/upgrading equipment etc..)

The cast & crew were probably taking home in the region of $200 per episode initially.. not enough to survive on by itself..

 

They have a lot more than 7k subs now of course.. and additional revenue from Alpha and Youtube - but a good deal is fed back into improving the kit and production values of the show.. but I suspect they will have got a few pay rises over the last couple of years..They also make some money from the merchandise, but several of the cast are almost entirely responsible for commissioning/developing/organising that also..

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You know what? Bloody good for them. They deserve it and more. I've had more hours of entertainment and fun from critical role, for free, no less, than any TV series I care to think of. 

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