Dungeons and Dragons has grown in popularity over the past few years. Helped in large part by the internet, and the work of some world class voice actors.
Streaming has become a mainstream thing these days. Hosting everything from cooking to the MLB, you can find almost anything streaming on the internet. But tabletop games have really come out as a niche market, with Dungeons and Dragons leading the charge. With YouTube and Twitch playing host to some of the largest faces in the game.
Every week anywhere from 20-30 thousand people tune into Twitch TV to see seven voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. Lead by Matthew Mercer, who has voiced some fantastic characters, can be heard as the voice of McCree from OverWatch. Someone say High Noon? He leads the mercenary band of Vox Machina through a custom world that he has created. They have been playing through the same campaign for five years now, streaming it over Twitch for two, and are hitting their 100th episode tonight! For some reference, over 99 episodes they have hit 317 hours play time (that is 13 days!), with 5427 years worth of total views on YouTube (credit goes to Crit Role Stats).
Each episode is vastly different ranging from serious, to extremely silly. With Matthew Mercer voicing every character the players themselves meet, each episode brings a vast array of different NPC’s and personalities. While the rest of the cast plays their own created characters:
- Travis Willingham playing as Grog Strongjaw, the Goliath Barbarian/Fiighter
- Marisha Ray playing as Keyleth, the Half-Elf Druid
- Taliesin Jaffe playing as Percival “Percy” Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, the Human Gunslinger
- Ashley Johnson playing as Pike Trickfoot, the Gnome Cleric
- Liam O’Brien playing as Vax’ildan, the Half-Elf Rogue/Paladin
- Laura Bailey playing as Vex’ahlia, the Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
- Sam Riegel playing as Scanlan Shorthalt, the Gnome Bard; and Taryon Darrington, the Human Artificer
Together they host a truly epic resume of talent. To name a few things you may have heard of that the cast has voiced. DragonBall Z, FullMetal Alchemist, Naruto, Fallout 4, Injustice, Halo 5, Gears of War, The Last of Us, NBC’s hit drama BlindSpot, among about a thousand others.
As a personal note, Critical Role is truly something to behold. Mercer is a master of storytelling, mixed with the randomness and unscripted story that comes along with Dungeons and Dragons makes an amazing viewing experience. Each week is a completely different story, that is better than any scripted show could ever achieve. Every week we are drawn deeper into this story that is being created right in front of our eyes. This show has pushed me over the edge to Dungeon Master and to start my own campaign after years of playing. Which I have chronicled a bit here.