What happens when you put a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors in a room, in front of the camera and hand them a pile of dice? They put on one of the most incredible forms of entertainment that I have ever seen. They partake in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. If you have never considered or have never even heard of someone live streaming a Dungeons and Dragons game. Tonight is the night to give it a try.
Over the past few years, a group of friends based in Los Angeles have been broadcasting a game of Dungeons and Dragons to the world. It started as a game they played at home once a month, if they were lucky, five years ago; to a game they play every week that is broadcast on Twitch, called Critical Role. With over 115 episodes, each running three or more hours, there is an absurd amount of content for one person to digest. However, two months ago their five year campaign came to a close, and they took a break from Dungeons and Dragons.
Tonight, January 11, 2018, a new chapter of the Critical Role tale begins. The players are starting a brand new campaign, with brand new characters that we, the audience and even the other players, have never seen before. They are going to be starting bare bones, and have to work their way up to preventing (or causing) whatever disasters may await them.
Now you might ask how exciting is it to watch people play a tabletop game? This has been a hard sell to many people. What truly makes this unique is the people involved, and the setup of the whole thing. They have professional level audio/video, paired with people who make a living screaming into microphones in a soundproof room as professional voice actors. The cast features some of the most notable actors/actresses in the gaming world, and the man who runs it all is just as well known.
While you may not know their names, Matthew Mercer, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Sam Regal and Marisha Ray. But you are almost guaranteed to have played a game, or watched a movie in which these actors have done voices for such as, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Shadow of Mordor/War, Ducktails, Halo 5, Gears of War, The Last of Us, and Attack on Titan. Several have also had small to larger live action roles in movies such as Avengers, BlindSpot, and the Punisher Netflix show.
Matthew Mercer, who runs the game, paints a vivid, compelling world that makes you feel like you are part of the story. The players truly commit to their characters with professionalism that is lacking from other RPG streams. The entire experience emerges you into the game, and gives a perfect showcase to what Dungeons and Dragons really is. It is a collective storytelling experience that is unique to each group that plays it. It makes for an entertainment experience that is unlike anything that I have ever seen before. It is a story that is based off a number of individuals that revolve around the rolling a dice to determine what happens. It is truly up to fate to determine what befalls our beloved adventurers who are generous enough to share their world with us. From someone who has been following the show from the start, it is something unique, special, and quite the ride. One that I recommend everyone try, at least once.
Critical Role airs on Thursday nights at 7 P.M. Pacific, 10 P.M. eastern on Twitch.tv/GeekandSundry, as well as on ProjectAlpha.com. Previous episodes are also available over at www.GeekAndSundry.com, or on their youtube(insert youtube link) channel.
To all my fellow Critters: Beep Beep.