Thursday, June 18, 2015

Critical Role

If you're a regular reader of my blog, it should come as no surprise to you that I am a major fan of all things fantasy, and that includes fantasy roleplaying games as well. I have participated in all sorts of tabletop RPGs off and on since high school, and in particular have enjoyed Dungeons and Dragons in most of its iterations (including its red-headed stepchild Pathfinder).

One of the players in my current game recommended a recent webcast series put on by Geek and Sundry called Critical Role. In the past I've tried to watch various recordings people have made of their roleplaying sessions, and by and large I have found them tedious watching at best. So, it wasn't until recently that I finally decided to go check out the show.

If you've ever wondered just how good a roleplaying gaming session could be, you need not look any further than Critical Role. Of course, it helps that the entire cast is made up of professional voice actors who had already played together for quite some time before making the show. It also doesn't hurt that the show has quite high production values, with an animated intro and backstory for all the characters, an overlay that integrates three cameras as well as Twitch chat, and excellent audio not only for each actor but also for background music and sound effects.

But it is really the chemistry among the DM and the characters that makes this so compelling. With just their voices and some minis moving around on hand-drawn maps, the cast brings their sessions to life. The DM draws upon his rich repertoire of voices to bring various NPCs to life, and has an excellent command of the game mechanics as well as the world the characters are playing in. The rest of the cast are genuinely focused on playing their role, and at times you can see the tension and joys on their faces as they experience the highs and lows of their adventures.

All of the past episodes are available on the main page; sadly, they can only be accessed via this page, as they are not reposted to YouTube or even available on their Twitch page. Each episode generally runs between three and four hours, so you've got an incredible amount of content to view if you're just now starting to watch. You can also watch each week's episode live on Thursday nights at 10pm EDT on their Twitch channel.

And now, I really must get back to watching. See you next time!

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