The now legendary D&D liveshow/podcast, Critical Role has grown a lot since it’s launch in 2015 as a weekly show on the Twitch channel of Geek & Sundry. For the first three years, we followed the misadventures of a group of nerdy-ass voice actors as they played Dungeons & Dragons together, putting on an intense and hilarious show for the enjoyment of thousands each week. And as they close in on 200 episodes, they’re looking to spread their wings and bring the joy of tabletop roleplaying shenanigans to a new audience.
The group is primarily comprised of Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson and Taliesin Jaffe. They have also featured many celebrity guests and other actors, such as Jon Heder, Ashly Burch, Deborah Ann Woll, Felicia Day and many more over the years.
Without recapping everything this crew of misfits has done, I’ll summarize it as a shining example of how to play D&D and put on a good show at the same time. And that’s what they’ve been doing for four years, and now they’re beginning work on a new adventure.
Remember how I said the cast is closing in on 200 episodes? Well 115 of those took place as part of the smash-hit first campaign that kicked off the show many know and love. Campaign one takes place primarily in Tal’Dorei, a continent of Exandria, a world of Matt Mercer’s own creation. It follows the exploits of an adventuring party known as Vox Machina. And this team went on to create a narrative filled with drama and emotion that has helped define roleplaying games for a generation.
It’s this first campaign that will act as the bedrock for this new animated special that the team has announced. And as they explained, they wanted the fans to have a say in how things are done, since Critical Role would be nothing without them. So the folks behind the show launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the new project, and it’s been a smashing success. The Critters have really shown their support. With more than $5.3 million from nearly 40,000 backers. The next stretch goal at $5.75 million will add another two episodes to another arc of the animation, covering an arc in the story of the first campaign, which will add another 22 minutes of animation per episode. This is on top of the already unlocked 66 minutes of animation from previous stretch goals. And with 43 days left, the community is poised to smash through many more of these goals.
“We really cannot believe that we’ve already made it this far together. We can’t thank you enough for all of your support, kind words, and contributions to our campaign to date,” the latest update on the Kickstarter page reads.
If you want to see Critical Role, check them out each Thursday night on Twitch.tv/criticalrole.