Previously On Critical Role: The Story Before the Cameras
Before Critical Role’s crazy online Twitch fame, they were just a bunch of “nerdy ass voice actors” playing Dungeons and Dragons in their friend’s basement. The campaign slowly grew from a one-shot birthday favor for cast member Liam O’Brien into an hours’ long dungeon-crawling, monster-bashing adventure. Since the two years of pre-Geek & Sundry game play weren’t filmed, we only have a couple of handheld camera You-Tube videos and the video recap included below that Critical Role made for the fans.
It’s 21 minutes long, which may seem long for a recap, but considering the amount of material they had to cover the time flies by. The video is narrated by the whole cast and includes illustrations from artist Wendy Sulivan Green. It’s by far, the most complete recap to date, although it does leave out their crasser and more hilarious moments, like the fact that they were originally named the Super High Intensity Team (the S.H.I.T.S.) or the time when Grog decided to chop off a bunch Troll dicks as trophies of their battle. It’s definitely worth watching as some of the story arcs and characters appear in the current Twitch campaign. The next article is going to dive right in to the first story arc that appears on the Critical Role Stream! So, get ready to do some major catching up.
The Story of Vox Machina
Side note: What is Dungeons and Dragons??
So, you’ve never heard of D&D, or maybe you just know it as the game all those nerds in high school played in their basements. Well, while there may be some geek-outs in basements, D&D is so much more than a game for fantasy nerds. D&D is basically the adult version of playing cops and robbers when you were a kid; except you get to roll dice and do math! Super nerdy… but oh so fun. You get to create a character from a variety of races and classes, give them strengths and weaknesses by assigning a numerical value to a set of traits, then explore your Dungeon Master’s world with a group of your most adventurous friends. The DM will see how well you succeed or fail at these adventures by having you roll a 20 sided dice (or a d20). You fight, treasure hunt, and laugh your way through infinite adventures of your imaginations. That’s pretty much the basics of the game!
The Critical Role campaign plays using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition player’s handbook with some of Mercer’s own homebrew material mixed in. If you’ve never played D&D before, the 5th edition handbook is by far the most “new player” friendly. The rules are super simplified and allow for players to be more creative when designing their characters. Mercer also uses something called “house rules” which is his fancy way of saying he can choose when to abide by the all-powerful D&D handbook and when to let the player’s do cool and crazy things that break the laws of physics. It really makes his games so much more interesting and unpredictable and gives them that unique flare Critical Role is known for.
Thanks for tuning in this week! Keep your eye out for my next article, Chapter One: Arrival at Kraghammer, Part 1 coming soon.