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Critical Role Could Critical Role launch their own RPG?


Well, that was fun
Staff member
So, given two facts:

1) WotC indicated last year that streaming shows like Critical Role are responsible for over 50% of new player acquisitions;

2) Critical Role is currently demonstrating an ability to run a multi-million dollar Kickstarter in a small RPG industry which is only $55M in size according to ICv2.

So Critical Role is a sizeable percentage of the RPG industry. If they launched their own RPG, it might not rival D&D, but it would certainly be a significant player.

Or not. I’m no expert. Do those 50%+ people who entered the hobby via streaming shows watch CR *because* it’s D&D? Or do they like D&D because CR plays it?

I feel like I would buy the Critical Role RPG.
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Well, they have their own campaign setting that was published by Green Ronin.

I suppose the biggest challenge would be swapping over their streamed game to a new ruleset. They've done it before (the pre-stream game was originally Pathfinder). But it would be pretty hard to do in the middle of a campaign, so it would likely happen during a switch over to Campaign 3. Even then there would be some challenges since I'm sure Matt would want to keep exploring his world (given the time he's put into it).


Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
Maybe? But why would they? They may be helping to drive the D&D wave, but they're also riding it. Publishing their own RPG strikes me as a risk of the golden-goose-killing potential if it were successful enough to undermine that wave.

Note, of course, that wouldn't apply to them making D&D supplements, which strikes me as a better way to maximize the factors driving their success and the success of D&D.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Maybe? But why would they? They may be helping to drive the D&D wave, but they're also riding it. Publishing their own RPG strikes me as a risk of the golden-goose-killing potential if it were successful enough to undermine that wave.

Sure. New ventures entail risk. An RPG rulebook isn’t *that* much of a risk, though. Especially if it was a Kickstarter stretch goal. Much easier to produce than an animated show!

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
One thing that strikes me as strange when looking at the relation between the CR crew and TTRPG is the fact that there's nothing done with the setting and general material of Pillars of Eternity. I mean, I think some of the team work with the game's dev team to make the voices and one of the stretch goal of the latest PoE kickstarter was a RPG book of the setting, but was only half finished.

Now, knowing that both CR and PoE were big kickstarters in their own domain, I think that a PoE rpg driven by CR would be a good thing. This could draw some video gamer to the tabletop and vice versa.


Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
They could, but why would they? They can sell books for D&D, without paying WOTC a dime for the license. Let WOTC do the heavy lifting on RPG design, and initial branding and R&D, and just publish books for it.


Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I can't see them doing this. It seems like a bad business idea.

Also, it would kill any good-will I have toward the show, and I'm sure a lot of other people (WotC included) would feel the same way.


Lowcountry Low Roller
This seems like a really strange way to proceed. They’re making a ton of money in the virtuous cycle that D&D provides. Their live shows are huge, they sell a ton of merch and people are learning how to play the game. Creating a new RPG risks fragmenting the fan base (and potentially failing - designing RPGs is hard as WotC will attest...)

I just don’t get it. They’re on a roll (role?) so what on earth would make them want to put an obstacle in the road? Now if WotC screws up 6e then perhaps Matt could release a 5e Mercer Ed to rescue all the unhappy players (effectively becoming the new Paizo) that might work, but rolling a new RPG just for the hell of it? Bizarre.

And you think my idea for Paizo to republish their adventures for 5e is crazy... :D


Guest 6801328

They could publish an SRD-compliant variant (e.g. Adventures in Middle-Earth) with subclasses, feats, spells, monsters, etc. So the show would still be 5e-based, but all the groupies would want their rulebook.

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