5E Critical Role: Amazon Orders 2 Seasons Of The Legend Of Vox Machina

Amazon has ordered two seasons of the Critical Role animated show, The Legend of Vox Machina! This is the show that was Kickstarted for about $10M last year.

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Originally, 10 episodes were planned from the massive Kickstarter. Amazon has ordered 14 more, to make 24 total, aimed at late 2020.

Amazon owns Twitch, on which Critical Role made its name.

Kickstarter backers will still get the first look at the show, and will be able to access the first season for free.




Here's CR's own announcement:

Hello, bees!

We slyly hinted towards sharing some really big news and today is the big day!

Our friends at Amazon have partnered with us to broadcast Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machinaexclusively on Amazon Prime Video! And that’s not all… This partnership has allowed us to create TWO ENTIRE SEASONS and an additional TWO episodes per season. That’s a total of 24 episodes of animated Vox Machina goodness that we cannot wait to share with you.

What’s more, Amazon is throwing their support behind the show, allowing us to improve on the quality of the animation, the score, the special effects – you name it. And with 24 episodes to play with, instead of just 10, we’ll not only complete the entire Briarwood storyline in the animated series, but we’ll forge ahead into other classic Vox Machina story arcs as well!

Our lovely Kickstarter backers (hey, that’s YOU!) will still have an opportunity to watch the two-part special that kicks off the series before anyone else AND because you’re a backer, you'll be able to access the first season for free. We’re still working out all of the logistical details and should have an update around how all of this will work in late 2020.

We also announced a few more key players on our creative team, each mega-talented in their craft:
  • Laura Bailey, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Liam O’Brien, Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, and Travis Willingham (executive producers): Along with stepping back into their roles as the voices of Vox Machina, our cast will also serve as executive producers of the animated series.
  • Brandon Auman (executive producer): You may know Brandon as the executive producer of Star Wars Resistance and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as his writing on Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the upcoming Blade Runner: Black Lotus.
  • Chris Prynoski (executive producer, Titmouse): Chris is pretty much the guy that makes all the Titmouse magic happen and has played a major role in a bunch of cool animated projects, like Big Mouth, Niko and the Sword of Light, Tigtoneand The Venture Brothers.
  • Sung Jin Ahn (supervising director): Sung Jin is an Emmy-Award nominated director and has worked alongside Chris as the director for Niko and the Sword of Light, as well as other incredible projects like Motorcity and TRON: Uprising.
Our crazy little show was born on Twitch and we’re absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to continue to grow and develop deeper roots within the Amazon ecosphere.

We love you all very much and… Is it Thursday yet?

<3

Critical Role
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

5ekyu

Adventurer
The D&D Survey they just released had the setting for Vox listed as a D&D Setting Exandia and Blood Hunter listed among possible favourite classes. I think a deal to make The Legend of Vox Machina an official D&D Setting is in the works already, allowing this show to be an official D&D show and most likely leading to the release of an official D&D Exandia Setting/AP book. It just makes good business sense for WotC.
There was a reference to Exandria in a recent 5e release, BG Avernus iirc. So there is already an official inclusion and of vourse with that setting book XR already released, that's putting it now a step ahead of the other settings that dony yet have setting books.

One thing I thought about after this snnouncement.

Anazon Prime offers free twitch dubs but you have to renew every month.

Thst means they have monthly confirms of "what on twitch am I involved in" metrics. That means a good deal if they are wondering if there are things on twitch they want to back.

Good to see the announce.
 

Maestrino

Explorer
And for the people saying "Prime is a terrible deal and I already have Netflix"...
You don't have to subscribe to Prime to watch stuff on Amazon. It just means that instead of seeing the little "included with Prime" banner, you'll have to click on "$26.99 to purchase Season One" before you can watch. And assuming all goes as it should, the Kickstarter backers will just get an email with a link to redeem for a free download of Season One, whether or not they have Prime.
 

SMHWorlds

Explorer
Green Ronin is who publishes the Tal'dorei stuff. Is that relationship working out for each side? I do not think WoTC needs to make a deal; they already receive and have received a substantial boost from the existence of Critical Role.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Green Ronin is who publishes the Tal'dorei stuff. Is that relationship working out for each side? I do not think WoTC needs to make a deal; they already receive and have received a substantial boost from the existence of Critical Role.
Green Ronin has published one book a couple years ago: it is not the only book that could be written, and I am unware of any exclusivity.
 
Green Ronin is who publishes the Tal'dorei stuff. Is that relationship working out for each side? I do not think WoTC needs to make a deal; they already receive and have received a substantial boost from the existence of Critical Role.
IMO they should want to. Letting Critical Role become a more powerful brand while simultaneously becoming less associated with D&D is throwing away a degree of publicity and cultural connection D&D could really enjoy. CR is already branching out beyond D&D, and the comics and this animated series will make CR known to (and ostensibly beloved by) people who don't even know it's connection to D&D. Yes, D&D has seen a boost in its sales and an expansion of its players because of CR -- because CR is a thing entirely based around playing D&D. As CR becomes more than that, and less and less that in fact, D&D will lose that boost. This is an opportunity to make an attempt to ensure the D&D brand is associated with something beyond the game itself and beyond being a bit of nostalgia in some other, largely unrelated property.

these moments of cultural zeitgeist do not last long. I think we are nearing the end of this one, in fact. I think the game like improv show is going to stick around for a while, but we are already seeing it transform into something more than just people playing D&D. It will not take long for the "D&D" component to disappear entirely, replaced by "games" or other structures that actually support what the entertainment is doing.
 

Phazonfish

Explorer
these moments of cultural zeitgeist do not last long. I think we are nearing the end of this one, in fact. I think the game like improv show is going to stick around for a while, but we are already seeing it transform into something more than just people playing D&D. It will not take long for the "D&D" component to disappear entirely, replaced by "games" or other structures that actually support what the entertainment is doing.
While I agree that it is foolish of WoTC not to better capitalize on CR's success, I severely doubt that the weekly show will transition away from D&D any time remotely soon. They have never used any other system except for filler one-off episodes (often included primarily so that they have material to show on weeks that they cannot or wish not to stream the show proper) that are tangentially relevant to the main story at best (as they are often run by GM's other than Matt, who don't want to risk contradicting the way he wants to portray his setting), but usually are not even part of the same setting or continuity. Just my opinion, but I would be very surprised if that were the case.
 
While I agree that it is foolish of WoTC not to better capitalize on CR's success, I severely doubt that the weekly show will transition away from D&D any time remotely soon. They have never used any other system except for filler one-off episodes (often included primarily so that they have material to show on weeks that they cannot or wish not to stream the show proper) that are tangentially relevant to the main story at best (as they are often run by GM's other than Matt, who don't want to risk contradicting the way he wants to portray his setting), but usually are not even part of the same setting or continuity. Just my opinion, but I would be very surprised if that were the case.
Being the streaming "big fish" I think CR will likely stay D&D -- and just plain stay -- longer than others, but I think folks like Deborah Ann Woll are going to move the genre away from D&D to a looser, less rules oriented, "story game" based structure. That's where it is going to find a place in the mainstream. Meanwhile, if CR is a hit outside of streaming, well see less and less of it, or at least a big cast turnover. And I'm not aying either CR or D&D streaming in general will disappear entirely, just that the cultural interest is actually based on the "collaborative storytelling by funny and talented improv actors" aspect and not explicitly on the D&D aspect.
 

Jaeger

Explorer
Being the streaming "big fish" I think CR will likely stay D&D -- and just plain stay -- longer than others, but I think folks like Deborah Ann Woll are going to move the genre away from D&D to a looser, less rules oriented, "story game" based structure. That's where it is going to find a place in the mainstream. ...
I couldn't disagree more with the part in bold. CR and the big RPG streamers will want to be associated with the popular traditional table top RPG's.

It gives them a consistent built in audience. The casual non-gamer audience will come and go.

Story games are just not very popular even when compared to other non-D&D RPG's.
 
I couldn't disagree more with the part in bold. CR and the big RPG streamers will want to be associated with the popular traditional table top RPG's.

It gives them a consistent built in audience. The casual non-gamer audience will come and go.

Story games are just not very popular even when compared to other non-D&D RPG's.
My point is that as streaming games moves broadly into the mainstream they won't be tied to any particular game. My guess is that at least half of CR fans not only don't play D&D but don't care about D&D. They might have been keyed in by a gamer friend but they stayed fans because of the structure, the characters, the improv and the format. The genre of asymmetrical narrative improv entertainment will outlive "D&D streams" in a very real way.

I mean, think about it: there is nothing in D&D 5e that makes it inherently good for streaming on it's own (it is better for streaming than some other versions, but that's a different issue). There are lots of games that have inherently better systems for collective storytelling (FATE being a simple examle). Obviously there is a big appetite for the genre, but I think that appetite transcends system. D&D, FATE, GURPS, PbtA -- it doesn't matter. In the end, as it relates to non gamers discovering and enjoying game streams, system is at best secondary and over time we'll see all but the most rudimentary systems dropped.

This also isn't a bad thing. If a stream is a particular type of story, it should be supported by a set of rules that supports that story and makes the improv and rules interaction elements of the stream matter.
 
My point is that as streaming games moves broadly into the mainstream they won't be tied to any particular game. My guess is that at least half of CR fans not only don't play D&D but don't care about D&D. They might have been keyed in by a gamer friend but they stayed fans because of the structure, the characters, the improv and the format. The genre of asymmetrical narrative improv entertainment will outlive "D&D streams" in a very real way.

I mean, think about it: there is nothing in D&D 5e that makes it inherently good for streaming on it's own (it is better for streaming than some other versions, but that's a different issue). There are lots of games that have inherently better systems for collective storytelling (FATE being a simple examle). Obviously there is a big appetite for the genre, but I think that appetite transcends system. D&D, FATE, GURPS, PbtA -- it doesn't matter. In the end, as it relates to non gamers discovering and enjoying game streams, system is at best secondary and over time we'll see all but the most rudimentary systems dropped.

This also isn't a bad thing. If a stream is a particular type of story, it should be supported by a set of rules that supports that story and makes the improv and rules interaction elements of the stream matter.
Well Matt Mercer believes 5e is inherently better for streaming. I recall him saying some years ago that the move from PF1E to 5E was partially because of 5E's more streamlined rules.

D&D has massive brand recognition and for a lot of people D&D is the only TTRPG. It would be difficult to create a streaming show with generally lesser known systems like Fate (Vampire is an exception).
 

darjr

I crit!
Every cr fan I know, even the ones who don’t have a group, are D&D fans.

I’m trying to think of any that are not. There are people I know who are fans of different games but the ones that listen to podcasts listen to other ones.

Anecdotal? Yea but a sight more evidence than you have. I think.

D&D is great for streaming precisely BECAUSE it can easily be stretched to serve several styles and not break. That allows players of D&D with very different styles to have a common ground. And that is powerful for streaming. So much of this “we need a streaming game” is hyper focused on the specific rules of the game and not what is really important, the identity shared with the fans.
 
D&D has massive brand recognition and for a lot of people D&D is the only TTRPG. It would be difficult to create a streaming show with generally lesser known systems like Fate (Vampire is an exception).
Not if you're Deborah Ann Woll or Vin Deisel or any of the myriad other celebrities that have come out as geeks over the last few years. D&D is absolutely the most well known of RPGs and 5E is arguably the most popular version of the game ever, in no small part due to its accessibility. But if the CR crew decided their next season was going to use a different system (probably a house system) I don't think they would lose too many viewers. The value is not in the D&D, it's in the stream.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Not if you're Deborah Ann Woll or Vin Deisel or any of the myriad other celebrities that have come out as geeks over the last few years. D&D is absolutely the most well known of RPGs and 5E is arguably the most popular version of the game ever, in no small part due to its accessibility. But if the CR crew decided their next season was going to use a different system (probably a house system) I don't think they would lose too many viewers. The value is not in the D&D, it's in the stream.
Just wait for Critical Role: The RPG!
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Why would they want to use another system? Everyone that has been mentioned is a HUGE fan of D&D. They like playing D&D. Like a LOT if their own comments are taken into account.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Why would they want to use another system? Everyone that has been mentioned is a HUGE fan of D&D. They like playing D&D. Like a LOT if their own comments are taken into account.
They’re growing as a business. They own the CR IP and are monetising it well. At some point that might include selling the official CR games, which they also might enjoy playing. Or not. It’s all just conjecture.
 
Why would they want to use another system? Everyone that has been mentioned is a HUGE fan of D&D. They like playing D&D. Like a LOT if their own comments are taken into account.
The Witch of Briarwood was one of the best streams I have ever seen, not only from an entertainment perspective but from a GMing one, and there was very little in it that necessitated it being a 5E game. I think is the branding of the streamers or the settings gets bigger than D&D, those really trying to develop the form will drop D&D in favor of that other branding. Not least, by the way, because if streaming truly does go mainstream (har har) big corporations are going to be involved and they aren't going to want to have to tie themselves to Hasbro or WotC by way of the D&D brand. They will make something new, especially considering how low investment it will be compared to making a movie or whatever.

Of course I am just speculating in all this and could certainly be completely wrong.
 

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