log in or register to remove this ad

 

Critical Role Announces Publishing Company

79447F78-A551-4F43-AB0B-E82916284924.jpeg


The first game will be a board/card game called Uk’otoa. This will be followed by role playing game products including Syndicult, “an original modern magic roleplaying game designed by Matthew Mercer in which mob families jealously guard secrets and battle it out for power on the city streets.”


7D7929A6-93C6-43A7-9933-3703951D8BF7.jpeg


I’ve long wondered whether there might one day be the official Critical Role role playing game, and whether CR's massive influence could make a dent in WotC, the traditional 800lb gorilla.
 
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Interesting. I'm curious if they'll stick to non-D&Desque content like that tabletop game or if they'll skirt around what Critical Role is. Seems like a weird situation with the SRD, the fact that Mercer's setting has been officially published by WotC and Critical Role now publishing games.
Nothing preventing them from publishing future Critical Role titles under the OGL, or even under special license from WotC. They won't likely reprint the existing two books, originally published by Green Ronin and then WotC.

Seems like a logical evolution with the run-away train success they've had with Critical Role . . . just a group of pals playing D&D, and now a growing gaming & multi-media empire . . .
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
The artwork shown for the Uk'otoa game looks gorgeous . . .

Also, the name rung a bell, so I did a quick search, and unsurprisingly found that this is the name of a deity from Critical Role, the patron of Fjord the warlock (one of the PCs). Although, I feel like I've heard the name somewhere else, it sounds possibly Polynesian?!?!
 



orial

Villager
As we see with the Weis and Hickman debacle, it’s a good idea to publish your own ip. Hope to see more CR products, allthough i think that is allready owned by WOTC/ HASBRO.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
Orion Black has thoughts:


"Here's my (mostly) full thought on Darrington Press and their significance in ttrpg right now. This is largely from a business perspective, not the field of design. That's mostly irrelevant imo, at least atm. This might be a pretty long thread (will be) and wont. be perfect, but.

The first and most important thing is that Darrington Press has enough of a foundation through Critical Role to challenge WotC in the realm of D&D. A lot of people are likely already thinking along these lines, but I'm saying it anyway. WotC should be scared if they arent already

Reasons being, WotC has stepped in major public dogshit many many times this year alone in the D&D world. Their conservative fan base trashes them for being "SJW liberals" and their liberal fanbase is slowly walking away from WotC's milquetoast approach to modern representation.

WotC is and has been outdated for a very long time, but that hasn't mattered because there hasn't been any competition. No company comes close in popularity or funding.

Darrington could surpass WotC in popularity, and quickly. That is a major threat.

One of the major weaknesses of D&D on a business level has been that everyone but WotC have been dictating what's cool about D&D. Critical Role and Dimension 20 are actual modern D&D, with things like TAZ representing the same. WotC makes the content. Everyone else makes it cool.

This isnt assuming that Critical Role is going to stop playing D&D or thay anyone else is. But it is to say that the groups that most D&D fans follow can move away from D&D (as they should) and start making the money that they're currently giving to WotC.

Darrington is a publishing company, so they will likely have a multitude of games under their banner. Combine this with the most popular ttrpg actual play series promoting marketing, and a studio that can produce multiple shows with multiple casts, and you have a competitor.

They're already converting their relationships with talented and experienced people in the smaller/indie ttrpg world to bolster their company from the start. A talent pool of people with skills equal or greater to WotC's who are aligned with modern sensibilities. Lots o potential

But all that said, know that I look at Darrington with the same level of side-eye as I do any company. My relationships with owners, employees, etc, dont largely effect my caution. The actions they take will dictate my feelings, as it does with everything else.

This is a time of outstanding opportunity in ttrpg, and @DarringtonPress could and should invest in diverse leadership. That means leaders of color, disabilities, marginalized genders, bodies, ideals. Finding the best for the job means looking where others do not to find it.

To clarify a bit as well.

I dont think that Darrington will anytime soon be able to compete with WotC in full. CR is a large pillar of support for D&D and that company, and so are the other mentioned APs. Losing support from one, and potentially more, will weaken the giant."
 


MGibster

Legend
From Orion Black "One of the major weaknesses of D&D on a business level has been that everyone but WotC have been dictating what's cool about D&D. Critical Role and Dimension 20 are actual modern D&D, with things like TAZ representing the same. WotC makes the content. Everyone else makes it cool."
I don't think this is entirely unfair. I wonder how many people who picked up D&D after watching Critical Role are more CR fans than they are D&D fans.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don't think this is entirely unfair. I wonder how many people who picked up D&D after watching Critical Role are more CR fans than they are D&D fans.
Not that I think it’ll happen any time soon, but in the hypothetical situation where CR changed system to their own fairly light system (which they named Critical Role), we’d certainly find out. Plus there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with WotC these days, and CR has been (one of many) factors in 5E’s success.
 



MGibster

Legend
Not that I think it’ll happen any time soon, but in the hypothetical situation where CR changed system to their own fairly light system (which they named Critical Role), we’d certainly find out. Plus there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with WotC these days, and CR has been (one of many) factors in 5E’s success.

I've always understood on an intellectual level that D&D might not always be top dog, and even though it's hard to envision the mack daddy of games to be knocked off its lofty perch, it's a little easier to picture it now. D&D became a household name in the 1980s thanks to first one on the block, serious branding efforts, salacious news stories of satanism and suicide. But things have changed a little over the last 40 years, and Orion's point about people outside of Wizard's making D&D look cool is spot on and these fans might not have much loyalty to D&D. I'm sure as hell not the future of D&D, young people are.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've always understood on an intellectual level that D&D might not always be top dog, and even though it's hard to envision the mack daddy of games to be knocked off its lofty perch, it's a little easier to picture it now.
It's happened before. I don't think a hypothetical CR game would supplant D&D, but I do think it could grab enough of the market that WotC would actually notice.
 


While Orion Black certainly comes with a chip on their shoulder, as far as I'm aware this has only happened, what, twice? Once with Vampire the Masquerade and once with Pathfinder 1e. For it to happen again would take cultural and mechanical (that is to say, game rules) forces as those previous times did. Is now that time? Considering D&D's continued growth and popularity, I don't think so, but things can change.

And were Critical Role to suddenly switch to their own game system, well, that's be a big unknown. They've pretty much grown to have a symbiotic relationship that enriches them both. That being said, based on what I've seen from the mechanics in the Tal'dorei sourcebook, I don't think rules design is one of Mercer's strengths. Which I suppose is only fair, considering how great he is at the other parts of DMing!

Orion Black has thoughts:
Darrington could surpass WotC in popularity, and quickly. That is a major threat.
 

We shouldn't worry too much about the future of D&D, but maybe WotC should worry about itself. There is something strange. Avalon Hill, what now is going to publish the new edition of Hero Quest, is in this time a separate company. Hasbro has licenced important franchises (little pony, transformers, power rangers and g.i.joe) to other company and not WotC.

I am afraid WotC is "burn", has suffered a serious wear, lost a lot of prestige by fault of the last controversies.

This company may become an important rival, and it is good for us, but I think Paizo is closer to become the number one. Months ago I bought the Spanish translated version of Changeling: the Dreaming 20 Anniversary, Starfinder Pact Worlds and Xanathar Guide. With the same prize the other publishers gave me books with more pages. I love 5th Ed, but the books of 3.5 had got more things, more complete.

I have said the weak point of d20 system is to be universal genre with the right power level. A new d20 Modern but to be totally compatible with D&D isn't so easy. Hasbro knows D&D/d20 may become one of the best cash-cows of the videogame industry.

In the past I liked to speculate about the future of the entertainment companies, for example the next acquisition by Disney or Hasbro, but we know the world economy has changed totally by fault of the epidemic, and the next year will show us a lot of radical changes, and not about economy.

And I don't wish to cause troubles, but we know in the entertainment industry some things aren't wellcome, for example lots of players didn't want soldier76 after Blizzard said he was... and this is only an example, but we also know lots of the fandom didn't like too much the last Star Wars trilogy. They have forgotten to be enoughly ideological neutral and they are suffering the consequences. In the business world you never can take opposite the clients if you want her to keep buying your products.
 

MarkB

Legend

Critical Role Adventures​

Q2 2021
Embark on your own journey through Exandria with Critical Role Adventures! Play as the upstart adventurers Vox Machina and overcome treacherous challenges. This cooperative legacy-lite campaign game uses a unique, narrative mechanic for social and combat encounters, luring you back session after session. Within this enormous box, you’ll find a host of hidden treasures and a rich storybook to guide you through thrilling combat, dynamic character growth, and tales worthy of the name Vox Machina.
"Legacy-lite". I'm not sure exactly how to interpret that, but I'm guessing it means that they've stripped out most of the original game mechanics in order to make this a self-contained game.

There are plenty of RPG-esque boardgames which allow you to play out specific scenarios and present a curated storyline, but while many of them have a lot of flexibility built in and allow you to replay them multiple times, experiencing different scenarios, I haven't heard of many that push it to the extent of character progression and an extended campaign. This sounds like it could be closer to a full-fledged rules-lite RPG system.

I wonder whether it'll include anything that could be repurposed for use in a tabletop game, such as minis of Vox Machina and their opponents, or battlemaps of the scenarios being played out.
 


Presents for Goblins

Advertisement1

Presents for Goblins

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top