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Critical Role Critical Role Campaign 2

Last night, the 5e Dungeons & Dragons live-stream game Critical Role started its second campaign. Upwards of 100,000 people watched it live!

They've been talking about the new campaign for several weeks now, and have posted teaser images of the player characters. Last night it was confirmed who was playing which silhouette and most of the classes.

Critical-Role-Silhouette-01.png

From the Geek & Sundry Website:

As #SilhouetteWatch draws to a close with just one day left before we learn who all the new characters are, we have some updates on how you can watch and listen to Critical Role: Campaign 2!
If you prefer to catch up with Critical Role in audio form, Campaign 2 podcasts will be released a week after the episode airs. That means you can listen to the very first episode of the new campaign on Thursday, January 18.
Critical Role will be available for VOD instantly for Twitch and Alpha subscribers, and will also be available on Geek & Sundry’s YouTube channel and right here on GeekandSundry.com on Mondays — meaning that we will not keep the video unlisted on YouTube. So if you can’t watch live with the gang, head to one of those channels on Monday, January 15 for the first episode of the new campaign.
And of course, you will still be able to watch Critical Role live on YouTube (yes, we’ll stream on YouTube for this campaign!), Twitch, and Alpha at our normal broadcast time, Thursdays at 7pm PT.
What’s your preferred method of enjoying Critical Role? Let us know in the comments below and make sure you tune in Thursday, January 11 (tomorrow!) for the debut of Critical Role: Campaign 2.

[h=3]WANT MORE CRITICAL ROLE?[/h]

While not the first livestreamed D&D game, Critical Role is easily the most popular with tens of thousands of dedicated fans (known as "Critters"). Its first video has over 6 million views on YouTube, while the finale of the last campaign has over 290,000 views on YouTube alone —a number comparable to the total members of ENWorld—and likely many, many more tuned in live.
For those of you curious about CR but intimidated by the continuity of 115 episodes and probably four-hundred hours of programming, this is the perfect time to jump into the show and engage with the fanbase.
If you're a subscriber to G&S Twitch stream you should be able to watch the show immediately (remember: if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you get one free Twitch sub with that).
I recommend watching at 1.25x or 1.5x speed on Twitch or YouTube, and you can blow through an episode in 3 hours.
 

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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I'm interested - I feel to far behind on the original campaign. I kind of wish the non-live versions would be edited down though :)
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
The first episode was so amazing. It did not disappoint.

I thought the new characters were great - I liked that all the players really changed up from their prior characters.

The setting, ambiance and the action (by the end of the session) were really good.

My one quibble was how Matt started the cast in 3 different groups. This means for the first hour (at least) 2/3rds of the cast were just sitting around staring at the camera.

I often point DMs looking for inspiration to Critical Role (just tell them to stream an episode or two) because Matt is such an amazing DM and the players are all so game/into it. But in this case, I would tell anyone starting a new group/game to do the exact opposite of the way he ran it here.
This group is not new and very comfortable with each other - so it worked fine, but in a new group with new players - that's a good way to get very bored/very annoyed players.
 


BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
One thing to remember is that Mercer is the DM but he also playing a part in a show. Creating a good episode can often take precedence over having a good game session.

So what I like to get from Mercer, what he is really brilliant at is taking the player's wild approaches, deciding if the succeed or fail or if they need to roll for it. If so calling for a check, determining a dc, and determining if advantage or disadvantage applies. When it comes to the basic conversation of the game, he is really, really good.

What he might be good at in just a game but it doesn't come through in the show is spotlight management. Making sure each player gets equal time to shine, and switching between them often, is IMHO the best way to keep players engaged in the game.

I haven't caught Yesterday's episode yet, but I look forward to it. Especially since this campaign will be starting in 5e, not converting from a previous system, which brought some baggage I think.
 
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hutchback

Explorer
How PG is the language? Could I watch with my kids around?

Sent from my iPad using EN World

Not PG at all. The language can get so expletive laden at times that it borders on incoherent. It's my only real beef with Critical Role. One would think that such creative people wouldn't rely on such banal language.

I won't watch it with my kids around.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
How PG is the language? Could I watch with my kids around?


Sent from my iPad using EN World

Depends how you feel about your kids listening to f-bombs. They do not use "adult" language a lot, but I would say it is definitely not a kids show. I do not let my kids watch. There are also points where kids would possibly get bored.

TL;DR: Watch a couple episodes yourself first.

What is Critical Role?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXu7W44rWbg
 
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machineelf

Explorer
How PG is the language? Could I watch with my kids around?


Sent from my iPad using EN World

If you have to ask the question, my guess would be you would not approve for your kids. Different people have different viewpoints and tolerances, so I'd echo that you should watch the episode yourself first and then make the decision.
 

Been avoiding talking about D&D online for a while for personal reasons. I decided to start this thread because I was actually kinda stunned it wasn't a major news story and ENWorld wasn't getting into the pre-campaign hype.

Dungeons & Dragons is currently undergoing a surprising revival. And no small part of this renaissance is online streaming of games. Streaming makes it easier to get into D&D: explaining what the game is and how it plays far better than any number of in-book descriptions. And it's a way to play the game without playing, to engage in the hobby between sessions or when a group is lacking. At the vanguard of streamed D&D games is Critical Role.
One of the barriers to watching Critical Role has been the massive back catalogue of shows coupled with how there wasn't really a "start" to the campaign, as there was several years of play & story prior to the stream. This new campaign (in the same setting) is an easy entry point for what is already a hugely popular show. This is when a wave of new people can jump into the show. It's where new viewers or people curious about D&D will be directed.
Or... it could be an easy off ramp. A time for people to stop watching CR now that its main story has ended, freeing them to move onto other campaigns or shows. Which will free up the audience's time for other shows, creating ripples throughout other fanbases and generating new D&D streaming celebrities.
But either way this is big news.

It's January and I'm going to call it here: the start of Critical Role's new campaign is potentially one of the top twenty D&D events of the year. If not the top ten!
You can guess some of the others. The biggest one will likely be the June announcement event for the summer & fall releases, with associated hype on the new Neverwinter expansion, minis, and board game. The smaller announcement of the spring release (likely in a few week!) will be #2 news story. The release of the three books themselves will be news events #3 through #5. And I'm sure some other surprises or news will catch the interest.

But a new campaign with new characters, stories, enemies, and locations for the biggest streaming show on the net? A flurry of new fanart and a wave of fans trying to get jump in on the ground floor. Hype for an inevitable sequel to the bestselling campaign book? That's huge! And somehow absent on ENWorld…


As a couple points of data on the influence of CR on the hobby, last year it released its first RPG supplement, the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting. It's regularly in the top 5000 books on Amazon and consistently been in the top 25 gaming books since its release. Two months after its release, and it's currently outselling several D&D books and every Pathfinder and Starfinder book. (And I'm sure Green Ronin is moving a few on its store as well. Plus retail and game store sales). As a point of comparison, Starfinder peaked at #89 while the Tal'Dorei book peaked just a little lower at #110. It's very possibly Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting is one of the best selling RPG books of 2017.
And anyone who visited the Dungeon Master Guild during its first year knows how the gunslinger subclass and blood hunter class dominated the sales chart. (With the classes in the new campaign, I wouldn't be surprised to see the blood hunter class make a sales spike on the Guild.) It's also worth noting that CR's homebrew content was also deemed important enough to be added into D&D Beyond, while CR is being used as a marketing platform for that service.

just some thoughts ratting around the brain I wanted to get out...
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I agree that this is a big deal, The Campaign book is selling so well, and live streams, of which CR is king, are bringing so many people into the game.

I didn't know about CR stuff on D&DBeyond. That's neat.

I admit I am not the biggest fan of either the Gunslinger or the Bloodhunter, I find them to be too fiddly compared to published 5e classes but if other people like them I say knock yourselves out.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Not PG at all. The language can get so expletive laden at times that it borders on incoherent. It's my only real beef with Critical Role. One would think that such creative people wouldn't rely on such banal language.

I won't watch it with my kids around.

That's fine, the taboo nature of such language will make preteen and teenaged kids want to watch it without you too.

It's also worth noting that CR's homebrew content was also deemed important enough to be added into D&D Beyond, while CR is being used as a marketing platform for that service.

It's just a bit of cross promotion. D&D Beyond is part of Twitch, after all.
 

Critical Role is a big deal and it has a large impact in the D&D world. I'm not sure what else to say but we do need to recognize it.

Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app
 

Olive

Explorer
One of the reasons I want to watch it is because of its importance but it’s just too much time to invest - I don’t play my own game 4 hours a week let alone have a spare 4 hours to watch other people play. That is part of why its impact seems so generational.


Sent from my iPad using EN World
 

Olive

Explorer
Thanks also for the language feedback. The kids are 9 and 11 and very interested but I think it was more ‘can I watch with them around?’ than ‘will they want to watch’. A few f bombs are ok in our house but maybe not a steady stream. If I watch I’ll try it out without them.


Sent from my iPad using EN World
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
One of the reasons I want to watch it is because of its importance but it’s just too much time to invest - I don’t play my own game 4 hours a week let alone have a spare 4 hours to watch other people play. That is part of why its impact seems so generational.

Yep, wish they could edit it down. Force Grey is much more manageable, but the language is equally adult.
 

Nevvur

Explorer
I found myself incredibly bored, both with the first episode of this new campaign and the two attempts I made at watching episodes from the first one. Watching other people play just isn't my cup of tea.

That said, I do recognize the significance of the event, and I'm pleased Critical Role and shows/podcasts like it have brought new blood to the TRPG community. Incidentally, I've discussed with my group the possibility of recording our sessions and posting online, and everyone is on board. We'll see how that turns out.
 

swampslug

First Post
One of the reasons I want to watch it is because of its importance but it’s just too much time to invest - I don’t play my own game 4 hours a week let alone have a spare 4 hours to watch other people play. That is part of why its impact seems so generational.


Sent from my iPad using EN World

All episodes from the first campaign have been converted to podcast with podcasts of the new campaign due to be released the on Thursdays a week after the episode airs on Twitch. If you don't feel like you have time to sit down and watch for 4 hours a week you have the option to listen to it at work/in the car etc.
 

SkidAce

Hero
Supporter
I found myself incredibly bored, both with the first episode of this new campaign and the two attempts I made at watching episodes from the first one. Watching other people play just isn't my cup of tea.

That said, I do recognize the significance of the event, and I'm pleased Critical Role and shows/podcasts like it have brought new blood to the TRPG community. Incidentally, I've discussed with my group the possibility of recording our sessions and posting online, and everyone is on board. We'll see how that turns out.

I watched it live for the first time this week. It was hard to sit there that long.

But its a fantastic show. I consumed the first season by listening while running, cutting the grass or driving. (I had converted the videos to mp3 before they started posting them to podcasts)

That worked really well for me, and the characterizations and voices really let me imagine the scenes, instead of watching. (not slighting them, but its like watching a book versus a movie, my mind can conjure scenes more vividly)

So kudos to them and keep on gaming!

I will be listening.
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
I could only just now read this thread and reply after watching it last night. Yes Matt does have a certain DM'ing style that doesn't sit well with a few. It is different, but for many it is a treat, and I am a fan.

I think as long as he told his players that they would be waiting in turn to get introduced, I think they would be fine with that. And why wouldn't you be, just to be able to sit back and enjoy that beautiful roleplaying interaction that was both heartwarming, funny and expressive.

Sam and Laura were on top, top form and just killed it from the start, and the others gave us a good taster of things to come and will peek in their own times. Marisha seemed relaxed and happy with the way her new PC is playing out and is having fun with her. Travis has a ton to give us I feel but is just waiting, possibly brimming under the surface with a little bit of giddiness at secrets. Ashley's deadpan humour is very amusing and gave herself an intelligent exit stage left. Talison seems to have another PC with complex bits and bobs that he likes to manage, and Liam seems happy to have gone from limited options to all the options.

There were times when Matt's descriptions were so provoking, I was almost there with them. He got the timing just about right. Any more lengthy descriptions from him and it would have been too much about him and not the players. But you could tell he was desperate to get the feel of the story out. And he did.

I got my partner to watch this episode all the way through. She has played a couple of times and likes the role-playing side. She was hooked by the performances.

All in all, for me, a success.
 

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