Critical Role Critical Role Campaign 3 Discussion (SPOILERS)

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Nope, not how I feel about CR2.

In C2, I remember the first moment that Jester's group met Nott and Caleb. It was an actual character moment, instead of in CR3 where everyone meets up because a cart of animated objects spills over.


They still feel like strangers here, but the meeting feels way more natural to me.
The initial meeting felt a bit natural, yes. But they continued together for very little reason and the party was effectively multiple sub groups not trusting each other for quite a bit.
 

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That's not my reading of the situation. He looked both shocked and amused (as he does everytime something like this happens). Sam does things like this all the time and it is arguably a good thing from a spectator point of view.
Yeah he did at first. There was a point where the game wasn't resuming and he kinda... pouted? Talisen piped up with something like "if we're gonna derail at least this is a good one." Or something like that.

Have you met Sam? He pulls this stuff since campaign one. Choosing what moments to disrupt. If Matt was not okay with it he would've talked with Sam by now...
Yeah, I've noticed that.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Yeah he did at first. There was a point where the game wasn't resuming and he kinda... pouted? Talisen piped up with something like "if we're gonna derail at least this is a good one." Or something like that.
This is down to a matter of perception and projection. I've just rewatched the clip and I absolutely get no pouting or anything close to that from him.
 





First I've heard of it. Interesting to see a spin-off comic about a Campaign 2 NPC who wasn't even featured terribly prominently during the campaign.
 

jgsugden

Legend
First I've heard of it. Interesting to see a spin-off comic about a Campaign 2 NPC who wasn't even featured terribly prominently during the campaign.
The level of prominence was due to PC decisions. When the comic first started the planning sessions, they were likely at a point where the Bright Queen could have been a major factor in the resolution of the stories.
 

ReshiIRE

Adventurer
She's also a fascinating character in her own right that due to various story reasons Mercer did not explore as much as she could have been. It makes a lot of sense to expand upon her more.

What's fascinating is that story is set way after Campaign 2 and 3 if I read the date correctly. Hopefully Campaign 3 won't end with with some world shattering incident that requires a serious course correct for the series =p
 

jgsugden

Legend
...What's fascinating is that story is set way after Campaign 2 and 3 if I read the date correctly. Hopefully Campaign 3 won't end with with some world shattering incident that requires a serious course correct for the series =p
Unless they end up freeing Cthulhu it is unlikely to shape the world that far away. It is pretty far in terms of the size of the setting (altholugh I think I remember that his entire world is about the size of Australia - all 4 continents add up to 1 Australia or something like that.... I never checked myself to see if that is true.)
 


MarkB

Legend
Unless they end up freeing Cthulhu it is unlikely to shape the world that far away. It is pretty far in terms of the size of the setting (altholugh I think I remember that his entire world is about the size of Australia - all 4 continents add up to 1 Australia or something like that.... I never checked myself to see if that is true.)
Continent hopping becomes pretty easy at higher levels, and with the EXU characters included here we already have characters with strong ties to another continent. Plus we'll probably wind up with a world-threatening bad guy in the end for this campaign, as we did for the last two.
 


Iry

Hero
Episode 2, and Ashley is really revelling in playing Fearne as a pure agent of chaos.

And I'm loving the casual creepiness of Marisha's character.
I am very interested in seeing how Fearne develops over the campaign, including the rakes she will inevitably step on. She seems to have two defining characteristics: One is a general impulsiveness that comes from growing up in a plane with orange and blue morality. It's a very classic fey character trait. The other is her shock statements. I used to do this when I was a kid! I would say outlandish things just to see how people (including my friends) would react. I know it comes off as lolrandom, but this is a thing I actually did growing up. So I'm especially interested to see how these shock statements evolve as she grows more mature over time.
 

Full disclosure: I have watched only 20 minute segments (maybe nine or ten) from the past seasons.

I watched the first couple hours of episode one, up to the end of the fight sequence where they slaughtered all the NPCs from Beauty and the Beast. Here are my takeaways:

  • Mercer is really good at mixing in the concise with the abstract. In my opinion, it is his greatest skill. Much like an author that writes really good settings, they know when to zoom in or zoom out.
  • I like the set and the background music is outstanding.
  • Unlike the OP @Burnside , I enjoy Mercer's introduction. I prefer larger context to understand the smaller pieces. It is also great foreshadowing. But, I do understand that not everyone needs (or wants) the large picture prior to jumping in.

- And the top (by far and away the TOP), the players are so good at talking to one another in character and interacting with one another in character. They feed off each other, and even though it can feel a bit stilted at times, for the most part, it makes the game. It's not their descriptions of their character or spells or attacks - but their interactions with one another, that makes it watchable. Characterization. The old "show, don't tell" rule is their brilliance.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Full disclosure: I have watched only 20 minute segments (maybe nine or ten) from the past seasons.

I watched the first couple hours of episode one, up to the end of the fight sequence where they slaughtered all the NPCs from Beauty and the Beast. Here are my takeaways:

  • Mercer is really good at mixing in the concise with the abstract. In my opinion, it is his greatest skill. Much like an author that writes really good settings, they know when to zoom in or zoom out.
  • I like the set and the background music is outstanding.
  • Unlike the OP @Burnside , I enjoy Mercer's introduction. I prefer larger context to understand the smaller pieces. It is also great foreshadowing. But, I do understand that not everyone needs (or wants) the large picture prior to jumping in.

- And the top (by far and away the TOP), the players are so good at talking to one another in character and interacting with one another in character. They feed off each other, and even though it can feel a bit stilted at times, for the most part, it makes the game. It's not their descriptions of their character or spells or attacks - but their interactions with one another, that makes it watchable. Characterization. The old "show, don't tell" rule is their brilliance.

I very much agree with this, but it's because of "show, don't tell" that I find the exposition dumps so miscalculated.
 


And the top (by far and away the TOP), the players are so good at talking to one another in character and interacting with one another in character. They feed off each other, and even though it can feel a bit stilted at times, for the most part, it makes the game. It's not their descriptions of their character or spells or attacks - but their interactions with one another, that makes it watchable. Characterization.

When people bring up the Matt Mercer effect, I find myself thinking less about what Mercer himself does and how the players interact and talk with one another. Now, I wouldn't want the level of interparty RP that happens on Critical Role, but it would be nice to figure out ways to encourage at least little bits of it.

I've thought before about trying to introduce some kind of house rule that would encourage more RP during rests or downtime, but I've yet to think of anything that seems satisfactory and wouldn't reduce those moments to trying to get some kind of mechanical advantage.
 

When people bring up the Matt Mercer effect, I find myself thinking less about what Mercer himself does and how the players interact and talk with one another. Now, I wouldn't want the level of interparty RP that happens on Critical Role, but it would be nice to figure out ways to encourage at least little bits of it.

I've thought before about trying to introduce some kind of house rule that would encourage more RP during rests or downtime, but I've yet to think of anything that seems satisfactory and wouldn't reduce those moments to trying to get some kind of mechanical advantage.
I've plugged RP directly in a few times. A few examples:
  • Two people in the party were new. It was the job of the other two to try and find out without hurting the person. (They worked for different factions that would eventually align.) This led to the two investigators discussing in character the matter directly quite a bit.
  • Campfire moments where I spring a coincidental and shared event between two characters. There was one time where two fighters (same background, soldier) were at the table. I told them that the terrain reminded them of their very first time seeing war. A small skirmish against a group of territorial centaurs. Then sprung it on them that they both were there - yet they didn't know each other back then. Then I had them describe to one another what they did and how it went. This was a lot of fun, as they played off each other very well. Player One: "There was this one centaur there, a head taller than all the others with grayish armor." Player Two: "I remember him. He actually severely wounded my uncle. He still walks with a limp. What weapon did he have again?" Player One: "He had that whip and scimitar. He was cruel. How is your uncle now?" etc. As DM, it was really fun to watch. Some of the players soon asked for another similar scene.
  • Changing the mode of communication has worked too. Once, the group was in a room under a silent spell. So they could only discuss things through sign language and body movements. This change in communication modality kind of forced them to "act" in character. It made me realize how much information is actually conveyed by players via third person discussion. Player One: I have a solid perception so let me go look at this desk. One of you should stand by the door and listen. The other should probably look under the rug." Or Player One: stares directly at the door, motions to his eyes and ears, and then points to the player he wants on guard. Then gestures like a rising bug at the carpet and wiggles his finger back and forth. It is amazing that when a player begins to do this, they convey a lot of emotion in their face as their character, when if they just detailed the plan, they wouldn't.

Those are three examples I use. But, back to CR, it is amazing how often and easy they flow with each other in character - even without a DM setup. The opening gondola ride and meeting with the gnome educator is a perfect example.
 

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