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D&D General Critical Role Ending

Aldarc

Legend
Well, can you point to any solid non-D&D streams...? I'm not saying that it is the only game that streams well (Call of Crhulu does very well, actually),
What's your criteria for "solid"? Let me guess. Whatever shifting goal posts criteria confirms your preconceived biases that D&D is better suited for streaming than non-D&D games? Does that sound about right?

but D&D is very well suited to the format,
On what basis? More of this "improvisational" nonsense perhaps? You seem to be eating that sort of self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back explanation up like candy.

and I have seen a lot of other systems fall flat on air.
I have also seen D&D streams fall flat on air, which is little surprise given the large number of D&D streams. It's hardly unique in this regard. But I suppose it's easier for you to notice the D&D ones that succeed than the many others that fail.
 

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Parmandur

Legend
What's your criteria for "solid"? Let me guess. Whatever shifting goal posts criteria confirms your preconceived biases that D&D is better suited for streaming than non-D&D games? Does that sound about right?


On what basis? More of this "improvisational" nonsense perhaps? You seem to be eating that sort of self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back explanation up like candy.


I have also seen D&D streams fall flat on air, which is little surprise given the large number of D&D streams. It's hardly unique in this regard. But I suppose it's easier for you to notice the D&D ones that succeed than the many others that fail.
So, I take it that you have no recommendations...?

I'm notnaaying that other games can't be good, but the features of D&D specifically that people have been talking about here make for good viewing in my experience (same with Call of Cthulu and Vampire: the Masquerade, the last being a surprise since I had near zero interest and absolutelyno familiarity with the system before watching it streamed). If you can speak to examples of streamed games, I am open to suggestions.
 

Aldarc

Legend
So, I take it that you have no recommendations...?
Should I take it from this response that you have no actual criteria for a solid stream and that it's just your confirmation bias at work here?

Here's how I see it: (1) I give you recommendations, and then you will likely dismiss them due to some unclear, vacuous, and yet provided criteria that I am not yet privy to. Or (2) I don't give you recommendations, and then you take this as some sign of your argumentative victory.

So I apologize if I am cautious about providing recommendations, but you should not mistake that for a lack of possible recommendations. Similar past efforts, IME, are rarely productive fronts for discussion.

I'm notnaaying that other games can't be good, but the features of D&D specifically sat people have been talking about here make for good viewing in my experience (same with Vall of Cthulu and Vampire: the Masquerade, the last being a surprise since I had near zero interest and absolutelyno familiarity with the system before watching it streamed). If you can speak to examples of streamed games, I am open to suggestions.
It's possible to build up the good qualities of D&D for streaming without claiming that (a) it's uniquely suited and/or (b) other non-D&D games are somehow less suited for streaming.

However, you are implying that D&D (5e) is uniquely exceptional in its ability deliver good streaming content over against other non-D&D games, but have neither established any criteria for that or evidenced any actual argument against other games. It's just a baseless drive-by blanket tribalistic statement that's trying to promote D&D as being better than other non-D&D games without anything to back it up.

I have watched a number of good streams for Fate, Cortex Prime, Numenera, Blades in the Dark, Savage Worlds, Fantasy AGE, etc. There are also, of course, good streams for D&D-adjacent systems, such as Stars Without Number, Index Card RPG, and Pathfinder (1 & 2). Not every one will be up to the snuff of Critical Role, but that's hardly a fair comparison given the combination of Critical Role's talent, production value, and market privilege that D&D enjoys.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Should I take it from this response that you have no actual criteria for a solid stream and that it's just your confirmation bias at work here?

Here's how I see it: (1) I give you recommendations, and then you will likely dismiss them due to some unclear, vacuous, and yet provided criteria that I am not yet privy to. Or (2) I don't give you recommendations, and then you take this as some sign of your argumentative victory.

So I apologize if I am cautious about providing recommendations, but you should not mistake that for a lack of possible recommendations. Similar past efforts, IME, are rarely productive fronts for discussion.


It's possible to build up the good qualities of D&D for streaming without claiming that (a) it's uniquely suited and/or (b) other non-D&D games are somehow less suited for streaming.

However, you are implying that D&D (5e) is uniquely exceptional in its ability deliver good streaming content over against other non-D&D games, but have neither established any criteria for that or evidenced any actual argument against other games. It's just a baseless drive-by blanket tribalistic statement that's trying to promote D&D as being better than other non-D&D games without anything to back it up.

I have watched a number of good streams for Fate, Cortex Prime, Numenera, Blades in the Dark, Savage Worlds, Fantasy AGE, etc. There are also, of course, good streams for D&D-adjacent systems, such as Stars Without Number, Index Card RPG, and Pathfinder (1 & 2). Not every one will be up to the snuff of Critical Role, but that's hardly a fair comparison given the combination of Critical Role's talent, production value, and market privilege that D&D enjoys.
I'm not trying to argue with you, I was asking for recommendations for viewing. If you have any, let me know.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm notnaaying that other games can't be good, but the features of D&D specifically that people have been talking about here make for good viewing in my experience...

And that's fine.

But when D&D is the 800 lb gorilla in the RPG market overall, maybe you should allow for that more when assessing its dominance in streaming media. At the moment, you seem to be ignoring this, and it makes the position look less well-considered. Can you tell us what characteristics the game has that would have it dominant in the streaming market even without the orders-of-magnitude-larger built-in fanbase?

And, the points about how you define "solid" and "good" are relevant - if you don't qualify what you mean, you leave yourself space to move goalposts, which people won't be interested in engaging with. That doesn't mean you are right, merely that you can make discussing with you intractable.


Should I take it from this response that you have no actual criteria for a solid stream and that it's just your confirmation bias at work here?

Fighting fire with fire never works, dude. Snide echoes of the opponent's words convince nobody who doesn't already agree with you.
 
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pemerton

Legend
Except that ability comes into play during combat, and knocking someone out is completely unrelated to assassination?

IMHO, this is where assuming the combat rules are always in effect overly constrains the game (and wreck improvisation, as you noted).
I don't claim to be any sort of 5e expert.

But here is p 69 of the Basic PDF. under the heading "Surprise":

A band of adventurers sneaks up on a bandit camp, springing from the trees to attack them. A gelatinous cube glides down a dungeon passage, unnoticed by the adventurers until the cube engulfs one of them. In these situations, one side of the battle gains surprise over the other.​

And here is text I found for the Assassin's Assassinate ability:

Starting at 3rd level, you are at your deadliest when you get the drop on your enemies.​

To me, there seems to be a strong degree of resemblance between a gelatinous cube engulfing an adventurer who hadn't noticed it, an assassing getting the drop on an enemy (and thereby assassinating them), and a person sneaking up on a guard and knocking them unconscious with a sap. The fact that the latter doesn't involve killing doesn't seem, to me, a salient point of contrast (the cube, after all, isn't striking anyone with a deadly weapon either - it's just sweeping someone up into its gelatinous mass).

Being told that in fact these involve radically different resolution processes is surprising. And doesn't clarify, for me at least, any sense in which the D&D 5e mechanics are uniquely suitable for improvisation.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
But here is p 69 of the Basic PDF. under the heading "Surprise":

A band of adventurers sneaks up on a bandit camp, springing from the trees to attack them. A gelatinous cube glides down a dungeon passage, unnoticed by the adventurers until the cube engulfs one of them. In these situations, one side of the battle gains surprise over the other.
And here is text I found for the Assassin's Assassinate ability:

Starting at 3rd level, you are at your deadliest when you get the drop on your enemies.
It’s probably time for a new thread, and again this is all related to combat. In the gelatinous cube case the rest of the party is assumed to immediately leap to the aid of their compatriot and start attacking the cube.

All I’m saying is just because something looks like combat doesn’t always mean it is a combat, so the players have more reign to do interesting things.

But this is wildly off topic. I’ll ponder a new thread as I do think this is an interesting topic (and I also think my viewpoint is outside the mainstream :) )
 

Parmandur

Legend
And that's fine.

But when D&D is the 800 lb gorilla in the RPG market overall, maybe you should allow for that more when assessing its dominance in streaming media. At the moment, you seem to be ignoring this, and it makes the position look less well-considered. Can you tell us what characteristics the game has would have it dominant in the streaming market even without the orders-of-magnitude-larger built-in fanbase?

And, the points about how you define "solid" and "good" are relevant - if you don't qualify what you mean, you leave yourself space to move goalposts, which people won't be interested in engaging with. That doesn't mean you are right, merely that you can make discussing with you intractable.




Fighting fire with fire never works, dude. Snide echoes of the opponent's words convince nobody who doesn't already agree with you.
I'm not ignoring it at all, but I'm also not advancing a theory to explain the observed phenomenon, merely noting my experience. If I were to proffer a tentative theory as to why 5E, Call of Cthulu, and Vampire rise above other systems I've watched in play, it would be that the rules don't get in the way of play. Watching skilled and interesting players try Star Trek Adventures killed my interest in trying the game out, on the other hand, because the rules got in the way (and I love Star Trek!).

For a control sample, the Critical Role crew did a Pathfinder 1E one shot a number of years ago, which had several distinct advantages: a cast I liked who had experience with the system, a talented DM with years of experience with 3.x and Pathfinder, and my own personal familiarity as the system I started RPGs with (essentially). It was a chore to watch despite everything it had going for it. If I were to want to delve deeper into the je ne sais quoi I've experienced, the difference between 3.x and 5E would be a good place to start an inquiry.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
im looking forward to this weeks wrapup episode. I really want to know if Mercer had an original plan and then created this monster on the fly after what happened to Molly

My theory was it was a beholder in disguise but that that theory didn't hapen
It was a beholder, WotC just refuses to let CR use the product identity stuff. Which is why certain creatures don’t appear and some spells are renamed. It’s Cat’s Claw instead of Bigby’s Hand. Widogast’s Nein-Sided Tower instead of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. A person with nine eye stalks that shoot beams that just happen to almost perfectly match a beholder’s eye beams, but not the angry floating no-butthole having rage monster. Etc.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
It was a beholder, WotC just refuses to let CR use the product identity stuff. Which is why certain creature don’t appear and some spells are renamed. It’s Cat’s Claw instead of Bigby’s Hand. Widogast’s Nein-Sided Tower instead of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. A person with nine eye stalks that shoot beams that just happen to almost perfectly match a beholder’s eye beams, but not the angry floating no-butthole having rage monster. Etc.
They use WotC IP all the time, and Matt had Allura even call out the Beholder connection early in the plot arc IC.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
It was a beholder, WotC just refuses to let CR use the product identity stuff. Which is why certain creatures don’t appear and some spells are renamed. It’s Cat’s Claw instead of Bigby’s Hand. Widogast’s Nein-Sided Tower instead of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. A person with nine eye stalks that shoot beams that just happen to almost perfectly match a beholder’s eye beams, but not the angry floating no-butthole having rage monster. Etc.
Is that confirmed? Seems a bit odd.

There were absolutely no problems using the product identity stuff in campaign 1 (from Bigby's hand to the Magnificent Mansion to beholders). And now, they're even more intertwined with WoTC, from having an official supplement out to having one of the lead WoTC guys on the show once or twice.

And as @Parmandur said they use WoTC IP all the time - Matt made a point early on to use Volo's and Mordenkainen's new stuff.

I thought the name changes were more a flavor thing.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Is that confirmed? Seems a bit odd.

There were absolutely no problems using the product identity stuff in campaign 1 (from Bigby's hand to the Magnificent Mansion to beholders).
Right. And they haven’t used any of that a single time in C2. Or anything else that’s trademarked by WotC.
And now, they're even more intertwined with WoTC, from having an official supplement out to having one of the lead WoTC guys on the show once or twice.
An employee of a company appearing on your show has nothing to do with whether IP lawyers will do their job.
And as @Parmandur said they use WoTC IP all the time - Matt made a point early on to use Volo's and Mordenkainen's new stuff.
Using the monster stat blocks from a book is not the same as using trademarked names and monsters.
I thought the name changes were more a flavor thing.
They could be. I thought they were as well until I caught people giving Sam and Liam withering looks when they used words like Bigby and beholder in C2. I could absolutely be wrong. Considering how they used them in C1 then there’s a complete clamp down on the same in C2. Something’s up. Best guess is WotC drew a line and said no. Trademark and copyright are weird. If you don’t actively defend it you risk losing the protection.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
It's possible they have moved up to a level of notice that they had to follow license terms to stay on WotC's good side and avoid any stickiness with the Hasbro legal department.
 


MarkB

Legend
More likely they want to make the Critical Role IP as clean as possible, since they realized it had value.
That much is true. There are already parts of Campaign 1 that won't make it into the animated series because they strongly feature IP such as mind flayers. If they have designs on eventually similarly adapting campaign 2, it makes sense that they'd want to avoid such issues going forward.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
More likely they want to make the Critical Role IP as clean as possible, since they realized it had value.
That's true. No matter how friendly they may be with WoTC - it won't get them out of (at a minimum) licensing fees if WoTC sees them using the IP for profit. It's one thing on the stream, but absolutely best avoid it for future stuff.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Right. And they haven’t used any of that a single time in C2. Or anything else that’s trademarked by WotC.

An employee of a company appearing on your show has nothing to do with whether IP lawyers will do their job.

Using the monster stat blocks from a book is not the same as using trademarked names and monsters.

They could be. I thought they were as well until I caught people giving Sam and Liam withering looks when they used words like Bigby and beholder in C2. I could absolutely be wrong. Considering how they used them in C1 then there’s a complete clamp down on the same in C2. Something’s up. Best guess is WotC drew a line and said no. Trademark and copyright are weird. If you don’t actively defend it you risk losing the protection.
Nah. If this was the case, other actual plays wouldn’t be using those terms. High Rollers had a beholder recently, for instance, right after featuring Grazzt. There are people running live plays in FR and Eberron and Dragonlance.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It was a beholder, WotC just refuses to let CR use the product identity stuff. Which is why certain creatures don’t appear and some spells are renamed. It’s Cat’s Claw instead of Bigby’s Hand. Widogast’s Nein-Sided Tower instead of Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. A person with nine eye stalks that shoot beams that just happen to almost perfectly match a beholder’s eye beams, but not the angry floating no-butthole having rage monster. Etc.
I'd need some proof of that, it seems a bit questionable. They still use plenty of terms and spells that are not in the basic rules.

On the other hand, I change the fluff, names (if I even give the name) and descriptions for monsters all the time so that it fits my vision. It has nothing to do with legalities.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'd need some proof of that, it seems a bit questionable. They still use plenty of terms and spells that are not in the basic rules.

On the other hand, I change the fluff, names (if I even give the name) and descriptions for monsters all the time so that it fits my vision. It has nothing to do with legalities.
Yep, combined with them making up new spells, it’s a great way to make arcane magic feel like something that is being advanced and developed by living spellcasters.
 

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