I'll be curious who will be off-put by this, namely Matt as a player rather than GM, because "change is scary." I think that this is a good move though. I'll be interested to see what happens past this eight-parter.
You know as well as I do that even though all of that seems awesome, it's too good to be true. Also, though it would be cool to have a level 21+ Critical Role campaign, new characters is going to drive more hype and content for the future, and Matt already dislikes/has difficulties running high level play, so Epic-Level CR Campaigns are almost definitely not going to happen.I believe that campaign 3 may begin in Issylra, the underdark - or a recently revived Aeor. The mighty 9 basically 'restored' warforged to Matt's world, and if there is a time jump to EXU, and then another time jump to campaign 3, we could see Aeor already flying again.
However, there is a 'wishful thinking' part of me that hopes that thinks the October Book could contain epic level rules and that 'Campaign 3' could actually be a continuation of Campaign 1. We could see them pick up with Vox Machnia going on an extraplanar adventure at level 20 and then advancing to 21 as a preview of the epic level rule set.
Never assume I know something.You know as well as I do that even though all of that seems awesome, it's too good to be true.
I hear a lot of people claim Matt hates high level - but I've never seen him say it, and he was super enthusiastic through the end phases of both campaigns. Do you have any quote where he states that he hates it?Also, though it would be cool to have a level 21+ Critical Role campaign, new characters is going to drive more hype and content for the future, and Matt already dislikes/has difficulties running high level play, so Epic-Level CR Campaigns are almost definitely not going to happen.
The 'bog plots' get foreshadowed and then built into the game, but Matt does a good job of giving them a first adventure and dropping hooks from which they can select. Campaign 2: With the introduction that Matt set up, at least some PCs were going to be at the circus, likely (and in actuality) all. That storyline 'found them' and gave him time to lay a few other foundations as well as to drop reminders of the hooks in their backstories.I would love for Aeor to make more of an appearance, though. And maybe have the campaign start off a bit faster, like with action right after they introduce their characters as some disaster unfolds, instead of just wandering around searching for plot.
See above.Can a pun ever truly fail?
Their intent is to not be socially distanced and to go back to a live game, it seems, for campaign 3. Logistically, they'll likely prerecord this instance of EXU because changing the set and trusting new players live may be a bit much. I have no source for this statement, but there was a lot of supposition that Matt led the campaign to an end when he did to give them time to set up a 'new set' for campaign 3 when the restrictions were being lifted (which they are now, essentially, unless there is a resurgence due to Delta or another variant). It seems like they'll be able to record all of EXU, take a couple weeks to strike sets (showing one more prerecorded one shot - perhaps two or three) and then dive into Campaign 3 in late September or early October live. I would not be surprised (as in there is a small chance) to see them do session 1 - live at NY Comic Con (October 7 to 10 weekend), although I expect they'd want the studio reveal and campaign first session to be in studio.Cali is already lifting some restrictions for vaccinated crews
They might be able to do this campaign without being socially distanced
Love all that, but to my mind the beta stories are the PC stories. Each PC should get a chance to resolve their conflict, with the rest of the party, before they finally engage with the alpha story.That is very much like how I approach campaign construction. I think of it as the Babylon 5 method, as I borrow heavily from the way that JMS structured that 5 year story (with twists):
There is a ALPHA STORY, 2 or 3 BETA STORIES, and 5 to 10 MINOR STORIES.
The ALPHA STORY will only be hinted at in the first tier of play, but will be explored in tiers 2 and 3 amongst the MINOR STORIES, but will climax at the end of the campaign. This is THE Story of the campaign, although PCs will spend a long time coming to understand that element. Referencing back to Babylon 5, this would be the War of the Shadows (which didn't end the show, but it was the major story of the show).
The BETA STORIES will either be substories in the ALPHA story, or they'll be independent. Either way, they span long periods of time and impact a lot of aspects of the game. They often provide framework for Minor Stories. Using Babylon 5, the Centauri/Narn war and the Earth Civil War are examples of Beta Stories. These BETA STORIES will resolve in a minimum of 8 PC levels of story development.
The MINOR STORIES are generally adventures. If you want to think of it in terms of Babylon 5, they'd represent anything from one episode to a series of connected episodes, but no more than 4 or so. The Babylon 4 Story Arcs, the Exploration of the planet, the Psi Corp episodes - each would be minor stories. The game starts with MINOR STORIES, and there are always a few options for MINOR STORIES that will give the PCs information they need for the BETA and ALPHA STORIES.
These unfold through the tiers of play in ways similar to what you discuss.