Critical Role Critical Role's Matt Mercer On Civility

Critical Role's Matt Mercer posted about behaviour within the Critical Role fanbase. It very much reflects conversations we've had here on EN World about the RPG fanbase as a whole, and the D&D fanbase specifically. Whether you're talking about Critical Role specifically, or your thoughts about any tabletop gaming rule or product, I'm sure you understand what Matt is talking about.

"I want to, first off, express our appreciation for this community. [Both Reddit,] and overall. While talk does get thrown around regarding "toxicity", I can be confident in saying this is a serious minority, and the term doesn't aptly apply to most situations. For the most part, everyone has been thoughtful and as invested as we are (Well, maybe not Twitch-Chat, but such is the nature of the beast, hehe). Regardless, I wanted to let you know that the positive majority never goes unheard, and every smiling statement or message only brings us joy. Thank you guys.

I want to discuss and clarify that discussion is always promoted and appreciated! Differing opinions make for interesting discussion, and disagreements on our game, plays, and ideas are part of that discussion. Every D&D game is different, and every play style is different. We aren't going to tailor our game to fit the audience's wishes or expectation, nor would we ask you to alter your home game to match our play style. There will be differing ideas, and that's both healthy and encouraged!

I would ask that people that feel the need to "defend" or shoot down counter-opinions to our game's play or story to restrain from furthering any conflict or downvoting based on disagreement. You can offer your counter to theirs, but do so with civility and as a way to continue the conversation, not demonize.

Example: Preferred Response - "I don't agree with you, necessarily. Here are my thoughts on the topic, and why I enjoyed this element, or agreed with how it was handled."
Unwanted Response - "It's their game, shut up. 'Your fun is wrong'." down-vote

When you DO present a disagreement with our game, please do so from a constructive stand point. There are many ways to convey your thoughts without seemingly unnecessary vitriol or intensity.
Example: Preferred Response - "I probably wouldn't have done it that way, were it my game. I get the reasoning, but my instinct would have been this maneuver instead."

Unwanted Response - "I really hate this character because they do this, when they SHOULD do this. Its so stupid."

I myself firmly believe in transparency and honesty as much as possible, and we genuinely keep ourselves open to the community as a whole as best we can. I feel a genuine kinship and patronly responsibility to this corner of the internet we've created together. I want to facilitate a good place not only for you folks to talk and enjoy, but for us to be able to engage when we are able without feeling threatened or ridiculed. I am aware the internet comes with its share of negativity, and I fully accept those elements as given. However, that won't stop me from trying to improve this space in any way I can. Civility and mutual appreciation of the tabletop gaming culture (and our little place in it) is the hallmark of this community, and I wish to keep it that way.

My players and myself are people with very hectic lives. CR has become a second (or third) career for all of us, and while the joy and excitement we derive from our game far outweighs any downside, it does have its downsides. We have our stresses, our off-nights, and our bouts of confusion/forgotten rules and abilities. Our own personal lives, like anyone's, can be fraught with challenges and low points, and that can affect us within our game as well (even should we wish it otherwise). We are prone to mistakes, inconsistency, and failure time to time... and that's kind of the beauty of Roleplaying games is it allows a safe space to do all of that and learn from it. I only ask that you fight the knee-jerk judgement on anything in our game to consider the unknown elements, and write your thoughts from a place of genuine intent to banter, share varying ideas and thoughts, and present your own perspective in a way that is respectful of the cast, and your fellow community members.
Much love to you all, and let's all be the best geeks we can. <3

-Mercer"
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

ddaley

Explorer
It's disappointing that he has to explain basic civility to people... But, if it even changes the way that one person posts, then it is worth it.
 

Great read.

Critical Role is suffering through some growing pains at the moment. The audience is so large the grumpy minority can seem larger because it attracts so much attention.

Also the show is changing slightly. Someone changed characters, which is a huge shift for the game. And the replacement character was not popular. As the show is entertainment, it feels like one of those sitcoms where a popular actor steps away and the replacement character just isn't as cool or funny or likable. That's made a lot of fans vocally upset. Pair that with apparently questionable decisions on the part of a player or two. And things get heated.

It is a good reminder for most geeky online discussions. Anyone posting on a forum dedicated to a hobby is going to be passionate about said hobby. It's something they love. And nothing makes people stupid like love. Passion and saying stupid things are almost synonyms.
And I'm super passionate about D&D.
 

dropbear8mybaby

Banned
Banned
Where is the downvote button for this thread?

Furious random clicking.

Hmph, I'm going to go complain on Facebook instead. Maybe start a change.org petition...
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
Where is the downvote button for this thread?

Furious random clicking.

Hmph, I'm going to go complain on Facebook instead. Maybe start a change.org petition...

Oh heck no! I'm getting into my squirrel costume right and I'll be u-locked to our mayor's car shortly! Piss and wind, my friends!

Seriously, it's a shame that civility is a topic in that manner...would be so much better of a community (and world) if these things were both understood and acted upon. Sadly, the 'vocal minority' makes a bigger stink that its numbers warrant, but that's life.

Here's to civil, interesting discussions and gaming!
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
I've never actually watched Critical Role. I hear it's good. Is the tone of play like Harmonquest (silly and a bit crude) or is it more serious?
 

Grimjack99

First Post
@ Matt: Run your game for you and your friends the way you want. In the end, we are only voyeurs. If people do not like your game, they should stop watching and run their own game. The world is too big and too hectic for us to stop and worry what someone who's disconnected from our endeavors thinks. Its a game with friends. That is the #1 draw of CR. Never loose that. I like your game, and its players. That's more than enough for me.
 

I've never actually watched Critical Role. I hear it's good. Is the tone of play like Harmonquest (silly and a bit crude) or is it more serious?
Yes.

They can get ridiculously silly and I've almost died laughed at times. They have hilarious meta moments and lines like any gaming table, but also amazingly hilarious in-character moments.

But it can also be serious and dramatic. You care about the characters and the players - being voice actors - can bring an enormous range of emotion. In a recent two episode bit there's a scene where they resurrect a fallen ally which is incredibly touching and emotional. And it's followed by an episode where a character gets upset at the rest of the party which is almost painful to watch due to emotions.
 


cbwjm

Legend
Part of me wants to watch critical role, but the episodes are just so long. Some of my friends watch and love it, maybe one day I'll start watching each episode in small chunks of 30 minutes or something.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
There's never going to be civility on the Internet. Anonymity allows anyone to troll to start a fight and I personally know at least one guy that does it just to make himself laugh. I know this guy isn't alone. This guy created aliases to start arguments with himself hoping to get people involved. He explained the best way to create arguments and fuel them using his multiple aliases on forums. I was surprised a person would waste so much of their time on such a pathetic activity. He didn't care. He said it was more amusing than surfing the Internet or watching youtube.
 

Valetudo

Explorer
Part of me wants to watch critical role, but the episodes are just so long. Some of my friends watch and love it, maybe one day I'll start watching each episode in small chunks of 30 minutes or something.
I would love it if they cut their vids into hourish sized chunks.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
It's a shame Matt had to post something like that, but I understand it. Even ignoring trolls there's just a lot of us that are passionate (sometimes too passionate) about our hobby. Sometimes we need reminders to step back.

I've had some lovely disagreements on these very forums that helped me understand how other people play the game. Although at first I didn't realize that is what was happening. I'd hate to lose out on any future opportunities by being a jerk.
 

machineelf

Explorer
I've never actually watched Critical Role. I hear it's good. Is the tone of play like Harmonquest (silly and a bit crude) or is it more serious?

It can get silly at times, but not in the same way. They really get into their characters, have a fun time with each other, and and sometimes create some hilarious situations and banter. You should definitely check it out.
 

machineelf

Explorer
I would love it if they cut their vids into hourish sized chunks.

I get what you mean, and hour-long videos would be nice. I appreciate that they sit down for long sessions and tape the whole thing. If they broke it up into hour-long episodes, they would have to insert breaks every hour into their play, and that might get annoying for them as players, especially if they are in the middle of a dramatic scene or fight.

The way they do it, you get to watch their whole session if you want. And if you want to only watch an hour at a time, you can easily do that, and get back to the rest of it at a later time.
 

Valetudo

Explorer
I get what you mean, and hour-long videos would be nice. I appreciate that they sit down for long sessions and tape the whole thing. If they broke it up into hour-long episodes, they would have to insert breaks every hour into their play, and that might get annoying for them as players, especially if they are in the middle of a dramatic scene or fight.

The way they do it, you get to watch their whole session if you want. And if you want to only watch an hour at a time, you can easily do that, and get back to the rest of it at a later time.
I think it would be really easy to do. Im not talking about when they record them live, Im talking about when they put them up on GnS. They actually have split their vids a few times. The problem right now is that i fall asleep so i dont know where i left off, then it takes forever to find the spot.
 

I've been converting their episodes into audio files and listening to them while I work, I just don't have time to watch 3 hours of video a week. There has been times where I've cried laughing, and others where I've had to stop and take notes for my own RPG's. (For youtube video to audio conversions I use onlinevideoconverter).
 

CydKnight

Explorer
It's disappointing that he has to explain basic civility to people... But, if it even changes the way that one person posts, then it is worth it.
It's life really. Some don't know any other way and others get caught up in the heat of the moment and forget themselves. After that you have a scant few who are simply trolling for a reaction.
 

Part of me wants to watch critical role, but the episodes are just so long. Some of my friends watch and love it, maybe one day I'll start watching each episode in small chunks of 30 minutes or something.
They look like 4 hour episodes, but the beginning is chatting (and the end as well sometimes) and there's a long bathroom break in the middle of each episode. So they're closer to 3 hours.
If you have time to watch on YouTube on a computer, run them at 1.5x speed and that goes down to two-and-a-half hours.

Or you can jump in during a storyarc.
The start of the briarwood arc is a good place: http://geekandsundry.com/critical-role-episode-24-the-feast/
Or the start of the very long Chroma Conclave arc is another: http://geekandsundry.com/critical-role-episode-39/
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I've been converting their episodes into audio files and listening to them while I work, I just don't have time to watch 3 hours of video a week. There has been times where I've cried laughing, and others where I've had to stop and take notes for my own RPG's. (For youtube video to audio conversions I use onlinevideoconverter).

I do the same thing and listen while I'm jogging, driving, or working out.

Sadly, because my sessions are only about an hour, I am falling behind. (They found the first Vestige.)
 

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