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


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Same. I enjoyed Force Grey’s shorter episode format very much, though.

Greater civility goes a long way. I think about 90% of the drama I’ve experienced in gaming (and life, really) wouldn’t have happened if people just treated each other with respect.
In the words of Buckaroo Banzai, “Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”

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.
 

CydKnight

Explorer
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 watch/listen with Bluetooth headphones while I do "important" stuff. Tonight I will begin Episode 57 after beginning this long, arduous task of catch-up about 6 weeks ago.
 

Waterbizkit

Explorer
It's unfortunate that he had to take the time to say this, but wonderful at the same time precisely because he did take the time to say it. Critical Role is an excellent show and I'm glad Matt & Co. have let us all take a look at their personal game. The show singlehandedly got me to pick the hobby back up again after a long hiatus.

It's funny thing because the show really blurs the lines between characters and the people portraying them more than your typical TV show or movie, so getting frustrated with or disliking a particular character runs a greater risk of bleeding through and becoming a personal attack on the cast member playing that character. It's like there's an entirely different learning curve when it comes to how you should be voicing your opinion about the characters and their actions versus how you might do so in any other medium.

Anyway, I think the show is great and it's truly a pleasure to watch. I can't watch live, so I catch up on Mondays when the videos get posted to the G&S website. I make sure to set the time aside to watch at least half the episode and finish up on Tuesday and so far I've managed to keep myself caught up to the latest episodes.

Can't say enough good things about it and the people who make it all happen, so I'll bring it to a close here with a simple thank you.
 

RedSiegfried

First Post
I guess I'm in the minority of people who have no desire to watch or listen to videos of other people playing their game. But to each their own.

That having been said, yeah, civility in discourse is something we should all strive for. I'm reminded of a friend who plays an online game very often and would get frustrated and sometimes say things he shouldn't have. He created a sign for himself and attached it to his monitor. It just said "Did you really mean to say that?" It was kind of a reminder to think before you talk, and it helped him to behave better when things got tense.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I guess I'm in the minority of people who have no desire to watch or listen to videos of other people playing their game. But to each their own.

Don't discount the "teach by example" that happens through watching these videos. Both for GMs and players. It's great to see the game in motion and running smoothly for those new to the genre.
 

CydKnight

Explorer
Don't discount the "teach by example" that happens through watching these videos. Both for GMs and players. It's great to see the game in motion and running smoothly for those new to the genre.
This is absolutely why I started watching it.
 

tangleknot

Explorer
I guess I'm in the minority of people who have no desire to watch or listen to videos of other people playing their game. But to each their own.

I too had no desire to watch others roleplay. But at the moment I'm doing hours of data entry each day and music is getting repetitive and boring. This show/ these voice actors are akin to a book on tape, and much funnier!
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
These guys (including/especially the DM) teach me how to roleplay better. I watch them act and interact (as they are actors) and it helps me think of my own characters/NPC's and how I can improve in that area.

I can find myself getting frustrated sometimes during the combat side of things when in my opinion I would have done things differently, but that frustration goes very quickly as I remember these guys are putting themselves out there to massive audiences when they don't have to and I need my weekly fix.
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
I watch/listen with Bluetooth headphones while I do "important" stuff. Tonight I will begin Episode 57 after beginning this long, arduous task of catch-up about 6 weeks ago.

I am jealous that you have 29 episodes to still watch and catch up on. I binged watched when I first got into it and now have to wait.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
I'm hearing a lot of people say that they listen to the show rather than watch it... I've been considering doing this as well but I was wondering if you miss anything by not watching the show. Do the visual components add a lot to the show, or do you not really lose out on anything by just listening?
 

dropbear8mybaby

Banned
Banned
I'm hearing a lot of people say that they listen to the show rather than watch it... I've been considering doing this as well but I was wondering if you miss anything by not watching the show. Do the visual components add a lot to the show, or do you not really lose out on anything by just listening?
I have a single-task oriented mind. Listening to a show while doing something else would mean not really following the show and missing bits. Watching the show directs my attention so I prefer it.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I'm hearing a lot of people say that they listen to the show rather than watch it... I've been considering doing this as well but I was wondering if you miss anything by not watching the show. Do the visual components add a lot to the show, or do you not really lose out on anything by just listening?

You would miss facial expressions and gestures by the group, also they're physical interaction with each other. These things can be pretty nice to watch, but I could see forgoing them for the convenience of getting something done while you listen to a 3 hour game session.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I'm hearing a lot of people say that they listen to the show rather than watch it... I've been considering doing this as well but I was wondering if you miss anything by not watching the show. Do the visual components add a lot to the show, or do you not really lose out on anything by just listening?
I might be more inclined to listen if it was a podcast. I would still only listen in chunks of 25-30 minutes as that would be good to listen to on the way to work. I used to do the same with the penny arcade pvp dnd podcasts before they moved to YouTube.
 

Ampolitor

Explorer
LOL, It just shows how many people have no lives and pre-occupy themselves with trolling and being just a Di%& on the internet. Nobody said they had to watch the show.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I'm hearing a lot of people say that they listen to the show rather than watch it... I've been considering doing this as well but I was wondering if you miss anything by not watching the show. Do the visual components add a lot to the show, or do you not really lose out on anything by just listening?

Hearing their voices and they way they articulate their characters, but not seeing the actor is great. Its like reading a book, I see the miages and descriptions in my head of the adventures.

I prefer this to having the image of a table top and people sitting around the table. Granted I am missing out on facial expressions and such, but in my opinion, creating a visual makes up for it.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Hearing their voices and they way they articulate their characters, but not seeing the actor is great. Its like reading a book, I see the miages and descriptions in my head of the adventures.

I prefer this to having the image of a table top and people sitting around the table. Granted I am missing out on facial expressions and such, but in my opinion, creating a visual makes up for it.

This is a good point. Listening to it you can truly imagine the characters however you what.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
Hearing their voices and they way they articulate their characters, but not seeing the actor is great. Its like reading a book, I see the miages and descriptions in my head of the adventures.

I prefer this to having the image of a table top and people sitting around the table. Granted I am missing out on facial expressions and such, but in my opinion, creating a visual makes up for it.

Hmm I'll have to try that :)
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
Sad that this needs to be said.

Also, I agree with those who listen rather than watch. I do the same for the current Ac Inc videos and Dice Camera Action. I don't feel like I'm missing much visually.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
I don't usually watch Critical Role (I prefer a more tightly edited experience) but I tttempathize, especially where (kind of like ENWorld) it started off more tightly knit, but as it grew it becomes harder for everyone to be on the same page, subtleties of humor are different, and eventually you get hecklers who take things out of friendly ribbing and right into, "shut up, :):):):)er!"
 

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