Curmudgeon's Corner: So, what's the deal with Critical Role?

Hussar

Legend
Hrmmm... on one hand, the colleges could be so tone deaf as to put out a scare video that is obviously wrong (a second invitation counts as sexual harassment) OR, someone could be ... mistaken about the message and content of the video and is posting it online.

I know which scenario I find a LOT more plausible.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:
Folks,

This thread is not about sexual harassment. Back on topic, please. Thanks.
 

Haffrung

Explorer
Having role models in the hobby who set a high bar absolutely does not stop people from filling the same role as that person even a tiny fraction as much as it inspires folks to fill that role.

It’s true in sports, in acting, in pretty much every facet of life. People who set a high bar inspire others to try and do the same.
Barrier to entry is a real thing. And it absolutely affects who enters a hobby.

The barrier to entry to be DM in 1982 was very low - some graph paper, the monster manual, and a couple hours before the next game session. Which is why millions of young kids played the game back then (it's also why it was common for kids to play 3-4 times a week then too).

I know people who did DM back in school in the 80s, but after immersing themselves in the world of online advice channels and lives streams today, lack the confidence to DM. They feel they need hours and hours of preparation, and need to master a host of skills they didn't think about when they were 15, in order to be a good DM today. Those higher expectations haven't made them better DMs - it has made them too intimidated to DM at all.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Barrier to entry is a real thing. And it absolutely affects who enters a hobby.

The barrier to entry to be DM in 1982 was very low - some graph paper, the monster manual, and a couple hours before the next game session. Which is why millions of young kids played the game back then (it's also why it was common for kids to play 3-4 times a week then too).

I know people who did DM back in school in the 80s, but after immersing themselves in the world of online advice channels and lives streams today, lack the confidence to DM. They feel they need hours and hours of preparation, and need to master a host of skills they didn't think about when they were 15, in order to be a good DM today. Those higher expectations haven't made them better DMs - it has made them too intimidated to DM at all.
And I know dozens of DMs who are new to DM since watching AqInc, CR, and other shows that set a high bar for what a DM can be.

Just like in sports, the folks who just get discouraged exist, they’re just vastly outweighed by the people who are inspired.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Second, inviting people to hang out for a group activity isn’t the same thing at all, and better awareness of sexual harassment is absolutely not decreasing the amount of time youths spend hanging out with friends.
My daughters and their friends disagree. It's reduced their social circles considerably, moving from a state with a weak definition to one with a strong one. Especially since the trainings given in the schools equate all invitations to private social activities as equivalent whether or not they are intended for romantic or sexual purposes. NPR has even discussed the reduction in unorganized social activities in the younger age group.

It's a social dampener, and it means social circles are smaller, and more self-contained. If it weren't for organized play, the elder wouldn't have any friends at all, and the younger would have only a couple.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
And I know dozens of DMs who are new to DM since watching AqInc, CR, and other shows that set a high bar for what a DM can be.

Just like in sports, the folks who just get discouraged exist, they’re just vastly outweighed by the people who are inspired.
I don't think that people get discouraged from sports by watching professional sports (some might), I would bet that people actually play more from watching pro-sports, precisely because the pro-sports act as an advertisement for sports in general.

CR is a net positive in the same way, it's pro-D&D:

A live weekly show, where a band of professional voice actors improvise, role-play and roll their way through an epic Dungeons & Dragons campaign.


It has added to D&D's popularity, probably the only admonition is that it is very slick, a Hollywood production, with professional actors and directors; improv.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My daughters and their friends disagree. It's reduced their social circles considerably, moving from a state with a weak definition to one with a strong one. Especially since the trainings given in the schools equate all invitations to private social activities as equivalent whether or not they are intended for romantic or sexual purposes. NPR has even discussed the reduction in unorganized social activities in the younger age group.

It's a social dampener, and it means social circles are smaller, and more self-contained. If it weren't for organized play, the elder wouldn't have any friends at all, and the younger would have only a couple.
Sure, man. 👍
 
It has added to D&D's popularity, probably the only admonition is that it is very slick, a Hollywood production, with professional actors and directors; improv.
Exactly. I suspect a tiny number of people may indeed be discouraged by their group failing to live up to CR or the like, but for every one of those there are probably a dozen who see what RPGs are and realize that they could do that, and that it looks fun. It demystifies RPGs and popularizes them in a powerful way.
 

Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
I follow Crit Role and some computer game let's plays on 1.25x or even 1.5x. I listen to most 'explainer' videos at 1.25x. People talk too slow, at least compared to text reading. And I usually browse forums or art sites while I do so.
I think the following CR has garnered shows just how good it has been for the hobby. There are likely a few people who follow the show who can't or won't play D&D. It seems that D&D Beyond at least thinks they're in the minority, given how it has embraced CR.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I'd say that our tastes are pretty different.... but watching someone else play an RPG is something I find I can't do.

I can watch someone else play a video game, something which my wife doesn't get and even I find a bit weird.

But I get bored out of my mind watching someone play a RPG.
I can watch video game walkthroughs all day long on Youtube. Especially something wickedly difficult but amazing like Dark Souls that I don't have the patience or skill to play well. But watching people roleplay online? I can't stand it. Hate it. It is so damn boring, and I too don't understand the incredible appeal it has. But to each their own, I'm glad that the market has vastly expanded to incorporate new players.
 
And, more importantly, why would I want to watch others play a game that I can play myself?
What can I say... maybe it's just not our (mine and yours) cup of tea.

I really tried to watch some of those shows, Matt Mercer's group, Sirens of the Realms, and some live stream by Chris Perkins... I had to force myself to last half an hour, then I just started to skip forward until I simply quit. They're good at it, but I just feel pointless in watching it. I could get some good ideas from watching, but I don't want to spend 2 hours in hope that maybe I catch those 20 seconds when something comes up that I had never thought about...

Even less I understand watching video gamers play, but my kids like doing that... I wonder how much it has to do with age. At least I know I cannot afford to spend 2 hours watching a show by myself, I only watch movies or whatever long stuff with family or friends, otherwise I instinctively think I should rather do something more useful, but obviously my school kids don't have the same problem.
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
The role playing doesn’t catch me. I listen so I can analyze the use of the rules in the moment. I guess I listen for the mechanical parts of the game.
 
, why would I want to watch others play a game that I can play myself?
Y'know, if you're playing a typical RPG, in which players assume the role of a character interacting with the world through the proxy of the DM (and yeah, the mode-average typical RPG is D&D), with 5 other people, and you're not said DM, and no one's dominating play, you probably are watching other people play the game about 80% of the time.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I just...it’s not about watching them play the game.

It’s a story. It’s watching people you find entertaining tell a story while inhabiting interesting characters in an interesting world with no script.

It isn’t the same type of thing as watching someone play a video game.
 

macd21

Explorer
I just...it’s not about watching them play the game.

It’s a story. It’s watching people you find entertaining tell a story while inhabiting interesting characters in an interesting world with no script.
This. I find the ‘why watch when I could play myself’ argument weird - sure you could, but you wouldn’t be playing this game with these PCs. I’ve been listening to the Glass Cannon podcast. The reason I do so is because I’m interested in the story - I want to know what happens to the characters, what challenges they face and how they overcome them. I’m never going to run the Giantslayer adventure path, and even if I did, it would be with different players running different characters, resulting in different outcomes.
 

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