Do you Critical Role?

Do you Critical Role?

  • Um...what's 'Critical Role'? Is it some kind of podcast or something?

    Votes: 3 1.3%
  • I've never watched a single episode.

    Votes: 52 23.0%
  • Not really. It's just not my cup of tea.

    Votes: 62 27.4%
  • Eh, I'll watch it every now and then, when I'm bored or whatever.

    Votes: 22 9.7%
  • Every now and then, when I can find the time.

    Votes: 29 12.8%
  • I'm a regular viewer. Is it Thursday yet?

    Votes: 37 16.4%
  • Yep. And Talks Machina, and Between the Sheets, and Handbooker Helper, and...

    Votes: 21 9.3%

  • Total voters
    226
  • Poll closed .
So far, the numbers show about what I expected...of 251 ENWorlders who voted, 194 of us have watched at least one episode of Critical Role (78%). And of those who have, almost a third don't watch it anymore (30%), another third watches it occasionally (33%), and the rest watch it regularly (37%).
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I don't think I've finished a single episode. Probably for the same reason I don't watch anyone play D&D. Just not a spectator sport for me. I have to be involved or I'm not interested
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
So far, the numbers show about what I expected...of 251 ENWorlders who voted, 194 of us have watched at least one episode of Critical Role (78%). And of those who have, almost a third don't watch it anymore (30%), another third watches it occasionally (33%), and the rest watch it regularly (37%).
How do you figure? According to the poll options, up to 44%ish may have never watched an episode. The first three options are all for people who may not have watched even one episode. I voted "not really" because I've watched only about 15 minutes of one episode and that's it. Enough to know It's "not my cup of tea" as the option says. But I wouldn't consider myself to have watched at least one episode because they're what? 3 hours long each?
 
How do you figure? According to the poll options, up to 44%ish may have never watched an episode. The first three options are all for people who may not have watched even one episode. I voted "not really" because I've watched only about 15 minutes of one episode and that's it. Enough to know It's "not my cup of tea" as the option says. But I wouldn't consider myself to have watched at least one episode because they're what? 3 hours long each?
I should have been more clear. When I wrote "of those who have", I meant "of those who have watched at least one episode," not "of those who have voted."
 

mortwatcher

Explorer
Of all the D&D shows I watch, I could not get into this one and have watched only about 30 minutes of it. It just feels too professional and animated for my taste.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
2) I listen to enough other podcasts that I'd just continue to fall further behind. Then again, I could probably use something else in the rotation to break up all the politics and history.
This is the curse of modern life, there's way more content being created than can possibly be kept up with! You have to choose the right mix for you. Critical Role is a big investment, I kind of wish they'd have their staff produce a digest version that's around 1 hour bringing in all the highlights and leaving out some of the filler.
 
I've listened to maybe a few dozen episodes. I've come to like the actors, and it's fun hearing players really dig into the role-playing aspects of the game...

...until it's not fun. I found the romantic subplots from the previous campaign to be tedious, forced, and wholly uninteresting (beyond the fact that I personally would find it weird to have my then-fiancee role-playing being in love with one of my friends). I find some of the detours and "character development" stuff kind of ridiculous and too soap-opera-esque for me.

On the plus side, I really admire the players for being willing to have their characters choose actions that are not always optimized for maximum impact or damage. I appreciate infusing the PCs with humanity and actual weaknesses.

I've found I get the most value out of listening to combat scenes - I learn a lot about strategy, rules, and comporting myself as a DM. Some of the worldbuilding is inspiring, too.

But I've given up on the current campaign. It feels too meandering, and there's far too much talking and RPing that seems to go nowhere.
 
I started on the 35th episode of the 1st campaign, immediately the next week, watched the first 34 episodes to be caught up. I watch every week, whether it is on live at 7pm on Thursday, the re-run at midnight or on YouTube the next Wednesday. You might say I'm fanatically addict to Critical Role!
 

KenNYC

Explorer
I turned it off after five minutes. I was FFing a bit before I finally gave up. There is something very artificial about playing the game not to play it, but rather to perform for others. It's like reality TV contestants never behave realistically because they know the camera is on. I just get the vibe that this isn't a real game. I half expected Jay Leno to show up and make unfunny jokes in character while the rest of the cast sheds tears from fake laughing so hard.
 

drl2

Villager
I'm gradually "watching" the 1st campaign - up to ep 44 at the moment. I put "watching" in quotes because realistically I'm just sort of listening to it while I'm on the computer working or doing other things. Like right now, as I'm typing this they're trying to find a way into a sunken temple. Keyleth is mentioning that she can turn into a shark and I want to tell her to try shark and air elemental at the same time to see if she can make a sharknado.

I'm enjoying it when I'm aware enough to pay attention to it, anyway :)
 
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Henry

Autoexreginated
...until it's not fun. I found the romantic subplots from the previous campaign to be tedious, forced, and wholly uninteresting (beyond the fact that I personally would find it weird to have my then-fiancee role-playing being in love with one of my friends). I find some of the detours and "character development" stuff kind of ridiculous and too soap-opera-esque for me.
The interpersonal interactions are some of the elements I enjoy most about the show. My wife has her Housewives and Teen Moms, I got my Rogue/Paladin and Druid making out. :) The PC-with-PC romance angles are definitely something that I can’t see happening in any of my games, but in my experience actors always seem to have a different mindset about chemistry that allows two friends to be able to share fake intimate moments like that, or to allow two people to be able to go on stage and stage-kiss lovingly in front of a thousand people, whereas most of us (speaking for me at least) can’t roleplay something involving breaking down personal space comfortably.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
I've seen bits and pieces of the show (in Colville's vids) and read enough to determine, it's totally not for me. It's a staged production of actors playing a game for the entertainment of an audience- like a network TV show. It's nothing like playing D&D at home with friends/family. I've never watched a whole episode, and have no desire to do so.

That said, I do enjoy some of the not so "famous" (I use that term loosely) youtube broadcasts of RPG games. In particular the RPG Brewery's Pathfinder (RotRL) & FFG SW games. No it's not polished, or theatrical-Quite the opposite- just a group of regular friends hanging out and having fun playing RPGs (and some drinking, belching, tangent conversation, cursing, poor jokes, etc.)
 
We are halfway done, and we have 312 votes so far. Because it's fun, here's the story the numbers tell.

Nearly everyone has heard of Critical Role (307 out of 312, or 98.4%).

At least 249 ENWorld voters have watched at least one episode of Critical Role (79.8%). I say "at least," because it's possible that some voters might have watched an episode without knowing what they were watching.

However, it is also possible that people have voted "not my cup of tea" without ever having watched an episode, and I don't know how to measure that. (shrug) The best I can do is assume that 249 people out of 315 have watched it, and the rest haven't.

Of those 249 people:
75 didn't like it (30.1%)
76 only watch occasionally (30.5%)
98 are regular viewers and fans (39.4%)

About 47 voters might watch Critical Role more, if it wasn't so time-consuming...which I think might be one of the main drivers for the "Legend of Vox Machina" Kickstarter. Distilling the entire Briarwoods story arc into a series of 22-minute cartoons could accomplish that. Let's see if they can pull it off.
 
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5ekyu

Adventurer
What do you mean by "staged"? Do you believe the show to be pre-scripted?
For me, i tend to avoid the whole "dont watch it but i know its not real DND" kinds of hoohaahs but speaking as someone who has watched every ep of season two i can say that for my money i have looked at it from the angle of "is this a work or a shoot" eye myself. Understand, i was fine either way, it was entertaining so, it wouldn;t be a downer for me if i saw enough to think "yeah, its a work". But for my money, what i can say is that i have seen enough to reach the conclusion for me that it is a shoot - actual play - not pre-scripted etc - any more than a local game would be with "hey i am gonna try this joke at the next session" kind of chit chat.

But of course, everyone is gonna have their own opinions.

Edit to add in case its not widely known:
Work = staged to look real but pre-scripted at least in major outcomes. Still room for improv in the little in-between stuff and nuts and bolts. (Pro-wrestling)
Shoot = actual play, actual results, unscripted between Gm and players any more than a nortmal DND cooperative game would be. (Actual wrestling assuming no corruption.)

I also find it amusing how often the "decision" about "real or not" that falls on "not real dnd" or "like pro-wrestling" trend to come from folks with little to no actual experience with the show itself.

"I've seen bits and pieces of the show (in Colville's vids) and read enough to determine, it's totally not for me. It's a staged production of actors playing a game for the entertainment of an audience- like a network TV show. It's nothing like playing D&D at home with friends/family. I've never watched a whole episode, and have no desire to do so."


 
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I also find it amusing how often the "decision" about "real or not" that falls on "not real dnd" or "like pro-wrestling" trend to come from folks with little to no actual experience with the show itself.
Yeah, it happens. And I get it. Grudges, biases, projection, and other strong emotions are what separate us from the machines we are typing on right now. We're only human. :)

I notice that many of the people who might not care for Critical Role are fans of other streams. Like [MENTION=518]JeffB[/MENTION]: he prefers different, more "indie" broadcasts, which might create bias against more "mainstream" content. And personally, it's frustrating to me that Relics & Rarities is nowhere near as popular as Critical Role, and probably never will be. But it's not a popularity contest; it's possible to enjoy more than one streaming show. I know this, but it's still a thing that happens.

And game edition bias is a real thing. Not everyone plays Dungeons & Dragons...and of those who do, not everyone uses the 5th Edition rules. A lot of non-5E players might already feel ignored, and this isn't helping. It can feel like: if Critical Role is popular, and Critical Role runs 5E, then 5E might also get more popular, then other editions might be ignored. It's not accurate, it's not logical, it's not even scientific...but it affects people's opinions all the same.

Also, a good number of Critical Role fans are new to D&D, and might not be aware of the long history of the game and its evolving rules. A Critter might say something like "but that's not D&D", meaning that it isn't covered by the rules as they understand them--and accidentally trigger a heated debate. Hearing "but that's not how Matt does it" once or twice is frustrating as a DM; hearing it every. single. game. can really grate on the nerves and cause you to automatically view anything related to Critical Role in an unfavorable light.

Anywaaaay, I get it. Critical Role isn't for everyone, and not everyone needs to watch an episode of the show to come to that conclusion. I mean, informed opinions are nice to have, but that's not how Matt does it...

*gunshots, explosions*
 
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5ekyu

Adventurer
Yeah, it happens. And I get it. Grudges, biases, projection, and other strong emotions are what separate us from the machines we are typing on right now. We're only human. :)

I notice that many of the people who might not care for Critical Role are fans of other streams. Like [MENTION=518]JeffB[/MENTION]: he prefers different, more "indie" broadcasts, which might create bias against more "mainstream" content. And personally, it's frustrating to me that Relics & Rarities is nowhere near as popular as Critical Role, and probably never will be. But it's not a popularity contest; it's possible to enjoy more than one streaming show. I know this, but it's still a thing that happens.

And game edition bias is a real thing. Not everyone plays Dungeons & Dragons...and of those who do, not everyone uses the 5th Edition rules. A lot of non-5E players might already feel ignored, and this isn't helping. It can feel like: if Critical Role is popular, and Critical Role runs 5E, then 5E might also get more popular, then other editions might be ignored. It's not accurate, it's not logical, it's not even scientific...but it affects people's opinions all the same.

Also, a good number of Critical Role fans are new to D&D, and might not be aware of the long history of the game and its evolving rules. A Critter might say something like "but that's not D&D", meaning that it isn't covered by the rules as they understand them--and accidentally trigger a heated debate. Hearing "but that's not how Matt does it" once or twice is frustrating as a DM; hearing it every. single. game. can really grate on the nerves and cause you to automatically view anything related to Critical Role in an unfavorable light.

Anywaaaay, I get it. Critical Role isn't for everyone, and not everyone needs to watch an episode of the show to come to that conclusion. I mean, informed opinions are nice to have, but that's not how Matt does it...

*gunshots, explosions*
i wanted to do R&R but they locked it behind alpha ionstead of GnS twitch and then sorta spewed it out half ep this place, half ep that place etc... and i aint gonna pay for alpha plus GnS twitch as separate entities now that CR has gone solo. I tried to watch on of their twitch-re-casts but it was a half ep and that sunk it for me... the wathc then bait-switch me over to alpha again.

So, that kind of goofy crap in marketing and money kept me from watching that show, even though i liked its people, liked the concept etc.

So, now, after playing screw-with-me games, they lost my money for both GnS Twitch and Alpha.

Another good idea blown by over aggressive money think before they got it planted with a solid growing base.
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
You really need a 'I'm glad they are doing so well (it's good for DnD/RPG), but as much as I love DnD I find watching other people play as dull as watching paint dry' option ;) SO I put 'not my cup of tea' because they're all not my cup of tea. I'll listen/watch to interviews and information type media, but I just don't enjoy watching other people play - same with video games, I play a lot but don;t watch others, unless it is part of a review or giving advise/information.

But more power to the streamers, more players for DnD!
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
"Hearing "but that's not how Matt does it" once or twice is frustrating as a DM; hearing it every. single. game. can really grate on the nerves and cause you to automatically view anything related to Critical Role in an unfavorable light."

I suppose but to me, thats no different from hearing "but in my other game the Gm runs it..." except that of course, even "back in the day" at college with gaming clubs, there weren't always that many "other Gms" but now there are streaming Gms and stremer GM-tell-me-how-to-run all over the place.

heck, i have had more discussions about "how Matt does it" from that other Matt and don't get me going on those.

But, a key thing is not having those in game and making sure everybody knows the rules at this table when we play.
 

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