Critical Role PSA: You are not Matt Mercer

Fauchard1520

Adventurer
Slightly longer write-up on the comic, but here's the gist:

Lately, I’ve begun to see a disturbing litany of complaints on the boards. My GM won’t give me my bardic inspiration dice because I didn’t make up a song like Scanlan. One of my fellow PCs is ripping off the Tyberius Stormwind voice, and now I’m getting naughty word on for not doing an accent. My players expect me to have a fully fleshed out fantasy world “more like Matt’s.” This is my first campaign! As a longtime gamer I’ll find myself sitting there and shaking my head in dismay. The fact is that it’s not fair to watch professional entertainers and then compare your buddies. You aren’t going to get the New York Yankees at the local sandlot. Your student film is probably not going to be Infinity War.

It goes deeper than that though. Different GMs have different styles, and there are plenty of good games out there that look nothing like Mercer’s. Sandbox play, zero level character funnels, adventure paths, and West Marches style games can all be a blast. If you hold them all to the standard of “it ought to be just like my favorite podcast,” you wind up missing out on cool experiences. While there’s nothing wrong with having preferences, I also think there’s such a thing as unrealistic expectations.

Have any of you guys met with this issue out in the wilds? How do you deal with it when it shows up at your table?
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
Not like that as such but talking to people it's changed expectations and creates disappointment.

Kinda prefer to have CR fans not play. Those groups all kinda self destructed anyway.

Only two DMs pulled off campaigns, mine was one. The other one was short term 10 weeks she ran for new players.

New DMs running with 7 or 8 players not a good idea. I cap mine at 6, prefer 5.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
As a DM myself, my player oriented PSA is: I'm not Matt Mercer. I don't require a song and a dance by a bard, nor do I require an insult for vicious mockery (they still come up with something because it's fun but they don't need to). As for my world, I had the basics in the beginning and now I'm developing it a bit more, nothing to spectacular though. It's all pretty standard stuff that has many ideas stolen from various editions. I have the benefit of having players with realistic and reasonable expectations so I don't have to worry about the "Matt Mercer effect".

Actually, I've never seen critical role so I guess I don't even 100% know what the Matt Mercer effect really is, I'm just going off 2nd hand information from people who do watch it.
 

Harzel

Adventurer
Slightly longer write-up on the comic, but here's the gist:

Lately, I’ve begun to see a disturbing litany of complaints on the boards. My GM won’t give me my bardic inspiration dice because I didn’t make up a song like Scanlan. One of my fellow PCs is ripping off the Tyberius Stormwind voice, and now I’m getting naughty word on for not doing an accent. My players expect me to have a fully fleshed out fantasy world “more like Matt’s.” This is my first campaign! As a longtime gamer I’ll find myself sitting there and shaking my head in dismay. The fact is that it’s not fair to watch professional entertainers and then compare your buddies. You aren’t going to get the New York Yankees at the local sandlot. Your student film is probably not going to be Infinity War.

It goes deeper than that though. Different GMs have different styles, and there are plenty of good games out there that look nothing like Mercer’s. Sandbox play, zero level character funnels, adventure paths, and West Marches style games can all be a blast. If you hold them all to the standard of “it ought to be just like my favorite podcast,” you wind up missing out on cool experiences. While there’s nothing wrong with having preferences, I also think there’s such a thing as unrealistic expectations.

Have any of you guys met with this issue out in the wilds? How do you deal with it when it shows up at your table?

For all I've seen reports like yours about "other people" complaining about these sort of things, or people speculating (and bemoaning) that it might happen, first person reports seem to be much rather IMX. And for all the other DMs of note, it always seems to be Mercer (or more exactly players who are CR) who is/are the main problem. Could be I'm just not in the right place at the right time, or not paying attention. Care to cite some actual first person reports for my edification?

EDIT: Full disclosure - I do watch CR, but none of my seven players had ever shown the least interest. They certainly have the occasional complaint, but not on the basis of comparing our game to any Internet phenom. The few CR fans that I have met in person didn't seem like the kind of wingnuts who would do that kind of thing either. But like I said, could be sampling error.
 
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cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Matt doesn't require those things, either; it's his players just offering those thing up "because it's fun". Weird, huh?
That sentence structure was a little weird, I wasn't saying he did require it, I was saying I'm not him (as in I don't play like him). The following sentence was actually responding to the OP about requiring a song for bard abilities.
 

Harzel

Adventurer
That sentence structure was a little weird, I wasn't saying he did require it, I was saying I'm not him (as in I don't play like him). The following sentence was actually responding to the OP about requiring a song for bard abilities.

Oh, ok. I misunderstood. Sorry.
 

Harzel

Adventurer
Slightly longer write-up on the comic, but here's the gist:

Lately, I’ve begun to see a disturbing litany of complaints on the boards. My GM won’t give me my bardic inspiration dice because I didn’t make up a song like Scanlan. One of my fellow PCs is ripping off the Tyberius Stormwind voice, and now I’m getting naughty word on for not doing an accent. My players expect me to have a fully fleshed out fantasy world “more like Matt’s.” This is my first campaign! As a longtime gamer I’ll find myself sitting there and shaking my head in dismay. The fact is that it’s not fair to watch professional entertainers and then compare your buddies. You aren’t going to get the New York Yankees at the local sandlot. Your student film is probably not going to be Infinity War.

It goes deeper than that though. Different GMs have different styles, and there are plenty of good games out there that look nothing like Mercer’s. Sandbox play, zero level character funnels, adventure paths, and West Marches style games can all be a blast. If you hold them all to the standard of “it ought to be just like my favorite podcast,” you wind up missing out on cool experiences. While there’s nothing wrong with having preferences, I also think there’s such a thing as unrealistic expectations.

Have any of you guys met with this issue out in the wilds? How do you deal with it when it shows up at your table?

Also, Tyberius was definitely not the most memorable CR PC. Does someone really remember his accent?

And, the blog post you point to looks to be about 2 years old. Yeah, I thought this all had a familiar (and somewhat dated) ring to it.
 

pogre

Legend
I'm not a CR fan personally, but I recognize CR has done way more good than harm. I run a High School gaming club (you know, way back (March) when we had high school) and CR is a very significant gateway to D&D for a ton of kids.

I'm not a CR fan because I am not a fan of streaming games in general. I recognize fully they are a very talented group. I just don't get it because I'm old ;)

There is some trepidation from some kids jumping into the DM chair for fear 'of not doing it right,' but lately I have had plenty of volunteers. I think the Mercer Effect is less now. Mr. Mercer himself has done much to combat it by encouraging others to own their game in their way.

Young DMs make the same mistakes young DMs have been making since the mid 70's. They over-plot, they over-reward, they get adversarial at times - I don't blame any of it on Cr!
 


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