Critical Role PSA: You are not Matt Mercer

Ristamar

Adventurer
Yeah its frankly real shocking how much offense is being taken because we're noting its a show. Hell, they sell merch and make money. THAT TOO really changes the dynamic of the game as well.

People behave differently when they are aware they are observed. Not just in games, not just in D&D, but like...in all activities. Its not bad. It doesnt make it wrong. Or even worse really. But it does make it different.

To act like its not is weird and I do not understand this. No one (I dont believe?) is like 'Those guys suck hur hur'. Its simply being pointed out 'Hey its a show so unless you are trying to be a show don't feel you need to emulate this'.

Whats with the umbrage taking? Gatekeeping? Howwwww?

There are notable actual play/live play RPG podcasters out there that have voiced those same thoughts, particularly as they grow in popularity. Even without cameras, the microphones and the awareness of an audience (live or otherwise) changes the atmosphere.

For instance, the crew of The Glass Cannon Podcast has repeatedly talked about how their games are different than their sessions before they had ever started recording. And that was before they were partners with Paizo, playing in monthly live shows across the US, or receiving over $64,000 per month from Patreon supporters.
 
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Shroomy

Adventurer
Radio shows are scripted and designed totally for entertainment. According to Mercer and company, they're playing the same game they always have, now it's just being streamed. I find it hard to believe that someone like Mercer didn't ham it up in his home game before a single camera was turned on. Besides, the acting on the part of the players is pretty minimal; I see that level of acting at my own table.

You can still find pre-stream vines on YouTube when they played Pathfinder at home. They're remarkably similar to the show now.
 


prabe

Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Supporter
Agreed. If I'm a bit better at DMing than I was in the previous session, that's a win. If I'm worse or the same, then that's a loss in my book.

I don't disagree with the broader sentiment, but I don't think there's any particular harm in calling it a draw if you're no better or worse. I'm maybe a little more granular (A worked, B kinda didn't, C never happened and was wasted prep, D was bad enough the stench might linger into next session, E was downright awesome), but I do try to improve what doesn't work, or at least not repeat those mistakes.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I was responding to this...


Radio shows are scripted and designed totally for entertainment.
Gotcha. I took “radio show” a bit more figuratively, but I can see your interpretation, and I agree that’s definitely not what CR is.

According to Mercer and company, they're playing the same game they always have, now it's just being streamed. I find it hard to believe that someone like Mercer didn't ham it up in his home game before a single camera was turned on. Besides, the acting on the part of the players is pretty minimal; I see that level of acting at my own table.
Oh, no, I’m sure they were all big ol’ ham balls long before recording and streaming the game. That doesn’t mean their behavior now is the same as it was then. You can’t get around the fact that people behave differently when knowingly observed. Even when they don’t realize it, even when they try not to, everyone acts differently on camera than they do off of it. The CR cast is no exception.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
To those who think it’s easy to play to an invisible crowd, you just have to watch the late night talk show hosts struggling without an audience to realize that just because you know people might be watching, doesn’t mean that you get the same energy that a live audience provides. There’s a reason these shows are made with a live audience.

Yes the CR folks know there’s some kind of audience, but they also n\know that the only audience they can play to with satisfaction is the one in the room. Just like a regular game. They play for each other and that’s why they stick with, it’s a chance for them to live out their fantasies and have fun.
A live audience has different energy than a camera, but a camera still has different energy than no camera.
 


robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
A live audience has different energy than a camera, but a camera still has different energy than no camera.
For the CR folks I don‘t think they need any encouragement to ham it up. They love entertaining each other, the rest is gravy.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
For the CR folks I don‘t think they need any encouragement to ham it up. They love entertaining each other, the rest is gravy.
Again, I don’t doubt they’d be hammy on their own (or that they were before streaming their game). Nonetheless their (still hammy) behavior is different on-camera than off. Everyone’s is. That’s just human psychology.
 

S'mon

Legend
I ran into a weird variation of this problem when I first offered my game. As mentioned before, it's set in Tal'Dorei. A prospective player worried I might be trying to imitate Mercer and warned me against trying and to be wary of the Mercer Effect. His approach was as some old hand talking to a neophyte, and we were still only talking about character ideas.

He... ended up not working out.

Yeah, as one of those old geezers, I'll avoid games involving the CR world etc, just in case the GM is trying to emulate the show, which I don't think is a fruitful endeavour.
 

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