Critical Role To Critical Role or not...That is the question

Did Critical Role influence D&D and how do you feel about CR?

  • Critical Role is the biggest reason for 5e's popularity and I love CR

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Critical Role is the biggest reason for 5e's popularity and I like CR

    Votes: 5 3.2%
  • Critical Role is the biggest reason for 5e's popularity and I'm neutral to CR

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Critical Role is the biggest reason for 5e's popularity but I dislike CR

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Critical Role is the biggest reason for 5e's popularity but I hate CR

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Critical Role is a factor in 5e's popularity and I love CR

    Votes: 15 9.5%
  • Critical Role is a factor in 5e's popularity and I like CR

    Votes: 46 29.1%
  • Critical Role is a factor in 5e's popularity but I'm neutral to CR

    Votes: 54 34.2%
  • Critical Role is a factor in 5e's popularity but I dislike CR

    Votes: 10 6.3%
  • Critical Role is a factor in 5e's popularity but I hate CR

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • Critical Role isn't a factor towards 5e's popularity but I love CR

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Critical Role isn't a factor towards 5e's popularity but I like CR

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Critical Role isn't a factor towards 5e's popularity but I'm neutral to CR

    Votes: 8 5.1%
  • Critical Role isn't a factor towards 5e's popularity and I dislike CR

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Critical Role isn't a factor towards 5e's popularity and I hate CR

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Critical Role...what's that...oh, and I think Matt Mercer is hot

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Critical Role...no idea what that is, but Matt Mercer needs a haircut

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Critical Role...don't ask...but I eat puppies and kittens for lunch

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Critical Role...Yes...yes...I'm critical to RPGs...why do you ask

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Critical Role...go for the eyes boo...go for the eyes!!!

    Votes: 2 1.3%

GreyLord

Legend
So there have been quite a number of highly posted threads in other locations this week on other sites where conversations about Critical Role have popped up (actually, more like the past three days, it's like a LOT of people are talking about it).

The primary point seems to be whether people love, hate, or dislike Critical Role and it's ROLE (see what I did there!! Hahaha) in how popular D&D is currently.

I don't watch it, and really don't care whether people do or not. I DO think it is GREAT in how it has brought people into the hobby. I think it's wonderful that people are engaged with it and enjoy it and how it's helped popularize D&D.

However, I don't see this opinion really expressed other places. It seems people either really love it and think it's the greatest thing that ever occurred, or that it's the worst thing ever. No one seems to share the same opinion as I do, and it seems rather binary in the opinions I've seen people express.

Maybe I just hang out with the wrong groups online?

Anyways, there IS one thing that I dislike about those who are very pro-Critical Role that I've seen. It seems most of them think that the ONLY reason 5e is as big as it is is because Critical Role uses it. That without Critical Role, 5e would not be the booming success it is. I disagree with this idea STRONGLY. I live in a relatively smaller area (so, not a big city, at least compared to what I think is a big city) and I don't know a soul that has heard of critical Role. Not a player, not a store owner...no one. Those who play D&D here, are NOT playing because of CR as far as I can tell. Those playing in larger cities have SOME that I've seen that will talk about CR, but most of them were playing RPGs long before CR inspired them to (there may be a few that started from CR, but most did not). It annoys me to no end, then, to come online and see CR fans claiming that 5e's success is due to CR. I'd think the opposite. I'd say CR got far more popular from them utilizing 5e in a more symbiotic relationship than them being the reason 5e became popular.

CR, despite it's popularity among RPG groups is STILL a very niche thing, in my opinion. Offline, it doesn't have the widespread fame that many seem to indicate it does online.

BUT, my experiences are anecdotal. It could simply just be who and what I am exposed to.

As I said, I actually appreciate Critical Role and what it brings to the table, my only complaint being about fans (not even about CR) who claim the above items..of which...I could also be wrong.

In that light, I am posting this poll. This is still anecdotal (as this site is not really a good enough sampling to really be taken as scientific), but it is expanding the view I have outside my own small circles. It could enlighten me (and maybe others).

If I had to view my choice, I'd probably say I think Critical Role has had some influence on D&D's popularity (but isn't the main reason it is popular), and I am more neutral in how I feel about Critical Role (I am not a viewer, I have nothing against it in general, and hope they do what they do, but I am not particularly interested in it).

Curious what others think.

Edit: Could have sworn I posted a poll, but I'm not seeing it....hmmm...not sure what I did wrong. I think it's available now.
 
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I like the Critical Role playstyle and the people it has brought to D&D. And I really like the Vox Machina animation. But I don't watch the show myself. But That's down to me, I'm a poor listener, a poor spectator, and have a short attention spa.. look, a moth!
 

G

Guest 7034872

Guest
I greatly enjoy it for what it is, but I also recognize it's a game played by professional actors all of whom excel at improv, so in content and tone it will differ from many others' campaigns (and I see nothing wrong with that--I'm one of those "Let a thousand flowers bloom" kinda guys). Differences from reg'lar ol' D&D that I've noticed are as follows:
  1. They have a lot more character development and "conversations about life" than the average game. These are professional actors: how in the world would they not do this?
  2. A watchful eye can indeed catch a few instances of the actors pretending to be shocked, thrilled, mortified, or exultant. Again, this is something actors are supposed to do, so I see no problem.
  3. Production value is high. Very high.
  4. The show is mind-bogglingly popular. The only problem I see here is the "Matt Mercer Effect," which Mr. Mercer himself has lamented.
I've watched everything of the second and third campaigns now and really like the way they run the thing. I've learned some nifty tricks from Mercer about DMing. If there's a downside to Critical Role, I haven't noticed it yet.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
"CR is a factor (one of several), and I'm neutral toward it."

I've met a quite a few gamers familiar with CR; and a couple people who know CR but don't play D&D.
However, I've never met any CR fans who insisted it is the reason for D&D's success.

As for me, I don't do CR. No animosity, I'm just not into keeping track of someone else's games or other canon. (That goes for FR, too, for example.)
 


I greatly enjoy it for what it is, but I also recognize it's a game played by professional actors all of whom excel at improv, so in content and tone it will differ from many others' campaigns (and I see nothing wrong with that--I'm one of those "Let a thousand flowers bloom" kinda guys). Differences from reg'lar ol' D&D that I've noticed are as follows:
  1. They have a lot more character development and "conversations about life" than the average game. These are professional actors: how in the world would they not do this?
  2. A watchful eye can indeed catch a few instances of the actors pretending to be shocked, thrilled, mortified, or exultant. Again, this is something actors are supposed to do, so I see no problem.
  3. Production value is high. Very high.
  4. The show is mind-bogglingly popular. The only problem I see here is the "Matt Mercer Effect," which Mr. Mercer himself has lamented.
I've watched everything of the second and third campaigns now and really like the way they run the thing. I've learned some nifty tricks from Mercer about DMing. If there's a downside to Critical Role, I haven't noticed it yet.
Just remember Mercer is a guy who started with 2E DM-ing people who mostly started with 5E. When you realise that, a lot makes more sense.
 


J-H

Hero
I'm with the OP. I don't watch it, don't have the time or interest (Tabletop D&D is too slow-paced to make good entertainment for me unless I'm participating), but it has reached a large audience and broadened the base of players and social profile of D&D, so... good for it!
And it's made money for the people doing it. They get to make money, as actors, doing something fun, without a ton of middlemen and movie directors and investors taking huge cuts. Good for them!

Of the about 8-10 people I play with (all in person) maybe 2-3 have watched CR. If it's added even 15-20% to the hobby, that's substantial and meaningful without being overwhelming.

I've watched more Matt Colville videos ON CR than I've watched OF CR.
 


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