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Critical Role: Voice Actors Playing D&D

CoolOff

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
1,808
So in the first two minutes of this new Star Wars game I'm playing as a redhead named Cal, and one of his first lines in the game is "I'm trash, just not approved trash".

Hmm.
 

Wunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,655
Okay, that makes sense, but I guess what I'm saying is the lore for these creatures doesn't match up with the actual stats. If it was Vox Machina vs. one of them then I could understand, but the M9 still isn't that powerful and yet they took on and nearly killed something that was feared as something immensely powerful in the old times.
You have to separate in-universe lore with the mechanics of DND itself. I guess Matt could've made them way harder in a 1 v X scenario but I assume he designed them to have a somewhat balanced encounter when they faced all of them at once.
 

Reinhard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,192
You have to separate in-universe lore with the mechanics of DND itself. I guess Matt could've made them way harder in a 1 v X scenario but I assume he designed them to have a somewhat balanced encounter when they faced all of them at once.
One problem with inevitable end in a multi monster encounter is she gets sneak attack damage every round and goes away unless stunned. The party has low hit points compared to monsters so constant sneak attack damage plus Laughing Hand melee damage could easily bring down 1 party member every round. So I wouldn't be surprised if Matt separates the two by having the LH guard entrance with someone else (Yasha or the cleric).
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
Here's something I didn't understand from last CR: I thought the Inevitable End was supposed to be even more powerful than the Laughing Hand, sort of a Horseman of the Apocalypse kind of character. How did the M9 beat it to within 50hp?
I think the real value of these Betrayer champions isn't exactly in their martial power. They're each individually pretty strong, the Laughing Hand seems like someone that is meant to break large groups of warriors with his fear effect and hounds, the Inevitable End seems like a very dangerous and relentless assassin that could get to any target, but neither of them are world breakers in terms of pure power. I think the Chained Oblivion cult didn't want them for their damage, but because these guys are functionally immortal.

Both of these champions are said to be unkillable. I bet if the M9 had managed to reduce the Inevitable End to 0hp, it probably just would have reformed in a few days, same with the Laughing Hand. I think the cult is likely trying to use that immortality to help them break the chains for their god. Pelor and the the other prime deities probably trapped those seals with something insanely strong. My bet is the cult wants to feed these champions into the traps and then break the seals when they are vulnerable.

I'm probably wrong, and it is just a product of Matt building lore around some midgame boss characters. Still, I think it was interesting that Oban specifically sought to recruit two immortal champions for his plan.
 

Wunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,655
One problem with inevitable end in a multi monster encounter is she gets sneak attack damage every round and goes away unless stunned. The party has low hit points compared to monsters so constant sneak attack damage plus Laughing Hand melee damage could easily bring down 1 party member every round. So I wouldn't be surprised if Matt separates the two by having the LH guard entrance with someone else (Yasha or the cleric).
yeah thats the real issue, matt has never really played with huge combos like that but when fighting smart intelligent monsters they would really just focus fire down key targets and make things incredibly difficult very fast. Healing word is great and Cad is a grave cleric but when you're popping people up every round you won't have the ability to spend a spell slot on anything else and you're gonna run out of em quickly
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
So does it seem pretty likely that Trent might show up during the M9's fight? The city is on high alert, and a lot of people are converging at the church. If Matt really wanted to twist the knife for Liam I could see Trent showing up and being an actual ally for the M9. From what we know Trent is a nationalistic creep and abuser, but it doesn't seem likely that he would be part of a cult trying to obliterate the world.

Just being in the city seems to be troubling Caleb, I can't imagine how he would handle having to interact with Trent in a situation like this.
 

deprecated

Member
Apr 15, 2019
301
So does it seem pretty likely that Trent might show up during the M9's fight? The city is on high alert, and a lot of people are converging at the church. If Matt really wanted to twist the knife for Liam I could see Trent showing up and being an actual ally for the M9. From what we know Trent is a nationalistic creep and abuser, but it doesn't seem likely that he would be part of a cult trying to obliterate the world.

Just being in the city seems to be troubling Caleb, I can't imagine how he would handle having to interact with Trent in a situation like this.
My fear that Liam deemed to foreshadow is that Caleb would either sit out the fight or be ineffective due to being troubled. The M9 losing their wizard really cuts them at the knees.
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
My fear that Liam deemed to foreshadow is that Caleb would either sit out the fight or be ineffective due to being troubled. The M9 losing their wizard really cuts them at the knees.
It will be interesting to see how Liam plays this. I could see him being so overwhelmed he skips rounds of combat, or even flees. I could also kind of see him go a little berserk and start throwing out his most damaging spells recklessly, potentially even hurting his own party members. Caleb has come a long way from where he started this campaign, but this fight could exacerbate all his worst fears.
 

eyeball_kid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,238
I'm happy about that honestly. A lot of players would just shrug off the emotional context -- maybe even some on the CR cast -- in order to not hurt the party. But Liam is very committed to playing Caleb as an acting role, outcome be damned. I don't need the M9 to "win" as I did with VM, perhaps because I still don't feel very emotionally attached to any of them as I did last campaign. So as long as it's an interesting, honest story, I'll be happy with whatever outcome.
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
I'm happy about that honestly. A lot of players would just shrug off the emotional context -- maybe even some on the CR cast -- in order to not hurt the party. But Liam is very committed to playing Caleb as an acting role, outcome be damned. I don't need the M9 to "win" as I did with VM, perhaps because I still don't feel very emotionally attached to any of them as I did last campaign. So as long as it's an interesting, honest story, I'll be happy with whatever outcome.
Liam really has done a great job committing to both the good and bad parts of Caleb's character. I am very invested in the M9, probably more than I was with VM to be honest, but I kind of want to see what would happen if they failed here. I don't mean a TPK which would honestly feel more boring then anything else to me. Instead, I'm just curious what would happen if this one chain were broken. Would the M9 be blamed? Would they suddenly become very important as the Empire fully understands the threat they are under? Win or lose the story of this campaign feels like it is changing gears, and it could go in a lot of exciting directions.
 

Arrrammis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
469
Disclaimer: I mean no offense to anyone or anything here: Campaign 1/Vox Machina was a good time, but also incredibly generic overall - party plays the heroes of the world, making allies with everyone and fighting the obvious bad guys. Party members include the edgey orphaned rogue, the horny bard, the dumb brute barbarian, the idealist treehugger druid, the self-important sorcerer, and the special one cleric who is solely responsible for bringing worship of her goddess back into the public eye. Those things are classic tropes, and are well done, but are still kind of done a lot in stories.

Campaign 2 feels a lot more like real people going through these crazy events, with their own failings and successes, and trying to make their way through a world filled with tons of other powerful figures each having their own goals. There are times when the classic good vs. evil come up, and it a lot of fun (love the Iron Shepherds arc), but overall it is way less tropey than C1, for better or worse. Still love both groups though!
 

Wunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,655
Disclaimer: I mean no offense to anyone or anything here: Campaign 1/Vox Machina was a good time, but also incredibly generic overall - party plays the heroes of the world, making allies with everyone and fighting the obvious bad guys. Party members include the edgey orphaned rogue, the horny bard, the dumb brute barbarian, the idealist treehugger druid, the self-important sorcerer, and the special one cleric who is solely responsible for bringing worship of her goddess back into the public eye. Those things are classic tropes, and are well done, but are still kind of done a lot in stories.

Campaign 2 feels a lot more like real people going through these crazy events, with their own failings and successes, and trying to make their way through a world filled with tons of other powerful figures each having their own goals. There are times when the classic good vs. evil come up, and it a lot of fun (love the Iron Shepherds arc), but overall it is way less tropey than C1, for better or worse. Still love both groups though!
Agreed, it also really irks me when CR fans think the cast came up with these characters/tropes wholly on their own and act as if someone is copying Vox Machina for having the dumb goliath barbarian or an edge lord rogue who throws daggers.
 

deprecated

Member
Apr 15, 2019
301
Liam really has done a great job committing to both the good and bad parts of Caleb's character. I am very invested in the M9, probably more than I was with VM to be honest, but I kind of want to see what would happen if they failed here. I don't mean a TPK which would honestly feel more boring then anything else to me. Instead, I'm just curious what would happen if this one chain were broken. Would the M9 be blamed? Would they suddenly become very important as the Empire fully understands the threat they are under? Win or lose the story of this campaign feels like it is changing gears, and it could go in a lot of exciting directions.
This is partly why I don't really think too hard about what's coming up. I can't imagine what a non-TPK failure would look like this late into the adventure. I just know whatever happens it's going to be a lot of fun to watch and a lot of fun to complain about online :)
 

Reinhard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,192
The morale will be at an all time low if they fail at everything: chain breaking, Yasha leaving with Oban, Laughing Hand surviving. Of course Matt will give them a chance to succeed at everything, but he might really stack it against them to make it really difficult to stop Oban from breaking the chain. So we might see them killing the Laughing Hand and saving Yasha but Oban either plane shifts away or "dies" and comes back the next day after succeeding at breaking the chain. It will be sort of like the beginning of the chroma conclave then, with the Chained Oblivion getting closer to breaking through but still 3 or 5 more chains still to go (I don't remember the total).

What will happen if the M9 do their usual and fail at every chain? We can't exactly have a campaign 3 unless Matt creates a new world lol.
 

Arrrammis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
469
I wonder if it will end up being a choice on what they focus on. They can go all in and all work on saving Yasha, but then the chain breaks and the laughing hand survives. Or they can split up and do two of the targets, and it's a bit riskier. So many possibilities, excited to see what Matt has in store!
 

SilkySm00th

Member
Oct 31, 2017
795
Production value was great on Undeadwood. The bartender thing and the editing were a little...off? To me the whole time but everyone was so into it I didn't really mind. The system they were using wasnt bad either but kind if loses its charm when someone "explodes" 5 times on a roll or attack or check and the beat brian can really give em is "yah that worked liked....super good!"

Insanely hyped for this temple throwdown they are marching towards. I wanna see some shit go dooooown before we go to traveller con
 

Sensei

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,144
This weeks episode is the last before the break for thanksgiving so its gonna be epic

edit: also i agree with that other guy, im way more invested in the characters in this campaign... beau is my favorite character across both stories
 

SilentMike03

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,286
Yeah the characters from Season 1 were built off of basic archetypes, but that doesn't make them inherently inferior. Season 2's characters may have more thought put into them, but not all of them hit. We've talked it to death in this thread, but Fjord has been a big swing and a miss and I don't think Taliesin ever figured out what he wanted to do with Molly.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,385
Yeah the characters from Season 1 were built off of basic archetypes, but that doesn't make them inherently inferior. Season 2's characters may have more thought put into them, but not all of them hit. We've talked it to death in this thread, but Fjord has been a big swing and a miss and I don't think Taliesin ever figured out what he wanted to do with Molly.
Molly is amazing in fan art aesthetic, but outside of his intro in the first episode, he was a big fat nothin.

And yeah, Travis doesn't seem to have much of an idea of who he wants Fjord to be. He had a whole thing where the he was pretending to be have a Texan accent and then now he doesn't for reasons? And no one really asked about it?
 

deprecated

Member
Apr 15, 2019
301
Molly is amazing in fan art aesthetic, but outside of his intro in the first episode, he was a big fat nothin.

And yeah, Travis doesn't seem to have much of an idea of who he wants Fjord to be. He had a whole thing where the he was pretending to be have a Texan accent and then now he doesn't for reasons? And no one really asked about it?
At least Molly died so Tal got the chance to try again. To be fair to Travis the whole Texan accent thing was explained in one or two of the episodes in the 60s range? It's not like he just dropped it and nobody cared lol.
 

eyeball_kid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,238
Disclaimer: I mean no offense to anyone or anything here: Campaign 1/Vox Machina was a good time, but also incredibly generic overall - party plays the heroes of the world, making allies with everyone and fighting the obvious bad guys. Party members include the edgey orphaned rogue, the horny bard, the dumb brute barbarian, the idealist treehugger druid, the self-important sorcerer, and the special one cleric who is solely responsible for bringing worship of her goddess back into the public eye. Those things are classic tropes, and are well done, but are still kind of done a lot in stories.

Campaign 2 feels a lot more like real people going through these crazy events, with their own failings and successes, and trying to make their way through a world filled with tons of other powerful figures each having their own goals. There are times when the classic good vs. evil come up, and it a lot of fun (love the Iron Shepherds arc), but overall it is way less tropey than C1, for better or worse. Still love both groups though!
The "Campaign 1 is tired tropes" argument is one I've seen a few people here make. That's fine if you feel that way, but I just think it's a bit dismissive of the talent and effort the cast and Matt put into making those player characters and NPCs unique and feel like old friends to many of us. Also, I was happy to have a bit of popcorn entertainment during C1; it got me through some really rough times.

I like watching Campaign 2, but the story and the characters feel distant. So I kind of feel the opposite of you in that regard. The cast act their asses off (well most of them cough cough) and put in some great performances from time to time, but I just don't feel the emotional connection aside from maybe a couple of them. Even though the stakes are high now, it doesn't feel like the Chroma Conclave. There's nothing at risk, there's no weight. I don't even really feel a bond between the group, probably because most of them act too cool and posturing to actually be honest with each other.
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
Molly is amazing in fan art aesthetic, but outside of his intro in the first episode, he was a big fat nothin.

And yeah, Travis doesn't seem to have much of an idea of who he wants Fjord to be. He had a whole thing where the he was pretending to be have a Texan accent and then now he doesn't for reasons? And no one really asked about it?
I kind of like Fjord's personal story when it is broken down to its basic elements. A Half-Orc orphan develops destructive self image issues based on how he is treated at his orphanage/asylum. He latches onto and idolizes the first person to really treat him well and give him some responsibility. This idolization blinds Fjord to Vandren's flaws, and he develops a slightly warped view of what a "man" or leader is. The ship sinks, and Fjord is really on his own for the first time. To cope he starts to mimic what he thinks a leader should be, both in behavior and voice. This problem is compounded as the M9 forms and some members look to him as an authority figure.

The idea that Fjord is really just someone looking for guidance is actually kind of interesting to me. He's a sailor without a captain, and without that direction he flails and stumbles. Eventually he is either going to find his own voice and direction, or he is going to commit himself to Cad as his voice of the Wildmother. It's in theory a pretty engaging story, the only problem is that it is also a pretty passive story. Fjord will just keep on following Cad and not really develop his own relationship with the Wildmother unless Cad stops him.

The real detraction to Fjord's story is that Travis is big goof at the table. I really like that about him, and he seems to be a hype man for everyone else at the table, supporting all their choices except shopping. It is just that when he is fake screaming in a silly voice, and forgetting things that were said just a few seconds ago it makes the character feel tonally inconsistent.
 

Sensei

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,144
i try not to be negative in here cuz enough people do that already but i dont like fjord at all

i like the idea of fjord but the reality of the character is shit

most of his character development happens on Talks Machina lol
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
i try not to be negative in here cuz enough people do that already but i dont like fjord at all

i like the idea of fjord but the reality of the character is shit

most of his character development happens on Talks Machina lol
His development really has been kind of terrible. I didn't mean to imply he's been particularly good in my last post. He isn't my least favorite member of the group, but he is pretty low for me. I might be a little biased because I am playing a Warlock and am having a blast with the class, but outside of that really kind of empty pirate story he doesn't really bother me. He has had some pretty cool moments in combat, and one or two pretty great RP moments. I think I mostly like him when he is interacting with Beau, Cad, and Nott.

The concept of being a passive guy caught up in false gods and political intrigue is good, but the time to be passive is pretty much over. The cast is finally dropping their walls and being open with each other. At some point he either needs to reckon with what he did for his patron, or he needs to confront the lingering elements of his past. If neither happens the character will wind up being a bit of a write off for me.
 

Stantastic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,781
I kind of like Fjord's personal story when it is broken down to its basic elements. A Half-Orc orphan develops destructive self image issues based on how he is treated at his orphanage/asylum. He latches onto and idolizes the first person to really treat him well and give him some responsibility. This idolization blinds Fjord to Vandren's flaws, and he develops a slightly warped view of what a "man" or leader is. The ship sinks, and Fjord is really on his own for the first time. To cope he starts to mimic what he thinks a leader should be, both in behavior and voice. This problem is compounded as the M9 forms and some members look to him as an authority figure.

The idea that Fjord is really just someone looking for guidance is actually kind of interesting to me. He's a sailor without a captain, and without that direction he flails and stumbles. Eventually he is either going to find his own voice and direction, or he is going to commit himself to Cad as his voice of the Wildmother. It's in theory a pretty engaging story, the only problem is that it is also a pretty passive story. Fjord will just keep on following Cad and not really develop his own relationship with the Wildmother unless Cad stops him.

The real detraction to Fjord's story is that Travis is big goof at the table. I really like that about him, and he seems to be a hype man for everyone else at the table, supporting all their choices except shopping. It is just that when he is fake screaming in a silly voice, and forgetting things that were said just a few seconds ago it makes the character feel tonally inconsistent.
Yeah i definitely agree with this.

Around the end of the pirate arc fjord said one little tidbit that was so interesting to me and i wish it had been more aparent/focused on.

it was him saying that he had been chasing the entire UkaToa affair because it felt like his last connection to vandren and just hoped it would lead him back to him.

That idea, following any thread no matter how unwise, in a desperate and somewhat childish search for guidance, seemed super compelling.

To bad it lasted about half a sentence.

There's a lot of potential with fjord but it just seems to be squandered constantly.
 

ArkkAngel007

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,624
VM may have been cliche archetypes, but at least their development stuck and progressed.

How often has the M9 backtracked on their words and previous deeds for laughs? How often have they gone on holding patterns for that reason or for being shy of the spotlight? It's hard to get engaged or invested in these characters when only half of them stick to what they do/have done.

Just hoping for more out of Beau and Fjord at this point.
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,342
VM may have been cliche archetypes, but at least their development stuck and progressed.

How often has the M9 backtracked on their words and previous deeds for laughs? How often have they gone on holding patterns for that reason or for being shy of the spotlight? It's hard to get engaged or invested in these characters when only half of them stick to what they do/have done.

Just hoping for more out of Beau and Fjord at this point.
VM backslid a fair bit too though. It took a dragon apocalypse for some characters to even really develop. I think the M9 have had some good emotional development. Their relationships among each member of the group have consistently grown and solidified. It took a while, but the group is mostly pretty honest with each other.

Now we just need them to grow as people. I think some of that will only come from the group being held to a higher standards by the world around them. The M9 are pretty content to just shrug and say they're screw ups, but at some point someone they care about is going to get fed up with that. At least I hope so. One of these days the M9 are going to have a spotlight shined on them, and they're going to have to actually engage with the higher powers rather then hide from them.
 

ArkkAngel007

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,624
beau has grown more than any character
There's a lot of development out there (could argue Jester has developed a bit more in the background), but it doesn't stick. Their antics at the Zadash Archive (and Port Damali and Rexxentrum) she spearheaded was a huge step back that, were it not for all the time spent in the HFB, I wish Matt and Marisha could have gone through her dealing with that instead of the handwave. That said, Marisha did really well in having Beau apologize and course correct a bit.

So we'll see how well it goes. I love the characters. It's just sometimes I get a bit peeved that they choose the worst possible times to throw all the development out the window or get cold feet.
 

vastag

Member
Oct 26, 2017
470
beau has grown more than any character
I agree, Marisha has been great with Beau. I think that individual incidents like the ones mentioned like ArkkAngel007 are the typical shenanigans that you can expect in a D&D game. Sometimes you mess around just because you are having fun with your friends, characters be dammed. Also, some players clearly care more thant others about the "psychological context" of their players. Travis clearly loves to play and explore locations and doen't usually explore too much his characters' motivations. And is completely OK, not all players want the same from the game.