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haldir

Should I care about Critical Role?

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10 minutes ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

I wondered too and then just a couple of days ago I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole and ended watch a man react to watching Aerosmith for the first time.  So I was watch a video of a guy watching a video.

get out of that rabbit hole.. 1st its reaction videos  than its ranking videos and before you know it you will be waiting for Mr Beast latest giveawy video to drop

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I mean these things are no less valid than, say, MST3K.

 

 

And I would mich rather watch people reacting to the Nostalgia Critic's "review" of The Wall than watch the cringefest itself.

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35 minutes ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

I wondered too and then just a couple of days ago I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole and ended watch a man react to watching Aerosmith for the first time.  So I was watch a video of a guy watching a video.

 

I've done that (though with different groups). Not so different from the videos showing yutes trying to figure out dial phones.

 

At this point, I'm pretty much past caring about whether anyone, anywhere approves of my video watching preferences. And reaction videos satisfy some of the same impulses as showing a video to a friend and watching her face when it gets to the good parts.

 

23 minutes ago, amuller33 said:

get out of that rabbit hole.. 1st its reaction videos  than its ranking videos and before you know it you will be waiting for Mr Beast latest giveawy video to drop

 

Nah, we have Reaper videos to watch and wait for giveaways. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, amuller33 said:

CR the videocast is not for me, but its good for me.

This - so much this. 

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To be fair, I think there was at least 1 other D&D 5e book who got #1 Book on Amazon when it was released. But yes, combination of D&D fans and CR fans all buying this should be good. 

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I have never watched Critical Role.

 

I don't have strong opinions about the existence of Critical Role.

 

I do, however, have strong opinions about the fact that I don't have an interest in learning about/gaming in yet another new setting.

 

I hope that the model won't be for every sourcebook to introduce a new setting.

 

I hope that they also expand on previously introduced settings.

 

The sourcebooks for Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft (if you count Curse of Strahd as a Ravenloft sourcebook), and Ravnica felt sparse.

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16 hours ago, haldir said:

So the next 5e hardback is a sourcebook from Critical Role. I know it's a webcast but is there anything I should really know about it? I generally don't watch people playing D&D online.

 

The book might be interesting, if you like to look at different campaign settings. Mercer does a good job fleshing out his setting. As @Cranky Dog said, it is as well developed as other campaign settings. Some of the classes he develops may be unbalanced (or seemed so to me when I last saw one he was developing, but I haven't watched in over a year).

 

As for the webcast, it's entertainment, which means it can be quite divisive. It isn't perfect. Some things are great about it, others may make you cringe. I mostly enjoyed the 1st campaign, but lost interest early during the 2nd and stopped watching. Your enjoyment may vary.

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I watched an interview with Mercer yesterday about it.  He says he wrote the book to work as a campaign setting for anyone even if they aren't fans of the show, though I'm sure fans will probably get more out of it.

 

Still, looks like it has some interesting stuff, including a new kind of magic.

 

The show itself... I've only watched a little bit of it.  I'd say the actors are incredible, though they're all voice actors professionally, if I recall.  And Matt is certainly an accomplished DM.  But I still can't help but find it pretty boring.  I enjoy D&D a ton when I'm part of the action, but Critical Roll is pretty much entirely unedited, streamed D&D.  

 

 

Personally, I find Adventure Zone to be a lot more enjoyable.  It's edited down enough to keep the pace usually pretty well.  Though they're kinda terrible at the rules of the game, they just generally don't take themselves too seriously, and I think they're pretty funny.  But I guess if you want to see D&D played as a game, to the book, these kind of antics might annoy you.

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1 hour ago, ManvsMini said:

As for the webcast, it's entertainment, which means it can be quite divisive. It isn't perfect. Some things are great about it, others may make you cringe. I mostly enjoyed the 1st campaign, but lost interest early during the 2nd and stopped watching. Your enjoyment may vary.

Exactly.

 

Like any TV show, some people love the format, some hate it, some are meh. It may take a few episodes for the story to really get going as the players slowly flesh out their characters. Again, it's not unlike the first season of many TV shows, you slowly get to know the whole vibe of the series. The series may improve, or not. You may get hooked, or not, or only for a while, etc.

 

Myself, I started watching CR with campaign 2. Watched the first episode. Wasn't sure. By the the third or fourth episode, I was hooked. Once I catch up, I'll go and slowly watch their first campaign (hopefully in time for when their animated series starts on Amazon Prime).

 

I'm reminded of Star Trek the Next Generation (or DS9; Voyager; Enterprise). The first season was often very cringe worthy compared to later seasons. And then you have episodes who become iconic gems in their respective lore. For others, I'm reminded of X-Files or Lost where the story always felt like it was leading up to something amazing, but turned into such a mess of convoluted unresolved story lines that there was no way to have a satisfying end and ultimately a let down.

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Just my opinion of course, but I get the impression that CR is how the Powers That Be in D&D think we are 'supposed" to be playing D&D, wherein The Adventure Zone and Harmonquest are how people actually play D&D- and I would watch/listen to them over CR any time.

 

That said Matt Mercer is undeniably an expert DM, and there is no denying that professional voice actors can do a good job of roleplaying their characters.

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39 minutes ago, GHarris said:

That said Matt Mercer is undeniably an expert DM, and there is no denying that professional voice actors can do a good job of roleplaying their characters.

 

They do the acting part very well, which is logical, but they also seem to be well prepared in terms of RP elements of their characters (not so much in the rules) and are ususally very engaged in the story. That's stuff that's independant of their profession or skill level as an actor. 

They interact a lot from player to player without needing the DM to carry every social interaction. And, to me most importantly, some of the episodes are good examples in RPG table manners. There are sessions that are heavily focussed on one character. The other players usually stand back, leave that player their moment and even actively supporting that/showing facial expression that indicate they're still engaged in the story. Same goes for general respect for the DMs story, world and roleplaying moments, which he clearly enjoys for himself. 

So if that's the most successful D&D show out there, I'm glad it's one that shows positive social contact and a generally nice atmosphere. I feel like it breaks down barriers into "who D&D is for" and "what kind of people play D&D". 

 

Also, not every person who likes D&D has the chance to play, or play as often as they'd like to. 

Edited by Nunae
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8 minutes ago, Nunae said:

They interact a lot from player to player without needing the DM to carry every social interaction. And, to me most importantly, some of the episodes are good examples in RPG table manners. There are sessions that are heavily focused on one character. The other players usually stand back, leave that player their moment and even actively supporting that/showing facial expression that indicate they're still engaged in the story. Same goes for general respect for the DMs story, world and roleplaying moments, which he clearly enjoys for himself.

Indeed, CR's style of game is extremely character driven and works well for sandbox type campaigns. It doesn't work as well with published adventures where the characters are dropped in and their backgrounds are mostly irrelevant.

 

Even Matt Mercer regularly mentions in interviews that his style, while admired by many, is not the end all of DMing styles. Far from it. And that this style is what works for their group. Different groups, different objectives, different styles.

 

They have the same overall philosophy as most of us. If you're having fun, you're doing it right.

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1 hour ago, GHarris said:

Just my opinion of course, but I get the impression that CR is how the Powers That Be in D&D think we are 'supposed" to be playing D&D, wherein The Adventure Zone and Harmonquest are how people actually play D&D- and I would watch/listen to them over CR any time.

Hardly.

They've had people from Adventure Zone on their shows and as guests at their live events.

 

WOTC hosts a diverse number of Actual Play streams on their Twitch channel, and have their own flagship show coming in March called D&D Presents, DMed by Chris Perkins.

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43 minutes ago, Cranky Dog said:
1 hour ago, Nunae said:

They interact a lot from player to player without needing the DM to carry every social interaction. And, to me most importantly, some of the episodes are good examples in RPG table manners. There are sessions that are heavily focused on one character. The other players usually stand back, leave that player their moment and even actively supporting that/showing facial expression that indicate they're still engaged in the story. Same goes for general respect for the DMs story, world and roleplaying moments, which he clearly enjoys for himself.

Indeed, CR's style of game is extremely character driven and works well for sandbox type campaigns. It doesn't work as well with published adventures where the characters are dropped in and their backgrounds are mostly irrelevant.

While the style is hard to copy, the etiquette still sets a good example imho. 

I play a published campaign, and we don't play through a lot of the characters backstorys or whatever, but there are still arcs, puzzles or enemys one player clicks more with than the others. And when the quiet cleric player finally finds some godly artifact and is excited about that, it's nice is the other players can it enjoy it for them. I've seen it often that one player gets overpowered by another, be it due to "I have the higher score for that" or because they also get excited and don't realise it might be their time to stand back. Or they think the interaction another player was enjoying is stupid and kill the NPC.
I respect them even more for that since I actually played myself (instead of DMing), since I too suffer from that "uuuhhh, I want to talk to that NPC/solve that problem!" instinct and need to stop myself to give everyone a chance to be the main character for a while.

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7 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Hardly.

They've had people from Adventure Zone on their shows and as guests at their live events.

 

WOTC hosts a diverse number of Actual Play streams on their Twitch channel, and have their own flagship show coming in March called D&D Presents, DMed by Chris Perkins.

 

The shows aren't an either/or situation, you can like both and there is no reason why stars from one show can't visit another. It's like Supernatural and Scooby Doo- they are very different shows, and you can like one a little bit more than the other but still appreciate when the other show is on, but if there is a crossover something magic can happen!

 

My impressions that WOTC favors one style of play comes from the changes and "feedback" that led to Seasons 8 and 9 of Adventurers League, but it's just my opinion. 

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