Dungeons & Dragons was always a tabletop game I wanted to try, but I never made the time and it remained a “maybe one day” thought in the back of my mind. That all changed about a year ago when a friend recommended I watch the web series Critical Role.
Critical Role is streamed live every Thursday night on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch channel and features voice actors Matthew Mercer, Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham and Ashley Johnson playing Dungeons & Dragons. The series follows a campaign that the friends started before the show, and each episode lasts about three to five hours, which you can watch live or after the stream. From the brilliant dungeon master Mercer to all the talented players, every aspect of this series inspired me to finally jump in and join a group to play Dungeons & Dragons. The combat is thrilling, the world is captivating, and the characters played by these actors are far from one-dimensional. You’ll come to love the non-player characters as much as the main party!
The role-playing might be my favorite part of the show. Yes, these are actors, so they’re going to be good at bringing these characters to life, but the complexity and depth they bring to them showed me what was possible in D&D. It inspires me to try harder when role-playing in my own game, even with my extreme lack of acting ability. They explore things I never would have thought about exploring in a tabletop game and the diversity and representation present has introduced me to characters I feel I can relate to more than those in most mainstream media.
Honestly, it’s also just plain fun to watch, so even if you’re not sure if you’d like watching other people play Dungeons & Dragons you should give it a try. Trust me, before you know it you’ll be asking yourself one important question every week: Is it Thursday yet?