*dms

Myself, a bard: “I cast summon instrument and summon a pipe organ.”
DM: “……. I’ll allow it only because I take pity on all your shitty rolls today.
You are in full cover, so the giant can not see or directly hit you.”
Me: “I use bardic performance to fascinate the giant.”
DM: “It has to see you for that to work, but you’re behind a pipe organ; I’ll let you reconsider your action.”
Me: “Fuck, in and out of character!”
Me: “…”
Me: “…”
Me: “Alright, fuck it. You guys enjoy the fight. I cast daze on myself.”
DM: “You have five hit dice. It only works on creatures with four or fewer.”
Me: “FUCK!!”
At this point the paladin is laughing his ass off, the rogue has disappeared, and the Druid is two turns from death.

WHAT IS CRITICAL ROLE AND WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT

Critical Role follows the story of Vox Machina, a ragtag group of misfits in a high fantasy setting who are all so, so flawed but, with their powers combined, keep on saving the day and (usually) making the world a better place!! Each character is played by a professional voice actor (it has been quite rightly called “improv theater with dice”) and this post is written for folks who’ve never played a tabletop RPG. Please watch/listen to Critical Role. Please.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK? 

Well, there’s the player characters, and the DM (Dungeon Master). The players are confronted with a situation put in front of them by the DM, which can be anything from “a monster attacks you” to “a man jumps up from a nearby table in the tavern, points at you, and starts screaming about how you killed his wife,” and then the player must react in an in-character kind of way! Hence the “improv theater” part of it! All of the players AND the DM in Critical Role are, again, professional voice actors, so they’re pretty fucking good at that. It’s more or less an improvised radio play where the success or failure of an action is based on luck, aka the roll of a die. It can be anything from whether or not you can persuade someone to give you a 5% discount on potions, to if you can fight off a charm forcing you to try and kill all your friends. Good times.

And the story the DM, Matt Mercer, puts together is so fucking good that professional writer people like Patrick Rothfuss are huge fans (and he actually came on as a guest for an episode). I’ve laughed til I cried and I’ve cried because of the FEELINGS. It’s so good. It’s so good, you guys.

So, let’s get to the actual show, shall we? This is easiest to share if you watch THIS, which is the official character intros created by the actor folks. BUT I’M GONNA GIVE YOU A RUNDOWN ANYWAY! In alphabetical order!!! IT’S REALLY LONG BECAUSE I LOVE THEM ALL.

vox machina 4 lyfe

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From the same people and same session that brought you the DM saying to the Barbarian “In a fit of player rage, you miss”, we bring you more bullshit from a very powerful group of idiotic heroes. Underdark style this time!

So, the team consisted of two players and two NPCs controlled by the DM. They are as follows:
- A high elf monk who is like 500 years old and follows the Way of the Open Palm.
- A Draconic Bloodline human sorcerer who’s like…19. He’s also of gold dragon origin.
- The two NPCs were both drow, one an assassin and one a multiclassed sorcerer/warlock.

I have two amazing quotes from this session.

The first one is about the dragon sorc’s class. I honestly forget what the build-up was, though I’m sure it was the sorclock asking about him and it spiraling downwards from there. Here’s the quote though:
Monk: You’re a wizard!
Sorcerer: Actually, I’m a sorcerer.
Monk: Well, you’re an arcanist of some sort then.
Sorcerer: Well, most prefer arsonist, but…

The second one requires a little bit of detail about the events that just happened when it was said. I, the DM, set up an encounter against a level 20 death cleric, and the assassin and monk were trying to talk some sense into him (the assassin more-so threatening his life if he refused to listen). By that point, the sorclock had left so she had no say in what was going on. So, once they finally got him to start listening, the dragon sorcerer decided “I’m gonna attack him anyway” and did. With three spells. At once.

The battle ended very quickly afterwards, but not without me getting a sizable chunk of necrotic damage on the sorcerer. Anyways, the conversation was as follows:

Sorcerer (OOC): So did you like my combo?
DM (me): As a person, I appreciated it. As a DM, fuck you.

Needless to say I’m hesitant to ever let the player of the dragon sorcerer EVER play that character again.

The Limerick Bard Makes a Friend

So first and foremost: Yes, this campaign is still going. Second: one of the GM’s friends joined in and rolled a paladin that is kind of like a classic samurai in attitude.

GM: [giving the rundown of the characters] He’s a druid and has a wolf as his animal companion. She’s the party rogue, formerly of the circus, and in training to become a thief-acrobat. His barbarian’s name is “Nectar”, pronounced “Nek-Tarr”. Don’t get it wrong. And he’s… a bard. He speaks entirely in limericks.

Paladin: Why?

GM: I didn’t want him to play a bard so I set an impossible standard for him to meet and he met it.

Paladin: Holy fuck that’s amazing.

[Fast forward to when we actually meet the paladin in game.]

GM: You come across the warrior in the clearing, surrounded by a ring of bandit corpses. She cleans off her single-edged sword and sheathes it with a practiced meticulousness. She hears your approach and rises from her station.

Paladin: The battle was long.
              I fear I killed far too much.
              Do not judge me. Please.

Nectar: This is a mighty warrior indeed! What do you call yourself? Will you fight with us?

Paladin: My name is Elya.
              Tell me: Do your cause be just?
              If so: I will fight.

Druid: We seek to kill necromancers and their undead legions. What cause can be more just than that?

Paladin: Stand with you, I will.
              So, in carnage, I shall bloom,
              Like flowers at dawn.

Bard: That verse, I know it true.
          I don’t mean to offend you,
          But would it be crime
          To call your rhyme
          The verse known as “haiku”?

DM: [Looks over at his friend] I swear, if you do this, you’re dead to me.

Paladin: You’re trained in your craft
              To recognize ancient form.
              I like you, indeed.

Bard (OOC): Booyah! Poetry prevails

DM: I am going to find an excuse to kill both of you, I swear.