Critical Role is a series on Twitch produced by Geek & Sundry where (famous) voice actors Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Ashley Johnson, Sam Riegel and Matthew Mercer play Dungeons & Dragons. Sometimes there are guests players and they are all always AMAZING.
They are all very close friends (some are spouses and married) and had this D&D campaign even before it started being broadcasted. Matthew is the Dungeon Master. Everyone is always in-character during the games, thanks to their talent, the voices and acting and RP is TOP NOTCH and you cry and laugh a lot.
The episodes can be up to 4 hours long sometimes, and there is 110 episodes so far (roughly the same length as a TV show with 7 seasons). It’s very intimidating, but you can also just listen to it and not watch them.. although (and i’m not even biased when I say that) watching Laura Bailey react to everything is like, one of the best thing about CR. Also the physical acting is sometimes important! The show is being uploaded in podcast form tho!
It’s broadcasted every Thursdays on Twitch, and then the episodes are added to Youtube on Mondays.
Who’s in the Party aka Vox Machina (some things will be left unsaid to avoid spoilers):
Vex’ahlia (Vex) played by Laura Bailey *harp music*
Half-Elf Ranger. Went from Neutral Good to Chaotic Neutral, and currently is Chaotic Good. Vax’s twin sister. She has a bear named Trinket whom she loves more than anything in the whole world (tie with Vax, probably). She winks a lot and flirts with everybody. SHE LOVES MONEY. A good person but sometimes does questionable things like lying and stealing. Self-worth issues. Lowkey bisexual, only kinda confirmed off-screen.
Vax’ildan (Vax) played by Liam O’Brien
Half-Elf Rogue. Chaotic Good. resident emo boy, but also a Soft Boy. Vex’s twin brother. Very emotional. A bit obsessed with Death. Depressed. Loves to prank Grog, and would die (literally) for his twin sister. Bros with Grog and Scanlan. Loves to braid hair. An actual bird. Canon bisexual.
Grog Strongjaw played by Travis Willingham
Goliath Barbarian. Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral? VERY TALL. Has an intelligence of 6. Pike’s best friend. Thinks water is poison (but not anymore, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). The cutest murder machine. Fighting is like yoga for him. LOVES women and brothels. Also ale.
Pike Trickfoot played by Ashley Johnson
Gnome Cleric. Chaotic Good. The Mom friend. Grog’s best friend. Loves the goddess of Light and Healing, Sarenrae, whom she is a cleric of. She will swing her holy mace in your face if you threaten her friends. An actual angel?? Played by an actual angel? Plays only when she isn’t busy on the set of Blindspot.
Keyleth played by Marisha Ray
Half-Elf druid. Neutral Good. Percy’s best friend. Basically The Avatar. Most powerful member of the party. Vox Machina’s moral compass, she is 90% of their impulse control. Very wise but very socially awkward. (Spoilers) She jumped off a cliff, turned into a goldfish and died that one time. She’s okay tho. She loves the twins. She loves all of her friends tbh. Gets arrested a lot??. Scared about her future. Lowkey bisexual, kinda confirmed off-screen.
Lord Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III (Percy) played by Taliesin Jaffe
Human Gunslinger (Fighter). Neutral Good. Keyleth’s best friend. A little bit haunted. Obsessed with contracts and demons tbh. THE SMARTEST BOY. Build a lot of impressive stuff. Sometimes he makes jewelry for the party out of sea shells or dragon scales. Talks fancy. Loves explosions. Has PTSD.
Scanlan Shorthalt played by Sam Riegel
Gnome Bard. Neutral Good or Chaotic good? Unsure. Probably Chaotic Good. Bros with Vax and Grog. Really fancies Pike. A player. Has a lot of issues but hides behind humor. The funniest and most talented. Is often naked. Very loyal. A complex character. He doesn’t like Trinket. Canonically not Straight. Probably Pan??
Taryon Darrington (Tary) played by Sam Riegel (for a while)
Human Alchemist. Alignment?? He’s a good boy. A REAL DIVA. Rich. Super smart. Has an automaton named Doty who writes down his adventures. Vex’s best friend. Bros with Percy. His arc was brief but he started as a pompous brat and ended being a soft and loyal member. Scared easily. Loves being an adventurer. Canonically very gay.
Beloved NPCs, played by Matthew Mercer (but only some of them because Matt plays over 100+ NPCs)
SHAUN GILMORE. Human. The prettiest and (canonically) gayest shopkeeper in all the lands. Actually an incredibly powerful sorcerer. Had a crush on Vax and vice versa.
Allura Vysoren. Human. Very graceful and smart. Amazing arcanist (wizard). Vox Machina’s number one emergency contact tbh. She loves Kima, in a gay way. Canonically bisexual.
Lady Kima of Vord. Halfling Paladin. She serves the deity Bahamut, The Platinum Dragon. Small but will kick everyone’s ass. Sassy. Will kill you if you prank her. Butch Icon. Loves Allura very much. Canonically very gay.
/!\ SPOILERY NPCs /!\ :
J’mon Sa Ord. Nonbinary. SO ELEGANT. Barefoot at all times. Kind of tired of Vox Machina’s shit, but is still fond of them nonetheless. Spoilers x1000: Actually a (good) Dragon. The coolest sovereign. I’m in love.
Cassandra De Rolo. Human. Percy’s sister. Is running a kingdom while her brother is out and about shooting at bad dragons. NEEDS A FUCKING NAP. LET HER SLEEP, MATT.
Characters came and went (Tiberius Stormwind played by Orion Acaba for example) and some guests come back more often than the others, but this is getting way too long so let’s stop here.
Honestly, CR is the best thing I’ve ever watched. I never laugh as much as I do in front of a TV as I do in front of CR. Same for surprise and tears and stress and everything a show can make you feel. It’s truly something else.
**That show is THE SHIT and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should before reading this post b/c spoilers
Aries: Toph- she’s confident (but also kind of insecure), impulsive, never backs down from a challenge, stubborn, selfish, and innovative (metalbending, hello?)
Taurus: Iroh- he’s a super chill dude, wise, comes off as lazy but is actually super competent, stands by his principles, and enjoys the sensual side of life
Gemini: Aang- he has issues with confrontation, is curious to a fault, addicted to pranks, uses deception/manipulation to resolve conflict (remember The Great Divide?) and is THE epitome of an evolved, self-realized gemini
Cancer: Appathe cabbage merchant- cries a lot, is really attached to his cabbages, just a super sad dude all around
Leo: Roku- (in his younger days) he was kind of a show off, maintained his honor and reputation while striving to do the right thing, was loyal to a fault (which is why he didn’t kill sozin when he should have) overall a good guy
Virgo: Sokka- he’s intelligent, analytical, self-critical, hard-working, gets anxious when he’s in the spotlight, and has a bit of an inferiority complex
Libra: Katara- she has a strong sense of justice, can easily see both sides of an issue (which is why she was the first to reach out to zuko), is both logical and romantic, and basically “balances” relationships in the group, holding everyone together
Scorpio: Zuko- the poster-child for Suffering™, constantly tries to reconcile his inner darkness with his natural propensity to be good, experienced pain, humiliation, and betrayel, but comes out of the ashes as a better person
Sagittarius: Ty Lee- literally just out here to have a good time; she’s a little flighty and unpredictable, comes off as silly/vapid though she’s actually pretty smart and a little scared deep down, and she will take impulsive risks when she has to (turning on Azula in season 3)
Capricorn: Azula- she’s cold, ruthless, cynical, efficient, and will use any means to accomplish her goals; she plays on people’s insecurities to manipulate them- Azual’s a great example of the darker expression of Capricorn
Aquarius: Suki- says “fuck you” to gender roles, is capable and independent, very unique but prides herself in belonging a group (the kyoshi warriors)
Pisces: Princess Yue- comes off as sweet, vulnerable, and otherworldly, but has unshakable principles and inner strength; not afraid to sacrifice herself for the greater good- Yue is one of the higher expressions of the Piscean martyr archetype