Critical role has climbed high heights in popularity across the D&D fandom. Matthew Mercer, voice actor extraordinaire, dungeon master, and an all-around great guy has teamed up with some other famous faces/voices to create a televised campaign of the popular tabletop game D&D.
Their adventure started in improv campaigns streamed live and now has been animated and televised due to popularity and success.
Lets meet this diverse band of merry adventurers
Vox Machina aptly named after the Latin word for a sound machine is a nod to the work the voice actors are carrying out. This adventurer company consists of; Pike (Cleric gnome), Keyleth (Druid), Grog (Goliath barbarian), Scanlan (Bard Gnome), Vax and Vex (Half-elven twins: Rogue and ranger), and my personal favorite Percy (Gunslinger).
The characters are incredibly in-depth with exciting and enriching backstories; Grog is your typical dimwitted barbarian that speaks with his fists, Scanlan a frisky and perpetually horny bard, dependent on the everlight cleric pike, Keyleth an insecure but wholesome druid, Vax a sneaky rogue, and Vex a strong hunter with a bear companion named trinket and the dark and brooding Percy.
For completely different personalities and backgrounds the cast gel well together. This results in some hilarious banter back and forth and additionally, some wholesome scenes. For example, Grog is extremely close to Pike and their friendship is one of dependence and reliance on the other. Additionally, the bond between the twins is strong and reflects into the story.
Matthew Mercer animated also features several cameos throughout the show. Due to him being the dungeon master he does not have a set character in the show.
Dragons, vampires and curses oh my!
The episodes are being released in threes and every week. It would definitely be a series that could be binge-watched continuously but alas, viewers have to wait.
The story begins with a brawl, steamy relations, and an abundance of swear words. After being kicked out of the last Inn in the town, they decide to answer a quest listing from the king looking for mercenaries. This is where the adventure begins.
Some of the very typical scenarios of a D&D campaign are being brought to life. Creating an opportunity for any aspiring or current dungeon master to gain inspiration. Without delving too much into the plot we have had dragons, vampires, curses, and some gory scenes.
D&D tropes featured
The series features several classic D&D tropes. Below is a list without context to avoid spoilers of some of the more common tropes. The series is not finished so there is a small list but If you identify anymore leave a comment below the article!
- Outcasted band of adventures
- Seeking revenge for family genocide
- Horny bard
- Player losing their magic
- Evil political figures
Animated wraiths?? I’m in.
The animation was not terrible by any means. The fight scenes didn’t have any jarring or out-of-place visuals and were quite well presented. There were two specific scenes that stood out in terms of outstanding animation.
Firstly, the character of Percival De Rolo has a sinister side that ebbs out when seeking revenge for the atrocities committed in his backstory. Thus, resulting in the creation of No Mercy, Percy. This consists of spectacular visuals of darkness snaking around Percy like billowing smoke as he puts on a plague doctor mask and executes his targets. Fans prior to the televised animation were exceedingly hyped for no mercy Percy scenes to be animated.
Secondly, praise has to be given to a terrifying scene regarding wraiths. Wraiths are common for instilling fear and this is exactly what the animators achieved with this scene. The mixture of dark colors and foreboding sounds led to a terrifyingly brilliant scene. It distracts from the lighthearted banter that had occurred previously. The scene is included below for viewers to get a sneak peek at what they are in for in regards to animation.
Check it out
So whether you’re an avid fan of D&D or looking for your next guilty pleasure to binge, I would recommend Critical role Vox Machina. There is no shortage of adventure, laughs, and wholesome scenes. As always thanks for reading and checking out the opening to the show down below. Join me in the future for a full review of season one when it is fully released.
25, Scottish, Gaming, writing and cooking 🧑🍳 🎮