We are just five months out from The World Of Critical Role releasing to the world. And two very huge things have been officially announced.
Up first: the cover. When the book was originally announced, this was the temporary cover we got:
But the final cover has been revealed, and it’s both beautiful and already lets you see what you’ll get to read about within the book:
And over on Critical Role’s Instagram, they posted a pretty awesome video revealing the book’s official cover art:
Chapter 1 Revealed
The other thing that was revealed was the book’s first chapter. Variety revealed it, and you can read it below and on the next page:
“Don’t Kill My Sister. What Is Going On?!?”
A group of friends is gathered around a table, littered with papers and minis and dice and beer bottles and the remains of a veggie tray. They talk wildly, voices overlapping and rising as they start to panic, because:
A group of adventurers is in a tower, and the tower is falling.
The friends and the adventurers are the same, and yet they are worlds apart. This is the wonder of the game.
Laura Bailey is a voice actor. She is also Vex, a half-elven archery expert with a pet bear named Trinket. She is at the table, clutching at her hair and staring at the papers in front of her for inspiration. She is also in the tower, riding a too-slow platform toward the ground as the stones around her begin to shake. Four of her party members have already escaped using magic. All the others, including her twin brother Vax, could possibly rappel out of a window. But Trinket can’t hold a rope, Vex will not leave her bear, and the others will not leave her.
At the far end of the table, Matthew Mercer begins to speak, cutting through the crosstalk. “Percy, Vex, Vax, Grog are all on the slow elevator. You still have probably another 300 feet to the ground, when the tower lurches—” He makes a convincing stony impact sound, “KRRRRSH,” and jerks his body to the side, somehow embodying both the tower and the shaken people inside it in one motion. Because this is also the wonder of the game: everyone at the table is a person in another world, except for Matt. Matt is the other world. He is everyone they meet and every place they go. Matt is the Dungeon Master, and right now, he is the tower, and the tower is falling.
The platform breaks and goes into free fall. Liam O’Brien has an idea, and so his character, Vax, also has an idea. Vax tied a rope above, as the tower began to fall. He is holding the free end in his hand, and some of them can try to grab it. “Hold this rope with me!” Liam shouts to the table, Vax shouts to his friends in the tower.
Matt claps his hands together: to business. “All of you make a dexterity check,” he commands. This is the way the world works. The people at the table declare what they want their other selves in the tower to do. But wanting doesn’t make it so, not in any world. So they roll dice. Depending on their rolls, Matt, the voice of the world, decides what happens.
Vax is already holding the rope, so Liam doesn’t have to roll. Travis Willingham, who is also Grog, rolls well. Taliesin Jaffe, who is also Percy, rolls badly. So does Laura. Laura also rolls poorly for Trinket, who, being a bear, has a slim chance of success regardless of the result. Grog grabs the rope. Vex and Percy and Trinket fall. They’re out of ideas, and Liam knows it.