REVIEW: The World Of Critical Role

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Five years ago, an internet phenomenon was born. Geek And Sundry launched Critical Role, a live-play Dungeons And Dragons show that revolutionized Dungeons and Dragons streaming on Twitch. Since then the show and the cast have gone through changes. Some changes including moving on from Geek And Sundry, even the most successful Kickstarter for an animated project. The biggest change: their animated series getting picked up by Amazon Prime Video. Then there’s the book from Ten Speed Press. The World Of Critical Role chronicles the story behind the series and more.

From the outside, this book seems like it’s going to be another autobiography, but it’s so much more than that. This chronicles the show, gives inside details that fans didn’t even know about, and so much more. One section I love is the “Character Creation Never Stops” section. 

Reprinted from THE WORLD OF CRITICAL ROLE. Copyright© 2020 by Gilmore’s Glorious Goods, LLC. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Character Creation Never Stops

It talks through what each character from both last campaign and this campaign were doing with items and magic. It includes everything else they had in their arsenal to further their stories. What was also interesting about that section was what each cast member had to say regarding building more layers onto their characters. 

It was interesting to hear about Taliesin Jaffe talking about his first campaign.

Percy’s Guns were always meant to be about Devil’s Bargains. A lot of people have been smart enough to build excruciatingly evil things with a surprising amount of knowledge about how dangerous these things are and how negatively they’re going to affect the world, and I’ve always been fascinated by personalities who accept that deal.

One of the more surprising things was getting more insight into the Vestiges of Divergence. Which are “a storied set of legendary items that can evolve along with the players that carry them”. These weapons were powerful and deadly when taking on a wide array of enemies, Dragons being one of them. 

CR’s Dungeon Master Matt Mercer had mentioned that: 

Switching out Magic Items is one of the big parts of D&D. Upgrading your original items with new items that you find as you go. But I’ve always been slightly frustrated or sad whenever there’s a magical item that a player finds in a game that is very cool, and it kind of becomes part of that player’s persona and personality, and then they have to just discard it.

Other Details

Aside from learning about how to continue working on character creation, the book also has interviews with the cast from Liz Marsham, lots of photographs by Ray Kachatorian, and illustrations by Oliver Berrett. 

One of the other bigs things the book talks about about the fan base. Affectionately knows as the Critters, the CR fanbase is one of the most supportive and creative fanbases ever. All of the fan artists, the singers, and everyone else who contributes as well are all amazing.

This book celebrates the show, the cast, the characters, and the fans as well. And for the newer fans of the show, they will be able to learn a lot from reading this.

You can buy the book here.

So what do you think about The World Of Critical Role?

For more on Critical Role, D&D, or any other general pop culture, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show for more.

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