A Critical Role Campaign: The Dungeon Master’s Tale

A Critical Role Campaign: The Dungeon Master’s Tale

Introduction: Setting the Scene

Welcome, adventurers, to the epic tale of Critical Role. In this magical land known as Exandria, the greatest quest is to chronicle the adventures of the heroes who have brought this world to life. Your humble Dungeon Master (DM) will guide you through the story of the actors who have made Critical Role a phenomenon. Join us as we delve into their origins, epic battles, and unforgettable moments.

Chapter 1: The Origin Story

Prologue: The Founding of Critical Role

Our tale begins with a group of intrepid voice actors who gathered around a table, not in search of fame, but for the love of the game. The initial spark of what would become Critical Role ignited during a home game of Dungeons & Dragons. This humble beginning would soon grow into something legendary.

critical role dungeons & dragons foundingKey Characters Introduced

Meet the founding adventurers:

  • Matthew Mercer: The Dungeon Master (DM), the architect of the world, weaving stories and challenges for the players.
  • Laura Bailey: A versatile actress who brought characters like Vex’ahlia and Jester Lavorre to life.
  • Travis Willingham: Known for his roles as Grog Strongjaw and Fjord, a true warrior at heart.
  • Marisha Ray: Playing Keyleth and Beauregard, she brought depth and passion to her roles.
  • Taliesin Jaffe: The mastermind behind characters like Percy and Mollymauk, each with their unique flair.
  • Ashley Johnson: Balancing between Pike and Yasha, her performances are both powerful and poignant.
  • Liam O’Brien: With characters like Vax’ildan and Caleb, he added a touch of mystery and intellect.
  • Sam Riegel: Bringing humor and heart with characters like Scanlan and Nott the Brave.

First Adventure

Their first adventure was a home game that quickly grew in popularity. The chemistry and camaraderie of these talented voice actors turned their game into a show that captivated audiences worldwide. The journey from a private game to a streaming sensation marked the beginning of Critical Role.

Chapter 2: Vox Machina – Campaign 1

The Call to Adventure

As our story unfolds, we find ourselves in the first campaign of Critical Role: Vox Machina. This group of adventurers answered the call to adventure, embarking on quests that would test their skills, courage, and bonds.

Key Plot Points

The campaign introduced us to a band of heroes:

  • Vex’ahlia (“Vex”): A half-elf ranger with a keen eye and a loyal companion in her bear, Trinket.
  • Grog Strongjaw: A goliath barbarian with immense strength and a simple, yet endearing, personality.
  • Keyleth: A half-elf druid on a quest to complete her Aramente and become the leader of her people.
  • Percival (“Percy”) Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III: A human gunslinger with a dark past and a thirst for vengeance.
  • Pike Trickfoot: A gnome cleric with a heart of gold and a fierce determination to protect her friends.
  • Vax’ildan (“Vax”): A half-elf rogue with a complicated past and a deep connection to his sister, Vex.
  • Scanlan Shorthalt: A gnome bard with a sharp wit and a penchant for getting into trouble.

critical role dungeons & dragons battlesMajor Story Arcs and Battles

Vox Machina’s journey was filled with epic battles and intricate story arcs, from battling dragons and defeating the Briarwoods to confronting ancient evils like Vecna. Their adventures captivated audiences and set the stage for future campaigns.

Allied NPCs and Guest Adventurers

Throughout their journey, Vox Machina was joined by several notable guest adventurers and allied NPCs:

  • Felicia Day as Lyra: Brought her charm and wit to the campaign.
  • Wil Wheaton as Thorbir Falbek: His character added a new dynamic to the group.
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Zahra Hydris: A powerful warlock with a mysterious past.
  • Patrick Rothfuss as Kerrek: His wisdom and insight were invaluable to the party.
  • Will Friedle as Kashaw Vesh: A cleric with a complex personality and a deep connection to the divine.
  • Noelle Stevenson as Tova: A fierce warrior with a tragic backstory.

Climactic Battle

The campaign’s climax was the epic battle against Vecna, a powerful lich threatening all of Exandria. Vox Machina’s victory was hard-earned, showcasing their growth and unity as a team. Their triumph marked the end of an era but laid the foundation for new adventures.

Chapter 3: The Mighty Nein – Campaign 2

A New Quest Begins

As one story ended, another began. Campaign 2 introduced us to the Mighty Nein, a new group of heroes with their own unique stories and challenges. Their adventures took them across Wildemount, uncovering secrets and facing formidable foes.

New Heroes

Meet the new adventurers of the Mighty Nein:

  • Jester Lavorre: A tiefling cleric with a mischievous spirit and a deep connection to her deity, the Traveler.
  • Fjord: A half-orc warlock/paladin grappling with his mysterious patron and his past.
  • Beauregard (“Beau”) Lionett: A human monk seeking to uncover the truth and find her place in the world.
  • Mollymauk Tealeaf/Caduceus Clay: A tiefling blood hunter with a colorful past and a firbolg cleric with a deep connection to nature.
  • Yasha Nydoorin: An aasimar barbarian haunted by her past and seeking redemption.
  • Caleb Widogast: A human wizard burdened by guilt and striving for knowledge and atonement.
  • Nott the Brave/Veth Brenatto: A goblin/human rogue with a complex history and a fierce loyalty to her friends.

Key Allies and Guest Characters

Along their journey, the Mighty Nein were joined by several guest adventurers who brought their own unique contributions:

  • Ashly Burch as Keg: A hard-drinking dwarf with a troubled past.
  • Khary Payton as Shakäste: A wise and powerful cleric with a mysterious air.
  • Deborah Ann Woll as Twiggy: A mischievous gnome with a knack for getting into trouble.
  • Sumalee Montano as Nila: A firbolg druid with a deep connection to the natural world.
  • Mica Burton as Reani: A bright and spirited aasimar paladin.
  • Mark Hulmes as Calianna: A dragonborn sorcerer with a tragic backstory.

Epic Journeys

The Mighty Nein faced numerous challenges, from battling the Laughing Hand and uncovering the secrets of the Cerberus Assembly to delving into the depths of Aeor. Their adventures were filled with danger, discovery, and moments of profound personal growth.

Chapter 4: Bells Hells – Campaign 3

critical role dungeons & dragons new dawnA New Dawn

The dawn of a new campaign brought fresh faces and new stories. Campaign 3 introduced us to Bells Hells, a group of adventurers navigating the complexities of Exandria with their unique skills and backgrounds.

Fresh Faces

Meet the adventurers of Bells Hells:

  • Imogen Temult: A human sorcerer with a mysterious past and untapped potential.
  • Chetney Pock O’Pea: A gnome blood hunter with a gruff exterior and a heart of gold.
  • Laudna: A warlock/sorcerer with a dark past and a complex relationship with her powers.
  • Ashton Greymoore: An earth genasi barbarian with a rough demeanor and a strong sense of loyalty.
  • Fearne Calloway: A faun druid with a deep connection to the natural world and a playful spirit.
  • Orym: A halfling fighter with a strong sense of duty and a desire to protect those he cares about.
  • Fresh Cut Grass (“FCG”): An aeormaton cleric with a curious and optimistic outlook on life.

Adventuring Parties

Bells Hells were joined by several notable guest adventurers who added their own unique dynamics to the group:

  • Robbie Daymond as Dorian Storm: A charismatic air genasi bard with a love for adventure.
  • Aimee Carrero as Opal: A human warlock with a mysterious past and a deep connection to her patron.
  • Erika Ishii as Yu Suffiad: A complex and intriguing character with a unique perspective.

Current Quests

Bells Hells have embarked on numerous quests, uncovering secrets, battling formidable foes, and forging strong bonds with one another. Their adventures continue to captivate audiences as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of Exandria.

Chapter 5: Special Quests and One-Shots

Side Adventures

Beyond the main campaigns, Critical Role has hosted numerous special episodes and one-shot adventures, each offering a unique glimpse into different corners of the world and featuring a variety of guest stars.

Notable Guests

These special quests have featured an array of notable guests who brought their own flair to the game:

  • Stephen Colbert as Capo: His one-shot for Red Nose Day was a memorable and entertaining adventure.
  • Joe Manganiello as Arkhan the Cruel: A formidable dragonborn paladin with a fearsome reputation.
  • Vin Diesel as Kaulder: Starred in the “D&Diesel” one-shot, bringing his love for D&D to the table.
  • Nathan Fillion, Orlando Jones, Jessica Chobot, and Gina DeVivo: Each brought their own unique contributions to various one-shot adventures.

Unique Stories

These one-shots have featured unique and memorable stories, from the high-stakes heist in “Dalen’s Closet” to the festive chaos of “The Night Before Critmas.” Each special adventure has added to the rich tapestry of Critical Role’s world.

Chapter 6: Exandria Unlimited (EXU)

Spin-off Campaigns

Critical Role expanded its universe with Exandria Unlimited (EXU), a series of spin-off campaigns exploring new stories and characters within the world of Exandria. These campaigns have introduced fresh faces and unique storylines.

New Faces, New Stories

EXU brought together a new cast of adventurers:

  • Aimee Carrero as Opal: A human warlock with a mysterious patron and a drive for adventure.
  • Robbie Daymond as Dorian Storm: A charismatic bard with a love for storytelling and heroism.
  • Anjali Bhimani as Fy’ra Rai: A powerful and enigmatic character with a rich backstory.
  • Matthew Mercer as Dariax: A bold and daring character with a knack for getting into trouble.
  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master: Guided the party through epic adventures in EXU: Calamity.

Significant Arcs

EXU has featured significant story arcs, from the intrigue and danger of Tal’Dorei in the main series to the cataclysmic events of EXU: Calamity. Each arc has added depth and complexity to the world of Exandria.

Chapter 7: The Legacy of Critical Role

critical role dungeons & dragons fansInfluence and Impact

Critical Role has had a profound impact on the D&D community and beyond, inspiring countless fans and creators. The show has brought D&D to a wider audience, showcasing the creativity and camaraderie that the game fosters.

Community and Fandom

The passionate fanbase, known as Critters, has created a vibrant and supportive community. Their creativity is evident in fan art, stories, and cosplays, celebrating the world of Critical Role and its characters.

Future Adventures

As Critical Role continues to evolve, the future holds endless possibilities. New campaigns, adventures, and stories await, promising to captivate and inspire audiences for years to come.

Conclusion: The Ongoing Campaign

The Never-Ending Quest

Like any great D&D campaign, the story of Critical Role is ever-evolving. Each episode, each character, and each adventure adds a new layer to the rich tapestry of Exandria. As long as there are stories to tell, the journey of Critical Role will continue.

Invitation to Adventure

We invite you to join the adventure, whether as a viewer of Critical Role or as a player in your own D&D games. The world of Exandria is vast and filled with wonders, and the greatest stories are yet to be told. Roll for initiative, and let the adventure begin!

Appendix: Character Sheets

Summaries of Key Characters

Below are summaries of some key characters, highlighting their abilities, notable moments, and personal growth throughout the campaigns.

  • Vex’ahlia (“Vex”): A skilled ranger with a deep bond with her bear companion, Trinket. Known for her keen eye and loyalty, she played a pivotal role in Vox Machina’s adventures.
  • Jester Lavorre: A tiefling cleric with a mischievous spirit. Her creativity and connection to the Traveler brought both chaos and joy to the Mighty Nein.
  • Fjord: A half-orc warlock/paladin whose journey of self-discovery and redemption added depth to the Mighty Nein’s story.
  • Imogen Temult: A human sorcerer in Campaign 3, whose untapped potential and mysterious past continue to unfold.
  • Dorian Storm: An air genasi bard whose charisma and love for adventure brought a fresh dynamic to Bells Hells.