Rise of the Critters
By: Kati Trottier
In the middle of March, I was working away, swearing at my computer. A typical Tuesday. And my friend Sarah, turns to me and says, “Look at Critical Role’s Kickstarter campaign!” I turn around, because she knows cool nerd stuff, so it’s worth paying attention to. It was the first day of the campaign, they’d already blown through their goal and were rocketing into the stratosphere of nerddom. I had no idea what Critical Role was and I had no inkling that I was going to spend the foreseeable future (Campaign 1, episode 48 as I write this), listening to a group of “nerdy-ass voice actors” play D&D.
I have been sucked into the world of Vox Machina thoroughly. I followed the Kickstarter, donated a fair amount of cash to it, and opened it each day to watch the amount continue counting up. I downloaded the theme song and listened to it at top volume in my car on repeat. Every day, I hope I don’t have to write too much, so I can keep listening to episodes. Netflix has been forgotten about. Hulu? What’s that? The only characters I pay attention to are Vax, Vex, Grog, Scanlan, Percy, Keyleth, and Pike. And Victor. I freaking love Victor. I learned quickly, although not quickly enough, that I shouldn’t Google any of the characters to know more about them because… spoilers. Oops.
I both look forward to Campaign 2 and think I’ll miss Vox Machina horribly at the same time. I couldn’t wait to get to the Briarwood arc because I knew that’s what they’re using for the animated series.
I played D&D with some friends years ago and enjoyed it, but had forgotten a lot about what was involved. I was reintroduced to the skills and presented with how much fun it could be with professional voice actors playing the game. I love how quickly they can all improv and how GOOD they are at it. I see their world unfold and have saved a map, so I follow along with where they are in Exandria.
I found the podcast and thought about listening that way, but I need to see them. I need to see Liam flop over backwards and disappear when Sam does something ridiculous. I need to see them throw their arms around each other and the looks on their faces when a situation goes south. I need to see them hiding behind each other when they can’t contain their laughter.
In June, I’m going to be on my first panel at any sort of convention, and it’s going to be a Critical Role panel. I’m both excited to nerd out about it with a room full of Critters and also a little terrified, but that’s the introvert in me talking. I can’t get enough of their ability to paint the picture of the world in my head and make me feel for their characters. It’s like the best kind of audio book that evolves as you listen to it. I never know when someone might turn into a triceratops, or something.
Some things I vaguely know about, but haven’t gotten to yet? Keyleth turning into a goldfish. Bidet. The beginning of Talks Machina.
The final nail in the coffin? I carry a set of dice in my purse now, despite the fact that I haven’t played D&D in ages, in case I need to roll for initiative.
Stay tuned for coverage from Denver Pop Culture Con featuring the Cast and fans of Critical Role.