You might have heard about Critical Role, the Dungeons and Dragons actual-play show that is taking the world by storm. Did you know that the people behind the show also produce content other than their weekly live-streamed show? Here are some recommendations of other things to watch, whether you are up to date on the show, or have only just heard of Critical Role and got intimidated by the more than 800 hours of material in the main show.
UnDeadwood is a four-part mini-series where they use the Deadlands Reloaded RPG system. Based on the show Deadwood, Game Master Brian W. Foster takes the players Travis Willingham, Anjali Bhimani, Khary Payton, Marisha Ray, and Matthew Mercer back to the old west to investigate rumors of supernatural happenings. Brian W. Foster is usually the host of the weekly Critical Role talk show Talks Machina, and this is the first time he stepped as Game Master on a show. UnDeadwood is brilliantly produced, and the cast does an amazing job bringing an incredibly intriguing story to life at the table.
Stephen Colbert’s D&D Adventure with Matthew Mercer
This is a small one-shot done in collaboration with Red Nose Day in 2019. Matthew Mercer, Dungeon Master for Critical Role, sits down to lead The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert through a short adventure. Certain points of the adventure were decided through donations made to Red Nose Day, an organization devoted to ending child poverty. This is a great introduction if you really have no clue what Dungeons and Dragons works like, will only take up about an hour of your day, and leave you with a smile on your face.
Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Crystal Palace
If you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, then this one-shot is absolutely for you. Shadow of the Crystal Palace is played with the Call of Cthulhu RPG system, and Taliesin Jaffe acts as the Keeper of the Arcane Lore as he guides Erika Ishii, Marisha Ray, Phil LaMarr, Travis Willingham, Ashly Burch, and Liam O’Brien through the horrifying Crystal Palace. With the main goal of scaring Willingham as much as possible, and a general struggle with finding light switches, this is a highly entertaining look into how the Call of Cthulhu RPG system works. Also, there are cats.
Travis Willingham’s Yee-Haw Game Ranch
There is a world of “Let’s Play”-shows out there. Travis Willingham’s Yee-Haw Game Ranch, however, has a twist. Join the Chosen One, Travis Willingham, and the Liability, Brian W. Foster, as they traverse the Yee-Haw Gameverse to charge the Gamesoul. The evil warlock Bast’alar has divided the Yee-Haw Gameverse into twelve different realms, and this is a problem that only the Chosen One can solve. This show is slightly bizarre, but the entertainment value is constantly through the roof, and the long-time friendship between Willingham and Foster really makes you feel like you’re sitting in the living room with them.
The Night Before Critmas
Ever wonder what would happen if Critical Role would mash up with The Nightmare Before Christmas? Look no further for your answer. The Night Before Critmas is a Christmas-themed one-shot where Liam O’Brien is the Game Master and tries to herd a bunch of rowdy elves, played by Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Matthew Mercer, Julie Nathanson, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, and Travis Willingham. There are twist and turns that no one could have ever expected from these players, and it is a genuine joy to watch this adventure unfold.
Join artist Babs Tarr as she tries her best to teach Critical Role‘s Creative Director Marisha Ray how to draw. They have a new guest with them each episode, and they go through everything from the basics to some more advanced techniques. This show is great if you are looking for something soothing to help rest your eyes, or if you want helpful tips on furthering your own art. Pub Draw will definitely teach you to follow your Art Heart.
All of these shows, and so much more, are available on the Critical Role YouTube channel. Due to the current situation, they are on a hiatus, but their weekly shows will be back as soon as possible. In the meantime, they are doing reruns of several different shows over on the Critical Role Twitch.