Critical Role Panel At C2E2: Full Recap Of The Event
For five years now, Critical Role has helped bring Dungeons & Dragons back into mainstream appeal with its popular podcast and livestreams. Fandom over the show’s characters and universes have helped bring it to new media platforms such as companion books and even an upcoming animated series for Amazon Prime. Recently, the entire Critical Role cast came to Chicago; first for a live episode of the show and followed by a weekend appearance at the C2E2 convention to meet fans. A special Q&A Critical Role panel was also held, letting fans ask pertinent questions and share wholesome stories regarding the show’s personal impact on them. I was able to attend the panel and record a rundown of what happened. Spoiler Warning for all that is below:
Before questions began, Talks Machina host Brian Wayne let the audience know that Penguin Random House would be publishing a new World of Critical Role book that is now available for pre-order, with purchases allowing fans to have their name printed in the book as a bonus. Wayne also took a minute to let any Critical Role cosplayers in the audience, of which there were many, stand up and be recognized.
The big topic on the cast’s minds was the live show that they conducted just two days prior, as the cast pointed out that it was one of the rare few instances of a live show that had no combat sequences whatsoever. They also noted how many “aww’s” that Liam O’Brien received at the recent live show, which became a recurring joke throughout the panel when the other cast members found themselves shocked when they received an “aww” themselves.
These “aww” moments came when fans would come up to the mic and give a specific reason the show has impacted them so much, such as one fan who pointed out that the show had saved their life, and in return drew a portrait of Sam Reigel that had been shared by the show at one point. Another fan even offered to lend her ranch in Nebraska to Travis Willingham for his Yee-Haw Game Ranch video series.
Offering an interesting perspective on the show’s production, Creative Director and cast member Marisha Ray answered a fan’s question regarding what directions the show takes when starting a new story or idea. As she said:
First and foremost, we do things that we want to do first. If we’re not enjoying it, it’s going to show, and you’re not going to enjoy it, and then why are we even doing this? Especially when so many of all of us have so many ideas of stuff we do want to do, we’re kind of spoiled with choice. So, from there, you can take any idea and make it enjoyable for a wider audience, which is part of my and my production team’s job.”
For some of their wackier ideas, Ray also said, “if it’s a joke, if it makes us laugh, it’s probably going to get made into a show.” On a slightly more somber note, Taliesin Jaffe was asked how The Mighty Nein’s Mollymauk might feel about how the group has changed since his death, to which he replied:
I do think about that on occasion. I think he would be somewhere between quietly proud and deeply embarrassed by how nice they’ve all gotten ‘No, no, stay awful, but just the right amount of awful.’ Matt and I have had a couple conversations about what might’ve happened. I try not to dwell too much. I think he’d be quietly proud. We’ll see what happens. It might face plant.”
An especially touching story unfolded when a fan shared they had recently come out as transgender, deciding to choose Caleb as their new name in honor of Liam O’Brien’s character Caleb Widogast. Several other stories like this were told throughout the event, to which Matthew Mercer described how much the show has meant to the cast’s daily lives.
As soon as 6:30 on a Thursday rolls around, we all get to shed all that anxiety for a few hours and just be us around a table telling a story and supporting each other and having a great time and it’s incredible and I’m very thankful and still can’t wrap my head around that something so important to us as friends becomes so important to other people, and that’s why it’s so important for us to protect that.”
It was quite plain to see that Critters across the country share a connection to Critical Role and its characters, especially amid all the cosplayers, deep questions about Critical Role lore, and general environment in the Critical Role panel room. I think at this point it is fair to call the series a Critical Hit.
What did you guys think of this Critical Role panel recap? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to stay tuned for the latest Critical Role news, such as Critical Role merchandise now being available at Hot Topic stores, here on Don’t Feed the Gamers! Follow us on Twitter to see our updates the minute they go live!
Cory Lara1681 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.