Features | Written by Ed Fortune 07/06/2022

Brennan Lee Mulligan – EXANDRIA UNLIMITED: CALAMITY

Brennan Lee Mulligan is a comedian and Dungeon Master, best known for his work on comedy channels such as College Humour and Dropout TV, as well as his own D&D show, Dimension20.   He is currently the Dungeon Master for Critical Role’s short series, Exandria Unlimited: Calamity, which sees  Sam RiegelTravis Willingham, Marisha Ray , Aabria Iyengar, Lou Wilson and Luis Carazo deep dive into the lore of Critical Role world. We caught up with him briefly to find out more.

How would you pitch Exandria Unlimited: Calamity to an old friend who hasn’t played D&D since THACO was still a thing ?

This is a four-part tragedy mini-series set in the ending of a Great Age of the world, about the choices that made that tragedy possible, with high level characters that intuitively want higher numbers instead of lower numbers and have an easy flow-sheet of when and where they add specific modifiers to their rolls.

How different is Calamity from Dimension 20?

Different in terms of objective more than execution, I would say. The big secret between these two shows is that Critical Role and Dimension 20 each love comedy and drama with all their hearts and feature them both pretty heavily. The only difference is the objective, I would say. Moments of levity in Calamity exist plentifully and are cherished, because at the end of the day, we know that our objective is to tell a tale of woe.

 

What was the hardest thing about running a campaign set in Exandria?

The team at Critical Role was so immensely supportive, and Matt so generous with his time, that I can’t in good conscience say that any part of this experience was hard. I might use the word “humbling” in its place: It was an honor to participate in something this beloved and immense; My greatest goal was to show the players at that table the respect  I hold for the years of hard work and love that they’ve poured into this world, and the gratitude I felt in getting to play in that world with them.

When creating the show, was there ‘no we can’t do that’ moment? What was it and did you do it anyway?

I opened every episode by reminding the audience that Exandria is not a globe but a cube and that if you walk to one of the eight corners of the cube you can jump into outer space where the gods live and tag one of them and get their job and that’s how the Raven Queen ascended, but they cut all of that out because they don’t want you to know the truth!

 

If you could run your own PC in this campaign, what would it be and why?

In Calamity? Oh MAN! I wish I could take a turn playing each PC’s character, because they’re all perfect. If I couldn’t do that, I’d definitely play an aeormaton.

What is the future of TTRPGs? Is it okay to pronounce TTRPG as ‘Titterpig?’

Titterpigs, by virtue of existing in the moment of their genesis due to the unique, irreplicable interactions of friends and loved ones engaging in a dual-reality of metanarrative bonding and extemporaneous story-telling, bear additional value to a culture which struggles at time to find connection, coherence and authenticity. No man can see the future, but the horizon of Titterpigs is bright indeed.

Exandria Unlimited: Calamity airs Thursday evenings at 7pm Pacific (that’s Friday 3am British Summer Time)  on Critical Role’s Twitch (twitch.tv/criticalrole) and YouTube (youtube.com/criticalrole) channels. VOD is available immediately for Twitch channel subscribers and will be available on Critical Role’s YouTube channel the following Monday. It is also available via SpotifyApple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.