Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 25/10/2020

THE WORLD OF CRITICAL ROLE: THE HISTORY BEHIND THE EPIC FANTASY

FORMAT: HARDCOVER (REVIEWED), DIGITAL | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Critical Role can be easily described as a cult hit. The extremely popular YouTube show takes professional voice actors, improvisers and other talented types and gets them to play Dungeons and Dragons. Being performers, the result is an improvised fantasy epic that has grown an audience of dedicated fans (called Critters) and spawned a whole new sub-genre that mixes theatre with table-top gaming. The World of Critical Role: The History Behind the Epic Fantasy details the journey of this cult hit.

It’s a very welcome addition; they are literally hundreds of hours of Critical Role to watch and it can be quite daunting to newcomers, even though they are plenty of starter guides online. With an animated TV show based on the first campaign coming soon to streaming, now is the time to learn more.

This is a lush, well-illustrated book, focusing on the cast members first and then the characters they play. Though we start with Critical Role’s famous Dungeon Master, Matt Mercer, each and every cast member gets the full treatment. Each section has a friendly interview style and we get plenty of insights into what makes the show work, as well anecdotes regarding the characters they play. It’s full of fun little moments, like the time they asked Will Wheaton to help curse Matt’s dice.

What's very nice about this book is that it serves as a guide to the series, which is handy for people who don't have the time to invest into the story so far and are just looking to jump into the action. It's also a nice summary of the cast and the charm that they have; this is a warm hug of a book. A geeky but fun introduction to the series designed to delight fans by reminding them of all the little moments that make the show so addictive.

It's also worth checking out if you're a fan of other D&D streaming shows such as Oxventure, High Rollers or Questing Time, simply for the cast profiles and insight into production. This is a book that’s full of little stories and moments of joy. It’s less of a guide and more of a celebration of the show; one for fans and the curious who don’t mind spoilers.

Please note delivery times may be affected by the current global situation. Dismiss