Kickstarter is currently being bombarded by D&D fans, and it’s a wonderful thing!
Around 1 o’clock EST, internet sensation Critical Role released a new Kickstarter to crowdfund an animated one-shot. And now it has become one of the fastest growing Kickstarters in history.
The weekly livestreamed Dungeons and Dragons game series is working along with Emmy award-winning animation production company Titmouse, of Big Mouth, The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures, and more to create this animation project.
Those who back the project will get several rewards like portraits by the animators, limited edition plushies, dice, playing cards, bags, theme song downloads, and more. But most importantly, the knowledge that they’ll bring a Critical Role animation to life in 2020.
"Travis & Sam went on dozens of Hollywood pitch meetings, and found some interest — but we ultimately decided to create our first animated special on our own," the team wrote on the Kickstarter page. "By doing so, we can continue to stay true to our beloved characters and tell the stories you want to see. With an ever-burning desire to bring a Vox Machina animation to the masses, we decided to give the power back to our amazing community, roll up our sleeves, and make this series with YOU instead."
And it looks like that last prize is inspiring thousands, as the Kickstarter has jumped past its original $750,000 goal and the $1.8 Million mark within two hours of being live! In addition, it still has 45 more days to go before finishing its crowdfunding campaign!
But what is Critical Role and why do so many people want to throw their money at it?
Critical Role originated as a simple and humble game of Dungeons and Dragons between friends and associates. In December of 2012, a bunch of voice actors such as Liam O’Brien, Sam Riegel, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Taliesin Jaffe, and Matthew Mercer got together to play a home game as a birthday party.
But why should we care? Because every one of these individuals is a celebrated voice actor, director, or more. Collectively, they’ve contributed to several projects such as Dragon Ball Z, Fullmetal Alchemist, Resident Evil, Looney Toons, Fallout, Marvel Animations, Uncharted, Persona, Metal Gear Solid, Steet Fighter, World Of Warcraft, Duck Tales, Danger & Eggs (which earned Sam Riegel an Emmy), several Spider-Man games, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Naruto, and more.
Add on late addition Ashley Johnson, of Growing Pains, Teen Titans, The Last of Us, and Blindspot, and you’ve got yourself a stellar cast.
After finding role playing magic, the group of friends eventually started a regular game in which they would meet to play as fictional characters in a fantasy setting. But Sci-fi and fantasy queen Felicia Day had other plans. Day approached the group to see if they wanted to make a show through her company Geek & Sundry, and thus Critical Role was born in March of 2015.
Throughout the years since, the series has grown exponentially. Not only does the show have fans all over the globe, but the show itself has evolved overtime. Critical Role recently branched off from Geek & Sundry into its own production company that streams on Twitch four days a week and uploads to YouTube regularly. In addition, the cast constantly has live shows and appearances in areas like London, New York City, LA, Indianapolis, and more.
And perhaps the reason that the series has connected with so many is that it’s full of heart. At its core, Critical Role is about a group of friends who want to spend time together. While D&D and geekdom were the start of that engagement, Critical Role has evolved to be about the love of friends, storytelling, and geeky exploits.
In addition, the series has continued to be representative of LGBTQ people. The first campaign (season) included three bisexual characters in the main cast. Twin characters Vax’ildan and Vex’ahlia (played by Liam O’Brien and Laura Bailey respectively) and Sam Riegel's Scanlan Shorthalt were confirmed as bisexual.
And now that the anthology-esque series has moved onto a second campaign with a new group of characters, we have been graced with two lesbian main characters and a bisexual/pansexual main character.
Not to forget, the inclusion of several LGBTQ non-playable characters by DMing legend Matthew Mercer.
All of the representation and love is not without reward. In fact, it has come back to bless the cast of Critical Role. As we can see with this new Kickstarter campaign, there are plenty of fans who wish to express their love for the D&D web series and the voice actors who make it so exceptional.
As of this article’s publishing, the Kickstarter has passed the $1.8 Million mark in just about two hours. With 45 days left to go and 12,332+ people willing to back the project, it’s a wonder how much will be earned. But, what is for sure, is that fans of Critical Role are committed to supporting this group of “nerdy ass voice actors” in whatever they do.
Update (3/04/2019 5:14 pm est):
This article has been updated to correct the list of LGBTQ main characters by adding Scanlan Shorthalt. In addition, the kickstarter has now passed the $2.2 Million mark.