Matthew Mercer, voice actor and lead dungeon master for the critical role The Actual Play series, launched a special one-shot tabletop RPG campaign in the world of Ring of Elden, the dark fantasy action RPG from FromSoftware. To mimic the tense and unforgiving combat and exploration gameplay of Ring of EldenMercer has significantly changed the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, introducing new spells, abilities, and resources for its players to manage as they explore the Lands Between, encounter iconic characters/enemies, and attempt to “speed up” certain challenges with game-changing feats.
It’s not the first time that critical roletabletop gaming group Actual Play famous for long-form streaming Dungeons & Dragons campaigns on Twitch and YouTube, hosted unique sessions in the world of tabletop fantasy video games. In 2017, Mathew Mercer made a unique TTRPG adaptation of Middle-earth: Shadow of Warits players playing as grimy, gritty orcs and trolls in the Dark Lord’s army, while its 2020 one-shot Fate: Eternal put players in the shoes of an eccentric group of demons sent on a one-sided suicide mission against Samuel Hayden and the Doom Slayer. the Diablo one-shot, designed to commemorate Blizzard’s remaster Diablo II, featured a group of dark and angry adventurers who made groundbreaking comments about how every enemy they killed lost gold, while The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood one-shot told the story of waiters, bartenders, chefs and bouncers trying to run a classic fantasy RPG tavern and serve difficult customers.
critical rolethe last one shot, Elden Ring: Oh Ye Of Little Faithbrought together a lively cast of actors, comedians, and animators to star as a ragtime band of tarnished wanderers searching for fragments of the Elden Ring in the war-torn Middle Lands. critical role veterans Sam Riegel and Marisha Ray voiced Nihl the Blood Wolf and Kara Gen the Warrior, respectively. Alexander Ward, actor and stuntman who took part in the Vampire: The Masquerade Real Game Series LA by night, cast as an enchanted knight called Twin-Soul Marcus. Krystina Arielle, host of the Star Wars: The High Republic Show web series, depicts an incantation wielding Ring of Elden The prophet named Mariah Van Der Ness is protected by Briggida, an axe-wielding heroine played by Brennan Lee Mulligan, a College Humor alum and host of the Dimension 20 Actual Play series.
Elden Ring One-Shot of Critical Role added characterization to classes
Each of the player characters in critical roleit’s Elden Ring: Oh Ye Of Little Faith one-shots were modeled after the starting classes that players can select at the start of a Ring of Elden playthrough – specifically, the starting classes available in the Ring of Elden Network test from the previous year, which later inspired several in-game armor sets. Descriptions of outfits, weapons, and spells of Ring of EldenThe starting classes each paint a general picture of their origin stories – the Prophet was an exiled oracle for heretical visions, the Enchanted Knight a spellcasting warrior who hunted down rogue wizards, and so on. Each player’s unique role-playing approaches and whimsical humor, however, gave these Ring of Elden begin much more personality classes.
Krystina Arielle’s prophetess character was too serious and recites prophecies that are dramatic statements of the obvious (“It once existed, and now it no longer exists“). Brennan Lee Mulligan’s Hero character, meanwhile, leaned completely into the “grimy barbaric aesthetic“, being a short, stocky hell wielding an ax that smeared himself in grime to hide, breathed the dragon fire of Ring of Elden‘s Agheel, and sincerely treated everything his “prophetess” said as the pinnacle of wisdom.
Critical Role’s Elden Ring Hack added complexity to D&D 5e combat
fight in the Ring of Elden video game, as in dark souls and Demon’s Souls, is an unstable equilibrium in which players expend stamina to attack their enemies, save just enough stamina to block or dodge attacks, and then walk away from their enemies’ attacks and wait for their stamina to recharge. To recreate this risk versus reward dynamic in his tabletop one-shot, Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer hacked the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, adding a pool of Stamina Points and Focus Points to its player’s character sheets.
During the fighting in critical rolethe single session of Elden Ring: Oh Ye Of Little Faith, the player has spent Stamina points during their turn to perform one or more attacks with their weapons – attacks resolved mechanically by rolling a D20, adding attack bonuses and trying to overcome the armor class of the target. Outside of a player’s turn, the rules for resolving enemy attacks have changed significantly since the D&D 5e model; instead of rolling dice for enemy attacks, Mercer would instead declare a fixed amount of damage that players would need to counter by spending Toughness and rolling to Dodge or Block; Blocking was a lower risk option to reduce damage, with the natural twenties functioning as the enemy’s staggering parries. Ring of Elden video game, while dodging was an all-or-nothing maneuver that could completely negate damage if players rolled high enough.
Critical Role’s Elden Ring One-Shot Cast Reinterprets Traditions
Starting with Demon’s Souls and culminating with the studio’s most recent release, Ring of Eldeneach “Soulslike” RPG created by FromSoftware delivered its plots to players through clues and hints scattered throughout their game worlds. Objects with strange descriptions, NPC dialogues with skewed perspectives, statues, paintings and murals depicting ancient events all inform the stories of various Soulsborne games, and Ring of Elden is no exception. Because of this, it is possible for players who have explored the Lands Between to interpret the dark fantasy lore derived from George RR Martin. Ring of Elden in distinct and mutually contradictory ways, drawing their own conclusions about what happened in the game’s backstory and which NPCs (if any) are on the side of good.
The players and the dungeon master of the Elden Ring: Oh Ye Of Little Faith one-shot ends up creating their own interpretations of Ring of Elden‘s lore only through role-playing and introducing their own ideas into the game. critical role Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer has created an all-new NPC for his campaign – a friendly giant fire golem named Calvis who asks the party of Tarnished Adventurers to help him find his missing arms. Sam Riegel’s own character, Nihl the Bloody Wolf, has a brief monologue about having a pet cat they were forced to leave behind after being exiled from Ring of Elden‘s Lands Between; When the party of adventurers entered Stormveil Castle, they encountered Nihl’s old pet, which had grown into a massive and very angry lion. On a more humorous note, players in the one-shot questioned the metaphysics of Spectral Steeds that players can summon in the Ring of Elden video game proper, wondering out loud if horses could excrete”ghost poowhile stacking their Spectral Steeds on top of each other to form a makeshift ladder.
Next: Limgrave’s Secrets of Elden Ring (As Told by a Humble Tarni)
Source: YouTube/Critical Role
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