Hello! Nerditor Doug here to introduce a guest post from Gin, who plays Kath the tiefling paladin on Nerdarchy’s Scarlet Sisterhood of Steel and Sorcery. The campaign is up to Session 40 as of this writing, with Session 41 streaming at 7 p.m. eastern on YouTube. Gin knows a little something about playing D&D in a live stream game so she’s bringing her savvy here to share her predictions for #silhouettewatch – the fan speculation about the new campaign for Critical Role beginning Jan. 11, 2018.
Trends in Character Predictions for the New Critical Role Campaign
The final session of the previous Critical Role campaign aired three months ago. Three months! Sure, there’s been some fun one-shots and such in the meantime, but I think the Critter community is more than ready for the new campaign to get started.
For several months (stretching back to before the last campaign even ended), I’ve been browsing through tweets, Facebook posts, Reddit threads, and various Alpha/Twitch/Geek & Sundry chat room discussions theorizing about what we might expect in the new campaign. I went to the Critical Role panel at PAX Unplugged hoping that, even if they didn’t deliberately share spoilers, one of the cast might accidentally let something slip. I’ve even spent time looking through the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting and Matt Mercer’s custom character classes on Dungeon Masters Guild, trying to guess what previously unseen elements of Exandrian culture might be featured. Nothing really stood out to me; it seemed the cat-petting executives had everything and everyone on lockdown.
But then we all got a lovely Winter’s Crest present in the form of seven mysterious character silhouettes, and an announcement that the new campaign starts this Thursday, January 11. The predictions people had been throwing around aimlessly suddenly had a defined target and #silhouettewatch began. Moreover, despite there being some amusing one-offs (i.e. Travis as a human wizard with a man bun, or Laura playing Zhara and Kash’s kid), I noticed certain trends emerge throughout the posts.
As you would expect there are multiple Reddit threads discussing the possible identities of the silhouetted characters, some of which are hundreds – or thousands – of comments long. I decided to drill down into a few of them to see if I could identify which theories were most popular among the community. Specifically, I counted each mention of cast member and their possible race, class, or silhouette figure as a single prediction, and then I tallied the predictions by person. Some folks had several ideas, others only guessed at the figure or class. I stopped myself when I’d recorded over 500 predictions, and I noticed it was two in the morning. Full disclosure: I don’t consider this a really scientific approach – I just enjoyed the excuse to make a spreadsheet.
Travis garnered the most predictions overall. Liam had the widest variety of guesses for both race and class. Marisha had the highest number of predictions for a single class (monk), and Taliesin had the highest for a single race (tiefling – although he was closely trailed by Sam as a kobold). Laura had the least variety among race predictions (only three). Ashley was interesting because most of the discussion around her centered on a class or race that would have in-character reasons for long absences from the campaign.
Here’s a quick overview of the data I collected. The percentage listed by each cast member is related to the silhouette only, and the class/race listed beneath their name is the most popular combination among those predictions.
There’s a clear favorite in each case. Some of the decisions seem to be fueled by little tidbits of info people have found (i.e. some of the figures appear to have claws or odd numbers of digits if you zoom in close enough), but I’m not convinced these are all accurate.
Here are my choices for #silhouettewatch
- Taliesin: tiefling bard of valor. I confess I want this, badly. If anyone can follow Sam as a bard, it’s Taliesin. I see what appears to be dangly-bead jewelry and horns, and I picture a magical Keith Richards/Tom Waits/tiefling mashup with a voice affected by years of smoking something more obscure than suude. And I just know that Taliesin would play the hell out of the tiefling racial ability to use thaumaturgy as a cantrip. I’m not very solid on the college, but I’m sure whatever class he plays he’ll twist and tweak and ever-so-carefully corrupt it in his own Taliesin-y way.
- Marisha: human monk, Way of the Cobalt Soul. I’m with the masses on this one. In Liam’s first apocalyptic one shot she briefly showed up as a monk, and Liam noted that she’d told him ahead of time what class she’d prefer. She’s also had some type of martial training in real life, and is a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, so I think she’d enjoy playing this class long term. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had some level of input when Matt was designing the Cobalt Soul archetype. I also predict she’s going to go for a focused, stoic-but-fueled-by-hidden-fires vibe. Marisha seems like an innovative professional with a lot of grit; I hope some of these aspects become part of her PC.
- Sam: half-orc paladin of the Stormlord. You probably already know that once again Sam let Liam pick his race/character. Paladins have a reputation for either taking themselves too seriously or being somewhat derpy, and I can picture Liam wanting to see how Sam would turn that stereotype on its head. Bonus, despite being a martial class paladins still have access to a number of spells, which gives Sam a chance to be more flexible and creative. If I’m right, I’ll be particularly interested to see what Sam does or does do not do with the find steed spell.
- Travis: human blood hunter, Order of the Lycan. Travis loves werewolves. He didn’t just see the Twilight movies, he read the books. What’s more, during last Thursday’s Talks Machina “Fireside Chat” episode Travis was discussing Grog’s (his) interest in the Feywild werewolves, and admitting it was partly driven by his desire to see Grog-as-werewolf fan art. Right at this moment you can hear Liam in the background saying “Next campaign, next campaign!” Coincidence? Not bloody likely. I further hope to see a sharper, darker character who’s more involved in the party’s investigation and battle strategy.
- Liam: kobold wizard. Have you seen the look of glee that comes over Liam’s face when he does his Gollum impressions? Have you witnessed the goofy physical antics both on Critical Role and Talks Machina? Liam likes to play, and I think after the intensity of Vax’s last few years he would really enjoy switching things up with this combo. I think he’ll go wizard for the class’s variety of spell options, and a feisty kobold – or goblin? – fighting for recognition among taller magic-users would create endless opportunities for hilarity. And angst, because Liam.
- Ashley: tiefling ranger/Horizon Walker. I get why most people picked Laura for this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re right. However, I’m hoping that the two tieflings are Taliesin and Ashley because I want to see the roleplay of a shared backstory between them. I think it’d be super entertaining to see their real life dynamic bleed into their PCs. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go watch Ashley’s episode of Signal Boost. I’m going with ranger for her class because I think Matt can work with the Horizon Walker archetype to create plausible in-character reasons for Ashley to come and go. Also, it’s a good class to have around, but one whose absence wouldn’t be felt as keenly as a healer or tank.
- Laura: human cleric. I’m a fan of the rumor floating around that Laura admitted either she or Travis would be a cleric, and I think part of the silhouette might be shield. Also, half the party as humans feels reasonable, and I think Laura would dig the +1 to all stats humans start off with. I don’t have any inkling of who her patron would be, though. Maybe Archeart, maybe Changebringer, maybe even the Moonweaver. Or – and I think she could talk Matt into this if she really wants it – maybe she’ll be a cleric of the Lord of Hells. Lawful evil can work in a campaign when the character has a reliable modus operandi, and the party is savvy enough to discover what it is. Oh, oh oh, and can you imagine the RP gold between Travis’ PC and an evil Laura PC? Swoon.
All that being said, I really just want to know the answer. Even if I’m 100 percent wrong I’m confident whatever happens will be entertaining. If the cast is anything like me they won’t have a solid grasp on their character till 4th- or 5th-level at least, so it’ll be interesting to watch their progression from the beginning. I’m also looking forward to discovering more about Exandria; my fingers are crossed for Wildemount or Draconia in particular.
So what are your thoughts? Tweet me @IfThenAnderson if you know any good gossip, or have insight into something I missed.
From the Nerditor’s Desk
If you want to learn more about the campaign setting for Critical Role, like what the heck a monk Way of the Cobalt Soul is, pick up a copy of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting.
And if you head over to DM’s Guild for more player options for your D&D game from Matt Mercer like the Blood Hunter, Gunslinger or College of the Maestro and wind up with more in your cart than those PWYW products, use Nerdarchy’s coupon code DTRPG-Nerdarchy for a one-time 10 percent discount on digital product orders of $10 or more.
You can continue the conversation about Critical Role speculation over on Discord too! Yep, we’ve got Nerdarchy the Discord joining the list of other Nerdarchy the <cool thing you want to check out>.
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