Critical Role: Exandria Unlimited: Calamity - Fire and Ruin
June 21, 2022 10:43 PM - Season 3 (Specials) - Subscribe

With time running out and an ancient terror unleashed, the Ring of Brass make their last stand for Avalir, for Exandria, and for their souls as calamity draws near.
posted by Parasite Unseen (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
People think I'm nice but really I just conform to the genre. - Brennan

The miniseries is over and it is by a wide margin my favorite thing Critical Role has produced. Everyone stepped up here and this episode was surprisingly tense given that we went into this series knowing most of the player characters weren't going to make it.

Everyone made me cry (not a huge accomplishment; I watch things to feel the big feelings) and everyone was uniformly excellent but special MVP mention to Travis Willingham who really changed my view of what his range is.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:52 PM on June 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

On a minor note, this series confirmed for me that the silvery barbs cantrip is every bit as badly designed as I thought it was when I first read it.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:42 PM on June 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

So. Many. Tears.
I had to watch this in a couple of goes cos of the feels. Just utterly draining, amazing stuff.

special MVP mention to Travis Willingham who really changed my view of what his range is
Also to his ability to roll supremely satisfying natural 20s at the absolute climax of events.

For me, the biggest surprise was Sam. He is, by some margin, my least favourite cast member. But good LORD did he step up here. Him and Aabria were just *chefs kiss*
posted by coriolisdave at 2:22 AM on June 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

A lot of the lore went past me (having watched only a third of the first season) but this blew me away.

Lots of great character arcs and drama and conflict with a pre-destined tragic end that still held surprises and hope. Calling this "condensed" is maybe stretching the definition a bit far but it really was all the good bits of an extended D&D campaign crammed into a smaller package.

Big swings from everyone, playing deliberately flawed and occasionally unlikable characters and demonstrating that there's good stuff to be done with PC conflict that doesn't spill over to the players.

Impossible to choose a favourite line or moment but everything between Sam and Aabria was incredible while Travis and Luis did the heavy lifting in their solo scenes. You know things are real when both Travis and Sam get emotional.

Also also (I have Many Thoughts about this show) this is a masterclass in creating stakes for players who are both high level and know that the overall outcome pre-determined.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:21 AM on June 22, 2022

I feel like Dropout is going to get a ton of subscribers off of this (and deservedly so). A couple weeks before Calamity started I started watching A Crown of Candy so I knew just how ruthless Brennan can be when the story calls for it.

When the first episode dropped a bunch of online people where committed to the idea that Brennan was going to present the betrayer gods as misunderstood and unfairly demonized (for lack of a better word) by history’s winners. Given how things turned out, I’ve had some laughs over that.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:03 AM on June 22, 2022

God this was so good. I'm listening to the Twitter Spaces cast round up (minus Lou, going to be a proper one later) and just reveling in how well they worked things in together. (NB, takes them a bit to get going on the Twitter thing, skip past the initial 4:30 of silence)
posted by rewil at 2:09 PM on June 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Special shout out to Lou’s “SHUT THE FUCK UP” to his dragon.
Damn, I may to rewatch this whole thing already.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:03 AM on June 23, 2022

I loved this, but also I love having a story about people managing to do a little bit of good even though the bad thing will still happen right now.

They were all amazing, but shout out to Sam for making me like Quay so much.

Another amazing thing: Vespin Chloras's motivation being essentially good - and him acting like a contract lawyer to give Zerxus a small amount of time - a way to reward a player without completely changing the history.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:22 PM on June 27, 2022

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