Matt Mercer & Critical Role Effect in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

We all love Matt Mercer and Critical Role, but Dungeons and Dragons 5th EDition is dealing with a new problem called the Matt Mercer Effect… and it’s bad for D&D— and Matt Mercer himself agrees. Let’s talk about it.

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29 thoughts on “Matt Mercer & Critical Role Effect in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition”

  1. I DM a group of beginners, it's some of their second campaign, and some of their first. They're all Critical Role fans, so what I decided to do to ease them into d&d is I added some Crit Role touches. Basically I made Faerun feel a little bit like Wildemount. As things go on and they leave the area they started in, things will go back to being normal Faerun, but I wanted to give them a chance to experience d&d the way they've seen it on the show, and then take that and show them how it can be equally interesting and enjoyable without Mercer's badassery in writing and storytelling.

    Edit: I'd also be happy to answer questions about my campaign if anyone is curious about this.

  2. Every time I see someone saying that Matt Mercer is epic DM and makes great sessions I always reply that he also has great actors as players. If a player expects Mercer level of DMing then the DM should expect Liams or Sams (or anybody else) level of playing.

    “Oh you want me to have 50different voices? Great! As long as you are able to sing a funny pun song every time you use Bardic inspiration…”

  3. Playing D&D and expecting to be like CR is like kicking a ball around with friends and expecting it to be the FIFA World Cup…

  4. I'm glad to see most of the opinions reacting positively to this and I agree with those opinions. I understand that being DM can be frustrating or can be a lot of pressure. Heck, I started being a dungeon master for my own D&D game about a few weeks ago and yeah I do feel a bit frustrated and under pressure at times but after I watched not videos on dungeon master tips. I felt more relaxed because I remembered that it is the dungeon Master's job to create a fun experience for the players while coming to an understanding of what kind of Adventurer they are wanting to do. Not only that all the tips he gives are suggestions same as all of the D&D books. You can run any kind of game that you like and that's okay. I'm glad a lot of the positive comments are pointing out that it's best to be upfront with your players about what kind of game they want to play and then as a dungeon master adjust accordingly. Sure Matt may be creating expectations on what kind of game to expect in DND when new players come and that's okay. As other people said be upfront with your players by telling them you are not Matt Mercer and you will try to the best of your ability to make a fun experience. So please, don't tear these good people down just because they are involuntarily creating expectations that may or may not coincide with the DM's playing style. If anything, critical role's content can be used for inspiration on different ways you can spice up your gameplay to make it more entertaining or have more depth. the most important thing to always remember is to have fun and to make sure your players are having a good time because both you and them are taking time out of their lives play this game with you. just be transparent with one another about what kind of games you're going to play and how you want to play it then you will be all set. thank you and be good to each other😁

  5. I think it's pretty bunk that this has become such a big issue. Since the dawn of D&D, players have heavily emulated pre-existing characters and actors. This isn't a new issue by any means, but it's come down heavily on Matt and his crew, which is a shame.

    I definitely get the issues, but, IMO, they only grew to a level worth discussing because of a lack of communication between players and their DMs.

    Not to mention that Matt and his crew play a MASSIVE factor in the increased popularity/resurgence of D&D. They are an inspiration. That is bound to have it's dark sides, but they certainly don't outweigh the positives.

  6. The best way to solve this problem fast is to knock players waaaay out of their comfort zone. That's where I come in. I have adventures that will send players into the Far Realm for a couple sessions. Its as far out of the comfort zone as you can get. Most players don't even know it exists, and the ones who do will not speak of it. That place is a nightmare, and it shakes things up. Sometimes more than you want. But it does the trick.

  7. It's so true. I had trouble enjoying High Rollers because of how much I expected from the DM. Not to mention the pressure I put on myself as a DM after listening to the entire season 2 of critical role over the course of 3 months

  8. See in our group only the DM and I have heard of Matt, in fact the rest of the group have pretty much no expectations whatsoever

  9. My god, hes a human person like everyone else? Like I love Critical Role and everything, but that this has to be discussed has me feelin some type of way. Hes not a god, hes a DM for his friends and every DM is different and you shouldnt feel that you need to emulate one DMing style. If you feel like you need to bring your style to his level or be exactly like him, thats kinda your problem and not Matts. I feel bad that HE feels bad for the way hes playing and that its effecting others, because it shouldnt. Model him if you want to, but dont stress it if you cant. Let him be his own DM for his friends, its not a “Matt Mercer effect,” its a dude who plays with his friends and also streams it.

  10. if you want a Matt Mercer level experience and you know you or your DM isn't up to the task, then hire a professional DM. Some people will always be better at something than others, that just human nature. No point in stressing over it. Change the things you can, accept the things you can't and be wise enough to know the difference.

  11. The main thing that I've taken away from CR Season 2 is that I wouldn't last five minutes being in a group with someone who RP's like Sam Riegel plays Nott.

    I'm pretty sure it isn't Sam himself, as I've seen the Season 1 clip where he's in tears because Scanlan has to choose between keeping Vecna from escaping and saving Vax from undeath… but I'm only halfway through Season 2 and I have wanted to kill Nott at least half a dozen times for being so selfish.

    And I keep tuning in because Matt's an amazing DM.

  12. its not critical rolls fault though. which im sure is what you think as well. its the people who watch people who are good at DnD and want to copy that or expect it to be like that. its like people watching the NFL and expect it to be like that in their backyard. thats just not how it works. every game is gonna be different. you can get inspired. but don't copy.
    better analogy is with music. when you make a song, don't try to make it sound like another, more popular band. make it your own. and your first pieces wont be like iron maiden. they may never be that good. but don't think of it as if it needs to be that good. just do you.

  13. Crit role is one of the best streamed games in the world. Anyone trying to be just like them is in for a hard fail. If you want your game just like theirs and will be upset if it falls short then I'd say dont play d&d. Me and my dm love crit role, we have only done LMOP and the corona quest from wizards, I'm due to run a one shot soon, and help with dming, for dm to have a break. Our games are extremely amateurish but we all have a great laugh and get enjoyment out of each session. I use crit role of inspiration but I know I'll never emulate what they have and heres why, my dm or me are not matt Mercer, my friends are not the cast of crit role…the biggest reason crit role works so well is they are long time friends, actors, writers, voice actors but mainly its the long term friends bit. The atmosphere and comardery they have isnt just down to their careers, matts dming and their masses of resources, it's the friendship they share. You want a good game of d&d play with people you like and in time you may have those crit role nights. Does help obviously that matt Mercer is an amazing dm 😆 lesson here is, play with people you like, remember it isnt the crit role team playing, make your own tales/memories by giving your best at the table and must important just enjoy the game.

  14. "your players aren't professional actors", well now they all damn sure think they are. They spend more time working on voices and character quirks instead of just playing the fucking game.

  15. i got into critical role while doing some research after my friends decided to give dnd a go. i started my first campaign with a table of rookies (including our dm) pretty much with only critical role as a example of what the game is. but i also wasnt a butt that let myself get unrealistic expectations. our campaign doesnt have nearly as captivating a narrative or as fleshed out characters, but, you know what, we still have fun. we still have engaging encounters and inside jokes. we have fun because we make it fun, not because we go in and just expect it to be fun. thats the whole point.

  16. I can see the point of y'all, but i kinda don't get it. I believe the best of DnD, is playing the way you would like, and for the DM, sharing your creation with your friends, and let them live within it, but mostly important, having fun while doing it, and if a player believes it'll be fun for them to play something very similar to a campaign they enjoy, why would it be a bad thing ? Like, everything we "come up with" is just a huge synthesis of things we like and already seen before, so it's just natural that if someone really likes CR, they'll want to play something similiar, sometimes even unconsciously.

  17. I found dnd thru critical role. And i play a campaign w friends (who were experienced players and didnt know what cr was). In one of our first quests, we baked cookies for fantasy girl scouts, it was surreal and i loved it

  18. Am I the only person who got into DND because they were an Overwatch fan and wanted to see Matt’s other works.

  19. In my experience the only down side to the popularity that Matt Mercer and his friends have brought to the game is all the noobs that come running wanting to play with no understanding of the rules and no desire to take the time to read the rules. I can't count the number of sorcerers that thought they could twin a fireball or quicken a fireball so they can cast two fireballs a turn. Another issue is all the noob dms that let sorcerers cast two fireballs a turn. I don't use the term "noob" lightly, I reserve it for those players that refuse to learn the rules and play by them. The ones wanting to put in their backstory that they were struck by lightning so all their lightning spells are stronger now. Trying to play their homebrew race that gives them +3 to 4 stats. Grrr learn the rules dangit

  20. Having a aspirational figure is not bad for the game. This is as silly as saying the Micheal Jordan effect is bad for basketball because Ill be disappointed if I play a pickup game and cant dunk as well.

  21. Matt Mercer effect is either a lie or misrepresentation. His effect is inspiring people to come together with friends in a made up world to make extraodinary memories.
    Don't call it Matt Mercer effect.
    Edit: ESPECIALLY don't call it Matt Mercer effect, because by now we all know how vulnerable he is to blame himself and see himself in a bad light.
    He's a great guy. Don't stain his passion and skill with some peoples stupid ideas.


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