If you’ve been looking for a jump-in point for the liveplay series Critical Role, the time may be approaching. The players have wrapped up the Mighty Nein campaign that made up their second season, and they’re about to launch a shorter, less dense mini-campaign. Exandria Unlimited will be just eight episodes long, and a new DM will govern the events.
That mystery figure is Aabria Iyengar, CMO of Dice Envy and star of several liveplay shows across the Internet. Critical Role creator Matt Mercer, who’s served as the main DM since the beginning, will instead be playing as a character. “I know Exandria better than I know the Forgotten Realms of core Dungeons & Dragons,” Iyengar said to the website Polygon. “So when the opportunity arose, I was like, ‘Yeah, I have thoughts, opinions!’ I have been emotionally invested in this world for so long. I couldn’t imagine a better squad of people to spend time with and build a story with.”
“I’ve been following Aabria’s work for a long time,” Mercer added. “There’s so many [actual play performers] out there, but certain people just catch your attention and Aabria’s been one of those people. We brought Aabria in and she continued to blow all of our expectations out of the water.” He was unwilling to reveal much about his character, nor any crucial details about Exandria Unlimited.
Like the first two, this one stars a roster of professional voice actors including newcomers Aimee Carrero (Elena of Avalor, Blindspot) and Robbie Daymond (Marvel’s Spider-Man, Sailor Moon) and returning players Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us, Infinity Train, The Avengers), and Liam O’Brien (Spider-Man, Star Wars: Rebels, The Last of Us Part II). The campaign debuts its first episode June 24 on the Critical Role Twitch and YouTube channels.
As for all the extended Critical Role Expanded Universe products that were announced months ago — many now based on defunct campaigns — they’re still coming. The Mighty Nein series of graphic novels from Dark Horse is due out in just a few days, with the first one (revolving around Laura Bailey’s Jester Lavorre) hitting shelves June 16. The second volume will be released the following month.