Whenever I boot up a new show, I look for one thing: relatable characters.
That is why I’m one year into a nearly exclusive Critical Role binge. For months, Critical Role’s adventurers have been there in moments of hope, despair, and isolation. Even from the confines of self-imposed isolation, I’ve learned a lot about from the hundreds of hours of content I’ve practically inhaled. Not (obviously) because of flawless writing, but because of the organic character development.
Having reflected on this for a while, I wanted to share the top ten lessons (in no particular order) I’ve learned from my favorite Player Characters.
- Percival von Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rollo III (Campaign 1) – Life needs things to live. Until you find out what your “things” are that help you “live” to the fullest, you will not feel content (and are just inviting the potential of becoming a warlock whose patron is out for revenge).
- Nott the Brave (Campaign 2) – When it feels impossible to love yourself, a strong support network will love you no matter what. There will always be people out there willing to sacrifice their needs to make sure you are cared for (not to mention the people who will outsmart life with and for you to get you what you need).
- Jester Lavorre (Campaign 2) – Lead with your heart and trust your gut. Not everything that is sketchy is evil and not everything that seems perfect is good. ((Bonus Life Lesson: Being your quirky self is the most attractive quality in friends and loved ones. Don’t let anyone snuff out your originality.))
- Keyleth of the Air Ashari (Campaign 1) – Grief and strength are not mutually exclusive. Loss defines your life, but does not have to hold you back from the fullness of who you are and what you can do.
- Scanlan Shorthalt (Campaign 1) – True character growth does not mean erasing who you were to rewrite who you want to be.
- Caduceus Clay (Campaign 2) – Honesty is not a weakness. Letting yourself get wrapped up in lies and deceit will eat away at you rather than protect you. This way, you get to be true to yourself and the people who are meant to love on you will be there no matter what.
- Fearne Calloway (Exandria Unlimited & Campaign 3) – Jazz is chaos. To not like jazz is to be unmalleable to life’s chaos.
- Ashton Greymoore (Campaign 3) – This may seem ironically opposed to Cad, but I swear its not: A little mystery goes a long way to developing healthy boundaries. What the f*ck is up with that?
- Grog Strongjaw (Campaign 1) – The measure of a (wo)man is neither their intelligence nor their physical prowess, but rather the quality of their loyalty.
- Buddy (Darrington Brigade One-Shot) – Everyone is pretty, even when they’re in combat with you. Seeing that just sometimes takes a special set of glasses. It is the people that don’t believe they are pretty or forget it that become villains.