The folks behind longrunning Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role are raising funds on Kickstarter to turn the series’ hit first campaign into an animated special.
The campaign, which went live this morning, had a goal of $750,000. It’s already raised $3.3 million at time of posting, with 45 days of funding to go.
Critical Role started off as an ongoing tabletop role-play campaign run by voice actor Matt Mercer and produced by Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry. It followed a group of heroes collectively known as Vox Machina. Characters in the game were played by Mercer’s friends and fellow voice actors: Ashley Johnson, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Laura Bailey, and Liam O’Brien. Mercer and friends first broadcast the series on YouTube, where they gathered 350,000 subscribers and built a large cross-platform fanbase that saw Critical Role become the No. 1 web series on Tumblr last year.
The Vox Machina campaign spanned 115 episodes and 373 hours of gameplay, and ended in November 2017. Nowadays, Mercer and the gang (which split from Geek & Sundry last month to self-produce — maybe because Geek & Sundry was prepping to end its streaming service Alpha) livestream episodes of a new campaign on YouTube and Twitch each week.
But with Kickstarter, they’re revisiting the fan-favorite Vox Machina characters. The fully-funded Kickstarter will support the creation of The Legend of Vox Machina, a 22-minute adult animated special. It’s a prequel to the original Vox Machina campaign, and all the original voice actors will return to give their characters life. (The special is also meant to be proof of concept for a potential full-fledged animated series following the heroes.)
The Legend of Vox Machina will be written by Jennifer Muro (Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, Spider-Man, Justice League: Action), and produced by top animation studio Titmouse, which has made shows for Netflix, Disney, Cartoon Network, and Amazon.
Some of the Kickstarter’s reward tiers have already sold out, but Critical Role fans can still get tabletop game dice sets (by pledging $100 or more), limited-edition pins ($400+), signed pilot scripts ($500+) and art prints ($750+), as well as experiences like meetups with the cast ($20,000).
The Legend of Vox Machina is due to premiere in fall 2020.