Critters, sit back for an evening of unbridled guilt fun and peruse Episode 3 of our Critical Role Q&A! We hope you've been following along with this mighty adventure, because it's been pretty fabulous and it's about to get even more fabulous.
Right on time and on target, we have a quick and perceptively charming chat with the man of slinging guns himself, Taliesin Jaffe, aka Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III! Continue down this tunnel to uncover more about this cultured badass...
Espionage Cosmetics: The first episode of Critical Role was originally supposed to be a one time thing. Then the internet exploded with Critical Role love! What was the process like shifting from a game amongst friends into an adventure fans would partake and sit in on?
Taliesin Jaffe: The biggest changes for me were that we play far more regularly now, and have significantly less cheese platters. Also, we no longer have a single table to play at, which is such an intense part of the tabletop experience. I keep trying to sketch set designs that would put us all back at a single table again.
EC: If you could switch roles with any character for one episode, who would it be and why?
TJ: Grog. I miss just beating on things, and playing a character with poor impulse control is SO much fun.
EC: If someone wants to jump into watching Critical Role, do you have any suggestions for a good starting point? Is there an easy way to catch up for those that haven't been with you since the beginning?
TJ: I felt Whitestone was a great starting arc, but I’m biased. It is tricky, because we don’t have season breaks like traditional media. Some lovely fans have made primers for new viewers; those really help. I tend to find if you pick up an episode, you’ll quickly figure out if this sort of storytelling interests you, or doesn’t.
You know what, I’m going to get weird, bear with me. Critical Role is about people. You don’t meet some cool people and worry that you’re going to be lost because you haven’t known them since birth. You enjoy their company.
EC: What’s your dream campaign that you would love to experience with the cast and players of CR?
TJ: A Haunted house LARP in a castle in Europe. Seriously. But in the realm of slightly more reasonability, I’d love to run some tabletop Vampire the Masquerade, or something Noir-esque. Goth Travis and Sam would kill me.
EC: The #Critters are always showing unending love for you guys. What’s your favorite moment with one of your fans?
TJ: SO MANY. Do I have to pick? We went to a game shop in Portland during Wizard World. I’m just zoning out, and a guy saunters up to me and after a few second just says, “Briarwoods, man.” We chatted about life for about 30 minutes. It was great. I love that. That’s one of 3 dozen or so.
EC: With how involved roleplaying is, do any of you have a pre-stream prep routine to get your RPG game face on?
TJ: Coffee. Being an idiot with Marisha. I’ll close my eyes to listen to Matt sometimes if my brain is still at work. Also, Travis does a weird "spots coach" voice/pep talk before the show that helps too. Very reassuring. I don’t think he knows he does it.
EC: Percy has come a long way, paving the way for the Gunslinger Fighter class. In the beginning, you made comments about shooting foam bullets. How has the character class developed and strengthened since then? Any advice for those wanting to give this homebrewed class a try?
TJ: The thing to watch out for with homebrew classes is that you never want to be too overpowered. And if you’re playing a gunslinger, the trick shots are your best toy. That is what the class is all about. You get to keep the bad guys at a disadvantage, so that the rest of the party can get in there and do some damage.
EC: How many Percy qualities do you feel carry over to yourself IRL? Does the insatiable urge to tinker ever emerge?
TJ: Percy and I don’t have TOO much in common. I definitely use him as a vessel for the snarky side of my wit, and he definitely suffers from the belief that he is the only adult in the room, which is something it took me many years to get out of my system. And while I love fixing things, when it comes to creating something new, I should not be let anywhere NEAR anything that might be flammable, let alone that could explode.
EC: Perhaps most importantly, have you noticed any difference when sporting a MENicure during gameplay? We think there's a good possibility of it enhancing your powers. Can you confirm?
TJ: Specifically when I match my nails with my socks, THAT is a magic combo. Seriously, boys are given very little permission to be flamboyant in this culture. A little something, especially on your hands which are always in your field of view, can help get you out of yourself.
"If you see me wearing wraps on the show that means I’m going to be out having fun all weekend, and I’m excited to see what the Crit Role wraps do under blacklight!" -TJ