Matthew Mercer, the DM of the hugely popular Critical Role, admitted a comment left by a fellow DM on Reddit’s DM Academy left him feeling a little heartbroken.
The question that sparked off the exchange was “How do I beat the Matt Mercer effect?” and came from a DM who felt this group of new D&D players had had their tabletop expectations mismanaged by Critical Role.
Matt Mercer, himself, replied. He offered the following quote the DM could share with his group.
Guys. Relax. Your DM is kicking ass, and is doing this for YOUR enjoyment and journey. Appreciate that, listen, build with them, and make this something UNIQUE. Abandon expectations and just have fun together as friends.”
In his reply, Mercer pointed out that gaming groups shouldn’t try and copy one another. That didn’t create tabletop roleplaying magic.
The voice actor also pointed out that his entire gaming table where experienced actors who had developed a style together.
A key point Mercer wanted to make was to stress that the responsibility of style and fun shouldn’t rest solely on the DM’s shoulders. It’s the collective of the group to work together to ensure everyone has fun and expectations met.
What tips would you give a DM dealing with a group of newbies expecting to hit Critical Role levels in their first year?
Photograph of Matt Mercer at WonderCon 2017 by Gage Skidmore.