Critical Role fans who don’t have a regular gaming group are in for a treat. Dungeons & Dragons Adventurer’s League, Wizards of the Coast’s organized play program, will be running players through the entire Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep story. The new adventure module, released on Tuesday, is currently being adapted for organized play. Sessions start Mar. 18.
The latest iteration of D&D Adventurer’s League is run by Baldman Games. It allows players to pay a nominal fee (currently around $15) to secure a seat at the table for a four-hour session led by a skilled DM. Founder David Christ led the charge online in 2020, taking the entire program to various virtual tabletops , including Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, and Foundry VTT. The League is still going strong, with much of its activity organized on Discord.
Polygon had a quick chat with Baldman organizer Spencer Navarra-Chew, who explained that contractors working for Wizards have been busy chopping up the 224-page campaign book into manageable pieces. The goal is to divide it into a number of four-hour chunks that each have a beginning, middle, and end. Players will sign up to experience them in sequence, sitting down to play each time with a completely different group of players. Character progress — including leveling up and loot — will carry over.
The result is a D&D game that isn’t quite as open-ended as ones you might play at home. Players aren’t encouraged to wander from the main storyline, mainly due to the need to wrap things up in a timely fashion and prepare players for the next part of the campaign. But the benefit is that you don’t need a regular group to experience the full story. You can show up alone at the table with your character and know that everyone else joining you is up to speed and ready to keep the narrative moving.
Sign-ups are open now at The Yawning Portal, the official online registration tool for the D&D Adventurer’s League. Those starting at level 1 can sign up for the “Frozen Sick” adventure to get started right away. Options for players joining in at higher levels will be provided soon. Head to Baldman’s Discord for more information, including a list of the books and rules that will be allowed for building your character.