Critical Role is branching out further into the podcasting business and putting 2 heavyweight cast members on a new, experimental show

Critical Role is branching out further into the podcasting business and putting 2 heavyweight cast members on a new, experimental...

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A composite image with the logo of Critical Role's new podcast show, Moonward, in the middle. To the left is Critical Role creative director Marisha Ray in a blush pink button down and a pearl vest. On the right is Critical Role cast member Liam O'Brien, in a brown jacket and a white round-necked t-shirt.
Critical Role main cast members Liam O’Brien and Marisha Ray are going all in on the company’s new audio drama, “Moonward,” a spinoff show from its 2023 podcast acquisition, “Midst.”

  • Critical Role on Wednesday announced “Moonward,” a four-part miniseries.
  • “Moonward” follows CR’s 2023 acquisition of “Midst,” a sci-fi space western audio drama.
  • “Moonward” also stars two heavyweight CR cast members, in a renewed push into the podcasting business.

Critical Role has been churning out some big productions aside from its long-running main “Dungeons & Dragons” campaigns. Now, they’re looking to sink their teeth further into the podcasting business.

Critical Role creative director Marisha Ray announced the miniseries on a livestream on Wednesday evening. Titled “Moonward,” the four-part, stand-alone series is set in the world of “Midst,” an experimental audio drama that Critical Role acquired in 2023.

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“Midst,” a sci-fi space western set on a desert planet, was originally helmed by three unnamed narrators. Now, its crew — Matt Roen, Sara Wile, and Xen — have come out of anonymity.

On “Moonward,” they’re getting experimental on-set with Ray and her fellow CR main cast member Liam O’Brien.

Ray said “Moonward” will be set shortly after the events of “Midst’s” three seasons. It will feature a cast of characters “on an expedition to locate the sunken remains of Midst’s destroyed moon.”

“We all walked away from the table at the end really attached to the story we told,” O’Brien said on Wednesday evening’s stream.

There are no dice and no rules in “Moonward” — unlike the “D&D main campaign” those two cast members are used to. Instead, it will feature just pure roleplay and acting.

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“It’s certainly nothing like what we have done here at Critical Role,” Ray said, likening the experience to combining roleplaying games with a live jam session.

This has been a significant year for Critical Role’s expansion into the business of nerdworld. The third season of the company’s Amazon-backed animation series, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” is getting a fall release. The “Mighty Nein” animated series, based on their second long-running “D&D” campaign, is also in the works. And their business expansion continues with two games: the “Daggerheart” open-beta, a game with the potential to rival Hasbro’s major moneymakers like “Magic: The Gathering” and “D&D,” and “Candela Obscura,” CR’s gothic horror offering.

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The first full trailer for “Moonward” will be released on July 24.

For now, Critical Role fans can tide over their programming cravings with the start of “Downfall,” the long-anticipated blockbuster main campaign arc helmed by “Dimension 20’s” Brennan Lee Mulligan.

“Downfall” kicks off on Thursday night. It will stream on Twitch, YouTube, and Beacon, CR’s in-house membership and streaming service.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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