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Plan A Critical Role Meetup With the Help of Seattle Critters
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Plan A Critical Role Meetup With the Help of Seattle Critters

Critical Role is Geek & Sundry’s live Dungeons & Dragons show, featuring Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer and his troupe of fellow voice actors. Catch them every Thursday night at 7:00 PM PT on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha.

Whether you’re in Twitch chat, Alpha chat, or Discord, every Thursday night feels like a gathering of friends when you get together to talk about Critical Role. If you’ve been longing for the same feeling in person, organizing and hosting a Critter group isn’t as daunting as it first sounds. Plan your first meetup with a few tips from Seattle Critters, who have been meeting monthly since 2016.

Seattle Critters

Meet the Seattle Critters

Seattle Critters, a Critical Role meetup group, was started by fans Brandi York and Chris Engle. Brandi has been a devotee since Vox Machina took on K’Varn in the early days, and Chris stumbled upon the show after watching Titansgrave. “Once I saw Critical Role, I knew that this was the show for me and it has been ever since,” he said.

The two were such big fans that they separately made the trek to Wizard World Portland in 2016 to see the cast. Acquainted through Twitter, they met up during the convention for the first time. Emerald City Comicon was the next month, so they made plans to meet up again — and this time made it an open invitation.

After Matthew Mercer helped spread the word online, a large group met in Seattle, and the gathering was crashed by Critical Role recurring guest Will Friedle, to the delight of the attendees.

Afterwards, Brandi and I thought it would be fun to do this on an ongoing basis,” Chris says. “Brandi has some of her artwork for sale at a local geek-friendly place, The Wayward Coffeehouse. The proprietress agreed to let us have monthly meetings there.”

eccc-seattlecritters

It was so much fun that the group has met monthly ever since, averaging 6-12 Critters per gathering in the cozy coffee shop. They also organized another large meetup again for Emerald City Comicon in 2017.

“Non-regularly, we’ve hosted Critters from Montana (the first Pike cosplay I had seen!) and from Eastern Washington,” Chris says. “If you’re a Critter and coming to the Seattle area, let us know. We are happy to try and schedule a meetup during your visit.”

A Good Time for a Good Cause

Not only do the meetups give Critical Role fans a chance to make new friends (and maybe even find a new D&D group), the Seattle Critters also do charity work for nonprofits in the area.

We’ve been working with Andy Herbst at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas, the Seattle equivalent of 826,” says Brandi. “More than $2500 has been donated. We’ve been working to try to set up workshops for the older kids on playing and running Dungeons & Dragons with the emphasis on teamwork and storytelling.”

Seattle Critmas

“Last year, we had a Critmas auction that raised $380, and we hope to exceed that this year,” Chris says. “Local Critters donated D&D and Critical Role related items. Tess Fowler and Nick Robles both generously donated artwork and prints for the auction. If you would like to donate something, please contact us!”

How Do You Want to Host This?

Chris and Brandi hope to see other cities and towns have the same success with their own regular Critical Role meetups. They recommend beginning during a convention, if possible, when there are both local and visiting Critters in town, and growing the gatherings from there.

Seattle Critters

Getting the word out is key, they say, crediting Matthew Mercer and Talks Machina for their help. “Brian W. Foster was kind enough to give us a mention on Talks Machina. Thanks, Brian!”

“Outreach and constant, relentless advertising is how you get people to show up,” Chris and Brandi say. “Some things you can do include getting a signal boost from the Twitter Critters with large followings; the Reddit Critical Role community is [also] a great place to promote your meetup. We have met quite a few Critters who heard about us there.”

They also credit teamwork for the success of the Seattle Critters group. “A key to our success has been that there are two of us who work on the meetups,” they say. “We’ve divided the labor a little. Brandi sets up the monthly meetups, Chris sets up the con-related meetups.”

And don’t be nervous about meeting your fellow fans. Chris firmly believes the Critter community is welcoming to anyone and everyone. “You really only need to like Critical Role to be a member,” he says. “Providing a place for people to gather and feel free to be themselves is of critical importance right now, and I am so happy to be a part of something that is supportive and provides that safe place.”

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Featured Image: Kelly Knox

Other Photos: Kelly Knox and Seattle Critters

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