Campaign Three: Bells Hells is the third campaign of Critical Role, which began airing on October 21, 2021. It is set on the continent of Marquet and begins in 843 PD, within a year after the events of Exandria Unlimited.
|Laura Bailey||Imogen Temult||Human||Sorcerer (Aberrant Mind)|
|Taliesin Jaffe||Ashton Greymoore||Earth Genasi||Barbarian (Path of Fundamental Chaos)|
|Ashley Johnson||Fearne Calloway||Faun||Druid (Circle of Wildfire) / Rogue|
|Liam O'Brien||Orym||Halfling||Fighter (Battle Master)|
|Marisha Ray||Laudna||Human (Hollow One)||Sorcerer (Shadow Magic) / Warlock (The Undead)|
|Sam Riegel||Fresh Cut Grass||Aeormaton||Cleric (Empathy Domain)|
|Travis Willingham||Bertrand Bell||Human||Fighter|
|Chetney Pock O'Pea||Gnome||Blood Hunter (Order of the Lycan) / Rogue|
|Matthew Mercer||The Dungeon Master|
|Robbie Daymond||Dorian Storm||Air Genasi||Bard (College of Swords)|
Story arc summaries
|Story arc||First episode||Last episode|
|Arc 1||"The Draw of Destiny" (3x01)||Ongoing|
|Three groups of adventurers, some familiar and some new, meet in the five-spired city of Jrusar and form an alliance initially born of convenience and the desire for knowledge and coin. Quickly, however, they find themselves digging into the city's shadowy mysteries and increasingly fraught tensions.|
The fact that a third campaign would happen was first confirmed in an announcement on June 10, 2021. The premiere date was confirmed in an announcement on September 30, 2021, and it was announced that it would also air live in select theaters in the United States. The campaign is prerecorded. Unlike previous campaigns, the series does not air on the last Thursday of the month (starting in 2022) to give the cast and crew time to rest and prepare for upcoming episodes and to give viewers time to catch up with the show.
A brand new set was built for the campaign under Marisha's project direction. Matt stated that the idea of a campaign room that had windows fitted with LCD screens for effects comes from a high school art project that became a "white whale" for him. Projection effects were initially "dabbled" with in "Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Crystal Palace" (Sx46), many requested by Taliesin, and the new set was designed from the start to support using them more significantly. Named by the production team as the Tavern of Tales, the set's concept art was developed by Shaun Ellis and its lighting and projection design work was developed by Holly Hodges, who both worked in theme park development. It was built by Flip This Bitch, who built sets for Critical Role in the past. Marisha described the set as "a tool, and it's meant to enhance the expression of the story", and she felt that it not only had to look good for the audience but also for the players at the table. All lighting, screens, projections, music, and other atmospheric details are controlled directly by Matt.
In an open letter published a few days before the campaign premiere, Matthew Mercer confirmed that he was working with cultural and sensitivity consultants "throughout the worldbuilding and presentation of Marquet" to ensure that aspects of the continent of Marquet, the main setting for the campaign, would be "lending a familiarity and celebrating aspects of those same languages and cultures without appropriating them". In a December 2018 episode of Talks at Google, he had talked about his desire to revisit Marquet in greater depth:
Liam and Ashley were given the chance to playtest their characters, Orym and Fearne Calloway, through the miniseries Exandria Unlimited. They both decided to reuse them in Campaign Three. They were given the option to re-roll their character stats for the new campaign, which Ashley took for Fearne. Guest player Robbie Daymond also chose to re-roll Dorian Storm's stats.
According to Matt, Travis wanted to join the campaign a bit later than the others. To allow him to sit at the table from the first episode, Bertrand Bell, who had previously appeared in "The Search For Grog" (Sx42), was brought back as a temporary player character. Travis suggested that Bertrand be killed to allow him to introduce his new character, but didn't know when or how his death would occur.
- Between Campaign Two and Campaign Three, the Critical Role timeslot was filled by Exandria Unlimited and various special episodes.
- The race and class of Fresh Cut Grass were decided by Liam.
- To help promote the campaign, Critical Role sponsored three videos from Quincy's Tavern featuring fictional foods and drinks with real accompanying recipes, in a series called "Taste of Marquet". They were posted to TikTok and Twitter.
- The first features the Mage's Cloak, a drink made of the Marquesian mahika flower often used in potions, drinks and desserts with a recipe for a mocktail of butterfly pea tea.
- The second features kip kebabs, skewered meat dry rubbed with fusaka spice often sold by street vendors, with a recipe for baked dry rub chicken kebabs.
- The third features sandberry pies made from sweet sand crystals, mined from mountain caves throughout Marquet and used as an ingredient various desserts and drinks, with a recipe for peach mango hand pies.
- Campaign Three featured a guest earlier than any previous campaign, with Robbie Daymond as Dorian Storm appearing in the first episode.
- Campaign Three is the first campaign to feature player characters from previous Critical Role games. Bertrand Bell previously appeared in "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) and its sequel; Fearne Calloway, Orym and Dorian Storm previously appeared in Exandria Unlimited.
- See State of the Role: Campaign 3 Announcement | Fall 2021 at 5:33.
- See the June 10th episode of State of the Role.
- See State of the Role: Campaign 3 Announcement | Fall 2021 at 6:06.
- See "Campaign 3: Behind the Set"
- See A Warm Welcome to Marquet and Campaign 3! on critrole.com
- See "Critical Role | Matthew Mercer + More | Talks at Google" at 40:22
- See Matt's tweet on returning player characters.
- See Matt's Tweet about Bertrand's death.
- See "Critical Role Campaign 2 Wrap Up" (Sx56) at 28:39.
- See @quincystavern on Twitter: the Mage's Cloak, Kip Kebabs, and Sandberry Pies.