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Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

"Cinderbrush: A Monsterhearts Story" (Sx51) is the 51st special episode from Critical Role. Using the Powered by the Apocalypse gaming system, four teenagers take on the horrors of high school - hormones, social cliques, teen angst... Oh, and they're also monsters.


Pre-Show and introduction[]

Matt gives a guide to the game in Handbooker Helper: Monsterhearts 2. Monsterhearts is a tabletop RPG created by Avery Alder that is designed to tell the complex stories of teenagers navigating angst, social identities, and bodies changing beyond their control - both from hormones and the fact that they're monsters. Matt gives a heads up that the conversations and themes that arise during gameplay might be uncomfortable, raw, or triggering. There is a seating chart that the cast arranged pre-show as part of the rules of the game, in which the players got to create a number of NPC students that are part of their class.

Much of the story will likely be very funny and much of it will be delightfully awkward. Some of it may go very very dark and some of it may be raw and real, in a way that the best/worst young adult fiction and adult fiction can be.

Part I[]

Welcome to Cinderbrush Hills, a sleepy town in the middle of Nowhere, Arizona, born from the arid desert highways that pass between the neighboring cities. Cinderbrush Hills is a small, insular community of nearly 7,000 people that straddles the line between taking pride in its slower, isolated way of life, since its founding in the '50s, and its desperate struggle to catch up to the 21st century. Much of the local economy subsists on the nearby oil fields, the local quarry, and the menagerie of small businesses that maintain the town between the tract housing and the strip malls. 25 miles away from the nearest major city of Vertuga, most of the locals spend their time distracting themselves with drink, small town gossip, and drama. And nowhere is drama more persistent than at Cinderbrush High.

Here, within the stretching quads of browning grass and recently renovated school buildings, the morning homeroom bell sends students rushing to their first class of the day. It's been a week since summer ended, and the students are still rapidly catching up on what adventures, rumors, and debauchery colored their vacation. Some stayed local, lamenting the drudgery of this desert town on social media, others, now touting their driver's licenses and second-hand cars, privately tell tales of their underage mischief in the big city. And others still carry darker secrets they wish to keep hidden from the light. It's here in this mix of social anxiety, raging hormones, and the messy want to discover one's true self that our story begins. As the bell rings out across the quad, students rushing, grabbing their packs, going to the lockers, and grabbing their books for their first class, bumping past each other, you can already see the wide array of people. Tall, short, all manner of colors and all manner of personalities, in that weird, tumultuous incubation period of figuring out who they're going to be as a person and all the conflict that entails. As we step into Mr. Kempler's homeroom classroom, students start washing in and finding their seats.


  • Pictures of the cast members of Cinderbrush: A Monsterhearts Story wearing the costume of their respective characters.
  • Official art of the Cinderbrush students by Kendra Wells.

Part II[]

Cinderbrush - nikoreru

Fan art of Cinderbrush, by Nikoreru.[art 1]

You had all made yourself into the interior, the pop-up desert rave outside of the town of Cinderbrush Hills. Inside the chamber, it's bodies moving, music thumping. Up on the stage, you can see, for those of you who would recognize it, DJ Dark Star, who is actually a fairly decently-known local celebrity, is up there, is in the process of spinning. It's exciting, it is intense, and also, you don't recognize most anybody here as you begin to walk through the floor. A lot of older folks, and everyone is on some sort of wavelength, a little separate from yours. A little ways in your group, as you're like, taking in the atmosphere around you.

Featured Characters[]

Player Characters[]


Official art of the Cinderbrush students, by Kendra Wells from "Cinderbrush: A Monsterhearts Story" (Sx51).[art 2]


  • Cori Brooks (Classmate)
  • Lexi Wembles (Classmate)
  • Jesse Zimmerman (Classmate)
  • Amanda Beltman (Classmate)
  • Jason Buckner (Classmate)
  • Mr. Kempler (History teacher)
  • Aimee Reyes (Classmate)
  • Mary Rajo (Classmate)
  • Evan Harris (Classmate)
  • Miss Neera Patel (Biology teacher)
  • Terrence Michaels (Student)
  • Miss Laura Meyer (English II teacher)
  • Tyler Thorne (Classmate)
  • Suzie Moreno (Graduate student)
  • Samuel Flowers (Abigail's dad)
  • Theresa Solomon (Cameron's mom)
  • Hank Solomon (Cameron's dad)
  • Sheriff Micheal Dobbs (Cinderbrush Hills's sheriff)
  • Officer Baron
  • Officer Jared Thara


Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes



  • The music used in the intro is "In the Basement" by Oliver Benjamin Green from the album "The Best Of Guitar Scene, Vol 1" available online here:
  • This was the first time Matt led a TTRPG game using the Monsterhearts gaming system. This was also the first time the cast members had played it.

External links[]



  1. Fan art of Cinderbrush, by Nikoreru (source). Used with permission.
  2. Official art of the Cinderbrush students, by Kendra Wells from "Cinderbrush: A Monsterhearts Story" (Sx51). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.