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This wiki contains spoilers for all stories of Critical Role. This includes the story for unaired episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina, as it's based on the first campaign of Critical Role from 2015-2017.

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This page is about the actor. For the character from a one-shot campaign, see Matthew Mercer (character).

– 
Matthew Mercer's catchphrase when the players defeat a challenge
[!h]

Matthew Miller, known by stage name Matthew Mercer, is a voice actor, a member of the main cast of Critical Role, and the chief creative officer at Critical Role Productions LLC. He is the Dungeon Master of the main Critical Role campaigns.

He is also a member of the board of directors for the Critical Role Foundation and the creative advisor at Darrington Press LLC. He has also been the Dungeon Master for several special episodes. He also voices Sylas Briarwood in The Legend of Vox Machina as well as additional voices.

Critical Role Productions

Pre-stream

In 2012, Liam O'Brien asked Matthew Mercer to run a D&D one-shot for his birthday. At the time, Matthew kept telling Liam about the D&D game he was running and often invited Liam to join. The game then became an ongoing Pathfinder campaign.

When Matt created the campaign that eventually became Critical Role, he made up his own world, Exandria, and restructured some of the game system rules to allow for more flexibility in the storyline. He has been the Dungeon Master since the beginning of the campaign in 2012.

Matt creating a battlemap

In preparation for the streamed series, Matt converted the game over from Pathfinder to Dungeons & Dragons, because Pathfinder combat is slower due to an abundance of various modifiers. D&D also has more name recognition. When converting their game, Matt had to create a custom fighter's Martial Archetype for Taliesin Jaffe's character, Percy, as the Gunslinger subclass didn't exist in 5th Edition D&D. The two of them took a full day to switch over the character and all of his stats and abilities.

Main campaigns

At the beginning of the series, Matt created custom battlemaps by drawing grids on paper. He eventually upgraded to three-dimensional maps, and spends time every week assembling battlemaps from the hundreds of pieces he has collected over the years. He hand-crafted some of the map elements, and has painted some minis by hand.[2]

During the show, Matt is responsible for the music, and with the new Campaign Three set, the ambiant lighting.

In an open letter published a few days before the Campaign Three 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".[3]

Player characters

See also: Player characters played by Matthew Mercer
Although Matt is the Dungeon Master for the main campaigns of Critical Role, he occasionally gets to be a player for one-shots and miniseries.

Games played as Game Master

Matthew Mercer as the Dungeon Master[art 9]

Other works

Custom D&D materials

Fan art of Matthew Mercer as a bard in the College of the Maestro, by NLN4.[art 10]

Matt created several custom supplementals for Dungeons & Dragons, 5th edition, some of which are available on the Dungeon Masters Guild or have been included in official Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks:

D&D sourcebooks

Matt has worked as a writer and game designer on several official D&D materials.

Other actual play series

In addition to Critical Role, Matt served as the dungeon master for Geek & Sundry's CelebriD&D miniseries in 2017. He appeared as a player on twice on CollegeHumor's show Dimension 20: the first time as Leiland in Escape from the Bloodkeep, and the second time as Jack in Pirates of Leviathan. Brennan Lee Mulligan served as Dungeon Master for both games.

Matt also appeared as a DM or player on several other series, such as Force Grey, RealmSmith and The Adventure Zone.

Voice acting

Matt began his voice acting career with video games in the mid-2000s. He worked on several anime dubbing projects, and has lended his voice to dozens of characters in western animation. Some of Matt's well-known roles are Jotaro Kujo from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan, and Cole Cassidy in Overwatch.

Personal life

Photograph of Matthew Mercer, by Heirlume Photography.[art 11]

At a young age, Matt suffered from a stutter. His father, who also stuttered, got him a speech therapist who reduced the effects to the point that only certain words trigger it.[18] He has revealed in multiple interviews that he suffers from body dysmorphic disorder and has always struggled with his physical appearance.[19][20]

As a freshman at high school, approximately 14 years old,[21] Matt joined popular arts club, where he started playing Dungeons & Dragons[22] Although he promptly fell in love with the game, most players at the table preferred mechanical aspects of DnD, which did not caught Matt's immediate interest. Seeing the potential and the instruments DnD provided for storytellers, he began DMing his own campaign wtih narrative incline.[23][24]

Before his aspiration for acting, in his middle years school Matthew wanted to be a chemist and during his high school an illustrator.[25]

When Matt began pursuing acting, he discovered that there were many Matt Millers in the industry. To make his name more memorable, he decided to change it from Miller to Mercer, a family name dated three generations back.[26]

Starting with "Strangers with Candy" era in the late 90s, Matthew Mercer is a long time fan of Stephen Colbert[27] and had him on dream DnD guest star list since July 2015.[28]

On October 21, 2017,[29] in between campaigns One and Two, Matt married Marisha Ray. They live together with their dog Omar and previously had a bird Dagon. For their third anniversary, Matt shared some video highlights from his engagement to Marisha. He created a fake escape room with the help of friends, where she had to solve puzzles and fight a monster before he proposed to her.[30]

Matt has done cosplay as a hobby for years. He even cosplayed as Pumat Sol during a convention, and again for a Twitch ad that sometimes plays during episode breaks.

Trivia

Official Matt Mercer mini by WizKids

  • He shares his middle name, Christopher, with Liam O'Brien.
  • When asked if he could be any player character in the game, Matt has repeatedly chosen Scanlan.
  • In the Critical Role Major Arcana Tarot Card Set, he (as the Dungeon Master) represents XXI - The World.
  • Matt's NPCs are sometimes borrowed from or inspired by his player characters from other games. Two of these characters are Grimthorne and Eskil Ryndarien.
    • It is possible that Trent Ikithon was also at least partially inspired by Matt's first D&D Character, a Militant Wizard called Emeritus Trent.[31]
  • A miniature figure of Matt was released by WizKids in 2021 as part of the Character of Exandria set.
  • Matt's chosen drink for his Between the Sheets interview was a dark & stormy.
  • Every Halloween, the cast of Critical Role dresses up in costume for one episode. Matthew has dressed up as Geralt of Rivia (2015), Victor (2016), Dante from Devil May Cry (2018), Cole Cassidy (2019), Artagan (2020) and Laura Bailey (2021).
  • On Talks Machina, the host Brian Wayne Foster liked to "#ThankMyGuests" with names that were either mispronounced or wordplay that sounded close to their names. Here are the names for Matthew Mercer:
  • Mike Mercer
  • Michael Mercy
  • Mike Murker
  • Mad He Cursed Her
  • Math Precursor
  • Path Traverser
  • Splat Nurser
  • Bathroom Nurser
  • Make You Cry Mercy
  • Merciless Murder
  • Back Few Nerves Hurt
  • Cast and Crew Hurt-er
  • Thank You Turnt Sir
  • Blast You Zauber
  • Ogres Smell the Worst Sir
  • Stabby Crow Voicer

External links

References

  1. Between the Sheets: Matthew Mercer
  2. The challenge of Critical Role is staying on top of the fantastical details; Polygon, Nov 18, 2020.
  3. See A Warm Welcome to Marquet and Campaign 3! on critrole.com
  4. See "Blood Hunter Class" (source).
  5. See "Blood Hunter Class Details" on D&D Beyond
  6. See "Lingering Soul Class" (source).
  7. See "College of the Maestro - Bard College Option" (source).
  8. See "Gunslinger Martial Archetype for Fighters" (source).
  9. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 101.
  10. "Critical Role's Sam Riegel Spills on New Campaign, Reveals Inspiration and Subclass for New Character" (November 4, 2021) by Christian Hoffer at ComicBook.com.
  11. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:00:34.
  12. CritRoleStats stated that Matt was referring to the name of Ashton's subclass in "Quick Answers 88".
  13. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 102.
  14. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 103.
  15. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 104.
  16. DDB.png Paladin Oath of the Open Sea on D&D Beyond
  17. See "Corruption rules" (source).
  18. Between the Sheets: Matthew Mercer
  19. Conversation with Matt Mercer
  20. Between the Sheets: Matthew Mercer
  21. See "Stephen Colbert's D&D Adventure with Matthew Mercer" (Sx43) at 3:50.
  22. Conversation with Matt Mercer at 40:38
  23. Conversation with Matt Mercer at 42:02
  24. Building Your Own Campaign Setting (with Matthew Mercer) │ Adventuring Academy.
  25. Conversation with Matt Mercer at 30:38
  26. More on: Twitter and Conversation with Matt Mercer
  27. Conversation with Matt Mercer at 53:35
  28. See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 3:47:24.
  29. https://twitter.com/Marisha_Ray/status/922006496723865600
  30. Twitter thread from Matt discussing engagement:https://twitter.com/matthewmercer/status/1319138526680633344
  31. See Matt's tweet.

Art:

  1. Photograph of Matthew Mercer for Variety, by Robyn Von Swank (source). 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.
  2. Official portrait by Kendra Wells
  3. Official portrait by Kendra Wells
  4. Official portrait by Joana Carvalho
  5. Official portrait by Hugo Cardenas
  6. Official portrait by Hugo Cardenas
  7. Official portrait by Kent Davis
  8. Official portrait by Minttu Hynninen
  9. From Hype: Fall Programming Schedule on CritRole.com
  10. Fan art of Matthew Mercer as a bard in the College of the Maestro, by NLN4 (source). Used with permission.
  11. Photograph of Matthew Mercer, by Heirlume Photography (source). 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.
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