Critical Role Wiki

This wiki contains spoilers for the entirety of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina. Proceed at your own risk!


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki
This page is about the actor. For the character from the "Liam's Quest" special episodes, see Sam Riegel (character).

Sam Riegel is a voice actor and a member of the main cast of Critical Role. He played Fresh Cut Grass and currently plays Braius Doomseed in Campaign Three.

In previous campaigns, Sam played Scanlan Shorthalt, Taryon Darrington and Veth Brenatto. He has also been the Dungeon Master for several special episodes.

Critical Role Productions[]


Before Critical Role began, Sam and his close friend Liam created a podcast called allworknoplay, with the intention to get more fun into their busy schedules. For Liam's birthday they planned to play Dungeons & Dragons with some friends and shared their experience on the podcast. Towards the end of All Work No Play's second episode, the two of them talked about getting ready for the upcoming "one-time" D&D game. Sam asked Liam what was the worst character to play as, and Liam suggested a gnome. Sam talked about being a bard in the podcast, which would suit him due to his background in music both from college and his help in writing show ideas for The Voice.

Sam recorded a few short clips of the pre-stream Critical Role game. These clips can be found on his vine page.

Main campaigns[]

Sam's characters - Aviv Or

Fan art of Sam's characters, by Aviv Or.[art 2]

As Scanlan the bard, he was known for improvising songs on the fly. Examples include: "I think you're really handsome and nice! You're going to have inspiration dice!" He often pulled songs from pop culture and modified their lyrics, as in, "Here's a little song I wrote! It's filled with inspiration, note for note. Don't fuck up. Or I'll kill you."[1] Sam later wrote the lyrics of Campaign Two's theme, Your Turn To Roll, and Campaign Three's theme It's Thursday Night.

Sam became the first player in the Critical Role canon to introduce a second player character when Scanlan Shorthalt left Vox Machina, to be replaced by Taryon Darrington in "A Bard's Lament" (1x85). He would later reprise his role as Scanlan in "Masquerade" (1x99), leaving Tary behind in "Thar Amphala" (1x101).


Sam as BlackWillow73

Early on, it became Sam's job to read sponsorship announcements at the beginning of episodes, and he quickly became creative with them, coming up with dozens of bits. He often sings jingles, dresses up in costumes, or performs strange feats to entertain the audience, with the actual sponsorship often simply thrown into them. He sometimes enlists other cast members to participate. Some of these bits are recurring and even have their own lore, like the Nord VPN ads, which spawned The Nordverse.

One of Sam's most iconic bits was his campaign to be elected as President of D&D Beyond, which became a recurring event over several episodes. During the sponsorship section, he gave campaign speeches and invited viewers to vote for him on election day. Eventually, Sam lost the election of 69th President of D&D Beyond to his campaign rival, Liam O'Brien. However, in a twist ending, he accepted Liam's "proposal" to become the the first ever co-presidents of D&D Beyond. They were then told that there is no such thing as President of D&D Beyond. A fan-made compilation of the race can be found here.

Easter eggs[]


Sam's flask

Giant Drinkware
Sam's most iconic running gag is his gigantic drinkware. During Campaign One, he drank from a massive tankard, and taped stickers, pictures and text to the bottom that could be seen while he tipped it back to drink. However, while he played Taryon, he used a normal sized stein. Similarly, he acquired several giant flasks from fans during Campaign Two, in reference to the Flask of Perpetual Booze, and also taped jokes to it. He even taped objects to it, like a spinning wheel and a basketball hoop. During the premiere of Campaign Three Sam unveiled his new giant drinkware; a prop jerrycan with a blackboard attached. Critrole Stats has compiled a gallery of Sam's mugs, flasks and cans for every episode. Sam has stated that he never washed his mug or his flask and that drinking from them tastes kind of weird. He has also confirmed that although originally he organized the gags involving the flask by himself, now Kyle Shire helps him, pitching new ideas if the one presented by Sam can be improved.[2]

Shirt Gag
In "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) of the first campaign, Sam wore his first t-shirt with one of Matt's awkward faces on it, which would become a recurring theme in this future campaigns. Matt took his revenge in "The Stalking Nightmare" (2x29), wearing a variant of the shirt but with Sam's face. Sam also began wearing shirts with embarrassing old pictures of the rest of the cast, starting with "Solace Between the Secrets" (2x118).

During the second campaign, Sam started a new shirt bit by wearing every shirt he wore in Campaign One in the same order, with a few exceptions. Critrole Stats has compiled a gallery of all of Sam's shirts. He finally completed the bit during "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107), when he wore the shirt from the campaign one finale. Sam restarted this bit in the third campaign.

The Legend of Vox Machina[]

Sam is an executive producer for The Legend of Vox Machina. He also wrote original songs for his character Scanlan with the help of Peter Habib.

Player characters[]

See also: Player characters played by Sam Riegel

Main campaigns[]

One-shots and miniseries[]

Games played as game master[]

Exquisite Exandria[]

Sam's wife Quyen Tran (and Sam) wrote the Foreword for Exquisite Exandria: The Official Cookbook of Critical Role.

Other works[]

See also: Sam's IMDb profile
Sam appeared in the musical Les Misérables as Gavroche when he was a child. He began voice acting in 2001, and is best known for his roles as Donatello in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series and as Phoenix Wright in the Ace Attorney video game series.

Sam is a prolific voice director and has worked on several series, such as Fallout New Vegas, Elena of Avalor and Ducktales. In 2018, he received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program for his work on Danger & Eggs. He is also a writer and musician.

Personal life[]

Sam Riegel

Sam Riegel, wearing the shirt from "Race to the Tower" (1x102).[art 19]

Sam studied at the University of Virginia where he met his future wife, cinematographer Quyen Tran. They have two children, Maximus and Kestrel, both of whom have had small voice parts in The Legend of Vox Machina. On September 11, 2001, Sam and his wife Quyen witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center. They lived in an apartment nearby.

Sam met Adam Nierow and Peter Habib at the a cappella singing group of the University of Virginia, The Academical Village People. Peter Habib would become Sam's brother-in-law and create the music production company Mr. Fantastic with Adam Nierow. Mr. Fantastic was involved in several of Critical Role's projects, such as The Legend of Vox Machina Soundtrack, It's Thursday Night and the D&D Beyond Official Theme.[3]

In July 2024, Sam revealed he had dealt with cancer of the tonsils (oropharyngeal carcinoma) during his time off from the show after FCG's death.[4]


  • Sam considers Oscar his middle name, and Samuel Brent the first, since his mother wanted to call him Brent and his father wanted to call him Samuel. In fact, part of his family still refers to him as Brent.[5]
  • Sam is a known wine snob, which the cast often tease him about.
  • Every week, Sam retells the events of Critical Role as a bedtime story for his children.[6]
  • Sam Riegel created "The Meta Gaming Pigeon" concept in "Midnight Espionage" (2x12)
  • It is tradition for Liam O'Brien to choose Sam's character's race and class at the beginning of each campaign, but his involvement ends there, so he doesn't have influence in potential multiclassing, transformations, or even second characters during the campaign. Interestingly, two of the campaigns had a surprise like that that Liam didn't see coming (Taryon as Sam's second character in Campaign One, and Nott transforming into Veth in Campaign Two).
    • As of the hours previous to the release of "Ancient Sins" (3x97) Sam hadn't shared with the rest of the cast his plans and intentions for the rest of Campaign Three: Bells Hells now that Fresh Cut Grass was gone, and not even Liam knew what he had planned for a potential second character.[7]
  • Every Halloween, the cast of Critical Role dresses up in costume for one episode. Sam has dressed up as Burt Reynolds (2015), Hotis (2016), Pac-Man (2017), a bottle of ketchup (2018), Phoenix Wright (2019), Kiri (2020), Marisha Ray (2021), Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic (2022), and Gimli (2023).
  • Sam's real-life children, Maximus and Kestrel, appear in several voice roles in The Legend of Vox Machina in both Season One and Season Two, including as Scanlan Shorthalt's imaginary grandchildren.
  • Sam's chosen drink for his Between the Sheets interview was a sidecar.
  • In December 2012, Sam recorded audiobooks as the narrator for the Dahmon Saga, a Dragonlance book series. At the same time he was also Liam's Voice Director for the recording of his own Dragonlance audiobooks, the Lost Legends books. This happened around the time of their first home D&D game.[8]
  • As of winter 2024, Sam was running a campaign for his children and their friends set in the Wildemount Wildlings summer camp, in which they played as surprisingly rule-abiding campers.[9]
  • When asked which one of his Critical Role characters is his favorite, Sam replied he liked playing Loquatius Seelie from Exandria Unlimited: Calamity because it was really fun to have an in-game relationship with Aabria Iyengar's character, Laerryn Coramar-Seelie, and also because he had never experienced characters that had a strong relationship from the beginning. [10]
  • On Talks Machina, the host Brian Wayne Foster liked to "#ThankMyGuests" with names that are either mispronounced or wordplay that sounds close to their names. Here are the names for Sam Riegel:
  • Sam Rie-Gel
  • Sam Seagull
  • Spam Peehole
  • Jean Claude Van Sam Fecal
  • Slam Creedskull
  • Sham Beagle
  • Stan Smeagol
  • A Tad Evil
  • Uncle Sam's Eagle
  • Scram People
  • Scammin' Green Girl
  • Scamming Isn't Legal
  • Playing Small People
  • Flask Refill
  • Good Goblin is Nott Evil
  • Boomstick Non-Lethal

External links[]


  1. See "The Core Anvil" (1x108) at 4:20:37.
  2. See "Critical Role: Sick Day" (Sx82) at 0:34:09.
  3. See Sam's episode of Between the Sheets at 21:40 through 22:36. See "Critical Role's Sam Riegel on Nott and the D&D Beyond Jingle" at 6:29. See also Peter Habib's interview (as well as Sam Riegel's and Neal Acree's) by Alon Levitan for the Lakeshore Record Podcast at 4:34.
  4. See "It's Been A While".
  5. See "4-Sided Dive: Liam Laudna-Hands" (4SDx06) at 1:02:44.
  6. See "Talks Machina #61: 'Lost & Found'" (TMx61) at 0:55:32.
  7. See "Critical Role's Liam O'Brien On Orym & Dorian Romance, Beef With Laudna, And Bells Hells LIVE!" at 0:25:25.
  8. See episode 3 of the podcast allworknoplay at 04:38 through 06:44.
  9. See "Critical Role: Sick Day" (Sx82) at 1:11:27.
  10. See Critical Role Panel at Florida Supercon 2024 at 44:30.


  1. Photograph of Sam Riegel 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. Fan art of Sam's characters, by Aviv Or (source). Used with permission.
  3. Official portrait by Kit Buss
  4. Official portrait by Kit Buss
  5. Official portrait by Ari
  6. Official portrait by Hannah Friederichs
  7. Official portrait by Hannah Friederichs
  8. Official portrait by Kendra Wells
  9. Official portrait by Kendra Wells
  10. Official portrait by Kendra Wells
  11. Official portrait by Joana Carvalho
  12. Official portrait by Kendra Wells
  13. Official portrait by Joana Carvalho
  14. Official portrait by Hugo Cardenas
  15. Official portrait by Hannah Friederichs
  16. Official portrait by Hannah Friederichs
  17. Official portrait by Kent Davis
  18. Official portrait by Shaun Ellis
  19. Sam Riegel on Twitter: "#shirtception continues...". June 22, 2017.