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

Sam Riegel (@SamRiegel) is a voice actor who plays Veth Brenatto, a halfling (formerly goblin) rogue, on Critical Role. He played Scanlan Shorthalt, a gnome bard, and Taryon Darrington, a human artificer, in the first campaign. He has also been the Dungeon Master for several special episodes.

The Roots of Critical Role

Before Critical Role began, Sam and his best friend Liam O'Brien created a podcast called allworknoplay, with the purpose of trying to get more fun into their busy schedules. Towards the end of episode 2 of the podcast, 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 from when they were running Pathfinder. These clips can be found on his vine page, here.

Critical Role

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."[2]

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's Player Characters

Main Storyline

One-Shots and Special Episodes

Episodes DMed by Sam


  • On Talks Machina, the host Brian Wayne Foster likes to "#ThankMyGuests" with names that are either mispronounced or wordplay that sounds close to their names. Here are the names for Sam Riegel so far:
  • 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

Sam as BlackWillow73

  • Sam has come up with dozens of bits to promote Critical Role's sponsors during the announcements at the beginning of episodes. 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 will sometimes enlist 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. 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.
  • During the second campaign, Sam has worn 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's flask

    • Sam began wearing shirts with embarassing pictures of the other main crew members shortly afterwards.
  • Another one of Sam's running gags 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 the drink back. 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. Critrole Stats has compiled a gallery of Sam's mug and flask for every episode.
    • Sam has stated that he never washed his mug or his flask and that drinking from them tastes kind of weird.
  • 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) and Kiri (2020).

External Links


  1. Sam Riegel on Twitter: "#shirtception continues...". June 22, 2017.
  2. See "The Core Anvil" (1x108) at 4:20:37.


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