There has been quite a commotion at the recent announcement of Darrington Press, Critical Role‘s new board game publishing company. Industry veteran Ivan Van Norton will be heading up the company while Critical Role’s Matt Mercer will be on board as a creative assistant and game designer.
An initial line up for four games will hit in 2021, two of which occur in the Critical Role’s world of Exandria. The first, and probably gutsiest release, will be Uk’otoa, a game where players try to be the last sailor aboard a ship claimed by the sea leviathan. It’s a very niche theme, specifically referencing Fjord’s past Warlock Patron, Uk’otoa, from Season 2 of Critical Role. Fans are sure to eat this up, and honestly, that may be enough for Darrington Press, but we’ll see how non-fans will react to the game.
Critical Role Adventures will be the second game released and will be a legacy-style game where players take control of Vox Machina, the crew from Critical Role Season 1. Critical Role Adventures sound like it will be a miniatures-heavy game that is directly marketed to the fandom. Never having listened to Season 1, I honestly don’t have an opinion on this one, and I think that’ll be the case with most people who didn’t follow the original episodes.
Q3 will bring Syndicult, a modern-magic RPG designed by Matt Mercer, where street wars are fought over secrets held by mob families. It’s going to be rules-light and narrative-driven and is probably the product I’m most excited to see come out of Darrington. I’m a massive fan of Matt and his work, and I’m sure this one will be an excellent product.
Last, and … possibly least is Guardians of Matrimonia. I admit it’s a great title, and the premise is interesting, but can they pull it off? Guardians of Matrimonia is supposed to be a cooperative card game where they try to fend off monsters trying to crash a wedding. It uses the deck as a timer, so if the deck runs out, the players lose. If this one leans heavily into the humor, it could be excellent. As of right now, it just sounds kind of weird.
On the whole, I’m excited about the formation of Darrington Press. Critical Role’s success in the world of RPG entertainment has been phenomenal, and they’ve done a ton for getting the RPG hobby a bit more into the mainstream. There’s a built-in consumer base that will ensure they start with a bang with Uk’atoa (Uk’atoa) and, with enough luck, carry them through to 2022 and a whole new batch of games.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
Buy me a Tea