Liam O’Brien shares his favorite altered moment from Critical Role‘s first campaign to The Legend of Vox Machina. The animated series adapts Critical Role Campaign One, which is hundreds of hours of content, into a much more condensed version. The first season covers the Briarwood arc, while seasons 2 and 3 tell the Chroma Conclave arc.
In order to keep the heart of the campaign, the important character beats, and the important plot points, some things needed to change for the new animated format. In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, O’Brien reveals which change from Critical Role is his favorite. He jokes that while the original moment in the campaign was “a blast,” The Legend of Vox Machina was able to do something that has never been seen before.
Liam O’Brien: I’m kind of in love with the way we got inside Umbrasyl. It was a blast during the campaign, but I loved our streamlined, smoother version in the show because nobody’s ever seen that before.
How Changing Campaign One Story Beats Strengthens The Legend of Vox Machina
The writers have a challenging task with both The Legend of Vox Machina and Mighty Nein: condensing hundreds of hours of gameplay into a more streamlined story while capturing the feel of the campaigns, the epic fantasy arcs, major character beats, overpowering emotional moments, and inside jokes. The Legend of Vox Machina managed to do this exceptionally well in season two, introducing elements of each character’s backstory to spark their own growth and push the story forward. Part of this process is changing some of these moments to better fit the animation medium and condense the story.
The Legend of Vox Machina has found ways to simplify more complicated gameplay moments and adjust them to fit the narrative structure and animated medium. Vax and Scanlan’s entrance into Ubrasyl is a perfect example. While they did magic themselves inside Umbrasyl in the Critical Role actual play, The Legend of Vox Machina adapted the approach to be more comedic and less mechanically difficult.
These changes can be more comedic, like Vax and Scanlan’s entrance into Umbrasyl, or more streamlined, like splitting the party between the Fey Realm and Westruun, or incorporating Pike into storylines she originally missed. Ashley Johnson was absent for most of Campaign One, which meant that her character Pike was also pulled away from Vox Machina. However, this is no longer the case with The Legend of Vox Machina, which rewrites Pike’s story to fully incorporate her into each major arc. These changes strengthen Vox Machina’s story while still capturing the heart of what fans love from the original campaign.