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Critical Role campaign 3 kicks off October 21 – here's how to watch it

The Legend of Vox Machina
(Image credit: Kickstarter / Critical Role)

Critical Role campaign 3 has a release date. We’d heard enough hints and tidbits from the cast of Critical Role, the hit D&D podcast and web series, to know that another multi-year adventure featuring the core players was sure to happen again – and now we finally have the first details.

As of October 21, campaign 3 will be kicking off with the usual cast of eight players (well, seven players and one Dungeon Master) and running on Thursdays. Not every Thursday, mind you – as DM Matthew Mercer says the last Thursday of every month will let the cast take a break and do storytelling preparation, as well as broadcast other one-shots or spin-off programming around the main show.

You can see the State of the Role broadcast below for all the tidbits, which include the location of the next campaign: the continent of Marquet, which is southwest of campaign one setting Tal'Dorei.

How to watch Critical Role campaign 3

We finally know that Critical Role campaign 3 will kick off on October 21 at 7 PM PT / 2 AM October 22 GMT / 12 PM October 22 GMT. The new release date was announced during a State of the Role update at the end of September.

If you can't catch it, live rebroadcasts will air at 12 AM PT and 9 AM PT on Twitch with a VOD also available on Twitch and YouTube. Special screenings of the premieres will also be available to watch in select cinemas across the US; more details can be found on Cinemark's website.

From the sounds of things Matt Mercer will return as DM when the new campaign kicks off, however, Critical Role promises there will be some surprises in store and "new storytellers" as campaign three progresses.

Critical Role cast for Exandria Unlimited

The cast of Exandria Unlimited (Image credit: Critical Role)

These changes could be inspired by Exandria Unlimited, the Critical Role mini-series hosted by Game Master Aabria Iyengar. While it’s only running for a handful of episodes, it does mark a new format for the Critical Role team, and a popular run may mean we see more short adventures with guest DMs in the coming months, piecing together choice parts of Exandria’s history, geography and mythology with a different cast of characters each time.

When will Critical Role campaign 3 be set?

The Legend of Vox Machina

Will The Legend of Vox Machina air before or after the start of campaign 3? (Image credit: Kickstarter / Critical Role)

Warning: there are some spoilers ahead for Critical Role campaign 2.

There was a significant time jump between the first and second campaigns, with the latter taking place around 20 years after the events of the former. The Exandria Unlimited mini series also took place 10 years after the end of campaign 2.

It makes much more sense for each campaign to take place after the events of a previous one, to ensure continuity, prevent ‘prequel’ campaigns from messing up the timeline of later ones, and also allow player actions in early campaigns to have considered, long-term effects in successive stories.

Given the close of campaign 2, in which Matthew Mercer confirmed that the Mighty Nein managed to reintroduce the Warforged (‘Aeormaton’) race into the world of Exandria, we’re expecting campaign 3 will be set long enough afterwards that we can see the impact of that on the wider world – possibly even with a Warforged player character in the mix.

We now the new campaign is set on the continent of Marquet – a place of deserts and mountains rather than the icy plains (and Astral Sea) that campaign 2 ended on. However, we will likely see some returning locations and characters too.

Will Talks Machina return?

Talks Machina has been Critical Role's way of discussing the events of their actual-play D&D game during the last two campaigns. An aftershow is set to make a return for campaign 3, we're told, but it likely won't involve Brian Foster, the host of the show in previous iterations. 

Foster stepped away from Critical Role to focus on his own projects after campaign 2, so it's likely there'll be a new host. Our money's on a previous guest star on Critical Role like Mica Burton, or even Aabria Iyengar, who DM's the Exandria Unlimited mini series.

What will happen to the Mighty Nein in campaign 3?

The cast of the Mighty Nein end on some curious notes, and it’ll be fascinating the see where they end up, if they do appear in campaign 3. Given hints about Jester traveling to the Feywild with the Traveler, she’d be an interesting character to meet there – while Kingsley Tealeaf’s journey to join the Revelry is a perfect opportunity to make him a future Plank King, if the campaign 3 cast end up in Darktow somehow.

However, we heard relatively little about Vox Machina in the second campaign, other than some indirect mentions or family member NPCs – and, at the very end, confirmation that Laura Bailey's Vex ends up as Coinmistress of the Tal’Dorei council – and we get the sense Mercer prefers to give the limelight fully to the new cast of characters in each campaign.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.