It’s been less than a month since the Dungeons and Dragons actual play legends behind Critical Role (CR) aired a sponsored Elden Ring one-shot RPG, but clearly CR isn’t done dabbling in the land between videogames and TTRPGs. On 30 March, the Critical Role team released another one-shot adventure on its YouTube channel (see the whole thing below). Dungeon Master maestro Matt Mercer is nowhere to be found, though; this time it’s voice actor Ashly Burch in the driver’s seat – none other than the titular star of the recently released Borderlands videogame Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
Borderlands publisher 2K Games reportedly sponsored the game, and it’s not difficult to see why. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands still has the looter-shooter roots of the core Borderlands series, but it revolves around a D&D spoof called Bunkers and Badasses – meaning it also includes the full TTRPG experience, multiclassing, character sheets, and all. The videogame tasks you with defeating a tyrannical dragon lord within a tabletop world – and, as with all Borderlands games, chaos is bound to ensue.
Joining “bunk master” Ashly Burch (who also voices Aloy in Horizon: Forbidden West) is a party of Critical Role mainstays. Main cast members Ashley Johnson, Laura Bailey, and Travis Willingham are dressed up and ready to roll, and they’re joined by two other, less frequent guests at the CR table – Robbie Daymond and Ify Nwadiwe.
It seems the world of popular culture is increasingly welcoming tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons into its fold. The Witcher and Superman star Henry Cavill is telling Graham Norton about his Warhammer obsession on TV; Midnight Mass actor Rahul Kohli has made Warhammer minis of himself; and Daredevil actor Deborah Ann Woll is currently running her own D&D actual play series, Children of Éarte.
Not only that – videogame adaptations in the tabletop world are becoming more and more common, with the Dark Souls RPG and the Dying Light board game being just a handful of licensed games announced this year. For better or worse, tabletop gaming may gradually be making its way into the mainstream.
Looking for more Critical Role? Read more about its recently released D&D book, Call of the Netherdeep. Or, if you want to play the OG game behind Bunkers and Badasses, these D&D books can help get you started.