Well, Critical Role’s Exandria Unlimited Episode 6 brings us another disappointment. It’s more of the same continuing from Episode 5; another narrative hook is thrown at the party.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’m even more confused as to what is going on in the story with Exandria Unlimited.
The party speaks with Tetrarch Thrascuur but I’m not really sure why other than Fy’ra Rai told them they should?
Speaking of Fy’ra Rai — since her amazing introduction into this mini-campaign in episode 4, it’s been all downhill. The Gift Among the Green pretty much reveals that Anjali isn’t really playing a character, but Aabria’s guide for the rest of the players, in a forced attempt to keep them on track. And now that her job is done, it’s time to pull her out of the party to go after her very alive, sister.
I’ve mentioned this in earlier reviews, I feel as if Aabria created a bunch of “fun” scenarios and shoehorns them into every episode because, well, she took the time to create them! The problem with her GMing is, she isn’t doing a good job. Exandria Unlimited is just a bunch of random scenarios and set pieces, one after another. This is not an expertly weaved, cohesive narrative that we are used to when Matt runs a campaign.
I wanted to stay away from comparing Aabria to Matt, but I don’t think I can ignore the Matt Mercer Effect any longer. Aabria is not Matt, that is very clear. Exandria Unlimited suffers because of this. It’s a mess. It’s bland, boring, and lacks direction. Since this is Critical Role, I think this comparison is fair game. The party and their decisions aren’t helping, but I have come to my conclusion that Aabria is bad at GMing Critical Role. A home game, or another channel; maybe she’s okay? But this isn’t cutting it.
If Critical Role Campaign 2 is the NFL. Exandria Unlimited is Middle School walk-on.
Aabria never asks the party what they’re doing next. This isn’t an open world. She asks for some type of saving throw and railroads them to the next destination or (lately) Fy’ra literally brings them to the next destination. The issue, for just about the entire campaign, thus far — the destination is never anything interesting. I would be fine with the railroading if the narrative was good, but we jump from one hook to a planned sequence to a second hook, to a planned sequence, to a third hook, etc. Throw some dice rolls that don’t matter and some boring fights into the mix and you have Exandria Unlimited.
Let’s look at the chase sequence:
The back end of episode 6 involves an odd, anti-climatic chase. Opal is hit with a dart when the party walks into the street; Aabria’s intention here is to have a chase scene occur. But, Aabria gives Opal the ability for a saving throw…which Opal passes. This seems to have screwed Aabria’s chase plan up completely, as Opal was most likely supposed to pass out from this dart and be abducted.
What develops is some odd situation with invisible enemies, and meat…beasts? Why did Aabria give Opal the option to roll a saving throw? Just knock her out and get the chase going the way she planned! The resulting sequence just seemed to go on forever and wasn’t that interesting to listen to.
Aabria also likes to dangle a carrot in front of the player, which really breaks the immersion of the mind.
I’m just trying to figure out what you’re doing, because I’m about to do something fun…Aabria iyengar to aimee carrero
This type of phrase is used throughout the entire campaign, by Aabria. Asking Fearne if she wants to chomp on the enemy while in her dire wolf form, was another similar situation that stands out. Just let the players play! She’s constantly attempting to influence them while coincidentally shouting back at them “I’m not telling you what to do.” which all just magnifies her lack of GMing skills.
Exandria Unlimited Episode 6 | The Gift Among the Green gets a 1/5.
I was just really put off by this episode. I’m not saying Campaign 2 is perfect, but the combination of great role-playing by the cast, and the situations/world that Matt created is just must-listen content, for me. Exandria Unlimited has been a waste of my time. At least there are only 2 episodes left. I’m committed to seeing how it plays out, at this point.
What did you think of Critical Role’s Exandria Unlimited Episode 6? See the episode below if you’re not caught up, yet!