D&D Player's Stop Calling it the Matt Mercer Effect

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  • Published: 21 August 2019
  • D&D Player's Stop Calling it the Matt Mercer Effect
    Nerdarchy discusses the idea of the Matt Mercer Effect on D&D and tabletop role-playing games. With the rise of the success of Critical Role and the concept of the celebrity Dungeon Master, what is the impact on the hobby? The combination of the release of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons and Critical Role has been amazing for D&D.

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Comments • 911

  • Nerdarchy
    Nerdarchy   5 months back

    Campfire Blaze - Writing Software for Storytellers - https://bit.ly/2Z8OvsF

    • Kirk
      Kirk  4 months back

      I see it as unrealistic player expectations. I don't watch critical roll, but did see the goblin campaign and the start of the show, just the original starting skit and not an episode. A player who I played with years ago, also got back into it with me. He found Matt as I sent him the goblin campaign Matt had. After that he watched all the videos. When we would play he would constantly talk about Critical Roll, but not do anything as a player. I would specifically ask him first what he's doing and he would look at the other players. I made up a character name as a pseudonym name for an evil guy, that I had made up (Amon meaning "a man"). He said that name is from Critical Roll and started talking about it. He made up a character and named him after a Critical Roll character. He wanted to DM so he did and ripped off Critical Roll. I was told latter on by another player. I also knew it was from that as his descriptions were overly detailed and he forced us to start without payment. It went like this, we got letters went to a place and were told we must do a task. I was like nope. Not for a person I don't know and for free. The player who had seen CR was like we will do it. This guy sat on the queens lap in my campaign after the king was killed. So I knew something was up. Then their were statues of the CR characters and other such things. I knew it as the player who watched CR was like is their a statue of this character and the DM's like yup. That guy told me after he ripped off CR and I said I know. I did like the descriptions but his story was very week. Latter on the party had an issue. We had to take an artifact to an ancient temple with priests who had a vault wear they stored artifacts. We get their and the priests say we must put it in the vault and it has traps/monsters. I ask what's in it and he's like the priests don't know. Everybody starts saying how do they not know? He didn't know what to say.

    • Daniel Payne
      Daniel Payne  5 months back

      I would name it the Clueless Bandwagoner experience. People with such ridiculous expectations and none of the investment or passion will turn themselves away and the only ones who lose anything because of it are themselves. They just joined because some pro DM made it seem cool, but they didn't bother to ask how they can have a good experience or contribute to it. Like a new sports season, time to jump off.

    • redmaxxs
      redmaxxs  5 months back

      I watch critical role then never called it the Matt Mercer effect I just call it good storytelling. Which other DM have.

    • Vernon Hampton
      Vernon Hampton  5 months back

      @Nerdarchy yeah, it's a trip.

  • ZoonEconomicus
    ZoonEconomicus  4 days back

    The problem with saying «stop calling it the Matt Mercer Effect» is that it won't work. 

    Astrotnomist had to give up on the term astrology despite astrology being a semantically more accurate word for the field.

    Also calling it the Matt Mercer Effect has the advantage of coming with the classic case exemple in the name. The fact that he isn't the only source of the phenomenon can be explained. The Dutch Winter Effect has nothing inherently to do with the country or the season but people will remember the Dutch Winter Effect over the «Second Trimester Blood Nutritional Content Deficiency Developmental Disorder».

    • Danny Kriegbaum Laursen

      Isn't the so called Matt Mercher effect just exposure.

      I mean some may have though before Critical Roll that DnD was only for nerd or outcast and not big celebrity like Illididan Voice actor or my 2 favorite Sam Raymey and Grog.

      So TLDR: Matt Mercer have change the view of DnD from being a nerd activity in Your moms basement to something as accepted as professional Starcraft gamers

      • ArvelDreth
        ArvelDreth  1 weeks back

        Pro-GM effect isn't GMs stopping playing because they aren't as good as a pro-GM, it's players having unrealistic expectations and being dissatisfied that their GM isn't as good as someone like Matt.

        • Michael Gunderson
          Michael Gunderson  2 weeks back

          Critical Role isn't such an awesome table because of our lord Matt Mercer. It's an awesome show because of the players. The players are willing to push themselves to do voices, to brainstorm, to even let the spotlight fall on other people and be patient and quiet until it's their turn to talk again. That's why Critical Role creates such a high expectation for DND. Most players don't know how to do that.

          • Buck Veazey
            Buck Veazey  3 weeks back

            People will probably stop calling things the Matt Mercer effect when people stop calling things it's like Dark Souls

            • Farm
              Farm  1 months back

              Played d&d for over 25yrs and this vid was literally the first time I heard of this guy. Watched a bunch of his vids....he's a little douchey. I don't like DMs that chew on all the scenery.

              • Daniel Weiss
                Daniel Weiss  1 months back

                dunno why people would be pissed about Matts great DMing, me and my D&D friends sometimes just tune in and watch instead of playing :D and Matts game is so much different from ours and it is great to take point from it but our game is best game ever :) and people have to understand theyr game is the best game, coz they play it :)

                • Acer Ng
                  Acer Ng  2 months back

                  I think my dm tries really hard. He barely has much time off work and pretty much dedicates his off time to dnd. So whenever he does a funny voice or does the occasional cool thing we cheer him on.

                  • David Harms
                    David Harms  2 months back

                    There is a culture that compares professional athletes, fantasy football is but one example.

                    • bisharp 83
                      bisharp 83  2 months back

                      i always knew about d&d im 36 years old and only now I've been finding people i can actually play with most of my life people i met just werent into it im just glad i finally have the opportunity to play a game ive always been interested in just never had the chance. i personally never heard of matt until i started looking up how to play basics, but it was nerdarchy and dungeon dudes who explained everything i wanted to know better so thank you guys keep doing your thing.

                      • RPG Tour Guide
                        RPG Tour Guide  2 months back

                        I personally like the sound of the Celeb-DM Effect. And agreed, going into a game with this kind of “that’s not how they do things on Critical Role/Acquisitions Inc/etc” helps no one and none of those celebrity DMs want people to go into a game thinking that.

                        • toll collector
                          toll collector  3 months back

                          I call it being pro-blind: where you are in so much awe of all the technique and skill coming together so effortlessly, you lose sight of all the factors (AND TIME) it takes to get there in the first place

                          • ZorkWHouse81
                            ZorkWHouse81  3 months back

                            Exactly, people play D&D for all sorts of reasons and all of them are ok ones. B/c people having fun is the bottom line - that's what roleplaying games are all about. Its awesome that people are being introduced to the hobby by CR. They may have elevated expectations when they first start out, but if the group is friendly and welcoming the person should end up enjoying themselves no matter how the game goes. I think people complaining about the "matt mercer effect" are the same types of people who stop listening to bands when everyone else gets into them. People who think that there is a "right" reason (and therefore "wrong" reasons) to start gaming and getting into the hobby. Like you guys said, if someone starts playing just b/c their friends play or spouse plays that's wonderful - whatever reasons bring people to enjoying roleplaying/gaming is wonderful because I think it is a rewarding and even self-improving hobby that can help people (as Matt as said it has for him) grow comfortable and confident being themselves and doing what they enjoy. I've been roleplaying literally since I was 9 (I'm 38 now) and I hadn't played in years and years because of friends getting married and having kids etc etc and I came across CR earlier this year and finding and loving it has done nothing but inspire me to want to get back into gaming again and find a group or go back to DMing again by starting a group myself. I can remember back when I was in high school (and even before that, I started out playing really young b/c my best friend at the time had a significantly older brother that was patient enough to bring us along - and even before that I fell for the computer game, and my YT SN, ZORK that opened my eyes to the world of RPG imagination and fun) when finding people that knew about and played RPGs was not an easy thing to do. We were the "weird kids" and while that didn't happen to bother me, it did mean that it wasn't the easiest thing to bring new people into the hobby. When I started college I thankfully discovered the school's Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club and was welcomed into another somewhat exclusive (only b/c their weren't many of us) RPG playing group that I have 4-5 years worth of great memories to look back on. After that, finding people to play with got harder and harder (as I described above) and b/c I'm not super involved in the online world I've had limited access to other gamers (something I'm trying to work on lol). Discovering CR was awesome - I have to say, I watch it almost like I would a TV series. That's the way I picture it. And honestly its done nothing but spark my imagination with regard to wanting to starting gaming/DMing and world building again - and for that I'm extremely grateful to all of CR for the love they put into it and for how infectiously fun their gaming experiences have been. Matt is clearly a thoughtful and sensitive guy and I feel bad to think that he's been given any grief for having thrown himself into something he clearly loves with a passion and is very good at. I honestly think he could be a fantasy writer (in the world he's created) if he really tried b/c he has a gift both for language and for developing really incredible and intricate worlds and their inhabitants. Just listening to him talk during the Talks Machina recap of the first campaign (which I unfortunately haven't yet been able to watch) you can hear how insanely developed and complicated his created world is and just how invested in its characters and stories he has become. I think its wonderful for him and I hope he and the rest are able to keep adventuring for as long as they enjoy it - even if they stop doing it online and go back to home games, though I sincerely hope they continue to find the financial means to keep their dreams alive for everyone else to enjoy as well.

                            • Vara Satoshi
                              Vara Satoshi  3 months back

                              I like to call it the "pop culture-ization."

                              • CT Atheist
                                CT Atheist  3 months back

                                Why would D&D players credit Critical Role for anything related to D&D. Critical Role doesn't play D&D. They just put on a web-play every week. Definitely not real D&D.

                                • Cheapshot 28
                                  Cheapshot 28  3 months back

                                  Why don't we call it the Kung Fu effect. Because it really reminds me of a kid signing up for a martial arts class after watching Crouching Tiger or Ip Man.

                                  • passingliaison
                                    passingliaison  3 months back

                                    Most of those who use the term "Mercer Effect" and complain about it are people who are insecure in their own DM skills, or who are jealous of the success of Critical Role(RPGpundit comes to mind here), or aren't very story oriented either.

                                    • Joey Bulford
                                      Joey Bulford  3 months back

                                      Honestly, I’m that guy at the table who’s not super into it but plays because that’s what my friends are doing. And it’s kinda fun. Thnx for taking the time to put together videos that helps me answer my questions so I’m not constantly bugging them at the table lol.

                                      • Karl Cross
                                        Karl Cross  3 months back

                                        This is ridicules discussion. A serious discussion about a game? Yes, it is the Matt Mercer effect as he was really the first DM doing this and the best at it "This will make Matt sad" who cares if it makes Matt sad! He is doing this for big money, he is a big boy, and I am sure he can handle it.

                                        • paul coy
                                          paul coy  3 months back

                                          Am I in the minority? I prefer Acquisitions Incorporated.

                                          • Merrick Miller
                                            Merrick Miller  3 months back

                                            Pro-Gm Effect = Scripted Games, with some fake die rolls and limited ad-lib story development.

                                            • JackDespero
                                              JackDespero  3 months back

                                              Critical Role is a Role Model, an inspiration. It teaches you what you can achieve with this game, that being how to create emotional situations, or comic relieves, etc.
                                              Roleplaying is a skill that has to be developed. DM is a skill that has to be developed. Being an engaged, active player is a skill that has to be developed.


                                              You don't throw away your pencil because your first draws do not belong in a museum.

                                              • Pizzagulper
                                                Pizzagulper  3 months back

                                                I agree completely. Many of these are augments that I have been saying for a while.

                                                I think the biggest problem with the, "Matt Mercer effect" idea is that, if those people don't end up playing the game because the dm is not as good as matt mercer, then there is no way that they would have actually played it otherwise. There are many people who play and just aren't feeling it, and I feel like Matt Mercer Gets blamed for people leaving, even when it has nothing to do with him. We live in a world of people with tiny attention spans, and the game requires much more, than the attention span of a gold fish.

                                                Saying that He is bad for dnd, because he is a good DM, is like saying Michael Jordan was bad for Basketball. It's just not true. So many people have not only tried playing, but have tried Dming because he has inspired them to. I know many friends and I have as a result.

                                                Also Matt Mercer is such a nice guy, is super good at what he does, and has enough self doubt as it is. As a person who suffers from similar cases of self doubt, it makes me feel really bad for him.

                                                • Raistlarn
                                                  Raistlarn  4 months back

                                                  I have no problem with Matt Mercer. My only annoyance is people will use quotes from critical role with impunity... at least during the first few sessions. If people wish me to be more like him(more organized since I already voice characters), well they could start voicing their characters and.

                                                  • houston payne
                                                    houston payne  4 months back

                                                    I kind of like the idea of the dnd "Legacy effect"
                                                    Being exposed to high tier play,great dm-ing, professional level production,etc. Can leave quite the impression, and once that legacy is imprinted it's hard to meet such an expectation

                                                    • MaidInAmn
                                                      MaidInAmn  4 months back

                                                      Other ways to rename that effect; Inflated Expectations, Overestimation, Head in the Cloud, Naivete, Dunning-Kruger Effect, and Misconception.


                                                      [Joke] I feel inspired to make videos about TTRPGs and have such an outright terrible quality that I can be utterly disappointed with and call it on Facebook, "the Nerdarchy Effect!"

                                                      . . . No. That is just being lazy and not using editing as a godsend tool like George Lucas used editing as his ace in the hole.

                                                      • Loki RIP
                                                        Loki RIP  4 months back

                                                        I had no idea that anyone thought critical role was real Dnd. That's not a realistic expectation. It's a show.

                                                        • Blandco
                                                          Blandco  4 months back

                                                          Distracted by the Mcdonald's toy I see along with all the fancy expensive miniatures. I like that.

                                                          • Brother Mutant73
                                                            Brother Mutant73  4 months back

                                                            Hey guys, a little off topic but...have you ever decided to SHOW any player part of the campaign ahead of time? Like a paragraph or two from a pre-generated campaign?

                                                            My thought was to use their sleuthing skills (rolls as appropriate) to determine what I can show them or tell them ahead of time. Like, a few successes would tell them who or what they are fighting while many successes could allow me to show them or draw them a rudimentary map of a castle or dungeon they are going in or show them a paragraph ahead of time that would illustrate they may need ropes and spikes to climb in to/out of an area or come up with another way in/out (spell prep needs, for instance).

                                                            • ChurchillGeoff
                                                              ChurchillGeoff  4 months back

                                                              I agree with you, the Pro-DM effect seems right it reminds me of playing in cons in the 80s and going home to realise how much I had to learn

                                                              • Randy Dulsky
                                                                Randy Dulsky  4 months back

                                                                New age dnd next up google quantum dnd lol

                                                                • The Gibson's
                                                                  The Gibson's  4 months back

                                                                  I’ve been playing with the same group for 21 years, I use voices, my Dm uses voices, and another player in the group uses voices, none of us are voice actors or thespians etc. I can promise you my gm is equally as good as Matt and I’m pretty sure me and one of the other players could hold our own with the actors round the crit role table. But we also have a bloke who turns up to see his mates, and the other 2 see it as war games and being able to role dice and kill things, a handful constantly are on their phones etc. But it doesn’t stop us turning up week in week out year in year out including long weekend cottages away for 12 hour sessions etc... I thing playing with friends is just as important as immersing yourself in the game. Great video 👍🏻

                                                                  • Jeremy Mitchell
                                                                    Jeremy Mitchell  4 months back

                                                                    not related to the topic but teds shirt is awesome in this

                                                                    • Keeping it Real AF
                                                                      Keeping it Real AF  4 months back

                                                                      You nerds need to stop complaining

                                                                      • Nerdarchy
                                                                        Nerdarchy   4 months back

                                                                        This comment very much sounds like complaining.
                                                                        Nerdarchist Dave

                                                                    • Michael Fox
                                                                      Michael Fox  4 months back

                                                                      Just remember, the game you are in is better than some internet show because YOU ARE IN IT! Have fun guys. -ForeverDM.

                                                                      • Regular Slime
                                                                        Regular Slime  4 months back

                                                                        Activists call for word changes.

                                                                        Don't infect the hobby with banal censorship.

                                                                        It's called the Mercer effect because it's easily recognizable and self descriptive enough that people can figure out what it means without explanation.

                                                                        Talk to your players instead of lobbying for word bans.

                                                                        • Chris Snyder
                                                                          Chris Snyder  4 months back

                                                                          Who are you to tell anyone what to do? Look at yourself, you are a moronic douche. Get over yourself, stupid crusty looking TWAT.

                                                                          • James Loucka
                                                                            James Loucka  4 months back

                                                                            Probably been too long, but maybe The Professional Comparison Fallacy? A fallacy in which a non-professional (hobbyist?) is compared to a professional and no regard is given to the difference in their status within the field.

                                                                            • Charley Edwards
                                                                              Charley Edwards  4 months back

                                                                              I know this is from a while ago but I wanted to mention it anyways. It’s not a negative thing for it to be called the mercer effect and here’s why.
                                                                              Humans as a group are constantly looking for ways to label or organize everything, so that it’s easier to talk about or reference those things in conversation. The phenomenon of masters of a craft making something look easy when in reality it’s brutally hard hasn’t received a common nomenclature yet. To be the name attached to this phenomenon should be an honour not a slap. The people who use it don’t use it in a way that says I hate Matt mercer but rather says I wish I was Matt mercer and why aren’t I? Which are fair questions. It puts Matt in a very interesting position where it’s up to him to show the general public the difficulty in doing it and how he manages to make it look effortless. Perhaps a series where he sits behind a newer gm and simply coaches them when needed or something like that could really shine a light on these things and create learning opportunities for everyone

                                                                              • Badger Burns
                                                                                Badger Burns  4 months back

                                                                                Hi Ted, where did you get that shirt
                                                                                I am a similair size and cant find stylish shirts

                                                                                • bitter blossom
                                                                                  bitter blossom  4 months back

                                                                                  People forget that it will always be up to them to enjoy the game and not someone else.

                                                                                  • Lawrence Larios
                                                                                    Lawrence Larios  4 months back

                                                                                    No

                                                                                    • Edward Bruggeman
                                                                                      Edward Bruggeman  4 months back

                                                                                      If a player cannot understand the difference between a professional voice actor presentation vs a friendly game needs to maybe get a better grasp of reality....

                                                                                      • Lothos Carpathia
                                                                                        Lothos Carpathia  4 months back

                                                                                        I've been playing for about 15 years and GMing for about 20, every time I sit down at the table I have an in-depth character background that I've typed most if not all of, I have a personality for the character that tends to change over the first few sessions just because the original idea I had for the character just is not who they are when I play them, I have a voice and accent. However, almost every table I've sat at I've been the only one who does, BUT I enjoy playing with those players and GMS regardless I understand that not everyone is as passionate about the hobby as I am.

                                                                                        • March Hare
                                                                                          March Hare  4 months back

                                                                                          oh you soo jelly

                                                                                          • XOtube
                                                                                            XOtube  4 months back

                                                                                            It should be called 'The Surgence'! Yeah..

                                                                                            • Mazulis Rb6soup
                                                                                              Mazulis Rb6soup  4 months back

                                                                                              It's probably called the Matt Mercer effect because who doesn't know Matt Mercer as a dnd player/GM