Some call him king of the nerds. Some call him DM. Everyone calls him when they need a professional Dungeon Master. His career is legendary and so are his cascading waves of hair. Whether it’s doing voices, narrating epic battles, or allowing some wild shenanigans in a game of Dungeons and Dragons, you’ve probably encountered Matt Mercer in some way. If you haven’t, you will soon.

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The man himself.

Matt Mercer is one of the most beloved people in the Dungeons and Dragons community. And that’s really, truly saying something. Fans of the game love HARD, they lift community celebrities up to hero-like statuses. And no one is more heroic than a DM. DM’s lead the game, making calls on the complex rules and narrating a theatre of the mind for players and audience alike. Mercer is fantastic at filling out a game with NPC’s (non-playable characters) that players come across, making each one feel real and alive. It’s no surprise: he’s a prolific voice actor. If you’ve seen any anime in the past 15 years with an English dub, you might have heard his voice. He’s voiced characters in video games as well.

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But it’s his role as Dungeon Master on Critical Role, the world’s most watched actual play Dungeons and Dragons show, that has fans whipped into a frenzy. He artfully guides players through the world of Exandria, a high-fantasy realm that’s equal parts dangerous and entertaining. It began as a great premise: professional voice actors who happen to be friends, play a game of D&D.  What started as an online show, grew and grew to become must watch Thursday night entertainment on the popular live streaming platform Twitch. They’ve got over 1 million followers there and hundreds of thousands of people tune in each week to watch a live game of D&D led by Mercer. The Critical Role folks wanted to make something fun for its fans, so they launched a Kickstarter hoping to raise $750,000 to make a short film. They ended up raising $11.3 million. What began as a short ballooned into a whole animated series. Which was then picked up by Amazon and is now the hit animated show The Legend of Vox Machina.

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