Force Grey is the first of two podcasts I will review in this series that feature DM Matthew Mercer, who is a Hollywood-based voice actor. He has lent his voice talents to many video games as well as TV and film series. Fans of Blizzard games will recognize him as the voice of Rexxar in Hearthstone and World of Warcraft, and he has also contributed his voice to Overwatch and other games from the same publisher. His players are all other actors or voice actors from film, TV, and games. This show is highly produced and the episodes are cut to 30-minutes each, with lots of interactive graphics and a full music bed.
|Force Grey||Video Only||https://www.twitch.tv/collections/jYomDHjv1BTqgA||Batched||PC-PG|
Force Grey was the first show I saw with Matthew Mercer as the DM, but I think it was the second web video series he has done (after the wildly popular Critical Role show, which I review later). It began in late 2016 or early 2017 with the release of eight episodes of a story arc called “Force Grey: Giant Hunters.” This story follows the first season of PCs as they battle against some of the named enemies in the Storm King’s Thunder adventure published by Wizards of the Coast.
Force Grey is set in the Forgotten Realms, and the conceit is that the adventurers have been recruited and selected by the Open Lord of Waterdeep as a kind of strike force to battle the most pressing threats to the realm.
The show can be found on the official D&D Twitch.tv channel, with each season batched as a separate collection. The link above goes to the first season, which is the shortest of the two made (so far) and will help viewers get an idea if they want to keep following the show or not.
I love Force Grey for many reasons. I think my favorite reason is the amazing voice acting of the DM, who brings every single NPC to life with a different accent, inflection, and pitch. The episodes are filmed in a studio with everyone seated around a coffee table, so there is the live “at-the-table” interaction between players who all happen to be gifted actors. The improvisation that the players and DM create to tell their story is dynamic, dramatic, and very funny.
While the shows are released weekly, they are recorded long ahead and meticulously produced and edited, so that there is no real live “streaming” of the games, with the exception of the season-ending game. In each season, these final games have been played at gaming conventions on stage in front of a large live audience.
This show gets a PC-PG rating for language since some episodes get a little salty. As long as you are not offended by some strong language the show is hilariously funny and well worth watching.