Critical Role and the Club of Misfits

"Critical Role and the Club of Misfits"
One-shot episode
Thumbnail, featuring Bunder, Andy, Allison, Claire and Bryan, by Joana Carvalho from "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25).[art 1]
Episode no.Episode 25
AirdateOctober 25, 2018 19:00 PDT
Running time2:47:48
Game systemDungeons & Dragons
Starring
Brian Wayne Foster as Bryan
Taliesin Jaffe as Andy
Liam O'Brien as Ally
Sam Riegel as Claire
Travis Willingham as John Bunder
and
Laura Bailey as the Dungeon Master
Links and related articles
Associated
Talks Machina
"Talks Machina #88: Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (TMOSx25)
Episode chronology
Previous
"Crash Pandas: Too Trashed, Too Curious" (OSx24)
Next
"Honey Heist 3: Tova's Honeys" (OSx26)
Airdate order
Previous
"Talks Machina #87: Temple of the False Serpent" (TM2x39)
Next
"Talks Machina #88: Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (TMOSx25)
List of one-shots

"Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25) is the twenty-fifth one-shot episode of Critical Role. Five students at the magical school of Schmogwarts escape detention and learn that they're more than their 80s-themed archetypes!

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Part I[edit | edit source]

Autumn morning brings weekend holidays, and students of Schmogwarts gather and celebrate in the local town of Schmogsmeade, playing Squidlach and sipping Butterbeer at the Five Brooms. Most of the students. The five fourth year students[1] (Ally, Claire, Andy, Bryan, and John Bunder) find themselves in a Saturday detention in the class of Defence Against the Dark Farts under the watchful eye of Professor Furbin.

After all students gather up in the classroom, professor Furbin enters the room and gives them an assignment to write an essay of at least a thousand words about who they are. When a sudden knock on the door interrupts her explanation, and professor is called to attend to an "emergency". In Furbin's absence, the students hear a strange crying coming from behind the professor's office door. Upon inspection, highly disapproved by Claire and Bryan, they discover three animated, large tapestries covering the walls: a green dragon sleeping on top of a hoard of gold, a phoenix rising from a big mound of ashes, and a herd of centaurs galloping over a hill. In the back, the group finds the source of the sound — a bird cage containing eight doxies[2] behind a lock who beg to be released. Doxies share with the group that professor Furbin brought them here, saying she wants to learn more of their nature. She already took one of their kin from the cage who has not returned. Hearing this story, the students release the doxies who immediately attack them, piercing with their tiny swords and biting with their sharp teeth. A fight ensues, awakening hostile plant (a violet fungus), in the process. In the end, the students successfully defeat all of the doxies and the plant.

Searching professor's desk, Allison finds a lot of drawings of centaurs, horses with skeletal wings, and pictures of a spider creature, similar to a little moving spider sitting next to her desk under a little glass bell jar. Ally also managed to open a locked drawer, hiding the most treasured belongings. There she found a letter from Headmistress McLoglilagh, letting Professor Furbin know that "she cannot accept her request to become the professor for Care of Magical Screechers and they already have a really wonderful Care instructor, but, should the position ever become available, she will definitely let her know." The letter has visible little stains of water that may have been professor's tears.

In the aftermath, doxies tore up books and tapestries, everything in the office has been splattered, in addition to the classroom. Claire uses Prestidigitation to fix her appearance then to camouflage the damage done to both rooms. Andy sticks one of the pixie's daggers into the lock of their cage.

Once all set up to look like the disaster was caused by doxies, the students lean close to the exit door from the classroom and hear a subtle whispers to the right. After an argument among Claire, Bunder, and Ally, the students decide to try to sneak out of detention. Attempting to head down a corridor, they are met by a pair of talking paintings who report that their professor rushed away in the other direction in a quite frightened hurry and said there are strange sounds coming from below. The students agree to investigate.

Descending via the moving stairs, find Beetle, a house elf, hiding in an unlit level one spells room. She nervously asks them to "help her down below". Beetle begs them for help, revealing herself to be the one who called Furbin away earlier and captured the doxies in the Dark Forest, asked the students to meet her near the Great Hall, and apparates away. The students continue descending, successfully sneaking past Mr. Borris, the cat belonging to Mrs. Blinch who caretakes over the school. Then enter the broom closet built next to the Great Hall. A tiny room, where upon a close inspection Claire found a narrow passage in the back of a closet and descending down below once again. They appear in a giant kitchen in the shape of the Great Hall, but instead of the stage where the professors normally stand, there are rows of stovetops, cooking utensils, and a crowd of Shmagwarz elves busy working preparing for the students to come back from Schmogsmeade.

Part II[edit | edit source]

Beetle highlights that your professor is occupied, she told her there's an emergency situation and she was needed over in the East Wing. Beetle confesses to having collected the doxies and some spiders for Professor Furbin, who is interested in magical beings, but something has gone wrong. Giant spiders (including Aragog, a "bigger spider",) came into the school to reclaim the ones Beetle kidnapped. Agreeing to help the elf and on promise they will not trespass into the Dark Forest forbidden for Shwagearz students, the students slide down through a hole in the kitchen floor which leads to a giant wizard chessboard. Bryan spends time to heal up the party and the students then fill up the empty squares on the board: Claire immediately claims the queen, Allison takes a knight, Bryan picks a bishop, Andy substitutes a castle, and Bunder takes a pawn.

They are attacked by giant spiders. A chess battle ensues between the students, the spiders, and both sides of the chessboard. During the battle, Bunder is knocked unconscious, but soon revived. Eventually, Claire makes the killing blow against the last remaining spider, spattering guts all over Ally. Ally promptly turns into a badger and tackles Claire in an effort to spread guts on her.

After the battle, Bryan attempts to cast Command on Claire "to make her grovel", but Claire reveals herself to have been humbled by the experience. The students share a brief moment of openness about their lives before Beetle shows up, urging them to return to their original classroom as quickly as possible. As they rush back, Bryan takes a tumble. Claire, having made Bryan her ward, invokes her ability to switch places with him. Eventually, they succeed in returning to their places before Professor Furbin returns, none the wiser. Bryan quickly writes and reads out an essay addressed to Professor Furbin:

"Dear Professor Furbin, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a day in Schmogsmeade to be in detention. I mean, what we did was pretty shady, but we think you're crazy to have us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want us to see us. In the simplest of terms, the most convenient definitions, but what we've discovered is that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a honey badger, a princess, and a criminal. Also, we're pretty tits at killing spiders. Does that answer your question?"

— Sincerely yours, the Club of Misfits

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

New[edit | edit source]

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • This episode is a 5th edition D&D one-shot set in the universe of Harry Potter with the plot structure of the Breakfast Club (1985).
    • All character from the one-shote find their roots in the Breakfast Club (1985). Andy, a beater player in quidditch based on Andrew Clark, an "Athlete" of the group. Bryan who loves nerdy things is based on Brian Johnson, the "Brain" of the group. John Bunder who frequently undermines authority is based on John Bender, a "Criminal" of the group. Claire is based on Claire Standish, a "Princess" of the group. Ally is based on Allison Reynolds, a "Basket Case" of the group.
  • Throughout the episode, Laura and the players improvise bastardizations of Harry Potter-specific names and places in order to avoid a copyright infringement.
  • Laura prepared an encounter with poltergeist from the books, but players took too long to get out of the class, and she decided to move past it.[7]
  • Maxwell James and Tal Levitas put together the intro for the one-shot.[8]
  • Sam was essentially flying blind, saying at various points throughout the episode to have no experience with either Harry Potter or The Breakfast Club beyond movie posters and Wikipedia.[9]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Brian's inconsistent accent is a running gag throughout the episode.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25) at 47:50.
  2. "Talks Machina #88: Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (TMOSx25).[citation needed] Laura noted that pixie-looking creatures were actually doxies.
  3. "Talks Machina #88: Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (TMOSx25).
  4. "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25) at 33:19.
  5. "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25) at 59:04.
  6. "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25) at 1:54:21.
  7. "Talks Machina #88: Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (TMOSx25) at 48:45.
  8. "Talks Machina #88: Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (TMOSx25) at 58:15.
  9. "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25).

Art:

  1. Thumbnail, featuring Bunder, Andy, Allison, Claire and Bryan, by Joana Carvalho from "Critical Role and the Club of Misfits" (OSx25). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.