Taliesin Jaffe

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Taliesin Jaffe
Photograph of Taliesin Jaffe for Variety, by Robyn Von Swank.[art 1]
Full nameTaliesin Axelrod Armstrong Jaffe
Pronounshe/him
Biographical information
BornJanuary 19, 1977 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Profession
  • Actor
  • Voice actor
  • Director
  • Writer
Internet presence

The fear is the fun... You gotta go in and be an idiot.

— Taliesin, on playing D&D.[1]

Taliesin Jaffe is a voice actor, voice director, and a member of the main cast of Critical Role. He plays Ashton Greymoore in Campaign 3. In previous campaigns, Taliesin played Percival de Rolo, Mollymauk Tealeaf and Caduceus Clay. He was also the Game Master for several one-shot episodes.

Biography and work[edit | edit source]

Pre-stream[edit | edit source]

In the first session in December 2012[2] played by the original cast of Critical Role, Taliesin played a dragonborn paladin named Rusty Trombone.[3][4] Because he was one of the more experienced players at the time, his purpose for that first game was to try to ensure that everyone else stayed alive.[5] When the players decided to continue playing past the first session, Taliesin created a new character and chose the gunslinger Pathfinder class, because it was interesting to him and he felt it could fill a role that did not exist within the group. Percy was based on the short story that Taliesin had written with inspiration from the movie Plunkett and MacLeane.[6]

When converting the campaign from Pathfinder to 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons in preparation for beginning the Critical Role livestreaming webseries, Matthew Mercer had to create a custom martial archetype for the fighter class, since Percy was a gunslinger. Matt and Taliesin spent a full day to convert the character's class and all of his stats and abilities.[citation needed]

Critical Role Productions[edit | edit source]

Taliesin is known for rolling frequent critical successes, which earned him the title of "Anti-Wheaton" by other members of the cast.[citation needed]

During Percy's resurrection ritual in "Passed Through Fire" (1x69), Taliesin was watching from another room. After the ritual succeeded, Matt revealed that Taliesin was the one who ultimately decided if Percy would want to come back, depending on the actions of Vox Machina and their players during the ritual.[7]

Taliesin came up with the idea of his Campaign 2 character Mollymauk as a backup for Percy in the first campaign.[citation needed] When Mollymauk died, he had to come up with his next character, Caduceus, within one week.[citation needed]

With the exception of Caduceus, every character played by Taliesin in a main campaign uses a homebrew subclass created by Matt Mercer.[citation needed]

Taliesin, with Steve Failows, is a co-creator of Candela Obscura, a game published by Darrington Press built from the Illuminated Worlds system. He will also appear in a non-player role in the actual play series of the same name as the Lightkeeper, "serving as a steward for the audience" and narrating the episode prologues.[8]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

Main campaigns[edit | edit source]
One-shots and miniseries[edit | edit source]

Games played as Game Master[edit | edit source]

Other works[edit | edit source]

→ See also: Taliesin's IMDb profile
Taliesin began his career as a child actor at the age of six, and quit the industry around twelve years old. As an adult, he took up voice acting, voice directing and screenwriting in the anime dubbing industry. He has since worked on several projects for video games and western animation.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Taliesin Jaffe loosely cosplaying Percival de Rolo, cropped from a larger image.[art 2]

Several of Taliesin's family members worked in the film industry. His mother, Nina Axelrod, is an actress; his father Robert Jaffe is a producer; and his grandfather, George Axelrod, was an awarded screenwriter, director and producer.

Taliesin's role playing experience started in high school with Vampire: The Masquerade, Generic Universal RolePlaying System (GURPS), Rifts, and Cyberpunk.[9] He also hosted a Rifts, a World of Darkness, Paranoia, and HoL: Human Occupied Landfill. He gave HoL core rulebooks to now-dungeon master Matthew Mercer for his birthday.

In 1990, when Taliesin was 13 years old, Jim Henson passed away. The day of his passing Taliesin wore black to school, which intiated his goth persona.[10] He has been dyeing his hair since high school, experimenting with long hair. David Bowie-like hair, bleach blonde, jet black, and eventually deciding on the Mohawk[11] around 2017-2018. At one point, he had extraordinary long nails.[12]

As of September 2023, Taliesin had one tattoo:[13] the tattoo he got in 2017 with the rest of Critical Role cast members, depicting overlapping letters "V" and "M", representing Vox Machina.[14]

Another home game with Matt[edit | edit source]

In and before 2013, Taliesin played a wizard pyromaniac and a "kind of a mad monk character" named Aldous[15] in a home game of Dungeons & Dragons (4th edition) involving: Luis Carazo, Chloe Dykstra, Zach Hanks, Sean Manzano as a ranger, and Matthew Mercer as the Dungeon Master. Marisha Ray later joined the group playing her first game of Dungeons & Dragons.[16][17][18] Taliesin then recommended Luis to L.A. by Night producers, which introduced Luis to the world of streamed tabletop roleplaying games.[19] This was Matt's first campaign focused on narrative jorney of player characters.[20]

When delving into a tomb in the Shadowfell, the part was attacked by ghouls.[15] Aldous and another character were immediately paralyzed. Sean's ranger recognized the situation was hopeless, grabbed hesitating Chloe's character, and escaped the tomb, while the rest of the party were eaten by ghouls. This season took place around the time when Matt and Marisha started dating, and Matt invited her to watch this session.[17]

The two surviving party members visited a temple of the Raven Queen, set in front of a giant pool of blood, and tried to convince her to bring the fallen teammates back. As a Fate-Touched, Chloe's character was the one to commune with the Raven Queen and sweared an oath to her in return for Aldous' life.[21] At some point in this campaign, the party went into a cavernous dungeon to find a glowing gem. The network of caverns twisted and turned, forming a map of a giant skeleton, which was hand-drawn by Matt on a large piece of paper. Some time have passed, when Taliesin realized the nature of their surroundings, and immediately knew where the gem was.[22][23]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • His second name, Axelrod, is the surname of his mother, the American actress Nina Axelrod, daughter of the screenwriter, producer, playwright and film director George Axelrod.
  • Taliesin is bisexual,[24] similar to his character Mollymauk.
  • Taliesin has an essential tremor.[25]
  • Taliesin officiated Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray's wedding.[26]
  • Taliesin's chosen drink for his Between the Sheets interview was a blonde manhattan.
  • The cast often jokes that Taliesin is an immortal eldritch being, who is hundreds of years old.[clarify]
  • On Talks Machina, the host Brian Wayne Foster liked to "#ThankMyGuests" with names that were either mispronounced or wordplay that sounded close to their names. Here are the names for Taliesin Jaffe:
  • Taliesin Jefe
  • Talisman Jafar
  • Tailspin Jefe
  • Talellujah Jafar
  • Owlskin Taffy
  • Allison Daffy
  • Callous Men Laughing
  • Towelspin Snappy
  • Tallest Damn Giraffe Meme
  • Tell My Son Pepe
  • Trammelspin Crafty
  • Tally Ho Jazz Fiend
  • In Jail Again Sassy
  • Tell Us Our Fortunes
  • Tailspin Jafar
  • Wall-pin Happy
  • Past Has Been Daffy
  • Tapestry's Chafing
  • Drunkenly Smash-y

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Talks Machina #11: The Deceiver's Stand" (TM1x83) at 24:25.
  2. Ayacon 2013 - Geek Pride: The Return of Mercer at 45:35.
  3. From an excerpt of episode 3 of the podcast allworknoplay at 3:37.
  4. "Taryon, My Wayward Son" (1x97) at 3:53:06.
  5. "Critical Role Panel @ Wizard World, Portland (Day 1)" at 8:58.
  6. "Critical Role Panel @ Wizard World, Portland (Day 1)" at 8:21.
  7. "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) at 1:22:52.
  8. Hype! Candela Obscura – Our New Horror TTRPG Show Premieres May 25th! on CritRole.com
  9. "How to Score a Massive Hit" (Mx01) at 4:54.
  10. 'Critical Role' Cast Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions on Wired at 21:52.
  11. 'Critical Role' Cast Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions on Wired at 23:21.
  12. "Talks Machina #99: The Endless Burrows" (TM2x50).[citation needed]
  13. "4-Sided Dive: Night of the Living Bits" (4SDx17) at 30:30.
  14. 'Critical Role' Cast Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions on Wired at 12:55.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Talks Machina #74: Found & Lost" (TM2x26) at 49:20.
  16. Sean Manzano (@questioner86) on Twitter: "Two rounds into an encounter with ghouls and I'm already having flashbacks." (November 21, 2017).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Live from San Diego Comic Con 2018 - Talks Machina at 9:32.
  18. Marisha: "I've probably known Luis for like 10 or 12 years 'cause he was actually in the first like D&D campaign that I was a part of with Matt Mercer DMing, of course." — Marisha's Instagram Story takeover for Exandria Unlimited: Calamity on May 23, 2022.
  19. Luis's Instagram Story takeover for Exandria Unlimited: Calamity on May 24, 2022.
  20. Ayacon 2013 - Geek Pride: The Return of Mercer at 35:40.
  21. Ayacon 2013 - Geek Pride: The Return of Mercer at 40:42.
  22. Denver Pop Culture Con 2019 - Critical Role Panel at 11:00. Archived version.
  23. "4-Sided Dive: Anxiety Game Gauntlet" (4SDx18) at 1:00:12.
  24. From an episode of Wednesday Club.
  25. http://twitter.com/executivegoth/status/675255673849053185
  26. "Talks Machina #43: The Chapter Closes" (TM1x115) at 7:04.

Art:

  1. Photograph of Taliesin Jaffe for Variety, by Robyn Von Swank (source). 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.
  2. Critical Role's Taliesin Jaffe: Where You've Heard Him Before on the Geek and Sundry (now Nerdist)