The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey

"The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey"
One-shot episode
Official art of The Nautilus Ark, by @tshortik.[art 1]
Episode no.Episode 42
AirdateSeptember 9, 2021 19:00 PDT
Running time3:23:19
Game systemMothership and Alien homebrew
Laura Bailey as Captain Seraphine Glass
Taliesin Jaffe as Dr. Ramsey Wiser
Liam O'Brien as Forrest Coreman
Marisha Ray as Dr. Nomen L. Frenno
Travis Willingham as Gunnery Sergeant Cameron Garrett
Ashley Johnson as the Game Master
Links and related articles
Episode chronology
"The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood - Part II: A Faulty Foundation" (OSx41)
"The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood - Part III: The Golden Goose" (OSx43)
Airdate order
"Exandria Unlimited Wrap-Up" (Mx11)
"Exandria: An Intimate History" (Mx12)
List of one-shots

"The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) is a special one-shot unlocked by the success of The Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter campaign, with Ashley Johnson DMing for the first time. When the last of humanity is in cryostasis on the Ark, it's up to the intrepid crew of the Nautilus to ferry them to a fresh start on a new planet… If they can make it.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Announcements[edit | edit source]

  • While this one shot is being livestreamed on both Twitch and YouTube, the live moderated chat is on Twitch.
  • This one shot was unlocked as part of The Legend of Vox Machina kickstarter campaign.
  • The Critical Role Foundation has partnered with Shanti Bhavan for their recent fundraising campaign and new merch for CRF is available in all of the stores.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

In the year 3051 PD, the moon was hit by a meteor splitting it in half. The planet slowly started to become an uninhabitable home. Life as we know it could not continue to exist in these conditions. But we had time to prepare. We asked ourselves as a species, "Are we worth it? Is this simply the end of our life cycle? Many species have fallen, and perhaps it is our turn. If we can't evolve through this, do we deserve to keep going?" The answer was yes.

It took 10 years of planning. Every nation worked together to create a mass migration to a planet that seemed to once hold life in a system far, far away. It has everything we would need to sustain life. Water. Oxygen. Nitrogen. The Johnson Corporation, a multi-trillion dollar conglomerate known for renewable energy, cybernetics, and their technological advancements in space exploration, won the bid for the design and the build of the Ark. Its CEO: Ash Johnson, an eccentric, garish, moody, controversial inventor, entrepreneur, and chief engineer. Conniving. Hated for her power and wealth and unconventional methods and politics. J Corp was celebrated for their contributions for moving the human race forward, or in this case, helping it survive completely. Sometimes we have to turn to the people we need, not the people that we want.

The choice. How do we choose? There is no way to take everyone. How do we decide who goes and who stays? The final decision? A worldwide lottery. You win, you have a ticket for migration. A 30-year trek in a stasis pod hurtling across the universe. You lose, you stay on the planet, awaiting the inevitable that will surely come. We start our story aboard The Nautilus Ark: TSS-193, Life Support Mission. The payload: the last of humanity. A spaceship, careening towards us in complete silence.

Part I[edit | edit source]

Break[edit | edit source]

Part II[edit | edit source]

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

Captain Seraphine Glass's profile.
  • Dr. Ramsey Wiser: Computer scientist. Age 34, 6'0", 170 lbs. Hometown: Platt, NJ. Hobbies: hacking, social engineering, Russian literature.[1]
  • Forrest Coreman: Chief of Engineering. Age 35, 5'9", 176 lbs. Hometown: Ithaca, NY. Hobbies: camping, hiking, board games.[2]
  • Captain Seraphine Glass: Age 33, 5'8", 145 lbs. Hometown: New Jackson, MS. Hobbies: poker, shooting pool, sarcasm.[3]
  • Dr. Nomen L. Frenno: Astrobiologist. Age 20, 3'4", 45 lbs. Hometown: Johnson Corp Laboratories. Hobbies: dancing with Virgil, gardening with Virgil, karaoke with Virgil.[4]
  • Gunnery Sergeant Cameron Garrett: Age 56, 6'5", 235 lbs. Hometown: High Star, TX. Hobbies: hunting, fishing, being a surgeon with a pulse rifle.[5]

Non-player characters[edit | edit source]

  • M.O.T.H.E.R.: The ship's AI[6]
  • Virgil: Nomen's best friend, a garter snake[7]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

  • Marisha: (Narrating the actions of Nomen L. Frenno) Knowing the inevitable, go to my locker, pull out my lucky Petri dish, the one that I was hatched in. Turn it around. It's got Mother's signature on it: Johnson Corp.
    Nomen L. Frenno: Mother.
    MOTHER: Yes, Dr. Nomen?
    Nomen L. Frenno: I love you, Mom.
    MOTHER: I love you, too. You successfully completed your mission.
    Nomen L. Frenno: (chuckles) Just wanted to make you proud.
    MOTHER: You've made me so very proud.
    Nomen L. Frenno: Mm, well, I wouldn't want to end anything in disappointment.
    MOTHER: You have never been a disappointment to me.
    Marisha: (Narrating) I take out the scalpel that I was given, knowing the inevitable, and slit my throat.[8]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

This one-shot was unlocked when backers of the Kickstarter campaign for The Legend of Vox Machina passed $8.8 million dollars pledged. It used a system homebrewed by Kyle Shire, producer for Critical Role, using elements from Mothership by Tuesday Knight Games and Alien RPG by Free League.[9][10]

Ashley Johnson's inspirations for the ship's computer M.O.T.H.E.R. were: the monolith and HAL 9000 of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Willy Wonka as played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film, Data of Star Trek, Roy Batty of Blade Runner, Bishop of Aliens, J.A.R.V.I.S. of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, RX-24 of the Disneyland's Star Wars ride Star Tours, and GLaDOS of Portal.[11] Marisha Ray's character, Dr. Nomen L. Frenno, was created by Sam Riegel's six-year-old daughter.[12]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 1:48:01.
  2. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 1:47:02.
  3. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 1:49:02.
  4. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 1:47:31.
  5. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 1:48:31.
  6. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 16:38.
  7. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 20:56.
  8. "The Nautilus Ark: A Johnson Corp Odyssey" (OSx42) at 3:08:47.
  9. Critical Role Newsletter. 2021-09-09. "Transform young lives alongside Shanti Bhavan! 💖"
  10. Surena Marie (@SurenaXMarie) on Twitter: "ALSO if you missed it in the CR newsletter, they are playing a homebrewed system crafted by @KyleShire that contains elements pulled from Mothership by Tuesday Knight Games and Alien RPG by Free League." (September 9, 2021).
  11. Ashley Johnson (@TheVulcanSalute) on Twitter: "M.O.T.H.E.R. 🖤 muses 🖤" (September 18, 2021).
  12. Marisha Ray (@Marisha_Ray) on Twitter: "When I heard about the characters @samriegel's daughter was creating for their home games, I knew I had to play one. Here's her original art of Nomen and her pitch. Nothing tops the imagination of kids! Thanks, Kiddo. Keep creating!" (September 10, 2021).


  1. Official art of The Nautilus Ark, by @tshortik (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.