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The following is a glossary of terms used throughout the wiki and on the show, many of which are related to the mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons or to the lore of Exandria.

A[edit | edit source]

Aberrations are alien or heavily mutated creatures. Many of them have innate magical abilities drawn from the creature's alien mind rather than the mystical forces of the world.[1] See also Category:Aberrations.
ability check

Also check.

A way to determine how well a character achieves a certain task or uses a certain skill. Ability checks are made by rolling a 20-sided die (d20) and adding any modifiers that character may have to the relevant skill.
Armor Class

Also AC.

The measure of how hard a creature is to hit in combat. Higher numbers indicate they are more difficult to hit. A higher AC can be the result of better armor; a higher Dexterity score; or magical effects.
arcane magic
Mechanically, this refers to the magic practiced by classes other than clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers. For more, see divine magic and Arcane and Divine Magic in D&D on D&D Beyond.
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons with some spellcasting abilities, specializing in infusing magic into objects or potions. Intelligence is their spellcasting ability score. Taryon Darrington is a notable artificer in Exandria.

B[edit | edit source]

A martial, melee player class in Dungeons & Dragons that has an ability to enter a state (known as rage) in which they are able to do more damage and are themselves more resistant to physical damage. Notable barbarians in Exandria include Grog Strongjaw, Yasha Nydoorin, and Ashton Greymoore.
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that gains magic through creation and artistic expression, characterized by their ability to inspire their allies. Charisma is their spellcasting ability score Scanlan Shorthalt is a notable bard in Exandria.
Battle Royale
A special type of PvP where all player characters battle each other to the death until one is left standing. Usually this is a one-shot encounter. For an example, see "Vox Machina vs. Mighty Nein" (OSx40).
Mostly natural nonhumanoid creatures that are a part of the fantasy ecology. Some of them have magical powers, but most are unintelligent and lack any society or language. Beasts include all varieties of ordinary animals, dinosaurs, and giant versions of animals.[1]
A greeting sometimes used by fans of Critical Role. Comes from Grog Strongjaw mistaking the words "good day" for "bidet" in "Heredity and Hats" (1x60).
blood hunter
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that has mastered the art of hemocraft and has altered their own physicality in order to better fight monsters. Factions in Exandria related to blood hunters include the Claret Orders, the Tombtakers, and the Gorgynei. Notable blood hunters include Mollymauk Tealeaf and Chetney Pock O'Pea. This class was created by Matthew Mercer.
Boulder, parchment, shears
An Exandrian universe take on Rock paper scissors, coined in "Daring Days" (1x86) by Taliesin.
A term created by Critical Role fans to describe a confrontation between Beau and Caleb at the end of "Stalker in the Swamp" (2x21) over what to do with a bowl that can communicate with Tiamat.

C[edit | edit source]

In TTRPGs, when a party of player characters play an extended storyline that continues over multiple play sessions, such as Campaign 1: Vox Machina. In contrast to one-shots.
Celestials are creatures native to the Outer Planes. Many of them are the servants of deities, employed as messengers or agents in the mortal realm and throughout the planes. Celestials are good by nature.[1] See also Category:Celestials.
Charisma is one of the six ability scores used in Dungeons & Dragons and refers to one's ability to interact with and influence other people. The Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion skills are based on Charisma, and bards, paladins, sorcerers, and warlocks use Charisma as their casting stat.
See ability check.
A class, in Dungeons & Dragons, refers to a character's broad skill set. It defines whether or not they rely on magic, weapons, or a mix of the two, what abilities and features they may have, and what they may have done to gain these abilities.
Clerics are spellcasters whose magic comes from a divine source. They derive their powers through their devotion to a deity, god-like entity, pantheon, or concept. They are notable for having access to nearly all healing and resurrection spells, and for the ability to turn or destroy undead creatures. Their spellcasting stat is Wisdom.
Notable clerics in Exandria include Pike Trickfoot, Jester Lavorre, Caduceus Clay, and Fresh Cut Grass.
A partner with whom Player Character spends a lot of time or with whom they travel. The companions can be animals, undead, constructs, familiar. Notable companions are Doty, Sprinkle, Little Mister. See also .
Some spells or abilities require that the person performing them concentrate to maintain them. A creature can, unless explicitly stated elsewhere, only concentrate on one spell at a time. Additionally, if that creature takes damage, they must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC 10 or half the damage taken in that hit, whichever number is higher. If they fail, they lose concentration.
Constitution is one of the six ability scores used in Dungeons & Dragons and refers to one's hardiness, health, and stamina. While no skills are based on Constitution, Constitution measures how well a character can withstand difficult physical tasks such as going without sleep, resisting the effects of poison, or enduring extreme heat or cold. Hit Points are determined by Constitution, and barbarians rely especially on this stat. The Constitution bonus number determines the number of minutes a creatures can hold their breath.
artificially created creatures or animated objects, some of which are created to fulfil a programmed set of instructions, while others are imbued with sentience and capable of independent thought.[1] The constructs doesn't have blood, thus unaffected by blood hunters' magic. See also Category:Constructs.
A term for a fan of Critical Role.

D[edit | edit source]

The ability to see in complete darkness. Typically, a creature with darkvision cannot perceive colors in darkness, only shades of gray. Most races in Dungeons & Dragons that have darkvision have a range of 60 feet, though drow have a range of 120 feet. Some class or subclass features or magic items can also grant a character darkvision.
Difficulty Class, the numerical measure in Dungeons & Dragons of the difficulty of a particular task, such as resisting a spell's effects or performing a physical feat. An ability check or saving throw is made against this number to determine success or failure. A DC is variable and may be determined in numerous ways, ranging from adding various modifiers based on the game's rules to the Dungeon Master deciding what it is based on roleplay and situational factors.
death saving throw

Also death save.

A death saving throw is a type of saving throw made when a character's HP are reduced to zero. The DC of a death save is 10. A player will make death saves for their character until that character is no longer at 0 HP (and is conscious); is stabilized at 0 HP; or dies. If a player gets three successful saves prior to getting three failures, the character stabilizes. If a player gets three failed saves prior to getting three successes, the character dies. If the player rolls a natural 1, it counts as two failures. If the player rolls a natural 20, the character gains 1 HP and is conscious.

Dexterity is one of the six ability scores used in Dungeons & Dragons and refers to grace, agility, and reflexes. The Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth skills are derived from a character's Dexterity score. Armor Class is also sometimes determined by Dexterity score, as it represents an ability to dodge hits. Ranged attacks typically rely on Dexterity, and most martial classes, but especially rogues and monks use this stat for their attacks.
divine magic
In theory, magic that comes from a deity, one's own faith, or a connection with nature. Mechanically, this refers to the magic practiced by clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers. For more, see Arcane and Divine Magic in D&D on D&D Beyond. See also arcane magic.
Initialism used by Liam O'Brien for "dick in the peanut butter", a phrase he uses to mean someone who is completely invested.[2] It was first used on Critical Role in "Beyond the Boundaries" (2x32) and has been used sporadically afterward.[3]
Dragons are large reptilian creatures of ancient origin and tremendous power, or creatures distantly related to true dragons, but less powerful, less intelligent, and less magical.[1] See also Category:Dragons.
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that gains magic through a connection with nature and characterized by their ability to turn into beasts, called Wild Shape. Wisdom is their spellcasting ability score. Factions in Exandria related to druids include the Ashari, and notable druids include Keyleth and Fearne Calloway.
Dungeon Master

Also DM.

Main article: Dungeon Master.

The Game Master of a Dungeons & Dragons game. Dungeon Masters include Matthew Mercer (Critical Role), Aabria Iyengar (Exandria Unlimited, Exandria Unlimited: Kymal), and Brennan Lee Mulligan (Exandria Unlimited: Calamity). Though Dungeons & Dragons has a specific name for its Game Masters, sometimes the Dungeon Master is referred to as a Game Master.

E[edit | edit source]

Elementals are creatures native to the elemental planes. Some creatures of this type are little more than animate masses of their respective elements, including the creatures simply called elementals. Others have biological forms infused with elemental energy.[1] Genasi are distantly related to elementals. See also Category:Elementals.

Capitalized as Expertise as a class feature.

Expertise in a skill or with a tool allows a character to double their proficiency bonus for checks using that skill or tool. Bards and rogues gain expertise through a class feature, also called Expertise. It can also be gained through a feat.

F[edit | edit source]

Animal or creature companions who are magically bonded with a spellcaster such as a warlock or wizard. They are usually non-player characters. Examples of familiars include Frumpkin and Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.
Feats, in Dungeons & Dragons, serve to extend and customize a character's abilities outside the limits of race, class, and background. Feats can be taken instead of Ability Score Increases at character levels that provide the opportunity to do so. Multiple homebrew feats have appeared across the history of Critical Role.
Fey are magical creatures closely tied to the forces of nature. They are most commonly found in the Fey Realm.[1] See also Category:Fey.
Fiends are creatures native to the Outer Planes (in particular, Abyss and Nine Hells). The fiends are separated into demons and devils.[4] See also Category:Fiends
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons class specializing in physical combat and weaponry. Fighters are highly trained individuals and typically rely most on Strength or Dexterity. Notable fighters in Exandria include Percival de Rolo and Orym.

G[edit | edit source]

Game Master

Also GM.

The player responsible for running the game, including devising encounters, managing the world, and structuring the story. A Game Master may have a more specific name, such as the Dungeon Master of a Dungeons & Dragons game.
Giants or giantkin are exceptionally large humanoid creature.[5] The giants are separated into two casts: highborn and lowborn giants. See also Category:Giants (creature type).
going Minxie
A phrase used by Keyleth to indicate that she would be using her Wildshape druid ability to transform into a large wildcat.

H[edit | edit source]

Hit Points
Hit points, or HP, refer to how much damage your character can take before falling unconscious. A player character's HP is determined by their class and Constitution score.
Any rules within a game of D&D made up by individuals that are not in official rulebooks.
How do you want to do this?


"How do you want to do this" is the way Matthew Mercer tells players in his games that they have defeated a significant enemy creature in combat. It permits the player to describe their victory.
Hello, bees!
This phrase derives from when the Mighty Nein visited a meadery on Bisaft Isle during Campaign 2, and Jester greeted the bees. It has since been used on Critical Role merchandise and often serves as the greeting in their newsletter.
Humanoids are humans and other creatures who possess human-like characteristics, most of all the bipedal form. They have language and culture.[1] Category:Humanoids

I[edit | edit source]

Initiative represents the order in which PCs, NPCs, and environmental actions occur during combat in Dungeons & Dragons. PCs have an initiative bonus, based in part on their Dexterity score. A DM will often signal that combat is about to begin by telling players to "roll initiative"
Intelligence is one of the six ability scores used in Dungeons & Dragons and refers to reasoning ability and the recall of knowledge. The Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion skills are derived from a character's Intelligence score. Wizards and artificers use Intelligence as their primary casting stat.
Is it Thursday yet?
A phrase originated by Dani Carr to reflect the impatience many Critters have while waiting for a new Critical Role episode, as the show airs on Thursday nights in the United States. First mentioned on air in "The Feast" (1x24) and used as the show's signoff since "The Sun Tree" (1x28).

J[edit | edit source]

Jaeger-ing is when a player or the DM temporarily acts as another person's player character when that player is absent. From the movie Pacific Rim, where Jaegers (from the German word for hunter) are robots controlled by humans—sometimes two at a time, as with Liam and Laura for Pike in "Thordak" (1x79), where they originated the term.
A code word that Vox Machina uses to indicate danger and/or to attack, coined by Grog in "The Feast" (1x24).[6] Since Jenga is a brand name for a toy, in The Legend of Vox Machina it was adapted as "Chenga."

K[edit | edit source]

Refers to a notorious incident in which Keyleth dove off a thousand-foot-high cliff in "Taryon, My Wayward Son" (1x97) and Wildshaped into a goldfish near the bottom of her descent only to crash onto a rock and take sufficient falling damage to result in her death, despite having the ability to Wildshape into a flying creature. Critical Role has memorialized this in merchandise.

L[edit | edit source]

The name used by the green dragon Raishan when disguising herself as a dwarven mercenary[7] and surprising her former dragon ally, Vorugal. The cast (mostly Liam as he was the last player to realize Larkin was Raishan in disguise) jokingly use the name "Larkin" for someone who can be secretly Raishan or otherwise someone hidden under a disguise.
long rest
Considered equivalent to a night's sleep. Most player characters require 8 hours to complete a long rest, though they may spend a few hours of that keeping watch or performing other restful activities other than sleeping. Spell slots, Hit Points, and many class or subclass features are restored after the completion of a long rest.

M[edit | edit source]

A magic user who focuses not just on spellcasting but on the study of magic itself. Mages are far more likely to be arcane magic practitioners than divine magic users, though it is not a requirement.
makin' my way
The cast of Critical Role often sings a quick snippet of Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" when someone says "make [your] way" or "make my way". Began sometime in late Campaign 2, possibly started by Travis.
Refers to attacks made in the range of reach (vs. attacks made at range with a bow and arrow or a thrown weapon). Monks, barbarians, and paladins typically are considered melee martial classes.
When the player inappropriately uses real-world knowledge to determine their character's course of action, that their character couldn't know. When players want to give advice to each other and their character isn't there, a running gag started in Campaign 2 where they coo as a metagaming pigeon who happens to be flying by.
A number that is added to a d20 die roll as part of an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw. Modifiers are determined by a number of things including the ability score, proficiency, and bonuses from items or spells. When referring to ability score modifers specifically, the modifier is equal to the score minus ten, divided by two, rounded down.
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons specializing in unarmed combat and martial arts. Monks can channel a force called ki which powers their attacks. They rely on Dexterity and Wisdom. Factions in Exandria related to monks include the Cobalt Soul, and Beauregard Lionett is a notable monk.
A loose category of frightening creatures, unordinary creatures, that are not "truly" natural and almost never benign. Some are the results of failed magical experimentation, and others are the product of curses. "They defy categorization, and in some sense serve as a catch-all category for creatures that don't fit into any other type."[5] Category:Monstrosities.
A player character who has taken levels in more than one class. Typically this requires certain ability prerequisites, and reflects a combination of different skills that character has developed. The classes of a multiclass character are often delimited with slashes. Many PCs in Critical Role have been multiclasses, including Vax (rogue/paladin/druid); Vex (ranger/rogue); Grog (barbarian/fighter); Fjord (warlock/paladin); Veth (rogue/wizard); Laudna (sorcerer/warlock); Chetney (blood hunter/rogue); and Fearne (druid/rogue).

N[edit | edit source]

non-player character

Also NPC.

A character played by the Dungeon Master or Game Master. Contrasted with a player character. Examples of non-player characters include Shaun Gilmore, Allura Vysoren, Marion Lavorre, Essek Thelyss, Ariks Eshteross, and Jiana Hexum. For more non-player characters, see Category:Non-player characters.

A non-player character may have mechanical abilities derived from a statblock, have mechanical abilities derived from a class in the way that a player character does, or have no mechanical abilities at all. Additionally, non-player characters who are classed do not necessarily follow class rules in the way that a player character must; Essek, a wizard who has abilities from two subclasses (Graviturgy Magic and Chronurgy Magic), is an example of this.

O[edit | edit source]


Main article: One-shots.

When players convene for a single, self-contained TTRPG session where the story is resolved, such as "A Familiar Problem: Sprinkle's Incredible Journey" (OSx48). The player characters may be unique to that sessions, as in "Feast of Legends" (OSx34), or from campaigns, as in "Dalen's Closet" (OSx33). One-shots can sometimes extend over 2-3 play sessions, but any longer than that is often considered a campaign, or in the case of Critical Role Productions, a miniseries.
Oozes are gelatinous, amorphous creatures that mostly inhabit the subterranean regions of the Planes of Existence.[5] Category:Oozes.

P[edit | edit source]

A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that gains magic from an oath to a deity or principle. Paladins are a hybrid class, with both combat capabilities and some spellcasting, and are characterized by the ability to do holy damage on melee attacks. They use Charisma as their spellcasting stat. Notable paladins include Vax'ildan and Fjord.
Year notation indicating that a year is Post-Divergence, that is: after the Divergence. Most media set in Exandria takes place in a year PD. For example, Campaign 2 begins in 835 PD.
Ordinary flora, or a magically animated flora. Most creatures of this type are ambulatory, and some are carnivorous. Fungal creatures such as the gas spore and the myconid also fall into this category.[5] Category:Plants (creature type).
player character

Also PC.

A character played by a player who is not the Dungeon Master or Game Master. Contrasted with a non-player character. In Dungeons & Dragons, all player characters have abilities derived from their class and gain levels as they progress through the game. For more examples of player characters, see Category:Player characters.
Refers to whether a character has some skill in a particular area or mastery with an item, which gives them bonus to ability check checks, weapon attacks, saving throws, etc. Player characters have a proficiency bonus that increases by one as they gain levels and add this bonus to skills or weapons with which they are proficient. Bards and rogues have a class feature called Expertise, which allows them to double their proficiency bonus in chosen skills; expertise can also be gained through certain feats.

Also player vs player.

Combat where the player characters fight each other instead of non-player characters.

Q[edit | edit source]

R[edit | edit source]

A player class in Dungeons & Dragons with nature and tracking skills and some magic that derives from their connection with the wilderness. They are a hybrid class with both combat skills (often, but not always, ranged) and magic. They use Wisdom as their spellcasting stat. Notable rangers in Exandria include Vex'ahlia.
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that specializes in stealth and the acquisition of various skills, particularly those suited for covert missions. Rogues are characterized by their ability to sneak attack, in which they do large amounts of damage to foes under certain conditions. Factions in Exandria related to rogues include the Clasp, and notable rogues include Vax'ildan, Vex'ahlia, Veth Brenatto, Chetney Pock O'Pea, and Fearne Calloway.
A game played by the Critical Role in which each player rolls a d20[8] and whoever rolls the highest wins. If the players roll equal numbers, they either change partners or the game ends.[9] It is used to resolve various ties during a game, usually for initiative, and to determine the host of 4-Sided Dive. It was introduced as an in-universe game in "Kindling the Spirits" (3x73).[10]

S[edit | edit source]

saving throw

Also save.

A d20 die roll made to resist an effect, usually a negative one such as a damaging spell, a poison, or an attack. Saving throw modifiers are determined by character class, the relevant ability score (eg: Wisdom against fear effects; Constitution against most poisons), and any items or spells affecting the character. To pass a saving throw one must meet or exceed the DC.
session zero
A game session run before the campaign properly starts, often used to discuss the nature of the campaign, build characters, and set expectations within the group. See also: Tips for session zero and character creation and Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn (pages 149-150).
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that gains magical powers from an inherent source within them, often a bloodline or exposure to magical forces that permanently imbued them with powers. Sorcerers are characterized by their access to metamagic, an ability that lets them vary the nature of their spells beyond the standard in some way. Charisma is their spellcasting score. Notable sorcerers in Exandria include Imogen Temult and Laudna.
Squishiness is when a character has a small number of hit points and/or a low armor class, and so is more likely to get killed (or, "squished").
In Dungeons & Dragons, a statblock refers to a list of a creature's ability scores, combat moves, speed, and other relevant information. It typically is used by a Dungeon Master.
One of the six ability scores in Dungeons & Dragons; refers to athletic ability and physical power. The Athletics skill is derived from a character's Strength score. Many melee attacks use Strength, and it also is used to determine how high or far a character can jump. Barbarians, paladins, and many fighters and blood hunters are Strength-based.
A particular specialization within a character's class. Classes specialize between levels 1 and 3. The name for the subclasses within each class differs; eg, clerics have different "domains".

T[edit | edit source]


Also Total Party Kill

TPK is when an entire adventuring party of player characters is killed in action. It is more likely to occur at lower levels, when the characters are squishy, have fewer healing spells, and often, less player experience.
Tabletop role-playing game, a form of role-playing game in which players verbally describe the actions their character takes to interact with the world through improv acting and a formal set of rules is used to determined the character's success or failure. Many systems have the session led by a Game Master, but these are not universal features of TTRPG games. Dungeons & Dragons is an example of a TTRPG.
Truesight is the ability to see in normal and magical darkness, detect invisible creatures and objects, and see through visual illusions and shapeshifted or transformed personas, and also into the Ethereal Plane. Some creatures with Truesight include certain dragons, sphinxes, and pit fiends.

U[edit | edit source]

Once-living creatures who has been magically animated through the practice of necromantic magic or a curse. Undead can be divided into corporeal creatures, such as vampires and zombies, and incorporeal, such as ghosts and specters.[5] Category:Undead.

V[edit | edit source]

W[edit | edit source]

A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that gains magic through a pact with an otherworldly powerful entity. They are characterized by Pact Magic, which works somewhat differently than standard spellcasting, and their pact boon. Charisma is their spellcasting score. Notable warlocks in Exandria include Fjord and Laudna.
When a player gets special information from the DM that other players don't get to know, such as from an Insight check, Matt will leave his seat and whisper it into their ear directly. The cast calls it "getting a whisper."
A player class in Dungeons & Dragons that gains magic through study of the arcane. Intelligence is their spellcasting score. Factions in Exandria related to wizards are the Arcana Pansophical and the Cerberus Assembly, and notable wizards include Caleb Widogast.
One of six ability scores in Dungeons & Dragons.

X[edit | edit source]

Y[edit | edit source]

Z[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Monster Manual, 5th edition, p. 6.
  2. "Beyond the Boundaries" (2x32) at 7:53. See also 1:46:19.
  3. Instances include "Clay and Dust" (2x72) at 3:07:55, "The Endless Burrows" (2x50) at 3:13:55, "Talks Machina #117: Reflections" (TM2x68) at 31:20, "Into the Eye" (2x131) at 1:24:46, and "Heart-to-Heartmoor" (3x17) at 3:38:56.
  4. Monster Manual, 5th edition, pp. 6–7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Monster Manual, 5th edition, p. 7.
  6. "The Feast" (1x24) at 2:31:55.
  7. "Vorugal" (1x71) at 1:33:59.
  8. "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 3:21:23. First mention of rollies.
  9. "Phantasmal Parley" (3x72) at 3:52:35.
  10. "Phantasmal Parley" (3x72) at 3:47:14.