A still frame from ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ | Source: Prime Video

The Main Stage of New York Comic Con was full of energy on Friday morning, as the members of Critical Role gave the inside scoop on their long-awaited animated series, Legend of Vox Machina.

It started out feeling like a COVID-19 power-hour as the emcee encouraged fans to lock eyes with strangers and high-five (if comfortable), but all of the problems from the last two years were forgotten the second Matthew Mercer cracked his first joke.

For those unfamiliar, Critical Role is a band of professional voice actors — Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, and Sam Reigel — who have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for eight years (well, maybe eight, the team wasn’t too confident in that number) and livestreaming their adventures. Two years ago they launched a Kickstarter to turn their meanderings and beloved storylines into an animated series. It ended up earning more than $11 million and becoming the largest-funded Kickstarter for a film or series in history. Amazon picked it up, and the series is finally coming out next year.

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The cast discussed their biggest influences for the series — cartoons they grew up within the ’80s and anime – and what’s in store for the first season. The first two episodes will introduce the world to newcomers, and the rest of the season will follow the fan-favorite Briarwood story arch.

In a sneak peek from the series, the cast did a table read of a scene that seems indicative of the whole show: plenty of heart and a lot of chaos. In the scene, a drunken escapade ensues and quickly results in violence. Fans also got a special look at the opening title sequence and an official release date of Feb. 4. Watch both below — and try to contain yourself until next year.

Seeing the world built by Critical Role to come to life is the secret dream of everyone who’s ever rolled a 20-sided die. Critical Role has taken inspiration from eight (eight?) years of story-building, joke-telling, and adventure-seeking and turned it into something beautiful. As one of the cast members stated, it’s a complex story that they accidentally told — and we’re here for it. Find the series on Prime Video next year.