Last night, Critical Role played a Legend of Zelda-inspired tabletop roleplaying game, and we might never get to see it, play it, or hear about it ever again. This could change but… who knows. The point is that there is a Nintendo-approved Zelda-inspired TTRPG out there, totally playable, and nobody is handing it out or even telling us how we might be able to see it, eventually.
io9 reached out to Critical Role and Nintendo for a comment. The only thing we heard back was that this is Nintendo’s call. We await the company’s response with bated breath.
So here’s what we know. Critical Role and Nintendo Treehouse collaborated to create this custom Legend of Zelda TTRPG that is based on the events and lore in Tears of the Kingdom. Nintendo actually sponsored the stream, which makes this a semi-official Legend of Zelda TTRPG. It uses both a D20, turn-based combat mechanic system which includes initiative and hit point-based damage. A slimmed-down Dungeons and Dragons combat is the best way to think about this. Kind of like Knave, a little like Into the Odd. Very Old School Roleplaying structures.
The TTRPG also takes inspiration from Apocalypse World by Vincent and Meguey Baker—in game design parlance, a game that does this is called “Powered by the Apocalypse”—and uses two D6 dice to determine success, success-with-complication, or failure. It has at least three stats—Wisdom, Courage, and Power, which can add bonuses or subtract from a roll.
Really, this is very little, this is almost nothing, but it’s something, and I am going fully out of my head thinking that out there, somewhere, is 20-ish page document that details all of this and was created under the auspices of Nintendo. It’s a great franchise to put into a TTRPG, and the fact that a lightweight, easy-to-play game is basically ready to go sends me into a tizzy. A lot of this is probably due to the fact that Matt Mercer, Critical Role’s resident GM and the game master for this one-shot voices Ganondorf in Tears of the Kingdom. I simply can’t imagine any universe in which “Critical Role creates a semi-official Zelda TTRPG” and “Matt Mercer voices Ganandorf” aren’t related.
So here we go, let’s see if this works. Dear Nintendo and Critical Role: Release the Zelda TTRPG! Let me read it! Give it to me!! Free the people’s princess!! Show me the Die-Force! If anyone—literally anyone—emails me back with more information I will absolutely let y’all know.
The Legend of Zelda One-Shot: Lookout, Here We Come! aired on Tuesday, May 30 on Twitch and YouTube. It will be released on YouTube Thursday, June 1 at 12:00 pm Pacific. The podcast version will be out June 6.
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