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Dimension 20: The Ravening War - Episode 1 Recap and Review

Dive into my review of The Ravening War Ep. 1, covering memorable moments, character dynamics, and predictions for this Dimension 20 Season.

A surprised Brennan Lee Mulligan.
Image: Dimension 20 // Dropout

Author's Note: This post will include spoilers for episode 1 of The Ravening War.

As a fan of Dimension 20 and newly admitted to the Critical Role fandom by Calamity, I was beyond excited when I learned that Matthew Mercer would be the Dungeon Master for the newest season of Dimension 20, The Ravening War. This season returns us to the world of Calorum from A Crown of Candy and introduces a fantastic cast of players: Anjali Bhimani, Zac Oyama, Aabria Iyengar, Brennan Lee Mulligan, and Lou Wilson.

The story takes place years before the events of the original campaign and kicks off with our players heading into Comida, the city where all the intrigue happens. From there, we follow the unfolding story, masterfully woven by Matthew Mercer, as the characters navigate the events leading up to the infamous Ravening War.

Let's Talk Aesthetics

I must start by praising the incredible intro art that brings us back into the world of Calorum. The original artist responsible for the previous campaign's characters returned to create the same captivating art style. The production team has also kept their game from NeverAfter, using the Dome, which now features images and effects beyond alternating colors. It adds an extra layer of immersion that I absolutely love.

The table decorations and DM seat showcase the excellent work of Rick Perry and his team. We have seen a glimpse of the miniatures used in the battles in the trailer, and I can't wait to see these epic clashes play out in full.

Interesting Player Dynamics

The chemistry between the players is fantastic. You can immediately sense Lou and Zac's strong feelings towards Brennan, who previously acted as their DM. It's fascinating to see how they react to Brennan being a player in such a deadly fantasy setting this time.

I was somewhat surprised to see that three players already knew each other at the beginning of the campaign, but it makes sense, given that the season only consists of six episodes. Anjali's character, Queen Amangeaux Epicée du Peche, Aabria's character, Karna Solara, and Brennan's character, Bishop Raphaniel, all have established relationships. On the other hand, Lou's character, Thane Delissandro Katzon, and Zac's character, Colin Provolone, also know each other, as Thane has hired Colin to transport them from the Meatlands to Comida.

Some Memorable Moments

There were several standout moments from this first episode. One of my favorites was Brennan's subtle callback to the original campaign, mentioning the corrosive effect of water on sugar. Another was the reveal that Thane is part Meatlander and part bread from Ceresia – an unexpected twist that could lead to trust issues within the group.

I also couldn't help but laugh when Thane's mom casually left the carriage to squat and pee, showcasing her unapologetically violent nature. Brennan's character, Bishop Raphaniel, also refuses to connect with the group on a trust level, which could have severe consequences down the line.

We were treated to appearances by iconic characters, such as a young Bishop Belizabeth Brassica from the clergy and Princess Citrina and Queen Pamela of House Rocks - Sister and Mother to King Amethar - Lou's PC from A Crown of Candy. All of which added depth to the story and the world of Calorum.

Let's Talk About The Fellowship of Destiny's Architects

Introducing the shady organization, the Fellowship of Destiny's Architects, is an intriguing development. Love the wordplay for the FDA - arguably the most important organization in America.

The fantasy FDA seems to be a group of less powerful individuals who have banded together to control the world, reminiscent of the Illuminati in our own world. They know secrets about our characters and manipulate them to do their bidding, threatening to expose their secrets to force compliance.

As the episode ends, each player receives a package containing a letter revealing that their secrets are known. They reluctantly agree to cooperate with the Fellowship of Destiny's Architects and proceed to a dinner where their first task begins to unfold. We discover that Lord Tomate, a Tomato Lord, plans to seize the crown and become the next king of Vegetania. With support from both Vegetania and Fructerra, he threatens to take the crown "by word or by sword."

I particularly enjoyed the clever play on words and the nod to the ongoing debate over whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable.

In a bold move, the episode doesn't end with a simple cliffhanger. Instead, Matt describes events that transpire over the next two years, leading into the next episode set during The Ravening War. This sets the stage for a story that spans several years and promises to be an epic adventure.

Predictions for the Next Episode

Given the time jump, I expect the players to level up and grow stronger. It seems likely that Queen Amangeaux and Karna will maintain their alliance. At the same time, Bishop Raphaniel remains a wild card, potentially using the others to further his own goals within the Bulbian Church.

Thane and Colin's working relationship will likely continue, as Thane's mother has paid Colin handsomely to keep her son safe. However, there's a chance that Thane's crush, a woman from Ceresia, may not be entirely genuine in her affection and could be using him for her own ends.

As the story unfolds, tensions within the group may lead to PvP conflicts, especially if trust issues arise. It will be interesting to see how the group navigates these challenges while facing the external threat of The Ravening War.

Watch the episode on Dropout or below on YouTube! The rest of the season is not set to premiere on YouTube, but the D20 crew is known to publish the first episode of most seasons on their channel. Enjoy:

Video: Dimension 20's YouTube Channel / The Ravening War Ep.1


The first episode of The Ravening War was a fantastic start to the season, with mesmerizing visuals, engaging storytelling, and a promising cast of characters. I am eager to see how the story develops and what twists and turns lie ahead.

What are your thoughts on the first episode? Do you think we'll see PvP action in the future, or will the group find a way to trust one another? Perhaps there are iconic scenes from the original campaign that we'll get to relive in this prequel. Share your thoughts, predictions, and ideas in the comments below, and let's discuss this thrilling new season together!

Read the next episode recap right here.