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D&D > Off Topic > Tabletop RPGOct 26, 2021 4:00 pm CT

Who is Bertrand Bell in Critical Role Campaign 3?

When watching Episode 1 of Campaign 3 for Critical Role last week (or catching it later, because it’s now up on YouTube) you may have had a lot of questions about the new characters. Most of you probably know that Ashley Johnson’s Fearne Calloway and Liam O’Brien’s Oryn were originally part of Exandria Unlimited, as was Robbie Daymond’s guest character Darion Storm. But you might not have remembered Travis Willigham’s Sir Bertrand Bell, unless you watched either the Search for Grog or the Search for Bob one-shots involving the characters from Campaign 1. That’s because Travis originally used Sir Bertrand as his PC in the first session, because his usual character Grog had gotten his soul sent to the Plane of Pandemonium.

As a result, even after the party found Grog’s soul and reunited him with himself, Travis was also forced to keep playing Sir Bertrand Bell, a braggadocious fellow somewhat in the model of Baron Munchausen who claimed an expertise in Pandemonium (and indeed almost everything else) that he did not seem to actually possess. Travis played the character for laughs in the original two appearances, with him very much being relegated to the background of Search for Bob due to Grog having been reclaimed by that point, but the rest of the group seemed to enjoy forcing Travis to keep playing both roles. They went as far as healing Sir Bertrand during the climatic fight of Search for Grog so that Travis had to keep playing him even after Grog had been returned.

A mountebank, a scoundrel, and a braggard walk into a bad, and everyone says “Hi, Sir Bertrand!”

What little we saw of Sir Bertrand in Campaign 3’s opener is intriguing. He’s much older, since he was in his late 40’s/early 50’s in his first appearances and it’s around 31 years between his first appearances and the 843 Post-Divergance start of Campaign 3, meaning he’s in his late 70’s or early 80’s now. He seems to still be a somewhat less than strictly honest person about his own capabilities and his history and accomplishments, while also being less overtly full of beans as his earlier appearances suggested.

Based on how the various cast members of Critical Role have made statements about shaking things up this season, and Matt Mercer’s own tweet about why Travis was playing Sir Bertrand again, I have my suspicions about whether or not Sir Bertrand will be long for the campaign. It’s quite possible that Travis has a goal in mind for playing the man, a means to shake up people’s perspectives about him and his role in the campaign. Remember, his playing Fjord Stone was an attempt to get as far away as possible from loveable but dim rage machine Grog — is his playing Sir Bertrand a means to get people to stop thinking about Fjord, who started the campaign as a mysterious figure and ended it in a loving stable relationship with another party member?

Remember, Sir Bertrand is by his very nature deceptive. He pretends at connections and influence he does not actually have and will attempt to bluff his way through even when it’s apparent he’s less than he presented himself as. Hooking up with a party of capable but much younger adventurers would allow him to play a mentor role and thus steer them in directions he wanted them to go… or at least that could be his hope. I’m fascinated to see where this all ends up as the campaign continues.

Sir Bertrand is a liar, an opportunist, and a man whose ego often writes checks he is then forced to cash, whether or not he can actually cover them. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Travis does with him.

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