The best Critical Role characters each represent different aspects of why Dungeons & Dragons is the most prominent collective storytelling medium on the planet. In the most epic DnD homebrew campaign in history, it can be difficult to pick which player characters should be considered the very best. However, the simple fact is that some members of Vox Machina, The Mighty Nein, and Bells Hells are better than the rest.
The best PCs that ever graced Matt Mercer’s table aren’t always the most likable Critical Role player characters. Though there are similarities between these categories, picking the best of the best entails considering their most notable contributions to the table – regardless of likability. Based on the table’s three epic campaigns, here are the best Critical Role PCs.
10 Caduceus Clay (Taliesin Jaffe)
A calm and moral presence at all times, Caduceus was one of the most well-adjusted Mighty Nein members, despite being raised on dead people’s tea. Coupled with Caduceus’ relaxing voice and personality, his relationship with Fjord and the rest of the party, and the history of his furbolg clan, it’s easy to see why he’s considered one of the best Critical Role characters. Caduceus also served to ground the party after the death of Mollymauk and helped push each party member along their emotional journeys throughout the campaign. His steady presence helped captivate the audience, and his firm moral convictions helped him completely undermine Trent Ikithon, one of the show’s sleaziest villains.
9 Vex’ahlia (Laura Bailey)
The woman who stole a broom and became a Baroness, Vex’ahlia was a fierce negotiator, a deadly warrior, and the Champion of a god. Alongside her accomplishments, Vex is best remembered for almost never having a bad interaction with other player characters. Whether the story needed a dose of humor, real strategy, or genuine emotion, Vex’ahlia delivered — particularly when she weaved in one of the first romantic relationships in Critical Role history. In addition, Vex’s quick wit makes her a no-brainer for being included among the best Critical Role characters.
8 Fjord (Travis Willingham)
The Mighty Nein’s Fjord was a man who came from nothing, had the potential to become one of the top Critical Role villains, but instead became a hero. The only reason Fjord doesn’t rank higher on this list of the best Critical Role characters is because his story is almost too perfect. As an aimless young sailor who finds purpose after being conferred strange powers, Fjord eventually realizes that his gifts aren’t worth being enslaved by his dark patron. By losing what he thought made him special, Fjord finally achieved true greatness by being true to himself. Even the humorous touch of Fjord losing his phony accent only makes the character’s transformation truly compelling.
7 Jester Lavorre (Laura Bailey)
Jester was a fun-loving trickster who managed to befriend an Archfey posing as a god, but what most captivated fans was her good nature and her many challenges. Warm, sweet, and beset by inner conflicts regarding her faith, Jester stands out as one of the most relatable and best Critical Role characters. As the favorite representative of a newly-established god, Jester really struggled to comprehend the nature of her relationship with the Traveler. Having the chance to see her grow into her role and develop a more equal relationship with Artagan was a truly rewarding experience that always left fans wanting more of the incredibly quotable Jester.
6 Laudna (Marisha Ray)
A star figure in the third campaign, Laudna ties back to one of the most beloved arcs in the series. The reanimated body of one of the Sun Tree victims, Laudna now travels around Exandria alongside the Bells Hells. What makes Laudna indisputably one of the best Critical Role characters is how she somehow combines being both a pillar of the party as well as a true wildcard – one top of the fact that she’s a lovable and caring undead corpse. Despite her tragic origin, any scene that Laudna takes part in is automatically enthralling, and Marisha Ray’s commitment to the roleplay makes her one of the most iconic characters in the show’s history.
5 Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III (Taliesin Jaffe)
A character built out of one of the best homebrew classes in Critical Role history, Vox Machina’s gunslinger was a tortured soul learning to rebuild his life out of the ashes of his family. As the fulcrum of the Briarwood arc — one of the best Vox Machina story arcs — Percy uttered the most badass lines as his struggle with the vengeance demon Orthax unraveled. Not only did the Briarwood arc center around him, but the arc also helped propel the final villain of the campaign, Vecna. Without Percy, the campaign likely would have taken a drastically different direction, and the entire The Legend of Vox Machina plot would have needed to be completely revamped.
4 Taryon Darrington (Sam Riegel)
One of the most heartrending characters in any campaign, Taryon also experienced some of the most growth. Taryon ranks highly among the best Critical Role characters for starting as a gag player, and then immediately subverting expectations through sheer depth and vulnerability. While Taryon firmly believed that his relationship with his father defined him, his capacity for love and his adoration of adventuring made him a relatable figure that remains one of the most beloved in the show’s history. It’s remarkable really, given how his introduction could have so easily made him one of the most hated.
3 Nott the Brave (Sam Riegel)
A mother and a monster, Nott the Brave was introduced as a little goblin girl, but the Mighty Nein quickly discovered that all was not as it seemed. Instead, Nott was a halfling named Veth who was tragically modified and taken from her family. Apart from Nott’s complete devotion to Caleb, it was ultimately her incredible and tragic story arc that made Nott one of the best Critical Role characters. The moment when Nott discovered her missing husband is utterly tragic, but the character has considerable range as well. The most heartwarming scenes in the campaign, including any moment with Luc Brenatto or Nott’s transformation into Veth, can all be attributed to her.
2 Keyleth (Marisha Ray)
A character who was a key feature in some of the most epic fights in Legend of Vox Machina, Keyleth grew like no other character in the series. While many of the best Critical Role characters can be considered true heroes as well, Keyleth rose to her destiny unlike any other, and she did it all without fear of expressing her anxiety, imposter syndrome, and other inner struggles. Keyleth was never afraid to reveal her uncertainty about her place at her party, and it was her open heart and desire to fit in that made her such a relatable piece of the Critical Role puzzle.
1 Caleb Widogast (Liam O’Brien)
A wizard with a dark past and a hot hand, Caleb Widogast was a character with one of the strongest arcs in the series. Growing from a full-fledged villain to a hero willing to sacrifice his life’s goal in pursuit of a better future, Caleb Widogast helped the Mighty Nein save the entirety of Exandria, without receiving any recognition in the slightest. Undoubtedly one of the best Critical Role characters, Caleb wasn’t always the center of attention, yet he picked his moments perfectly. No other character in Critical Role history has achieved what Caleb has when he revealed his dark past and when he destroyed his own chances of having a future.