Actual Play DnD Shows Critical Role, Dimension 20 Supporting The SAG-AFTRA With Dungeons & Dragons Strike

Critical Role, Dimension 20, and Dungeons & Dragons have teamed up in support of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. This resulted in the inaugural Dungeons & Dragons Strike. On the morning of August 30th outside Universal Studios in Burbank, crowds gathered in support of the long-running strike that’s brought the film and television industries to a halt. Picketers, union members and supporters alike, marched in support of the unions. The WGA and SAG-AFTRA represent Hollywood’s writers and actors unions, who are striking against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Contract disputes have been stalled for months, and the unions show no sign of caving in.

The SAG-AFTRA strike has impacted the entire entertainment industry, shutting down most productions as behind-the-scenes and on-camera talent march in support of the strike. The strike has been largely focused on residual pay from streaming media, the existential threat of artificial intelligence being used for writing, and drastic cuts in writer’s rooms. The TTRPG community has been openly supportive of the strike since the writers first started protesting over a hundred days ago and the actors joined them almost two months ago. The Dungeons & Dragons Strike was an opportunity for the gaming community and some of its biggest stars to show their support in person.

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Protest Sign at the Dungeons & Dragons Strike Day in support of WGA & SAG-AFTRA

With the support of WGA strike captains, picketers showed support by marching outside Universal Studios. Dean’s Coffee, Tacos 1986, and CVT Soft Serve were on hand to provide support to picket lines. Each food truck was sponsored by Critical Role, Dimension 20, and Dungeons & Daddies​​​​​​, respectively. Members from each of these groups were on hand to meet fans and lend their support, including Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, and Aabria Iyengar. Also on hand was Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony, who spoke in support of the union in their efforts to win equitable wages from the studios. He observed “All the United States is watching us,” noting that regions across the country with less union power could be inspired by the efforts in Hollywood.

Attendees were also given the chance to take part in a large-scale D&D game across the length of Universal Studios’ properties, including the entrances to NBC, Universal Studios, and Telemundo. To assist in this, each picketer was given a set of complimentary dice and a character sheet. At checkpoints across the strike, the picketers could briefly become players and complete mini-quests with assigned DMs. Completion of the challenges came with a ticket for a raffle, sponsored by Critical Role, Dimension 20, and other figures in the TTRPG community. Additional tickets could be purchased for $5, with proceeds going to the Entertainment Community Fund.

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Brennan Lee Mulligan speaks at the Dungeons & Dragons Strike Day

Eventually gathering in front of the offices of NBCUniversal Building, picketers were split into groups based on their character classes. Dimension 20‘s Brennan Lee Mulligan (who has also appeared in Critical Role and is set to appear in the upcoming Candela Obscura) took charge, reminding everyone present that above all else, they are all part of “the working class.” Mulligan DM’ed a large-scale game of Dungeons & Dragons, pitting the picketers against villainous figures like studio titan John Strahd and a five-headed AMPTP dragon. When a Bard asked if Strahd was at least sexy, a reference to the notorious D&D vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, Mulligan noted that “this one isn’t.” Along the way, the picketers successfully convinced “the press” to work alongside them and embraced the support of the lighting, sound, and efforts provided by allies in other unions.

Responding to how the picketers were working together to slay monsters and reacting to demands to loot the bodies, Mulligan announced that “you can’t loot what was already yours.” Speaking in support of the writers and actors now and in the years to come, Mulligan rallied the crowd around the idea of unity in the face of the AMPTP’s efforts to splinter them. The event served as an impressive show of support from the TTRPG community for the strikes, attracting actors, writers, directors, crew, press, and most of all fans who support the unions.

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