Vox Machina’s main caster, Tiberius Stormwind, is delightful to watch, whether he’s being a badass sorcerer or a bumbling idiot. So how did the brilliant prodigy get his charming personality? It all started with a roll of the dice…
Tell us a bit about yourself and who you play.
Hello, my name is Orion Acaba and I’m from Los Angeles, California. Moreover an actor/geek/gamer, and Tiberius Stormwind from Draconia who is a member of Vox Machina.
Some of the characters I’ve played–and I’m very proud of–are Nine from Final Fantasy Type 0, Apollo Justice in Ace Attorney 5, Scab and some Warboys in Mad Max, and of course Elminster Aumar in Neverwinter! All of them have a very special place in my heart. I can’t tell you how cool it feels when I get to go work and be an actor. And on top of that, many months later, I get to sit at home or wherever and see my work and really like it. Nine in particular is amazing in his own special way because of how long I’ve been a Final Fantasy fan. I mean, leveling yourself up is pretty fucking rad. Apollo is a close second because I really like pointing at things, slamming my fists down on tables, and yelling “OBJECTION!”
Why did you choose to play a sorcerer?Photo credit: Liam O’Brien
I picked the sorcerer class because in every RPG I’ve played, I’ve always favored the caster. And when everybody had picked theirs, no one was a wizard or sorcerer or warlock. I took the opportunity to be the prime caster of the group. And I’m glad I did. On one hand, Tiberius is pretty much me with the ability to cast magic. On the other hand, he’s also kind of a crazed version I suppose, a more free version, perhaps a version I would like to be in real life.
Tiberius has a 6 WIS. Did your roll determine that the character wouldn’t be as… wise as he thinks he is, or did you plan the character first and then apply your roll?
Tiberius at first was constructed off my stats, yes. When I rolled and made my wisdom so low, it informed me to make a character choice; add that layer to him, and really concentrate on playing around with the idea that he could very well be an aggressive, quick, smart, cunning, brave, and strategic master of the arcane arts. But he could also be a bumbling fool at the same time. I feel as the story and show have progressed, he is finding his way. The funny thing that a lot of people might not know is Tiberius is only 26 years old. Well he’s about to be 27 actually… Point is, I made him young and strong because a prodigy–like he is–may have amazing talent and skill, but lack experience and wisdom. He’s the most fun character I’ve ever played.
Sam mentioned that Scanlan and Tiberius were kind of like “frienemies.” How would you describe their relationship? What does Tiberius think of their relationship?
I love love love love the fact that the Scanlan and Tiberius frienemy feud is a thing! I’ve known Sam for quite a while and I regard him as one of the people in my life that I respect very much. He’s been one of my biggest champions in helping build my career. He’s a Upright Citizens Brigade guy, and I’m a UCB guy. We met through Liam and we got along. I understood his personality and his humor day one… and I’ve been in love ever since.
Weird thought: Sam plays Scanlan as the complete antithesis of who Sam is per his core values. I play Tiberius as an extension of myself. The issue that Tiberius has with Scanlan is his constant profession of love to Pike, then within the same minute, will turn around and go to a local whore house for lady favors with Grog. A Draconian’s word is his bond. So maybe now you may see how Tiberius doesn’t fully trust someone who says something and then goes into something completely different. However, over time he has gained much respect for Scanlan, as he has fought bravely many times now in the face of danger. In Tiberius’s eyes, the gnome is worthy enough to fight by his side.
How do you think Tiberius would face the world if he did not have his companions?
I don’t know how Tiberius would handle certain situations without the help of his group. As far as staying alive, battling, and traveling I think he would do just fine. But there are many other areas where he looks to his group for help. Tiberius is very good with fire, but sometimes, fire burns even its wielder. Least to say, Tiberius is fully aware how lucky he is to have a team like Vox Machina to call his own.
What’s up with Tiberius and Lady Allura? Is there any chemistry brewing?
Oh, sweet Lady Allura. Tiberius has had a crush on her for a very long time, but has never pursued or made an attempt to be more romantic with her until recently. Lady Allura is the first non-dragonborn that Tiberius has been attracted to, so it’s a bit significant. He’s drawn to her because of how powerful she is, yet carries herself with such grace. Tiberius admires and respects that. I think Tiberius would want to be with a woman who could teach him a thing or two, being a prodigy his whole life in Draconia and all.
And who knows, Allura might not be the only lady that Tiberius has his eye on…
You have a very particular voice and inflection for Tiberius. Was this inspired this?
The reason I made Tiberius and all of the Stormwinds sound the way they do is because when I decided to pick a dragonborn class and I was feeling out the stats, I was looking at couple pictures of dragonborns. I wanted to give them a gruff sound, but not so serious. When I decided that Tiberius was going to be 24 years-old when we started, I also thought it would be funny to kind of make him sound like an old dude too. He’s kind of a mixture of Doc Brown from Back to the Future, Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, and Mulder from The X-Files with a lil bit of Ren from Ren & Stimpy.
What is your favorite in-game mishap?
My favorite mishap in the game was pre-stream. We were in a house exploring, and there was a door that I wanted to burn and get out of the way. So I cast Flaming Sphere and didn’t realize that it would set the house on fire. After casting Flaming Sphere, Matthew goes, “You set the door on fire. You also set the ceiling on fire and the hallway on fire… the house is now on fire.” In Tiberius fashion, I freak out, cast Aqua Sphere, and put out the fire immediately. It was hilarious AND I learned about how to handle fire better… kinda.
How has the community response surprised you?
The community response has been completely outstanding and unexpected. I knew, we knew, that what we had was something special, but we didn’t think it would go this far and continue to grow as it’s doing. We have to be the luckiest performers to be on air because our fans are the most compassionate, intelligent, giving, understanding, and fun people you can ask for a fandom. We are constantly moved by our fans.
How has your bond with the other players grown through this game?
The bond between the group and me has morphed itself into a friendship that you can only really hope for with a bunch of people that you want to get together and spend hours at a time playing a game with–and now to do a show with. All of them look out for me in their own special way. I’ve known Liam and Sam the longest. Matthew, Marisha, and Taliesin came after. I formed a bond with Marisha over the years, and think of her as a sister and Liam as my big brother.
Because of this game, Travis, Laura, and Ashley became a most welcomed addition to my life, and now I can say that I love them too.
Because of Critical Role I get to see them once a week, which is not a luxury I had before hand. We have gone through victories and defeats together, joy and sadness, we’ve yelled and cried with each other in game and in real life. They’re all huge influences in my day-to-day life. I’m finally growing as a person and it’s all due to these people… and this game…
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