You are right, sorry for using the wrong terminology. It isn’t crashing, but hanging, and I need to force quit.
I recently hit a similar issue where Dorico would just hang at startup. I have no plugins installed. Dorico’s startup was hanging because the VST Audio Engine was not responding. This would happen when simply opening Dorico and not attempting to open any specific project. Force quitting the VST Audio engine and restarting Dorico allowed the program to start. However, it took a while to sort this out. Dorico should consider a more robust startup process that can detect issues with the VST Audio Engine (or any other process that Dorico depends on) and either restart the problematic process or inform the user what specific remedial action is required.
Welcome to the forum, Ryan, and thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sorry you had problems getting Dorico up and running. Unfortunately it’s difficult to detect every failure condition. Dorico does detect when the audio engine can’t be reached (you’ll see the text “waiting for connection” on the splash screen, for example), but it can’t actually do anything about it, since it can’t kill any processes on its own, etc.