Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Rockets to #1 In 'All Books' on Amazon

When the Amazon page for Explorer's Guide to Wildemount leaked, the book went straight to #15 in all books (not just games, or even just fantasy - all books!) on Amazon before WotC had even said a word about it. It quickly jumped to #3 on Monday, and as of today... it is currently sitting at #1. In ALL books.

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Screenshot for posterity!

It sits there, just above Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite by Peter Schweizer (note -- that is not an invitation to start discussing American politics on EN World), and Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

Last year, Critical Role's Kickstarter for an animated show based on their livestream smashed records and raised over $11,000,000. It then went on to get picked up by Amazon for a full series. While there are people on the web confidently declaring that this book will never sell, I think it's safe to say not only will it sell, it already has. Critical Role these days is a brand as strong as D&D itself. Indeed, a couple of years back when speaking to the Seattle Times, WotC indicated that more than 50% of new player watched live-streamed games.
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Maestrino

Explorer
4 hrs is a long time once a week to watch anything. Its relatively the length of your average sports game if not longer. How many episodes in a season, or do they play all year?
They play almost every week unless they're missing too many cast members to play. Sometimes they do one-shot that's aren't strictly part of either campaign. The first campaign (Tal'Dorei) started the characters at level 9 and went 118 episodes (including the epilogue episodes). The Wildemount campaign started the characters at level 2, I think? They just posted episode 90 and the characters are at level 11.

So so far, probably 800 hours of content in the campaigns. Plus (according to youtube) 31 one-shots, 24 quasi talk-show interviews called "Between the Sheets", and 76 post-session episodes called "Talks Machina".
 

Dave2

Villager
I was happy to get a new setting book and had watched few episodes of the 2nd season. So when it was announced that it would be the Wildemount setting I was pretty happy with that.
 

Aebir-Toril

Is lukewarm on the Forgotten Realms
Impressive, very impressive. I'm not surprised, but I'm happy to see that a new setting book is doing so well. In addition, it's nice to see a setting book other than Dark Sun or Spelljammer in D&D's repertoire for 5E.
 

AriochQ

Explorer
4 hrs is a long time once a week to watch anything. Its relatively the length of your average sports game if not longer. How many episodes in a season, or do they play all year?
Set the speed to x1.25 and it becomes 3 hours. They basically play all year, but skip a week or two occasionally due to schedules. I am not a die hard fan, but stay current by playing it on the background while messing around on the computer or painting minis.
 
I must admit, I have a hard time getting into Critical Role and this was a bit of a disappointing announcement. I've tried watching season 2 and don't really get past the first couple episodes. I'm not saying this to be a negative ninny. I have no grudges. WotC needs to sell to their audience's tastes and needs. I'll check it out at a bookstore and if I like what I see, I'll buy it. I just don't quite get the appeal of the show and feel there are better actual play streams/podcasts. However, I would love to be enlightened as to the show's virtues. Maybe I need to start with something else or give it more time. Thoughts?
 

zedturtle

Explorer
I must admit, I have a hard time getting into Critical Role and this was a bit of a disappointing announcement. I've tried watching season 2 and don't really get past the first couple episodes. I'm not saying this to be a negative ninny. I have no grudges. WotC needs to sell to their audience's tastes and needs. I'll check it out at a bookstore and if I like what I see, I'll buy it. I just don't quite get the appeal of the show and feel there are better actual play streams/podcasts. However, I would love to be enlightened as to the show's virtues. Maybe I need to start with something else or give it more time. Thoughts?
You might watch something like this animatic:
It's from fairly early in Campaign 2, but it takes something that would be a tension point for most groups (the party rogue stealing from another member) and turns it into serious character-building (I won't spoil Nott's reasoning, but this is from episode 11 and even in the most recent episode (90) it is still an ongoing concern, though Caleb is really close to being able to help her).

The big thing is the story, which is built by everyone at the table. I've had groups before where an attempt to do this sort of scene would fail and degenerate into OOC accusations immediately. But because the group are friends and have the trust to let other players have the floor and improvise (yes that comes from their actor training but anyone can learn it) it turns a tense scene into an emotional one.

(The last scene is included for contrast, but it also shows how far the cast is willing to roleplay, as a player (Laura) has her character (Jester) flirt with Caleb (played by Liam, a married man) while her husband (Travis, who plays Fjord) watches approvingly. Because they have a really good sense of what is IC and what is OOC and don't get those entangled.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
(The last scene is included for contrast, but it also shows how far the cast is willing to roleplay, as a player (Laura) has her character (Jester) flirt with Caleb (played by Liam, a married man) while her husband (Travis, who plays Fjord) watches approvingly. Because they have a really good sense of what is IC and what is OOC and don't get those entangled.
I’m reminded of the joke about the hot tub from Campaign 1, involving the characters Percy and Vex’halia - the person laughing loudest in the room was probably Travis. There’s a LOT of trust both professional and personal in that group, and not every group will have it - and that’s perfectly fine, not every group will. It’s one of the main reasons I enjoy watching them.
 

TheSword

Explorer
There are lots of popular things in this world that I have very little interest in. They’re not wrong for liking it, I’m not wrong for not liking it. My only concern is when an aspect of the hobby becomes synonymous with the whole.
However in this case it’s one or two books out of the dozen plus that have been released. Seems like a reasonable split.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for for people to feel disappointed though when a limited release schedule means other projects are delayed because the March release slot gets used for something that is so very specific (similar to people not interested in Eberron or Dark sun if it gets released)
 

TheSword

Explorer
I would also imagine the ranking will drop significantly after the launch week. I don’t have launch week stats but like movies I would imagine there is a significant spike. Have other D&D books not been similarly high on their launch days?
 

Matchstick

Explorer
There are lots of popular things in this world that I have very little interest in. They’re not wrong for liking it, I’m not wrong for not liking it. My only concern is when an aspect of the hobby becomes synonymous with the whole.
However in this case it’s one or two books out of the dozen plus that have been released. Seems like a reasonable split.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for for people to feel disappointed though when a limited release schedule means other projects are delayed because the March release slot gets used for something that is so very specific (similar to people not interested in Eberron or Dark sun if it gets released)
As mentioned in Mercer's post (and later backed up by a WotC tweet) this book had no effect on other planned releases.

"Believe you me, I’m one of the those who is ever-shouting “I want my Planescape/Dark Sun”, and said so loudly… multiple times while in the WotC offices. Know that my setting doesn’t eliminate, delay, or consume any such plans they may have for any future-such projects! I’m not stepping on such wonderful legacy properties, these same ones that inspired me growing up. This is just the new-kid stepping into that area and hoping one of the older kids will sit and have lunch with them. ;) If Wizards has any plans to release any of their much-demanded settings, they’ll come whether or not Wildemount showed up."
 

Maestrino

Explorer
I must admit, I have a hard time getting into Critical Role and this was a bit of a disappointing announcement. I've tried watching season 2 and don't really get past the first couple episodes. I'm not saying this to be a negative ninny. I have no grudges. WotC needs to sell to their audience's tastes and needs. I'll check it out at a bookstore and if I like what I see, I'll buy it. I just don't quite get the appeal of the show and feel there are better actual play streams/podcasts. However, I would love to be enlightened as to the show's virtues. Maybe I need to start with something else or give it more time. Thoughts?
I also had a really tough time getting into the second campaign. (I really enjoyed campaign 1.) It felt like they didn't know who the characters were yet, and the group just wasn't gelling together. It honestly took me until episode 26 or so to really get hooked on campaign 2.
 
I also had a really tough time getting into the second campaign. (I really enjoyed campaign 1.) It felt like they didn't know who the characters were yet, and the group just wasn't gelling together. It honestly took me until episode 26 or so to really get hooked on campaign 2.
Is there a way to jump right in? is there a "the story thus far" type thing?
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Is there a way to jump right in? is there a "the story thus far" type thing?
Several ways, actually.


These contain synopses of the various sessions for both the first and second campaigns, broken into rough "chapters." (ignore the chapter1-8 and chapter 9-16 business, if you just want the second campaign start with chapter 9, it's not vital to know anything from the first campaign, it just fills in Easter Eggs.)

Also,

Critical recap is a short vlog series hosted by one of the Critical Role Staff, Dani Carr, which gives quick synopses of all the sessions of campaign 2, from session 1 up to session 89. However, this vlog series was discontinued as of the end of 2019, so while it's quite current at this minute, they are switching to a written recap on their website after this point.

And finally, there are several creators on Youtube, particularly
Critical Role Memories


Nico Nielsen


And too many others to link to, who as a side devotion to their favorite streaming show create short clips of key moments or funny moments, of which there are THOUSANDS of clips. Long story short, if you are catching up, and reading one of the recaps, and a particularly moving or hilarious scene is referenced, there is a HIGH likelihood that you can search YouTube using keywords of the scene and you'll find it.

Should you decide to watch some of the old episodes archived on YouTube, frequently one or more of the commenters have made a post in the comments filled with time codes for key moments, as well if you want to skim the episode.

Good luck, and hope you find something you enjoy in it!
 

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