Critical Role Explorer's Guide to Wildemount

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, I am very excited about this book, and thought I'd share my thoughts on it, here.

Last night, my wife and I use the Heroic Chronicle (with a lot of rerolling because we are picky) to make two elves from the Menagerie Coast, loyal to the Clovis Conclave, from Port Damali (her) and Gwardan (me). We both got some cool extras, she's a Grinner with a circus background and I'm a Cobalt Scholar (and my home city even has a big temple/center of learning dedicated to Ioun, so that's perfect!) with a faithful pseudodragon companion. She got the prophecy that she will someday meet the princess of the empire and hold the fate of the empire in her hands, and I got the one where I will stand before the Bright Queen without realizing who she is, and we both got the one about befriending a flying beast and riding it. We both also have a sibling rival, and an ally or two, and I got a periapt of health that if I lose it I will suffer a terrible disease that it is magically suppressing.

The new backgrounds are very interesting, and really help develop the setting.

The lore on each settlement and region is good, but honestly I do wish it was a little more detailed, and had some naming conventions. I still don't know what a Noldar is, except that they run my new character's home city of Gwardan. I also don't know that much about the Ki'Nau, in spite of reading every entry in the book that mentions them. They are native to the region, have some ancient history that isn't expanded on, and have successfully negotiated with the Clovis Concord that certain places be left alone, and seem to be a pretty powerful faction in coastal politics. Cool. But like...what are they like?

The factions are really interesting, and quite well fleshed out. I like them a lot. I really like the hooks and conflicts for a member of the Cobalt Soul, and I think my character wants to be an archeologist type, but is being drawn toward Expositor training by a keen insight and instinct for spotting corruption and false intentions. Which is to say, there are plenty of interesting hooks to inspire play from both the DM and Player perspective.

The new subclasses are well done. I don't really care about the wizard traditions, but people who like those concepts seem to love them. The Echo Knight is a new favorite, however. It's just really, really, cool.

The new subraces add a great deal to the book, and the reprints make sense. I wish they'd taken the opportunity to make Goliaths a little more mechanically appealing, but otherwise it's fine. The new elf and halfling subraces are great. The lore on where the races all fit has some fun surprises and plenty of hooks to inspire characters and plots. The new Hollow One supernatural gift is a great alternative to the Revenant race option.

The magic items I haven't dug into much yet, but do seem pretty well made and interesting.

The spells are...good, but a little disapointing for me. I was really hoping for some geniunely new effects, and most of them are just things that plenty of existing spells already do. Wristpocket is fun, though. I'll be taking that in the campaign where none of the "only dunamancers should have free access to these spells" stuff applies.

Last couple things I've looked at are the art, and the maps.

The art is gorgeous, as I expected. The styles are often familiar as someone who watchs the show and sees a slideshow of fan art every time.

Devin Rue's maps are top notch. I want vinyl prints of the continent map, and the character scale maps.


What about everyone else? any favorite bits? Things you don't like? Things you feel like are missing?
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If you had to choose this or Theros, which would you buy? (I know you have't seen Theros yet, but I can't imagine I'll get both, so I'm trying to decide which).
 



Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
If you want a mostly-canon companion to this book, go buy Green Ronin's Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide.

Also, Lem23, that book as a Cleric Domain – Blood, and THAT book contains the Monk's Way of the Cobalt Soul (one of the coolest ideas that comes from this setting).

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount has just 3 subclasses (in addition to it's massive number of races and subrace options): Echo Knight Fighter, Chronurgy Tradition Wizard, and Graviturgy Tradition Wizard.

My favourite additions are the subraces – Pallid Elf, Lotusden Halfling, Draconblood Dragonborn, and Ravenite Dragonborn (the last of which was revised from its appearance in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide). My personal setting has a race of Elves that live on the Feywild's Moon a la Princess Kaguya, and the Pallid Elf is perfect statblock for them. I had been trying to shoehorn various Elf subraces into this group but it never quite felt right. Different backstory, but same lunar themes. I could see this race being reused to represent Dusk Elves too, if they ever get a printing.

I love the concept of various mostly good factions at war with each other, each infiltrated and undermined and manipulated by independent villainous organizations who have their own motives for going to war. This is a really great setting hook for Wildemount that really differentiates itself from the watchful interbellum peacetime of Eberron and the campaign focus of the week fantasy kitchen sink of the Forgotten Realms, and doesn't really seem to step on either's toes.

I especially love that Dark Elves and other classic monster races of the Kryn Dynasty are mostly good, but are undermined by evil infiltrators. This gives the setting great motivation for non-Driz'zt-clone good Drow, and at the same time feels similar and yet VERY different from Eberron's barbaric lands of Eldeen Reaches, Droaam, Shadow Marches, Darguun, Q'Barra, and X'endrik, where these races are never considered part of core civilization but are filled with decent peoples. Instead, we have them united in a faction to shake off the bad reputation, where amongst themselves and in their spheres of influence there IS no bad reputation, but beyond there's still the social stigma.

Love it.
 
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BRayne

Adventurer
If you want a mostly-canon companion to this book, go buy Green Ronin's Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide.

Also, Lem23, that book as a Cleric Domain – Blood, and THAT book contains the Monk's Way of the Cobalt Soul (one of the coolest ideas that comes from this setting).

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount has just 3 subclasses (in addition to it's massive number of races and subrace options): Echo Knight Fighter, Chronurgy Tradition Wizard, and Graviturgy Tradition Wizard.

My favourite additions are the subraces – Pallid Elf, Lotusden Halfling, Draconblood Dragonborn, and Ravenite Dragonborn (the last of which was revised from its appearance in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide). My personal setting has a race of Elves that live on the Feywild's Moon a la Princess Kaguya, and the Pallid Elf is perfect statblock for them. I had been trying to shoehorn various Elf subraces into this group but it never quite felt right. Different backstory, but same lunar themes. I could see this race being reused to represent Dusk Elves too, if they ever get a printing.

I love the concept of various mostly good factions at war with each other, each infiltrated and undermined and manipulated by independent villainous organizations who have their own motives for going to war. This is a really great setting hook for Wildemount that really differentiates itself from the watchful interbellum peacetime of Eberron and the campaign focus of the week fantasy kitchen sink of the Forgotten Realms, and doesn't really seem to step on either's toes.

I especially love that Dark Elves and other classic monster races of the Kryn Dynasty are mostly good, but are undermined by evil infiltrators. This gives the setting great motivation for non-Driz'zt-clone good Drow, and at the same time feels similar and yet VERY different from Eberron's barbaric lands of Eldeen Reaches, Droaam, Shadow Marches, Darguun, Q'Barra, and X'endrik, where these races are never considered part of core civilization but are filled with decent peoples. Instead, we have them united in a faction to shake off the bad reputation, where amongst themselves and in their spheres of influence there IS no bad reputation, but beyond there's still the social stigma.

Love it.
Note that Way of the Cobalt Soul has been updated since the Tal'Dorei guide. Here's the latest version I believe
 

gyor

Legend
I find it very interesting to watch the evolution of D&D settings in 5e and how the interweaving of new (Ravnica, Wildemount, and Theros) and old settings (Forgotten Realms, Eberron, and sort of Ravenloft and almost Greyhawk) is reshaping the D&D multiverse and the various races in it.

At least point I kind of want a focused Evermeet Book that explores the effects of all these different types of elves immigrating to Evermeet, and then from Evermeet to other places like locations in FR.

Like some Pallid Elves some how end up in Evermeet, decide to join a Evermeet Merchant ship and then hang out in a tavern in Baldur's Gate leaving folks wondering what hells is a Pallid Elf and where did they come from?
 

Perun

Mushroom
Note that Way of the Cobalt Soul has been updated since the Tal'Dorei guide. Here's the latest version I believe

I love the Mind of Mercury ability! It's something really different from other class benefits.

On a tangent, I also loved the version of Restore Balance ability of the Clockwork Sorcerer that originally appeared in the UA with the Love cleric domain, which used a reaction to give one creature both advantage and disadvantage. This was (IMO, of course) a much more flavourful way of saying that you negate any advantage or disadvantage effect a create might be under the effect of, even though the end effect is exactly the same. It's such little things that can sell me a subclass (or whatever).
 


gyor

Legend
If you had to choose this or Theros, which would you buy? (I know you have't seen Theros yet, but I can't imagine I'll get both, so I'm trying to decide which).

I was going to get both, but bills and corona came up so I decided on Theros, because its not till June, I was curious about how they would handle Theros' lore gaps, plus playable Leonin and Satyrs, and a really interesting piety system. Plus Mythic Monsters.
 

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