Matt Mercer Speaks About The Wildemount Book

Matt Mercer posted on Reddit about the upcoming D&D setting book. "As the info seemed to leak a liiiiiiittle early yesterday, I just wanted to write something to reach out to the greater, non-critter DnD crowd regarding this book, what it means to me, and what I hope it means to you".

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Well now, it certainly looks like the cat’s out of the bag (and seemed to sneak out a LITTLE early, hehe)! I can’t express just how excited and honored I am to have been given the opportunity to bring my world to you all via the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. D&D has been such an influential element of my life, of who I am, and to have contributed to it in this way is beyond words.

I’ve spent the better part of 1.5 years working on this project, along with some incredible contributors, to make this something we could all be extremely proud of. I set out to create this book not as a tome specifically for fans of Critical Role, but as a love letter to the D&D community as a whole. Those who follow our adventures will find many familiar and enjoyable elements that tie into what they’ve experienced within our campaign. However, I want this book to not only be a vibrant, unique setting for non-critter players and Dungeon Masters young and old, experienced or new, but also a resource of inspiration for DMs to pull from regardless of what setting they are running their game in. I’ve done my very best to make it a dynamic, breathing world full of deep lore, detailed factions and societies, a sprawling gazetteer, heaps of plot hooks, and numerous mechanical options/items/monsters to perhaps introduce into your own sessions, or draw inspiration from to cobble together your own variations. I wanted this to be a book for any D&D player, regardless of their knowledge of (or appreciation of, for that matter) Critical Role. I made this for ALL of you.

I am also well-aware of how much negativity can permeate these spaces regarding myself and the games we play, and that’s ok! One could never expect our form of storytelling and gaming to be everyone’s cup of tea, and it could very well be that this just isn’t the book for you. I don’t begrudge you that, and I only hope one day we get a chance to roll some dice at a convention and swap stories about our love of the game. I know for folks, this isn't necessarily what they were hoping for the announcement to be, and for that I'm sorry.

As a person excited and clamoring for new settings to be brought into the D&D multiverse, I also understand the frustrations from some that this isn’t one of the “classics”. 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.

I also wanted to comment on the occasionally-invoked negative opinions on my homebrew designs I’ve seen here… and they aren’t wrong! I don’t have the lengthy design history and experience that many of you within this community do have. Outside of small, home-game stuff I messed with through the 2000’s, my journey on the path of public homebrew began as a reaction to online community demand and throwing out my inexperienced ideas in a very public space. Much of my early homebrew was myself learning as I went (as all of us begin), only with a large portion of the internet screaming at me for my mistakes and lack of knowledge. Even my Tal’Dorei Guide homebrew was rushed due to demands being made of me, and I continue to learn so many lessons since. The occasional unwarranted intensity aside, there is much appreciated constructive criticism I’ve received over the years (from reddit included) that has helped me grow and improve. Anyway, what I mention all this for is to express my thanks for all the wonderful feedback, the chances to learn from all of you as time has gone on, and the many elements of this book reflect that improvement as I took those lessons and collaborated with the official WotC team to make this as good as it could be.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from an insecure nerd. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done with this book. I hope you give it a shot and enjoy it. I really do. If you choose to pass on it, that’s totally cool and am just happy we find joy in the same pastime. Either way, be kind to each other, and keep on forging amazing stories together. <3

-Mercer
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Osgood

Explorer
I don't know anything about the setting or Critical Role, but I welcome it. Now that 5E is releasing settings (yay!), it seems like they are alternating between new ones (Ravnica, Wildemount) and established ones (Ravenloft-sort of, Eberron). Personally I think it is a great strategy. I'll be interested to see the book when it comes out.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Wow. There must be alot of negative feedback to provoke a response that is mostly an apology from the author.
Not sure where you’re reading any sort of apology in that post, but Matt is perhaps too aware for his own good of the toxic elements of the dnd fandom, and almost always acknowledges criticism in announcements like this.

overall, there isn’t that much negativity. About as much as there always is for new nerd stuff.
 

Paragon Lost

Explorer
I prefer my own game worlds always have for the past four decades plus. That said, I collect various gaming material for ideas and because I love the hobby and love to read about it. It gives me ideas, plus it's just enjoyable to read. I'm a fan of Matt Mercer because it's so apparent how much he loves the hobby and he also is very humble and wants everyone to have fun. I'll pick up the book even if I don't use it to support his efforts.

I really dislike the extreme toxicity that has become the norm in society today. That people who try to create and bring things for others to enjoy are so often viciously attacked just floors me every time. I just don't get the mind set. It's one thing to be critical with merit and having discussions/debates about something you like or don't like. It's entirely another to viciously attack the people who create these things.

Anyhow, I look forward to the March release of this, i'm sure it will be a fun read and give me plenty of ideas for my own campaigns. I'll agree with Matt and others about wanting to see Dark Sun material. I'd love to see Wizards of the Coast actually produce more in depth game world material. I did used to love that about TSR with the FR and other game world material that they used to do. Now a days its more of a glossy overview in my opinion and only of a very limited area at that. (Looking at you Sword Coast)
 

JeffB

Hero
Not sure where you’re reading any sort of apology in that post, but Matt is perhaps too aware for his own good of the toxic elements of the dnd fandom, and almost always acknowledges criticism in announcements like this.

overall, there isn’t that much negativity. About as much as there always is for new nerd stuff.
On the day your new book is announced the author seemed to spend more time addressing people who don't like his show/style, his homebrew rules, his product not being the product others were hoping for, and his first book not being up to snuff. While he doesn't say "I'm sorry", it's essentially an apology for everyone who doesn't like CR, or didn't want this book.

I'm way out of the loop on his show (I tried to watch an episode- not my thing), his setting, his rules, etc. So I'm not knocking the guy. I'm sure he's a cool dude. His post is pretty akward for a new book announcement- I doubt you'd see the same thing from Monte Cook, Mearls, Green wood, etc.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
On the day your new book is announced the author seemed to spend more time addressing people who don't like his show/style, his homebrew rules, his product not being the product others were hoping for, and his first book not being up to snuff. While he doesn't say "I'm sorry", it's essentially an apology for everyone who doesn't like CR, or didn't want this book.

I'm way out of the loop on his show (I tried to watch an episode- not my thing), his setting, his rules, etc. So I'm not knocking the guy. I'm sure he's a cool dude. His post is pretty akward for a new book announcement- I doubt you'd see the same thing from Monte Cook, Mearls, Green wood, etc.
It isn't anything like the levels of the Edition War, but there is a bit of divide between newer, younger players who have often gotten into the game because of streaming shows like CR, and the been playing for decades older players. Matt Mercer is essentially the poster child for that divide, even though he's actually one of the older long-term players. So I think he feels some desire to address the schism in hopes of smoothing it over.

Considering everything he said anticipates the exact complaints I saw when the info leaked ("I don't watch CR"/"I wanted X old setting instead!"/"It's just a generic fantasy world"/"Most of his design isn't very good."), this obviously isn't his first exposure to fan criticism.
 

Maestrino

Explorer
Mercer has had a lot more public exposure on the internet than any of the old-school game designers ever had. His wife Marisha spent years being insulted on the internet by thousands of people for "not knowing how to play her druid right." He knows the internet is full of - frankly - assholes who have their fun bitching about things, and specifically about things he and his group does.

(Did you see the abuse they took for playing that "Feast of Legends" thing Wendy's put out? It was hilarious, and it was fun, and they got absolutely trashed online for doing it.)

He's managing to be classy while still addressing the haters and the gatekeepers out here that are convinced Critical Role is somehow "having fun wrong".
 

Todd Roybark

Explorer
I appreciate how 5e products contain universal crunchiness within the context of a setting.
I may never run Princes of the Apocalypse, but I have used the monster, spells and some of the maps contained within, piecemeal many times. The same has been true, more and less for most of the 5e adventures, (Storm King’s Thunder being the main exception for use for me).

I do not watch or listen to D&D streams nor podcasts, so I couldn’t tell a Critical Role from a Force Grey, from some rando Paladin of Tiamat appearing in product.
As a whole, I am less enchanted with celebrity driven design inclusions, but good ideas, and bold creative choices will always be welcomed by me.

If this product is like the 1e Dragonlance Adventures Hardback and 5e Eberron, settings that showcased how rule changes can emphasize and enhance setting, than I am all for it.

Also, I do not desire a re-release of Planescape/Greyhawk/Krynn/Darksun etc....I personally have enough material on all those locations to last multiple lifetimes. Other people will feel differently, which is cool.

I would love to see an underwater setting and or adventure path. Not some water combat rules, but a detailed, well thought out setting.
 

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