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

gyor

Legend
To be fair, it didn't need an apology any more than Ed Greenwood needed to apologize to all those people who were complaining about "yet another Forgotten Realms book" 2-3 years ago. Ignoring the whiners is, as always, a perfectly viable response. It was Matt Mercer's decision to engage with people, because that's the kind of guy he is. But he didn't need to do it.
People aren't whiners for voicing their opinions, it's the only way to get what you want in nerd land.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
That's unfortunate that such a conversation was taking place. I think there is a misperception that only young people watch such things like Critical Role while older players do not. Streaming RPG games may be a newer innovation of our time, but I have seen it's appeal towards older people as well as younger. Sometimes it's due to those who have no groups to play with (and this I think applies to a great many of the older audience that watch such games) or limited playing time with groups and other times well as those who are curious about such things.
Speaking as another graybeard who cut his teeth on Moldvay Basic at age 10, I look forward to Critical Role on Thursday nights after family time in the same way other people look forward to NFL Sundays.

There are always cliques in hobbies, and for us it’s now the roughly three million greybeards who joined prior to 2010 or so, versus the 12 million or so who joined about 2015 or after thanks to Stanger Things, Critical Role, and Acquisitions Incorporated; and the sad thing is, most of those old guard are genuinely nice folks who are ecstatic about the revival of interest in their hobby. It’s that sliver of a percentage who feel threatened because “THACO and the Toughness Feat Trap kept the riff-raff out” and enjoy it when they drive off an “undesirable” because they don’t find the same things cool that they do.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
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.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Internet and everyone having an equal voice. Back 15-20 years ago that sounded like a wonderful, egalitarian thing... what naïve children we all were. The jerks and idiots will always drown out the thoughtful and intelligent, and the more people online the worse the signal to noise ratio will be.
 

Anoth

Explorer
I want planescape and ravenloft products bad. But I am more than open to any new setting. And if it turns out to be very creative with a nice twist I will be thrilled. I completely respect the forgotten realms players. But if they are going to make a new setting I hope it’s something very very different than forgotten realms and greyhawk. I hope new settings are as different from each other as the realms are from athas. Both great settings. But I don’t need another like them. But I’ll buy whatever it is so I can work it onto planescape.

P.S. acquisition worked wonderful for my further development of Mechanus, Sigil, and the Guvners.
 

dwayne

Explorer
another junk book that was not asked for when other settings go unlooked after, what ever hard pass, at least second party pubs are giving us what we want.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
another junk book that was not asked for when other settings go unlooked after, what ever hard pass, at least second party pubs are giving us what we want.
Considering all of the fans of critical role, this likely was asked for and releasing it is definitely giving a lot of people what they want.

Edit: Just looked at it on Amazon and it is already a #1 best seller.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
They actually had a settings poll a while ago, last year I believe, and Exandria was on it. Perhaps the results indicated we really did want this setting.
Quite probably true, for certain values of "we". People who read and post to D&D forums? Maybe not. But it's good to eat a slice of humble pie and remember that not only are forum goers not a majority of players, we're not even a representative sample. Some voices are louder than others and there's a great deal of self-selection as to who invests the extra time and effort to visit a forum instead of just turning up for the weekly game.

Which is exactly what the surveys try to get past, and why those often have questions about what sort of player you are so they can apply further corrections against inherent data bias. Those surveys obviously showed interest in an Exandia book, and from the Amazon pre-order numbers they weren't wrong. So good for WotC! They're producing books that a large segment of their players want to buy. Even if I personally don't want to buy it, I can recognize that this is good for the health of both WotC as a business and D&D as a hobby. And that means I get more Eberron books and whatever the Rune Knight is going to appear in and all sorts of other cool things.
 

imagineGod

Explorer
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".
...
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.
...
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
Well played, good sir!

A most eloquent response to help unite the fandom and stop these Campaign Setting Wars, so the we can focus on the important things in the hobby; basically, encouraging us all to play anything that makes us happy and exchange stories together, while still helping out newbies, irrespective of whatever we individually prefer to play.
 

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