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

GreyBeardDM

Villager
As others have put, I am not interested in this book as I don't watch the show and have zero interest in the setting. ( my backlog is quite bad at the moment )

However CR brings people to the hobby and that is what folks need to remember
 

chrisshorb

Explorer
They'll release this book. But since folks can't write DM Guild products for it, there will be minimal additinoal material for the setting. Like Ravnica or Acquisitions Inc. And WotC won't publish any more stuff for it either.

Also, now that it's an official WotC product, I would imagine MM can't go off on his own and publish stuff. Or can he? If he can, then skip paragraph 1...
 

bedir than

Adventurer
They'll release this book. But since folks can't write DM Guild products for it, there will be minimal additinoal material for the setting. Like Ravnica or Acquisitions Inc. And WotC won't publish any more stuff for it either.

Also, now that it's an official WotC product, I would imagine MM can't go off on his own and publish stuff. Or can he? If he can, then skip paragraph 1...
I'm unaware of Mercer and Critical Role Corporation's (or whatever it is called) contract with WotC. Would they give up the ability to play campaign 3 within the world they created? I'd be stunned.
 

Vael

Adventurer
While I don't watch Critical Role, yet (it's been something I've wanted to try, but the size of it is ... intimidating), I am curious. New settings are definitely something I want, in addition to bringing back the "old classics", and while I don't know if this setting will do anything for me or entice me to play in that world, I want to see more. If nothing else, this may not be a preorder, but it's definitely a "find and flip through" book.
 

teitan

Adventurer
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.
He is intimately aware of how hostile fandom can be having worked in Anime and Video Game voice acting for over a decade. Let's be honest, gamers and such can be pretty fricking toxic.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
Not interested. I have already picked out my next fantasy setting. But if it brings in more noew players, that's good.

I do wish they would look at a 5e Modern, or bring back a neglected classic such as Dark Suns.
 

teitan

Adventurer
I wonder if Mercer's post was a good idea in the end.
It was meant to palliate disappointed people, but it seems to have enraged a greater number of people who were spurred by "the fact had to say this", or similar notions along that line.
I am more saddened that it was even necessary to post. It really was necessary because sweet tootie patootie did people go off. I am saddened that our little hobby has grown increasingly negative. I was away for a few years (I was active until the end of 3.5), taking care of my mom who had cancer and then getting my life on track, married and finally got back to a point where as a family with my friends my wife and I could play some D&D and participate in a great community. I told her about the kit bashing culture and how fun these boards were. But man, between the Pathfinder 2 release and this I've seen an ugly side that really makes me sad.
 

teitan

Adventurer
They'll release this book. But since folks can't write DM Guild products for it, there will be minimal additinoal material for the setting. Like Ravnica or Acquisitions Inc. And WotC won't publish any more stuff for it either.

Also, now that it's an official WotC product, I would imagine MM can't go off on his own and publish stuff. Or can he? If he can, then skip paragraph 1...
He owns it.
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
I'm not convinced it's entirely non-toxic, though. It implies a dichotomy that's probably not very helpful. It's for streamers, but not for... whom? Are streamers really different from other gamers? Are they a subset of gamers? Why box in who its for? Why can't non-streamers be interested in it? Why isn't it for them too?

Frankly, it will likely appeal more to Critters and other people who stream games, but I don't see why it wouldn't appeal to other gamers looking for a setting.
It certainly might appeal to other gamers I don't know. It appears a guide for gamers that like the streaming. So not me. There is nothing wrong with stating that. I don't see how that could be insulting to anyone really.
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
I thought Green Ronin had this license though. If Matt Mercer was working on it 1.5 years wouldn't he have been working in bad faith with Green Ronin? They had the license while he was working on it.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
It appears a guide for gamers that like the streaming. So not me.
You're really not seeing the gatekeeping here? You're not seeing that you're boxing in the appeal? Oh, it's for streamers, so it's not for me. Ergo, you think it's for streamers and not for gamers who aren't into streaming. It's for those guys over there, not for you guys over here. Let them decide that for themselves.

Nobody's saying that you can't say it doesn't appeal to you. But you're putting it in us vs them terms.
 
It certainly might appeal to other gamers I don't know. It appears a guide for gamers that like the streaming. So not me. There is nothing wrong with stating that. I don't see how that could be insulting to anyone really.
It's as much a book aimed at fans of CR as The One Ring is a book aimed at fans of Lord of the Rings. I.e. there's a built in audience but that doesn't mean the audience is limited to that. You can play in Middle Earth with never having read Tolkien.
 
I thought Green Ronin had this license though. If Matt Mercer was working on it 1.5 years wouldn't he have been working in bad faith with Green Ronin? They had the license while he was working on it.
Green Ronin published A CR book. That's not the same as owning the CR licence. I'm pretty sure WotC are publishing a CR book without owning the CR licence as well.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
Green Ronin poblished A CR book. That's not the same as owning the CR licence. I'm pretty sure WotC are publishing a CR book without owning the CR licence as well.
Yeah, I'm dead certain Mercer & co. we're careful to be compliant with their contractual obligations: they are film industry veterans, and very fastidious in terms of personality.
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
You're really not seeing the gatekeeping here? You're not seeing that you're boxing in the appeal? Oh, it's for streamers, so it's not for me. Ergo, you think it's for streamers and not for gamers who aren't into streaming. It's for those guys over there, not for you guys over here. Let them decide that for themselves.

Nobody's saying that you can't say it doesn't appeal to you. But you're putting it in us vs them terms.
I guess I simply just dont see how my opinion on something would cause anyone not to decide for themselves.

I dont consider people that are fans of anything I'm not as lesser in anyway. We all like what we like.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
...I am saddened that our little hobby has grown increasingly negative...
I don't think it has.

Like any subsection of society, we have good behaviors and bad behaviors.

I moved a lot in the military, and would always form new groups at new bases. Some folks were so toxic about "official" rules, or gender based stats, or setting canon, that it made me ill and I stayed very far away from them.

Other folks just wanted to play. So birds of a feather flocked together.

BUT, the internet/social media has given some of them a voice (without responsibility) way out of proportion to meeting them in person. ONE person can be a jerk and we ALL hear about it, as opposed to meeting them in a new group and going "nope".

Just my opinion on the matter.
 

teitan

Adventurer
I don't think it has.

Like any subsection of society, we have good behaviors and bad behaviors.

I moved a lot in the military, and would always form new groups at new bases. Some folks were so toxic about "official" rules, or gender based stats, or setting canon, that it made me ill and I stayed very far away from them.

Other folks just wanted to play. So birds of a feather flocked together.

BUT, the internet/social media has given some of them a voice (without responsibility) way out of proportion to meeting them in person. ONE person can be a jerk and we ALL hear about it, as opposed to meeting them in a new group and going "nope".

Just my opinion on the matter.
I mean sure but everything is so amplified and I have seen friends who used to be pretty sober people turn into extremists on issues with no room for nuance or disagreement. It's not just gaming but the world in general and also not really a topic for these boards so I'll squelch that.
 

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