Critical Role Tal'Dorei Reborn from Critical Role Is Out!

Darrington Press' reboot of Critical Role's Tal-Dorei D&D setting has been spotted in the wild, and on social media folks who worked on it are showing off pictures of their books.

The book is available from Critical Role's various online stores. The print version comes with a free PDF; however you cannot buy the PDF alone.


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(Forgive the huge mess that this post is! That's what Twitter does to articles!)
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey




Got my copy just a bit ago. Here's some things that have stood out so far:

  • The Republic of Tal'dorei is indebted to the arcanists of the League of Miracles for helping hasten reconstruction efforts, and League-sponsored makes get preferential treatment.
  • Of the two major warring criminal syndicates in the region, the Clasp and the Myriad, the former has earned a lot of good publicity for having helped citizens of the capital of Emon escape while under control of the dragon Thordak. Popular media now romanticized the Clasp.
  • It is recognized that the remote city of Whitestone gained a great deal of power and influence even as Dragons attacked Emon and Westruun. Some are bitter about this.
  • Though the All-Hammer (aka Moradin) is still most widely depicted as a dwarf, the fire giants of Vulkanon also worship him but depict him as a fire giant.
  • A reference to Graz'zt from the original book was replaced with a being called Naminar the Black-Fingered.
  • Devils are stated to have been created from demons by certain gods.

I'll post more later.
 


Surprisingly, the Curse of Strife is still around (instead of being retconned as a myth like the orcs' Curse of Ruin), but now it is not specific to goblinoids or inflicted automatically upon birth. The goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears were created by the Strife Empreror (aka Bane) and many in southern lands have been afflicted with the Curse of Strife via the Bestow Curse spell when cast by clerics of the Strife Emperor, but clerics of any race can inflict the Curse of Strife on anyone. Goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears are also mentioned to have increasingly moved from isolated communities to join the populations of Tal'dorei's towns and cities.

The Ruiner (aka Gruumsh) worshiping cult called the Ravagers is still around, and the artwork depicts a goblin and orc (who were described as making up the majority of the Ravagers before), but no reference is made to orcs or goblins in the text and it is stated that anyone can be a follower of the Ruiner (though the Ruiner himself is still described as orc like). For the most part orcs are portrayed in this book more as former rivals of goliaths.

Drow surprisingly still have it pretty rough, with about the only major change being that drow explorers and worshipers of the Luxon from Wildemount are trying to infiltrate Lolthite drow society to try and find pieces of the Luxon and to convert the Tal'dorei drow to worship of the new god.

As a side note, the races section also mentions characters of mixed-ancestry beyond half-elves and half-orcs. An illustration of an elf-dragonborn and an orc-dwarf is included, though the book gives only general advice on working with a DM to create a mixed-ancestry character.
 
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So, not having either and barely followed CR, why a second (or third?) edition of a campaign setting? What did they get wrong the first time that they had to completely re-do it? What all did they change? (I was considering using the setting for my next campaign, but if it's constantly changing, not interested.)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So, not having either and barely followed CR, why a second (or third?) edition of a campaign setting? What did they get wrong the first time that they had to completely re-do it? What all did they change? (I was considering using the setting for my next campaign, but if it's constantly changing, not interested.)
This book advances the timeline to match the Wildemount book that WotC put out, at least a generation after the original campaign book. The original campaign book represented the state of the 1st campaign when it was about 3/4 complete, this moves the clock forwards so that the game events ate baked in and recovered from.
 

This book advances the timeline to match the Wildemount book that WotC put out, at least a generation after the original campaign book. The original campaign book represented the state of the 1st campaign when it was about 3/4 complete, this moves the clock forwards so that the game events ate baked in and recovered from.
Oh, I like that. Always thought settings should include a timeline. And then a GM can pick and chose when to set their campaign :)
 



So, not having either and barely followed CR, why a second (or third?) edition of a campaign setting? What did they get wrong the first time that they had to completely re-do it? What all did they change? (I was considering using the setting for my next campaign, but if it's constantly changing, not interested.)
The first Tal'dorei Campaign Setting is set before the end of Campaign One of Critical Role, at around the year 811. This new book is set twenty-five years later, just after the end of Campaign Two, and both describes changes that have happened to certain locations in the past two decades, adds more detail to them, and includes brand new content.

Some of the most major changes in terms of the setting's lore is that in the 25 years since the first campaign:
  • One of the two warring criminal syndicates in the region, the Clasp, has enjoyed a much improved public image due to the organization helping protect the citizens of the captial city during its occupation by the red dragon called the Cinder King. Clasp members now cooperate at times with the ruling council and serve as informants, while their rival the Myriad has become even more brutal and cutthroat in contrast.
  • Following the devastation caused throughout the continent by a cabal of dragons called the Chroma Conclave a number of enterprising magic users founded the League of Miracles, selling their services and constructs to accomplish thirty years' worth of rebuilding in three years time. However, even the seized hordes of the slain dragons were not enough to pay off the League of Miracles, and now the republic is in debt to the league, whose true goal is to usurp control of the continent and provides protection to the practiticioners of evil magics as well.
  • The city of Whitestone, which featured prominently in Campaign One of Critical Role, has doubled in size and has went from a remote city-state to a major power player in the politics of the republic at large.
  • A number of races that were portrayed in unflattering terms in the original book are now welcomed in civilization. The formerly majority orc and goblinoid faction known as the Ravangers now has members of many races, including elves. On the other hand, the majority goblinoid civilization of Tz'Arrm is given more detail than the first book, and it is pretty much a society of traditionally Lawful Evil hobgoblin tyrants.
For those that care, there's also sections on the heroes of Campaign One, Vox Machina, that details what's happened to them in the decades since their adventuring days came to an end.
 
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