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Critical Role The New D&D Book Is 'The Explorer's Guide to [Critical Role's] Wildemount!' By Matt Mercer

It looks like Amazon has leaked the title and description of the new D&D book a day early (unless it's all a fake-out by WotC) -- and it's a new D&D setting book called The Explorer's Guide to Wildemount; it's the Critical Role campaign setting, penned by Matt Mercer!

Wildemount%2C_Version_20%2C1.png

image from Critical Role wiki

There's no cover image yet, so we're stuck with the "Coming Soon" image.

This book appeared without a title on Amazon last week, and a 'reveal' date of January 9th, which was then later delayed until January 13th. Amazon appears to have jumped the gun a day early.

Here's some information about Wildemount, which is a continent in the same world as Critical Role's other setting, Tal'Dorei. It is described by the official wiki has having "real-world Eastern European influence.... The Dwendalian Empire takes inspiration from 15th century Russia as well as Germanic nations in Central Europe (e.g., Prussia). Xhorhas has a more 13th-century Romanian flair. Outside of Wynandir, on the edges of the Dwendalian Empire, the cultures and peoples of those regions display a distinctly 14th-century Spanish flavor."

HOW DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS?

A war brews on a continent that has withstood more than its fair share of conflict. The Dwendalian Empire and the Kryn Dynasty are carving up the lands around them, and only the greatest heroes would dare stand between them. Somewhere in the far corners of this war-torn landscape are secrets that could end this conflict and usher in a new age of peace—or burn the world to a cinder.

Create a band of heroes and embark on a journey across the continent of Wildemount, the setting for Campaign 2 of the hit Dungeons & Dragons series Critical Role. Within this book, you’ll find new character options, a heroic chronicle to help you craft your character’s backstory, four different starting adventures, and everything a Dungeon Master needs to breathe life into a Wildemount-based D&D campaign…
  • Delve through the first Dungeons & Dragons book to let players experience the game as played within the world of Critical Role, the world’s most popular livestreaming D&D show.
  • Uncover a trove of options usable in any D&D game, featuring subclasses, spells, magic items, monsters, and more, rooted in the adventures of Exandria—such as Vestiges of Divergence and the possibility manipulating magic of Dunamancy.
  • Start a Dungeons & Dragons campaign in any of Wildemount’s regions using a variety of introductory adventures, dozens of regional plot seeds, and the heroic chronicle system—a way to create character backstories rooted in Wildemount.
Explore every corner of Wildemount and discover mysteries revealed for the first time by Critical Role Dungeon Master, Matthew Mercer.

Critical Role's other setting, Tal'Dorei, was published a couple of years ago by Green Ronin. This brings the list of settings in official D&D books to five: Forgotten Realms, Ravnica, Ravenloft, Eberron, and Wildemount.

UPDATE! Barnes & Noble has the cover (but not the title or description).

9780786966912_p0_v2_s600x595.jpg
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It probably said that at the time. Who knows what it says today? (Or do we? I don't remember if they share the poll results.)

Dark Sun is a pretty esoteric setting, without much of a footprint outside the tabletop. I would br very surprised if its cache hasn't diminished greatly as new blood joins the fanbase.
It’s post apocalyptic Conan-esque grimdark fantasy.

they could market it with no reference to the past, and people would eat it up.
 

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MarkB

Legend
Wildemount at 304 pages is almost as big as E: RftLW which had 310 pages, even though Wildemount having only four major regions, no artificer class. This compares to E: RftLW which had feats, 8 races, 5 human kingdom, a Dwarf kingdom, halfling lands, Elf lands, a group of city states, and a Kingdom of monsters, and a Tiefling city state, its own set of special planes, other continents, Dragon Marked houses, Party Patrons, ect...

So I find myself wondering what is going to be in this book to fill up the difference. Dunamancy is unlikely to take up more space then all the Artificer stuff. The Heriic Background system is unlikely to be bigger then Party Patrons. Both have magic items. Cosmology is mentioned, but its mostly Exandia corner of the regular 5e cosmology.
The four starter adventures?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Wildemount at 304 pages is almost as big as E: RftLW which had 310 pages, even though Wildemount having only four major regions, no artificer class. This compares to E: RftLW which had feats, 8 races, 5 human kingdom, a Dwarf kingdom, halfling lands, Elf lands, a group of city states, and a Kingdom of monsters, and a Tiefling city state, its own set of special planes, other continents, Dragon Marked houses, Party Patrons, ect...

So I find myself wondering what is going to be in this book to fill up the difference. Dunamancy is unlikely to take up more space then all the Artificer stuff. The Heriic Background system is unlikely to be bigger then Party Patrons. Both have magic items. Cosmology is mentioned, but its mostly Exandia corner of the regular 5e cosmology.

The four regions in question are very large and diverse, bear in mind, and it sounds like the Heroic Chronicles might be extremely meaty and robust tables. The Menagerie Coast is one of the smaller of the four regions, and it is as large and diverse as the Sword Coast.

Also, four full Adventure modules. What Mercer said are a large number of monsters. Not just joking with you here, but name tables seem likely (since I know Mercer has developed some naming languages for his game, and WotC has said that's popular from XGtE).
 

The four regions in question are very large and diverse, bear in mind, and it sounds like the Heroic Chronicles might be extremely meaty and robust tables. The Menagerie Coast is one of the smaller of the four regions, and it is as large and diverse as the Sword Coast.

Also, four full Adventure modules. What Mercer said are a large number of monsters. Not just joking with you here, but name tables seem likely (since I know Mercer has developed some naming languages for his game, and WotC has said that's popular from XGtE).
oh god, not name tables, the book is ruined
 





Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
Haha! I'm one of the few people I know who LOVED the name tables. Bwwwuuuuhahahaha! We're taking over!!

Nah, I liked it as well. For those of us that have web based generators it's still a handy resource to have literally at hand. I always wonder if those websites are genuinely random. I get a John way more than I think I should for "English" names.
 




doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's all about the pitch to new fans.
Yep. And each of the settings can be sold to new fans, but I think the best way to do so for most of them is with a Campaign, not a gazetteer.
oh god, not name tables, the book is ruined
😂 you jest, but I’m gonna be stoked as hell if it’s true. I have never found an online name generator that I didn’t actively dislike.
 


Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
I love this forum. It's my home away from home on the Internet. But message board forums went out of style many years ago. Most conversations moved to social media platforms long ago. The population here is disproportionately represented by older fans who were here before the shift to social media happened and stayed here.

I'm one of them. I don't use Twitter, although I kind of get the appeal. I have a Facebook account, but I don't use it on my phone, and I don't post to the D&D group thingy even thought I joined it. There are a lot of different social media platforms, and I use maybe two of them. At a practical level I know what Twitch is, but don't watch anything on it.

I suppose its my preference for gaming. I don't play online games on my XBox, at all. I like a few MMOs but most play them as a single player game with other players running around. I'm not looking for an interactive online experience shared with other people. Ironic I suppose since I'm telling all of you that, and sharing online.

As for the setting book. I'm excited, its something I've watched, but now I get to learn about it. It probably wont get me to watch the show, but I'm all about reading awesome new material.
 


OblivionDrive

Adventurer
Just gonna toss my two cents into this since I've been lurking these forums for years and only just now registered to chime in.

Been playing since the end of 1e. I'm in my 40s and a literal greybeard (it started going grey about five years ago and now it's about 50% of the way there) and I am SUPER jazzed for the Wildemount book and CR-related content. I've followed campaign 2 since it launched and have watched about 3/4 of the Vox Machina campaign - I fell off before C2 started and never quite got back around to finishing up with it, though I did watch the last 2.5 episodes live despite not being caught up. I had to see how it all ended.

Sooooo yeah... it's not just "those dang kids with their TikTok and their Snapchat" who dig Critical Role and are the market for this book. I preordered both the D&D Beyond version and the dead tree copy within hours of them both being announced. And at the same time, I also cross my fingers each time a new book is coming, hoping that it will be Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer or one of my other 2e favorites brought back around and given new life. But I'm not gonna curse the gods because the new stuff is getting a moment to shine either.

And as much as some folks on here don't wanna admit, others have said this upthread and it's 100% on point - forums are a very self-selecting and "old school" format. Nowadays it's all Reddit, Twitter and Discord servers where the new blood are finding people and discussing things related to the hobby. Everyone who "doesn't get" Twitch streaming, social media and such related things all seem so perplexed that something this big could have slipped in without them noticing, but hey, everyone fails a perception check now and then, right? ;)
 


Azzy

KMF DM
Heh... yeah, come August I will be hitting Year 18 in my membership here on the boards. Started while Eric Noah was still previewing the run-up to 3E and have now remained through 3.5, 4E, and now 5E.

Yeah, same here. Eric's previews had me chomping at the bit to play 3e once it came out.
 

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