Critical Role [+] What does Wildemount do that Forgotten Realms doesn't?

yea but there were no mages or clerics IRL, which easily compensate for your rivaling group of knight.

once more it shows that d&d ain't no simulation
I'm not sure how mages and clerics would make any difference. The knight needs a war against a country that also has knights who follow (at least nominally) the chivalric code, so they can defeat them in battle and ransom them for profit.

Or a crusade against rich infidels whose gold you can steal.
 

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Coroc

Hero
I'm not sure how mages and clerics would make any difference. The knight needs a war against a country that also has knights who follow (at least nominally) the chivalric code, so they can defeat them in battle and ransom them for profit.

Or a crusade against rich infidels whose gold you can steal.


Well a few mages can blast away a small army of knights, so you do not necessarily have the neighboring country be one of chivalric knights in D&D to provide/avoid conflict.
 

Well a few mages can blast away a small army of knights, so you do not necessarily have the neighboring country be one of chivalric knights in D&D to provide/avoid conflict.
There is no reason the knights can't be mages. It doesn't matter if they are charging on horses or flinging fireballs, the principle still applies that they need war to generate income.
 

gyor

Legend
As a fan of Nentir Vale I think that Wildemount out PoLands the Vale. It's a classic style setting tinged with darkness. People comparing it to FR I am unsure if they have read an FR book or the Wildemount book but there are a lot of differences and more than just cosmetic. Maybe Tal'dorei as a FR like setting but Wildemount has its own identity. Many aspects seem more eastern European than the FR's Western European bent which is actually pretty significant as the East & West were markedly different. It has a pre-Renaissance feel, right on the cusp, with the Dwendalian Empire reminiscent of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kryn Dynasty also feels very unique, nothing really comparing to an Earth culture and the approach is very cool with the Beacons and reincarnation ideas. The Menagerie Coast is very Caribbean vs FR's Sea of Fallen Stars which seems more Mediterranean if I recall correctly. The approaches to races and cultures is fascinating as well. The Kryn Dynasty is ruled by Drow, sure sure but they aren't our typical Drow but they are and how they handled that is inspired.

What's really cool is that the integration of classic D&D tropes, like Vecna and the other GH deities from the Dawn War pantheon, isn't jacked. Mercer approaches it in a very organic way and the cults are handled in interesting ways as well with Warlock Patronage and Clerical domains.

All this adds up to it not feeling like a kitchen sink FR style D&D setting.

Only a few parts of Faerun have strong Western European feel to it. Parts of the Swordcoast, the Cold lands except Sossal and Vaasa, Tethyr, and Cormyr mostly. The eastern half of Faerun is hugely influence by the Mulan race (a race born of a mixture of middle eastern cultures, that interbred with fantasy human race the Imaskari), so only Rashemen feels like it has any meaningful Western European feels.

As for Eastern Europe, Ravnica is also hugely inspired by Eastern Europe, and you can see it for example in how they name stuff. Wojeks, Orzhov, Boros, Ravnica, ect...
 

gyor

Legend
There is no reason the knights can't be mages. It doesn't matter if they are charging on horses or flinging fireballs, the principle still applies that they need war to generate income.

In places like Cormyr Knights supplement their income with adventurer and merchantile persuits when not at war, which isn't that rare for Cormyr. Plus when you never know when Dragons will decide to attack, or some crazy mage with open a portal that let's through armies, your always preparing for the next war or monster.
 

akr71

Hero
- I personally dislike most Ed Greenwood-style names (Jalantyr Mistgem, Sildar Hallwinter, Kelemvor Lyonsbane, etc.). If, like me, you feel these names are like nails on a chalkboard, then Wildemount is mercifully (mostly) free of them.

This! So much this. I run my games in FR and frequently change names - for my sake, for my players sake.
 

BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
- I personally dislike most Ed Greenwood-style names (Jalantyr Mistgem, Sildar Hallwinter, Kelemvor Lyonsbane, etc.). If, like me, you feel these names are like nails on a chalkboard, then Wildemount is mercifully (mostly) free of them.
The first time I ran Lost Mines of Phandelver, I ran it with the names as is. I couldn't handle it, and ended up changing almost everyone's names immediately after I first said them out loud.
 

jgsugden

Legend
No offense and in the end it is a bit of a matter of taste, but "Forgotten Realms / Faerun" sounds much better and poetic to me (non native English speaker) than "Wildemount"

"Wildemount" sounds like "Stormwind" /"Hawkeye" /"Stonehold" /"Bigriver" /"Greentree" etc. I hope you get what I mean, it just sounds like a (again no offense, it is the best way to describe it I do not know much about Wildemount and I do not want to downtalk it) 12 year old who is asked to name some fantasy riding animal.
How about Exandria? Tal'Dorei? Issylra? Marquet? Othanzia? Ank'Harel? Vasselheim? Port Damali? Urukayxl? Zadash? Nicodranus? Xhorhas?

One name, of one continent, is not a great way to judge the naming conventions of the setting. The naming methods Mercer used to create his world make a lot of sense given their context. He put a lot of thought into naming things... there are a few of the Talks Machina episodes where he talks about world building that should be gathered together and released as DM world building training.
 

Coroc

Hero
How about Exandria? Tal'Dorei? Issylra? Marquet? Othanzia? Ank'Harel? Vasselheim? Port Damali? Urukayxl? Zadash? Nicodranus? Xhorhas?

One name, of one continent, is not a great way to judge the naming conventions of the setting. The naming methods Mercer used to create his world make a lot of sense given their context. He put a lot of thought into naming things... there are a few of the Talks Machina episodes where he talks about world building that should be gathered together and released as DM world building training.
what I noticed is that you need short names easy to remember. You will enjoy gameplay much more if your players do not ask you every minute :" What was that guys name again? Was he called Kuddelmamuddel or Cool-bottle?"
 


3catcircus

Adventurer
For 20-somethings that listen to the podcast, I'm sure they love it. I looked at it and didn't purchase it. It's a vanilla setting and I have all I need in the form of Aereth (I also have Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms with all of its add-ons, Kalamar, Mystara, Dragonlance, Eberron).
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
This one caught my eye. Could you expand? Better in what way?

Well, there is a distinct mythological narrative and metaphysical framework at work (the Dawn War from the Nentir Vale in 4E, expanded slightly) that ties the various gods to each other and the mortal world, both Good and Evil, Lawful and Chaotic alike. I don't think I'd say it's "better" than the FR per se, but it is focused and has great story hooks built into the structure of the mythos.
 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
In my opinion, the meaning of the setting is really different.
In Wildemount we have two empires at war. The first is humanocentric, traditional, lawful but narrow-minded, doesn't accept diversity, and thinks of other people as "evil" "monsters". Religion is used to enforce this traditional, regressive way of living.
They need to open up to the fact that different people are, well, just people. Dark elves, goblins and bugbears... must be accepted as such. In fact, the Truth is that the souls of living beings are reincarnated, after death, in different races: we really are not so different.

So, I really think that this is the message of CR Campaign 2 and, as a consequence, the Wildemount campaign.
Woke politics: it is a metaphor of contemporary USA. As a conservative myself, I strongly disagree with these ideas, but the concept is witty and the book is well done, so I'll buy the book anyway.
 

Brewhammer

Explorer
Wildemount (and the Tal'Dorei setting before it, the continent west of Wildemount, which was released a couple of years ago) are both extremely interesting and accessible to new players. I'd put PF's Golarion in the same boat, and even Kobold Press's Midgard. The lore and history aren't as dense as FR.

Heck, if I hadn't made my own campaign setting for the three games I am currently running I'd have ported Golarion into 5e and just adjusted a few things.

EDIT: Also interesting to note, regarding the pantheon in Exandria, is that Critical Role started as a Pathfinder game. When they switched to 5e for the show and it became popular, Pike worshipped Sarenrae. With the two CR source books now they've just changed Sarenrae's name (as well as the other gods.) So it's been fun to watch them go source-wise from PF then to D&D, which then allowed them to add in powers like the Raven Queen.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Wildemount (and the Tal'Dorei setting before it, the continent west of Wildemount, which was released a couple of years ago) are both extremely interesting and accessible to new players. I'd put PF's Golarion in the same boat, and even Kobold Press's Midgard. The lore and history aren't as dense as FR.

Heck, if I hadn't made my own campaign setting for the three games I am currently running I'd have ported Golarion into 5e and just adjusted a few things.

EDIT: Also interesting to note, regarding the pantheon in Exandria, is that Critical Role started as a Pathfinder game. When they switched to 5e for the show and it became popular, Pike worshipped Sarenrae. With the two CR source books now they've just changed Sarenrae's name (as well as the other gods.) So it's been fun to watch them go source-wise from PF then to D&D, which then allowed them to add in powers like the Raven Queen.

Fun fact: the home game started as a 4E game, using the PoL approach to campaign building. Like was added to the campaign after they switched to PF, so she took a goddess from the core book list and Mercer put her in the Pantheon.
 


Woke politics: it is a metaphor of contemporary USA. As a conservative myself, I strongly disagree with these ideas, but the concept is witty and the book is well done, so I'll buy the book anyway.
I purchased the book and I am slowly working my way through it. I have finished the section on the Dwendallion Empire, and it is worth mentioning that even if everything you write is true (which I don’t offer an opinion on), the Empire is portrayed pretty sympathetically.

Yes, there are some evil characters at the top, but the are also some good and neutral characters in the top posts, and the general theme for the Empire seems “if they continue on this path, things will get worse” rather than “these are cackling monsters you should destroy”.

On thing that I liked in the description of the factions is that both the head diplomat of the Empire and the head diplomat of the Cerberus Assembly are canonically Neutral Good, but they are also described as absolutely loathing each other and going out of their way to screw each other over (the Assembly because it is trying to gain power at the expense of the Empire, the Empire because no one likes having their plans disrupted for petty reasons).
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
I am liking what I'm reading. I'm only hesitant to use it because of the Critical Role Effect (aka Matt Mercer Method of Mastering). Because I don't run my games in that style of play. As I mentioned elsewhere: My games are more Adventure Zone than Critical Role. Lots of off-color jokes, puns, laughing, and lack of real seriousness.

I'd feel that I'd disappoint a new player coming in because I'm not doing it the CR/MM way. And I want all my players to have a great time.
 


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