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

Brewhammer

Explorer
It started as a one-shot for a birthday but shifted to PF for the initial extended campaign, then to 5e for the podcast. That's my understanding.

Yeah I remember that the campaign started for Liam O'Brien's birthday, and that Laura Bailey shares the same birthday so they made their characters twins and that Ashley Johnson joined later. But up until today I'd always thought they'd just started with PF.
 

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Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
I am finding, though, that I'm not over the moon with some of the more mechanical elements he's introduced. But that's fairly minor. Can't make everyone happy with everything!

Overall, though, nice product.
 

Brewhammer

Explorer
I am finding, though, that I'm not over the moon with some of the more mechanical elements he's introduced. But that's fairly minor. Can't make everyone happy with everything!

I am kind of in the same boat. I custom made my games' campaign setting but I've already told my players the new Wildemount classes aren't going to be ones we adopt. If I recall right I don't even think they were playtested. :confused: (EDIT: playtested as in for public feedback, not internally.)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
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.

...have you watched the show...?
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
...have you watched the show...?
Yup. All of season one and I'm about two or three episodes short on season two. I like the show. I really do. I just don't love the show. If that makes sense. Which is why you won't catch me raggin' on Matt Mercer and the Critical Role Funky Bunch. I think they do a fine job of showcasing D&D.

Now, I realize that CR encompasses a "Lot of off-color jokes, puns, laughing, and lack of real seriousness." It's a different flavor from the "off-color jokes, puns, laughing, and lack of real seriousness" of the AZ. Like different flavors of chocolate (dark vs milk vs white vs etc.).
 

gyor

Legend
This one caught my eye. Could you expand? Better in what way?

It's not better at all, it's mostlya recycled Dawn War Pantheon with a local twists, plus a borrowed God from Galaron, but altered. The idols are cooler then the Dawn War Pantheon. He does do some cool fluffing of the Pantheon.

But yeah, still not nearly as interesting as FRs Gods, or even Theros, Eberron, Mystara, Birthright, Greyhawk, but better then how Ravnica does religion (as in it actually makes some kind of sense).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's not better at all, it's mostlya recycled Dawn War Pantheon with a local twists, plus a borrowed God from Galaron, but altered. The idols are cooler then the Dawn War Pantheon. He does do some cool fluffing of the Pantheon.

But yeah, still not nearly as interesting as FRs Gods, or even Theros, Eberron, Mystara, Birthright, Greyhawk, but better then how Ravnica does religion (as in it actually makes some kind of sense).

The take on the Daen War itself gives real solid meat to a decent skeleton the 4E crew came up with, and Mercer really does a great job setting up the evil gods and their followers as potential "Big Bads" in not-lazy way. If I wanted to do a Tharizdun cult story, I'd go here for material even if I used a different Setting.

Not better, but fun and well thought through.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Here, I put this in a DnD Beyond thread similar to this one (may have been created by the same person), but I think it is a good explanation to what Wildemount has over other settings, namely Forgotten Realms.


"Okay, I'm not a Critter, but I have seen Critical Role a few times, enjoyed it, and know a lot of info about it from the Critical Role Wiki, because I just don't have the time to watch the show. I also have Explorer's Guide to Wildemount and have read nearly all of it.

So, what is the main thing IMO that makes Wildemount better than Forgotten Realms? Here it is:

It's newer.

Now, let me explain. Just because it's newer doesn't automatically make it a better setting, because the fact that Ravnica came to 5e less than 2 years ago didn't make it the best campaign when it came out. No, that isn't what makes a campaign setting good, but it is a huge advantage.

So, what makes it better is that it has less expected of it. When a new Forgotten Realms book comes out, there's more to be expected of it. The Forgotten Realms has been around for a long time. Since near the beginning of D&D. It has a ton of lore. I recommend you go to the Forgotten Realms wiki and just look up the amount of things described. The future has been described. They have rules for outer space and all the comets, planets, and moons in the crystal sphere. They have names for thousands of characters. They have a chronology that keeps track of thousands of years, detailing everything that happened in each year.

Wildemount isn't like that. It's not super filled with lore. In my opinion, it has a great balance between lore and lack thereof. It leaves enough things open and a mystery to encourage others to fill it in with their own information. (That's why Eberron is so popular.) If you want to know something about the Forgotten Realms, you just search the wiki, or ask Ed Greenwood or Chris Perkins online. That's not how things work for Wildemount. You can search the wiki, but it has less information on the world than the book does. There's a bit of info that exists only on the wiki, but not much. Anything else, you make up. Matthew Mercer has encouraged people to make Exandria their own.

There are many things that Wildemount has that are better than the Forgotten Realms, but the main one is the lack of lore. It seems backwards, but it's true. There's simply too much on the Forgotten Realms to draw many people to it. Exandria doesn't have this problem. Greyhawk has this problem, so does Krynn, so does Ravnica and Theros, and so does Eberron to an extent. (Eberron is different. You're highly encouraged to make Eberron your own, but there is a lot of lore to take in from all the books on Eberron.)

Wildemount has many things that draw people to the setting. Critical Role has the biggest impact on this. Tons of people watch the show, which makes it a very popular setting. There's a simplicity to it that makes it also drawing. Additionally, the lore of the world is very good. The conflict between the typically evil races and the typically okay humans in the war between the Kryn Dynasty and Dwendalian Empire is very drawing. People play Eberron to deal with the fallout of a large war in an unexplored world. People play in the Forgotten Realms to get into the lore and grand adventures with world shaking events. People play in Krynn because they loved the stories in the Dragonlance books.

People play in Wildemount for the fresh new setting. It's largely unknown. This is good. People like new things.

This is why I think Wildemount is drawing. I might be wrong, but this is what I've observed.

I hope this helps!"

Quite a long post, but I think it makes sense that the main draw is less lore.
 

I think the main thing it adds, other than a group's personal taste and enthusiasm for one setting or another, is that it may be easier to find a group of newer players who are on a similar level of familiarity with Critical Role settings than one where people all know "the Realms".

And if you are a newer DM with a veteran player or two it's a lot less likely that you are going to be corrected by them about setting lore because you haven't played it through multiple editions, and read the novels, and played the video games, and whatever. You might get similar crap from some die-hard Critter, but still the setting doesn't have the many years of materials; if you read the one book you probably know more than enough to be comfortable.

Of course an experienced DM will probably just say some variation of "it's swell that you know that esoteric lore, but this is the way it is in our version of the setting", but most first-timers are not as ready to do that.
 

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