Greetings adventurers! I bring you great news from the world of D&D. Whenever you think Matt Mercer has spent his last spell slot, think again. He, along with an inspiring and talented cast released Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, on March 17th. As soon as I was able to get my hands on this book I knew it would be an instant favorite. This book is a proverbial dragon’s horde of new information to add even more depth to your D&D adventures.
A Community Effort
One of the coolest parts of this book is how much the Critical Role Community (aka “critters”) helped in its creation. Critters created illustrations for nearly every page. And Deven Rue, cartographer for campaigns 1 & 2, is back with a jaw dropping amount of maps. She’s got everything from the inside of a ship to an 8 page map of Wildemount in all it’s glory.
Not just for DMs
Unfortunatley, the majority of D&D resources are meant for DMs. However, this book isn’t just a DM’s guide to the adventurous shores and harrowing peeks of Wildemount, its for players too. There are multiple new races, classes, sub classes and magic to help you make your next character.
The Perfect Balance
Matt really let the setting and lore speak for itself. Nothing railroads you into having to play things a certain way. Playing with a glorious band of misfit creatives, like the cast of critical role, can teach you a lot. For example, it’s important to remain open minded to your original ideas being taken to mysterious and sometimes comical new places. This guide is a shinning example of that. There’s just enough information for someone to pick up and then let their imagination and players run wild.
Speaking of which…
One of my favorite parts is Chapter 3 “Wildemount Gazatteer”. It’s full of what I like to call adventuring springboards. At the end of some of the new locations you and your party can explore there are sections titles “[Location] Adventures”, which include a small paragraph describing some potential adventures to be found within that area. They even have a handy little difficulty level to help DMs plan level appropriate adventures for their players.
The section of the book entitled “Heroic Chronicles” is where you can find a multitude of tables for you to roll up background information for your character. This makes it easy to give them a more fleshed out backstory without spending hours agonizing over every detail.
All you need is a set of dice, and that rogue who’s parents died in an Orc attack suddenly becomes a “Myriad operative” from “Port Zoon” who “uncovered a secret about a family member” and set out on an adventure to learn the truth, but always makes time to stop for some fine “Elf-mash – a creamy dish made from overripe cloud-berries”.
It’s safe to say that this is my favorite D&D resource to date. And it’s not just because of it’s ties to Critical Role but for the creativity and thoughtfulness that went into each and every page. I’m so glad that Wizard’s of the Coast decided to embrace this opportunity and help the fantastic world of Wildemount reach even more D&D players. And I, along with many others, are looking forward to more collaborations like this one.