Welcome to Wildemount: Critical Role hits D&D CanonMarch 17, 2020
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, a supplement for Dungeons and Dragons, hits store shelves today.
Based on the successful world of the Critical Role gaming show, the book takes a deep look into the world created by DM Matthew Mercer, and in collaboration with the team at Dungeons and Dragons, offers players a variety of new character options, in addition to the lore and world building made famous by Mercer in his show.
The book will be very well received by “Critters” (fans of Critical Role) but perhaps the highest praise for the book is this: whether you’ve watched Critical Role or not, Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount has something in it for you.
It includes three new sub-classes, as well as new spells, magic items, monsters, and more.
While the new character options are definitely worth exploring, the meat of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount is the more than 150 pages of lore about the world, its history, and its factions and societies.
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount provides all the background you’ll need for a Critical Role style campaign (or plenty of inspiration to build your own).
Echoes of time and space
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, as mentioned, includes three new subclasses. One for Fighters, and two for Wizards.
The Echo Knight, is a new fighter subclass. They “charge into the fray as a cycling swarm of shadows and strikes.”
Generally, the Echo Knight uses its powers to summon a shadow duplicate, a personal echo of them, and imbues it with certain magical powers, including the ability the swap places with the echo, use it to attack, see through its eyes, etc. The Echo Knight will keep its foes off balance, bouncing between itself and its echoes, never keeping still.
It also appears that this new subclass is one of the few to be powered by a character’s Constitution score, which provides a nice twist to character development.
The Chronurgy Arcane Tradition subclass allows its adherents to “alter the pace of reality to their liking.” Chronurgy has some echoes of the divination tradition, forcing enemies to reroll, or take worse results, but also adds some additional flavour such as allowing a Chronurgy Wizard to add their Intelligence to their initiative, to force creatures into a stasis field, and manipulate the way spells their are cast.
It’s an interesting take on time manipulation as a wizard school.
The Graviturgy Arcane Tradition subclass allows its adherents to “further bend and manipulate the violent energy of gravity to their benefit, and to the terrible detriment of their enemies.” Graviturgy manipulates the ability of enemies to move and react, and can use gravity to enhance the damage of attacks.
Graviturgy looks to include some strong elements of battlefield control, and with some nimble spell selection, can dominate its enemies.
Should you buy it?
As always, it depends, though the book is well balanced between goodies for Critters and non-Critters alike.
If you’re a player that’s never watched Critical Role, you’ll still get value from the monsters, magic items, and sub-classes included in the book. It also provides eminently pilferable stories, backgrounds, and locations that you can apply or build seamlessly into your characters.
For you, it’s not a must buy, but it certainly meets the criteria of being a solid pickup that shouldn’t disappoint.
If you’re a DM, this is a great book, even if you’re not familiar with the show. It contains a trove locations, hooks, and of NPCs.
Mercer’s NPCs are particularly useful for DMs; he was even hired to punch up some of the NPCs and their stories in last year’s release of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
But for fans of the show?
Buy it. Buy it now.
In fact, you’ve probably already bought it. So you know all this.
But if you haven’t, or you’re on the fence, you won’t be disappointed if you pick it up.
Overall, Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount is a labour of love, and it’s dedicated to hundreds of thousands of fans.
Wildemount Images courtesy of Wizards of the Coast and used with permission
Image of Matthew Mercer taken from @matthewmercer on Twitter