Explorer's Guide to Wildemount

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount
The cover art by Karl Kerschl, featuring King Bertrand Dwendal, a Luxon beacon, and Empress Leylas Kryn.[1]
Creative team
Authors
Illustrators
Cover artistKarl Kerschl[2]
CartographyDeven Rue[2]
Publication information
PublisherWizards of the Coast[1]
Publication date2020-03-17[2]
Media typeHardcover[1]
Pages304[2]
ISBN9780786966912
Chronology
SeriesExandria campaign settings
Preceded byCritical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting
Followed byTal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn
In-universe date835 PD[3]

You know, D&D is such a huge part of my life, role-playing games are what made me today and so to have the opportunity to collaborate with Wizards and bring this world that kind of just came from here to an official guide like this and invite people to make what they want of it is incredible... and I think it'll be awhile before it really sinks in. [...] But it's meant to be both for fans of Critical Role and for people who have never watched an episode. It's an entirely new setting to set an entire campaign or more in.

— Matthew Mercer[4]

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is a sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition set in Wildemount. The book was written by Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer, Chris Lockey, James Introcaso, and James Haeck alongside a team of designers. It was published by Wizards of the Coast on March 17, 2020.[2]

It is the second Exandria campaign setting book, after Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

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...[1]

Development[edit | edit source]

Matthew Mercer was the most prominent creator behind the development of Explorer's Guide to Wildemount sourcebook, supported by James Haeck, Chris Lockey, and James Introcaso who mostly work the distant regions of Wildemount, the regions that were less prominent in Campaign 2 set on this continent (e.g., Blightshore, Eiselcross, Greying Wildlands). Matt gave them the names and the general atmosphere of each region. Chris Lockey developed lore for the majority of the Blightshore region.[5][6] James Haeck helmed the creation of "Heroic Chronicles" section of the book, providing players with options of tying their backstory into the world of Wildemount.[7]

Contributing to production of this sourcebook, Chris Perkins managed the creative process making sure the book had enough information for the DM to start off on their adventures and checked the mechanical descriptions throughout the book to make sure they are streamlined. He also managed the page design making them "more presentable and more digestible".[8] Matt Mercer and Chris Perkins reviewed art for the book, which underwent two stages concept art and the finished art selection. They had several criterias for choosing the art rightly suited for this book, looking for the right "emotional bits", "content bits", "D&D beats", the later of which was curated by Kate Irwin (sourcebook's art director). Matt chose the art orders, giving specific details and the felling of future artwork, but leaving the composition to the artist's imagination.[9]

Contents[edit | edit source]

Announced[edit | edit source]

  • 304 pages of material that will help you create your own dynamic campaign set within Exandria's mystery-laden continent of Wildemount.[2]
  • Four starting adventures, set in four different regions of Wildemount, which are full of terrifying discoveries and dangerous secrets. These adventures have been designed to take your adventuring party from level one to three.[2]
  • Three brand new subclasses: Echo knight, Chronurgist, and Graviturgist.[2]
  • A guide to dunamancy magic, including new dunamantic spells![2]
  • 23 brand new creatures for your heroes to encounter (if they're lucky…or not, depending).[2]
  • Descriptions for brand new magic items and Wildemount's legendary Vestiges of Divergence.[2]
  • A guide to the calamitous history of Wildemount.[2]
  • An extensive breakdown of the Wildemount pantheon, featuring idols and demigods that exist outside of the pantheon.[2]
  • A breakdown of the major and minor factions found in Wildemount and important figures within each faction.[2]
  • A gazetteer replete with locations familiar to Critical Role fans (alongside curious locales only hinted at in bygone lore).[2]

Table of contents[edit | edit source]

Preface[edit | edit source]

I invite you all to come to Wildemount. Wander the dangerous valleys of Western Wynandir, sail up and down the Menagerie Coast, brave the wastes of Xhorhas's scarred lands, and explore the ancient secrets in the regions beyond these war-embroiled realms. Follow the paths of the Mighty Nein or blaze your own trail. This is your Wildemount now.

— Matthew Mercer[10]

The preface contains a forward by Matthew Mercer, who describes his personal history with fantasy and make-believe and how it led to the development of Critical Role and, more importantly, Wildemount.

The Preface contains the following sections:

  • Imagination is a strange & wonderful thing.

Welcome to Wildemount[edit | edit source]

Welcome to Wildemount introduces Wildemount and gives an overview of the setting. The following sections are included:

Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount[edit | edit source]

Born from nothing, there was something. Light, then thought, then life and fire. We who are born of the will of the gods keep these records to preserve their deeds, their design, and their lessons. We who live by our own will shall keep these records to know where we walk and where not to tread. We who look to our inevitable end keep these records to teach those who succeed our footsteps how to be better than we could.

— Archivist Adia Shu of the Cobalt Soul[11]

Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount details the history of Wildemount and Exandria and the pantheon of Exandria, including non-divine deities such as the Traveler. The following sections are included:

Chapter 2: Factions and Societies[edit | edit source]

Queens, kings, emperors, nobles … beneath the rhetoric, it's all the same. They say they fight to protect your families. They say they fight to enforce your beliefs, your honor. Fight for a better tomorrow. Fight for virtue, for prosperity. Bottom line, it's all about fighting, and it's you that dies fighting for their cause.

— Unknown soldier, Collected Tales of the Marrow War[12]

Chapter 2: Factions and Societies describes all of the major political entities and organizations in Wildemount, including each group's goals and relationships with other groups, as well as figures of interest. The following sections are included:

Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

I've certainly seen much of it, and it is very beautiful. Beautiful, and terrifying, and cold, and humid, and deadly, and joyous, and full of strife, struggle, and hope. It's home, and that's enough for me. Doty, did you get all that?

— Taryon Darrington, The Daring Trials and Tribulations of Ser Taryon Darrington[13]

Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer contains a gazetteer of Wildemount, detailing all major locations in and around the continent; also included are adventure ideas and plot hooks for most of the locations. The following sections are included:

Chapter 4: Character Options[edit | edit source]

"What makes a hero?" I ask. Is it arms and a will to use them? Is it a certain heritage, a certain disposition? Is it a divine right to victory? I know this to be not true. I have killed many heroes on the battlefield, and I've respected every one. They have many different faces, and deserve remembrance. What makes a hero is their willingness to sacrifice for something they believe in. Anyone can be a hero, once they find something worth dying for.

— Sunbreaker Olomon[14]

Chapter 4: Character Options contains information for players, including background information on most player races (and a couple of new subraces), new subclasses and spells based on Dunamancy, new backgrounds, and a section called the "Heroic Chronicle", a new system that allows players and Dungeon Masters to work together to construct a compelling backstory. The following sections are included:

  • Dwarves
    • Dwarves in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Dwarves on the Menagerie Coast
    • Dwarves in Xhorhas
  • Elves
    • Elves in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Elves on the Menagerie Coast
    • Elves in Xhorhas
    • Elf Subraces
    • Pallid Elf
  • Halflings
    • Halfling in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Halfling on the Menagerie Coast
    • Halfling in Xhorhas
    • Lotusden Halfling
  • Humans
    • Humans in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Humans on the Menagerie Coast
    • Humans in Xhorhas
  • Aarakocra
    • Aarakocra in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Aarakocra on the Menagerie Coast
    • Aarakocra in Xhorhas
    • Aarakocra Traits
  • Aasimar
    • Aasimar in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Aasimar on the Menagerie Coast
    • Aasimar in Xhorhas
    • Aasimar Guides
    • Aasimar Names
    • Aasimar Traits
    • Aasimar Subraces
      • Protector Aasimar
      • Scourge Aasimar
      • Fallen Aasimar
  • Dragonborn
    • Dragonborn Variants
    • Dragonborn in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Dragonborn on the Menagerie Coast
    • Dragonborn in Xhorhas
  • Firbolgs
    • Firbolgs in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Firbolgs on the Menagerie Coast
    • Firbolgs in Xhorhas
    • Firbolgs Classes
    • Firbolgs Names
    • Firbolgs Traits
  • Genasi
  • Gnomes
    • Gnomes in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Gnomes on the Menagerie Coast
    • Gnomes in Xhorhas
  • Goblinkin
    • Goblinkin in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Goblinkin on the Menagerie Coast
    • Goblinkin in Xhorhas
    • Bugbear Racial Traits
    • Goblin Racial Traits
    • Hobgoblin Racial Traits
  • Goliaths
    • Goliath Names
    • Goliath Traits
  • Half-Elves
    • Half-Elves in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Half-Elves on the Menagerie Coast
    • Half-Elves in Xhorhas
  • Kenku
    • Kenku Names
    • Kenku Traits
  • Orcs and Half-Orcs
    • Half-Orcs in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Half-Orcs on the Menagerie Coast
    • Half-Orcs in Xhorhas
    • Orc Traits
  • Tabaxi
    • Fleeting Fancies
    • Tabaxi Names
    • Tabaxi Traits
  • Tieflings
    • Tieflings in the Dwendalian Empire
    • Tieflings on the Menagerie Coast
    • Tieflings in Xhorhas
  • Tortles
    • Life of a Tortle
    • Tortle Names
    • Tortle Traits
  • Hollow One
    • Supernatural Gift: Hollow One
  • Subclasses

Chapter 5: Adventures in Wildemount[edit | edit source]

Looking for gold, are ye? Well, I have a deck that needs a mighty good cleanin'. Gold can come easy, if ye look hard enough. Or is it glory ye're really seekin'? Now that's another drive entirely. That, I believe, I can help ye with.

— Captain Jessie Wensthorp, pirate captain of the Revelry[15]

Chapter 5: Adventures in Wildemount includes four new adventure modules set in Wildemount. The following sections are included:

  • Using These Adventures
    • Going Off the Rails
  • Tide of Retribution
    • Story Overview
    • Adventure Summary
    • Setup and Starting Points
    • That Sinking Feeling
      • Earthquake and Sahuagin Attack
      • P1. South Shore
      • P2. West Shore
      • P3. North Shore
      • P4. East Shore
      • Other Flora Isle Locations
    • Seafarers
      • Character Advancement
      • Wavechaser
      • Interacting with the Crew
      • Palma Flora Refugees
      • Three Earrings's Plan
      • Ports of Call
      • Next Moves
    • Hunger of the Deep
      • Adapting Your Port of Call
      • Port General Features
      • Bisaft Isle
      • Brokenbank
      • Port Damali
      • Departing for Palma Flora
      • Encounter on the Open Sea
    • Ambush at Palma Flora
    • Concluding the Adventure
      • Defeat
      • Victory
    • Character Advancement
  • Dangerous Designs
    • Story Overview
      • Adventure Summary
      • Setup and Starting Points
    • A Boom in the Night
    • Ascending the Mountain
      • Peak of Silver Falls
      • Silver Falls Cavern
      • Character Advancement
      • Next Moves
    • Stahlmast's lair
      • Steel Door
      • Entering the Lair
      • L1. Turret Cavern
      • L2. Armory
      • L3. Volatile Materials Storage
      • L4. Recreation Room
      • L5. Stahlmast's Workroom
      • L6. Kitchen
      • L7. Prison Cells
    • Stahlmast's Lair (areas L8-L14)
      • L8. Shark Chamber
      • L9. Training Room
      • L10. Ambassador's Bedroom
      • L11. Kobold Barracks
      • L12. Steam Trap
      • L13. Blacksmith's Chamber
      • L14. Smithy
    • Stahlmast's Lair (areas L15-L20)
      • L15. Storage Chamber
      • L16. Infirmary
      • L17. Surgery
      • L18. Stahlmast's Bedroom
      • L19. Clockwork Forge
      • L20. Passage to the Underdark
    • Concluding the Adventure
      • New Lodgings?
    • Character Advancement
  • Frozen Sick
    • Story Overview
      • Adventure Summary
      • Setup and Starting Points
    • Mystery in Palebank Village
    • Croaker Cave
      • Croaker Cave Features
      • C1. Entrance Pool
      • C2. Training Pool
      • C3. Bat Cavern
      • C4. Bandit Camp
      • C5. Old Croaker's Pool
      • C6. Hulil's Cavern
      • Development
    • Jolly Dwarf
      • Development
      • Character Advancement
    • Traveling to Eiselcross
      • NPCs Infected with Frozen Woe
      • Voyage of the Remorhaz
    • Syrinlya
    • Into the Wilds
    • Salsvault
      • S1. Entrance Chamber
      • S2. Ransacked Frigid Woe Laboratory
      • S3. Animated Armor Laboratory
      • S4. Frigid Woe Laboratory
      • S5. Disease Storage
      • S6. North Hall
    • Salsvault (areas S7-S12)
      • S7. Unoccupied Dorm
      • S8. Ruined Dorm
      • S9. Zombie Dorm
      • S10. Ferol Sal's Chamber
      • S11. Kitchen
      • S12. Dining Hall
    • Salsvault (areas S13-S18)
      • S13. Drowned Library
      • S14. South Hall
      • S15. Animated Weapon Storage
      • S16. Golem Laboratory
      • S17. Ferol's Laboratory
      • S18. Drowned Curative Laboratory
    • Concluding the Adventure
      • Character Advancement
  • Unwelcome Spirits
    • Story Overview
    • Adventure Summary
    • Setup and Starting Points
    • Mission in Urzin
      • Buhfal's Boon
      • Preparing for the Journey
    • Exploring Brokenveil Marsh
      • Random Encounters
      • B1. Urzin's March
      • B2. Withered Grove
      • B3. Sunken Boneyard
      • B4. Crumbling Tower
      • B5. Bullywug Cave
      • B6. Ritual Stone
      • B7. Brokenveil Bluffs
      • B8. The Mossback Steward
      • B9. Fort Venture
      • Character Advancement
    • Infiltrating Fort Venture
      • V1. Palisade
      • V2. Tent Yard
      • V3. Commander's Quarters
      • V4. Training Yard
      • V5. Main Hall
    • Infiltrating Fort Venture (V6-V11)
      • V6. Chapel
      • V7. Armory Tent
      • V8. Jail
      • V9. Storehouse
      • V10. Kennels
      • V11. Latrines
    • Concluding the Adventure
      • Character Advancement

Chapter 6: Wildemount Treasures[edit | edit source]

The difference between power and potential is a curious thing. Everyone seeks to gain power, to use it. Yet the more power you have, the more you use, the more others will try to take it from you. Potential, however, is power unknown, unused. Hidden. Secret until absolutely necessary. I peddle in potential, and I recommend you do too in these times of war.

— Enchanter Yun[16]

Chapter 6: Wildemount Treasures contains a list of original magic items, including ones seen on Critical Role, including new Vestiges of Divergence. The following sections are included:

Chapter 7: Wildemount Bestiary[edit | edit source]

If the weather, food, and company don't kill me, I can only hope whatever gods-forsaken nightmares live out past the darkness will finish the job.

— Unknown Righteous Brand soldier[17]

Chapter 7: Wildemount Bestiary contains new stat blocks, including for creatures seen in the second campaign of Critical Role. The following sections are included:

Glossary[edit | edit source]

The Glossary contains brief descriptions of terms used in the book, including the names of locations, groups, events, characters, magic, etc.

Credits[edit | edit source]

— A thank-you message to the playtesters.[18]

The credits section list everyone involved with the creation, development, and publication of the book.

Adventurer's League adaptation[edit | edit source]

When Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep is released in March 2022, both it and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount will be adapted for D&D Adventurer's League play.[19] From this, the Adventurers League module Cold Rush was created, designed for competative play at conventions.

Appearances and mentions[edit | edit source]

Mighty Nein[edit | edit source]

Caduceus Clay

Deities[edit | edit source]

AsmodeusAvandraBahamutBaneCorellonErathisGruumshIounKordThe LuxonLolthMeloraMoradinPelorThe Raven QueenThe Raven Queen's predecessorSarenrae ("Raei") • SehanineTharizdunTiamatTorogUk'otoaVecnaZehir

Appeared in Campaign Two[edit | edit source]

Abrianna MirimmAlyson PaijArtagan (The Traveler) • Athesias UludanBabenon Dosal ("The Gentleman") • Bertrand DwendalBryce FeelidCalianna MordssonClay familyCleff TinkertopDashilla • Den Olios (Zethriss Olios) • Dust familyDolan Thrym ("Dolan Thyme") • Essek ThelyssGelidonKosh ClearbarkerLeylas KrynLoman TurrayLudinus Da'lethOliver SchreiberOlomonOphelia MardoonOrentha StonegraspOremid HassPumat SolQuana KrynRissa TinkertopShakästeSydnock TruscanTrent IkithonTuss WaccohVess DeRognaWyatt FedarWyatt MaranossYudala FonYussa ErrenisZeddan GrafZhafe Uludan

Mentioned in Campaign Two[edit | edit source]

Den IcozrinDesiratDoolan TverskyFryda LangerIdokImathan TalvielJenna IresorOlesya LapidusOracs, the EnduringQuajathSimone FruunastTaryon DarringtonDen Thelyss (Verin Thelyss) • Zivan Margolin

Appeared or mentioned in prior media[edit | edit source]

DotyJ'mon Sa OrdKorshad Seddiki ("Corshad Dumon") • LawrenceTiberius StormwindTrence OrmanVeshVespin ChlorasChroma Conclave (Vorugal)

New NPCs[edit | edit source]

Adia Shu • Aethia DroozeAlamads HaddouAldageamAlonne Frith • Allusus Dawyne • Amra Balleei • ArakkiArl BortockAshtyrlonAuby ShudderstoneAurelioBloody Maggie • Blue Martita • Bol'baraBram Gulchswattle • Brannon Ven Brava • Brightheart • Brock Dummaroff • Brumae Luddie • Brunda Gleshin • Buhfal II • Cardorn Brentahill • Carliyle Vesperwind • Casper Windmouth • CeratosChessia WakiamCiria • Conessa Berg • Cubu-Ka • Dawnmind • Dela Folger • Deter McGinneas • Den Mirimm (Durth Mirimm) • Druvis KoothalokDrahir Baiegn • Dratto • Duurek Kronst • Dwendal family (Alfwin Dwendal, Duvia Dwendal, Eckhardt Dwendal, Eidys Dwendal, Everard Dwendal, Manfried Dwendal, Suria Dwendal, Theoderich Dwendal, Willamar Dwendal) • Elias de CorvoElloway TenvidasElro Aldataur • Emma Zezbok • Enxanash • Erma Schnieb • Ereldra Icozrin • Ernath Noack • Essora • Farrhan Yost • Fenton TethwickFerol Sal • Gabriel Rymmer • Galgonos • Garad Velious • Garlagrag • Gerb • Gertrude Wagner • Ghuldi Demosk • Glacies • Gothad Miskal • GrimaldaGulrim Shalebrow • Gwey Yethneiros • Hag MotherHallwas DenalorHayden DamuragHector SolivaHektor • Herwin Melvot • Hildas Cliffhollow • Hulil Lutan • Hunnis BreeahHuron Stahlmast • Ichabod Ashelon • Imathan Talviel • Inock Julous • Iris BethelasIrven LielIshel HythenosIzeelzeeJagentoth family (Ionos, Numa, Reese, Sulia) • Jaglord BrukkJette BrashanJibu-CorrynJudessa FruunastJudus Olessia • Julienne Droogba • June Wiston • Jarinmine • Kai ArnessKarkethzerethzerus • Karta Meck • Keef family (Brennan, Duasad) • Kon Bruda • Korberta Horswell • Kruth Doorav • Lason de Weeler • Lein Untgaf • Leman TuFinn • Leriea • Lilyana CaydLiv-BurrathLinus DenwallopMardoon family (Anselm, Demis, Kreimhilde, Rufus, Mardoon child) • Maros du Simmas • Marta Denizreitch • Mata Laau-afu • Mazin FahreedMila TenoMolaesmyr's green hags (Auntie Rottongue, Nanny Filthtouch, and Granny Pustreat) • MorgidMorgo DelwurMossback StewardMynarc Furdahl • Myra Quirn • Nathrow ArpleNaviask • Nella Durlon • Nima CinnaridNorca Brighttusk • Oleyahs • Orvo MustaveParson Pellinost • Peggy Silva • Pentrakath • Pillia Ravenosa • Plookoolp • Quana Seledo • Queselia Vir • Quin Theramast • Raegrin MauRagazuu • Redjaw • Regin Kavla • Reynold Brueska • Roguun • Ruell • Satyana Vorvexis • Sauer family (Petrov, Zulla) • Selachai • Shwells • Sia KreshSimone FruunastSinnafexSizlifethSken ZabrissSkr'a S'orskSleese Firemark • Stefan Weberrat • Struther Felmont • Symon Vergesson • Talamin Ranaan • Tauan • Telva Cornwrath • Temgor • Tessandra Julous • Theanor Whisperthin • TitaniaTrebain family (Darko, Juraj, Tatia, Zorka) • TrokaTrushTulgi Lutan • Tusila Latu • Uada • Urgon Wenth • Ushru • Usula Starsburn • Uther PrentUttolot family (Jagoda, Milos, Mira) • Uvilia Whek • Vanatoth • Vasan AtrithVivurk Tonn • Velima Shanglian • Veluna SamarshanVemosi Runek • Vesdan Wothassic • Vivurk TonnVoskiir Larth • Vrath • WalarkusWaldorf PerifeatherWardlow AkronWavechaser's crew (Boerth, Dajarkal, Dillyu, Heidi Axebeard, Kijori, Three Earrings) • Wilhelm Arrisgon • XalicasXartazaYarrowishYinra Emberwind • Yondis, the Winter Star • Zendasa • Ziro • Zyn Daev'yana

Reception[edit | edit source]

Reviews[edit | edit source]

Reviewer, Publication Verdict
J. R. Zambrano, Bell of Lost Souls "All of that to say, if you're interested in Wildemount, this book is definitely for you. This book adds a much deeper look into the world than we're ever likely to see on the show. If that doesn't sound appealing, this book probably isn't for you–but there's still interesting stuff in the new subclasses or the new spells or monsters. If you're a fan of the show–the book feels more like D&D than Critical Role, for better or worse, but it really shines when they can lean into the things that make the show feel magical."
Cream Teafling, Cream Teafling D&D 5E "I'm relatively sure that, by now, you've deducted that this is a positive review. I expected this book to be good, but honestly I am extremely impressed. The amount of stuff you get for your money here is insane. Given how popular Critical Role is, we could have been given an average book and it would still have flown off the shelves, but this absolutely shows the level of diligence and attention to detail that Matt Mercer is famous for. While he didn't put this together all on his own, his fingerprints are all over it, and not just when it comes down to him having created the setting. Even if you are not a Critical Role fan, even if you are adamantly predisposed towards not wanting to get this because you don't like things that get hyped – I would advise you to put your reservations aside and pick up a copy. Even if you do it just for the final 144 pages of the book because Wildemount doesn't interest you, you will find something in it that will spark your imagination. If this is the standard of sourcebooks to come then I am very excited for what the future holds."
Kevin Coffey, Crit For Brains "Still, there's a lot to like here. Though your mileage may vary depending on your level of Critical Role fandom, the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is packed with a whole lot of D&D material. And that's a good thing."
Alex Meehan, Dicebreaker "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is a lot to digest, so I wouldn't recommend it to Critical Role fans as the first D&D sourcebook they pick up. However, if you are a Critter with a bit of Dungeons & Dragons experience already under your belt, Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is, for all intents and purposes, the perfect sourcebook for creating and playing adventurers in Mercer's world. Even if you aren't a Critical Role fan, this is a remarkable D&D 5E sourcebook that should provide more than enough creative spark for your next big campaign."
Sergio Solorzano, TheGamer

Score: 4/5

"Critical Role has undoubtedly brought new players to D&D, and continues to do so. Critters will probably rush to pick up this book just to support the show. That raises a question, however, in just how many Critters are DMs. Because players might find the few options presented to not be worth $50. Instead, it's the next generation of Mercers, or the DMs who want to walk their own path, that will find the most value in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount. This is an inspiring act of creation, and will hopefully help birth more fantastic fan-created D&D worlds."
Simon Yule, GeekDad "Whatever your relationship with Critical Role, if you're a Dungeons & Dragons fan and you're looking for something new to add to your next campaign, or for inspiration for your next character, the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is a perfect addition to your D&D collection. If, like me, however, you're a proud Critter, then the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is more than just that. It's the perfect companion to your Thursday nights. It's a font of joy and inspiration. It's one of the few books where even the glossary is exciting. A must have for any fan of Critical Role."
James Grebey, Syfy Wire "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, the latest official Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting, adds a lot to the world of D&D. Now you can officially play in the same world as the characters of Critical Role, the hit series in which professional voice actors weave a story by playing D&D live. The new book also adds new subclasses and a new school of magic, Dunamancy. And, perhaps most important, it adds some nuance to one of the most harmful tropes in D&D — and most of fantasy in general, for that matter."
Charlie Hall, Polygon "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount formally brings the Critical Role universe into the pantheon of Dungeons & Dragons, and it's filled with Easter eggs for fans of the "actual play" show. But, as a gameplay guide for regular players, it's an incredible resource filled with tools that can be applied to any setting. Written with a warmth and care uncommon in these sorts of things, author Matthew Mercer's 304-page campaign guide may be the best example of its type yet created for the role-playing game's 5th edition."
Andrew E., SkullSplitter Dice

Score: 9.5/10

"Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is, without exaggeration, the single best 5e setting book Wizards of the Coast has ever released. This is mainly due to the quality of the mini-adventures, plentiful plot hooks around every corner, and accessibility to new players. Sadly, it has little to do with the setting itself, which is a very traditional high-fantasy world. A well-written world, but a rather basic one. If you're looking for a new and interesting setting, this will just feel like Forgotten Realms 2.0. Regardless, a traditional fantasy world has a lot going for it, and newbies and veterans alike will find a wealth of fun here. Hardcore fans have likely bought the book already regardless of what reviews like mine say, but I'm very happy to report that the quality here goes far beyond hype and branding. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is a triumph, and I hope all future settings follow its example."
Strange Assembly, Strange Assembly "The best part of the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is the setting. Which is a pretty good start for a setting book. There's an interesting mix of the known that provides a freshness without overwhelming players/DMs with a stack of entirely new mechanical elements. It lets the setting focus on how the players and their story will be affected by a different sort of governmental (and inter-governmental) system than what is usually present in a fantasy setting. I just had to get through the history and factions chapters to think that this was a cool place well worth exploring. The downside, then, is where we didn't get as much of that as I would have liked. The inclusion of a variety of not-really-new ancestries that don't seem important to the setting was puzzling to me, but ultimately that doesn't take up a lot of space. What I did find disappointing was the adventures. Two (out of four) were good, but I had really wanted all of that page count to be a more involved adventure that would better explore the themes of the setting, not just give brief glimpses of some locations (or just one shorter adventure, with another 45 pages handed back to the setting section)."
Brandes Stoddard, Tribality "For me, this is a very good book that, nonetheless, I'm unlikely to use directly. I'm not in a position in my life to seriously consider starting my own Exandria campaign. I'd allow the subclasses and spells in my game, though I'd have some heavy story work ahead of me to fit them into a non-Exandria setting. The magic items and monsters, at least, I'd probably lift directly. The same is true of Ravnica, the upcoming Theros, and other setting books."

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount on Amazon
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 HYPE: Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Our New Campaign Guide from Dungeons & Dragons, is Available for Pre-Order RIGHT NOW! on CritRole.com
  3. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, "Welcome to Wildemount", p. 8.
  4. What is the Explorer's Guide To Wildemount? Matt Mercer introduces a new D&D setting on the official D&D Beyond YouTube channel
  5. "Exclusive Interview: Chris Lockey" by Adam Bassett. Worldbuilding Magazine, volume 4, issue 3, June 2020, pp. 16-22.
  6. Wildemount with Matthew Mercer & Chris Perkins - Dragon Talk at 13:55.
  7. Wildemount with Matthew Mercer & Chris Perkins - Dragon Talk at 24:30.
  8. Wildemount with Matthew Mercer & Chris Perkins - Dragon Talk at 17:08.
  9. Wildemount with Matthew Mercer & Chris Perkins - Dragon Talk at 18:30.
  10. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, "Preface", p. 4.
  11. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 11.
  12. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 35.
  13. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 59.
  14. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 161.
  15. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 5: "Adventures in Wildemount", p. 205.
  16. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 6: "Wildemount Treasures", p. 265.
  17. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 7: "Wildemount Bestiary", p. 281.
  18. Schedule on CritRole.com
  19. D&D Adventurer's League (@DnD_AdvLeague) on Twitter: "Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep as well as the previously released Explorer's Guide to Wildemount will be adapted for play in D&D Adventurers League when the new book releases!" (October 12, 2021). (backup link)

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