“Critical Role” is a hit “Dungeons & Dragons” show, featuring voice actors like Matthew Mercer as the DM, Sam Riegel, and Laura Bailey (to name a few). Live streamed every Thursday, it’s captured the hearts and imagination of countless viewers, many of whom began playing “Dungeons & Dragons” after being inspired by the show. Now, Matthew Mercer’s world of Exandria is officially joining the D&D multiverse in “Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.”
Written by Matthew Mercer and a star team of designers, “Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount” is a campaign setting and expansion book for “Dungeons & Dragons” 5th edition. In addition to providing information about the four regions of Wildemount and its history (focused around the conflict between the Dwendalian Empire and Kryn Dynasty), the book will include new subclasses, feats, dunamancy magic, magic items, and monsters.
The sub-classes, as revealed, will be the Echo Knight, Chronurgist, and Graviturgist. The magic items will include the legendary Vestiges of Divergence. Additionally, the book includes four introductory adventures designed to take players from levels 1 through 3.
Along with the 300+ pages of content, “Explorer’s Guide” features artwork from the “Critical Role” fan community. No fewer than 41 artists have contributed illustrations to the new book.
The Wildemount setting is featured prominently in season 2 of “Critical Role,” with the Mighty Nein adventurers. Players will be able to learn more about the setting with a gazetteer, breakdown of factions within the world, and a guide to Wildemount’s history.
Interestingly, this is the second sourcebook using Critical Role’s homebrewed setting. “Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting,” published in 2017 by Green Ronin, served a similar purpose for the first season and its heroes of Vox Machina. This means that the Exandria setting will be published by both Wizards of the Coast and a third party publisher.
While this is the first official “Dungeons & Dragons” Exandria sourcebook, its existence was made canon to the world of D&D with the release of “Descent Into Avernus.” In that adventure, players can meet with Arkhan the Cruel, a recurring character in season 1 of “Critical Role” by Joe Manganiello. After stealing the Hand of Vecna during the show, Arkhan appears as an NPC players can encounter – complete with the Hand and a note saying he obtained it in Exandria.
Wizards of the Coast has also been expanding the world of “Dungeons & Dragons” with additional settings and properties. The world of Magic: The Gathering was given a setting in “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica,” while the popular live-streamed game “Acquisitions Inc.” was given a sourcebook as well (albeit set within the Forgotten Realms). Other properties, such as “Stranger Things” and “Rick & Morty,” have received their own starter sets and adventures, although those are not new campaign settings. This is the first entirely new setting for 5th edition not based off an existing Wizards of the Coast property.
Adventurers League, the organized play system for “Dungeons & Dragons,” has already stated that “Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount” will not be an allowed rules source. This is to be expected, as Adventurers League has been maintained within the Forgotten Realms, with the exception of a series of Eberron adventures that are run separate from the main Faerun-based storylines. Similar rulings exist for the “Ravnica” and “Acquisitions Inc.” books.
For more information on ”Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount,” check out the news from the Critical Role and Dungeons & Dragons websites. You can pre-order “Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount” from your local game store today.