EXPLORER’S GUIDE TO WILDEMOUNT
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WILDEMOUNT is a captivating exploration into the fantastical realm of Exandria, brought to life by the creative minds behind Critical Role. If you're not familiar with Critical Role, it's a popular web series where a group of talented voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) in front of a live audience. This immersive experience has garnered a massive following, and WILDEMOUNT is a testament to the rich storytelling and world-building that fans have come to love. In this review, we'll delve into what Critical Role is, and what you can expect to find within the pages of WILDEMOUNT.
Critical Role is more than just a D&D game; it's a phenomenon that has captivated audiences worldwide. At its core, Critical Role is a show where a group of friends, who happen to be talented voice actors, gather around a table to play Dungeons & Dragons. Led by the enigmatic Dungeon Master (DM) Matthew Mercer, the players breathe life into their unique characters, embarking on epic adventures filled with danger, intrigue, and heartfelt moments.
Critical Role's appeal lies in its authenticity. It's not scripted or rehearsed; it's a genuine gaming experience, and viewers get to witness the magic of storytelling unfold in real-time. The cast's incredible chemistry, remarkable character development, and emotional depth have turned Critical Role into a cultural phenomenon, inspiring countless fans to take up D&D and explore their own imaginative worlds.
WILDEMOUNT serves as an official sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, offering players and Dungeon Masters an opportunity to explore the vibrant continent of Wildemount, a central setting in Critical Role's second campaign. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect to find in this beautifully crafted tome:
World-Building: WILDEMOUNT provides an in-depth look at the world of Exandria, with a focus on the continent of Wildemount. Readers are treated to a comprehensive history, culture, and geography of this fascinating land, replete with new races, subraces, and cultures to enrich your D&D campaign.
Adventures: The book includes a selection of thrilling adventures set in Wildemount, complete with intricate plot hooks, NPCs, and locales inspired by Critical Role's narrative. Whether you're a DM looking for pre-made adventures or a player seeking new challenges, WILDEMOUNT has you covered.
Magic and Monsters: Discover new spells, magical items, and monstrous creatures unique to the world of Wildemount. These additions add depth and intrigue to any campaign, allowing players to explore arcane secrets and confront formidable foes.
Player Options: WILDEMOUNT offers a range of character options, including new subclasses, backgrounds, and character customization options. These additions provide exciting new ways for players to shape their characters and immerse themselves in the setting.
Lore and Artwork: The book is filled with stunning artwork that brings the world of Wildemount to life, and the rich lore woven throughout its pages helps players and DMs alike to fully immerse themselves in the setting.
Short Wrap Up for a DM
"As the embers of our adventure flicker and the echoes of our triumphs and challenges fade away, I want to thank each of you for embarking on this journey with me tonight. Your creativity, teamwork, and commitment to the story have made this session truly memorable.
Remember, the world of [campaign setting] is vast and filled with endless possibilities. As we conclude tonight's session, take a moment to reflect on your character's growth, the mysteries we've uncovered, and the bonds we've forged.
Feel free to reach out with any questions, ideas, or feedback before our next gathering. Until then, may your dice roll favorably, and may your adventures be filled with excitement and wonder. Safe travels, adventurers!"
Short Wrap Up for Players
"As we conclude our adventures for today, I want to express my gratitude to each of you. Your creativity, teamwork, and commitment to our shared story have made this session an unforgettable experience.
Remember the bonds we've forged, the challenges we've overcome, and the mysteries we've yet to unravel. The world of [campaign setting] is vast, and there are many more adventures awaiting us.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or thoughts about how we can make our next session even better, please don't hesitate to share them. Until then, may your characters continue to grow, and may your dice roll in your favor. Safe travels, fellow adventurers!"
The official sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition set in the world of Exandria, delves into the history, geography, and cultures of the continent of Wildemount. This chapter serves as an introduction to the world, providing players and Dungeon Masters with a solid foundation for understanding the setting and its unique features. Here's a closer look at what you can expect to find in Chapter 1:
History of Wildemount: Chapter 1 opens with a comprehensive overview of the continent's history, from its ancient origins to its more recent conflicts and developments. It discusses significant events, wars, and political changes that have shaped the world of Wildemount. This historical context is essential for players and Dungeon Masters to understand the current state of the continent and the dynamics at play.
Geography: The chapter describes the diverse regions and landscapes that make up Wildemount. From the frozen tundras of Eiselcross to the bustling cities of the Dwendalian Empire and the untamed jungles of the Penumbra Range, the continent offers a wide range of environments for adventurers to explore. Each region has its unique flavor, resources, and challenges.
Cultures and Factions: Wildemount is a land of many cultures and factions, each with its own customs, beliefs, and motivations. Chapter 1 introduces readers to the major political powers, organizations, and factions that hold sway in the region. Notable groups like the Dwendalian Empire, the Kryn Dynasty, and the Clovis Concord are explored in detail, providing insights into their goals and rivalries.
Races and Subraces: The sourcebook introduces new racial options and subraces unique to the world of Wildemount. Players can explore their characters' backgrounds and origins with options like the Pallid Elf, the Lotusden Halfling, and the Aeorian Sourcerer.
Gods and Religion: The pantheon of deities in Wildemount is diverse and plays a significant role in the lives of its inhabitants. Chapter 1 provides information on the major gods and their domains, shedding light on the religious beliefs and practices of the people of Wildemount.
Languages: In Wildemount, language is a critical aspect of culture and identity. The sourcebook details the various languages spoken in the region, including new languages like Telethric, Dunamantic, and more.
Calendar and Timekeeping: The chapter also includes information about the calendar system used in Wildemount, providing context for how time is measured and events are dated within the setting.
Chapter 1 of "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount" is an essential resource for both players and Dungeon Masters, as it immerses them in the rich lore and vibrant world of Exandria. It sets the stage for adventures to come, offering a deep understanding of the continent's history, cultures, and geography, and providing the foundation for engaging storytelling and character development within the Wildemount setting.
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continues to explore the continent of Wildemount, diving deeper into the specific regions, cities, and cultures that make up this diverse and immersive world. This chapter provides more detailed information about the various locations and settings where adventures can take place within the Wildemount campaign setting. Here's an overview of what you can expect to find in Chapter 2:
Regional Overviews: Chapter 2 takes readers on a journey through the different regions of Wildemount, providing detailed descriptions of each area's geography, climate, notable landmarks, and points of interest. From the icy landscapes of Eiselcross to the bustling streets of Rosohna, the Kryn Dynasty's capital, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the diverse environments and cultures that await adventurers.
Settlements and Cities: The chapter introduces readers to the major cities and settlements scattered across Wildemount. Each location is described in terms of its history, politics, culture, and key figures. Cities like Rexxentrum, Zadash, and Bazzoxan come to life with vivid descriptions, offering rich settings for both player characters and DMs to explore.
Notable Locations: In addition to cities, Chapter 2 provides information about other significant locations within Wildemount. This includes important landmarks, hidden dungeons, ancient ruins, and mysterious sites that hold secrets and adventures waiting to be uncovered.
NPCs and Factions: Players and DMs can expect to find details about the influential NPCs and factions that operate within the various regions. Whether it's the Dwendalian Crown, the Kryn Dynasty, or independent organizations like the Cobalt Soul, you'll learn about their motivations, allies, and adversaries.
Adventure Hooks: The chapter offers a plethora of adventure hooks and plot ideas tailored to each region. These hooks can serve as starting points for DMs to craft their own campaigns or one-shot adventures within Wildemount.
Random Encounters: DMs can make use of tables with random encounter ideas, allowing for dynamic and unpredictable experiences during their campaigns. These encounters can add depth and excitement to the exploration of Wildemount's wilderness and urban landscapes.
Maps and Artwork: Chapter 2 is enhanced with maps and artwork that vividly depict the regions, cities, and locations described within. These visuals help players and DMs envision the world and immerse themselves in the setting.
Overall, Chapter 2 of "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount" serves as an indispensable resource for Dungeon Masters and players alike. It provides a wealth of information about the world of Wildemount, offering a diverse range of settings, cultures, and adventure possibilities. Whether you're planning to embark on epic quests in the Dwendalian Empire, explore the mysterious depths of the Penumbra Range, or navigate the complex political intrigues of the Kryn Dynasty, this chapter sets the stage for countless adventures in this captivating campaign setting.
"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." Kevin Coffey, Crit For Brains
shifts its focus from the world and locations to the character options available to players. This chapter is a treasure trove of character creation resources, providing players with new subclasses, backgrounds, spells, and magic items unique to the Wildemount setting. Here's a closer look at what you can find in Chapter 3:
Subclasses: One of the highlights of Chapter 3 is the introduction of several new subclasses, each tailored to the world of Wildemount. These subclasses offer exciting character options for players looking to create characters deeply connected to the setting. Some of the subclasses include:
Backgrounds: Chapter 3 introduces new background options specific to the Wildemount setting. These backgrounds help players create characters with ties to the cultures and regions of Wildemount, enriching their role-playing experiences. Background options include the Volstrucker Agent, the Grinner, and the Volstrucker Investigator.
Spells: Players and spellcasters will find a collection of new spells inspired by the unique magic of Wildemount. These spells include dunamancy spells that manipulate time, gravity, and reality, adding a fresh dimension to magical abilities in the campaign.
Magic Items: The chapter features a selection of magical items, relics, and artifacts that are tied to the lore of Wildemount. These items can serve as powerful tools or coveted treasures for player characters to acquire and use during their adventures.
Class Options: While Chapter 3 primarily focuses on new subclasses, it also provides suggestions for integrating existing character classes into the world of Wildemount. This includes ideas for character backgrounds and motivations, allowing players to align their characters with the setting's rich lore.
Role-Playing Tips: Throughout Chapter 3, you'll find role-playing tips and guidance to help players immerse themselves in the world of Wildemount. This advice can help players create characters with compelling narratives and motivations that fit seamlessly into the campaign setting.
Overall, Chapter 3 is a valuable resource for players who want to embrace the flavor of Wildemount in their character creation. Whether you're drawn to the innovative subclasses, excited to experiment with new spells, or eager to weave your character's background into the intricate tapestry of Exandria, this chapter offers a wealth of options and inspiration for players looking to embark on adventures in the world of Critical Role.
Chapter 4 of "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount"
delves into the rich lore and history of the continent of Wildemount, offering players and Dungeon Masters a deeper understanding of the world in which their adventures take place. This chapter is particularly valuable for those seeking to immerse themselves in the narrative and storytelling aspects of the campaign setting. Here's an overview of what you can find in Chapter 4:
Lore and History: Chapter 4 provides an extensive exploration of the lore and history of Wildemount. It offers readers an in-depth look at the major events, conflicts, and key figures that have shaped the continent's past. This historical context helps players and Dungeon Masters understand the complex tapestry of politics, alliances, and rivalries that define the world of Wildemount.
Pantheon and Deities: The chapter discusses the pantheon of deities worshipped in Wildemount, providing insights into their domains, beliefs, and the role they play in the lives of the people. Understanding the gods and their influence is crucial for characters with religious affiliations or those who seek divine guidance.
Cultural Insights: Wildemount is a land of diverse cultures, each with its unique customs, traditions, and values. Chapter 4 offers detailed information on the cultures and societies of Wildemount, including the Dwendalian Empire, the Kryn Dynasty, the Clovis Concord, and more. Players and Dungeon Masters can use this information to create characters with rich cultural backgrounds or to immerse themselves in the intricacies of the world.
Notable Figures: The chapter introduces readers to prominent figures in Wildemount, such as political leaders, legendary heroes, and influential NPCs. These characters can serve as allies, mentors, or adversaries for player characters, and their stories add depth to the campaign setting.
Rumors and Secrets: Throughout Chapter 4, you'll find rumors, mysteries, and hidden secrets that can be used as plot hooks or story elements in your campaigns. These hooks can inspire adventures and intrigue, encouraging players to explore the hidden facets of Wildemount.
Guidance for Dungeon Masters: The chapter also includes guidance and advice for Dungeon Masters, helping them weave the lore and history of Wildemount into their campaigns. It provides tips on how to create engaging narratives, incorporate historical events, and make the world come alive for the players.
Tables and Encounters: Dungeon Masters will find tables and encounter ideas to help them create dynamic and immersive experiences for their players. These resources can be used to design random encounters, dramatic events, or historical flashbacks that tie into the lore of Wildemount.
Chapter 4 is an invaluable resource for Dungeon Masters and players alike who want to fully embrace the storytelling aspects of the Wildemount campaign setting. It provides a deep well of lore, history, and cultural information that can enhance role-playing experiences, inspire character backgrounds, and breathe life into the world of Critical Role. Whether you're seeking to uncover the secrets of Wildemount or to craft intricate narratives within its borders, this chapter is a treasure trove of storytelling opportunities.
shifts its focus from lore and character options to the practical aspects of running adventures in the Wildemount campaign setting. This chapter is designed to assist Dungeon Masters in creating and running engaging and immersive campaigns within the world of Wildemount. Here's a closer look at what you can find in Chapter 5:
Running Wildemount Campaigns: Chapter 5 begins with an overview of the key themes and storytelling elements that are prevalent in Wildemount. Dungeon Masters will find guidance on how to capture the essence of the setting, including its complex politics, cultural conflicts, and the overarching narrative threads inspired by the events of Critical Role's second campaign.
Creating Adventures: The chapter provides advice and tools for DMs to create their own adventures set in Wildemount. It discusses various plot hooks, challenges, and story arcs that can be woven into a campaign, allowing for flexibility in storytelling while staying true to the world's lore.
Adventure Seeds: Dungeon Masters will find a collection of adventure seeds that serve as ready-made starting points for campaigns or one-shot adventures. These seeds are diverse and can cater to a wide range of player preferences and interests, making it easier to kickstart your Wildemount campaign.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs): Chapter 5 introduces a selection of notable NPCs that can play significant roles in your campaigns. These NPCs come with detailed backgrounds, motivations, and potential storylines, allowing DMs to integrate them into their adventures and interactions with player characters.
Random Encounters and Events: The chapter includes tables for generating random encounters, events, and complications that can occur during the players' journeys through Wildemount. These tables add unpredictability and excitement to the campaign, keeping players on their toes.
Hazards and Traps: DMs can find guidance on creating hazards, traps, and environmental challenges that reflect the unique features of Wildemount's terrain and regions. These obstacles can be used to add depth to exploration and provide memorable encounters.
Magic Items and Rewards: Chapter 5 introduces additional magical items and rewards that can be found in Wildemount. These items are tied to the setting's lore and can serve as coveted treasures or tools for player characters.
Bestiary: Dungeon Masters will find a selection of creatures and monsters that are native to Wildemount, including stat blocks and descriptions. These creatures can be used to populate the world and present a variety of challenges to adventurers.
Settlements and Locations: The chapter provides additional details on settlements, locations, and landmarks within Wildemount, along with adventure hooks and story ideas associated with each place.
Overall, Chapter 5 is a practical resource for Dungeon Masters, offering tools and inspiration for creating and running campaigns in the Wildemount setting. Whether you're planning a long-term campaign or a series of one-shot adventures, this chapter equips DMs with the information and guidance needed to craft engaging stories, challenges, and encounters that bring the world of Critical Role to life at your gaming table.
"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." - Charlie Hall, Polygon
Focuses on providing Dungeon Masters and players with a wide array of new monsters, creatures, and adversaries that can be encountered in the Wildemount campaign setting. This chapter serves as a valuable resource for adding diversity and excitement to encounters and adventures. Here's a closer look at what you can find in Chapter 6:
Bestiary: Chapter 6 is essentially a bestiary, offering a detailed collection of stat blocks, descriptions, and lore for numerous creatures and monsters that inhabit the world of Wildemount. These creatures range from the mundane to the extraordinary, and they can be used to challenge and engage player characters in various ways.
New Creatures: In this chapter, you'll find a wide range of creatures that are unique to the Wildemount setting. These creatures are drawn from the lore and storytelling of Critical Role's second campaign and are designed to fit seamlessly into the world. Examples include various types of monsters, beasts, and otherworldly entities, each with its own set of abilities and characteristics.
Horrors and Anomalies: Some of the creatures featured in Chapter 6 are particularly mysterious and dangerous. These horrors and anomalies can serve as central threats or elements of intrigue in your campaigns. They add an element of unpredictability and wonder to the setting.
Creature Variants: The chapter also presents variant versions of existing creatures, offering Dungeon Masters the option to modify and customize monsters to suit their specific campaign needs. This flexibility allows for creative storytelling and encounter design.
Lore and Background Information: Each creature is accompanied by background information and lore, providing context for where and how these creatures fit into the world of Wildemount. This lore can be used to craft engaging narratives and tie creatures into the campaign's overarching story.
Encounter Ideas: Throughout Chapter 6, you'll find suggestions for how to use these creatures in your adventures. Whether you're looking for inspiration for random encounters, major villains, or unique challenges, these ideas can help you incorporate the creatures seamlessly into your campaign.
Artwork and Visuals: The chapter is enhanced with artwork and visuals that bring these creatures to life. These illustrations help players and DMs visualize the creatures and immerse themselves in the world of Wildemount.
Chapter 6 is a valuable resource for Dungeon Masters who want to create dynamic and memorable encounters in the Wildemount campaign setting. The diverse array of creatures and monsters, along with their associated lore, provides ample material for crafting adventures that will challenge and engage your players. Whether you're seeking to pit your party against formidable foes or introduce intriguing mysteries and anomalies, this chapter has you covered with a wide variety of adversaries to enhance your storytelling experience.
Dedicated to providing additional tools, rules, and resources to enhance your Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition gameplay within the Wildemount setting. This chapter offers new options and mechanics for both players and Dungeon Masters, allowing for a more immersive and customized experience. Here's an overview of what you can find in Chapter 7:
Dunamancy Spells: One of the highlights of Chapter 7 is the introduction of a unique form of magic called dunamancy. Dunamancy spells are a powerful and distinctive magical tradition in the world of Wildemount, and this chapter provides a selection of these spells for players to learn and use. These spells involve manipulating time, gravity, and the very fabric of reality, offering exciting and creative options for spellcasters.
Feats: Chapter 7 introduces new feats that players can choose for their characters. These feats are tied to the Wildemount setting and offer additional customization options, allowing characters to gain unique abilities and traits based on their experiences and backgrounds.
New Magic Items: The chapter includes a selection of new magical items, relics, and artifacts that are specific to the Wildemount setting. These items can serve as powerful tools, rewards, or plot devices for player characters to discover and utilize during their adventures.
Chronicle Magic Items: Players and Dungeon Masters will find a section on Chronicle Magic items, which are special magical items tied to the story and history of Wildemount. These items may have their own quests, secrets, and unique abilities, making them intriguing additions to a campaign.
Vehicle Rules: Chapter 7 introduces rules and guidelines for handling various forms of transportation, including land vehicles, airships, and watercraft. These rules allow for more dynamic and exciting travel and exploration within the setting.
Wildemount Calendar: The chapter provides detailed information about the calendar system used in Wildemount. This can be useful for tracking time, scheduling events, and understanding the cultural significance of various dates and holidays within the setting.
Running High-Level Play: Dungeon Masters will find advice and suggestions for running high-level campaigns in the Wildemount setting. This guidance includes tips on handling powerful characters, epic challenges, and the potential impact of high-level magic on the world.
Factions and Organizations: The chapter offers additional information about various factions, guilds, and organizations that exist within Wildemount. These groups can play significant roles in a campaign, offering quests, alliances, and conflicts for player characters to engage with.
Chapter 7 is a valuable resource for players and Dungeon Masters looking to enhance their gameplay experience in the Wildemount setting. Whether you're interested in exploring unique spells, customizing your character with new feats, or delving into the rich history of the world through magical items, this chapter provides the tools and options to do so. Additionally, the rules for vehicles and guidance on high-level play can help you tailor your campaign to suit your preferred style of play and storytelling.
"Explorer's Guide to Wildemount" is an official Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook that provides a detailed campaign setting based on the continent of Wildemount, which was featured in Critical Role's second campaign. The book offers lore, character options, adventures, and more inspired by the show, making it a valuable resource for fans and D&D players.
No, you don't need prior knowledge of Critical Role to enjoy "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount." While it's a wonderful resource for fans of the show, the book is designed to be accessible to all D&D players and Dungeon Masters, offering a fully fleshed-out campaign setting that can be used independently.
The book contains extensive world-building information, including the history, geography, cultures, and factions of Wildemount. It provides a rich background for storytelling and character development within the campaign setting
"Explorer's Guide to Wildemount" introduces new character subclasses, backgrounds, spells, and magic items unique to the Wildemount setting. Players can customize their characters with options inspired by the world's lore.
Yes, the book offers a selection of adventures set in Wildemount, complete with plot hooks, NPCs, and locations. These adventures can serve as a starting point for your campaign or one-shot sessions
Absolutely! "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount" can be integrated into any existing D&D campaign or used as a standalone setting. You can mix and match elements from Wildemount with other campaign settings to create a unique gaming experience.
Yes, the book caters to both Dungeon Masters and players. Dungeon Masters will find resources for running campaigns and adventures, while players have access to character options and spells that fit the Wildemount setting.
Yes, the book features detailed maps of Wildemount's regions, cities, and locations, as well as stunning artwork that brings the world to life.