...and this on Reddit:@matthewmercer on Twitter wrote:As the info seemed to leak a liiiiiiittle early yesterday, I just wanted to write something to reach out to the greater, non-critter DnD crowd regarding this book, what it means to me, and what I hope it means to you:
It's interesting that Matthew Mercer says he is a Planescape and Dark Sun fan.u/MatthewMercer on Reddit wrote:With the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount announcement...
Hey there! Longtime lurker, situational commenter!
Well now, it certainly looks like the cat’s out of the bag (and seemed to sneak out a LITTLE early, hehe)! I can’t express just how excited and honored I am to have been given the opportunity to bring my world to you all via the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. D&D has been such an influential element of my life, of who I am, and to have contributed to it in this way is beyond words.
I’ve spent the better part of 1.5 years working on this project, along with some incredible contributors, to make this something we could all be extremely proud of. I set out to create this book not as a tome specifically for fans of Critical Role, but as a love letter to the D&D community as a whole. Those who follow our adventures will find many familiar and enjoyable elements that tie into what they’ve experienced within our campaign. However, I want this book to not only be a vibrant, unique setting for non-critter players and Dungeon Masters young and old, experienced or new, but also a resource of inspiration for DMs to pull from regardless of what setting they are running their game in. I’ve done my very best to make it a dynamic, breathing world full of deep lore, detailed factions and societies, a sprawling gazetteer, heaps of plot hooks, and numerous mechanical options/items/monsters to perhaps introduce into your own sessions, or draw inspiration from to cobble together your own variations. I wanted this to be a book for any D&D player, regardless of their knowledge of (or appreciation of, for that matter) Critical Role. I made this for ALL of you.
I am also well-aware of how much negativity can permeate these spaces regarding myself and the games we play, and that’s ok! One could never expect our form of storytelling and gaming to be everyone’s cup of tea, and it could very well be that this just isn’t the book for you. I don’t begrudge you that, and I only hope one day we get a chance to roll some dice at a convention and swap stories about our love of the game. I know for some folks this isn't necessarily what they were hoping for the announcement to be, and for that I'm sorry.
As a person excited and clamoring for new settings to be brought into the D&D multiverse, I also understand the frustrations from some that this isn’t one of the “classics”. Believe you me, I’m one of the those who is ever-shouting “I want my Planescape/Dark Sun”, and said so loudly… multiple times while in the WotC offices. Know that my setting doesn’t eliminate, delay, or consume any such plans they may have for any future-such projects! I’m not stepping on such wonderful legacy properties, these same ones that inspired me growing up. This is just the new-kid stepping into that area and hoping one of the older kids will sit and have lunch with them. If Wizards has any plans to release any of their much-demanded settings, they’ll come whether or not Wildemount showed up.
I also wanted to comment on the occasionally-invoked negative opinions on my homebrew designs I’ve seen here… and they aren’t wrong! I don’t have the lengthy design history and experience that many of you within this community do have. Outside of small, home-game stuff I messed with through the 2000’s, my journey on the path of public homebrew began as a reaction to online community demand and throwing out my inexperienced ideas in a very public space. Much of my early homebrew was myself learning as I went (as all of us begin), only with a large portion of the internet screaming at me for my mistakes and lack of knowledge. Even my Tal’Dorei Guide homebrew was rushed due to demands being made of me, and I continue to learn so many lessons since. The occasional unwarranted intensity aside, there is much appreciated constructive criticism I’ve received over the years (from reddit included) that has helped me grow and improve. Anyway, what I mention all this for is to express my thanks for all the wonderful feedback, the chances to learn from all of you as time has gone on, and the many elements of this book reflect that improvement as I took those lessons and collaborated with the official WotC team to make this as good as it could be.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling from an insecure nerd. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done with this book. I hope you give it a shot and enjoy it. I really do. If you choose to pass on it, that’s totally cool and am just happy we find joy in the same pastime. Either way, be kind to each other, and keep on forging amazing stories together. <3
It was more interesting that he is aware that people will be out there complaining about his book (and he was probably aware that the complaining would happen months before us) and that he doesn't have any ill-will towards anyone.
If you think about the vibe that we try to have at The Piazza (of everyone talking about what they like and trying to get on) that's sort of what Matthew Mercer is trying to do. I'm not sure how well he can ever succeed. I'm sure if he was standing in front of you and chatting to you about D&D, and listening to you, he would engage you well, but he is one person trying to send out messages to thousands of fans that he couldn't possibly talk back to on a normal level. But that's not really his fault, is it.
Anyhoo, Matthew says that his book is not holding up WotC from bringing back a classic setting, or doing something else. I guess we can compare the 2020 catalogue of D&D products to the 2019 catalogue of D&D products to see if there is one extra in 2020.
But, given that Green Ronin put out the last Critical Role book, they could quite easily have put out this one too. And the Critters could (and probably would) have funded it on Kickstarter. So he is right there.
I'm not so sure about the other thing he said. His hopes that people who are not into Critical Role can get stuff out of the book. And that's not so much based on Critical Role or Matthew Mercer, but the fact that I've seen a ton of people saying that they want people to "buy their book and make it their own". And as someone who likes settings to have their own unique selling point, I'm not sure how well anyone Matthew Mercer or not can make a unique product...but make it super-raidable. (But I'll be very happy to see someone writing a "I'm raiding X from Critical Role to use in my game" topic.)