Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Going Wild for Wildemount

Wizards of the Coast just announced their next book for Dungeons & Dragons 5e and it has some sections of the fandom wailing in lamentations, but the vast majority excited about it.

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount will be out in Spring 2020 and it covers the part of the world from the highly successful Critical Role webseries.  Now I can already hear the older crowd bitching and moaning about it and all I can say is "typical".

There are people out there complaining that "Wizards has pissed off half their fans".  I would argue that "half" is really exaggerating it by quite a bit, but even so then they are at least pleasing the other half.

There are others that are also talking about how they won't be buying this. Ok. That's fine you don't need to buy every D&D book.  I enjoy 5e and I don't even have every book.  I have most, but I don't have them all.

But even then, these people are often the same ones that will claim never to have bought a WotC D&D book ever anyway, so they were never the audience.

Personally, I think this is a really intelligent move on Wizard's part.

Critical Role is hugely successful.

The Kickstarter for just the animated series brought in $11,385,449.   And this book, announced just 48 hours or so ago, has all the relevant #1 spots on Amazon.

Note that's not just #1 in the D&D categories, that is #1 in Books.  All of them.

Would I, as an old-school gamer, love to have seen Greyhawk or Mystara?  Of course!  Do I *need* them? No, not really.  I have everything I need for those worlds now.  I have MORE than what I need for my home-brew world now.  New worlds are always fun to read and maybe I can use some things from that book in my world. Or maybe not.  Who knows yet.

I do know that some sections of our hobby need to lighten the hell up and let people enjoy things.


Cross Planes said...

Based on 20+ years running 2 game stores, I'd saying only 20-40% of the playing base are aware of the announcement. The vast majority of my role playing customers play D&D...whatever the newest edition is and they come once or twice a year.

Critical Role is HUGE and it's helped make D&D "cool". Good for them.

Honestly, I'm worried that I won't enjoy it in the same way I didn't enjoy Acquisitions Inc, because I'm not a huge fan of Penny Arcade (I like the strips but forget about them) and Critical Role (I'd rather play than watch someone play).

Those aren't indcitments on either product or their sources.

I'll be honest, I playtest this particular project and I'll most likely pick up for the new rules. But it will probably have to wait because I want to run Avernus or something set in Greyhawk first. I won't lie, I'd have preferred a book on Greyhawk or Spelljammer, but this is the right product at the right time.

Finally, I think this will WotC's modus operandi going forward, work with a popular streamer/geek/celebrity for a book of their own so the small design team can focus on traditional books through the year. It's a good idea and I'm going to sell a ton of these things just like I've sold a ton T'adorai Campaign book and the Trades/Comics Dark Horse has released. The Critical Rol Comic is in my top 10 comics sold each month. Its outselling quite a bit of Marvel or DC books.

Unknown said...

I don't know anything about D&D but it always strikes me how some fandoms have that sense of entitlement. Like the company and the creators would owe them something.
I think it's good to always look for the positive in things like you do in this case. Worst case, it'a not your thing and you don't buy it.

Nathan Irving said...

I don't, or haven't yet, followed Critical Role or know anything about it, but I like new settings, and I like new additions to the rule set that I can steal, so I'm neutral-positive on this. I know what I'm going to get with Mystara/GH/FR/DL/etc; this could be really cool. The very very very little I've read so far hasn't raised any major red flags.

Cross Planes said...

Fandom is, in many ways, toxic. I think some fans get to the point that the only way they can be a true fan is to hate the thing the love an grouch about "back in the day".

I think it will be a good setting, I don't know if I'll use it as a setting, but that's because I have some Critters in the group and I think one of them would do a better job with it.

Honestly? There is enough setting information from the various editions of D&D to pretty much run in any campaign and I am SO GLAD that WotC brought back their PDFs and added Print On Demand books. It's a great time to be a D&D fan :)