– You worked on the
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount with Matthew Mercer. – You worked on an adventure
that’s actually included, can you tell me a little
bit about that adventure? (James laughs) Don’t spoil that adventure, but there’s a series of
adventures in this book, especially for people who are new to D&D. – Yes, this book does
something that I haven’t seen any other D&D campaign
setting do in Fifth Edition. And it’s there’s not one, there’s
not two, there’s not tree, there’s four separate Level
1 to Level 3 adventures in this book. And it’s for a very important reason. It’s because Wildemount is
a continent in conflict. In Critical Role, you
see a all-out, total war between the Dwendalian
Empire and the Kryn Dynasty in the wastes of Xhorhas. And so if you start in
the Dwendalian Empire, like the cast of Critical Role did, you’ll have one adventure that
will get you into that story. And it will be this story of factionalism, and political intrigue and all of that, that’s your starting point. If you start wastes of
Xhorhas in the Kryn Dynasty, then you have a story where maybe all of your characters are dark elves, or orcs, or goblinoids. And so you have a story very much about dealing with the gigantic monsters that wander the wastes, and all of the strange magic involved in that other civilization. Or you could start on the Menagerie Coast and suddenly there’s a piratical
storyline that I wrote. Or you could start in
the Greying Wildlands and there is an adventure that involves skullduggery, and evil
magic, and criminals, and of these different adventures start your campaign off
with a very different tone. And that’s what Wildemount is all about, a variety of incredible, different
stories that can be told. I worked on one for the Menagerie Coast, Matthew Mercer wrote another, and the other coauthors of this book, James Introcaso and Chris Lockey, also did two other ones. I can talk about the
one I did a little bit. (laughs) [James] I wouldn’t
want to spoil too much. – Being very careful
(laughs) – Yeah, yeah, so this adventure, it starts off on a lovely island, beautiful, tropical paradise, just as much like Jester’s hometown of Nicodranas is in Critical Role, fantastic place where a
person in a fantasy world could just take a tropical vacation. And then all of the sudden, evil rises out of the ocean and things go to hell in a hand basket. This is stuff that you could
even pull on the ship rules from Ghosts of Saltmarsh to enhance. This is something that you could pull in all sorts of other encounters from other aquatic sources to make into an entire 1 to, you
know 10, 15, Level 20 spanning campaign along that region. Or once you’ve gone through the adventure, you’ve encountered the Agent of Leviathan and all of the sinister depths of that, you could say, “Okay,
I’ve had enough of this, “and now I’m hearing rumors “from another part of the continent. “Maybe we should followup- “What’s all this I hear
about war in the Empire?” And so you take all of those
experiences, and treasures, and stuff that you’ve encountered
in the Menagerie Coast, and then that’s your starting point, and the adventure only
spreads out from there. – That’s a good point of… It’s a good anchor into the world, like now you go, “Okay,
I understand this world. “I understand how this particular area “views the rest of the
continent, as well,” and now you’re just kind of hooked in. – There’s a reason why we did four completely distinct
adventures in this book, and it’s because when Matt
Mercer and I started writing it we both had this kind
of mutual disdain for setting guides that are encyclopedic. And there’s an element of encyclopedia, straight-forwardness to this book because it has to be a
reference guide also. You have to be able to think, “Oh no, I need this…,” in the heat of the moment at the game, flip, flip, flip, there it is. Cut and dry, black and white. And it’s also a book that
you want to be able to read for fun and see stories
just brimming out of. And these adventures give you an actual emotional,
story-based hook into the world that’s more than just, “And the economy of Hupperdook
is based on robots.” And you know, something like that. (James laughs) And even further to that, there are four fully
fleshed-out adventures, but every single location in the book, almost every single location in the book, has one or two adventure hooks, as well. Anyone who’s read the
Tal’Dorei campaign setting that Matt and I worked
on before has seen this. But these are about one paragraph long, sort of story seeds, that
a DM can look at and see, “Oh, this is for low level characters, “this is for high level, epic level,” any level of character. So, when my party comes to this location I have just sort of the basic
outline of a story to tell that suddenly I can fill
with all of my own ideas, my own characters, everything like that. This is just the tinniest kernel that you can put all of
your imagination into and come up with a great story. – [Todd] Perfect.