3D Artist and teacher by trade. Obsessive nerd, gamer, foodie, Whovian. I want to be Agent Carter when I grow up.
Green Ronin publishing opened up pre-orders on Monday for Matthew Mercer’s Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting, the world in which the players of the hit Dungeons and Dragons show, Critical Role, have their adventures. Where the hardcover book doesn’t release until August, the PDF version of the game setting is available for immediate download; and after an initial read-through of the book, it’s hard to imagine any fantasy gamer not wanting to call Tal’Dorei home.
Matthew Mercer has created a lush world filled with a detailed history that reads like a classic, high fantasy novel. With an intricately woven tale that starts with the dawn of creation, and leading up to the aftermath of the attack of the Chroma Conclave (a group of chromatic dragons that nearly brought Tal’Dorei to its knees), the book breathes life into a world that feels extremely familiar and brand new at the same time. The setting gives an overview of the wars, victories, alliances, and strife that shaped a continent called Tal’Dorei. It is within that continent’s cities, villages, countrysides, and seas where players can set their own adventures.
For Critical Role fans, the book will provide a lot more insight into the world, histories, and NPCs, acting as the perfect companion to reference during the show. The most dedicated fans will read about deities they’ve never heard of, villages never visited, and holidays observed throughout Tal’Dorei; they’ll discover little details that may have been left out of Mercer’s on-stream narrative for the sake of time and efficiency, or rediscover a long-forgotten sliver from an earlier show. Little bits of story that intertwine with Mercer’s pre-stream game are sprinkled throughout the book, such as the story of the group’s first meeting and adventure in Stilben.
For people who are new to Critical Role, or just D&D gamers looking for a new setting, Tal’Dorei provides the kind of immersive world we have come to expect in quality RPGs. Tal’Dorei is easy to imagine, with a lore that casts just the right balance of myth, mysticism, the arcane, lightness, and dark, without being overwhelming or dwelling too much on the minutiae. The populace of Tal’Dorei is diverse, encompassing all the traditional races of D&D and blending them with new groups, religions, and sciences. A selections of player classes specific to the region, steeped in the setting’s history and lore, are provided such as “Blood Domain” for Clerics and “Path of the Juggernaut” for Barbarians. There are region specific backgrounds like Clasp Member, Lyceum Student, Ashari, and Recovered Cultist that allow for a fresh customization of a traditional D&D character. And gamers will find a host of new allies and enemies, all unique and fun in their own right. There are a few optional unique rules and guidelines to follow and detailed maps are provided of the continent and cities therein.
The artwork in the book is stunning; the pages are filled with brightly colored paintings of cities and iconic images from the region, all sourced from the fan community. Readers get a peek at different contraptions, magical items, and vestiges collected by Vox Machina, as well as glimpses at events from long ago.
Built to work with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition rules, the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting will be the perfect backdrop to your next game. You can pre-order the hardcover book for $34.95 at Green Ronin’s website and for an extra $5, download the PDF today (you can also just purchase the PDF alone for $18.95). So, grab the book and prepare for an epic adventure in Tal’Dorei.