Critical Role, the most popular name in tabletop actual play, is expanding further into official Dungeons & Dragons publications with an official campaign book. Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep will take players across nine levels as they travel new continents and search for a lost legend.
Publisher Wizards of the Coast announced the returning team-up with host Matt Mercer and the regular crew on October 12th, saying the book is currently planned to hit physical stores and online retail on March 15th of next year. Player groups will take characters from level 3 all the way to level 12 as they explore a new continent of Exandria not yet featured on the show.
Mercer will act as co-lead alongside Wizards game design architect Chris Perkins and James Haeck, a former writer at the company who now works at Ghostfire Gaming as a senior game designer. “The story has depth, and there’s a wealth of setting information in this book for all the Critters out there. I can’t wait to see how all fans play through the first hardcover adventure D&D has produced set in the world of Critical Role,” Perkins said.
Players will leave the well-trodden shores of Wildemount behind for Marquet, discovering new locations such as the “glimmering oasis-city of Ank’Harel” and the frankly dismal sounding Netherdeep, described as a melding of the ocean depths and the Far Realm. Unfortunately, it seems that’s where a large portion of the adventure will take place because an ancient power either forgotten or thought destroyed has begun to stir, and the deity-blessed champion keeping eternal guard might need some help.
Call of the Netherdeep differs from the previously released Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount and Tal’Dorei Reborn, which focused more on providing lore and worldbuilding elements for Critical Role fans to play out their own stories within the world of the longrunning tabletop actual play. The book will outline the campaign over seven adventures and include information on a host of creatures, magic items and class mechanics unique to this setting. Interestingly, the press release mentions rules for creating a “rival party of NPCs”, though how that will affect the story isn’t clear.
Those who pick up the book at next year at its $49.95 (£36) can also peruse the artwork commissioned specifically for the new book and look out for story elements and connections to past Critical Role adventures that will be no doubt meaningful to longtime fans. It is yet to be seen if this book will experience a similar delay to recent sourcebooks Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons and Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, likely caused by the continued global shipping issues - Wizards of the Coast has not offered an official explanation.