New Critical Role Dungeons & Dragons adventure adds rival NPC parties in 2022

New Critical Role Dungeons & Dragons adventure adds rival NPC parties in 2022
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Popular live play series Critical Role is getting its first major Dungeons & Dragons adventure book next year. Created in collaboration with Dungeon Master Matt Mercer, 'Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep' launches on March 15, 2022. 

Taking players from levels 3 to 12, Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep will cost $49.95 and is available to pre-order now. Besides an all-new story that introduces unseen locations and monsters, it also introduces mechanics for a rival party of NPCs. This isn't really something we've seen from the best Dungeons and Dragons books before, so the adventure should offer something to draw you in even if you've never watched Critical Role itself.

Taking place in the world of Exandria (the setting of Critical Role seasons one and two), this book will lead adventurers into a sunken realm that's described as a cross between the Lovecraftian Far Realm and the ocean depths. It's not a monster hunt, though; this is a rescue mission. To be precise, Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep challenges players to rescue "a mighty champion of the gods" whose name and deeds have long since been forgotten.

"Getting to bring a direct adventure book within Exandria to life is really such an exciting thing, especially exploring ideas and elements I've never been able to bring to a campaign myself yet. Working with such a talented team to develop and craft a tale like this is an absolute honor," Matthew Mercer says in the press release.

He goes on to suggests that this will be a darker sort of campaign; to be precise, Mercer "cannot wait for folks to step into the unique mysteries and dark challenges that Call of the Netherdeep invites."

Comprised of seven chapters, Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep begins in the Wastes of Xhorhas before introducing a new continent - Marquet. Creatures we haven't seen before in the previous Critical Role book (Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, which was a worthy addition to one of the best tabletop RPGs) will also be making an appearance, as will fresh lore and magic items.

Speaking of lore, D&D game design architect Chris Perkins says that Call of the Netherdeep feels true to the spirit of Critical Role while still being enjoyable for non-fans. "The story has depth, and there’s a wealth of setting information in this book for all the Critters out there."

Call of the Netherdeep is just the latest in a line of new D&D releases over the next few months; Fizban's Treasury of Dragons is launching at the end of October 2021, while Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos is due to land a couple of months later.

Pre-order Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep

Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep | $49.95 at Amazon

Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep | $49.95 at Amazon
Although it's the second Criticial Role D&D module (the previous one was a guide to the world of Exandria), it's the first major adventure book set in that universe. Leading players into the creepy underwater realm of Netherdeep, it takes characters from levels 3-12 through locations both old and new. We'll be able to see what it's like for ourselves when the book launches on March 15, 2022.

For more tabletop action, don't forget to check out our guide to the best board games. And yes, we know it's early, but now that sales season is almost upon us, it's also worth bookmarking our guides to the upcoming Black Friday board game deals and the Dungeons and Dragons Black Friday offers as we approach November.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.