“It’s been awhile” since the release of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount: the latest Dungeons & Dragons, 5th edition campaign setting from Renton-based publisher Wizards of the Coast, which was adapted from the popular Twitch web series Critical Role. Whether you got your physical copy at your Friendly Neighborhood Game Store, downloaded a digital copy from D&D Beyond, or you have been sadly waiting to get your hands on the book, it’s safe to say that Wildemount has dominated the conversation for D&D enthusiasts for many weeks now.
As we are all self-isolating and quarantined, we at Geek Girl Authority thought we would share some of the new and exciting features to be found in the Wildemount setting. Maybe you’ll be inspired to get the book for yourself, or maybe you’ll at least get some ideas for your own campaigns at home? Regardless, we begin our in-depth look into the continent of Wildemount and the world of Exandria with the three new subclasses offered by the book: Echo Knight (for Fighters), and Chronurgy Magic and Graviturgy Magic (both for Wizards).
These three subclasses focus on different applications of an ancient and esoteric magic in Wildemount called “dunamancy”. We won’t get into too many details about dunamancy in this article, but to make a long story short, dunamancy is a powerful and primal magic that can alter the very fabric of time and space through the use of alternate realities. The secrets of dunamancy have long been a monopoly of the Kryn Dynasty (the ruling government of the Wildemount region known as Xhorhas), though a faction of mage-lords known as the Cerberus Assembly have recently begun unlocking those secrets for their own quest for power. Thus, the secrets of dunamancy can be disseminated to all of Wildemount, and any player can implement this arcane discipline for their character of really any background.
Let’s start by focusing on the “game-breaking” Echo Knight: a new Martial Archetype for the Fighter class. Fighters are a martial class…which is to say, warriors who battle through their weapons and physical capabilities rather than any kind of spellcasting abilities. The Echo Knight allows a Fighter to harness dunamancy in order to summon an “echo”. The echo is a shade of that Fighter from an alternate reality: the remnants of an unrealized timeline and a road not taken. Through the Echo Knight, that lost potential is given the spark of a new life and a new opportunity in order to aid the Fighter in combat. After making an attack, the Echo Knight can make an additional melee attack from the echo’s position. It’s not unlike the Trickery Domain Cleric being able to cast spells through their illusory duplicate using Invoke Duplicity.
The Echo Knight is mechanically fascinating due to its echo. As Jeremy Crawford (Lead Rules Designer for Wizards of the Coast) stated on Twitter, the echo is an image, not a creature. Not being a creature means that spells that target creatures (such as Magic Missile or Wall of Fire) cannot affect the echo at all. This also means that the echo does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity (when a creature in your melee range moves out of your reach): it can move toward a creature, attack it, and then leave without that creature having any reaction. Though the echo must remain within 30 feet of your Fighter (or else it is destroyed), it doesn’t require an action to move it. Meaning that on your turn, you can summon an echo 15 feet away, and then move the echo an additional 30 feet away. Though this would result in the echo being destroyed at the end of your turn, it effectively gives the Echo Knight a melee range of *45 feet* in every direction. Yes, even enemies that are flying!
Chronurgy Magic and Graviturgy Magic
However, dunamancy in Wildemount is more of an arcane study than a martial focus, and nowhere is this better represented than the two new Arcane Traditions for the Wizard class: Chronurgy Magic and Graviturgy Magic. Chronurgy Magic Wizards, or “Chronurgists”, are Wizards who have learned to bend the flow of time much as a musician plays an instrument. Chronurgists can alter the fates of enemies by forcing them into alternate realities (making creatures reroll attacks or skill checks) or shunting them into the future (a la Alduin in The Elder Scrolls). Graviturgy Magic Wizards, or “Graviturgists”, are Wizards that have learned to use dunamancy to bend and manipulate the forces that draw bodies of matter together. Graviturgy Magic can range from the relatively benign (increasing the gravity in an area and halving the speed of all creatures) to the frightfully destructive (creating black holes). Yes, you read that right: the most powerful Graviturgists can cast Ravenous Void to create *black holes* with a jaw-dropping 1,000 foot-range. Between the area of effect and the damage dealt by the black hole’s center, Ravenous Void actually threatens to usurp Meteor Swarm as D&D’s most powerful spell.
What do you think? Are the power of potential and quantum physics peaking your interest in these dunamantic subclasses? Or will you let these potential realities fade as you make a different choice for your Wildemount character? Let Geek Girl Authority know and choose GGA as your reality for more information on D&D, Wildemount, and more! And of course, you can check out Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount for yourself at your Friendly Neighborhood Game Store, on D&D Beyond, on Amazon, and more!
This article was originally publish 4/2/20