Review: Wizards of the Coast – Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep (Dungeons & Dragons)

Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep
Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep is an epic fantasy campaign for Dungeons & Dragons, written by James J. Haeck, Makenzie De Armas, LaTia Jacquise, Cassandra Khaw, Sadie Lowry, Dan Dillon, and Taymoor Rehman and published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Dave Pierson

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The Homebrew DM’s Perception

Disclaimer: The Netherdeep contains magical elements known to cause life-changing discoveries of ancient artifacts, red crystals growing out of your skin, long swims in dark places, aberrant fish, and enemies-to-friends-to-enemies plots. Consult a cleric or Matthew Mercer to see if the path to the Netherdeep is right for you.

Wizards of the Coast, Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, 2022

Welcome to the land of Exandria Critters and all enjoyers of Dungeon and Dragon settings. A new adventure awaits; calling upon adventurers, to retrace the steps of mythic heroes to save the Material Plane. Will your players heed the call?

Call of the Netherdeep is the latest campaign adventure to be released by Wizards of the Coast in conjunction with the team at Critical Role. Designed to take players from level 3 to level 12, the adventure is set in the world of Exandria and not only takes your party across multiple continents, but also into the realm know as the Netherdeep – a realm of lightless trenches and despair.

Centuries ago, there was a great war, known as The Calamity, between the gods of good and evil. And although the gods were prevented from directly interfering, they were still able to bestow power upon their faithful servants. The greatest of the champions was Alyxian the Apotheon, who received blessings from three Prime Deities to save the world. Unfortunately, all knowledge of Alyxian has been lost to time.

The adventure is broken into 7 chapters and uses the method of milestones for character advancement. More and more we are seeing published adventures use this method to assist in ensuring our characters are progressing timely throughout the story line. Given the length of this adventure, using milestone character advancement makes perfect sense.


Our player characters’ journey unfolds in a small town during the Festival of Merit – in which people from all over compete in tests of strength and cunning. It is here during the event that destiny calls out to two adventuring parties: Our player characters and another group run by the Dungeon Master. Both groups receive a vision and a plea, from Alyxian himself, to save him from his prison of darkness in the Netherdeep. Answering the call will launch your players into an adventure of mystery, deceit, and heroic deeds. Throughout the adventure, not only do your players have to face differing environments and monsters, but also their rivals. At first, the rivals are indifferent and laugh off the party. But as the adventure continues, depending on interactions, the rivals can either become allies, enemies, or a mixture of both. All the while the call of Alyxian continues to manipulate the adventurers to his bidding, good and evil.

The key to remember is the long game, as this is not a short adventure. You could certainly use the entire adventure in your own homebrew setting as the locales on the material plane can easily be translated into our own and most of the deities can also be translated across the multiverse. But for most, this would be an entire campaign that would end with the final chapter. If you don’t want to run the full adventure, you can certainly pull bits and pieces, however they lose a little bit of flair without the background of trying to free a god. It’s such a central part of the story, that if you do pull bits out, I would recommend adjusting the call of Alyxian to meet your needs.

Overall, this is a stunning book. The multiple twists and turns, and potential for multiple outcomes removes the feeling of railroading the payers onto one track. There are some aspects of heavy role playing events, but they can easily be accommodated to your party’s makeup. Honestly, I would run this adventure as is. No need to adjust, update or try to incorporate into my own setting. This is one of the best 5e Supplements out there.

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