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Domains of Delight: An In-Depth Review

In numerous interviews promoting The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, Chris Perkins mentioned that DMs would have guidance on how to create their own Feywild Domains and ruling archfey. What was rarely mentioned was that such material was not in the new hardcover book.

Domains of Delight.PNG

Where Are Those Rules?​

They’re in the Domains of Delight: A Feywild Accessory, sold on DM's Guild to raise money for Extra Life. In fact, the image of Yarnspinner in TWBtW shows the link for the product. Written by Adam Lee based on material developed by Perkins, Jeremy Crawford, and Ben Petrisor, Domains of Delight contains the material on how the Feywild works that TWBtW needed.


Feywild shortcuts.PNG

The Basics​

It starts with an overview of the Feywild that addresses the Seelie and Unseelie Fey, how weather, spells, and domain borders work in the Feywild, as well as the need for a guide. The Fey rules of Reciprocity, Hospitality, and Gifts get a closer look, which is also very beneficial if you're running TWBtW.

After devils, contracts with Fey are probably the toughest in D&D so Fey contracts and how to make one gets a look—including accidental contracts. If your players tend to be murder hobos they might have a problem in TWBtW because in the Feywild killing a creature with fey contract can force you into fulfilling that person's contract. How to break a contract is addressed, followed immediately by information on fey curses. No, that's not a coincidence.

As with Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft and its explanation of how to make a Domain of Dread, creating a Domain of Delight begins with creating the archfey that rules it. In addition to guidance on appearance and personality it also addresses possible Fey Court allegiances, obsessions (remember, the Feywild is a place of heightened emotion so archfey can be just as obsessive, if not more, than Darklords), their signature magic and what magical gifts they may bestow.

Queen Air Darkness.PNG

Archfey and their Domains​

For archfey stat blocks, they make it clear that stats are only necessary if you think there will be a fight. DMs also don't have to stress about making the stats from scratch. Instead they direct the reader to the section in the Dungeon Master's Guide on modifying stat blocks, or just use a CR 5 or greater stat block from a Beast, Elemental, Fey, Giant, Humanoid, or Plant creature type. I like recommendations for how to make a DM's life easier, and I'm all for reskinning but a little more advice would have been nice.

Then once you have your Archfey, it provides advice on selecting the domain's theme, geographical features, the residents of the domain, and its weird magic effects. To bring the domain to life, examples of the sort of drama that could be affect the realm are detailed like Fomorians causing problems or the Archfey accidentally offended the Queen of Air and Darkness or such.

Travel to, from, and within the domain is very important. If the players don't have a plane shift spell, they'll need a fey crossing to travel to and from the Feywild, and they can be customized all kinds of ways from crystal caves to mushroom circles. Travel within the domain isn't necessarily easier. Distance and travel time can be fluid—especially if the Archfey wants to confound the players. Shortcuts within the realm can be equally weird, like whistling while walking backward.

And, of course, your players might not be the only visitors to the domain. A d8 chart also provides ideas for other travelers they may encounter.

Yarnspinner.PNG

Putting It All Together?​

The chapter “Putting it All Together” technically doesn't explain how to do that. Instead it presents the example of the domain Fablerise, ruled over by the Archfey Yarnspinner.

This lawful good NPC looks like a giant spider but don't judge by appearances. This kindly archfey loves stories and carries books with him in a silken bag. Awakened animals abound in Fablerise, and Yarnspinner spends hours after hours reading stories aloud to his subjects, which they enjoy and love to discuss. Yarnspinner will even create a silken hut for visitors who need a safe haven—so long as the visitors don't harm Fablerise residents.

Domains of Delight concludes by reprinting adventure aids from TWBtW such as the story tracker and the role-playing aid cards. It's probably easier for DMs to print these items from the PDF instead of photocopying them.

The art is gorgeous and consistent with the art in TWBtW. In fact, I think the art here is extremely useful to demonstrate what Prisneer and other Domains of Delight might look like since the hags of the Hourglass Coven have rewritten Prismeer in their images after dividing it into Hither, Thither and Yon.

Satyr.PNG

Should You Get It?​

I have very mixed feelings about Domains of Delight because it's a betwixt-and-between product. While I love that WotC supports the charity Extra Life and will create products to raise money for for this children's charity, I feel like this is the wrong product to do it. This material is so key to presenting the adventure properly, pulling it out for a separate product feels awkward. At the same time, it feels a bit skimpy. I wanted more material akin to what's in VRGtR.

It especially feels weird since Yarnspinner is featured in TWBtW because Fablerise accidentally encroaches on Thither. So TWBtW had a gorgeous piece of art showcasing Yarnspinner, but you have to go to Domains of Delight to have sufficient info. I would have much rather had most of this material in the TWBtW book, and gotten a few sample domains and adventure seeds in Domains of Delight. That way it would be optional yet still attractive to buy—especially if you want the option to easily print the story tracker and adventure aids. Still, Domains of Delight only costs $8 and goes to a good cause so I feel weird even complaining about it. The logic of it just bothers me.

Despite my reservations, the content in Domains of Delight: A Feywild Accessory is good and useful. While I hope that we get more Feywild content in the future and a full guide like Ravenloft did, until that day, this supplement provides essential material for creating your own Feywild adventures and benefits a good cause. That's a win/win.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

Well, you managed to sell me on the content of the book whereas previous descriptions had left me feeling unimpressed. I'll probably actually get this now, but as you say it still feels like content that should have been in Wild Beyond the Witchlight from the start.

I will say that the image for The Queen of Air and Darkness you posted makes me actually kind of interested in her for the first time. Like, what is that? A cocoon? A black gem?
 

jgsugden

Legend
It seems like it is a half-product. I'd much rather they'd released it as a full product after releasing their 'signature Feywild adventure'. However, even if they did, I'd just be ripping it apart for inspiration rather than doing a lift and shift into my world. I have a feeling we'll see better "Domains of Delight" in third party hands popping up in the DM's guild, Reddit, etc... that give you domains intended to be lifted and shifted into your game - but I think any such product is problematic.

I think both Ravenloft and the Domains of Delight both work best when the worlds are secrets and mysteries. To that end, I don't want to include stuff that people can find on the internet. While I've had Ravenloft 'Dark Domains' in my game since the early 90s (rarely used, but there), they're all unique. Technically I established that Barovia exists, but beyond that each Dark Domain in my world is a Dark Reflection of a tragic event in my main world, so each is specific to that setting specific event, with the 'Lords' being reflections of the creatures that existed in the 'real' world.

These Domains of Delight are less intrinsic to my setting lore. I've always given Archfey control over their immediate environment in the Feywild, but the recent books have expanded my inspiration for what these can be (and provided me some more structure for how to build them).

To that end, because they are more 'standalone' environments than Ravenloft, I feel like I could be more likely to just lift and shift something I find online into my setting. However, I feel like the sense of Wonder is paramount to the Feywild, so the idea that a player might read up on the workings of a realm and have that spoiled is anathema to me. To that end, I might steal from a less well known presentation of material from a 3rd party source - but any main books by WotC would not be useful for me as is, but might be ripped off for inspiration that I twist and change.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I will say that the image for The Queen of Air and Darkness you posted makes me actually kind of interested in her for the first time. Like, what is that? A cocoon? A black gem?

This kind of reminds me of the Obelisk in 2001: Space Odyssey. This does make the Queen less like a person, and more like an incomprehensible god. Which I like!
 

Davies

Hero
I will say that the image for The Queen of Air and Darkness you posted makes me actually kind of interested in her for the first time. Like, what is that? A cocoon? A black gem?
That would be "the ten-faceted Black Diamond, an artifact of vast magical strength and ineffable evil", which is responsible for her corruption, per her write-up way back in Monster Mythology.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
That would be "the ten-faceted Black Diamond, an artifact of vast magical strength and ineffable evil", which is responsible for her corruption, per her write-up way back in Monster Mythology.
She's also, according to legend, the sister of Titania the Summer Queen.
 

Davies

Hero
She's also, according to legend, the sister of Titania the Summer Queen.
Though whether any of our words for relationships have anything to do with these entities is open to question. Even if they are 'sisters', they might share parents, might have been adopted by the same entity, might have sworn sisterhood to each other in some long-forgotten past, might have been married to the same entity at the same time ... it's all open to question.
 

It's still pretty neat. Although, it feels like this is a bit of a cop-out by giving us a very lite digital pdf version of Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft style supplemental product to the 5E Feywild. So they aren't really planning a full on Feywild book like they did for Ravenloft/Curse of Strahd.

Better than nothing.
 


In numerous interviews promoting The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, Chris Perkins mentioned that DMs would have guidance on how to create their own Feywild Domains and ruling archfey. What was rarely mentioned was that such material was not in the new hardcover book.

Where Are Those Rules?​

They’re in the Domains of Delight: A Feywild Accessory, sold on DM's Guild to raise money for Extra Life. In fact, the image of Yarnspinner in TWBtW shows the link for the product. Written by Adam Lee based on material developed by Perkins, Jeremy Crawford, and Ben Petrisor, Domains of Delight contains the material on how the Feywild works that TWBtW needed.


The Basics​

It starts with an overview of the Feywild that addresses the Seelie and Unseelie Fey, how weather, spells, and domain borders work in the Feywild, as well as the need for a guide. The Fey rules of Reciprocity, Hospitality, and Gifts get a closer look, which is also very beneficial if you're running TWBtW.

After devils, contracts with Fey are probably the toughest in D&D so Fey contracts and how to make one gets a look—including accidental contracts. If your players tend to be murder hobos they might have a problem in TWBtW because in the Feywild killing a creature with fey contract can force you into fulfilling that person's contract. How to break a contract is addressed, followed immediately by information on fey curses. No, that's not a coincidence.

As with Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft and its explanation of how to make a Domain of Dread, creating a Domain of Delight begins with creating the archfey that rules it. In addition to guidance on appearance and personality it also addresses possible Fey Court allegiances, obsessions (remember, the Feywild is a place of heightened emotion so archfey can be just as obsessive, if not more, than Darklords), their signature magic and what magical gifts they may bestow.

Archfey and their Domains​

For archfey stat blocks, they make it clear that stats are only necessary if you think there will be a fight. DMs also don't have to stress about making the stats from scratch. Instead they direct the reader to the section in the Dungeon Master's Guide on modifying stat blocks, or just use a CR 5 or greater stat block from a Beast, Elemental, Fey, Giant, Humanoid, or Plant creature type. I like recommendations for how to make a DM's life easier, and I'm all for reskinning but a little more advice would have been nice.

Then once you have your Archfey, it provides advice on selecting the domain's theme, geographical features, the residents of the domain, and its weird magic effects. To bring the domain to life, examples of the sort of drama that could be affect the realm are detailed like Fomorians causing problems or the Archfey accidentally offended the Queen of Air and Darkness or such.

Travel to, from, and within the domain is very important. If the players don't have a plane shift spell, they'll need a fey crossing to travel to and from the Feywild, and they can be customized all kinds of ways from crystal caves to mushroom circles. Travel within the domain isn't necessarily easier. Distance and travel time can be fluid—especially if the Archfey wants to confound the players. Shortcuts within the realm can be equally weird, like whistling while walking backward.

And, of course, your players might not be the only visitors to the domain. A d8 chart also provides ideas for other travelers they may encounter.

Putting It All Together?​

The chapter “Putting it All Together” technically doesn't explain how to do that. Instead it presents the example of the domain Fablerise, ruled over by the Archfey Yarnspinner.

This lawful good NPC looks like a giant spider but don't judge by appearances. This kindly archfey loves stories and carries books with him in a silken bag. Awakened animals abound in Fablerise, and Yarnspinner spends hours after hours reading stories aloud to his subjects, which they enjoy and love to discuss. Yarnspinner will even create a silken hut for visitors who need a safe haven—so long as the visitors don't harm Fablerise residents.

Domains of Delight concludes by reprinting adventure aids from TWBtW such as the story tracker and the role-playing aid cards. It's probably easier for DMs to print these items from the PDF instead of photocopying them.

The art is gorgeous and consistent with the art in TWBtW. In fact, I think the art here is extremely useful to demonstrate what Prisneer and other Domains of Delight might look like since the hags of the Hourglass Coven have rewritten Prismeer in their images after dividing it into Hither, Thither and Yon.

Should You Get It?​

I have very mixed feelings about Domains of Delight because it's a betwixt-and-between product. While I love that WotC supports the charity Extra Life and will create products to raise money for for this children's charity, I feel like this is the wrong product to do it. This material is so key to presenting the adventure properly, pulling it out for a separate product feels awkward. At the same time, it feels a bit skimpy. I wanted more material akin to what's in VRGtR.

It especially feels weird since Yarnspinner is featured in TWBtW because Fablerise accidentally encroaches on Thither. So TWBtW had a gorgeous piece of art showcasing Yarnspinner, but you have to go to Domains of Delight to have sufficient info. I would have much rather had most of this material in the TWBtW book, and gotten a few sample domains and adventure seeds in Domains of Delight. That way it would be optional yet still attractive to buy—especially if you want the option to easily print the story tracker and adventure aids. Still, Domains of Delight only costs $8 and goes to a good cause so I feel weird even complaining about it. The logic of it just bothers me.

Despite my reservations, the content in Domains of Delight: A Feywild Accessory is good and useful. While I hope that we get more Feywild content in the future and a full guide like Ravenloft did, until that day, this supplement provides essential material for creating your own Feywild adventures and benefits a good cause. That's a win/win.

Your not objecting to Extra Life charity content, your objecting to Domains of Delight being their choice of Extra Life product because it messes up integration with Witchlight where it's intended to work with and your 100% right, that is no attack on the charity, there are tons of stuff they can do for Extra life, like say a small Council of Wyrms mini campaign setting PDF that would have been perfect for Extra Life.
 




Auril in FR lore has been suggested to be the Queen of Air and Darkness. Auril started off an Archfey who became a God.
 

Dr. Bull

Explorer
Many of you will recall this process from past publications. In Eberron, WOTC published the "Wayfinder's Guide" and then playtested it for a while. Then they released "Shadows of the Last War" as a big hardback book (while simultaneously republishing and updated Wayfinder's Guide). The final product was a solid, comprehensive supplement.

I think we're still in the early stages with the Feywild and the Shadowfell. The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is not really my cup of tea. I read the first 65 pages of the book and had to put it away after reading the 20th description of childish magic and/or logic. For example, every time someone makes a birthday wish, a valuable gem appears (sigh). Someone else has their "sense of fashion" stolen from them (lame). Minor curses are dispensed like candy at Halloween. Stuff like that doesn't really appeal to me, especially since D&D already possesses a robust magic system.

However, the art of WBtW was amazing, the book paved new ground in terms of non-combat adventures, and it provided a big resource for all things Feywild. I predict that WOTC will evaluate the feedback and revenue of this style of gaming. If the numbers add up, there will be another text (perhaps a definitive tomb on the structure/rules/inspiration for the Shadowfell and Feywild). Personally, I would love a lot of maps, a lot of art, and a LOT of random tables. I'm hoping for an old-school sandbox text that provides infinite adventures and accommodates a variety of gaming styles. : )
 

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