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D&D 5E Enhancing "The Wild Beyond the Witchlight"

jayoungr

Legend
This thread is intended to be a resource for DMs who want to run The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. Feel free to post your questions, experiences, and ideas for tweaking the adventure here!
 

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I'm planning to use TWBTW if my players enter a portal they will likely encounter. Will be ignoring the Carnival completely. Some of my ideas and questions:
-the portal in question is in a forest the party will be visiting for other reasons. I'm planning on planting some fey residents of Prismeer in the forest: folks who fled or who have been exiled due to the shift in Prismeer.
-I'm thinking of doing away with Zybilna's dual identity.
-party will either be 5th or 6th level when/if they use the portal, so I'm going to have to beef up encounters (although I am hoping that they will choose non-combat solutions when possible)
-I wish there was a map of Brigand's tollway.
-In the slanty tower encounter, it is mentioned in passing that the players might be able to open the cage without the key, but no ideas are given for how that might happen. Any suggestions?
 

The only thing that comes to mind since I haven't gotten the book yet, but especially if your doing a Pacifist Route or really anger the Hags of the Hourglass Coven, is have all three of them appear before the party as they reach the gates to the Palace of the Heart's Desire, ready to take their spite out on them, only for everyone to hear some sort of Hideous Laughter deep from within the Palace and all three Hags just GET THE DUCK OUTTA DODGE because they already know who the laughter belongs to.
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I am working my way through the book in prep to run this campaign. I'll post some enhancement notes here as I draft them.

1) There are 124 Witchlight Hands, and players will inevitably interact with some during the campaign. Some are listed as being at specific locations, like two who argue about the Big Top acts guarding the dressing rooms for the Big Top. Others can be found anywhere, or are namelessly stationed at specific locations. We could use a percentile-based list to roll on for the Witchlight Hands randomly with a name, brief appearance, race, secret expertise, and a couple of characteristics. See example in #2.

2) Big Top: The two hands guarding the Dressing Rooms who are arguing about the appeal about various Big Top acts while sharing a bottle of pear cider:

Hand 1: Grisley (M Dwarf, candy striper shirt with matching wings) Animal Handler, advocates for any act involving a non-humanoid.
Hand 2: Andy (M Gnome, candy striper shirt with matching wings) Medic, advocates for any act involving a humanoid.

The Acts in the Big Top:
1. Ogre is named Ahudoon. He talks to the fireflies as if they are his friends and are talking back to him. Maybe they are.
2. Halfing is named Geoff the Bendable. Other items he contorts through include various sized colorful rings, a mechanical clear hatbox which walks around with him enclosed within it, a strip of spikes he contorts around, and a wagon wheel which he contorts around and rolls in.
3. Pixie race teams: Mauve team vs Forest Green team. Audience members can pick a team to root for, and whoever advocates for a winning team will have a tiny bag of caramel corn float down from the ceiling on a tine pin stripped parachute land in their hands.
4. Satyr is named Lursa Grovefoot. The plants dance into the audience, sometimes lifting up some audience members and passing them around the big top like crowd surfing on animated plants. They also grow up to the colorful lights floating at the top of the Big Top and change the color of those lights as they reach them.
5. The 8 Clowns are named: Took, Book, Nook, Sook, Look, Pook, Mook, and Crook. Crook is their leader and only one which speaks, making frequent use of prestidigitation to cause audience members to be concerned their pockets have been picked (though they have not).
6. Tiefling is named Alexi Vurnish. Speaks with Russian accent.
7. Goblin is named Joog, and displays the ability to know items audience members have on their persons which they could toss to him for juggling even if those items are hidden.
8. Elf is named Melfina, and both Grisley and Andy are smitten with her, though she seems entirely disinterested with them.

[Note: Could use a couple more acts here]

2) Bubble-Pop Teapot

Treaclewise will use all four proverbs mentioned in the Riddle of the Carousel:

"Fortune Favors the Bold" instead of "Sweet Mold" when describing the herbs and spices in the tea.
"Pride goes before the Fall" instead of "Stall" when describing the ticket booth stall.
"A Rolling Stone Gathers no Moss" instead of the word "Toss" when describing anything from the juggler act in the Big Top to tossing a player a teacup.
"A Stich in Time Saves Nine" instead of "Pine" when describing pine needles used as an ingredient in the tea.

See if you can sneak all four in, at some point when conversing with Treaclewise, to provide a reminder for players when they get to the Carousel.

Other rhymes he may use:
"Sneak n Hide" for "ride"
"Rocking Boat" for "float"
"Angry Dragon" for "wagon"

Any time players are confused in translating Treaclewise, you can offer a DC 10 Wisdom check to translate his rhyme.

If a player takes a Bubble Ride, when describing the sights they see, mention they spot Trumblestrum in the Feasting Orchard, who waves and winks at the player, as a hint Trumblestrum is the Mysterious Benefactor.

3) Calliope

Ernest will also trade buttons with players.

When the pipes are playing a Merry song, use a youtube track for Wurlitzer Calliope Music. Like this one:

When the pipes are playing a discordant song due to low mood, play youtube track Department 56 Ghostly Carousel Halloween Lenyvin Tageg. Like this one:
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
The only thing that comes to mind since I haven't gotten the book yet, but especially if your doing a Pacifist Route or really anger the Hags of the Hourglass Coven, is have all three of them appear before the party as they reach the gates to the Palace of the Heart's Desire, ready to take their spite out on them, only for everyone to hear some sort of Hideous Laughter deep from within the Palace and all three Hags just GET THE DUCK OUTTA DODGE because they already know who the laughter belongs to.
But she's frozen and they know that. Why would they run.
 


Well, I just found a rather ugly issue with the Palace: rooms P31, P47, P48a, P49, and P50 collectively don't have a connection to the rest of the palace! It looks like the four stairs that go up to P48b, P48d, P48e, and P48g would do this, but they just lead to dead ends. And it's not supposed to be isolated - the throne room for the palace (P31) is there. It would be possible to fly between some balconies, but that seems to be an inconvenient set-up to access one of the main rooms of the palace! Obviously this can be rectified by allowing one or more of the other P48 rooms to have doors to the interior, but it's still a playtesting oversight on their part...
 

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