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D&D 5E Everything You Need To Know About Witchlight

Todd Kenrick posted a video summarizing a press conference which listed many of the things you need to know about The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. The video is below, but I've bullet-pointed the key items if you can't watch it right now.

wl_map.jpg

  • The Witchlight carnival is a mirror of the carnival in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. Shadar Kair are in charge of the feywild carnival and someone else in charge of the Ravenloft carnival. If these two carnivals meet the ownership shifts again and it is part of the plot that Mr Witch and Mr Light do not want to trade the carnival back.
  • The carnival will go to multiple worlds. Inspiration actually came from things like Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes; Mr Light is a reflection of Mr Dark from that movie.
  • There's a map of the Witchlight carnival laid out like an amusement park map.
  • Time is a component of the adventure. Time moves very differently in the feywild and the shadowfell. Expect time hijinks!
  • The Witchlight carnival is a way of getting into the feywild itself.
  • There are domains much like the dread domains but these are called domains of delight. Each is controlled by an archfey that has power over each of these domains.
  • Some art included the Palace of Hearts of Desire, and they showed a treant called Little Oak who has a tree house built into his back and children live in that tree house, plus a displacer beast kitten named Star.
  • This adventure will be a very light hearted. Any challenge in this book can be solved with combat but also in a non violent way. Talking your way out of things etc.
  • The carnival has attractions and NPCs like a mermaid, a mime named kendlefoot, a Kenku that's up to to to to no good. Also classic characters from the D&D animated series. On the map there is a rollercoaster identical to the rollercoaster in the intro to D&D the animated series. This can imply that that entire amusement park was the Witchlight carnival in disguise.
  • Playtesters loved the game you can play in the carnival.
  • There's 'custard damage'.
  • Player options include new backgrounds. The Feylost and Witchlight Hand. Plus the fairy and herangon (rabbit folk) races.
  • Warduke, Strongheart, and Kellek from the cartoon.

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Yup, just like how Barovia was sold as representational of Domains of Dread in Curse of Strahd.

The fact that this book is the NEXT book after Van Richten's Guide tells me that there was a lot of parallel development between domains of dread and delight, and we might not have to wait 4+ years between the sample adventure and the full book like we did with Ravenloft...
But unlike Ravenloft there's no established campaign setting with a dozen other Domains of Delight
It's Ravenloft if all we have is Barovia

And Barovia was fairly representational. There wasn't many Domains of Dread that were less horrible and many that were worse
If there are more Domains of Delight coming, they might be MORE goofy, silly, and Disney
They're probably working on a Setting similar to Ravenloft, though.
True
It MIGHT be the brand new setting they teased. A series of other Domains of Delight or the Feywild between
Which MIGHT be less whimsical and light

And that won't change my opinion of this adventure
I was excited for spell at the idea of a Feywild adventure. Haven't bought or run of the adventures in while
And instead it's yet another product I'm going to pass on
 

I'm hoping the final product won't be quite as innocent as the previews so far make it seem. Iggwilv, the author of the Demonomicon, is apparently in the adventure in some capacity, and in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything one piece of art showed her attended by redcaps aka murder fairies.
Different members of the team
TASHA'S CAULDRON was the rules team and Jeremy Crawford. This is the adventure team with Chris Perkins
And while Perkins likes his horror he's also a fan of goofball humor and bad jokes. And there's probably an army of freelancers doing encounters and sections of this, all of whom were writing before TASHA'S was released
So far it does seem like a big tonal shift from 4E's Feywild, where more emphasis was put on it being equally wondrous and dangerous (the modus operandi of even the friendliest archfey detailed in 4E, Tuxil the Trinket Lord, boiled down to him appearing to lost travelers and offering to guide them to safety in exchange for offerings of magic items; the archfey mentioned the most in 5E so far, Titania, is also most often mentioned in the context of why an entire race of fey were cursed by her).
The 4th Ed Feywild book is one of my favourites
There's some overlap. Fey demesnes are just renamed as Domains of Delight. But so far WITCHLIGHT lacks any edge of menace
However, given that Feywild Hobgoblins are apparently being saved for a later book (I think that's what was said in one of the preview videos, anyway) perhaps something more akin to Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is in the works.
That was cited in comicbook.com or something and haven't seen the hobgoblins referenced elsewhere
Could just be the author of that preview making an assumption
 

Not feeling it
Feels like they decided to make the Feywild the opposite of Ravenloft. But domains of dread are not the only feature of the Shadowfell

It feels very Disney. Very sanitized fairy tales

When I think of fey, I go to Seanan McGuire, Jim Butcher, Sussanna Clarke and Neil Gaiman
Amoral fae of the seelie and unseelie courts

I'd say "I'm happy for the people interested in this and hope they enjoy having a book"
But I think I've said that for ten or eleven of the last dozen books
I think this would be better as a DMs Guild product. Just my opinion.
 

I guess you could also be more loose with what "Domain of Delight" means. Who is it delightful for, exactly? For some domains they could be idyllic for everyone, while others could be delightful only in the minds of evil fey.
I can picture a domain un-ruled by hippies that's an eternal Grateful Dead show. The cases of psionic wild talents randomly manifesting will skyrocket.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Y'all might want to read the Carnival Domain in Ravenloft, which goes into the sinister activity the Archfey who rules Prismeer, before assuming that WotC has made the Feywild overly nice.

Was it actually said that the Archfey who manipulated Isolde is also the one who rules Prismeer? I can't remember.
 


Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
The name used in Van Richten’s Guide is the same one used for the ruler of Prismeer in the promo video, yup. Not all so nice.

Huh, that's interesting. Considering she's also missing however, it doesn't seem this Archfey is really the villain either.

Also, as dangerous as this module may be, if you can really complete it without ever getting in a fight, I'm a little doubtful on how deadly it is. There are other ways to create danger, but having all fights as optional does point to it not being very deadly.
 

Huh, that's interesting. Considering she's also missing however, it doesn't seem this Archfey is really the villain either.

Also, as dangerous as this module may be, if you can really complete it without ever getting in a fight, I'm a little doubtful on how deadly it is. There are other ways to create danger, but having all fights as optional does point to it not being very deadly.
Im skeptical as well. Sure would point to the fact that all NPCs/Monsters can be avoided or persuaded. Doesnt say much for their motivations. "Want to buy some death sticks", "OB1" "You dont want to sell me deathsticks, you want to go home and rethink your life".

This isnt the droid Im looking for.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Im skeptical as well. Sure would point to the fact that all NPCs/Monsters can be avoided or persuaded. Doesnt say much for their motivations. "Want to buy some death sticks", "OB1" "You dont want to sell me deathsticks, you want to go home and rethink your life".

This isnt the droid Im looking for.

I for one am curious as to whether they mean "You can avoid fights, if you succeed all your checks." Meaning, there's situations where you can avoid a fight, but if you fail your persuasion or deception roll, you'll be in one.

If it truly is an adventure where you can avoid all fights regardless of rolls, that doesn't seem like a very deadly place.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Huh, that's interesting. Considering she's also missing however, it doesn't seem this Archfey is really the villain either.

Also, as dangerous as this module may be, if you can really complete it without ever getting in a fight, I'm a little doubtful on how deadly it is. There are other ways to create danger, but having all fights as optional does point to it not being very deadly.
Sure, just saying that the reason the Archfey is out of commission might not be all sunshine and giggles, and the Feywild in general.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I for one am curious as to whether they mean "You can avoid fights, if you succeed all your checks." Meaning, there's situations where you can avoid a fight, but if you fail your persuasion or deception roll, you'll be in one.

If it truly is an adventure where you can avoid all fights regardless of rolls, that doesn't seem like a very deadly place.
I think it is the first one, and probably they had playtest groups who successfully got through without big fights, which is whybPerkins feels comfortable saying that. I'm sure fights are a very real and dangerous possibility.
 

I for one am curious as to whether they mean "You can avoid fights, if you succeed all your checks." Meaning, there's situations where you can avoid a fight, but if you fail your persuasion or deception roll, you'll be in one.

If it truly is an adventure where you can avoid all fights regardless of rolls, that doesn't seem like a very deadly place.
If time is a factor perhaps all encounters are a one-off in a single adventuring day or spread out so they are truly unique and meant to be taken seriously and not the standard grind. There's irony in a light hearted adventure. All deadly encounters, now that sounds like fun, brains over brawn. Unfortunately I don't think WotC has it in them.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
If time is a factor perhaps all encounters are a one-off in a single adventuring day or spread out so they are truly unique and meant to be taken seriously and not the standard grind. There's irony in a light hearted adventure. All deadly encounters, now that sounds like fun, brains over brawn. Unfortunately I don't think WotC has it in them.
Stranger things have happened.
 




I'm hoping the final product won't be quite as innocent as the previews so far make it seem. Iggwilv, the author of the Demonomicon, is apparently in the adventure in some capacity, and in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything one piece of art showed her attended by redcaps aka murder fairies.
Why on earth is there this perception that the Carnival is innocent? Or lacking in danger? Of course it's trying to look innocent; carnivals want to draw the punters in. But it's a carnival. And its job is to make as much money (or other things) out of the punters as possible and make sure the punters never leave with any Carney money.
However, given that Feywild Hobgoblins are apparently being saved for a later book (I think that's what was said in one of the preview videos, anyway) perhaps something more akin to Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is in the works.
Here's hoping! I suspect that they're waiting to see the reception for this.
 


Remathilis

Legend
Huh, that's interesting. Considering she's also missing however, it doesn't seem this Archfey is really the villain either.

Also, as dangerous as this module may be, if you can really complete it without ever getting in a fight, I'm a little doubtful on how deadly it is. There are other ways to create danger, but having all fights as optional does point to it not being very deadly.

I think people are reading into this a little heavier than anticipated.

My take on it is whatever the main conflict is, it can be overcome without requiring the classic D&D BBEG or dungeon-crawl type of action. For example, you could have the main resolution be the PCs learning a spell/ritual that undoes what the villain is doing. As long as the PCs learn the spell and do it, the bad guy is defeated. No "slay the villain to stop his plan" or "explore the dungeon of doom to find the lost relic", but perhaps interacting with the carnival, nonlethal contests, puzzles, riddles, and exploring strange areas will be emphasized.

I find it ironic how people complain that D&D is too combat focused, PCs are murder-hobos and that the social and exploraiton pillars are woefully underdeveloped, but when a module comes along de-emphasizing combat, it is viewed as "Disneyfied kiddieland with no stakes".

Loud and clear message to WotC: D&D is all about the damage dice.
 

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