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D&D 5E My Five Favorite Things From The Wild Beyond The Witchlight

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This month begins one of the busiest periods in the history of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. We’re getting three months of back to back to back releases, starting with The Wild Beyond The Witchlight, an adventure path that takes players to the Feywild and back via the spooky Witchlight Carnival. I got my hands on an advanced copy of the book and here are the five things I liked most about it.

Fresh Ideas​

We’re in the seventh year of this edition and we’re only starting to look forward to what this edition can be. There’s a definite sense of whimsy and weirdness in this adventure that makes it unique. And it’s also supported by encounters that can be handled through cleverness instead of combat. The Feywild setting also feels fresh and open. Even though exploration has been one of the pillars of this edition, it hasn’t gotten a ton of support. Prismeer feels like a strange place to discover. The Domains of Delight that mirror the Domains of Dread offer something new in an edition that’s been playing it safe for years.

The DM Support​

The campaign is sandwiched in between two excellent examples of practical support for Dungeon Masters. There’s a DM advice section with a lot of helpful ideas in the front and the last appendix is 20 pages of NPC summaries, character quotes and a place for Dungeon Masters to take campaign notes. I appreciate the fact that this book isn’t wall to wall facts. This rockets to the top of my list recommending what campaign for first time Dungeon Masters because of those elements. Even if you’re an old hat, it might also not hurt to read those sections. You might learn a new trick or two.

The Displacer Beast Kitten​

There are a lot of notable NPCs in the game, but players are suckers for a pet. Star is a baby displacer beast that can be reunited with its mom or can accompany the players on their adventures through the Feywild. It reminds me of the displacer beast plushie I got from GameHole Con, which I completely plan to use as a prop when I run this adventure. The unusual NPCs give this adventure more of a Jim Henson feel. I can see it being a good choice for parents looking to run D&D for their kids for the first time.

The Clocks​

The included map has two sections where you can track important elements of the Witchlight Carnival using beads or tokens. (I can only imagine what wild things the Beadle and Grimm’s edition will have.) One is a countdown of the events that happen outside of player action. They will be going on rides and playing arrival games as day slips into night and the adventure moves forward. The other is the mood of the carnival which is directly affected by player actions. Do good things and the carnival gets lighter and more exciting. Fail too often, and the carnival gets darker and more menacing. Player facing countdowns and clocks are a great thing for D&D to import from games like Blades In The Dark.

The Portability​

The reason that most adventure books are set in the Forgotten Realms is because it’s supposedly D&D’s most popular setting. It’s also fairly easy for most Dungeon Masters to import into their homebrewed worlds. The carnival and Feywild realm beyond is built to exist on the edge of any setting making this one of the easiest campaigns to integrate with any of the worlds people use. For example, I’m entertaining the idea of running Strixhaven after my current Curse of Strahd game wraps up and I think dropping the Witchlight Carnival on the school grounds halfway through the players educational term sounds like a fun diversion from term papers and scroll lessons.

The Wild Beyond The Witchlight comes out on September 21st.
 

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland


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Stormonu

Legend
Witchlight is one of those books that I wrinkled my nose in disgust at when first hearing about it. After some of the previews though, it has got me reconsidering - I am extremely intrigued about the idea of an entire adventure (campaign?) that can be resolved without a single combat.

And the Haregon. I'm a Redwall/Watership Down/Hoop/Yojimbo fan.
 

I'm looking forward to this book for these 5 reasons.

1. The Art, so farits beautiful and just draws you in, so colorful which contrasts to the usual grimdark aesthetics .

2. Getting on the ground floor of what might be one of the new setting, the Domains of Delight.

3. I like Carnivals

4. Playable Fairies and Bunny Girls, er I mean Harengon. I do hope they explain why some Harengon are medium sized and others are small, it's almost like Harengon subraces.

5. Displacer Beast Cub friend.


5.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I like the idea of the Carnival, a magical event/setting that travels between the Material Plane, the Shadowfell, and the Feywild. It's given me some pretty cool ideas for other things that could travel between the planes, sweeping up the curious and the careless as it moves along...

The Wild Hunt: The court of a powerful archfey named Herla, the Lord of the Hunt. This archfey's court is constantly in motion: the Wild Hunt is actually a demiplane that travels between the planes of Arboria and Ysgard, the Feywild, and even into the most ancient forests and unspoiled wildernesses of our world. It takes the form of a roving band of huntsmen, werewolves, centaurs, and elves, forever chasing their quarry across the multiverse...and travelers who follow the sounds of distant hunting horns might find themselves swept up in The Wild Hunt as well. Possible quests: hunt a particular creature, recover lost hunting gear, find and reunite a lost hunting party. Possible goods and services: purchase rare hunting equipment, buy and sell strange mounts, special training, treatment for lycanthropy (or, you know, the opposite), etc.

The Goblin Market: The court of the archfey named Pheeq, the Lord of Coins. This archfey's court is a demiplane that travels between the Feywild, the Shadowfell, and into markets and bazaars of our world. It typically takes the form of a trade caravan, a merchant ship, or a festive collection of tents, teeming with merchants and shoppers from all over the world. Characters who find themselves in the Goblin Market can purchase strange and exotic items from all over the Planes, and make fantastic bargains on things great and terrible...but time moves differently here, and those who tarry too long in the Market might find themselves lost in time, or carried away with it to faraway lands.

The Fleet of Many: The court of the archfey Ravagust, the Lord of Sails. This archfey's court is a demiplane traveling the currents of the Plane of Water, the Plane of Air, and the seas of Arboria, and on rare occasions the remote and windswept seas of our world. It takes the form of a naval fleet of nearly any size, from a handful of fishing boats and canoes, to a dozen trade ships and exploration vessels, to hundreds of warships and galleys. Sailors who follow strange lights in the fog, or drifting castaways who swim desperately toward the strange collection of ships on the horizon, can find themselves in the midst of this floating city of ships. Possible quests: catch a particular fish, "win" their release from the court by slaying a particular monster, defeat a rival archfey for control of the fleet. Possible goods and services: ship repairs, restock food and water, trade supplies, purchase strange ship upgrades, hire strange new crewmen.

I could go on. There is just so much you can do with this concept.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I like the idea of the Carnival, a magical event/setting that travels between the Material Plane, the Shadowfell, and the Feywild. It's given me some pretty cool ideas for other things that could travel between the planes, sweeping up the curious and the careless as it moves along...

The Wild Hunt: The court of a powerful archfey named Herla, the Lord of the Hunt. This archfey's court is constantly in motion: the Wild Hunt is actually a demiplane that travels between the planes of Arboria and Ysgard, the Feywild, and even into the most ancient forests and unspoiled wildernesses of our world. It takes the form of a roving band of huntsmen, werewolves, centaurs, and elves, forever chasing their quarry across the multiverse...and travelers who follow the sounds of distant hunting horns might find themselves swept up in The Wild Hunt as well. Possible quests: hunt a particular creature, recover lost hunting gear, find and reunite a lost hunting party. Possible goods and services: purchase rare hunting equipment, buy and sell strange mounts, special training, treatment for lycanthropy (or, you know, the opposite), etc.

The Goblin Market: The court of the archfey named Pheeq, the Lord of Coins. This archfey's court is a demiplane that travels between the Feywild, the Shadowfell, and into markets and bazaars of our world. It typically takes the form of a trade caravan, a merchant ship, or a festive collection of tents, teeming with merchants and shoppers from all over the world. Characters who find themselves in the Goblin Market can purchase strange and exotic items from all over the Planes, and make fantastic bargains on things great and terrible...but time moves differently here, and those who tarry too long in the Market might find themselves lost in time, or carried away with it to faraway lands.

The Fleet of Many: The court of the archfey Ravagust, the Lord of Sails. This archfey's court is a demiplane traveling the currents of the Plane of Water, the Plane of Air, and the seas of Arboria, and on rare occasions the remote and windswept seas of our world. It takes the form of a naval fleet of nearly any size, from a handful of fishing boats and canoes, to a dozen trade ships and exploration vessels, to hundreds of warships and galleys. Sailors who follow strange lights in the fog, or drifting castaways who swim desperately toward the strange collection of ships on the horizon, can find themselves in the midst of this floating city of ships. Possible quests: catch a particular fish, "win" their release from the court by slaying a particular monster, defeat a rival archfey for control of the fleet. Possible goods and services: ship repairs, restock food and water, trade supplies, purchase strange ship upgrades, hire strange new crewmen.

I could go on. There is just so much you can do with this concept.
I have the City of Nocturne, which exists concurrently in all three planes. It’s always night, there.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I have the City of Nocturne, which exists concurrently in all three planes. It’s always night, there.
Mine's Evermeet. In my Spelljammer campaign, it simultaneously exists in the Tears of Selune (the headquarters of the Elven Imperial Navy), in the ocean west of the Moonshae Isles, in the Feywild, and in Arborea, and can be used as a waystation between those locations.
 



ART!

Hero
Is there anything in particular that you find confusing or are just curious about?
Thanks for asking! I've recently started a dive into fairy-story literature, to better grasp what the traditions are and what's been done with those ideas more recently.

Part of my confusion is how 5E depicts the Feywild, just because there's very little official information on it. Also, I'm not familiar with 4E's take on it, having not played much 4E. Also also, I'm a little thrown by the very specific take that this book seems to have, i.e. the carnival aspect and the light-heartedness. That doesn't jibe with my understanding of the fey - or at least represents only a very, very narrow view of them.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Thanks for asking! I've recently started a dive into fairy-story literature, to better grasp what the traditions are and what's been done with those ideas more recently.

Part of my confusion is how 5E depicts the Feywild, just because there's very little official information on it. Also, I'm not familiar with 4E's take on it, having not played much 4E. Also also, I'm a little thrown by the very specific take that this book seems to have, i.e. the carnival aspect and the light-heartedness. That doesn't jibe with my understanding of the fey - or at least represents only a very, very narrow view of them.
4e’s Heroes of The Feywild is pretty comprehensive, and just a great read.

Also I don’t think the new adventure presents a narrow view of the Fey at all. The carnival is one thing, and the adventure depicts it, and 3 to ally distinct realms of the Fey, and things that don’t entirely fit within any of those settings.
 

MarkB

Legend
Thanks for asking! I've recently started a dive into fairy-story literature, to better grasp what the traditions are and what's been done with those ideas more recently.

Part of my confusion is how 5E depicts the Feywild, just because there's very little official information on it. Also, I'm not familiar with 4E's take on it, having not played much 4E. Also also, I'm a little thrown by the very specific take that this book seems to have, i.e. the carnival aspect and the light-heartedness. That doesn't jibe with my understanding of the fey - or at least represents only a very, very narrow view of them.
To me, the Fey are all about a veneer of glamour and charm, with darkness, cruelty and deception hidden underneath. A carnival seems like the perfect metaphor for them.
 

Thanks for asking! I've recently started a dive into fairy-story literature, to better grasp what the traditions are and what's been done with those ideas more recently.

Part of my confusion is how 5E depicts the Feywild, just because there's very little official information on it. Also, I'm not familiar with 4E's take on it, having not played much 4E. Also also, I'm a little thrown by the very specific take that this book seems to have, i.e. the carnival aspect and the light-heartedness. That doesn't jibe with my understanding of the fey - or at least represents only a very, very narrow view of them.

Bright colours, brighter lights, exaggerated natural phenomena, higher mountains, bigger trees, bluer oceans, bigger more perfect snowflakes, more things shimmer with magic, and emotions are enhanced and shape the environment in minor ways.
 

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