It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have a D&D adventure that takes place (almost) entirely in the Feywild with The Wild Beyond the Witchlight!
Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a deep love for Feywild shenanigans, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this new adventure.
After reading it cover to cover multiple times, I’m excited to present to you the Tabletop Joab review of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight for D&D 5e!
What Is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight?
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is the first officially published D&D adventure to take place primarily in the Feywild.
The adventure promises delight and excitement as players strive to outwit a coven of Hags that have corrupted the Feywild domain of Prismeer. It’s a wonderfully fantastic adventure that captures the frivolity of the Feywild and all of its “Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass” vibes.
The Witchlight Carnival that kicks off the adventure serves as the entry to the Feywild for the players. Because the carnival can show up anywhere, your group can seamlessly incorporate the Wild Beyond the Witchlight into your existing campaign.
This adventure is intended for characters level 1-8, but the unique design of this adventure means that you can pretty easily scale it as necessary.
Who Is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight For?
In many ways, the classic D&D adventure goes something along the lines of: “kick in the door, fight the monster, and take their stuff.”
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight isn’t designed this way.
If you’re running it as written, there’s much more focus on progressing through roleplaying, problem-solving, and investigation. There are some combats and you certainly have the ability to add more if you need, but the core story takes this different approach.
If your group has a preference for more immersive roleplaying and really digging into the “experience” of each location in your game, this will be right up their alley.
Groups that prefer the “classic-style” dungeon crawls and hack-n-slash type adventures might not find this adventure quite as interesting without some extra work on the DM’s part.
However, if your group loves to meet NPCs, roleplay, and finesse their way through adventures, this adventure is a delightful way to do that.
New Character Options in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight gives players some new character options to choose from.
First, there are two new backgrounds: Feylost and Witchlight Hand.
Feylost are those who found themselves whisked away to the Feywild as children. At some point, however, they returned to their home plane with only the memories of this enchanting place. They eagerly await a chance to return.
Witchlight Hands are those who travel with the Witchlight Carnival. Working with the carnival, these characters have enjoyed some spectacular travels but might be finding themselves desiring new adventure and wonder.
The second set of character options are two new races: Fairies and Harengon.
Fairies are small, flying folks of the Feywild not terribly different from sprites and pixies. They are able to naturally cast some spells with their Fairy Magic feature and are able to fly.
Harengon are a race of humanoid, bipedal rabbit-folk. As one might expect, they get bonuses to their initiative and Perception rolls in addition to an improved jump ability. Perhaps best of all, they get to add a d4 to a Dexterity saving throw that they fail and possibly turn it into a success!
Adventures in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight
There’s a pretty clear path for the adventures within The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.
Where I’m most happy about this adventure’s design is that it gives the feeling of an open and thriving sandbox world without becoming “too much” like some of the older adventures could sometimes do.
This adventure gives you the dots but lets you connect them in whatever way works best for your group’s story. It never feels too linear or like you’re being railroaded, but it also doesn’t lose itself in its own world-building.
There are 5 chapters in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight to experience.
The adventure begins at the Witchlight Carnival. The games and interactions in this chapter perfectly hit the fun and whimsical note that they’re aiming for. Not only can the party have a fun time showing off their skills in the various games, but they can win fun prizes as well!
Where this chapter is the most fun to run is how the party’s actions will have specific effects as the story progresses. Things happen as the party raises or lowers the mood at the carnival and completing certain games/challenges will come in handy later on in the Feywild!
There’s a fun and cohesive feeling here which makes for a great kick-off to the adventure.
Within the Feywild, the party will travel through the Domain of Desire known as Prismeer. As a type of Fey counterpart to the Domains of Dread in Ravenloft, I enjoyed this reference!
A coven hags calling themselves the Hourglass Coven have made a colossal mess of things here. Whichever adventure hook you use in your game, it leads back to them.
Traversing the Hags’ respective portions of Prismeer (Hither, Thither, and Yon), the party will encounter new friends, foes, and those somewhere in-between.
Regardless of where these creatures stand with the party, they’re all memorable.
Courts of frog people mimicking the aristocracy of a French period piece? Sentient sword-wielding dandelions and noble fairy dragon knights? The infamous Jabberwock?!
Yeah… you’re in the Feywild alright!
The adventure concludes in the final chapter’s location: The Palace of Heart’s Desire.
I absolutely loved the design of this area and I’m pretty sure I made an audible “squee” of excitement when I saw some famous faces appear. (I’m trying so hard to keep this spoiler-free right now…)
What results is an ending that I felt perfectly lives up to the exciting buildup throughout the entire adventure.
Is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight Good?
As with my other reviews, I’ll be rating this book on three primary factors: Usefulness, Quality, and Value.
The final verdict will be given as “Get it Now!”, “Get it on Sale!”, or “Pass!”
To date, there hasn’t been a lot of guidance for running a campaign in the Feywild. There’s been some information in sections of many other books and no shortage of content from the D&D community, but having an official adventure really flesh out what a visit to the Feywild can look like is a ton of fun.
For DMs who want to give their players a chance to visit the Feywild, this is incredibly useful. Even if you aren’t planning on running this adventure, there’s a lot to be gained from this book as it relates to running a Fey adventure.
The trick of any visit to the Feywild is making it feel dreamy and whimsical while still creating a sense of urgency that moves the story forward. It’s a delicate balancing act that this adventure nails. In that way, it can still greatly serve as a case study or general guidance for your own Feywild adventure.
Because this book is useful beyond the adventure itself, I’m impressed!
As I mentioned, it can be difficult to strike the right balance when your story moves to the Feywild.
It really seems like the writers of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight had a lot of fun with this adventure premise. Especially considering the stressful last couple of years in the real world, this adventure is a welcome relief.
The characters and locations in the adventure are both novel and familiar in a way that’s incredibly accessible and interesting.
As for the adventure’s layout, it hits that perfect “sweet spot” between being too open and too railroad-y.
With so much to keep track of as far as character’s actions, important story items, brightly characterized NPCs, and more, I was worried that it would become cumbersome to the point of turning a game of Dungeons & Dragons into a game of Assets & Accountants just to run it properly.
But those fears were (fortunately) quickly dispelled!
The beautiful, poster-worthy map will be a very valuable tool when running The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. But it’s the Story Trackers and Roleplaying Cards in the Appendix that really made me smile and nod. These are great for helping you focus on what matters: playing the game without getting bogged down by too many scattered details.
The writers have created a fun and captivating adventure while the designers were able to pull it all together into a cohesive book!
I think it’s safe to say that The Wild Beyond the Witchlight has raised the bar for what I expect from Wizards of the Coast going forward!
The final category of my review looks at the value or “bang for the buck” of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.
This largely hinges on if the idea of a frolic through the Feywild is appealing to your group or not, to be honest.
As I mentioned towards the top of this review, the focus here isn’t particularly on combat. Most of the conflict in this adventure relies on interacting with the world, outwitting the characters within it, and juggling sometimes-conflicting codes of etiquette that are integral to the party’s stay in Prismeer.
If your group would be interested in a different sort of adventure and really want to lean into the roleplaying aspect of D&D, there’s a ton of value here.
If this isn’t something your group would be interested in, this book can still be a useful resource for your next Feywild visit but it’s an adventure first and foremost. Adding in more combats once you’re in Prismeer can be done easily enough, though, so that’s a good thing if that is your only concern.
Depending on how much a group wants to wander, I would expect it would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-35 standard (4 or 5 hours) sessions to complete this adventure. If you’re playing weekly, that’s the better part of a year which makes for a pretty meaty adventure.
Final Verdict: Is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight Worth Buying?
Alas, we come to the final verdict!
So, is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight worth buying?
The unique nature of this adventure means that there’s a bit of a split decision here, to be honest. That’s a first for one of my reviews and I kind of expected it to happen considering how different this adventure’s focus is from previous releases.
Hear me out:
If a roleplay-heavy adventure is something that would fit your group, my verdict is “Get it Now!”
Nearly every NPC in this adventure is greatly fleshed out and memorable. When you dive into The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, there’s no doubt that this is a living, breathing world just waiting to be explored.
If you prefer something more action-y and combat-heavy, this adventure won’t do that for you. Combats can be added to spice things up, but it’s very easy to overdo that and lose the feeling that the adventure itself is trying to create.
If that’s your case, I’d put this into the “Pass!” ranking with a potential “Get It On Sale!” verdict if you are thinking about taking a trip to the Feywild in the future and need some inspiration.
As for myself, I’m excited to run this for one of my groups in the very near future! Sometimes it can be fun to face a different set of challenges!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Wild Beyond the Witchlight! Hit me up in the comments and let’s talk about Fey stuff!
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