Roll20 Review – The Wild Beyond the Witchlight

Explore a magical carnival and enter a shattered feywild realm in this campaign adventure for levels 1-8.

A review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my content via Patreon.

Designed by: Wizards of the Coast

In the dozens of Feywild adventures I’ve reviewed on the DMs Guild over the years, I’ve opined that we hadn’t yet seen a proper Feywild hardcover campaign. The wait is over with The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, a level 1-8 campaign that begins with a carnival and ends with a fantastical journey through a fragmented fey realm.

The following is included in the The Wild Beyond the Witchlight Roll20 bundle ($49.95):

    • The Wild Beyond the Witchlight Module
      • Five Chapters
      • Five non-gridded region or area maps
      • Five 10-ft maps with subdivisions
      • One 5-ft map.
      • Over 70 magic items (incl 20+ new items)
      • Over 150 NPC and monster character sheets and tokens (incl 50+ new monsters and NPCs)
      • 50+ player art handouts (not including monster art handouts)
      • 50+ rollable tables and macros.
      • Relevant supplemental handouts from the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
    • The Wild Beyond the Witchlight Compendium
      • Two new races/lineages
      • Two new backgrounds
      • One d100 table of Feywild Trinkets
    • Player Art Pack w/ 18 tokens

The adventure includes two wildly (sorry) different adventure hooks, Lost Things and Warlock’s Quest. Lost Things is the far more intriguing start, tying the player characters into the magical Witchlight carnival and giving them a personal reason for exploring Prismeer and dealing with the hags.

Warlock’s Quest is the more traditional D&D hook. A warlock’s Archfey patron has gone missing, and he hires the PCs to go to her fey realm of Prismeer, accessible via the carnival, to rescue her. Lost Things is far superior, and also speaks to how well the campaign doubles down on a social-heavy, narrative-focused adventure.

Yes, it’s true, you could technically play this entire run without any combat whatsoever. I think the same could be of other open world games such as Skyrim. But like Skyrim, it would be quite difficult to avoid combat entirely.

I don’t mind the focus on narrative and role-playing; we’ve had entire campaigns built around almost nothing but dungeon crawling, after all. But The Wild Beyond the Witchlight feels short and incomplete compared to other full-price hardcover campaigns, especially when looking at the startling lack of maps on Roll20.

Speaking of maps — they’re fantastic! The region maps in particular are gorgeous, reminding me of old video game maps from the Might and Magic series.

witchlight carnival

The carnival features over a dozen locations and many memorable NPCs to visit and interact with, including riding on giant dragonflys, restoring a mime’s voice, solving word puzzles on the carousel, and visiting the creepy Hall of Illusions (shades of Us, perhaps?). It’s one of the best level one areas that 5e has produced, and could make for a fun non-combat one-shot. The primary goal is to discover the portal to the Feywild realm of Prismeer in the Hall of Illusions.

If you think the Feywild is all sunshine and rainbows, think again. After all, fairy tales were the original horror stories of curses, witches, kidnapped children, and monsters lurking in the dark.

Prismeer is suffering from the loss of its fairy queen Zybilna, aka Iggwilv, aka Tasha! A coven of hags used a magical artifact and a unicorn’s horn to magically trap her and her court in stasis while they carve up her realm into three separate regions: Hither (swamp), Thither (forest), and Yon (mountains).

Silly names aside, these regions form the rest of the adventure. The milestone level progression advances the party one level every time they enter a new realm, and every time they deal with a hag in her lair. Thus, most of the Feywild is designed for Tier 1 and about half of Tier 2. As someone who’s annoyed by most campaign adventures ending around level 11, I found this limitation even more irksome.

Prismeer effectively draws from familiar sources of fantasy and wonder, with obvious references to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Peter Pan, Labyrinth, and Wizard of Oz, not to mention countless Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Each region has several notable locations, such as the Little Oak treant that houses the youthful Getaway Gang in Thither. I’m particularly impressed by the random encounters; each region includes a d8 table of richly themed encounters that eschew combat for interesting storytelling and world-building: encounter hobgoblins on stilts fishing for eggs, worry about the destruction of the massive Jabberwork, and avoid the cyclops beekeeper while in the company of a heroic dandelion and his beloved queen bee.

If you’re worried about the lack of dungeon-crawling in a fey-themed campaign (as I was), there is good news and bad news.

The bad news: there are only four dungeons in the entire campaign: one for each hag, and then the final castle where the queen lies in stasis.

The good news: each hag lair is an awesome, 20+ room dungeon themed around that hag. The frog-like Bavlorna lives in a cottage raised above the swamp (accessible via four different clotheslines) surrounded by bullywugs. The dramatic Endelyn Moongrave forces her minions and victims to perform tragic plays in her mountain lair, complete with cliff-side theater.

The final palace isn’t quite as compelling, but it is absolutely massive, with over 50 rooms and two stories that take up two different map pages in Roll20.

Oh, one more bit of bad news, however: almost all of these maps feature 10-ft square grids, which can be incredibly annoying. Roll20 subdivides the squares to fix them, which results in tiny tokens.

There’s a lot to love about The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. The carnival, the supernatural Feywild, and its many memorable characters are an absolute delight. Hags are a bit overused in 5e, but they’ve never been better here, and their dungeon lairs are wonderfully designed.

On the other hand, ending the campaign at level eight, and only featuring a handful of maps makes the campaign feel incomplete and undercooked compared to other hardcover 5e adventures.

Pros:

  • Helpful Dungeon Master Tips page for Roll20 users.
  • Lovely, isometric, full color maps of the Witchlight carnival and Prismeer feywild domain.
  • Fun characters and interesting role-playing encounters.
  • Scripted “random” encounters tailored to each realm.
  • Large, richly-themed dungeons for each hag.

Cons:

  • Lacking in content compared to other full-price adventures.
  • Only the hag lairs and the final dungeon are mapped.

The Verdict: By effectively focusing on fantastical worlds and eccentric characters, The Wild Beyond the Witchlight provides a narrative-rich, Fish-out-of-water adventure, though its lack of maps, dungeons, and higher tier content is ultimately disappointing.

A review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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