DMs Guild Review – Witchlight Carnival Expanded

Expands upon, and adds new content from chapter 1 of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight 5e campaign.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher. Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Daniel KahnPatrick Rehse

In my Roll20 Review of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, I was very impressed with the campaign’s opening chapter, calling it “one of the best level one areas that 5e has produced.” Witchlight Carnival Expanded is an unofficial, but very impressive, expansion to that specific chapter, expanding and adding new attractions, events, backgrounds, and rollable tables.

If the Witchlight Carnival from The Wild Beyond the Witchlight interested you, this expansion is going to give you more of what you love.

Many existing attractions, The Bubble-Pot Teapot, Carousel, Dragonfly Rides, Gondola Swans, and the half dozen small stalls, have been given some extra material to work with. Now player characters can engage in a video game-like flying ring course with their dragonflies, with several rounds, skill checks, and saves to win a prize, while the Gondola Swans have been transformed into a tunnel of love, where Gleam’s shadow can prey upon an unsuspecting victim.

The three new locations are a Fortune Teller, Thunderdome, and Topple Tower. The Thunderdome is a great attraction for those party members seeking a bit more thrill and excitement, pitting them into an interactive arena with waves of summoned creatures and lighting blasts. It’s still all in fun though – temporary hit points only!

carnival gazer

Another optional combat encounter lies in the expanded Big Top timed event, with circus animals running loose in the tent, giving our party a chance to save the day, and an invitation to meet with Mister Witch and Mister Light following their heroism.

To further motivate players to ride attractions and play carnival games are an expanded d12 table of carnival prizes. Unlike the mundane trinkets in the book, these new prizes are consumable magic items, such as an upgraded set of butterfly wings that can cast Feather Fall, or a joke book that can cast Vicious Mockery. All of these prizes are one-use only, but players will love them.

Other new rollable tables include new carnival scenes, more Lost Things (Darkvision? Ouch!), and a detailed table for describing the shifting moods of the carnival.

Similar to the new carnival prizes are new Carnival Offerings: face paintings and tattoos. These magic items expertly mix form and function, including a lovely full color picture of the tattoo designs, with each bestowing a temporary magic ability that is sure to delight your low-level players. I would absolutely follow the designer’s advice and withhold their magical benefits until after everyone has chosen!

The expansion also includes helpful tips on how to fix the Witchlight Hand background from the campaign book. As the designer correctly points out, it’s a neat idea for a PC background that comes with potential headaches for the DM – such as the PC knowing everything in Chapter 1! The solution is to make them a new hire, and the supplement includes a helpful new hire handout with some — but not all, of the carnival info.

We also get an all-new background in the Party Crasher, a role I would admittedly be hesitant to add to my campaign. The designer puts forth a compelling background, however, including tips on incorporating them into the carnival, and stealing something from them to trigger the Lost Things hook once they’re inside.

On the one hand, I don’t think the Witchlight Carnival chapter was lacking, and even without this expanded content, it remains a fantastic and memorable opening chapter. Yet it’s impossible to not be impressed with the new, and redesigned content in Witchlight Carnival Expanded.

Though this is technically an expansion that requires the full campaign book to use, it feels like a complete product with full color maps, tokens, and handouts. It’s an easy recommendation for anyone running The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.

Pros:

  • Over a dozen expanded and all-new locations for the Witchlight Carnival.
  • New Party Crasher background features unique adventure hooks and integration into the campaign.
  • Fixes Witchlight Hand background, including a helpful player handout.
  • Expanded tables for prizes, scenes, lost things, and mood shifts.
  • Fun new face painting and temporary tattoos, with magical benefits.
  • Full color maps, tokens, and handouts.

Cons:

  • None!

The Verdict: With new and expanded attractions, events, scenes, backgrounds, prizes, and more, Witchlight Carnival Expanded is the perfect expansion for one of the most memorable level 1 areas in a 5e campaign.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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