Comment: The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is D&D for drama kids

Dungeons and Dragons is a descendant of war game in history, but this is not where its fan base exists today. The new focus of franchising is the performance space, and its best image ambassador is a new generation of professional artists. Theater groups such as Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, and Dimension 20 have injected new vitality into the series by shaping a different, more character-driven gameplay.

Wilderness beyond Wuguang, The latest campaign book from Wizards of the Coast, integrates into this new reality in an unprecedented way. This is an adventure for all of us drama children. The designer surpassed everything and created a battle that can be completed without fighting. Rather, it requires careful and consistent cooperation between the player and the dungeon master (DM). The end result is a thick 256-page book that helps expand the capabilities of each DM while enhancing the capabilities of the players at the table. It is one of the best products released in the fifth edition of D&D.

[Warning: Our review contains spoilers for The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.]

Alternate cover Wilderness beyond Wuguang Only available in local game stores.
Image: Charlie Hall/Polygon

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight starts with the almost indispensable “zero period”, which combines the character generation and the early beat of the story itself. Although common in many modern tabletop role-playing games-and also recommended for D&D-it is more comprehensive here than in the past. The prescribed nature of the first meeting represented the Wizards’ new confidence in their expanding player base. People didn’t come to D&D to kill some goblins. Even new players look forward to experiencing the arc of a moving character. In the long run, doing a good job ahead of time will help pay off in this regard.

From there, the event officially started at Witchlight Carnival, a role-playing bayou that contains all the best parts of D&D-except violence. Players can explore the magical playground, race with snails or float in the air in magical bubbles. But Carnival has several convincing mysteries that need to be solved, and breaking the nose or spilling blood will only make the job more difficult. The key to victory is to build a pool of allies that can help you complete the final dramatic heist. There is even a built-in timer, displayed on the luxurious folding map, to help drive the action.

This is an amazing premise, perhaps the best D&D tutorial Wizards of the World has published-even better than the acclaimed ones Essential Toolkit for Dungeons and Dragons.

From there, venture through the three different realms of Feywild, Hither, Thither, and Yon. Each one is more exotic and bizarre than the last. Players will fly in the sky in rain cloud balloons, make friends with sentient oil tanks, find their dreams in the crystal cave, and fight side by side with bluffing dandelions. Despite all the strange twists and turns, the storyline is still focused on the needs of the player character. Only after satisfying these needs, they finally let go and rescued the core non-player character (NPC), a powerful monster named Zybilna.

What impressed me the most was how many fluctuations there were The wilderness beyond the witch lantern Needs, including positioning events that are the exact opposite of fierce fighting. What I like the most is drama works, players can choose to perform in front of the live game audience. One group randomly drew lines from the hat, while the other group explored the area in the background. The structure of this encounter actually encourages players to split the party, a long-standing dangerous taboo in table games, and admirably supports DMs to help manage operations.

Mudlmp the Cyclops beekeeper strides through the mountains in the mist.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

The most important thing is the small mystery of the thread that started cleverly in the first few sessions, and won’t pay off until dozens of hours later. Groups that can meet more frequently can complete the campaign in just a few months or less, and will have the most fun from it.

Although there are many opportunities to become a pacifist explorer, danger is still everywhere The wilderness beyond the witch lantern. This is not a children’s book, and dangers lurks in every corner-including quite sudden character incapacity and even death. Be sure to prepare your team, especially young or inexperienced players, just in case.

overall, The wilderness beyond the witch lantern It is an advanced course of RPG storytelling. It is more effective by adding a few extra pages of notes in advance for novice DMs. Experienced DMs can also find value here, because the elements in the book can be easily broken down and used in your own self-made activities. If you are looking for an excuse to form a new role-playing group-or the second or the third-then this event is the perfect starting point.

The wilderness beyond the witch lantern Will be released on September 21, priced at $49.95 Local game store, online, And the digital platform Beyond D&D with Roll 20.

The wilderness beyond the witch lantern A review was conducted through a pre-release copy of the book provided by Wizards. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These will not affect editorial content, but Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links.You can find View additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.