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D&D: ‘The Wild Beyond The Witchlight’ Is The First 5E Adventure To Not Require Combat

3 Minute Read
Jul 22 2021
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One of the biggest bombshells from the D&D Live event is that you can now, canonically, complete an adventure without needing to roll for initiative.

Well folks, D&D Live has come and gone once again, leaving us with three new adventures to be excited about, and, per tradition, each of these adventures was revealed/leaked well in advance of the streaming event. Honestly it wouldn’t be D&D Live if we didn’t know what was coming already–that just means we get to dig deeper with new details about the books. Like today’s story on the upcoming Wild Beyond the Witchlight: A Feywild Adventure, which has the distinction of being the first official 5th Edition adventure to not require combat.

It’s a new shape for the typical Dungeons & Dragons adventure, which generally involves encountering some of the many monsters you can find in the manual and using the abilities of your class to separate the monster from their hit points, experience points, and treasure–usually in that order. But for players who prefer to rely on their wit and roleplay, The Wild Beyond the Witchlight offers up equal slices of the adventuring pie. According to Chris Perkins, lead writer on the project, every encounter in the book can be resolved without needing to resort to combat.

If you prefer to try and talk your way out of things, or to use your cunning to solve the dilemma without needing to swing a sword you can. Which is an interesting approach for one of the games responsible for inventing ‘loot and shoot’ in the first place. But if ever there was a book for including a ‘pacifist run’ this is it.

After all, the adventure takes place primarily in the Feywild, the wild and wondrous domain of the archfey–it’s the bright and vibrant reflection of the Material Plane (much the same way the Shadowfell is a dark reflection). It’s full of whimsy and wonder, and one of the biggest things you’ll find there are new creatures.

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The Feywild is also run by a series of Rules–which ties together with the theme of mythological Fae. Reciprocity and Gift Giving are important here, and you get to see this in action in some of the mechanics of the adventure. This book also gives an example of what the Feywild is like. It’s a plane of pure emotion driven by the whims and desires of the creature.

It’s kind of a playful, more family-friendly adventure. If you want a game that lets you dabble in fairytales from the Grimm to the Dahl-house, you’ll find that here. Feywild, it’s revealed, is broken up into different Domains of Delight (as opposed to Ravenloft’s Domains of Dread). Each of these is shaped by an Archfey at the heart of them, and in Prismeer/Witchlight, the heart of the adventure stems from the Archfey. The domain has fragmented into three different subdomains: Hither, Thither, and Yon.

Which should give you an example of the fairytale vibe we can expect here. It’s a big step away from the norm, for D&D, but we’re excited to see how it shapes up. This is the next forthcoming book in September, so stay tuned for more.

Until then, happy adventuring!

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