The latest adventure book from Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons & Dragons 5e is now available to all. The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is an adventure that will carry players through level 1 to 8 as they explore the Witchlight Carnival and the Feywild itself. While the main allure is the new adventure for a party to get stuck into there are also a few interesting new character traits and mechanics introduced that you could bring into any of your campaigns.
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight - New Races
A big allure to a new D&D module is the new playable races. Keeping with the Fey theme players will now be able to play Fairy's and Harengon, fey rabbitfolk. As is common now racial traits have been done away with, allowing you to add two points to one ability score, or one point to two abilities.
The Fairy is a fun character to play as you not only get all of the benefits of being small but you innately have wings. This can lead to all kinds of different approaches to problem-solving as you're not stuck with boots on the ground. No raised bridge or high ledge will be able to deter your exploration. Thematically you'll also innately learn a variety of Fairy-themed magics including druidcraft, faerie fire (3rd), and enlarge/reduce (5th). While none of these abilities are innately offensive there's a lot there that can be used to assist roleplay or to support other characters. You can either double down and pair it with other spells and abilities to create a hard-to-hit ranged support caster, or you can become a jack of all trades by complimenting the abilities with your own offensive spells.
The Harengon is the big new addition, a new beast race looking like rabbits of the material plane. Wizards absolutely doubled down on each aspect of a rabbit when designing each of the Harengon's traits. With its Hare-Trigger you'll be adding proficiency bonus to initiative, there's innate proficiency with Perception skills, and using the rabbit's lucky footwork you can add a D4 to a failed Dex saving throw to try to turn fate in your favor. These abilities capitalize on the speed, eyesight, and fabled luck that a rabbit can bring. Harengon's final trait, the Rabbit Hop, is one that can have many creative applications.
Rabbit Hop. As a bonus action, you can jump a number of feet equal to five times your proficiency bonus, without provoking opportunity attacks. You can use this trait only if your speed is greater than 0.
Even with a 10 ft run up any other race can only jump as far as their strength score. To, from a standstill, be able to leap 10ft at level 1, increasing that routinely as you level up has a number of applications in world exploration or dungeon diving. Where Rabbit Hop really gains its strength is in working as an alternative to the Mobile feat. You can only avoid the opportunity attack as many times as you have proficiency bonuses, but if you're getting swarmed from multiple sides you don't need to have made an attack at each of the monsters. For lower-level martial classes, when even a Fighter is a bit squishy, getting in, doing some damage, and jumping away could be just the strategy to change the tide of combat.
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight - Character Backgrounds and how they'll help shape your story
There are two new Backgrounds introduces in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight; The Feylost and the Witchlight Hand. The Witchlight Hand is tied extremely closely to the plot of the story allowing that party member to already be an employee of the Witchlight Carnival. There is a specific note that the carnival's owners are still mysterious and unknown creatures to you, but the way you've worked and lived at the Witchlight Carnival you'll have increased knowledge of the setting. It's always a big bonus to go into a campaign with one party member having additional knowledge on a location to share with others. At its base level that can result in less exposition dumps from the DM to the party, but also encourages in-character discussion between the party members.
The Feylost is a Character Background that will be more applicable in other settings. This describes a character who made their way into the Feywild at some point as a child but returned, though they were changed for it. The Feywild Connection feature, which gives players knowledge of Feywild customs and mannerisms, will be useful as your characters explore the Feywild but the most interesting aspect of the Feylost is the potential for Feywild Visitors. At any time a player is asleep or in a trance they could be visited by a spirit such as a Centaur, Pixie, or even a Unicorn. While it can't be used as a way to harm a party member it can be an opportunity for the player to be delivered information. If the party feels like their adventures wheels are spinning in the mud, unable to locate a new plot hook, or have found themselves stuck this can be a good olive branch for the DM to hand the players while keeping all information in-game.
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight - Roleplay Cards
A neat addition for new and old DM's alike is the Roleplay Cards that can be found near the back of the book. Each of the important NPCs roleplay information has been collected in order at the back of the book. At a brief glance, you can get an idea of the character's appearance, background, and personality. While this kind of NPC information certainly isn't new this delivery format is one that Wizards should be applauded for. No longer will you have to be feverishly flipping back and forth through your Adventure Book as old characters return and new ones are introduced to quickly refamiliarize yourself with their personality and history, instead you can have quick access to it all.
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight - The Carnival Itself
While the Witchlight Carnival is an integral part of the plot of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight that doesn't mean that the Carnival can't appear elsewhere. By its very nature, it's known that the Carnival is able to hop between planes so whether your campaign takes place on the Forgotten Realms or in Exandria the Carnival has a chance to show up.
The Carnival on its own could be a fun break for your characters, away from whatever world-ending danger they're currently hunting down. Detailed within is information on the Big Top, Dragonfly Rides, a Hall of Illusion, and many more fun carnival locations. Throw in some dexterity or strength-based carnival games and it's also a fun way to earn some interesting magical items.