Dungeons & Dragons is taking us into the Feywild and then back to school with their upcoming sourcebooks
The next two official sourcebooks for Dungeons & Dragons have been revealed — The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: a Feywild Adventure is coming in September, and the next Magic: the Gathering tie-in Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos is due to arrive in November. While a Feywild visit has been teased recently with the Swolekin and Loporrit options in Unearthed Arcana and in the easter eggs of Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, the choice of the Scholomance Academy-style Strixhaven for the MTG setting is decidedly peculiar as it’s the most recent and thus least developed of the game’s “planes” — perhaps suggesting a new design direction for Wizards of the Coast.
Witchlight will be the first official foray into the Feywild (aka the Plane of Faerie) in 5th Edition D&D, although the Critical Role team journeyed there during the first campaign. A dimension parallel to the main gaming world, the Feywild is your standard fantasy trope of the realm of faeries, with courts and queens and pranks — for World of Warcraft players, imagine if the Emerald Dream had the appearance and population of Ardenweald — but with the standard D&D flairs.
While Witchlight is Wizards’ annual “summer adventure”, the team has done an excellent job in prior installments with providing options for the Dungeon Master to turn the adventure into a campaign setting to use for their own stories, so expect developed details of the various locales within the Feywild in addition to new character options and monsters. The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: a Feywild Adventure is scheduled for release on September 21st and there will be more information provided at D&D Live in July.
Be sure to pack up all your rulebooks before heading to Strixhaven
Curriculum of Chaos is the third MTG setting to get a 5E sourcebook, following Ravnica and Theros. The plane of Arcavios is home to Strixhaven, a magic school with five different colleges based on the five “enemy colors” in MTG, providing different spells and effects than is normally seen with complementary color sets. Little else is known about Strixhaven or this sourcebook — although we are expecting more details at D&D Live in July — but it’s an odd choice for a few reasons.
First, this year has already brought us Candlekeep Mysteries, a compilation of one-shots set in an academic environment, so unless Curriculum spends a good amount of time in the larger realm outside Strixhaven, there will likely be some overlap in content and themes. Also, while D&D has many classes that use magic, there’s a good chance that those which don’t or do so minimally will feel neglected
But perhaps the most peculiar aspect of Strixhaven is that it’s brand new to MTG in 2021, unlike the previous tie-ins that were based on settings that had been around for years and had multiple game sets developed for them. With other planes available to select from (although some already have free sourcebooks for D&D) it doesn’t appear to make sense that Wizards would start developing a tie-in before the set had even been released — we know it takes 12-14 months to develop a 5E book, so the decision to move forward with Strixhaven came while the set was still being designed.
While the company has not indicated as much yet, it would not surprise me to find out at D&D Live that Strixhaven was developed to be a shared setting between Wizards’ two tentpole franchises from the start. If this is true, we could see even greater integration in the story development of the franchises beyond one-off sourcebooks and sets.
Here there be not dragons — yet
In their press release last month reviewing the successes of 2020 and what’s forthcoming in 2021, an accompanying slide showed that Ravenloft was the first of three “classic” settings arriving in 2021 for D&D. While Feywild was only developed extensively for the first time in 3rd Edition, it seems likely that it is considered the second of the three as there’s not much room left on this year’s schedule for 2 more settings. That leaves one classic setting yet to be revealed, and while there are others many of us would like to see, there’s sufficient evidence that we’ll be returning to the Dragonlance universe sometime soon.
How we’ll get there isn’t known, as possibilities extend from a dedicated Krynn sourcebook to the 5E version of the Draconomicon. Whatever form it takes, it appears that 2022 might be starting to shape up as a year for dragons — in D&D and potentially MTG as well.
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