Review: Wizards of the Coast – Light of Xaryxis (Dungeons & Dragons)


Light of Xaryxis

Light of Xaryxis is one book from the Spelljammer: Adventures in Space boxed set. This review is part three of a series of 4 reviews. See all associated reviews under the tag spelljammer.

Light of Xaryxis is an epic fantasy adventure for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Justice Ramin Arman, Sadie Lowry, and Jeffrey Ludwig and published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Aaron T. Huss

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Light of Xaryxis is the necessary adventure that comes with Dungeons & Dragons settings published by Wizards of the Coast. In fairly typical fashion, it presents all aspects of the setting the books are meant to represent for the sake of providing a true glimpse into the depth of the setting, how it looks, and how it feels. Without going into too many details, it features many great encounters aboard a ship traversing the Astral Sea, working alongside a bunch of pirates and pirate-like figures. It is not a pirate adventure though, although it does give you a taste of the pirate-features found in the setting. The adventure does start after a significant adventure planet-side, allowing the DM a hook to bring the PCs from their recently completed travails to the heights of wildspace. Best part is that it does this quite seamlessly; no shoehorns required.

Light of Xaryxis reminds me of a Savage Worlds plot-point campaign where some big event is about to happen and by following a certain sequence of events, the party will be able to overcome the big bad and resolve the premises of the adventure. The setting itself is not going to change much from these events, but the PCs’ lives definitely could be. It’s very directional with little room for the DM to throw the events one way or another. There is definitely space for fillers if desired, but ultimately the party will find itself following a predetermined path in order to save the day. I’m not a huge fan of these types of adventures as I like it when the party gets to discover things on their own terms and get to the end in a way they deem exciting. It is a very common theme for adventures and I know DMs who run games this way with no issue whatsoever for players who enjoy the thrill of defeating the big bad!

Here’s the good news for those who don’t want the predetermined path. You can easily remove a couple major events from this adventure to open it up as something between a sandbox and a railroad. DMs who run the adventure will be able to identify very quickly which major events I’m referring to as they are 100% the ones directing the storyline. Remove those and you have an awesome ride through the astral sea where the sky(?) is the limit. It’s like this… events are going on, but if you’re not directly involved, then the PCs can choose how they affect those events, not the other way around. This would allow the party to move about as they please.

In the end, you can run the adventure as is or make some easy tweaks to create a more open adventure. The other two books that are part of this set easily provide the DM with the elements necessary to make that change.

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