Dungeons & Dragons Will Bring Back 1980s Cartoon Characters in Upcoming Adventure

The next Dungeons & Dragons adventure will contain several characters from the 1980s Saturday morning cartoon. The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, an upcoming D&D adventure set mostly in the Feywild, will feature one or more characters that originally appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon that aired on CBS in the mid-1980s. Lead story designer Chris Perkins confirmed that several characters from D&D's past will appear in the adventure. "I will just say there are a lot of nods to the past in this adventure, including nods to the D&D cartoon," Perkins said in a media event held earlier this week. "You will run into one, maybe two characters who appeared in that original show."

While Perkins didn't elaborate on who these characters were, a fact sheet for the book provided by Wizards of the Coast noted that the characters Warduke, Strongheart, and Kelek would all appear in the adventure. All three characters were part of the D&D action figure line from the 1980s and also made appearances in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. The three characters also appeared in The Shady Dragon Inn, a D&D accessory that provided several pre-generated NPCs that could be used in any campaign.

The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon originally aired on CBS from 1983 to 1985 as part of that network's Saturday morning cartoon block. The cartoon is basically an isekai anime, in which a group of kids from the real world gets transported to a fantasy world filled with D&D monsters and characters. The group is then given abilities (roughly corresponding to D&D classes at the time) by a character literally called the Dungeon Master and try to figure out a way home. Major antagonists of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon include the evil wizard Venger and the dragon goddess Tiamat, who the children occasionally manipulate for their own means.

Whether Venger or the heroes of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon will appear in the adventure remains to be seen. The cartoon been referenced several times by Wizards of the Coast in the recent past, with the release of several Magic: The Gathering variant cards featuring characters from the show and a recent airing of the cartoon on D&D's Twitch channel.

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight will be released on September 21, 2021.