D&D 5E Ajit George discusses the origin of the Radiant Citadel

darjr

I crit!
He posts some original concept art as well.
Fun throwback to concept pieces for the #RadiantCitadel!

The first is the very first sketch ever drawn of the Radiant Citadel, done by @the_strix while I rambled at her after inspiration hit me while I was in bed reading. We jammed for hours on it.

#dnd #ttrpg #desidnd Image Image Image
I have lots of notes from that first conversation--here is a small taste: "This is the central location of [redacted], and it is a place of trade, diplomacy, learning, and mystery. The current occupants don't know where it came from but have occupied it and learned to use it."

"There are 15 mini-floating island-buildings. Each has a single building that is [redacted] corresponds to 1 of the 15 locations. Below the base-level of the central island-city will be a protruding gemstone geode that corresponds to one of the 15 locations."
"Those protruding mix of 15 geode gemstones corresponding to each of the 15 locations is where the mini-islands dock. But do they dock or teleport people/goods inside? Maybe when they all dock they form a pangea."
"Think of all of these as sort of airships meets floating-cities. But not quite as large as a floating city. While the main center basically always stays afloat, the smaller ones go back and forth to the corresponding Location for trade/diplomacy."
"They can land on the ground [redacted], and conduct trade/diplomacy/adventuring base. They pick up goods and bring it back to the central city, then sell/buy from there, and ship it via another floating island to another Location."
"And the main floating city ties to [redacted]. A little bit of inspiration for this comes from Nalanada."

Obviously, much has changed from that initial concept jam, but also a lot of the genesis was in that first burst of inspiration and conversation.
As for the Concord Jewels, the two images attached are how I envision two of the Jewels looking in shape, if not color. Each Concord Jewel has a unique shape, even if they work exactly the same.

This creates a stunning, luminescent constellation of Jewels orbiting the Citadel.
Anyway, hope this was an enjoyable sneak-peek into the original conversation and genesis of the Radiant Citadel!

 
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darjr

I crit!
It's true. I am the mastermind behind Radiant Citadel's visual design ;) (I am not. We worked with amazing concept artists and illustrators that brought the shining city to life in the most delightful ways.)
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
Okay, seriously, I do love reading all this behind-the-scenes stuff. As a consummate homebrewer, it's really inspiring to see the sketches, notes, and discussions that lead to new settings being created! Thanks for sharing, @darjr
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
"An ongoing thread in various books"
The thread he’s referring to is the First World / multiverse metaplot they’re weaving into the books where dragons are the first creatures and their machinations are reality shattering. The crystal in Radiant Citadel is either the fossil of the original gem dragon, Sardior, or the crystal houses Sardior’s remains.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
The thread he’s referring to is the First World / multiverse metaplot they’re weaving into the books where dragons are the first creatures and their machinations are reality shattering. The crystal in Radiant Citadel is either the fossil of the original gem dragon, Sardior, or the crystal houses Sardior’s remains.
Maybe it's dragon ambergris?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The thread he’s referring to is the First World / multiverse metaplot they’re weaving into the books where dragons are the first creatures and their machinations are reality shattering. The crystal in Radiant Citadel is either the fossil of the original gem dragon, Sardior, or the crystal houses Sardior’s remains.
I mean, maybe, UT we ha e no indication ao far that there are any further plans for the "First World" beyond a couple pages in Fizbans.

I'm curious as to what he is [redact]ing.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Huh? Good question.
I assume it's "DM secrets" from the book, about what is really going on with the Radiant Citadel. But he also suggests that this connects to future books, and I wonder if that means more compilations with WotC, DMsGuild expansion material, or maybe the upcoming WotC books this year,, similar to how Candlekeep dovetailed well with Strixhaven...
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The current, most plausible speculation is that the First World is going to be one of the new settings WotC will launch next year. Hence all the hints and breadcrumbs about it. Or they're trying to build a...shudder...metaplot into the game.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The current, most plausible speculation is that the First World is going to be one of the new settings WotC will launch next year. Hence all the hints and breadcrumbs about it. Or they're trying to build a...shudder...metaplot into the game.
Metaplot, doubtful. The "First World" speculation is on the forums, but I don't see a lot to it based on what'sin Fizban's, though the Radiant Citadel could turn out to be Saridor's body (the identity of the fozzilized being is probably part of what was [redacted] here, at least).

There's certainly not going to be a metaplot, WotC has rejected that model, and hard. Threads that can be connected at a DMs discretion, possibly.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I mean, maybe, UT we ha e no indication ao far that there are any further plans for the "First World" beyond a couple pages in Fizbans.
And the sidebar in Tasha's about traveling to other worlds.

I'm pretty sure that the "first world" idea is something the devs are enjoying referencing. Whether they ever decide to make it ground truth or continue to leave it as "some people say" and make their cosmology compatible with it without ever going beyond that remains to be seen. (I prefer that personally - it's a fun little idea but I'd prefer it to remain an unprovable background element rather than something that's actually going to drive adventures).

ETA: BTW - the Tasha's sidebar has real "Spelljammer confirmed" energy in one part of it

Transit between these worlds is rare but not impossible and can be accomplished in various ways. One such method is called the Great Journey, an epic voyage fraught with peril and littered with obstacles to be overcome. This journey most often occurs aboard a vessel powered by magic.
 
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Seeing that original design, it makes me feel better. My mapping skills are utterly atrocious, and it's kinda reassuring to know that even in Wizards of the Coast you also have people that can't draw a straight line or circle to save their lives.
 

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