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D&D 5E Official Candlekeep Mysteries Announcement & Info About 'The Canopic Being' Adventure

The official announcement of the book that was revealed yesterday includes an image of the alternate cover. Clint Cearley did the standard cover and Simen Meyer did the alternate cover.

It looks like this isn't the book spearheaded by Kate Welch and featuring Marisha Ray and Deborah Ann Woll, as they don't feature on the list of designers.

The hardcover book will be available on March 16th for $49.95, and the alternate cover will be available from local game stores. Instead, the press releases describe it as a "New Book Full of Short Adventures from Up-and-Coming Designers".

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An anthology of seventeen mystery-themed adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Candlekeep attracts scholars like a flame attracts moths. Historians, sages, and others who crave knowledge flock to this library fortress to peruse its vast collection of books, scribbled into which are the answers to the mysteries that bedevil them. Many of these books contain their own mysteries—each one a doorway to adventure. Dare you cross that threshold?

Candlekeep Mysteries is a collection of seventeen short, stand-alone D&D adventures designed for characters of levels 1-16. Each adventure begins with the discovery of a book, and each book is the key to a door behind which danger and glory await. These adventures can be run as one-shot games, plugged into an existing Forgotten Realms campaign, or adapted for other campaign settings.

This book also includes a poster map of the library fortress and detailed descriptions of Candlekeep and its inhabitants.

Adventure writers include: Graeme Barber, Kelly Lynne D’angelo, Alison Huang, Mark Hulmes, Jennifer Kretchmer, Daniel Kwan, Adam Lee, Ari Levitch, Sarah Madsen, Christopher Perkins, Michael Polkinghorn, Taymoor Rehman, Derek Ruiz, Kienna Shaw, Brandes Stoddard, Amy Vorpahl, and Toni Winslow-Brill.

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WotC's announcement on Facebook includes additional writers not mentioned on the product page -- Hannah Rose, and Chris Lindsay. I asked the company who does WotC's press stuff and they confirmed that they contributed but not as authors.


The Canopic Being
One of the adventures, by Jennifer Kretchmer, is called The Canopic Being. It's 10-12 pages, designed for a single session.

Like all the adventures it starts in Candlekeep, the greatest library in the Forgotten Realms, and features a dungeon located in Tashalar far to the south of the Sword Coast. As a wheelchair user, Kretchmer's adventure is a dungeon crawl beneath the earth, filled with fantasy elevators and ledges accessible by ramps.

The word "Canopic" refers to ancient Egyptian vases or jars often used during the mummification process. Canopic jars store and preserve the body's internal organs.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Except the Yawning Portal didn't even work on that level: this one can be a useful hub.

Since the conceit of the adventures seems to be the discovery of a book for each one (presumably within the vast, nearly uncharted stacks of the library), it seems possible to string an entire campaign along the lines of a party being Candlekeep's troubleshooting team in this matter. There wouldn't be any deep meta-plot, just "go out and deal with this" and then come back to do it again. I'm sure after reading through the adventure, a DM could come up with a overarching plot if they wanted to though. And maybe the book will give us some help along those lines for all we know now.

At least it would make party creation a bit easier - players would have to come up with a reason they are all in Candlekeep, and having them all been raised there and knowing each other already would go a long way towards quickly answering the age-old question "How did this group ever come together?" Just as long as they don't all claim to be orphans rumored to be the child of a dead god...

(I'll be sorely tempted to play the original Baldur's Gate intro should I ever run this sort of campaign: Baldur's Gate Prologue intro )
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Since the conceit of the adventures seems to be the discovery of a book for each one (presumably within the vast, nearly uncharted stacks of the library), it seems possible to string an entire campaign along the lines of a party being Candlekeep's troubleshooting team in this matter. There wouldn't be any deep meta-plot, just "go out and deal with this" and then come back to do it again. I'm sure after reading through the adventure, a DM could come up with a overarching plot if they wanted to though. And maybe the book will give us some help along those lines for all we know now.

At least it would make party creation a bit easier - players would have to come up with a reason they are all in Candlekeep, and having them all been raised there and knowing each other already would go a long way towards quickly answering the age-old question "How did this group ever come together?" Just as long as they don't all claim to be orphans rumored to be the child of a dead god...

(I'll be sorely tempted to play the original Baldur's Gate intro should I ever run this sort of campaign: Baldur's Gate Prologue intro )

Heck, it would be a good base to tie in any of the existing Adventure books, too.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Interesting! Were there special alternative covers for 3E books as well? I only have the original core rulebooks myself. I didn't even know about the concept of alternative covers in RPGs back then. :)

And to be honest, I like this one a lot more than I like the 3E core rulebook cover designs. Those also were trying to emulate a physical design, but if real they would have been pretty bulky and gaudy books with large metal objects decorating them. LOL

This one looks like it's just trying to imitate that sort of leatherbound cover that a lot of Kickstarter projects opt for. Who knows? Maybe there's even some sort of physical aspect of it and it's not just printed...?
Prior to 5E, I'm pretty sure we've never had "standard" and "alternative" covers of any books released at the same time. This is new to 5E.

However, WotC has reprinted the core books of earlier editions with special alternative, or limited edition, covers. The core books, plus a few extra near-core titles like Unearthed Arcana.
 

Interesting! Were there special alternative covers for 3E books as well? I only have the original core rulebooks myself. I didn't even know about the concept of alternative covers in RPGs back then. :)

I don't remember ever seeing variants, but I wouldn't be surprised if they existed. Some of the later reprints had different covers I think.

And to be honest, I like this one a lot more than I like the 3E core rulebook cover designs. Those also were trying to emulate a physical design, but if real they would have been pretty bulky and gaudy books with large metal objects decorating them. LOL

You know what? Me too.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I wonder if the fold out map of Candlekeep is a reprint from DM's Guild product "Elminster's Candlekep Companion," which Ed Greenwood collaborated on.
 


DnD Warlord

Adventurer
I honestly can’t fathom the amount of hate a so called “OSHA” dungeon is getting (on FB and other places). People are freaking out about a 10 page adventure they haven’t read. I’d recommend not scrolling down those comments — it’s soul-sucking.
I mean as long as it makes sense (aka made by someone or something that would want that kind of access... like the frigging snake bottom monsters and the like
 

Birmy

Adventurer
I mean as long as it makes sense (aka made by someone or something that would want that kind of access... like the frigging snake bottom monsters and the like
Yeah, I'm fine with it if it makes sense for story reasons (rather than, I don't know, Acererak making his tomb as accessible as possible to kill the optimum amount of adventurers... actually, that would make sense for him, never mind). I don't get the hate, either, but I'll give them credit for "OSHA dungeon" as a good coinage. I'll give it a fair shake when the book comes out.
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
It does seem odd to me (ADA accessible dungeon) - but if the lore supports it I'm fine with it. Also there are 16 other dungeons to choose from if I don't like it. Whatever I guess.
 



I honestly can’t fathom the amount of hate a so called “OSHA” dungeon is getting (on FB and other places). People are freaking out about a 10 page adventure they haven’t read. I’d recommend not scrolling down those comments — it’s soul-sucking.

That amazes me as well. I'm delighted to see something new with a unique angle. I can think of plenty of dungeons in which the concept would make perfect sense.

I ran a Call of Cthulhu adventure once in which one player played a character in a wheelchair. It was great, because I would deliberately throw obstacles in his path with his wheelchair in mind. Imagine having to sneak into the forbidden section of a library, but the only access to it is a steep flight of stairs. Plus he had a small window of opportunity to do so unnoticed. Do you dare try and climb the stairs with the wheelchair, knowing it will require a check? Or do you crawl out of the wheelchair, leaving yourself very vulnerable?
 
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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
That amazes me as well. I'm delighted to see something new with a unique angle. I can think of plenty of dungeons in which the concept would make perfect sense.

I ran a Call of Cthulhu adventure once in which one player played a character in a wheelchair. It was great, because I would deliberately throw obstacles in his path with his wheelchair in mind. Imagine having to sneak into the forbidden section of a library, but the only access to it is a steep flight of chairs. Plus he had a small window of opportunity to do so unnoticed. Do you dare try and climb the stairs with the wheelchair, knowing it will require a check? Or do you crawl out of the wheelchair, leaving yourself very vulnerable?

Seems a little effed up, but it's Call of Cthulhu, I suppose its meant to be effed up...
 

Tasha's and Rising from the Last War had very different alternate covers, too.
Absolutely. But this one feels really different to me for some reason. Probably the lack of any "character" or "monster" design included in it? Hydro's and the other ones you mentioned at least incorporated "imagery" (for lack of a better term). Don't get me wrong, I like this cover... it just feels very off from even the rest of the varied alternate covers. :)
 

Sure, that's how it reads now. I was just speculating around how that write up might have evolved to become a plot hook devise to hold together a bunch of disparate adventures versus what it may have originally been written up for - as an extended opener to the DotMM book. The plot device used in this release sounds a bit more purposeful/planned out than that one.
I'm going to hazard a guess that they all start at Candlekeep. ;)
 

Scribe

Hero
Ancient Greece had ramps. Why in the world wouldn't the Realms?

Its obviously not about the ramps. Ramps are in almost any fantasy game I can think of, so that clearly is not what people would look at to be snowflakes over.

Its clearly because someone designed the adventure specifically calling out features that are relevant to their experience as someone in a wheelchair, and the vocal people dont want 'their' content designed with anyone but them in mind.
 

Seems a little effed up, but it's Call of Cthulhu, I suppose its meant to be effed up...

For some reason auto-correct turned a flight of stairs into a flight of chairs, making it sound way more exciting. :D

But yeah, Call of Cthulhu is all about suspense. So putting a character in a stressful situation where their disability is an obstacle, makes for a lot of suspense.
 
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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
It does seem odd to me (ADA accessible dungeon) - but if the lore supports it I'm fine with it. Also there are 16 other dungeons to choose from if I don't like it. Whatever I guess.

Why can't the architect of the dungeon have also been in a wheelchair, so made their own dungeon so they could move around easily? Seems like an entirely easy (and normal) justification.
 

I remember playing in a campaign where one of the player characters was a centaur. Situations would constantly come up where we'd have to figure out how to get the centaur PC up a ledge, down a ladder, onto a boat out at sea, etc. At first the DM would force the party to figure out how to get the centaur where they needed to go, but eventually he just started hand waving it. "Sure, the centaur climbs the ladder, whatever".
 

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