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D&D 5E The New D&D Book: Candlekeep Mysteries: 17 Mystery Adventures [UPDATED!]

The cover of the upcoming D&D book has been revealed! Candlekeep Mysteries is an anthology of 17 mystery-themed adventures for character levels 1-16.

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The image has appeared on Penguin Random House's product page for the book.



UPDATE! Penguin's product page appears to have now vanished, but we now have the product description! Thanks to @Fezzwick for spotting that!

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?

· 17 mystery-themed D&D adventures, each tied to a book discovered in the famed library fortress of Candlekeep
· Easy to run as stand-alone mini adventures or to drop into your home campaign
· Adventures span play from levels 1 to 16
· Includes a full poster map of Candlekeep, plus detailed descriptions of the various locations, characters, and creatures that reside within it
· Introduces a variety of Dungeons & Dragons monsters, items, and non-player characters (NPCs)

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.


There have been mentions of an upcoming adventure anthology since 2019, with Kate Welch's name attached, along with other celebrity adventure writers including Critical Role's Marisha Ray, and actor Deborah Ann Woll. There were also suggestions that the authors might all be women. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow!

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
So, yes, there will be alternate cover, and, no, this doesn’t seem to be Kate Welshman, Marisha Rey, and Deborah Ann Wohl’s book.


“Introducing #Candlekeep Mysteries, the latest adventure anthology in the Forgotten Realms setting! Explore this collection of new mysteries by up-and-coming D&D designers from across our community. These short adventures arrive March 16!

Pre-order now: Candlekeep Mysteries | Dungeons & Dragons

Covers by Clint Cearley (Standard) and Simen Meyer (Alt).

Designers include:
• Graeme Barber
• Toni Winslow-Brill
• Kelly Lynne D’angelo
• Alison Huang
• Mark Hulmes
• Jennifer Kretchmer
• Daniel Kwan
• Adam Lee
• Ari Levitch
• Amy Vorpahl
• Sarah Madsen
• Brades Stoddard
• Michael Polkinghorn
• Kienna Shaw
• Hannah Rose
• Derek Ruiz
• Taymoor Rehman
• Christopher Perkins
• Chris Lindsay”

No this is definitely Welch's book (she just oversaw the beginning of this, she doesn't write adventures). When she first mentioned it almost two years ago, she mentioned they had taken submissions from folks including Marisha and DAW. What likely happened is they went through all the submissions, and kept the best quality ones (or the ones that are distinct from each other). And Marisha/DAW didn't make the cut. For example, Amy Vorpahl is better known as an actor/DM than a designer/writer, and appeared on the Dimension 20 show.

 

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Parmandur

Legend
Actually, some of the people who most forcefully critical of WotC last year during a lot of the social media drama are writers in this book: glad to see that some progress has been made on working together with the community, very positive all around.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Speculation seems to be all the adventures start in Candlekeep.
That seems like a pretty big assumption to me, as it would clash with the claim in the product description that the adventures are easy to drop into an ongoing campaign (unless that campaign happened to take place near Candlekeep). My bet would be that Candlekeep is just the framing device for the adventures, same as the Yawning Portal was for the dungeons in TftYP.
 


Corrosive

Adventurer
Actually, some of the people who most forcefully critical of WotC last year during a lot of the social media drama are writers in this book: glad to see that some progress has been made on working together with the community, very positive all around.
Well that's one way to quell criticism.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That seems like a pretty big assumption to me, as it would clash with the claim in the product description that the adventures are easy to drop into an ongoing campaign (unless that campaign happened to take place near Candlekeep). My bet would be that Candlekeep is just the framing device for the adventures, same as the Yawning Portal was for the dungeons in TftYP.
Well, I’m wrong. Confirmed in a couple places, they do all start in Candlekeep :/
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Why does it matter if all of the authors are women? Why can't we just have good adventures and not worry about the gender of the writers??
Oh god here we go. So tedious. So predictable. Drop that line of discussion please. There’s plenty of unpleasant places on the web who will welcome that conversation with wide open arms, but we’ve had enough of it here.
 

Mistwell

Legend
But what do I know? Me playing for over 2 decades and through 4.5 editions means nothing I guess. I guess I got nothing on the newbs running the D&D show or the veterans who do know better but are slaves to Hasbro Overseers who only care for the bottomline.
You say that sarcastically, but it's the correct answer. A majority of players of 5e are new to D&D. They do not have decades of gathered adventures like you and I have. The veterans running the show do know better than you on this I suspect, given the massive success of the edition and the release schedule which routinely is praised in their surveys as "just right" from their user base. Which, again, is a majority new players to D&D.

As for your last sentence - it's a business. Every edition you love was run based on caring for the bottomline. Some did it better than others, but all of them had that as their goal.
 

pukunui

Legend
Hmmm . . .


(Yes, I know most of these are bona fide up-and-comers, and I have no problem with Mr. Perkins having an adventure in this book. It just made me laugh, that's all.)
I note that there are more than 17 names on that list. I have a feeling the two Chrises didn’t write adventures but helped others with theirs.

Someone on Facebook also commented on this and got an official response:
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Some thoughts:
1. D&D desperately needs more adventure types that aren't just combat after combat.
2. A Good Mystery story rocks like nothing else, yet a Bad one Sucks like almost nothing else.
3. Writing a good mystery story is damn hard, with stakes, information management, character motivation, pacing and logic being much more important and easier to screw up than a standard D&D adventure.
4. Ergo, 17 or even half that many good mysteries in a single book would be an amazing, unlikely accomplishment.
5. WotC has a mixed record of doing hard things well. See Tascha's section on puzzles which dissapointed not only those of us who hate "find the letter / color combination to open the door" puzzles, but also dissapointed those I've talked to who love puzzles.
6. That means, I have great eagerness to see if WotC can pull this off (if so, instant classic), but not very high hopes it happens.
Just a point, most people I've spoken to who don't go on forums to talk about games, love the puzzle section of Tasha's. Most of them also love the name section of Xanathar's Guide, as well.

IME, places like enworld are so far removed from the larger community that trying to make any conclusion that reaches beyond the forum based on forum discussion is inherently useless.
 

Faolyn

Explorer
I find it odd that so many people are desperate for settings in 5E when settings seem to me to be the easiest and least crunchy things to make use of from previous editions, while adventures usually include locales and micro-settings and the up-to-date rules stuff you need to run them.

One, adventures are spoilery. One of my tablemates is going to run Icewind Dale. If I bought that book for the rules on travel and harsh weather, or for the magic items, spells, and monsters that are in it, I'd be wasting a lot of money because except for the appendices, the entire book would be off-limits to me. I don't want to be spoiled and I want to avoid adventure-specific meta-knowledge.

One-point-five, a lot of information is player knowledge. A player doesn't need to know the specifics of what a blizzard is like beyond "wear heavy clothing." This is info that takes a few paragraphs, maybe an appendix. The DM is the only one who has to care about the exact rules. But if they decided to introduce psionics in a Dark Sun adventure? Not only would this require at least two chapters (basic rules and powers, and either a psionicist class and archetypes, or just psionic archetypes for other classes) but it's something that players would need to know, thus bringing in the spoiler-y bits from above.

Two, adventures don't go into that much world-building. I'm (slowly) doing Curse of Strahd. That provides very little actually interesting information about Barovia (in comparison to late 2e and 3e books) and none on the rest of the Land of Mists--to the point that someone who had never heard of Ravenloft before wouldn't realize that there's 50+ other domains to explore, each with their own flavor of horror. Likewise, Descent into Avernus, I imagine (haven't read it), does a decent job detailing Avernus, but I doubt it does more than touch on the other outer planes, if at all--or the inner planes, Sigil, planewalking, the factions, or all the other things you'd need for a Planescape adventure.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
But what do I know? Me playing for over 2 decades and through 4.5 editions means nothing I guess. I guess I got nothing on the newbs running the D&D show or the veterans who do know better but are slaves to Hasbro Overseers who only care for the bottomline.
If you think you can run a better more successful role playing game line than WotC can, why don’t you? Show us all how it’s done! You clearly know better than them. ;)

There's better ways to say you'd personally prefer different content than to insult the designers.
 



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