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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.

Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 6.35.34 PM.png


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


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ehren37

Explorer
It will be interesting to see how they make it to where magic users don't just make the non-casters more or less pointless. D&D kind of works if you have a bunch of grindy filler encounters to let the BMX Bandit get in his ramp jumps before Angel Summoner saves the day. But in a low combat adventure (which mysteries tend to be), it's hard not to feel useless next to the guy who can cast ESP, Speak with Dead, Detect Lie, find the path, etc. I mean, sure you can just have everyone with amulets of nondetection, mind blank, etc but then the mages will rightly feel shafted.
 



Azuresun

Explorer
I love mystery adventures but running sherlock holmes style mysteries adventures at anything but low level tend to be very difficult with lie detection, speak with dead, mind reading magic, augry, ect.

That was my first thought--there are so many spells that just short-circuit mysteries, so either they do exactly that and make the challenge a string of players saying "OK, I cast Detect Thoughts / Commune / Locate Object / Scrying or the Knowledge Cleric, Bard and Divination Wizard are left sitting there wondering why the heck they even played "guy who casts magic that reveals information" when they run into yet another question that just happens to be immune to their abilities.
 



Jeff Carpenter

Adventurer
I’ve played and DM’d some excellent mystery plots in my day, and not always at low levels. They do have to be craftily designed, though. For example with a murder mystery, either the corpse needs to have been obliterated, or else the victim needs not to be aware of the culprit—or, better, to provide misleading evidence when interrogated with Speak with Dead (the culprit was disguised as another suspect when the crime was committed, etc.)

They don’t all require amulets of nondetection. But I suspect that if you think amulets of nondetection are nonsense, you’re probably not going to be satisfied by any D&D mystery, because they do definitely require that the DM/culprit has planned in some way for the spells you mention.

I agree it can be done well, if the author takes the time to really plan it out, but too often they just get lazy or dont have the page count. I have seen to many "roll to countinue" checks in mysteries or ones that are so broad the DM needs to prep for every eventuality and the DM gets stuck doing as much prep as if he had wrote it himself.

I guess what I am saying is published mystery adventures are some of the hardest ones to pull off .

I will be buying this but again hope its more mysterious disappearces and places and not crime solving. Because if its the latter it will probably be a disappointment.
 

I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed by this. I feel like I have enough adventures to last a lifetime. But maybe previews will get me excited, and maybe I could use some of the adventures in my Eberron game that takes place in Sharn.

Edit: Also, cool cover.
It would probably take fairly minimal work to convert them to Morgrave University. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising the book suggests that, and even gives conversion tips...
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
People wanted shorter adventures. Here you go. As for mysteries, magic makes it difficult but not impossible, to do well. And for those who wanted non FR, how hard is it to convert / drop a short adventure into a setting? Not very. Adventure paths with the geographic spread of many of them is a pain, short (probably 1 or few locations) adventures should be fine. And I'm curious about how they handle the mysteries... hopefully not with a die roll to solve :D
 


Also, for those focusing on the word "Mysteries", remember that that could mean a number of things outside the stereotypical Agatha Christie fare. It could also apply to characters investigating mysterious locations (or persons or beasts for that matter). "There are rumors of a strange new power in the forest", "All who have investigated that cave have never returned", "Where are all the goblins suddenly coming from and why", and so on are all mysteries.
 


Younger DMs without enough experience aren't ready for investigation games. And we shouldn't forget some players want to use magic like a magictek version of CSI, but also criminals could use magic or alchemy to erase possible clues. This is also a challenge when you are designing an investigation game, in different ages of real world. Could the fingerprints to be the proof for a trial in a D&D realm? Or to use alchemy to discover who is the true father of a alleged ilegitimate child, or to know if the blood from a taint in a murder scene is by male or female, or by humanoid or from a farm animal. Are there microscope to watch cells and tissues? What is the level of chriminology as science in D&D worlds? Could shapesifting magic be used to become a hound, or a boar, with a good smell to detect subtances, and possible poisons, in a crime scene?
 

Lidgar

Adventurer
Personally I am not going to get too hung up on the "mystery-themed" wording on the cover. That looks like a nice marketing schtick to get folks interested. It's 17 different adventures (that's a nice amount!), so my guess is it will be a bunch of short (8-10 page) adventures that accommodate a variety of playstyles with hooks to other "mysteries", perhaps all loosely linked.
 


Stormonu

Legend
Also, for those focusing on the word "Mysteries", remember that that could mean a number of things outside the stereotypical Agatha Christie fare. It could also apply to characters investigating mysterious locations (or persons or beasts for that matter). "There are rumors of a strange new power in the forest", "All who have investigated that cave have never returned", "Where are all the goblins suddenly coming from and why", and so on are all mysteries.
If they are "here there be dragons" or "track down the missing Dr. Livingstone", I might be able to get behind that, but I would consider that more exploration-style that mystery-style adventures, personally.
 

Personally I am not going to get too hung up on the "mystery-themed" wording on the cover. That looks like a nice marketing schtick to get folks interested. It's 17 different adventures (that's a nice amount!), so my guess is it will be a bunch of short (8-10 page) adventures that accommodate a variety of playstyles with hooks to other "mysteries", perhaps all loosely linked.
I'm guessing there will be some sort of linking plot for a DM to use if they want. I also wouldn't be surprised if Tasha's patron system also comes into play here, with a patron assigning the mysteries/adventures.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
In theory I'm interested, but with a few caveats:

1. I very much hope it's new material and not adventures mined from earlier editions
2. Mysteries are NOT something that 5E has done particularly well so far
3. I hope the emphasis is more on good storytelling and less on tables and new "mystery mechanics" that I will never use
4. That cover is bad.
 


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