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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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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I thought Kate punted and left D&D....was this her swan song project that was in the pipeline before she left.
Yes
Let’s try and keep an open mind folks.
Agree
Nice! I actually guessed a thing!
Same

I hope there's an alt cover, but not expecting it (Yawning Portal didn't have one, but Saltmarsh did). Which is too bad, because I'm not super stoked about the cover revealed in the OP.
 



I will buy it even though I rarely run any published adventure. Since these are smaller one shot adventures, there's a better chance I'll actually run them instead of just reading them for ideas.

Been playing since the late 1970s and I really like what's been published so far for D&D 5e. I suppose some folks "think" that this makes me one of Hasbro's slaves, but I have no fracks to give for the opinions of random strangers

I love mystery stories. In 40+ years of D&D, most of my games have had lots of mysteries. What my group gets bored of is "orc and pie" type stories. And also big adventures where characters go from 1st to 15th level in month or two.

My current Nyrond game is beginning campaign year 3 and the characters are 7th level. I remember* when you could enjoy a level for a while and allow your characters to grow in setting instead just mechanically in a month. I blame PAIZO and their interminable adventure paths.

When it comes to published adventures, I definitely prefer stand alone stories. Usually I have to tweak them so characters don't level twice in the course of a single adventure.

It was back in my day, so get off my lawn!
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
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.
Well, there are very few non-casters in 5e.

Also, I’m betting these adventures will be mysteries in the same way Waterdeep: Dragon Heist was a heist.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And now we have a description on Amazon...

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.
You know, I wasn’t excited by the announcement at first, but this description makes it sound like it could actually be pretty useful for my campaign...
 

I miss when TSR, WotC would release a catalogue at the beginning of the year with planned releases and decent product descriptions. I know why they dont anymore but liked it better than them being how secretive they are now.
Doing it this ways means that people will regularly start threads on internet forum boards speculating on what the release will be and building hype.
 

16*16=256

So, if the book is about 256 pages, less than 16 pages per adventure. Might be more, though, we'll find out more details soon..

The new description mentions the usual mini-bestiary at the end for NPCs and non-MM creatures appearing in the book, so that will probably take up at least 10 - 20 pages, if not more (using other books of this type as a comparison, the one in Yawning Portal took up 18 pages, Saltmarsh's took up 26)
 

And now we have a description on Amazon...

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.

Now that is interesting - especially that we'll actually get an official map of Candlekeep itself, which I'm pretty sure we haven't had before. Also the adventures run up to level 16, which means we'll be getting some higher level content - higher than anything official outside DotMM actually.

It also does sound like these will be more like the "mysterious person/location/creature" type of mystery rather than the Agatha Christie type of mystery like I suggested earlier in the thread.
 


I saw the cover on twitter and it didn't even register with me that it was the next official release.

I never picked up Yawning Portal or Saltmarsh as one of my games is being run by a new DM so I don't pick up things that he might be drawing material from if I can help it. So I'm keen just to get a feel for some shorter adventures, seems pretty useful to me.
 


It talks about mysteries. It has not to be always about murders. And when I read the word "mysteries" I can't to avoid thinking about Scooby Doo and Shaggy.

And the adventures are designed for +12y DMs, they can't be too complex.

And investigations in D&D is strange. I mean theorically the best one to investigate crimes should be the rogue, but to search clues or detect liers we need the clerics because these have got the highest Wisdom.

If I am not wrong, the most-sold TTRPGs after D&D are World of Darkness and the Call of Chulthu. D&D 5th is perfect to be a dungeon-crawler, but if WotC's strategy is "don't put all the eggs in one basket" then the d20 system has to be tested to know how to allow more social interactions and investigations. How should be the XPs reward for a perfect questioning of suspect, or the interrogation of a witness or person of interest? Could a wizard's familinar with its animal senses trained to search clues or traces?

Do you remember the "week monsters" from "X-Files"? Most of them were relatively weak in D&D terms, but them to be found and catched was a true challenge for our FBI agents Mulder and Scally. And the DM also can use magic to trick players, for example if the killer is a döppelganger who changes the face.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Now that is interesting - especially that we'll actually get an official map of Candlekeep itself, which I'm pretty sure we haven't had before. Also the adventures run up to level 16, which means we'll be getting some higher level content - higher than anything official outside DotMM actually.

It also does sound like these will be more like the "mysterious person/location/creature" type of mystery rather than the Agatha Christie type of mystery like I suggested earlier in the thread.

Yeah, it looks more like "figure out the nature of this strange magical item or phenomenon" mysteries, not whodunnits.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Yeah, it looks more like "figure out the nature of this strange magical item or phenomenon" mysteries, not whodunnits.
Which is fine by me, honestly. I'm not one of those who thinks D&D can't handle mystery adventures, but I wouldn't have high hopes for such adventures as written by WotC. More traditional adventures that involve some mysterious elements is a safer bet, and probably easier to integrate into your average campaign.
 

No RPG can handle a Sherlock Holmes/Hercule Poirot style detective story well, since it either requires the PLAYER to be brilliant enough to assemble the clues, or reduces things to an unsatisfactory skill roll and the GM explaining the solution.

Fortunately, most mystery stories are not like that. From the Hard Boiled detective subgenre*, to the Famous Five, to modern police procedurals, most mystery stories simply involve following a trail of fairly obvious clues (just like a treasure hunt) punctuated by regular fights, chases, or other action sequences that put our dogged detectives in jeopardy. D&D can do that perfectly well.


* The Dixon Hill parody in Star Trek TNG calls this out - every story begins with someone bursting into the office with a gun.
 

The way you handle magic in D&D mysteries is to turn the players expectations about magic against them.

Say the players use Speak with Dead on the corpse and the corpse tells them exactly who killed them. They can track down the murderer only to find that he's dead too. So they cast speak with dead on the new corpse and he tells them the first victim killed him (because Disguise Self is a first level spell).
 
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