D&D 5E The Next D&D Book is JOURNEYS THROUGH THE RADIANT CITADEL

We peered, poked, squinted, flipped, and enhanced the teaser image that WotC put out last week, and it turns out we got it right -- the next book is, indeed, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel.

journey_citadel.jpg

Wraparound cover art by Evyn Fong

Through the mists of the Ethereal Plane shines the Radiant Citadel. Travelers from across the multiverse flock to this mysterious bastion to share their traditions, stories, and calls for heroes. A crossroads of wonders and adventures, the Radiant Citadel is the first step on the path to legend. Where will your journeys take you?

Journeys through the Radiant Citadel is a collection of thirteen short, stand-alone D&D adventures featuring challenges for character levels 1–14. Each adventure has ties to the Radiant Citadel, a magical city with connections to lands rich with excitement and danger, and each can be run by itself or as part of an ongoing campaign. Explore this rich and varied collection of adventures in magical lands.
  • Thirteen new stand-alone adventures spanning levels 1 to 14, each with its own set of maps
  • Introduces the Radiant Citadel, a new location on the Ethereal Plane that connects adventurers to richly detailed and distinct corners of the D&D multiverse
  • Each adventure can be set in any existing D&D campaign setting or on worlds of your own design
  • Introduces eleven new D&D monsters
  • There’s a story for every adventuring party, from whimsical and light to dark and foreboding and everything in between


Slated for June 21st (update - I just got a press release which says it's June 21st "in North American stores"; I'm not sure what that means for the rest of us!), it's a 224-page adventure anthology featuring a floating city called the Radiant Citadel. The book is written entirely by people of colour, including Ajit George, who was the first person of Indian heritage to write Indian-inspired material for D&D (in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft). Around 50 POC writers were involved in total in various ways.

The Radiant Citadel is on the ethereal plane and is carved from the giant fossil of an unknown monster. A massive gemstone called the Royal Diamond sits at the core, surrounded by a bunch of smaller Concord Jewels, which are gateways to the Citadel's founding civilizations. DMs can link any world to the citadel by placing a Concord Jewel there.

The Citadel, unlike many D&D locations, is more of a sanctuary than a place of danger. The book's alternate cover features a Dawn Incarnate, a creature which is the embodiment of stories and cultures.


The adventures are as follows:
  • Salted Legacy
  • Written In Blood
  • The Fiend of Hollow Mine
  • Wages of Vice
  • Sins of Our Elders
  • Gold for Fools and Princes
  • Trail of Destruction
  • In the Mists of Manivarsha
  • Between Tangled Roots
  • Shadow of the Sun
  • The Nightsea’s Succor
  • Buried Dynasty
  • Orchids of the Invisible Mountain
UPDATE -- the press release contains a list of some of the contributors: "Justice Ramin Arman, Dominique Dickey, Ajit A. George, Basheer Ghouse, Alastor Guzman, D. Fox Harrell, T.K. Johnson, Felice Tzehuei Kuan, Surena Marie, Mimi Mondal, Mario Ortegón, Miyuki Jane Pinckard, Pam Punzalan, Erin Roberts, Terry H. Romero, Stephanie Yoon, and many more."

citadel_cover.jpg

Regular cover by Even Fong

citadel_alt.jpg

Alternate Cover by Sija Hong
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
I don't particularly love the cover either, but I also don't understand the fixation folks have on covers... the expression "Don't judge a book by its cover," seems especially relevant in this case. Some of these adventures sound really, really good. Like so good, I want to take the small region of some of them and build a whole world out of it.
Yeah. I'm not a fan of either of the covers that we're getting for this book. I also didn't like either of the covers for The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I didn't particularly like the cover for Explorer's Guide to Wildemount or Call of the Netherdeep, either. But I'm still going to buy this book and I bought all of those books because I like what I've heard about it. I don't care if I like the cover, I care if I like the ideas for the adventures inside it.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Yeah. I'm not a fan of either of the covers that we're getting for this book. I also didn't like either of the covers for The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I didn't particularly like the cover for Explorer's Guide to Wildemount or Call of the Netherdeep, either. But I'm still going to buy this book and I bought all of those books because I like what I've heard about it. I don't care if I like the cover, I care if I like the ideas for the adventures inside it.

Yeah, I mean, if the cover is great, awesome! But if it's not fine... no big deal if the book itself is great. And it's not like an incredible cover is going to get me to buy a book everyone thinks is trash.
 



Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Public confession: when I first saw it back in '82, I thought the original AD&D DMG cover looked lame. To me at the time it seemed totally cheesy and weak.

Didn't stop me using the book.
I know that some of the most iconic monsters in D&D came from this book, but I truly do not like the cover art. I think literally all D&D 5e covers are better than this one, even if it is a classic.
1654213062828.png
 



Retreater

Legend
I know that some of the most iconic monsters in D&D came from this book, but I truly do not like the cover art. I think literally all D&D 5e covers are better than this one, even if it is a classic.
I mean, the production standards were very different back then. They had high school students doing the art back in the 70s. I don't judge today's books by the same standards as the first books produced in the industry.
To be completely honest, I don't like the covers from that era either.
 

Arilyn

Hero
I like Radiant Citadel's cover. To me it speaks of travel, exotic market places and wondrous fantasy. I don't need to see heroes in terrible danger to think of adventure. This cover makes me feel that the adventure and danger are lurking outside the safety of the city. And I'm also a sucker for brightly coloured and busy market scenes.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
I mean, the production standards were very different back then. They had high school students doing the art back in the 70s. I don't judge today's books by the same standards as the first books produced in the industry.
To be completely honest, I don't like the covers from that era either.
But did you avoid buying those books because the cover art wasn't great (or something you didn't like)? That is the overall point. Don't judge a book solely on its cover art. Normally the people that write the book aren't the people that make art for it.
 


Retreater

Legend
I dunno. If you tell me shopping is distinctly not part of your D&D then yours differs A LOT from mine.
I run short sessions, so most "everyday" shopping is handled away from the table. I don't like running a game for hours that is about people buying trout and cabbage from an interstellar farmers' market.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
I run short sessions, so most "everyday" shopping is handled away from the table. I don't like running a game for hours that is about people buying trout and cabbage from an interstellar farmers' market.
I think typical shopping trips in D&D are more "buy magic items/adventuring equipment necessary to survive your quest" and "fun roleplay-focused sessions where you befriend shopkeepers, like in Critical Role" than "buying trout and cabbage from the interstellar farmer's market".
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I run short sessions, so most "everyday" shopping is handled away from the table. I don't like running a game for hours that is about people buying trout and cabbage from an interstellar farmers' market.
Many episodes of Critical Role are pretty much all shopping trip, and they are fabulous. It is not a coincidence, I reckon, thst the writer for the first adventure has a day job working behind the scenes at Critical Role.
 

Smackpixi

Adventurer
I know very little about this book so for the benefit of no one I’ll take a stab at what the book is about based just on the cover.

It’s “exotic” marketplace. So..urban, more intrigue, social, role playing heavy. Working class, street level intrigue, not high politics. Seems post colonial Central America, mid-east, with a dash of west South Asia. I want to say more magical realism than high fantasy but I know it’s probably not at all even magical realism adjacent because my wife has more than once pointed out I have no idea what it really is, but if it Didn’t already have another meaning, this would be magical realism. Curious about the neon lights. Seems like, it’s in the middle of a stadium located on a Yes album cover landscape.

Whether or not one likes the cover seems a weird thing…I mean, it’s not awesome to me, but then neither is half the stuff in The Met…so…not really a standard I go on often. It’s not the outdoorsy sort of Celtic adjacent muddy Druid thing I’m working on right now so not a buy since avoiding distractions. But if I wanted the above, i’d buy it!
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
It’s “exotic” marketplace. So..urban, more intrigue, social, role playing heavy. Working class, street level intrigue, not high politics.
All accurate. For at least one adventure in the book (the cooking one that takes place in the location being shown on the cover).
Seems post colonial Central America, mid-east, with a dash of west South Asia.
Kinda. It's more a cultural melting pot of fantasy equivalents of many non-European ethnicities (Fantasy Persia, Fantasy Mesoamerica, and Fantasy China have all been confirmed so far). Oh, and it takes place in a floating city in the Deep Ethereal built on the crystalline body of a dead creature.
I want to say more magical realism than high fantasy but I know it’s probably not at all even magical realism adjacent because my wife has more than once pointed out I have no idea what it really is, but if it Didn’t already have another meaning, this would be magical realism. Curious about the neon lights. Seems like, it’s in the middle of a stadium located on a Yes album cover landscape.
So, more magic-urban blend than something like Lord of the Rings, you mean? More like Eberron or Planescape than the Forgotten Realms or Westeros. Am I understanding you correctly?
 


Confession: I don't like the covers of most of the 5e books, especially the core rulebooks. It's some of the most boring fantasy art I have ever seen. The DMG is the worst.

Fortunately, I buy books for the content, not the covers.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Confession: I don't like the covers of most of the 5e books, especially the core rulebooks. It's some of the most boring fantasy art I have ever seen. The DMG is the worst.

Fortunately, I buy books for the content, not the covers.
I tend to agree. I like most of 5e's art overall, and I think some of the covers are quite good (Descent into Avernus, Rime of the Frostmaiden, the alternate cover of the Eberron book), but I really don't like most of the covers for the books.

I like the 5e Monster Manual the most of the art for the 5e core rulebooks. The Player's Handbook, IMO, is the worst of them. None of the cover art really fits the book that well, IMO. The Player's Handbook should probably have an adventuring party be the most prominent (or maybe a tavern?) instead of a fire giant, the Monster Manual should have a ton of different monsters, not just Xanathar, and the DMs Guide should have something DM related, not Acererak.
 


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