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."

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Regular cover by Even Fong

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Alternate Cover by Sija Hong
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Isn't Acererak literally a dungeon master?
Yeah, I don't have an issue with the subject matter. It's the execution that is uninspired. The limited mauve palette. The flat perspective.

Like it or not, the cover of Radiant Citadel is a much bolder creative choice, and that's something I think deserves praise.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Yeah, I don't have an issue with the subject matter. It's the execution that is uninspired. The limited mauve palette. The flat perspective.

Like it or not, the cover of Radiant Citadel is a much bolder creative choice, and that's something I think deserves praise.
Especially the alternative cover. I'm not a fan of that particular art style, but it is unique when compared to other 5e covers (even amongst other books' alternative covers).
 

dave2008

Legend
More "cute and fluffy D&D?"
I dislike the aesthetic of D&D these days - displacer beast kittens, flying lemurs, etc. It makes it look childish. Couple that with "talking through problems with the bad guys" from recent campaigns, and I'm not interested at all.
It could've been Planescape.
Just thought you should know the upcoming Dragonlance stuff is rated M (for mature), so maybe that will be more what your want?

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The takes in this thread :ROFLMAO:

Based on the design articles I read about the process behind Candlekeep and reading the fallout with their freelancers then.
"Give us a short adventure, based around this theme, that connects to nothing in the campaign setting."
It's a far cry from Curse of Strahd, which came from a unified thematic, artistic vision. This just screams "we're publishing a bunch of random stuff."

Doesn't it though? Why introduce TWO planar city books that basically fulfill the same function?

This may not put Spelljammer to bed but I'd def say there is a lot less of a chance of a Planescape book when this new book fills the exact same role.

We got a similar promise from Candlekeep, which did get dark at times but not in ways that are particularly satisfying or engaging.
The most egregious example was the way to beat the final antagonist of the final adventure, which was to convince or intimidate an innocent pixie to commit suicide. She is otherwise immortal, the only option is to get her to kill herself or your party can't kill the lich in a way that matters. I was frankly flabbergasted that this survived into the final edit. There's no group playing in existence that would want to do that or derive any satisfaction from it. It's also tonally inconsistent with a book that has a comedy rocket ship quest and other tongue in cheek nonsense. It's completely sophomoric since it has no relevance to any theme or established tone of the adventure or book; a cheap dose of bleakness with no greater context or purpose.
So like many other criticisms towards 5e's approach to lore and world building, I'm of the opinion that it's ultimately due to the deliberately shallow storytelling. If there was faith that the lighter and friendlier tone of the published material would come with mechanical substance or greater story justifications there would be less complaining about it. But there isn't, because there's no precedent for it in this edition. If you're not someone that likes the new aesthetic of D&D then there is nothing for you there, because the product is mostly aesthetic.

They have shallow story telling because they try and stuff too many different things into a single book, few 5e books have any kind focus and that leads to shallow story telling and shallow world building, and other issues.

Take Radiant Citedal, it's book setting book and adventure book in a relatively smaller sized book at that and something will end up under cooked and shallow like usual, something isn't going to get the space it needs.

  • These are small individual adventures (fact)
  • They don’t reference the NPCs from other adventures in the anthology (fact)
  • They don’t build in locations from the other adventures (fact)
  • They don’t have a progression of wider story line (fact)
 


eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Yeah, the "this means no Planescape now" takes are pretty amusing when Planescape is announced a month or so after the book came out. There were the same takes with Ravnica as well...
I'm happy to be proven wrong. Though Ravnica just being a crappier version of Sigil is a hill I'm willing to die on.
 


Ok so I’ve gone through the book and it looks good, but the suggestions on where to place the stories in established campaign worlds is so pedestrian. Why, for instance, would you not even mention Maztica when placing a clearly Mesoamerican themed adventure in Faerun? Ditto Calimshan or Zakhara for the Middle Eastern flavoured ones? It boggles the mind. Instead we get “it is set in a desert, so put it here even though it makes no sense in a sociocultural level”.
 

Ok so I’ve gone through the book and it looks good, but the suggestions on where to place the stories in established campaign worlds is so pedestrian. Why, for instance, would you not even mention Maztica when placing a clearly Mesoamerican themed adventure in Faerun? Ditto Calimshan or Zakhara for the Middle Eastern flavoured ones? It boggles the mind. Instead we get “it is set in a desert, so put it here even though it makes no sense in a sociocultural level”.
Because their execution was offensively stereotypical. It's not a good idea, when trying to put right the depiction of other cultures in D&D, you continue to include references to the mistakes of the past.
 

Because their execution was offensively stereotypical. It's not a good idea, when trying to put right the depiction of other cultures in D&D, you continue to include references to the mistakes of the past.
Well that’s daft.

1. Maztica exists
2. It is of a Mesomerican culture

The rest is irrelevant. No ones asking you to bust out the Maztica boxes set and reenact the glorious adventures of Cordell’s legion, merely recognise that there’s a part of Toril where thematically this adventure really fits.

If it wasn’t done well in the past the first step to a better depiction is tying it up this material rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.
 

MockingBird

Adventurer
Well that’s daft.

1. Maztica exists
2. It is of a Mesomerican culture

The rest is irrelevant. No ones asking you to bust out the Maztica boxes set and reenact the glorious adventures of Cordell’s legion, merely recognise that there’s a part of Toril where thematically this adventure really fits.

If it wasn’t done well in the past the first step to a better depiction is tying it up this material rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.
I agree, this would have been the perfect time to start building these places in a positive light.
 

Well that’s daft.

1. Maztica exists
This is fundamentally untrue. Nothing in D&D exists, it's all fictional.
2. It is of a Mesomerican culture
No, it's pro-colonialist WASP parody of a Mesoamerican culture.
The rest is irrelevant. No ones asking you to bust out the Maztica boxes set and reenact the glorious adventures of Cordell’s legion, merely recognise that there’s a part of Toril where thematically this adventure really fits.
If you mention it, people are going to look it up. FR wiki is a thing. And then the players who Radiant Citadel was specifically designed to attract will read it and see how their cultural heritage was parodied, and decide D&D isn't for them.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
This is fundamentally untrue. Nothing in D&D exists, it's all fictional.
I agree with the rest of your post, but this is overly pedantic and unhelpful for the discussion. We all know what their statement means. Maztica exists in the context of the Forgotten Realms and has been mentioned officially in 5e (Volo's lore for Tabaxi).
 

I agree with the rest of your post, but this is overly pedantic and unhelpful for the discussion. We all know what their statement means. Maztica exists in the context of the Forgotten Realms and has been mentioned officially in 5e (Volo's lore for Tabaxi).
I would point out that Volo's is discontinued. The current lore for Tabaxi makes no mention Maztica.

The issue WotC has is that to narratively write something out of a setting would be to draw unwelcome attention to it. So the policy is to simply not mention it. Hence WotC's insistence that a mention of Kara-Tur in The Book of Inner Alchemy (Candlekeep Mysteries) was changed to " the lands to the east of Faerûn". NB, this is according to the author, Daniel Kwan.
 
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