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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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I would point out that Volo's is discontinued. The current lore for Tabaxi makes no mention Maztica.
Sure. But Volo's being discontinued had nothing to do with Maztica being mentioned in it and everything to do with updating monster and race stats from both Volo's and Mordenkainen's into a single "setting neutral" book.

I was going to respond to the second part of the post, but it looks like @JEB has that covered.
 



Sure. But Volo's being discontinued had nothing to do with Maztica being mentioned in it and everything to do with updating monster and race stats from both Volo's and Mordenkainen's into a single "setting neutral" book.
No, but the change reflects a deliberate change in policy from WotC between the publication of Volo's and the publication of MotM.

In the current version of FR Maztica, Kara Tur, etc don't exist, and never have existed.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
No, but the change reflects a deliberate change in policy from WotC between the publication of Volo's and the publication of MotM.
Agreed. I was just pointing out that your "Maztica is fictional" was unhelpful to the discussion, whether or not it's "officially mentioned in a non-discontinued 5e book" or it being mentioned is a good idea. I agree that Maztica not being mentioned was a good thing.
 

Agreed. I was just pointing out that your "Maztica is fictional" was unhelpful to the discussion, whether or not it's "officially mentioned in a non-discontinued 5e book" or it being mentioned is a good idea. I agree that Maztica not being mentioned was a good thing.
No, I would say it's very relevant. Because it's fictional, you can change something, forget it, or delete it without having to justify or explain the change.
 

No, but the change reflects a deliberate change in policy from WotC between the publication of Volo's and the publication of MotM.

In the current version of FR Maztica, Kara Tur, etc don't exist, and never have existed.
That's a bit of a leap. They may not have been mentioned (or at best obliquely referred to), but they haven't been outright stated to not exist, nor ever existed. They may very well say this at some point, but they haven't done so so far. If this is the case, we need a direct citation, and, no, claiming that they haven't been mentioned isn't good enough. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
 

That's a bit of a leap. They may not have been mentioned (or at best obliquely referred to), but they haven't been outright stated to not exist, nor ever existed. They may very well say this at some point, but they haven't done so so far. If this is the case, we need a direct citation, and, no, claiming that they haven't been mentioned isn't good enough. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
As a I pointed out, they can't make a statement to that effect, because to do so would be to draw attention to them, which is the very thing WotC want to avoid. But you can make an inference by the absence of a mention in places where you might expect a mention to exist. The dog did nothing in the night time.
 




As a I pointed out, they can't make a statement to that effect, because to do so would be to draw attention to them, which is the very thing WotC want to avoid. But you can make an inference by the absence of a mention in places where you might expect a mention to exist. The dog did nothing in the night time.
So, no, you don't have a direct citation. And to make up for that fact, you conjure up a "don't mention" policy. And to make up for the lack of direct citation for that as well, you state that the "don't mention" policy itself cannot be mentioned, due to... itself. I assume that it's "don't mentions" all the way down then?

Seriously, just say "I believe that this is the case." Such an opinion is as valid as any other, lacking further evidence - after all, there is the possibility that WotC may indeed forgo mentioning them in the future. But saying "This is so", as you are doing here, is presenting something as fact, and that needs further concrete evidence. And, by your own admission, there is none.
 
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It kinda comes across that new Mesoamerican inspired adventures must use Maztica as their locale under this logic, which is on it's face reductive. We don't require that there be only one Germanic pastiche in all of DnD for example. Why should a new writer have to write within an existing setting if they honestly feel the way it has been used in the past just doesn't hold up today? Is Maztica even a popular setting that is being slighted by this? If a DM buys Citadel and earnestly wants to change the place names to reflect previously, they can do so easily enough. I am blending the new Ravenloft material with the 3.5 takes that Swords and Sorcery did back in the day just fine.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The suggestions for placing the new material in this book in published Settings are rather aggressively saying that you can just change the official Settings fairly radically: put the fantasy Phillipines off the Sword Coast, pit the fantasy Korea on the Sea of Fallen Stars, place fantasy China west of Dorakin in Mystara. The authors do seem to be sending the message that the Settings as published are themselves just suggestions that can be added to at will, and...good.
 

Well after wading through a whole bunch of rather strange posts about how Maztica is being given the old Stalin treatment I went and reread the “Forgotten Realms Style Guide” issued around the time of Wild Beyond the Witchlight for people writing in the Forgotten Realms and blow me down – there are Zakhara and Kara Tur extensively mentioned, as well as a few references to Maztica as well. If it’s being “disappeared” no one informed Wizards of the Coast I guess. But I’m sure any moment now Maztica will be locked up in the same detention centre as Mike Mearls.



I don’t see why someone interested in “diversity” would want to delete the only non-European themed cultural areas in Toril, replacing them with a strange blancmange of flavourless goop. You have some great and rich cultural descriptions in the new book that can be used to rebuild and enrich areas of Toril that weren’t utilised to their full potential in 2E. I fail to see how throwing out the baby with the bathwater helps anything – not when you’ve got 100+ years of unexplored history to play with. If the Faerunian colonies in Maztica is really a big problem, then just say the natives have invaded and destroyed these places. It’s not that difficult.



What’s really happening here is WoTC’s refusal to countenance anything happening in Toril outside the Sword Coast – and if that means plopping down a Latin American town right near Renfaire Cormyr they’re going to do it. It won’t generate Twitter-rage I guess.



(As a final note of ironic hilarity, plenty of the cultures depicted in the Radiant Citadel are themselves the product of the post-colonial mix of European and non-European cultures, and would be almost by definition impossible to arise without that cultural mix. But far better to just pretend certain events in history never happened, right?)
 

Hussar

Legend
See the trick is, and we’re seeing this with the reactions to Dragonlance, that if they do plunk the adventure down in, say, Maztica, you have a very loud core of people who will fight tooth and nail over any and all changes.

It’s just not worth it really. Much better to just allude to it and leave it up to individual tables. There’s just no upside for WotC here.
 

pukunui

Legend
On the topic of the book itself, I found the adventures to be a mix of good, bad, and meh (just like with Candlekeep Mysteries). A lot of the art is really great. Some pieces depict people in clothing that just feels a bit too modern for my D&D preferences, though (e.g. denim overalls and pumps).

I also feel like a good chunk of the adventures follow the same formula: go to this place, there's a festival going on, find out there's a problem, do some investigating, face off against the monster causing the problem. In many cases, it's going to end up being a group of PCs vs one monster, which means it's going to be a somewhat anticlimactic fight.

I also feel like the connective tissue of the Radiant Citadel itself is very weak. The adventures were very clearly written to be used as standalone adventures and if you want to tie them into the Citadel, once again, you have to do the work. (Yes, I know, it's par for the course for the DIY Edition but still ...)

I haven't looked at the add-on stuff on DMs Guild yet, but I've heard it helps.
 

See the trick is, and we’re seeing this with the reactions to Dragonlance, that if they do plunk the adventure down in, say, Maztica, you have a very loud core of people who will fight tooth and nail over any and all changes.

It’s just not worth it really. Much better to just allude to it and leave it up to individual tables. There’s just no upside for WotC here.
I doubt Maztica would have that sort of reaction, as it wasn't particulalry popular or beloved. Kara-Tur might elicit more of a reaction, and Zakhara even more, but the DMs Guild Zakhara product was well-received, even with some changes, so I'm not sure changes in any of them would cause much of an outcry. And there's always the excuse of "it's been well over a century and two global catastrophes since there's been any description of these areas, so changes are probably actually to be expected". The difference between these and Dragonlance is that the latter appears to be set in an already described region within a long-established time line.
 

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