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

Ixal

Hero
You'd almost think that places like Venice, Florence, Hue or various other major trading hubs never existed. :erm:

The book says the entrance fee is paid according to the person's conscience. So, basically, how virtually every charitable organization works. And funnily enough, there are charitable organizations out there that are bringing in rather large sums of money.

It's hardly an unusual way to do things. Churches have been operating this way for centuries. It's not like you must pay to sit in church. Yet, funnily enough, as I pass through the cities of Europe and now Japan, I can see big, beautiful churches and temples, all built and paid for through willing donations.

I fail to see how this is all that unusual. And, frankly, it's a rather refreshing change from the typical anachronistic capitalistic societies that D&D typically pumps out where we use cash for everything.

We're actually arguing about the economic system of a rock that is powered by a giant magical crystal hanging in an extra-planar void? Seriously?

It's like arguing about time travel based on Doctor Who. :erm:
Except the mind reading guards turn you away when they think you do not pay enough. Huge difference.

And you simply assume that the Radiant Citadel is a well visited trade hub without offering an explanation why. Trade hubs encouraged trade, the Citadel discourage it. And because of the way the notportals work the next big city in another realm is just 1 mile or less away. Would Venice have been a trade hub if Rome would have been just 1 mile next to it and Venice had high taxes? No it would not have been.
 

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Radiant Citadel doesn't need to be a well visited trade hub when it had druids dishing out goodberrys on every street corner.

Fantasy trumps real world economics.
 

Ixal

Hero
Radiant Citadel doesn't need to be a well visited trade hub when it had druids dishing out goodberrys on every street corner.

Fantasy trumps real world economics.
Which works for food and the book is pretty clear that they don't do that and instead farm every small green space possible and still have limits restrictions on food.

But then there are also other things. Water is just assumed to exist, clothes, building material, firewood (or equivalent), basic tools and so on. And that is just the basic. The book mentions artists and musicians several times so you also need musical instruments, art supplies and so on. Everything the Citadel needs apart from some basic food they grow on their own needs to be imported and financed. And just taxing traders is not enough to finance buying from said traders as every tax you levy is just added to the price of the product.
 


Ixal

Hero
Umm, that's not true. There's nothing in the text that says that that's true. At worst, they tut tut you a bit.
"risk the rebuke of the city's guards"
When the guard at the entrance rebukes you, you do not get in. But yes it depends on what definition of rebuke you use. The toll still has to be paid though, its not optional. Only the price can in some instances be negotiated.
 

Hussar

Legend
Which works for food and the book is pretty clear that they don't do that and instead farm every small green space possible and still have limits restrictions on food.

But then there are also other things. Water is just assumed to exist, clothes, building material, firewood (or equivalent), basic tools and so on. And that is just the basic. The book mentions artists and musicians several times so you also need musical instruments, art supplies and so on. Everything the Citadel needs apart from some basic food they grow on their own needs to be imported and financed. And just taxing traders is not enough to finance buying from said traders as every tax you levy is just added to the price of the product.
Oh, come on. Show me a single D&D city that actually gives that level of detail. Where are the farms around Waterdeep? Or Baldur's Gate for that matter? How does Greyhawk actually function?

This is just picking nits.
 

Hussar

Legend
"risk the rebuke of the city's guards"
When the guard at the entrance rebukes you, you do not get in. But yes it depends on what definition of rebuke you use. The toll still has to be paid though, its not optional. Only the price can in some instances be negotiated.
Umm, that's not what rebuke means.

Rebuke means they say bad things to you. He rebuked me does not mean I get turned away and cannot enter. It means they weren't very polite.
 


Ixal

Hero
Oh, come on. Show me a single D&D city that actually gives that level of detail. Where are the farms around Waterdeep? Or Baldur's Gate for that matter? How does Greyhawk actually function?

This is just picking nits.
Its not nitpicking when the book, in the very few pages dedicated about the city, talks about it. If you don't want to be talked about the problems of supplying food, don't write about how hard it is to get food, how limited your farming area is and how you have to import it. When you do, you have to accept that people are talking about it. Same with the taxes and tariffs.
 
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Irlo

Hero
Its not nitpicking when the book, in the very few pages dedicated about the city, talks about it. If you don't want to be talked about the problems of supplying food, don't write about how hard it is to get food, how limited your farming area is and how you have to import it. When you do, you have to accept that people are talking about it. Same with the taxes and tariffs.
The book does not indicate that Citadel has to import food or that it's hard to get.
 

pemerton

Legend
just taxing traders is not enough to finance buying from said traders as every tax you levy is just added to the price of the product.
This is obviously not true as it stands. You seem to be assuming that the traders have no market for their goods other than the residents of the Citadel, but given that it is a trade hub it seems obvious that that is not the case. The principal market for trade goods will be other traders, who then take the goods that they purchase to other markets where they sell them to their final consumers.

Suppose that a given trader in the Citadel generates 50x of turnover on goods that cost them 30x for purchase and transport, and then pays 10x in tax (ie a 20% tax on the deemed sale value of the goods) and thus retains 10x profit. One way to pay that tax is by giving the city one fifth of their goods. If there are a large number of goods, that may be enough to support a reasonable number of people in the city.

Increase the number of traders, and the population that is supported will grow. Change the posited figures, and we get different necessary ratios of goods sold to city population. As @Hussar posted, no D&D product goes into this sort of mathematical detail. It's enough that we can think up solutions in our imaginations.
 
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Ixal

Hero
This is obviously not true as it stands. You seem to be assuming that the traders have no market for their goods other than the residents of the Citadel, but given that it is a trade hub it seems obvious that that is not the case. The principal market for trade goods will be other traders, who then take the goods that they purchase to other markets where they sell them to their final consumers.

Suppose that a given trade in the Citadel generates 50x of turnover on goods that cost them 30x for purchase and transport, and then pays 10x in tax (ie a 20% tax on the deemed sale value of the goods) and thus retains 10x profit. One way to pay that tax is by giving the city one fifth of their goods. If there are a large number of goods, that may be enough to support a reasonable number of people in the city.

Increase the number of traders, and the population that is supported will grow. Change the posited figures, and we get different necessary ratios of goods sold to city population. As @Hussar posted, no D&D product goes into this sort of mathematical detail. It's enough that we can think up solutions in our imaginations.
You too simply assume that the Citadel will be a trade hub, but it will not. The not-portals allow traders to directly planeshift to other major cities where they can sell directly. No need for a intermediary trader in the Citadel with its entry toll and high taxes.
 

pemerton

Legend
You too simply assume that the Citadel will be a trade hub, but it will not. The not-portals allow traders to directly planeshift to other major cities where they can sell directly. No need for a intermediary trader in the Citadel with its entry toll and high taxes.
I'm not assuming it will be a trade hub. My understanding is that the book stipulates that it is one.

To me it doesn't seem that hard to imagine why that might be so. Are there no translators, or other cultural obstacles, to selling directly to consumers on the other side of the portals? I don't know, but given that overall theme of the book that seems like a possibility.

Do those other markets have rules forbidding foreign traders, meaning that a neutral place for trade is essential? I haven't heard anything that rules out this sort of possibility.

Are there obstacles to just using the "not portals"? I haven't read the book, but @Whizbang Dustyboots has, and so has @Irlo I think, and they both seem to believe that there are obstacles in this respect.

It just doesn't seem that hard to fill in some rough and ready details by using one's imagination.
 

Ixal

Hero
I'm not assuming it will be a trade hub. My understanding is that the book stipulates that it is one.

To me it doesn't seem that hard to imagine why that might be so. Are there no translators, or other cultural obstacles, to selling directly to consumers on the other side of the portals? I don't know, but given that overall theme of the book that seems like a possibility.

Do those other markets have rules forbidding foreign traders, meaning that a neutral place for trade is essential? I haven't heard anything that rules out this sort of possibility.

Are there obstacles to just using the "not portals"? I haven't read the book, but @Whizbang Dustyboots has, and so has @Irlo I think, and they both seem to believe that there are obstacles in this respect.

It just doesn't seem that hard to fill in some rough and ready details by using one's imagination.
  • No, all speak common. The book even calls out how prevalent common as language is
  • The book mentions that the diplomatic relations between the Citadel and the other nations are not always good (and specifically mentiones disagreements about the tariffs). So its unlikely that the Citadel enjoys a special status for trade unless they flat out refuse traders to pass and force them to sell through the Citadel. But that does not fit will with the egeleterian vibe of the Citadel (unless you think "stick it to them" is also part of it).
  • There is no restrictions mentioned for the use of the jewels. There is a group of operators who control them, but they are state employees so to speak and not their own guild and no tarifs or taxes for them are mentioned or any other kind of restriction. Its even unclear if changing from one to the other involves entering the city, thus paying the fee, or not as all of them dock at the same area before the gates.
 
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Irlo

Hero
Yes, if we read a short summary of the trade system of an interplanar nexus connecting dozens of disparate civilizations on dozens of worlds, we can find omissions that, if left unfilled by our imaginations, lead to absurdities.

There's a reason that farmers rent stalls at the farmer's market in my neighborhood rather than travel door to door selling fruit.
 

Ixal

Hero
Yes, if we read a short summary of the trade system of an interplanar nexus connecting dozens of disparate civilizations on dozens of worlds, we can find omissions that, if left unfilled by our imaginations, lead to absurdities.

There's a reason that farmers rent stalls at the farmer's market in my neighborhood rather than travel door to door selling fruit.
Except the correct analogy would be the farmers instead renting the stalls on the other farmer's market across the street where the stalls are cheaper and customers do not need to pay an entry fee.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Now that we've solved this, can we talk about how dungeons are far too large to make sense and everyone in them would suffocate long before they realized the inability to remove waste products from them would also be deadly?

Also, dragons couldn't possibly fly and the energy required to fire off a breath weapon even once would require them to raze the countryside for miles around just due to the calories involved?

And "magic" and "psionics" aren't the answer, since both are clearly nonsense under even a basic understanding of thermodynamics.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, the multiverse can't work that way, as physics and math both clearly show.
 

Are they? Import taxes are mostly used to discourage trade which seems to be the last thing the Radiant Citadel would want with no industry of their own.
Historically saying that is a complete and utter nonsense. Virtually every successful trading city levies significant but not extortionate taxes on trade. There's a limit but it's easily enough to provide the city with a lot of money. Some, like Venice, even managed to do taxes which were pretty much extortionate! Venice's entire vast wealth came primarily from trade taxes. The reason you go there is usually for the good position it holds and the protection it offers, which is exactly what the Radiant Citadel provides.
Places with high tariffs do not become trade hubs though.
Absolutely they do. Especially if they're the only place for a large distance. You're just talking pure anti-facts here. This isn't "disputed" or "questionable", this is stuff there are entire books on!

The idea of trying to trade in a shanty town outside the Radiant Citadel is extremely funny at least.
Except the correct analogy would be the farmers instead renting the stalls on the other farmer's market across the street where the stalls are cheaper and customers do not need to pay an entry fee.
There is no other market here. That's what you're profoundly failing to get.

It's like suggesting people will just go another large safe-harbour port on some coast where there's literally only one large safe-harbour port for hundreds of miles. The free market isn't magic, dude, it can't spontaneously manifest new locations for trade.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I strongly encourage anyone who is looking at this as impossible as-written to focus on suggestions on how to make it possible with the fewest changes, since the specific goal was to present a setting.

Let us also keep in mind that we're talking about magical multiverses here, where economics can work in thousands of different ways never seen before. Heck, D&D has had monsters that can Create Soft Goods like pillows as a basic magical ability.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Radiant Citadel doesn't need to be a well visited trade hub when it had druids dishing out goodberrys on every street corner.

Fantasy trumps real world economics.
Does it say that's what happens?

I would actually LOVE to see a setting that leans all the way into the mechanics of D&D. I suspect it would little resemble what we've had for the last 50 years.
 

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