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
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Ixal

Hero
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.

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.

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.
Now you are just talking nonsense.
The only time trade hubs could get away with high tarrifs was when there was no other choice then to go through them to agreements and often military force. Thats why Venice became a trade hub and could levy high taxes. By having the monopoly on trade with the Muslim world through agreements and war with competitors like Genoa.

And while as I already posted that the Citadel could use more forceful methods to force merchants to trade through them it would go against the society presented in the book.

And you are completely, utterly wrong that there is no other market. The next market is just one quick jewel ride away as they can plane shift at will and also fly. And the adventures support that as they deposit you either close or directly in a city. The next market is literally just minutes away. So in the shanty town an agreement would be made, the goods would then be gathered, "jeweled" to the Citadel and immediately jeweled out again to its destination. There is no need to have the Citadel as a middle man. After a short while traders would know what sells and is available where and when and would simply show up with their goods with no prior agreement.


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.
1. The Citadel needs to be attractive to traders. Currently there is no reason to trade with it instead of the other realms directly. Alternatively restrict or complicate the use of the jewels.
2. It also needs an industry of its own as under this circumstances financing itself only through trade is impossible (even Venice had its own industry)
3. Tone down the utopia a bit, both meaning allowing the Citadel to be more forceful and egoistic and also thinks like having popular foods in the city use saffron and other very expensive spices
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
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.
A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe, written under 3E rules, is exhaustive (and maybe exhausting). It does a really good job of looking at how medieval Europe actually functioned and how magic would change it. It does make a setting that at least feels very realistic, although it's a lot of work. (I used it when establishing my campaign 16 years ago.)

It's not something I recommend cracking open randomly mid-game; it's best used when you have hours of design time available.

The biggest takeaway I got from the book was that every adventurer everywhere should be spending a lot of time riding past farmers in fields, something I've only ever seen mentioned on Discworld, where travelers seem to always be riding past cabbage fields.
 
Last edited:

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
The next market is just one quick jewel ride away as they can plane shift at will and also fly.
Again, why would the citadel, which controls the jewels, allow your wandering band of economists to use them for this purpose?

Unless you intend to storm the citadel and kill the dragon that lives there, you can maybe hijack a jewel and fly it where you want to go once, which is hardly the basis for a sustained economic model.
 

Ixal

Hero
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.
Yes, it would nice if settings would take the abilities of the world into account. Sadly most modern ones are poorly crafted and do not (Starfinder is especially bad at this from the ones I know)

But no, thats not what happens.
"Since the cities resources are limited [...] foodstuff and materials are carefully conserved, and goods reused or recycled when possible. [...] Most food is vegetarian and grown in green spaces throughout the city, most animal products must be imported and so are subjected to high tarrifs."

Again, why would the citadel, which controls the jewels, allow your wandering band of economists to use them for this purpose?
Because the book presents them as a super peaceful and egalitarian society which highly values freedom.
If the book would not put so much emphasis on that then of course the first assumption would be that no trade would be allowed to pass through the Citadel and instead had to be sold to and bought from local traders.

The problem is how utterly dependent the city is on trade. If trade stopped, even for a short time the city would face ruins, so the trading guilds and houses would have a very strong level to force concessions out of the Citadel.
 


Ixal

Hero
So, their system falls apart, because you assume they will willingly help you wreck it? Their alignment is Stupid Good, then?
Those are the people who waive one of their only sources of income for a nice song and specifically make the lives for their citizens more expensive by taxing consumer goods like animal products and then hand that money to their citizen to buy the taxed goods.

So, yes.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe, written under 3E rules, is exhaustive (and maybe exhausting). It does a really good job of looking at how medieval Europe actually functioned and how magic would change it. It does make a setting that at least feels very realistic, although it's a lot of work. (I used it when establishing my campaign 16 years ago.)

It's not something I recommend cracking open randomly mid-game; it's best used when you have hours of design time available.

The biggest takeaway I got from the book was that every adventurer everywhere should be spending a lot of time riding past farmers in fields, something I've only ever seen mentioned on Discworld, where travelers seem to always be riding past cabbage fields.
Where is this thing? I need it!
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I would venture a more realistic scenario would be:
Goods are taxed lightly on the way in.
Goods are taxed heavily on the way out.

Encourages you to sell cheaply to the locals first before heading off to other areas, and ensures you're not just using the place as free transport.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Those are the people who waive one of their only sources of income for a nice song and specifically make the lives for their citizens more expensive by taxing consumer goods like animal products and then hand that money to their citizen to buy the taxed goods.

So, yes.
This reminds me of how easy it is to kill Bahamut, because I just go into his treasure horde and get all of the dragon-slaying gear he's accumulated over the years, and he feels compelled to let me have it, because he's Lawful Good.

I am a tactical genius and clearly much smarter than my teachers said.
 


Ixal

Hero
The Jewels explicitly only go between one World and the Radiant Citadel and only certain locations.
So your ideas don’t work.
Which is why in every post that came up I said that they need to change portals/jewels.......
Its also less of a problem if the merchants travel to the Citadel in other ways as it is left open how people wanting to come to the Citadel are picked up.
 

Which is why in every post that came up I said that they need to change portals/jewels.......
Its also less of a problem if the merchants travel to the Citadel in other ways as it is left open how people wanting to come to the Citadel are picked up.
Who says they can change the Jewels. They seem to just be an automatic thing.

Also I assume the Jewels normally operate on a schedule, where they go to from the Citadel to the material plane and back. The Jewels are very large and always go back to the same areas.
 


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.
It's how I intend to run it. I'm basically going off the "Replicators" discussion in The Orville.

As Arthur C. Clarke so nearly said "Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science fiction".
 
Last edited:

Ixal

Hero
Who says they can change the Jewels. They seem to just be an automatic thing.

Also I assume the Jewels normally operate on a schedule, where they go to from the Citadel to the material plane and back. The Jewels are very large and always go back to the same areas.
?
They land in front of the entrance/passage, you get off, you wait till the next jewel arrives and you go on again?
 

Arilyn

Hero
This is a book presenting adventures inspired by non Western tropes. It's the stories that are created at the table that are important, not whether the Radiant Citadel is economically viable. If your players are going to become hyper focused on this to the point that they want to wreck the society, or complain constantly that the citadel makes no sense, then play a different setting.

The vast majority of D&D settings make no sense socially or economically. Why is this one under attack? Because it's a utopia? I like that aspect. I like the Star Treky feel. I presume the player characters won't be hanging around the citadel discussing economic theory and grumbling about tarrifs any more than they'd be wondering how adventurers' gold isn't destroying local economies.

Since when is D&D, of all games, supposed to give us a glimpse into realistic societies?
 

Ixal

Hero
Why is this one under attack? Because it's a utopia?
For me, because the book puts a focus on it by describing its income and spending practices and economic situation. When you do not want to spend effort on getting it right, simply don't mention it and instead focus on something else like describing the culture in the city more, especially as culture is a big theme of the entire book anyway.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
This is a book presenting adventures inspired by non Western tropes. It's the stories that are created at the table that are important, not whether the Radiant Citadel is economically viable. If your players are going to become hyper focused on this to the point that they want to wreck the society, or complain constantly that the citadel makes no sense, then play a different setting.

The vast majority of D&D settings make no sense socially or economically. Why is this one under attack? Because it's a utopia? I like that aspect. I like the Star Treky feel. I presume the player characters won't be hanging around the citadel discussing economic theory and grumbling about tarrifs any more than they'd be wondering how adventurers' gold isn't destroying local economies.

Since when is D&D, of all games, supposed to give us a glimpse into realistic societies?
Star Trek puts more effort into making their utopia seem plausible. Have the Citadel invent a low energy cost magical replicator, and we'll talk.
 

Irlo

Hero
For me, because the book puts a focus on it by describing its income and spending practices and economic situation. When you do not want to spend effort on getting it right, simply don't mention it and instead focus on something else like describing the culture in the city more, especially as culture is a big theme of the entire book anyway.
It's hardly a focus. The setting is not deeply detailed in any respect, and the descriptors of the economics barely rate a couple of paragraphs, if that. Yes, it's true, there is no mention of regulation of the movements of travellers and cargo using the jewels. You seem to take that to mean that there is no regulation, which leads to implausibilities that you describe. Don't assume that there is no regulation of travel, and you'll eliminate a large part of what your objecting to.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top