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
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.
With only a few pages spend on the Citadel several paragraphs is a focus.
And with how much the culture of the Citadel is painted as utopian and egalitarian its rather implausible that they then have egoistical restrictions on movement without them at least be mentioned.
 

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Irlo

Hero
With only a few pages spend on the Citadel several paragraphs is a focus.
And with how much the culture of the Citadel is painted as utopian and egalitarian its rather implausible that they then have egoistical restrictions on movement without them at least be mentioned.
I'm not sure what you mean by egotistical in this context. They exile people who repeatedly circumvent the toll gate into the Citadel by flying or teleporting.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
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.

Is it mentionned that you don't pay the taxes when offboarding one of the jewels? What makes you think that you can ferry your goods out of the Jewel you took to reach the Radiant Citadel dock? What makes you think you can move from one jewel to another without paying the import tax? If it is written that you can and that's a deal-breaker with your group, I'd suggest saying that taxes are collected as you offload your entry jewel. It is said they all dock near the Passage of Respite (not at, near) and anyone not entering the city by goign through the passage of respite face heavy fines. I'd say the passage of respite is the place where the import tax custom office stands, and you must cross it to wander from one jewel to another.

Sure, merchants could choose to not sell goods through the radiant Citadel, but surely the cost of moving cargo through the Deep Ethereal, locate the home world of the civilizations that connect to the Citadel and hire guards and supply for such an extensive caravan would be less than paying the tax to transit through the RC. They could Teleport from one jewel to another to bypass the citadel completely, I guess, provided there is no unmentionned magical protections, the trader is able to cast 7th level spells and it's worth taking this risk (because you are basically breaking into the concord jewel as a stowaway) to move what can be carried by 8 medium sized humans.

They could also choose not to access the market of whole civilizations, but if you're dealing in things that are simply not found in other worlds, even a cheap ressource at home could sell well on another plane, making it worth selling your goods to another planes's royalty even with an import tax.
 
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?
They land in front of the entrance/passage, you get off, you wait till the next jewel arrives and you go on again?
Oh if you do that that requires entering the Radiant Citadel and getting your goods taxed.

The Jewels all dock at different areas. Like all I see happening with your scenario is merchant comes on Jewel offloads goods, refuses to pay the tax, is asked to wait until the Jewel they came on returns and go home.
 
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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
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.

I don't think they'd force to use local traders as intermediaries. They could simply just collect the import taxes and let the same traders export their goods. It would work as a toll along the road, based on the value of goods transported. I don't think any of that goes against egalitarian (everyone pays the tax when entering the city) and valuing freedom.
 

I don't think they'd force to use local traders as intermediaries. They could simply just collect the import taxes and let the same traders export their goods. It would work as a toll along the road, based on the value of goods transported. I don't think any of that goes against egalitarian (everyone pays the tax when entering the city) and valuing freedom.
Yeah like they would just have the tax collectors around the docking area of each Jewel ready to collect on arrivals. Everyone is supposed to enter via the Jewels so that's where they would collect.
 


Irlo

Hero
There will be controls on the non-Citadel side at the Jewel arrival/departure point also. No world would want to allow unfettered access of travelers, commodities, or armies. Hence the diplomacy and the agreements in place to use the Citadel as the meeting places.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I don't know of any D&D setting that survives the kind of economic analysis that the Radiant Citadel is being subject to. Many, if not most D&D cities are too populous for their agricultural hinterland. Many D&D polities cannot secure their borders against marauders or their internal lines of communication and commerce.
There are many threads here and elsewhere pointing out that castles in a D&D environment would not look like classic High Medieval European castles.
Many classic D&D dungeons really ought to be flooded normally and their floorplans have neither the pumping infrastructure nor the ventilation structure to make them viable.
A lot of this is thinking too hard about D&D backgrounds, ok, there is nothing wrong with trying to piece together a really coherent world building for a D&D game that takes the implications of the game system and sees where that leads but none of the official material (that I am aware of) has ever done so.

The biggest issue I have with the Radiant Citadel, is that, I bought and read (not deeply) and now some months later I have no real impression of the adventures. I have a stronger impression of the Candlekeep adventures.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I don't know of any D&D setting that survives the kind of economic analysis that the Radiant Citadel is being subject to. Many, if not most D&D cities are too populous for their agricultural hinterland. Many D&D polities cannot secure their borders against marauders or their internal lines of communication and commerce.
There are many threads here and elsewhere pointing out that castles in a D&D environment would not look like classic High Medieval European castles.
Many classic D&D dungeons really ought to be flooded normally and their floorplans have neither the pumping infrastructure nor the ventilation structure to make them viable.
A lot of this is thinking too hard about D&D backgrounds, ok, there is nothing wrong with trying to piece together a really coherent world building for a D&D game that takes the implications of the game system and sees where that leads but none of the official material (that I am aware of) has ever done so.

The biggest issue I have with the Radiant Citadel, is that, I bought and read (not deeply) and now some months later I have no real impression of the adventures. I have a stronger impression of the Candlekeep adventures.
Nothing in 5e has done so. They used to put more effort in for previous editions, at least sometimes, but it seems WotC feels the majority of their fans no longer care.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
?
They land in front of the entrance/passage, you get off, you wait till the next jewel arrives and you go on again?

Not exactly. It is said that : "There is only one official entrance to the Radiant Citadel: the Passage of Respite. The Concord Jewels dock adjacent to it and people using other means of transportation are directed by the guards to enter through it".

It is said that CJ all dock adjacent to the Passage of Respite, not that they dock adjacent to each other outside the Passage of Respite.



----------- Dock to World A --------- Dock to World B ------- ... --------------
........................................................ (team of guards and collectors waiting
........................................................to get their duties on arriving jewels).
.................................................................................................................................................................... TO THE CITY PROPER
-------------------Dock to world K ---------- Dock to World J -----------------

If you get off from world B, you're standing in front of the Passage of Respite, with your Concord Jewel behind you, and connected to the other points of the Passage are other Concord Jewels. If you want to reach it from your disembarking place to reach the dock of the next Jewel to arrive (say, you want to go to K), you need to step on the Passage of Respite. Where you're taxed/tolled. The only Jewel you could board without moving into the city and being taxed is the one you got off from in the first place (which is carrying you back to your point of origin).

And since maybe the jewel to world K leaves in 4 to 61 days, you might as well stay in an inn in the city (where you'll partake in the expensive foodstuff). Or you could just sell to a local middleman who will offer you interesting prices knowing he can sell stuff at world K price, so you don't have any reason to even get off to world K. [but you could, there is nothing preventing you to wait from K's CJ.]
 
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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Nothing in 5e has done so. They used to put more effort in for previous editions, at least sometimes, but it seems WotC feels the majority of their fans no longer care.
I do not believe that they ever made an effort that was more than superficial. Last year I was running stuff in Waterdeep, and to get more information I bought some 3e stuff on DMsGuild. The thing that really struck me was that Waterdeeps hinterland was way too small for a city of that size. Not enough agricultural land and a lack of military outposts and actual physical security.
The Political situation on the Sword Coast is just as bad. Look at the military reach of Waterdeep compared to Venice.
 

Ixal

Hero
Not exactly. It is said that : "There is only one official entrance to the Radiant Citadel: the Passage of Respite. The Concord Jewels dock adjacent to it and people using other means of transportation are directed by the guards to enter through it".

It is said that CJ all dock adjacent to the Passage of Respite, not that they dock adjacent to each other outside the Passage of Respite.



----------- Dock to World A --------- Dock to World B ------- ... --------------
........................................................ (team of guards and collectors waiting
........................................................to get their dues on arriving jewels).
.................................................................................................................................................................... TO THE CITY PROPER
-------------------Dock to world K ---------- Dock to World J -----------------

If you get off from world B, you're standing in front of the Passage of Respite, with your Concord Jewel behind you, and connected to the other points of the Passage are other Concord Jewels. If you want to reach it from your disembarking place to reach the dock of the next Jewel to arrive (say, you want to go to K), you need to step on the Passage of Respite. Where you're taxed/tolled. The only Jewel you could board without moving into the city and being taxed is the one you got off from in the first place (which is carrying you back to your point of origin).

And since maybe the jewel to world K leaves in 4 days, you might as well stay in an inn in the city (where you'll partake in the expensive foodstuff).
When you look at the map this is not the case. You have a small island where the Jewels can dock, a bridge and the passage behind it. There is no room to have dozens separate docks
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I do not believe that they ever made an effort that was more than superficial. Last year I was running stuff in Waterdeep, and to get more information I bought some 3e stuff on DMsGuild. The thing that really struck me was that Waterdeeps hinterland was way too small for a city of that size. Not enough agricultural land and a lack of military outposts and actual physical security.
The Political situation on the Sword Coast is just as bad. Look at the military reach of Waterdeep compared to Venice.
Well, I did say more effort, not a huge amount or enough to make absolutely everything make sense. And 2e did better than 3e IMO, which I guess says that WotC never put in a lot if effort.
 

I do not believe that they ever made an effort that was more than superficial. Last year I was running stuff in Waterdeep, and to get more information I bought some 3e stuff on DMsGuild. The thing that really struck me was that Waterdeeps hinterland was way too small for a city of that size. Not enough agricultural land and a lack of military outposts and actual physical security.
Waterdeep gets lots of imports, and the map does not show the entire hinterland.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
2E certainly had a lot of efforting, but it was also a time when people had less efficient access to information, so the effort often resulted in really bizarre elements. Like the fluff from 2E is definitely the most engrossing overall and is in mass quantities, but it's also that many more flaws for doing so.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
2E certainly had a lot of efforting, but it was also a time when people had less efficient access to information, so the effort often resulted in really bizarre elements. Like the fluff from 2E is definitely the most engrossing overall and is in mass quantities, but it's also that many more flaws for doing so.
A risk I was and am more than willing to take, which is why I'm sorry the decision has been taken out of my hands.
 

When you look at the map this is not the case. You have a small island where the Jewels can dock, a bridge and the passage behind it. There is no room to have dozens separate docks
The Island has more than enough room for all the Jewels to land beside it. And once you disembark you are going to taxed or get told to go back.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
When you look at the map this is not the case. You have a small island where the Jewels can dock, a bridge and the passage behind it. There is no room to have dozens separate docks

Are we speaking of this map? The island houses several buildings, and I can very much see several places where a jewel could dock. We're lacking a scale but I don't figure a CJ connecting to more than one "house" of the passage, as cylinder perpendicular to the plane of the city (like the auroral diamond, except much, much, tinier).

Plus, there might be no need to dock more than one or two at a time, depending on schedule: the excise and duty team would just stand at the disembarking plank raised from the jewel to the "island".

1667677251685.png
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Waterdeep gets lots of imports, and the map does not show the entire hinterland.
From what I can determine there are monster haunted forest withing a days march of the city walls. In my opinion a city with the resources of Waterdeep simply would not permit that. Also, the major trade routes out to several hundred kilometres would be firmly under the control of Waterdeep, with the military patrols and garrisons to enforce that control.
 

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