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

Irlo

Hero
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".View attachment 265840
The text makes it clear that the Jewels dock only at the Passage of Respite. When not docked, they orbit the Citadel.
 

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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".

View attachment 265840
Here is the scale

VXJ1o2Q.png
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Thanks @MonsterEnvy. That makes a 1,000 ft long "little island", large enough for the odd event when two jewels arrive at the same time (and they could just fly around not to overload the guards collecting taxes if it happened). The Concord Jewels are supposed to carry "tons" of goods and "hundreds" of people. Not "thousands", and if needed two could dock easily on this island... even if it would be logistically better to have them dock one after the other to manage clearing duties and for trader the transfer of their goods to storage warehouses in the city.

Edit: HOWEVER, I'd very much like my players to decide to become smugglers along the Radiant Citadel and try to actually implement bypassing solutions like jumping with their cargo outside of their inbound Crown Jewels and fly in the Ethereal to try and board a departing Crown Jewel in order to avoird a 20% entry tax on their goods they'd be subjected to by landing on the Passage of Respite. It could be an adventure in itself, setting up this orbiting shanty town and trying to convince traders to jump off the ship to fight the taxes and stick it to the government, pirate way!!

Or there could be a new landmark that one can see fainly in the setting light of the Deep Ethereal, a humanoid form called the Orbiting Economist, that once attempted to jump from a CJ to another in order to evade the rightful taxes, but missed and, as he is devoid of mode of transportation, just ends up circling eternally, with his crate of tax-free cargo, in the timeless void, around the Auroral Diamond as a testimonial of why tax dodging for the sake of tax dodging can be ultimately unwise and whose sorry fate is discussed in civic education class (as part of the free education given to all children, of course, on the Radiant Citadel). [Some in Foggy Bottom say it is actually a Sorcerer from one of the days where the village wasn't attacked].
 
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Hussar

Legend
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.

If by better you mean a horrible conflicting mess that makes zero sense when analyzed then sure.

Explain steel as a currency to me please.

The idea that 2e did it better might be true simply by sheer volume. Print enough stuff and you might get something that kinda sorta works so long as you ignore all the bits that don’t.

Or, conversely, don’t overwhelm people with tons of setting crap that often only serves as gate keeping fodder and let tables exercise their own creativity. Just like we’re seeing in this thread.
 

Hussar

Legend
I mean take Waterdeep. It’s a centre of trade. Ok. Trade between whom? There’s nothing to the east or west for months of travel. And North and south are competing cities.

Waterdeep exists because the Sword Coast needed a city halfway between Baldurs Gate and Neverwinter.

It’s like the Trade Way. Thousands of miles long and not made or repaired by anyone. Parallel to a water route that makes a thousand times more sense to use.

There’s a reason the Silk Road doesn’t follow coastlines.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Let's assume a population of 4,000. In order to live a Modest lifestyle (and since they can't afford easily animal products, I won't rate them above that, and even a little under. That would be 1 gp a day. In order for the little rock to live off trade tax without doing anything else, they'd need 365x4,000 gp or a yearly income of 1,46 millions gp. If we consider 1 in 5 holds some kind of office allowing them into a Comoftable lifestyle and 1 in 10 a wealthy lifestyle, we're looking at getting taxes around 2,7 millions gp of customs revenue per year.

There are 15 operating crown jewels linking civilizations, each able to carry "tons" of goods. That's not a very precise capacity. Let's assume each is sized like a small merchantman and can carry 50 tons of goods. They are described as operating routinely, and even if it is as little as once a month (and that's a deliberate low estimate), that makes 18,000 tons of goods transiting through the city each year. The duties must therefore amount to 150 gp per ton of goods on average, or 15 silver pieces per kg or 7 sp/lb. It's prohibitive if interplanar traders are carrying wheat, but reasonable it's a 10% tax if they are carrying saffron or silk. If the Concord Jewels are moving once a week, the tax rate makes drops to 10% for an cheaper goods like cloves or pepper, let alone manufactured goods or magical items.

And that's without including the entry tax per capita, which, given the lack of indication in the setting, could be symbolic or significant or even outrageous as Candlekeep does.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
Wait, 1gp a day? Did 5E massively inflate the general living cost of NPCs? People living in permanent settlements do not pay nearly as much as PCs do for lodgings.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Wait, 1gp a day? Did 5E massively inflate the general living cost of NPCs? People living in permanent settlements do not pay nearly as much as PCs do for lodgings.

I was doing a "worst case scenario" where the public lodgings granted by the city were as expensive as adventurer's. I agree that they'd most probably need only 1 sp a day for the vast majority of unskilled laborer, 1 gp a day for one with skills and a 2 to 5 only for the very few high-leveled NPCs (like the archmage or veterans), much lowering the amount of money needed to operate. If we go 80% unskilled @1sp, 15% skilled @1gp and 5% leveled at up to 20gp, that reduces the amount of wealth needed to a measly 340 kgp a year and so the needed taxation level can be safely divided by five.

In this case, the monthly Concord Jewels, carrying "hundreds" of people, could simply be ferrying a single hundred people to the city. 180 trips means 18 000 travellers, so at 20 gp of "entry personal tax" the city can drop the taxes on goods altogether. And 20 gp for the service of being ferried between world is pretty low, when compared to the danger of planeshifting per the spell.

Somehow, I feel the "high" taxes are just written from the perception of a disgruntled and greedy trader -- Maybe the infamous Orbiting Economist?
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
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.
Cliff's Notes version:

Lots of adventures based around festivals, a lot of the settings are a little too small to make sense (it looks like the scale on some of the maps was changed late in the game, shrinking them for some reason), a number of the adventures need a second pass to flesh out the motivations.

But they're incredibly high on flavor, have situations and settings quite unlike anything TSR/WotC has published, and often the "evil" the characters are fighting are intangible things like "post-colonial chaos," "collective trauma in a post-slavery society," etc.

I think they're more compelling than the Candlekeep Adventures, which are mostly just OK in my opinion, but probably could have used a little more hands-on developing.

In a number of cases, I can see keeping the setting and just setting my own adventures there. I believe there's a short adventure set in San Citlan coming to DMs Guild soon, which is awesome, since I love, love, love San Citlan.
 
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Micah Sweet

Legend
If by better you mean a horrible conflicting mess that makes zero sense when analyzed then sure.

Explain steel as a currency to me please.

The idea that 2e did it better might be true simply by sheer volume. Print enough stuff and you might get something that kinda sorta works so long as you ignore all the bits that don’t.

Or, conversely, don’t overwhelm people with tons of setting crap that often only serves as gate keeping fodder and let tables exercise their own creativity. Just like we’re seeing in this thread.
So it seems you have feelings about this. So do I.
 



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