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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It's like winning a round in that one show where the points don't matter and everything is made up.
So? Your can either play and try to make things better, however fleetingly, or you can do nothing and let things remain horrible.

It's not a good set up if you care about tallying up your "points" at the end of your adventuring career, but if there's a kid being hunted by a lycanthrope in the forest with a crying mother begging for someone bring them home safely, does it really matter all that much if they're "real" people?
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
Even as a causeway, it is also laughably impractical, because it winds and bends with no good reason. If it has a practical use of leading somewhere, why the hell isn't it straight?

Oh, I know why. Because the Great Wall of China in the real world winds and bends a lot. Except it was built in hills and mountains with constantly changing slopes and altitudes, and had to be like this for a good logical reason.

Here, it winds and bends only because the creators had to signal LOOK, CHINA! somehow, and the best they could come up is to take a visual symbol of China that a second-grader could recognise, and pasted it onto the Ethereal Plane with no consideration as to how it would work in a world with little physical matter and essentially no objective gravity.
If you try to apply ANY science to elements of dungeons and dragons then you will be hit with a cascading effect of more questions. Plane Scape had tons of things like this and it doesn't have to be magic. You're going through a portal and the physics of the world can literally be different. Maybe there was no magic and the physical engineering can work that way where gases can be a foundation.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
So? Your can either play and try to make things better, however fleetingly, or you can do nothing and let things remain horrible.

It's not a good set up if you care about tallying up your "points" at the end of your adventuring career, but if there's a kid being hunted by a lycanthrope in the forest with a crying mother begging for someone bring them home safely, does it really matter all that much if they're "real" people?
Yeah, you may do that, but I'm sure there are many tables where when the PC's know that virtually all the NPC's aren't real will simply ignore them mostly and engage with the big picture stuff. It's a change that adds nothing, but can only detract. Like, I can see the issue here?
 

whimsychris123

Adventurer
D&D is becoming more modern fantasy, and less fantasy medieval.
D&D hasn’t really been medieval fantasy for years, if ever. If you want medieval fantasy, go with Pendragon.

But I get your main point. Between the Witchlight carnival and Strixhaven U, more modern fantasy has seeped into D&D. But those are just two products. Ravenloft, Fizban’s and Candlekeep seem pretty well grounded in D&D’s main aesthetic.

I’ll reserve judgment on Radiant Citadel until I see it. From what I’ve seen from the pictures, Radiant Citadel seems less “modern,” and more non-European.
 
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Jer

Legend
Supporter
While the idea of fake people in Ravenloft actually does predate Curse of Strahd, in every other particular and sentiment I agree wholeheartedly with this, to the point where I honestly don't understand why this isn't more of a problem for people. Does no one care that their heroism is meaningless now?
I mean, Ravenloft is a horror setting, not a heroic setting. Dracula always comes back in the Hammer films, even if they have to deal with a contractually obligated Christopher Lee refusing to do anything but growl at the camera. Jason will always rise from the grave to stalk another group of campers. Freddy can be put down for a while, but he'll always come back to haunt another teenager's nightmare. Frankentstein's creature will always be able to be revived by another mad doctor, and someone new will always put on a Ghostface mask to terrorize the people of Woodsboro.

The heroes of a horror story solve the immediate problem and stop the monster for some period of time - but the possibility of the monster's return is always there.

(Also I'm always amused by the idea that the people of Ravenloft are somehow "fake" because they're created by the Mists instead of by, i don't know, gods or something. The Dark Powers of Ravenloft are pretty much gods - if they create people in their world how are they "fake" people?)
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
So? Your can either play and try to make things better, however fleetingly, or you can do nothing and let things remain horrible.

It's not a good set up if you care about tallying up your "points" at the end of your adventuring career, but if there's a kid being hunted by a lycanthrope in the forest with a crying mother begging for someone bring them home safely, does it really matter all that much if they're "real" people?
In-universe, it's an invented kid with an invented mother, explicitly created to add dramatic backdrop to an eternal evil beings torment. They are explicitly considered props. They might as well be actors who complain about the script and their screen time backstage while raiding the catering table.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I mean, Ravenloft is a horror setting, not a heroic setting. Dracula always comes back in the Hammer films, even if they have to deal with a contractually obligated Christopher Lee refusing to do anything but growl at the camera. Jason will always rise from the grave to stalk another group of campers. Freddy can be put down for a while, but he'll always come back to haunt another teenager's nightmare. Frankentstein's creature will always be able to be revived by another mad doctor, and someone new will always put on a Ghostface mask to terrorize the people of Woodsboro.

The heroes of a horror story solve the immediate problem and stop the monster for some period of time - but the possibility of the monster's return is always there.

(Also I'm always amused by the idea that the people of Ravenloft are somehow "fake" because they're created by the Mists instead of by, i don't know, gods or something. The Dark Powers of Ravenloft are pretty much gods - if they create people in their world how are they "fake" people?)
The older material didn't make such an explicit about how unreal the dark domains and the people living in them are. It had a history, and NPCs would be treated as real as in any other setting, for the most part. You could make PCs as natives from different domains, and the game would offer advice for that. If you did that in VRG, how would that work? You're real, but your parents and the rest of your family aren't?
 

Yeah, you may do that, but I'm sure there are many tables where when the PC's know that virtually all the NPC's aren't real will simply ignore them mostly and engage with the big picture stuff. It's a change that adds nothing, but can only detract. Like, I can see the issue here?
And that is certainly one way the PCs can treat the situation, but there should be consequences for that. If they don't care about the plight of the commonfolk because they don't consider them to be "real" enough, then there is no impetus for the commonfolk to provide them information, or shelter, or aid of some kind should the PCs need it later. Whether a particular NPC is truly a "real" person or merely a phantom created by the Domain to help set the proverbial stage, they'll still have friends, family, and other connections that can allow them to impact local opinions.

Help a blacksmith find his missing daughter, and he's more likely to speak in your favor and give you his support. Ignore his plight so you can charge headfirst into Castle Ravenloft like so many others and why should he care when you come running out again, half dead with the Devil Strahd on your tail?
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
And that is certainly one way the PCs can treat the situation, but there should be consequences for that. If they don't care about the plight of the commonfolk because they don't consider them to be "real" enough, then there is no impetus for the commonfolk to provide them information, or shelter, or aid of some kind should the PCs need it later. Whether a particular NPC is truly a "real" person or merely a phantom created by the Domain to help set the proverbial stage, they'll still have friends, family, and other connections that can allow them to impact local opinions.

Help a blacksmith find his missing daughter, and he's more likely to speak in your favor and give you his support. Ignore his plight so you can charge headfirst into Castle Ravenloft like so many others and why should he care when you come running out again, half dead with the Devil Strahd on your tail?
I understand you feel that way.

But again, what does this change add from the previous interpretation, where the denizens of the various domains where imagined to be about as real as any other NPC? How is this change better?
 

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