Today I’m going to take a look at the latest D&D release, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel. This book, like a handful of other Fifth Edition D&D products, is a collection of small adventures. But unlike those other books, it can be argued that this release also serves as a new campaign setting as well.
There’s thirteen adventure modules crammed into this book and all of them take place in a new location known as The Radiant Citadel. So what is The Radiant Citadel, you ask? Well, picture this: somewhere in the Ethereal Plane floats a gargantuan crystal. Entwinned around this crystal are the remnants of an ancient fossil. Over the eons, the surface of this fossil has become populated by various races and explorers. In many ways, The Radiant Citadel resembles a fantastic, magical version of New York City. There’s endless streets filled with various cultures and adventure. Lingering behind the scenes in all of this is a feeling of inspiration and hope. Many of the people that call the Citadel their home are expats from wherever they originate. They have come to this wonderous in hopes of starting a new life. This concept makes for some exciting potential.
The book begins by detailing the Citadel and explaining the various ways that players may have found their way there. Ample information is provided to allow the DM to hook into nearly any existing campaign setting. Since this is an entirely new setting for D&D, this information is extremely important for a DM who wants to introduce the Citadel to their table. I appreciate the level of detail provided here.
The adventures included in this book can easily be run individually or tied into an ongoing campaign that is focused on the Citadel. Each one of the adventures are radically different. This is true both in tone and in function. Many of the adventures focus on a specific culture that is found in the Citadel. The majority of these draw influence from various real-world cultures (Hispanic, Asian, etc). I found this concept to be welcome. In a game like D&D, where possibilities are limited on to your own imagination, diversity can be a very good thing. Sadly, these days too many products suffer from what I call “shoe-horned diversity” – or “diversity for the sake of being diverse”. What I mean by that is simply this, all too often companies push an initiative so that they can attempt to fit in with the current Woke Culture. But they do so without a regard to the quality of the end product. Thankfully, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel does not fall into this trap. Each one of the various authors who wrote adventures for this book did so in a way that celebrates their cultural background while also introducing new and fantastic ideas into the game. The content included here is very high quality stuff.
If I had to find a complaint about any of the adventures included in this book, it would be that they are often simply too short. I suppose that’s a good thing if you’re just looking for a quick one-off adventure. But I can easily predict that many players will want to really dive into the worlds and concepts introduced in these adventures. This is great except that there’s not going to be many resources for additional information. In this regard, it’s going to be up to the DM to get creative.
All in all, I think this book has a lot of potential to introduce players to a side of D&D that feels new and wonderous. I just hope the spark that this book ignites doesn’t also die with this release.
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