D&D Radiant Citadel shines; Campaign Case: Creatures stumbles

Consider spending your gold on a D&D book like Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel over accessories like the Campaign Case: Creatures ...

Two new D&D products hit stores tomorrow. One is a long-awaited hardcover compilation of diverse adventure scenarios, and the other is a deluxe case containing premium monster tokens for use at the gaming table. Here’s a quick look at our first impressions of each.

Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel

Like last year’s Candlekeep Mysteries, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel uses the idea of a central hub location to send travelers off on far-flung adventures. Also like that compendium, Journeys keeps its new creature stat block entries in context of their adventures, rather than stuffing them all in a bestiary section at the end like older D&D supplements would have done. Unlike Candlekeep, this anthology does organize them into their own table of contents entry, rather than scatter them throughout the index. It’s a simple touch that really helps Dungeon Masters stay organized as they cherry-pick the new monsters they want to use in their games. And it’s a neat glimpse into how familiar elements of the D&D game are evolving as the inevitable next edition of the venerable roleplaying game grows ever nearer …

Co-led by Ajit George (writer on Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft) and F. Wesley Schneider (senior game designer on the D&D Team at Wizards), this collection features adventures by writers drawing inspiration from their connections to various real-world cultures and mythologies.

Each of the 13 adventures in Journeys through the Radiant Citadel highlights a different location, introducing new characters, monsters, and more. The tome also contains a gazetteer for the Radiant Citadel itself, as well as for two additional lands. WotC says all these adventures can easily be added to both homebrew worlds and existing D&D settings.

The adventures in this 224-page anthology range in level and tone. The 1st-level adventure, “Salted Legacy,” presents a comedic mystery set in a bustling night market; “Written in Blood,” the 3rd-level adventure, sends characters to investigate a farm with a terrifying haunting; and the 11th-level adventure, “Shadow of the Sun,” encourages adventurers to choose allegiances while navigating the escalating tensions of an angel-ruled city.

Along with these, the thirteen adventures in Journeys through the Radiant Citadel are …

  • 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
  • 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

Journeys through the Radiant Citadel is a collaboration between the D&D team and a talented collection of artists, storytellers, games designers, and other creatives. It includes contributions by 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.

Like most D&D books these days, a beautiful deluxe illustrated cover version is available at hobby shops in addition to the standard release artwork ($50 or less) — the innards are all the same.l, and it’s all quality content from the individual adventures to the accompanying artwork and other connective tissue that binds them.

Campaign Case: Creatures

The most impressive thing about this box of counters is how secure it is. Good luck getting inside the cardboard packaging without damaging it, let alone the nice, rope-handled box inside. Puzzle box is more like it. As for the counters themselves, they’re just glorified poker chips (even the same color), with some additional sizes to accommodate larger creature “clings.” These reusable clings make this product somewhat customizable, but it feels like a cheat. An expensive but also cheap cheat.

I’m grateful to Wizards of the Coast for the sneak-peek at the Creatures case out tomorrow, but I’m far more interested in the upcoming Aug. 16 Campaign Case: Terrain, which incorporates the same cling-on structure but with dungeon, city and wilderness tiles and a double-sided adventure grid. Maybe the Creatures case will feel more complete with the contents of the Terrain case available then … (Each $65 at Amazon.)

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