Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel is a D&D campaign add-on that provides 13 side quests for character levels 1-14. This book was anticipated to be a spelljammer adventure, but that is not the case.
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel is not a complete D&D adventure. The Radiant Citadel can be used as a starting off point for adventures. But the Citadel itself is not very detailed and isn’t directly connected to any of the adventures in the book.
This will make it difficult to have a complete campaign in the Radiant Citadel. As the DM, you’ll have to work on making the Radiant Citadel come to life if you plan to use it, and all the other adventures are just side quests without a cohesive storyline.
Should You Use This Book?
It really depends on what you’re looking for. This book will not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel is not a full campaign, but rather 13 side quests, similar in structure to Candlekeep Mysteries. It can be used as a great adventure supplement or a jumping off point for a campaign, but it can’t hold up your game on its own
If you want ideas for extra side adventures or one-shots to add to your game, then this book could work for you. However, if you are looking for a more cohesive set of adventures or a full campaign, then I would not recommend this book.
The setting takes place across multiple lands or worlds. The choice is up to the DM, and rarely do you stay in the Radiant Citadel.
The Radiant Citadel is a wondrous place. Healing is effectively free, and life is utopian. There are many adventures you can have here exploring what a society like this would look like, and the problems that might arise from any so-called ‘utopia.’
For the adventures, you will explore many different regions. Some are Middle Eastern, while others are Asian, with everything in-between. While most adventures take place on the Sword Coast, Wizards has made a concerted effort to explore different regions and cultures in this adventure.
Every adventure takes place in a new location. You can customize these locations to be separate worlds, or just different areas in your game. The effect is that your players will always have something new to explore.
Rating the Adventures
Next, I will give each adventure a subjective rating denoted by color. There will be some spoilers for the beginning of each adventure. The colored rating scale will go like this:
This is an adventure that is just not designed well. The notes are all over the place, there is not enough detail given, and it just won’t be a fun adventure.
This is an adventure that needs a lot of work. It just doesn’t seem fun and is designed poorly. There is either too much detail or too little in far too many areas. It may also be very hard to incorporate into your campaign for the level it is designed for.
Take it or leave it. The overall plot is weird and could be hit or miss. The adventure is designed fairly well but could be tricky to incorporate into your campaign. It is also debatable if the difficulty is too easy or too hard.
These adventures have interesting premises and will be likely to catch the attention of most DMs out there. The plot is well done, easy to incorporate into your game, and can provide a lot of interest for your players.
These adventures immediately gripped me and made me want to play them. The narrative is straight forward, and will most likely provide a great experience for your group.
This adventure starts out peacefully in a market, but instantly turns problematic. The players will have games to play and a mystery to solve, and they can do it however they wish. There are multiple easy ways to solve this adventure and it is extremely well done for level 1 characters.
The hardest part with low level adventures is to not make them lethal. Salted Legacy has some combat, but primarily pushes forth its roleplaying aspect which gives a great introduction to what 5e D&D is about.
Written In Blood
Almost every part of this adventure is great. There is a horror story that has wonderful monsters, great setting, tone, and it contains a well thought out story. However, the insistence on worthless NPCs keeps it from being perfect.
There is an NPC with an investment in the rattle that does nothing, and another that wants to record the party’s exploits but leaves them without seeing the grandest climax. If either NPC is taken out, nothing changes. The amount of focus put on the NPCs takes away some of the grandeur that could make this adventure close to perfect.
The Fiend of Hollow Mine
There is A LOT going on in this one. There is almost too much happening. So much that infusing any consistent narrative is problematic. There are multiple plots and many different scenes that are strung together. While some DMs out there may like this, there is just a lot of railroading without too much player agency.
Wages Of Vice
While The Fiend of Hollow Mine had too much going on, Wages of Vice has just enough. The players are thrust into a situation which becomes impossible to ignore. Beyond this, the players have their own agency to solve the adventure in any manner they choose. The only problem is that the adventure just feels…. short. This adventure might make for a good one-shot, but spending only one session on an adventure just isn’t enough.
Sins of Our Elders
The backstory for this adventure is mystical and easy to grasp. The ease of the backstory lets the adventure expand to make the story far more than a normal mystery, and the journey of discovery is amazing. You get a complete adventure going from understanding nothing, to reconciling with another for the wrong done to them. I don’t want to spoil this adventure, but it is glorious.
Gold for Fools and Princes
This adventure is as much a political intrigue as it is a thriller. The answers are in your face from the beginning, but other issues keep you from noticing the true threat. That is, until you slowly piece them together.
The story is great, but there are some flaws in the pacing. Many times the players might feel directionless and are shoehorned into doing something due to a lack of information. Despite this feeling at times, the adventure shines in all other aspects.
Trail of Destruction
This adventure has many problems. Every place you go has events occurring, but nothing of real substance happens. The places you encounter are just way stops to something greater, but at the end where you should feel that greatness, it just ends. The NPCs are not very interesting and there is a problematic NPC just like in Written in Blood. While you can use this adventure, it is difficult to make great.
In the Mists of Manivarsha
There is no respite in this adventure. Your players get pushed into solving a problem and it almost never stops. Players have the illusion of agency, but they are funneled through a straight and narrow path to solve the problem. The adventure isn’t terrible, but is just very average.
Between Tangled Roots
You start out with an obvious threat that the players need to stop. There is a lot of agency in this adventure. Players may solve problems with diplomacy or violence. They can be creative, and as a DM you can infuse almost anything into the adventure. There are even skybridges!
The only problem is that there is a narratively ‘correct’ decision that taints the player agency that was granted throughout the entire adventure. Either they wont know the correct decision, or they will feel forced into it. Aside from the ‘correct’ solution, the adventure is outstanding in all other aspects.
Shadow Of The Sun
The plot is thick, but slowly revealed. Players can chose whatever outcome they wish and aren’t forced into doing anything. They may solve any problem with almost every action they can come up with. There is more I can go on about, but this adventure is just great. The influence of each faction is up to the DM, but you can adjust it so that a re-play of this adventure has a completely different feel. This adds to the adventure’s quality.
The Nightsea’s Succor
While Shadow of The Sun has a great plot, this particular adventure spans throughout multiple cities and areas. Due to the range of areas the players will be going, the political intrigue is more political than action packed.
Very few players like to play politics instead of adventures, and that is what this adventure presents for the most part. There is an adventure near the end, but it doesn’t have a greater impact. You are just going there to further your own political machinations which may not even matter in the long run. If the players or DM likes this adventure, it very much depends on them since some will love it, while others will hate it.
This is a simple adventure full of secrets, potential, and choice. The outcome of the adventure is in the players’ hands and is a culmination of all their efforts throughout. There isn’t a lot of choice to elevate this adventure to another level like Shadow of The Sun, but there is enough to make an interesting adventure. This is a well done adventure that you would expect for higher level games and can be easily incorporated into most D&D games.
Orchids of the Invisible Mountain
This is… definitely a trip. A lot is going on in this adventure and you are thrown across different planes constantly. The hook is questionable because it feels like things just happen. The events are loosely connected and the end is just… strange. Strange could be good for far world adventures but instead you feel confused. Beyond this, the adventure seems out of place in this book. It doesn’t connect well and would be extremely difficult to integrate into many campaigns.
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel is an optional book that has some excellent side adventures to add to your campaign. The Radiant Citadel is sadly not explored very much, which is a major downside of the book. Making this into a complete campaign is possible, although it will require a lot of extra work.
If you are looking for side adventures to add to an already existing campaign, then this book might interest you. There are enough good adventures here to make it worthwhile in this instance.
However, if you are looking for a full campaign, you will have to look elsewhere.
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