Dungeons & Dragons Radiant Citadel Anthology Unique

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A warrior woman battles a giant, anthropomorphic salamander in front of a blazing cart.

“Salamander Ambush” by Tom Babbey.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

The Radiant Citadel is just not a dungeon. It’s a method cease, a spot for Dungeons & Dragons characters to relaxation on the street… particularly, roads to and from the assorted dimensional worlds of D&D. It’s a spot the place any participant can discover themselves, maybe embarking on the 13 adventures discovered within the upcoming Journeys By the Radiant Citadel anthology—and io9 has an unique take a look at one in all them.

The Radiant Citadel is thought for its variety, being house to so many extensively various cultures from throughout the multiverse. The creators of Journeys By the Radiant Citadel have been simply as various, bringing their histories and lives and cultures collectively to make a Dungeons & Dragons location not like another. That features Tletepec, created by Alastor Guzman, together with its accompanying journey “Path of Destruction.” It boasts new gods, characters, and monsters, impressed by Guzman’s youth in Mexico Metropolis. Right here, Guzman explains what and who gamers can count on in Tletepec, and the way GMs can take advantage of it—all together with some beautiful paintings.


Linda Codega, io9: Are you able to inform me a bit about Tletepec, the place “Path of Destruction” takes place? Usually, once I consider historic Mexico/Aztec settings, I think about lush jungles and farmland, and this appears very completely different.

Alastor Guzman: Mesoamerican cultures are sometimes tied to lush jungles as widespread within the south of Mexico. The Mexico Metropolis valley, the place the Mexica dwelled, is a highland between a number of mountain ranges, producing a forest biome. Whereas Mexico Metropolis has an lively volcano, earthquakes are frequent. I needed to discover how civilization would develop the place these situations are extra prevalent and you’ve got magic to counter it.

Ollin by Merlin G.G.

Ollin by Merlin G.G.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

io9: I might like to know extra concerning the characters of Ollin and Xocopol. They’ve such eye-catching, shiny designs.

Guzman: The concept for Ollin got here from one of many cores of Tletepec, which is the concept of embracing life and having fun with it. This attracts from my very own expertise as a result of Mexican tradition is about having fun with every part. One of many most important concepts got here from our Day of the Lifeless, the place the ambient, mournful, is stuffed with pleasure. I needed to convey that with Ollin, even throughout disasters, you’ll be able to all the time smile and search artwork.

For Xocopol, I needed to create a special idea for hearth giants, one thing that’s within the area and might work together with the choices of the gods all the identical. The core thought for Xocopol as an encounter is that he’s interfering with the choices and has his personal agenda however is just not instantly antagonistic to the characters until attacked. I needed to offer choices within the journey to point out you could additionally save the day speaking with individuals and understanding their factors of view.

Tlexolotl by Brian Valeza.

Tlexolotl by Brian Valeza.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

io9: Izel the Tlexolotl is a captivating new creature and antagonist. Are you able to inform me concerning the inspiration behind this elemental power? 

Guzman: The Tlexolotl has two origins. One is that axolotls are one in all my favourite animals, and they’re native to the place I grew up in Mexico Metropolis. They’re an iconic animal of the borough of Xochimilco, and are well-known for having the ability to regenerate any harm executed to them. The second inspiration is my love for gigantic creatures and encounters that may be solved in other ways. The concept is that Izel is a power of nature you could work together with and have to cope with as a result of they don’t care concerning the penalties for the small mortals round them.

Xocopol by Merlin G.G.

Xocopol by Merlin G.G.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

io9: Are there another Mexica/Aztec legends you drew from to create “Path of Destruction”?

Guzman: The legend of the dual gods relies on the story of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, with the addition of how they grew to become gods and now assist their individuals. The concept of the tlexolotls relies on the cipactli legend of an enormous creature that dwells within the primordial sea. And at last, extra on the historic foundation, the legend of a volcanic chain eruption destroying civilization relies on the Cuicuilco metropolis that was razed when a close-by volcano destroyed the settlement.

io9: Your different work, the creator-owned Tales from the Gods RPG, additionally offers with huge, supernatural, godlike forces in play with humanity. What about this theme of gods and mortals attracts you in as a sport designer? 

Guzman: Faith and the concept of godlike forces have been part of human historical past for generations. The theme of gods and mortals and the way they intermix and weave right into a story attracts me in because it permits two sorts of tales to be created. How mortals can work towards targets that make them nearer to the divine, and the way they’ll use this energy to form historical past. On the divine facet, I like how you should utilize your energy to assist them in oblique methods, just like the boons of Tletepec, whereas nonetheless permitting them to be free to develop on their very own.

“Observatory Disaster” by Arfven Ato.

“Observatory Catastrophe” by Arfven Ato.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

io9: Are there any particular private tales you tied into this module?

Guzman: When the [Mexican] earthquake of 2017 occurred, everybody was making an attempt to assist, but it surely took a while to get issues organized as completely different concepts and good intentions clashed. Everybody was in search of the right way to assist, and the primary hours have been chaotic as information got here by and folks tried to assist one another. The emotion I needed to transmit from this expertise was that whereas it may be chaotic in the meanwhile, every part can come collectively when serving to one another.

Tonalli by Olga Debras.

Tonalli by Olga Debras.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

io9: Do you will have any recommendation for GMs or gamers who’re excited to play this module?

Guzman: My recommendation for GMs is to keep up the sense of urgency within the journey and maintain within the gamers’ minds that they have to transfer shortly or the village could possibly be destroyed. Use the panorama narration to transmit the concept of how the pure catastrophe is closing in each minute. Play the monsters as if they’re making ready for one thing massive and are wanting to see it occur quickly. It will maintain gamers on edge and able to actively advance the story.

When enjoying with Izel deal with them as a Kaiju, the primary of a future invasion of large creatures just like a power of nature that can destroy every part on their method. With each narration and outline present the sheer damaging power they signify for the atmosphere. Present their confidence of their energy and the way they’ll’t be stopped. Protecting all this in thoughts can change the ambiance for the ultimate encounter utterly.


Journeys By the Radiant Citadel will probably be obtainable July 19.

Up to date 7/7/22, 7:54 p.m.: Wizards of the Coast has clarified a degree about Tletepec’s position in Journey By the Radiant Citadel.

Tletepec is the placement the place the journey ‘Path of Destruction’ takes place. It’s not a spot within the Radiant Citadel itself, but it surely is among the ‘founding cultures’ that initially created the Radiant Citadel eons in the past and folks from Tletepec additionally dwell within the Radiant Citadel and assist govern it. Tletepec additionally refers back to the tradition of the individuals and there’s a Gazetteer within the ebook that describes each the geography of the area, in addition to the tradition, the individuals, its legends, and extra!”


Need extra io9 information? Try when to count on the most recent Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on movie and TV, and every part it is advisable learn about Home of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy.

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