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Dungeons & Dragons Radiant Citadel Anthology Unique


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 approach cease, a spot for Dungeons & Dragons characters to relaxation on the highway… 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 have a look at one in all them.

The Radiant Citadel is thought for its range, being dwelling to so many broadly various cultures from throughout the multiverse. The creators of Journeys By the Radiant Citadel have been simply as numerous, bringing their histories and lives and cultures collectively to make a Dungeons & Dragons location in contrast to every other. 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 profit from it—all together with some attractive paintings.


Linda Codega, io9: Are you able to inform me slightly about Tletepec, the place “Path of Destruction” takes place? Usually, after I consider historical Mexico/Aztec settings, I think about lush jungles and farmland, and this appears very totally 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 energetic volcano, earthquakes are frequent. I needed to discover how civilization would develop the place these circumstances 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’d like to know extra concerning the characters of Ollin and Xocopol. They’ve such eye-catching, brilliant designs.

Guzman: The thought for Ollin got here from one of many cores of Tletepec, which is the thought 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 all the things. One of many major concepts got here from our Day of the Useless, the place the ambient, mournful, is stuffed with pleasure. I needed to convey that with Ollin, even throughout disasters, you possibly can all the time smile and search artwork.

For Xocopol, I needed to create a special idea for fireplace giants, one thing that’s within the area and may 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 straight antagonistic to the characters except attacked. I needed to provide choices within the journey to point out that you may additionally save the day speaking with folks 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 drive? 

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 achieved to them. The second inspiration is my love for gigantic creatures and encounters that may be solved in other ways. The thought is that Izel is a drive of nature that you may work together with and have to take care of 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 every other 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 turned gods and now assist their folks. The thought 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 thought 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 objectives 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 attempting to assist, but it surely took a while to get issues organized as totally different concepts and good intentions clashed. Everybody was on the lookout for easy methods 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, all the things can come collectively when serving to one another.

Tonalli by Olga Debras.

Tonalli by Olga Debras.
Picture: Wizards of the Coast

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

Guzman: My recommendation for GMs is to take care of the sense of urgency within the journey and maintain within the gamers’ minds that they have to transfer shortly or the village may very well be destroyed. Use the panorama narration to transmit the thought of how the pure catastrophe is closing in each minute. Play the monsters as if they’re making ready for one thing large and are wanting to see it occur quickly. This may 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 big creatures much like a drive of nature that may destroy all the things on their approach. With each narration and outline present the sheer harmful drive they symbolize for the setting. Present their confidence of their energy and the way they’ll’t be stopped. Holding all this in thoughts can change the ambiance for the ultimate encounter utterly.


Journeys By the Radiant Citadel shall be out there July 19.

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

Tletepec is the situation 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 stay within the Radiant Citadel and assist govern it. Tletepec additionally refers back to the tradition of the folks and there’s a Gazetteer within the guide that describes each the geography of the area, in addition to the tradition, the folks, its legends, and extra!”


Need extra io9 information? Take a look at when to count on the newest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on movie and TV, and all the things it’s good to find out about Home of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy.

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