Review: Wizards of the Coast – Candlekeep Mysteries (Dungeons & Dragons)

Candlekeep Mysteries
Candlekeep Mysteries is a collection of epic fantasy adventures for Dungeons & Dragons, written by Graeme Barber, Kelly Lynne D’angelo, Alison Huang, Mark Hulmes, Jennifer Kretchmer, Daniel Kwan, Adam Lee, Ari Levitch, Sarah Madsen, Christopher Perkins, Michael Polkinghorn, Taymoor Rehman, Derek Ruiz, Kienna Shaw, Brandes Stoddard, Amy Vorpahl, and Toni Winslow-Brill and published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Dave Pierson

Learn more about Candlekeep Mysteries here
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The Homebrew DM’s Perception

Disclaimer: This book has been compiled by the Avowed of Candlekeep, in accordance with the wishes of the late Alaundo the Seer, whose prophecies foreshadow all events of consequence in the Forgotten Realms. Alaundo warned that anyone who unravels all the mysteries of this tome will be hunted down by the Time Dragons of Chronepsis, tossed into the gaping maw of Dendar the Night Serpent, and cast in the Vortex of Ineffable Damnation. Ha ha. What a sense of humor, that Alaundo!

Wizards of the Coast, Candlekeep Mysteries, 2021

The last few adventure releases by Wizards have been formulaic in my mind. Sprinkle a few new features, enter a big adventure, and sprinkle a few more features at the end. And I get it, Wizards was introducing new worlds, expanding the D&D universe, giving us tools to open our minds to new possibilities. CandleKeep is sort of a culmination of an awakening that anything is possible in any situation.

So, what is Candlekeep Mysteries? On the outside, it’s an anthology of 17 one-shot adventures centered around books within the enormous library of Candlekeep. Adventurers find themselves in the library on some sort of quest and discover a book that contains a mystery. But at its heart, it is a perfect set up for homebrew settings. I’m sure many of us have a town, or a far-off place, that is the repository of our setting’s world knowledge and our PCs typically can’t resist exploring a place like this. With 17 individual adventures, there is a wealth of information a DM can use in their settings. And although each adventure has a recommended level, we’re used to adjusting things to fit our party’s needs. In fact, the book encourages us to dissect and use parts of the adventure in our own settings.

What is great about the adventures themselves is that each was written by someone in the Dungeon and Dragons community and they included bios of each of the writers instead of just a notation. Wizards has been working hard on their reaching out to the community over the last couple years and this is a step in the right direction. The writing is tremendously good, and each adventure is so unique, there is something for each type of player that may grace your table. And not only is the writing good, but the art is also amazing. Each “book” had it’s own artist, giving them their own look and feel. There are also subtle nods to past published adventures that you can hook into.

Ultimately, Candlekeep Mysteries is a must have for DM’s, whether to use as is or to dissect into your own world. A treasure trove of adventures await.

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