Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
D&D's next Magic-themed rulebook comes out on November 16, 2021, exploring the exciting world Strixhaven. Following on the heels of the excellent Ravnica and Theros books, Strixhaven has a lot to live up to--quite the challenge for a plane that is rather new to the multiverse.
Frankly, I am a bit surprised we are going to Arcavios rather than a more established plane like Zendikar (Innistrad would have been redundant with Van Richten's), but not unpleasantly so. Arcavios has some fascinating mysteries to explore, a number of fun subclasses Wizards could choose from (here's hoping for an ink mage subclass), and gives access to a number of races Wizards could introduce.
Most importantly, though the rulebook will be focused on Arcavios and Strixhaven, a magical school is something that can easily be slid into any campaign. I was quite pleased with Candlekeep Mystery's design goal of "sure, this is Candlekeep, but you could change the name and have it be any library"--I expect Strixhaven will have similar elements that could easily be lifted and transplanted to any plane.
Unless this book expands on Arcavios outside of Strixhaven, I'm not as interested as I was for the other books. I like exploring a world as both DM and PC, and if I run a campaign here, I would be doing a lot of world building. At this point, why not just create my own world?
If I get it, it will probably be for parts, not for the setting. Some of the parts have a lot of potential, but the whole is a little more limited than what I usually like.
June 8, 2021 8:10 p.m.
legendofa - That's part of the reason I am excited for the book. Best case scenario, we get a bunch of fascinating information about the plane of Arcavios as a whole, and a bunch of fun magic school parts that can easily be transplanted into any homebrew. After all, who doesn't want a big magical school somewhere in their world?
Worst case scenario, we just get some transplantable parts. Either way, I am happy.
June 8, 2021 8:15 p.m.
I really hope we get some juicy details about Arcavios as a whole and some of the other regions, and I'm definitely going to be using bits and pieces-- Quandrix and Silverquill in particular will help develop a couple of factions in my current campaign.
I guess I'm just not sure what to expect from this yet.
June 8, 2021 8:28 p.m.
To make a few predictions, before I look too deeply:
New races: Troll, Bear person, Vampire? Rhino person?
Returning races: Human, Elf (Wood and Dark in Witherbloom, High in Quandrix), Dwarf, Aaracokra (as owl person), Orc, Genasi (as djinn and efreet, possibly updated or errataed), Tortle, Lizardfolk, Loxodon, Grung, Minotaur, basically anything animalistic
Spirits will not be a playable race
Bards will get a subclass from Lorehold, Prismari, and Silverquill, Sorcerers will get a subclass from Quandrix and Prismari, Druids will get Witherbloom, Clerics will get Lorehold and Silverquill, Wizards will get Quandrix and Silverquill, Artificers will get the Biblioplex, and I have no idea what new stuff the martial classes will get. Rangers might also get Witherbloom. Barbarians and Monks as Prismari? Paladins and Rogues as Silverquill? Fighters as Lorehold?
June 9, 2021 1:19 a.m.
I think we can conclusively say that there will not be a vampire playable race--we just got the Dhamphir lineage with Van Richten's, and that pretty much covers playable vampire. I would guess we will get two or three new playable races--that is in-line with the two we received in Theros. Ravnica's five new races mostly served to get iconic Magic races into the game--likely because they were not sure if they were going to do more Magic-based rulebooks.
Dryad would be my bet for one of the new races. We had a hamadryad playable race in 4e, but have not received something similar in 5e yet. Furthermore, the Unearthed Arcana for the upcoming Feywild book does not reference a dryad playable race, so we can be pretty sure they would not be released there.
I think Rhox is a decent bet--though it is a bit duplicative of Loxodon from a flavor stance. Bear-folk is another one that is a good prediction as well, particularly since Magic seems to enjoy making a meme of bear cards.
Otherwise, I would not be surprised if we got subraces of existing races. A more magically-inclined subrace of Orc would fit well with Wizards' current goal of giving more diverse character options to traditionally linear races. We probably will also see some reprint classes, since Theros did that as well.
Both Theros and Ravnica only introduces two new subclasses, so I think we can predict the same here. The design goal in Theros and Ravnica was to patch holes in the game design. Ravnica gave us the Law Cleric and the Circle of Spores druid because existing classes did not fit the Azorius and Golgari guilds respectively. Theros gave us the College of Eloquence to fill in the lack of classical philosopher class, and the Oath of Glory Paladin because Greek legends focus more on winning glory for one's god, rather than the traditional paladin path of serving one's god.
I think it is a good bet that we will receive a Silverquill Warlock. Existing Warlocks in D&D receive their power through a patron, not hard study. Thus, despite their having Warlocks like Killian, Ink Duelist , the existing Warlock classes fail to capture the essence of the Silverquill, and no other class really fits the bill. That is exactly the kind of hole Wizards likes to patch with these books.
Then, for every college, we will probably get a new background, some fun items, and a few monsters, including high-level monsters like the school deans and some of the Elder Dragons.
June 9, 2021 9:25 a.m.
And I took the shotgun approach to subraces--make enough guesses, and some of them will be right. But I'd be very surprised to see a new Barbarian or Fighter.
For two more predictions: more magic-related feats (almost a given), and enhanced rules for item crafting, especially magic items. And the colleges, monsters, and other setting details mentioned.