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D&D 5E Roundup: Check Out These Previews from D&D Celebration

WotC's online D&D streaming event is taking place all weekend, and throughout the process they have released a few previews upcoming books.

From Fizban's Treasury of Dragons:

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From Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos:

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Scribe

Hero
1) Horror, and Madness are already variant rules in the DMG. They're there if you want them.
2) Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft introcuded the Fear and Stress mechanics, which also work for the same purpose, while not being so problematic (due to most of the Madness effects being similar to real-life mental conditions and illnesses, like schizophrenia).
3) There are plenty of horrifying things in VRGtR, like the Unspeakable Horror, Relentless Killers, Nechrichor, Zombie Clot, and similar monsters. None of those are the sort of things that you'd see in the Scooby-Doo TV show, especially because the whole premise of Scooby-Doo is that the monsters are always fake, which makes them more horrifying in a D&D world where they're legitimately real.
This is what I thought, those options already existed, were added to, and in flipping through the book, there seemed to be quite a few 'adult' things going on?

(I didnt buy it, because I disagree with the approach on lineages, but the rest of the book looked fine after I mentally added 'Evil' to every Monster as an alignment.)
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
This is what I thought, those options already existed, were added to, and in flipping through the book, there seemed to be quite a few 'adult' things going on?
Yeah. The options exist in the DMG, and Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft has quite a few horrific/adult stuff in it (like Lamordia's whole Frankenstein-ish focus, the horrific ghost train Cyre 1313 where the riders don't know they're dead, the maddening realm of Bluetspur with a degenerating elder-brain-demigod that gets fed the minds of vampiric mind flayers, etc).

None of that seems "Scooby-Doo" or "childish" to me. That's all pretty horrific and mature.
 

This is what I thought, those options already existed, were added to, and in flipping through the book, there seemed to be quite a few 'adult' things going on?

(I didnt buy it, because I disagree with the approach on lineages, but the rest of the book looked fine after I mentally added 'Evil' to every Monster as an alignment.)
you are correct as I bought it and read it, mostly I wanted the hopping dead but the rest was fine as well or at least fit for function.
 



Dire Bare

Legend
I think Strixhaven will be the first WotC 5e book that I won’t buy
Okay. Shrug.
Is it troublesome and offensive if I say this looks like utter poo?

I so miss when D&D was darker and more Tolkien-inspired. Now it's Harry Potter, but as an anime.
Makes sense however, since the majority of D&D players in general either choose to play as their favorite anime character or as their idealized waifu/husbando.
Offensive? Perhaps mildly so, in a childish manner. Tiresome, definitely.
I can’t tell if Strixhaven is marketed towards teenaged schoolgirls, or middle aged dudes wanting to roleplay teenaged schoolgirls.
Or perhaps, you are simply out of touch with modern trends in fantastic literature, television, and movies. Strixhaven isn't marketing towards women, or even young women, but more towards a younger crowd than the always-complaining grognard crowd. It's definitely more light-hearted, takes influence from the magic school genre (of which, Harry Potter is only the most famous example, but far from only), and does take cues from anime (and anime-inspired) fantasy.

My god, the thread crap here is strong. Phew!

It's okay if Strixhaven doesn't look like it's going to match your tastes. It's okay to share that, and why, as long as you remember it's not all about you. But the histrionic complaining and thread-crapping is so tiresome. Really, who cares if you don't like the themes and style behind Strixhaven? No one, no one cares.
 

And then WotC takes those same settings and ruins them for the 5e crowd. Ravenloft book is a clear example, being dubbed more "Scooby-Doo" like than Gothic Horror, as it should have been. The fact it lacks Fear/Horror/Madness rules mechanics, which was literally the core of Ravenloft's playstyle, was stripped completely.
I just bought Stephen King's Night Shift on Kindle. To my surprise, there were no fear/horror/madness rules mechanics, so clearly the stories are meant for kids. Because you can't tell a horror story without a number that tells you how horrific it is, right?
 
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
elaborate please?
Sure:
Moonstone dragon greets potential adversaries on a "lonely peak," or more specifically, a zone of "settled" boulders.
After bantering in search of happy times fondly remembered (while actually probing to check for hostile intent), the moonstone dragon picks out the foe least likely to know Feather Fall, and casts Banish Into Dream on it.
On its turn, the moonstone dragon steps on the keystone, which gives way under its weight, causing a rockslide.
When the Banish Into Dream victim reappears in the space it left, there's no longer a boulder to stand on: just a treacherous fall down the mountain.
The "laugh at victims" part was for the DM, not the dragon 🤓
 


Professor Murder

Adventurer
While I am not in the market for a new setting in the foreseeable future, I am warming to Strixhaven, as its using the DnD Engine to tell stories that I wouldn't expect the system to be suited for. So my theory is that some new social systems will be baked in, which I am in the market for more of in DnD overall. So I may be snagging it just for that reason.
 


Faolyn

Hero
And then WotC takes those same settings and ruins them for the 5e crowd. Ravenloft book is a clear example, being dubbed more "Scooby-Doo" like than Gothic Horror, as it should have been. The fact it lacks Fear/Horror/Madness rules mechanics, which was literally the core of Ravenloft's playstyle, was stripped completely.
I've loved Ravenloft since nearly the very beginning. It wasn't ruined for me at all, nor was it at all Scooby-Doo like. The changes took some time to get used to, but that's always true of changes.
 

Professor Murder

Adventurer
Let's be real a moment. Ravenloft, at its most dark traditionally, is still very tame in comparison to dedicated horror fare like CoC or proper adult mindfuck material like Kult. Folks need to put things into proper perspective. If this version of Ravenloft isn't spicey enough for you, just add more on your own. You are allowed to. It's DnD. Want darker material for the setting? DMsGuild likely has what you need.
 

Bird Of Play

Explorer
So uh, take it you haven't heard of Record of Lodoss War, then?

The anime based on a story which was just a AD&D campaign some guys in Japan played, and directly lead to the creation of Sword World because TSR wouldn't licence D&D in Japan?

I don't see your point? Yeah, I know Lodoss War. I also don't like it.
But, how is it related to what I'm discussing here? I'm not meant to be snarky, I genuinely am dumb and couldn't see the association intended.


Nah, not offensive at all. Though now I find myself wondering why your avatar is an athropomorphic owl with boobs.


I don't see how my fursona makes my point less valid! You can be a cringe furry that puts mammalian boobs on birds AND still be a solid connoisseur of good, mature, plot-driven tales. :geek:
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
This is what I thought, those options already existed, were added to, and in flipping through the book, there seemed to be quite a few 'adult' things going on?

(I didnt buy it, because I disagree with the approach on lineages, but the rest of the book looked fine after I mentally added 'Evil' to every Monster as an alignment.)
I think on the case of ravenloft it's more a case of those mechanics being pretty bad & more importantly the fact thst vrgtr itself doesn't ireally nclude the meaningful sort of details on mechanics that would crank the rest of the near loony toons level "heroic fantasy" slant the core of 5e itself has baked into the core rules themselves. The 3e ravenloft book had a chapter or so thst rebuilt various parts of the core rules & abilities to fit the tone as a good example. Most glaringly vrgtr doesn't really even include a new rest mechanic the dm could point to .
 

Aldarc

Legend
a solid connoisseur of good, mature, plot-driven tales. :geek:
I'm reluctant to equate "darker and more Tolkien-inspired" with "good, mature, plot-driven tales."

To be clear, this is not me taking a shot at Tolkien - who I agree wrote good, mature, plot-driven tales (at least with LotR) - but, rather, at the overall point you are making in which you place "darker and more Tolkien-inspired" in opposition with Strixhaven or that D&D is nowadays "Harry Potter, but as an anime."

Harry Potter was a series of popular, plot-driven tales with mature themes and some real dark parts that are down right sadistic. There are plenty of "good, mature, plot-driven tales" in anime that are far darker than Tolkien. There are even several anime that are essentially "Harry Potter, but as an anime" [sorta] that likewise would constitute "good, mature, plot-driven tales."

It also stands at odds with a number of points, including the previously mentioned issue that D&D has a number of popular non-Tolkien inspired fantasy settings for decades: e.g., Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, Eberron, etc.

So the criticism feels off from reality and more like heavily rose-tinted nostalgia for a long-gone past that never was.
 

Bird Of Play

Explorer
I'm reluctant to equate "darker and more Tolkien-inspired" with "good, mature, plot-driven tales."

To be clear, this is not me taking a shot at Tolkien - who I agree wrote good, mature, plot-driven tales (at least with LotR) - but, rather, at the overall point you are making in which you place "darker and more Tolkien-inspired" in opposition with Strixhaven or that D&D is nowadays "Harry Potter, but as an anime."

Harry Potter was a series of popular, plot-driven tales with mature themes and some real dark parts that are down right sadistic. There are plenty of "good, mature, plot-driven tales" in anime that are far darker than Tolkien. There are even several anime that are essentially "Harry Potter, but as an anime" [sorta] that likewise would constitute "good, mature, plot-driven tales."

It also stands at odds with a number of points, including the previously mentioned issue that D&D has a number of popular non-Tolkien inspired fantasy settings for decades: e.g., Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, Eberron, etc.

So the criticism feels off from reality and more like heavily rose-tinted nostalgia for a long-gone past that never was.


A past that never was, you say? Because I've got my old classic D&D rulebooks here to prove that the past, indeed, WAS.
 



Bolares

Hero
Another thing I think is "funny" is the Harry Potter complains about Stryxhaven. As someone that followed the announcement of the MTG set this looks almost like a rerun of the complains Stryxhaven got a little more than a year ago, when the set was announced. Then it came out and everyone loved it, because it has rich worldbuilding and good lore, that makes it VERY different from Harry Potter. I guess my take away from this is wait and see the book before you state that it is something you won't like, or it's anime+harry potter... You might be surprised by it.
 

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