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D&D 5E Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos No Subclasses Confirmed by James Crawford

Dausuul

Legend
I see. I looked them up and all three of them are Planeswalkers though, spark and all.
By definition, any non-Arcavian attending Strixhaven must be a planeswalker*. According to Magic lore, planeswalking is the only way for living creatures to travel between planes, and they can't take passengers except in a few, very specific cases (e.g., Yanggu/Mowu). This was a major plot point during the Bolas arc, where Bolas had to go to great lengths to craft an undead army that could be transported between planes.

Presumably, the vast majority of Strixhaven students are Arcavian, but one would also expect it to attract a fair number of magic-using planeswalkers seeking to hone their skills. In D&D, of course, planar travel is much easier, so it's likely the contingent of extraplanar students would be larger than in the official M:tG continuity.

*Or else really, really old--predating the Mending.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
By definition, any non-Arcavian attending Strixhaven must be a planeswalker*. According to Magic lore, planeswalking is the only way for living creatures to travel between planes, and they can't take passengers except in a few, very specific cases (e.g., Yanggu/Mowu). This was a major plot point during the Bolas arc, where Bolas had to go to great lengths to craft an undead army that could be transported between planes.

Presumably, the vast majority of Strixhaven students are Arcavian, but one would also expect it to attract a fair number of magic-using planeswalkers seeking to hone their skills. In D&D, of course, planar travel is much easier, so it's likely the contingent of extraplanar students would be larger than in the official M:tG continuity.

*Or else really, really old--predating the Mending.
It sounds from their description that they are trying to make the whole institution portable to other Settings, so you could use most of the material in Eberron or a homebrew without huge heavy lifting. So, they might not dwell on that too closely.
 

They were prepared for rejection, they had a plan B, which they partly spells out, each College grants a free magical feat (I assume its a college related feat from the book), which is the part they shared, but there is more too it as well, they didn't share everything, but it sounds like its Ravnica style Faction rules, with the first benifit being a free college feat.

This certainly makes sense from WotCs point of view, but it's a little odd that they'd not put any of these 'plan B' feats out for UA feedback. Particularly since the last lot of feats that went to UA (the Tasha's batch) had some in there that had significant balance issues according to what seems the general consensus, and were cut from the final product as a result.

WotC seem to be happy to fly by the seat of their pants on the College feats though.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
This certainly makes sense from WotCs point of view, but it's a little odd that they'd not put any of these 'plan B' feats out for UA feedback. Particularly since the last lot of feats that went to UA (the Tasha's batch) had some in there that had significant balance issues according to what seems the general consensus, and were cut from the final product as a result.

WotC seem to be happy to fly by the seat of their pants on the College feats though.
They don't use UA for balance concerns, that's what they do with internal and private playtests.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Feats were the Subclass powers broken out, actually.
 

Undrave

Hero
I would be happier if I thought the move was motivated by playtesting finding that cross class subclasses are mechanically messy or broken.

I absolutely liked the idea. Though I think it's for the best.

I’m personally not too disappointed in this particular case because I don’t think 5e classes are structured appropriately for cross-class subclasses to work well. But I feel your frustration about an innovative idea getting shut down because it didn’t poll well.
What Charlaquin said.

I think it's a neat idea that COULD work if the game had been built with that concept in mind from the start. It was always going to be too messy for 5e.

But I think it's an idea they should keep in a back pocket for the future.
 

ECMO3

Explorer
Regarding subclass archetypes, it can organize by tier. Every tier has a subclass archetype slot. So, an archetype can plug into more than one class.

(A D&D class at Level 1 is a bit front loaded, but here Level 0 (0a and 0c) helps unpack it for a smoother advancement.)

LevelTIERProfRACEFEATBACKGROUNDCLASS FEATURE
0
+0Race
0a
ZERO+1Subclass Archetype
0b
+1Feat
0c
+1Class Base
0d
+1Background
1
BASIC+2Subclass Archetype
2
+2Feat
3
+2Class Base
4
+2Race
5
EXPERT+3Subclass Archetype
6
+3Feat
7
+3Class Base
8
+3Background
9
MASTER+4Subclass Archetype
10
+4Feat
11
+4Class Base
12
+4Race
13
CHAMPION+5Subclass Archetype
14
+5Feat
15
+5Class Base
16
+5Background
17
LEADER+6Subclass Archetype
18
+6Feat
19
+6Class Base
20
+6Race
21
IMMORTAL+7Subclass Archetype
22
+7Feat
23
+7Class Base
24
+7Background
There are two problems with this. First it is not backwards compatible with what we already have in the 10 or so published books.

Second, taking 4 levels to reach the current level 1 will be a big turnoff for many people.
 




Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm still ruminating on it. I think, ideally, themes would be level-agnostic. In trying to think about the best alternative for progression
The Piety system in Theros provides an interesting parallel track, related to roleplaying rather than other traditional Leveling metrics.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
I was actually pretty stoked about these subclasses, even if they were a little clunky and didn't fully mesh well with their base class features like typically subclasses tend to.

I wonder if it would have been better to divide these subclasses among the five classes they were choosing to bestow them onto (Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard).
  • Lorehold College for Warlocks. Their pact is made with ancients spirits of the past who aid them in their pursue of history and gift them with the knowledge to imbue statues with lesser spirits to creature companions and guardians while on their adventures.
  • Prismari College for Bards. Instead of music they learn to harness the power of the elements and hone them into unique forms of self expression and artistry.
  • Quandrix College for Wizards. They have discovered that the study of mathematics can be used to manipulate the fundamental forces of nature, that math is magic.
  • Silverquill College for Sorcerers. Their innate magic so potent that their very words can be imbued with great arcane power that can bring salvation to their allies and despair to their enemies.
  • Witherbloom College for Druids. They don't just gain their druidic powers from nature, but from the powers of life and death itself.
They may not fit 100% to the lore of Strixhaven. However, dedicating each college to a single class could have led to better synergy between subclass and class features.

I'm not angry that they were dropped though, just a bit sad by it is all.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
There are two problems with this. First it is not backwards compatible with what we already have in the 10 or so published books.

Second, taking 4 levels to reach the current level 1 will be a big turnoff for many people.

First. But this Advancement Table can be used for new classes, and be balanced with current classes, and can easily translate current classes. Most people want to specialize at level 1 and gain a feat at level 2. This Table can provide that. Normally the 0-level feat is for a race feat, but can be reused for a setting feat or so on, instead. Similarly, several races want to add more powerful features at a higher features, about level 4. This Table makes it straightforward, and maintains balance among races, by having every race add a more powerful feature at level 4.

Second. Taking the 0-levels is still useful since proficiency depends on the overall character level, when adding the multiclassing classes together. The four levels of intro discourage abusive "dipping". Still, there will be features available during 0-levels, for example, where a level 1 Wizard can cast 2 spells, a level 0 Wizard can cast 1 spell.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
It think, Prismari can be a subclass for the non-elemental Bard class, if it only accesses one or two elements, such as a choice of either air-water, or earth-fire. The Bard can then use this pair artistically, even as the focus for Bardic magic.
 

But I think it's an idea they should keep in a back pocket for the future.
That, unfortunately, seems to be one of the big problems of their current approach to collecting data. It's a "one strike, you're out" rule. If something strikes out, unless they're REALLY REALLY committed to that specific thing, it's gone, poof. See, for instance, the Sorcerer and Warlock from the Next playtest. Those were incredibly cool ideas with way more flavor and layers to them, and as soon as they got one overall bad report, flushed down the drain faster than you can say "bob's your uncle," never to be seen again--to the point that many 5e fans now don't even know they existed.

We're almost certainly never going to see PrCs, multi-class subclasses, or a variety of other "failed" UA material, because the design culture of 5e is "if it doesn't poll well, it's EVIL TOXIN FROM THE ABYSS." Unless it's Traditional™, then they'll just keep iterating on it. It took several rounds for them to abandon the idea of an actual psionic class, for example, because an actual psionic class was Traditional™ (meaning, it existed in 2e and/or 3e.)

I may be cynical and salty on this subject, but I don't feel I'm reaching when I say the current design team treats a single bad response, no matter what the underlying reason may be, as reason to yeet ideas with extreme prejudice. Even when the bad response is "this is too good, buff the stuff we already have so that it won't be broken," they will instead nerf the new stuff. (See: Storm Sorcerers originally got bonus spells, and instead of saying, "hey, yeah, we hear you that Dragon/Chaos Sorcerers are a bit lacking in the spell department, we'll fix that," they went with "oh, okay, we get it, Storm Sorcerer is too powerful--we'll nerf it to match the other Sorcerers!")

It's a pattern at this point. Go for the low-hanging fruit. Take no risks. Do nothing mechanical that might be unappreciated. I'm honestly still surprised that they actually made an Artificer class.
 

darjr

I crit!
We play tested these and I really loved my Lorehold!
I had a walking spittoon, then a coat rack, then a divan. All carved to honor a professor out of the schools history. Everyone had 5 temp hit points almost all the time.
 

Undrave

Hero
That, unfortunately, seems to be one of the big problems of their current approach to collecting data. It's a "one strike, you're out" rule. If something strikes out, unless they're REALLY REALLY committed to that specific thing, it's gone, poof. See, for instance, the Sorcerer and Warlock from the Next playtest. Those were incredibly cool ideas with way more flavor and layers to them, and as soon as they got one overall bad report, flushed down the drain faster than you can say "bob's your uncle," never to be seen again--to the point that many 5e fans now don't even know they existed.

We're almost certainly never going to see PrCs, multi-class subclasses, or a variety of other "failed" UA material, because the design culture of 5e is "if it doesn't poll well, it's EVIL TOXIN FROM THE ABYSS." Unless it's Traditional™, then they'll just keep iterating on it. It took several rounds for them to abandon the idea of an actual psionic class, for example, because an actual psionic class was Traditional™ (meaning, it existed in 2e and/or 3e.)

I may be cynical and salty on this subject, but I don't feel I'm reaching when I say the current design team treats a single bad response, no matter what the underlying reason may be, as reason to yeet ideas with extreme prejudice. Even when the bad response is "this is too good, buff the stuff we already have so that it won't be broken," they will instead nerf the new stuff. (See: Storm Sorcerers originally got bonus spells, and instead of saying, "hey, yeah, we hear you that Dragon/Chaos Sorcerers are a bit lacking in the spell department, we'll fix that," they went with "oh, okay, we get it, Storm Sorcerer is too powerful--we'll nerf it to match the other Sorcerers!")

It's a pattern at this point. Go for the low-hanging fruit. Take no risks. Do nothing mechanical that might be unappreciated. I'm honestly still surprised that they actually made an Artificer class.
I agree...

I actually LIKED the Psi Dice that would 'Explode' and punish you if you rolled high! I thought it was a fun mechanic but it was too 'Weird' so it's gone...

It would have been PERFECT for a new take on the Wild Magic Sorcerer! Call it the 'Chaos Sorcerer' and make it a push-your-luck type of deal where you can bump up your dice but every time you roll the max number you get a bad thing that happens to you, bad thing that gets worse and worse as your dice increases!
 

It sounds from their description that they are trying to make the whole institution portable to other Settings, so you could use most of the material in Eberron or a homebrew without huge heavy lifting. So, they might not dwell on that too closely.
Eberron already has the very similar Arcanix collage (they even share some art). They need to make Stryxhaven flexible enough to also be Arcanix without too much stretching.

With a bit more stretching it could even serve as the Hosttower of the Arcane Brotherhood in FR.
 

That, unfortunately, seems to be one of the big problems of their current approach to collecting data. It's a "one strike, you're out" rule. If something strikes out, unless they're REALLY REALLY committed to that specific thing, it's gone, poof. See, for instance, the Sorcerer and Warlock from the Next playtest. Those were incredibly cool ideas with way more flavor and layers to them, and as soon as they got one overall bad report, flushed down the drain faster than you can say "bob's your uncle," never to be seen again--to the point that many 5e fans now don't even know they existed.

We're almost certainly never going to see PrCs, multi-class subclasses, or a variety of other "failed" UA material, because the design culture of 5e is "if it doesn't poll well, it's EVIL TOXIN FROM THE ABYSS." Unless it's Traditional™, then they'll just keep iterating on it. It took several rounds for them to abandon the idea of an actual psionic class, for example, because an actual psionic class was Traditional™ (meaning, it existed in 2e and/or 3e.)

I may be cynical and salty on this subject, but I don't feel I'm reaching when I say the current design team treats a single bad response, no matter what the underlying reason may be, as reason to yeet ideas with extreme prejudice. Even when the bad response is "this is too good, buff the stuff we already have so that it won't be broken," they will instead nerf the new stuff. (See: Storm Sorcerers originally got bonus spells, and instead of saying, "hey, yeah, we hear you that Dragon/Chaos Sorcerers are a bit lacking in the spell department, we'll fix that," they went with "oh, okay, we get it, Storm Sorcerer is too powerful--we'll nerf it to match the other Sorcerers!")

It's a pattern at this point. Go for the low-hanging fruit. Take no risks. Do nothing mechanical that might be unappreciated. I'm honestly still surprised that they actually made an Artificer class.
I do not see a lot of safe options left for classes or subclasses other than more cleric domains they are going to have to try something just to get people to buy stuff.

I still wonder if we will get a psion this edition?
 



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