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

ECMO3

Adventurer
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!")
You may be right. I will say though that the methodology they are using is working. The game is successful both in financial terms for WOTC and in terms of "fun meter" for the players. The game is more popular then it has ever been and IMO 5E is by far the best version of D&D period, and I have played them all to some degree. Most of the people I game with who have played previous versions seem to have a similar opinion on the superiority of 5E as compared to previous iterations.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
I don't think it can translate current classes. IF you tried this the books we already have would just be wrong and obsolete. It is essentially a "sixth edition" and one that appears to be moving backwards in the direction of 3.5E. The fact you are giving more feats also means the levels will not map as efficiently to CR.

I think a lot of people like "abusive dipping", I think that is a selling point for the game and something most players want more of, not less. I also think the fact that multiclassing is optional gives an out to the few tables where it is not welcome.

I am not saying it is awful, but I don't think it will be popular and it will be difficult to balance with characters on the current 5E system.
I have done it, so it is doable.

Different classes can have different schedules for the feat, anyways. So moving it to Level 2 works fine.

The number of feats is actually the same as several prominent classes. The difference is, there is also space to improve race features and background features.

There is an interest in the classes having a standard framework − especially to pick the archetype specialization at level 1. The Table also solves the problem with "empty levels" that no one likes.

Actually the Advancement Table derives from what is available to classes currently, and balances with current classes. Occasionally, one feature moves to a nearby level, but that fluidity is also part of the current classes, that assign certain features at arbitrary levels. The Table encourages features to appear at their appropriate level of power.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
I have done it, so it is doable.

Different classes can have different schedules for the feat, anyways. So moving it to Level 2 works fine.

The number of feats is actually the same as several prominent classes. The difference is, there is also space to improve race features and background features.

There is an interest in the classes having a standard framework − especially to pick the archetype specialization at level 1. The Table also solves the problem with "empty levels" that no one likes.

Actually the Advancement Table derives from what is available to classes currently, and balances with current classes. Occasionally, one feature moves to a nearby level, but that fluidity is also part of the current classes, that assign certain features at arbitrary levels. The Table encourages features to appear at their appropriate level of power.
So you have some fighters running around using RAW PHB rules and some using these rules? That is what I mean by you can't translate it. It makes hundreds of pages of rules obsolete. If it works for you have at it though.

Under current RAW there are no empty levels. Every class gets something at every single level. Either a new class feature or the ability to cast higher level spells they could not cast at the previous level.
 

Faolyn

Hero
And themes need not be for PCs. How about Monster themes. Augment all these goblins with an "Acolyte of the Demon" theme to make them scarier in combat.
Technically they already had them, back in... Tome of Foes? where they included special traits for cultists of various fiends and GOOs.

WotC should probably just produce some more of them, for other sorts of followers of various things
 

Faolyn

Hero
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 think it's because there are a minimum of ways to do an Artificer that is useful in an active game, as opposed to limiting them to what they can use in a game to what they made during downtime--that has all the drawbacks of spellcasters only being able to cast what they had prepared, plus the extra downside of the prep time being measured in days, weeks, or months instead of a long rest. I could be wrong, but I don't think most people care that Artificers can whip out amazing doohickeys in just a round or in a short rest, as long as those doohickeys are sufficiently cool.

But with Psion(icists), you have two basic choices: power points (freedom to use powers as you wish, but uses math and has possibility of going nova and either trivializing the encounter or being useless the rest of the day) or power slots (easy to use and ensures that powers remain even, but way too much like regular magic and doesn't allow for the psion to use extra willpower to ensure something gets done), and many people who like one really don't like the other. There's probably other options as well, but I can't think of them at the moment.

I'm pretty sure that if you did a poll where the choices were points, slots, and "other", the results would be split evenly and there would be no standout "other."
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think it's because there are a minimum of ways to do an Artificer that is useful in an active game, as opposed to limiting them to what they can use in a game to what they made during downtime--that has all the drawbacks of spellcasters only being able to cast what they had prepared, plus the extra downside of the prep time being measured in days, weeks, or months instead of a long rest. I could be wrong, but I don't think most people care that Artificers can whip out amazing doohickeys in just a round or in a short rest, as long as those doohickeys are sufficiently cool.

But with Psion(icists), you have two basic choices: power points (freedom to use powers as you wish, but uses math and has possibility of going nova and either trivializing the encounter or being useless the rest of the day) or power slots (easy to use and ensures that powers remain even, but way too much like regular magic and doesn't allow for the psion to use extra willpower to ensure something gets done), and many people who like one really don't like the other. There's probably other options as well, but I can't think of them at the moment.

I'm pretty sure that if you did a poll where the choices were points, slots, and "other", the results would be split evenly and there would be no standout "other."
The reason is that Artificers use Spell Alot, whereas the Myatic did not. People.have told WotC that they don't want new alternate power systems.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Not saying I personally want to see all of these archetypes, but here's how I'd imagine they would work.

okay in order
1 how do they differ both mechanically and thematically from other bards?
Perhaps they can actually use music to create certain effects over periods of time--less useful in battle, more useful in social situations. Play music in an area for a minute or ten minutes and thread a suggestion spell in with the music, affecting everyone who can hear it. Obviously, this wouldn't be a good archetype for most dungeon crawls, but for more social games it could be quite effective.

3 how do you make it not teifling default or hell warlock is the real question.
WotC, in their infinite lack of wisdom, made tieflings Asmodeus spawn. A fiendish sorcerer could gain different powers or bonus spells if they're linked to devils, demons, yugoloths, or whatever else type of fiend they want to use. And all fiendlocks are fire-based, even though plenty of fiends, and plenty of layers of the lower planes, are more based on cold, acid, or poison.

4 a that would make the monk even more MAD as abyss also why are all monk subclasses pure fighting styles it is kinda dull but could work would need some offence abilities to not be dull playing them.
If you allow Strength to replace Dexterity or Wisdom for this archetype, this shouldn't make the class any MADder.

5 how would they not just overlap with the necromancer or the two undead warlocks?
Perhaps give them the ability the cast spells through the undead they make? And/or an ability like that of the spore druid that lets them create temporary undead without casting a spell.

6 okay the thematic could work but what does it bring to the druid not presently there?
It would be a more social-based druid; as it is, druids are not face characters.

7 would be MAD as anything also other than stat change what does it bring?
People have been wanting a Strength-based pugilist for some time. Flavor it as a boxer and it would work quite well, especially if they could use sneak attacks while punching. (Hey, if Swashbucklers can get sneak attacks while dueling, then why not Boxers?)

8 that would need lots of spells being made first.
Since when has D&D shied away from making spells? Especially when there's so many spells from previous editions that haven't been converted yet.

9 how would that even play?
OK, this one I'm not seeing either (assuming you're talking about the feral monk built for animalistic races). But a monk who could sprout animalistic claws and fangs--a weremonk, if you will--could be pretty cool.

10 overlaps a lot with the new barbarian subclass also how do we deal with it being unusable by phb races?
I'm not sure which barbarian subclass you're talking about

11 we have too many magic fighter subclasses as there are at this point we need the arcane gish just so people stop cluttering up the fighter.
I think having "too many" of a type of subclass is just an opinion here.

I also, personally, don't think an arcane gish is going to happen. If the eldritch knight isn't enough, then I don't think that anyone will be able to agree on an archetype that does the same thing but "better," and I doubt they'd be adding yet another half-caster class.

12 okay but mechanically what does it add also we lack sufficient plant monster for that to work right now.
There's actually quite a large number of plant creatures. Plus, if you don't turn into specific creatures but get plant-like features, you don't need to worry about not having a million plant creatures. Most terrains have plants in them, so controlling existing plants would be easy--and the archetype could include a feature where you use your action to plant a seed (of any type) and it instantly grows into a plant you can control.

13 we already have it was in swords coast adventure guide.
That one is true. Oath of the Crown needs to be reprinted and maybe updated.

define setting specific that is not just a slight variation of a present subclass?
Well, the archetypes that got cut from Strixhaven are prime examples.

psionics needs a full class first before we really make subclasses as at present they will just end up with more quarter casters.
That will almost certainly not happen this edition.
 


Undrave

Hero
you hunt the enemies of the faith not as odd as it sounds plus the paladin absorbed the warden and we have yet to have the magic assassin to compliment the magic templar.
Your talk of Ranger reminded me of another subclass I could see. I'm not sure on the name I would give it but basically a more magical Ranger that uses magical seeds to grow trees in a flash. They could prepare a certain number of them per day and use them either by hand or by throwing them through a sling and those would sprout different plants that would be enchanted with an effect for a while.

I originally concieved of it for the 4e Seeker but I think it would work great for the Ranger. A sort of johnny appleseed/man who planted trees type of deal but more D&D esque. A conclave of Ranger dedicated to repairing the world wherever it is ravaged by tragedy (and stuff like transdimensional incursions). Lifespreader? Lifesower? Lifewalkers? Forresters? Restorers? Something like that?

And it would learn the Druidcraft cantrip to make flowers bloom.
 
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Not saying I personally want to see all of these archetypes, but here's how I'd imagine they would work.


Perhaps they can actually use music to create certain effects over periods of time--less useful in battle, more useful in social situations. Play music in an area for a minute or ten minutes and thread a suggestion spell in with the music, affecting everyone who can hear it. Obviously, this wouldn't be a good archetype for most dungeon crawls, but for more social games it could be quite effective.


WotC, in their infinite lack of wisdom, made tieflings Asmodeus spawn. A fiendish sorcerer could gain different powers or bonus spells if they're linked to devils, demons, yugoloths, or whatever else type of fiend they want to use. And all fiendlocks are fire-based, even though plenty of fiends, and plenty of layers of the lower planes, are more based on cold, acid, or poison.


If you allow Strength to replace Dexterity or Wisdom for this archetype, this shouldn't make the class any MADder.


Perhaps give them the ability the cast spells through the undead they make? And/or an ability like that of the spore druid that lets them create temporary undead without casting a spell.


It would be a more social-based druid; as it is, druids are not face characters.


People have been wanting a Strength-based pugilist for some time. Flavor it as a boxer and it would work quite well, especially if they could use sneak attacks while punching. (Hey, if Swashbucklers can get sneak attacks while dueling, then why not Boxers?)


Since when has D&D shied away from making spells? Especially when there's so many spells from previous editions that haven't been converted yet.


OK, this one I'm not seeing either (assuming you're talking about the feral monk built for animalistic races). But a monk who could sprout animalistic claws and fangs--a weremonk, if you will--could be pretty cool.


I'm not sure which barbarian subclass you're talking about


I think having "too many" of a type of subclass is just an opinion here.

I also, personally, don't think an arcane gish is going to happen. If the eldritch knight isn't enough, then I don't think that anyone will be able to agree on an archetype that does the same thing but "better," and I doubt they'd be adding yet another half-caster class.


There's actually quite a large number of plant creatures. Plus, if you don't turn into specific creatures but get plant-like features, you don't need to worry about not having a million plant creatures. Most terrains have plants in them, so controlling existing plants would be easy--and the archetype could include a feature where you use your action to plant a seed (of any type) and it instantly grows into a plant you can control.


That one is true. Oath of the Crown needs to be reprinted and maybe updated.


Well, the archetypes that got cut from Strixhaven are prime examples.


That will almost certainly not happen this edition.
1 then it would ideally be made for whenever they make a better system for social areas of the game.

2 have you seen how easy it is to mix those three things up? it would just be generic fiend if it was made.

3 monks get a subclass at level 3 so for two levels it would just be terrible also its ac would be worse from the lack of the all-powerful dex (stats and abilities really need to be rebalanced at some point.)

4 that is a different type of druid I will admit.

5 could work but it runs into the same problems as the strength monk.

6 just the basic point of what would have to be done.

7 we do not seem to get more none-magic fighters and honestly the lack of them is what disturbs me more.
plus why would they not make the arcane half caster they make one late every edition?

8 okay but other than being a plant what does the druid get to do that is different?

9 maybe in the next guide to everything book?

what other safe traditional bets do they have left the normal stuff has been burned through a psionic class is as likely as anything else at this point.
 

That's just the entire 5E core philosophy: not releasing options that aren't broadly wanted. Less "lack of bravery," and more "sticking to fundamental principles." I liked the idea, and wished to see more of it, but alas.
The trouble is this is completely false.

Wholly false.

Only options that get playtested even have a chance to be "rejected", and when they are "rejected" or "approved", WotC's reaction is inconsistent. In some cases they vanish never to return, in others, they come back immediately for another playtest, slightly modified, in others still, they go in, regardless of the testing results.

More importantly, a huge bulk of stuff isn't playtested - tons of races and subclasses aren't playtested (and loads of spells, magic items, etc.) - but they go in. Worse, stuff that was playtested, and did well, has even been entirely replaced with trash that wasn't playtested before (for example, the last-minute change to Dragonmarks in Eberron, which was an abysmal change which introduced a ton of problems playtesting would have caught).

So the idea that they're "sticking to principles" is non-viable. It's demonstrably false. Rather they're simply using feedback as justification for some decisions and not others, and in an inconsistent manner.

Personally I won't be buying this or the dragon book to make my point. In fact I won't be buying anything 5E until they start making better decisions. It's possible the "classic settings" will get me back, but only if it's a well-done version of PS or DS, I suspect.
 
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The trouble is this is completely false.

Wholly false.

Only options that get playtested even have a chance to be "rejected", and when they are "rejected" or "approved", WotC's reaction is inconsistent. In some cases they vanish never to return, in others, they come back immediately for another playtest, slightly modified, in others still, they go in, regardless of the testing results.

More importantly, a huge bulk of stuff isn't playtested - tons of races and subclasses aren't playtested - but they go in. Worse, stuff that was playtested, and did well, has been entirely replaced with trash that wasn't playtested before (for example, the last-minute change to Dragonmarks in Eberron, which was an abysmal change which introduced a ton of problems playtesting would have caught).

So the idea that they're "sticking to principles" is non-viable. It's demonstrably false. Rather they're simply using feedback as justification for some decisions and not others, and in an inconsistent manner.

Personally I won't be buying this or the dragon book to make my point. In fact I won't be buying anything 5E until they start making better decisions. It's possible the "classic settings" will get me back, but only if it's a well-done version of PS or DS, I suspect.
This seems like a fairly major overreaction. The Stryxhaven subclasses really didn't work for a whole raft of different reasons. They could have worked had equivalence been designed into 5e from the start, but it wasn't, and without a time machine there was no way to fix it. Taking a different route was the right decision. Whether or not it was "consistent" is irrelevant. Being consistent all the time is extremely difficult, I damn sure I can't do it.
 

This seems like a fairly major overreaction. The Stryxhaven subclasses really didn't work for a whole raft of different reasons. They could have worked had equivalence been designed into 5e from the start, but it wasn't, and without a time machine there was no way to fix it. Taking a different route was the right decision. Whether or not it was "consistent" is irrelevant. Being consistent all the time is extremely difficult, I damn sure I can't do it.
I totally disagree and I feel like you're confused about my reasoning.

If they said "These subclasses didn't work mechanically and we couldn't find a way to make them, sorry!" or something, or even "The playtested feedback was that these classes were unbalanced and we hadn't left ourselves enough time to fix it!" (which is true, the playtest was really what, weeks before they had to make final print decisions?), I could absolutely respect that decision, as the decision of smart or at least honest game designers.

However, they are representing the decision as some moronic "wisdom of the crowd" bollocks.

And @Parmandur is the one representing it as consistent.

It's not even close to consistent. It's utterly inconsistent. You say "it's irrelevant if it's consistent", okay, that's your view, but your argument is with @Parmandur who is the one who claimed it was and that that was a good thing and mattered.

I can respect the decision of game designers. I absolutely don't respect game designers who hide behind terrible metrics invented by their predecessors, which have been completely inconsistently used and applied, and are only ever mentioned when innovative or daring content is in play, and completely ignored at other times (or even actively reversed, in the case of Dragonmarks).

If they want to hide behind that bollocks, they can, and I can say "Okay, I guess I won't buy your material". I was intending to buy both books - I've previously bought every single non-adventure 5E book except Ravnica - but I'm not going to. If they do better in future, I may revise my opinion, though it's unlikely that I'll ever get Strixhaven (I may well end up seeing it of course because I'm in like four DNDBeyond campaigns with full sharing enabled so if any of the other DMs gets it...).
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The reason is that Artificers use Spell Alot, whereas the Myatic did not. People.have told WotC that they don't want new alternate power systems.
Correction.

People didn't want to learn a new power system. Especially the mystic's complicated and unbalanced mess of a power system.

That's the issue. The example given was a mess and too focused on a single lore concept for it. Much like Strixhaven's subclasses.
 

However, they are representing the decision as some moronic "wisdom of the crowd" bollocks.
How they sell it is down to the marketing team. The fact is it was unbalanced, overcomplicated (what level do I get that ability at?), and made the setting less customisable. If they want to sell it as "oh look at how we listen to the feedback" that's up to them, but it was never going to make it in. The dubious decision was putting it in front of the public in the first place. I suspect that had more to do with feeling out ideas for 6th edition than something that was ever going to make it into print.

Marketing is all bollocks, always has been and always will be. Expecting it to be anything other is cloudcuckoolanding.
 


How they sell it is down to the marketing team.
I don't for one heartbeat buy that Crawford put that explanation past the marketing team, or that that's the marketing line, and if you genuinely believe that, rather than are using it as a rhetorical point, that surprises me and diminishes my estimation of your judgement on this kind of issue (which was previously pretty high). If it is rhetoric, fair enough, but I roll my eyes at it. I've worked in marketing (it was horrific lol, like the British The Office meets Mad Men in the dotcom boom), and work closely with marketing at a large corporate firm.

The underlying issue is that they brought it to playtest so late they couldn't make any kind of revision, so have fallen back to, and this is the funniest bit, one that completely destroys @Parmandur's claims of "consistency", replaced it with a bunch of feats that haven't been playtested or acceptance-tested (I say a bunch because that was several pages they need to replace, even if they can reuse some of the flavour text).

I will admit that if the feats are amazing and somehow achieve the same thing, I might consider that okay, but I reaaaaaaaally doubt it.
 

I don't for one heartbeat buy that Crawford put that explanation past the marketing team, or that that's the marketing line, and if you genuinely believe that, rather than are using it as a rhetorical point, that surprises me and diminishes my estimation of your judgement on this kind of issue (which was previously pretty high). If it is rhetoric, fair enough, but I roll my eyes at it. I've worked in marketing, and work closely with marketing at a large corporate firm.

The underlying issue is that they brought it to playtest so late they couldn't make any kind of revision, so have fallen back to, and this is the funniest bit, one that completely destroys @Parmandur's claims of "consistency", replaced it with a bunch of feats that haven't been playtested or acceptance-tested (I say a bunch because that was several pages they need to replace, even if they can reuse some of the flavour text).

I will admit that if the feats are amazing and somehow achieve the same thing, I might consider that okay, but I reaaaaaaaally doubt it.
I've also worked in marketing. And if you believe anything a British Public School puts in it's prospectus you need your head examined.

Really, you can tell all the lies you like in marketing, because you know no one believes it anyway, so it's not really dishonest.
5E fans also want subclasses to be usable in as many subclasses as possible, since so many DMs homebrew their own settings. In this case, there was a bit of an uphill climb since the subclasses were so tied to a particular setting
I have no doubt this it true. Because it is bleedin' obvious. They did not need market research to tell them that.
Crawford noted that they were prepared for the fanbase to reject the subclasses and had prepared "contingency plans" in case they didn't work out.
What he isn't saying is the so called "contingency plans" where always Plan A.
We could also see some design elements appear in future D&D products in another capacity.
Now we hear the real reason for the UA.
 

I've also worked in marketing. And if you believe anything a British Public School puts in it's prospectus you need your head examined.
Definitely agree lol. I learned that age 10 when I went to look at several public and private schools with my parents - seeing the prospectuses before that vs. the actual schools was an eye-opener. Unfortunately, being 10, I was taken in by the tour of one of them, and totally should have gone to one of the shabbier ones.
 

Definitely agree lol. I learned that age 10 when I went to look at several public and private schools with my parents - seeing the prospectuses before that vs. the actual schools was an eye-opener. Unfortunately, being 10, I was taken in by the tour of one of them, and totally should have gone to one of the shabbier ones.
Having also worked at a couple as well as attended one, there really isn't any significant regulation of public schools. Unlike state schools they can get away with pretty much anything.
 

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