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

okay in order
1 how do they differ both mechanically and thematically from other bards?
2 this one is a no brainer and should be there already.
3 how do you make it not teifling default or hell warlock is the real question.
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.
5 how would they not just overlap with the necromancer or the two undead warlocks?
6 okay the thematic could work but what does it bring to the druid not presently there?
7 would be MAD as anything also other than stat change what does it bring?
8 that would need lots of spells being made first.
9 how would that even play?
10 overlaps a lot with the new barbarian subclass also how do we deal with it being unusable by phb races?
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.
12 okay but mechanically what does it add also we lack sufficient plant monster for that to work right now.
13 we already have it was in swords coast adventure guide.

define setting specific that is not just a slight variation of a present subclass?
psionics needs a full class first before we really make subclasses as at present they will just end up with more quarter casters.

consider both mechanical and thematic.
You didn't refute anything in their post, you just asked them to design 13+ sub-classes. This isn't an argument. This is barely even a response.

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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.
Distinction without a difference. People want a unified Spell Slot system, to ease play.
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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.
They have been consistent since late 2017, when they began testing for Xanathar's Guide. The only untested Race/Class options since that time were for licensed properties where the IP holders (Penny Arcade & Critical Role) wanted the options to represent their brand: and those options have not been reprinted in other books.

The last point, there's really no evidence for: remember that forum chatter ≠ survey results. I see no reason to believe that they put in anything in spite of feedback: do you have a specific example where you believe that to be the case?

In terms of an example of an Option that received mixed feedback and another go around, the Genie Warlock: surveys said that people liked the concept, but not certain elements. So they did another approach. That's different than an option which was broadly rejected, like the Truenamer Wizard. It. So, yes, it's not black and white, there is a grey shade in the middle. These options, intriguing as they are, did not fall in that grey area.
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What he isn't saying is the so called "contingency plans" where always Plan A.
Now we hear the real reason for the UA.
I think they really wanted to know if people would go for this option now: the audience is different now than during the Next playtest, and this approachis a bit different than the Themes that became Subclasses. So I don't think it is a given that this would have been rejected. But clearly they were prepared for that, and this probably cements the 5E approach to Subclasses for 6E when the time comes.


Again, just a reminder that I'm not saying that these archetypes must be included--I'm just showing how they could be done.

1 then it would ideally be made for whenever they make a better system for social areas of the game.
You have to start somewhere. Imagine if this were included in a book that focused on social RPing or had a more social kind of setting--like Strixhaven. (Not Strixhaven because that's a university, of course, but like that.)

2 have you seen how easy it is to mix those three things up? it would just be generic fiend if it was made.
Then you do it by what the fiend is built around. Fiends, regardless of their plane of origin, typically rely on one of fire, poison, or acid. In addition, some fiends are brute strength, some rely on cunning and deception, some rely on contracts, some rely on mind-control, etc. All of those could be emphasized by different lists of bonus spells, in the same way that the genielock grants bonus spells depending on the element of the genie. Right now, the fiendlock is almost entirely fire-based, which sucks if you want to say your patron is, I dunno, Zuggtmoy or Levestus.

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.)
Fair enough. That is a perfectly decent reason to dismiss an archetype.

6 just the basic point of what would have to be done.
I do wish you'd intersperse your replies because I have no idea what this is in reference to.

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?
I honestly think that, like the psion/mystic, there isn't ever going to be enough agreement as to how a gish should be done. Eldritch knights, paladins, rangers, hexblades, and those bladesingers or whatever they're called, I forget, are all gishes but clearly aren't gish-y enough for people (and those reasons may be perfectly sound). Yes, WotC could just produce a psion and a gish class, but they'd inevitably cause half the players to complain that it's not done the right way, and I'm starting to think that they simply won't include it this edition.

With luck, they'd include those classes in the 6e PH so they can be properly integrated right from the start.

8 okay but other than being a plant what does the druid get to do that is different?
This is in large part thematic. Druids are all about nature but are almost entirely focused on animals or elements. Plus, you can give the druid abilities and say they come from plants, in the same way that Shepherd druids gain abilities but say they come from spirits. Possible examples: the druid can sprout vines, giving them extended reach, or they can turn into a mobile tree and gain damage resistance and extra smacking damage., or they can create blights or (temporarily) awaken trees as allies/pets.


Difference without a distinction. People want a unified Spell Slot system, to ease play.

There is a distinction. The option given by them was panned. People preferred a unified system over the mess given to them.

Clearly because later subclasses and subsystems with their own mechanics that were later lauded, the issue was the examples given but not the ideas behind them


There is a distinction. The option given by them was panned. People preferred a unified system over the mess given to them.

Clearly because later subclasses and subsystems with their own mechanics that were later lauded, the issue was the examples given but not the ideas behind them
Right, latter Classes and Subclasses that worked within the existing system worked for people.


People have been wanting a Strength-based pugilist for some time. Flavor it as a boxer and it would work quite well
Fighter with unarmed fighting style already makes for a pretty darn good strength-based pugilist. It is 1d8 +strength right off the bat.

At 6th level with tavern brawler and grappler, when you consider advantage, you will be putting out damage pretty close to someone with a greatsword + GWM while also controlling the enemy with your grapple.

Professor Murder

Related: While this book isn't doing what would have interested me, I hope that it does enjoyable things for others. So damn tired of gatekeeping grognards dictating what's "real DnD". You don't want this book? No one cares. Don't buy it. I don't want it. I'm not buying it. It's fine. I want my hobby to thrive and if it only caters to me, it will die. Write books for not me. Just also write books for me please.

They have been consistent since late 2017, when they began testing for Xanathar's Guide. The only untested Race/Class options since that time were for licensed properties where the IP holders (Penny Arcade & Critical Role) wanted the options to represent their brand: and those options have not been reprinted in other books.
This is simply not true.

None of the Theros races which were new got a UA, for example (AFAIK anyway, and looking back I can't find any evidence to support that they did). On top of that, it's an attempt to dodge the issue by limiting it to race/class - when they've been utterly inconsistent on spells/feats/etc. being playtested/UA'd, even when they have potentially major game impacts. I could probably find others if I kept looking, but that came to mind immediately.
In terms of an example of an Option that received mixed feedback and another go around, the Genie Warlock: surveys said that people liked the concept, but not certain elements. So they did another approach. That's different than an option which was broadly rejected, like the Truenamer Wizard.
There's no evidence to support claims of consistency here. They've been all over the place.

Most importantly, they can only do what's physically possible. If they playtest stuff well ahead of things, then it can be revised, but increasingly, they're putting out UAs so close to the release of the actual books in question that the only option would be to pull stuff and replace it, not to tweak it and try again.

That was certainly the case here. If the reponse was "good idea, bad implementation", and even what they've said doesn't really suggest it wasn't (nor that it was, to be fair), there was nothing they could do about it. They just didn't have time. That was a choice on their part, and not consistent with allowing good time like earlier approaches.

Other issues are things like the Dragonmarks system being approved by playtesting/UA, strongly, and then thrown out last minute in favour of untested trash races which don't support the lore (yet more untested races - so that's another lot for you, breaking your claim re: 2017 consistency) because of their half-arsed mechanics, which would have been roundly rejected by UA/playtesting (the uproar was significant, esp. about Eberron fans), or one of the designers indicating that the Sidekicks UA was extremely positively received, and approved of, then the actual Sidekick rules didn't reflect the UA approach, to the point where the designer seemed slightly upset/apologetic about it.

(To be completely fair, and I am trying to be here, I do not believe WotC would make the same mistake with Eberron if it came out today - I believe they'd use the Theros/Ravenloft model of "By default you get one of these abilities or a Feat" and do that with Dragonmarks. So I think they learned from it, but it's post-2017 shenanigans.)

They're not consistent. And maybe that's fine, but don't claim they're consistent. I've proven that they're not.


Autistic DM (he/him)
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).
And this is exactly why I despise the Order of the Scribes Wizard. The Archivist Artificer got tremendously positive feedback in the UA survey for it, according to the Wizards Team, but some people said "I think this should be a Wizard", and Wizards of the Coast decided to ignore the overall playtest feedback and turn the very popular subclass from the class with the least amount of subclasses into a "meh" subclass (with fairly broken mechanics) in the class with more subclasses than any other class in the game (excluding Cleric).

Seriously, Wizards of the Coast, wtf were you thinking!?!? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!! The Archivist wasn't "broke", so why did they try to fix it?!?!

(Apologies for the rant. I just wanted to share an extremely fitting and annoying example of the phenomenon you were discussing. Carry on, everyone.)


Autistic DM (he/him)
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.
A few people have already listed examples, but I have made at least 2 homebrew subclasses per class in the game and have thought up even more ideas for them, so there is surely a lot of "safe options" left for subclasses.
  1. Artificer - Stitcher (Flesh-Golem artificer that can use limbs from dead humanoids to create Prosthetic Limbs, and eyes to create Ersatz Eyes), Mechanist (Sort of a Mix of an Armorer and Battle Smith, that can temporarily turn their armor into a Mecha that functions similarly mechanically to the Stahlmast from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount's Dangerous Designs adventure), and the Chronoturgist (time-magic focused Dunamancer crafter inspired by Doctor Who that can use a "Resonant Focus" to use Thieves' Tools at range).
  2. Barbarian - Path of the Juggernaut (Heavy-Armor wearing Barbarian that can charge through enemies' spaces, hurts people by shoving them, and can break through walls by running head-first at them while raging), Path of the Titan (Hulk-inspired Barbarian that becomes Large when raging, focuses on improvised weapons and grappling, and get climbing speeds and bonuses to jumping), and Path of the Steel-Fist (Colossus-inspired barbarian that transforms into metal while Raging, get bonuses to unarmed strikes, and are much more resilient than most other barbarians).
  3. Bard - College of Sound (Blasting-Bards that focus on thunder damage and frightening others) and the College of Dance (dance across the battlefield without provoking opportunity attacks, can grapple people to force them to dance with them and thus move them across the battlefield, and are experts at Performance and Acrobatics).
  4. Cleric - Darkness Domain (opposite of Light Domain, focusing on creating magical darkness, frightening others, and dealing psychic damage), Frost Domain (cold-focused blasting/control cleric that can freeze others with ice and give others resistance to fire damage), and the Fate Domain (dunamancy Cleric that manipulates destiny through their worship of their deity).
  5. Druid - Circle of Winter (opposite of Circle of Wildfire, that gets cold-spells, can summon an ice-elemental to aid them in combat, slows enemies, and summons ice-storms), Circle of Bones (barbarian-styled druidic-version of the Bladesinger that focuses on heavy weapons, gaining knowledge lost to the past through Speak with Dead and similar magic, creating Skeletal Undead, and summoning Living Fossils of Dinosaurs/Mammoths to wreak havoc in battle), and the Circle of the Evergreen (tree-focused Druid that can turn into a minor-treant, gains buffs in bright light from photosynthesis, and grows plants to aid them in or out of combat).
  6. Fighter - Elemental Warrior (Constitution-based 3rd-caster that can take Evocation and Transmutation spells from the Sorcerer spell list, focuses on one type of elemental damage (acid, cold, fire, lighting, or thunder), gains resistance to that damage type and buffs from using it) and the Archer (non-magical, Wisdom-focused Archer subclass that can use any ranged weapons and focuses on deadly precision in combat).
  7. Monk - Way of Reflection (focuses on mirroring the fighting styles of their opponents, gets a free-floating proficiency that they can change when they see someone use a different tool proficiency, can reflect spell attacks back at their source, etc) and the Way of the Psionic Mind (psionic subclass that uses the Psi-Dice mechanic that Soulknifes and Psi-Warriors get).
  8. Paladin - Oath of the Arcane (a paladin that swears themselves to spread the practice of arcane magic, protect benevolent users of magic, and amplify the power of spells within a 5 foot aura around themselves) and the Oath of Souls (Grave-Domain style paladin that typically serves as a holy warrior for the Raven Queen and similar deities that hates undead and those that cheat death, and uses necrotic energy to be an Angel of Death).
  9. Ranger - Froststrider (arctic ranger that uses cold damage and ice-spells to hunt their prey, can hide perfectly in the snow, and are undisturbed by blizzards) and the Deep Predator (unstoppable hunter of the ocean's depths that frightens enemies and hunts them down while they attempt to flee in terror).
  10. Rogue - Luck Shifter (Charisma-based 3rd-caster that focuses on dunamancy spells as well as divination and abjuration magic from the Bard List that was taught its magic by leprechauns and similar fey creatures that have power over karma, luck, and destiny), Ruffian (Strength-focused, thuggish rogue subclass that focuses on bullying others and the strength of numbers), and the Heathen Hunter (Wisdom-based Rogue 3rd-caster class that is a church/cult serving rogue that hunts down enemies of the religion that it has sworn itself to, and chooses to use Cleric or Warlock spells).
  11. Sorcerer - Feyblood (sorcerers that got their magic from the Feywild that can alter the world around them with their fickle magic), Bladeborn (martial sorcerer subclass that got its powers from a powerful magic weapon), the Deathless (undead-touched warlock that focuses on avoiding death and necromantic magics), Primal Spirit (druidic-based sorcerer similar to the Divine Soul Sorcerer, but instead of choosing alignments to gain power from, they choose either Plants, Animals, or Fungus to get power from).
  12. Warlock - Dracon (dragon-patron warlock that can summon an avatar of their draconic patron to surround them and grant them magical claws to rend their enemies), the Constructed One (Modron, Marut, Primus, or Lord of Blades-serving warlock that gets a minor construct companion), the Wild One (elder treant or lycanthrope-lord serving Warlock that uses primal magic), and the Living Ice (Levistus or ice-elemental serving Warlock).
  13. Wizard - Theurgist Mage (unlike the Unearthed Arcana version of this idea, this Theurgist studies the Divine in hopes of one day ascending to godhood, and is much more limited in divine capabilities), Lifedrinking Magic (mix of necromancy and evocation to drain the life of enemies to heal themselves or allies), and Hypnomancy (illusion-enchantment hybrid that focuses on using illusion spells to charm others).
I could easily come up with many more ideas in mere minutes. There's no shortage of ideas, and WotC can easily continue to make more and more subclasses for as long as 5e lasts.
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Additional subclasses I have
Rogue: Liberator (focuses on breaking people from bondage)
Rogue: Propagandist (Think Assassin's Creed meets Thomas Paine)
Rogue: Society of Veil and Shadow (Arcane Trickster focused on charms and illusions to protect the rebellion)
Fighter: Conscript (for the retiree trope, a fighter who was a conscript and then settled down into norm-core life)
Druid: Circle of Sewers (they connect to the wildlife in urban centers)
Monk: Way of Frayed Knot (uses western martial arts, and the fighting priests of piracy as inspiration, also Tuck of course)


I said in another thread that WOTC is quickly approaching the point where all the easy popular subclasses are already in the game and they will be forced to do heavy playtesting or need new classes to produce large amounts of new content.

Fans don't want ultra-specific subclasses and feats that can't be ported over to homebrew worlds. Strixhaven colleges were too tied to how MTG works and not how you would divide D&D casters.

D&D houses/colleges would be

Martial College
Priestly College
Arcana College
Underworld/Sneaky College
Maybe Nature College.
Maybe Nobility College

Anyway, I think 5e has passed the point where new ideas for the game can come out as popular, clean, and balanced without heavy internal or external playtesting.

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