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D&D 5E Strixhaven: Orientation

WotC has released an overview of the upcoming Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, as adventurers of levels 1-10 uncover a plot against the university. Teased are activities like tavern games, a magical frog race, an improv festival, and other social encounters. You can also take exams to improve your skills, join clubs, or get jobs.

Also included is a bestiary of over 40 new creatures.

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The Bibloplex contains most of the information in the multiverse. Plenty of other locations fill the book, such as Captain Dapplewing's Manor, a mansion built for the university professors. One adventure has the PCs breaking into the manor. Another adventure involves the main Strixhaven student sport, Mage Tower.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
And I didn’t call you a snob, I described a behavior.

:rolleyes:

On the topic of Strixhaven having similarities to Harry Potter, it obviously does. Are they the same? Not really. But if you wanted to play "D&D will elements of Harry Potter," Strixhaven is absolutely going to scratch that itch. It kind of has all the main hallmarks of Harry Potter, like houses (schools), Quiditch (Mage Tower), and elements for interesting rivalries and romances.

Analysing this any more than that though is reductive. The team who made Strixhaven were obviously partly inspired by Harry Potter, but they also tried to make something different too.
 

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My one point of advice for WotC is: Don't skew too young. I remember part o the fun of getting back into D&D as a weeling is that it felt "adult" - so impenetrable and mysterious, and took quite awhile to unpack, from the esoteric tomes like the mad ramblings of Gygax (aka the 1st edition DMG), to the feeling that I was playing a big kid's game, and not being talked down to.

Meaning, if they lean too much into "D&D for teens," they run the risk of the common mistake made by many adults, forgetting that teens are more interested in adult stuff than they are kid stuff, and trying to be relevant to teens is about the quickest way of turning them off.

Or as my 13-year old daughter often says to me, "OK, Boomer" (ignoring my differentiation of boomers and gen xers).
Exactly what I've tryied to say in previous post. When I was a boy I was captured by the adult feel of the illustrations of DnD. And if it was the same silly childish game, maybe it didn't move my interest.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Likewise.
On the topic of Strixhaven having similarities to Harry Potter, it obviously does.
I don’t think anyone has claimed otherwise.
Are they the same? Not really. But if you wanted to play "D&D will elements of Harry Potter," Strixhaven is absolutely going to scratch that itch.
Hardly “absolutely”. For some people. For me, not really.
It kind of has all the main hallmarks of Harry Potter, like houses (schools), Quiditch (Mage Tower), and elements for interesting rivalries and romances.
It has Spellcasting rugby by the looks of it. Maybe I missed a description that includes flying on brooms?
The team who made Strixhaven were obviously partly inspired by Harry Potter, but they also tried to make something different too.
That’d be the point several of us were making, yeah.
 

Azuresun

Adventurer
Ha. That's a good and humorous way of putting it. And I think the age thing is just an inevitable part of it for some of us. I've notice over the last several months, especially in relation to products like Strixhaven and Witchlight, various grumblings from some older, diehard fans about the "new" direction. I think part of it is that the "reality of age" (and potentially being aged out) is becoming harder to ignore, and the friction more obvious. I understand it, empathize with it, and feel it myself, but...what do we expect? D&D is both more popular than ever and skewing younger, and they're clearly not focusing on the middle aged demographic.

It doesn't mean they'll ignore it, either, but they might - or at least take the approach, "We're focusing most of what we do on the much larger, younger demographic, but hope you come along for the ride. Oh, yeah, have a bone: Here's Spelljammer! (Sort of). It's coming! (Kind of). And hope you don't mind the pixie dust space unicorns and going to a neogi prom!"

I'm middle aged, and I can't wait for this book to come out. There's no friction here, and frankly I don't think there's much at all outside a tiny handful of grogs.

And to me, Spelljammer seems far goofier and more kid-focused than going to wizard university. Not that actually I consider those qualities bad things in an RPG setting, but you'll have a hard time persuading me that the "D&D In Spaaaace" setting with Giff and giant space hamsters is serious business for mature minds only.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Likewise.

I shouldn't go any deeper into this, but calling someone's behavior snobby is essentially calling someone a snob, hence my eye rolls. It's like tomato tamatoe.

I don’t think anyone has claimed otherwise.

Hardly “absolutely”. For some people. For me, not really.

It has Spellcasting rugby by the looks of it. Maybe I missed a description that includes flying on brooms?

That’d be the point several of us were making, yeah.

This debate is frustrating. I already said they're not exactly the same, so pointing out the small differences doesn't matter. Quidditch and Mage Tower aren't the same game, but they're both sports that utilize magic in a competitive team vs. team format that pits school against school. Hell, they're arenas look near identical to me.

Anyway, it illustrates the point I was making; Quidditch and Mage Tower aren't the same. But for the themes and roll in the sotry/campaign? Similar enough that they're essentially interchangeable... and it's done that way by design.

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I shouldn't go any deeper into this, but calling someone's behavior snobby is essentially calling someone a snob, hence my eye rolls. It's like tomato tamatoe.
Because umbran has already moderated on the issue, I won’t argue further except to say, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m not being pedantic, it isn’t semantics, the two statements are not the same.
This debate is frustrating. I already said they're not exactly the same, so pointing out the small differences doesn't matter. Quidditch and Mage Tower aren't the same game, but they're both sports that utilize magic in a competitive team vs. team format that pits school against school. Hell, they're arenas look near identical to me.
Sure, they’re the same. Just like baseball and soccer. They’re played on a field with a ball and two opposing teams, with a game broken into segments, right?
Anyway, it illustrates the point I was making; Quidditch and Mage Tower aren't the same. But for the themes and roll in the sotry/campaign? Similar enough that they're essentially interchangeable... and it's done that way by design.

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They’re both team sports that use magic. That isn’t a significant similarity. The similarities of Strixhaven to Harry Potter are much too mild to justify the constant cries that they’re the same thing.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Sure, they’re the same. Just like baseball and soccer. They’re played on a field with a ball and two opposing teams, with a game broken into segments, right?

They’re both team sports that use magic. That isn’t a significant similarity. The similarities of Strixhaven to Harry Potter are much too mild to justify the constant cries that they’re the same thing.

Oy vey, I've already said they're not the same thing, but they serve the same purpose. They're meant to elicit the same competition, rivalry, and emotion that Quidditch does within Harry Potter. The games themselves being different rules isn't important, what is important is that they serve the same purpose within the story. The game is there to remind people of the inter-house rivalries of different Houses/Schools, and is meant as an outlet for players to directly enact their rivalries against competing students.

As a literary construct? They're the same thing. And the writers of Strixhaven knew that, it's why it's in the set.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I'm middle aged, and I can't wait for this book to come out. There's no friction here, and frankly I don't think there's much at all outside a tiny handful of grogs.
It goes without saying that not everyone feels the same way, although I don't know if it is only a "tiny handful." I'm going by what I've seen on this board, and quite a few people have expressed some degree of what I'm talking about, whether with this product or Witchlight. Maybe you misunderstand what I mean by "friction." It isn't some huge offense, it is just feeling a sense of separation from this particular thread of WotC's output.
And to me, Spelljammer seems far goofier and more kid-focused than going to wizard university. Not that actually I consider those qualities bad things in an RPG setting, but you'll have a hard time persuading me that the "D&D In Spaaaace" setting with Giff and giant space hamsters is serious business for mature minds only.
You're missing my point: Spelljammer came out 30+ years ago, and is thought of very fondly by older players (for the most part). I was using it as an example of throwing a bone to older players.
 



Faolyn

Hero
I like to bring up that book as an argument on how "REAL" magic schools should be, not like the nonsense that was Harry Potter. Where learning magic is not just waving wands and saying the words, where everything has a true name you need to learn, and where your teachers do not give you ridiculously deadly tasks like pulling Mandragora or going to woods where giant spiders can eat you... And where the one magic 'prank' that our protagonist pulls has deadly consequences that follow him for much of his career, not brushed off immediately.
I'd actually say that the bit about your teachers giving you deadly tasks is actually kind of logical for a "real" magical school... in a world like a typical D&D setting, where you're not expected to live in a magical town filled with magic users and stores that sell magic ingredients, but are expected to be moving out and into an incredibly deadly world where everything does want to kill you, and many of those things can make themselves look like perfectly mundane objects.

In the Potterverse, it's ridiculous. In a D&D 'verse, I can very easily see a magic school with a high student mortality rate.
 


Azzy

KMF DM
Unfortunately, the multi-classed Jock/Nerd is a rare thing. And even when you do find one, they likely only took a 1-level dip in Jock, just so they could try and fit into normal society and avoid the dreaded wedgie of doom attack.
My current DM has equal levels—he follows (American) football and coaches wrestling in school. Still, he is conversant in the ways of the nerd.
 

Isn't all sport just a bunch of people running pointlessly around a field for an allotted period of time? I don't care what the rules are, I just want to keep out of it.
 


In the Potterverse, it's ridiculous.
No, it's satire.

When I was in my second year at boarding school a boy from another house fell off a cliff during a camping expedition and died. A couple of decades later the sister girls' school had a couple of pupils drown trying to cross a flooded stream on a DofE expedition. When I found myself a teacher at a boarding school I was horrified at the blasé disregard for pupil safety - I didn't stay at that school long.

There is a lot of politics between the lines of Harry Potter.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I just want Mage Tower to play like its inventor understands sports

It is wild that 95% of Quidittch is irrelevant when you get like 100 points and end the game by getting the flying golden egg. I think there was like one match in the series where Harry couldn't catch it, because his team was losing so bad they would have lost if he caught the snitch and ended the game.
 

It is wild that 95% of Quidittch is irrelevant when you get like 100 points and end the game by getting the flying golden egg. I think there was like one match in the series where Harry couldn't catch it, because his team was losing so bad they would have lost if he caught the snitch and ended the game.
It's a plot element in the Quidditch world cup match. Didn't make it into the movie. [does a quick memory refresh] Ireland** are too far ahead to beat, but Viktor Crumb, playing for Bulgaria, catches the snitch*, conceding defeat but retaining honour for his own team.

The thing about the rules of quidditch is they where intentionally written to be overcomplicated and unwieldy, because it is a parody of real life sports with overcomplicated unwieldy rules.

One assumes the rules of Mage Tower are intentionally written to work well with the rules of D&D.


*Snitch is English Public School slang for a tell tale/sneak/informer.

**Also political - implies a united independent Ireland.
 
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Azuresun

Adventurer
It goes without saying that not everyone feels the same way, although I don't know if it is only a "tiny handful." I'm going by what I've seen on this board, and quite a few people have expressed some degree of what I'm talking about, whether with this product or Witchlight. Maybe you misunderstand what I mean by "friction." It isn't some huge offense, it is just feeling a sense of separation from this particular thread of WotC's output.

You're missing my point: Spelljammer came out 30+ years ago, and is thought of very fondly by older players (for the most part). I was using it as an example of throwing a bone to older players.

And (I say this with love) this board is the groggiest collection of grogs that ever grogged a grog. :)
 

Strixhaven was about as much inspired by Harry Potter as Harry Potter was inspired by Three's Acompany.

Both Harry Potter and Three's Company have humans in it. Both Jack Tripper and Harry Potter have best friends. Characters in both eat food. Jack Tripper has two hands and Harry Potter has two hands! The 3 main characters both live with other people. Jack Tripper handles ingredients and so does Harry Potter. Both have older authority figures. Both have music (if you count the Harry Potter movies) highly linked to them. Both Harry Potter and Three's Company has both males and females. The main characters in both have some level of previous education. Both in Harry Potter and Three's Company the characters speak English.

So clearly Harry Potter is based on Three's Company. 😁😈
 

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