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WotC Strixhaven sounds like it'd be a nice mini-setting for D&D

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Even the rabbit-folk aren't completely new to D&D. In the same supplement that gave us the hsaio (giant, intelligent owls), we got the pooka, fey shape-changers. Pooka, like rakshasa, aren't limited to a single animal form (tigers for rakshasa), but all of the illustrations and examples were of rabbit-pooka.

Yeah, for a moment here I was thinking Strixhaven is possible, but I'm back into the leaning "not happening." A whole bunch of cards have been released, and they are heavily owlfolk but really none of the other subraces.

I think this UA actually is intended for a Feywild product. Either it's a monster book (with the dragon UA) or the adventure path this year is Feywild themed. Plenty of Feywild material in D&D to get that UA to work, as you cite.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Even the rabbit-folk aren't completely new to D&D. In the same supplement that gave us the hsaio (giant, intelligent owls), we got the pooka, fey shape-changers. Pooka, like rakshasa, aren't limited to a single animal form (tigers for rakshasa), but all of the illustrations and examples were of rabbit-pooka.
True...but neither the Pooka nor the Hsaio look like the Lineages from the UA. What does, though...?

Owlin-Shieldmage.png
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah, for a moment here I was thinking Strixhaven is possible, but I'm back into the leaning "not happening." A whole bunch of cards have been released, and they are heavily owlfolk but really none of the other subraces.

I think this UA actually is intended for a Feywild product. Either it's a monster book (with the dragon UA) or the adventure path this year is Feywild themed. Plenty of Feywild material in D&D to get that UA to work, as you cite.
There is a definite lack of Goblins, Fairies or Rabbits so far (though plenty of other Anthropomorphic animals...). Still not sure what they are up to, other than it is weird.
 



Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I went ahead and read the published stories on Strixhaven so far. Sadly, although these are fun short stories, I definitely don't think Strixhaven is fit for a setting. Everything beyond the school itself is just "Villages of townsfolk" and there is very little explanation on any history, nations, anything at all really. There is a villainous force ("The Oriq") but that alone doesn't really add enough for this world to be in the same level of complexity as either Ravnica or Theros.



 


There is a definite lack of Goblins, Fairies or Rabbits so far (though plenty of other Anthropomorphic animals...). Still not sure what they are up to, other than it is weird.
It maybe that they think those would be too obvious, so are keeping them hidden until the D&D announcement.

Hmm, not sure if tinfoil hat is working properly.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It maybe that they think those would be too obvious, so are keeping them hidden until the D&D announcement.

Hmm, not sure if tinfoil hat is working properly.
I mean, they aren't done previewing cards yet, so...quite possibly. Anthropomorphic animals seem like a strong theme, so Rabbitfolk are still really plausible, and most of the other anthropomorphic animals probably don't need playtesting, several already being in 5E (Torttle, Leonin).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I went ahead and read the published stories on Strixhaven so far. Sadly, although these are fun short stories, I definitely don't think Strixhaven is fit for a setting. Everything beyond the school itself is just "Villages of townsfolk" and there is very little explanation on any history, nations, anything at all really. There is a villainous force ("The Oriq") but that alone doesn't really add enough for this world to be in the same level of complexity as either Ravnica or Theros.



I don't disagree, it's a lightly sketched wider world. That might be fine if the point is to zero in on the "Magical School" as a highly specific Setting and genre book.

I'm still not confident that this is what they are doing...but any other possibilities seem less plausible. And those freaking Owls, man.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I don't disagree, it's a lightly sketched wider world. That might be fine if the point is to zero in on the "Magical School" as a highly specific Setting and genre book.

I'm still not confident that this is what they are doing...but any other possibilities seem less plausible. And those freaking Owls, man.

Eh. I think we are in a circular argument now, but the owls seems like more coincidence than anything else when it's on its own. Right now I'm torn between monster book or Feywild adventure book.

But hey, considering there is probably a new book coming this July, we are probably going to get a new announcement sometime in April, so not a long wait.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Eh. I think we are in a circular argument now, but the owls seems like more coincidence than anything else when it's on its own. Right now I'm torn between monster book or Feywild adventure book.

But hey, considering there is probably a new book coming this July, we are probably going to get a new announcement sometime in April, so not a long wait.
Barring further information, it's definitely circular and probabilistic.

At bare minimum, I highly doubt the Owlfolk/Owlin convergence is a coincidence, since D&D and Magic talk to each other about future plans more these days (when Curse of Strahd and Innistrad came out, and Tomb of Annihilation came out at the same time as Ixalan, they literally had no idea on either side that there was thematic crossover). As a minimum, the D&D crew must have seen all this legitimately cool Owlin art in the office and decided they wanted in on that in some form.

Other thing is, besides the Fairies (who again, doesn't work like traditional D&D fairies, as people are currently complaining on Twitter), the other Lineages connection to the Feywild is...tenuous. Something is up.
 


Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
At bare minimum, I highly doubt the Owlfolk/Owlin convergence is a coincidence, since D&D and Magic talk to each other about future plans more these days (when Curse of Strahd and Innistrad came out, and Tomb of Annihilation came out at the same time as Ixalan, they literally had no idea on either side that there was thematic crossover). As a minimum, the D&D crew must have seen all this legitimately cool Owlin art in the office and decided they wanted in on that in some form.

Other thing is, besides the Fairies (who again, doesn't work like traditional D&D fairies, as people are currently complaining on Twitter), the other Lineages connection to the Feywild is...tenuous. Something is up.

I mean, I would call looking at another team's art of Owls and deciding to implement that in your own D&D project largely a coincidence. It makes a lot of sense to me that the D&D team is working on stuff for the Feywild, and decides to add more racial features. Then while their brainstorming Fey races to add, someone comments "Hey the MTG folks have a lot of Owlfolk art hanging, maybe I can use that as an idea!"

Another point I'll make, is that by the stories I read, the Dragonsguard are really more "wizard police officers" than either of the ranger/monk subclasses in the UA. It could make sense as a wizard/sorcerer subclass, but monk/ranger seem like bigger leaps to me.

1617320258609.png


Also, I took a look at the MTG wiki to see if there were other races that could fit in the UA Fey, with swapped names.

1617320518550.png

Arcavios

There are a ton of races here; and although I could swap some of these into the Fey UA, such as Frog-folk instead of Rabbit-folk, or Arcavios Orcs instead of Feywild Hobgoblins, or even Dryads instead of Fairy... there a lot of races here that aren't in the UA that seem like they should be included in a Strixhaven setting. There is a prominent Efreeti character in the stories shared, and a Vampire as well. Djinni, bearfolk, and kor are also prominent omissions that are also in other MTG settings.

Anyway, this all leads me back to my thoughts that these are more coincidences than anything more serious. Obviously I could be wrong, but there are a lot of inconsistencies in the Strixhaven theory, and I'm leaning towards some other largely unhinted at product.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I mean, I would call looking at another team's art of Owls and deciding to implement that in your own D&D project largely a coincidence. It makes a lot of sense to me that the D&D team is working on stuff for the Feywild, and decides to add more racial features. Then while their brainstorming Fey races to add, someone comments "Hey the MTG folks have a lot of Owlfolk art hanging, maybe I can use that as an idea!"

Another point I'll make, is that by the stories I read, the Dragonsguard are really more "wizard police officers" than either of the ranger/monk subclasses in the UA. It could make sense as a wizard/sorcerer subclass, but monk/ranger seem like bigger leaps to me.

View attachment 135013

Also, I took a look at the MTG wiki to see if there were other races that could fit in the UA Fey, with swapped names.

View attachment 135014
Arcavios

There are a ton of races here; and although I could swap some of these into the Fey UA, such as Frog-folk instead of Rabbit-folk, or Arcavios Orcs instead of Feywild Hobgoblins, or even Dryads instead of Fairy... there a lot of races here that aren't in the UA that seem like they should be included in a Strixhaven setting. There is a prominent Efreeti character in the stories shared, and a Vampire as well. Djinni, bearfolk, and kor are also prominent omissions that are also in other MTG settings.

Anyway, this all leads me back to my thoughts that these are more coincidences than anything more serious. Obviously I could be wrong, but there are a lot of inconsistencies in the Strixhaven theory, and I'm leaning towards some other largely unhinted at product.
Hmm, part of that depends on your idea of coincidence, I suppose. If there is actual influence or collaboration, even at a minimal level, I'd call it planned and causal, and thus non-coincidental.

There are major, honking flaws with the theory, and I'm certainly not sure this is happening. But it may.

Most of the creatures present in Arcavios either already exist in 5E terms (Leonin, Minotaurs, Loxodon), can be substituted with traditional D&D Lineages (Merfolk-Tritons as per Theros, Lizardfolk Kor could be Goliaths easily, Efreeti and Djinn as seen here could be Genasi), can be covered using Tasha's style custom Lineage rules (Rhinofolk or Bearfolk don't seem like they would require much testing: the open-ended nature of the anthropomorphic animals in Arcavios actually has a lot of potential), or would be unlikely to be set up as PC options (Dryads Elder Dragons, Archaics). Indeed, for many of these options it might be a good opportunity to provide a Tasha's style update.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Hmm, part of that depends on your idea of coincidence, I suppose. If there is actual influence or collaboration, even at a minimal level, I'd call it planned and causal, and thus non-coincidental.

There are major, honking flaws with the theory, and I'm certainly not sure this is happening. But it may.

Most of the creatures present in Arcavios either already exist in 5E terms (Leonin, Minotaurs, Loxodon), can be substituted with traditional D&D Lineages (Merfolk-Tritons as per Theros, Lizardfolk Kor could be Goliaths easily, Efreeti and Djinn as seen here could be Genasi), can be covered using Tasha's style custom Lineage rules (Rhinofolk or Bearfolk don't seem like they would require much testing: the open-ended nature of the anthropomorphic animals in Arcavios actually has a lot of potential), or would be unlikely to be set up as PC options (Dryads Elder Dragons, Archaics). Indeed, for many of these options it might be a good opportunity to provide a Tasha's style update.

 



I found this bit interesting...

The attendees of Strixhaven are known generally as mage-students. New students are called first-years until they choose one of Strixhaven's five colleges of study. All first-years wear a standardized university uniform that is distinct from the look of any of the colleges.

Generally, after a student's first year of basic curriculum (hence the name), they choose one of the five mystic colleges. Thereafter, they dress in accordance with their chosen college

... it almost sounds like it was designed with the D&D Wizard class structure in mind. Or it's just a coincidence. :)
 


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