D&D 5E Strixhaven's Quandrix College of Numeromancy

We've recently seen previews of the Prismari and Silverquill colleges over at Screenrant and Polygon respectively. Now Mashable shares a look at the third of the five colleges, Quandrix, the numerology college (presumably Lorehold and Witherbloom are yet to appear!)

quandrix.jpg


WotC's Amanda Hamon points out that Strixhaven is in the 'opposite direction' to the tone and thematic elements of Harry Potter, citing the movies Pitch Perfect and 10 Things I Hate About You as influences.

Check out the article on Mashable for a ton more info!

 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
I've seen enough US TV and movies to be familiar with those tropes!

Enough to notice that Le Guin's wizard school has a distinctly American vibe.

Never noticed that, and yet, I have been (probably) exposed to the same tropes. I wouldn't say it's as much a cultural shock as... cultural "nothingness" or maybe "gap". Apparently, prom is important, as in "the most important event in the life of a teenager and you'll be forever ruined if you don't have a date" trope, and I will certainly "get" the reference if I read it in a product, but it will certainly not resonate with me and my group. It will evoke "something that happens in the US", understood only through the trope and caricature from shows, and not a real-life experience as it would for a US player. Same with Spring Break (I know ;) it's an event where American students try to catch an STD in Cancun). It's certainly subtler for people who attended a US university (and certainly not everyone goes to Cancun), and most importantly any referece will evoke real-life memories, but anything more will be lost in translation and the whole idea will fall flat on me and my group if alluded to in a campaign. At some point, it will even make the setting "less believable" because of it. For example, truthfully, I don't know if cheerleading is something that actually exist in US schools. My only experience is through teenage shows, where there are steretotypical characters, and I suppose those shows weren't designed with the goal of puzzling American teenagers with wild and unbelievable social dynamics, so I guess it must be a thing, but I can't determine where the truth lies between "representation is 100% truthful of a US school" and "this doesn't exist at all." So having some of these tropes included into the products will make it "less school-y" to me rather than more because it doesn't reflect a real school experience but a TV show about an US school.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Never noticed that, and yet, I have been (probably) exposed to the same tropes. I wouldn't say it's as much a cultural shock as... cultural "nothingness" or maybe "gap". Apparently, prom is important, as in "the most important event in the life of a teenager and you'll be forever ruined if you don't have a date" trope, and I will certainly "get" the reference if I read it in a product, but it will certainly not resonate with me and my group.
Don't feel alone. As an American who was a friendless outcast in school who never went to any of those important social events, it won't resonate with me, either. Do non-American schools just not have big social events at all, or are they just not as important?

For example, truthfully, I don't know if cheerleading is something that actually exist in US schools.
Yep, it does. As a friendless outcast, I can't tell you if the stereotypes about them are true, since I never went anywhere near them. But... yes, they exist.

So having some of these tropes included into the products will make it "less school-y" to me rather than more because it doesn't reflect a real school experience but a TV show about an US school.
Hopefully it won't be too hard to "covert" it to a less American-style school.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Don't feel alone. As an American who was a friendless outcast in school who never went to any of those important social events, it won't resonate with me, either. Do non-American schools just not have big social events at all, or are they just not as important?

In France and during my time, we just didn't have anything in high school regarding social events. We had yearly picture taken by the school as a memento, each year from kindergarten to high school. After the diploma, there was nothing organized and we just had a pizza in a privately rented out restaurant. No graduation ceremonies in university either, but I know they are more of a thing in other European countries. I only received an enveloppe with the marks telling me I passed and tellming me I had to report to an administrative office to get the original of my degree. Difficult to imagine something less ceremonious.

Hopefully it won't be too hard to "covert" it to a less American-style school.

I suppose it won't, and in fact I am quite happy with the page count being more about the adventure than the game world, because I'll pick the parts and retool them anyway.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
In France and during my time, we just didn't have anything in high school regarding social events. We had yearly picture taken by the school as a memento, each year from kindergarten to high school. No graduation ceremonies in university either, but I know they are more of a thing in other European countries. I only received an enveloppe with the marks telling me I passed and tellming me I had to report to an administrative office to get the original of my degree. Difficult to imagine something less ceremonious.



I suppose it won't, and in fact I am quite happy with the page count being more about the adventure than the game world, because I'll pick the parts and retool them anyway.
Speaking completely out of ignorance about French education, I would imagine that given the origins of the traditional graduation ceremony (to whit, it was originally in the context of a Mass, and the American secular graduation still hits all of those ceremonial beats if you know what to look for) it may have been phased out with aggressive intentionality sometime in the past 230 years.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Speaking completely out of ignorance about French education, I would imagine that given the origins of the traditional graduation ceremony (to whit, it was originally in the context of a Mass, and the American secular graduation still hits all of those ceremonial beats if you know what to look for) it may have been phased out with aggressive intentionality sometime in the past 230 years.

You're certainly right. Universities were "re-created" by Napoleon to break with the religious education. France is one of the few countries were the professors seldom wear a robe even for PhD graduation, because the association with a clerical robe was actively discouraged, for example.
 

Do non-American schools just not have big social events at all, or are they just not as important?
They have them, but they do not have such a long tradition of being a "big important thing". I think in the US co-ed schools have long been the norm, whereas in the UK many secondary schools where single sex up until fairly recently. Thus "finding a life partner" was something that occurred outside of school.

At my place of education, the "school disco" was just an excuse to get falling down drunk, there was no pressure to have an expensive outfit, or a date. But alcohol was legally available.

The US prom may have been copied from from the tradition of debutantes in Europe, but this was limited to the very posh people, and was not organised by schools.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
  • Bottle of Boundless Coffee. Beer for European students.
Why not both?

Coffee for the morning, beer after 10h30.
Or Beer for the morning then coffee after because you had beer for breakfast.
Or coffee to study then beer to celebrate the end of the exams.
Or beer for studying then also beer to forget you had beer while studying and failed your tests (or to celebrate you actually puled it off!)

...those were great years...now I'm 30 and have an upset stomach after 2-3 pints of strong ale and cant sleep if I take a coffee after 14h00 :(
 

Why not both?

Coffee for the morning, beer after 10h30.
Or Beer for the morning then coffee after because you had beer for breakfast.
Or coffee to study then beer to celebrate the end of the exams.
Or beer for studying then also beer to forget you had beer while studying and failed your tests (or to celebrate you actually puled it off!)

...those were great years...now I'm 30 and have an upset stomach after 2-3 pints of strong ale and cant sleep if I take a coffee after 14h00 :(
Students do drink both. But UK coffee is so low in caffeine compared to US coffee (even when it's not actually decaff) that caffeine fueled study binges are ineffective. Meanwhile, the age for legal consumption of alcohol is 21 in the US, 16 in most of the UK, 14 in Germany, and 0 in France.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
If you want some concrete examples of Americanisms, rather than a vague "how things are organised" I'll start a list of things I've noticed in the previews:

  • Pledgemage. Pledges aren't a thing outside the USA.
  • Bottle of Boundless Coffee. Beer for European students.
  • Bayou. Maybe they also use this word for a swamp in France?
Yeah, I can't remember specifics, because the tropes all clicked for me, but on social media for months Mark Rosewater was getting constant questions on individual cards with non-Americans wondering what they were even about (MtG is big outside the Anglosphere), and Rosewater didn't have much to say beyond "you know, just like everyone experienced in school?" though he got wise that people around the world did not share the designers middle class American experiences.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
If you want some concrete examples of Americanisms, rather than a vague "how things are organised" I'll start a list of things I've noticed in the previews:

  • Pledgemage. Pledges aren't a thing outside the USA.
  • Bottle of Boundless Coffee. Beer for European students.
  • Bayou. Maybe they also use this word for a swamp in France?
Interesting selections. My college (in the US) did not have pledges either, as "greek life" - ie sororities and fraternities as lampooned in Animal House - were against the rules.

My college life was equal parts coffee and beer, and quite a bit of cannabis and other head-altering substances thrown in as well. Notwithstanding its legality in some states of the US, I doubt WotC would have "Tree of Endless Cannabis" (but I may have one in my next campaign!)

Bayou is just not even common in most of the US. It's a very specific type of terrain in Lousiana and Mississippi. Other marshy river-delta type land is probably just called a marsh, or an estuary, or wetlands. (According to Google Translate, the word for swamp or marsh in French is marais)
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
According to Google Translate, the word for swamp or marsh in French is marais)
Yep, marais or marécage.

If I hear someone call a swamp a bayou, it refers to the marshlands of New-Orleans and the environs. It may be closer to a Cajun, Acadian or Creole word rather than French, I think.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yep, marais or marécage.

If I hear someone call a swamp a bayou, it refers to the marshlands of New-Orleans and the environs. It may be closer to a Cajun, Acadian or Creole word rather than French, I think.
It is in fact a Native American word:

"sluggish watercourse, outlet of a lake or river," 1766, American English, via Louisiana French, from Choctaw (Muskogean) bayuk "small stream."
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
So "creek" would be a better translation than "swamp".
Well, the original meaning. What it means now is the specific environment of the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana where the Cajuns moved to from Acadia.

Because the Magic team likes to adopt an aesthetic for Black magic factions from a specific real world religious tradition whenever they can, but that's an off-topic rant.
 

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