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D&D 5E Two New D&D Books Revealed: Feywild & Strixhaven Mage School

Amazon has revealed the next two D&D hardcovers! The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is a feywild adventure due in September, and Curriculum of Chaos is a Magic: the Gathering setting of Strixhaven, which looks like a Harry Potter-esque mage school, set for November.


The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is D&D's next big adventure storyline that brings the wicked whimsy of the Feywild to fifth edition for the first time.

The recent Unearthed Arcana, Folk of the Feywild, contained the fairy, hobgoblin of the Feywild, owlfolk, and rabbitfolk. UA is usually a good preview of what's in upcoming D&D books.

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Curriculum of Chaos is an upcoming D&D release set in the Magic: The Gathering world of Strixhaven -- a brand new MtG set only just launched.

Strixhaven is a school of mages on the plane of Arcavios, an elite university with five rival colleges founded by dragons: Silverquill (eloquence), Prismari (elemental arts), Witherbloom (life and death), Lorehold (archaeomancy), and Quandrix (numeromancy). You can read more about the M:tG set here.

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You will be able to tune into WotC's streamed event D&D Live on July 16 and 17 for details on both, including new character options, monsters, mechanics, story hooks, and more!


 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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It's a translation of the themes of the cards, not the names.

Except it doesn't translate the themes well at all, for example Lorehold and to a lesser extent Silverquill are is the school that teaches Theology, so Clerics fit both the theme and the creature types in the actual set.

Quadrix is Blue Green, it's theme includes life/nature even if it leans more towards physics and math then Witherbloom. Druid very much fits the themes and the actual creature types in the set.

Honestly even making the prerequisites simply be full caster for all the Subclasses would fit better then this.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
No joke: they got very experimental in the playtest, and got to where they ended up after a lot of feedback. I think the problem they had with universally applicable Themes was that they were somewhat watered down, so that every Class could use them. 5E Subclasses ended up much meatier in the end. But, this approach could open up design space pretty well.
As interesting as the design concept is, I'm not feeling inspired by any of the subclasses in this UA. As you say, to fit multiple classes they have to be less specific and not tie into any base class features. That just leaves them feeling watered down and generic to me.

I actually think they hit on a better solution with VRG. What VRG offered was both highly specific subclasses and broad but mostly flavor Gifts, allowing you to combine them at your pleasure to dial in the specific flavor you want. "Okay, so there was a lich who experimented on his own phylactery and caused it to destabilize, and to save his existence he bonded it with me as a Symbiotic Being, and that's how my Warlock made his Undead Pact." So much possibility!
 

Then give that feedback in the UA survey.

I'd argue that D&D Warlock ≠ MtG Warlock. In fact, I've often seen the Warlock with a hypothetical "The Primal Spirits" patron as the best answer to the 4e Shaman class (as we've been discussing, Bard is a great option too). The Celestial patron is a great example of a Warlock that is very much divine.

I agree that Prismari should have Bards and Quandrix should have Druids and I am making said comment. I also think Witherbloom could have Sorcerers to round out the section.

Actually it's basically means the same thing in MtG as the Warlock does in D&D. Warlock

Same with the Wizard, Cleric, and Druid. Shaman is the odd man out, but you can have both Sorcerer and Bard take its place.
 

As interesting as the design concept is, I'm not feeling inspired by any of the subclasses in this UA. As you say, to fit multiple classes they have to be less specific and not tie into any base class features. That just leaves them feeling watered down and generic to me.

I actually think they hit on a better solution with VRG. What VRG offered was both highly specific subclasses and broad but mostly flavor Gifts, allowing you to combine them at your pleasure to dial in the specific flavor you want. "Okay, so there was a lich who experimented on his own phylactery and caused it to destabilize, and to save his existence he bonded it with me as a Symbiotic Being, and that's how my Warlock made his Undead Pact." So much possibility!

Honestly I thought these subclasses would work better as faction mechanics simular, but more expansive to Ravnica's Guild mechanics, but fitting the lore of the colleges of strixhaven.
 


Parmandur

Legend
As interesting as the design concept is, I'm not feeling inspired by any of the subclasses in this UA. As you say, to fit multiple classes they have to be less specific and not tie into any base class features. That just leaves them feeling watered down and generic to me.

I actually think they hit on a better solution with VRG. What VRG offered was both highly specific subclasses and broad but mostly flavor Gifts, allowing you to combine them at your pleasure to dial in the specific flavor you want. "Okay, so there was a lich who experimented on his own phylactery and caused it to destabilize, and to save his existence he bonded it with me as a Symbiotic Being, and that's how my Warlock made his Undead Pact." So much possibility!
Having been playing the cards for the past two months, these are pretty great as translations of the card game Setting.
 


Parmandur

Legend
Except it doesn't translate the themes well at all, for example Lorehold and to a lesser extent Silverquill are is the school that teaches Theology, so Clerics fit both the theme and the creature types in the actual set.

Quadrix is Blue Green, it's theme includes life/nature even if it leans more towards physics and math then Witherbloom. Druid very much fits the themes and the actual creature types in the set.

Honestly even making the prerequisites simply be full caster for all the Subclasses would fit better then this.
Clerics from those Colleges already have good Subclasses that fit, however. I expect that, similar to Ravnica, there will be full-time advice for including existing character options such as Grave or Knowledge Clerics.
 
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Yaarel

Legend
The fluff is off, although they are both Ritual casters. Honestly they should make the prerequisites full caster simplify.
The Bard spells and abilities, the luck, the healing, the divination, the trickery − all of it is spot on for a shaman.

Just remove the lute!

The chanting or the commanding is correct.

If one wants a drum or a rattle that can be fine too, depending on culture.
 






Yaarel

Legend
The Druid is often wrong. Most shamans dont shapeshift into animals. Even the ones who do, dont do it all the time. Likewise, the elemental tropes are often wrong, depending on the culture. In a Nordic context, the Druid can be useful for certain Jotnar.

The Bard is exact for a shaman. If a particular shaman can shapeshift, the Bard has a spell for that.



Shamanic magic and the Bard class.

For Noaidi shamans among the Sami, there is a chanting tradition, called Joik, whose music is spontaneous improvisation, while meditating to evoke the mindful presence of a specific place, animal, person or so on.

Generally, the chanting is wordless, but words and lyrics can spontaneously happen as part of the evocative connection.

This kind of chanting is ancient among the Sami. It is thought to resemble the masculine protective magic among the Norse, which is specifically sung. Norse, feminine, shamanic magic is spoken as commands and instructions. Later Christian Norwegians outlawed the Sami Joik chanting, because it sounded like the pre-Christian Norse magical traditions.

Wikipedia has a writeup about the Joik that is decent.


This musical aspect among the Nordic shamans compares to the Native American cultures and the Asian cultures, including the Shaman proper.
 

Yeah, if people want to talk about broad Shamanism, then what us a Druid, if not a Shaman...?
I would consider the Druid a proper shaman class if it had more totem abilities and could summon spiritual companions instead of Wild Shaping. I certainly think it fits better than Bard, but IMHO, we don't have a proper "Shaman Class" in 5e yet. (I would prefer for the class to use Pact Magic, too.)
 


Yaarel

Legend
It might be misleading to think of shamans and "spirits".

The interaction isnt with "spirits" per se, but with specific objects: specific features of nature. A particular river, a particular rock formation, a nearby group of animals, a certain tree, and so on. The shaman can interact with them in a dreamlike way, but the participants in the conversation are physical objects in the Material Plane.
 

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