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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

It's finally dawning on me how 5E has turned 180 degrees away from the product strategy of 3E and 4E. WotC believed that what killed 2E was too many settings (which split the player base) and too many adventures (which were unprofitable because only DMs bought them). Naturally, that led to the player-focused splat books of 3E and 4E. But WotC now believes the high volume of splats turned off casual players and shrunk the player base. With 5E, WotC is back to the setting and adventure strategy of 2E...at a slower pace. But not that much slower. We now have a LOT of setting material...and more is certain to come!
 

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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.
true but this is dnd talking rocks is not a sign of insanity, it is being near the elemental plane of earth.
 


darjr

I crit!
It's finally dawning on me how 5E has turned 180 degrees away from the product strategy of 3E and 4E. WotC believed that what killed 2E was too many settings (which split the player base) and too many adventures (which were unprofitable because only DMs bought them). Naturally, that led to the player-focused splat books of 3E and 4E. But WotC now believes the high volume of splats turned off casual players and shrunk the player base. With 5E, WotC is back to the setting and adventure strategy of 2E...at a slower pace. But not that much slower. We now have a LOT of setting material...and more is certain to come!
Yea and the twists are important. The adventures are now “events” and common seasons. Even if that’s kinda blurring now. The settings are made for prexisting fans and contain things fans of other things might want, they are not completely siloed. And finally the company actively seeks out fans and where they “hang out”. Not like in 3e by individuals out in a limb, but by boosting those fan areas or taking part as a company. See the more focused convention support and the CR participation. Even the store support and DMSGUILD is part of this.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
The big question for me now: What do they announce the rest of the week? They've already announced the two big books. Are they going to "announce" August's dungeon screen and September's Witchlight dice?

There should be another project, the James Wyatt led product. The speculation is largely revolving around it being a dragon book, or a Critical Role book, or a boxed set. I have no idea, or when the release date would be.
 

Yaarel

Legend
true but this is dnd talking rocks is not a sign of insanity, it is being near the elemental plane of earth.
I am unsure if the elementals are animistic or not.

They can be.

But only if the "elemental planes" are part of the Material Plane. Like fire elementals, literally inhabiting every volcano and hearth.

For a rock formation, the desire of the elemental is simply to be that rock formation. Occasionally something happens that motivates the rock to get up an move around, but that is highly unusual.

If the elemental planes are too far away, then they are no longer part of nature.

It has to be the actual rock, the actual tree, and so on.
 

Yaarel

Legend
The spell, Magnificent Mansion, is actually awesome for a number of animistic encounters. For example, player can be in a boat in the middle of the lake, and see a kind of stairwell in the lake leading down. Following the steps down, leads to a feast inside a great longhouse. The feast has watery themes, like serving fish and foamy (!) ale, with watery colors and so on. And the players can sit and chat with the mind of lake, who appears as if in humanoid form (speaking via one of the noncombat servants).

When the conversation is over, the players return to the boat, the spell dispels, and there is a feeling of, "Was that real, or was it a dream?"

The Magnificent Mansion is incredibly useful for stuff like this.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Plus, the reallife Bard (Fili) of the British Isles is itself a shamanic tradition.

The concept of Merlin is a bard.
The Fili of Ireland were not Bards, and they didn't exist outside of the Gaelic realms. Fili were trained in Christian Monasteries; Bards were trained in Bardic Orders as masters and apprentices. The Fili rose up to greater prominence in later medieval period in Ireland while the Bard term was denigrated down into low-level entertainers and satirists, but the Bards were the source of the cycle history, the Fili were a later invention, a product of Christianization. Note that originally Bards had both the roles of satirists to ruin the lives of their enemies and as hype-men and history-makers for their patrons (making sure the people who paid them looked good in the annals of history by telling really good stories about them). And of course if the patron does bad by them, they could turn around and make the patron look bad…

The Bards however indeed were a shamanic tradition, and coterminous with the •owatis or Vates referred to by Strabo, which are themselves coterminous with the Druids. But the term Owatis or Watis has more in common with the lyrical and musical inspiration of the Bards than it does with the oakey-nomiclature of the Druids. And Posidonius, Strabo, and others saw a bit of a distinction, with the Druids more as natural philosophers, scientists, and theologians, and Vates as seers, prophets, and sages (and the Bardos as hype-men to nobles). We can probably understand the roles as semi-interchangable but more and more distinct with the passing of time, roles that arose out of a single priestly or literati class (akin to the Brahmins of India).
 



Yaarel

Legend
The Fili of Ireland were not Bards, and they didn't exist outside of the Gaelic realms. Fili were trained in Christian Monasteries; Bards were trained in Bardic Orders as masters and apprentices. The Fili rose up to greater prominence in later medieval period in Ireland while the Bard term was denigrated down into low-level entertainers and satirists, but the Bards were the source of the cycle history, the Fili were a later invention, a product of Christianization. Note that originally Bards had both the roles of satirists to ruin the lives of their enemies and as hype-men and history-makers for their patrons (making sure the people who paid them looked good in the annals of history by telling really good stories about them). And of course if the patron does bad by them, they could turn around and make the patron look bad…

The Bards however indeed were a shamanic tradition, and coterminous with the •owatis or Vates referred to by Strabo, which are themselves coterminous with the Druids. But the term Owatis or Watis has more in common with the lyrical and musical inspiration of the Bards than it does with the oakey-nomiclature of the Druids. And Posidonius, Strabo, and others saw a bit of a distinction, with the Druids more as natural philosophers, scientists, and theologians, and Vates as seers, prophets, and sages (and the Bardos as hype-men to nobles). We can probably understand the roles as semi-interchangable but more and more distinct with the passing of time, roles that arose out of a single priestly or literati class (akin to the Brahmins of India).
Thanks for the update about the Fili. It is a bit different from what I have read, but it sounds like a clearer assessment.

Somewhat relatedly, there has been a reassement about the Norse Skald. Earlier scholars perceived a common bard-like Indo-Euro tradition, that the Norse shared. But recently, it was shown that among the Norse, the more ancient songs were quite simple musically. While the more recent songs became increasingly sophisticated (complex meters, more literary in allusion to texts, etcetera). Thus the Skald genre turns out to be recent, and importing directly from the British Isles, precisely to enhance the prestige of the new national monarchy that emerged in full, mainly from about the 1100s on. There are Skald from the 800s and so on, but it seems the Norse arrived late to the scene.

But the shamanic tradition, that is much older.
 
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carmachu

Explorer
Fey books sounds fun. Fey really are untapped for the most part. Few third party books with fey, but not alot. Guess I will bug the kids for that for my birthday.

Hard pass on magic setting.
 

It occurred to me earlier than one of the best parts of Strixhaven will be the explosion of magic school stuff on DMs Guild this fall. I expect to see lots of print-and-play documents (you may never get your letter from Hogwarts, but you can definitely get your letter from Strixhaven!), magical curricula, new spells, additional play aids for the magical sport (I already forgot its name), and so on. Lots of fun stuff coming.
 

Yea and the twists are important. The adventures are now “events” and common seasons. Even if that’s kinda blurring now. The settings are made for prexisting fans and contain things fans of other things might want, they are not completely siloed. And finally the company actively seeks out fans and where they “hang out”. Not like in 3e by individuals out in a limb, but by boosting those fan areas or taking part as a company. See the more focused convention support and the CR participation. Even the store support and DMSGUILD is part of this.
Agreed. Those are the innovations that make this strategy viable in a way that maybe it wasn't in the 2E era.
 

I am unsure if the elementals are animistic or not.

They can be.

But only if the "elemental planes" are part of the Material Plane. Like fire elementals, literally inhabiting every volcano and hearth.

For a rock formation, the desire of the elemental is simply to be that rock formation. Occasionally something happens that motivates the rock to get up an move around, but that is highly unusual.

If the elemental planes are too far away, then they are no longer part of nature.

It has to be the actual rock, the actual tree, and so on.
that is like asking if the universe part of the world?
 


The big question for me now: What do they announce the rest of the week? They've already announced the two big books. Are they going to "announce" August's dungeon screen and September's Witchlight dice?

The Dungeon Screen is already announced before this week.

I think today's announcement will be video game related, but it could be the Witchlight Accessory. Outside chance it's James Wyatt's book, but that I think is being saved for last.
 




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