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Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Mages of Strixhaven

An Unearthed Arcana playtest document for the upcoming Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos hardcover has been released by WotC!

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"Become a student of magic in this installment of Unearthed Arcana! This playtest document presents five subclasses for Dungeons & Dragons. Each of these subclasses allows you to play a mage associated with one of the five colleges of Strixhaven, a university of magic. These subclasses are special, with each one being available to more than one class."


It's 9 pages, and contains five subclasses, one for each the Strixhaven colleges:
  • Lorehold College, dedicated to the pursuit of history by conversing with ancient spirits and understanding the whims of time itself
  • Prismari College, dedicated to the visual and performing arts and bolstered with the power of the elements
  • Quandrix College, dedicated to the study and manipulation of nature’s core mathematic principles
  • Silverquill College, dedicated to the magic of words, whether encouraging speeches that uplift allies or piercing wit that derides foes
  • Witherbloom College, dedicated to the alchemy of life and death and harnessing the devastating energies of both
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The X-Men ended pretty much ended for me with Uncanny X-Men vol 1 227.
I think I made it into the 200s or 210s back in the day. I got sidetracked in the 130s (iirc) reading them to my son in reprints (and so haven't finished), but I can't decide if I'll end at 142 (Day's of Future Past) or with 167 and then God Love's Man Kills (before we get the Morlocks and Forge and all that). In any case, it feels like Claremont's X-men jumped the shark for a lot of people well before #279.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think I made it into the 200s or 210s back in the day. I got sidetracked in the 130s (iirc) reading them to my son in reprints (and so haven't finished), but I can't decide if I'll end at 142 (Day's of Future Past) or with 167 and then God Love's Man Kills (before we get the Morlocks and Forge and all that). In any case, it feels like Claremont's X-men jumped the shark for a lot of people well before #279.
I stopped comics in general in the late 80's or early 90's when they started doing those huge crossover stories across like 6 books. I just couldn't keep up, they involved books I didn't really like, and if I missed one the story was thrown off. It was super frustrating, so I walked away.
 

I feel like I missed a post. Who said they would enforce things on some/all Warlocks in their game but not on any of the Cleric or Paladins? It would seem bizarre to me to do for the former but not the later. Does the PhB not have similar words for those classes about working out what their duties are with th DM (like it does for the Warlock) and similar parts saying which powers they get from their own merits and which
Precisely. God and patrons should both have the ability to control the powers they give to clerics, paladins and warlocks. I will admit certain patrons, like the GOO, can reasonably break that mold.
 

Undrave

Hero
I stopped comics in general in the late 80's or early 90's when they started doing those huge crossover stories across like 6 books. I just couldn't keep up, they involved books I didn't really like, and if I missed one the story was thrown off. It was super frustrating, so I walked away.
Yeah corporate universes that go on forever and split the storyline across multiple books are annoying.

I'd rather get into more insular work, possibly controlled by its creators from start to finish.

If you enjoy superheroes, I'm a BIG fan of Decoder Ring Theatre's Red Panda Adventures, an audio drama series about a masked mystery man in Toronto. The stories start in the Great Depression and ends sometimes after WWII and there's a LOT of interesting development and nothing gets rebooted back to the status quo and there's no corporate mandated crossovers... It's all controlled by creator Gregg Taylor (who plays the titular role). It's a little rocky at first, but once they get their footing (ep. 7 is where it really clicked for me, out of 120) it's really good. The universe got novels and a few comics (available on Comixology) and instead of continuing forever, Gregg's been mostly filling in the blanks with stories we may have heard about or never saw.

In comics form, I really enjoy Monkeybrain Comic's offering on Comixology (who also did the Red Panda comics, incidentally). They have Bandette about a young thief/vigilante in Paris who faces down criminal organizations and hired killers with a big smile, a lot of sass, and a carefree attitude like no other. Then there's Edison Rex which is more or less "What if Lex Luthor killed Superman and then decided to replace Superman as protector of Earth?".
 

I mean of course GM can take away the warlock's powers or cleric's powers, or hell, even rogue's powers if if they so choose. The GM is in charge, if they say that happens, then that happens. It is completely another matter whether that is a good idea. Personally I feel that doing it very short term might be OK if the circumstances logically warrant it (this is the Star Trek episode where Troi loses her telepathic powers and has to deal with that, the situation is resolved in the end of the episode) but of course in the long term it cannot work, the character cannot remain depowered. It could also possibly be a narrative reason for the character to switch subclasses if the plyer so desired (i.e. cleric forsakes their god and goes on quest to find a new one etc.)
 
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Greg K

Adventurer
I stopped comics in general in the late 80's or early 90's when they started doing those huge crossover stories across like 6 books. I just couldn't keep up, they involved books I didn't really like, and if I missed one the story was thrown off. It was super frustrating, so I walked away.
Yeah, for the most part, I was getting out of DC and Mavel superhero titles around that time and moving to DC Vertigo. It was not just the cross-overs. In general, I was no longer enjoying the writing/stories.
By 1990, I had already dropped most Marvel Superhero titles including Mutants long before that). I think i was still reading Captain America and Amazing Spiderman. However, I was done with Marvel with the exception of a few occasional runs (e.g. Busiek/Perez Avengers, Chichester's run on Daredevil, the Marvel Knight's Daredevil (Smith, Mack, and Brubaker runs) and I still need to check out Brubaker's run on Captain America, Priest's Black Panther, and Coates's Black Panther.
 
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Undrave

Hero
I mean of course GM can take away the warlock's powers or cleric's powers, or hell, even rogue's powers if if they so choose. The GM is in charge, if they say that happens, then that happens. It is completely another matter whether that is a good idea. Personally I feel that doing it very short term might be OK if the circumstances logically warrant it (this is the Star Trek episode where Troi loses her telepathic powers and has to deal with that, the situation is resolved in the end of the episode) but of course in the long term it cannot work, the chracter cannot remain depowered. It could also possibly be a narrative reason for the character to switch subclasses if the plyer so desired (i.e. cleric forsakes their god and goes on quest to find a new one etc.)
They created the whole Oathbreaker subclass for Paladins but didn't bother to make a similar one for Clerics or Warlock... it feels like a missed opportunity...
 



Undrave

Hero
Hmm... now, what would a Forsaken/Apostate cleric or warlock look like.
I guess a Cleric could just be taken up by another God and just switch domain?

We could have a Domain of Treachery or Lies for Clerics of Asmodeus or something...

For Warlock... we talked about the Blood Mage who drains their HP so maybe that Forsaken Warlock can basically try to squeeze every bit of magic left in them by spending their hit dice? Like, becoming a Warlock has fundamentally changed them so they're not a normal human anymore, but without the power and support of the Patron they sort of endanger themselves doing magic now?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That's hardly a "good chunk". Your games, and petty lunchroom DM's out to kill their friends... so, yeah, some, but not representative.
TIL the majority of TSR era modules isn’t representative of D&D and Garry Gygax was a petty lunchroom DM 🙄
Most games the PC's win, because who wants to show up to get sand kicked in your face by a friend who holds all the power in the relationship?
Excuse you, don’t make assumptions about the way I run my games. Just because I account for the possibility of the PCs failing doesn’t mean I “kick sand in the players’ faces.”
I feel if you believe this, you simply haven't looked far enough behind the curtain and thought about your own biases and actions while DM'ing.
I think if you hear “the players winning isn’t inevitable” and you assume the person saying it is a “petty lunchroom DM” who “kicks sand in players’ faces,” it’s you who needs to examine your biases.
You tils the axis when designing challenges, adventures, and the off-screen actions of the antagonists, allies, etc. You determine the odds, and how the story unfolds if the adventure goes off what was previously written, even moreso if you are improvising on the spot. Your own biases play into that, even subconsciously.
Yes, obviously. And I create challenges that are difficult but fair, with the goal not to thwart the players, but to give them the opportunity to become heroes.
If the players win, it's because you wrote a win condition that is achievable. The zen is accepting that it doesn't matter, and it's fun anyways.
And the players do win, much of the time. Sometimes, they don’t. Not because winning wasn’t possible, but because winning and losing were both possible, and this time, the outcomes of their decisions and the results of the dice led to them losing. As you say, it’s fun either way.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
Most games the PC's win
Most games the PC's ends up in whatever void all fictional characters in unfinished stories go to.

Personally I feel that doing it very short term might be OK if the circumstances logically warrant it (this is the Star Trek episode where Troi loses her telepathic powers and has to deal with that, the situation is resolved in the end of the episode) but of course in the long term it cannot work, the character cannot remain depowered.
It goes without saying. I don't think anyone was imaging a scenario where a player goes without a class the rest of the campaign. It's another reason the player and DM should discuss this ahead of time; like with PC death having the "rules" down ahead of time means the player can get back into the game faster.
 


Faolyn

Hero
I guess a Cleric could just be taken up by another God and just switch domain?
I suppose it depends on how hungry the gods are for worshipers.

Of course, even if you have a world where "gods need prayer, badly" isn't the case, you could still have some deities who would gladly take up clerics for other purposes.

For Warlock... we talked about the Blood Mage who drains their HP so maybe that Forsaken Warlock can basically try to squeeze every bit of magic left in them by spending their hit dice? Like, becoming a Warlock has fundamentally changed them so they're not a normal human anymore, but without the power and support of the Patron they sort of endanger themselves doing magic now?
Could be. Another way of thinking about it is, they don't have a patron shielding them from the raw magic anymore (gods give their followers refined magic), so the patron-less warlock would be at danger of harming themselves (represented by draining hp) whenever they cast a spell.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Wasn't there a prestige class in the 3E Book of Vile Darkness for ex-clerics? Grossly overpowered, as I recall.

"FACE NOW THE POWER OF ATHEISM!"
Ur-Priest, which also got republished in Complete Divine. It was grossly overpowered, especially in the right combination, but every prepared caster was grossly overpowered in 3.5, so that isn't saying much. :)

I was a component of one of my favorite 3.5 builds, Bard 7/Mindbender 1/Ur-Priest 2/Sublime Chord 2/Mystic Theurge 8.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
This is question for Warlock players.

According to the mechanics, the Patron has no say, in the Warlock class features.

The only thing that is debatable, is the Pact Boon, whose wording of "for loyal service", might imply the ability to remove it if unloyal.

Interpreted this way, the DM (not you) controls 1) your Familiar, 2) your Weapon Proficiency, 3) your extra Cantrips.

Are you ok with this?



Keep in mind, "loyal service" can mean many things, depending on who or what you choose as your Patron. If the Patron is the mage college, it might mean "studying diligently".
If my DM signals they're going to be a jerk about the patron (I pick the patron, not them), I'd probably go to a different table.

But: the class proficiencies section does not specify the DM picks. Anything regarding character creation where the DM makes the choice for the player is clearly spelled out - and this isn't. So, they don't.
 



ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
The 3PP 5E book, The Red Opera: Last days of the Warlocks, actually has a Pactless Warlock subclass. And yes I believe it is for said Warlocks who broke their pacts.
That would be a nice thing to include if and when the crunch about losing a patron was added; a bit like oathbreaker paladins.
 

I was a component of one of my favorite 3.5 builds, Bard 7/Mindbender 1/Ur-Priest 2/Sublime Chord 2/Mystic Theurge 8.
That's a character who's been through some stuff. If you had to role play all that out (and obviously, most theoretical builds never worried about that), you've have a bard who reached into more dangerous magics, lost faith in the gods as a result and then came to a deeper belief and faith on the far side of that. That could be a pretty great and mature arc, in addition to being a combat monster.
 

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