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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Yes, but other warlock subclasses really should do that with their expanded spell lists. More reason for a 5.5e update. Or mass errata.
Yeah... I guess I give that to our Cthulhulock then... I find this rather annoying though. I need to find trends in newer material and conclude how to houserule the older stuff to match. That really is WotC's job. But I already complained about this earlier...
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Yeah... I guess I give that to our Cthulhulock then... I find this rather annoying though. I need to find trends in newer material and conclude how to houserule the older stuff to match. That really is WotC's job. But I already complained about this earlier...
Yup. Add it to the list, along with spells from races and feats being castable with spell slots, and probably a dozen other things.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
What I hear you saying is "their planet-spanning guild is the replacement for their god." I get that.

I do not understand why a magical mega-corporation should in any way actually replicate what a god can grant a cleric. I felt like I was expressing that with my repeated questions, but maybe not. But what I've gotten back is "because it does."

Surely the D&D/MTG designers (especially ones with backgrounds in divinity!) have a more detailed answer than that, no?
Looking it up jut now, the term in Ravnica is "Guildmage" for those magic users who draw their power from the collective essence.of their Guild:

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Hussar

Legend
It renders the patron NPCs toothless, though.

"How dare you ignore me after all I did for you" is Divorced Dad vs. "if you want to save the world, you'll need to do this super-shady sidequest I need you to do, otherwise you're a commoner with a non-magical sword."

If you're making a deal with a devil, the devil calling in their marker shouldn't be suggestions player characters are free to ignore.

Again, I get that this is trying to avoid the paladin problem, which let jerk DMs needlessly torture old school paladins, who already spent all their time on a tightrope as it was.

But I do think there's something lost, going by Crawford's ruling on this.

(Of course, the best answer is always to not play with a jerk DM, but that situation isn't always clear until two years into a campaign.)
Bit late to the party, but, I'd point out that this is perfectly in keeping with the background of Binders for Warlocks. A Vestige (the thing that Binders bound) was the essence of some super powerful being, but, it had no actual power in and of itself. The only impact a Vestige could have would be to give minor alterations to the Binder's appearance and behavior for the duration of being bound. They most certainly could never refuse the binding or take away powers. About the only real refusal was a restriction of binding multiple vestiges where some vestiges refused to be bound to others.

But, again, the notion that your Great Old One patron is so scrutable the it tells you that you have to do X in order to keep your powers is a bit ludicrous. That's the whole point of having a GOO patron. That they not only are inscrutable but also probably couldn't care less that you are a warlock of them.

Never minding something like an Archfey patron that is so old that it probably doesn't even register the individual existence of its warlocks.

Not every warlock has sold his or her soul to a demon. Not every patron MUST be an interfering DMNPC that is a foil to the players. That's for individual groups to decide.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
How are they taking the same class if they're learning different things? As cool as a magic school as a setting is, it only really works if you either have just for one kind of spellcaster (the one that, you know, actually learns magic), or you explicitly teach different things to different kinds of spellcasters. Otherwise, it's just lazy storytelling.
Because you are learning techniques and bits of generic knowledge rather than hard and fast rules. If you have a lecture on how light works in art, then it doesn't matter if you use a pencil or oil paints. But you can also have classes on just pencil drawing and classes on oil painting.

And for all we know each college could also have classes specific to each type of magic: "Wizardry 101: Choosing Your Familiar" and "Sorcery 101: So You're Actually A Dragon."

Oh, and if they are changing the lore on what classes mean, as had been suggested upthread, then they need to make that retroactive and explicit in the PH classes as well.
They may, in fact, actually be changeling the lore on what classes mean, and that might be made explicit in the book. Since this is a particular setting, then changes to the setting don't have to be made in the PH as well.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
That is wishful thinking. As of 2021, we still have a default in the core books. Looking forward, who knows?
I am hoping, going forward, each setting writes its main classes from the ground up, as a stand alone product.

For example. Darksun:
• Gladiator (Fighter)
• Soldier (Fighter)
• Ranger
• Minstrel (Rogue)
• Druid
• Elementalist (Cleric)
• Templar (Warlock? Paladin? Cleric?)
• Psion
• Defiler (Wizard)
• Preserver (Wizard)

Each of these classes and subclasses would be written from scratch, with flavor that only refers to how they and their features function in the Darksun setting. None of them would require consulting the Players Handbook. These are the go-to options that set the tone for the setting. Of course, the DM can allow other classes that make sense, like Barbarian and Eldritch Knight, and so on, which would require consulting the Players Handbook and translating the flavor.

Each setting, including Strixhaven should be written this way, with the essential classes and features written from scratch for that setting.



Strixhaven
• Blue: arcane (the MTG version of Wizard)
• White: divine (the MTG version of Cleric)
• Green: primal (the MTG version of Druid)
• Red: psionic (the MTG version of Shaman)
• Black: shadow (the MTG version of Warlock)

Each of these classes should be rewritten with only the flavor that is relevant to Strixhaven.

(Not sure how the Bard and Psion would fit in among these 5, but that is fine, the DM can allow them and figure them out.)
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Bit late to the party, but, I'd point out that this is perfectly in keeping with the background of Binders for Warlocks. A Vestige (the thing that Binders bound) was the essence of some super powerful being, but, it had no actual power in and of itself. The only impact a Vestige could have would be to give minor alterations to the Binder's appearance and behavior for the duration of being bound. They most certainly could never refuse the binding or take away powers. About the only real refusal was a restriction of binding multiple vestiges where some vestiges refused to be bound to others.

But, again, the notion that your Great Old One patron is so scrutable the it tells you that you have to do X in order to keep your powers is a bit ludicrous. That's the whole point of having a GOO patron. That they not only are inscrutable but also probably couldn't care less that you are a warlock of them.
Oh, there's definitely patron choices that have minimal impact on their warlocks, to the extent that I think it requires a bit of extra work to explain why a Great Old One would be involved in any way with the warlock. If it's just the case that the warlock is changed by the awareness of something related to a Great Old One, "patron" is a misnomer.
Not every warlock has sold his or her soul to a demon. Not every patron MUST be an interfering DMNPC that is a foil to the players. That's for individual groups to decide.
No argument here.
 

Arnie_Wan_Kenobi

Aspiring Trickster Mentor
Yeah… I’m compartmentalizing so I don’t have to think about the fact that I’m technically arguing that Jace is God of Ravnica right now. Honestly the whole “living Guildpact” idea was stupid to begin with.
I laugh, but isn't the insufferable genius shiny cyborg red(ish) dragon the Living Guildpact now?
 

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