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D&D’s Strixhaven campaign is about ‘what a hot mess college life can be’

When creating Dungeons & Dragons campaign books based on the world of Magic: The Gathering, the designers of Wizards of the Coast must find ways to make the trading card game’s existing mechanics and characters fit into an entirely different set of established rules. It was particularly difficult for the team behind the upcoming crossover book Strixhaven: A Chaos Program, because they were also looking for a way to translate the collegial experience.

“As we reflected on our own experience as college students, we looked at not only how much excitement there can be, but also how hot college life can be,” the designer said. Principal Jeremy Crawford at a press conference Monday. “The relationships you can make can get very expensive and loving, but they can also go the other way around, and you can end up with an enemy who might end up getting you in trouble.”

Based on Magic: The Gathering together Strixhaven: School of the Magi, Strixhaven: A Chaos Program takes place in a witchcraft school that owes a lot to the flagship school of the Harry Potter series, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Witchcraft. Strixhaven students and teachers are spread across five colleges with their own magical homes. For example, Prismari draws on the power of the elements, while members of Silverquill use words as weapons through combat poetry and sharp slurs. Despite this concept, you don’t have to play a class using magic in a Strixhaven game. All players will receive a free campaign donation which will grant them magical abilities based on one of the colleges.

The main cover of Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

Strixhaven Bookstore Exclusive Alternative Cover: A Curriculum of Chaos

Alternative coverage exclusive to the bookstore
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

“This is not so much a university for learning to be a spell caster as it is a university for learning magic and the application of magic and the existence of magic in the world,” said lead designer Amanda. Hamon.

The designers developed rules to simulate college life, including taking tests and working on campus.

“Depending on your results on your exams, which are mostly skill checks and lots of flavors, you’ll get bonuses for the rest of the story,” Hamon said.

The book also contains rules for building relationships with other students, which affects the narrative, but also has mechanical impacts on the game. There are personality profiles for 18 NPCs spread across the five colleges, and the players. can interact with them in relationship encounters such as an improv festival, house party or Perfectstyle singing contest. The decisions players make during these encounters could earn them new allies or rivals who will attempt to interfere with their plans.

Unlike the previous one Magic crossovers, which take place in different worlds, Strixhaven is designed to be integrated into any D&D campaign. The book features an adventure that can be played from levels 1-10 or split into four stand-alone games, each representing a year spent in college. Each of them can be completed in two or three sessions.

A bestiary contains 40 new creatures, plus NPCs including teachers and the dragons who founded each college. Players will also find rules for Owlin, a new breed of avian that has already been tested in Unearthed Arcana, along with feats, spells, and items such as magic manuals to further immerse them in the setting.

Strixhaven: A Chaos Program will be released on November 16. A version of the book with another cover will be available exclusively at local game stores.


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