When creating Dungeons & Dragons campaign books based on the world of Magic the Gathering, the designers of Wizards of the Coast have to find ways to fit existing mechanics and characters from the trading card game into completely different established rules. That was a special challenge for the team behind the upcoming crossover book Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaosbecause they were also looking for a way to translate the college experience.
“As we pondered our own experiences as university students, we not only looked at how much excitement there can be, but also what a hot mess college life can be,” said chief designer Jeremy Crawford during a press conference Monday. “The relationships you can build can become very loving and loving, but they can also go the other way and you can end up with an enemy who may cause you trouble.”
Based on Magic the Gathering to adjust Strixhaven: School of Magicians, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos takes place in a school of wizarding owed to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the signature school of the Harry Potter series. Students and teachers in Strixhaven are divided into five universities with their own magical focuses. Prismari, for example, draws on the power of the elements, while Silverquill’s members use words as weapons through combat poetry and cutting insults. Despite this concept, you don’t have to be playing a magic-using class in a Strixhaven game. All players receive a free campaign benefit that gives them some magical skills based on one of the colleges.
“It’s not a university to learn how to become a wizard, but a university to learn about magic and the use of magic and the existence of magic in the world,” said senior designer Amanda Hamon.
The designers have developed rules to simulate college life, including taking tests and working on campus.
“Depending on how well you do on your exams, which are mostly skill tests and good taste, you will get bonuses in the story,” Hamon said.
The book also includes rules for building relationships with other students, which affects the narrative but also has mechanical effects on the game. There are personality profiles for 18 NPCs spread across the five colleges, and players can interact with them during relationship encounters such as an improvisation festival, house party or other Pitch perfect
Unlike the previous one magic Crossovers that take place in different worlds, Strixhaven is designed in such a way that it can be inserted into any D&D campaign. The book features an adventure that can be played from levels 1 to 10 or broken down into four stand-alone games, each representing a year of college. Each of these can be completed in two or three sessions.
A bestiary contains 40 new creatures, as well as NPCs, including professors and the dragons who started each college. Players will also find rules for Owlin, a new breed of birds previously tested in Unearthed Arcana, as well as talents, spells, and items like magical textbooks to further immerse them in their surroundings.
Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will be released on November 16. A version of the book with alternative cover artwork will be available exclusively in local gaming stores.