We finally have a bit more details regarding the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons supplement, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos.
Thanks to some recently acquired press assets as well as a brief Q&A session with the book's designers and writers, we have gotten a few more details about what players can expect when picking this book up. First and foremost, aside from this being based on material from Magic: The Gathering, Strixhaven is a continuation of the genre-bending that Dungeons and Dragons have been introducing more of throughout their bigger supplements. For example, Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft includes plenty of settings, creatures, encounters, and a whole host of optional rules and features to help your campaigns dip into dark fantasy and horror storytelling. With Strixhaven, its entire conceit is bringing in YA fiction and magical school tropes to the acclaimed tabletop RPG.
Just about everything in this supplement revolves around reinforcing that fantasy. The book will include new backgrounds and feats all revolving around new first-year students at Strixhaven Academy. There will be material for both magical and non-magical classes so Fighters, Rogues, and Monks won't be left completely out in the rain. But since Strixhaven is also a school, there will be brand new spells and magical items available to help players feel more attached to whatever of the five colleges in the academy they choose to enroll in.
As for pre-written adventures, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos has you covered as well. There will be four adventures. Each one can be completed as a standalone adventure depicting your character's final year at the academy, or all four adventures can span their entire time at the school taking the group from level 1 all the way to level 10.
Of course, a new supplement needs new challenges and creatures to handle, which the book provides as well. In addition to forty different magical creatures and unique NPCs tucked away in the bestiary, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos includes a new playable race in the form of the owlin, an astute owlperson who studies at the academy.
Then there are how the core pillars of Dungeons and Dragons are integrated into the complications of school life in this supplement. For example, dungeon crawling and combat are framed as academic exams, side quests are extracurricular activities, and long-term social encounters are expressed through school events. Avoiding traps in a dungeon is one thing, but can your character get a date for the winter dance?
But the biggest pleasant surprise was what the webinar presentation had hinted at. While being shown concept art for Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, I noticed one of the key characters was in a magical wheelchair of some kind. When I brought this up regarding wanting to show more representation in the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons, Principal Designer Jeremy Crawford had this to say, "We are always looking for ways to show an ever richer group of people in the art and in the storytelling in our books. That is absolutely a conscious choice. You will say in our Strixhaven book a wonderful spectrum of people of different sorts."
Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will be available for purchase on November 16.
Dungeons and Dragons x Nerds Candy Partnership Announced
Arguably one of the weirder announcements that came out was that Wizards of the Coast would be doing a crossover promotion with Nerds candy. Aside from the on-the-nose messaging that comes with this marketing, each bag of Nerds candy will attempt to bring in people who have never played Dungeons and Dragons before. The idea is that each bag will contain one of seven custom adventures, each one starring one of the colored Nerds candy mascots embodying a Dungeons and Dragons character class like the Wizard, Rogue, or Fighter as they attempt to save the city of Harmony from a dreaded string of "color outages."
Each of these adventures is playable with just two people, a player and a dungeon master, with the last adventure bringing all of the characters together for the finale. It's not a bad idea at all to raise interest in tabletop gaming, although the trailers showing off well-known archetypes as vaguely human hard candy mascots is definitely a surreal sight for those already in the know. Either way, these special bags will be available sometime this September.