RPGBOT.News – Strixhaven: A Review of a Curriculum of Chaos

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.News, we discuss Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, the new supplement for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. We examine the new source book, share our thoughts on the new character options, the new mechanics, and the included adventure.

Materials Referenced in this Episode

Transcript

Randall 

Welcome to the RPGBOT.news. I’m Randall James and I am super excited to talk about this new Harry Potter book. With me is Tyler Kamstra.

Tyler 

Hi, I’m Ron Weasley.

Randall 

Yeah…

Random 

 Boy! Should I just then be Neil Cicierga and then do the rest of the Puppet Pals?

Tyler 

Old  reference..

Randall 

It checks out. Tyler, what are what are we doing tonight?

Tyler 

Today we’re going to talk about Strixhaven, A Curriculum of Chaos, the newly released Sourcebook for D&D Fifth Edition. It released in the first week of December 2021. For all you people listening to this in the distant, distant future, and there’s some stuff in it.

Randall 

Yeah, so there, there certainly is. You in the distant distant future, this is going to be your favorite source book ever. And so, surely, you’re already familiar, but if not, we can fill you in.

Tyler 

There are some exciting new character options. I know people who follow RPGBT are super into the character options. So we’ll start with those. Probably the thing that people were looking forward to most in the source book is The Owlin Race their owl people, you pretty much get exactly what you would expect. They can see in the dark, they can fly and they’re very quiet.

Randall 

I actually appreciated the fact that you had all of those things. It seems super obvious that they would be there but it would have been kind of a bummer if you didn’t automatically have proficiency in stealth for instance, as an out. Because for those who aren’t aware, owls are terrifying.

Random 

No, have you looked at the art in the book The Owlins are great. They’re like the one that I had stick with me was just like a snowy owl. I mean, there are several in the book. There’s a lot of them but there’s one there’s just very clearly like a really gorgeous snowy owl looking character just doing stuff. And then of course there’s you know, the one of the the named people in the list of other people you can have relationships with, we’ll get to that, who is the perpetually, “tussle the hair,” somehow because you wouldn’t fix your feathers. I don’t like sure that there’s a lot of cool stuff going on there with Owlins

Tyler 

So Stixhaven is a tie in with the Magic the Gathering set that also released in 2021. So Strixhaven is a new setting. And it’s a little surprising that we’ve gotten a book this quickly but Random aside, someone on Twitter introduced me to one of the cards, one of the named characters in Strix Haven is I believe, in Owlin. But I’m honestly still not certain, but their creature type is legendary bird advisor. And, it’s still not clear to me, if that means a bird who advises, or one who advises birds. Or both.

Random 

I’m thinking we’re gonna go with “porque, no los dos” here. There’s a decent chunk of Owlin students. And also there’s a decent chunk of Owlin staff. Seeing that the time is really, really cool. Along my many and varied game exploits, I did judge Magic the Gathering for a while and I still keep up on all the new sets and stuff. So seeing how they’ve taken the flavor of these things that didn’t start life as a magic setting, and imported that. I think that that is one of the things that this book did really well is take the flavor of the setting they did, and absolutely translate it brilliantly into D&D mechanics.

Randall 

And I do think like, it’s, it’s really original, what they’ve done with the idea of like, well, what if we kind of play like one level per student year, and it goes through 10 years of being a student, so you can go from first to 10th level. And they have this awesome thing where like, I know, we’ll get to it. But at the end of every year, there’s a big game that everybody plays. And like that’s a really original idea. That’s really cool. And the student body wants to go out and root for you. And you as the main characters get to get out there on the field. And so that’s exciting. I think I think there’s a ball at one point.

Tyler 

There is surprisingly not.

Random 

Yeah, that would be in year four. Right? That’s what Oh, no way.

Tyler 

That kind of thing again. I think we had the numbers there a little bit wrong. So you actually advanced to roughly 10th level but it takes place over four years of college. So this is your four year degree experience, which raises the interesting question. If a 10th level Wizard has a four year degree, what is a first level Wizard? Is that like, “I’ve taken a college class; like, I passed an AP test, and now I’m gonna go pretend like…” I’m being a little ridiculous, obviously, like strict saving is supposed to be for the, you know, the best wizards in the multiverse. So getting to level 10. Like, yeah, you’re gonna be a pretty good Wizard, but it’s still kind of fun thing.

Randall 

And then in all seriousness, it read to me as if the pitch wasn’t that you necessarily went there to get better at magic, but that it is a school all about leveraging magic to improve other academic pursuits.

Random 

Yeah. And in fact, I mean, they they touch on this in the introduction where it is. In fact, they actually welcome people who we would not traditionally think of as being able to cast magic in D&D mechanics, you know, they talk about like, if you’re a ancestral path Barbarian where you just summon the spirits of your ancestors to talk to them to find out neat stuff about the past. Or, you know, whatever, sort of vaguely non standard thing that you could do. And in fact, I was actually talking as we were discussing this day of in our chat, and probably a straight class, like champion Fighter is maybe going to be the hardest thing that you’re going to be able to, like, justify here. But even so, you know, there’s plenty of ways to say maybe maybe this is someone who’s support staff, as opposed to actively trying to participate in the using of magic, defer their knowledge, but just to circle back around to character options. And speaking of fighters in particular, feats!

Tyler 

Yes!

Random 

There’s only two, one of them is goofy and busted. And the other one requires the first one, which is a thing that we haven’t seen in fifth edition. That’s interesting to see features coming back. Let’s see how long before they stretch into point blank shot, precise shot shot on the run?

Tyler 

Never, never again, no more trees, please.

Randall 

To be clear, so a feat chain is just that I have some feat, and then I have a second feat that requires a first feed.

Random 

Yes, exactly.

Tyler 

Yeah. And that dates back to third edition, where famously you would have to take several feats in a row before you got the feat you actually cared about.

Random 

Yeah, we’re not I mean, there’s one that I just talked about it where we mentioned one in the last full episode, I think, which was the the whirlwind attack, those sorts of things.

Randall 

Podcast magic, this might actually come out before that.

Random 

That first feat is goofy, powerful, and it’s particularly problematic, because they stick it into the background. These are the first backgrounds that include a feat that’s already amazing. And then the fact that it’s a feat this strong is like if you have access to these backgrounds, and you are a spellcaster you should never take anything else you because you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.

Randall 

And so what is the feat?

Random  

So it’s called Strixhaven initiate. When you pick it, you have to choose one of the five houses I forget…

Tyler 

Colleges…

Random 

Colleges, thank you, you have to pick one of the five flavors of study there. And you choose to have three cantrips and a first level spell from one of two class lists based on the college that you pledged to. So you get the cantrips added for free. And this and the festivals don’t you get those added for free to every spell casting class that you ever have. And once a day, you get to cast the first level spell for free using, and I mean, you pick this at the time but using any mental set. So…

Tyler 

I’m pretty sure you have to pick your mental status when you take the field.

Random 

I’m sorry that that was not clear. But yes, I mean, you pick the mental set, we can take the feet but like if you want to just pick up a Bard spell and be casting that off wisdom for the rest of your career. You can do that. You know if we try and compare this to something like magic initiate it’s just enormously strictly better. Like, leagues better.

Tyler 

In some ways, yes. In some ways, no. Since you’re limited to specific cantrip options, your cantrip options aren’t nearly as good with Strixhaven inititiate. But yeah, in terms of handling of the leveled spells yeah; Strixhaven inititiate is way better than magic initiate. If we ever get magic initiate reprinted which maybe in 5.5 I imagined will probably follow similar mechanics.

Randall 

Make sense? And we also, we got five new spells. One per college and I think these are interesting. If you don’t mind I’m gonna run through them right quick.

Tyler 

Go for it.

Randall 

All right. We have I think the least controversial of them all, Silvery Barbs. A first level spell that can be best summarized as actually, you roll with disadvantage, and she gets to roll with advantage next turn. I guess we’ll dive into this in a second. I’ll maybe go through the list first. We have Kinetic Jump, which is a second level spell. Basically, you have an epic dance battle. You you do a jaunt. And as you do your jaunt, no opportunity attacks can be taken against you. And also you have the ability to invade other creatures personal bubble for just a moment, as long as you then exit the bubble. And actually, if you fail to exit the bubble, you do take force damage. So that’s interesting. You have Vortex Work, which is fun with portals. So you take a creature that you can see, and then you put them over there. There’s a range attached to it, it’s fine. You have Borrowed Knowledge, which is the second level spell, I want to say at last for an hour, but can be best summarized as Nearly Headless Nick whispers advice in your ear, and now you’re proficient in something for an hour. You reach back to like ancestral spirits or something and you suddenly know how something works. Also, you have to have a book with you. I don’t know, maybe…

Tyler 

…just any book, literally any book.

Randall 

I think it has to be worth like 25 silver pieces or something. But yeah, and I don’t think the book is consumed although that would be kind of interesting, too.

Random 

It’s very slightly consumed. Because you know, the somatic component is open the book, lick the book, close the book, now you have gained the knowledge.

Tyler 

Is that is that not how people read books?

Randall 

It’s well, Braille at least. Okay.

Tyler 

Yeah, I guess.

Randall 

And then finally, Wither and Bloom, a second level spell, which is basically what if your life sucked more and your life sucked less. So you can deal damage, necrotic damage to one creature, while also choosing one creature and healing a creature. So yeah, spells.

Tyler 

Boy, there is a lot of room to optimize here. Borrowed Knowledge is one of now numerous spells that we can use to basically stack spell effects get really good at a skill really easily. Borrowed Knowledge will give you proficiency. Skill Empowerment will give you expertise. Enhance Ability will give you advantage. So with three spells, you can take a person who knows nothing about a skill and make them as good as possible in that skill. And you can do that with I think one character I can’t remember skill empowerment needs concentration, but the fact that you can do that makes like skill heavy builds like just Rogue says a concept less interesting at very high levels. There is obviously a cost but if you’ve got like two or three rounds, and you’re like oh, we need somebody to make an arcana check to know about this magical nonsense. Hey, Barbarian come here and hold still. Yeah, vortex warp is cool. I actually really liked that one. I wish that you could use it on an ally without them making a saving throw but rules is written you can’t intentionally fail a saving throw.

Random 

It’s written into the spell description that you can intentionally fail the saving throw.

Tyler 

Oh, there we go. I read write pass online. Thank you. Yeah, so yeah, use that on your friends. Get them out of grapples, use it to get them behind enemies like yeah, the tactical applications are numerous and wonderful.

Random 

Yeah, just I mean, let me tell you that like teleporting rogues, to behind someone, it’s gonna be a good time,

Randall 

It’s what we call a jerk move.

Tyler 

Someone had to say that. Yep. Let’s see what else. Kinetic Jaunt is basically just Zephyr strike, but more expensive. Ranger first level spells that first strike does almost the exact same thing except you can’t move through creatures and you don’t get the 10 foot moves feat bonus. So like, it’s neat, it’s not great. We’ve got a lot of spells that do that same thing at this point Ashardalon Striders third level and basically does the same thing but also damage. I don’t see Kinetic Jaunt getting a ton of use, but people playing Gish fields might enjoy it. Wither and Bloom is really cool because it does damage and lets you use hit dice in the middle of combat, which I don’t think we’ve seen before. So that’s an interesting mechanic,

Random 

Not in a spell. It’s the second thing that I can think of that lets you use a hit die in the middle of combat and I will be absolutely buggered if I can remember what the first thing is, isn’t it?

Tyler 

Isn’t it that feat for dwarfs?

Random 

Oh, yes, it is.

Tyler 

That’s what I thought it was. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, so that’s super rare. We’ve only seen it twice and all the fifth edition. It’s really neat. And it’s cool that Wizards can cast it because it means that Wizards can heal people now. So let’s talk about Silvery Barbs. This is going to get a little spicy. So people on the internet are very angry about this spell, which I kind of can’t blame them because it’s really really good. Maybe in ways that’s not obvious to a lot of people immediately. So first, we have gotten a rules clarification. It does not override legendary resistances so if you use it on an ancient dragon… like, you hit an ancient dragon with saber suck and they say no I’m just gonna choose to succeed even though I roll the roll badly, that wins over Silvery Barbs. So you can’t, you can’t eat legendary resistances with us. But, you can still use it for your friends’ save or sucks spells. So like if you have a party of everyone who can cast Silvery Barb’s, everyone should just be playing saver or suck casters, there is no reason to play anything else. Like, Caster one casts the saver suck. Caster two as a reaction forces whoever passed the Save to roll again. And then yeah, you can pass off advantage somebody else in your party. But honestly, if you didn’t have the ability to give advantage to somebody else, this would still be amazing. Like, this is probably too good.

Random 

If I compare this to… there’s like a Pathfinder spell which I think maybe got added very late and back into 3.5, where you could basically just like, first level spell slot, you have disadvantage on that next thing you roll. So that’s same spell level, but you have to use it first. And it had a save.

Tyler 

Yeah, I remember that. We used that a few times. Yeah, it was.

Random 

This has no save, is a reaction, and happens after the fact. I don’t know why this would be useful. But even certainly speaking, it’s not really disadvantage. It’s they have to roll again and keep the lower so I mean, not that base rules, there are degrees of success. But if you are trying to, you know, include degrees of success, like we’ve talked about in a previous episode, there is literally no downside to using this spell. It’s just great. Yeah,

Randall 

I guess on a saving throw. There isn’t at all right. The advantage would be like on an attack roll, what if the reroll was a natural 20.

Tyler 

Yeah.

Randall 

Would have been a critical hit. Now you’re forcing me to go okay. You succeeded, but at least you didn’t you didn’t crit me.

Tyler 

Yep.

Random 

Perfect. Great example.

Tyler 

Yeah. Yeah, you can negate credits, you can negate you can negate successful saves against your spells and stuff or your ally spells because there’s still the one level developer limitation per turn limitation. Yeah, random. You got it, right. There’s no downside to this. The only limitation on the spell is your spell slots and the fact that it has 60 foot range.

Randall 

Help me remember how this goes. On my turn, I use a leveled spell.

Tyler 

Yes.

Randall 

Am I then blocked from using a level spells or reaction until my next turn?

Tyler 

No, it’s a per turn limitation. So you could cast a levelled spell on your turn. And then between turns, you could still cast shield or something like that as a reaction?

Randall 

Because it’s a reaction. I’m actually using it on your turn. And so like, I only have one reaction anyway. But this makes sense, now.

Random 

if you can find a way to get more reactions in fifth edition, boy, boy howdy, there aren’t any. But if you can find one

Tyler 

Cavalier.

Random 

Really?

Tyler 

Yeah. I’m pretty sure you can only use it for opportunity attacks. So like it specifies you have an extra reaction. You can use it for opportunity attacks, but stick it. It exists.

Randall 

Okay. And then I guess one more clarification, but I, I only have one reaction between my turns.

RPGBOT 

Yes.

Randall 

And so if I burned it by taking an opportunity attack, I couldn’t didn’t use this vice versa. If had an opportunity for an opportunity attack, I’d be denied it. Okay, cool. Basic rules, but it’s useful to talk through sometimes.

Tyler 

Yeah!

Random 

No, absolutely.

Tyler 

This stuff’s confusing.

Random 

And related to spells, magic items, we don’t get a lot. But we do get a few. And some of them are wonderful flavor, quite literally… infinite coffee. And some of them are actually I mean, for being a, I believe they’re uncommon. Yes, the primers are really good. Once again, they have removed the opportunity cost, which feels weird, like so much of this book is just boy, you guys just sort of unintentionally making things much stronger than they seem at first glance, for each of the primers. If you’re holding it, once per long rest, get to give yourself a spell from an appropriate class. A first level spell, I think, which you know, plenty of good first level utility spells that are always useful. But then when you make one of the… when you make a skill check associated with one of the two skills that each college cares about. You can spend one of the three charges to after the fact roll a D4 and add it. And it’s that after the fact again, there’s no opportunity cost. If I roll a 14 on my arcana, and like boy, I am just confident that a 15 is what I needed to hit, boop, throw 34. You succeeded. Those are going to be really strong for once again, stacking those skills that you want to just through the roof, especially the I mean the silver quill one hits like deception and persuasion. I think you’re like two very…

Tyler 

Something I thought.

Random 

…your array might be performance. But you know, it’s two very critical face skills. Those are really good.

Tyler 

I agree. There’s a lot of things in here that feel like it’s just ramping up the power level quite a bit. If you read the adventure, there’s also a ton of magic items ordered as loot. So it’s very clear that if you’re playing a strict saving game, this is going to be very high magic. Magic items are going to rain from the sky like, one of the portions of the adventure you literally just find a magic item in the, in the bottom of box that people forgotten unlock, oh, well, we don’t know who it belongs to. You want to keep it? Sure. That is the degree of magic that you can expect from Strixhave. In a lot of ways, if you’re playing a Strixhaven game, it’s going to be very high powered, it’s going to be very high magic. And it might not be a good idea to allow everything from Strixhaven outside of this book. We may have finally gotten a book where we have to say okay, guys, leave this where it came from.

Randall 

Yeah, cuz how much of this material would you say fits into that? Would you let the…would you let the feats come out? Would you let these first level spells join their, their spell list?

Tyler 

I would let the Owlin into pretty much any game.

Randall 

Okay.

Tyler 

I would probably allow Strixhaven initiate if you took it like as a standalone feat. I would allow all of the spells with with the exception of Silvery Barb’s which you could very easily fixed by just saying, Hey, this is second level. Yeah, the the magic items are really neat, but they are very powerful. Like I really liked that all of the new magic items cap out at uncommon so that they’re more accessible early in the game, and you actually get to enjoy them for a while. But they are very, very powerful, like Random said. And so yeah, be very careful with anything you let outside of this book and do not use the Strixhaven backgrounds outside of the adventure, because they are very clearly intended for this adventure, and for Strixhaven games and nothing else.

Random 

I’m pretty, pretty much in lockstep. The items, I will say they do at least require attunement which if you’re in a high magic setting where that you know, you’re running into, like, maybe I already have three attunement items that I want to use. That’s at least something nice. I completely agree. Owlin is great. Honestly, I would have a hard time even justifying Strixhaven initiate in my game unless like, you did have some equivalent to a magic College. All the spells are great. The items, I would tend towards a if you want this. Sure. And if you’re if you start abusing it, we’re going to have that conversation again.

Randall 

Yeah, absolutely. And so in in the book, we also have several new mechanics that I think are interesting. We have student dice, we have jobs, we have the exams, mage tower, so kind of a new mini game. And finally, we have relationships.

Tyler 

Yes, so a lot of the a lot of the new mechanics can be summarized as a skill based minigame. Exams are a skill based minigame that take place, takes place in three phases. The game of mage towers, basically magical capture the flag, which is a skill based mini game, which takes place in three phases. And notably, Rogues are really good at both of them. You don’t need magic, you need skills, so be a Rogue. But relationships are probably the, the most novel new mechanic, it introduces a…

Randall 

Also the spiciest.

Tyler 

…also spiciest, Yes, and very spicy. so it introduces a numerical scale for how much somebody likes you ranging from negative two to three, everyone starts at zero, I don’t understand why they could have just gone from one to six, but that’s fine. So it’s a six point scale, everyone starts at zero. Positive means they like you more negative means they dislike you, three is quote unquote beloved, which is never explicitly called out but it could mean that you’re dating them or it could mean that they’re just a really, really close friend or something. Basically, every time you interact with a subset of the NPCs in the campaign, you can move that scale up or down by one depending on how your interaction with that character goes. But the trick is, you get to choose who you interact with at every point. So if you go and interact with someone and it doesn’t go well on the first time they hit negative one, never speak to them again. Because if they hit negative two, they become a rival and they will mess up your day. And that gets progressively sillier because a few out a few points. The prescribed NPCs which are set up to be part of this system are written into certain, certain story events in the game. So if you have them as a rival, they show up and had this long, wonderful interaction with you where you do something nice. And like there’s box stacks, where they say nice things about you on all these things, even though they’re your rival. And there’s nothing written into those segments to say, if they’re your rival, they’re going to, they’re going to mess with you a little bit. The relationship system has some neat ideas, but it’s, it’s a little broken. Like, it doesn’t quite work how you want. But if you squint at it, and intentionally don’t abuse, the mechanics, it can be a lot of fun.

Random 

You say broken, and to me, what it really feels is not well thought out. We’ll definitely touch more on this later. But the relationship in particular, of the mechanics presented feels very rushed. While we have this, this framework, they gave you so little to work with that even filling it in the way that I like to say that fifth edition is so good at is hard, because in this particular case, they said okay, so here’s this new mechanic;  relationships, here’s these specific people. Now, we’re just going to assume that you’re going to use this mechanic and these people, the adventure that we’ve printed later in this book, and we’re not going to tell you anything else about how to ever import it into your own game. If you do something that an NPC likes, you get a point. And if you do something that is like, you lose a point. And that’s it, and it’s just left up to the DM to determine what does that mean. And like, you know, on the one hand, that’s a really interesting way to try and build engagement with the NPCs that you’re at, you know, that you’re playing as the DM. But man, ain’t nobody got time for that. And if you, so if you wanted to import this into your game, I would make a suggestion like, particularly if you are going to be having these be long standing NPCs that they are repeatedly interacting with, do up like bonds, flaws and ideals, the same way that a player character or that some of the NPCs in Wild Beyond the Witch Light; you know that they have those four NPCs. Use that as like, ah, the player did something in line with my bond. Great! And that’s going to be a much easier way to try and make this something more concrete than the way it’s presented.

Randall 

Yeah, I mean, I really appreciate the fact that they gave this idea to us of incrementing and decrementing, an integer to track how an NPC feels about a character, because I’ve had the problem in past games where like, I’ve had the farmer, and I’ve had the characters like burn down the farm and murder all the sheep and this sort of thing. And then the next day, the farmer still likes the characters and treats them like with dignity and respect. If I had thought to, to subtract one. I think I really could have had a different interaction between the farmer and the player characters.

Random 

Yeah, of course, rival farmer is now an interesting concept that we have to go to.

Tyler 

But the big bad evil guy a first level commoner. Yeah, 3.5 had a had an affection scale or disposition, I think it was called that ranged from unfriendly to friendly or something like that.

Random 

Or if you included epic rules, fanatical.

Tyler 

So this essentially reintroduces that mechanic. So it gives you a number that you can use to track how much a creature, a creature likes you, which can be helpful if you find that difficult to track. Because if you’ve got 100 NPCs, you’re keeping track and you can just say like, likes the party negative one. And that’s all you have to remember, I want to touch on mage tower real quick, because I got very excited about Mage Tower when I read it. Skill based mini game, I’m just going to touch on this real quick. But you can use spells during the game as long as they don’t harm the stadium, the grounds, the people, etc. So no damage. And they specifically say if you spend a third level spell slot or higher, you get an automatic success on your skill check for that segment of game. So there’s three segments of the game. So you if you have three, third level spell slots or higher, you automatically get the maximum number of successful skill checks that you can get in the game. Which means when spellcasters have roughly seventh level and higher start playing, every game is perpetually a tie, which I don’t think of him to do, but…

Random 

No, no, it’s only perpetually a tie, if they’re intelligent.

Tyler 

That’s true. That’s true. Yeah, so so more examples of like, great idea, flawed execution.

Randall 

Yeah. I want to talk about the campaign a little bit because we we’ve kind of beaten on the campaign and the mechanics around it. I read through quite a bit of it. And there are some really fun ideas in here. The way they’ve laid out the story is really cool. It does seem like a good campaign. That would be a lot of fun to play through. But it’s definitely catered to like a specific audience like you’re going to go into this not expecting to powergame a whole lot–not expecting to really dig into the mechanics too much. So this is, this would be a good game for just like your lighthearted game, your beer and pretzels, maybe you’re playing with kids, maybe you’re playing with newer players, the story is pretty linear, like there’s not a lot of room to divert the story in a different direction. Like all the exams happen on such and such point in the story. All of the sports games happen here in here, you meet this NPC here and here, but it’s very linear. There are a couple of small dungeon crawls where you get to wander around inside a box canyon. But this isn’t your big sandbox game. This isn’t Icewind Dale, or the Essentials Kit or something where you’re said, here’s a place… go, I would probably take this to people who enjoy Harry Potter and similar works of fiction and say, “Hey, I’ve got a game that you might enjoy.” It’s pretty light, it’s pretty light, we’ll have a good time. It’s not going to be hard to engage with. But if you’ve been playing D&D for like 20 years, and you come in like I want to be challenged, maybe this isn’t the game for you. Yeah, I feel like the most interesting part of this might actually be doing the role playing of being a college student at a magical university, or a university, you know, that embodies magic. I almost feel like it’d be interesting, like you have a session where like you play for a little bit. You RP a party, where you have a few drinks, you eat some food, you talk to each other, you have a good time, and then immediately you sit back down for exams. That sounds like a great time.

Tyler 

Are we suggesting that people do a shave the serial numbers off Harry Potter Lark as part of their D&D session?

Randall 

A hundred percent. I feel like that’s the only way you’re gonna make this thing work.

Random 

I was gonna say, I feel like that’s literally what this book was designed for.

Tyler 

Yeah, okay. I’m into it.

Randall 

Yeah. Perfect. I guess I think we should each maybe say, I was not as excited about this source book, as I was about Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I thought that was super cool. And magical. It was something that I thought would be a lot of fun to, like, both introduce to the kids are sitting around with adults in play. This, I feel like… I… yeah, like that, I can’t help but think, finally, a tabletop game for Harry Potter fans. I think if you had a group of folks who wanted to like just double down and play that idea that it would be an amazing campaign, you have a fantastic time, you would probably find ways to stretch the game and really enjoy the RP like in, in novel ways that maybe can’t be done in other places. But yeah, it doesn’t necessarily excite me.

Tyler 

Yeah, this is definitely more of a niche story than most of the adventures we’ve gotten in fifth edition. There are some good ideas here that kind of didn’t work out exactly how I think Wizards expected. I’m sure a lot of this… A lot of this kind of ran into difficulties when they had to pull the subclasses they previewed in Unearthed Arcana, like we got sub classes for each of the colleges, and they were a mess. So pulling that out, probably took away a lot of writing time probably took away a lot of focus. So there was definitely some issues here. And then just the marketing around this book was really scant, like it was all Wild Beyond the Witchlight, which like came out. Two weeks later, they’re like, we’re releasing Stixhaven in two weeks, and then it and then here it was. So yeah, this, this felt a little bit rushed in a lot of ways, it probably could have done with some more time to refine the mechanics. This is definitely a niche book for people who want the Strixhaven story. But most people are probably just going to buy this and plunder it for the spells and stuff.

Random 

Yeah. And I have to say, I have very little else to add beyond Ditto. Tyler did a brilliant job of explaining pretty much exactly my thoughts, you know, a lot of the content is going to be husk around the few fabulous options that you get. And you know, how much of that you’re going to be allowed to take into any one thing is always a question. In particular, if you’re looking, if you’re looking at this as like, I am a adventurers league player, would I consider this to be my plus one in PHP plus one? No, absolutely not. So, yeah, just very cool for the flavor, but not something I would buy.

Randall 

Alright, and there you have it. Thanks so much for joining us for this edition of The RPGBOT.News. And yeah, we’ll see you next week.

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