Dungeons & Dragons Scraps Controversial Playtest Subclasses from Strixhaven Book

Dungeons & Dragons has opted not to move forward with five subclasses that could be used by multiple player classes in their upcoming book Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos. Lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford confirmed that they had scrapped the subclasses, each of which corresponded to one of the magical school of Strixhaven’s five colleges, during a Wizards of the Coast media event earlier this week. “The Unearthed Arcana playtest did the job we asked it to do,” Crawford said. “Occasionally, we put some very experimental things in front of D&D fans and ask them if they want to see more of it. In this case, the very simple answer was ‘No.’

“We learned two really important things from this playtest that reinforced something we’ve been seeing from the D&D community going back to D&D Next (the original playtest for Fifth Edition rules)” Crawford continued. “People love for D&D subclasses to speak to the distinctiveness of a particular class. 5E fans also want subclasses to be usable in as many settings as possible, since so many DMs homebrew their own settings. In this case, there was a bit of an uphill climb since the subclasses were so tied to a particular setting, that being the magical college of Strixhaven.”

Crawford noted that they were prepared for the fanbase to reject the subclasses and had prepared “contingency plans” in case they didn’t work out. The subclasses will be replaced with other character options, such as feats tied to each specific college, which will support even more character types than the subclasses would have. We could also see some design elements appear in future D&D products in another capacity. Various new magic items (including magic textbooks) will also appear in the book to help players feel tied to their chosen Strixhaven college.

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will feature some material seen in other playtests, though, as the book also contains the owlin playable race, which first appeared as the “Owlfolk” in a separate playtest released earlier this year.

Strixhaven: A Cirriculum of Chaos will also contain a bestiary of 40 new NPCs and monsters found on campus, which includes the founding dragons of each of Strixhaven’s schools. The various pest-like mascots of each school will also have their own monster statblock in the book.

Strixhaven: A Cirriculum of Chaos will be released on November 16, 2021. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now.

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