Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos - everything you need to know about the new D&D book

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

If you're still bitter about not getting your Hogwarts letter, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos may pique your interest. More specifically, it lets you live out that magic school fantasy with a multi-year campaign that captures the ups and downs of university life.

With a focus on the different schools of magic, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos gives wizards, warlocks, and sorcerers somewhere to learn their craft (and enjoy some college-related shenanigans, naturally). The book - which is based on a setting from Magic: The Gathering - can be pre-ordered at Amazon for $34.99 instead of $50 ahead of its launch this December. Considering the fact that it's not even out yet, that's pretty good going.

So, should you grab Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos? We've got all the details on the latest Dungeons & Dragons book here, including any gameplay changes on offer and what it does different to other D&D releases.

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos - what to expect

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

When is Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos coming out?

After being delayed from its original November 16 release date, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos is now due to launch on December 7 in the USA and December 14 in the UK. This is thanks to the global shipping crisis.

You can pre-order the book from the usual suspects now. In fact, it's been reduced by 30% at Amazon USA at the moment.

What is Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos about?

Focusing on a world of rival colleges with different approaches to magic, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will allow you to choose between the archaeologist adventurers of Lorehold, the artistic Prismari, the math-based Quandrix, the wordsmiths of Silverquill, and the druidic Witherbloom. However, you don't have to be a spellcaster to train here - instead, it's a place to learn about magic's place in the world.

In terms of specifics, you'll engage in a range of classes, exams, and student rivalries during your time on-campus. Players will then go beyond the school's walls and use those skills to tackle traditional D&D problems (according to the developers, something wicked is at play behind the scenes).

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos also offers four story-based chapters that represent individual terms (each one lasts a single year). These are self-contained and can be run as individual sessions if you'd prefer, but they're also designed to be played together thanks to an overarching plotline.

No matter what you choose to do, your character will be a student of the university's many colleges. We've got details on each one below, and you can find out more in our Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos preview.

  • Lorehold: Want to be a magical Indiana Jones? This is the college for you - it explores the past and utilises 'Archaeomancy' so will come in handy when dungeon-delving.
  • Prismari: An elemental college focusing on the world's natural forces, this is the sort of place you sign up if you're into Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Quandrix: Revolving around the mathematics of nature, students of this college bend Numeromancy to their will with the most powerful damn algebra you've ever seen.
  • Silverquill: Emphasising the magic of rhetoric, this college is all about the power writing holds. Whoever said words will never hurt them is very, very wrong.
  • Witherbloom: Allowing players to master the forces of life and death, Witherbloom is a druid's dream - it teaches about flora, fauna, and beyond with a detour into potions.

Keen on sticking to a homebrew world instead of Strixhaven's Magic: The Gathering universe? You can drop the story or its mystical university into your homemade setting if you'd prefer.

Are there new races in Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos?

Of course, this wouldn't be a D&D book without new character options - and Strixhaven brings the goods. Besides the new backgrounds you'd expect, there's also the owlin race to try out during your Curriculum of Chaos adventures.

  • Owlin: Distantly related to the Feywild's giant owls, these humanoids have feathers that allow them to move with complete silence. They can also fly and have superb night-vision. 

Along with the owl-folk, Strixhaven includes mechanics to represent your friendships with other students, extra-curricular activities, and campus life in general. To be precise, NPCs could help or sabotage your efforts depending on how you treat them. You can even go to house parties or engage in a Pitch Perfect sing-off as part of your Strixhaven college experience.

Want an early glimpse of how Strixhaven's mechanics might work? An Unearthed Arcana blog post with playtest material recently launched on the official Dungeons and Dragons website, and it includes numerous subclasses that allow you to summon spirit companions or manipulate fate by "iterating on the mathematical patterns of reality." Take a look if you want a better idea of what's to come during Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos.

Pre-order Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos | $49.95

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos | $49.95 $34.99 at Amazon
Save 30% - You'll be able to choose your own magical school with Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, and the book launches this December 7 (or 14, if you're in the UK) with new subclasses to try out, monsters to fight, and locations to uncover.
UK deal - £44.99 at Waterstones

More Dungeons & Dragons

If you want more D&D, be sure to take a look at our guides below. They'll run you through the basics, including how to find a game and ways to play online. You can also check out our Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set review if you want an introduction to one of the best tabletop RPGs around.

As one of three D&D products announced in the last few months (The Wild Beyond the Witchlight and Fizban's Treasury of Dragons are also on the way), it's been a busy time for fans of the best Dungeons and Dragons books. Happily, even more is on the way - during a press briefing in July, the company promised the return of some classic settings in 2022.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I have been writing about games in one form or another since 2012 and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.