A Curriculum of Chaos Inspired by Sabrina the Teenage Witch, John Hughes

The upcoming Dungeons & Dragons campaign book Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos not only provides rules for playing in the Strixhaven school setting of Magic: The Gathering, but also takes inspiration from unexpected sources -- Sabrina the Teenage Witch and '80s John Hughes films.

"When it comes to the adventures, my influences for building the story included classic coming-of-age films, especially the John Hughes canon, and '90s and early noughties teenage rom-coms, which really capture dramatic young adult stories in a fun and often meaningful way," lead designer Amanda Hamon told Dicebreaker. "You'll see this especially expressed in the relationships rules, which allow those enemies-to-lovers and best friend narratives to play out and affect the larger adventures. These adventures are also full of good-natured fun and hijinks in the way those films portray, as well."

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Hamon added that one of the book's main themes deals with students "finding themselves imbued with magic, and the fun and strange things that happen when those folks get goofy and creative, a la the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch." The musical comedy franchise Pitch Perfect was also an influence, as one of the sophomore year adventures in the book features a sing-off right before a competitive game of Mage Tower, a sport played by Strixhaven students.

"And finally, though this may come as a surprise, traditional D&D influenced this book deeply," Hamon added. "If you look beyond the flavor and the setting, there are several sections of the adventures in which you’re moving through a building or a wilderness area, navigating traps and opponents and trying to achieve a goal -- these are dungeon crawls, but with a much different layer of flavor over them than you’d expect."

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Ultimately, Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos carries a relatively light-hearted tone compared to the world-ending plots present in other Dungeons & Dragons adventures, Hamon said. The adventure's stakes raise considerably in its finale, however, due to a foe with a longstanding grudge against the school.

"Eventually, the characters must spring into action, and the adventures' tone shifts from goofy to dire quickly," Hamon explained. "If the characters fail, there are catastrophic consequences, perhaps to the greatest extent of any other D&D book."

Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos is the latest crossover between Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, following the release of Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica in 2018 and Mythic Odysseys of Theros in 2020. Aside from wizard school hijinks, the book will also feature the new race of the owlin, over 40 creatures and non-player characters, and a plethora of new spells, magic items, backgrounds and feats designed to help players bring their Strixhaven characters from freshmen to graduates. The book will be released on Dec. 7.

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Source: Dicebreaker

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Jeremy Blum is an Associate News Writer at CBR. An avid fan of comic books since the age of three (back when he could only look at the pictures and imagine what was happening in the word balloons), Jeremy is the admin behind @classic_batman_panels, one of the most detailed Batman fan accounts on Instagram. He has worked as a journalist in both the United States and Hong Kong and writes about video and tabletop games on his blog Pixel Grotto in his free time. Find him on Twitter at @blummer102 or @PixelGrotto.

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