Skip to main content

Students of Strixhaven EP 3 – Passionate Performances

Arth, Edolkar, Khorvus, Trix and Darius stand in the Biblioplex, the grand library and centrepiece of the Strixhaven campus. With two orientation challenges complete (for both Silverquill and Lorehold), they decide on which college challenge to go for next.

Remembering the hint given to them in the bog by the Treant Professor Willowdusk, they approach a beautiful, green-skinned dryad, speaking with students and tending to a small garden. The professor greets them fondly with a wispy voice, introducing themselves as Veralda Lang. Veralda indicates that for the Witherbloom challenge, there are a number of Pests located in the garden. The task is simple: Help the creatures to… grow. The party finds that many other groups of students look to be attempting this challenge, but so far, none appear to have been successful. Edolkar grabs a pest from the garden, and brings it back to the group. The group look around for a red berry, similar to what they had found in the bog, and Trix, comparing an earlier sketch she had made, is able to grab a handful stealthily.

Trix’s cousin Athena shows up, gloating on her successes, but has still not completed the Witherbloom challenge. Athena tries to glance at Trix’s sketchbook, but fails, and walks off. Trix holds the berries in her palm, then grabs one and puts it into her mouth, showing her chew and swallow it. The pest, interested, quickly grabs the remainder of the berries, then begins to grow. This draws the attention of many students, so Arth quickly creates a diversion by asking Khorvus what that “spell” was that he cast. It takes Khorvus a moment to realise, but he then follows along and indicates it was learned from his Triton clan, and that a similar book is somewhere in the Biblioplex, somewhere up high. This causes a rush of students to start running through to the information kiosk, trying to figure out the spell they cast. Veralda congratulates the group, providing them with the Witherbloom stamp on their orientation challenge. She indicates that as the professor for Magical Physiologies, she looks forward to meeting them in class later this week.

The party decide on how to proceed, and agree to do the Prismari challenge next. A Genasi woman name Veyran, with fiery hair is watching and guiding an ad-hoc performance of third-year Prismari students. The professor explains their challenge is: to see Passion, in whatever way that comes out. As they consider their options, Khorvus takes out his Warhammer and shield, beginning a military kata called “Wrath of the Kraken Lords”, as he moves around in a small circle. Arth pulls out a small drum and begins a drum beat following his movements. Edolkar begins a deep, guttural chant in his native tongue. Trix follows along, slicing with her wings to create gusts of air in the circle. Darius is encouraged along and follows the flow of everyone else. His innate sorcery activates, and he emanates waves of fire. The third-year students and Veyran soon join in, following Khorvus’ moments around the circle. As Khorvus finishes his kata, he slams his Warhammer down, the waves of (mostly safe) fire blasting away into the Biblioplex. The party receives an applause from the Prismari students, and Veyran stamps their orientation challenge, having successfully shown passion.

With one more challenge left, they head to the Quandrix professor. A large, bipedal bear greets them in the common tongue, introducing themselves as Ruxa. Ruxa discusses with Arth that much of Quandrix’s focus is on understanding the nature of mathematics, and how mathematics can understand and shape nature. Ruxa indicates the challenge is to tell a joke, which is ciphered onto a whiteboard that he shows to the party. If you’d like to give the puzzle a go yourself, take a look at the puzzle below:

The Quandrix Puzzle: A cipher.

Ruxa provides the following clue to get the party started:

  • The campus map shows the association of the Central Campus (shown in the cipher as a flower-like/star object) with the other colleges. Ruxa notes: Many students start their journey at the Central Campus before looking northward.

For those who need some help, you can see this hint to understand how the cipher might work. To avoid spoilers, we won’t share too much more of the player’s discussion, you’ll have to listen from 59:04 on the episode if you want to hear the answer! After much debate, the party crack the clue, and present the joke to Ruxa. With a hearty chuckle, the bear congratulates them on solving the puzzle.

With their orientation challenge complete, the party rush back to Groff Lundquist at the student store, presenting their five stamps. Surprised, Groff makes a magical announcement to the Biblioplex that a group has now returned the challenge sheet, and a light applause is heard from the patrons inside. Groff indicates that as their reward, they are eligible to choose their accomodation, which is normally reserved for later-year students. The party discuss their needs, including:

  • A roost for Trix
  • A library and pool for Khorvus
  • A room with a view for Arth
  • A bed wide enough to fit Edolkar
  • And finally, somewhere quiet for Darius.

Inspecting the requirements, Groff indicates that there is a cottage on the central campus, normally reserved for third and fourth year students, that should meet their needs. The party accept, and receive a few sets of keys and directions to the cottage. Before they leave, Groff hands everyone their student bundles, including student clothing, welcome books and other introductory equipment.

Finishing up at the Biblioplex, the party head to their new accommodation which is only a short walk. Looking like a country cottage on the outside, the place looks warm and cosy, made of brick and large wide windows gleaming light in. The interior is a combination of wood, brick and stone, with a large common room available for study sessions. Trix finds at the top of the cottage a suitable roost in the rafters. Edolkar finds a bed that while not entirely suited to his height, is sufficient for his needs for now. Khorvus finds in the basement of the cottage is a small bathhouse, with a mixture of oils, scents, and sprays. Arth finds many nooks and crannies perfect for reading. Finally, Darius finds a room more than suitable towards the quieter end of the cottage.

With some downtime, the party begin to take care of their own matters. Khorvus unwraps the seaweed package given to him by Havon Danmar, the captain of the Coral Guard in Levinas. Inside the wrapping is a dried-out starfish. Curious, Khorvus carries the starfish into the bath, placing it gently into the water. The starfish grows in size to the size of a small shield. As Khorvus holds the shield in his hands, he realises that without water, the starfish will quickly shrink back to its husked form.

Meanwhile, unpacking her things Trix hears a muffled voice from the bottom of her bags. She unwraps the parcel and finds a statue bust, degraded to the point that most of its features are indistinguishable. The bust is rude, short-tempered, and seems quite forgetful about whom it once was. Trix explains the bust is now in Strixhaven, under her care, to which he seems disinterested, but appreciates being given a nice view of the campus near a window before muttering to himself trying to recall his previous life.

Students of Strixhaven EP 2 – Radical Riddles

The party, consisting of Arth, Edolkar, Khorvus, Trix and Darius, continue to follow a large, tree-like Treant, who is directing them towards the Witherbloom campus, out of the Detention Bog. The party engage in light conversation, further introducing themselves to one another.

The elderly Treant pauses for a moment, then directs them to listen, with some light rustling being heard from just ahead on their path. The Treant bends down, picks through the foilage, and grabs a small grub-looking creature. She indicates this is called a “pest”, and is the mascot of Witherbloom students. She notes the pest seems agitated, and likely hungry. The Treant calls to Arth, towards the back of the group, and asks for him to pick some berries. He grabs a handful, moving forward to passing them to the Treant. She thanks him, and explains that pests are friendly, but are cautious to eat offered food unless they see the creature eat some first. Trix offers to try it, and kneels down. She holds a small handful of berries, then showcases eating and swallowing them. The pest watches for a few seconds, then begins to pick at the remaining berries on the ground. As the pest eats, it grows larger and larger, until it is the size of a small dog. As it rolls over its belly, she gives it a rub before sending it off back into the bush. Trix, realising she hasn’t introduced herself, asks for the Treant’s name. She introduces herself as Professor Willowdusk, and they continue their walk inwards towards the Witherbloom campus.

The party arrives at a careful curated set of buildings, constructed from, and built-into, collections of large trees and other sorts of native flora. These buildings form Witherbloom campus. With the close connection to nature, Trix and Khorvus feel some sense of familiarity of the campus with their respective homes. The Treant directs them to a wide and tall open room, with a collection of horse-like creatures standing on a platform, each drawing a carriage. Professor Willowdusk indicates these carriages, drawn by the clockwork horses, depart on a strict 15-minute schedule, ferrying people from the outer campuses back to the central campus. Arth thanks the Professor for the lesson, and the party go to sit in a carriage and prepare to depart. After a few minutes, the horses depart destined for the central campus. With some time to spare, the party talk amongst themselves.

The carriage parks at the central campus, in a station house nestled near the Biblioplex and an array of large, grand buildings, gardens, and walkways. They enter into the bustling Biblioplex, the heart of the central campus. Having been told as part of their orientation to check in at the student store inside, Trix is the first to saunter over to the store. A young human named Groff Lundquist greets them, and asks for their names to sign them off. The party goes through, with Trix, Arth, Darius and Khorvus signing off. Edolkar provides his name, but finds he is not on the books. Begrudgingly, Edolkar leans in and says the name given by Regus and Falstra, Robern Stoutarm. In surprise, Groff recognises the Stoutarm name, and quickly checks the name off. Groff indicates that he needs some time to prepare their first-year packages, including clothes and other gear, so encouages the party to take part in the Orientation Challenge. As Groff passes a piece of paper with the five college symbols on it, he indicates the party must travel to each of the five representatives, spread out through the Biblioplex, and complete their respective challenges to earn a stamp. The first group to return with all their stamps may receive a prize, but many of the other groups are already well into the challenge.

The party moves further inward to the Biblioplex, looking toward a Snarl, a shifting ball of energy that emanates a magical aura around it, one of many contained throughout the demiplane and seen as a raw source of arcane magic. They look to find a professor to begin their challenge, and Khorvus, keen to one-day join Silverquill, approaches a man dressed sharply in black and white attire. The middle-aged man, named Nils, speaks eloquently, asking if they are ready to begin the Silverquill challenge. He indicates that the challenge is a riddle, and says:

Often polite, but not always civil,

I can be explosive, but I am not a missile.

Some use me to barter, though I don’t usually see gold,

I’m used more and more by those who grow old.

What am I?

The party debate for several minutes, presenting a few options on what the answer could be. To avoid spoilers, we won’t provide any of the guesses (or the answer) here! You can skip to ~45:20 on the episode for the answer. After some time, Edolkar presents a suggestion. Nils pulls out a stamp with the Silverquill symbol, and stamps the orientation challenge sheet for the party. Khorvus thanks Nils for the challenge, and indicates his interest in meeting with him again in the future, as a Silverquill student. Arth expresses interest in speaking with the Lorehold professor, and Trix agrees. The party moves towards a short dwarf, dressed in long-flowing robes in white and red. The dwarf carries large scrolls on his pack, and as the party approaches, he introduces himself as Hofri Ghostforge. He welcomes them to Strixhaven, and indicates his challenge is much more straightforward: To learn about navigating the Biblioplex for resources, and to find a very specific tome, and bring it back to him. He indicates to not tell the librarians that he is involved in anyway, as they are not friendly with him at the moment. The party walks up to an information desk, filled with clerks cataloguing books and scrolls. Trix asks a young librarian for assistance, who becomes agitated upon hearing the name of the book, thinking Hofri is involved. Trix is about to recall a small bit of information relating to the book, fooling the librarian. The librarian begins to check through an index, but asks Trix to confirm the book is part of an orientation challenge. Failing a deception check, Trix admits they need the book to retrive the book for the challenge. The librarian indicates she can’t help the students all the way, and writes just the aisle number, leaving them to find the book themselves.

After a few minutes, the party interpret the note and find the aisle, and determine the tome is on a shelf well above even Edolkar’s height. Edolkar lifts then throws Trix upwards, while Khorvus begins to climb the shelves. They find the tome, which is much heavier than expected. Trix begins to push from the outside of the shelf to Khorvus so that he can hold and catch it. Khorvus holds the tome in one hand, still holding on, and shouts for those on the ground to help. Arth rises up and sits of Edolkar’s shoulders, attempting to reach the book that Khorvus passes down to him. Arth fails to hold the book, and it begins to fall to the ground. Darius, in a panic, begins to emanate a bright light, and he then grows in size, with what appears to have been from a Growth spell. In his large form, he easily catches the falling book, placing it on the ground. After a few moments, he meditates and calms himself and shrinks back to his gnomish size. As a team, the party carry the tome back to Hofri. He thanks the students, stamping their orientation challenge sheet.

Students of Strixhaven EP 1 – Disorientation Day

Welcome to Students of Strixhaven! This is Episode 1 in the new campaign, based on the Strixhaven sourcebook by Wizards of the Coast. If you want some pre-game discussion on characters and the setting, you can listen to EP 0.

The episode starts off with introducing the cast:

  • Ben, the Game Master.
  • Jackson, playing Edolkar, a Minotaur Barbarian.
  • Luke, playing Arth, a Human Bard.
  • Michelle, playing Pulsatrix (Trix), an Owlin Rogue.
  • And Ze, playing Khorvus, a Triton Paladin.

The Strixhaven setting encompasses a “magical university”, comprised of five different themed colleges, and will follow the adventures of the characters as they complete their studies on campus. To start, the story begins with examining each character’s arrival to Strixhaven on their first day, with each player rolling a D20 to determine whose character goes first. The order becomes: Trix, Edolkar, Khorvus, Arth.

Trix is located in the Feywild, and lives in a small area called “Nox”, which contains a large majestic tree called Noxwood and where it is eternally night. Many Owlins live amongst the branches and within the hollows. On the night before Trix is due to depart for Strixhaven, she is looking for her grandfather, to seek his advice. She looks in her Grandfather’s study, but only finds her mother instead, cleaning the room. Trix asks if her mother has seen him, to which she says he is probably out and about on another study mission. When Trix asks for advice, she is encouraged to follow her heart. As Trix returns to her bedroom, she finds her cousin, Athena, sitting on the bed. After a brief conversation where Athena tells Trix she thinks she’ll be “running behind” Athena, just like in Noxwood. Athena departs, leaving Trix to do a last minute check of her books and supplies, before doing a little bit more study, then falling asleep.

Trix wakes some time later, feeling well rested. To her surprise, the purple haze of twilight (to indicate a day-night cycle in Noxwood) is in full swing. Trix looks to her clockwork alarm, which she had set to wake her up early, but finds it has been tampered with, not going off when she had expected. She throws together her books and supplies and flies out the door. As she looks out from a branch, she spots Athena and a few other Owlin students awaiting to travel through a portal, the magic imbued into an ancient tree that bends to form a semicircle. Trix continues to sprint, duck and dive through the branches, before making her way to the forest floor and towards the portal. By the time she arrives, she finds the portal closed, with her only way to Strixhaven now closed.

As she sits down in a panic, a short time passes before her Grandfather, Aegolius, places his wing on her shoulder. She explains that she must have slept in late, and has missed the portal. Aegolius wipes away a tear from Trix’s eye, and moves towards the bent tree branch, sitting beneath it. He mutters a chant, before burning what looks to be an incense, and a brief flash, the portal to Strixhaven re-opens. Aegolius tells Trix she must take care, and she asks for any last-minute advice. He says that he is not sure what he could teach, but offers her a… challenge. He pulls out from a small bag a bust, made of some sort of marble or stone and indicates the bust was given to him by a colleague, who was unsure of its origins, and he passes it to Trix. As Trix grabs the bust, she hears muffled speech. Aegolius encourages her to take a look later, and travel through the portal before it closes. Trix sees the faint glimmer of the white stone buildings of the main Strixhaven campus, and she steps through the portal.

In a quiet part of the Material Plane, Edolkar awakens in a pristine noble manor, located at the top of a newly-founded settlement in a mostly untouched valley. His lodgings and equipment, prepared and paid for by his “adoptive” parents, have all the amenities one could need. For Edolkar, it does not feel like his real home, which is known only as Look’aer, a small village, nestled much deeper and hidden in the valley. Edolkar often remembers the day in which he was taken whilst on a hunting trip, and becoming another subject of the Stoutarm family, a well-known noble family with deep magical ties.

He gets out of bed, contemplating having to travel even further away from his homeland. A butler arrives and directs him to the main dining room, where Regus and Falastra, his “adoptive parents” are enjoying a meal. Regus welcomes him, (referring to him as Robern, a new, designated name), asking about his preparedness for Strixhaven. A meal is served for Edolkar, which he picks at. Regus engages in conversation, reminding him to remember the prestige his new family brings, and that thanks to their contributions, he has been granted an admission for this year. As Regus and Falastra depart for other matters, he converses briefly with Gherom, a young servant and now-friend of Edolkar. Gherom wishes Edolkar the best of luck with leaving, and indicates a hedge wizard is outside, preparing a teleportation circle for Edolkar to use. Edolkar goes outside, taking in one last look upon the valley to which he used to hunt and roam, before approaching the elderly wizard. A circle is arrayed with a series of markings and a glowing hue, with the wizard instructing Edolkar to step onto the circle. After a brief ritual, the circle activates, and Edolkar is teleported somewhere far away.

Deep below the ocean’s surface, Khorvus, a young Triton, lives in the city of Levinas, a Triton colony settled in the depths of the Leviathan Trench. Having served with the local military force, Khorvus now shifts his thoughts to a life of adventure, serving as a Paladin under the God Persana. The colony is in a day of celebration and ceremony. Khorvus awaiting to participate in the farewell ceremony, where chosen Triton’s are sent off above the surface to learn, adapt and bring back knowledge and resources to help the colony.

Khorvus’ friend, Yaldas, greets him, and they begin to walk towards the packed stadium, along with Khorvus’ family who are eager to watch the ceremony. As they split off from his family, the pair discuss their respective assignments, with Khorvus being sent to Strixhaven, and Yaldas being sent to a place called the Society of Sensation. As the ten selected individuals arrive to the platform, the crowd simmers and a priestess of Persana approaches. She provides words of inspiration to Khorvus and the others, before finishing with a humble prayer. As the priestess steps down, the captain of the Coral Guard approaches, working through the line of ten Tritons. As he meets with Khorvus, the captain speaks briefly, before presenting him with a wrapped seaweed parcel, that he calls a gift and reminder of home. As the others now on assignment begin to depart to their respective destinations, Khorvus enjoys a last moment with his family, including his mother, father, and sister. Khorvus’ father shows concern for the world above, having not ventured up there himself. Khorvus is directed towards a large dome, pocketed with breathable air. Inside, mages begin to prepare travel portals to different destinations for all the chosen, including one to Strixhaven. Khorvus collects the last of his gear, then steps backwards through the portal.

Week’s before Arth‘s depature, the young late-20s man stands at the edge of town, with his family walking with him to stay goodbye, before he travels to the hub city of Portsmouth. Arth’s father instructs Arth to find his old adventuring partner Zaneus, located in the city, who can provide accomodation for a few days before Strixhaven begins for the year. Arth thanks his family for their time together, and promises to learn more about the world, and write often. Arth’s young sister, Celeste, expresses disappoint that Arth will miss her upcoming birthday. Arth apologies, hugs his family, and begins to depart for Portsmouth.

Weeks later, on the day Arth is due to depart, Arth awakes and sits down for breakfast with Zaneus, in his lodgings in the industrial quarter of Portsmouth. Zaneus, pondering over books and scrolls, enquires if Arth is finally leaving, to which he ignores the snide and asks for another adventuring story. Zaneus searches through some archived boxes, until he finds a small photo, of a younger Zaneus and two other adventures. Arth begins to recognise the other two as his mother and father, as Zaneus admits he forgets what the actual adventure was really about. Zaneus instructs Arth to seriously consider that at some point, like many before him, he will be faced with a challenge; continue his quest for knowledge, including understanding the truths of the universe, or accept compromise, and follow in his father’s footsteps. After they finish their meals, Arth packs his things and prepares to leave.

A short time later, Arth and Zaneus arrive at The Hub, an enchanted building designated for facilitating magical travel, both regional and multidimensional. They arrive at a side room, with two cold, stone pillars in the middle of the room. He examines a scroll, taps the pillars with his staff, and mutters an incantation under his breath. The dimension door opens, and Zaneus offers Arth an apprentice job if things don’t work out. As Arth steps through the doorway, he jokingly asks if he could be taught the dimension door spell that Zaneus just cast.

With the party members now having travelled from their respective locations, we venture now to Strixhaven. Each character sees for a moment the white marble structures of the central campus, before finding themselves yanked, physically being hurled away from their intended destinations, into a dark and murky swamp. Edolkar is the first to arrive, noticing a small gnome scrawling at a teleportation circle embedded into the soil. Khorvus and Arth fly in, landing in the swampy water nearby. Khorvus notes the unsettling welcome he has been offered, while Arth quickly examines the other people around him. A few moments later, Trix teleports in, splashing into the water as well. As she walks towards the others, she expresses her concern. The gnome, realising that the four others are now around him, goes into a panic. Khorvus approaches the gnome, asking what he did. The gnome indicates he is a Sorcerer, and that when he panics or during moments of high stress, sometime odd things can happen. He suspects that he has somehow overridden the destination of the others. The gnome introduces himself as Darius Zadelwort. Having take some time to notice their surroundings, Arth and Khorvus realise the swamp they are in as the Detention Bog, a part of the Witherbloom campus, and still on the demiplane that comprises Strixhaven. The party continue their introductions, before being interrupted by Darius, asking if they can stop the pleasantries, and help Darius remove the teleportation circle. He points out a number of small creatures emerging from the water, that he asks the party to keep away, while he tries to calm himself in order to break the circle. Several Sea Snakes begin to approach, hostile towards the people who have landed on their nesting grounds.

The group enter into combat. The snakes, very aggressive, land a few bites towards the party, attacking Edolkar as the largest of the five. Khorvus, with a naturally high AC, is able to dodge the creatures or otherwise absorb the blows. Arth, not yet confident in the use of his father’s long sword, fails to swing at one of the creatures. Trix flutters over, striking at one of the larger snakes with her Rapier. Another snake strikes, hitting a blow against Arth. Khorvus turns his attention towards the larger snake, swinging his war hammer down against it. Edolkar reaches down and grapples one of the snakes. Edolkar aims and throws the snake far into the depths of the swamp. Darius, maintaining focus, begins to see the circle around him fade.

In the second round, a snake attacks against Edolkar, but overreaches and misses. A second snake moves against Khorvus, which also fails. Arth, feeling more confident, lands a successful blow against one of the smaller snakes, slicing it in half. Trix moves and darts under Edolkar’s legs, then slices one of the remaining snakes. Khorvus throws an overconfident blow against the last, final snake, but fails in their strike. The snake climbs up the handle of the war hammer, towards Khorvus. Edolkar strides over, grappling the final snake, then throws (yeets) it far off into the swamp. The teleportation circle’s magic fades entirely, and Darius breathes deeply. Darius thanks everyone for their help, and everyone reflects on their fighting styles.

A rough, barky voice calls out to the group from the distance. With the appearance of an elderly witch, the woman, appearing as a tree, approaches. She asks what they are doing out in the “bog”. Darius tries to explain, but panics again. Arth chimes in, explaining they accidentally got sent here instead of the central campus. She begins to direct the group out of the bog.

The newly-formed party fight off Bog Snakes while Darius tries to remove his teleportation magic.

Students of Strixhaven EP 0 (Session Zero)

Welcome to Students of Strixhaven! This episode is what we call a “Session Zero”, which is a pre-story episode where we discuss the characters everyone has made, briefly talk about the campaign setting, and any questions we have about playing the game. If you want to jump straight into the main story, check out Students of Strixhaven EP 1.

We go around the table and introduce the players:

  • Ben, The Game Master (also known as a Dungeon Master).
  • Jackson, playing Edolkar, a Half-Orc Minotaur Barbarian.
  • Luke, playing Arth, a Human Bard.
  • Michelle, playing Pulsatrix (or just: Trix), an Owlin Rogue.
  • Ze, playing Khorvus, a Triton Paladin.

The players roll a D20 to decide who will discuss their character first, with Ze’s Khorvus up first. Ze explains that Khorvus is a Triton, a seafaring race originally from the Plane of Water. A colony of Triton was established in the Material Plane along the Leviathan Trench, deep below the waters on the ocean floor. Khorvus was accepted as part of an initiative to send Tritons to the surface, to learn about different cultures and societies. Khorvus’ assignment is Strixhaven, where he will learn about the magical society, and continue to develop his skills to ensure he can protect his colony, and the entire Material Plane, from creatures seeping through from the Plane of Water like Krakens and Sahuagin. Like many Tritons, Khorvus boasts a sense of arrogance, born from a collective belief that the actions of the colony should have his people idolised, even though many races do not know of the threats they defend against.

Next up, Jackson introduces Edolkar, who he introduces as a Half-Orc Barbarian (GM note: In episode one we introduce Edolkar as a Minotaur, as Jackson was still finalising the details!). Edolkar is a native of a small mountain clan, who had until recently lived peacefully with his family and village. As an expanding human town moved into the area, Edolkar was one day taken from his family, and put in with a human family who while well-meaning, continue to try to push Edolkar towards what they refer to as more “civilised” society. Edolkar is being enrolled to Strixhaven to ensure that he develops properly in a social setting, as well as learn magic as expected of the human family he has now become a part of. Under watchful eyes and pressure, Edolkar has not had an opportunity to find his people, but dreams of one day returning to his people, using the supposed magic he is to be taught at Strixhaven.

Arth, introduced by Luke, is what you’d call a mature-aged student, who growing up in a small hamlet, has learned everything there is to know about the town, it’s peoples, and history. Believing he is destined for more and now entering his 30s, Arth constantly strives for knowledge and seeks to attend Strixhaven to understand the secrets of the universe. He cares deeply for his family, who encourage him to pursue his dream, and grapples with the conflicting choices of staying close with his family and only knowing the world around him, or continuing his dream to further develop knowledge and understanding.

Finally, Michelle introduces Pulsatrix, also known as just: Trix. Born and raised in an Owlin settlement in part of Yggdrasil, located in the Feywild, Pulsatrix is constantly touched by magic, but does not herself know enough to cast it. Thanks to her small stature, she developed proficiency with sneaking and hiding, but wants to develop magical abilities to protect her when she explores fortified or perilous ancient ruins, whether in the Feywild, Material Plane, or beyond.

After everyone introduces their characters, the Session 0 discussion moves onto discussing more technical terms, such as the general theme of the podcast. The players discuss that the Cyberpunk Red campaign was a lot more serious, with the nature of the setting leaning towards more combat-heavy encounters. Overall, the players agree that a “college lifestyle” would work best as the main theme of the series.

Moving on, the players discuss different forms of storytelling, such as “Railroading”, “Sandboxing” and “Track Drifting” (a flexible combination of the two). Overall through previous experiences, the players agree track drifting is a good approach, as it grants the best of both worlds, with a linear narrative of a deep story, while providing moments of unplanned creativity for character development.

Timelines are discussed next, including how the movement of time should be addressed, especially over the larger scope of a college trimester or year. The general agreement is that major events can be focused on for game sessions, but there can be gaps in-between the study weeks when nothing is expected to have happened on campus outside of classes.

Strixhaven will consist of a focus on mandatory courses, but the players also discuss how to look at elective classes, which each player will take separately. The players agree a quick, short recap as the semester continues to look at how everyone’s classwork is going would be the best idea, and this can be looked at every few episodes with rolls made to determine how well their studies did.

Clubs and Societies play an important part of college life. The Strixhaven book provides useful resources on different clubs, societies, and jobs, that characters can take part in as part of their day-to-day life. Similar to the elective courses, the players agree an occasional focus on the events that happen between classes in their extracurriculars would be best.

Exams play an important part of college life. While the Strixhaven book has some basic concepts for exams, such as making ability/skill checks, the players discuss the concept of a “hands-on” practical part of an exam in the form of Excursions. These excursions would take place outside the college campuses, and allow the characters to tackle physical challenges related to their studying topics. From a group perspective, this would be useful to avoid “splitting the party”, and let the characters go about as a group the assignments for their excursions.

Lastly, Relationships are an important part of a developing student’s time on campus. The players talk about friends, rivals, and even romantic relationships, and how that deep it should be discussed as part of the game. For the most part, brief overviews of developing relationships can be talked about, and it can be considered that friendships and rivalries may develop “off-camera” without needing to be discussed heavily.

If you’ve enjoyed listening to Session Zero, we hope you jump straight into EP 1 of Students of Strixhaven!

Students of Strixhaven Trailer

Students of Strixhaven is the latest campaign adventure by Tales from Trantor, played using the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) 5th edition rules.

Four students find themselves caught up in campus life when they attend Strixhaven University, one of the greatest places of learning and study throughout the planes. Join Arth, Edolkar, Khorvus and Trix as they adjust to college life, make new friends (and enemies), and uncover mysteries that threaten the foundations of the university itself.

Check out our website for episode recaps, character bios, campaign information and more:
Love the show? We’d love a coffee!

~ Theme Song by Tabletop RPG Music~