Loot Tables: Strixhaven Book Titles
Updated: Mar 4
So I was hoping to have this article up last week to match up to the release of Wizards Of The Coast's newest title 'Strixhaven: A Curriculum Of Chaos' a little better! I've been struggling a little as I mentioned in my last post, but I'm feeling more positive and so thought I'd get this out there!
The book itself is a lot of fun to read, and certainly brings something new to the kind of DnD game that DMs can choose to run or players hope to partake in. Many campaigns will reference the concept of some kind of wizarding school or university within the world, and some PCs or NPCs may even have studied there. Using Magic: The Gathering's setting of Strixhaven, the book gives us an adventure module and sourcebook combo (mostly the former) for running a Mage's College. It takes most of its inspiration from the American Collegiate system but for those that are looking to deep dive into a Mage University setting, it provides a way for a campaign like this to be played or ideas on what a Magic School might have looked like. Within the book you'll find some new spells, magical items, feats, campaign specific backgrounds, and a lot of lore surrounding Strixhaven itself, as well as a ton of new rule systems for making friends/enemies, studying, taking a job, and partaking in exams.
As someone who is a self professed nerd and loved learning at school, this is an absolute dream. School settings have the potential to be a lot of fun - I'm sure many people will be familiar with and will have dreamed of attending 'Hogwarts' from the Harry Potter universe for example. In fact there are many pop culture instances - 'Miss Cackle's Magical Academy' from the Worst Witch series or 'The University' from Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles spring to mind - and examples from folklore too! Icelandic priest and scholar Sæmundr fróði supposedly attended The Black School to learn magic from the devil, and The Scholomance is a legendary school of black magic found in Transylvania!
Something that particularly caught my attention while reading through the book was the fact that PCs are able to pick subjects to study as well as having subjects that they all share in common. The shared subjects are used as a way of making the exam mechanic a little simpler - all students are studying the same thing, and those subjects may come up or be useful in the adventure that the book provides to play! I loved this idea, but I also found elements a little too simplistic. If you are home-brewing your own adventure or want to personalise each PCs experience and downtime choices a little more, how would you go about ensuring that their college choices matter beyond spells that they can access via their background?
Well - I would probably introduce more exams that are pertinent to their chosen study subjects. After all, the book provides class names for the five major colleges over each year but little more than that. I would also probably really hone in on the details by having an adventure be set over the course of one year of study rather than four. Below, I'll provide some ideas for book names that relate to the study of magic and some context around them. Perhaps these can be easily accessed via 'The Biblioplex', Strixhaven's central library? Perhaps they can be borrowed from a professor with whom they have gained favour, or stolen from a student who enjoys extracurricular reading? Or are these rare tomes, hoarded by the dragon founders of the colleges or stumbled upon to begin the adventure or reveal vital clues that will help end it? It's up to you whether these books contain some magical reward for your player or are nothing more than some extra flavour. Whatever the choice, I hope you like this list!
'Lorehold is the College of Archaeomancy—a term that describes the exploration of ancient things through magic. Its mages explore the past by poring over archaeological sites, calling forth magical energy from old tomes, and summoning the spirits of long-dead historical figures. Lorehold mages travel far and wide across the world, gathering relics of bygone ages and learning dead languages to unpack the secrets of history.'
Book Titles (Roll 1d12):
Conserving The Past - A basic guide to making historical notes, archiving systems, and shorthand. This tome details explicitly both magical and non-magical ways of preserving and investigating historical sites and excavations.
The Dutiful Dustspeaker - An auto-biography that relays the writer's travels throughout the realm and the spirits of history that they have spoken to.
Lore & Order - A book that details how the realm's history can essentially be broken down into two components - order and chaos. The timeline reveals which periods were ruled by order, which by chaos, and the pros and cons of each.
The Lithomancy's Lorebook - A Lithomancer details their varied and rich dealings with various magical jewellery and gems.
Scrolls & Statues: What Can We Learn? - A tome for those interested in divining their understanding of the past from historic items. This book chronicles some of the most important ancient artefact finds within the last thousand years, and what they taught us.
Legend Lore: The Spell That Reveals - The author details the uses of various spells in learning about history, with particular focus on the spell Legend Lore.
Speak With Dead: Straight To The Source - This book discusses some of the controversial ethics surrounding spells such as Speak With Dead, and stresses the historical importance of such spells.
The Elven Art Of Bladesong - This tome, written by an elf, talks on the hidden art of Bladesong and why it was so important to elves in the past and their wars.
Steering Clear Of The Sentient - A record of some of the most dangerous sentient and cursed items known to exist in the realm.
Historical Spirits: An Almanac - An encyclopaedia of sorts that details some of the most helpful, sagacious, and historically important spirits that exist within the realm and continue to inform it's history.
Tomes Of Power: Nefarious Or Necessary? - The life of a Tomewielder can be very dangerous, but in this essay the importance of the power found within magical tomes is highlighted.
Tapping Into The Past: The Minutiae - A breakdown of how excavation and the study of relics can break down an entire culture, right down to it's economy.
'Prismari, the College of Elemental Arts, is devoted to the study and practice of art intertwined with magic. The mage-students of Prismari wield magic in spectacles of creativity: masterpieces of showy, over-the-top magic. They use elemental magic to express who they are and how they see the world, often combining different types of energy—fire, water, air, earth, lightning, heat, cold—in powerful expressions of conflict and harmony.'
Book Titles (Roll 1d12):
The Perfect Expression - An essay on the duality of attempting to achieve perfection through art, when art is a form of expressing oneself, which one would not consider perfect.
The Past Of The Paintbrush - A very basic overview of art history within the realm, with many examples of famous magical painters and artists.
The Fireball Within - An autobiography from a dedicated, self-professed heartrager that seeks to turn their inner fire into personal strength.
The Elemental Dance (Vol III): One With The Wind - A master Zephyrist details their very strict practice regime and experiences as they learnt to master the winds.
A Stormy Spectacle - Finding beauty in destruction, the storm-chasing author details some of the most powerful storms they have ever witnessed.
The Cantrip Of A Lifetime - An adventurous bard tells stories of their travels and uses evocative diagrams to demonstrate how the use of simple elemental magic enhances the storytelling experience.
A Steady Beat - A geosculptor writes on their time travelling through the Plane of Earth and study of the many inhabitants and their music, including some of the famed Earth Genasi tribes.
The Planar Codex (Vol IV): Elementals - A compendium of the many Elementals that are known to exist within the realm and beyond, in the multiverse. There are chapters on the many Elemental Planes.
Spectacular, Spectacular! - The book contains beautiful, enchanted artist's depictions of some of the most beautiful and artistic elemental displays to have taken place within the realm.
The Power Of Inspiration - A series of interviews in which a number of bards tell increasingly more outlandish tales about the moments when their inspiring songs, words, jokes or dances inspired those that needed it in the nick of time.
Not All Warlocks... - Self-professed practitioners of the eldritch arts are interviewed and speak on their experiences in which their patrons just want to make the world more beautiful and are not so focused on nefarious deeds.
The Aesthemantic Principle - A study of Aesthemancy and the fundamental principles that can be applied to the make-up of the world, and indeed, the multiverse.
'Quandrix is the College of Numeromancy—a term that encompasses the study of patterns, fractals, and symmetries to wield power over the fundamental mathematics of nature. Quandrix mages can summon creatures made of fractals or turn abstract theories into towering, spiraling patterns. They love to expand and multiply; they can increase their knowledge or size by bending numbers. They dwell in the overlap between the theoretical and the natural—from the fabric of their robes to the nature of their spells, they make use of repeated elements, clever symmetries, and surprising geometry to express the complex truths they study.'
Book Titles (Roll 1d12):
Pulling The Thread Of Reality - A beginners book that explains the key principles behind Numeromancy, it's capabilities, and notes on the major achievements of arcane sciences so far.
Magicalgebra (Vol I): Beginners Equations - For those just getting started in the subject, this book gives some great equations to tackle and example exercises to try.
Enlarge Or Reduce? A Sizeable Question - A book that gives examples of the best times to enlarge and the best times to reduce objects or people in size, based on the writer's situational experiences.
Fractal Patterns - The Universal Truth - Tackling some of the biggest questions about the multiverse being asked, the author attempts to use fractal patterns to theorise answers.
Written In The Star Arches - The power of the constellations is heavily discussed in this memoir of a famous druid that spent their whole life studying and drawing upon the magic of the stars.
The Sequences Of Fortune - A famous Numeromancer attempts to use sequences and repeating patterns to make predictions of the realm's future. It's a relatively old tome and some of them have already come true.
A Substantial Theory - A book on the relationship between theorising and hypotheses, and giving substance to those thoughts with evidence.
Magic Mansion: A Study In Extradimensional Architecture - An essay on the strange and complicated magic that permits the creation of extradimensional spaces so that objects, buildings, and even whole cities may be far bigger than they appear.
The Illusion Delusion - A deep dive into illusory magic and the delusional thought that creating such a spell is in any way simple.
Augmenters: A Safety Course - A beginners book for those wishing to practice magic that allows them to increase or decrease the size of an object, and the safety considerations they must enforce.
The Shape Of Magic - A book explaining that magic is more than just an ethereal force or energy. It has it's own set of laws and structure that, if understood, can be manipulated even more effectively.
Complex Symmetry: Understanding Abstraction - The author talks about the abstract idea of stretching time and space itself in great detail, taking a very close look at Chronurgy and Graviturgy magic in particular.
'Silverquill is the College of Eloquence, and its mages—stylish, intimidating, and driven—are masters of the magic of words. They create spells from spoken-word battle poetry or magical manifestations of the written word, scribing patterns of runic ink in the air. These mages make for natural leaders, fiercely competitive, with a piercing wit and a never-second-place attitude.'
Book Titles (Roll 1d12):
Inkomancy: The Beginning - An interesting book on the origin of language and the magic that accompanied it soon after.
The Power Of The Spoken Word - The author compares the two very different approaches when using word magic - radiating light that illuminates others and brightens the world with positivity, or casting shadows that sting and expose the truth.
Silvertongue: A Born Leader - An adventuring bard speaks of their struggles and triumphs being the 'face' of the party that they travelled with, and how they learnt their titular nickname.
Basic Intonation & Projection Techniques - For those new to the art of word magic, these techniques are useful in improving the quality of the spell cast when practiced frequently.
Magical Inks: The Basics - Those that draw sigils or enchant their writing use magical inks, and this compendium lists the merits of the many types in existence.
Putting Pen To Paper - A book about finding inspiration when it comes to dedicating one's life to becoming a wordsmith.
Vainglorious - A tome filled with various compliments that one might use to enhance people's best qualities, fill them with confidence, and inspire them.
The Path Of The Lumimancer - Filled with interviews with various Lumimancers who claim to use their gifts to expose harsh truths within society and reveal corruption.
Fast Friends: The Ethics Of Enchantment - This tome lists a number of Enchantment spells that have caused all manner of controversy because of their ability to manipulate people's actions, thoughts, and feelings for a few moments.
Give Your Story Life: A Guide To Inkcasting - For those studying the art of filling ink with spirit and summoning it forth as a creature to do their bidding, this almanac is filled with useful information on summoning inklings.
The Power Of The Warsong - This travel book focuses on the author's journey around the realm, witnessing the power of warsingers that can turn the tide of battle by boosting morale.
The Debater's Debut - This book acts as a very deep study into the art of the debate and how it can be applied in everyday life.
'At Witherbloom, the College of Essence Studies, mages draw power from the opposing forces of life and death. These mages brew their spells from natural components and the essence of living creatures, using that power to heal or harm the living or to raise or entreat the dead. They can cause entire forests to blossom out of nowhere or call down old curses that scourge flesh from bone. Some Witherbloom mages defend ecosystems from pollution, while others revel in the power of corruption. They’re at home riding zombie crocodiles down a languid river, picking herbs for a potion to treat a disease, brooding over a chorus of swamp frogs, or summoning fearsome avatars of nature.'
Book Titles (Roll 1d12):
The Herbologist's Companion - This beginner's guide to herbology provides a compendium of known medicinal plants, a list of useful tools, and many good tips for starting out with herbalism.
Boiling Point: The Art Of The Perfect Brew - A renowned boon witch writes on the key to their magic - making sure they brew their drafts perfectly. This guide teaches the reader to do the same.
Drawing From The Dead - This book talks on the fear surrounding necrosis and magic that withers, and tries to talk to the benefits of such a process in many situations.
Growth & Decay: The Natural Cycle - An essay that focuses on the neverending cycle of life and death, growth and decay, and how one feeds into the other.
Temporary Re-Animation - A small guide to a variety of spells and methods that allow a mage to re-animate a corpse temporarily and use it for the purpose they see fit.
The Bog Witch - The memoirs of a boughcaller who humorously recalls the many creatures she has summoned and interacted with in various bogs, marshes, and swamps across the realm.
The Mushroom Kingdom: Fungi & Toadstools Of The Realm - A very extensive guide to the many types of fungi found around the realm, as well as some of their known properties and the kinds of creatures that might eat them, if any.
Poisoncraft & It's Practical Uses - A book that details the many ways that poisons have and can be used practically without more sinister associations, such as pest control. It also lists a few useful poison recipes.
Lurking In The Deep: A Guide To Aquatic Life - The zoological guide to the many underwater creatures found in the ponds, lakes, rivers and seas found in and around the continent.
The Earthcroucher's Observations - Connecting directly to the magic infused throughout the land, the author of this book notes their observations of the environmental and ecological impact on nature that humanoids have, and ways that those impacts could be addressed to limit the damage.
The Illustrated Guide To Extraplanar Beings (Vol VIII): Celestials - Including many useful anatomical diagrams, the author provides an extensive study into some of the most famous Celestial beings that inhabit the known multiverse.
Reliving The Dead - A guide to studying the dead and decomposing - including various necrosis techniques, dissection methods, and the proper handling of bodies.
I hope you enjoyed some of these book title ideas! Of course, these don't have to strictly be used in a Strixhaven setting...if you have PCs who are budding herbalists, eloquent bards, sages of history, calculating artificers or in tune with the elements then these books might be of equal interest to them!
What were your thoughts on the new Strixhaven release? Let me know!