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So, in Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos, it's mentioned that characters choose to join one of the five Colleges during their second year. However, it's possible for characters to have abilities themed for more than one of the colleges, and one of the adventuring locations in the first adventure is a hall dedicated for faculty that belonged to more than one College.

As such, is it possible for a PC to join multiple colleges - essentially getting a "dual major" university degree? For instance, could a Wildfire Druid who conjures both elemental and "fractal" bestial spirits (though not the special familiars granted by the Strixhaven Mascot feat, aside from potentially summoning 8 Art Elemental Mascots with the Conjure Minor Elementals spell) with their spells and class features join both Prismari and Quadrix colleges?

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    \$\begingroup\$ No idea within the D&D set, but it was definitely a thing in the cards. Focusing on one color, say Black, with some cards from both enemies, in this case White and Green, was totally a thing. Though admittedly, non-Strixhaven cards helped a lot with getting the necessary mana. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I don't think building a deck with different colors really has anything to do with the question... a "character with a dual major" would be more like a single card that subscribes to multiple colleges. I don't think that's really done in the MTG game. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 14:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym is correct - decks are rarely built by players with lore in mind (the rare Vorthos excepted) but with power, consistency and utility in mind. Yes there were a lot of Lorehold/Prismari or Witherbloom/Silverquill decks played, particularly in limited, but no card in them represented both colleges at once. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 14:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym Will and Rowan enrolled, and Liliana became faculty. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andrew Liliana is also an alumnus. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 22:27

4 Answers 4

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Lore wise, no. Think of these colleges more like the houses of Harry Potter, each one pulling members based on where their talents and personalities fit, once you're in one, that's where you belong. The college then somewhat streamlines their abilities after that point, putting emphasis on getting better at what that college values.

Mechanically RAW doesn't allow you to pick multiple colleges, since your college of choice is a background which grants the matching feat, and each character picks one of those at character creation, rules as written does not allow for you to have multiple.

That said Dungeons and Dragons is a player led game - if you or your DM wants to allow it you could create a hybrid background and hybrid feat. Probably by gaining one skill proficiency from each background, one language/tool proficiency from each background and one spell added to your list for each level from each background. For the feat, each gives you 2 cantrips from a specific list and 1 level 1 spell - you can get 1 cantrip from each list to hybridize the feat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't have to choose one of the College-related Backgrounds to choose a college narratively, though? \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 narratively mostly just ignores the middle part of my answer on mechanics and focuses on the lore and the DM allowing it. Yes, your backstory, outside of the background system, can be anything the DM allows you to include, that could be a college choice without the mechanical benefits that go along with the background and feat. Lore wise it's still not following the setting as written. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 22:12
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Not really.

College membership is handled via Backgrounds, and since you only get to pick one Background for your character, you can only pick one school to belong to. You might take classes from different colleges in terms of your character's story and workload, but you can mechanically only belong to one college.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Except that it's possible to play a character with none of the College-related Backgrounds, and still choose a College narratively? \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 21:30
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Guidance is written only for joining one college, but the existence of dual-college faculty may imply optional dual-enrollment for exceptional students.

The written character creation guidance directs the player to select one college:

From the start, your character is making decisions that will lead to their eventual college choice.

Chapter 1 describes each of the colleges. How do you decide which of these colleges is right for your character? Consider these approaches:

  • Read the college descriptions in chapter 1, and choose the college that appeals to you.
  • Read the descriptions of backgrounds and feats in this chapter. If one of them catches your eye, choose that college.
  • If you have access to Magic: The Gathering cards from the Strixhaven set, find a card that appeals to you and build that character.

However, we see in one of the adventures ("Work Hard, Play Harder") that certain faculty have a dual association with colleges:

Captain Dapplewing’s manor house is used as a learning annex by esteemed dual-college faculty members and their favored students.

The house’s upper-floor libraries were converted into offices for esteemed dual-college faculty members, and those faculty members meet here with students on academic matters during the day.

It is not stated, but seems feasible, that some exceptional students may be dual-enrolled, as this is the sort of education that would likely lead to being properly qualified to be a dual-college faculty member.

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No, you can only join one college

After their first year, a student at Strixhaven chooses one of the colleges to join:

Choosing a College

At Strixhaven, students choose their colleges at the start of their second year. But even during a character’s first year, you make college-related decisions for your character, such as a background choice. From the start, your character is making decisions that will lead to their eventual college choice.

However, it is not unheard of that students that have chosen one college take part of their lessons at another one, especially when they overlap for an aspect, like Lorehold and Prismari on the topic of history. Keep in mind this does not make them members of the other college, but just guests that listen in to some of their courses.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Choose their colleges" is plural, why do you say they can only pick one? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 15:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBrib The plurality of colleges is to match the plurality of students - multiple students pick (between them) multiple colleges, each individual student picks one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri As Andrew wrote, multiple students choose their respective college. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 18:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe you that you can only choose one college, but it would be nice to have a quote that makes this clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – trlkly
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 23:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trlkly I'm afraid there is no such explicit quote, or I have not seen it while reading through the book. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 13:39

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