Wyrmhero

Magic: The Gathering Roleplaying

7 posts in this topic

Recently, Wizards of the Coast has been releasing little bits of roleplaying fluff for D&D 5th edition for each of the worlds that we have recently visited during the main story of MTG (ZendikarInnistradKaladesh).

 

Now, these are just bits of marketing for D&D/MTG rather than tried and tested rulesets, and some of them contain a few omissions (such as not noting that Aetherborn do not need to breath) or questionable design choices. Having said that, I am unsure how balanced they are ruleswise, as I have not played 5th ed and do not know the rules. However, regardless of what they are and how they have been implemented, these rules have put me in the mood, yet again, for an MTG roleplaying game.

 

As someone who has only really played Pathfinder as a fantasy pen-and-paper system, my idea would simply be to use those rules and, if the players are all Planeswalkers, give them all a Planeshift spell with either a longer casting time or a per-day restriction. However, ultimately I would prefer to run it as a freeform game. There are of course problems with this too, in that it can tend to be a bit directionless and conflict between players is harder to sort out, but it also means that it is easier to run and requires no knowledge of anything other than the setting (and not even that, arguably, if you are a new Planeswalker).

 

As for the setting and characters, I would prefer to do something fairly current in terms of the timeline for MTG, though that would be more of a background than an excuse to interfere with the official plotline. Think Dack Fayden, in that he is around whenever the plot is going on but does not interact with the main heroes of the block. I would prefer Planeswalkers, as I feel that the main draw of RPing in the MTG universe rather than a specific setting is the ability to have the characters experience the multitude of worlds and to show cultures and ideologies clashing. I have a few characters that would be in mind for this - A BW human cleric/necromancer (in the original sense of speaking to spirits rather than zombie-summoning) from Innistrad who was designed because I hate Lilianna's presence as Token Evil Teammate on the Gatewatch, and a RW kor stoneforger, because I love the idea of stoneforging and there is a wonderful sense of adventuring on Zendikar. But, as I play MTG based on casual theme decks rather than competitively, I could pick practically any of the decks I have on Cockatrice (numbering over 150 by now, easily...) and create a semi-coherent and hopefully interesting character from them.

 

If you were to take part in an MTG Roleplaying game, how would you prefer it to be run? Is there a system you would have in mind to formalise the rules, or would you prefer to do it entirely in roleplaying form with no dice and few hard rules ('few' as some, like the Colour of your characters, should of course be adhered to)? What would you want to do as a plot, at least to begin with? Would you prefer Planeswalker characters exploring the Multiverse, or non-Planeswalkers on a single world? What would your perfect character (or characters) be?

 

Please be aware though, this is not necessarily indicative that I would like to start and GM an MTG RP/RPG. This is at the moment a few questions, just to see what people think.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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It seems fun, but the player characters would be kinda overpowered. Even post-mending planeswalkers are insanely powerful. You'd have to be going against ridiculously strong enemies just to start. Still sounds fun as hell. As for plot, you could start a few places. Gatewatch, or another group of planeswalkers like it, trying to keep everything in order. I'd like to see some kind of New Phyrexia stuff or Eldrazi cleanup. Hell, I'd like to see a plot where Nahiri gets some people together to cleanse Zendikar of the Eldrazi. 

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I wouldn't say that they're 'insanely' powerful. Strong, yes, but within the story for the most part the particularly strong Planeswalkers are ones that get their strengths from elsewhere and were around pre-Mending - Bolas from the Conflux, Liliana from her pacts with the four demons, Ob-Nixilis because he is a demon, and Ugin is strong due to his transcendance of the Colour system of mana, and Karn has the Legacy Weapon and the Might- and Meekstones embedded within him. For the most part, if you ignore the hax present within story-based Planeswalkers, they are effectively just normal people who have an innate understanding of magic. Canonically, that's what they're meant to be, anyway.


But I don't see the problem with going up against stronger enemies than normal, for that matter. Planeswalkers are out-of-context and larger than a single world's problems, so it makes sense that they would be dealing with more world-shattering events than normal people, especially when you are not bound by physical methods of transport (though admittedly it is difficult to Planeswalk to a specific place). MtG has a lot of strong antagonists you could use, from constructs of mana such as demons to other Planeswalkers to non-Planeswalker creatures of might, such as Alhammeret and so on.

 

Nahiri's kind of in a corner here, character-wise. If you were using her, I feel it has to be an alternative history where she decides to not go nuts and destroy everything because she believes Zendikar is unsalvagable. Having said that, I am not against the invalidation of the current MtG storyline and the creation of an alternate universe :P. I don't think you can use her after the events of SoI/EMN without entirely changing her character.

 

It would be pretty cool for Karn to create his own task force to act as an insurgency against New Phyrexia, since he's meant to be doing stuff but we haven't heard from him for 7 years (seems about standard for MtG plotlines...). You could try searching for Koth, maybe try and find Elspeth and get her back, start running assault on Phyrexian outposts... That has a lot of potential, even if the story is mostly based on the plane of New Phyrexia/Mirrodin/Argentum (depending on how far back you want to go with names :P). Karn has enough knowledge about the rest of the Multiverse to be essentially a quest-repository, so fairly easy to get a campaign set up there.

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16 hours ago, Silverblade5 said:

@Glamdring804 This seems like something up your ally

Eh. Sorta. I'm not a big fan of RPGs, I tend to gravitate more towards writing fan-fiction. You probably remember how my entries in the Game of Blades were pretty much just interactive fan-fics. And anyways, I kinda burned out on MtG a year ago. I really got fed up with their storytelling for Battle For Zendikar and especially Shadows Over Innistrad. They basically went and trashed my favorite world into the dirt. It left a bad taste in my mouth that still hasn't gone away.

I appreciate the thought though, so thanks anyways. :)

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On 3/22/2017 at 4:02 AM, Exalted Dungeon Master said:

I'd be interested in this, if it's still a thing that's going on.

I'd like it to be, but we do need more interest before anything can go ahead.

On 3/22/2017 at 4:11 AM, Silverblade5 said:

 

@Wyrmhero Where can I access the stories about these worlds?

@Silverblade5 Depends on what you're asking for. There are a few places you can go to find the lore - First is on the cards, which do a decent enough job of explaining the overarching story. Then there's the story articles they post on the website, which tell the story of Magic rather than talking about the worlds themselves per se. The third way, pre-Tarkir, is the books they released. There are also Planeswalker Guides, which give a much more in-depth look at the worlds, though these seem to have been replaced lately by the D&D-styled guides.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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