Art and Ideas from Ravnica to Inspire Your D&D Game
  • Art and Ideas from Ravnica to Inspire Your D&D Game


    The Dungeons & Dragons Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica debuts in November. But you don’t have to wait until then to gain inspiration for your D&D game. The art and text from Magic the Gathering cards for Ravnica are filled with ideas to untap.


    A trailer from YouTube from 2012 depicts many buildings in Ravnica and describes the guilds. Watching it immerses a DM in the setting. Jace, keeper of the peace through the guildpact, is both narrator and guide. This trailer from 2018 only shows one location but depicts many of the guilds of Ravnica. Secrets are kept and change is coming. Jace is nowhere to be found. The guilds can act more freely.

    With these images in mind, a DM could dip into the online images of the most recent set and special planeswalker decks for inspiration in creating adventures for Ravnica or any D&D location. Type a Ravnica related word into the card database and any related cards can be found.


    For example, viashino are dragon like humanoids. This staticaster, an evoker, scatters lightning. D&D has a playtest version of the race. He builds magical tech and is a member of the Izzet League, the civil works engineers of Ravnica. He might oppose PCs who try to sneak into the newly constructed steam vents during a thousand-year storm. He casts shocking grasp as a bonus action because lightning strikes have powered his lightning rod backpack device.



    The Hammer Dropper can pass his skills onto others. A fire giant would be a fierce member of the Boros Guild or a mercenary company on another world. As an experienced trainer, he uses the bard’s combat inspiration (twice between long rests rolling a d8) as a bonus action when he attacks. Alongside the hammer dropper, a legion guildmage, an eldritch knight, fights and casts spells. They report to a garrison sergeant. The sergeant is a battle master who can use action surge twice a before a rest when he is in command of the Boros Guildgate.



    The Dimir Guild employs sphinxes on the citywatch. Make a local neighborhood home to the rulers, wealthy, and/or magical inclined the sphinx’s lair and you have a capable and deadly city guardian. That citywatch sphinx might be guarding the hidden entrance to his guild’s headquarters, the mythical Duskmantle. Wandering its hallways are human and vampire rogues and wizards along with specters.



    An adventure could require PCs to bypass the citywatch sphinx to infiltrate Duskmantle. They have to sneak by or overcome undead, wizards, and assassins to recover the glaive of the guildpact or perhaps destroy the wand of vertebrae which was used to summon undead and murder someone in a PC’s guild.

    In addition to using card art, when the Guildmasters’ Guide becomes available DMs will have new art along with a map of the city. The cover of the Guide depicts an Izzet League guild member, a woman controlling storm energy and wielding her inventions. A 3D model of Ravnica was built and photographed, the image tilted and painted, and the resulting image turned into the map.

    While it is couple of months before the Dungeons & Dragons Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica becomes available, there are plenty of resources to use now to enhance your D&D game. Card and promotional art along with the videos are great sources of inspiration, world lore, and guild guidance. Any mix of creatures, lands, enchantments, and artifacts could conjure up other adventure ideas. Even if you play in a different world than Ravnica, you may benefit from some of ideas of that world.

    This article was contributed by Charles Dunwoody as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program.We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. Xaelvaen's Avatar
      Xaelvaen -
      You pulled some great sample cards (and thus cool ideas in your text to accompany them) for this article. I especially like the watery grave image.

      I haven't played MtG in a very long time; sold off my every precious Sliver Deck many moons ago, so Ravnica feels very new to me and am quite looking forward to it as a D&D experience.

      Thanks for more information and ideas.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xaelvaen View Post
      You pulled some great sample cards (and thus cool ideas in your text to accompany them) for this article. I especially like the watery grave image.

      I haven't played MtG in a very long time; sold off my every precious Sliver Deck many moons ago, so Ravnica feels very new to me and am quite looking forward to it as a D&D experience.

      Thanks for more information and ideas.
      Glad you enjoyed Wizard's art and the ideas drawn from them. I'm looking forward to a new D&D world as well. I also like that so much information is already available on Ravnica to get adventure and campaign concepts started.

      Watery Grave does seem like a location where a desperate fight could break out. Undead, assassins, and wizards to fight. And I can't seem to shake the idea that there have to be alligators in the water. Which shouldn't be worse than undead. Unless it is an undead alligator.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      https://youtu.be/FUlZ-jzcaVk

      Another Ravnica Trailer.

      And another https://youtu.be/gZf08OBag4o

      And one last one.

      https://youtu.be/ICoLxf7QLIY
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      Are there any plans about a d20 version of planewalkers and colors of mana? Something like different pool of power points, but they wouldn't be got only waking up each morning, but "gathering", like finding magical treasures, closer to searching healing potions than casting healing spells.

      The lore of M:tG is too rich to be not used in D&D, but I don't find the way for a crossover between Ravenloft and Innistrad.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by LuisCarlos17f View Post
      Are there any plans about a d20 version of planewalkers and colors of mana? Something like different pool of power points, but they wouldn't be got only waking up each morning, but "gathering", like finding magical treasures, closer to searching healing potions than casting healing spells.

      The lore of M:tG is too rich to be not used in D&D, but I don't find the way for a crossover between Ravenloft and Innistrad.
      The Ravnica book will have nothing about Magic cosmology or Mana in it: it's being played as a straight D&D book. It has new monsters player races and subclasses, but nothing too radical.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by LuisCarlos17f View Post
      Are there any plans about a d20 version of planewalkers and colors of mana? Something like different pool of power points, but they wouldn't be got only waking up each morning, but "gathering", like finding magical treasures, closer to searching healing potions than casting healing spells.

      The lore of M:tG is too rich to be not used in D&D, but I don't find the way for a crossover between Ravenloft and Innistrad.
      What Parmandur said. Mana and colors don't appear in the story text of cards and it won't be in the book according to Wizards. The lore will be there, though, in a big way.

      And really Magic and D&D have a lot in common. Wizards, clerics, druids, many similar monsters, and the idea of a magical world. Magic lore will just add to the D&D lore now.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      https://youtu.be/FUlZ-jzcaVk

      Another Ravnica Trailer.

      And another https://youtu.be/gZf08OBag4o

      And one last one.

      https://youtu.be/ICoLxf7QLIY
      Can't wait to view these. Ravnica has been around a while now!
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Ravnica is also coming out with an Art Book at some point, and when the next two sets come out, one in Januarary 2019 there will be more art and lore.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charles Dunwoody View Post
      What Parmandur said. Mana and colors don't appear in the story text of cards and it won't be in the book according to Wizards. The lore will be there, though, in a big way.

      And really Magic and D&D have a lot in common. Wizards, clerics, druids, many similar monsters, and the idea of a magical world. Magic lore will just add to the D&D lore now.
      The "Planes" of Magic the Gathering even look like Crystal Spheres and the Blind Eternities have similarities to the phlogiston of Spelljammer.

      There is even a card called Crusible of Worlds that looks like two crystal spheres.
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      I have thought and a d20 version of the planewalkers is possible, but the points of mana should be "harvested" from a outer source, for the right balance of power. And characters from Innistrad could be "guest artist" in the demiplane of dread.

      Some old forgotten franchises by Hasbro, for example Inhumanoids and Visionaries, could be recycled like "easter eggs" in D&D, maybe for April's Fool, for example the centauress PC version of my little pony. Even Cobra, the archenemy of G.I.Joe could be a D&D faction like a lovecraftian serpent-theme cult with some steampunk weapons and vehicles. (or arcane-punk tech like Kaladesh or Eberron).
    1. robus's Avatar
      robus -
      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      Ravnica is also coming out with an Art Book at some point, and when the next two sets come out, one in Januarary 2019 there will be more art and lore.
      I was wondering if there would be a separate art book as well?
    1. robus's Avatar
      robus -
      Quote Originally Posted by LuisCarlos17f View Post
      The lore of M:tG is too rich to be not used in D&D, but I don't find the way for a crossover between Ravenloft and Innistrad.
      I'm not sure if this is a second language issue, but the crossover has already been established:

      Plane Shift: Innistrad - Wizards of the Coast

      As others have noted, the worlds are being adapted to be playable settings in D&D, not the mana color system.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
      I was wondering if there would be a separate art book as well?
      Yup, coming out early next year. Wyatt has detailed that he see the art book, the card set fluff and the Planeshift (which is a full book in this case) as the three parts of his work as setting guru for Magic, and what will be seen going forwards still.
    1. Zardnaar's Avatar
      Zardnaar -
      Is there a Ravnica block legal ATM? WOuld not mind doing a draft, have not played Magic for years except a few months ago with my 13 year old Nephew. His dad could not figure the game out but said ""Didn't you play that game once upon a time".

      When they did 4E I dropped the 4 WooTC lines I supported (Star Wars, D&D, MtG and D&D minis), although Star Wars went out of print it took me a while to finish the collection. I played until my cards cycled out of standard in 2010 and stopped.
    1. scottieboy86's Avatar
      scottieboy86 -
      That both gorgeous Hammer Dropper tho. I shall name him Hans. Hans the Handsome Hammer Dropper.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post
      Is there a Ravnica block legal ATM? WOuld not mind doing a draft, have not played Magic for years except a few months ago with my 13 year old Nephew. His dad could not figure the game out but said ""Didn't you play that game once upon a time".

      When they did 4E I dropped the 4 WooTC lines I supported (Star Wars, D&D, MtG and D&D minis), although Star Wars went out of print it took me a while to finish the collection. I played until my cards cycled out of standard in 2010 and stopped.
      They will be doing new Ravnic cards for much of the next half year or so.
    1. Zardnaar's Avatar
      Zardnaar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      They will be doing new Ravnic cards for much of the next half year or so.
      So the new big block is a Ravnica block with 2 more sets coming out?

      I figured it was either the new set or the tail end of 2017's set. I have no idea what sets my nephews decks were (which were kind of jank) but he had the basic idea just had not tuned them/had limited card availability.

      Still he though it was cool his uncle knew how to play Magic. His cousin and brother were also happy that the worst uncle in the world had a PS4 and put Fortnite on it for them and then showed them how to control a 1st person shooter on a console. A few months ago the sisters thought Fortnite was stupid now they want to play it is well (8 and 9 years old). Seems to be kiddie crack.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post
      So the new big block is a Ravnica block with 2 more sets coming out?

      I figured it was either the new set or the tail end of 2017's set. I have no idea what sets my nephews decks were (which were kind of jank) but he had the basic idea just had not tuned them/had limited card availability.

      Still he though it was cool his uncle knew how to play Magic. His cousin and brother were also happy that the worst uncle in the world had a PS4 and put Fortnite on it for them and then showed them how to control a 1st person shooter on a console. A few months ago the sisters thought Fortnite was stupid now they want to play it is well (8 and 9 years old). Seems to be kiddie crack.
      The first set coming out fully on October 5th I believe includes Dimir, Izzet, Golgori, Boros, and Seslyna.

      Then next set is Orzhov, Simic, Rakdos, Gruul, Azrious some time in Januarary 2019.

      Last Set is code named Milk and it's set on Ravnica, but it's more focused on the battle against Bolas, so expect Eternals and who and what else knows what else.

      5 guilds ally with Bolas and 5 oppose them. Boros, Selysnia, and Dimir oppose Bolas, Golgori and Izzet side with Bolas as his Planeswalkers took over the leadership of those guilds, the rest don't, although all the guilds have factions opposed and in favour of Bolas.

      The last 5 guilds are unknown, but most suspect it will be Azorious (because it's guild leader is killed off, presumably to make room for a Planeswalker, Orzhov, and either Gruul or Rakdos.

      People think it will be Orzhov because Kaya the ghost Assassin was on the cover of the first novel that will be coming out next year, but I think she will be gatewatch, and I think it will be Gruul, Rakdos, Azorious that sides with Bolas.
    1. Zardnaar's Avatar
      Zardnaar -
      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      The first set coming out fully on October 5th I believe includes Dimir, Izzet, Golgori, Boros, and Seslyna.

      Then next set is Orzhov, Simic, Rakdos, Gruul, Azrious some time in Januarary 2019.

      Last Set is code named Milk and it's set on Ravnica, but it's more focused on the battle against Bolas, so expect Eternals and who and what else knows what else.

      5 guilds ally with Bolas and 5 oppose them. Boros, Selysnia, and Dimir oppose Bolas, Golgori and Izzet side with Bolas as his Planeswalkers took over the leadership of those guilds, the rest don't, although all the guilds have factions opposed and in favour of Bolas.

      The last 5 guilds are unknown, but most suspect it will be Azorious (because it's guild leader is killed off, presumably to make room for a Planeswalker, Orzhov, and either Gruul or Rakdos.

      People think it will be Orzhov because Kaya the ghost Assassin was on the cover of the first novel that will be coming out next year, but I think she will be gatewatch, and I think it will be Gruul, Rakdos, Azorious that sides with Bolas.
      Never really cared about MtG plots except what you picked up off the cards. It was around Ravnica and Invasion block where the art changed a bit- more realistic in Invasion, more CGI in Ravnica.

      MtG basically had 5E type art in 2005 though. The arts been fairly consistent since then in style, early MtG it was bad, then it went a it cartoony/mixed for a bit,
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      https://magic.wizards.com/en/article...ica-2018-09-19

      A list of the upcoming guilds of Ravnica cards, with art which is really nice, I like most of it.
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