5E Descending into Avernus, but Starting in Ravnica


So I have decided that for the next campaign that I am running I will convert Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus to Ravnica: Descent into Avernus. Why? Well mostly because I own and love both books. That, and how it is surprising how easy it is to port Baldur's Gate and its prominent factions to Ravnica and its guilds. So I will be posting my conversion notes here in this thread in case anyone is interested in this endeavor.


I'm going to be using D&D's cosmology setup and porting Ravnica to it as it it were just another material world. To explain away some things Ravnica will be somewhat like Dark Sun in that it's planar connections to the rest of the multiverse are weak. Because of this divine influence by deities is virtually nonexistent, and even extremely powerful magic users know little about the multiverse.

However, we still have to explain how creatures like angels, archons and demons are on the plane. So these entities are here as a way to escape the influence of the cosmic hierarchies. On this "backwater world" no one would be looking for them so it's an opportunity for a new start. Perhaps an angel failed a task so shamefully that they can't be trusted by their deity again. Perhaps a demon fears being permanently destroyed by its superiors. Perhaps an archon has a different interpretation of the law that it wishes to explore. But these beings still cannot shake away their nature and thus fall into many of the same trappings and hierarchies they once faced.

Which brings us to our main character: Zariel

Adventure Background

I am essentially keeping Zariel's core character the same. Ravnica just becomes one extra step she takes in her journey to falling. Zariel comes to Ravnica to get away from her peers that she views as aloof and indifferent in the cosmic scheme of thing. On Ravnica she very quickly joins the Boros like many angels on the plane. They have a strong sense of justice and a willingness to action. But eventually, the Blood War somehow manages to overflow into Zariel's new home which is the final straw for her. She gathers a Boros legion, anoints them with a new name as the Hellriders, and then marches them to Avernus in an effort to put a stop to the mindless violence.

Thus the stage is set. Chapter 1 takes place in Ravnica and then the PCs travel to Avernus where the rest of the adventure plays out as normal (with the exception of the flashback sequence in chapter 4 which takes place in Ravnica).
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NPC Guild Associations

Zariel and the Hellriders - Boros
As an angel that is quick to jump into battle Zariel falls easily into the Boros. The hellriders are a Boros legion that she personally led during her time serving the guild. Once it was decided they would launch their crusade they were given their current name.

Thavius Kreeg - Boros
Due to Zariel’s influence before her crusade Elturel is mostly Boros. As such Thavius is an old Boros commander who now oversees the day to day running of Elturel instead of marching into battle. When the district was attacked by the undead forces of an Orzhov vampire, Zariel answered his call for divine intervention, but in a form he didn’t expect.

Ulder Ravengard and the Flaming Fist - Azorius
The group that tries to keep order and often in a brutal manner fits the Azorius nicely. Bonus points for having tensions with the Boros leadership of Elturel.

The Watch - Azorius
A section of the Azorius dedicated to keeping order in the Upper Precinct. As the dedicated force to keeping the peace in the upper city there are tensions between the Watch and the Azorius officers in the rest of the city.

Thalamra Vanthampur Family - Orzhov
Thalamra started out serving the syndicate as an enforcer. However, she managed to surprise the noble families of the guild by making smart investments and avoiding incurring debts that she was unable to pay. Instead of forcing her out the guild now totes her and her family as an example to others of what can be achieved with dedication to the Orzhov.

Tarina and The Guild - Dimir
The spy Tarina is an independent agent of the Dimir that works with Captain Zodge in a relationship that benefits them both. When Tarina gets in a bit too deep going to Zodge with detailed reports of the criminal activity of whoever currently wants her head. With the business she’s in most of the time she doesn’t even have to falsify any evidence. Zodge is aware that Tarina is up to some shady activities but the steady stream of arrests he makes due to her tips makes him look good. When the party finds her she’s received word that a group of smugglers that she scooped some goods from has got wind of where she is.

Cult of the Dead Three - Various
Bane (Azorius), Bhaal (Golgari) and Myrkul (Orzhov) are mortals from Ravnica that take the ideologies of the guilds that were once a part of to various extremes. In their pride they sought to overthrow the current guilds and take power for themselves. Their plot was discovered at a point very close to succeeding. The guilds agreed to execute the trio and erase their existence from all records so that no others would get any ideas that there was weakness in the system. However, not all traces were destroyed. If a citizen of Ravnica is filled with enough resentment and hatred they might find hints and traces of a secret group that continues the work of Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul.

Falaster Fisk, Sylvira Savikas and Traxigor - Rakdos
While the angels of Boros or Orzhov speak little about their origin, the demons of the Cult of Rakdos enjoy the existential dread such knowledge can instill in people. These characters are key to leading the characters to Avernus which means they are privy to information about the planes. Also Falaster is described as having a crimson beard which is the most Rakdos thing possible and Sylvira is a tiefling with a quasit familiar.

Patriar Familities - Various
In general guild association is not required to be shared by families. Thus it is common for the patriar families to have members and influence in several guilds. Many of the families are notable for trading in certain goods or services which do not specifically lend them a specific guild their associations shift over the course of generations.


Refluffing the Cities

The two cities in the adventure simply become different districts of the megacity of Ravnica. We can keep the names as the district’s nicknames if needed. All the guilds will have at least some presence in each district but not in equal measure.

Baldur’s Gate becomes the Seventh District
Prominent Guilds are Orzhov, Dimir, Golgari, Rakdos, Azorius. The Seventh District sits along an important shipping canal that connects major districts of Ravnica. As such it is a stopping point for many goods that move through the city and it's central position along the canal make it a more prominent trading district than most. With this setup we keep the geography of Baldur’s gate intact along with its role as a trade hub. Rename Upper, Lower and Inner City areas to Precincts

Elturel becomes the Sixth District
Prominent Guild: Boros. Instead of a holy city being pious toward the gods, the district shows extreme devotion to the Boros due to Zariel's dedication in protecting the district. This dedication is so great that the Boros even manage most of the district's administration instead of the Azorius.

Port Nyanzaru becomes the Fourteenth District
The jungle city is referenced a few times as one of the places that Baldur’s Gate gains exotic items from such as spices. The Fourteenth District is a newer part of the city in a climate more suitable for growing such things that the Seventh District has direct access to via the canal.



Unless otherwise noted the location is as it appears in the text having no notable guild connections.

Hall of Wonders (Upper Precinct) - Izzet League
Helm and Cloak (Upper Precinct) - Vedren and Halesta are members of the Selesnya Conclave
High Hall (Upper Precinct) - Azorius Senate
High House of Wonders (Upper Precinct) - Izzet League
Lady’s Hall (Upper Precinct) - Orzhov
Rillyn House (Upper Precinct) - Guildless, but Yvandre previously served in the Azorius as an officer
The Undercellar (Upper Precinct) - Dimir, Golgari and Orzhov. Leads to the undercity.
Unrolling Scroll (Upper Precinct) - Simic
Watch Citadel (Upper Precinct) - Azorius
Watchful Shield (Upper Precinct) - Azorius
Baldur’s Mouth - (Lower Precinct) Dimir. But Ettvard Neetle isn’t aware of that. He routinely has his memories altered.
Candulhallow’s Funeral Arrangements (Lower Precinct) - Golgari
Counting House (Lower Precinct) - Orzhov
Felogyr’s Fireworks (Lower Precinct) - Izzet
Harborside Hospital (Lower Precinct) - Simic
Insight Park (Lower Precinct) - Selesnya
Seatower of Balduran (Lower Precinct) - Azorius
Sewer Keep (Lower Precinct) - Golgari
Shrine of the Suffering (Lower Precinct) - Orzhov
Water Queen’s House (Lower Precinct) - Simic
Cliffside Cemetary (Outer Precinct) - Golgari
Church of Last Hope (Outer Precinct) - Simic
Little Calimshan (Outer Precinct) - Guildless overall. Community of refugees originally arrived generations ago. Never fully integrated
Oasis Theatre (Outer Precinct) - Rakdos
Whitkeep Hostel (Outer Precinct) - Selesnya
Wyrm’s Rock (Outer Precinct) - Azorius