Ravnica Table of Contents & More

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Comments

epithet

Explorer
I have no interest in Ravnica or MtG whatsoever, but I am pleased to see a 5e hardcover that isn't set in the Forgotten Realms.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I just want to remind you all I was right.


I pointed out multiple times, since SCAG and CoS, that the new norm was settings that lightly season the D&D game, not mega-guides that completely re-write the PHB and MM. People were still convinced that the old paradigm born of box sets and branded supplements would return. And now we're four settings in and that has yet to appear.

Ravnica was the Canary in the coal mine. It was a setting bereft of any D&D tropes from races to magic to monsters. In years past, it would have probably been a complete campaign setting, monster supplement, magic supplement, players guide, and an extensive re-write and ban list from the players handbook to capture the MTG feel and lore. But WotC isn't about that life anymore, so the guide instead assumes most, if not all, D&D tropes live alongside the Magic ones, and indeed take precedence over them when it comes to rules, which if why the color pie of MTG appears completely absent despite literally being the basis of the 10 guilds.

So we had Forgotten Realms that just fleshes out the default assumptions without radical departure, Eberron that just reflavors and adds more options to the base game without removing any mechanics, Ravnica that does mostly the same, perhaps changing some race options. Ravenloft, as presented in Curse of Strahd, similarly strips the additional mechanics and laundry list of restrictions to focus on horror-themed D&D. Anyone harboring the belief that a Dark Sun or Dragonlance update will not allow paladins, monks or dragonborn is probably going to be disappointed.

Really though, it's for the best. One of the best products, I've been told, is a folio from 1983 with a lot of blank maps and a whiff of lore. Maybe we should look at this as the new Greyhawk folio?
Actually it has a soft ban list, as I understand officially Ravnica doesn't have Dwarves, Half Orcs, Gnomes, Halflings, Tieflings (that one was silly, Ravnica has fiends), Dragonborn, not counting planeswalkers, but you can choose to add them. Centaurs, Elves, Loxodon, Vedelken, Simic Hybrid, Humans, Minotaur, Goblins, Half Elves. If ones counts subraces, that is less opinions then just the pure PHB. It less then one could expect from Darksun for a setting that bills itself as a diverse setting.

And I don't even consider Ravenloft it's own setting, it's just a region of the Forgotten Realms Shadowfell now, instead of a completely separate demiplane. It even uses FR Gods now, like Lanthder the Morning Lord. Ravenloft is not the first setting to be fed to FR. Kara Tur was originally a completely separate setting, that FR simply devoured. FR ate part of Spelljammer, Realmspace. It ate Al Qadim and the Maztica from birth. The Cold Lands were originally part of a video game that later got added FR. The Moonshaes were not originally intended to be part of FR, someone decided to get Niles to make it an FR novel.

But I too knew that Ravnica and no other Setting would get proper support. Every single book in 5e so far, aside from the core 3 and some APs, is basically two or more books mashed together into one. The only thing that keeps this from being a disaster is the5e is such an effient, elegant system whose mechanics don't take up a lot of space. If 3e and 4e did this it'd have been unplayable.

MTOF is several Races of... style books mashed together, and then on top of it a MM style book, all mashed together.

VGTM is a player's option book mashed together with an MM.

XGTE is well named is a great Player's Options book, mashed with an Okay DMs book, with Shared World Advise that would normally be reserved for a PDF or something, and an aweful naming guide, which just pure filler.

SCAG is a FR Setting guide mixed with FR player's guide, which is then insanely starved of space even by 5e standards.

WGE is one part basic campaign guide to Eberron, a regional city guide for Sharn, and a player options book.

From the table of contents we know from GGR is one part Campaign Setting Guide, One Part Players Options, one part AP, one part MM, one part DM book, all mashed together and on top of that it should have been at least 100 pages larger.

Volo's Guide to Spirits and Specters will be the same way. My guess is it will be a VGTM style book that focuses more on undead and religion based monsters, like celestials, like you merged Avatars & Pantheons with open grave: secrets of the undead, a players option book, and an MM. Maybe some more stuff too.

This doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to GGR, I very much am and the only thing that surprised me was the loss of Vashino. I'm still buying it, I'm not venting over what could have beens, missed opportunities and the fact that they keep making the same mistakes.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I have no interest in Ravnica or MtG whatsoever, but I am pleased to see a 5e hardcover that isn't set in the Forgotten Realms.
If it sells well there will be more. So far it seems to be selling well in North America according to Amazon. Ravnica: Broken Pact is doing better then all but the most popular D&D shows on YouTube (it's beating clerical error, girls, guts, glory, for example, but not dice, camera, action.) So I think it has potential.
 

gyor

Adventurer
Darn, only two new subclasses is a bit of a letdown. I wasn't expecting one per guild or anything but the fact that one is just another cleric domain to add to the 11 we already have is a huge mark against it. Circle of Spores has been a hit and I'm glad it's finally getting out to players officially, but there's a few concepts I can rattle off the top of my head that could probably have made servicable subclasses (Orzhov Warlock patron, Simic Sorcerer origin, and Gruul ranger archetypes come to mind). This all makes me wonder if they're gonna try to eke out another book for more Ravnica content before they finish the sets (there's new Ravnica sets coming out through next winter so they could get one book out by the time they usually put their first/second book out in march of next year), but that'd be pretty bold - especially since the implication is that Nicol Bolas (MtG's current and most-central antagonist) is going to head there and wreak havok, so they'd be exploring a plane embattled between the guilds and this singular evil.

I'm not at all surprised there's no Viashino - the version they previewed in UA was super unfocused. They'd be better off making them lizardmen and reflavoring/swapping the amphibious and bone-crafting traits. There really isn't a race I'm clamoring to see out of this book, especially since minotaurs and centaurs are smaller on Ravnica than on other D&D worlds. But Ravnica isn't really cool for the races, it's cool for the guilds they work for.

It also looks like there's only a few actually new spells - the guilds have subsections denoting spells specific to them, so I wonder if the background choice gives you access to spells if you align yourself to a guild. That's something that I think could benefit from broad expansion - especially since there's a lot of iconic MtG spells that really deserve to transition into the game.

I think for what they're offering, it's gonna depend entirely on the DM to sell D&D to people who are coming over for the first time from MtG. But the book looks like it's gonna be decent at luring D&D players who've never touched a pack into the lore of Magic. I hope this venture is explored further, but I think this book is probably too safe for what it's trying to accomplish and puts a lot more work on the DM to make the setting compelling than it should've.
For Orzhov Warlock I'd just use Celestial Patron or Undying Patron depending on what you made the Pact with.

An Orzhov Sorcerer on the other hand could be interesting. Teysa gets part of her magic from her Korlov bloodline, one of the ruling families of Orzhov, which extends her lifespan, allows her to command anything created by Orzhov Magic, grants magic, and gives her a disability.

But yeah I'm disappointed about so few subclasses too, but I knew it was possible. Hopefully the backgrounds and guild magic and items will be interesting enough to make up for it. It seems like they made the guild background important enough to almost be subclasses in their own right. Items, allies, enemies, guild spells, background features, a boosted renown system tied to guilds.
 

Parmandur

Legend
For Orzhov Warlock I'd just use Celestial Patron or Undying Patron depending on what you made the Pact with.

An Orzhov Sorcerer on the other hand could be interesting. Teysa gets part of her magic from her Korlov bloodline, one of the ruling families of Orzhov, which extends her lifespan, allows her to command anything created by Orzhov Magic, grants magic, and gives her a disability.

But yeah I'm disappointed about so few subclasses too, but I knew it was possible. Hopefully the backgrounds and guild magic and items will be interesting enough to make up for it. It seems like they made the guild background important enough to almost be subclasses in their own right. Items, allies, enemies, guild spells, background features, a boosted renown system tied to guilds.
The fact that nearly 19% of the book is taken up by "Guild spells" yet the contents suggest that there are two spells printed (for Dimir and Izzet), makes me very curious. Maybe some heavy reflavoring of existing spells (very, very heavy)...?
 

Mercador

Explorer
I do. It gives me tools to make campaigns and aventures.

It is also fun to read. Since 4e WotC has forgotten that lore is also one of the reasons people bought D&D products.
So if I was expecting a lore book, I'll be dissappointed? I'm not MtG connoisseur.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
So if I was expecting a lore book, I'll be dissappointed? I'm not MtG connoisseur.
Magic the Gathering lore? Yeah. You'll be disappointed. There is a rich history on Dominaria and many other planes that compose the MtG universe. There are many story arcs often linked to cards blocks. Just trying to explain how the Phyrixians tried to invade Dominaria and the aftermath would take days.

From MtG's history you could make a dozen monster manuels. Saprolings, thrulls, slivers, ball lightning, Serra Angels, Sengir Vampires, stats for the three Eldrazi, stats for Yagmoth as a demi-god, stats for Nicol Bolas... Just those would be awesome.

Planewalking explained, would be great. Every MtG players are supposed to be a planewalker and there are plenty of planewalkers who are important NPCs. Urza comes to mind.

Then there are the magical items and artifacts. Dakkon's Black Blade, the Weatherlight, the Mirari, icy manipulators, sol rings, irory towers, Zuran orbs...

There are special places like Ith's Maze, Vesuva, the Diamond Valley...

And there's the spells. Tonnes of spells.

But we will get 10 guilds with this book. Its... disappointing.
 

gyor

Adventurer
The fact that nearly 19% of the book is taken up by "Guild spells" yet the contents suggest that there are two spells printed (for Dimir and Izzet), makes me very curious. Maybe some heavy reflavoring of existing spells (very, very heavy)...?
Reflavoring, alterations to spells and changes to spell lists. Like maybe all Guild spells count as class spells for you no matter what your class is.

And some spell change in fluff and some change in the new mechanics. Like maybe animate undead and create undead also creates none undead Thrulls for Orzhov and Rakdos. Maybe maybe Animal Shapes for Simic include hybrid creatures. Maybe Izzet's fireball can change damage type or becomes separate Lighteningball, Thunderball, Acidball, Poisonball, Coldball spells. Maybe Conjure Celestial, becomes conjure fiend for Rakdos and Dimir. Maybe Planar Ally becomes Guild Ally and instead of summoning creates of particular types it summons creatures allied with your guild. Maybe for Boros and Orzhov Conjure Celestial becomes create Angel (of different types) because Ravnica doesn't normally have Couatls. Maybe Spirit Guardians end up reflecting Guild affiliation instead of alignment. Actually Spirit Guardians as an Izzet Spell that looks like Weirds and Elementals and deals energy damage instead of Radiant or Necromantic would be cool. And maybe some are reflavored to act more like MtG sorcery, enchantment and Instant Spells.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
I'm glad they are expanding 5E's available settings. On the other hand I have no interest in Ravnica and only limited interest in Eberron. I'll probably pick up the Eberron book. The Ravnica book will be the first WotC 5E book I haven't bought. Which is, I guess, the problem with setting books in general. I don't run FR btw. I have my own home brew setting and have picked up every book so far to glean useful bits from (and just for reading). Now, I would have picked up a Planescape product even though I never thought about running it. A lot of the material in it was useful back in the day. And would be now. An updated setting would have interested me. A new setting probably would have. MtG doesn't interest me, I haven't played it since it first came out and have only a casual knowledge of the game now. *sigh* I was looking forward to the new books... oh well, time to quit whining. And get back to work. Grading never ends...
 

Parmandur

Legend
Reflavoring, alterations to spells and changes to spell lists. Like maybe all Guild spells count as class spells for you no matter what your class is.

And some spell change in fluff and some change in the new mechanics. Like maybe animate undead and create undead also creates none undead Thrulls for Orzhov and Rakdos. Maybe maybe Animal Shapes for Simic include hybrid creatures. Maybe Izzet's fireball can change damage type or becomes separate Lighteningball, Thunderball, Acidball, Poisonball, Coldball spells. Maybe Conjure Celestial, becomes conjure fiend for Rakdos and Dimir. Maybe Planar Ally becomes Guild Ally and instead of summoning creates of particular types it summons creatures allied with your guild. Maybe for Boros and Orzhov Conjure Celestial becomes create Angel (of different types) because Ravnica doesn't normally have Couatls. Maybe Spirit Guardians end up reflecting Guild affiliation instead of alignment. Actually Spirit Guardians as an Izzet Spell that looks like Weirds and Elementals and deals energy damage instead of Radiant or Necromantic would be cool. And maybe some are reflavored to act more like MtG sorcery, enchantment and Instant Spells.
All very possible: whatever it is it is 40 pages of material.
 

epithet

Explorer
...
But we will get 10 guilds with this book. Its... disappointing.
It's an interesting choice that WotC made. It seems that people who are interested in Ravnica are feeling "meh" about the book because it is limited in its detail on the setting, and those of us who don't care about Ravnica at all are feeling "meh" about it because all the guild stuff is probably wasted space and a fair number of the monsters and NPCs will need significant revision to be useful in ongoing D&D campaigns. All of us are likely to buy it, though, because it's a starting point for y'all to build on and it has some interesting stat blocks and toys for the rest of us to play with.
 

gyor

Adventurer
Magic the Gathering lore? Yeah. You'll be disappointed. There is a rich history on Dominaria and many other planes that compose the MtG universe. There are many story arcs often linked to cards blocks. Just trying to explain how the Phyrixians tried to invade Dominaria and the aftermath would take days.

From MtG's history you could make a dozen monster manuels. Saprolings, thrulls, slivers, ball lightning, Serra Angels, Sengir Vampires, stats for the three Eldrazi, stats for Yagmoth as a demi-god, stats for Nicol Bolas... Just those would be awesome.

Planewalking explained, would be great. Every MtG players are supposed to be a planewalker and there are plenty of planewalkers who are important NPCs. Urza comes to mind.

Then there are the magical items and artifacts. Dakkon's Black Blade, the Weatherlight, the Mirari, icy manipulators, sol rings, irory towers, Zuran orbs...

There are special places like Ith's Maze, Vesuva, the Diamond Valley...

And there's the spells. Tonnes of spells.

But we will get 10 guilds with this book. Its... disappointing.
Too be fair it's 10 massive global, multipurpose guilds, with internal organizations biggered then a regular cities guilds. But also five new races, two new subclasses, and a bunch of knew monsters including Felidar (winged Felidar), Archons, Battle Angels, Orzhov Angels (maybe called Fallen Angels?), Psyshic Vampires, Thrulls, Undead, ect... powerful Guildmasters like Niv-Mizzet, Rakdos, Aurelia, Isperia, Jarad, ect..., important NPCs like Teysa, Izoni Thousand Eyes, act..., a new spell Encoded Thoughts, some new magic items like Guild Signets, Guild Keyrunes, Mizzarium gizmos, Illusionist Braces, and so on. And hopefully important and interesting locations within the 10th district. I figure we will get around 40 to 60 completely new creatures, and dozens more reflavoured from the MM. Plus a bunch of NPCs and NPC templates.
 

pukunui

Adventurer
[MENTION=6670153]gyor[/MENTION]: I don’t know what game you’ve been playing, but it’s been obvious to me ever since the play test period that 5e was the “DIY Edition” of D&D. We’re never going to get more than bare bones minimal coverage of anything because they want us to do it all ourselves.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I'm glad they are expanding 5E's available settings. On the other hand I have no interest in Ravnica and only limited interest in Eberron. I'll probably pick up the Eberron book. The Ravnica book will be the first WotC 5E book I haven't bought. Which is, I guess, the problem with setting books in general. I don't run FR btw. I have my own home brew setting and have picked up every book so far to glean useful bits from (and just for reading). Now, I would have picked up a Planescape product even though I never thought about running it. A lot of the material in it was useful back in the day. And would be now. An updated setting would have interested me. A new setting probably would have. MtG doesn't interest me, I haven't played it since it first came out and have only a casual knowledge of the game now. *sigh* I was looking forward to the new books... oh well, time to quit whining. And get back to work. Grading never ends...
From recycling parts of it for home brew perspective, many of the monsters in Ravnica and even some NPCs should be of value, the subclasses and PC races might be as well for your players. There is supposed to be a ton of maps, many of which should be repurposable for other settings, some of the spell stuff might be useful, and the rejigged way they use backgrounds and renown might make for good inspiration. In fact the Guilds themselves could be repurposed. Orzhov turns into a corrupt Kingdom or Theocracy that used to be good, Simic becomes a Eco friendly Magocracy, Selysnia becomes a Theocratic Communist stat, Boros becomes a fantasy Roman Empire or Knights Templar style Knight Order/Nation, Izzet Magitech University, Dimir the Kingdom of a Skull Lord in the Shadowfell or a Thieves Guild.

So I can see it as being very useful for people who want to poach elements and inspiration from it.
 

gyor

Adventurer
It's an interesting choice that WotC made. It seems that people who are interested in Ravnica are feeling "meh" about the book because it is limited in its detail on the setting, and those of us who don't care about Ravnica at all are feeling "meh" about it because all the guild stuff is probably wasted space and a fair number of the monsters and NPCs will need significant revision to be useful in ongoing D&D campaigns. All of us are likely to buy it, though, because it's a starting point for y'all to build on and it has some interesting stat blocks and toys for the rest of us to play with.
Yeah that sums it up well. It should offer a lot more then it does. But it offers enough to make it worth it. Plus Ravnica will become DMSGUILD legal, maybe even part or all of MtG's universe beyond that (although I think they can will keep it to Ravnica and generic MtG stuff, like none setting linked cards from core sets and the like).

It's also possible that MtG monsters, spells, and artifacts, and races will end up in regular D&D products, like playable Vampires and Reverants might be be in Volo's Guide to Specters, maybe some none Ravnica MtG undead and Serra Angels.

Something dawned on me. When Ari get referring to Boros style Angels as Battles Angels, that might be the D&D name for White and Red Mana MtG Angels from now on, not just Boros Angels. Example Angelic Skirmisher, Besandra, and others. Maybe pure white Angels will have their own name, and Black White Mana Angels will be say Fallen or Dark Angels, Green and White Angels, Angels of Nature, and so on.

One thing I am curious about is how Ravnica style celestial Archons are going to relate to more traditional D&D celestial archons. Both seem very Lawful Good inclined, both Celestial, so in say FR it might make sense for the regular D&D Archons to just absorb MtG Archons, as subtypes of Archon. So say Lantern Archon, Hound Archon, Trumpet Archon, Blazing Archon, Triumvete Archon, Throne Archon, Tome Archon.

I feel like with the one multiverse thing with D&D settings and with MtG multiverse and D&D merged, we really need a cosmology book on how all the Setting Elements fit together and interact.
 
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neobolts

Explorer
This concerns me as well. If the book doesn't contain enough information to run the campaign setting, then what's the point? Just make a setting neutral guild product that people can drop into their homebrew.
.
Hopefully this is enough in the guilds section to run the setting. i mean the entire sitting is one mega metropolis. Like the 3e Sharn book vs the 3e Eberron book.
 

gyor

Adventurer
Hopefully this is enough in the guilds section to run the setting. i mean the entire sitting is one mega metropolis. Like the 3e Sharn book vs the 3e Eberron book.
Between the Guild Section, MtG Wikis, and DMGUILD, it should be fine, but Art of Ravnica and the novels and short stories and the 10th district chapter, and the creatures of course, it should be have enough to run campaigns for the Setting. AL will like release AL Iegal Adventures for Ravnica, the way it has for Eberron. Who knows if the demand is there, perhaps they will release more Ravnica and MtG official hardcover products in the future.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I know what is bothering me so much with this campaign string book. It suffers from the gnome effect. What is missing isn't gnomes though. It's the campaign setting. And planewalking. And iconic MtG spells, artifacts and monsters. And colored magic.

Guilds aren't what MtG is about. This is a MtG setting book in name only.
For which I'm grateful. This is a MtG setting converted to the DnD multiverse where MtG concepts do not exist. Forcing in MtG concepts like the colour system and planeswalkers would be a mistake in my opinion. As is, it looks like each guild had some of their own unique spells unless those sections in each guild are just talking about the spells they commonly use.
 

Parmandur

Legend
[MENTION=6670153]gyor[/MENTION]: I don’t know what game you’ve been playing, but it’s been obvious to me ever since the play test period that 5e was the “DIY Edition” of D&D. We’re never going to get more than bare bones minimal coverage of anything because they want us to do it all ourselves.
If it works, it works.
 

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