member, 303 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 14:32
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
Alright, right up front I just want to say, if you're just going to comment to say that you'd be interested and nothing else, you don't need to bother. Fifth edition games here are always barraged with applications, so I'm not concerned about drawing enough applications. I wanted to put this up to get some constructive feedback before I commit to writing anything.

As the title suggests, I'm interested in running a d&d 5e game using the Ravnica setting of M:tG fame published for the game a few months back. I have fond memories of the release of the original Ravnica block, and while I haven't played the tcg in many years, I've been interested enough to keep at least peripherally aware of it when it touches on that old setting.

While I hardly have the book memorized, I actually really enjoyed it, a surprise considering I was somewhat skeptical of actually playing in an Magic setting. I was always concerned that the guilds would simply be too rigid a straitjacket to allow for the sorts of character relationships necessary and interesting for a d&d party. Not only did the book provide prompts that I felt served as good fodder for humanizing protagonists from the different guilds and stretching them outside the stereotypes each encompasses, it gave ideas for bringing these people together.

That said, I have some questions for the community of people potentially interested in something like this:

1) What era of Ravnican history? - The book defaults to post maze new guildpact with an absent Jace, and while I like that option fine, I'm considering others as well. One idea is to go back to original Ravnica block with a hidden Dimir. The city of Ravnica only knows of the other 9 guilds with Dimir existing entirely in the shadows. I wouldn't really stick to any canon progression of plot, and it could well take place in any time of the original guildpact, which leaves a lot of room for different faces to be in charge of some guilds. Alternatively, I could use either the default or original eras and simply mix some details up, changing either key aspects of history to create a blend of the two.

2) What sort of party? - The book provides numerous ideas for cross-guild groups, but I admit to liking the idea of single (or perhaps two allied) guild parties as well; Things like a unit of Azorius lawmages and arresters working to clean up the city and respond to unrest (maybe with Boros assistance). Any of the other guilds provide interesting possibilities as well. There's also the option for cross guild groups, but those would require (to my mind) a more focused throughline to the narrative that is harder to develop without seeing the characters first. Two potential ideas I had were a usual suspects style group all arrested on suspicion of the same crime. The other was a group of people from the same neighborhood, each of whom ended up in different guilds after growing up, only to be bound by common history. What are people's preferences between multi and single guild groups? What guilds do people favor for single guild groups? What ideas do people have for stringing members of multiple guilds together?

That's it for now, though I'll add questions if I think of any more later. As I said before, I'm not really interested in people just chiming in to say that they're interested and would join. Likewise, I don't want people to say they have no preference. I'm hoping to see some actual discussion so that, if I go ahead with this, I'll have some more ideas to pull from and know what people actually want to see.

 member, 46 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 15:44
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
   Regarding your second point, I think two guilds make for a more interesting group than a single one, especially with a group of four or more PCs. You still get the consistency, but with room for tension and conflict between guilds, and to a lesser extent more diversity in PC classes and races.
   Azorius/Boros is the obvious law and order pairing, but I think Izzet/Simic could make for fun research-based adventures, or Dimir/Orzhov for a criminal group. Plenty of possibilities.

   I'm working on a game myself, with a cross-guild group. It does require some more guidance at first, to get the group together. But I feel like once the PCs know each other, you don't need much to get them assembled again, some unfinished business and a few story hooks should be more than enough.
   After all, just because a character is a guild member, does not have to mean all they do is guild business. And then there are also guildless characters. As long as the players and GM work together, I feel like the guilds are far more inspiration than obstacle, narratively speaking.

   As for your first point, I don't think Ravnica and the guilds have changed that much over the millenia. But then I'm no expert on the setting. Also as a GM I rarely have PCs meet famous NPCs, regardless of the setting, so I'm not sure my players will even notice (or care about) the date if I do not spell it out for them.
   I think you'd get more originality by playing with space than time, i.e. a game based outside of the Tenth ditrict (or even the core ten), or in the underdark. But I'm not sure you really need to focus on originality for such a 'new' setting (as in, rarely played in D&D).

   My two cents. I hope others will chime in, it's an interesting discussion and setting.

   Good luck with your game !
 member, 209 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 16:18
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
I was going to chime in, but I agree with pretty much everything Skaar had to say.

I've recently posted in the Looking for GMs forum, in an attempt to find a 5e Ravnica game and haven't had any takers it is just too new of a setting.  I think GMs and player alike will have little knowledge of the timeline and world, so you could get away with running it straight out of the book or making it up as you go along and no one would be the wiser.

I'm getting a tabletop group together to play in that setting here soon.  As the GM, I didn't want to limit players choices of race or guild, but the group I'm going to run for is small, maybe three people.  The larger the group the harder it may be to mesh them all together.  Running a single guild group, would put far less work on the GM, which may be fitting for a play by post format.  I found the less work the GM has to do, the greater the chance of a successful game, especially here in this format.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:24, Mon 21 Jan.

 member, 33 posts
 SW Florida
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 21:16
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
I would agree with everything above.  Another thing to consider is the possibility of a secret Dimir posing as a member of another guild, even if you are restricting guilds.  Plus, you don't necessarily need to limit it to two guilds, as I'm sure that there are ways for multiple guilds to find a common ground.  You could, however, exclude specific guilds depending on the story you want to tell.

As for time frame, it would really depend on what you are comfortable with.  If you know all three well enough, you can mix and match a homebrew setting that would be new for everyone.
 member, 665 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 23:23
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
When I was thinking about running a Ravnica game, being a very casual player of MtG and not really knowing the lore. What I did was go to Youtube and searched for Lore Videos. It helped with my research and gave me tons of ideas for games. Everyone else here has posted great info too.
 member, 157 posts
Tue 22 Jan 2019
at 18:07
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
As with any D&D game run in a pre built setting, and more so for the more detailed settings, you need to decide how much you want your game to mimic other stories told in that setting.

Perhaps the guilds say they are powerful, but really only matter to the upper end of society.

Sometimes the strict expression of the guild conflicts is just the perception of the masses and in fact the guilds tend to work together on many secret matters of importance.

I wouldn't throw out any single aspect of the world but I wouldn't stick to exactly what has been done before at the risk of not being able to do something new and interesting.

The MTG setting tends to be one of high power, big threats, and flashy special effects, so you probably want to start the game somewhere in the 5-8th level range at least.

Letting the unusual races from the world be represented also seems like a good idea so stay away from any of the human/elf/dwarf only guilds, or use them as a minor side point at most.
 member, 210 posts
Wed 23 Jan 2019
at 13:37
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
Running a game here via play by post and keeping it going is hard enough, so keeping your work load as small as possible would make your life easier.  Picking a single guild takes one less issue (how to get the players together and focused on the same task) off the table so you can focus on the actual story.
 member, 259 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Thu 24 Jan 2019
at 18:53
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
I just think D&D is such a bad system for telling stories in the M:TG universe.  There's no real way to really manage color identity, no real way to incorporate the interesting array of races and creatures, no way to handle the particularities of its characters and their magical powers without blowing game balance out of the water.

Magic really needs its own system, but unfortunately, brand synergy means it'll never happen.  :\
 member, 96 posts
 Sea Magus
Thu 24 Jan 2019
at 20:31
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
While I love the multi-guild parties in theory, I find many Play by Post games tend to die in the "figuring out why this diverse group is together" stage.  Picking one or two guilds and sticking to it (with the possible exception of a Dimir spy of course) makes for a simpler pick up and play scenario.

I say go with the Ravnica as presented in the book.  I always like to play things as presented and branch off into alternate version after the standard tropes are played out.  Besides, keeping straight what things are different from the source book might prove troublesome.
 member, 34 posts
 SW Florida
Thu 24 Jan 2019
at 20:57
Ravnica (D&D 5e)
The nice thing about the Ravnica book is that it gives some ideas about forming the party, by way of two random charts.  The first chart determines the party makeup (single guild, law & order, scientists, etc.) and the other determines the common cause, why they are cooperating (cellmates, common enemy, prevent all-out guild war, etc.).  Now obviously you can opt to pick instead of doing it randomly, but it will at least give you ideas for how it could succeed here at RPOL.  Complicated introductions can be hand waved or simply not be important depending on the situation.