Ravnica (M:tG) campaign using 4E


4th Edition


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So for those of you who've played Magic: The Gathering and specifically, the Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissention set, I'm attempting to put together a 4E campaign using this setting.

What I have so far is the coupling of classes to specific Guilds. I'd post the entire list here, but that'd be very very big. Suffice to say that a simpler way of putting it is that Arcane classes are going to be in guilds that have the "Blue" symbol, Shadow classes get "Black", Divine classes get "White", Martial classes are sorta mixed in there between the 5 colors based on style, Primal classes get "Green" guilds, and Psionic classes are broken up amongst a bunch of guilds. One color that go no direct love was "Red" as I couldn't think of one Power Source. What I'll do is put in a little overview of the guild, the race and classes associated with it.

For races, I'm going to be trying to stick to setting over D&D product availability. I'd like to have ONE race that's specific to a guild but have others that are generic to the setting. Something like Dark Elves/Drow—the Golgari Swarm, Minotaurs—the Boros Legion, Tieflings—the Cult of Rakdos, Revenant—Orzhov Syndicate, Goblins—the Izzet League, Goliaths—Gruul Clans, Loxo (homebrew) or Wilden (default)—Selesnya Conclave, Deva—Azorious Senate, Shade—House Dimir, Eladrin—Simic Combine. Other races, with the exclusion of Halflings, Gnomes, Giths, Shardminds, and Genasi are all intermingled with the populaces of Ravnica. The excluded races I just mentioned are not on this planet nor are they in the setting.

As for a Divine power source, there is one but it's not derived from one or many Gods in a Pantheon, it's derived from the Angelic Host and the positive forces of "Good" that emminate throughout the world. And just as Divine magic can be good, it can also be dark and draw from the many legions of the Abyssal Horde that form the darker planes.

That sounds pretty good for a start. I should add in plots and the like, but that'll come soon enough. Also, I'm wondering if there are any ideas for re-fluffing or homebrew content that would make the setting better? I'm not sure how I'd create Vedalken race, or reflavoring a class so that they're Vedalken people (maybe Shardmind?)


I will mull over your idea and come back to it. There's good ideas here but at a casual glance I think I disagree with the idea of tying power sources to colors, but at the same time It seems good solid logic. I will say that I would feel more towards Essentially creating the characters (reskinning many) as the characters that appeared in the set and then allowing the pcs to kind of pick their allegiance to the color scheme almost as if it were alignment.

Actually it seems like it would be fun excersice in setting your needed characters up (a list of the various npcs, monsters, minions, etc from the setting maybe even the cards for the basis) and then finding the closest existing monsters to reskin as the various characters. Then make the ones you feel are needed to be made from scratch. Then after thats all done look at what power sources were the most useful to do which colors... I think it'd be nifty.

(As I further thought I would go with martial being white as a color, due to the colors theme of militant soldiers and rallying warcries. White as a color in 4e would be a mix of divine/martial. That's me. I'd also advocate for black being shadow/divine. Blue being arcane/Psionic. Red is Primal/Martial. Green is Primal/divine/Martial. YMMV)

*Edit: to further clarify the thought I had I would use this as a guideline for the themes and builds of characters who fell under the groupings. So a red guild for instance would have primal and martial characters, preffering barbarians and goblins in their mix or some such. I definately would make the races naturally inclined to their corresponding magic color but as the game taught us, they can exist in multiple colors and opposite colors too. Also I would use color as more alignment rather than power source, but would use it as inspiritation for the kinds of abilities those so aligned get. Black aligned would get lifedrain abilities, red would get damage spells and attack buffs, white would get healing and defensive buffs, blue would get controller abilities and action denial, green would get magic item nullification and temporary self buffs... etc...


Thanks for the contribution!

My initial reaction was to assign Guilds specific Power sources, but having looked at it more closely, it came off as a bit redundant. This led me to place each class of 4E into various Guilds. There is going to be overlap, such as the Fighter (Knight/Slayer) are in a few different guilds (Boros, Gruul, Selesnya) or the Wizard (Mage) in Azorious, Golgari, Izzet, Dimir, Simic but it's a little more open-ended to allow a lot of options.

I also really like the idea of re-skinning monsters to fall inline with Ravnica and (more interestingly) the cards from which the game is build upon. That's just an awesome idea and it'll actually put my Monster Tools to work, lol. When I get some time, I'll post the Guild's associated classes and how Warlock Pacts work on Ravnica.

For a preview, here's the short list of Pacts and their importance in this setting:

Dark Pact: Golgari; Infernal Pact: Rakdos; Sorcer-King Pact: Dimir; Star Pact: Izzet; Vestige Pact: Orzhov. The fey pact wasn't going to be included since most Fey powers would probably funnel their power though more Primal means, but if one is inclinded to allow the pact, I'd say it'd be primarly through the Selesnya Conclave. Soon, I'll post a more thorough description on each Pact and how one obtains it thorugh their guild.

Other ideas for mechanics to setting changes?

Also, any idea on a homebrew Vedalken race? I'm thinking something along the lines (ability score bonus) +2 Intelligence; +2 Dex or +2 Strength due to their proficiency with Magic and their 4 sets of hands.


Diffan wrote:
Also, any idea on a homebrew Vedalken race? I'm thinking something along the lines (ability score bonus) +2 Intelligence; +2 Dex or +2 Strength due to their proficiency with Magic and their 4 sets of hands.

I would take a look at the Thri-kreen from Darksun. They are bug men (if you didn't know, I assume you do) with 4 arms. I think using them as a baseline is a good start to emulate since they already have facets of your design done.

Thrikreen had +2 dex; +2 Str or wis
Multiple Arms: Once per turn, you can draw or sheathe a weapon (or retrieve or stow an item stored on your person) as a free action instead of a minor action.

They also had a torpor ability (like trance from eladrin), 7 square move, low-light, Always considered to have a running start for jumps, +2 athletics and nature, And a claw encounter power that targeted 1,2 or 3 enemies and did d8+wis (+1 for each target) that increased bya d8 each tier.

Of those, I think the Multiple Arms really works well and the stats you had ideally are good.


Stewart Perkins wrote:


I would take a look at the Thri-kreen from Darksun. They are bug men (if you didn't know, I assume you do) with 4 arms. I think using them as a baseline is a good start to emulate since they already have facets of your design done.

Thrikreen had +2 dex; +2 Str or wis
Multiple Arms: Once per turn, you can draw or sheathe a weapon (or retrieve or stow an item stored on your person) as a free action instead of a minor action.

They also had a torpor ability (like trance from eladrin), 7 square move, low-light, Always considered to have a running start for jumps, +2 athletics and nature, And a claw encounter power that targeted 1,2 or 3 enemies and did d8+wis (+1 for each target) that increased bya d8 each tier.

Of those, I think the Multiple Arms really works well and the stats you had ideally are good.

That's an amazing idea. I had been on the fence about letting Thri-Kreen in the setting, but the Vedalken make excellent substitution. After I get up the Pacts of Ravnica, I'll add in the Vedalken and Loxodon (homebrew) racial descriptions.


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Warlock Pacts on Ravnica

The Dark Pact: The Golgari Swarm— In the dense sewers and moss-covered ruins of ancient Ravnica lies the Golgari swarm, an infestation of undead laborers and necromantic practitioners that believe in the cycle of life, death, and then undeath. Here they pay homage to their necromancer-deity, known as Svogthir. And while he is said to be sleeping, his essence is vividly seen in the Swarm’s magic. Warlocks that strive to make a pact do so with the dark essence of Svogthir.

The Fey Pact: N/A (see developer’s notes below)

The Infernal Pact: The Cult of Rakdos— Those striving for power within this cult draw upon the infernal pact they have made with the demon Rakdos, the Defiler. These worshippers delight in the torture and pain they can inflict upon others and this is shown much in the arcane might they wield. However, not all of Rakdos pacts are made with a gleeful intent to destroy, as there are some that seek to turn his infernal power against his very followers. In any sense, warlocks with the infernal pact are rightly treated with respect in the sub-culture on Ravnica.

The Sorcerer-King Pact: House Dimir— It is said that no one makes a deal without House Dimir’s knowledge and this pact is no exception. Those within the Dimir guild, who strive for more arcane power, seek out the true leader’s influence. A leader in shadows known as Szadek, Lord of Secrets. Once his transformation over you is complete, your expected to serve him and the guilds bidding and prove that you are worthy of such might granted upon you. Dimir warlocks often use their shadowy powers for obtaining information and killing those who’ve said too much.

The Star Pact: The Izzet League— This guild’s penchant for magic is almost unparalleled on Ravnica. Among a few of the Guild’s ranks are those that grasp more than the complex formula of magic to perform feats of arcane might. This is when the Guild’s headmaster gives them a little extra “Umph”. This headmaster is a wizard-dragon is named Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and he has been known to make pacts with those who’s gazes reach past the sphere they call home and to the stars above. These strange constellations hold untold mysticism that’s just waiting to be exploited for the Guild’s greater purposes. Perhaps you can grasp the unknown knowledge to forge your own fate and that of Ravnicas.

The Vestige Pact: The Orzhov Syndicate— You have forged relationships with vestiges—the remnants of powerful forces and entities that once exercised great authority over the Orzhov Syndicate. These remnants are known as the Ghost Council of Orzhova and are diverse in their backgrounds and motives. This pact is forged so that you bind yourself to the Syndicate’s objectives and, if you perish, add your own spirit to their collective. The price does not come without great reward and many Warlocks find strong favor amongst the Ghost Council. (designer’s note: the names found in the Vestiges work just as well as the Ghost Council as they do in the D&D supplements, so I found little reason to change them).

*NOTE: Above, I didn’t list anything for the Fey Pact and it’s due to the simple fact that any remaining Primal essences of the Fey would be largely focused on Primal classes and the like. It’s unlikely that they would be willing to forge pacts in an Arcane-like nature. However, to help include all source material in this setting, if a PC feels inclined to have this pact, then the Selesnya Conclave is probably the best guild that would be acceptable for this pact.

Liberty's Edge

I would possibly be a bit more lenient with some of the arcane power sources. Like I could see the Sorcerer belong to the red color as much as the blue. Psionic I could easily see for blue but arcane (and the powers chosen) seem a bit harder to simply slap a label on.

Also Rangers I would see as green sources.

Rogues COULD be black.

The normal fighter is fine white.

Basically it almost sounds like you'd have to go class to class to check on if it fits or not.

I also want to note, this is a pretty sweet idea.


Misery wrote:

I would possibly be a bit more lenient with some of the arcane power sources. Like I could see the Sorcerer belong to the red color as much as the blue. Psionic I could easily see for blue but arcane (and the powers chosen) seem a bit harder to simply slap a label on.

Also Rangers I would see as green sources.

Rogues COULD be black.

The normal fighter is fine white.

Basically it almost sounds like you'd have to go class to class to check on if it fits or not.

I also want to note, this is a pretty sweet idea.

That's pretty much what I did. Here, I'll show each guild and the classes associated with it. Obviously with 40+ classes in 4E, there is going to be come overlap:

The Boros Legion (red/white): The militaristic guild, they act as enforcers of order on Ravnica, and are not against using force to keep the peace. The Boros Legion is epitomized by the actions of the Wojek League, the police force of Ravnica. They are inspired by the archangel Razia. The champion, Agrus Kos, is a Wojek police officer and was the main character in the Ravnica novels.
Classes Associated: Avenger, Barbarian (Berserker), Bladesinger, Fighter (Knight/Slayer), Monk, Paladin (Cavalier), Warlord.

The Golgari Swarm (green/black): A sect which emphasizes that death is an essential aspect of the life cycle, and which to that end encourages death and plague in order to foster regrowth. They are ruled by a trio of sibling gorgons called The Sisters of Stone Death (Lydya, Lexya and Ludmilla), but their rule is being contested by the elvish shaman Savra.
Classes Associated: Assassin (Executioner), Blackguard, Druid (only), Mage/Witch (only), Monk, Ranger (Hunter, Scout), Rogue (Thief), Seeker, Shaman, Vampire, Warden, Warlock (Hexblade).

The Selesnya Conclave (green/white): A quasi-monastic order whose members are zealously dedicated to keeping life in balance. The Conclave disapproves strongly of individuality, holding that the good of the whole is always more important than that of a single being. It is directed by The Chorus of the Conclave, a group of mostly ancient dryads. A preacher named Tolsimir Wolfblood is their champion.
Classes Associated: Cleric (Warpriest), Druid (Protector, Sentinel), Fighter (only), Ranger (Scout, Hunter), Seeker, Shaman, Warden, Warlord.

House Dimir (blue/black): A shadowy guild that few of the common people of Ravnica are sure still exists. The other nine guilds know it does, and that it traffics in secrets, employing a network of spies and assassins to discover them and enforce their use in blackmail. It is led by the eldritch psionic vampire Szadek and the mysterious champion of the guild Circu, Dimir Lobotomist.
Classes Associated: Ardent, Assassin (Executioner), Battlemind, Binder, Blackguard, Psion, Rogue (Thief), Sorcerer, Vampire, Warlock (Binder, Hexblade), Wizard (Mage, Witch).

The Orzhov Syndicate (white/black): While masquerading as a religion, the Orzhov are actually Mafia-like business people. With no economic transaction that isn't directly or indirectly under their control, they are directed by the Ghost Council of Orzhova, composed of the spirits of former Orzhov Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Teysa, Orzhov Scion, is the champion of the guild, and plays a major part in the book series.
Classes Associated: Assassin (Executioner), Avenger, Battlemind, Blackguard, Cleric (Warpriest), Knight (only), Runepriest, Vampire, Warlock (Binder, Hexblade).

The Izzet League (blue/red): Like mad scientists, the Izzet are responsible for almost all of the beneficial technologies and magics that keep Ravnica running. Unfortunately, their impulsive and reckless research principles mean that just as many have failed experiments with explosive results. Their guild leader is an extremely intelligent but temperamental and egotistic dragon wizard named Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. The champions of the Izzet are a husband-wife pair of wizards named Tibor and Lumia.
Classes Associated: Ardent, Artificer, Bard (Skald), Psion, Sorcerer, Swordmage, Warlock (Hexblade), Wizard (Bladesinger, Mage, Witch).

The Gruul Clans (red/green): The Gruul Clans were originally the Guild of Savage Nature, appointed to speak for and protect the people who lived in the harsh natural environments of Ravnica. As the city expanded over nature, the other nine guilds (specifically the other Green-oriented guilds) began appointing themselves as nature's defenders. Eventually phased out entirely by the rest of the guilds, the Gruul fractured into a myriad of different clans, all bent on destroying civilization. Some do it for revenge, others simply because they like to smash stuff. The biggest clan is ruled by the cyclops Borborygmos. Despite not being affiliated with any of the clans, the members view Ulasht, the Hate Seed as their champion as it represents all they stand for.
Classes Associated: Barbarian (Berserker), Druid (Protector), Fighter (Slayer), Ranger (Hunter, Scout), Runepriest, Seeker, Shaman, Skald (only), Warden, Warlord.

The Azorius Senate (white/blue): The lawmakers of Ravnica, founded by Azor, hence the name Azorius Senate. The Senate is obsessed with keeping the status quo, no matter the cost. Their current leader, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, believes that the best way to serve the city is to make any sort of action illegal. For his hierarchical and bureaucratic guild, history, stability, and the rule of law are paramount. The Grand Arbiter consults a sphinx known as Isperia the Inscrutable, who is the champion of the Azorius.
Classes Associated: Artificer, Avenger, Cleric (Warpriest), Paladin (Cavalier), Runepriest, Sorcerer, Swordmage, Wizard (Bladesinger, Mage).

The Cult of Rakdos (black/red): Named after its demon leader, Rakdos the Defiler. The Cult of Rakdos is completely self-absorbed, out only for a good time. However, their idea of a "good time" usually involves murder and mayhem – the more bloody and depraved, the better. The cult would love to rule Ravnica and turn it into one big slaughter-fest, but to them, it's the process of random death and destruction that is fulfilling, not the goal. Fortunately for the Rakdos, their interest in the dark art of death has made them into top-notch mercenaries and assassins, which the other guilds are more than happy to take advantage of. The guild's champion is Lyzolda, the Blood Witch. She is at the forefront of most of the guild's macabre sacrificial ceremonies.
Classes Associated: Assassin (Executioner), Barbarian (Berserker), Blackguard, Monk, Rogue (Thief), Sorcerer, Vampire, Warlock (Binder, Hexblade)

The Simic Combine (green/blue): The Simic's original role was to protect and preserve what was left of Ravnica's natural ecosystems. Despite their best efforts, they failed, and there is no place on Ravnica that is left to nature. Now, the Simic Combine spends their resources creating new - and often frightening - species of creatures that not only survive in the concrete jungles of Ravnica, but thrive. The guild is headed by the distant and cool elvish biomancer Momir Vig, Simic Visionary. The Simic champion is known as Experiment Kraj, the culmination of all of Vig's previous experiments. It is intended to be the ultimate life form and rapidly "adapts" to change.
Classes Associated: Ardent, Artificer, Battlemind, Bard (Skald), Druid (Sentinel), Psion, Swordmage, Wizard (Bladesinger, Mage).

NOTE: The project is still under construction.

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