Glittering Guilds

A few months ago, the “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica” was announced as the first official crossover between Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, even if the Plane Shift supplements have been giving glimpses on how to take elements from the first to play the second. As a long enthusiast on MtG lore, I’ve been using these elements for my D&D campaigns for a loooong time, so this news was the ultimate nerdgasm for me. Along with a sourcebook and a set of dice, something called “Maps & Miscellany” will also be available, though not many details about its contents have been disclosed at the moment this article has been written.

I’ll start a series of articles related to Ravnica until the release of “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica”. Some of them will be about the lore behind this amazing setting, some of them will be creative endeavours and others will be about what I want to see in the book in order to play D&D as I always wanted. This will be an introduction to this wonderful fantasy setting: Welcome to “10 Weeks of Ravnica” in Codex Anathema.

Sounds cool, but… what is Ravnica?

Ravnica is both the name of the plane and the world-spanning city that exists on that plane. The city is divided in ten districts, which converge in the center of the city where many headquarters for the guilds are located. There is an Undercity, filled with ruins, sewers, and caverns. There are also outskirts to the city, where the influece of civilization seems to diminish.

Ten thousand years ago, the leaders of ten warring factions came together and signed a magically-binding pact. The city prospered as each faction specialized in their own role in civilization. This makes Ravnica the ultimate urban fantasy setting. Secret and not-so-secret organizations clashing in the light of day and plotting during the night against each other, each with a different portfolio:

  • The Azorius Senate is the legislative and judicial body of Ravnican bureaucracy.
  • The Boros Legion is a standing army that protects the Guildpact and contains the League of Wojek, the official peacekeepers of the City of Ravnica.
  • House Dimir is a shadowy and manipulative guild that most believe no longer exists (and some who knew have had their knowledge wiped out), it provides illegal but necessary services.
  • The Cult of Rakdos, considered a necessary evil by some, is composed of thrill-killers who provide the heavy labor force of the plane.
  • The Golgari Swarm manages food production and organic waste disposal.
  • The Gruul Clans have fallen from their former glory as the keepers of Ravnica’s wilds and now are nothing but a loose affiliation of berserker clans.
  • The Izzet League is responsible for civil engineering works and new magical developments.
  • The Orzhov Syndicate regulates trade and banking, among others.
  • The Selesnya Conclave promotes the strongest religion and its ledev guards patrol the rural areas.
  • The Simic Combine provides medical assistance and performs biological research.

We will be visiting each of this guilds in depth materializing every aspect of them that can be used in RPGs. Which one would you like to see first?

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