We’re still recovering from that busy April, but the RPG Blog Carnival never stops, and the Roll4 Network has chosen the theme for May already: Holidays, Festivals & Celebrations are the focus of this month’s topic, and as we’ve been spending so much time talking about Ravnica here at Codex Anathema, why should we stop?
The decamillennial is the ten-thousand year anniversary of the signing of the Guildpact on the plane of Ravnica. On the day of the decamillenial the Selesnyan leaders, the Chorus of the Conclave, would perform the convocation, a ritual through which the entire plane would become blessed, their sins forgiven. However, Szadek attacked the ceremony and, with the aid of his lupul and Savra, he almost destroyed the Guildpact, until Agrus Kos and others managed to arrest him (though this in itself broke the Guildpact).
That is, of course, story canon, but nothing prevents us from creating our very own Decamillennial. And doing so, we can kill two dragons with a single arrow of slaying when we have new players in our Dungeons & Dragons group: first goal, introducing them to the campaign setting and second, make them have fun and some practice with the game mechanics.
I asked around in the Ravnica 5e group for DMs about some ideas for the guilds to run during every Guildpact Anniversary, and Jack Shyer, one of its members, came out with some great ideas, which I combined with a little of my own:
As the Azorius Senate might start safety classes and “know your rights and obligations” workshops, the Izzet League celebrates a trade fair to show their latest inventions (or at least the safest ones). I can totally imagine this looking a lot like the Inventor’s Fair from Kaladesh, actually. Meanwhile, the Selesnya Conclave runs their annual recruitment and might even include a show to feature their most beautiful creatures and the Boros Legion would have martial demonstrations and “American Ninja”-like obstacle courses you could run. Their angels might do flight shows 4th-of-July-style.
Of course, you can not have a party without the Cult of Rakdos, and their “softest” performances may not have the regular gore the hardcore ones do. A little more dangerous in civic events, the Gruul Clans may want to crash anything, but once a year they might be convinced to organize friendly non-weapon wrestling competitions with a big closing act resembling the Running of the Bulls, but with huge wild pigs instead.
House Dimir could run some carnival of games and fun houses where attendees are actually exchanging information and as they do, the Orzhov would take care of the entrance fees and maybe run some not-so-friendly gambling in which the biggest prize is a debt forgiveness. The Simic Combine could feature their most recent creations in a science fair not much differnet from the Izzet one, but more zoo-like, or even freak-show-like. Finally, the Golgari Swarm would be there mostly ignored, taking care of the things no one else does, such as food and garbage collection.
All these activities can be used to recruit new members for the guilds. Driving the new players to each of these guilds activities by class is not that difficult as they will be of course of interest to them.
There might be also a “Guildpact” challenge where participants are encouraged to form multi-guild groups to represent the collaboration among the guilds (yeah, right). You can take advantage of the Dragon Maze storyline, which featured the Implicit Maze, a system of mana paths or leylines through the guildgates and districts of Ravnica. The maze was created by Azor I to be revealed in case the Guildpact dissolved (use this detail as needed: a special power within the famous Maze can activate once that happened, but not before). At an appointed time, the champions meet at the Transguild Promenade, and embark on a race through the twists and turns of the maze. The one who triumphs, gains the power behind it for his or her guild. You can get some excellent ideas for the Implicit Maze or just regular guild contests in the six-part series “Challenge of Champions” by Johnathan M. Richards, published in Dragon Magazine, issues #58, #69, #80, #91, #108, and #138.
Until next time, I hope you keep celebrating good times with new players and new campaigns. Do you have your own festivals in your campaign? Write about it, leave a link in the comments and also join the RPG Blog Carnival.