[MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

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[MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:31 pm

This was shared in a D&D group in face. Seems interesting, and it has a lot of stuff that can be ported to other worlds.

http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads ... ndikar.pdf

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:55 pm

As reported on io9, Wizards of the Coast has released a free digital download detailing the Magic: The Gathering plane of Zendikar for fifth edition D&D. Written by James Wyatt.

You can get it here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/ar ... 2016-04-27

A lot of the conversions that James Wyatt did just involved reskinning preexisting D&D creatures, which means this would be easy to use in other editions. For example, the hellion is a reskinned remorhaz.

(Edit: I notice Zeromaru already mentioned this in the 5e forum)

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by willpell » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:38 pm

Hm. Do they address Planeswalkers at all? Those are the biggest issue with trying to do any sort of D&D action in that setting.

It was always a pet peeve of mine, back when the original ZEN block came out, that the whole plane seemed only to exist for planeswalkers' benefit, and didn't make any sense as a place for anyone to actually live.

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:24 pm

Yeah, planeswalkers are addressed as mages with the ability to traverse the multiverse. Since the multiverse is a thing acknowledged in 5e (if I'm not wrong, in the DMG they talk a bit about it), I guess we can have planeswalkers in other D&D worlds as well.

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:32 am

Thanks for posting this Zeromaru/Rip. This is massive news. I've always thought that it was a bit embarrasing that WotC failed to publish Magic: the Gathering as a D&D setting, but maybe this is a hint that this is the first step towards something bigger.
ripvanwormer wrote:A lot of the conversions that James Wyatt did just involved reskinning preexisting D&D creatures, which means this would be easy to use in other editions. For example, the hellion is a reskinned remorhaz.
Hmm. So maybe it wouldn't be too hard to retro-convert Zendikar to 3rd Edition rules. :)

(I might actually have to think about reading some Magic: the Gathering novels.)
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Big Mac » Tue May 10, 2016 11:15 pm

I'm just listening to the Peter Adkinson Interview where Peter Adkinson was telling the That's How We Roll podcast team that he really wanted a Magic: The Gathering adaptation to D&D, and both the Magic and D&D designers were making PowerPoint presentations to explain why merging the two brand was a really bad idea.

I'd love to see a new interview with him, about his thoughts on this Zendikar crossover and how it compares to how he would have liked to have seen a 3e conversion of M:tG be done.
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by willpell » Wed May 11, 2016 1:05 am

Big Mac wrote:I'm just listening to the Peter Adkinson Interview where Peter Adkinson was telling the That's How We Roll podcast team that he really wanted a Magic: The Gathering adaptation to D&D, and both the Magic and D&D designers were making PowerPoint presentations to explain why merging the two brand was a really bad idea.
I'm inclined to think they were right. Zendikar is as close to it being a good idea as it was ever going to get, but I'm still not sure it's close enough. And if the Ravenloft / Innistrad parallel might indicate that they're doing the two more in tandem, then it's almost certain that will begin to prove confining in a few years at most (granted that's wild speculation at this point).

Magic and D&D are fundamentally about different things. Crossing them over is a lot like trying to merge Star Wars with Star Trek; there are so many radically dissimilar aspects that you're almost certain to damage at least one for the sake of the other, if not ruining both in the effort to harmonize them. An occasional "guest appearance" is probably safe, but I hope that's all this is.

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Yaztromo » Thu May 12, 2016 10:09 am

It makes lots of sense as both franchises are in the same hands!
I think on one hand this can add really a lot to D&D flavour and settings and on the other hand it can properly introduce MTG to more people that insofar played only with RPGs.

It may also turn out to be a mutual life insurace for both franchises.
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by willpell » Thu May 12, 2016 1:56 pm

Yaztromo wrote:It makes lots of sense as both franchises are in the same hands!
I think on one hand this can add really a lot to D&D flavour and settings and on the other hand it can properly introduce MTG to more people that insofar played only with RPGs.
Yes, "properly" introduce cardboard crack to more people who have previously used their imaginations to game, allowing them to instead squander vast quantities of money on slews of cardboard scraps that become obsolete virtually overnight.

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Yaztromo » Thu May 12, 2016 9:15 pm

Hasbro shareholders should be mouthwatering at the idea... ;)
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:49 pm

willpell wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm just listening to the Peter Adkinson Interview where Peter Adkinson was telling the That's How We Roll podcast team that he really wanted a Magic: The Gathering adaptation to D&D, and both the Magic and D&D designers were making PowerPoint presentations to explain why merging the two brand was a really bad idea.
I'm inclined to think they were right. Zendikar is as close to it being a good idea as it was ever going to get, but I'm still not sure it's close enough. And if the Ravenloft / Innistrad parallel might indicate that they're doing the two more in tandem, then it's almost certain that will begin to prove confining in a few years at most (granted that's wild speculation at this point).

Magic and D&D are fundamentally about different things. Crossing them over is a lot like trying to merge Star Wars with Star Trek; there are so many radically dissimilar aspects that you're almost certain to damage at least one for the sake of the other, if not ruining both in the effort to harmonize them. An occasional "guest appearance" is probably safe, but I hope that's all this is.
I've not read any of the Magic novels yet, and don't know much about the Magic: The Gathering universe, but Dungeons & Dragons is merely a RPG engine - not the car built around it. Campaign settings (like Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Mystara, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms) are the actual vehicle for a tabletop campaign. There is no actual reason why a D&D conversion of Zendikar needs to use anything other than the D&D engine itself. If Magic has it's own cosmology, it could continue to have that, and not be shoehorned into The Great Wheel.
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:58 pm

Yaztromo wrote:It makes lots of sense as both franchises are in the same hands!
I think on one hand this can add really a lot to D&D flavour and settings and on the other hand it can properly introduce MTG to more people that insofar played only with RPGs.

It may also turn out to be a mutual life insurace for both franchises.
They have had D&D card games (like Spellfire) in the past, but WotC have decided to avoid doing new ones. Perhaps they could go the other way, with this crossover concept and make a special standalone M:tG deck based on one of the out-of-print D&D campaign settings.

I wonder if "Birthright: The Gathering" would be the best fit, or if they could go with something like Council of Wyrms, and tie dragon breath weapons into the colours of the M:tG card system.
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:07 pm

I think this is a great idea. I've played Magic off and on for the last 15-20 years, and I've always wanted to see D&D versions of some of M:tG's creatures and spells. My first M:tG rules, bought way back in 1994 explained that the players took the part of planeswalking mages battling other (players) planeswalking mages. Basically, planeswalkers are treated like other NPCs of equal power to the PCs.

I have no idea why WotC's designers wouldn't want to cross-pollinate. Sure, its a lot of work, but it's also job security! ;)
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by willpell » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:22 pm

Big Mac wrote:I've not read any of the Magic novels yet, and don't know much about the Magic: The Gathering universe, but Dungeons & Dragons is merely a RPG engine - not the car built around it. Campaign settings (like Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Mystara, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms) are the actual vehicle for a tabletop campaign. There is no actual reason why a D&D conversion of Zendikar needs to use anything other than the D&D engine itself. If Magic has it's own cosmology, it could continue to have that, and not be shoehorned into The Great Wheel.
It's not just the cosmology that's different. The entire magic system also needs to change - there cannot be any such thing as a Vancian caster in Magic, nor do Planeswalkers as they're written for Magic fluff make any sense in D&D terms. This isn't about trying to put a Ferarri engine into a Volkswagen car or vice versa; this is about trying to put a car engine into a lighter-than-air balloon. A Magic RPG would be a good idea, but the mechanics would have to reflect the reality of a universe where everything is made out of five colors of mana, where the standard practice for dueling wizards is to summon creatures to attack each other (and getting stepped on by an elephant only costs you 1/7 of your vitality).

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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:17 pm

willpell wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I've not read any of the Magic novels yet, and don't know much about the Magic: The Gathering universe, but Dungeons & Dragons is merely a RPG engine - not the car built around it. Campaign settings (like Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Mystara, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms) are the actual vehicle for a tabletop campaign. There is no actual reason why a D&D conversion of Zendikar needs to use anything other than the D&D engine itself. If Magic has it's own cosmology, it could continue to have that, and not be shoehorned into The Great Wheel.
It's not just the cosmology that's different. The entire magic system also needs to change - there cannot be any such thing as a Vancian caster in Magic, nor do Planeswalkers as they're written for Magic fluff make any sense in D&D terms. This isn't about trying to put a Ferarri engine into a Volkswagen car or vice versa; this is about trying to put a car engine into a lighter-than-air balloon. A Magic RPG would be a good idea, but the mechanics would have to reflect the reality of a universe where everything is made out of five colors of mana, where the standard practice for dueling wizards is to summon creatures to attack each other (and getting stepped on by an elephant only costs you 1/7 of your vitality).
I've never read any of the books, although a friend gave me about 20+ about 10 years ago. They wound up in storage and are currently collecting dust & brittleness. :(

I've done spur-of-the-moment conversions on Magic creatures drawn from a deck for use as random encounters. Sure, I need to work on my conversion methods, but I'm not a genius game-designer that WotC employs. However, I really like how the Zendikar pdf uses re-skinned monsters to represent M:tG monsters.

As for Vancian magic, you're probably right, but that never stopped us bitd from converting any one of our literary favorites to D&D rules. Hells, we converted Star Wars characters to D&D long before WEG created the D6 system! No. Don't ask. It sucked. We were silly middle-schoolers. :oops:

...and we burned the conversion notes.

As for the five-color scheme for mana, I'm not convinced that the color of mana determines what types of spells, except for Black = Necromancy, and the other colors do work well as elemental spells most of the time, but I have a mana color code for alignments that almost works too:

Blue = Law
Red = Chaos
White = Law/Good
Green = Neutral
Black = Evil/Chaos

I find this works not so much for spells, but for the creatures of specific colors.

Power & Toughness needs a lot of freedom to convert to D&D stats. They could represent anything from HD and BAB, to hit points & AC ranges. Creature size is a factor, and sometimes the only way to determine a creature's size is referenced by the card art.
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Re: [MtG][Zendikar] Plane Shift: Zendikar (D&D/MtG crossover)

Post by willpell » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:41 am

Dread Delgath wrote:I've never read any of the books, although a friend gave me about 20+ about 10 years ago. They wound up in storage and are currently collecting dust & brittleness. :(
I would be happy to give them a good home, if you feel like mailing them cross-country at your own expense :twisted:
(Actually, seriously, not a good idea. I probably have half of the same ones already.)
However, I really like how the Zendikar pdf uses re-skinned monsters to represent M:tG monsters.
I really hated that. If you're not going to go to the effort of making a proper Eldrazi or Baloth or whatever, then don't say you're roleplaying on Zendikar. At best, you're taking loose inspiration from it; at worst, you're making a mockery of it.
As for the five-color scheme for mana, I'm not convinced that the color of mana determines what types of spells
Then you're wrong, because it does. That's the entire point of the color system. If you're unwilling to accept that foundational assumption of the universe, then you shouldn't be messing with it at all.
Power & Toughness needs a lot of freedom to convert to D&D stats. They could represent anything from HD and BAB, to hit points & AC ranges. Creature size is a factor, and sometimes the only way to determine a creature's size is referenced by the card art.
That much, you are right about. P/T is an extreme simplification, and there'd be no point in converting into D&D if you were trying to stay that simple. (You could improvise an RPG out of cards with a super-simple system like BESM pretty easily; D&D is one of the worst possible systems to try and do such a thing in, given that it's designed specifically for crunchiness.) I might use P/T as a loose guide to how high a creature's effective level should be, while giving it attacks and resistances to arrive at CR-appropriate numbers with the DMG monster-making system (which I have yet to try and use at all, so this is just speculation).

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