Let's make Magic: The RPG

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I don't see why not.  M:tG has a rich setting with large numbers of iconic events and characters, that isn't straightjacketed by D&D's traditions and is much more comfortable with what a high-magic setting means for your characters and the world itself.  That world is split naturally into hundreds of planes that can each be a complete campaign setting in and of themselves.  Due to its foundations as a competitive game, where interplayer balance is much more obvious than in cooperative games, it doesn't suffer from many of the issues D&D has with regards to double standards re: magic vs. mundane.  Everyone channels mana, it's everywhere and in everyone.  Warriors routinely do things just as awesome as spellcasters.  Spellcasters are forced to pick actual themes for their magic, like real fantasy spellcasters do.  They have a method of using magic that's coherent with the majority of fiction and allows for a variety of interesting effects without giving most wizards more powers than Silver Age Superman.

I would seriously love to see a well-done Magic: the Gathering tabletop, and I'd gladly pay good money for it.  Anyone else agree?
Lots of people would love to see it, but there's this "confuse the brands" issue that makes the corporate guys wary.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Yes, mostly because I think it might be a good way to play around with the way magic is traditionally represented. Many if not most intellignet creatures can access a small amount of magic based on their natual mana associations, even humans eventually pick up the mana of their environment and can learn a handful of tricks based on it without much formal schooling, even dedicated warriors boost themselves and supplement their skills with magic. Furthermore mana has colors with even masters of their respective colors being somewhat limited by the specialties of their color. The only mages that approach what a traditional dnd wizard can do in terms of sheer broken variety of effects are the archmages who spend their lives mastering multiple colors, and the mightiest of the old planeswalkers. 

I think it would be awesome.
I totally agree.

(I wonder if someone could get away with making a M:tG RPG and cover themselves with the "parody" excuse like D:tD did. >_> They'd obviously have to have a fair bit of stuff in their that is obviously joke-like. I just don't think WotC actually -will- make M:tG RPG) 
I'd settle, however, for a "Dominaria Campaign Setting" book.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I've been working on something like this in my (very minimal) spare time. I noticed that the fire and forget nature of spells in M:tG reminded me very much of D&D's Vancian casting. I made a unified spellcasting mechanic that used fire and forget spell slots like Vancian, with mana costs instead of spell levels, and your maximum mana pool would increasing by level.

Basically, at the beginning of the day you can prep up to 7 spells (starting hand) and at each short rest you can prepare another spell (drawing at the beginning of your turn). If you somehow have more than 7 spells prepared after a short rest, you forget one of your choice (maximum hand size), and you cant prepare the same spell more than 4 times in one day (4 card limit).

As I mentioned, I'm pretty busy, but I'm happy to collaborate on a project of this nature when I'm available.
Of course, I was trying to translate the mechanics of M:tG into D&D more than the setting. (I love the card game, but I've never read the books and have a fairly minimal working knowledge of the lore.)

Though I had planned to encourage s exploration by requiring characters to actually visit new lands and form mana bonds with them in order to expand their mana pool.
I'd settle, however, for a "Dominaria Campaign Setting" book.


Even the other worlds they've visited since have been pretty incredibly awesome.  Honestly, their settings are just so much more impressive to me than D&D's settings (over its lifetime even), except for maybe one or two (I'm a huge Eberron fan - enough that I'd love to see it handled in Magic [though even if they were going to cross-polinate, that'd still never happen, as so much of the great things about Eberron have already been used across a handful of modern Magic settings]).
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Fair enough, Dominaria only came to mind because that's where it was when I played.

Yeah, it's been a while...
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Of course, I was trying to translate the mechanics of M:tG into D&D more than the settin. (I love the card game, but I've never read the books and have a fairly minimal working knowledge of the lore.)



I think it would be terribly amusing if someone could come up with workable RPG rules that used the actual cards to play. Obviously, I expect deck construction would be very different, at the very least in terms of what's optimal.

I'm not sure I totally dig the idea that everyone would be such prolific summoners though.

On the other hand, going from the idea that each player is the equivalent of one creature card (with mana cost being roughly analogous to level) is amusing.   
I miss Dominaria... *sigh*... But yeah, every new plane does have new things to love, and I think a big part of the appeal of an M:tG RPG would be getting to travel to different planes (I imagine PCs as Planeswalkers with their sparks just ignited at lvl 1. Presumably post time spiral Planeswalkers, so they would be mortal.
Fair enough, Dominaria only came to mind because that's where it was when I played.

Yeah, it's been a while...


It's an easy mistake for MTG lore buffs too, as "Dominia" was long ago used for the multiverse ("Dominaria" was the central plane thereof, where most of MTG's continuity took place until Mirrodin)

Considering that Creative for D&D and Magic are being folded into one "WOTC Creative Department" we might just see this.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

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The card game is enough "Magic" for me.
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Howdy folks,

I am moving this thread to RPGs General Discussion where it is more on-topic. 

Thanks.  

All around helpful simian

Well let's start at the basics, what do we want this RPG to do?

What should it not do?

What's important?
What's Nice to have?


Don't worry about specific mechanics yet, jus think general terms and overall structure. 
Fair enough, Dominaria only came to mind because that's where it was when I played.

Yeah, it's been a while...


Ha!  Same here.  But I hear about it and look into it every once in a while.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Howdy folks,

I am moving this thread to RPGs General Discussion where it is more on-topic. 

Thanks.  


Well, that certainly stopped the conversation dead.  Undecided
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
What if we give it a shot, those few of us who know it's here anyway, and see if we can't turn this into a "if you build it they will come" scenario.
Oh, hell, I was wondering what happened to this.

Well, basically, my thought was something to the effect of:



  • Point-buy base.



  • Nine characteristics: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Willpower, Charisma, Fellowship, Composure.  Each characteristic goes from 1 to 6, where 1 is a weak average human, 2 is a strong average human, 3 is a peak human, 4 is mildly superhuman, and 5 is exceptional even by the standards of heroes.  Having a 5 in some characteristic means it's likely a defining trait of your character.  Players get some amount of starting points for characteristics and can then buy more with XP later on.  Characteristics cost more to raise the higher they already are.



  • Your Mana Capacity is another core stat, starting at 1 and with a maximum of 5.  Mana Capacity determines the maximum amount of mana you can store, the maximum amount you can spend on any one spell, and affects other features based on your classes.  Unlike other stats, your Mana Capacity is capped at your current level.



  • Each color of magic, as well as colorless, is similarly divided into five ranks, each rank containing multiple spells.  Whenever you buy a rank in a color, you learn one spell of that color for free, and can learn additional spells later at a separate cost.  Like characteristics, each rank of a given color costs more than the one before.  Unlike characteristics, your rank in a given color is capped at your level.  Thus you can choose to either learn only one color and grow quickly in it, or to learn multiple colors at the cost of slower progression.



  • You always have to spend experience to learn multicolor spells, you must have both enough ranks in the associated colors and a Mana Capacity equal to the spell's rank.  For instance, a character with a Mana Capacity of 2, 1 rank in White, and 2 ranks in Red can learn Lightning Helix ( ), but not Rally the Righteous ( ), because that costs 3 mana.  Multicolor spells enhance your flexibility, but require that you learn multiple types of magic.



  • Rather than being able to purchase features freely, you are restricted by your training, reflected in your class.  Each class has a level that you must be to enter the class, prerequisites to entry (characteristics, color ranks, possibly class features from other classes), and a list of what characteristics, skills, talents, and colors you are allowed to purchase while you are in the class.  You can only buy a given talent or color once during a given class, but you can raise characteristics and skills as often as you want.  Once you have purchased all of the mandatory talents, you have cleared the class.  While this technically ends the class, conveniently there's another class at the next level that fits perfectly as an advancement on it.  While you can skip optional talents and color ranks, doing so means giving them up until you go back to the class and take them.



  • Level is a number, again from 1 to 5, based on the classes you have cleared.  Once you have cleared at least one level 1 class, you rise to level 2.  Once you have cleared at least one level 2 class you become level 3, etc.  Thus you can choose to either travel straight down one class chain, raising your level as quickly as possible, or spread out and learn a wider variety of skills at the cost of slower progression to higher levels.



  • Easing the burden on multiclassing, if you have already purchased a talent in one class, you don't need to purchase it again in another class unless it can be taken multiple times.  Thus you are encouraged to find classes with synergy to build the character you want.



  • All spells, along with many special skills, require that you spend mana to activate them.  Mana recovers at a certain rate universal to all characters, probably 1 point at the start of each round.  You can choose what color the point is, or if you are at full capacity you can change the color of one point in your mana pool.

Way too detailed, also way too much DtD40k7e, consider mixing in a little L5R.

You're skipping ahead to mechanics before we have a solid idea of what we wanna build here.

For example is the player assumed to be one of the new Walkers? one of the ambitious lesser summoners that populated the older stories? Or one of the innumerable people that get swept up in their games?

 


What should it not do?




It should not try to bring each little mechanic and quirk from the card-game into the RPG. This is more or less unworkable and won't leave anybody happy.


It also shouldn't try to bring in each and every spell ever. Again, this just won't work.


I also don't think a focus on summoning would work very well. While it's a core part of the card-game, I don't think it will lend itself very well towards a traditional RPG.


What's important?


The mana system. This is the core of the game and its flavor.


I also think it's important to have a variety of non-magical classes, since they are frequently  represented in the game. This is one of the challenges, fitting non-magical classes into the mana system.


What's Nice to have?


Lots of different classes and races, multiple planes as setting.



Way too detailed, also way too much DtD40k7e, consider mixing in a little L5R.

You're skipping ahead to mechanics before we have a solid idea of what we wanna build here.

For example is the player assumed to be one of the new Walkers? one of the ambitious lesser summoners that populated the older stories? Or one of the innumerable people that get swept up in their games?

 



I would make the core game about "creatures", people that would normally be represented by creature-cards. This allows for more variety, makes more sense, since planeswalkers are rather rare and gives players a bigger stake in their world. 


You can add a couple of extra rules for planeswalkers, but these are just people with the ability to walk between planes, so it shouldn't be too hard.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

The current crop of walkers are, the old walkers however, were  a bit different. Each one was a master magus of their own color, and capable of using all others besides. They commanded vast sorceries, built worlds, and forged races. Only since the time spiral have they been the near mortal creatures like Chandra and Jace.


Ahhhh the good old days


Anyway

I agree we shouldn't try to shoehorn in every spell and mechanic from the game. We should steal terminology from it left and right though.

As to the mana system and the non-magic classes, well what if we take the opposite approach, everything is magic. Even combatants in MtG tend to make use of simple spells or channel mana through their weapons. Even the barbarians have magic as an assumed part of their fighting style and culture. Furthermore since mana interacts with emotion you'd have to be pretty much a computer to not have any ability to manipulate mana. Even the technology is mana based.


I suggest we build a little mission statemen and keep it on the front page, it'll be  alist of our goals, and constraints. 
Goal

Create a TTRPG game that uses the worlds, terminology, and evokes the feel of the MtG game and lore.

Constraints

- Mana system is vital, but mana does not always equate to magic
- Do not attempt to make every spell or monster ever in MtG
- Do not attempt to make everything work the same way it does in the game
- Do steal terminolgy and ideas left, right, center, and if necessary make up new sides to steal from
- Characters should generally be something that would show up as a creature card




This sound about right?

I think it's very important to decide what characters the game needs to focus on, We've got one vote to focus on individuals that might appear on the various creature cards, the Glissas and Gerards rather than the Urzas or Towsers. I'm inclined to agree, but I think a summon focused rpg would be workable, it would be harder mind you, but it could be done.

Thoughts?

As to the mana system and the non-magic classes, well what if we take the opposite approach, everything is magic. Even combatants in MtG tend to make use of simple spells or channel mana through their weapons. Even the barbarians have magic as an assumed part of their fighting style and culture. Furthermore since mana interacts with emotion you'd have to be pretty much a computer to not have any ability to manipulate mana. Even the technology is mana based.


Problem with this is that it almost completely contradicts the canon. On some planes this might be true, but on most, magic is a rare commodity. 



I think it's very important to decide what characters the game needs to focus on, We've got one vote to focus on individuals that might appear on the various creature cards, the Glissas and Gerards rather than the Urzas or Towsers. I'm inclined to agree, but I think a summon focused rpg would be workable, it would be harder mind you, but it could be done.

Thoughts?
 



The goal sounds about right. You need to evoke the feel and the setting, not the exact mechanics. 


I think focusing on the creatures is best. I think it's what most people are going to expect and it's not that hard to adapt creatures to (current) planeswalkers. Using Oldwalkers won't work, since they're essentially gods. You can't use them in  more local stories.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Really cause in the novels it seemed like everyone had a touch. Maybe formal spellcraft was a bit uncommon but just about everyone seemed able to use mana if only via their racial abilities.
Ok bear with me here, but what mana has myriad uses and your character skills, race, etc. determine how you use it?

So a barbarian is still using red mana to fight, but he's not casting spells.

It just doesn't seem right to create an MtG RPG and then say, "you lot don't get to make use of the mana system". 

Sorry for the slow replies, I don't generally visit these parts.


Really cause in the novels it seemed like everyone had a touch. Maybe formal spellcraft was a bit uncommon but just about everyone seemed able to use mana if only via their racial abilities.


Planeswalkers often have magic, but creatures don't have to. Rafiq of the Many, for example doesn't cast any spells (but he does have quite a few magical amulets). Borborygmos, Kazuul or Thalia don't use magic at all. 

Ok bear with me here, but what mana has myriad uses and your character skills, race, etc. determine how you use it?
So a barbarian is still using red mana to fight, but he's not casting spells.

It just doesn't seem right to create an MtG RPG and then say, "you lot don't get to make use of the mana system". 



Mana should probably be a very core element to whatever ends up being created. It replaces the alignment system and it will also be related to the races and the classes. (For example, Warriors are Red, Black or Green, Clerics are White or Black...). And non-magical classes in Magic often use mana to activate abilities, so mana could just be a resource. 

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Ok so everyone get's mana, but mana=/=magic

That work for eveyone? 
Ok so everyone get's mana, but mana=/=magic

That work for eveyone? 

Sounds about right.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Ok then 

I think we're ready to start moving on to mechanical overview.

One of the big things we need to come up with is the resolution system. d20? roll and keep? clockwork? framework? The latest iteration of the Iron kingdoms uses a 2d6 model. 

The other biggies are the basic combat models, character models, action economy, and what kind of character progression we want. Once we've got the broad strokes We'll figure out the mana system, and once that's in place we can deal with the nitty gritty like race, magic items, casting, etc.
Ok then 

I think we're ready to start moving on to mechanical overview.

One of the big things we need to come up with is the resolution system. d20? roll and keep? clockwork? framework? The latest iteration of the Iron kingdoms uses a 2d6 model. 

The other biggies are the basic combat models, character models, action economy, and what kind of character progression we want. Once we've got the broad strokes We'll figure out the mana system, and once that's in place we can deal with the nitty gritty like race, magic items, casting, etc.

I'm not that familiar with different roleplaying systems. I've only ever played 4th edition D&D and not very much of it either. 


I do like the relative simplicity of a d20 and most Magic players have novelty d20 related to Magic: The Gathering as a way of representing life, so that could be an argument in favor of d20s. 


I don't know much  about the other things you mentioned, but I'll briefly give my thoughts on it.


Basic combat models: This is how you fight, right? Magic uses a system where attackers and blockers deal damage to each other at the same time, so maybe this is something we can work with. (I don't know if there are systems that do this already.) When you attack someone, they get the chance to deal damage while defending or something like that.


Character models: Is this the way you build your character? Like Strength, Agility, Charisma, etc? I would keep this relatively simple. A lot of skills and magic are going to be restricted by the type of mana a character can use anyway. On the other hand, for out of combat situations, this does become very  important.


Action Economy: This is like Move/Minor/Standard in D&D, if I'm not mistaken. Again, going by the way Magic works, you start with small effects and move towards bigger effects. Maybe a way to accumulate more power as the encounter goes on? You start with one "mana" and you can get more as the fight goes on. This way, you can either work towards big effects, or use more small effects later on.


Character progression: What are the options here? I know of level-based and I've heard about point-buy, but I'm unsure how that works, exactly.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Ok we'll work the ol twenty sider for now.

BAsic combat models are the stats involved in fighting and dying. HOw does the average character fight, defend, and move?

Character models are what stats do PCs have, generally the combat stats plus a few extras.

Action economy is the basic structure of how the game moves in combat or combat-like encounters, Most TTRPGs are turn based out of necessity so we can skip ahead to things like whether to use specific actions like 4e, or to hand out a number of action points per turn like tephra and let the players have more granular control of their actions.

Character progression how does a character go from Raging Goblin to Reckless One.

DnD 4e is an example of a class based level system, Characters level up in specific classes that represent different packages of skills and powers.

The 3e Mutants and masterminds is a classless level based point buy, your GM assigns a level (and will generally increase this level gradually over the course of play) and you get a certain number of points with which to buy skills, abilities scores, powers, and such based on your level.

Cthulhutech is a classless leveless point buy game where you're given points to spend at the start and as the game progresses, but there's no specific level mechanic guiding the progression like their is in M&M.

MAny game however fall between these extremes.

As to emulating the 'gatheirng mana' aspect of MtG, a lot depends on how we implement the mana systme but I can probably work that in somewhere.
let's back up a step, how much do we wanna rip from dnd or some other game? because if it's just a matter of modding the 4e frame work a tad and inserting a mana system is very different from building from the ground up.