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This article was written on 09 Sep 2013, and is filled under 1e D&D, 2e D&D, 3e D&D, 4e D&D, Fluff/Inspiration, Game Design, Magic: The Gathering.

Magic Cards & Plot Design

By Mark:

I just aquired a giant box full of common and uncommon Magic: The Gathering cards, and as I was sorting through them, I realized I was creating whole stories in my head based on the cards I drew. The art on MTG cards is simply stunning, and worth picking up a booster for just to look at.

Anyway, as I was looking over these cards, I decided to plan a whole D&D adventure based on random drawing of Magic cards. I decided to draw three cards representing the plot, three cards representing important NPCs and monsters, and one card depicting the Big Bad Evil Guy of the session. The results were pretty spectacular.

Plot: Walking Corpse, Sewer Shambler, Mwonvuli Beast Tracker

Important NPC: Knight Of Obligation, Rust Scarab, Midnight Guard

BBEG: Vile Rebirth

Knight of Obligation by Ryan Barger

Knight of Obligation by Ryan Barger

Okay, so, both the Walking Corpse and Sewer Shambler are zombies, while Mwonvuli Beast Tracker is a human, as is the Knight of Obligation (a noble-looking knight on a horse) and the Midnight Guard (a town watch type character). The Rust Scarab is a 4/5 creature (fairly powerful), so it’s not a scarab-sized scarab, but something more akin to a rust monster. Finally, Vile Rebirth is a spell that allows you to take a creature from your graveyard (discard pile), remove it from the game, and spawn a zombie into the game.

I’m muddling this over, and I think I’ve got it!

The PCs are traveling though a fairly uninhabited region, when they meet up with a ranger traveling in the same direction. He tells you that he’s received news that in the village further down the road, villagers have mysteriously been vanishing without a trace. He intends to investigate, and invites the players to join him.

The players arrive in the village, where the magistrate of the village, a paladin on horseback, approaches the heroes and assures them that everything is fine. He has it handled. The players, naturally, stick around to investigate.

After some investigation, they find evidence that the missing villagers have been drug off into the sewer. Below, they find a few zombies infesting the tunnels, before stumbling upon a hidden sanctuary. There, the Paladin has given in to dark magic and is performing a vile ritual, killing villagers and raising them again as zombies. He intends to turn the village into his own army, and overthrow the local lord!

The players stop the anti-paladin, and save the village! Now, they just need to tell the villagers of their loss…

See? So easy! The next set of Magic is called Theros, and is based on Greek mythology (one of my favorite subjects). There should be some great adventures to spawn from that.

One Comment

  1. Nefiron
    September 9, 2013

    That’s actually a nice way to create plots.
    I’m a regular magic player and I have a ton of cards lying around. This might be an inspirational way of reusing them other than creating legacy decks.

    Thank you for the tip!

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