DMs Guild Review – Advanced Arcana

The 160+page Guidebook adapts creatures, items, spells, and an entirely new mana-based spell system from Magic: The Gathering into D&D.

A review copy of “Advanced Arcana – Alternative Mana-Based Spellcasting System” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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Designed by:  Ken Carcas, Justyn Johnston, Luke Monroe

I’ve never been a big fan of Dungeon & Dragons’ unintuitive spellcasting system, with leveled spell slots and having to memorize spells. Give me a universal mana system or simple limited number of uses per day or per encounter any day.

Advanced Arcana” attempts to translate the mana system from popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. This is particular relevant with the still semi-recent release of the official Wizards of the Coast published supplement, Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, which finally adapted at least some of Magic: the Gathering‘s content into Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.

But there’s still a lot of room for M:TG content, including its actual magic system. Unfortunately Magic‘s system is also a bit of a pain for different reasons, and combining it with D&D results in needlessly fiddly spellcasting that’s already giving me nightmares of some of the worst gameplay aspects of the card game.

Thankfully the new spell system is only a fraction of the content available in this massive 150+ page guide book. With new magic items, creatures, and even adventures, “Advanced Arcana” is practically the Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Ravnica Edition.

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Roll20 Review- Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica

The arcane-punk urban world of Magic: The Gathering’s Ravnica gets an official fifth edition conversion with new races, subclasses, backgrounds, and a 1st-level adventure.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

roll20 reviewMy history with Magic: The Gathering is ancient to say the least. I was there on the front lines when it launched in the early 90s, obsessing over booster packs and deck builds, and playing it in between band practice in middle school. By high school its popularity with my friends and I had worn out a bit, though I still dabbled occasionally.

Fast forward about two decades and Magic is still riding high while other big collectible card games have come and gone. Despite both D&D and M:TG being owned by the same company, it’s taken until recently to get official crossover content. Gulidmasters’ Guide to Ravnica represents the first print book that uses lore, creatures, and races from the card game and converts them to Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.

The Roll20 module includes a first level adventure, the full compendium of lore, races, and creatures, and a bonus character art pack. The guild-focused content is thorough and interesting, with plenty of options for players and ideas for DM’s wanting to run an adventure in this arcane-punk city.


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