The sprawling cityscape of Ravnica offers plenty of urban adventure opportunities from its colorful history (as detailed in this article). Before Wizards of the Coast releases their Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, I wanted to offer some useful tips for DMs and players when deciding to immerse themselves in such a vibrant setting.

The seal of the Guildpact, Image by Wizards of the Coast

Playing in Ravnica

Here are some class & background suggestions for playing in Ravnica if you choose to be part of the ten Guilds.

(Sources from the Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Oath of Civilization is found in Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide)

  • All: Any character can choose the Faction Agent background in SCAG
  • The Azorius Senate (White/Blue):
    • Paladin (Oath of devotion/civilization)
    • Cleric (Order/Knowledge)
    • Fighter (Champion/Eldritch Knight)
    • Wizard (Abjuration/Divination/Enchantment)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Azorius members value order above all else.
    • Suggested backgrounds: acolyte, knight, noble, soldier, cloistered scholar (SCAG)
  • The Boros Legion (Red/White):
    • Paladin (Oath of Vengeance/Conquest)
    • Fighters (any)
    • Bard (College of Valor/Swords)
    • Barbarian (Zealot)
    • Monk (Sun Soul)
    • Cleric (Light/Forge domain)
    • Sorcerer (Divine Soul)
    • Wizard (War Magic)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Boros have a zealous enforcement of the law, Azorius make the laws to which Boros becomes their sword and fists
    • Suggested backgrounds: knight, noble, soldier, knights of the order (SCAG), city watch/investigator (SCAG)
  • The House Dimir (Blue/Black):
    • Rogues (any),
    • Bards (College of Whispers)
    • Sorcerer (Shadow Magic)
    • Cleric (Darkness/Trickery/Death)
    • Wizard (Illusion/Enchantment)
    • Monk (Long Death/Shadows)
    • Warlock (Hexblade)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Subterfuge and secrecy is power. Knowledge and information is currency.
    • Suggested backgrounds: charlatan, criminal, urchin, urban bounty hunter (SCAG)
  • The Cult of Rakdos (Black/Red):
    • Barbarians (Berserker/Zealot)
    • Bard (College of Valor)
    • Cleric (Tempest/War)
    • Rogues (Arcane Tricksters/Assassins/Mastermind),
    • Paladin (Oath of Conquest)
    • Warlock (Fiend/Hexblade Patron)
    • Sorcerer (Divine Soul)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Life is short, live to the fullest. Embrace the chaos. Take care of the self.
    • Suggested backgrounds: acolyte, charlatan, criminal, entertainer, urchin
  • The Golgari Swarm (Black/Green):
    • Druid (Circle of Spores or Blight)
    • Cleric (Nature/Death/Grave)
    • Rogue (Assassin/Mastermind)
    • Ranger (Hunter/Beast Master/Gloomstalker)
    • Warlock (Fey Patron)
    • Wizard (Necromancy)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Recycle the dead. Expand and power through growth. Spread like a creeping mold.
    • Suggested backgrounds: outlander, criminal, sage, hermit, urchin
  • The Gruul Clans (Red/Green):
    • Barbarian (any)
    • Bard (College of Valor)
    • Cleric (Nature)
    • Druid (any)
    • Fighter (Champion/Brute)
    • Monk (Way of the Elements)
    • Ranger (any)
    • Rogue (Scout)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Freedom and anarchy above all else. Destroy the shackles of civilization and return to the laws of wild nature
    • Suggested backgrounds: outlander, hermit, urchin, uthgardt tribe member (SCAG), gladiator
  • The Izzet League (Blue/Red):
    • Cleric (Knowledge/Arcane/Forge)
    • Bard (College of Lore)
    • Wizard (School of Invention, any)
    • Rogue (Mastermind/Arcane Trickster)
    • Artificer
    • Sorcerer (Wild Magic/Storm Sorcery)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Always seek knowledge. Experiment, improve, learn.
    • Suggested backgrounds: cloistered scholar (SCAG), sage, hermit, guild artisan/merchant, clan crafter (SCAG)
  • The Orzhov Syndicate (White/Black):
    • Cleric (Order/Death/Grave/Knowledge/Trickery)
    • Paladin (Oath of Devotion/Conquest)
    • Monk (Long Death)
    • Rogue (Assassin/Mastermind)
    • Wizard (Abjuration/Conjuration/Enchantment/Necromancy/Transmutation)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Ageless and conservatism. Oppression of the weak through power and material greed. Maintain the status quo. There is no escape with death.
    • Suggested backgrounds: acolyte, cloistered scholar (SCAG), criminal, sage, soldier, guild artisan/merchant, haunted one (Curse of Strahd), urban bounty hunter
  • The Selesnya Conclave (Green/White):
    • Druid (Circle of the Shepard)
    • Ranger (Hunter/Beast Master/Gloomstalker)
    • Rogue (Scout)
    • Paladin (Oath of the Ancients/Devotion/Redemption)
    • Cleric (Life/Nature)
    • Warlock (Celestial/Fey Patron)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Strength through community and harmony as a religious code. Recruit new members often, strength in numbers to the road of salvation.
    • Suggested backgrounds: acolyte, cloistered scholar (SCAG), guild artisan/merchant, outlander, soldier, noble
  • The Simic Combine (Green/Blue):
    • Druid (Moon/Shepard)
    • Cleric (LIfe/Nature)
    • Wizard (Conjuration/Transmutation)
    • Sorcerer (Wild Magic)
    • Ranger (any)
    • Roleplay suggestions: Conservation and research. Evolution is a tool to greater adapt to the everchanging urban lifestyle of Ravnica and reach out to the wilderness.
    • Suggested backgrounds: cloistered scholar, sage, noble

Story Hooks

Due to the massive timeline for Ravnica, even just playing during pivotal points within this expansive narrative can provide a unique context to the world.

Potential Story/Campaign Ideas:

  • Players play as members of one of the ten guilds, their tasks and duties are to maintain the status quo of their guild and deal with any potential clashes.
  • Players are part of House Dimir during the events of the Ravnica, City of Guilds block. You are unknowns, and many believe your guild doesn’t exist anymore. This hook can be a very Blades in the Dark inspired game.
  • Players are members of different guilds tasked with maintaining order during the events of Dragon’s Maze, either to preserve the authenticity of the contest or perhaps play as secondary Mazerunners.
  • Jace Beleren has become the Living Guildpact and enlists the players as an elite force to maintain the peace and stability between the ten guilds with the aid of the Izzet’s draconic genius, Niv-Mizzit in preparation of the upcoming battle against the elder dragon planeswalker, Nicol Bolas.
  • In Ravnica, the souls of the departed do not enter an afterlife and instead linger as spirits in an area designated for them. Your party will have to find the spirit of a recent murder guild leader and unearth whatever plot lies ahead. A potential murder-mystery sort of adventure.
  • The dracogenius, Niv-Mizzit, is holding a contest of intellectual ingenuity and boldness. Winners will be granted access to the Izzet’s Arcane Sanctum to learn rare and untested magicks.
  • You are the Guildless and seek to stop the madness of the ten guilds before a potential all-out war erupts on the plane.

Some things to keep in mind while playing in Ravnica:

  • The Guilds have been and will always be rivals. Clashes will often happen especially in situations where goals intersect.
  • Multi-guild cooperation is not uncommon
  • There is a deep animosity between the Guildless and the Guilds
  • If you’re playing with the Guildpact active (whether the original or the living version), the Guilds are restricted from performing functions outside of their jurisdiction.
  • Be proud of your Guild affiliation
  • If you’re playing a Guildless, you do not perform a vital function to the city of Ravnica but instead, serve as one of the many denizens that roam its streets with minor roles & professions.
  • There are magical transport vehicles plus beasts of burden in the city, so travel from one end of the plane to the other is entirely possible albeit still a long journey.
  • In most Magic the Gathering settings, extraplanar travel is often impossible except for planeswalkers. Spells such as banishment, planesift, and gate will most likely be unavailable to you. Etherealness will transport an individual into the dimension known as the Ghost Quarter of Agyrem.
  • There are other factions besides the Ten Guilds of Ravnica, smaller sects, and groups that serve different functions and sometimes under a guild.
  • The central city of Ravnica sits on top of a mountain, a region called the Undercity (where the Golgari, Rakdos & Dimir reside) rests underneath the mountain.

Further Readings

  • Journey to Ravnica
  • Mana and D&D Spellcasting in Ravnica (Coming Soon)
  • You can preorder your copy of Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica here.

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