The Kitchen Table #209 – The Magic Role-Playing Game

Read Abe Sargent every Thursday... at StarCityGames.com!Hello folks and welcome back to series that explores the caverns of the casual. Today, we are going to be doing some serious spelunking. I have spent a lot of time and research preparing today’s article, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. The spark for today’s subject came from an old format I discovered at another site. I found this old, old format trying to turn Magic into an RPG.

Hello folks and welcome back to series that explores the caverns of the casual. Today, we are going to be doing some serious spelunking. I have spent a lot of time and research preparing today’s article, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. The spark for today’s subject came from an old format I discovered at another site. I found this old, old format trying to turn Magic into an RPG.

I read it, but I had a lot of problems with the way it was set up. Then I decided to create my own Magic RPG. Although the original page gave me the idea to do an RPG, everything else here is my own creation. I hope you enjoy it, because as I’ve said, a lot of work went into it.

In this RPG, you represent a powerful Planeswalker who slings spells with great power. You are a better mage than most of the people you come across, but you are not fully developed yet, and still have much room to grow. You duel or chaos multiplayer with other similarly powered Planeswalkers who also need experience. This RPG represents that experience.

Create Your Character

Grab a sheet of paper to represent your character. Then, right at the top, give yourself a name. Your Planeswalker’s name could be a long lost title, like The Magister or something. It could also be a fantasy sounding name, such as Euplatious. Planeswalkers are pretentious people. If legendary but normal folk have titles, then you should as well. Euplatious is good, but boring. Euplatious the Ineffable is better. Euplatious, Soul’s Burden is even better than that.

Once you have your character’s name, you need to write down two stats. This RPG will track two statistics. Many RPGs have six, seven, ten or more stats for your to keep track of, but in this one, you’ll only need the two stats.

The first stat is Physical Fortitude. This stat represents your starting life total in every game you will play with your character. For every Mage Point you put in Physical Fortitude, you will gain five points of starting life. Most magi traditionally will allocate four of their starting Mage Points to Physical Fortitude.

The second stat is Mental Fortitude. How many spells can you keep in your head at one time? This stat represents your starting and max hand size. For every Mage Point you put in Mental Fortitude, you may add one card to your starting and max hand size. Most wizards traditionally allocate seven of their initial Mage Points here.

As you can see, you also have Mage Points. This is not another stat, but instead represents the currency of character creation. You begin the process with 12 Mage Points. At least one Mage Point must be spent on a skill or trait (see below).

A traditional way to build your character is to get 20 life, 7 cards, and then pick up a trait or skill. You could start with 20 life, 6 cards, and 2 traits or skills. You could start with 25 life, 6 cards, and 1 trait/skill. As long as you have at least 1 trait/skill in your initial character then you are fine.

You will also keep track of your XP. Whenever you win a duel against another Planeswalker, you get 2 XP, and your opponent gets 1 XP for playing. If you win a multiplayer game, subtract two from the number of players to find out how many points you get for winning, with a minimum of three points for victory. (3, 4, 5 players is 3 points for winning, 6 players is 4 XP, 7 players is 5 XP, etc). In any game with four or more players, the person who came in second gets 2 XP. Everyone else gets an XP for playing.

As you get XP, you gain levels. As you gain levels, you gain Mage Points to spend on your character. At each level, you gain three Mage Points. You cannot spend more than one Mage Point of your stats and you cannot spend more than one Mage Point on raising an individual skill, although you could raise two or three skills with your Mage Points.

Below is the chart for your levels:

Level 1 – 0 XP
Level 2 – 10 XP
Level 3 – 21 XP
Level 4 – 33 XP
Level 5 – 46 XP
Level 6 – 60 XP
Level 7 – 75 XP
Level 8 – 91 XP
Level 9 – 108 XP
Level 10 – 126 XP

Build Your Deck

There are some important deck construction rules while playing the RPG. Firstly, you can change decks in between games. This is not a problem at all, although, as you will note, there are reasons to play a main deck.

You may use any Vintage legal set to build your decks. This format uses the following restrictions and bannings:

If a card is restricted or banned in ANY Wizards offline format, then it is banned here. Offline means that it does not include the bannings in formats like Prismatic and Tribal Wars. This basically includes, Vintage, Extended, Legacy, Standard, and Block. Thus, cards like Lin-Sivvi and Cursed Scroll are banned, alongside, Skullclamp, Vampiric Tutor, and Tolarian Academy.

There is one further restriction to your deck building. At first, you may only play with common cards. Over time, you may spend Mage Points on certain traits and skills to gain additional access to cards for your decks. It is easier to gain access to uncommons than rares. As you purchases these accesses, you can modify any and all of your decks to reflect the new access. For example, suppose you spent 1 Mage Point to increase your Sage skill. That gives you access to any rare you want, and you choose Birds of Paradise. You may now put Birds into all of your decks up to 4 each, just like any other card.

During character creation, you may not spend any Mage Points in a skill or trait that increases your card pool, your deck must be completely common.

A card is considered common if that copy is common. Only an Arabian Nights Rukh Egg is common, for example. You could not play the base set Rukh Egg as a common.

Then, once you get to level 2, you may begin to purchase access to more cards should you so desire. This represents your mage getting more mystical knowledge over time.

One more rule – you may not play any alternate winning conditions beyond poison. You can toss down poison counter creatures, but you cannot play cards like Coalition Victory and Test of Endurance.

Besides the commonality and B&R lists and no alternate winning conditions, there are no other deck construction rules beyond the normal. You know, 4 of each card, 60 card minimum stuff. No sideboards here.

Oh, and if you play a Wish or the Ring of Ma’Ruf, you can only acquire a card that you have access to. You cannot Burning Wish for a Wrath of God if you don’t have access to Wraths.

The Skills

There are twenty skills below. Each skill can get better as you spend more and more points into it over time. On your character sheet, you should have your name, Physical Stamina, Mental Stamina, and XP listed. Now, below that, you will list any skills you take. Some skills require choices, and for those that do, jot down your choices. Then, write how many Mage Points you have invested into that skill.

Druid – For each point of Druid you take, you get a point that can be used to draw a basic land from your deck. Keep track of your points each game. For example, if you have two points of Druid, begin the game with a die set to 2. Then, whenever you go to draw a card, you may instead search your library for a basic land, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. Move your die down one. This is great skill at making sure that you are not mana-hosed because it does work with your opening hand. As you draw cards for your first grip, you may use Druid immediately. It also works well with land destruction or to recover from an opponent’s sweeping land removal like Obliterate.

Battle-Mage – For each point of Battle-Mage you take, you get a point of power and can participate in combat defensively. This represents you actually knowing how to fight. You cannot attack your opponent. Envision your mage as someone who fights the creatures that attack him. If you put one point into this skill, then you can deal one point to any creature that was unblocked and damaged you in combat. If you have multiple points in this skill, then you can deal all of that damage to one creature that hit you, or split it between multiple attackers that hit you. This is combat damage. You cannot target yourself with spells that give you first strike or whatnot. You cannot hit a trampler who damaged you after getting blocked or a creature like Thorn Elemental that deals damage to you but was blocked. In order for this to work, the creature has to be unblocked.

Psionic – For each point of Psionic, you can discard a card from your hand to deal that number of points of damage to an opposing creature. Not a player though. For example, if you have spent three Mage Points in Psionic, you can discard a card at instant speed to deal three colorless damage from the skill. For purposes of Protection abilities, this is coming from a colorless Planeswalker source of damage.

Sage – For each point of Sage, you gain access to a rare card of your choice for your deck. You may play up to four copies of that card in as many decks as you wish. Jot down your card beside the Sage skill on your character sheet.

Abjurer – For each point of Abjurer you have, you can reduce damage taken by spells and abilities by that number of points. Three points of Abjurer prevents a Lightning Bolt from damaging you, for example.

Totemic Shaman – For each point of Totemic Shaman, you can choose a creature type. All creatures of the chosen type get +1/+1. This bonus is not cumulative, but you can choose more types, as you put in more points. Write down the creature type you choose next to the skill. Note that your bonus affects opposing creatures as well. Your opponent can even purchase the Metamorph trait to counter this, but they have to spend two Mage Points to counter your one spent here. Although this bonus is not cumulative with itself, it is cumulative with other bonuses like Kobold Lord and Elementalist.

Weaver – For each point of weaver, choose sorcery, instant, artifact, or enchantment. Spells of that type cost one less colorless mana to play. This bonus is not cumulative, but you can choose more types as you put more points in. Write your selection next to the skill. This represents how well your mage weaves the fabric of magic. The reduction in cost is colorless, so if you chose enchantment, you could not play Rancor for free.

Necromancer – For each point of Necromancer, you may once, during a game, draw from your graveyard instead of your library. Drawing from your graveyard means that, instead of drawing a card from your library, you may select any card from your graveyard and put it into your hand, and it counts as drawing for purposes of Underworld Dreams. Just like the Druid skill, start the game with a die set to the number of Necromancer points you have. Alternatively, you could start with Necromancer tokens or whatnot.

Alchemist – For each point of Alchemist, you may once, during a game, discard a card to produce an amount of mana equal to the colored mana symbols in the cost of the card (I.e. Discard Atogatog to make URGBW, discard Future Sight to make UUU, etc). This is done at instant speed. Again, like Necromancer and Druid, keep track of how many times you have used Alchemist during the game.

Herbalist – For each point of Herbalist, you gain a regeneration shield for each game you may use on a creature. This regen effect is so powerful that it will even regen a creature from an effect that normally prevents regeneration. I.e. you can use this shield to regen a Shivan Dragon from an opposing Terror, even thought the Terror says you can’t. One last time, like the other skills that can be used once per game per point, keep track of this with dice, counters, tokens, or something. I actually keep a Death Ward card off to the side for each level of Herbalist I have.

Artificer – For each point you place into Artificer, you can play creatures with that converted mana cost for colorless as artifact creatures. For example, after putting in one point, you could play Llanowar Elves or Putrid Imp for one colorless mana, and they would be an artifact creature. For two points, you could play White Knight for two colorless mana, and it would be an artifact creature – etc. Okay, this one is a little more complex. Basically, any creature in your hand is playable as an artifact creature with a converted casting cost in colorless mana. This lets you play any creature in your deck without regard to color in your deck, but the creature is fully an artifact, and can be Shattered and whatnot. Mark which creatures are now artifact creatures with a different colored sleeve or a token or something.

Adept – For each point you place into Adept, you may play all uncommons from a Block of your choice… i.e. for one point, you might choose Ravnica block uncommons or Rath Cycle uncommons. Ice Age Block is Ice Age, Alliances and Coldsnap, not Homelands. As was stated before, uncommons are easier to gain access to than rares. Note that the early sets, Homelands, and Portal sets are unable to get uncommon access purchased to them via this method.

Ally – For each point of Ally you purchase, you may select an in-game character. You gain access to all of that character’s cards (such as Serra, Jace Beleren, Yawgmoth, Mishra, etc). The card must have the character’s name in the title of the card to count. Exception: If a card is a legendary creature that depicts your Ally but does not have the Ally‘s name in the text, you may still play it. Examples that I can think of are Crovax and Ascendant Evincar, and Urza with Blind Seer. Note that places like Phyrexia, Shiv, and Benalia are not allies. For example, if you Ally with Squee, you can play both uncommon and rare Squee cards; Squee, Goblin Nabob, and Squee’s Embrace. This is just another way to get access, and a clever way at that. Lots of characters have tons of cards, and you can easily get some greats ones by getting an Ally. Write down your choice next to the skill on your sheet.

Elementalist – For each point, chose an element. (The elements are fire, rock, water, and air). Elementals associated with the given type get +1/+1. This is cumulative with Totemic Shaman. If you put five points into this skill, it works with all elementals, i.e. if you chose water, elementals such as Wave Elemental, Brine Elemental, Water Elemental and such would all get +1/+1. Many elementals are not aligned with any of the four major elements of traditional western thought. If your group allows, you can consider plants and wood an element, which is a more eastern view of elemental breakdown. That would allow you to pump Fungus Elemental, Wood Elemental, etc. Just because an elemental is in a certain color does not indicate it automatically is aligned with that color’s element.

Signature – For each point you may chose any spell or non-land permanent with a casting cost of two or less that you already have access to. You may play that spell or permanent for no mana. You may not play it more than once per turn, i.e. you could choose Wall of Blossoms as your signature, and then you could play it for free on your turn (since it’s a creature). Write down your choice on your character sheet. Yes, this means every deck can play, for free, cards like Lightning Bolt and Counterspell. This allows you to play a card not in your colors without changing your manabase. The restriction to only playing it once per turn keeps you from creating a combo deck based around playing the same creature over and over again for free, a la Aluren.

Dauntless – You gain Protection from Instants and Sorceries with a converted casting cost of X, where X is the number of points you have put into Dauntless. This is actually a pretty simple skill compared to the others.

Tactician – For each point placed into this category, choose flanking, first strike, banding, provoke, lifelink, reach, or vigilance. All of your creatures gain the chosen ability. Write down your selection next to the skill. Please note that these do stack. You cannot choose the same ability twice, but if a creature you control already has one of these abilities, it will get a second time (lifelink, provoke, and flanking work in multiples).

Master Tactician – For each three points placed into this category, choose flying, fear, haste, double strike, death touch, shroud, or trample. All of your creatures gain the chosen ability. Again, write down your selection next to the skill.

Vernal Master – Every sorcery you play with a converted cost of X or less gains split second, where X is the number of points placed in Vernal Master. This means that for one point, every Lay of the Land, Ponder and Firebolt you play has split second. For two points, every Night’s Whisper and Hull Breach you play has split second as well, and so on up the ladder. I initially envisioned this skill as a mage who has become so accustomed to casting the small sorceries that you don’t even notice when they are cast anymore.

Oracle – For each point of Oracle you purchase, whenever a spell or ability causes you to look or reveal the top X of cards into your library, you may add one. For example, if you have purchased one point, Impulse digs the top five, Fact or Fiction reveals the top six, Opt looks at the top two, Neurok Familiar reveals two cards, etc. This does not affect draw cards and effects, like Merfolk Looter. For some cards, like the aforementioned Neurok Familiar, this could really change its power level. Please note that some cards say “reveal a card until blank occurs.” These cards are not Oracle-abled either, since they do not have a set number of revelations to add one too. Since you don’t know how deep they’ll go, you cannot add to it. (Examples include Oath of Druids, Erratic Mutation and Explosion, etc.)

The Traits

Below are 35 traits that you can take for your mage. In almost every case you only need to spend one Mage Point on the trait (there is one trait that costs two Mage Points and another that you can upgrade once). As you purchase each trait, jot it down on your character sheet.

Seer – During your upkeep, Choose One – Look at the top three cards of target player’s library, or look at target player’s hand, or look at a face-down creature to see what it is. There are a lot of cards that this combos well with, and I’ll leave it to you to find them.

Metamorph – Choose a creature type other than sliver. All creatures in your deck have this type while in play in addition to their normal types. This ability costs two points. As a trait, it can only be purchased one time. Note that this only affects creatures in play, not those in other zones.

Spiritualist – Whenever you play a spirit you may put a 1/1 White spirit token into play. Simple and straightforward.

Arcanist – Whenever you play an arcane spell, you may draw a card. Another simple trait.

Metamage – When you play a spell or a nonland permanent, you may choose what color or colors to make it. You can play White Knight as a Blue creature for instance, or play Counterspell as a Green instant. You cannot make anything colorless, and these decisions must be made once, when you play them. This does not change the casting cost of the card. This is a good card for using against hosers, making your creatures immune to Terror effects, or to build your deck around, a la Bad Moon type effects.

Summoner – During your upkeep, you may put one creature into play from your hand if its converted casting cost is less than the number of lands you control, i.e. you could put Urborg Elf into play during your upkeep from your hand if you have three or more lands under your control. Note that you can only put one creature into play per turn. This cannot be countered through counter magic, and a lot of people will be glad to see it. Note that it comes down much later than it would if you just played it. Watchwolf can be played on turn 2, but could not be played via Summoner until the upkeep of turn 4.

Hoarfrost Affinity – All snow creatures you control get +1/+1. Again, this is cumulative with other bonuses.

Architect – Walls you control may attack as though they did not have defender as long as their power is less than their toughness. I did allow any wall to attack initially, but I realized that Cinder Wall followed by Wall of Razors would beat any dedicated aggro player’s deck. Therefore, I dialed it back a bit. It still makes cards like Wall of Swords and Sunweb really good, but keeps the aggro stuff off the table.

Enchanter – All of your non-artifact creatures gain Affinity for Enchantments. There are no enchantment lands, and most early enchantments aren’t that good. This also only affects creatures, not other cards. It doesn’t even help artifact creatures, thus preventing the free creature. On the other hand, it does enable you to drop some creatures of size in a dedicated enchantment deck.

Flourisher – During your upkeep, you may put a counter on a creature or permanent with a counter type you control. If it is a creature, you may choose it to be a +1/+1 counter. Otherwise, the counter is of whatever type the card states… i.e. you could give a Birds of Paradise a +1/+1 counter, or you could give a Blastoderm another fading counter OR a +1/+1 counter, or you could give a Magma Mine a pressure counter. You could not give a Howling Mine anything.

Legendarium – All of your legendary creatures gain convoke and bands with other legends. When you take this, you may choose any legendary creature initially published in Legends and gain access to it. This is just a flavor way of getting your legends out and making them interesting, while also allowing you to take an old school Legend for your decks.

Insane – If an opponent forces you to discard, all of your non-land cards gain madness with a cost identical to their mana cost. If your opponent played Hymn to Tourach on you, and you randomly discarded Swords to Plowshares and Mobilization, then your could madness the Swords for one White mana and the Mobilization for 2W. If you just hate discard, I wanted to give you the ability to lightly hose it without completely eliminating discard as an option for your opponent. They can still try to hit you while you are tapped out, but it gives you options.

Touch of Darkness – Your creatures may block as though they had shadow and were Black instead of their normal color. (That means they could block a feared creature, or a White creature could block a Pro White creature because now it blocks as though it were Black). Pretty self explanatory here.

Alliance with Bandits – You may begin the game with a Scarwood Bandits card in play under your control. Heh. This is just a fun little Abe ability. Nothing to see here.

Shifter – All of your shapeshifters and illusions gain amplify: 2. This is good with the shapeshifters in Lorwyn, otherwise called changelings. When you play a changeling, you can amplify every single creature card in your hand, making your changelings pretty big.

Chivalry – All natural instances of first strike on your creatures become double strike. This is one of several “ramp up” traits that will upgrade an existing ability to a better one. Note that this reads “natural” and does not work if you give the creature first strike through any method. This is not a combo with Tactician set to first strike.

Prismatic Mage – You may play any card for BUGWR. Just your basic Fist of Suns here.

Insubstantial into Phantasm – All creatures you control with a natural landwalk ability are now unblockable. This is another “ramp up” trait. Note the use of “natural” again.

Kobold Lord – All of your Kobolds get +1/+1. This is cumulative with Totemic Shaman selecting Kobolds. Note that Totemic Shaman, Kobold Lord and Metamorph can make all of your creatures get +2/+2 but it costs a total of 4 Mage Points.

Inverse Diversity – All opposing creatures are legendary. Inspired by a certain Leyline.

Fallow Mage – No player may put more than one land into play on their turn, no matter the method. Any attempt to do so fails. Inspired by Worms of the Earth. This shuts down mana hungry combo decks.

Eldritch Specialist – You gain access to all purple timeshifted cards for your deck. You also gain access to the promo cards (like Sewers of Estark, Nalathni Dragon, etc). Just another access purchase here. For this one, I’m allowing you to play any version you have access to, because many of the timeshifted purple cards are hard to find. If you have Legions Akroma, you shouldn’t have to pick up a new purple Akroma due to cost, so she’s accessible. The same is true of the promo cards in case you want to run Giant Badger but only have the basic set version.

Retromancer – Whenever a permanent goes into your graveyard from play, you may choose to shuffle it into your library. For an additional point, whenever a spell or ability an opponent controls puts a card into your graveyard from your library, you may shuffle it into your library instead. This is the only upgradable trait in the RPG. The first one is nice, but the second hoses an entire strategy. If someone really wants to hose milling, I wanted them to have to spend two points to do it, but no one would ever do that because the first point is a waste. I compromised, and made it an upgrade of Retromancer.

Terramancer – Whenever a spell or ability controlled by an opponent would cause one of your lands to go to the graveyard, regenerate that land. This is a normal regeneration shield that can be stopped by abilities that prevent regeneration. This will save your land-creatures from things like Lightning Bolt, but not from Dark Banishing.

Oneiromancer – Whenever a spell of yours is countered, search your library for a spell with the same name and put it into your hand. You may not play it this turn. Like the discard hose, I wanted this to be light hose, but good for you. There is still something gained by countering your spells, because you can’t play it again, it’s just not as good for the counter mage.

As it Once Was – Opposing tapped blocking creatures do not deal combat damage. Opposing artifacts which are tapped have their static abilities turned off. This is pretty obvious, and a lot of fun to play around with.

Filterscope – Choose a color before each game. During that game, all of your basic lands gain “tap: produce a mana of the chosen color” You may choose a different color each game, so there is no need to write down any choice on your character sheet. Like Druid, this can really help prevent mana screw in that a two color deck plays like a one color deck, a three color deck plays a like a two color one, etc.

Haughty – At the beginning of each game, choose a color. During each player’s upkeep, if they control a nonland permanent that is not that color, that player loses a life. Similarly to Filterscope, this is a choice made before every game, so you do not have to write down your choice. This card was inspired by Urborg Stalker.

Familiar – Chose a non-legendary creature with “Familiar” in its name. You gain access to that creature if it is not common. You may begin the game with that creature in play. Note that any familiar chosen will have any abilities trigger after coming into play. Familiars come into play after your cards are drawn and mulligans are completed. For example, a Neurok Familiar will require you to reveal a card and possibly draw it. A Raven Familiar gets you an extra card, but will likely die because of your inability to pay its echo cost. Write down what familiar you have chosen, because all of your decks will start with the same familiar out. “Non-legendary” prevents you from taking Tomorrow. The best beater is Skirge Familiar, a 3/2 flyer, but you might prefer the common Planeshift familiars for their ability to assist your manabase. Oddest familiar choice – tie between Ertai‘s Familiar and Obstinate Familiar. This extra creature is in addition to your 60 card deck, so you could play four Owl Familiars in the deck, and start with a fifth in play.

Prestidigitation – As an instant, once a turn you may take a card from your hand and remove it from the game face down. During your upkeep, you may return one card removed this way back to your hand. This is one a turn and just one card returned to prevent you from breaking it too much. It still plays well with a lot of cards, but prevents you from popping a Magus of the Jar for seven cards, tossing all seven in the hole, and then getting them back the following upkeep.

Channeler – Whenever you play a spell, you are considered to have six basic land types in play (for cards like Tribal Flames and whatnot). This is great for domain cards. You don’t even need to be playing all five colors for this to work. Take Channeler for a mono-Red deck and run the now powerful Tribal Flames. Of course, the best way to abuse Channeler is to be running many different colors, so that you can get access to numerous domain spells, but by then, you have three or four land types already in play…

Auramancer – All of your auras gain aura swap equal to their casting cost + one colorless mana. This is pretty simple, and pretty good. Swap out your Pacifism, at instant speed, for 2W in order to put that Control Magic in your hand into play on a creature. This is pretty good for a deck that builds around it. Even a deck that drops Rancors can run one or two Epic Proportions to aura swap out.

Transmuter – Choose a creature type. All of your tribal cards gain that creature type. This may only be purchased once. This is Metamorph for the tribal cards. It allows Wort to return Bound in Silence, or to have an Elvish Harbinger search up a Tarfire.

Phantasm into Reality – All of your creatures with soulshift can now retrieve non-spirits as well from your graveyard. This is the 35th trait, and the final member of the “ramp up” gang.

Alright then, we now have the rules for the RPG. In summation:

* Your character has a Mental Fortitude. This is the number of cards you start with and max hand size.
* Your character has a Physical Fortitude. This is the number of life you begin the game with.
* Your character has XP, which you gain as you play and win games.
* Your decks must start with commons, but you can purchase access to more cards later.
Commonality is tied to the actual card you are playing.

* You get Mage Points when you begin your character and at each level. These buy MF, PF and skills and traits. 12 Mage Points begin your character, and 3 you receive at each leveling.

* At character creation, at least one MP must be spent on a skill/trait.
* At each level, no more than one MP can be spent on MF/PF total. No more than one MP can be spent to upgrade a skill.
* You can never play an alternate winning condition.
* Cards restricted or banned in any Wizards offline format are banned here.
* Vintage legal sets are allowed, 60 card minimum decks, no more than 4 cards in the deck of a card.
* You may switch decks between matches.
* You can have traits and skills. Skills are upgradeable and scalable, traits are usually one time purchases.

Let’s take a look at a few sample character sheets.

Here is my character at level 1. I wanted to play a deck with a lot of 187 creatures, such as Civic Wayfinder, Ravenous Rats, Ghitu Slinger and more, plus tricks like Ninja of the Deep Hours or Shrieking Drake and Arctic Merfolk.

Euplatious, Scourge of Antalia
Physical Fortitude: 4
Mental Fortitude: 7
XP: 0
Traits and Skills: Filterscope

I took Filterscope so that I can easily play extra colors.

Here he is at level 2:

Euplatious, Scourge of Antalia
Physical Fortitude: 4
Mental Fortitude: 8
XP: 10
Traits and Skills: Filterscope, Artificer: 1, Adept: Urza’s Block

I grabbed an extra starting and max hand size card to help me out. I took Artificer to help out my creature choices even more than Filterscope could, and Urza’s Block access gives me great cards like Avalanche Riders, Raven Familiar, and Bone Shredder.

Here he is at level 3:

Euplatious, Scourge of Antalia
Physical Fortitude: 5
Mental Fortitude: 8
XP: 21
Traits and Skills: Filterscope, Artificer: 2, Adept: Urza’s Block, Sage: Living Death

I got access to my money card with this iteration. Artificer rose to two, so I can play cards like Monk Realist without having to play White in my deck. I also wanted the extra life bump, moving me to 25 starting life. Here is the final, level 4, version of my guy.

Euplatious, Scourge of Antalia
Physical Fortitude: 5
Mental Fortitude: 9
XP: 33
Traits and Skills: Filterscope, Artificer: 3, Adept: Urza’s Block, Sage: Living Death, Summoner

Now my character is very developed. Between Summoner, Filterscope, and Artificer: 3, I can play a lot of creatures of different colors, but focus my manabase on just two, streamlining my mana requirements. I no longer need to dedicate deck space to as many mana smoothing cards as I previously did. I increased my starting hand count again. In future levels, I’d like to jump my life total to 30, and increase my card pool. I might also take a trait that counters opposing strategies, like Oneiromancer.

You can do this with your character too. What combination of stats, skills and traits will you choose when you play The Magic Role-Playing Game?

I hope you can see why I’m rather proud of this article. It’s a different way to play the game, and although the initial idea of RPGing Magic belonged to someone else, everything else is all mine.

Good luck with the game, and please share all of your stories about how it went with me. I’d love to hear it!

Until later,

Abe Sargent