Friday, January 18, 2013

Old magic, new tricks

Whilst putting off the ever-growing tower of dishes in the kitchen I decided to organize the old cardboard box full of magic cards that was sitting on the porch. Now, I enjoying a game of Magic every now and then, but I find myself in a position of not really having anyone to play with, and when I do I pretty much only use one deck (white life gain). So I thought I might sell the remaining cards, but there really isn't anything that worthwhile and I would have to walk allllllll the way down to the comic shop and talk to that guy who smells like soup.

So instead of that I figured I could use them to make some quick one shot campaigns, and I must say, it kind of works. So here's the breakdown--

The first thing you wanna do is sort out all the lands and shuffle them into a deck named PLACES. Don't forget to pick cards with different art so you have a little variety, seeing as most of the information you're getting here is from the pictures. I'm sure if you took the time you could use the various stats on the cards as well (in fact, it would be pretty easy), but I hate numbers and don't have time for that kind of shit.

Then you sort out all the creatures that you know you'll never want to use. I mean, how many angels does any campaign need? That's a trick question it's whatever the fuck you want to do it's your game bro. What was left was a bunch of creatures appropriate to various places/biomes that now exist in a bunch of color coded decks named PEOPLE/CREATURES. If you want you could probably sort into piles of friendly/unfriendly, but I'm aiming for simplicity here.

Then you grab all of the Enchantments/Sorcery/Instants and put them in a pile called PLOT HOOKS. You might have to be a bit creative here. GOOD THING YOU'RE A DM.

Don't forget artifacts! Stuff them in a big ole deck called MAGIC ITEMS.

Let's see how it works. Draw a land, then a creature from the corresponding color (though I would imagine that dropping a bunch of mountain creatures into a forest would be great for that little thing called conflict that most stories need). Then draw as many plot hooks and artifacts as you think your feeble players can handle. Again, up to you.





Okay so I have a serene-as-fuck looking plot of forest, a giant tending a plant in a SUPER similar looking chunk of serene-as-fuck forest, some floating pyramids of doom that appear to be endangering the sanctity of nature or some shit, and, oh yeah, a magic wand. The platter is silver and everything, people.

The giants of the Onu forest have been shepherding the trees for as long as anyone can remember, nearly as long as the mercantile-minded mages of the eastern wastes have been trying to harvest them. The trees of Onu grow tall, their flesh a natural lightning rod, storing the power of a storm in knotted branches. The struggle had long been a stale mate, until the wizards acquired the Rod of Ruin, a wand that holds the power to roil the earth and fell a tree without need of axe or saw. The mages operate from within several pyramids near the borders of Onu. The players should probably decide if they care about nature, or want awesome magic wands.


  1. In 1994, while in a van on a roadtrip to Gencon, I took a deck of magic cards (some of the first I owned) and did essentially this. I recall the setting being Swamps and Ironroot Treefolk were involved. The rest lost to history. :)

  2. Great idea. Definitely going to use it. Thanks.

  3. A good idea, I have always asked why did WotC never launched a Magic: the Gathering Campaign setting, considering the awesome ideas in the cards it would have been a hit.