Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica is a book that details the Ravnica campaign setting for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons,
The interesting part is that this setting originally comes from Magic, “The Gathering” so it is a bit surprising, perhaps even disappointing for many D&D fans, that Ravnica got updated to 5e instead of some D&D classics like Birthright, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, or Spelljammer. Now the real question is, is this book just a crowd-pleasing corporate move or is it actually useful? Let us find out!
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica clocks in at 256 pages, rather impressive, and consists of 6 chapters and an extra section for Sidebars. There are 5 new Player Character races, 2 new subclasses, 16 original magical items as well as 10 new backgrounds.
The Races of Ravnica include Human and Elf as standards, with a few small changes here and there, and The 5 new Player Character races previously mentioned are Vedalkin, Loxodon, Minotaurs, Centaurs, and Simic hybrids (Plus Goblins which are reprinted from Guide to Monsters).
The most enjoyable ones, in my opinion, are definitely Loxodons and Vedalkins, after all, how can one not find a talking elephantine creature and amphibious blue-skinned beings wildly entertaining! The two new subclasses are the Circle of Spores Druid and the Order Domain Cleric.
And the list of new creatures includes but isn’t limited to, battle-ready angels, Orzhov thrulls, a Golgari lich, a fluxcharger, several types of Simic hybrids, an arclight phoenix, a kraul warrior, a Nivix cyclops, a kraul death priest, a nightveil specter, and its gloamwing mount, a skyswimmer, vampires and a Selsenyan dryad.
Yes, a massive list indeed!
There is another pretty cool detail at the end of the second chapter, there’s a full Renown system which is definitely something I was waiting for! The Renown sector of the DMG was not half as detailed as it should have been and this book makes up for it.
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica does a decent job at giving you all the information you would need to build a campaign in Ravnica.
However, it’s important to mention that actually fitting into the world could be a challenge for most players. Although there are combinations of Guilds that work beautifully together, such as Azorius and the Boros, there are some that simply won’t make sense at all! Imagine one player chooses the Gruul as their guild while another chooses Boros, how would you explain why two characters from such fundamentally opposing guilds ended up working together? Their goals are so radically different than coming up with a story could be a significant challenge for the DM.
D&D Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica
Although a nice addition to the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica is certainly no game-changer. The real problem lies in the fact that since this setting originates from Magic, “The Gathering”, D&D players who either don't have any knowledge or interest in Magic, “The Gathering” will find it difficult to feel at home. On the other hand, this serves as the perfect starter book of D&D for MTG players who want to get into the D&D scene. This setting could be home to a wonderful campaign with a lot of different stories but I would only recommend it to players who have played MTG and understand what’s going on or players who want to learn more about Ravnica. Granted its not unimaginable to get players with no interest in MTG involved, be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead if you do.