Daring Dungeon Dives: Guildmaster’s Guide To Ravnica

Hail fellow, and well met! It is I, your humble Dungeon Master, and I’m here to guide you through the exciting new things to be found in the most recent Dungeons and Dragons sourcebook, Guildmaster’s Guide To Ravnica.

Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica

For the uninitiated, Guildmaster’s Guide To Ravnica is a book that gives players the long and short of what adventures and intrigue are available in the setting of Ravnica. For those searching for a fleshed out setting for an adventure, I’m happy to announce that this book hits all the major bases of a good sourcebook. Maps, monsters, NPC’s, and character options are all in healthy supply, and the book has what is probably the most in-depth exploration of Ravnican society and history to be found anywhere, so far.

This book might be the biggest step forward for both Dungeons and Dragons and Magic The Gathering since the creation of Ravnica way back in 2005 or the initial inception of Ravenloft back in 1990.

So, let’s roll for initiative, draw for turn, and dive headfirst into this non-comprehensive look at Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica.

Oooh, dice!

In essence, Guildmaster’s Guide is the realization of the long-standing, interwoven history of two games whose names ring out through nerd history. The most popular role-playing game of all time finally teaming up with the most popular card game of all time seems like a no-brainer.

But does this book live up to the hype? Well, the short answer is . . . yes, but, taking into consideration a few minor hiccups, the long answer is more like . . . maybe.

In terms of lore and history, this book couldn’t be more satisfying. Wizards of the Coast has done a fantastic job compiling more than a decade’s worth of material into a relatively concise, easy to understand, and to-the-point explanation of the setting.

It can definitely be intimidating to hear that a setting with so much lore and material printed in it over the course of thirteen years has been adapted into a sourcebook for your favorite role-playing game.

Luckily Wizards has had the foresight to keep it simple, and not bombard players with all of the nitty-gritty specifics of a setting that could easily fill three or four books on its own.

Maps and Miscellany!

This book proves itself faithful to the source material, but concise enough that players new to the setting won’t find themselves totally overwhelmed (for an amazing example, the descriptions of the various guilds’ place in Ravnica consists of only about 5-6 pages a piece, but never feel like they’re leaving things out).

Even so, there are some major concerns that could have been addressed a bit better. For instance, there is a fair amount of attention given to the Planeswalker, Jace Beleren, who essentially acts as the supreme magical authority of Ravnica, but he is never statted or given any kind of NPC block in the book. This is a problem because it would only make sense for a campaign in Ravnica to include this character, or else uniquely disinclude him. Another character who proves herself important in the lore of Ravnica is Vraska, who is also not included anywhere in the book. As current Guildmaster of the Golgari, it seems unconscionable that Vraska would be left out of a book about Ravnica.

However, on the subject of NPC’s, this book has many, and they are, for the most part, very faithful to their counterparts in Magic. The writers of Guildmaster’s Guide have taken great care to ensure that staple mechanics of guild-themed decks from Magic are faithfully recreated for role-playing purposes.

Oooh, Companion Starter Set!

For instance, the lawful Guildmaster of the Azorius Senate, Isperia, is given abilities that are very much indicative of her blue-white color identity. She is essentially built to be the Dungeons and Dragons equivalent of a blue-white, tempo-control deck in Magic. She has features similar to that of the controlling nature of a blue-white deck, the ability to lock players out of taking certain actions on their turn through a unique feature called Supreme Legal Authority, or through spells like Counterspell, Sanctuary, and Antimagic Field.

Likewise, for the Izzet League, this book gets Niv-Mizzet more than right as an NPC. The Guildmaster of the Izzet League has some of the hallmark features of the red-blue, spell-slinging, counter-burn deck. He is capable of casting multiple spells at one time, and for creatively defeating enemies by getting around their weaknesses. He brings the blue staple of countermagic with spells like Counterspell, Polymorph, and Prestidigitation, and the red staple of burn with spells like Fireball, Chain Lightning, and Firebolt.


Guildmaster’s Guide is a lopsided book that does more things right than it does wrong, and while there are some major glaring issues that the book does have, I think those minor gripes are heavily outweighed by a book that is oozing with lore, dripping with flavor, and drenched in a unique blend of both style and substance that really could only be captured in a setting like Ravnica. This book is a love letter to one of the most prolific settings in Magic history. If you’re a Magic fan who’s interested in playing some DND, or a Dungeons and Dragons fan who’s looking for a unique setting for your new campaign, Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica is sure to satisfy on both fronts. That’s all for this time folks. Join me next time, as I do a brief analysis of the DND dungeons supplement, Tales From The Yawning Portal. And with that, I pass the turn.

Niv-Mizzet himself is coming to the party!