Saturday, June 29, 2013

Living Ravnica

"Enter those who are starving and sick.  You are welcome among the Swarm when the rest of Ravnica rejects you."
- Golgari Guildgate inscription

I have been away from writing for a while.  One reader even asked me if I was continuing the blog.  I laughed and told him that yes, I still plan on blogging and writing, I was just pursuing other things.  Creative outlets and non-RPG related things.  Life always needs a balance, and I was working on my own.

I'm pleased to announce that I will be playing in a play-by-post game set up in the Magic the Gathering world of Ravnica.  My good friend, Raphael Romo, invited me to play and so I took him up on the offer.  Currently, we have need of more players, so if you are interested, please let me know.

For those that know nothing about Ravnica, it is a world where every inch is covered by city.  Buildings stretch out across the horizon, while ruins and crumbled mansions dot the undercity.  Ten guilds run the city, each with their different agendas and traits.

Living Ravnica will be run using the latest playtest packet for D&DNext.  One of my pet projects during the last few weeks was going through the bestiary and putting together an Excel document detailing what monsters would be appropriate for the various guilds.  I've also been working on my character, Vylokir, the Golgari Wizard.  I've included his stat block below.


Vylokir, Golgari Mage, Level 3
High Elf Wizard; Medium, Speed 30 ft; Low-light vision
HP: 20 (may roll instead); AC: 12
STR 8 (-1)
CON 14 (+2)
DEX 14 (+2)
WIS 12 (+1)
INT 17 (+3)
CHA 10 (+0)

Skills: Intimidate, Sneak, Climb, Handle an Animal
Trait: Bad Reputation

Cantrips: Chill Touch, Mage Hand, Mage Armor, Read Magic
Level 1 Spells: Cause Fear, False Life, Fog Cloud, Sleep, Grease, Feather Fall
Level 2 Spells: Magic Weapon, Melf's Acid Arrow

Level 1: Familiar (Rat, re-flavored as Beetle named Makara)
Level 3: Magical Rejuvenation (cast Cure Wounds and Lesser Restoration once per day)

Equipment: Short Sword
Dagger x3
Poison, basic (vial) x1
Adventurer's Kit
Acid (flask) x2

I'm stoked to play this character, as I spent a lot of time working on the flavor of what a Golgari mage is like.  In a nutshell, the Golgari embrace the cycle of life and death, blending the power of rot and fungus with their undead creations.

Our DM, Gonzalo Campoverde Arce requested some background on our characters.  I figured I would share mine in this blog, as it would maybe entice some other readers to show interest.

Vylokir lives deep in the undercity of Ravnica, apprentice to a deathrite shaman named Nalvix.  The shaman has sent Vylokir  searching the undercity for the remains of other creatures not so fortunate to survive.  Vylokir dreams of the day when he will finally animate his own shambling shell (plant zombie), but until then, he is content to do his master's bidding for the good of the Swarm.


Vylokir has a strong interest in poisons, acids, and various other dangerous liquids that he can be extracted from the undercity insects or created through various alchemical means.

Due to living in close proximity with the creatures of the undercity, Vylokir has an affinity with some of the beasts of lower Ravnica.  He often speaks aloud to his beetle familiar, Makara.  The elf has also on occasion journeyed to the upper city of Ravnica, taking care of the giant lizards that carry the Golgari to the various markets.


Some (non-Golgari) see Vylokir as a little unstable.  With his wicked grin, gleaming eyes, and gangly body, he looks somewhat like a skeletal strawman.  While most beings tend to sit, the elf tends to crouch, something that makes him appear to be more spider-like.  His hair clumps together, and he arranges it to stand straight up.  He also paints most of his body with skeletal markings with phosphorescent fungi paste.  His ears are pierced with various pieces of bone, from whom or what none can say.

The elf has no fear of death, as to the Golgari, such a thing is welcomed.  He hopes to one day achieve lichdom, weaving plant matter and the bones of foes into his newer, more powerful body.


With that, I give you my new character.  I'm super excited to play him.  If you're interested in joining Living Ravnica, please let me know either in the comments or on Twitter @artificeralf.  I'll  be using the hashtag #LivingRavnica to promote it.