Ixalan is the newest Magic: The Gathering expansion, having been out since September last year- Set in a world of mystery, exploration, and treasure. A world of fantastic monsters, interesting people, and thrilling adventures- A world perfect to set a D&D campaign in. As such, the newest instalment of Plane Shift contains just the very breakdown one would need to run a game of 5E D&D in Ixalan, and here are my thoughts on it. I should note- I’m only somewhat familiar with MTG, I know the worlds, and the lore in a minor capacity however I don’t play it, so I can’t much speak for it in that regard, however I can speak for how it stands up in terms of D&D, both content and lore wise.
Plane Shift: Ixalan offers a lot of content for both DMs and Players alike. The document contains information on all 4 factions of Ixalan, as well as suggested races, classes, and backgrounds that fit in best with the factions (As well as a few paragraphs and tables on how the players can be brought together from across multiple factions). It contains additional ideals and bonds suited to each faction, so as to create a character more tied in to this world, and new racial rules for Humans, Merfolk, Vampires, Orcs, Goblins, and Sirens, as well as a high quality map of Ixalan, along with notes on the geography, some new tables to treasure (Specifically art objects), a thorough bestiary containing a few new monsters, and information on which monsters from the Monster Manual can be used in this world, and finally some information on Mana, and how that can influence a character’s background in this setting.
I’ll tell you straight away, I like this setting, and I think it’s got a lot of good content, it also meets all my criteria when it comes to judging a new campaign setting-
Reading over this, can I think of any adventures I could write, and set in this world?
Absolutely. There is enough lore to give me a few general ideas on games I could run in this setting, further, the creatures, and accompanying flavour text give me plenty of ideas for encounters, and campaign ideas.
Are there new aspects of this campaign setting I can take from this world and apply to an ongoing campaign?
Between Merfolk and Vampires, neither of which have appeared as PC races in any other published materials, and the menagerie of new monsters, even the random tables for art pieces, there’s a lot in here I can appropriate into a preexisting home game.
Does it have what my players need to play in this world?
Yes- Beyond simply stating which races and classes exist in this world, it goes into detail as to how the classes all exist within the lore of this world, even breaking them down into the four factions, to show how a Brazen Coalition Fighter is different to a River Herald Fighter, and how they’re both different from the Sun Empire Fighters.
Does it have a map?
I love maps, I use maps a lot when I play, and fortunately, this document, even at only 47 pages, has a map.
All things considered, this is probably my favourite Plane Shift document to date. It’s not too long, it’s thorough, and has everything a DM will need to run a game in Ixalan. As I type this, I’ve already got 2 or 3 solid ideas for one shots I can run in this world, I definitely recommend that DMs read this, even if you aren’t a huge fan of this setting, or even MTG in general, I think a lot of stuff in here is generally applicable across the board, and even then, it has some great ideas that can be reworked for a homebrewed world, especially regarding the factions.
Let me know what you think of this Plane Shift, in general, or some specific aspects, and how you’d run a campaign with it, I’d love to discuss it in the comments. I’m probably going to go back and write up the last few Plane Shift documents over the coming week or two; the ones I’ve already read have all been fantastic, and I don’t think I’ve shared my thoughts about them here, so look forward to that, until next time, happy gaming.
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