Dungeon Situational – A Magic: the Gathering Adventurer
As Wizards of the Coast have already, very kindly, bridged the gap between both M:tG and D&D, this should be nice and easy, right?
But that’s not the point of these articles, a shamelessly self-indulgent stretching of the creative muscles made public for anyone to use, and a bit of mental exercise at the same time. So as we have Planeshift articles for Amonkhet, Dominaria, Innistrad, Ixalan, and Zendikar, and a large guide attached to Ravnica, I’ll have to look to another plane of Magic’s collection to make things a little harder. Theros is too easy, Phyrexia is my favourite plane so probably one of the easiest options for me…
So how about Tarkir, the plane that has had two interconnected lives, one ruled by warlords, Kahns, the other ruled by dragonlords, and divided by a time-travelling dragon-mad planeswalker, Sarkhan Vol, who went back to tinker with the events of the past because he missed his old dragon pals and the ghost dragon who ruled them.
Ok, so I’ll randomly determine a class and a clan… a sorcerer from Sultai, the exceedingly rich khanate using the undead as servants and soldiers. Also ruled by Silumgar with very little difference to the nature of the faction except that it’s ruled by a greedy dragon instead of a greedy naga, and they lost access to green mana that – honestly – they weren’t using a lot of that anyway. Cool, necromancy, poison, abundant wealth, and generally undermining everyone until you’re the only one on solid ground. We can absolutely work with this.
The races most affiliated with Sultai/Silumgar, the reptilian nagas, the seditious and demonic rakshasa, humans, because humans get everywhere, zombies, snakes, apes, and crocodiles. I have all I need! I am ready to begin.
Suffice to say I’ll be heavily referencing 5th edition D&D rules.
Sultai – Citeno Blacktongue, Food Taster
In a society so utterly driven by treachery and personal gains, assassination is a daily hazard, and in a clan so overwhelmingly serpentine, humans by necessity learn to be mistrustful of their food. Citeno Blacktongue, a human with greenish scales thinly covering her otherwise dark skin, has a particular palette for poisons, apparently enjoying the variety of flavours and manners of suffering they exert on their victims. The blood of dragons makes her immune to such agonies, and her refined senses allow her – not only to determine the presence of poison – but to identify it, often leading to quick and exacting revenge upon the poisoner.
Citeno is a green dragon sorcerer human but using the yuan-ti pureblood rules from Volo’s Guide to Monsters to grant her the immunity to poison damage, and a heritage that compliments it nicely. When selecting spells she blends poison damage with subterfuge and hints of necromancy, Ray of Sickness and Stinking Cloud are essentials, as is Dragon’s Breath from Xanathar’s Guide, a generous DM might even permit other spells that use poison damage from other classes. Far more likely that Citeno would start taking levels in rogue or bard after level 6 or 7 to reflect the nature of Sultai society, and to lend a bit of versatility in social situations.
Skill choices are likely to include deception and insight, and her background is likely to grant proficiency in a poisoner’s kit and medicine. She’s also the kind to keep a ledger of favours, secrets, and blackmail material, heavily ciphered and held on her person at all times.
Silumgar – Prelate Citeno
For those in whom the blood of dragons flow strongest, a place of honour is held among Silumgar’s brood. Having proven surprisingly resistant to efforts to kill her, Citeno herself has managed to rise yet further among her kith and kin to stand among the highest of courtiers. She is impervious to the noxious fumes ever-present in the elder dragon’s sanctum, where she shares reports from the array of spies and scouts at her command as the brood struggle against the warmongering of the other four elder dragons.
Citeno will retain much of her previous progression, although her spells are less likely to veer away from necromancy and will favour protection instead. Counterspell will be an essential when it becomes available, at lower levels Alter Self proves surprisingly versatile in the Gurmag swamps, and Enlarge/Reduce can make for a particularly intimidating zombie bodyguard, or can make a member of Silumgar’s brood so much larger and more terrible to behold. She’s less likely to multiclass, but may take a few levels in Paladin for the capacity to smite and for spells like Command and Zone of Truth.
As a devoted servant of the elder dragon, she’s more likely to take persuasion and intimidation, and is more likely to take a background like Acolyte that lends extra languages, or perhaps something diplomatic that lends languages and skills in gaming sets or musical instruments, anything that helps Citeno move in high society.
An asgardian race for D&D! You won’t be able to jump straight in as Thor or Loki (stormherald barbarian with more than a few levels of fighter, and a trickster cleric) but you’d be able to work towards it.
Ten ghosts, posthumous personalities, causes of death, their desires and wants and what they’re willing to do to get it.
Or three ambushes: What to expect when your not expecting to expect, different ways in which you can surprise your players, and how you can foreshadow the attack.