Been working on this for quite some time now. Feel free to post below with any suggestions or additions that might help. Right now I am working on keywords, Plane Supplements, and a banned card list.
This has been tested and is incredibly fun. Feel free to try it out and give me your thoughts.
MTRPG: Magic the Role Playing Game
(By Wizards of the Coast)
“One in a million sentient beings are born with “the spark,” the ineffable essence that makes an individual capable of becoming a Planeswalker. Of those born with “the spark,” even fewer “ignite” their spark, enabling them to realize their potential and travel the planes. Most Planeswalkers have their spark ignited as the result of a great crisis or trauma, but every awakening is different. A near-death experience might ignite a Planeswalker’s spark, but so could a sudden, life-changing epiphany or a meditative trance that enables the mage’s grasp of some transcendent truth. There are as many such stories as there are Planeswalkers. After the Planeswalker spark ignites, one has the power to dedicate one’s life to a personal mission, whatever that may be. A Planeswalker’s life is consumed with the exploration of the Multiverse, the discovery of strange secrets and experiences, and the plumbing of the depths of one’s own mystic soul. In the Multiverse, there are near infinite realms, realities, and planes of existence. The life of a Planeswalker is a life of choice and self-determination, unrestricted by the boundaries of world or fate. With the freedom to travel and the power of magic, each Planeswalker has the power to carve his or her name on the face of history.”
Each player is a freshly ignited Planeswalker, with their own story and goal in life. Together, they will traverse the planes of the Multiverse and be at the mercy of the GM, who will weave their fates together into an epic for the ages.
To start, each player must choose the one color, which best represents their walker.
Players may only choose and play spells of that color during gameplay.
Each color also gives a player access to a specific colors special ability. This is described into detail during stats and traits.
Colors to choose from and what they generally represent.
Once each player has chosen their color, they must then choose their Plane of origin. These must be chosen from pre-existing Planes as to ensure fairness.
Each is different and thus each Planeswalker will be radically different; even if they are from the same Plane. This choice should be used to customize and flesh out Planeswalker and give them individuality. (It is advisable to research your Plane of origin, as no two Planes are alike.)
After choosing, players may then construct their Library, or spells they know and will use throughout their adventure. Following the limits of their color, players start with 12 commons, 2 uncommons and 1 rare in their Library. (This should equal fifteen cards total) These cards may be chosen from any set used in the Magic: The Gathering card game. However, anything with a name may not be chosen, as it is either difficult to obtain or impossible to use for such a new Planeswalker. (This can be adjusted at the GM’s discretion.) A player who only uses cards from the set that their plane is featured in gets a single bonus stat upgrade as a reward. GM’s are also allowed to deny any cards that he or she might give a player an unfair advantage in the beginning.
After construction, players may then roll a D12. The number rolled is how much base currency they start with. Base currency is the average worth of a Plane’s currency. For example, a single gold piece on the Plane of Innistrad might be worth 1 base where as 1 metric ton of gold on the Plane of Mirrodin might be worth 1 base. Players may then spend their base on items such as weapons, clothing, and anything else that they might be able to bring with themself to another Plane.
Equipment is very different from casted equipment, artifacts, and enchantments. Equipment can be destroyed, whereas equipment spells can be casted repeatedly.
For example, Ian is a red Planeswalker who wants to use a sword. He may either buy the sword to use and risk losing it or may use one of his spells to create a reusable sword. Ian decides to spend 1 base on a cheap sword, as he knows he can find other swords on other planes and does not want to waste a spell.
(Any of these steps may be done in any order of choosing and anything may be adjusted if needed. For example, if a player decides to a buy a sword instead of re-castable sword, he may go back and adjust his character. Any rolls though are final and must be kept the same.
Players may also use any Plane Supplement during player creation.
• Players cannot be insta-killed but can be dealt increments of damage
• Players may not use cards that restart the game.
• Planeswalker cards do summon the actual Planeswalker but rather channel his or her essence into an avatar of that Planeswalker.
• Spells used must be role played accordingly and is up to the GM as to how the card affects the world, NPC, and or player/s.
• Cards that allow a player to search for lands, simply add mana equal to the number of lands that player would search for to the area.
For example, a player who plays Cultivate can add two forest mana to a plains area.
• Cards that generate mana simply generate mana for combat
• Cards that prevent a player from winning or losing the game are illegal
• Cards that cause a player to win or lose the game are illegal
• Players cannot gain life above their base life total
• No unhinged or unglued cards
• Specific creatures may also use spells or abilities, but is up to the GM which spells or abilities they may use
• Players may choose to attack a specific creature or enemy Planeswalker and can also use themselves to block a creatures attack.
• Cards that say “you” only effect the player using them
• Cards that target players, only effect enemy Planeswalkers
• Cards that destroy the field, only destroy a certain area as designated by the GM.
• Infinite loops are banned
• Tutors of any kind are not allowed.
• Players are not considered permanents
• Poison rules still apply, but only bring the player down to zero life and not his maximum life.
How to Play
MTRPG uses the basics of Magic: The Gathering. Players who know how to play Magic: The Gathering should be familiar with some of these rules, but should expect it play very differently.
Unlike the card game, players count as 1/1 creatures and are treated as such. For example, equipping a sword can make the player a 2/1 by giving him/her +1/+0.
Like Magic: The Gathering, players have 20 life. When it reaches zero, the player is considered unconscious from damage. Any further damage after reaching zero will reduce the players maximum health until it hits zero. Once that hit zero, the player is considered dead or worse. To regain life without healing, a player will recover 2 life every 1 hour of rest. To regain maximum life, the player must seek medical treatment or repair before gaining anything back. Once treated, the player must rest and not cast any spells.
When a player takes damage, he takes the difference in life. (Like trample) For example, if a 6/6 creature attacks the player, he loses 5 life. Damage dealt by any creature with a casting cost of 2 or less to any player is also cumulative. For example, 20 1B 1/1 rats attacking a 1/1 player will deal 19 damage.
Regardless of where, players are treated as always being in combat, until something or someone wishes to react. This is known as Reactive Combat. Only then do players roll a D12 for initiative, which dictates turn order. Players may voluntarily lower their turn order to allow other players to go first, but not raise it to go before an enemy higher than theirs. The highest initiative roll goes first.
When a player wakes up from any form of rest that is longer than 8 hours, he or she may choose 3 spells out of his library to start with in combat. This is considered a players hand.
Once that player chooses his 3 spells he must then shuffle the rest of his cards into a deck, which can be accessed later.
To cast your spells, you must use mana, which can be obtained multiple ways.
1. Players may use the natural mana of their surrounding and this is mainly up to the GM. For example, a small steam might only have 10 blue mana to use, while a large volcano might have 100 red mana to use. Each piece of terrain generates its own color, very similarly to how lands in MTG work. Unique pieces of terrain may also have special effects.
Example: Ian wishes to cast a red fireball spell, unfortunately, he is in a forest, which only generates green mana. Using a tinderbox he bought, he builds a campfire which generates 1 red mana. Using the forests mana and the campfires mana, he is able to cast Fireball.
It takes exactly one turn to learn how to channel a single mana from a natural source, as each source is unique. Similar to MTG, it takes time to build up the amount of mana a player can spend every turn.
2. Players may also use mana, which is generated by equipment, creatures, or spells they have.
Unlike mana from a natural source, this mana does not require any turns to channel mana from it.
A player in combat will always have 3 cards, unless a card allows him to draw another card into his hand.
Unlike MTG, a player will always draw until he has 3 cards in his hand. Cards that let you draw, increase your hand size, but do not set the maximum amount of cards you have.
For example, if a player plays his entire hand, he draws 3 cards to replenish it.
If a player plays a card that lets him draw two cards, making his hand size 4, he cannot draw cards until he has reduced his hand size to 2 or lower. The fourth card is only temporary.
Players may also willingly mulligan one card to draw a new one, but must spend a turn to do so and cannot attack back if attacked.
(This can be done even outside of Reactive Combat, but takes 1 hour.)
Turns work similarly to the regular MTG rules.
When an enemy attacks, it taps, meaning that it cannot attack back. Players do not tap after an attack, but still attack back. This is the advantage to taking attacks head on.
A player who has used all his cards in his library, has essentially exhausted him/herelf from casting so many spells. As mentioned above, they must rest before gaining a new hand and library.
A player who keeps a creature or enchantment up longer than 2 hours, must pay an upkeep cost of its casting cost every turn to mana to keep it active. This is hard to do, as the source must be in constant presence with the player. (the same applies to creatures that can cast spells)
Stats and Experience
Like any RPG, players level up as they gain more experience. Experience is not only in combat, but by completing various objective. Experience can also be received through actions that would be considered good role playing. For example, if a player chooses a vampire and acts like a vampire, even at the cost of the player’s success, that is good role playing. This however is always determined by the GM and should not be given depending on how well the role playing is.
Each player starts at Level 1 and requires 100 exp to reach Level 2. The experience required to advance to the next level doubles in the cost required by the previous level.
100 exp to Level 2
200 exp to Level 3
400 exp to Level 4
800 exp to Level 5
And so forth…
When a player levels up, he/she gains 1 attribute points and 1 skill point to spend.
Attribute points may be used to upgrade any of the various attributes.
Skill points may be used to buy new spells or more colors for the walker to use.
Ways to Spend Skill Points:
Players may spend 8 skill points to add another color for the walker to use.
Players may spend 6 skill points to add a mythic rare card into their library
Players may spend 4 skill points to add a rare card into their library
Players may spend 2 skill points to add an uncommon card to their library
Players may spend 1 skill point to add a common card to their library
(All libraries must contain at least 15 cards. There is no maximum amount. Players may also get remove cards or replace cards in their library)
(As we have seen with Nicol Bolas, it is extremely rare to have a Planeswalker 3 or more colors. Players should keep this mind.)
Each player starts with these skills:
Power 1 / Toughness 1
Each player starts with these attributes:
Each stat provides not only an upgrade in reactive combat, but also an upgrade in making skill checks.
To pass a skill check, a player must roll under the stat on a D12. The GM chooses, which is most appropriate based on the action the player is trying to perform.
A player who upgrades his power deals more damage in combat and is stronger. He is better in lifting, throwing, and climbing.
A player who upgrades his toughness can take more damage before being hurt. He also has a better chance at resisting pain, poisons, and can roll to resist anything with deathtouch or infect.
A player who upgrades his vitality upgrades his max life by 3 for every 1. He also does not tire easily.
A player who upgrades his intelligence may have mana in reserve equal to his intelligence. He is also smarter, wiser, and more knowledgeable.
A player who upgrades his athletics is faster, more agile, and does not fatigue easily. He also adds +1 to his initiative roll.
A player who upgrades his fellowship has an easier time dealing with creatures, enemies, and various NPC’s and can even work out a deal to use their spirit in their deck for a cost. (can allow high rarity cards to be gained easily)
A player who upgrades his willpower has an easier time resisting spells and natural/unnatural influences. (players start at zero resistance and essentially increase their own casting cost by one point per level.
A player who rolls above his attributes number, fails the test. Rolling under or equal to, is a pass.
1 is always a success and 12 is always a failure.
Difficulty also modifies the roll.
Super Easy: +6
This system of leveling up allows for a variety of ways to play your Planeswalker. You can upgrade his/her attack and toughness into the ultimate creature or you can be a spellcasting monster with high mana cost spells. Veteran MTG players will also be able to recreate their favorite play styles. White weenie? Red agro? BUG control? All possible. RPG players will also be able to recreate their favorite classes. Warror? Focus on toughness and equipment. Mage? Focus on large spells and tiny creatures. Ranger? Focus on one big creature and enchantments. Every Planeswalker can develop completely different from one another.
All cards, players, and NPC’s have a characteristic called resistance. The mana cost difference between the cards being affected, is a cards resistance. For example, naturalize has a mana cost of 2 while the Sword of Kaldra has a mana cost 4. That means that the Sword of Kaldra has a resistance value of 2 to that spell. If the target rolls a 1 or a 2, then that target has resisted the spell.
Bigger creatures and more powerful spells have greater resistance values and are therefore harder to deal with.
Tokens have zero resistance, no matter what.
While creatures, lands, and other spells might have their own abilities on their cards, this does not dictate how they would interact with a player.
A goblin shaman’s card might say it deals one damage, when tapped, but in MTRPG, that goblin may use fireball or any assortment of spells.
Take for example the powerful Memnarch of Mirrodin. While his card itself might not be amazing, Memnarch himself would use a varity of minions and spells to manipulate the world and defeat his foes. He might deny any mana to the walkers or command an army of Myr’s to generate mana or battle exclusively for himself. As a legendary creature, his fight should also be legendary in proportion. Players should also be aware that Memnarch himself should have his own stat line. If a player wants to use his card, it should be as if they have captured his essence or given permission to use a fraction of his power.
Ian has an impressive stat line of
P / T / V / I / A / F / W
1 / 2 / 1 / 2 / 1 / 3 / 3
and can use two colors.
Memnarch would be
P / T / V / I / A / F / W
4 / 5 / 7 / 12 / 7 / 2 / 7
and have access to blue mana.
Memnarch would also have multiple Darksteel Colossi and legions of Myr to give him acess to the entire mana spectrum.
Spells also do not also have to be used specially for their card based use. If Ian wanted to use his fireball spell to create a small campfire, he can do so, even without a creature or player to use on.
“For almost all planeswalkers, planeswalking is a power that lets you leave the plane, enter the Blind Eternities (the chaotic, paradoxical un-space that lies between the planes), and enter another plane. For a planeswalk to go well, it takes a bit of time, it takes concentration and effort, it takes mana, and in most cases, it takes familiarity with the destination.
For story reasons, we also like there to be a tiny bit of risk in planeswalking. The Blind Eternities are not a hospitable “place.” The planes, in a way, want to remain separate. People (who originate from within planes) are not supposed to be able to travel from one dimension to the next, and the Blind Eternities can be harsh on anyone attempting to do so. An active spark allows planeswalkers to navigate the Blind Eternities successfully — in that it makes it physically/magically possible — but it doesn’t guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen on the way. To me, the effort involved plus the tiny amount of risk means that most planeswalkers don’t use the power for frivolous ends.
(The “failure rate” might be very low, but even a very-low-but-nonzero chance of danger would keep most people from doing a thing unless it was really necessary. Imagine if your oven blew up 1% of the times you turned it on. Do you really need to bake those cookies? What’s your oven-explosion tolerance level?) (Goblins and Izzet guild members: nevermind, I know your answer.)
It seems very possible for a planeswalker to use planeswalking to pop out of the plane and pop back in soon after, in a different location. But in effect, that’s two one-way tickets, with the Blind Eternities in between, just to get from the D&D table to the pizzeria. You’d have to have enough mana, and personal energy, and time to make both trips, and you’d have to be intimately familiar with your destination to make sure you didn’t end up someplace weird.
Caveats apply. A planeswalker like Venser got his start by doing actual within-a-plane teleportation magic. That’s fine for some individuals, but it’s not an innate ability of every planeswalker.
A given planeswalker might become powerful and experienced enough to do almost at-will, low-risk, pinpoint planeswalks. Nicol Bolas might just be familiar with almost everywhere, such that he can just show up when he wants to, with a whoosh of air and a creepy draco-grin. (Side note: As a writer, I’m much more inclined to have an antagonist with that kind of power rather than a bamf-ing protagonist. I like watching heroes work and suffer for their goals. Writers are sadists.)
For just about any of these rules, it seems totally in-bounds to me for there to be a single individual who breaks one of the rules. Maybe Venser would have been a capable of the advanced intraplanar tele-walking you’re talking about (although not the hot-oven-resisting. Ow ow hothothot). And maybe, if things get really desperate, Chandra could throw everything she’s got into her planeswalking and zap herself all around Ravnica via a series of back-to-back planeswalks, ripping in and out of the plane and showing up in district after district. But that’s going to take a serious toll on her mana and personal will, and meanwhile the Blind Eternities are going to try to tear at her spark each time. But hey, sometimes that veggie supreme or whatever is just really worth it.”
For gameplay purposes, a player must roll a single D12 and score over a 6. For every 10 minutes the Planeswalker channels, he adds +1 to his roll. A player who is channeling is considered using the mana around him, but not removing it in anyway. Thus, Planeswalking is usually done alone and without any possible interference. Any interference will add -1 to the roll based on how much interference there is. For example, someone attacking him with a spear might be -3. Whereas someone talking near him might be a -1. A failure will still allow the walker to jump, but could result in the player risking being torn apart by the chaotic energies of the Blind Eternities. A player who fails must roll a D6. On a roll of a 1, he is ripped apart and ceases to exist (considered permanently dead). On a roll of a 2-5, he barely escapes death, but permanently loses D6 of his maximum life total (cannot be regained). On a roll of a 6, he miraculously survives and is transported to random plane and place on that plane. Multiple Planeswalks also encore another -1 per walk that was already done before it within 24 hours. For example, 3 Planeswalks would add a -3 to the next the fourth roll, regardless if they are successful or not.
Banned Card List
Library of Alexandria
Lion's Eye Diamond
Thirst for Knowledge
Wheel of Fortune
Ian and his friend Jeff are both level 4. Ian is a red planesalker focusing on damage spells, while Jeff is a green planewalker focusing on enchantments and buffing himself. After a quick rest at an inn, the two decide to Planeswalk to Mirrodin. Both meditate for hours and successfully make it to the Plane. They end up near the Quicksilver sea, a place rich with blue mana. Luckily, Ian has access to red mana thanks to a Boros Cluestone (http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=368997) he "acquired" from a Dimir assassin in Ravnica (long story).
Unfortunately, the group is greeted by a group of 5 Phyrexian Ragers (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=213804) Both Ian and Jeff roll poorly on the initiative and are immediately attacked. Knowing he could survive more blows than Ian, Jeff rolls athletics to try and take the hits. He succeeds and takes 5 damage, as he has 4 toughness. Ian spends a turn siphoning mana and thus has 2 mana to spend from his Boros Cluestone and the nearby quicksilver sea. Ian uses the card Lightning Bolt to take out one of the Phyrexian Ragers. Meanwhile, Jeff channels mana and decides to save it. Jeff attacks one of the Phyrexia Ragers and kills, as his power is only 2, but he has a hammer that gives +2/+0.
Sensing that they are trouble, they decide to try and make a run for it. The Phyrexian Ragers though are too fast. Catching up to them easily, Ian and Jeff seem doomed. However, they are saved at the last moment by a Hero of Bladehold and a small legion of 1/1 soldiers. A battlecry is sound and the Phyrexian Ragers flee in terror. Ian and Jeff are saved! But who knows what awaits them here. Planeswalking in such a short time would be too dangerous and the legion is far to large to fight by themselves. Mirrodin may have been a bad idea.
A had a friend that tried to create a MTGRPG.
but he gave up after a few months and just used 13th age system.
I'll have a quick overview of his system as it was.
the stats were
Focus (white) how may perminates you could maintain
Memory (blue) cards available to you both in hand and library
Mastery (black) related to a lot of things, but the idea was it was "Power". early versions this was the highest cmc card you could cast.
Speed (red) initiative... weakest stat we were trying to make it better... but giving extra actions made it Op.
Channel (green) How much mana you could channel into your mana pool.
you start with your channel in mana but then you only regen 1 coloured and 1 colour determined by the battlefield a turn. if you want more you have to spend an action.
you play with only the three spells available and you need to spend one of your actions to tutor one from your deck which is equal to your memory. we only used cards from the setting our characters were in (Ravincia new and old spells available) and you were only allowed 1 rare.
3 actions (of draw, channel, attack, command)
In our first play through... basically we were all OP... we summoned creatures and they did all the fighting for us and we were never in any danger.
In the second play through creatures were weakend, but it was still too easy. he created monsters that were supposed to be really really hard to kill... and I just used Putrefy and they died.
he went deeper and deeper but it was still unbalanced... planeswalkers OP.
I'm gonna have to say this sounds good, but in the forms of how you get mana I'm still confused, how long is a turn. because lets say i want to cast fireball in the middle of combat and we are somewhere where there is fire so i can pull at least a red from it, and i want to deal 3 dmg to lets say a raging goblin that has a shield for some reason giving it a +0/+1, would it take me 4 turns to pull that off? and when you cast a card where does it go what happens. also what happens when you "deck" yourself. i feel like this has some real potential here and I am very interested in this if you continue to expand on this idea. i love rpg games like D&D and a few others and to combine the two games types i love would be amazing. in some way i wish wizards could come up with something like this on their own but that might never happen. so it's up to people like you to help pave the way for game types like this