I am sick as a dog. Broke down and visited the doc, so now I have some delicious antibiotics and some hope for the future, but very little brain for working.
So I’ll sidebar on a thing I like a lot. I have bought every single one of the Magic: the Gathering art books in the new series that started with Zendikar. They are delights. Each one is, effectively, a setting book with no RPG attached. Wyatt’s a solid writer and they have an effectively bottomless pile of M:tG art assets, so the result is a free for all of fun. Yes, there’s some “plot” to these things, but mostly it’s just really interesting stuff.
The biggest problem with them is that the formula is pretty much 70% setting, 30% plot, and the plot tends to “use up” a lot of the setting. This is totally fine for the books, but a little bit rough for using the material yourself. Magic’s multiverse is definitely one of those settings where a lot of the cool stuff has already been done by people who are not you. This topic probably merits its own post sometime, because this is a consistent bugbear in setting design.
But unlike, say, the Forgotten Realms, there’s still a ton of room left. This is all on my mind because while I was sitting in the waiting room, I went down the wiki hole of old Magic setting information, and it’s just plain nuts. And fun. And begs for play.
I have a huge weakness for the fun baked into this sort of setting. The entire Lucien’s Guide series of books (including the 4th, which exists somewhere) is me getting to have fun with it, and it’s a topic I kind of want to get back to. Combined with the fact that my son is nuts for the Magic setting books, this is the backbeat to a lot of design thoughts on my mind lately.
So, no real message except to say: that magic setting stuff? It’s cool. Check it out. (And, yes, I totally bought the 5e Ravnica stuff, but I need to run Dragon Heist first!)