Wizards of the Coast has released Plane Shift: Kaladesh. To say the release of these supplemental rules is out of the blue wouldn’t be exactly true, since there’s always been a kernel of expectation and hope for this sort of crossover every since 1997, when Wizards of the Coast acquired TSR, the publisher who owned D&D. That said, it’s obviously been a long time coming. Given how ubiquitous (or generic, depending on your view) D&D’s fantasy universe is, it is a perfect open canvas for this kind of MtG universe plugin.
The supplement was crafted by James Wyatt, a game designer who had been working on D&D since 2000, only recently moving to MtG, where he worked on creative projects, presumably, like this one. As he describes himself and his approach to this supplement in the introduction, “I’m more like a renegade inventor (having left the D&D team for the Magic team a couple of years ago), fiddling around in my workshop and unleashing my inventions on the public without the same degree of safety testing.”
That’s not to say this supplement is rough: quite the opposite in fact. Unlike the Unearthed Arcana publications, relatively roughly hewn with minimal production, this supplement is a comparable behemoth, at 33 pages with full art production, drawn from The Art of Magic: The Gathering—Kaladesh (a Wizards of the Coast published artbook). The release describes itself as, “a set of rules to bring your Dungeons & Dragons adventures to life on Kaladesh, including new races, new monsters, and a distinctly aether-flavored take on crafting the marvelous and ingenious magic items that define this plane.”
No kidding. Some of the new playable races include the Aetherborn, aether-powered artificial life with a conflicted relationship with the institutions that created them, not unlike sentient androids we are familiar with in science fiction universes, and Vedalken, a race of inquisitive, excitable inventors who bask in the progress of the culture. The bestiary includes the likes of gremlins, thropers (magic powered constructs that most resemble what we think in modern terms as drones), lifecraft creatures (constructed imitations of natural creatures), leviathans, and whales.
For those unfamiliar with the lore of MtG, Kaladesh is a world of technological and cultural marvels, catalyzed by their ability to refine aether, raw magical energy that inhabits the space between planes of the MtG universe. The supplement fleshes out this world for even newcomers to the lore to get a strong sense of Kaladesh, and explore it through adventuring. The supplement even provides suggestions for campaigns for DMs, admitting that Kaladesh isn’t exactly an ideal place for dungeon crawls, but rather offering a realm that, “is ripe with opportunities for urban-focused and intrigue-driven campaigns”.
There is so much to be excited about. I’ll be doing a more focused breakdown of the supplement soon, and in the meantime, I’ll be in my workshop reworking my artificer class character for adventuring in Kaladesh.
What D&D crossovers do you want to see in the future? Tell us in the comments!
Image Credits: Wizards of the Coast