A new Dungeons & Dragons supplement replaces the game's traditional spellcasting system with a system based on Magic: The Gathering. Earlier this month, Ken Carcas, Justyn Johnson, and Luke Monroe published Advanced Arcana, a new supplement detailing an alternative mana-based spellcasting system, on the DMs Guild. The purpose of Advanced Arcana is to give players familiar with Magic: The Gathering and who are playing through a campaign based in a Magic: The Gathering world like Ravnica a system that feels more in line with the lore of those worlds rather than the more traditional spell system used in Dungeons & Dragons. That means replacing traditional spell lists with ones based on the color system from Magic: The Gathering as well as introducing mana links to fuel one's spellcasting abilities.
Advanced Arcana's alternative system has players pick a primary color and a secondary color, which in turn will determine what spells they can choose when preparing and casting spells. In order to cast spells, a player must first form a mana link to a mana source using a bonus action. Those mana links are then spent when casting spells, with the amount of mana expended determined by that spell's level. So a 1st level spell would expend mana from one mana link, while a 7th level spell expends mana from seven mana links. Mana links do not require concentration to maintain, but they can be severed by certain conditions or by getting knocked unconscious. Advanced Arcana also grants all spellcasters the ability to summon minions, with the type of minion determined by what color of mana they're using. In addition, spellcasters can also suffer from mana burn when they don't manage their mana pool wisely.
In addition to introducing a new, more complex style of spellcasting, Advanced Arcana also contains 60 new spells, many of which are inspired by Magic: The Gathering cards. There's also a number of new magic items, some of which are tied to Ravnica guilds, and a new adventure set in Ravnica.0comments
The mechanics of Advanced Arcana are impressive and seem focused on giving Magic: The Gathering fans a more accurate version of magic to use in their D&D game. The main downside to this supplement is the rather simplistic layout and PDF design, which is definitely a couple steps behind the more polished supplements and publications you'd find on the DMs Guild. Still, Advanced Arcana certainly seems to have found a way of converting the classic Magic: The Gathering magic system for use into Dungeons & Dragons, something that many fans have wanted to see since Wizards of the Coast started to convert Magic worlds into D&D campaign settings.
Advanced Arcana is available on the DMs Guild for $12.95.