SDCC: Magic: The Gathering’s Mark Rosewater on the first ever D&D cards

Before players know that it’s actually pretty good, Magic: GatheringThe latest card set of very polarizing. Is called Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (AFR), which is another major property-based series from the publisher Wizards of the Coast – Dungeons & Dragons. At San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, lead designer Mark Rosewater and lead designer Jules Robins shared a pre-recorded conversation (recorded prior to release). Strixhaven set in April), a sort of autopsy for a setting that now seems destined for greatness. In it, they talk about the key controversies that came with its release, namely dungeons and rolling dice.

For a long time, the gap between the two main intellectual properties of Wizards was intentional, although both offered compelling fantasy experiences..

Mark Rosewater explains: “Don’t cross the stream. “Initially, the idea was supposed to be Magic it is in Magic and let Dungeons & Dragons be Dungeons & Dragons, and indeed for many years we kept them separate. ”

Decades later, this concept has changed. Wizards’ James Wyatt led an effort to create free downloadable source books based on Magic set – Airplane Transfer: Innistrad, Airplane Transfer: Amonkhet, Airplane Transfer: Kaladesh, and Airplane Transfer: Ixalan. The effort then expands to full-priced physical and digital source books with Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, Mythic Odysseys of Theros, and Strixhaven: A Textbook of Chaos (available on November 16th). Then it was a suggestion by Aaron Forsythe, vice president of Magic design, was born Outside of universities. It’s a broader, collaborative effort to bring different IPs into Magic card. Warhammer 40,000 and JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books will be the source for the first two series in that initiative, but AFR It’s actually a prequel.

“What if other IPs appear on Magic cards?” Rosewater said, “Once that conversation was going, one of the things that came up really quickly was, why not? Dungeons & Dragons? “

Tomb of Annihilation ends with Cradle of the Death God, allowing players to earn 4/4 tokens with Deathtouch.

Image: Wizards of the Coast

Initial, dungeon mechanic intended to include a separate, second deck of cards or cards. “Often you’ll move your marker and explore a new room and try to figure out where you’re going in this dungeon when it spawns,” Robins said. It fails because play makes variance hard to manage, not to mention normal and competitive Magic Players will struggle to solve the dungeons.

It’s important for the team to fix this mechanic, as going through dungeons is an evergreen feature of D&D. Combine the flavor D&D requires with a mechanic who wants to support both casual and competitive Magic player is a difficult task. Through revisions, the team settled into something you now see when you open AFR Draft and Set Boosters.

“What if instead of the room having their own challenges, what if the Magic cards were the ones that took you through the dungeon?” Robin asked. The design team concluded to create three dungeons to provide the ability to choose, an experience you often see in D&D.


Sample cards included in the first dungeon decks.
Photo: Wizards of the Coast via YouTube

Adding a personal touch to the set, the dice roll is a new mechanical tool for black armor Magic and mention again how you would play in a D&D session.

“We started over with trying to capture the things people love from D&D, it’s that amazingly tense moment when you’re going and trying to do something very important and you roll the D20. and see if it works,” said Robins. The team came up with the idea of ​​discarding cards from the top of your deck or using dice with fewer faces to offset the variance. However, they decided to use the D20 because it is so iconic with D&D that it would be a missed opportunity to use anything else.

“When we play dead cards, the die roll is very polarizing,” says Rosewater. Rolling the dice provides a large amount of variance that, during early play, often determines the outcome of the game. Marrying the fun tension of rolling the dice and not losing the game on the spot, is a difficult feat, but achievable by design. AFR.

Three cards without art.

Prototype card used to test the dice rolling mechanism in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
Image: Wizards of the Coast via YouTube

It took almost 30 years, but Magic and D&D eventually crossed the lines, merging into something truly memorable. These barriers aside, it will be interesting to see what the future holds Magic cards combine with other non-franchise IPs to make this collectible card game grow even further. People might gossip about the unlicensed Beyond Universities, about the Space Marines and Hobbits turning into airmen, but with AFR The team seems to have won some respect from the fans. With the experience of AFR Under the belt of the design team, they will prepare to deal with the challenges ahead – similar to a journey in the Forgotten Kingdom. | SDCC: Magic: The Gathering’s Mark Rosewater on the first ever D&D cards


PaulLeBlanc is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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