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More than a decade and a half ago, I have a recollection of a friend coming to school one day with a small book which was an early Magic the Gathering RPG. I recall that it was about being a planeswalker and some other minor details. I can't for the life of me remember anything more about it, or find it on ebay. Does anyone know anything about this game? My interest is simply for nostalgic reasons.

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

If your timing is right, and your terminology close, then what you might have seen is an Everway sourcebook. Everway was a card-based roleplaying game released by Wizards of the Coast concerning people known as spherewalkers who can journey from world to world. It could easily be mistaken for a Magic: the Gathering RPG.

To be clear, however: no official Magic RPG exists, or has existed. Wizards of the Coast's marketing department has enforced a strict silo between the TCG and RPG development divisions.

EDITED TO ADD: Ryan S. Dancey has, on Reddit, posted what can be seen as a comprehensive supplement to this answer.

Hi! I was the brand manager for Dungeons & Dragons and the VP of Tabletop RPGs at Wizards of the Coast from 1998 to 2000. I can answer this question.

There were plans to do a Magic RPG and several iterations of such a game were developed at various times. After Wizards of the Coast bought TSR, there were discussions about making a Magic campaign setting for D&D.

After the release of 3rd edition, we had planned to do a Monstrous Compendium for Magic monsters which would have been a tentative cross-over product to see what the interest level was for such a book.

In the end, the company made the decision to keep the brands totally separate. Here's the logic.

D&D and Magic have fundamentally incompatible brand strategies. This is was once expressed as "asses, monsters & friends".

  • D&D is the game where you and your friends kick the asses of monsters.
  • Magic is the game where you kick your friends' asses with monsters.
  • (Pokemon, btw, was the game where the monsters, who were your friends, kicked each-other's asses.)

There was no good reason to believe that a D&D/Magic crossover book would sell demonstrably more than a comparable non crossover book. And such a book should be priced higher than a generic D&D book - in the way that Forgotten Realms books cost more than generic D&D books (that's the price premium for the brand). There's a fear in sales that the higher the price, the less volume you sell.

The brand team for Magic didn't want to dilute the very honed brand positioning for Magic as a competitive brand, and the brand team for D&D didn't want to try and make some kind of competitive game extension for D&D.

In the end, I think the company was well served by this decision. It eliminated a lot of distraction and inter-team squabbling at a time when neither team had the resources to fight those battles.

Today you might argue there's a different reason. The #1 hobby CCG doesn't want to be entangled with the problems within the D&D brand.

Other Wizards of the Coast employees chime in on his Facebook page.

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Times certainly have changed. Here's an official writeup of Zendikar as a D&D setting, straight from Wizards of the Coast. And here's one of Innistrad.

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HOLY MOLY! That is amazing! – Discord Apr 27 at 17:27

There was a WotC published rulebook for MtG, which was rather scarce. I think I still have one or two copies lying around. It could be mistaken for a roleplaying manual.

There also were some early books published (The Arena) which had a mail-off coupon for free card(s). Which were written as novel(s), but could be viewed as a roleplaying sourcebook.

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It was published during 4th or 5th edition, I believe; the "Ice Age" era. It definitely fired my roleplaying imagination and undoubtably caused me to purchase more cards that I otherwise would have. – SevenSidedDie Oct 9 '13 at 3:58

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