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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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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. However, Dungeons & Dragons 5e has bridged the gap between MtG and D&D. Here's an official writeup of Zendikar as a D&D setting, straight from Wizards of the Coast. Here's one of Innistrad. But the biggest change has been the release of the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, which brings one of MtG's signature worlds into D&D5E.


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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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wasn't there only one Everway sourcebook — the Spherewalker Companion —, making that the only Everway sourcebook anyone would've seen? I mean, otherwise, it'd be kind of hard to mistake the distinctive and giant Everway box for MTG. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 10 '17 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I thought there was a booklet that came in the box as well, but it's been long enough that I've forgotten. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Oct 10 '17 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ O, there was, but I don't think that was available separately. (My only concern was that I missed somewhere along the line an Everway supplement—I love Spherewalker Sourcebook (n.b. its proper name in a correction to the comment above) for its ideas and was afraid I'd missed another!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 10 '17 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggested edit: the statement that "no official Magic RPG exists, or has existed" is no longer strictly true. Since this answer was made, there have been official supplements for various planes, as well as the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, potentially falsifying that statement. That said, the answer's conclusion that the OP cannot be remembering an MTG RPG remains just as valid now as it was before. \$\endgroup\$ – MrSpudtastic May 1 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MrSpudtastic I'd thought about that, but I think the statement is still essentially true: although there is Magic content for D&D, there remains no MtG RPG that's independently branded and marketed. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc May 1 at 15:09
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Dungeons & Dragons 5e has bridged the gap between MtG and D&D.

Times certainly have changed. Here's an official writeup of Zendikar as a D&D setting, straight from Wizards of the Coast. Here's one of Innistrad. But the biggest change has been the release of the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, which brings one of MtG's signature worlds into D&D5E.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Go go Product integration. Plane Shift Kaladesh: magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/… \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic Oct 10 '17 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a Ravnica book now, too. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Mar 25 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ It goes the other way too, with the Sword of Dungeons & Dragons \$\endgroup\$ – Caleth May 1 at 15:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PatrickArtner The question has been altered since I answered it. The first question was "Magic the Gathering RPG?" — which this question might be a suitable answer to. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc May 1 at 18:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jadasc: Even though that was the title, the body of the question still contained the actual question, which your answer doesn't really match. The title is often just a summary of the actual question. This would be fine to mention in a comment, or as an addendum to an actual answer to the question, but it isn't really an answer on its own. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 1 at 19:20
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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.

Here is the Amazon listing (note that the copyright date is 1994).

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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    \$\begingroup\$ 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 than I otherwise would have. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 9 '13 at 3:58

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