Finding the Balance

Discussion in 'Storyline' started by theBruce58, Jul 4, 2000.

  1. theBruce58 The Artifact King

    For me, and I'm sure I'm not entirely out on a limb here, Magic was a natural progression. For years, I've been an avid gamer (and that means pencil, paper, dice, books!), and finding this cool little card game that could resolve a game in a half hour or so was wonderful.

    What attracted me most, though, was that there was a infinite depth to the story behind the cards. Who was Urza, and Mishra, and Tocasia? Were they good or bad, or simply opponents? (As you can see, I started playing a looong time ago)

    The art was likewise fascinating. I remember first seeing the Wretched, and thinking, oh, man, I can't play with that. It's just wrong! Did y'all ever get the hibbee-gibbees picking up a Giant Spider? *shudder*

    Anyway, I feel that Wizards has done a less than spectacular job with the story, in some areas. Specifically, the novels could use some serious revision, as I'm sure a few of y'all might agree. Some of the cards have the most astounding story potential, yet are never included in the novels. I don't feel this to be a problem with too many things to include, I find it more of a problem with a writer's own ego getting in the way of a great story.

    I also feel that Wizards kind of half-heartedly adds the story after the set is finished going through R & D. To be more specific, the other day, I was looking through the tournament locator (I know, shame on me!), and I stumbled across the Legend of the Five Rings locator. It had a section devoted to tournaments where your winnings determined some of the outcome of the story.

    Is this not brilliant??? Could there not be such a format for Magic? What about things like FNM or Arena; why not start one devoted to the story?

    But, then, I think a rude reality hit; that would mean a certain loss of control for Wizards. Sure, they can offer the winner of the invitational to design a card; ala Avalanche Riders, and Rootwater Thief...but, one card out of the billions of duels that go on every day? Jeez, talk about throwing a scrap to the hungry masses...

    It would also mean a certain amount of risk; why take the chance on throwing money away on a format they wouldn't be sure to make a profit from? And that's a really depressing thought - that Wizards of the Coast, the designers of this wonderful card game that has spawned so many hours of imagination and creativity and dreams...is a business. And a business is concerned at all times with the bottom line.

    I may just be doom-mongering, but I'd like to know what y'all think!
  2. Apollo Bird Boy

    I think you're right on target with a lot of your assesments. The format sounds cool, though I'm not sure just how it would work.

    "Y'all?" :D

    Apollo
  3. lilpinhead Cry Baby CPA Member

    I think that that would be very cool, although like Apollo im not sure as to how this could be accomplished but if it could be and if WoTC would allow it then it would be very darn cool. Im just now getting into the storyline and while some of the books may be lacking, the cards (art/text) are just plain cool. Thats one of my new favorite things to do is look at the art and text of as many cards as possible.
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Hmm... personally, I didn't think Magic needed an ongoing storyline. Self-contained "worlds" or expansions like Fallen Empires or Homelands was okay with me (I know they related to the history of Dominaria but didn't keep the same cast of characters). I think players influencing the storyline through tournaments is a good idea but keeping with my belief above it's not good with Magic and LoFR was designed to be that way; it's their hook.
  5. theBruce58 The Artifact King

    Lilpinhead & Apollo; glad you like the idea! The format is something that I've been working on for some time, on the side. I've actually ran an ongoing set of games that was set in a specific area detailed out, and the wins/losses all had a profound effect on the region and each other's decks. If y'all (although I come from an English-intensive background, I enjoy throwing grammar for a loop by using my Ohio Valley slang - I get it from my dad, :) ) are interested, I can start circulating some rough guidelines in this section.

    Spiderman; I would have to agree with you, for the most part. I enjoyed the one-shot expansions a great deal, and felt it leant a great deal to the creative atmosphere and vast scope of Dominaria. But, alas, we're not yet R & D, so we just have to make the most of it.

    To all; yes, I totally enjoy sitting around reading the cards over and over again, looking at the art and imagining the story around them. I found Magic's little snipets of life very interesting. Maybe Wizards will snap out of it, and we'll get back to some cool stuff, *shrug*
  6. krichaiushii New Member

    I always wondered why quoted characters rarely became cards or got their own stories -- like Disa the Restless, whose journals are quoted from on a handful of Ice Age cards, or Maveen O'Donaugh, whose "Memoirs of a Soldier" are seen in the Dark cards. The few lines each card contain conjure up enough of a backstory to make one wonder.

    If I weren't so lazy, maybe I would write some fan fiction... at the very least, add these characters to an FRPG campaign. Actually... that might make a good ongoing campaign backstory. The travelogues of Disa the Restless are found, and they mention wondrous magic and great treasures. The party sallies forth to find said treasures, and maybe the final resting place of Disa herself (himself?).

    Having broached the topic of role-playing using MtG as an influence, am I the only one who thinks that Rath would make a very interesting place to adventure?

    I am starting to ramble, so I will go...
  7. Multani Treetrunk Guy

    Tag Guard

    Disa is a woman and she's dead. :(
  8. krichaiushii New Member

    Disa is dead? Did that happen in one of the Magic books I haven't read yet?

    Thanks for the info, though.
  9. Multani Treetrunk Guy

    Tag Guard

    Actually, I found that out on a card's flavor text.
    The card is Stench of Decay(version 2) from Alliances.
    Quote from the card:

    "Disa is dead, and I am left. I shall allow no others to succumb to this pestilence."
    -Kolbjorn, High Honored Druid
  10. Fire Slinger Vetern CPA Member Pyromananic

    Has anybody ever read Distant Planes? Its a collection of short stories about Magic. There's one story that deals with Teeka and her Dragon. It's called, "Better Mousetrap". I really enjoyed the book. I have also read The Prodigal Sorcerer and The Colors of Magic anthology. They were both excellent reading.

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