Storyline Magic: Brief Overview
I had previously put this format together with a few friends, and felt it would make an excellent submission, based on the queries I’ve received on it.
Storyline MtG operates a little different than what you might be used to. To start off with the right mindset is crucial.
I’ve heard the term “theme deck” thrown around the ‘Net for some time now, and would like to make a clarification; in this article, “theme” refers to the overall synergic content of a deck or deck concept. I do not consider (for the purposes of Storyline MtG) goblins to be a theme. Goblins of Shiv would be a theme, as would Goblins of Kher Ridge, etc., etc.
So, you can see that Storyline MtG is a very specialized form of the game. More on that later.
Now, how does one go about starting a game of Storyline MtG?
1) You must start with a persona that you will be portraying. Don’t worry, this isn’t as intensive as a standard RPG, however, it does share some traits with that aspect of fantasy games.
Your persona within Storyline MtG must remain consistent. One optional rule I thankfully didn’t have to enforce is as follows: each person jots down a list of card types that their persona will not, under any circumstance, use. These would include things as broad as “goblins,” “dragons,” “demons,” or could be something as specialized as “all cards with a Phyrexian denotation.”
You may wish to create some aspects of your persona; height, weight, homeland, history, etc. This is added work you can put in, and is not necessary to play.
Each persona starts with 20 life, as normal, and must assemble a deck of 60 or more cards. Sideboarding is optional. This deck must be jotted down, just as is required in a tournament. This list will define a persona’s resources during the course of a Storyline MtG chronicle.
2) Be sure to have a lot of scrap paper.
This is one of the more crucial aspects of Storyline MtG. The participants in a Storyline MtG must be listed on a separate piece of paper. The region the participants are fighting over must be detailed; i.e. some notes on its importance, regional traits (is it mountainous? Forested? Etc.?), and some referencing names. How much you put in to this will determine how much you get out of it.
Each and every duel must be at least minimally chronicled. A turn-by-turn analysis can be useful, but is not necessary, only who won, and a number of highlights of the duel.
3) You are playing for ante.
More or less. The card that you reveal from the top of your deck before the duel starts will remain out of play for the duration of the duel. Should you lose, the card is set aside and not included back into your deck for the remainder of your chronicle. The card, however, is not given to your opponent.
Should you win, you shuffle the card back into your deck at the conclusion of the duel, as normal.
Each persons deck is then analyzed; if it falls beneath 60 cards, that person is considered exiled, and out of the game. They will need to come up with a new persona, and get ready for the next round of Storyline MtG.
Now, because of copyrights, and such, I cannot encourage anyone to set their Storyline sessions in any known part of Dominaria. Thus, I have a solution; pull a “Homelands.” The placenames and such used for your chronicle will be in an alternate plane that just happens to pull familiar objects into itself periodically, like “Rath.”
Well, folks, that’s the rough draft for now. I encourage all feedback before I present the finalized version. There are a lot of additionally rules that I didn’t include, as I wanted to gauge folks’ feedback before submitting a finalized version, in case there are any revisions I need to make when bringing this format into the great, wide web.
Let me know!