The Plane of Amonkhet holds many wonders…and a dark secret.
It’s time to get some D&D Chocolate in your Magic the Gathering Peanut Butter and celebrate the release of another Plane Shift, aka wherein the worlds of the Wizards of the Coast come crashing together Jetsons-meet-the-Flintstones style, chock full of rules, spells, backgrounds, monsters, and all the other things you’ll need to start Walking the Planes with your adventuring party.
The crossover potential second only to some kind of Fantasy Gaming Laff-A-Lympics.
The Plane of Amonkhet is ripe for adventure. On the Plane of Amonkhet, life is situated against a backdrop of trials, five demanding gods, and a curse of undeath that lurks, ready to claim those who fall without having proven themselves to the benevolent, mighty god-pharoah who oversees and protects all who dwell within the safe confines of Naktamun.
Within the walls of Naktamun, the people of Amonkhet are safe from the Wandering Curse–a deadly curse that afflicts everyone on the plane. Those who die while under it rise as wandering dead, mummies possessed with a mindless hunger for life. To die and rise as one of the Cursed is a fate all wish to avoid.
Fortunately, the god-pharoah of Amonkhet has provided five trials, each centered around one of the five gods, to protect his people. Cat-headed Oketra who advocates for Solidarity, Ibis-headed Kefnet who espouses Knowledge, Serpent-headed Rhonas who oversees the trials of Strength, Crocodile-headed Bontu whose purview is a burning Ambition, and Jackal-headed Hazoret whose Zeal is an example to all.
But…lurking at the heart of this is something far more sinister. There are five trials that everyone must go through, culminating in a massive battle from which no one survives–this battle is meant to help people escape the wandering Curse…and to an extent this is true. Those who succeed at the trials are instead raised as soldiers embaled with a magical material known as lazotep and pressed into the undying and everloyal service to none other than Nicol Bolas, a draconic Planeswalker whose fiendish schemes know no bounds.
But you get more than just a hideous death cursified plane when you play here. Drawing on inspiration from ancient Egypt and all the cards that you are familiar with from Friday Night Magic, there are a host of new races, spells, and monsters to go along with the setting. Let’s start with the four new races.
First up there’s the bird-like Aven, who have a fly speed, and are graceful and dextrous, and either get a bump to Int or Wisdom, making them suited to spellcasting classes. Then there’s the tall, lithe Khenra–jackal people who tend towards twins–they get a boost to strength and dex, and gain special abilities depending on whether or not they have a living twin. The Minotaurs of Amonkhet are different from the minotaurs you’re likely familiar with. Ram-headed with curving horns that make them feel kinship with Nicol Bolas himself, they gain a boost to strength and con, and are relentless. And then there are the Naga, whose serpentine bodies are swift and venomous.
On top of that, there are also four new domains: Strength, Ambition, Solidarity, and Zeal–each of which is sure to appeal to clerics. Zeal might be my personal favorite–with its 17th level feature allowing you to make a retaliatory attack on any enemy when you are reduced to 0 hit points, dealing an extra 10d10 on top of normal damage. But each of the domains has a ton of fun powers and access to powerful spells, whether the duplicitous powers of the Ambition domain, or the stalwart resilience of the Strength domain, or the support of the Solidarity domain (seriously, if you enjoy playing a party support role, this is the domain you have been waiting for throughout the editions).
Then add to that Monsters like the Serporard and the Cerodon who roam the world waiting to challenge adventurers of any stripe, and you’re ready to set off on the course for adventure.
You can find the full rules for everything in the handy .pdf guide. The whole plane seems rife with possibility. I kind of want to pull some of the PC races over to my home campaign at the moment, and if you’ve been following along with the BoLS NeverQuest gang, you can expect to see some of these monsters on-stream in the near future.
In the meantime, you should head on over to Wizard’s site, and check out the Plane of Amonkhet.
Of course, when you think about it, the Five Trials of Nicol Bolas are all basically one big Pyramid Scheme.