Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
I'll take a moment to explain how to portray those guilds against the roles you described:
Azorios and Boros: Authoritarian *******s who want to get rid of anyone who doesn't live according to their rules.
Izzet and Simic: crazy scientists, perfectly willing to destroy Ravnica because of some ambition.
Selesnya: The Borg, or maybe Stalin taking control of the guild.
Did I say these guilds were difficult to portray as villainous? No, I said they were easy to portray as villainous, or heroic.

So yeah, the Azorius Senate, dutiful civil servants and keepers of a fragile peace, or oppressive bureaucrats who enforce an unjust status quo? The Boros Legion, paragons who dare take a stand against injustice, or irresponsible vigilantes and crusading zealots? A campaign could believably go either way, or be about a shift from one to the other.

Dimir: Cool spies, ready to defend Ravnican citizens against enemies they aren't even aware of.
Golgari: the hippies who take care of all the trash in Ravnica, sure they stink, but they do what they must.
Gruul: Ravnica needs nature, that's the whole conflict in the setting, Gruul goals are noble and needed.
Orzhov: money makes the world work.
Rakdos: heroes who defend freedom!
Those would be their in-universe propagandas, and may have been their original goals, but GGtR sure doesn't make any of that sound genuine. For example, I know the demons of Ravnica don't come from the Abyss, but they seem to have the very same concept of freedom, and the artistic representations of the Cult of Rakdos look just like Gotham City when the Joker is on a rampage.

Like I said, some of them are needed, because of the work they do, and could be retconned to do that work in a respectable way. Again for example, the Golgari Swarm's efforts to recycle Ravnica's wastes are vital, and they could be rewritten so they do not stink as much on the inside as they do on the outside.

In regards to the actual lore; azorius and Simic are often evil. While Rakdos and Orzhov are always on the side of Ravnica.
Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
My one big complaint about the Ravnica book is the portrayal of several of the guilds as flat antagonists.
Ah, so the problem may be that a retcon already happened.