I do not own any of the art books, and have not played Magic in several years. For these reasons, I've decided to review the Plane Shift articles in much the same way that I treated the new material presented in "Unearthed Arcana," by discussing how they could be used in conjunction with Green Ronin's Freeport: The City of Adventure setting.
Races of Zendikar include humans, kor (a humanoid race skilled at climbing and white magic), merfolk, vampires (who are diseased humanoids rather than undead), goblins, and elves. This world's two-legged merfolk are more comfortable on land than the fish-tailed D&D race, which makes them imminently suited as PCs in Freeport. Similarly, Zendikar's goblins work quite well for the smaller inhabitants of Bloodsalt, and this plane's elves are very similar to standard D&D elves.
The Bestiary's discussion of the Eldrazi and their minions can provide numerous ideas for eldritch horrors inspired by Lovecraft's mythos.
Most PCs are humans, so provincial traits are used to provide the diversity usually gained from having multiple races. In the World of Freeport, these traits could be used as models for new human "subraces" based on various nations of the Continent.
The inquisitor background is perfectly suited to characters associated with the World of Freeport's Hexworth Inquisition.
In general, Plane Shift: Innistrad is most useful as a source of ideas for isolated Gothic tropes, for a campaign where an entire region has descended into horror or madness, or to flesh out a more sinister reflection of Freeport in another plane (such as the Shadow Plane, or Freetown in Hell in Freeport). "The Creatures of Innistrad" section provides many ideas for giving more variety to standard horror monsters, such as werewolves and vampires. "The Coming of Emrakul" might be used as an example of the effects of a Great Old One (like the Unspeakable One) manifesting within a plane.
The pyromancer sorcerous origin easily fits into the World of Freeport, and would be most common among the efreet-blooded azhar.
Races of Kaladesh include the aetherborn (short-lived byproducts of the aether-refining process), dwarves, elves, humans, and vedalken (experts on aether lore and technology). The airship-flying dwarves from the "Death From Above?" plot seed (in Tales of Freeport) could easily be visitors from Kaladesh.
The three new backgrounds (initiate, vizier, and dissenter) are too closely tied to the Amonkhet storyline to be easily adapted to other settings. It would be much simpler for characters with religious training to use the more generic acolyte background from the Player's Handbook.
Races of Amonkhet include humans, avens (bird-headed flying humanoids), khenra (jackal-headed humanoids), minotaurs, and nagas. Khenra can be used to represent the jackal-headed gnolls of Hamunaptra. Avens, minotaurs, and nagas could easily fit into that setting as uncommon races created by other gods who lacked the wide-ranging influence of the more numerous core races' patrons. Nagas could also find a home among the Naga Cult of Naranjan (detailed in Green Ronin's Mindshadows setting) or be used as a subrace of serpent people anywhere in he World of Freeport.
This document also provides four new cleric domains (Solidarity, Strength, Ambition, and Zeal) that could easily be assigned to gods in other settings. For example, the cobra god Rhonas's Strength domain would work well for the more warlike factions among Yig's followers, while the cult priests of an archdevil might gain access to the Ambition domain.
The Bestiary provides a few new monsters that are perfectly suited to adventures in Hamunptra: the criosphinx, the heart-piercer manticore, and the serpopard. (This section also has useful notes for reskinning an elephant to create a hippopotamus.)
Finally, this fourth Plane Shift article includes an appendix about how to model Planeswalkers in D&D.
ConclusionThe "Coils of Yig" cosmology of Freeport assumes contact with a wide variety of different planes (see the "Beyond Freeport" chapter in Freeport: The City of Adventure). The Magic: The Gathering multiverse can provide inspiration for some of these new worlds. None of the first four featured planes makes an ideal home plane for Freeport itself, but all of them provide material that can be mined to enrich any Freeport campaign.
AppendixFor ease of reference, I've compiled a list of all my previous columns discussing running D&D Fifth Edition games set in Freeport.
- The Freeport Iconics in D&D 5th Edition, Part 1: Thorgrim
- The Freeport Iconics in D&D 5th Edition, Part 2: Rollo
- The Freeport Iconics in D&D 5th Edition, Part 3: Malevir
- The Freeport Iconics in D&D 5th Edition, Part 4: Alaina
- More Thoughts on D&D 5E Freeport (races, classes, domains, and skills)
- Unearthed Arcana and Freeport
- Unearthed Arcana and Freeport, Part 2
- Unearthed Arcana and Freeport, Part 3 (Class Options, Part 1)
- Unearthed Arcana and Freeport, Part 4 (Class Options, Part 2)
- Unearthed Arcana and Freeport, Part 5