Melissa Li – Ep 209

Mel Li Sarkhan cosplay photo credit Zeze Photography

Mel Li Sarkhan cosplay photo credit Zeze Photography

In this episode, I’m talking to Melissa Li, former creative writer and world builder for Magic: The Gathering.

I caught up with Mel right before she left Seattle. Mel moved to LA and is now a Senior Narrative Writer at Riot Games. Mel talks about her creative process. Magic’s storylines are developed five to ten years ahead, so Mel can’t tell us what she worked on. But Mel did work on the single player campaign for Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Also! Get on your Vorthos hats! We talk about some lore and the current storyline with the Eldrazi, Sorin, Nahiri, Innistrad and Nicol Bolas.

Notes and Links:

Go say hi to Mel on Twitter @SMelissaLi

You can check out her blog,

Mel has some great cosplay and she also makes some cool things like Aether ray guns and spinny thopter cakes.

Special thanks to Zeze Photography for the photo of Mel’s Sarkhan cosplay.


I want to thanks and acknowledge Mel again for her work creating worlds for the Magic: The Gathering multiverse.

I’m so excited to see her work in future sets.

Also, best of luck at Riot Games. Hmmm…. I wonder what Riot is going to be doing with a creative narrative writer? Perhaps a new game? Perhaps an MMO in the League of Legends storyline?

Anyhoos, I’m just excited for Amonkhet that’s about to be released.

We’ll all find out soon just how much of a jerk Nicol Bolas really is.

This episode of Kitchen Table Magic is brought to you by Paragon City Games.

Last week, Paragon City Games sent me Die Hard metal dice in Raw Steel Red for a giveaway.

I asked you to comment on my Facebook giveaway post about what you think an up-and-coming game store like Paragon City Games should do to support the players and gaming community.

Your responses are wonderful and I’d like to read a few of them on air.

Paul wrote: I would love to see stores build strong relationships with other stores in the region for scheduling, referrals, and the like. Stores are part of our community and the stronger the relationship between stores the better it is for players.

Robin write: I would have loved some classes on how to make a decent deck, especially how to build one with the cards I have rather than what cards to buy.

James wrote: Be sure to employ a judge or organizer for your events who is friendly, flexible, and sensitive to the broad range of players you will attract. Choose someone you trust and will allow to have the freedom to make store decisions on the fly that serve your customer service needs.

Adrian wrote: Have a series of local tourneys where the prizes are modern staples rather than packs or money. This should keep the hyper-competitive away and attract the more casual crowd.

Jordan wrote: Ask players for input on the events they’d like to see. Hold events at various times throughout the week–not everyone has a schedule that accommodates early afternoon/early evening events.

Many other listeners said that having a good atmosphere is important and also having private rooms to rent out.

And now, for the winner, chosen at random is…. Kate!

Kate wrote: Cater to the younger generation! I see young kids at my local shop all the time, and they get intimidated by the adults who are very serious or exclusionary.

Maybe host game nights for 13 and Unders? Or have easy to play decks on hand so kids can learn to play with their parents or friends without memorizing tons of mechanics.

Congratulations Kate, you are our lucky winner. I’ll be reaching out to send you the RPG set of Die Hard Metal dice in Raw Steel Red.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts about how game stores can help build community.

Many thanks to Paragon City Games for giving me the opportunity to do a giveaway.

Remember, they are streaming every week at

Also, be sure to spread the love and give them a Like on their Facebook page.


I want to thank all of my Patreon Supporters, Brian, Markus, James and Alexander.

It’s the generosity of my listeners that keeps this show going.

Go check out Table Magic, where I’ve spruced up the page with new graphics.

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And you’ll be able to ask me questions and connect with me directly about the show.

Patreon supporters also get access to special gifts and mementos from my interviews.



Thanks to everyone for tuning in to this week’s show!

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Coming up in the next episode of Kitchen Table Magic…

I’ve got a very special episode and I’ll be releasing it this Saturday.

Be on the lookout for this very special new episode on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud and wherever you get podcasts.

See you next time!

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