Azorius Functionary Background 5E

Hello d&d players and dungeon masters ! Thank you for supporting our background series, we’re gonna be jamming them out pretty quick here. So if you’ve missed a couple just click on list of character backgrounds 5e you will be redirected to the official page. Now let’s talk about the Azorius Functionary Background 5E.

It is found in the guildmasters’ guide to ravnica. Now these backgrounds had a little bit of backlash when they were released and i’ll get into why that is right away here although it is pretty apparent for the record, if you don’t want to allow them in your game totally understandable as a dungeon master that is your call to make and if you’re a player and you really want these just run a past your DM at a session zero beforehand because there’s some interesting exploits you can do with a couple of these. Let’s take a look at its description now.

Description

As per this dnd background all types of the brutes are almost at the gate, so chaos is looming, and here the only thing that is standing in the way of disaster is one of the foundations of law and order-as embodied in an Azorius Senate.

Of course, mainly you’re a proud member of the Azorius guild, which is both enacts and also enforces the laws which make Ravnican society function smoothly and safely too.

Azorius Guild Spells

You get a extended spell list, that’s right ladies and gentlemen. You get an extended spell list just for picking this background in addition to a ton of other great stuff and this is the point of contention a couple dungeon masters had and it does lead to a couple interesting exploits.

Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature

For the sake of you, the dnd 5e spells on this Azorius Guild Spells table are added to the spell list of your spellcasting class. (Suppose, if you are a multiclass character with multiple spell lists, these spells are added to all of them.)

Spell LevelSpells
CantripFriends, message
1stcommand, ensnaring strike
2ndarcane lock, calm emotions, hold person
3rdclairvoyance, counterspell
4thcompulsion, divination
5thdominate person

The azorius functionary isn’t too too bad for this, although it is still interesting. So in terms of cantrips you get friends and message added to your spell list, in terms of first level spells you get command and ensnaring strike, second level arcane lock, calm emotions and hold person. Under third level clairvoyance and counter spell. At fourth level compulsion and divination and at fifth level dominate person.

Now if you don’t know whole person is ludicrously good. Outside of that a lot of this is primarily aimed at utility and the social pillar of adventure. So it’s pretty good overall, it’s not my personal favorite but to the right player of this would certainly seem all right!

Here your magic thoroughly takes a form of blue or golden runes floating and even glowing in the air in the form of circular patterns or even of shimmering azure barriers of the magical energy. However, if you cast ensnaring strike, for an instance, the vines has been created by the spell that might appear like the rune- inscribed glowing bands which wraps around the target and hold it in place. Now let’s move on to its mechanics.

Mechanics
  • Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Intimidation
  • Languages: Two of your choice
  • Equipment: An Azorius insignia, a scroll containing the text of a law important to you, a bottle of blue ink, a pen, a set of fine clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp (Azorius-minted 1-zino coins)

Under skill proficiencies you gain access to insight and intimidation which are both quite useful especially if you’re playing the actual role of an enforcer or a lawyer or judge it’s certainly useful to have. Under languages you get two of you choice which is a very nice. No tool proficiencies however so think of that which you will however for the context of the background it does make a lot of sense.

In terms of the equipment you get the Azorius insignia which just identifies you as a member of that guild , A scroll containing the text of a law important to you whatever it maybe. A bottle of a blue ink, a pen, a set of fine clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces which is about the average for the backgrounds.

Of course you get this in addition to whatever your class provides you with. Now lets move on to its feature this one is called legal authority.

Feature: Legal Authority

Of course, being usage of this feature, you have an authority in order to enforce the laws of Ravnica, and even that status shall inspire the certain amount of respect and also even fear in populace. However the people mind their manners in your presence and also they avoid drawing your attention; they do assume you have a right to be wherever you almost are.

Of course showing your Azorius insignia shall be get you into an audience with anyone of you want to talk to (even though it might be cause more problems than it solves when you’re dealing with some incorrigible lawbreakers). However, if you do abuse this privilege, though, you could get in into serious trouble with your superiors and also even to be stripped of your position.

So you’ll notice a lot of these ravnica based backgrounds, they’re phrased in a way that focuses in on the inner workings of ravnica. So every once in a while a dungeon master will make a case that this background isn’t relevant because you’re not or this feature rather isn’t relevant because you’re not in ravnica so sucks to suck get a life.

I don’t really like this because i find it kind of strips down the meat and potatoes of the background overall. So if you would like to make it so everyone recognizes regardless of where you are in the material plane that. The azorius guild is well known through out the legal world as kind of being arbiters, judges and just practitioners of law in general and because of that they carry a certain weight when it comes to their testimonies or things of that nature.

I think that’s a pretty good way to do it and in terms of a party member abusing this privilege, you could just have rumors circulate about someone pretending or a rogue, azorius, guild member going around terrorizing people with his band of thugs and that would of course refer to the party. So that’s a way you can do that feature without being within the confines of ravnica itself.

It’s pretty cool, i’d certainly allow it in my games. However there is a definite drawback to this and that is people are going to be less likely to reveal shadier deeds when they’re in your presence. So this might lead to some interesting party dynamics where in the public light, when you’re dealing with nobility and just higher ups in society.

You’re one that takes the point, however if you’re dealing with the under belly of society maybe one of your other party members steps forward well you chill on the back disguised. I think that’s a rather interesting way to go about it. And of course you could always have NPCs seek out this particular character and try to bribe them or coerce them into making some kind of legal decision one way or another.

It’s really interesting, i do like this feature overall and i think with the right play style and certainly in the social pillar of gaming this is a very strong choice. Now let’s move on to its suggested characteristics.

Suggested Characteristics

The particular members of the Azorius Senate tend toward a demeanor of the cold dignity and also a pragmatic, orderly nature. Which is stepped into the law as they are and also their ideals and priorities revolve around the legal issues.

So this is kind of what i was aiming for here was more of a stone, cold, punisher-esque law enforcement figure or maybe even like judge dredd.

Personality Trait

So under personality trait, i try never to let my judgement become clouded by emotion.

d8Personality Trait
1I try never to let my judgment become clouded by emotion.
2I have infinite patience with the dolts and boors I'm forced to deal with every day.
3When I give an order, I expect it to be obeyed.
4I just want things the way I like them: neat, orderly, and clean.
5No wrongdoing can escape my watchful gaze.
6I always say exactly what I mean, no matter how many words it takes to communicate the particular nuance I am attempting to convey.
7I'm very literal and don't appreciate metaphor or sarcasm.
8I never change my mind once it's made up.

Ideal

Under ideal punishment, a public display of consequences is an excellent deterrent for other criminals. And this technically takes you more towards the evil direction.

d6Ideal
1Guild: My guild is all that really matters. (Any)
2Order: The law is meant to ensure that the gears of society turn smoothly and quietly. (Lawful)
3Peace: The ultimate object of the law is to remove violence from society. (Good)
4Compliance: Coercion is a fine way of ensuring that the laws are obeyed. (Lawful)
5Legislation: The law embodies excellence in its precision and detail. (Lawful)
6Punishment: A public display of consequences is an excellent deterrent for other criminals. (Evil)

Bond

Under Bond, I tried and failed to prevent a murder and i have a sworn to find and arrest the perpetrator.

d6Bond
1I am beholden to an Azorius arrester who captured the criminal who killed my parents, saving me from the same fate.
2I hope one day to write the laws, not just enforce them.
3I tried and failed to prevent a murder, and I have sworn to find and arrest the perpetrator.
4I successfully prevented a murder, and the would-be perpetrator wants me dead.
5One of my parents was prominent in the guild, and I resent constantly being compared to that standard.
6I've modeled my career after a highly respected lawmage or arrester, but I fear that my role model might be involved in something illegal.

Flaw

Under flaw i was traumatized by witnessing a crime as a child.

d6Flaw
1I'm unable to distinguish between the letter and the spirit of the law.
2I seem like a harsh judge to others, but I judge myself most harshly of all.
3I have a secret, illegal vice.
4I was traumatized by witnessing a crime as a child.
5I'm incapable of deception.
6I wish I had joined the Boros, but I fear they'd never accept me.

Now if you think there’s any other cool pulp culture individuals that this could line up with. Let me know down beneath in the comment section. But i overall really do like a lot of these suggested characteristics for this particular background.

Lots of plot hooks with this one in particular, you could run into the individual that traumatized or murdered whoever and you might not be able to recognize them and they could potentially use you or you could recognize them and because of their position in society they are untouchable.

And because of that it leads you to kind of operate outside of the law by which you swore to uphold. in order to pursue, in order to gain your own sense of justice and depending on how they go about that and how well it’s executed.

There could be drawbacks or reward incentives or things of that nature. Very cool overall and that would of course lead to some pretty significant character development, maybe let them drop that facade of being unemotional and kind of let themselves break down and rely on their party members a little bit more.

It’s very cool! and if you really wanted to put the icing on the cake, this pertains to the bulk of the suggested characteristics. But if you really wanted to put some icing on the cake you could have a close family member of another adventurer within that party, be involved in some incredibly illegal activity and just see how the two characters would play off with each other.

One would be of trying to hold the law and apply it to everyone and the other would be trying to explain how their uncle or brother is just a product of circumstances and just justifying their own given right! Very cool stuff, i do like it overall. Now let’s get to my personal thoughts.

Thoughts

If you can’t tell i really do like the Azorius Functionary and to be completely honest my favorite background of all time is one of the guild masters guides to ravnica background so it’s i’m a little bit biassed in that regard but i think it’s really strong. I like it’s spell list, i don’t think it’s particularly overwhelmingly good al though.

Especially, when you get the warlock involved in this nonsense. That extended spell list can lead into some real headaches. However there are far more tools in the DMs toolbox than there will ever be in any characters, so just DMs bear that in mind. Right it’s not completely unbalanced to a point of being game breaking just be mindful of it.

In terms of their mechanics they’re pretty strong as well, the lack of a tool proficiency might be a deterrent to some however based on whatever you have for your class you might have enough to work with that alone and this is relatively inconsequential to you.

Legal authority as a feature can be incredibly strong depending on how your DM wants to execute it and it will lead to some interesting plot threads and it’ll put you in some interesting scenarios as well. The suggested characteristics i think are just as strong as any, if not maybe a little bit better.

Contacts

As per the contacts the Azorius Senate is a sprawling bureaucracy, and even the people within a variety of different positions throughout the guild able to pull strings to make things happen. Just because of the guild’s role in order to making of the laws and enforcing laws for the entire city. Anyway, your place in the Azorius shall easily bring you into the contact with the members of other guilds, for good or ill.

You have to roll twice upon the Azorius Contacts table (for an ally and a rival) and it once upon the Non-Azorius Contacts table.

Azorius Contacts
d8Contact
1As a teenager, I was a page for a prominent judge.
2One of my childhood friends is now a precognitive mage in service of the guild.
3I joined the Azorius hoping to impress an arrester whom I admire.
4My former mentor is now a warden at Udzec, the new Azorius prison.
5I was second best at everything in my legal training, and now I work with the person who was always just a little bit better.
6A good friend was promoted into work they can't tell me about.
7I know a homunculus in the halls of New Prahv who can get things done behind the scenes.
8I was once summoned to the presence of Supreme Judge Isperia, the guildmaster of the Azorius, who complimented me on my work.
Non-Azorius Contacts
d10Contact
1Roll an additional Azorius contact; you can decide if the contact is an ally or a rival.
2The person who recruited me into the Azorius left and joined the Boros.
3I have a friendship with a Dimir agent who sometimes funnels me secrets about Azorius activities.
4A Golgari spore druid would love to see me slip up and break the law.
5A lesser Gruul chieftain seems to think I could be useful.
6The black sheep of my family is putting their maniacal genius to use in the Izzet.
7I'm friends with an Orzhov advokist; we compare notes on different forms of law magic.
8I was ridiculed once in a Rakdos performance; the performer was impressed with my good humor about it and now does me occasional favors.
9I have a fanatical Selesnya cousin who keeps trying to recruit me and everyone else in the family.
10While growing up, I was bullied by a brat who's now a hybrid in the Simic Combine.
Conclusion

Let me know what you think of the Azorius Functionary down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns or ideas you have regarding this background. As well as make a quick note of any pop culture characters that you think would particularly suite this role. Now i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy adventuring everyone.

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