Izzet Engineer 5E Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 31st episode of our background series. Today ladies, gentlemen, casters and players of all ages we’re going over my favorite background in the entire game as of yet. Today we’re going to be talking about the dnd 5e izzet engineer background which is found in the guildmasters’ guide to ravnica.

If you’re new to this series and can’t already tell that this is a top-tier background please check out the all dnd backgrounds 5e. I’ll tell you anyways because i’m like that but most of the backgrounds found in the guild masters guide to ravnica are like really good to a point where a lot of dms have issue with them.

This one in particular if you’re a dm and you’re listening even if you’re like the most lucy goosey dm in the world. Every single person i know of and everyone who’s playing a game with me as a character will be 100% okay with you rejecting this background just banning it outright. If you think the arakocra is bad, man you ain’t seen nothing yet. In the right hands this background is an absolutely nuts.

Now you might just think i’m over hyping it i’m not by the way i’ll get into exactly what’s going on in a little bit here. That being said let’s check out it’s description.


As per this izzet engineer 5e background, an armed with an inventive intellect, a beautiful love of magical technology, and also an unquenchable energy, you’re probably an enthusiastic participant within the research work of an Izzet League.

Even though, you’re likely to begin your career like a mere attendant, of course you can aspire to become the skilled mage or else an alchemist, a laboratory supervisor, or even the flamethrower-wielding scorchbringer tasked by the defending Izzet laboratories.

However the Izzet are obsessive, brilliant, inspired and an unpredictable force of the chaos in Ravnica, and you epitomize all of those qualities too.

Now the is it guild as a whole is really familiar with just blowing things up and being a general headache in ravnica, however their research is top notch. They also got an extended spell list and there’s a couple noteworthy ones here but i’ll go over them all for you right now!

Feature: Izzet Guild Spells

Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature

For the sake of you, some of the particular spells on this Izzet Guild Spells table are added to a spell list of your spellcasting class (if you are one of a multiclass characters with the multiple spell lists, these spells are added to all of them).

Under cantrip you gain access to produce flame and shocking grasp. As first level spells you gain chaos bolt, create or destroy water and unseen servant. Under second level you gain heat metal and rope trick. Under third level you’ll gain call lightning, elemental weapon and glyph of warding, at forth level you’ll gain conjure minor elementals, divination, Otiluke’s resilient sphere and under fifth level you’ll gain animate objects and conjure elemental.

Spell Level Spells
Cantripproduce flame, shocking grasp
1stchaos bolt, create or destroy water, unseen servant
2ndheat metal, rope trick
3rdcall lightning, elemental weapon, glyph of warding
4thconjure minor elementals, divination, Otiluke's resilient sphere
5thanimate objects, conjure elemental

Here all of your spells intend to be loud, flashy, or explosive, even whenever the effect is unremarkable. For an instance, when you open the portal of the rope trick spell and the portal may be outlined by the harmless, showy sparkles.

If you do use an arcane focus, then it probably would take a form of an intricate device which could be included the metal gauntlets, the glass canisters, copper tubing, and leather straps attaching it to your body. However the mizzium apparatus has been clearly described in the chapter 5 is a magical version of this gear.

However, the chaos bolt spell is a favorite of Izzet spellcasters because of its unpredictable nature.

So a couple noteworthy ones on here first and foremost level one chaos bolt quite arguably one of the only sorcerer unique spells. But it’s really great potential and its scalability is a really nice in addition to its damage output.

Moving on to a second level heat metal and rope trick are both absolutely fantastic spells. Everyone always mentions heat metal being amazing because zibashu’s cooking book strategy is really great. However my rope trick strategy is even better and i’ll talk about that a little bit later on.

At third level call lightning arguably one of the best dps spells in the game. elemental weapon is great, glyph of warding is absolutely broken with a certain class and at forth level conjure minor elementals is great and the resilient sphere is also pretty incredible. Fifth level animate objects and conjure elemental most of these additional spell lists they only add one fifth level spell.

Now you get two and both of them are bar none amazing. The most broken things about this particular background is when a warlock takes it. Warlocks if you’re not super familiar get all their spell slots back on a short rest. Which is interesting, because a rope trick lasts for a short rest.

So the meta and this is something that only i’ve done as far as i know i’m sure there are some people online who’ve done it as well but every time i do this dms always dig through the book and try and tell me why i can’t. But rope trick lasts for an hour which is a short rest. You gain all of your spells slots back on a short rest.

So what you do is….is you leave one spell slot open, you burn through all the other ones at your own leisure and then when things get dicey to any degree, you cast rope trick and a sneak off.

There’s a certain exploit you can use with rope trick as well where you cut the rope super short and you just treat it more like a key that’s kind of the way this is meant to be used it basically lets you slip away without inherently triggering an attack of opportunity.

Really good stuff, in addition call lightning is just a disgusting spell if i’m being completely honest. It’s damage potential at least in relation to the amount of risk you accept as a caster is top tier spell.

Out of all the third level spells call lightning has some of the more kind of cheesy mechanics basically provides you with a super huge range, the lightning falls from the sky so it’s not traceable back to the caster and you can just be chilling out doing whatever while essentially destroying your enemies.

Glyph of warding in the hands of a warlock is also a particularly messy spell. Seeing as how his duration is until dispelled and once again you get all your spell slots back on a short rest so yeah…long story short this extended spell list in the hands of the warlock in particular is messy as hell.

You can also flavor the spells different to include sparks stuff like that but just by raw, this is one messy extended spell list and that’s not all they get. Let’s move on to the mechanics here.


Under skill proficiencies you gain arcana and investigation which are both great. Tool proficiencies, one type of artisan’s tools i typically go with alchemist supplies fits the theme and they’re also really good.

Under languages you can choose one of draconic, goblin or Vedalken. The Vedalken are kind of like a unique thing to ravnica so i wouldn’t worry too too much about them. Draconic or goblin pick whichever one you prefer i like goblin personally fits with the whole is it league mentality a little bit better and i find goblin in general to be a more useful language in most campaigns but that’s just me your mileage may vary.

Under equipment you gain is Izzet insignia, one set of artisan’s tools, the remains of a failed experiment, a hammer, a block and tackle, set of common clothes and a pouch containing 5 gp.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Investigation
  • Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools
  • Language Proficiencies: Choose one of Draconic, Goblin, or Vedalken
  • Equipment: An Izzet insignia, one set of artisan’s tools, the charred and twisted remains of a failed experiment, a hammer, a block and tackle, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 5 gp (Azorius 1-zino coins)

My favorite thing to do i always play warforged because i’m kind of like that. I really like them and you don’t have to worry about all that much when you’re warforged. I have my warforges built in a fashion where they’re kind of a human soul trapped in a mechanical body and the failed experiment they carry around is their original heart.

Very interesting stuff. Now let’s move on to their feature. This one is called urban infrastructure and it is one of my favorite features out of any background and i’ll talk about why in a little bit.

Feature: Urban Infrastructure

The one of the most popular conception of an Izzet League has mostly been based on the mad inventions, dangerous experiments, and the explosive blasts.

Of course much of that particular perception is always accurate, but mainly the league is also involved with a mundane tasks of construction and also the architecture-primarily within crafting an infrastructure which can allow the Ravnicans to enjoy the flowing/running water, levitating, platforms, and also some other magical and also the technological wonders.

Mainly, you have the basic knowledge of the structure of buildings, it includes the stuff behind the walls. You are also find the blueprints of a particular building in order to learn some of the details of its construction. Such as the blueprints might provide some knowledge of entry points, structural weaknesses, or the secret spaces.

Anyway, your access for such information isn’t unlimited. Al though, if it is obtaining or using some information shall get you into the trouble with the law, the guild can’t shield you from the repercussions.

Incredible…absolutely incredible. Now i know a lot of you might be a little bit curious as to why i like it so much seeing as how is it. It doesn’t really provide any mechanical benefits to the party and it’s lore based and it doesn’t really do anything in the way of funds.

What it does do is give you the ability to absolutely a cheese the heck out of encounters. I’ve done such things as removing structural support beams. Yeah….that’s right! Can’t fight the bbeg if he’s buried under a pile of rubble 🙂 this is especially useful with such spells as a glyph of warding which surprise if you don’t get it already, you get it because you’re a madman because the izzet engineer just gets it because reasons and you just you know take a couple moments.

Cast an explosive ruin on the pillar and have the trigger be something like when you clap your hands three time or what have you. Ahhhh…it’s so messy, so messy this one in particular i think is a huge oversight by wizards of the coast so cheesy and then naturally things like hidden tunnels or pathways. You’re likely going to be able to figure them out.

How i usually flavor this is. Once again i play warforged almost exclusively, i have like my eyes flicker and i can see the blueprints and schematics as they’re kind of uploaded to me. Very interesting stuff however you want to do it do so on your own leisure. I do get the feeling certain DMs are going to find ways around this.

Although it elevates the level of gameplay to a point of almost absurdity. That being said, let me know how you’d deal with it, if you agree or disagree with me down beneath in the comments section of course. And let’s get to some suggested characteristics here.

Suggested Characteristics

The members of an Izzet League shall be embody some combination of the chaotic, frenetic energy with an intellectual curiosity, in varying proportions. Of course some are committed for the academic pursuits, and some others are just like the explosions.

Personality Trait

Under personality traits “Life’s an experiment and i can’t wait to see what happens.”

D8Personality Trait
1I have a hard time staying focused on ? oh, and my brain tends to jump from one ? did I mention focus?
2I get really excited about my ideas and I can't wait to talk about them and start putting them into practice and tinkering with them and I want to tell you about how exciting it all is!
3It's not magic-or anything, really-if you do it only halfway. Whatever I do, I give it all I've got.
4I do what my gut tells me.
5Life's an experiment, and I can't wait to see what happens.
6I pepper my speech with the incomprehensible jargon of my trade, like mizzium droplets inserted into a weird-field suspension.
7Great ideas are fine, but great results are what counts.
8If you can guess what I'm about to do, that means I've run out of imagination.


Under Ideal ” Discovery. Every experiment has the potential to reveal more secrets of the multiverse and this really pertains to anyone.”

1Guild: My guild is all that really matters. (Any)
2Creativity: Half the world's troubles come from stodgy thinking, stuck in the past. We need innovative solutions. (Chaotic)
3Discovery: Every experiment has the potential to reveal more secrets of the multiverse. (Any)
4Science: A rigorous application of logical principles and protocols will lead us toward progress more surely than any belief system. (Lawful)
5Fun: I love my job! Despite the dangerous working conditions, there's nothing I'd rather do. (Chaotic)
6Power: Someday I'll find or create the magic that will make me the most powerful being in Ravnica. (Evil)


Under Bond ” I have dedicated my life to find a solution to a scientific problem.”

1I have dedicated my life to finding a solution to a scientific problem.
2I'll never forget the laboratory where I learned my skills, or the other attendants who learned alongside me.
3I'm convinced it was sabotage that destroyed my first laboratory and killed many of my friends, and I seek revenge against whoever did it.
4I have the schematics for an invention that I hope to build one day, once I have the necessary resources.
5A fellow student and I are racing to solve the same scientific puzzle.
6I would do anything the guildmaster told me to do.


Under flaw ” I get bored easily, and if nothing is happening i’ll make something happen.”

1If there's a plan, I'll probably forget it. If I don't forget it, I'll probably ignore it.
2I get bored easily, and if nothing is happening I'll make something happen.
3Nothing is ever simple, and if it seems simple, I'll find a way to make it complicated.
4I tend to ignore sleep for days when I'm conducting research, often at the expense of my own health and safety.
5I'm convinced there's not a soul in Ravnica, except maybe the great Niv-Mizzet, who can match my boundless intellect.
6I'm incapable of admitting a flaw in my logic.

Really great stuff! There’s a lot of really good flavorful characteristics for all of the ravnican backgrounds. I’m not being said for this particular character. I kind of went with a mad scientist more or less. Trying to figure out how to get his old body back in particular that’s usually how i play my characters.

That being said, feel free to go nuts, there’s tons of influential scientists throughout history. Some good, some not so much nico tesla, frankenstein take your pick. Now let’s get to my personal thoughts on it.


If you can’t tell i think the izzet engineer is way too good like you could literally just hand that extended like forget about the feature just provide the extended spell list and that alongside with the mechanics make it. In my opinion better than any other background we’ve covered so far without a doubt.

Then you mix in the feature on top of that. Man is that good, naturally in order to gain the full benefit from this background you have to be a caster to get access to this extended spell list but man come if you’re a warlock as soon as you gain access to those second level spells you’re pretty much untouchable.

I actually play a game with juice for master of the game where i do this and i kind of drives them a little bit nuts because the way rope trick works and the fact that you can shelter i think up to nine people in there if memory serves. It’s so cheesy, it basically makes combat irrelevant them more or less then you combine that with call lightning and i don’t know man it is super cheesy.

Then of course you add in the urban infrastructure fee and then you combo it with glyph of warding, once again the warlock gains the most benefit out of this combo as far as i can tell and if you’re a warforged on top of that, you already don’t really need to sleep.

So you can just go to these buildings, scout them out in advance assuming your stealth is decent and just cast glyph of warding while everyone else is sleeping and then wake up with them and just be like no guys don’t even worry about it.

I got this covered then you clap your hands three times and the whole base of operations for the evil syndicate you’re trying to take down, just straight up collapses in front of them. That’s pretty messed up man, that’s pretty damn messed up.

In any case if you’re curious about like maybe reinforcing the structural integrity of these places. Glyph of warding at its base like at its lowest spell slot being third level deals 5d8 of whatever damage you really want. So i mean that better be one tough piece of material you know and it’s a 20 foot radius sphere.

I guess the biggest downside would be that it consumes 200 gp worth of materials. But if you’re ballin and if you made the mistake of giving your party too much wealth you’re gonna really feel the consequences when it comes to this background. In any case i don’t know maybe i’m looking into it too much, may be i’ve had too many lenient dms in the past.


Let me know what you think of as an Izzet Engineer down beneath in the comments section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have regarding and let me know if you have any cool stories as well. That being said, i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring everyone.

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