Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 37th episode of our background series. Today we are going to be looking at a really neat one, very strong as well. We’re looking at the Orzhov Representative 5E Background and this is found in the guildmasters’ guide to ravnica book.
So you know it’s got some real power to it. If you haven’t check all of our dnd backgrounds and you’d like to please check out the dnd 5e backgrounds by skill. In any case let’s dive into its description here.
The prospect of an immense wealth is a promise of the membership in an Orzhov Syndicate. However all of the guild’s endeavors channel wealth from a Ravnican society into the different ranks of the Orzhov – and also the concentrates the spoils at a top of hierarchy.
Like a functionary in that particular system, anyway your best hope is for claiming as much as possible of money which passes via your hands on its way up, so in that case you can work on your way into a more prominent position.
So, Regardless of your past and also the wealth of your family, your initial status with a guild is near the bottom, until you’ve proven your value to them.
Basically you run the world’s biggest mafia and or pyramid scheme i guess depending on how you look at it. There’s a lot of lore regarding all of the ravnican guilds so feel free to dig into it at your own leisure but most of you aren’t going to be playing in ravnica so talk with your DM about it. Taking a look at their extended spell list….man they get some real prominent ones here.
Orzhov Guild Spells
Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature
However, for the sake of you, the various spells on the Orzhov Guild Spells table has been added to the spell list of your spellcasting class. (But if you’re a multiclass character with the multiple spell lists, these spells are added to all of them.)
|1st||Command, Illusory Script|
|2nd||Enthrall, Ray of Enfeeblement, Zone of Truth|
|3rd||Bestow Curse, Speak With Dead, Spirit Guiardians|
|4th||Blight, Death Ward, Leomund's Secret Chest|
As per the above table, your magic tends to be manifest like swirling shadows, brilliant light, or else it sometimes a momentary appearance of a shadowy spirit forms. Anyway, your spells might have drawn a blood of your enemies, or else even directly touch their souls.
At the cantrip level you gain access to the friends and guidance cantrips. At the first level you gain a command and illusionary script, second level you gain enthrall, ray of enfeeblement, zone of truth. At third level you gain a bestow curse, speak with dead, spirit guardians. At fourth level blight, death ward, leomund’s secret chest and at fifth level you gain geas.
Very good stuff, in terms of notable ones command, zone of truth and spirit guardians really stick out. Leomund’s Secret Chest is also hyper useful depending on the circumstances, spirit guardians is an all-around amazing spell and zone of truth leads to some of the most amazing role play opportunities as well as command just being really a limited to your creativity. Now let’s move on to its mechanics here.
Under skill proficiencies you’ll gain intimidation and religion. Intimidations is great to have in almost all circumstances. Religion slightly more hit or miss in depending on the world it can either be one of the most useful skills or one of the least useful so talk with your DM before doubling down too hard.
Under languages you gain two of your choice. Sadly the orzhov representative does not have any tool proficiencies so do bear that in mind when selecting it. Under equipment you have an orzhov insignia, a foot-long chain made of 10 gold coins which is super cool. You also gain vestments, a set of fine clothing, and a pouch containing one platinum piece.
- Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Religion
- Languages: Two of your choice
- Equipment: An Orzhov insignia, a foot-long chain made of ten gold coins, vestments, a set of fine clothes, and a pouch containing 1pp (an Orzhov-minted 10-zino coin)
That’s right one of the richest backgrounds a bar none. Very incredible stuff. Now let’s move on to its feature here. This feature is called leverage.
You’re able to exert the leverage over one or more individuals those are below you in the guild’s hierarchy and of course the demand of their help as needs warrant. For an instance, you are capable to have the message carried across the neighborhood, however procure a short carriage ride without paying out, or else have some others clean up a bloody mess that you have leave in an alley.
Of course the DM shall decide if your demands are most reasonable and if there are subordinates available for fulfilling them. Probably, as your status in a guild improves, you may also gain the influence over more people, which including ones in greater positions of power.
I really like this because it is a feature rather that scales based off of quest milestones. I really like that, what that does is it guarantees the more you invest in your character’s particular plot or at least whatever group you’re part of plot. The more power you and your party will amass.
Really good stuff, i really like it. It’s left open-ended enough where you can have your DM rule whether or not things are okay. Which is really nice because it makes it so you’re not limited by any real capacity outside of the effort you put into that particular group. Really nice stuff, now let’s move on to some suggested characteristics.
The members of this Orzhov Syndicate range from a decadent nobility at the top of an oligarchy for the debt-ridden wretches at the bottom. Of course you shall fall somewhere in between those extremes, so that you might behave with the arrogance of either a very rich or the humility of the impoverished.
Under personality trait ” I am always willing to act in accrodance with the financial incentive offered.”
|1||I am always willing to act in accordance with the financial incentive offered.|
|2||Debts are never meant to be forgiven.|
|3||I am accustomed to enjoying the finest pleasures money can buy.|
|4||No one could doubt that I am a cut above the masses of pitiful peasants that infest the city.|
|5||I can't stand to spend a zib more than necessary to purchase what I need.|
|6||I hate it when people try to make light of a serious situation.|
|7||I want to make sure everyone is aware of how wealthy, powerful, and important I am.|
|8||I can't think of anything to look forward to.|
Under ideal ” Wealth: I will do whatever it takes to become as rich as the oligarchs. And this takes you towards an evil alignment.” Which is interesting.
|1||Guild: My guild is all that really matters. (Any)|
|2||Wealth: I will do whatever it takes to become as rich as the oligarchs. (Evil)|
|3||Power: One day, I will be the one giving orders. (Evil)|
|4||Prestige: I want to be admired, respected, feared, or even hated for my position and wealth. (Evil)|
|5||Stability: The economy functions best when chaos is kept under control and everyone knows their place. (Lawful)|
|6||Eternity: I want to live forever - in the flesh as long as possible, and as a spirit afterward. (Any)|
Under bond ” I value my worldly goods more highly than my mortal life.”
|1||The unbearable weight of my debt has driven me to desperation.|
|2||I'm duty-bound to obey the dictates of an ancestor on the Ghost Council.|
|3||I value my worldly goods more highly than my mortal life.|
|4||An oligarch publicly humiliated me, and I will exact revenge on that whole family.|
|5||My faith in the Obzedat never wavers.|
|6||I want to prove myself more worthy than an older sibling and thereby ensure that I inherit a greater share of my parents' wealth.|
Under flaw “I’ll brave any risk if the monetary reward is great enough.”
|1||I hold a scandalous secret that could ruin my family forever - but could also earn me the favor of the Ghost Council.|
|2||I'm convinced that everyone I know is plotting against me.|
|3||I'll brave any risk if the monetary reward is great enough.|
|4||I am convinced that I am far more important than anyone else is willing to acknowledge.|
|5||I have little respect for anyone who isn't wealthy.|
|6||I'll take any opportunity to steal from wealthier people, even for worthless trinkets.|
This is just a greedy greedy player which is okay and actually makes the dungeon masters job way easier because to provide enough justification for a party to do a particular job would just boil down to strictly financial incentive in this particular character’s case.
However with that being said, as a house rule i always make it so party members cannot steal from each other. They can trade and they can barter and they can’t gamble however they cannot steal.
I would recommend every DM do this for one reason or another, it’s not very railroady for one but it will likely help guarantee that your group is on good terms irl for the duration of the campaign which is certainly the end goal of most dungeon masters. In any case let’s move on to its contacts and also my personal thoughts.
Usually, the Orzhov Syndicate shall operate as per the strict hierarchy built upon the network of different connections among the old, wealthy families. Anyway, your family may provide some important contacts, while your family’s all type of activities in crime, banking, or even debt collection could be tie you to members of other guilds.
Roll twice on the below mentioned Orzhov Contacts table (for an ally and a rival) and also once on the Non-Orzhov Contacts table.
|1||The spirit of an ancestor has taken an interest in me.|
|2||An older cousin has the ear of a powerful oligarch.|
|3||I know a knight who is responsible for collecting debts from powerful people.|
|4||A vampire pontiff tried to use me as a pawn in past schemes.|
|5||A silent spirit follows me around.|
|6||A sibling has keys to parts of Vizkopa Bank.|
|7||A giant thinks I'm adorable.|
|8||I regularly offer tribute to an angel, and the angel has been kind to me in turn.|
|1||An Azorius arrester is always snooping into my family's business transactions.|
|2||A Boros paladin saved my life, to my everlasting shame.|
|3||I know a shopkeeper who is secretly a Dimir agent and tries to make sure that I keep that secret hidden.|
|4||I'm fascinated by the culture of the Golgari kraul, and I have formed a friendship with one of their death priests.|
|5||A Gruul druid hates me but would never dare to touch me.|
|6||I know an Izzet engineer who is desperate to pay off a debt accrued by a deceased relative.|
|7||Roll an additional Orzhov contact; you can decide if the contact is an ally or a rival.|
|8||My childhood friend is now a Rakdos torturer. We still meet for drinks occasionally.|
|9||I have the key to a vault where a Selesnya druid is hiding an item of secret shame.|
|10||I was married to a Simic bioengineer.|
I really like the orzhov representative. I think most of the guild masters guides to ravnica backgrounds are quite strong some have called them overpowered and i think they have a very strong argument for making that claim. Taking a look at the spell list here or the extended spell list rather.
There’s a lot of really good gems in here but a lot of them rely on player ingenuity as well as role play and the circumstances themselves. That being said, it’s pretty good regardless. Taking a look at the mechanics, the lack of a tool proficiency is a little bit of a bummer and may dissuade quite a few people.
However the two languages is quite nice and intimidation is also great, not to mention the significant amount of gold you get for picking this particular background. Moving on to the feature is just really great i’ve already said i’m quite a big fan of it. It incentivizes plot investment and quest advancement which is certainly good. Especially if you have more of an open world style of dming.
Suggested characteristics are nice. A lot of the guild masters guides to ravnica backgrounds have great characteristics to choose from and they’re flavorful enough in their context and have enough lore outside of dnd where you can come up with some incredibly creative player concepts.
Overall i really like it, i think it’s a good choice whether or not you allow the ravnican backgrounds in your game is purely up to you but for this particular one i think it’s well worth the risk.
In any case let me know what you think of the Orzhov Representative down beneath in the comment section. be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have regarding it. Of course if you have any cool ideas or character concepts i’d love to hear them along with any stories you might have. With all of that being said, i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy adventuring.