The Orzhov Syndicate is ruled by a council of powerful ghosts. Each were the rulers of their house in the Orzhov, and they're basically the richest of the rich. One of them was probably the parun of the Guild and passed away, but the Orzhov don't let stuff like Death get in the way of PROFITS. Some do have human descendants or agents. But they would sell their grandchildren for the right price. Both of the the card forms involve your opponent losing life and you gaining life. The new version is pretty ridiculous since they can disappear on your opponent's turn and then come back and steal life from them, and give it to you.
The Extort mechanic is the Orzhov's ability from the Return to Ravnica block. Essentially when you cast a spell when you have a permanent on your board with the Extort ability you can pay one black or one white mana to have each opponent lose one life which you then gain. You can't Extort a spell with the same permanent multiple times but if you have multiple permanents with the Extort ability out when you go to cast a spell you can Extort once for each of them.
Representing how the Orzhov don't recognize death as the end of one's obligations. Creatures with afterlife N leave behind N 1/1 flying spirit tokens, which are presumably the hapless creature along with any other ghosts in their service.
Dungeons & DragonsEdit
Like all of the ten guilds, the Orzhov Syndicate appeared in the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, a splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Here, it was handled as a combination of Background and Faction, with the player choosing the "Orzhov Representative" background to certify they have membership, and being able to earn Renown. This is a new system to 5e, and basically is a kind of abstractified experience; you start off as a general worker (Renown 1), and as you complete missions for the Guild or do things that get you noticed, your Renown increases, giving you increased abilities. Of course, if you publicly screw things up for your guild, your esteem will drop and you can loose Renown.
Characters from the Orzhov Syndicate are most likely to be Humans. The most iconic classes associated with this guild are the Cleric (Order), Fighter (Battlemaster and Champion), Paladin (Oath of Conquest), Rogue (Assassin, Thief), and Wizard (Abjurer, Diviner, Enchanter, Necromancer)
Orzhov Representative BackgroundEdit
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 belt pouch containing 1 pp (an Orzhov-minted 10-zino coin)
- You can exert leverage over one or more individuals below you in the guild's hierarchy and demand their help as needs warrant. For example, you can have a message carried across a neighborhood, procure a short carriage ride without paying, or have others clean up a bloody mess you left in an alley. The DM decides if your demands are reasonable and if there are subordinates available to fulfill them. As your status in the guild improves, you gain influence over more people, including ones in greater positions of power.
To further represent the Guild's training and philosophical impact, spellcasters (that is, anyone with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature) gain bonus spells to their spell list based on the guild. For the Orzhov, that's the following:
- Spell Level Spells
- Cantrip friends, guidance
- 1st command, illusory script
- 2nd enthrall, ray of enfeeblement, zone of truth
- 3rd bestow curse, speak with dead, spirit guardians
- 4th blight, death ward, Leomund's secret chest
- 5th geas
Your magic tends to manifest as swirling shadows, brilliant light, or sometimes the momentary appearance of shadowy spirit forms. Your spells might draw the blood of your enemies, or even directly touch their souls.
Orzhov Syndicate RenownEdit
To rise in the ranks of the Orzhov Syndicate requires devotion, dedication and deviousness. Whilst your precise responsibilities depend on whether you are a Priest (cleric), Advokist (wizard) or Enforcer (fighter or rogue), everybody starts at the bottom; working your way up requires knowing when to take orders and when to take blackmail notes. Leverage is the currency that the internal Syndicate runs on.
Rank 1: Syndic (Renown 3)
- You are a low-ranking functionary; borrowers will defer to you and perform small favors that require no significant risk, effort or cost, whilst the bulk of your work entails performing similar tasks for your superiors.
Rank 2: Knight (Rank 1 and Renown 10)
- At this rank, you earn a unique title, gain authority over syndics, and are trusted to transport large sums of money. You earn a salary that provides you with a comfortable lifestyle between adventures, and when sent on a mission that poses a potential threat, you receive an Orzhov Charm. You have the authority to demand service from borrowers, even indentured spirits, but doing this counts as credit against their debt, so be careful about doing this. Your superiors will take note of largesse and chastise you accordingly.
Rank 3: Ministrant (Rank 2 and Renown 25)
- This is the highest position that you can normally attain without being born into the Syndicate itself. Your salary increases to gran a wealthy lifestyle, and you are given a personal servitor thrull (which will be replaced in 1d4 weeks if you get it killed, so long as your superiors judge you aren't abusing it), as well as a staff of 2d4 knights and 4d8 syndics. This personal staff will obey you, but you will be punished for using them to carry out work other than that which you have been assigned by your pontiff.
Rank 4: Pontiff (Rank 3 and Renown 50)
- The highest possible rank in the Syndicate, you have become one of the executive managers who enact the will of the Ghost Council. You have authority over a staff of 2d6 ministrants, each with their own staff of 2d4 knigths and 4d8 syndics. You now command a personal staff of 2d4 servitor thrulls and winged thrulls, can maintain an aristocratic lifestyle on your salary, and are even privileged to occasionally speak to members of the Obzedat.
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