The V.A.L.U.E. of Ravnica

The V.A.L.U.E. of Ravnica

Styles: urban-adventure, investigation, exploration, intrigue

Ravnica is an ecumenopolis - t.m. the whole world is a single city (e.g. like Coruscant in Star Wars), that draws inspirations from a late-medieval Prague. It is divided in countless of Districts and those further in Precincts.

Ravnica is ruled by 10 Guilds, who swore a mystic “Guildpact” over 10000 years ago, to stop an epic civil war. The fragile peace held till now, with a short exception 75 till 50 years ago.
The Guilds are all more or less structured hierachially and - at least in theory - of a centralized organizational structure. The Disctricts and Precincts instead are controlled on a local level in a sort of pseudo-feudal hierachy of civil servants.

Since the forging of the “Guildpact” Ravnica is in an “Age of Enlightment” … the concept of nobility is known only to those who study history and paladins & clerics gain their spells from “channeling the Guildpact” (they basically worship the philosophy of their respective Guild) instead of worshiping a god.

Half of the population, “the Guildless”, do not belong to any Guild, and form the underclass. Those can be found less in the central and more likely in the more rural/suburban areas of a District.
Many “Guildless” are also critical of the 10 Guilds.

The 10th Disctrict, where the adventures will take place, is located at the 50th parallel north and is shaped by a continental climate … also because all the oceans of Ravnica have been covered with city-structures. Since urban areas can heat up pretty well, it could be warmer then one might expect, especially in the summer.
(note: The climate can be compaired to modern continental central-europe)

P.S.: for the nerds … the adventures are set in the Return to Ravnica timeline

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:warning: DISCLAIMER: this is a D&D5E setting for a couple of open V.A.L.U.E. games I will dm in the summer … it is not an invitation to a new campaign … sorry^^

recent newspaper headlines:
(will update as we play)

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BACKGROUNDS:

To be able to join one of these V.A.L.U.E. games I HIGHLY recommend, that you create a character from one of the 10 Guilds, with a RAVNICA BACKGROUND (see below).

those are:

to help you choose a Guild for your character(s) here is a little help:

AZORIUS SENATE
… is the police force, legislative and judicial body of Ravnican bureaucracy.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: legislation and law enforcement
Actual role: bureaucratic nightmares
Colours: blue+white
Architectural style: doric order
You have two cows: They produce no milk, nor can you slaughter them, because you don’t have the proper permits. You also don’t have the permit to apply for permits.

BOROS LEGION
… is a standing army that protects the Guildpact and are the official peacekeepers of Ravnica.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: militia and constabulary
Actual role: overzealous mercenary army
Colours: red+white
Architectural stile: brutalism
You have two cows: The Guild raids your house and takes in one for questioning, because it witnessed your neighbour having a conversation with a candle salesman, whose brother is wanted for breaking curfew.

HOUSE DIMIR
… was recently thought extinct up until 75 years ago, and provides illegal but necessary services, while openly serving as couriers, investigators, reporters, and archivists.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: couriers and archivists
Actual role: spies for hire
Colours: black+blue
Architectural stile: none (anything that is well concealed)
You have two cows: The next morning you wake up and are a cobbler.

GOLGARI SWARM
… manages food production and organic waste disposal.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: waste desposal
Actual role: soylent green
Colours: black+green
Architectural stile: sewers
You have two cows: The Guild takes the manure and uses it to grow a third cow, which is then given to your neighbour.

GRUUL CLANS
… have fallen from their former glory as the keepers of Ravnica’s wilds and now are nothing but a loose affiliation of berserker clans, who seek to wipe civilization from the world.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: foresters and gamekeepers (defunct; since the whole world has been urbanized)
Actual role: anti-urban rioters
Colours: green+red
Architectural stile: classic low-fantasy
You have two cows: The Guild takes both of them and makes them fight to the death. They feast on the winner, then burn your house.

IZZET LEAGUE
… is responsible for the world-city’s civil engineering works and new magical developments.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: public works and civil engineering
Actual role: getting breakthroughs in research by reducing safety measures
Colours: blue+red
Architectural stile: steam punk
You have two cows: The Guild takes one of them and uses is as an experimental alternative fuel for your neighbours house.

ORZHOV SYNDICATE
… was originally the most widespread religion of Ravnica. Now it regulates trade and banking, among other activities such as law.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: banks and churches
Actual role: organised crime as religion
Colours: black+white
Architectural stile: gothic cathedrals
You have two cows: You involuntarily donate one to the Guild, which sells your neighbour milk at a 300% mark-up, with interest. You pay a cow ownership fee for a minimum of 4000 years.

CULT OF RAKDOS
… considered a necessary evil by some, is composed of thrill-killers who provide the heavy labor force, catering, and entertainment of the plane.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: entertainers and manual labor
Actual role: desperate demon circus
Colours: black+red
Architectural stile: dungeons
You have two cows: The Guild takes one and gives it to your neighbour. Then they set your cow on fire, kill your neighbour and turn his house into a brothel.

SELESNYA CONCLAVE
… promotes what is now the strongest, nature-based religion of Ravnica and its guards patrol the rural areas along with being conservationists and charity workers.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: urban agriculture
Actual role: hippy cultist
Colours: green+white
Architectural stile: corinthian order
You have two cows: The Guild takes one of them and gives it to your neighbour. You both become vegan.

SIMIC COMBINE
… provides medical assistance, performs biological research, and creates alternative food sources.
D&D Beyond video
Official role: biologists and healers
Actual role: biomodification and terraforming
Colours: blue+green
Architectural stile: rococo
You have two cows: The Guild takes one of them and combines it with a turtle, then gives it to your neighbour.

also this flowchart might also prove to be helpful:

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SPECIES:

all D&D5E Races can be found in Ravnica
(with even more variations in skin tones then usual)

most common are Humans, Goblins and Half-Elves … in that order,

followed by Dark-Elves (almost all of them are Golgari) and Wood Elves (many of them are Selesnya)
… with Dark Elves looking like Wood Elves with completely jet black eyes (they are closely related) and not like Drow

also pretty common are Centaurs, Changelings (almost all of them are Dimir), Dhampires (almost all are Dimir or Orzhov), Dragonborn (called “Viashino”), Loxodons, Minotaurs, Tritons, Vedalken, and all other Elf-Subraces not mentioned above,

Genasi (almost all of them are Izzet), Goliaths, Leonin and Satyrs are rarer, but can be seen from time to time,
… but as mentioned above, in theory you can find every D&D5E Race in Ravnica.

There are also the insectoid Kraul (all are Golgari), but they are connected via a hivemind, so they are not available as a PC species.

A new addition are the Simic Hybrids, who can be found basically only in the Simic Combine.
This is an artifical bio-modded species, which combines Highelf with Triton and Vedalken as well as additional often-aquatic animals. To transform into a Simic Hybrid is a quite popular, albeit costly, endeavor in that Guild. The hybrid-program is quite new though … so right now Simic Hybrids are still rare overall.

LANGUAGES:

All languages except Infernal can be encountered in Ravnica.
(I would not recommend learning that … there is a 0% chance, that it would help you ever.)
Dwarvish, Gnomish, Halfling and Orcish are only encountered very rarely.

CONTACTS:

Every PC, that has a Ravnica Background (see two posts above), starts with 3 Contacts.

There is no need to define them before playing … I will tell you / let you choose / let you roll, when you play your character for the first time. :slight_smile:

REKNOWN:

There is also a Reknown mechanic, that symbolises the characters’ rise through the ranks of their respective Guild. This awards benefits, boons and even magic items at certain thresholds.

Characters with a Ravnica Background (see two posts above) start with 1 point of Reknown in their respective Guild, and can gain or loose points during play.

PCs so far:

Gluur

Gloor, the manager (by @PatrickD)

Race/Class: Goblin/Sorcerer (Clockwork)
Guild: Selesnya Conclave
Rank/Reknown: Evangel / 6
Allies:
-> Argona, f. centaur berserker, Selesnya Conclave
-> Ophyra, f. viashino pain artist, Cult of Rakdos
Rivals:
-> Vasool, m. loxodon master sage, Selesnya Conclave
-> Komni Desuri, f. vedalken precognition mage, Azorius Senate
-> Agarm, nb. simic-hybrid deep sage, Simic Combine

Geth (by @Leafina)

Race/Class: Human/Barbarian
Guild: Boros Legion
Rank/Reknown: none / 2
Allies:
-> Valignat, m. viashino firefist, Boros Legion
Rivals:
-> Vaun Goblan, m. minotaur reckoner, Boros Legion
-> Pontif Launa Boonad, f. blooddrinker vampire, Orzhov Syndicate

Myzel (by @BufoBufo)

Race/Class: Myconid/Druid (Spores)
Guild: Golgari Swarm
Rank/Reknown: Agent / 10
Allies:
-> Kakerlake, f. kraul death priest, Golgari Swarm
-> Rogad Nar, m. human thug, Orzhov Syndicate
Rivals:
-> Peren Vezska, m. dark elf findbroker, Golgari Swarm
-> Pontif Launa Boonad, f. blooddrinker vampire priest, Orzhov Syndicate

Ox (by @healywp)

Race/Class: Minotaur/Barbarian (Berserker)
Guild: Cult of Rakdos
Rank/Reknown: Extra / 10
Allies:
-> Gob Zombie, m. undead goblin bard, Cult of Rakdos
-> Argona, m. centaur berserker, Selesnya Conclave
Rivals:
-> Ophyra, f. viashino pain artist, Cult of Rakdos
-> Belov, m. vedalken mage, Izzet League

Twitch (by @joeder)

Race/Class: Goblin/Artificer (Artillerist)
Guild: Izzet league
Rank/Reknown: Scorchbringer / 12
Allies:
-> Gallyn “Tinkerbell”, f. pixie artificer, Izzet League
-> Nassius Ven, m. vedalken elocutor of the Order of the Guildpact, Azorius Senate
-> Falish, f. human weapon merchant, Guildless (Ex-Izzet League)
Rivals:
-> Belov, m. vedalken mage, Izzet League
Debt:
-> Pontif Launa Boonad, f. blooddrinker vampire cleric, *Orzhov Syndicate

Babar (by @K-the-fox )

Race/Class: Loxodon/Monk
Guild: Selesnya Conclave
Rank/Reknown: none / 2
Allies:
-> Vasool, m. loxodon master sage, Selesnya Conclave
Rivals:
-> Argona, f. centaur berserker, Selesnya Conclave
-> Gallyn “Tinkerbell”, f. pixie artificer, Izzet League

Akylos (by @Nyar )

Race/Class: Centaur/Wizard (Diviner)
Guild: House Dimir (infiltrating the Azorius Senate)
Rank/Reknown: Independent Agent / 4
Allies:
-> The Doppelganger, ?. doppelganger, House Dimir
-> Nassius Ven, m. vedalken elocutor of the Order of the Guildpact, Azorius Senate
Rivals:
-> Valignat, m. viashino firefist, Boros Legion

Ileana (by @George)

Race/Class: Wood Elf/Ranger (Hunter)
Guild: Gruul Clans (Burning Tree)
Rank/Reknown: none / 2
Allies:
-> Nyrvola Syd, f. wood elf druid of the old ways, Gruul Clans
-> Gob Zombie, m. undead goblin bard, Cult of Rakdos
Rivals:
-> Nykia, f. centaur archdruid, Gruul Clans

Milo (by @Semako )

Race/Class: Reborn/Sorcerer (Aberrant Mind)
Guild: Simic Combine
Rank/Reknown: none / 2
Allies:
-> Agarm, nb. simic-hybrid deep sage, Simic Combine
-> Valignat, m. viashino firefist, Boros Legion
Rivals:
-> Belov, m. vedalken mage, Izzet League

Important NPCs so far:

_Krenko
Krenko, "the Gobfather"
m. goblin gang boss, Guildless
-> mobster with an ability to get his hands on illicit magic items
-> has a feud with a rival gang, the Shattergang, since he killed a prominent member
-> has been recently recaptured

_Falish
Falish
f. human weapon merchant, Guildless
-> former member of the Izzet league, from the Laboratory of Pyrology
-> sells weapons and potions in a secret shop near Tin Street, with no questions asked

Azorius_Caipei_Nidaal
Caipei Nidaal
f. human lawmage, Azorius Senate
-> commands the Azorius Arrester Station in the 4th Precinct
-> never excuses breaking the laws of Ravnica, no matter the reason

Azorius_Komni_Desuri
Komni Desuri
f. vedalken precognition mage, Azorius Senate
-> has the gift of prophecy
-> helps the Azorius Senate to arrest criminals, before the crime even happens

Azorius_Nassius_Ven
Nassius Ven
m. vedalken elocutor, Azorius Senate
-> a highranking civil servant of the Order of the Guldpact
-> he comes across as stiff, although he is rather a pragmatic indiviual
-> tends to speak in “legalese”, that sometimes confuse listeneres

Boros_Valignat
Valignat
m. viashino firefist, Boros Legion
-> a patrolling Wojek (that’s the law enforcement division), that likes his coffee hot
-> easy to anger, but forgives easily as well
-> has quite a few connections in other Guilds

Boros_Vaun_Goblan
Vaun Goblan
m. minotaur reckoner, Boros Legion
-> mercenary for hire, that is very dedicated to his jobs
-> typically hired for various guard duties
-> hard to anger, but can hold grudges for a lifetime

Dimir_Doppelganger
The Doppelganger
?. doppelganger, House Dimir
-> can change shape
-> specialized in infiltration
-> in deep cover in another Guild, but in which one exactly is not known

Dimir_Stanislav
Stanislav
m. specter, House Dimir
-> works as a memory dealer
-> sometimes spooks in the Undercity close to Prism University in the 5th Precinct
-> he bought his name recently

Golgari_Kakerlake
Kakerlake
f. kraul death priest, Golgari Swarm
-> works as an Undercity landlady
-> despises people who don’t pay their rent on time
-> is rather gregarious for a kraul

Golgari_Ninefinger
Ninefinger
m. giant skeleton, Golgari Swarm
-> friendly undead Undercity giant, although with only a hint of social skills
-> a bad cook, since he lost his sense of smell & taste

Golgari_Peren_Veszka
Peren Vezska
m. dark elf findbroker, Golgari Swarm
-> he salvages magic items he finds in the Undercity, that he later sells
-> “You won’t believe what people throw away these days”…
-> has a big debt in legal fees to the Orzhov Syndicate thanks to a lengthy custody battle

Gruul_Nikya
Nykia
f. centaur archdruid, Gruul Clans
-> chieftain of the Zhur-Taa Clan
-> worships the “god” Ilhargh the Raze-Boar
-> saw omens of her “god’s” return as it will lay waste to Ravnica

Gruul_Nyrvola_Syd
Nykia
f. wood elf druid of the old ways, Gruul Clans
-> a shaman of the Zhur-Taa Clan
-> worships the “god” Ilhargh the Raze-Boar
-> wanted by the Azorius Senate & the Boros Legion for arson in over a dozen cases

Izzet_Bellov
Prof. Belov
m. vedalken wild mage, Izzel League
-> Izzet researcher from the Laboratory of Plasma-Dermatology
-> uses wild magic to generate stronger Weirds by fusing opposing elementals
-> recently took a loan from the Orzhov Syndicate

Izzet_Gallyn
Gallyn "Tinkerbell"
f. pixie artificer, Izzel League
-> recently joined the Laboratory of Pressure Resistance and Hydromechanics
-> she majored in soliton waves at Prism University last year
-> she is a member of the Kwalish Expedition Remembrance Society

Orzhov_Launa_Boonad
Pontif Launa Boonad
f. blooddrinker vampire priest, Orzhov Syndicate
-> a loan shark specialising in adventurers
-> also works for adventuring groups as a lawer for hire
-> aside from being a vampire she is also a competent cleric

Orzov_Rogad_Nar
Rogad Nar
m. human thug, Orzhov Syndicate
-> brutal but effective enforcer, that is used to remind clients that they should pay their debts soon
-> a bit too courious for the Orzhov Syndicate … so he won’t be promoted anytime soon
-> rumors say he does not want to be promoted anyway, since he loves his job a bit too much

Rakdos_Gob_Zombie
Gob Zombie
m. undead goblin bard, Cult of Rakdos
-> had his greatest success 30y ago with his hit "More Goblin Than Goblin
-> recently announced his anniversary Re-Reanimated tour
-> considered a “classic” … but most kids this day listen to “My Clerical Romance” instead

Rakdos_Ophyria
Ophyria
f. viashino pain artist, Cult of Rakdos
-> artist that tries to use pain & pleasure to elevate her to a higher level of consciousness
-> collector of magic items, especially if thhose would increase sensory input
-> recently sold her magic stash to be able to buy her own club, the “Palace of Pain’s Pleasure”

Selesnya_Argona
Argona
f. centaur berserker, Selesnya Conclave
-> grew up at teh Gruul Clans, but joined the Selesnya Conclave recently and is more happy now
-> in therapy to get control of her anger issues
-> currently works as a florist

Selesnya_Azusa
Azusa
f. human monk, Selesnya Conclave
-> is a recruiter for the Selesnya Conclave
-> gives yoga lessions in the 3rd Precinct

Selesnya_Vasool
Vasool
m. loxodon master sage, Selesnya Conclave
-> a loremaster specialising in ancient history, who likes to talk to old trees
-> rumors say he has access to Vitu Ghazi, the world tree … sometimes
-> slightly overweight, since he eats to much nuts

Simic_Agarm
Agarm
nb. simic-hybrid deep sage, Simic Combine
-> nonbinary philosopher … preferred pronouns are “they” or “fish”
-> recently became a member of the “Simic Combine Advisory Board for Bio-Research”
-> uses sensory deprivation in the deep sea to get their insights, so they are not often seen around

Simic_Palalamp
Prof. Palalamp
m. high elf biomancer, Simic Combine
-> a professor at Prism University, specialising in researching and creating exotic foods
-> can been seen in the city quite often doing “field tests” and collecting “surveys”
-> recently tries to create cloaked toads, so that people with a eating disorder, would have an easier time fasting, since they cannot see their food

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Story Award: Orzhov Debt

-> your character owes the Orzhov Syndicate a monetary/spritual debt of …gp :ghost:

as long as your character has not payed that back, the following applies:

  • Should your character die, she/he cannot be raised from the dead, ressurected, and/or reincarnated.
  • Should she/he be on a different plane than Ravnica, direct intervention of a pantheon of gods might bring her/him back. Even direct interventon of a single god would not be strong enough.
  • Should your character die, the Orzhov Syndicate also are allowed to claim of all her/his possessions including her/his body, flesh, tears and blood.
  • Should your character die, she/he spawns as an indentured spirit within 10min to 1h, who is bound to the Orzhov Syndicate, but keeps all her/his memories.
  • Should your character’s soul be annihilated, she/he cannot spawn as an indentured spirit.
  • Should your character die, this will set of a spirit beacon in the Orzhov Syndicate West Plaza Basilica, Ravnica, 10th District.
  • Should your character die, all your decendants will inherit your monetary/spiritual debt. This does not remove your monetary/spiritual debt.
  • Indentured spirits must use 100% of their salary to pay off their debt.
  • Indentured spirits without any debt, are set free and will pass into the afterlife.
  • The Orzhov Syndicate pledges itself to pay her/his indentured spirit a salary of 1gp per day of work.
  • The Orzhov Syndicate is allowed to charge such an indentured spirit a haunting fee of 1gp per tendays.
  • Should your character rise up a Tier, without paying at least 10% of her/his total debt, the Orzhov Syndicate are allowed to charge interest of 20% of her/his total debt.
  • Should the Orzhov Syndicate find proof, that your character tried to swindle his way out of this pact, the Orzhov Syndicate is allowed to collect the spirit, even though she/he might still be alive. In this case the Orzhov Syndicate is also allowed to claim of all her/his possessions including his body, flesh, tears and blood, even though she/he might still be alive at this point.

(should your character drop to 0 hit ponts, but not die, all listed effects above will not trigger … yet)

:ghost:

P.S.: for questions and paying your debt please contact Pontif Laura Boonad, West Plaza Basilica, 10th District, Ravnica

P.P.S.: in case this was not clear, an indentured spirit will be an NPC and no longer under that player’s control