Character Reference: Kor-Ly, The Simic Scientist

Character Reference by Steps

So recently we have spent quiet a while talking about Weres and spooky things like that but with this entry into the character references we are going in another direction completely. For those of you familiar with our site, you will know that we love Magic the Gathering as much as we love DnD. So it would only make sense that the Guilds of Ravnica book is one we have delved into quiet a bit. Today our character comes straight from that world but don’t worry, he wouldn’t be to hard to slide into any game session you would like.

Image from 5e.Tools

Kor-Ly is from the Simic Combine on that world and much like his brethren he loves to try and improve upon nature and preserve it and also like his fellow members, he has grown beyond his natural body. He has a rather large crab looking claw that comes off of his right side and the area between his arms and ribs have melded together with thin skin like growths. With these two adaptations he is swift when he moves using one to climb and latch onto trees or rocks, the other for gliding to the next. He also uses these as his only real weapons. His unarmed strikes are hardened and also allow him to grapple the target (The grappling appendages from the Simic hybrid gives him +1D6+3 damage on unarmed attacks and a bonus action to grapple). But because of these though he is usually not the most trusted. He wears a large brown cloak to help conceal himself. If not on Ravnica perhaps he would be with a group of druids trying to learn ways to help nature take back what was once its domain.

He is a purely neutral character and has no need for “good” and “evil”. To him, they are all the same. Only out to claim what isn’t theirs to begin with. He wishes people to live with nature not rule over it and will go to any length to make sure this happens. If there is a new settlement clearing a large forest for resources he would gladly help the party in putting a stop to this. The side he is on in your game is up to you and the goals of those around. He can be a great ally or a true thorn in the side to your party.

The build I made for him was a Wizard. Using many of the spells that would allow him to manipulate nature and control what magic others could use. To him, the most common magic people use is destructive and that can not be allowed to deform nature. He loads himself with counter spell magic and has even trained extensively to fight magic users (Using the Mage Slayer feat). While you could easily make him into a druid, the back story for the character I wrote (Using the Simic Scientist background from the Ravnica book) him being a wizard made more sense.

Where would Kor-Ly fit into your world? Would he be a plane jumping scientist out to study a new world for ideas to bring back to Ravnica? Would he simply be a druid looking to preserve the land in the campaign you are already running? Would aid the party or be looking for ways to stop them? Let us know on social media or in the comments below! We truly hope you enjoyed this new NPC for you to use!

Notes from the Careless DM (BDC)

At first read, I thought it was a bit weird having a Semic who dabbles with mutation fighting for all that is natural. But, the more I thought about it and the further I read into GUILDMASTERS’ GUIDE TO RAVNICA, the more inspiration came to me.

One angle for either PC or NPC is the natural move to propagate the Semic dream of nature and civilization living in a balanced harmony. They could work as an NPC within the guild and you could even go so far as to define the Clave they hail from. They could be natural enemies of the controlling Azorius or their fellow scientist, the Izzit Guild.

Within the confines of Ravnica, your PC could be working for the leaders of the Semic Guild to weed out plans by the other guilds to break the peace and take control of the world city. As a wizard, I could see him traveling to increase his studies, either by visiting other locations laboratories or or digging for secrets in libraries or finding hidden enclaves far from your base. As a druid, you may have to look for more ancient magic among the mystical places on Ravnica aka groves, ponds, grottos, etc. The addition of RANK and RENOWN gives you a ladder for your PC to climb giving the player tangable goals.

I found the mention of the TERRAFORMER intriguing. As a wizard or druid, focusing on magic connected to the land, water and weather could aid you in transforming the world around you as you transform yourself. I find this conflicting with the views of the more ‘civilized’ guilds who likes the urban development the way it is. I personally would love to see a civilization built in the Semic guild’s vision. Possibly, if injected into your homebrew world, you could build that vision as one of the powers there.

I could see this character becoming as much of a hinderance as they could a help. I could image a PC as a renegade who feels that the experiments done to them were an attack on his very nature and that what they were doing was actually an attack on nature. You could turn this character into a rebel that is seeking to stop them by using the other guilds. It would make a powerful secret for them to carry around with the party. Imagine them having siblings in other guilds or just having to carefully navigate the other guilds to find what allies best suit their needs.

If I were building a campaign in Ravnica, I could totally see a war brew between the Semic and the Izzit Guilds. The two most scientific mind possibly battling over ancient magical knowledge that could change all of Ravnica. Hmm…maybe I will have to write that adventure someday.

As a final note, this being October and our minds turning those dark, spooky corners of RPGing, I really think running a campaign around the Semic is a natural fit for those DMs and players who love to take things to ‘scary monster’ level. Maybe one of the scientists or, better yet, a whole Clave has gone too far and are developing ‘MONSTERS OF MASS DESTRUCTION’. Releasing monstrous beasts or, even better, for you Kaiju fans, unleashing a near Godzilla like event would be something that most of, even, the Semic Guild couldn’t get behind. But it would make a great end to a massive campaign; seeing your 20th level party going toe to toe with this size of beast would be immensely fun to play for DM and player alike.

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