"In the dark, slick corridors of the undercity lurks the unfathomable network of the Dimir guild. House Dimir is Ravnica’s dark but open secret: the populace knows Dimir exists but they pretend it doesn’t. The Dimir’s role in Ravnica is to provide covert services that other guilds can’t or won’t, using their secrecy as both weapon and defense. Dimir is hidden even from itself, using pockets of covert agents who are aware of only a few other contacts. Dimir agents leave no trace, destroying memories of witnesses to their crimes, and even going so far as to eliminate their own memories of their assignments."
"I fear that as we scurry after phantoms, the Dimir pull nine puppet strings."
The guild of secrecy, deception, and Just as planned, House Dimir are collectively feared by the entirety of Ravnica (when they actually believe in them). Also known as the Tenth guild, or the Unseen, they are a guild of assassins, mind mages, thieves, spies, rogues, mercenaries and necromancers, that manipulates all of Ravnica to their own ends.
- 1 History of House Dimir
- 2 Structure
- 3 Guild Members
- 4 Guild Agents
- 5 Things House Dimir Has Done
- 6 Things The Guild Does
- 7 Guild Mechanics
- 8 The truth of House Dimir
- 9 Dungeons & Dragons
- 10 Gallery
History of House Dimir
House Dimir was founded by a vampire named Szadek, one of the 10 paruns that signed the Guildpact. One of the highlighted clauses of the guildpact was that no one, not even Szadek was allowed to reveal Dimir's existence to the public. This created a flaw in the guildpact's structure that would allow it to be eventually broken. "Officially, the guild does not exist. The Ravnican people generally believe that there are only nine guilds and that if there ever was a tenth, it dissolved thousands of years ago. The name Dimir is not known by most people and those that do know it believe it to be a myth, children's story or a paranoid conspiracy theory. This misinformation is actively propagated by the Dimir themselves as a method for avoiding suspicion."
Dimir's structure is an extremely complex and intricate system. Most guild members don't even know who they are working for. Information is heavily controlled as the guild functions on a strictly need to know basis. The guild leader, currently a shapeshifter known as Lazav, knows all and sees all. Beneath him are the necrosages, who oversee the guild's activities from Duskmantle, the guild's hidden base of operations. The necrosages collect and manipulate information in Ravnica, keeping the guild informed and making sure everyone remains ignorant. This is done by a network of middlemen who inform the guilds agents on what to do. Agents who work at the very bottom only meet a mysterious individual in a back alley that gives them some basic information on their target before vanishing into the shadows. These mysterious individuals are a type of phantom, either a magical construct or the enslaved ghosts of individuals.
The guild also utilises undead such as zombies, skeletons and ghosts. They are considered valuable tools as they are unable to be interrogated and their presence is usually blamed on the Golgari Swarm.
- Szadek: the guild's vampire founder. Last of a race of psychic vampires, he was killed and his soul enslaved. He exists in a non-corporeal form and is contained somewhere.
- Circu: The guild's champion. A skilled fighter and a lobotomist, Circu made sure anyone who learnt too much about House Dimir never shared that knowledge, one way or another.
- Lazav: the guild's current leader, a shapeshifter.
Officially, Dimir agents don't exist. Guild members take public jobs as couriers, librarians, historians, archivists as covers which enable them to collect information or move about unnoticed. In reality, they are torturers/interrogators, spies, thieves, assassins, necromancers and mind mages.
Things House Dimir Has Done
Things The Guild Does
Dimir loves to gather knowledge, and ultimately the guild plans to conquer all of Ravnica by manipulating the other guilds for a secret hidden plan.
The main mechanic of Dimir is mill, a strategy which involves sending cards from the top of an opponent's library to the graveyard. This is done to deny the opponent cards and to set up a win condition where the opponent's library is empty and they lose the game when they are unable to draw. A classic strategy that sadly hasn't seen much competitive relevancy, but remains the scourge of commander.
A mechanic where instead of casting a spell, you instead pay the spells Transmute cost, discard it and search up another card with the same CMC. Essentially think a built in tutor option for when you don't need the spell.
a subtype of milling where the opponent reveals cards off the top of their library until they reveal a land, then puts the revealed cards into their graveyard. A great example of this is Consuming Abberation (a hilarious card).
A mechanic where when you cast a spell, you can exile it "encoded" on a creature of your choice. When that creature deals combat damage to a player, you then get to cast the cipher'd card without paying its mana cost.
Very similar to scry, allowing the player to look at X cards from the top of their deck, and place any number back on top in any order, and the rest into the graveyard.
The truth of House Dimir
Dungeons & Dragons
Like all of the ten guilds, House Dimir 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 "Dimir Operative" 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 lose Renown.
Characters from House Dimir are most likely to be Human or Half-Elf. The most iconic classes associated with this guild are Bard (Whispers), Cleric (Trickery), Monk (Shadow), Rogue (Arcane Trickster, Assassin, Inquisitive, Mastermind, Thief), Sorcerer (Shadow) and Wizard (Diviner, Enchanter, Illusionist).
Dimir Operative Background
As you might expect, taking this background grants you proficiency in the Deception and Stealth skills as well as the Disguise kit tool. You begin the game with a Dimir insignia, a set of dark-colored common clothes, and three small knives.
Its class feature is False Identity, which gives you a cover identity in another guild of your choice; so long as you maintain this identity, you gain access to the background feature of that guild. You also start play with the starting equipment for a character with that guild's background.
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 Dimir Operative, that's the following:
- Spell Level Spells
- Cantrip encode thoughts, mage hand
- 1st disguise self, sleep
- 2nd detect thoughts, pass without trace
- 3rd gaseous form, meld into stone, nondetection
- 4th arcane eye, freedom of movement
- 5th modify memory
Your magic is meant to be subtle and undetectable, but it might pull shadows or clouds of mist around you as you cast your spells. Using the encode thoughts cantrip, you can turn a creature's thoughts (including your own) into a thought strand that others can potentially read, share, or steal. These thought strands are treated as valuable currency among the Dimir.
House Dimir Renown
The shifting and shadowy paths of House Dimir means that, whilst there is a clear difference in levels of respect and authority, the hierarchy is murky and its stages obscure.
On an aside, it's been noted that the benefits for House Dimir renown are... vague and less than stellar. The generous interpretation is that this is deliberate, since unless you really fuck things up, you're also gain Renown in a second guild at the same time.
Independent Agent (Renown 3)
- Trusted to use your initiative to solve your orders from on high, you're also entrusted with a Spies Murmur - a magical device that House Dimir's agents use to communicate telepathically with each other. Securing a replacement if it gets lost or destroyed is your responsibility.
Collector of Secrets (Renown 10)
- Your significant stockpile of secrets includes the location of a hidden safe house, and at the DM's discretion may include leverage over a person or group in a neighborhood you're familiar with. Plus, you'll be entrusted with a Dimir Charm when set on a mission.
Inner Circle (Renown 25)
- You've proven competent enough that you are now responsible for coordinating several other, lower-ranked agents, in addition to fulfilling your own missions. You're also entitled to a lot more information from your secretive Guild.
Guildmaster's Confidant (Renown 50)
- You have not only actually met Parun Lazav, you have been admitted to his circle of confidants. This makes you one of the big cheeses of House Dimir, with a wide network of underlings now carrying out your commands.
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