Cult of Rakdos

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So let's get a party going — Andrew W.K.

A Rakdos party is a flop if anyone lives to talk about it.
The Cult of Rakdos is the guild that likes to party. And not those opulent wine tasting parties. We're talking raves and shit. Rakdos and his followers just like to have a good time. Nobody parties harder than the Cult of Rakdos. Ain't no Party like a Rakdos Party. Imagine Slaanesh without the perfection. Unfortunately some guilds *cough* Azorius and Boros *cough* sometimes take it upon themselves to be the fun police (one of those guilds is, infact, the actual police). Massacre girl once said:
"You can always count on the Azorius to ruin a party."
And of course, nothing ruins a party like Boros
"killjoys bursting through the door and setting all the guests free."

History[edit]

Slaughter Games[edit]

The Dark Carnival is in town —Creature Feature.

This is event, is more or less a carnival with blood sports (if bloodsports didn't have the connotation of only non-human blood), hosted by the Cult of Rakdos. It is also the name of this card. The event is not annual [1]. If you are close enough you might be lucky enough to receive a free, and compulsory, "invitation".

Structure[edit]

The Cult of Rakdos is a collection of loose groups called "rings" which are each led by a ringmaster.

Guild Members[edit]

Who's gonna make this party started‽ Me! — Andrew W.K.

Guild Master[edit]

Party. Party. You better have a Par-ty
Guild master and Parun, Rakdos is a fatass demon who's been around almost as long as Niv-Mizzet, but only got a fraction of his exposure. Likes to PARTY HARD and call for increasingly violent and sensual performances. Like Niv, Rakdos has a card from Ravnica and another from Return.

Cards[edit]

Ravnica Block[edit]

His first card printed was a demon tribal card in a set that didn't have a demon tribal theme [2]... then wizards at some point printed a legendary creature, that is a demon, plays well with Hellbent, and is in Rakdos Colors that, colors aside, has no connection to the Cult of Rakdos.

Return to Ravnica[edit]

His second card is a 6/6 flying trample legendary creature for 4 mana that basically gives your creatures the not key worded ability "pain cast". That being said, his fairly low CMC doesn't make him super easy to cast (on account of color restrictions) and the fact he can only be cast if an opponent has lost life this turn.

Guild Champions[edit]

Others[edit]

Massacre Girl[edit]

Beware of imitators. Seriously those guys are dangerous too.

She likes to have a good time. Fun police at your own (and your loved ones') risk.

Mechanics[edit]

Hellbent[edit]

Hellbent is an ability that turns on if your hand is empty. Saying someone is hellbent in mtg is slang for they have no hand, regardless if they have any benefits from being hellbent. For example, affinity players often become hellbent because of affinity's low mana curve. Lots of hellbent cards are at best barely above par even with hellbent active. Being hellbent is a pretty steep price as not only do you not have stuff to use in your hand, but only a careless opponent will buy a bluff that you have something useable in your hand, as the amount of cards in your hand is not hidden information. Also you can't lie about anything other than hidden information, which makes bluffing without cheating difficult, if not impossible.

Paincast[edit]

This mechanic was made for Rakdos's guild for it's return in the Return to Ravnica block. It was largely scrapped and hardly left R&D at all. It lost it's status as a keyword ability. Rakdos, Lord of Riots basically gave all your creatures paincast.

Unleash[edit]

A card with unleash may enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. If a card with unleash has a +1/+1 counter on it, it can't block (while the origin of the counter is irrelevant, obviously this is usually from the enter the battlefield option). Originally the drawback was 'must attack if able', but MaRo thought having can't block instead would be more flavorful and play better [3].

Spectacle[edit]

A card with spectacle has an alternate Mana cost that may be paid if an opponent took damage earlier in the turn.

Dungeons & Dragons[edit]

Like all of the ten guilds, the Cult of Rakdos 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 "Rakdos Cultist" 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 Cult of Rakdos are most likely to be Humans and Goblins, although the Minotaur racial lore states that they also have a strong presence in the Cult. The most iconic classes associated with this guild are the Barbarian (Berserker, Zealot), Bard (Colleges of Swords and Valor), Fighter (Champion, Eldritch Knight), Rogue (Swashbuckler, Thief), and Warlock (Fiend)

Rakdos Cultist Background[edit]

Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Performance

Tool Proficiencies: One type of musical instrument

Languages: Choose either Abyssal or Giant

Equipment: A Rakdos insignia, a musical instrument (one of your choice), a costume, a hooded lantern made of wrought iron, a 10-foot length of chain with sharply spiked links, a tinderbox, 10 torches, a set of common clothes, a belt pouch containing 10 gp (a mix of Azorius and Boros 1-zino coins), and a bottle of sweet, red juice

Feature: Fearsome Reputation

People recognize you as a member of the Cult of Rakdos, and they're careful not to draw your anger or ridicule. You can get away with minor criminal offenses, such as refusing to pay for food at a restaurant or breaking down a door at a local shop, if no legal authorities witness the crime. Most people are too daunted by you to report your wrongdoing to the Azorius.

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 Cult of Rakdos, that's the following:

Spell Level Spells
Cantrip fire bolt, vicious mockery
1st burning hands, dissonant whispers, hellish rebuke
2nd crown of madness, enthrall, flaming sphere
3rd fear, haste
4th confusion, wall of fire
5th dominate person

Your magic often produces a flashy spectacle, wreathing you or your targets in a mixture of harmless flame and shadowy shapes. When you manipulate an opponent's mind, a flaming symbol of Rakdos might momentarily appear like a mask over the target's face.

Cult of Rakdos Renown[edit]

Renown amongst a guild as anarchic as the Cult of Rakdos is, obviously, more visceral than some. Rank means nothing to them, but fame? Now that's another story. Your renown measures how well known you are, both in the Cult and out, which in turn gives a rough idea of how much respect (and fear) you elicit.

Extra (Renown 3)

You're basically nobody. The only difference is that you've earned enough of a name to be allowed to perform on a Cult "stage", instead of just running around handling the grunt-work. It's a bloody and dangerous place to be in, as you're the most expendable guy/girl/whatever around, but hey, that's showbusiness!

Sideshow Act (Renown 10)

Now people are starting to take notice of you. You're a long way off of achieving top billing, but you're big enough that rookies and scrubs will often fall in line with you, hoping to ride your coattails to fame when you stage a "performance". This means that when you go adventuring, you can bring 1d4 tagalongs in the form of cacklers, stage hands (cultists) and extras (thugs) to protect you. Also, if you want, you can head to Rix Maadi and petition for a Rakdos Charm, but you're too small fry to be assured of safety if you go.

Special Role: Blood Witch (Renown 10, Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature)

Your access to the black magics associated with your demonic Guildmaster, combined with your now-obvious talent for bloodshed and mayhem, earn you the respect of your fellow performers. You're the closest thing the Cult has to a ranking official; you can't personally mobilize large numbers of guild members, but individual performers will usually be quick to obey your orders if they aren't blatantly contradicting your guild's ethos or the will of Rakdos. Thats aid, earning this position means you're assigned to torment a particular enemy of the guild, be it an individual, a family, an organization, or even an abstract concept.

Star Performer (Renown 25)

You've climbed the bloody ladder to stardom, and people watch in awe and terror at your performance. The Cult admires you and envies you with equal amounts, giving you a wide array of lackies (2d4 Rakdos performers and 1d4 Rakdos lampooners) that will follow you on any performance or general riot. Watch out for ambitious underlings out to "cut in", though. And Rakdos himself might show up to watch you peform, which isn't necessarily a good thing...

Ringmaster (Renown 50)

You're the big cheese now, the greatest of the greats, a macabre mastermind of spectacles. You'll always be second banana to Rakdos, of course, but you run your own circus with the power of life and death, with a troupe of 3d120 Rakdos performers that will fight, kill and die for you, as well as the ability to summon 2d4 blood witches to aid your "performances" with their magic.
Guilds of Ravnica
Azorius Logo.png
Mana White.pngAzorius SenateMana Blue.png
Orzhov Logo.png
Mana White.pngOrzhov SyndicateMana Black.png
Dimir Logo.png
Mana Blue.pngHouse DimirMana Black.png
Izzet Logo.png
Mana Blue.pngIzzet LeagueMana Red.png
Rakdos Logo.png
Mana Black.pngCult of RakdosMana Red.png
Golgari Logo.png
Mana Black.pngGolgari SwarmMana Green.png
Gruul Logo.png
Mana Red.pngGruul ClansMana Green.png
Boros Logo.png
Mana Red.pngBoros LegionMana White.png
Selesnya Logo.png
Mana Green.pngSelesnya ConclaveMana White.png
Simic Logo.png
Mana Green.pngSimic CombineMana Blue.png

Gallery[edit]