There is a lot of hype surrounding the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, and for good reason. A ton of new Wildemount spells, awesome subraces, and fun new adventures are only part of it. One area that isn’t getting as much attention are the two new backgrounds. While these are situational, both options look very interesting to me! Let’s dive into one of them in our Volstrucker Agent 5E Guide.
Volstrucker Agent 5E Guide
A Volstrucker Agent is an arcane assassin in the service of the Cerberus Assembly. They are not known by any official title, although locals in Dwendalian citizens refer to them as “scourgers” in private. Agents typically keep their involvement private to maximize their ability to serve King Dwendal – and the Assembly. Their work is primarily dedicated to assassinating those who pose a threat to the kingdom. This background could provide some interesting inter-party interactions where an agent sees the loyalties tested.
Proficiencies, Languages, and Equipment
- Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Stealth
- Tool Proficiencies: Poisoner’s Kit
- Language: One of your choice
- Equipment: A set of common clothes, a black cloak with a hood, a poisoner’s kit, and a pouch containing 10 gp
The major feature of this background is access to the Volstrucker shadow network. This network gives you the ability to communicate with fellow agents over long distances. This communication is almost instantaneous. You must write a letter using special ink and cast the letter into a fire. The letter will then materialize before the person you addressed the letter to. The ink costs 10 gp per page, and your character can use the same ink wizards use to copy scrolls.
A unique aspect of every Volstrucker Agent is that they are burdened by tragedy. The Cerberus Assembly only selects those who are broken to join their ranks. In some unfortunate cases, the tragedy that sends a potential Volstrucker recruit was set into motion by the Assembly themselves. Your character must have a tragedy as part of its core background story. You can pick your own or roll from the table below.
|1||Familicide. Through deceit or manipulation, the Volstrucker convinced you to slaughter your own family.|
|2||Amnesia. You were forced to study magic so potent that it strained your mind beyond mortal limits, stealing away the memories of your past.|
|3||Capture. You were captured and tortured by agents of the Kryn Dynasty, and barely escaped.|
|4||Starvation. A terrible blight afflicted your rural village, and many of your friends and family members starved to death. You survived, but only barely.|
|5||Disfigurement. One of your arcane experiments went wrong and scarred or dismembered you so gravely that others now shun you. Only the Volstrucker showed you kindness after that day.|
|6||Vicissitude. You were once the scion of a wealthy family who lost their entire fortune in the blink of an eye.|
|1||I prefer to keep my thoughts to myself.|
|2||I indulge vice in excess to quiet my conscience.|
|3||I’ve left emotion behind me. I’m now perfectly placid.|
|4||Some event from the past keeps worming its way into my mind, making me restless.|
|5||I always keep my word—except when I’m commanded to break it.|
|6||I laugh off insults and never take them personally.|
|1||Order. The will of the crown is absolute. (Law)|
|2||True Loyalty. The Cerberus Assembly is greater than any power, even the crown. (Law)|
|3||Death. The penalty for disloyalty is death. (Evil)|
|4||Determination. I cannot fail. Not ever. (Neutral)|
|5||Fear. People should not respect power. They should fear it. (Evil)|
|6||Escape. The Volstrucker are pure evil! I can’t atone for what I’ve done for them, but I can escape with my life. (Any)|
|1||The job is all that matters. I will see it through.|
|2||My orders are important, but my comrades are worth more than anything. I would die for them.|
|3||Everything I’ve done, I’ve done to protect someone close to me.|
|4||If the empire falls, all of civilization falls with it. I will hold back chaos and barbarism at any cost.|
|1||I drink to dull the pain in the back of my head.|
|2||I go a bit mad when I see blood.|
|3||I can hear the voices of everyone I’ve killed, and I see their faces. I can’t be free of these ghosts.|
|4||Fear is a powerful motivator. I will do whatever it takes to prevent those who know what I am from seeing me fail, and from those I care about from knowing what I am.|
Concluding our Volstrucker Agent 5E Guide
That wraps up our Volstrucker Agent 5E Guide. This background won’t see use outside of the world of Exandria, but it makes for interesting flavor in a Wildemount campaign. I am especially fond of the Shadow Network Feature.
Need more 5E content? See our guide to the Echo Knight released in the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.