A guild is an organization formed to protect the interests and pursuits of people involved in the same general trade or activity. Within that broad definition, a guild can appear in countless different forms: large or small, weak or powerful, public or secretive. From the tailors who band together to battle import tariffs, to the religious malcontents who form their own united front against the oppression of the government, to the thieves’ organization that operates in the heart of the poor quarter, guilds are everywhere in a fantasy city. Even two guilds of the same type might differ wildly in appearance and behavior, depending on the people who join and the city in which they dwell.
Small, weak guilds often do little more than provide members a place to belong (and perhaps a bit of financial support), but powerful guilds control entire economic markets, and might even guide the course of their local government. Consider, for instance, a guild that controls the shipping and sale of lumber in a city far from any source of wood, or a powerful mercenary guild that protects a city with an otherwise weak militia. In both cases, the municipal government cannot afford to alienate the guild, giving it substantial leverage to make demands. A guild that becomes this powerful often fixes prices, drafts legislation favorable to it, or dominates markets otherwise unrelated to its pursuits.
Joining a Guild
Joining a Guild is for the most part a simple enough prospect,
FIRST, you must find the guild headquarters, which is it is a publicly known location requires a DC 10 Investigation check. If its is a rumoured location as with the theives guild you must make a DC 20 Investigation, and for the most secretive of guilds such as the assassins guild, a DC of 30 is required. Alternatively you may be able to gain the attention of one of these guilds, in which case they might approach you about joining.
SECONDLY, you must pass their trial, all guilds have some ritual you must complete to join, in the case of the crafters guild, you must slay a CR 5 creature, harvest any useful items from it and bring them to the guild.
FINALLY, most guilds gain the bulk of their income through entry fees and membership dues. The average guild requires a one-time entrance fee of 25 gp from a new member, and monthly dues equal to 5 gp per level. (unless otherwise noted.)
Benefits of Membership
Most guilds provide a standard set of benefits, available to all members. While they might vary slightly in specifics, they are generally the same from one guild to the next.
Most guildhouses include barracks and kitchens, guaranteeing members food and a safe place to sleep if needed.
Guild members help one another out. The initial attitude of a fellow member is always one step closer to helpful than normal. Additionally, a character gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Persuasuion and Investigation checks made when dealing with a fellow member.
A guild subsidizes the cost of goods, supplies, and services related to its chosen field, see the guild stores for more information.
A guild can provide monetary loans to members who have fallen on hard times. Successfully requesting a loan requires a persuasion check, with a cumulative -2 penalty for each previous such request made by that individual to that guild. The DC depends on the amount requested.
Success indicates that the borrower receives the money, and has one month to pay it back. Should he or she fail to meet the deadline, he or she is (at the very least) expelled from the guild. Some guilds – particularly criminal organizations – have much sterner penalties.
|DC||Desired Loan Amount|
|15||Up to the member’s monthly dues.|
|20||Up to the member’s monthly dues x10|
|25||Up to the member’s monthly dues x 100|
This DC is reduced by 2 for every rank you achieve in the guild beyond the first.
Drawbacks of Membership
The most obvious drawback to guild membership is, of course, the monthly dues. While most adventurers should have little problem earning this much money, a slow month can cause problems. A member in good standing might be given one month’s leeway, but if she fails to pay her dues (including back-dues) by then, she is expelled.
Additionally, many guilds have enemies or rivals among the other guilds of the city. The starting attitude of a member of a rival guild is one step closer to hostile than it would normally be.
Guild members have certain responsibilities which they must perform in order to maintain their standing. In some cases, these are fairly minor, such as keeping the guild apprised of certain topics. In others, this responsibility might involve donating a percentage of earnings, or seeking guild permission to undertake certain actions.
An individual who fails to pay her dues or perform her duties for more than two consecutive months is expelled from the guild. Similarly, a member who compromises the guild in some manner, such as providing information to rival guilds, is also expelled. Expulsion results in the immediate loss of all benefits gained from the guild. If the individual was expelled for failure to perform her duties, all attitudes of guild members return to normal. If she was expelled for betraying the guild, the attitudes of guild members are one step closer to hostile than they would normally be. Some guilds, particularly criminal organizations, might enact steeper penalties – up to and including attempted assassination – in the face of betrayal.