Overview EditGuilds are organizations that receive and distribute work to people under their banners. They can be found in most cities and towns, and are registered with the local authorities in some way. Larger guilds may have several "Chapters" from place to place, with members ranging in the hundreds, while most guilds are smaller and usually local with anywhere from 4 to a few dozen members at a time.
Guilds started out as a way for merchants and artisans to come together and have a stable work and business. They provided protection and advertisement for a fee, usually a cut of the profits or a monthly subscription. This concept eventually became recognized by local authorities, and since, guilds have become a common sight and the common way to find work in any town or city.
The most popular and well known type is the adventuring guilds. These evolved from mercenary groups who recognized the value of this system, and began adopting this model to better market themselves to the public. The concept of being the "mercenary" became too negatively associated with "thieves" and "brigands".
While most adventuring guild members are would be fighters, or retired soldiers, some former knights began to find the guild life appealing, and the terms "freelance(r)" and "hired sword" became more popular. This began to bring some legitimacy to adventuring guilds in the eyes of the public, and eventually gave way for mages, monks, and others to join adventuring guilds as well.
Guilds & QuestsEdit
The concept of the "quest" became a short form for "request", and kind of just stuck. Members of a certain rank are usually restricted from taking on quests that are deemed above their ranking. However, some exceptions are made if accompanied by enough members, or by a ranked member appropriate for the job. Most guilds even require members to fill out a basic report after a quest is accomplished, this helps to ensure that all perimeters of the quest were met with any collateral or new information documented and handled appropriately. Accidents happen after all, and this helps to ensure that the correct reward or punishment is distributed.
Those seeking to make a quest often do so by going to a guild location in person. After a short interview with a guild associate, and some paper work, the quest is put up onto the boards in the common area for members to look over. Some locations even have special board areas for more urgent requests. While this type of administration is tiresome for most, it also helps local authorities be informed in case of any criminal activity, damages, or impending danger. Its not too uncommon for a quest to be taken to deal with some highway robbers, only to find out that they are part of a larger criminal underground. In these cases, its good to have the details for the proper authorities to assist, or some some cases, take over the investigation. After all, adventurers are still civilians...with swords and magic...
It is uncommon for someone to make a request through mail or other indirect means, as the validity of the quest is difficult to verify. In the past, adventurers have been lured into traps or into situations far above their ranking to deal with. Or sometimes its to just get someone's cat out of a tree...(this happens a lot actually)...
A special seal, or other form of authentication is usually required to accompany a quest sent indirectly in order for it to be take with any seriousness. Sometimes, it can be vouched for by someone with authority, such as a sheriff from a remote village needing assistance with goblins, or other monstrosities.
The concept of "guild rankings' began with the banking guilds, who would rank their locations with Bronze - Silver - Gold - Platinum. This would help to indicate to them and the public the level of security and important a location was, with Bronze being the lowest level, and Platinum being the highest. This concept gave way for other guilds to adopt a similar system, but not just for location, but for individual members as well.
Adventuring guilds use an almost universal ranking system for their members. This helps the guilds assign the right tasks for the right people, after all, its the guild's reputation on the line as well. It would probably be a bad idea to let a Silver ranked quest go to a Copper ranked member.
When someone joins or achieves a new ranking, they receive a tag that indicates to the guild and the public who they are. Often this can be used to claim work in other towns or cities, or possibly get a better deal from merchants who recognise good business.
Copper - The starter rank for new guild members. Their armour is shiny, blades fresh from the forge, and their eyes eager and naive.
Iron - With some experience, but still learning the ropes. This rank is given to this who have been knocked around a bit, but still standing.
Steel - Proven and able, these members are the most common type. They aren't the most skilled, but they aren't push over either.
Bronze - These are the more experience members, able to get the job done right. The scars they carry show their level of commitment.
Silver - Members of this level are seasoned veterans, having worked for some years with a high success rate. Most knights that join are some times given this rank outright. Many bandits and monsters with some sense tend to think twice when they encounter Silver ranked members.
Gold - If a client can afford it, or if the job is big enough, guild members that are ranked Gold are ones to get the job done. Most Gold ranked member end up become guild leaders, or found their own groups.
Platinum - The few, the elite, and the best. Platinum ranked members are those with exceptional skill and ability, as well as professionalism. Some members go their whole lives without ever achieving this rank, but those that do aren't ones that back down when the storm giants come knocking. They doing the knock.
Adamantine - Legendary doesn't quite describe those that carry the rank of Adamantine. These individuals have truly etched their names into the history books, with songs and tales of their deeds heard in many parts of the world long after their time.
Chapters within GuildsEdit
Some guilds have multiple locations, these are known as chapters. These chapters have the benefit of operating under a renowned guild's banner, while still operating in their own style. This not only allows for people to have a name they recognise and trust, but also allows members to travel to different towns and cities and still have work. Some chapters even have temporary dorms for travelling members, making it easier to rest after a long journey or quest. Not all guild chapters are as accommodating, but it does help to know friendly faces are nearby.
This system originally started with the banking guilds, then adopted by the merchants, and surprisingly, last update to this concept were the adventuring guilds. Not all guilds have multiple chapters, most are just local guilds trying to support themselves and the community.
Administration and Operation Edit
It takes more than a confident and charismatic leader to make a guild. A lot goes into the daily workings to keep business coming in and food on the table
Guild Master - The leader of any guild or chapter is the Guild Master. There is usually one, but sometimes there can be multiple that make decisions together, this is uncommon. A Guild Master's job is part diplomat, and part salesperson. They need to be able to keep business coming into the guild and that everything runs smoothly. This also means its a lot of paper work than sword swinging. A good leader isn't necessarily the best at killing orcs and goblins, but being able to tell other people to go kill orcs and goblins.
Master of Coin - Finance is a key part in any guild. The Master of Coin keeps track of the guild's earnings and expenditures, making sure that all the members are paid, and that any collateral damage is dealt with.
Master of Arms - There always needs to be a person to vet the new members, and keep the skills of the veterans sharp. The Master of Arms is the one that oversees the vetting of new members, and organises training sessions. There can be more than one, with different specialities.
Associate - Guilds will often employ Associates who are the ones that take quests from clients, ensure the quest boards are up to date, and that things in general are organised. Without the hard work of Guild Associates, running a guild would be a lot more work that need be. Most Associates are normally non-combatants, leaving the fighting and adventuring to the adventurers.
Member - Full time members have just one job, to do the job. When a member receives a quest they are expected to carry out all the requirements as best they can, and once they return, the fill out some paperwork to confirm and receive their payment accordingly. There is normally a probationary period that varies from guild to guild, but this is to ensure the adventure can actually do what they say they can do.
Part-Time Member - Not everyone can be a full time adventurer. Sometime work isn't as stead, or the adventurer isn't skilled enough to take on better paying work. These individuals usually have a normal job as a shop owner or chef, and take on quests from guilds when they can when it becomes available. This also means its rare to find a part-timer that is anything higher than a Steel rank.