The coils of the World Serpent
There are a variety of different guilds in the world. There are the artisan/merchant guilds, guilds that form the building blocks of Thieves domains, the guilds that Lord level thieves build to attract followers and then there are the Adventurer Guilds.
These are the standard guilds as described in much of the source materials presented in various rulesbooks and expansions to AD&D. These guilds vary massively covering things such as Assassin and Wizard guilds, they can even be completely mundane such as the Bakers Guild of Greyhawk city. Many of these guilds hold significant political power and resources. Membership in such a guild may bring significant contacts to a character.
A domain guild is the building block of Thief regent’s domains. These domains normally represent a significant mercantile and political hold on a particular export that belongs to that domain. Domain guilds are sometimes illegal in nature. They represent a ruling regent’s exclusive hold over the trade aspects of the domain over which they rule. A character may become the head of a Domain Guild, however this will normally be in the role of a lieutenant for a Regent. As the game progresses it is possible that a thief scion may become a Regent in which case they will take control of the Domain Guilds within their domain.
Thief characters that reach Lord level (10th) or higher will need to form a thieves guild to attract followers. Thieves’ guilds vary massively in their makeup and activities. It is really up to the character and the GM to determine the nature and location of such guilds.
Adventurers Guilds are common throughout the world, many adventurers retire from the perilous life they lead. These people are often very different from your average person, most do not assimilate well to a normal life. These individuals often form Adventurer’s Guilds , which provide a network of support services for fellow adventurers. Services commonly available from
Adventurers guilds are:
• Purchase and sale of loot
• Item identification and research
• Resources such as maps, libraries, etc
• Room and Board
• Recharging of Magical Items
Not all of these services are available at every Adventurers Guild, it often depends on the size of the guild. There are different grades of membership, non-member, Affiliate Membership, and Full Membership.
Non-Members: Guilds will rarely deal with non-members and when they do they will charge very high rates. They will do this occasionally mostly with an aim towards supporting themselves and their members. They will also only make select services available to non-members
Affiliate Membership: Affiliate members are members of another Adventurers guild with connections to this one. Many guilds form affiliations with other guilds to allow for them to be able to provide a better service to their own members. Guilds will always deal with affiliate members and will offer their services at a lower price than they would to non-members. Not all services will necessary be available but certainly more than is available to non-members. There is no cost to affiliate membership as the cost is covered by the dues they pay for the membership in the guild to which they are full members.
Full Members: full members pay membership fees to be members of the guild. For this fee they have full access to services provided by the guild. Many of these services cost additional money but the rate charged is reduced. Membership is charged on a yearly basis, if a member is overdue on paying their membership fees the monies will be taken from any assets held on behalf of that member. If a character cannot be contacted to pay his or her fees the word will be put out to affiliated guilds to be on the lookout for the character in question and permission to gather the membership fees on their behalf will be granted. Cancelling membership is easy and guilds very rarely take such things personally.
The most common training available is that of proficiencies. The proficiencies available depend on the teachers available at that guild. Training time and cost varies depending on the proficiency and the class of the character learning the proficiency.
If the guild contains wizards it is possible that some will be willing to teach spells from their repertoire to fellow spell casters. The cost of this is entirely at the discretion of the teacher as is the choice to teach a given individual. The higher level of a spell the more it will cost.
The guild will often perform the services of a bank for its members. They do not offer interest on the monies they hold but neither do they level charges. A full member can draw funds from their accounts at their guild and any affiliated guild that also offers banking services.
Purchase of Items
Many guilds run outfitters and so are able to provide most regular adventuring gear at slightly reduced prices to members.
They also often run clearing houses for magical items as adventurers retire, sell items they cannot use or are killed while pursuing a life of adventuring. Due to this guilds often have magical items for sale. Guilds containing wizards or priest will almost always have Potions and Scrolls available for sale.
Guilds will often also sell unwanted magical items, gems and objets d’art on behalf of members. For this service the guild will either purchase the item outright for which the member will receive 50% of the items value, or they will use their extensive networks to sell items at auction. In this instance the adventurer will usually receive from 75% to 100% of actual value, however the guild will take a 10% commission of the sale price. This second option also takes time at the GMs discretion.
Guilds will at the very least have a local physician on retainer. Guilds that contain priest will usually be able to offer magical healing for a standardised donation to his or her faith. Resurrection and remove curse spells will often cost a lot more. Fees will sometimes be waived if the adventurers perform some act for the priest’s faith.
Item Identification and research
Guilds with resident wizards will be able to provide item identification and possible research. Their ability to perform research is dependent upon the quality of laboratory they have available. The quality of lab is normally limited unless you are a member of a predominantly wizards guild. Pretty much any level of wizard will be able to offer Identification spells. The only real requirement to the wizard is time.
Identification cost: 50GP per identification spell required to identify the item.
Research Cost: Varies depending on the nature of the research.
If the guild lacks a wizard but contains a bard then identification services will be available but not the research services.
For more information on research check the Sage rules in the DMG.
Resources, Maps, and Libraries
Depending on the guild they may have local maps, knowledgeable locals or even libraries of tomes available. They will generally make these available to full guild members. Guilds can also be repositories of legend, rumour and general intel. Many guilds are in touch with other guilds through magical means and will have access to news from all across the world depending on how well connected they are.
Room and Board
Guilds will usually have facilities available that members can stay in, they will either have a limited guest facility attached to the guild house, some guilds run taverns to supplement their earnings and add to their intelligence networks, others will have contracts with local taverns to allow for members to get discounts on the cost of their stay. The members will have to pay in something but not normally full rates. This can vary heavily from guild to guild.
Recharging Magical Items
If a guild has a wizard of sufficient level then they will usually offer the service of recharging magical items that contain charges, wands for example. Staves and Staffs are not normally rechargeable under these circumstances and many have mechanisms that allow them to be recharged. To recharge wands is relatively simple.
Cost of recharging is figured on the level of the spell and the number of charges being recharged.
Base 10*(lvl*lvl)*number of charges
For example to recharge a wand of magic missiles with 50 charges the equation is 10x(1×1)X50=500gp
10 times 1 squared times 50 equals 500gp
A wand of fireballs with 20 charges would be 10x (3×3) x 20 = 1800 gp.
Also each time a wand is recharged the wand will lose 1d10 charges from its maximum capacity.
Other items such as scarabs will have to be ruled on an individual basis.