The Guild

The world's a rough place. Monsters run rampant. Cults spring up like weeds. Chancellors lead kings astray out of force of habit. Nefarious religions like Thursdayism close inns left and right (but only on Thursdays).

That's why the world needs ADVENTURERS. People of unusual prowess and ability who are hired to do things like slay monsters, stop cults, uncover machinations, and flagrantly violate the tenants of Thursdayism. Occasionally heroic, often mercenary, and frequently the topic of tavern gossip, these bold figures travel all over the known world, go into dangerous territory, solve some problems, and often become fabulously wealthy in the process.

And like anything that generates fabulous wealth, bureaucrats magically appear.

That's what an Adventuring Guild is. They are the service sector for the adventuring industry, providing things that adventurers need, selling things that adventurers find, dealing with the problems adventurers create, and making intersecting with the normal, squishy population a bit easier for those exotic specimens that can kill 30 people before breakfast.

What Can Your Guild Do For You?

  • Buy Your Items! Most mud farmers have very little use for a +2 bec de corbin of horrible bleeding and also some poison (and if they do, you should perhaps be suspicious). But other adventurers do! The Guild will buy your items from you, paying you in cold, hard gold for your useless tools of pain and destruction. They even accept items of an ethically questionable or possibly dangerous nature: wands made out of the bones of angels, unicorns from the dark lord's zoo, or crowns of beholder eyes! Your guild will take them all! (note: no cursed items, artifacts, or slaves; items may be refused on an individual basis).
  • Sell You JunkAmazing Tools! For a small fee, your Guild will provide you with any adventuring tools you may need, from magical arms and armor, to healing potions, to iron rations! Need a horse? Or a riding lizard? Or a broad-shouldered hireling? No problem! Exotic component making you unable to complete your ritual? Not anymore! Your Guild can give you buckets of bat guano, miles of newt tongue, and even diamond dust! (note: guild does not promise to have all items in stock, or any items in stock, or to be actually capable of delivering your requested items)
  • Give You Training! With your guild's network of advanced current and former adventurers, you too can master the most up-to-date tactics for swiftly killing hundreds! Any class! Any race! Any feat! Any ritual! Any time, anywhere! (note: offer not valid on alternate planes, or, necessarily, on this one).
  • Find you Jobs! While the Guild itself does not normally offer employment to currently active adventurers, the diverse and extensive network of contacts it maintains is constantly receiving word of troubled towns, missing princesses, rampaging monsters, and other unfortunate threats that only an Adventurer can tackle! Your guild can match the expected threat to your level of skill, can assemble a team, can arrange travel, and can even negotiate a reward! We'll even find specialists! Need an expert in elven history, or a druid who can make a shrub talk? Your Guild has got your back! (note: guild may not have your back; guild may, in fact, have a knife in your back. no hard feelings. it's just business.).
  • AND THAT'S NOT ALL! Your Guild exists to help you! If you need something done, something un-done, or something re-done, for you, for a friend, or for a secret lover, your Guild can help! Send us a messenger today! (note: guild does not actually exist to help you; guild may not actually exist and will certainly deny existing if it increases profits; no refunds)

The Purpose of Guilds

All silliness aside, from a meta-game perspective, the Guild exists to justify a lot of what happens for balance and playstyle purposes. The "you can sell an item for one-fifth its price" is reflected in the Guild taking a (substantial) cut of profits out of anything a character sells it. The "you can buy magic items and exotic tools" is reflected in the Guild's method of being supplied (from other adventurers). The "you can re-train as anything, and can be any race or class combo and be welcomed into the party, and you tend to be balanced" uses the Guild as a filter for training. The Guild also provides a convenient hook: the Guild asks you to do something, and sends you on your way. The many exceptions and escape clauses allow individual things to be altered at the DM's discretion (or randomly, or whatever).

Things to Avoid

The Guild should never steal the spotlight from the player characters. Though the existence of the Guild implies the existence of a good number of other adventurers of all levels, the PC's may never, ever see one, ever, in their lives, even if they do something huge. The world and the people in it have countless major and minor threats going on at all times. Even if the party is Saving The World, the other 30th-level characters might be doing the same thing, elsewhere, against other threats. Or there might not be other 30th-level characters. The guild, and other adventurers, should largely stay in the background, irrelevant to the PC's and the goals they're pursuing.

That said, the Guild may feature in adventures from time to time, and high-level Guild NPC's can certainly be present. It is important that the inner machinations of the Guild remain opaque, bureaucratic, labyrinthine insanity, of no interest or value to the party, however. The Guild is there only for in-game justification of meta-game rules and guidelines. The more you define and describe it, the less flexible you can be in reaction to what the party does.

Dealing with the in-world effects of the guilds (the various plots and story ideas that arise out of them) can be dealt with by using Tol Marren, and guilds that the PC's don't necessarily belong to.

Tol Marren, City of Adventure

Tol Marren is known for miles around as the "City of Adventure," mostly because of the numerous and lucrative Adventurer's Guilds based there. Their contacts travel all over the world, and the city keeps a vested interest in ensuring communication to these outskirts.