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I'm planning on using established guilds as npc rivals. The player characters start out as nobodies, in some cases as slaves, and will eventually have the opportunity of starting up their own guild(once they earn enough gold). It occurs to me that a guild charter would prove useful, preferably several different ones. Problem is I don't know how I would be able to write one!

So does anyone have any examples, or alternatively solid guidelines on what should go into an adventuring guild charter?

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Do you mean a charter as a writ of authority from some sovereign or as an agreement of goals and scopes? –  C. Ross Aug 26 '10 at 9:51
    
agreement of goals and scopes. –  Aberrant Hive Mind Aug 26 '10 at 16:08
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4 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The Pirate Code is a great example of a charter that an adventuring guild might have. They are, after all, mostly pirates (sometimes with some ethics).

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This. Pirate Charters were very democratic and had simple rules for distribution of loot and even payment for injuries. –  foxxtrot Aug 26 '10 at 20:01
    
That's great man. I mean I've always thought of adventurers as bandits and such, but for some reason I never made the pirate connection. Then again I'm a ninja. +1 and accepted. –  Aberrant Hive Mind Aug 28 '10 at 5:18
    
My current band of PCs are pirates. They have an agreement with share distributions and everything. –  mxyzplk Sep 12 '11 at 22:08
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Make the player characters come up with the charter during play.

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A good idea, but it only works if you provide them with a framework of "This is what it needs to cover". This is the kind of thing that's far enough outside the normal gaming concepts that most players aren't going to think of everything they'd need to include. –  Bobson Sep 12 '11 at 19:54
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Are you telling me there might be a source of drama because they failed to include something? And that that source of drama could be explored during play? –  okeefe Sep 12 '11 at 20:23
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If the drama is because they put stupid provisions in, that's fine. If the drama is because the players didn't know something that the characters should have known, then it becomes drama between the players and the GM ("But we would have included loot splitting! My character's been around for 20 years - he wouldn't sign anything that didn't specify it!"). So by providing what their characters would know to look for, but leaving the details of what fills those spots up to them, you ensure it stays the kind of drama that can be explored during play. –  Bobson Sep 12 '11 at 21:25
    
I don't play with adversarial, dick GMs. The characters should write the charter... I'll update my answer. –  okeefe Sep 12 '11 at 21:42
    
Unless the GM is permissive enough to let the players write the charter retroactively whenever something that isn't covered comes up, someone needs to provide a framework so the players know what their characters would know. That's all I'm saying. –  Bobson Sep 13 '11 at 12:51
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A real life Merchant Adventurer guild was set up in York. If you contact them, I am sure that they will provide you historical documents on it. Alternatively, you can look at the Borthwick institute for Archives which should have electronic copies of the deeds.

I would suggest the British Library as a good source as well.

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I imagine MMORPG (WoW) guilds exist with an "IC" charter. Or see this:

Medieval Sourcebook: Southampton Guild Organization, 14th Century.

Please do comment so we can make you a better answer! :)

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