Thieves' Guild Operations 2

{{This is taken and abridged from the Quintessential Thieves Handbook (3.5). It gets a little “mathy” at times, so I’m not very fond of it, but there it is}}.


“Every rogue knows that no man is free. Every knight answers to his Lord. Every Lord answers to his King. Every King to his Priest, and every Priest to his God.”

“The thief alone dares to defy both man and god, answering to no one – save his Guild Master”

Beneath the rain-slick cobblestones of the foggy streets, behind the ratty curtains hung over the back of smoky taverns and gambling hells, there is a secret city – as real and as a vibrant as the bejeweled palaces and wide promenades of the nobility – ruled by its own sinister princes and lords of the night. These are the thieves’ guilds; these are the Lia-Kavair.

Anyone has the potential to pull together an assortment of henchmen and followers into an organization dedicated to a cause they feel strongly about. For some this might be a trade organization, and for others it might be a growing thieves’ guild, but it can develop to encompass many aspects of a campaign world.

Guild Master

The first step is deciding who will lead the organization. This might not be a player character, but likely is.

Creating Initial Scores

Alignment : Choose your organization’s alignment, which can best describe your organization’s goals, methods and structure. It does not have to match the guild master’s own, but over time, the closer the match, the smoother the organization will operate.

Tyoe : The guild’s operations are one of four types; Assassin’s Guild, Explorer’s Guild, Spy Ring_, Thieves’ Guild or Trading Company. The type chosen effects what it is capable of doing, and how it grows over time.

Leadership : Cohorts count as lieutenants, though they do not need to be chosen for such a calling. The more powerful one’s cohorts, the better the guild operates. Powerful cohorts, however, can operate against you if their loyalty slips.

Size : A guild’s size is determined by the followers a guild attracts.

Reach : Initially, a guild operates within a single district of a given city or town.

Income : The class and levels of a guild’s followers determines its initial income. Each follower earns income for the guild’s coffers each month.

Resources : A guild begins with no special resources, unless the guild master builds a hideout, headquarters or other special items for its use. Such items given to the organization grant benefits to its activities, but if taken from the guild for any length of time, lose those benefits. Magical and monetary resources improve an organization’s performance, especially when competing against a rival, or when attempting to expand.

Allies Any special NPCs that work with the organization can improve the guild’s performance, and make it more effective.

Loyalty : The guild’s initial Loyalty equals the guild master’s level, plus twice their Charisma modifier. In addition, any two NPCs (cohorts) assigned to the leadership of the guild also add their level to the initial modifier. The need of at least one or two such leaders is integral to its operations, so without such leadership, there is an initial loss of loyalty, particularly when the guild master is not available.

Activity : Initial activity levels start at 0. Through activities later, this value can improve, or decrease as the guild involves itself in the community.

Visibility : As a newly minted organization, your guild has little notoriety, though the leader’s skills and prowess lend a certain level of legitimacy, giving a bonus of one-quarter of their level. In addition, the guild master’s Charisma modifier is added to the guild’s initial legitimacy.


Running an Organization

Once these basic scores have been determined, the guild becomes a living, breathing entity in the campaign world. Even while the guild master is away doing their own tasks, the guild operates, pursuing its own goals and tasks assigned them. These followers might overwhelm a rival organization, fill one’s coffers, or rise in rebellion under the leadership of a once-loyal lieutenant. The agenda set by the guild master determines how it grows and prospers over the years.

The organization’s daily tasks are handled by the cohorts assigned to the task during its initial creation. At the beginning of each month, followers are assigned to tasks that modify the income, size and social standing of the guild. Orders can be maintained during long absences by giving commands for several months at a time. Doing so strains followers loyalty, however, as they tend to lose attention when their leader remains hands-off in the guild’s operations.

Monthly Checklist

1-Allocate Resources : Wages and general maintenance for facilities are paid. If the guild has less than 100 gp in its treasury at this time, reduce the guild’s Loyalty by two (2) points. The leader can then decide how much cash or magic they want to move from the guild master’s personal fortune to the guild’s resources. Items may also be shifted from the guild into a PCs own possession at this time.

2-Loyalty : Check to see if members of the organization are unhappy with your leadership, and whether or not they intend to replace you. Roll d20, and add the organization’s current Loyalty. If higher than the DC determined by factors listed below, the organization remains stable. If it fails, members of your organization take action against you.

3-Visibility : Maintaining a high profile will run the risk of attracting unwanted attention. Success breeds not only jealousy, but also paints a large target on the organization for independent thieves, rival gangs and the prying eye of the law. A Visibility check must be made against each location controlled by the organization, by rolling d20 and add the modifier listed below for each size. Above the DC, the organization avoids molestation. If failed, a gang of robbers or rival guild strikes your holdings.

4-Activity : Nothing exists in a vacuum, and organizations are no exception. The greater its involvement in a region, the greater chance that a rival organization will compete via any means at their disposal. Rival gangs are led by an appropriate NPC roughly equal to the guild master’s own, and can prove to be a real challenge to resolve.

5-Set Agenda and Policy : Each guild has a unique agenda that its type allows it to conduct, in addition to the usual generic tasks it can accomplish. Members of an organization must be assigned to agendas, with two or more groups engaged in the same task, such as having two gangs attack a rival organization. When resolving these agendas, attacks against the guild, and then attacks made by the guild must be resolved before anything else.

Attack : When two rival gangs or groups come into conflict, the attack agenda is declared. This agenda covers actions made by cohorts and followers without a guild master’s direct leadership. Attacks take two forms; Disruption and Raid. A Disruption is an attack against a rival organization intended to hinder their operations. Only one disruption attack can be activated each month against a single rival organization. A Raid attacks a specific individual or property owned by a rival organization. First the target must be identified and located, and then the raid can occur.

Business as Usual : Followers and cohorts assigned to this task engage in the typical petty theft or other primary agenda of their organization.

Defense : Any large-scale, profitable organization will attract attacks from assassins of rival guilds to bandits raiding caravans. Followers assigned to defense do not generate income, but help prevent raids and disruption attacks.

Expansion : Organizations grow, not only from their membership numbers, but also through the reach of the territories they claim. Such areas must be adjacent to an existing territory, or easily reached by sea travel or caravan route. Such expansions take time, sometimes upwards of a month or two to accomplish. Each territory requires a cohort assigned as a “field commander” to run this new region of a guild’s control.

Recruitment : Followers may be assigned to recruit new members to the guild. If looking for new cohorts, 200 gp must be applied in bribes and gifts to lure such a person to your service. If recruiting followers, you automatically attract a number equal to the followers CR levels assigned to the task, at a cost of 100 gp in notices and bribes.

Special Operations : Each organization has its own special operation it can engage in, such as assassination or exploration or opening a new market

6-Resolve Tasks : Once followers are assigned to agendas, agendas can be resolved in any order desired by the guild master. Once these agendas are resolved, the month’s activities are considered over.

7-Compute Income : On the last day of the month, a guild’s monthly income is determined., based on the agendas chosen by the guild master and their resolutions.

8-Recalculate Loyalty, Visibility, and Activity : Modifiers brought through a guilds agendas are applied to a guild;s stats.

9-Apply Experience : Agendas sometimes grant followers experience, possibly improving their levels or other stats.

Thieves' Guild Operations 2

Thieves & Kings Robling