Guilds and groups are a great tool in tabletop gaming. They could offer work to the party, they may be part of some political intrigue in the local area or might (for whatever reason) be opposed to the party’s activities. Whatever their role in the story, there are some go to guilds that are a common trope in fantasy tabletop roleplaying games. To offer some variety, here are a few ‘alternative’ guilds and groups that you might want to consider.
The beggars guild
The beggars guild is a philanthropic organisation that works to help people who have fallen on bad times by providing food and shelter for anyone who needs it. The guild is not particularly popular with actual beggars as they encourage local people to donate to the guild rather than individuals so that they can ensure that any money is spent on food, housing and safety for everyone who needs it.
Some people have suggested that certain branches of the beggars guild are up to no good, taking the money for themselves or forcing the beggars to work (or perform other, more troubling acts) for their food and shelter.
Argaton Academy Alumni Association
Argaton Academy is one of the most prestigious schools in existence. By sending their children to the academy the rich and powerful ensure not only that they receive the best education possible, but also that they form long-lasting relationships with others who will one day become very rich and powerful.
The Alumni Association ensures that everyone who has ever attended Argaton keeps in touch through numerous events and circulars. Some say that the Alumni Association is an attempt by the Academy to constantly drum up new funds for the Academy Head’s lavish lifestyle, but no one can deny the Academy’s impact in ensuring peace due to the fact that all rulers and their children have attended the great school.
The pilgrims of the burning flame
Deep in the old forest lies a holy flame that is said to have burned since time immemorial. The church of the burning flame have set up their home surrounding the flame. Their lives revolve around the worship of the flame and all that it represents. A special few are chosen to be members of the elite band known as the pilgrims of the burning flame. Each pilgrim is tasked with taking an anointed candle, lighting it from the flame and taking it out into the world to spread the word of the church of the burning flame.
Unfortunately due to weather and the size of the old forest, not one pilgrim is yet to reach anyone else to spread the word. Each time the flame goes out and each time they trudge back to the flame feeling unworthy.
The glutton club
The beginnings of the glutton club are unknown. It is less an organised club and more a lifestyle. Small groups of people (usually wealthy and usually men) make it their life’s work to try and eat every creature that graces the planet. Great acclaim is given to the member that brings the most exotic meat to the feast.
A number of members of the glutton club have been lost as they have tried to capture exotic (and dangerous animals) for their feast. Because of this most members will employ more expendable people to seek out, kill and butcher exotic animals.
The society for the prevention of cruelty
This group is a conglomeration of a number of smaller groups including the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, the society for the prevention of cruelty to plants and the society for the prevention of cruelty to children. The group is now against cruelty altogether, whoever or whatever it is aimed at.
The group may sound like a joke, but they’ve achieved a great many things since the group’s creation. They will often prevent the killing or capturing of magical creatures, protect lands and creatures against encroachments from towns and cities and have been instrumental in overthrowing any governments that are deemed to be ‘cruel’.
The wild farmer’s guild
Wild farmers do not believe in fencing creatures or plants in. Instead they forage for plants in the wild and will hunt creatures in their natural habitats. They claim that this gives their produce a more natural, wholesome taste.
In practice the guild applies pressure on governments to place taxes on more conventional farmers for using land that the guild claim could be put to better use. They are also not above causing problems for ‘conventional’ farmers that live and work in their areas.
The housewives’ guild
There are many who say that this guild does not exist, that it is an urban legend and nothing more. There are certainly no documented cases of anyone ever admitting to being a member of the group. Legend has it that the guild’s members secretly train in magic and unarmed combat to protect any women who require it.
There are no official rules of membership or political aims. There’s no hierarchy and no leadership. It is just understood by all that sometimes things have to change for the safety and continued happiness of an individual or of the group. The means through which they achieve this range from gentle political pressure to sudden disappearances of ‘problematic characters’.