Grow Your Guild in 'Dungeons & Dragons'

A new supplement for Dungeons & Dragons adds invaluable information on how illicit guilds can [...]

A new supplement for Dungeons & Dragons adds invaluable information on how illicit guilds can operate in your campaign.

Guilds were an important part of medieval society, an organization that oversaw members of a particular craft or trade. Not only did guilds enforce who could learn a craft by setting standards for admittance and acceptance, they also assisted its members with obtaining materials and generally staying in business.

In Dungeons & Dragons, guilds are usually seen in a more secretive and alluring light. Players often join an adventurer's guild that provides them with a steady stream of quests and coins. There's also Thieves' Guilds or Assassins' Guilds, all create to regulate certain forms of illicit activity. These guilds exist to protect their members, self-enforcing certain guidelines to keep out of the public eye or to act with the approval of a local governing body.

A new supplement by Ashley and Isaac May sheds a little more light into these less reputable guilds. Great Gilded Guilds, available for sale now on DMs Guild is a 38 page supplement that explains how a DM can insert a fully fleshed out guild tied to some sort of less reputable activitinto their world, with realistic goals, sources of income, and how they influence nearby communities.

Great Gilded Guilds is divided into two parts - the first delves into the theory behind a guild, how they operate, and why they would conceal their activities from the public. While assassin's guilds and thieves' guilds are both included in the supplement, Great Gilded Guilds also explains why a pit fighting guild or mercenary guild might use a similar method of operations.

The second part of Great Gilded Guilds provides several detailed guild examples, many of which are presented as morally ambiguous. The Holy Hand, for example, is a religious society founded by bandits. Although the group runs protection circles, loan sharking, and even intimidation, it's seemingly guided by a divine hand, the result of practicing under the guise of a church for decades. There's also a guild of unofficial freedom fighters that spread assistance to those who live under oppression, and a noble guild of bounty hunters that only targets those who deserve to die.

One of the main themes of Great Gilded Guilds is moral ambiguity. I like how the supplement gets the reader to think about a guild as something that can be seen as a force for good or a force for evil. Depending on how a DM presents one of these guilds to their players, they might rush to sign up or attempt to bring it down. This supplement makes it easier for a DM to create an organization that players can ally themselves with or oppose, which can significantly impact a campaign moving forward.

Great Gilded Guilds is available for $5.99 on the DMs Guild.