Societal/ Cultural
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September 14, 2008, 3:04 pm

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Guild Ranks


Ranks of the members of a particular craft guild or livery company.

Guilds are very simply organized around an experience- and skill-based structure.

Prentice - The lowest rank within a guild, comprising the primary schooling period of a guildmember.

Journeyman - After completing the primary schooling and proving that the guildmember has both an aptitude for the work and is able to keep the guild’s secrets, they are promoted to journeyman, allowing them to "journey" to other towns and cities in order to further learn techniques of the art from other masters. To further advance within in the guild they are required to craft their masterpiece, thus proving they have the abilities necessary to become a full member of the guild. Additional requirements include approval of the Guild Masters as well as donation of a sum of money.

Craftsman - While not historically used, this rank represents a skill professional within a particular craft. The title itself is generally specific to that art or craft, i.e. painter, smith, carpenter, etc. In the case of guild usage, this would represent a Journeyman promoted to near-full guild membership, that is, being a recognized member of the guild, without the priviledges of a master of the guild.

Master Craftsman (or simply Master) - The primary member of a guild, being someone who has demonstrated experience and expertise within the craft. Masters have the ability to approve new memberships, dictate guild rules, set wages and rates, the rights to certain contracts, and the right to install a maker’s mark on their wares.

Guildmaster - The head of a guild, in many cases this may simply be the head of the guild within a particular town or city, but may apply to the entire guild as a whole.

Livery Companies are essentially trade associations which act as a more simplified version of guilds, similar to contemporary trade unions. They were responsible for controlling labor conditions and wages, as well as regulation of their trade.

Freemen - Forming the lowest rung of the livery company are those individuals who join either through legacy (that is, having one parent who was a liveryman of the company), servitude (apprenticeship in the craft), or by purchase (buying one’s way into the company).

Liverymen - A full member of the company who has been advanced by a vote of the Court of the Company and are thus entitled to wear the livery of the company.

Court of Assistants - Company members who participate in elections of Masters in Wardens, as well as the selection of Liverymen from among the Freemen.

Clerk - The chief executive officer of the company, who serves as head of the Assistants.

Renter Warden/House Warden - The lowest of the principal officers of the company, in charge of maintaining and upkeep of the hall of the company.

Lower Warden - The fourth principal officer of the company, typically acting in the role of ‘Treasurer,’ keeping the accounts, collecting annual dues from the members, paying bills, and forward annual dues to the company headquarters or hall.

Middle Warden/Junior Warden/Second Warden - The third principal officer of the company, in charge of planning and organizing the company’s social events.

Upper Warden/Senior Warden/First Warden - The second of the three principal officers of a company. He may act for the Master (in his absence) in all matters of company business and is the Master’s principal deputy.

Master/Prime Warden/Worshipful Master - The company member who governs the company. Chosen by election.

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Comments ( 3 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
September 16, 2008, 1:20
I feel like I have a rubber stamp for all of these. This most GM's might actually use, but it is pretty common information. So I am a bit torn. Still useful to keep one focused on things.
Voted Scrasamax
September 16, 2008, 13:47
Borrows Moon's rubber stamp.

Information is fairly common, but presentation is a step above most of the other lists.
Voted punkcasher
March 16, 2009, 15:56
Good informative post.


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