Once upon a time, adventurers upon return were considered to be as much a menace as a boon. Years ago, there was no organization controlling these unique individuals. Nothing existed to stop a noble warrior from becoming a soldier of fortune, or a mage from becoming a demented maniac creating monsters in a hidden tower. The most common job of loyal Adventurers Upon Return was hunting and eliminating their own who had gone rogue. This would end with the creation of the Guild of Adventurers Upon Return.
Prior to the creation of the Guild, adventurers were governed only by their conscience and by the soldiers of the kingdoms they were active in. Experience demonstrated that most adventurers were more than capable of handling themselves and decimating groups of professional soldiers. The only effective methods of dealing with rogue adventurers were assassination, major military operations, and hiring other adventurers to hunt them down. The use of assassins supported effectively evil organizations, and sometimes entire cities would be devastated in shadow wars between cells of adventurers and assassins. Assassins also tend to be very expensive, and if they are readily available leadmany less savory governments to resort to contracts rather than negotiations and diplomacy. Major campaigns are even more expensive than assassins, and many a campaign against a rogue band of heroes has degenerated into civil wars as nobles rebel against their sovereigns, or when parts of the armies involved either join the rogue elements, or turn against their own units rather than fight the adventurers. Finally, the concept of hiring heroes as bounty hunters has a bad track record of turning questionable adventurers to the dark side of adventuring.
Various kingdoms pursued different tactics to deal with the issue. Some attempted to ban adventuring. Others forced magical compulsions on their adventurers, be it a Collar of Loyalty, magical brands of subservience, or magically binding oaths. Most of these efforts were only moderately effective, or were key points in adventurer lead uprisings against the controlling powers.
The Code of Accepted Adventurer Upon Return Conduct
- Adventurers Upon Return may not offer succor or sympathy to criminals or the perpetration of crime.
- Civic Guardsmen, constables, and officers of respected institutions shall be given all due respect at all times.
- Displays of excessive violence shall be avoided at all costs, be it weapon play, use of spells or magical items, innate magical abilities, or actions that may cause collateral damage, harm to civilians, or otherwise undue conflict.
- Adventurers Upon Return are expected to carry themselves in high moral regard, and are prohibited from using profanity, lewd or disrespectable behaviour, engage in excessive drinking, patronage of brothels, gambling, or braggart behaviour.
- Adventurers Upon Return shall be modest in dress, and will not use magical garments that offer armor like protection but be physically revealing. Their companions shall likewise be modest in dress and behaviour.
- Adventurers Upon Return are to avoid illicit relationships not accepted by the standing Faith.
- Adventurers Upon Return are to avoid political actions, or actions with the intent out outcome that could cause political instability, conflict with sovereign powers or standing institutions.
The Guild of Adventurers Upon Return
The Guild was born out of a desire for adventurers to self regulate their behaviour. Prior to the appearance of the guild, adventurers were known for heavy drinking, rampant theft and whoring everywhere they went. Carnage followed in their wake as there was little to stop them from starting civil wars to unseat nobles who had offended them, or burning an entire city to end a feud between different cells. Eventually a group came together and started the Guild. They codified guidelines for behaviour. To join the Guild, an adventurer had to accept the codeand adjust their attitudes and behaviours to match the code. Efforts were made to improve the image of the Adventurer as a hero of the people, but not one in conflict with sovereign powers and long standing institutions. The Guild took efforts to depoliticize the actions of adventurers as well. This made the guild popular with the various states and kingdoms, along with the guild paying taxes to the crown and tithes to the Faith.
There's the Guild, if you want to go that way. The contracts are clean, the jobs are legit, but you gotta pay a piece of everything you bring back to the guild, and they get to look at any goodies you bring back. If they don't like what you have, they can claim it for the Vaults of Inequity. If they like it a lot, they can claim it,and 'reimburse' you the value of the item. I was part of the guild once, did a dive into a hellhole grotto and came back minus three members and up about 10,000 GP in gold and jewels, had a pair of magic rings and a dragon hilted sword. The Guild Artificier claimed one ring was forbidden magic contraband and seized the ring. He also took the sword, but at least had the decency to pay me 1200 GP. Guess that means that the sword was worth ten times that. After paying out 4,500 GP in taxes and tithes, I was pissed. They didn't take a single arrow, didnt deal with a single poison trap, and they got almost half of what I took. I quit after that, officially retired to go farm or some crap. The theives guild don't take such a large piece and they don't prattle on about dont drink, dont cuss, and dont go wenching.
Drago the Knife of Kniffia Pass
The Truth of the Adventurer
Adventurers are loose cannons and rogue elements inside of a society. As individuals they carry a great deal of power, from martial skill at arms to commanding arcane, natura, and divine magical power. Such individuals have a history of changing the flow of history and events, from toppling corrupt regimes to rooting out conspiracies and strange events such a mimic invasions, and demonic infestations. But this good comes at a cost, most adventurers have a great deal of disregard for law enforcement officers, as well as the various institutions of the realm. Most adventurers fail to pay taxes, give tithes to the standing institutions of the faith, or compensate the populace for the damage they might inflict in the pursuit of their targets. The Guild works to improve the relationship between the common folk, political powers, and other institutions. Guilded Adventurers can expect to be treated better, as it is well known that the Guild pays it's dues to King, God, and Country and are not freelancers without a bit of control beyond their own whims.
The Guild is located in muptiple nations and kingdoms. The members of the Guild follow the laws of the nation they are in, and are bound to follow those laws even if they are strange to them. A guilded Adventurer cannot break the laws of a nation even if those laws offend them in some fashion. If a nation allows slavery, the adventurer is in violation of Guild codes of conduct if he attempts to liberate slaves, obstruct human trafficking, or harm slave owners or slave merchants. This is simply an extreme example. This code has been put in place to assure sovereign powers and political entities that the Adventurer doesn't exist to disrupt political and cultural systems based on their own morals and ethics.
Rogue Team - A group of adventurers upon return have repeatedly broken the Code of Conduct, and the guild masters have selected the PCs to seek out this rogue group and apprehend them and return them to the nearest guild chapterhouse for judgement. The PCs get to track down a group of their own. They are ideally intended to take the group into custody without killing any of them, they are brothers in arms. The reason for the rogue group's behaviour is up to the GM but can range from excessive obscene behaviour, to supporting a rebellion against a sovereign power with allied ties to the Guild.
Guild Sanctioned Dungeon Crawl - The Guild has an extensive network of job contacts and doles out missions and jobs to groups in need of work. Most of this work is security, protecting contested areas along orc territory, or guarding trade caravans. But this time, there is an honest to gods dungeon delve and the PCs have gotten the approval to explore a newly opened wing of the Helldark Dungeon (open and explored regularly over the last 80 years).
Noble Seeking Heroes - The PCs get to answer the fantasy version of the want ads, Prince seeks entourage to explore Everdark Forest. Princess in Tower seeks band of heroes to locate missing key. Wizard in need of spell components, fire resistance a bonus.
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? Responses (6)
Interesting. I doubt most adventurers,paludins exempted, would want to give up going with prostitutes.
Sacrifices have to be made, and of it means a few people have to give immoral lifestyles then so be it. It makes life easier on the paladins too, since they don't have to sit outside the brothel and polish their swords.
I like this but am not blown away by it. It bespeaks of prettmuch an any guided just with a bit of background. The excerpt from the retired guild member is good though. It brings out that normally adventurers are frowned upon and the guild is seen as a grand thing. However the inner monologue of the guild is the exact opposite. The guild is seen as a bunch of lazy thieving a-holes that their only compunction is to sit back and take money from those who actually work. A typical union of the modern era if you ask me.
Its good I just dont see it as being epic.
And omg the iPad keyboard and Strolens seem to hate each other. Will edit previous comment later.
The guild isn't intended to be epic, it's fully intended to be stuffy, pretentious and quite full of themselves. The caveats of the guild have a real world inspiration that will become evident as I get a few other related pieces out. I just put the least impressive part out first. As for unique, a guild is a guild, the only difference is the end product. A guild of whores is going to be pretty much the same as a guild of iron merchants. No need to reinvent the wheel, as it were.
An interesting sub, and I agree with Mourn, they sound like insufferable twits jusding by the insider info, and most PC's short of the priestly/paladin types will be incompatible with their requirements. (And quite honestly I think the guild benefits are far too meagre to be worth that kind of sacrifice required by their charter by most PC's/players should GM present them with the option.)
The real difficulty with using this guild 'as is' in ones campaign is the guild caveat 'Their companions shall likewise be modest in dress and behaviour.' This bit would lead to instant intra party conflict when after joining the guild the Priest or Paladin finds the parties Rogue, Barbarian, and Bard refusing to act or dress by 'modest standards.'
As a Dwarf fighter would likely say: 'Tis yer guild and creed laddie not mine, so dunna be thinkin ta keep me from the tavern, an a bit o' wenchin, at least not if ya want ta keep sharin' the road and adventures with me.'
However all that said, a GM could use this as a nice 'if only you knew the truth' adventure, where in the group joins the guild; as on its outside they sound like a reputable and profitable group to be part of. Only they find out after joining the bunch is conserviative to the point of being anal rententive, and need to find a way to leave them without upsettig the guild; especially if they have a low tolerance for 'deserters and non conformers.'