- -----Original Message-----
From: Arjan Duijs

>I am currently running a campaign of non-regent characters (even
>non-birthright characters)
>now 2 of the party members(thiefs) want to get involved with some guild,
>eventualy grow till they can run the guild.
>well ok, joining a guild is one option, but way too easy.
>I was thinking, they meet a/some thief(s) that want to create a guild
>(region not selected yet) in a domain where there is already a pretty
>powerfull active guild. the way they plan it is: they are going to steal
>some very important artifact, all with help from the party, and because
>there only one active guild there they suspect the local guild .
>but from there im kinda lost,what to do.
>can someone help me with this, or give me any/some advise?

This sounds like a really good thief campaign. Lots of opportunity for
stealth, espionage, double crossing, and backhanded dealings. It can be a
lot of fun if you care for it well enough.

Some things to remember:

Just because there are people out there who want to challenge the main
guild; don't have them just meet the players easily and "invite" them into
the rebellion. These upstarts would more likely somehow "notice" the PC's
and then begin to follow them about in various disguises (a session or two
of vaguely familiar people always being around creates some good paranoia)
and determine any alliances or mentors the PC's have.

If the PC's are determined to be good candidates for an invitation to this
guild, they still wouldn't just come out and say "Hey, we want to take out
the big guild in the area, wanna help?". Instead just one of them (keeping
the others safely unknown if things go bad) might find a way to 'meet' the
PC's and start a relationship with them. At first the jobs would be simple
things, but each one would involve more risk, and more of a stance against
the main guild (such as activities against guild 'protected' clients). These
more nefarious and bold jobs would cause some problems for the main guild
and prove that the PC's are willing to risk the hatred of a powerful
organization. Plus, if a job is ever botched and people get caught, the
finger can be pointed at the PC's and not the upstart group.

If the PC's make it through the testing phase, the one person they know
would offer to introduce them to some of his friends (who were the reason he
was not always around to help the PC's) who have similar ways of thinking.
These friends would then welcome the PC's as allies and begin to speak about
all the bad things the current guild of power has about it. How they
mismanage things. Overtax the members. Disrespect the autonomy of individual
rogues, etc. Watch a film where skinheads try to get a kid to hate Jews.
It'll serve two purposes: 1. You'll see how sick those people are and vow to
never help them. 2. Get some pointers on how to get the PC's to hate the BIG
BAD GUILD and want to take it down by any means possible.

Now you have some serious meat and potatoes to play with. This upstart
guild, with the help of the PC's would begin to take more direct action
against the big guild. Intimidating junior members, or recruiting them.
Stealing any 'clients' in a protection ring by first violating them and
showing that there is no 'protection' and then offering to give 'real'
protection that the big guild is missing out on. Finally, some direct
activities against the lives of more dominant members in the big guild.
Killing them, or kidnapping them and selling them to slavers is a good way
to do that.

By this point the kettle should be on a boil. Other social orders (temples,
government, etc.) should be taking notice and wanting an end to the violence
in the streets and the wanton stealing (as the big guild would have people
taking advantage of the situation and hitting 'protected' people and blaming
it on the PC's) going on.

Then you can have the finale. The final showdown. The PC's should get some
external allies that prove their legitimacy against the 'old school' and you
can have a good fight, or thief based attack. When it's all said and done
and the smoke clears, there should only be one guild. Depending on how the
players handle things it could be them, or maybe not..

Of course this is just my view, and it's also kinda a forced train where the
players don't have to do much thinking of their own. Take what you like and
see what they do with it.


Also, check out Gord of Greyhawk by Gary Gygax.
It might be hard to find now but it has a portion of the novel that deals
with a similar situation.
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