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Old 03-08-2018, 09:51 AM   #1
phayman53
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

One of the guilds that is obviously advantageous for a adventurer in Yrth to belong to is the Armsmen's Guild. Obviously this would not be appropriate for every adventure or adventurer, but it does make great sense for some. However, I feel like it is unclear exactly how to put membership in the Armsmen's Guild on a character sheet. Specifically, how do mechanically model the effects of being in the Armsmen's Guild, especially in terms of Social Engineering and Social Engineering: Pulling Rank. So, here is my idea and I would welcome feedback:

Armsman Guild Rank, 4 points/level:

Armsman Guild Rank includes Nominal Hierarchical Position With Title, 1/level; Typical Resources, 1/level; Dominance, 0/level; and Legitimacy, 2/level. The Armsman's Guild is considered the place to find reputable mercenaries who are trustworthy and law-abiding. As a result of this, membership in the Armsman's Guild requires at least Code of Honor (Stay's Bought) [-5] and a Minor Vow [-5] to follow local laws in regard to legitimate use of force and respect for private property, as well as to only take paid mercenary duties through the guild if there is a local chapter (this results in a 5% fee being paid to the guild). Higher levels of Code of Honor (such as Soldier's or Chivalry) are also acceptable.

Less scrupulous member do exist who lack the mandatory disadvantages, instead they have a -10 point secret. Should the secret be exposed and the perpetrator convicted by a jury of guildsmen, the perpetrator is expelled from the guild and branded on the forehead. This will result in the loss of guild rank and Enemy (Medium Organization of Similar Powered People, Rival, 6) [-7], Reputation -3 (Unscrupulous Mercenary, Almost Everyone but People looking for Unscrupulous Mercenaries (x2/3), Always) [-10], and the reduction of appearance by 1 level (usually -4 points), plus the perk "Known Unscrupulous Mercenary" [1], which means people looking for someone willing to do dirty work are more likely to approach you than an average fighter. Additionally, legal issues may result, though this is not always the case.

The Guild is the equivalent of a 15 point organization because of the local and semi-independent nature of the chapters. Ranks are: Apprentice (Rank 0), Journeyman (Rank 1), Master (Rank 2), and Grand Master (Rank 3). Apprentices are not allowed to take contracts without someone of at least Journeyman rank joining each Apprentice on the job. However, as soon as an Apprentice successfully completes a job with honor in which there was combat they are promoted to Journeyman. Alternately, completing 5 short or one long contract successfully in which no fighting occurred can result in promotion to Journeyman after the Apprentice successfully demonstrates martial capability to a Guild Master.

Grand Masters are elected regionally from Guild Masters and meet occasionally to discuss guild policy and make sure local guilds are not violating their mandates. Other than that, however, they have very little actual authority.

EDIT: Specifically looking for thoughts and price/level of rank, the Code of Honor and Vow requirement, and the consequences of having the alternate secret exposed. However, I would welcome any other thoughts a critiques.

Last edited by phayman53; 03-08-2018 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
RyanW
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

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Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
As a result of this, membership in the Armsman's Guild requires at least Code of Honor (Stay's Bought) [-5] and a Minor Vow [-5]

....

Less scrupulous member do exist who lack the mandatory disadvantages, instead they have a -10 point secret.
Is that really an appropriate requirement? Code of Honor and Vow require you to have a personal commitment to the cause, which you would not willingly break even in the face of death. Secret (I might betray my oath under a hypothetical situation that hasn't so far occurred) isn't really suitable. Secret (I have betrayed/regularly betray my oath) is.

So there is daylight between the two extremes.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:19 PM   #3
phayman53
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Is that really an appropriate requirement? Code of Honor and Vow require you to have a personal commitment to the cause, which you would not willingly break even in the face of death. Secret (I might betray my oath under a hypothetical situation that hasn't so far occurred) isn't really suitable. Secret (I have betrayed/regularly betray my oath) is.

So there is daylight between the two extremes.
Hmm, good point. I guess I was assuming a player character who doesn't have those will be violating them or is assuming they violated them in the past. I wasn't considering someone who wanted to keep their options open.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:33 PM   #4
phayman53
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

The reason I went with Code of Honor and Vow or Secret is that is something that I have seen on official templates before where someone in that profession is expected to have a certain Code of Honor.

I also think GURPS vows do not have to be internally enforced, they can represent a requirement that you have to uphold to stay in an organization, so you do.

That said, instead of Code of Honor (Stay's Bought) [-5] and the Minor Vow [-5], I could see changing it to a -10 point vow that is: "follow local laws in regard to legitimate use of force and respect for private property, only take paid mercenary duties through the guild if there is a local chapter (this results in a 5% fee being paid to the guild), and follow the dictates of the "stay's bought" code of honor (Banestorm pg. 185)". This means that there is no internal compulsion to do this, it is the agreement you make to be in the Armsmen's Guild. If you violate this vow and do not get caught, it gets replaced with the -10 point Secret.

Does this seem to offer more room for a middle-ground player? They will not be doing bad role-playing if they decide to break their vow, but the consequence will be changing these traits to a Secret that could, in turn, be very problematic if exposed. This way, a player could also take Code of Honor (Stay's Bought) and/or Honesty, but in this case he or she would not violate the Vow for the Guild without being guilty of incorrectly role-playing their character.
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Old 03-08-2018, 05:36 PM   #5
Joxer
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

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Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
The reason I went with Code of Honor and Vow or Secret is that is something that I have seen on official templates before where someone in that profession is expected to have a certain Code of Honor.
Some professions expect people act under a certain code, so templates suggest it. You don't need necessarily a self-imposed mental disadvantage, like Vow or Code of Honor to follow those rules. As stated by RyanW, a SIMD represents a personal commitment beyond the fear of punishment due to code violation. To put it simple, a member of the guild without the disadvantage would have no remorse if he or she is sure noone would notice his misbehavior.

A secret is a valid option, not as requirement and not described as Secret (don't truly took Vow/CoH). but something like Secret (broke the code sometime in the past and can lose his rank if someone can figure it). Note that even character with the proper Vow/CoH can have such secret.

IMHO, no disdvantage should be required in this case. They should just follow the rules or be punished otherwise, just like nobody is expected to have Honesty (disadvantage), but if you break the rules, you have to pay!

Another good example came to mind: monks and chastity vow.

Last edited by Joxer; 03-08-2018 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:06 PM   #6
Rolando
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

I think Code of Honour (Stay Bought) is expected but very hard to gauge in a real situation (in game).

A duty may be more of a required disadvantage, in Tredroy (GURPS Banestorm) the Duty also includes helping the city if it is attacked.

The secret, as said, before should be better chosen if a foul deed is done, I think.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:47 PM   #7
RyanW
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

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To put it simple, a member of the guild without the disadvantage would have no remorse if he or she is sure noone would notice his misbehavior.
Why assume they would have no remorse? I regret some things I've done, but that doesn't mean I had Vow (Never change emails without telling old acquaintances my new email address, and then stay out of contact so long that they've also changed emails and neither of us has any way to contact the other).

Lacking a Code of Honor isn't the same as Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. It just means you don't necessarily find a dilemma between the code and something else morally crippling.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:48 AM   #8
phayman53
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

So I had forgotten that you are only supposed to take the Vow disadvantage if it is a vow that you intend to keep. I had thought it represents a constraint that would result in consequences if it was broken. Is there a disadvantage for an externally imposed code of behavior that has disadvantages if broken, but that does not have the frequency of appearance component of Duty? Or is that simply something handled in play? So if you belong to an organization that demands a certain code of behavior and you break it, there are possible consequences. These may result in losing advantages and gaining disadvantages, but belonging to such an organization is not a disadvantage in itself.

The reason I ask is that Social Engineering: Pulling Rank, pg. 7-8 says that Rank usually requires Duty or a different disadvantage like Code of Honor, Disciplines of Faith, Sense of Duty, or Vow, and that violating one of these has the same effect of violating Duty (loss of rank, discharge, loss of privilege, etc.). So I think that there should be some disadvantage requirement to go along with Armsmen's Guild Rank, but I do not think Duty fits. EDIT: The reason I think there should be a disadvantage is because the Guild Rank does restrain your options to some degree--you will have consequences for violating the rules if you are caught. This seems like a disadvantage worth points to me, but I could be wrong about that.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:04 AM   #9
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

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Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
So I think that there should be some disadvantage requirement to go along with Armsmen's Guild Rank, but I do not think Duty fits.
Actually, I could see Duty working. Take Duty (Employer of the Week), and say that the Duty isn't to the Guild, per se, but rather to whatever person has employed you through the Guild. If the Duty comes up, it's assumed you have a contract, if it doesn't, then you don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phayman53
EDIT: The reason I think there should be a disadvantage is because the Guild Rank does restrain your options to some degree--you will have consequences for violating the rules if you are caught. This seems like a disadvantage worth points to me, but I could be wrong about that.
Code of Honor (Stays Bought) sounds like it would fit if you want the disadvantage to be about how the Guild expects you to behave at all times, not just in the context of a Guild-assigned contract. If they expect more stringent guidelines on behavior, you could create a custom Armsmen's Guild Code of Honor, too.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:50 AM   #10
Joxer
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing-out the Armsmen's Guild

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Originally Posted by phayman53 View Post
The reason I think there should be a disadvantage is because the Guild Rank does restrain your options to some degree--you will have consequences for violating the rules if you are caught. This seems like a disadvantage worth points to me, but I could be wrong about that.
Thoughts?
You can make it a a limitation tied to Rank Advantage. Although not the same concept, Pact limitation offers a good baseline for cost and game mechanics.

Edit: reading the book, Rank and Duty is the usual combination for this situation.

Last edited by Joxer; 03-09-2018 at 10:56 AM.
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