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“For the next general meeting, I’d like Zigmund and Greta to jointly present a seminar on realising productivity targets through actionable cost-containment initiatives. Oh, and guild fees are due on 23 Jahrdrung.”
—Anonymous Guild Master[3a]
Guild Master

Guild Masters are some of the most influential people in the Old World, quietly dictating how commerce is to work in various areas and facilitating the flow of trade. Among their ranks are master Merchants and calculating thieves, all of whom play a subtle game with the Nobles for power and control.[1a]

Overview

Guild Masters are seldom great warriors, as they have many others at their beck and call to handle such things for them. Rather they are quasi-statesmen who deal with the Politicians of the Empire on their own terms. Depending on what guild they control, Guild Masters may be treated with the utmost respect or grudging civility.[1a]

Common Affiliations

“When aspiring apprentices walk into my office, I tell them straight away that working as a journeyman trader is the only way to learn this business. If you just want to earn a living, well, then become an accountant or a sales agent. But you’ll never get rich playing with your abacus all day if you’re just tallying another man’s profits.”
—Randolf Schmiermann, Former Merchant Guildmaster of Schoppendorf[2a]

Crafters’ and Builders’ Guilds: Most guilds represent the interests of their Tradesmen and enforce quality standards. Guild jurisdictions in large cities are very specific, so for example, jewellers might be represented by two separate guilds – one for gemcutters and another for goldsmiths.[3a]

Labour Guilds: Services are more difficult to monitor than products, and therefore a labour Guild Master must often use thuggery to enforce the guild bylaws. Labour guilds may represent Stevedores, teamsters, Entertainers, beggars, pilots, rivermen and Sea Captains.[3a]

Commerce Guilds: Commerce guilds wield a great deal of political power and often enjoy special privileges that other guilds don’t. Peddlars’ guilds oversee local trading, merchants’ guilds monitor trading between towns, and moneylenders’ guilds (or banks) provide loans to the upper class – primarily Nobles.[3a]

Academic Guilds: Academic guilds may be attached to colleges and universities. Guild Masters often require official accreditation from a famous school like the Colleges of Magic or the Imperial College of Engineers. Academic guilds exist for Wizards, Lawyers, Physicians, Engineers and Explorers.[3a]

Guild Law

Guild Masters are the sanctioned authorities, responsible for enforcing their guild charter. Gray areas of legal jurisdiction are elevated to town courts, where Guild Masters often serve as jurors. Guild Masters may call upon the town’s Watchmen if necessary, or employ Thugs and Protagonists to handle uncooperative transgressors. Guild Masters with a diverse array of skills may belong to several different guilds, but few guild masters are given judicial authority in more than one guild.[3a]

Guild Charters: Because each vocation has unique requirements, guild charters differ significantly between guilds. People who have a background in law will have a conceptual understanding of guild charters, but will require related specialised knowledge in order to understand the myriad sub-clauses found within each guild’s charter.[3a]

Guild Tongue: People who don't know the Guild Tongue must hire an interpreter to represent them at guild court proceedings. Guild Tongue represents a complex jargon of acronyms and buzzwords spoken in the local language. Although the fundamentals of Guild Tongue are universal across guilds, each guild has several specialised terms that only its members can understand.[3a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 71
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: The WFRP Companion
    • 2a: pg. 29
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Career Compendium
    • 3a: pg. 94

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