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Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. Diseconomy of scale

Rick, honestly, I never envisioned the Wizard's Guild as being monolithic, any more than the clothworker's guild was in our own history.  How could it be?  On Cidri, Wizards are a dime a dozen, so by definition it would be much more likely that Wizarrd's guilds would tend to be functioning on a city-by city basis, or at best regionally.  Now if you have only a few Wizards, such as in Jack Vance's Lyonesse, certainly, I could see a monolithic guild; after all, there were less than 20 Master Wizard's on the entire continent in that book, though even there, I note that there were meetings in far off places among various Wizards that were not native to Lyonesse, which the Wizards of Lyonesse attended as well.

However, if you read about guilds, you'll note that if you weren't a member of the local guild, and were caught "practicing without a license," so to speak, you would be in VERY serious trouble; and if on top of that, you were using apprentices belonging to that guild, well, oh my...

Now I could see a "pool" of so-called "apprentices" in a world with competing Wizard's schools (for each such school -- the students, in reality); however I also tend to think that the "administration" of such a school would actually be just as restrictive about the activities of their students in support of strange, passing Wizards.  After all, they have the reputation of the school to consider, plus they may feel an obligation to the families of their students to protect those students from being exploited, and I suspect they'd want to be involved (and get a piece of the action) in any use of their students as strength batteries.  They'd be much more inclined, I would think, to require their students to work for the staff and faculty than allowing them to freelance with some "outsider" Wizard...

If anyone is interested in how guilds work, there are a number of useful books and articles on the internet, but you may be even more interested in picking up a copy of Cities and Guilds for Ars Magica -- it has one of the better explanations of how it all works, and, since it was written for a Roleplaying Game, it writes in terms that are relatively easily transferable to games like TFT, DragonQuest, any of 10,000 retroclones, or "the World's Oldest RPG (c)."  A Magical Medieval Society:  Western Europe also has a useful discussion on guilds (and even a section on Wizard's Guilds on page 46), and is written in a system neutral format for the specific purpose of fantasy RPGing.

And if anyone's interested in Wizard's Schools, there are a couple of interesting modules floating around out there -- Redhurst, and Unhallowed Halls being two that come immediately to mind and have some interesting takes on the subject.  While I would hardly consider them "definitive," they provide plenty of food for thought on how the staff and faculty might look and work, and how the students could be handled in such an environment.  Of the two, I think Redhurst is better, but that's purely a personal opinion.  Redhurst was written for D20 type games (and reads like a student handbook -- which it was intended to do), and Unhallowed Halls was written for Penumbra (and is more an adventure set in an academy than it is a detailed description of said academy, though there is a lot of information there).


From: Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca>
To: tft@brainiac.com
Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2016 1:28 AM
Subject: Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. Diseconomy of scale

Hi all, Jeff.
  In cannon TFT, there was a monolithic 'Wizard's Guild'.  This made it 
easier for SJ to write rules.  All wizards everywhere follow these 
guidelines.  But I do not consider a giant wizard's guild to be the ideal
social structure to make an interesting world.  

  My campaigns tend to have smaller, competing wizard schools.

  So IF you are in a city with a wizard's guild, OR a large school, then
yes, they MIGHT be able to maintain a stable of apprentices whom you
can easily draw from.

  However, if any of those things are not true, or you are in a smaller
community, a convenient pool of apprentices may not be around and
longer projects would have certain convienences.

  I have no objection to campaigns that want to have a monolithic
wizard's guild, but people should not assume that that is the only
social organization which is possible with wizards.  I've not used it
in any of my campaigns for decades.

  Warm regards, Rick.

On 2016-11-04, at 12:58 PM, Jeffrey Vandine wrote:

Hmm.  Okay, I'm not seeing the "hiring and laying off" of Apprentices.

I have always assumed that the system in operation was a guild-based system (you, know, "the Wizard's Guild?");  ...