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In the interest of something beyond arguing over things we have no current power over, here's my current iteration of my write-up of the Church of Karameikos (which I recognise violates a few canonical things, though keep in mind that much of this is what the Church thinks, not necessarily the truth)
The Mages Guild of Karameikosby Snaferu
Servire Ac Docere
To Succour and to Teach
A Magic user may become a member of the guild upon learning to cast 1st level spells from memory. Testing to prove personal ability is required in order to weed out charlatans and tricksters. Membership is open to any spell caster, who can cast arcane spells. Applicants must pay 5 gp per level upon acceptance into the guild, plus an additional 10 gp each time they advance in level thereafter. New members must swear an oath to uphold the guild law, protect Karameikos and obey all civic laws and guild ordinances on spell casting.
Wizard guild levels
Rank Title Casting ability Dues
1 Affiliate No spell casting abilities required 5 gp/Year
2 Apprentice No spell casting abilities required 10 gp Once
3 Apprentice mage 1st-level spells 50 gp/Month
4 Journeyman 3rd-level spells 100 gp/Month
5 Mage 4th-level spells 200 gp/Month
6 Master Mage 5th-level spells 300 gp/Month
7 Wizard 5th-level spells 400 gp/Month
8 Master Wizard 6th-level spells 500 gp/Month
9 Dean 6+ 200 gp/Month
Mages that does not wish to join the guild as regular members may acquire an "Affiliate" membership at the cost of 5 gp every year. Such a mage are not entitled to all the benefits of regular members but are allowed limited, supervised, use of the library. This is the minimum rank required by law to cast arcane spells within Karameikos and an annual spell casting check up is mandatory in order to monitor such "casual" members. Such a mage receives a formal reading of laws concerning spells and their usage and is warned that the guild imposes severe fines on violation. Anyone found able to prepare and cast 3rd level spells are required by law to join the guild as full members.
Benefits of Membership
Besides opportunities for research, intellectual stimulation, and camaraderie, the wizards' guild offers much to its members. When a member advances in the art, he will find the guild a ready source for new spells. In addition, guild mages are spared the distrust sometimes extended to "unregistered" mages by the law and citizenry alike.
Better yet, the guild can arrange discounts, typically 10% to 20%, for purchasing certain spell components, glassware and laboratory supplies, available directly through the guild workshops, and various other wizardly necessities.
Officially, only guild members in good standing can legally make scrolls and potions in Karameikos - a law which, although rarely enforced, remains on the books as a potent tool for use against troublemakers; the usual penalty against offenders is confiscation.
Perhaps the most widely used guild benefits are the availability of well stocked lab facilities for magical experimentation and spell research. Any spell devised during membership must be provided to the guild so that it can be shared with it's members.
Guild members may work for the guild as required, researching spells, teaching, or making items, for an agreed set of pay scales. The guild pays library use rights, board and lodging plus: 7gp/day for teaching, 10gp/day for researching spells for the guild, and 15gp/day for writing scrolls, making potions, and creating items
Guild members will normally be allowed to borrow funds from the guild if these are required to complete magical research or item creation which they are undertaking.
Guild members may make use of any books or items they have donated to the guild, so long as this would not cause excessive disruption of guild activities.
Guild members who think of a good idea for a spell but lack the resources to research it may suggest it to the guild. If the guild agrees that it is worthwhile, a small fee will be paid to the mage and it will be placed upon the list of spells the guild plans to research. When it is researched, the mage may learn the spell for the normal cost. Alternatively, the guild may offer to pay a grant (20%, 50%, or a fixed sum) towards the cost of the mage researching it themselves.
A tavern for members only is on the main floor of the Guild house. Prices are quite fair, and the atmosphere is excellent. Only members and their guests are permitted.
A message board where mages may advertise to sell, buy, or trade their spells, items, or information is maintain in the hall outside the tavern. Aside from the rule against cheating a fellow member, these transactions are unregulated.
A Hiring Board, where mages may advertise their services for merchants and others to hire them as 'guild sanctioned' mages. This board is in an office on the ground floor. This office is always staffed, and is the place where non-Guild members are sent if they have business with the guild. Those mages willing to take on apprentices also advertise here.
- Apprentice: People who have not yet been trained to first level mage can apply to become apprentices. They will be examined, and if accepted there is a 10gp entrance fee. Thereafter apprentices receive board, lodging, and tuition in languages as available, skills, adventuring techniques, and of course training in the theory and practice of magic. In exchange they do work, mostly of a servant/scribe/assistant/minor functionary nature, 9 1⁄2 months per year. The guild regards training apprentices as a source of future journeymen, rather than as a source of revenue or unpaid servants, and is willing to make a loss on it. After end apprenticeship, they are then eligible to become a apprentice mage.
- Apprentice mage: Journeymen are paid only board, lodging, some library use, and 1 gp per caster level/day, for working for the guild, and are expected to do spell research, scroll-writing, and spellbook creation. Becoming a apprentice mage is free, but they have extra duties: it is assumed that they will spend much of their time working for the guild. They may take leave of absence, so long as this does not disrupt the spell-research or item creation of any of the members. The guild can send them on missions, though if danger is involved, extra pay, loan of items and/or extra spell training will normally be given.
- Journeyman: Sufficient access to the guild library to gain a +2 to all knowledge checks, allowing a retry on a previously failed check. Members in good standing is also allowed to scribe spells from the guild spellbook, at the standard fee, which so far include all of the guildmasters spells. This rank brings with it the freedom to browse at will in the library; apprentices, associates and affiliates may only examine tomes, or more often single-spell scrolls, brought to them in separate, supervised reading rooms. This rank also grants the license to trade in magical scrolls, potions, magical items and spell services. Something that is otherwise prohibited within Karameikos. In addition, this rank grants the right to sponsor an apprentice. This allows members to adopt potent apprentices that might not otherwise be invited to join as apprentices due to poverty, illiteracy, criminal records or other circumstances that would require special attention and training.
- Mage: Unrestricted access to the laboratory facilities. This confers access to all but the rarest and most valuable spell components which grants a 10% discount for creating magical items. Members can either provide their own components or draw them from the common stock maintained by the guild; the lab staff keeps careful records and bill each mages quarterly according to the components he has expended.
Several trained experts, hired by the guild, or lesser members is always ready to assist in various ways proficient in spellcraft, herbalism, anatomy, research and as scribes.
The member gains a +1 bonus to his spellcraft check when researching a new spell and only requires 6 work hours a day rather then the usual 8 work hours to perform spell research.
- Wizard: At this point the Crown and the guild wishes to acknowledge the master mage in question and assuming that the future wizard is in good standing with the guild and has at least once performed for the country as per the guild regulations, is granted the title of landed Court Lord and Wizard of the guild. Normally a small piece of land accomplishes such a title. At this point the wizard is offered a seat in the council of wizards if said wizard is a legal citizen of Karameikos.
-Council of wizards: The leading body of the guild consists of the Guildmaster that runs the guild in its day to day affairs and a council of wizards that meet every five days to debate guild issues and vote if needed. (See Council Meetings below)
- Dean: An offer of Deanship will be expended once the wizard can cast 6 level spells, effectively reducing the cost of membership to 200gp. This is assuming that the Master wizard is interested in this new responsibility of training apprentices and spend a considerable amount of time on guild grounds.
Rules and Regulations
While there are many benefits to guild membership, certain guide lines must be observed:
-Any arcane spell caster who takes up residence or lives in Karameikos must join the Mage Guild of Karameikos. Failure to do so within 6 months of arriving to the country is a Class 1 offence the first month beyond the first 6, Class 2 the second, Class 3 the third, Class 4 the forth, Class 5 the fifth, Class 6 the sixth and finally 13 months after the arrival to the country the renegade wizard is to be executed on sight.
-Obey all laws of Karameikos concerning the use of magic.
-Never knowingly cast a spell upon another Guild member in anger, malice or for personal gain.
-Respond to any summons to aid from another member of the guild if it is within your power and does not violate any laws of Karameikos.
-Respond to any summons by an official of Karameikos to aid, protect, or defend Karameikos and its citizens, and be required to handle whatever situations occur in that time to the best of his ability.
Failure to do so is a class 2 offence in peace time and class 7 in war time.
-Accept judgments of the Guildmaster and the council of wizards in all things relating to guild matters.
-Guild members may not sell information, except at excessive rates, to non-members of the guild. Selling potions, casting of spells, identification of magical items, and so forth to the general community are allowed to Journeymen and above, but copies of spells (including scrolls) which can be recopied and sold on by the receiver should only be sold to guild members.
-Guild members trading out spells or magical knowledge which they purchased from the guild must pay the guild a specified fee, roughly equal to the profit the guild would make if it traded the material itself. Guild members are free to pass this charge on to the buyer, or not, as they see fit.
-Guild members must be willing to sell to the guild for standard guild prices. the right to copy any spells, books, or other magical information currently or subsequently in their possession, whether found, bought or researched. Exceptions to this may be negotiated, but special circumstances would be required. They may, if they wish, ask that a spell or piece of information be placed upon the restricted list, and it will then not be traded out by the guild without their permission until they are dead (finally, or for at least one year)
-Guild members must not steal from the guild, or aid another to do so. This includes unauthorised copying of documents.
- The Guild may at any time request a copy of any non-magical, non-personal book from its owner, often this book is then loaned to the guild scribes for copying. A small fee is often issued to cover any expense and inconvenience.
-All kinds of magical servants must be licensed by the mage guild. Master is responsible for all actions in regards to punishment for their actions. An unlicensed magical servant is a Class 3 offence and the creature will be confiscated and destroyed.
-Guild members must not attack the guild, or, if the council decides that the guild will take a particular side in a war or other conflict or that it will attack a particular person or organisation, then guild members must not fight on or aid the opposing side. Guild members may specify exceptions to the last clause but these must be stated in advance.
-The guild is allowed by law to maintain a standing force of men-at-arms equal to its Journeymen and higher members, this is in additional to any men-at-arms allowed by individual titles.
-The Guild is the sole manufacture of magical items in Karameikos and all item creation must be sanctioned by either the council or the Guildmaster.
-Any member who are sentenced to prison, may serve time in the guild rather then manual labour, at the discretion of the council of mages, the Guildmaster and the Court of Law. Such a member is not allowed to leave guild grounds for the duration of the sentence. This privilege may be revoked at anytime, by the Guildmaster, if there is evidence of continued criminal activity.
- All members must report any renegade activity discovered.
If a guild member is found guilty of breaking any law or guild regulations, that member is punished as follows:
-First Offence: pay required fine to the law and accept its sentence.
-Second Offence: pay required fine to the law and accept its sentence and pay a matching fine to the guild.
-Third Offence: pay required fine to the law and accept its sentence, pay a matching fine to the guild and surrender one permanent magic item to the guild. If the offender owns none, he must acquire or make one and turn it over within a time specified by the Guildmaster or Council. In addition he must appear before a review board called to debate the offender's right to remain a member of the guild. Those who cannot convince their peers are expelled or suspended, depending on the crime and its circumstances.
-Sponsors: If the offending Guild member had a sponsor, the sponsor shall suffer the same Guild enforced punishments as the offender. The only exception is where the offender faces expulsion. In such a case the sponsor stands before the same review board to determine if the sponsor should be reduced in rank. A sponsor is responsible for his pupil just as a knight is responsible for his squire; hence the sponsor will often take action to punish a wayward pupil as soon as matter comes to his attention. The review board often suspends punishment from a sponsor who can show that he has done everything possible to reign in or bring to justice an erring pupil.
Spell casters who rank as Mage or above may research spells at the Guild house. Those of lower rank who are nonetheless members in good standing may be allowed to use the guild's spell labs as long as they perform all such research under the guidance of a guild mentor (Mage or higher) In such cases, the guild member is required to grant the appropriate Dean full reports on research progress and a copy of any completed spells. The Mentor is also entitled to a copy of any spell created in return for his aid. Higher ranking mages are not required to gift the guild library with copies of new spells researched, but most do as a matter of "good will".
Gatherings and Meetings
One of the most useful functions the guild offers it members is the chance to gossip in private about civic acts, social events and street incidents in the city of Specularum.
Mages from the lowliest Neophyte to the most potent wizards can frankly and openly share information and speculation about the doing of ambitious nobles, lawless adventurers, greedy merchants, mysterious strangers and best of all each other. Anything which might be of interest to spell casters is fair game at these gatherings. Twice a ten-day the High House hosts such gatherings, strictly for members only. All participants can relax due to the absolute prohibition on any use of spells and magical items at such events. Mind reading magic is particularly frowned upon and is a violation of guild rule 2 under any circumstances leading to stiff fines and possible demotion in rank.
The guild also hosts monthly "revels arcane" open to members, their guest, associates and anyone formally invited by the guild. This includes every Karameikan noble and important royal retainers and civic officials, as well as all members of the merchants Council and all Guild masters. All visiting foreigners of such stations are also invited. Many of these folk never attend, but the revels are open to them as a way of impressing such folk, perhaps attracting their sponsorship and business, and allowing members of the mages guild a chance to get to see and talk to folk of prominence and power in Karameikos. To encourage at least a few such usefully powerful folk to attend, Revels always involve good food, good music and entertainment - from hired dancers and exotic beasts to magical spectacles arranged by guild members.
Spell demonstrations are frequent, spectacles calculated to impress and to carry a warning to enemies of the guild and country.
The Council of wizards meet before the fifth night to debate guild issues and vote. The Guildmaster set the agenda and cast a tie breaking vote when necessary. The Council of wizards can elect a new Guildmaster every year but the Court mage may still attend any session without invitation and may exercise the right to speak first or break ties if he wishes, rights otherwise given to the Guildmaster.