🎨 Creative What does a Mage's Guild do?

Hammel

Registered User
Validated User
#1
In Skyrim, there's a College of Winterhold which is one of the major mage places in the game. Best I can tell, and this sounds like it could apply to any mage's guild, they:

1) Do experiments
2) Study magic (though I don't know what studying magic is like or what it would entail--maybe researching new or old spells?)
3) Go on expeditions to quench their thirst for knowledge and lore
4) Enchant items

What else do mage's guilds do? I think I could also see them:

5) Collect plants and materials for alchemical brews, possibly sending more hardy characters out to gather materials
6) MAKE magic items
 

Naxuul

Emo hair power!
Validated User
#2
Maintain the wards around the monster infested megadungeons every D&D city is connected to.

-Naxuul
 
#4
If we want to get more into the real-world nature of Guilds, I suspect a lot of their role would be economic and making sure that non-Guild mages weren't practicing without a license and thus driving down the value of magic.
 

Calypso

Bunny With a Glock
Validated User
#5
Well, to a certain extent I imagine they're like a union: they provide collective bargaining for the magically inclined, but more importantly they prevent free agents from driving down prices in the market by undercutting each other.

There is also a university element to it: by belonging to a recognize organization, you gain prestige and (assuming you do good work) you build the prestige of the group. So the guild is likely to do what it can to support prestigious endeavors, such as providing laboratory space, arranging guest lectures, procuring difficult to find materials, etc.
 

Uqbarian

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#6
Regulate magical services (prices, working hours and conditions, etc.).
Regulate magical education and training (monitoring apprenticeships etc.).
Ensure that non-guild magicians don't offer services in town, or at least don't undercut guild prices.

EDIT: Basically ninja'd.
 
#7
Reading this thread, it's making me think that Mages Guilds are under-utilized as antagonists. I'm imagining something with a mafioso flair - the heroes blithely rolls into town, magicking out of the goodness of their hearts, only to have a group of magical legbreakers sent after them for muscling in on their livelihood.
 

Calypso

Bunny With a Glock
Validated User
#8
Reading this thread, it's making me think that Mages Guilds are under-utilized as antagonists. I'm imagining something with a mafioso flair - the heroes blithely rolls into town, magicking out of the goodness of their hearts, only to have a group of magical legbreakers sent after them for muscling in on their livelihood.
Pretty much. And that's how Baldur's Gate 2 (the video game) starts, with the Cowled Wizards showing up and putting the smack down on the baddie (and you) for illegal use of magic. I guess in that case it's law enforcement vs. guild enforcers, but close enough.
 

barrataria

Registered User
Validated User
#9
Well, all the anti-union arguments seem to have been covered.

How about: identifying and training promising magelings, regulating/ensuring quality standards, weeding out incompetents and madpersons, and controlling "unnatural"/evil experiments a la the GoT Citadel expelling the necromancer Qyburn (or actively pursuing them like the Lankhmar sorcerers)?
 

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

Registered User
Validated User
#10
In Skyrim, there's a College of Winterhold which is one of the major mage places in the game. Best I can tell, and this sounds like it could apply to any mage's guild, they:

1) Do experiments
2) Study magic (though I don't know what studying magic is like or what it would entail--maybe researching new or old spells?)
3) Go on expeditions to quench their thirst for knowledge and lore
4) Enchant items

What else do mage's guilds do? I think I could also see them:

5) Collect plants and materials for alchemical brews, possibly sending more hardy characters out to gather materials
6) MAKE magic items
7) Train classes of apprentice/student mages
8) Maintain a library of all commonly known spells, and charge mages for access
9) Magical consultancy - if you want a spell cast on/for you, you go there and pay for it
10) Provide magical advice to the city's mundane rulers (probably by having a seat on the council or its equivalent)
11) Maintain any city-wide enchantments that need keeping up for the defence/utility of the city, by arrangement with the city's mundane rulers
12) Maintain, guard, and charge for the use of the city's Teleportation Circle

I normally see them more as primarily places of learning than commercial guilds, although with some aspects of each, so kind of like the the medieval universities.
 
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