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The House System

Gilfane is structured into a number of sub-guilds, or Houses, each with its own theme, guildhall, etc. Each House contains one or more orders, or classes, which themselves are made up of characters of one or more profession. All members are given a rank within their order and this determines their guild title.
While most activities are done as a single guild unit, the House system gives an extra element of RP and friendly competition with the best House earning the title of Ruling House. Members are encouraged to put as much effort as possible into establishing their House's identity and it is that, and in particular the efforts of the House leader, that sets the tone for the House. Members are welcome to break from an existing House and establish one of their own if they so wish, while other Houses may perish due to a lack of members.
Member Types
There are four main categories of members: -
  • The Keeper of the Hall, or Keeper, is the GM of the guild and oversees all the other guild members. He is ultimately responsible for virtually every aspect of the guild including recruiting, diplomacy and the treasury and is empowered to modify guild rules or protocols provided it is done in a fair-minded way for the good of all, although he may instead have a Guild Vote or Landsraad Vote to determine a course of action.
    The Keeper establishes or disbands Houses as necessary and must ensure that they are administered correctly.
    The Keeper oversees the upkeep of the various communal buildings of Gilfane, in particular the Citadel.
    The Keeper has final authority on guild wars, but he should call for a vote of the Landsraad before commencing one.
    Should the Keeper do something that meets with guild disapproval, he may face a motion of Censure or, in extremes, Disinvestiture. If the Keeper position ever becomes vacant, the guild must undergo a Vote of Investiture. In the temporary absence or incapacitation of the Keeper, the leader of the Ruling House takes on his duties.
  • A prelate, or House leader, is the head of one of the Houses. He oversees the behaviour and duties of the members within his House and must ensure their guildhall is maintained. Above all, it is the leader's enthusiasm and efforts that determine the success of his House. Prelates are granted Emissary status, allowing them to set the ranks and titles of their members as well as enabling them to add new members to the guild. They are also moderators of their House forum.
    A House leader determines the theme and identity of a House and to what extent his members follow it. He may make his own rules and customs so long as these do not conflict with the guild's general rules of behaviour. The prelate decides which members can join his House and may also remove members by serving a Notice of Transition or a simple Expulsion. In most areas his rule is absolute, although he may chose to use a House Vote to determine actions and he can assign various duties to, and discuss policy with, the leading members of the House's orders.
    If a House member is in serious dispute with his prelate and cannot resolve the situation normally, he may voice his disapproval by calling a Vote of Confidence, although an easier method would be to simply move to another House. If a prelate resigns his post or is removed from office, a Vote of Succession is held. In the temporary absence of the prelate, leadership cascades to the House's highest ranking member in the guild's preferred order.
  • Housemen, or House members, represent the bulk of the guild. Each Houseman is part of one of the Houses and under the direct authority of its prelate. Members are expected to follow not only the guild's general rules of behaviour, but also those rules and customs stipulated by their prelate. If they object to these, they would be best looking for a House that does not make such demands. It must be stressed, though, that a Houseman's deference to his prelate is mainly from a RP perspective and all members are actively encouraged to participate in guild discussions and make suggestions about events and the running of the guild both in the private guild or House forums.
    Each Houseman must specify his primary vocation and this will help determine his nominal rank within the House as well as his guild title. Housemen are free to move House as they wish and can also change their vocation with the agreement of their prelate.
    If a Houseman is in dispute with their House leader, the best course of action is to move House. Alternatively, they may seek help from the Keeper or, in extremes, call for a Vote of Confidence.
  • Postulants are new members of the guild who are unattached to any of the Houses and have restricted forum access. They remain in this status for a minimum period of one month, at the end of which they may apply to, or accept invitations from, one of the Houses. When such an appointment is confirmed by the appropriate prelate and either the Keeper or a Steward, the postulant becomes a full guild member.
    If a postulant has made no effort to join a House after a second month of membership has elapsed, they are liable to be removed from the guild, although that does not preclude them from reapplying for membership in the future. They may also be summarily dismissed at any time if they are in clear breach of the general rules of conduct. The Keeper or any Steward may waive the minimum one month postulant term if the person is already well known to them, and they similarly may extend the minimum period if they believe the postulant has not yet proved themself.
The Landsraad
The Landsraad is a body made up of senior Gilfane members. They have access to their own forum where they discuss policy, problems and ideas and the Keeper may call upon the Landsraad to vote on certain matters. The Keeper and all prelates are automatically members of the Landsraad. In addition, the Keeper may add or remove other members as he sees fit and may also grant them Emissary status.
Gilfane Citadel
Gilfane Citadel, or 'the Citadel', is at the heart of the town of Gilfane and serves as the main resource restock and central meeting place for all guild members. The focal point of the building is the Great Hall. Here, the seals of each House are set on a grey pedestal (darker and taller for the Ruling House). The Hall is also the resting place of the Staff of Law, the Keeper's symbol of authority which he uses at all ceremonial occassions. The Citadel entrance will have two banners in the Gilfane main colours (red and black) and one in black and the colour of the Ruling House.
The Keeper may appoint a Grand Provisioner & Grand Armourer from among the members of the guild and they will be responsible for maintaining provisions and armour stocks in the Citadel's stores. The Grand Provisioner & Grand Armourer may, if they wish, use these titles in place of any other.
House Status
Houses that contain ten or more characters, comprising at least five different active players, are known as Great Houses while smaller ones are classed as Minor Houses. Only Great Houses can have ranks of level five or higher and be eligible to be appointed as the Ruling House.
House status is only changed at the start of a month. Each House is evaluated and if it has sufficient membership it becomes a Great House. For a Great House to be re-classed as a Minor one its population must drop below either four active players or seven characters. All Houses start off as Minor, regardless of size.
House Properties
A House can have pretty much any rules and customs within it as long as these do not conflict with the central Gilfane policies. At a minimum, however, all Houses must have the following: -
  • Name - The House name should be a single word and not be offensive or too light-hearted, but otherwise most names are acceptable. It is perfectly permissible for someone to name a House after himself. In addition to the full name (and if required), a six and four letter abbreviation should be nominated for use in guild titles.
  • Title - This is the 'hereditary' noble title by which the House prelate is known. Standard titles which may be chosen are Archduke, Baron, Count, Duke, Earl, Marquess & Viscount. Others noble titles may be considered if they fit in with House's particular theme. A female prelate will use the gender equivalent. A prelate's guild title will be 'title of House'. He should be formally referred to as 'title House' or' title name' or, by his own Housemen, 'My Lord'.
  • Colour - The House colour can be any one possible from a standard or special dye tub. However, on a standard tub it must be at least one square horizontally and vertically removed from that of any other House. On a special tub, it must be at least two shades removed in the chosen main colour.
  • Seals - The House seals consists of two elements: a cloth dyed in the House colour and a symbol represented by a game object. Usually, this symbol would be connected with some aspect of the House (for example, a staff may represent a House that emphasises magic). The symbol should be different (even if only in colour) from that of any other House past or present. As the symbol will need to be displayed in both the Great Hall and outside the House's guildhall, and House members are invited to display the seals outside their own dwellings, it should obviously be an item that is not too rare.
  • Motto - The House maxim.
  • Guildhall - The prelate must provide a building to act as the House's base, meeting place, refuge and restock for essential items. All House members will need to be friended to the building and at least one floor must be accessible to them. The building must be named 'Guildhall Of House House' and it must have the House seals visible near the entrance.
  • Theme - Any particular identity that the House will have. This may be a geographic one, an historical one (a Roman or Norse theme), an emphasis on particular types of character (mage, tamer), the House's chief interests (PvM, PvP, crafting) and any combination of these or anything else. Most themes will be acceptable, and it is not strictly necessary for the House to have any particular theme.
  • Precedence - If a House contains more than one order, it must publish a precedence list for these orders. Those that are considered more important to the House are kept higher up the list than any others. The order that heads the list is known as the House's preferred order. The House should also make clear any professions/orders that it does not allow.
Professions & Orders
When joining a House, a member must inform the leader of his chosen profession. This is entirely up to the character to decide, but it must be a profession allowed within the House and obviously should be one that he has at least some ability in. The measure of this ability is determined by totalling one or more of the skills that are associated with the profession.
All professions are part of an order. Some orders have just one profession within them (e.g., the bard profession is the only one in the bard order) while others will have several professions (e.g. the military order encompasses archers and warriors). A character may always change profession at a later date with the consent of his prelate.
The character's profession/order will partially determine his rank within the House and consequently his guild title. Other factors determining his rank include his skills in his chosen vocation, the number of other characters in that order, his enthusiasm and leadership qualities, and the decision of the prelate. Note that the orders within the different Houses are not directly related, so that the military order of House X is independent of the military order of House Y.
The table below lists the various standard professions together with their relevant skills and the order to which they belong. In addition to these, when a House is formed the prelate can submit his own idea for professions and orders. For instance, one could have a House with a monastic theme that features only one order. Professions within the order could be paladins (primary weapon and chivalry skills) and monks (healing, magery or crafting skills).
Arcanist Mage Spellweaving & [Magery or Meditation]
MageMageMagery & [Evaluating Intelligence or Meditation]
NecromancerMageNecromancy & Spirit Speak
ArcherMilitaryArchery and [Anatomy or Tactics]
SamuraiMilitary[primary weapon attack] and [Bushido or Ninjutsu]
WarriorMilitary[primary weapon attack] and [Anatomy or Bushido or Ninjutsu or Tactics]
BardBardicDiscordance & Musicianship & Peacemaking & Provocation
TamerTamerAnimal Taming & Animal Lore & Veterinary

Ranks & Titles
Each House member has a rank within his order. This ranges from a rank of one (the lowest) up to rank six (the highest). Loosely speaking, rank one refers to raw recruits, rank two to veterans, rank three junior officers, rank four senior officers and rank five Great leaders. Rank six is a special rank that is only available to the Ruling House. Those of high rank are expected to act as leaders in the field and offer advice to those under them (both within their own House and others), so players may not necessarily want to occupy a higher rank even if they are able to do so.
The rank a member has within his order depends upon three factors: -
  • Skills - Each rank beyond the first requires that the character has a certain minimum level in the profession's skills before he can occupy that position. Other requirements are also possible, for instance the craftsman order requires that those of higher level rank run a certain number of vendors on the shard.
  • Maximum number per House - Each House can only have so many members of a certain rank. In some cases this depends upon the size of the House, defined as the number of active characters within it. Note that this restriction only applies when promoting new people. If the House size falls, there is no need for the prelate to reduce the number of people in a given rank except if the House is downgraded to Minor status or when a House loses Ruling House status.
  • The wishes of the prelate - The House leader has total control over who occupies what rank. He is not forced to promote anyone who is eligible for promotion and neither does he have to fill a rank even though there is room to do so. He can rearrange the roster as he sees fit. However, when deciding on promotions he may well want to take the advice of his top-ranking officer in an order or even leave all the decisions to him. Similarly, no character is required to occupy a higher rank than he wishes.

The character's rank is what determines his guild title. The guild title will be in the form 'rank title of House', using the House's full name, six letter abbreviation, or four letter abbreviation as appropriate. For rank six titles, the House name is omitted. Characters are also referred to as 'name of House'.
The following tables show the various orders and the titles and requirements for each rank: -

Mage Order
  Min Guild Title  
Rank Skills MageNecromancer Arcanist Maximum per House
VI 240 IpsissimusOne (Ruling House only)
V 235ArchmageOne (Greater Houses only)
IV 230MagusSorcererEnchanter One
III 225AdeptusWarlockEvocator One per ten House members (or part thereof)
II 220WizardNecromancerDruidUnlimited
I -ConjurerWitchIncanterUnlimited

Military Order
 MinGuild Title 
RankSkillsWarriorArcherSamuraiMaximum per House
VI240Marshal of GilfaneShogunOne (Ruling House only)
V235SeneschalDaimyoOne (Greater Houses only)
III225LieutenantRonin One per ten House members (or part thereof)

Bardic Order
 MinGuild Title 
RankSkillsBardMaximum per House
VI480 Gilfane LaureateOne (Ruling House only)
V360LaureateOne (Greater Houses only)
III230Skald Unlimited

Tamer Order
 MinGuild Title 
RankSkillsTamerMaximum per House
VI360The Grand TamerOne (Ruling House only)
V360Dragon Lord One (Greater Houses only)

Craftsman Order - Requirements
RankSkillsVendors OwnedMaximum per House
VIPrimary and four other crafting skills at maximum FiveOne (Ruling House only)
VPrimary and three other crafting skills at maximumTwoUnlimited (Greater Houses only)
IVPrimary and two other crafting skills at maximumOneUnlimited
IIIPrimary and two other crafting skills at maximum- Unlimited
IIPrimary skill at maximum-Unlimited
IPrimary skill at less than maximum-Unlimited

Craftsman Order - Titles (I)
VIGrand Merchant
IVArcheusArmourerCabinetmakerGourmet SkipperBowcrafter
IIISageWeaponsmithWoodcarverEpicure BosunBowmaker

Craftsman Order - Titles (II)
VIGrand Merchant
IVEmpowererForestalFoundrymanIlluminatorCouturier Artificer
IIIInfuserForesterQuarrymanCalligrapherSartor Jewelsmith

The Ruling House
Throughout its history, one House has tended to come to the fore and dominate Gilfane town and all its peoples whether by military or intellectual might, sheer weight of numbers, wealth, desire or any combination of these. This House is known as the Ruling House, and its members enjoy certain benefits of status over others. These benefits include: -
  • Special titles - The Ruling House is allowed to appoint level six ranks, assuming any minimum requirements for the rank are met.
  • Higher guild rank - In nominal guild rankings, members of the Ruling House are considered superior to those members of other Houses of the same rank level.
  • Respect - During (game speech) conversation, all Gilfane members, including the Keeper, should refer to the prelate of the Ruling House as 'Great Lord' or 'My Lord'.
  • Leadership - In the temporary absence of the Keeper, the prelate of the Ruling House takes command of his duties.
  • Precedence - The members of the Ruling House are given first choice or preferential treatment in certain matters [that is, things of a roleplay nature rather than any materialistic ones].
  • Choice - Where decisions of a non-critical nature are required (for instance, where to hold a meeting), the Ruling House may be asked to choose.

Determination of the Ruling House is done by way of a contest. The precise format of the contest will vary over time, but each House will score points in a number of different categories which may include population, treasury donations, buildings within Gilfane city-state, military and maritime performance, and monster hunting ability. The score for each House is then totalled and the Great House with the highest is recognized as the Ruling House. If a tie occurs, precedence goes to the guild with most characters. If there is still a tie, the Keeper determines which is granted the title. The scores of all the Houses are noted as this determines the ranking order of the Houses. Great Houses always outrank Minor ones.

If at least ninety days have passed since the last contest to determine the Ruling House, the leader of any other Great House may challenge for supremacy. If it has been fewer than six months since the last contest, such a challenge requires the backing of a second Great House. Once a valid challenge has been made, the Keeper shall, in consultation with the Landsraad, make arrangements for a new contest, giving sufficient notice so that all parties can fully prepare themselves.
Absolute Guild Ranking
Whenever it is desired do determine an individual's order of precedence in the guild, the following order applies: -
  1. The Keeper of the Hall
  2. The prelate of the Ruling House, followed by the prelates of all other Great Houses in ranking sequence.
  3. The highest ranking member of the Ruling House's preferred order.
  4. Rank six members of the Ruling House in order preference.
  5. Rank five members of the Ruling House in order preference.
  6. The highest ranking member of the each Great House's preferred order, in House ranking sequence.
  7. Rank five members of the second ranked Great House, in order preference.
  8. As (vii), but other Great Houses in ranking sequence.
  9. Prelates of Minor Houses in ranking sequence.
  10. Rank four members of the Ruling House, in order preference.
  11. As (x), but members of other Houses in House rank sequence.
  12. As (x-xi), but with rank three followed by rank two then rank one.
  13. Postulants

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