Freelance Theives

Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar setting, home to the legendary Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, is the first officially licensed setting for the DCC RPG.

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Freelance Theives

Post by dan.frohlich »

I've started running a Lankhmar game and I'm 4 sessions is. The PCs have encountered and soundly defeated several small teams of Guild thieves at this point. One of the PC is an Accepted Guild Thief. Another player is joining us and he also wants to play a Freelancer but does not have the _Accepted Freelance Thief_ Bennison so that got me thinking...

How does the guild deal with PC Thieves (Freelancers and otherwise)?

The Bennison _Accepted Freelance Thief_ give a guideline for a thief with that Benison.

How do I deal with a PC thief who wants to join the guild?
* Does the guild get a cut of every job similar to the A.F.T.?
* Does the guild require flat dues?
* Does the guild require service hours ( guarding Thieves house, other duties)
* Does the guild provide jobs?

How Do I deal with Freelancers who are not accepted?
* How much trouble does a PC have to generate before he catches the attention of the Guild?
* How does the Guild typically respond to Freelancers?

Does the guild treat PCs of other classes any differently?
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Re: Freelance Theives

Post by TazarYoot »

I was wondering this same thing, I’m having a hard time conceptualizing exactly how to run the thieves guild and how they’re presence will effect the PCs I want to make the 4 point benison of Accepted Freelance Thief be a worthwhile and how to treat those who aren’t accepted. How hard would it be to just join the guild what are the pros and cons?
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Re: Freelance Theives

Post by michaelcurtis »

First things first: However the Thieves' Guild works and treats freelance thieves in your DCC Lankhmar game is the right way. Ignore anyone else telling you otherwise.

But, if you're adamant about running a literary style campaign that hews closely to Leiber's stories, here's some suggestions based on the established canon:

The Thieves' Guild doesn't take kindly at all to unsanctioned "freelancers" which means anyone who commits any sort of larcenous crime in Lankhmar is subject to the death penalty. The Guild will hunt them down and make an example of these "illegal thieves" using whatever means it deems necessary. The only way to avoid this is to either become an Accepted Freelancer (the 4-point boon) or make it so cost-inefficient for the Guild to trouble with you. If you regularly kill the goons the Guild sends after you to murder you, eventually the Guild might decide it's cheaper to turn a blind eye to your actions. Or, if you want to go the route Fafhrd and Mouser did, you can always make a direct attack on Thieves' House and hope to murder a bunch of thieves as a counter argument to why the Guild should leave you alone. Until you're accepted or at least deemed too much trouble to handle, the Guild--one of the most powerful organizations in Lankhmar--wants you dead. That's the reason it's a 4-point benison.

If somebody wants to join the Guild, they're basically saying they're giving up adventuring for a regular job. Guild thieves work according to what their masters want done and aren't likely to let the PC go traipsing about doing whatever they please. This is fine if everyone is a Guild Thief and you're running that style of campaign, but it becomes problematic if you have a mixture of Guild thieves, freelancers, and illegal thieves in the party. At the very least, the guild thieves will have to try and kill any illegal thieves or find themselves on the outs with the guild. This is the reason that DCC Lankhmar basically assumes the PCs are not going to be members of the Thieves' Guild and that Accepted Freelancer is the best possible solution.

The Guild will technically allow any male into their ranks and doesn't necessarily require them to be of the thief class. Warriors will be used as muscle and wizards as magical back-up. They normally outsource such roles to the Slayers' Brotherhood or the Sorcerers' Guild, but if they have that talent in house, they'll use it. Women are traditionally not allowed membership in the Guild, but accepted freelancers are tolerated as are paramours of guild masters and the like. Hey, don't blame me. I'm just reporting what the Guild allows. Of course, things might be different in your Lankhmar and if you have a mixed gender or all female gaming group, feel free to ignore that bit of canon.

If a PC is a member of the Guild, assume the Guild takes at least 75% to 90% of anything they earn and holding out on the Guild is a quick way of cutting your own throat. Regular non-criminal service is required. Maybe the guild thieves have one night off a week if they're lower status members. But, on the upside: free room and board in Thieves' House. I'd assume that yearly dues are taken out of their earnings, but the judge can assign a flat yearly amount they might have to pay as well. I would, because I'd try to make being a guild thief as unattractive to players as possible unless it was an all-Guild member campaign.

Illegal freelancers are likely to be noticed pretty quickly if they commit crimes on a regular basis. The Guild has eyes everywhere. If you want a mechanic, have the PC with the worst luck make a Luck check after each crime. On a failure, someone associated with the Guild noticed them and reported them to Thieves' House. The Guild immediately starts looking for them and, once found, the parade of assassins and ambushes begin. On a successful Luck check, the PC(s) get away without being noticed, but each subsequent crime increased the Luck check die by +1d (so d24, d30, etc.). Eventually, the party's luck runs out and the Guild brings the hammer down.

I think that covers everything you two brought up, but feel free to ask more if I missed anything. Remember that a new PC can always spend Luck to buy a benison they didn't roll if a player wants to be an Accepted Freelancer. If you have an established group and nobody has that benison, but you want to give them some leeway to engage in crime without always looking over their shoulder for the Guild, you can always have the Guild approach them with some task they can't risk using official guild thieves to perform. If the party succeeds, they'll all be treated as accepted freelancers and gain the benison for free.
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Re: Freelance Theives

Post by catseye yellow »

great. this goes straight into my lankhmar folder!
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