Some might claim there is a motion proposed which amounts to changing things around just for the sake of changing things around. This thread does not deal with that hypothesis.
There are a great multitude of intelligent and creative people about who might propose thousands of wonderful ideas. This thread does not deal with any such proposals either.
There may even be some who would derail this into some pessimistic rant of negativism and clarion call for obstructionism. This thread is not intended for said individuals, who are invited to start their own thread if they feel compelled to express their butt-hurt.
The purpose of this thread is to engage in an open a frank discussion on the cultural difficulties which may be inherent in closing the present guild-system and enacting a new one, completely divorced from character class/archetype. The question is not ``if?''. We consider that conclusion foregone for all purposes of this thread. We instead want to deal with the very real questions concerning the implications of such.
Every society is comprised of individuals of varying ages and competencies. The youth learn the traditions and expected modes of behaviour and the cultural norms and so one from their seniors. Sometimes this is learned tacitly via simple observation of examples of culturally desired/approved behaviour, and other times it is learned focally through personal infraction or by being witness thereof. Civil society, the city of Magnagora, has functioned along these lines for many years. Sometimes better than other times, but this seems to be a fair way of things. The civil society of Magnagora is not quite the same as the society of the many guilds within it, and therefore some difficulties ought to be addressed in order to more smoothly realize the expected transformation. No doubt each of the existing guilds can offer their own difficulties. Each of the various guilds should raise those issues specific to their own cases so we might best prepare a smooth way forward. Perhaps I should start?
Nihilism is an orthodox religion. Whence shall theological authority derive? Will the Infernal Demon Lords and Lady of Tainted Nil take a more active role over the many aethers? If that is the case, then what purpose is player-driven cultural content? If that is not the case, then how do we expect the junior Nihilists to properly learn what is and is not Nihilism if there is no established pool of senior Nihilists?
Nihilism is an orthodox religion. Is the Will of Unholy Nil open to wild interpretation/assertion by every Tom, Dick, and Harriet? If so, wither our culture? Where is our shared sense of values? If not, exactly who are empowered to educate the ignorant, and differentiate between the faithful and the false?
Nihilism is an orthodox religion. We could split the Demon Lords up among the various Guilds, granting to each sole theological authority, but then we would need more than three guilds. Since we already have five and five is considered too many by two, the problem is not solved. Which guilds would receive extra Demon Lords? Which Demon Lords would be shared by two guilds? Which Demon Lords will not be associated with any of the Guilds? How are these decisions justified, given a case can be made for any Demon Lord for any potential Guild imaginable?
Nihilism is an orthodox religion. Advancement as a fighter is simple; simply kill people. Advancement as a hunter is simple; simply kill denizens. Advancement as a Priest is simple; master the tenets of Tainted Nil and spread Their Dark Word via Sermons and Rituals both public and private (public preferred) as well as write essays on same. This last one has nothing to do with fighting or hunting prowess. Fighting is objective: either I was slain or I slew my opponent. Hunting is objective: either I am 80th level or I am not. Being a Priest of an orthodox religion is *entirely* subjective. Will the city as a whole decide my advancement? Will only my guild judge my oration? Will only my archetype judge my oration? If the city at large may vote, then how to deal with the very real condition where the majority are too ignorant to properly gauge one's oration one way or the other? If only my guild can vote, then by what spiritual authority can they claim the power to offer proper correction or approval, since my new guild consists of warriors and rogues just as easily as priests and wizards? If only my archetype can vote, then why are we dispersing Nihilists over many guilds when we already have a guild system founded on each archetype standing as judge of their own?
I am not at all opposed to divorcing one's vocation (archetype) from their political affiliation (present guild). I think the idea may offer tremendous promise. Being that sentiment as it may, we are forced to answer the above questions which deal with very real and very concrete issues on this expected condensation. No doubt each of the many Magnagoran guilds will likewise have specific issues to be addressed. Address them we must if we hope to smoothly complete the transition; otherwise we will find ourselves forced into a ham-fisted mechanic hastily devised.
I will attempt to follow with some ideas which, hopefully, will address the issues presented. I am not completely satisfied, but hopefully others may draw from them to find more perfect solutions. At the very least my follow-up will demonstrate the proper and optimistic attitude requested for this forum, and invite others to similarly express their concerns and solutions.