#1 thieves guild detective agency

One of the bizarre tenets of many D&D campaign worlds is that the Thieves Guild is a legitimate government-sanctioned institution. Furthermore, performing non-Guild-sanctioned robbery is likely to get you in trouble.

This puts the Thieves Guild in an interesting position regarding your stolen property: either they stole it (in which case they know where it is) or they didn’t (in which case they’re interested in hunting down the freelance thief.) Either way, they’ll probably be able to return you your stuff, for the right price.

The Thieves Guild might easily develop into a legitimate stolen-property detective force open to the public.

Being part of the Thieves Guild Detective Agency might be a decent job for PCs – even good-aligned ones. You get to rob from robbers and rough up ruffians. You can mix bad-guy heists with good-guy heist investigations.

If, on the other hand, there’s a murder investigation? That’s a case for the Assassins Guild.

8 Responses to “#1 thieves guild detective agency”

  1. I like it. I could definitely see using this as a campaign premise!

  2. rainswept says:

    The idea of renaming Thieves to Police (or “The Nightwatch” or somesuch) and giving them new level titles while leaving all their abilities the same is something to consider.

    More, though, thinking about Guilds as a pillar of society made me think of having a Nobles Guild from whose members-in-good-standing all rulers are drawn. There is a lot of black comedy to be had from having your noble “family” made up from a baker’s dozen unrelated social climbers with specialties like Fawning, Currying Favour & so forth. If your campaign advances into a Renaissance-like period then perhaps a full-fledged Fawners Guild would split off :)

    At any rate, this Nobles Guild would have the same social standing & role as any other guild-the production & distribution of rulers, price & quality control, & suppression of “free range” nobility, making for interesting politics indeed.

  3. ranthoron says:

    I smell Pratchett!

  4. paul says:

    I do have a renaissance cempaign setting!

    So if the noble discovers that his “friend” is a card-carrying member of the Sycophant’s Guild, is he mad, or is it just a matter of course?

  5. […] This is a good idea for getting characters together: #1 thieves guild detective agency « Blog of Holding. […]

  6. Rowboat says:

    I’ve long wanted to play or run a game along roughly these lines. The premise I was thinking of amounted to upper crust patrons sponsoring teams of thieves to steal valuable works of art and the like back and forth from each other, as a kind of sport. That would have the nice side effect of providing a “sensible” explanation for why the target’s most valued possessions are protected by weird puzzle locks, oddly angled corridors, secret passages, etc., rather than by foot-thick steel walls with only one door and the best guards money can buy.

  7. David says:

    I agree with ranthoron, very Pratchett-like (in absolutely the best way possible!)

  8. paul paul says:

    It does seem kind of pratchetty. Who knows, the thieves’ guild responsibility to solve crimes might be spelled out by one of the thieves guild primary source novelists (pratchett or leiber). It does seem like a logical inference.

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