A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe (d20 Fantasy by Suzi Yee, Joseph Browning

By Suzi Yee, Joseph Browning

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Guilds Guilds provide structure and self-regulation in a city. Lords give cities the right to form guilds as listed in their charter. In the early days of the city, the guild replaces manorial obligation and organization in peasant society. Members of guilds pay dues and are subject to the guilds’ rules and regulations. Guild membership, in conjunction with oath taking, brings free peasants citizenship and all its benefits. Guilds also act as insurance policies. If a merchant or craftsman dies, the guild takes care of his family and gives him a proper burial.

This conflict creates vibrant, dynamic situations leading to interesting developments. 30 On the Magical Medieval City to have their own court, judges, and subsequently, their own jurisdiction, but usually do for larger urban communities. For more about justice, see Chapter Seven: On Those Who Rule. Taxes A lord usually grants his city rights to taxation on a limited scale. The most common taxation is trade taxes. Gates, fords, ports, and harbors become tax checkpoints for incoming goods. As merchants and tradesmen bring in goods, the city taxes them according to their wares.

Stockpiling Towns and cities stockpile food and supplies for emergency events, like war, siege, or famine. Sealed jars of grain, weapons, magic, and equipment are a few of the things cities stockpile. The stockpile is usually under the control of the city council, which leads to disputes and revolt if the peasants and citizens do not agree with the city council’s distribution system. Crime Crime is a constant companion of the city; the larger the city, the higher the incidence of crime. Most crime in cities is theft, not violent crime.

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