Player-Run Adventurer's Guild
This is a project to allow DMs a fun side system for high-level PCs, without being cumbersome at the table. The central idea is to take variables readily available at the table and use an online calculator to generate a D100 table showing the chance of success for any given NPC adventuring team.
The calculator can be found here:
It works by using the shape of the tanh function to get the boundaries between outputs to squish together as they shift one way or the other, using a variable m determined by the following input variables:
- Level of the Mission - LM
- Average level of the party - LP
- Number of people called for by the mission - NM
- Number of people in the party - NP
- How well the party suits that mission - PP
- Reputation of the guild in that region - R
- Any situational bonus/penalty at DM's discretion - O
These are meant to be easily calculable at the table, see the Process section for details.
There are also a number of controller variables built in to help a DM easily adjust the odds. These include:
- Strength Factors (a), change the responsiveness of the system to changes in individual effects, or to changes in m overall
- Offsets (m), each outcome boundary is a separate tanh function, varying by offsetting each a given amount. Varying m moves boundaries closer together or further apart
- Steepnesses (k), change how slow or fast the boundary changes with respect to m. Changing these can let one outcome grow faster or slower than the others.
When I'm manipulating the controller variables I find it helpful to calibrate using the case where:
- LP = LM = 5 - You're generally experienced enough
- NP = NM = 5 - You're sending the right number of people
- PP = 4 - Most of the roles asked for are covered
- R = 0 - The region is neutral towards your party
- O = 0 - There are no special circumstances to consider
You can also change anything about the plotting that you like. Any changes you make and save (With a Desmos account) are saved separately.
Split your setting into Regions. Each Region has a reputation number to it, starting at 0. As agents complete missions, the guild's reputation may change in the region in which the quest was completed. This affects the odds of success of future missions in the region, as well as how NPCs treat your PCs as they do their own adventuring.
|40 ― 50||Helpful||Will take risks to help you||Protect, back up, heal, aid|
|10 ― 39||Friendly||Wishes you well||Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate|
|-9 ― 9||Indifferent||Doesn’t much care||Socially expected interaction|
|-39 ― -10||Unfriendly||Treats you with suspicion||Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch, insult|
|-50 ― -40||Hostile||Will take risks to hurt you||Attack, interfere, berate, flee|
Every so often, average out reputation scores between regions where word would spread between them, and where the difference in reputation is over 10 points.
For this section we'll be using the following example mission:
Find a Kidnapped Construct
Level 2 Mission:
1 Fighter, 1 Rogue, 1 Wizard
Critical Success: 1000gp + A magic item from Magic Item Table B + A small catlike construct
Success: 500gp + A magic item from Magic Item Table B
Mixed: 100gp + A magic item from Magic Item Table A
Failure: 100gp expenses
Failure Requiring Intervention: The kidnapper has also kidnapped a party member!
All but the results for a Critical Success the players know in advance. More missions can be found starting on page 3. A handout to help players govern their guild is available here:
Step 1 - The Agents
First, look at the agents in your guild and sort them into categories. I'm using the classic four D&D classes:
Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric
We use levels 1-5. These are separate to PC class levels but 1 level equates to about 2 class levels. A class-level 10 agent can't progress further from working for your guild.
Step 2 - Party Composition
Next, decide who will go on this quest. You may select as many as the mission asks for, as well as an extra 1. If an agent is paid per mission, they may be busy with other work, see Payment section for more on this.
For example, let's say you send:
Jozan, Level 4 Cleric
The most experienced of your guild, here to provide leadership to your underleveled team
Lidda, Level 1 Rogue
The least experienced, in need of the training
Mialee, Level 2 Wizard
A solid pick and reliable in these sorts of encounters
Nott, Level 2 Rogue
Decent in a fight but certainly no warrior
The average level of this team is (4+1+2+2)/4 = 2.25, Jozan's experience makes up for Lidda.
The appropriateness of this team is given by matching them to the example composition. Here we match the wizard and the rogue but not the fighter, so we have PP = 2 for that.
This mission takes place in Tinkertown, and let's say the guild has a Reputation of -3 there. There are no extenuating factors affecting success, so O is set to 0.
Step 3 - The Calculation
So we have the following input variables:
- LM = 2
- LP = 2.25
- NM = 3
- NP = 4
- PP = 2
- R = -3
- O = 0
Plugging these numbers into the calculator and reading off the results gives:
Find a Kidnapped Construct
|0-9||Failure Requiring Intervention|
Step 4 - The Roll
The players roll when the agent team returns, which may be functionally immediately, or may depend on the distance the team needs to travel or the difficulty of the mission. You may choose to show the players how their choices have affected the odds.
Step 5 - Experience
Now we need to allocate experience!
An agent needs 12 XP to level up, and receives 1XP for each entry in the following list that they accomplish:
|Is the mission's level within 2 of the agent's level?||1XP|
|Is the mission's level within 1 of the agent's level?||1XP|
|Is the mission's level higher than the agent's level?||1XP|
|Did the mission have a mixed result or better?||1XP|
|Did the mission have a successful result or better?||1XP|
|Was the mission a critical success?||1XP
This uses the agent's original levels, disregarding any levelling up. So for our example party, if they've had a Mixed Outcome:
Jozan gets 2 XP - Not much that he hadn't seen before
Lidda gets 4 XP - On the way to level 2
Mialee gets 3 XP - Less of a learning experience for her
Nott gets 3 XP - As above, all in a day's work
It is also at this point that agents are paid, if paid per mission.
There are two ways to pay your agents:
|On Retainer||Always available for missions||Costs money per day|
|Per Job||Only pay for missions they go on||May not be available|
This is the simplest model of payment, you may prefer to introduce more complicated pay negotiations. The following table gives the amount due to agents:
Rates of Pay
Fee per Day
If an agent is experienced and not on retainer, they may be taking other work. Roll their absence die to see if the agent is busy. On a 1, they are unavailable. You may not use them for this mission.
The magic item tables can be found in the Dungeon Master's Guide, pages 144 through 147.
A critical success is to be interpreted as deserving of the rewards of both the Success and Critical Success outcomes added together, though no individual reward (Gold, magic items, RP etc.) stacks if mentioned in both successful outcomes. You take the higher amount. RP means Reputation Points, see page 1.
On Critical Success:
Personally, I think the bonuses of a Critical Success should include something special and unique, including things like
- Additional agents or pets
- Specific magic item
- XP boosts
- Specific bonuses relevant VS a creature the agents fought
Using this myself, I keep the critical success rewards secret, lest the PCs spend table time doggedly pursuing any missed prize.
How to Make Your Own Missions:
So far I've been using the idea that, if all agents are paid per job, a successful guild mission outcome should give 2.5 times what it needs to pay its agents, and mixed outcomes should give 1.5 times what it needs to pay its agents. That's assuming all the recommended number of agents were sent, and they were all the same level as the mission. That's before any special rewards like magic items or RP are considered.
Deliver an Ultimatum
Level 1 Conflict Mission:
Tiefling woman Rieta Wist is having trouble with an ex-boyfriend, Sharius Faith, who will not leave her alone. She feels threatened and wants him scared away.
Critical Success: Sharius is so affected by the agent's words that he moves away to reflect on things. Rieta offers her locksmithing expertise should the party need it.
Success: Sharius is suitably shaken up and promises that Rieta will never hear from him again. 75gp + 3RP.
Mixed: Sharius seems to get the message after a brutal fistfight. 1 agent is injured for 2 days. -1RP + 50gp -25gp expenses to the tavern that hosted the brawl.
Failure: Sharius is unintimidated, and continues to stalk Rieta until he is arrested. -3RP + 1 agent is injured for 2 days. -25gp expenses to the tavern that hosted the brawl.
Failure Requiring Intervention: An apparent success with appropriate rewards, but a week later Rieta receives a very threatening letter from Sharius.
Keep the Peace at a Tavern
Level 1 Conflict Mission:
1 Cleric, 1 Fighter
The Second Bell, a local city tavern, has been having trouble with rowdy sports fans and hunters. Folk involved with the mob have been seen, and owner Jon Blythe wants a strong lawful presence to bring a sense of calm to the place.
Critical Success: Jon is so impressed that he offers the agents part time jobs. Your agents are still available for missions, though must now be on a per-mission basis. His bookish daughter Robyn, never fond of the publican's life, takes the opportunity to apply with your guild as a level 1 Cleric.
Success: The pub has turned itself around. 75gp + 5RP.
Mixed: The rowdiest of the clientelle now drink elsewhere, but sales have taken a hit. 30gp + 1RP
Failure: The atmosphere in the pub has not improved, and Jon has decided to sell up. -4RP + 50gp expenses.
Failure Requiring Intervention: Your agents have managed to offend Pebbles, a huge Dwarf criminal. He vows to return to the pub with his boys and demolish it.
Deal with Unfavourable Rumours
Level 1 Intrigue Mission:
1 Fighter, 1 Rogue
A drunkard has been terrorising the Sweetwater Tavern in a local village for weeks, spreading ill rumors of your company. The drunkard, however, is the nephew of nearby Duke, and must be dealt with "delicately."
Critical Success: A ring worth 100gp is gifted to you by the drunkard + 5RP + The drunkard shares the scheduled stops for a supply caravan belonging to an enemy of the party.
Success: Your agents have successfully convinced the drunkard to keep quiet. You are gifted a silver trinket worth 500sp + 3RP.
Mixed: 20gp is taken from the drunkard - 2RP.
Failure: Your agents have lost their temper, publicly thrashing the drunkard. -100gp -8RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: The Duke is so offended at the way his nephew was treated that he's demanding a meeting with guild leadership!
Shop for Material Components
Level 1 Magic Mission:
Tactless local alchemist Nyx Fromswattem has been banned from entering the only shop in town that sells bat guano in the volumes she needs for research. She needs someone to go and fetch her some in large amounts.
Critical Success: The agents got her unbanned from the shop! Nyx gives you a crate of 5 regular healing potions as thanks.
Success: The agents have gotten a good price and delivered the material safely. 38gp + 2RP.
Mixed: The agents have been tricked into paying double to usual price. 15gp.
Failure: Your agent has managed to break their cart, spilling barrels of guano onto the street. -20gp -3RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: Your agent mistakenly bought the wrong type of guano, causing a dramatic alchemical mishap in Nyx's workshop.
Find a Hiding Mimic
Level 2 Conflict Mission:
Medium or larger agents count as their level -1 for this mission.
A small mimic has taken up residence in Odsel Murnig's antique shop, the White Elephant. While it's kept the rats under control, it has been growing and has started to bite people. It's time for it to leave.
Critical Success: A bond is formed between the mimic and the lead agent. Your guild now has a young mimic.
Success: The beast is found and dispatched. 60gp + 3RP + Odsel will happily perform cheap appraisals of antiques for the guild.
Mixed: The mimic is killed but many rare teapots are shattered in the fight. -3RP - 85gp
Failure: Lots of rare items were broken, but no mimic was found. -8RP -100gp
Failure Requiring Intervention: As Failure, the mimic got away. A week later people start disappearing in the shop.
Find a Kidnapped Construct
Level 2 Intrigue Mission:
1 Fighter, 1 Rogue, 1 Wizard
Clanky the construct has been kidnapped by a rival artificer and Rufus Frummagem needs help retrieving him.
Critical Success: A magic item from Table B + A small catlike construct
Success: Clanky is returned unharmed! 170gp + A magic item from Table A +2RP
Mixed: Clanky is rescued but is very badly damaged. 50gp + A magic item from Table A -2RP.
Failure: Rufus ends up having to pay the ransom. -50gp expenses
Failure Requiring Intervention: The party suspected the wrong wizard, who has kidnapped a party member and will begin experimenting on them within the week.
Build Siege Engines
Level 3 Conflict Mission:
4 Fighters, 2 Wizards
Additional Fighters can be sent over and above the additional 1, not affecting odds but increasing reward.
With all the unrest in the region, the general of a nearby kingdom has put out a call to all able builders. They must have new and more efficient ways to damage fortifications.
Critical Success: You improve the design so much that the Royal Engineers Corps offer their assistance and premises to aid in any large building project.
Success: Your agents manage to speed up the production of the engines significantly. 350gp + 10RP + 50gp per extra fighter sent.
Mixed: Your agents assist production, but are unable to improve upon the designs. 100gp + 4RP + 20gp per extra fighter sent.
Failure: The project runs long due to numerous failed designs and has to be abandoned with nobody getting paid. -20gp -8RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: The project runs long and the general has detained all the workers, suspecting sabotage by an enemy in disguise.
Investigate Kraken Rumours
Level 3 Conflict Mission:
1 Cleric, 1 Fighter, 1 Wizard
The Silverwind Trading Company has been losing ships on a previously prosperous route. They'd like to evaluate rumours of undersea beasts in the area before they update their charts.
Critical Success: There was a Kraken, there isn't anymore. +10XP for each agent, +15RP, the captain offers a single free return voyage in return for saving her life.
Success: The Kraken was tracked to its lair and studied safely. 370gp + 7RP
Mixed: A long time is taken to confirm the existence of the beast and some supplies were lost over the side. 100gp + 1 extra week needed + 2RP
Failure: The voyage was called off after 2 weeks due to getting lost, nothing learned. -80gp -5RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: Due to the agent's mismanagement the ship has run aground on a nearby island and need to be rescued.
Level 3 Conflict Mission:
A remote mountain town is building a militia to fight back Orcish incursions, and needs a seasoned fighter to go over basic moves, maintainence and discipline.
Critical Success: The militia quickly beats back the Orcs and becomes famous in the region. 200gp + level 2 Fighter Agent, Harsk Shieldbiter, joins your guild.
Success: The townsfolk are grateful for the training, arranging for another session in a month. 125gp + 10RP.
Mixed: The agent is unprepared for just how undisciplined they are. It's unclear if the training will stick. 50gp + 4RP
Failure: The agent arrived drunk and unprepared, the militia has returned them unpaid and embarrassed. -8RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: A band of Orcs attacked during training and are now holding the town.
Distract the City Watch
Level 3 Crime Mission:
2 Fighters, 3 Rogues
Dwarf crime boss Ogilvie Understone is planning a hit at the central bank of the capital city. He is asking you to assist by drawing the attention of a number of the guards on that night.
Critical Success: 1000gp + Ogilvie offers you a favour in return, to be called in whenever.
Success: The Understone robbery goes off without a hitch. 625gp + Ogilvie is impressed. No reputation loss is suffered.
Mixed: The Understone robbery goes off with minor trouble from the watch, but one of your rogues is arrested! Bail will take a week and cost 100gp. Ogilvie pays you 300gp. -8 RP
Failure: There are arrests made at the Understone robbery. 2 Rogues arrested, bail as above, -10 RP.
Failure Requiring Intervention: Ogilvie holds you personally responsible, and swears to run you out of town unless your party performs the robbery as planned and delivers the money.
Dissuade a Peasant Revolt
Level 3 Intrigue Mission:
2 Clerics, 1 Wizard
Reactionary nobles in a nearby region are fueling a revolt, threatening your political ally/client, Lord Heinrik. Dissuade their efforts, maintaining your positive reputation with the people.
Critical Success: Lord Heinrik is more popular than ever, working more closely with community leaders. +15RP + One noble shares rumors of the location of the lost Ring of Telekinesis (p.193).
Success: Your agents have successfully negotiated peace, increasing your reputation in the region. +10RP + 250gp + A magic item from Table C is gifted to you by Lord Heinrik.
Mixed: The underclass does not revolt but the situation remains tense. 100gp -3RP.
Failure: 100gp expenses + Heinrik's army must quell the uprising through military force, killing many and sullying your reputation among the people. -12RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: The situation descends into a full-scale revolt! Heinrik is scheduled to be hanged next week!
Put Forward a Candidate for Lieutenant
Level 5 Conflict Mission:
1 Cleric, 3 Fighters
The senior guards of a major trade city are taking names of prospective new lieutenants after the previous one died, retired or was arrested. This would be a fantastic opportunity for a warrior who's proven themselves.
Critical Success: Gwen Hammerfist, impressed by the agent's deeds, offers to adventure with your company on a per-mission basis. She is a level 4 Fighter.
Success: One Fighter agent becomes the new lieutenant of the guard and has access to increased power and influence, but cannot now be paid on retainer. +11RP
Mixed: One Fighter agent becomes the new lieutenant of the guard, but rumours of bribery and cheating follow them into the office, limiting their influence. +2RP
Failure: The job went to Gwen Hammerfist after a well-fought race. No dishonour in that. +5RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: The job went to Gwen Hammerfist after your agent drunkenly ranted at her in the street. -10gp - 8RP and you are called to answer for your agent's threatening behaviour.
Quell a Cult Uprising
Level 5 Conflict Mission:
2 Clerics, 3 Fighters, 1 Rogue, 1 Wizard
The Cult of the Brass Orb have taken up residence in the Quartzstone Caverns and are terrorizing nearby settlements, sacrificing villagers to their god, the Demon, Tremschuur. Send agents to quell the cultists and rid the region of their evil.
Critical Success: During interrogation, one cultist reveals the location of the Talisman of Ultimate Evil (p.207).
Success: The cultists are all slain and scattered. 1,000gp and a magic item from Table D are looted + 10RP.
Mixed: The cultists are scattered but cells are still active. 500gp and a magic item from Table B are recovered. -4 RP.
Failure: The cultists captured your agents and 500gp expenses must be paid to get them back + The cultists are so emboldened by their success that their order spreads to nearby towns, -8RP.
Failure Requiring Intervention: The cultists have managed to summon Tremschuur, threatening to wreak terror upon the region + Four agents are held hostage as bait.
Root Out Illithids
Level 5 Conflict Mission:
1 Cleric, 4 Fighters, 2 Rogue, 1 Wizard
An autopsy performed on a resident of major trade town Delf has revealled alienlike innards. There's no telling how widespread the infestation of Mind Flayers is, or what they're up to, only that it must be stopped.
Critical Success: The Elder Brain is afraid. Your agents return with a magic item from Table C. A Fighter agent can now teach the PCs how to strike Illithids effectively, allowing slashing and piercing weapon attacks to be made with advantage against them. +5XP for all agents.
Success: The cabal is dispersed and the local militia have been shown how to spot them. A Wizard agent now makes Intelligence checks relating to Illithids with advantage. 2,500gp and a magic item from Table B are recovered. +10RP
Mixed: The hive was found and set ablaze. It is impossible to know if every last one has been killed. One agent injured for a week, 1,200gp +5RP
Failure: The town is lost, nearby authorities are raising armies to try and undo the damage. Four agents injured for a week. -4RP
Failure Requiring Intervention: The town is lost, but nearby authorities don't know there's a danger. All agents injured for a week, some will need convincing to stay adventurers -7RP.
|Deliver an Ultimatum||Conflict||1||1||1||Yes|
|Keep the Peace at a Tavern||Conflict||1||1||1||2||Yes|
|Escort Noble on Journey||Conflict||2||1||2||3|
|Find a Hiding Mimic||Conflict||2||1||1||Yes|
|Build Seige Engines||Conflict||3||4||2||6||Yes|
|Investigate Kraken Rumours||Conflict||3||1||1||1||3||Yes|
|Map Ancient Sewer Tunnels||Conflict||3||1||2||3|
|Raid Orc Stronghold||Conflict||4||1||2||1||1||5|
|Rescue Trapped Miners||Conflict||4||2||3||1||6|
|Retrieve Ring from Gelatinous Cube||Conflict||4||2||1||3|
|Bolster City Guard Against Invasion||Conflict||5||1||8||2||11|
|Put Forward a Candidate for Lieutenant||Conflict||5||1||3||4||Yes|
|Quell a Cult Uprising||Conflict||5||2||3||1||1||7||Yes|
|Root Out Illithids||Conflict||5||1||4||2||1||8||Yes|
|Attack a Merchant Caravan||Crime||2||2||2||4|
|Lighten Purses at the Gala||Crime||2||1||1|
|Shake Down Businesses||Crime||2||2||1||3|
|Defeat a Safe||Crime||3||2||2|
|Distract the City Watch||Crime||3||2||3||5||Yes|
|Steal from the Hall of Records||Crime||3||2||2||4|
|Case the Joint||Crime||4||3||1||4|
|Clear off Rival Gang||Crime||4||1||2||2||5|
|Pull a Heist||Crime||4||2||5||1||8|
|Steal from Noble House||Crime||4||1||3||4|
|Thin the City Watch||Crime||5||2||4||1||7|
|Deal with Unfavourable Rumours||Intrigue||1||1||1||2||Yes|
|Track Down a Missing Cat||Intrigue||1||3||3|
|Bribe the Shipwrights||Intrigue||2||4||1||5|
|Impress Foreign Dignitaries||Intrigue||2||1||2||3|
|Find a Kidnapped Construct||Intrigue||2||1||1||1||3||Yes|
|Recover a Stolen Ring||Intrigue||2||1||1||2|
|Spy on Merchant Meetings||Intrigue||2||1||1||2|
|Break the Mob's Codes||Intrigue||3||1||2||1||4|
|Warn against Vampirism||Intrigue||2||3||3|
|Dissuade a Peasant Revolt||Intrigue||3||2||1||3||Yes|
|Establish New Merchant Guild||Intrigue||3||2||2||2||6|
|Place a Sleeper Agent in the Mob||Intrigue||3||2||4||6|
|Recover a Stolen Orb||Intrigue||3||1||1||1||3|
|Root Out a Fugitive||Intrigue||3||1||2||3|
|Impersonate a Lord for a Night||Intrigue||4||3||1||4|
|Steal a Noble's Identity||Intrigue||5||1||1||3||1||6|
|Shop for Material Components||Magic||1||1||1||Yes|
|Help Clean a Lab Mishap||Magic||1||1||1||2|
|Recruit for a Wizard College||Magic||1||1||1||2||4|
|Investigate Aberrant Infestation||Magic||2||1||1||2||4|
|Steal a Spellbook||Magic||2||1||1||2|
|Assist in New Spell Research||Magic||3||1||2||3|
|Fix Faulty Spellwork||Magic||3||2||3||5|
|Reverse a Scrying Attempt||Magic||3||2||2|
|Expose Cultist Spies||Magic||4||1||1||2||2||6|
|Produce a Dazzling Display||Magic||4||1||1|
|Trace Botched Teleportation||Magic||4||2||2|
|Produce a Miracle||Magic||5||1||1|
|Retrieve Ancient Artifacts||Magic||5||1||2||1||2||6|
Things I'm Thinking About
- Expand mission bank
- Look at using a custom calculator rather than Desmos
- Explore using a quirk system as an add-on
- Think about randomly generating missions
Thanks to u/AgentFyre for useful discussions, design input, and whole mission concepts, and to r/DNDBehindTheScreen, r/MattColville, and r/UnearthedArcana for valuable feedback
Changes Since V0.6:
- Brought Mission Bank into main System Document
- Re-worked experience system
- Increased retainer pay to 20% of per-mission amount
- Added ad-hoc variable O to let DMs give a nudge in either direction
Changes Since V0.5:
- Added section on agent payment
- Added page numbers & Misc. formatting & Rebranding
Contact & Credit
Message any feedback to u/Capsandnumbers on reddit. If you'd like to be kept updated, message me your email address and I'll send you updates as they occur.
No need to credit me, just keep my name on this document if you share it! If you really like this, here is a Ko-Fi account.
This system is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
Image Credit: Kicking Back - Ralph Horsley
© Wizards of the Coast LLC.