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[ERROR] No.9649475 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

A pet peeve of mine, /tg/, if you will indulge me.

Thieves Guilds.

Did they ever exist in history, do you think they have some semblance of plausibility or are they as retarded as the whole "hurr durr we're criminals but we'll have a widely recognizable base in which we'll gather all our leaders so that, you know, the forces of law will totally not have it easy if they decide to strike" sounds to me?

>> No.9649483

The mafia.

>> No.9649499

While there are examples in reality where this is the case, I can't help but agree with you.

*One* Thieves' Guild? Shouldn't there be like, fucking dozens? Criminals are never that united.

>> No.9649500

Organizations of thieves have always existed.

>> No.9649501


Because criminals really are much better behaved once they unionize.

>> No.9649502

Team Rocket?

>> No.9649506


>> No.9649524

Good afternoon, OP.

>> No.9649538

Italy, 2010.

>> No.9649544

Are you seriously doubting the historical authenticity of organized crime?
What the fuck is wrong with you?

>> No.9649552

Originally thieves guilds were more like spy networks.

>> No.9649558

Christian church.

>> No.9649562

>entire country is massive guild of thieves

This has campaign possibilities...

>> No.9649574

Robin Hood would be a less historical example.

Organized bandits could count.

The Mafia.
IRA too, if you count liberators terrorists as thieves.

>> No.9649593

Throughout history there have been organizations of organized criminals, and there have often been places known as their hangouts, though I can't think of any that have had the audacity to referred to themselves literally as thieves. Usually it's 'family' or 'brotherhood' or something of that nature. The thieves' guild trope was started, I do believe, by Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.

It's worth noting that in Japan, up until very recently (possibly even now), the yakuza would maintain very public offices, even with the names of the 'employees' posted there, so that people could come and get crooked loans and the like. Police just politely ignored them.

>> No.9649594

A guild was a measure of common training, wasn't it? You go through vocational training in a skill, to a set standard.

So a thieves guild is entirely feasible, albeit somewhat odd in concept. More likely a criminal gang, or criminal organisation.

>> No.9649644

As others have noted, it certainly did happen.

Not as fancy or played up as all that though. I bet a lot of it is just a bunch of assholes with mutual interests meeting behind the chicken coop or in a kitchen at one of their houses.

>> No.9649649

Actually, the "mafia" is a pretty good example here too. The mafia that everyone refers to when they use that word is the Sicilian organized crime ring Cosa Nostra. However, there are many other such groups in various regions of Italy such as the Camorra of Campania, 'Ndrangheta of Calabria, and the Sacra Corona Unita in and around Apulia.

>> No.9649666

Successful organised crime is structured like a business, albeit one that trades outside the law.

Most really successful outfits use dirty money to buy up legitimate business, and then shift into everyday trading.

>> No.9649673

I completely understand the concept of thieves guilds, but historically, they never had recognizable 'guild halls' or 'bases'. Take the Mafia for example. Every time they had a meeting, it was at a different restaurant that they owned, always chosen right before the meeting and relayed through messengers to the intended attendees. They never built 'fortresses' or 'bases', and they never flaunted their wealth or success. in fact, it's documented that the law had an easier time catching the crooks who flaunted their money than it did with the ones who kept it subtle. IIRC, Capone was busted by the IRS on tax evasion charges, never by the FBI or local law that had been chasing him for a decade. More importantly, the illusion of poverty makes it easier to recruit poor citizens through a veil of sympathy. It's easy to bolster your ranks when the people you're recruiting think you're one of them. The few mafia bosses who did flaunt their wealth did it in a way that attracted little notice, they established cover identities and lived double lives, one day hob-nobbing with bank presidents and captains of industry, then that night ordering their goons to rob those same people they were having lunch with earlier in the day. They maintained these identities and operated primarily through messengers, double-blind message drops, and patsies to take the heat for them.

>> No.9649674

I'm sorry, I must have wrote that wrongly. It's not the authenticity of organized crime I'm doubting so much as the fact that you always see "that's the Thieves' Guild, and that one is the head" similar to, you know, all the other guilds that reunite proper jobs, though. It's like thieves are some kind of cool cats that can have a public facade and can't be touched by whatever law-keeping force there is.

>> No.9649728

People might be aware of criminal types in their midsts, if only to avoid them. But yes, any place where the head of the thieves guild is strolling about town being a celebrity then either there is a fault with the game, or the local law is in the pocket of the gang.

>> No.9649770


Technically, no. The Catholic Church applied pretty well however.

>> No.9649778


Fair enough.

In that case, yes, it's still plausible, but it's still a trite and overplayed convention. Situations like the one you're describing indicate a situation where the local criminals are a real, uncontested authority (Yakuza beign a good example: see >>9649593 ). This happens either when 'legitimate' government is very week (there has to be a reason for this), or when legitimate government has a reason to accept the guild's presence (also has to be a reason for it- it could be that the local authority is simply very corrupt, or it could be that the 'guild' prevents freelance crime which would otherwise be a much more serious problem).

>> No.9649870

Why are you bitching about the plausibility of a Terry Pratchett concept?

>> No.9649873

Organized crime becomes very powerful when it is allowed to monopolize a significant market. Prohibition-era gansters, mexican drug cartels, etc, etc.

tl;dr if you're overusing thieves guilds, you can probably justify it by putting more drugs in your game world.

>> No.9649913

>you always see "that's the Thieves' Guild, and that one is the head" similar to, you know, all the other guilds that reunite proper jobs
I don't know, man, I can't really think of any piece of literature that plays it out that way.

Every example I can think of has it so that most people in town have no idea who the leader of the thieves guild is (possibly they know his pseudonym), and you have to go through the lower members and work your way up before you can actually meet the leader in person.

And the people who do automatically recognize the leader for who he is are usually the seeder type with lots and lots of connections.

>> No.9649938

>implying terry pratchett invented the thieves guild concept and didn't take it as an homage/parody from lankhmar

>> No.9649950

Gangs like the Cosa Nostra, Camorra, Triads and Yakuza are modern thieves' guilds. They have a wider range of things they do, but the thieves' guild, assassins' guild, and other things normally in their range operate in similar fashion.

>> No.9651294

Italy, or so I hear. Tax evasion is the national paasttime, and de facto governance is identical to renaissance italy, with regional despots (who were OK guys).

>> No.9651381

Most Theives Guilds are meant to be secret, hidden behind closed doors and legitimate businesses.

In terms of RPGs, it can just be an issue of DMs being lazy.

>> No.9651453

there were also organizations called thieves guilds where thieves were tolerated in exchange for spy services to the local lord
they were still hidden though, due to not wanting a pitchfork riot

>> No.9651485

Look into Renaissance Italy, where the Pope himself approved an assassination plot on the grounds that "nobody is killed", then, when one of the targets managed to survive, mobilized the army of Naples against them.

Sixtus was something of a douchebag.

>> No.9651512

>Implying most popes weren't douchebags

>> No.9651550

Given that his successor was Rodrigo Borgia, the guy who inspired The Prince...

You might be on to something here.

>> No.9651567

Thieves guilds were sometimes officially sactioned by rulers, acting as the first intelligence services, a sort of primitive CIA or KGB.

>> No.9651577

He was also the laser-pope in Assassin's Creed 2. Goddamn, that game was stupid as hell.

>> No.9651582

Then no. There hasn't been anything like that. Your DM is just being lazy.

>> No.9651645


>> No.9652496

Political scientist detected.

>> No.9653075


Fritz Leiber had a recognizable Thieves' Guild in his Lankhmar stories - the inspiration for the D&D trope I think.

Look up "Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser" for the archetypal Barbarian and Thief characters.

>> No.9655550

>>9649673I completely understand the concept of thieves guilds, but historically, they never had recognizable 'guild halls' or 'bases'.

Saddly I must disagree with you Magus O'Grady

Thieves guilds most certainly DID exist.

I'd like to point you to the Collegia of ancient Rome.

I'd suggest you watch the TV series Rome as well. In it two characters Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus become leaders of a Collegia in charge of all the crime in the a rione (urban region of rome, specifically the Aventine hill.

Collegia could function as guilds, social clubs, or funerary societies officially, but generally were either mechantile or criminal agencies. Point in fact is that frequently Collegia were used by people in rome to hire out killings, beatings, and robberies against political or business enemies.

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