Welcome to the wonderful world of Neopian Guilds! This comprehensive guide will show you everything you need to know about joining, managing and participating in a guild. They may look scary at first, but you'll soon see that guilds can be fun and exciting places to spend one's Neotime - as long as you know the rules!
What is a Guild?
A Neopian guild is a formal club or group of users, often with a central theme. They provide places to socialize, meet other Neopians and partake in guild activities. For example, an avatar guild might run an avatar lending program, or a battlers' guild would organize intra-guild battles. Many guilds' themes aren't related to Neopets, such as anime or television shows, and many more aren't themed at all.
Joining a Guild - Yes or No?
Like every other activity on Neopets, joining a guild is entirely voluntary. Many users choose not to join guilds for various reasons - but the choice is totally up to you.
Advantages / Pros
The advantages of belonging to a guild include:
- Socialising opportunities
- Activities (avatar lending, battling etc.)
- A place to learn about Neopia
- Badge of identity; a sense of belonging
- Faerie Quest help (though this depends on the guild, of course)
Disadvantages / Cons
Of course, guilds aren't for everyone. Here are some frequently cited reasons why.
- Can be time-consuming, especially for casual players
- Expectation that members are active and frequent contributors
- Can be a source of unnecessary drama and clique-ness
Keep in mind, though, that you are free to leave a guild at any time.
Global Guild Rules
- No offsite linking. This is a big one. TNT have stated in this editorial that occasionally mentioning the names of well-known help sites (such as Jellyneo) is usually let slide, but actual linking is not permitted. If your guild chooses to set up an offsite webbie (see below), it cannot be directly linked to anywhere on your guild board.
- No contests with prizes of any kind. If you choose to organize a competition, you cannot offer a Neopoint prize. You can read more about this in Neopets' Terms and Condition - FAQ. Banners and bragging rights are okay. This rule was put in place to avoid scams.
- If you choose to set up a guild account, all guild business must be conducted on that account. A guild account is where you can host things like a guild shop and guild auctions. It is not compulsory to have a guild account and indeed, many guilds function perfectly well without one. Such accounts are considered side accounts and can only be accessed by one person. If you set up such an account, you will be held responsible for whatever happens on that account. The profits from the shop and trades must go directly to the guild and be used only for guild purposes (though you can't have raffles or prizes, so really, what would you use it for?) - otherwise it is seen as profiting from multiple accounts.
- No item pooling. This means that the guild members cannot pool their money in order to buy an expensive item, such as a paintbrush or an avatar item. Item pools are considered a scam by TNT and many people have fallen victim to unscrupulous collectors in the past. Better to keep your Neopoints in the bank!
A Note Regarding Guild Webbies
Some guilds, in addition to the Neopets guild board and petpages, have elected to set up offsite guild forums and suchlike, which is permitted by TNT. These are considered by TNT to be fansites and as such have no affiliation with the Neopets site itself. They also cannot be directly linked to on guild boards (or anywhere, for that matter). It does end up being somewhat of a catch-22: you are permitted to set up offsite guild forums, but you are not allowed to link to them or direct members there. Most guilds find it all too much work and instead host their guild information on petpages.
Guilds and Side Accounts
You MAY either join or create a guild on any of your side accounts. As far as guild shops go, TNT have stated that you CAN have a donation shop on one of your side accounts, although any proceeds made from that shop belong to the guild as a whole and not the individual who hosted the shop. As for why you would even need a guild shop, TNT suggested you could use the Neopoints to buy an advert for the guild on the Notice Boards; so long as you don't use them for a giveaway (which is against the rules anywhere on the site) or to break the rules in any other way then what you do with them is up to you. Personally, though, the whole subject is a very messy area in regards to what is and isn't allowed so I would advise you to stay well away from guild donation shops of any kind.
Finding and Joining a Guild
So you've decided to join a guild? Good for you! There are a couple of ways to go about finding the perfect guild. Remember that not all guilds suit all people, and you are free to come and go.
There are two main ways of finding a guild: the guild search and the Guilds Neoboard. You can search by keyword or guild name, or browse the neighbourhoods if you aren't quite sure what you want yet. Be sure to choose a guild that is reasonably active, though - nobody likes a dead guild!
Alternatively, you can head on over to the Neoboards - there is a Guilds one specifically for this purpose. Most, if not all, threads here are either by guild seekers or guild advertisers. Occasionally, avatar- and battle-related guilds will advertise for members in the Avatar Chat and Battledome Chat, respectively.
Guilds can be either public or private. Public guilds will show up in the guild search listing, enabling new members to find and join them easily. They can also be seen by clicking on the 'Guild' link on members' userlookups.
Private guilds, on the other hand, are completely secret. They will not appear in searches and links to them cannot be clicked on. (Well, they can, but all you will get is an error message.) The only way to join one of these guilds is to be given an invite by an existing member.
Enjoying a Guild
Now that you have found and joined a guild, you will naturally wish to know how it works and what you can do there. At left is the regular guild panel that everyone in the guild will see.
Guild councils are comprised of five people who help run the guild. They are given special ranks and are listed at the top of the panel. Some guilds have first and second councils, but only the five members of first council are individually recognised in the guild system. As you can see, this guild has a few vacancies. By clicking on 'Apply for Position', you are taken to an application form where you can write a few words on why you would make a good council member.
Fairly self-explanatory. This is the rank you hold in the guild. This rank is also displayed on your userlookup.
- Home: Takes you to the guild home page.
- Messages: The guild message board. Here, members can chat, post things of interest and generally interact with the other members of the guild. These are subject to the same content rules as the Neoboards. Guilds often have their own by-rules about what can and cannot be posted on their boards (spam etc.) but these are outside of TNT's jurisdiction.
- Calendar: Where members can post upcoming events. You can set the time and date of the event, as well as whether it is a Good Thing, Bad Thing, Birthday, Reminder or Meeting. These events are viewable by all members.
- Members: A list of all the members in the guild. They are sorted according to rank, then by number of posts on the guild message board. A blue star next to a member's name indicates that they have admin powers.
- Invite: Where you can send a guild invitation to another user. Note that it is possible to turn invites off, so the user may not receive it. Be careful not to send out invites randomly as it is considered spam.
- Link: Gives you a link to your guild, which you can copy and paste if needed.
- Leave Guild: If you wish to leave your guild for whatever reason, you can click here to remove yourself from the membership lists. (This option does not show up if you are the guild leader - you must quit leadership first before leaving.) This action cannot be reversed - however, if your guild is public you are free to promptly rejoin. Note that this is not a method of simply navigating away from the guild - clicking here means you're gone for good!
A simple poll option, asking the guild's opinion on various matters. The content of the poll is completely up to council - it may be a serious question or something a bit silly, as in the example above. To vote for an option, click the relevant circular radio button on the left. When you're done, click 'Vote'. You will then be taken to a results page, showing you how others in the guild have voted.
To start a poll, you must have access to the guild poll admin. From there you can fill out your question and the answers and where it will be displayed. Your poll will then need to be activated in order to show up! To delete your poll, click on the 'delete poll' button, and you can then start a new one.
Displays the number of page views the guild has had, as well as the number of members and posts on the guild message board. It also lists the date on which the guild was founded.
Creating a Guild
If you feel so inclined, you can always create your own guild. It's not as hard as you might think!
- Navigate to the Guilds home page.
- Click 'Create New'.
- Fill in 'General Guild Info'. This includes such necessities as the guild name, location, description and welcome message. All of these, with the bizarre exception of the location, can be changed after the guild is created. The guild name must be unique - no two guilds can be alike!
- Choose your guild colours. This is where you can input custom CSS for the guild homepage (ie. the first thing people see when they are linked directly to your guild). Though custom CSS is beyond the scope of this article, there are several excellent petpage guides around to help you. Kitty's HTML help comes strongly recommended, and though it is written with userlookups in mind, many of the concepts carry over to guilds as well. JN also has a list of hex colour codes for use.
- Set up your guild hierarchy. The five council spots will be filled by members of your council, who will help you run the guild. Only one person can hold each council spot. The five member ranks can each be held by an unlimited number of people. Feel free to be creative with your rank names! Keep in mind they will show up on userlookups as 'RANK in GUILD NAME' - things like 'hiding in Sloth's Nefarious Lair' add a bit of interest to your guild.
- When you're satisfied, click 'Create'. Note there are many more guild customisation options available when you have created your guild. Remember, everything (except, for some reason, the guild location) can be changed later.
And there you have it! Your very own guild!
Managing a Guild
Once you have created your guild, you'll obviously need to know how to maintain it. This section is also applicable for those of you who are council members in your guilds or have admin powers.
On your guild homepage, have a look at the 'Admin' section on the bottom-left of your screen. (You may need to scroll down.) These are the tools that enable you to manage every aspect of your guild. If you are a council member, you may see only some of these depending on what your guild leader has enabled.
- Guild Layout: Here, you can change the guild layout and change the guild name, keywords etc. These are the preferences you set when the guild was first created.
- Guild Members: This is also a complete list of all the guild members. Unlike the public one, however, you can click on a member's username to change their rank and admin powers. You can also delete and block members here. Be careful with the block option, though - it is permanent and cannot be undone!
- Guild Council: Here, you can see all applications for council that have been submitted. If you choose 'Accept', that person will automatically be promoted to the position for which they applied. You will need to go to Guild Members (see above) and change their admin powers yourself, though. If you click 'Reject', the application will be deleted.
- Guild Board: If you can see this option, you also have guild board moderation powers. This is where you can mass-delete old guild board posts, as well as those by a specific user.
- Guild Poll: This option allows you to create and edit a guild poll. You can use it for all sorts of purposes - from selecting an activity, to voting, to asking members' favourite colours.
To set up a poll, follow these steps:
- Click 'Guild Poll.'
- Fill in the question and up to five choices. You must select at least two. You can also choose whether to display the poll on the guild homepage or on the sidebar. When you're done, click 'Create.'
- Click 'here' to activate. When you have done so, you'll see the outline of your poll for double-checking purposes. Choose the 'active' radio button at the top and click 'update'.
Your poll is now posted!
You can also send Guild Mailers to members who have the Mailers enabled for their account. When you compose a new message, clicking on the NeoFriend dropdown box will give you the option to send to all guild members. NOTE: This feature is often 'temporarily offline.' There is no time of day when it is guaranteed to work, you just have to keep checking back until it lets your message go through.
Once your guild is set up and you have attracted some members, the next logical step is to put on a few activities to keep everyone entertained. Here are a few ideas - but remember, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and TNT's Guild Rules.
- Avatar Lending: Many guilds run an avatar lending scheme where the guild lends out avatar items to members. As stated above, members cannot pool their funds to buy an avatar item as it is considered a scam. (You may ask, 'But what about a guild shop?' Donating to the guild via a guild shop and having the guild itself buy the item appears to be okay. It is somewhat of a grey area, though, so if you are in any doubt it's best to keep your Neopoints in your pocket.) Guilds often have their own rules about who can borrow certain items - these are not TNT rules and are not enforceable by TNT monitors.
- Adoption Agency: Where a guild member (or two, or three, or... you get the idea) rescue poor, abandoned pets from the pound and zap them with the Lab Ray until they turn pretty colours. The agency then either offers the pets for adoption or re-pounds them, in the hope that less well-off Neopians will be able to obtain the pet of their dreams.
- Guild Battles: You'll find these mostly in Battledome guilds. Simply a series of 2-player battles organised between guild members. Often competitions and leagues are formed between several guilds.
- Guild Newspaper: If your guild is home to a couple of budding Neopian Times hopefuls, you might want to consider setting up a guild newspaper. It could feature articles, member spotlights, donation drives, you name it!
- Guild Games/Plots: If you're after a simple, no-fuss event, there's nothing like a game of good old Mystery Pic. Perhaps you could even write a puzzle plot featuring guild members - the sky's the limit! Remember that no Neopoint (or Neocash, for that matter) prizes are permitted.
Finding Out More About Guilds
If you would like to find out more about guilds, feel free to check out the Neopets help section or the Guilds Neoboard. There are lots of people there who are happy to answer any of your guild-related questions.
Good luck, and happy guilding!
This article was written by: Torratz