Forming up a guild
As I mentioned in the RIFT First Day FAQ, in order to form a guild, you need four other players and a guild charter, which is purchased from a Guild Charter Magistrate. For Defiants, the NPC is located just inside the main building in Meridan, while Guardians need to run around the back of the main building in Sanctum to the tavern, where Tyler the Bouncer keeps order. (Don't forget to pray at the shrine of Thontic on the right side of the tavern for a 30-minute intelligence and wisdom buff.)
Guild charters cost one platinum, so if you're just starting out, you might need to farm a bit before rallying the troops to form the guild. Once you purchase the charter, you can invite others to sign it, which you can do across zone. Complete the charter and you're up and running!
Guild quests and leveling
Right near the Guild Charter Magistrates are NPCs that offer three types of guild quests. Make sure to pick one up right away, because by completing these quests, you can level up your guild and earn some nice guild perks. One quest involves killing creatures from planar rifts and invasions; another tasks you with killing enemy players (at guild level 1 it sent us to the Black Garden); and the third was a dungeon quest that asked you to have a certain number of members complete a particular instance (for the Guardians at level 1, it was Realm of the Fae; for Defiants it was Iron Tomb). No matter your guild's playstyle, these quests are a great way to get members together from early on to focus on a guild goal.
When you complete the quest, you can turn it in and select another. These quests seem to have a refresh timer on them, so you can't immediately grab the same one you just completed.
The guild window
There are many handy tools in the guild window to help with guild management. Most of them will be familiar to MMO vets, but it's something that's often overlooked when a game launches, so it's nice to see that most of it is already there and working.
Hitting "G" will open the guild window, and from there, you have a list of options to view. Selecting "Info" allows you to type in a message of the day that will be displayed to members when they first log in. The "Quest" tab will show you which guild quest you're working on, and you have the option to track it in your quest list on the main screen. The "Log" window shows a listing of major milestones and events that happen in your guild.
The "Roster" window is pretty obvious, but one thing that's handy for guild leaders is the ability to click on a member's name and add an officer's note, which is helpful for keeping track of member alts or to clear up confusion about who a player is. Members can also click on their own names and add a note as well. I've been encouraging guildmates to use that as a way to communicate what crafting materials they might need if they're doing a lot of tradeskilling.
Guild "Perks" are attained by completing guild quests and leveling up your guild. There are two columns of perks, and you have a certain number of points to spend on each column. At the lower levels, perks include special buff banners, abilities that increase coin drops and rift rewards, tradeskill buffs, and even some PvP banners that give you short-term buffs. One of the handier perks is the guild rally flag, which allows you to purchase droppable banners that permit guildmates to port directly to the rally point.
Some of these perks do require the purchase of special consumables, so if your guild is short on coin, you might want to wait to select them. To use the rally banner ability, for example, you need to purchase the banner for 50 gold, and then everyone who wants to travel to it needs to be carrying a rally scroll, which costs 10 gold. (Guild consumables are found on the Guild Charter Magistrate.) Another handy perk, Call of the Ascended, gives you an out-of-combat raid rez with 10% health and mana. To use it, however, you need to have three planar charges, which you get from rift invasions. (You can see how many charges you have by mousing over the blue crystal on your character's target window in the upper left corner.)
Lastly, the "Ranks" window has 10 different customizable ranks to help organize your roster. You can rename them and then select which permissions you want to assign to each rank.
Overall, the guild tools are great, but there are two that I'd still like to see. One is a guild bank, and according to forum posts from the developers, we'll be seeing that in game pretty soon. The other is the ability to send mail to the entire guild or by rank. I'm used to sending out guild mailings to keep people updated on guild goals, scheduled events, and handy tips and information. For now, I'm resigned to using the guild MOTD, but I'm hoping that eventually we'll see that added in game.
One last tip: Members of guilds that have rolled on the same server with sister guilds or alliances can create a chat window channel window by typing /join. You can also password protect it as well. (Check the Ultimate Macro Guide on the official forums for a nice list of channel commands to moderate.) It's a handy way to keep the lines of communication open in game if you don't have a multi-guild voice server and want to chat with friendly guilds.
Do you have a guild problem that you just can't seem to resolve? Have a guild issue that you'd like to discuss? Every week, Karen Bryan takes on reader questions about guild management right here in The Guild Counsel column. She'll offer advice, give practical tips, and even provide a shoulder to lean on for those who are taking up the challenging task of running a guild.