A guild is a gathering for like-minded folk who are an officially recognized group by the App.
Guilds are a group of people officially registered within the App whose members commonly unite under one primary ideology. Members of the Berserkers live to fight, those in the Missionaries wish to spread the message of love to others, and the rulers in the Tycoons wish to obtain power and wealth, and so on.
Guild names are important because it best advertises what the guild is about to others interested in joining. The template for guilds takes the name of a district within Tokyo and a noun that best describes the guild's philosophy. Examples include the Kamata Crafters, the Kabukicho Outlaws, and the Ueno Beast Tamers.
For an App user without a guild, some features on the App will be locked until they join one. While it’s not necessary to join a guild as an App user, it’s more convenient because of the benefits and features the App provides for a guild member. As the widely believed goal of the Game by most players is to take control over all 23 wards of Tokyo, joining a guild is more convenient and gives players a better chance at winning the Game as they have the support of fellow guild members to take and control a wider range of territory.
The primary goal of a guild in the initial stages of the Game is to expand and claim as much territory as the guild can handle. A guild’s territory is determined by the areas in between and around the Portals that are under their control, so the more Portals they control, the greater their territory is. Fights for control over Portals are done through App battles. If a guild loses control over all the Portals they own, they effectively hold no more territory and are out of the game, disbanding as a result.
As the Game progresses past its initial stages, the Three True Guilds reveal themselves and start taking widespread action. Compared to the other guilds, the power and might of the Three True Guilds is insurmountable; all the other smaller guilds will quickly begin to start losing control over their Portals. Guilds start to dissolve, and members are absorbed into the ranks of the big three. For many regular App users, individual guilds stop becoming a thing as the Game shifts from a territorial battle between many small factions into a war held between these three powerful forces.
The result of grouping together so many people into these collective groups is to establish a hierarchy over all Rules across all the players in Tokyo. Guild members’ Rules are placed as being higher or lower on the internal guild’s hierarchy depending on their position within the guild, and the winning guild would be able to establish their philosophy and Rules as superior over all others.
For the Three True Guilds that show up later in the Game’s lifespan, the guilds are a convenient way to split up the 23 World Representatives, the real players of the Game into 3 groups: seven in each true guild, and the remaining two in the Genociders. Instead of having an all-out battle between the Representatives, they can instead organize themselves into groups of seven to defeat the 2 other other groups of seven–a much simpler conflict. These guilds are not concrete however, and infighting within the Representatives can occur due to each Representative having their own agenda and goals. If one of the true guilds were to win over the other two, the Representatives within that guild may then point their weapons towards each other to claim victory for themselves.
Game Management Guilds
The Game has two guilds that act as its management that helps run the Game: the Game Masters and the Entertainers. The Game Masters’ role is to ensure the continuance of the Game for eternity across infinite loops and snuffing out any threats that threatens the Game’s stability, while the Entertainers are tasked with ensuring that the Game never grows stale and continues to be “interesting” to the audience by interfering with current events. While these two guilds have seemingly conflicting purposes, the role these two guilds hold are crucial; a game that has the same scenarios repeat for eternity would become pointless, while a game that blows up spectacularly early on would be far too short.
Three True Guilds
The Warmongers of the West, the Invaders of the South, and the Rule Makers of the East compose the Three True Guilds–secret guilds that only reveal themselves at the later stages of the Game. They have armies within their ranks that reach numbers up to the thousands, easily outnumbering any other guilds within Tokyo. Additionally, these guilds have a massive advantage over other guilds because of the many pillars that their members wield; the countless loops recorded allows them to strategically target any guild due to having dealt with them before in prior loops.
These guilds are able to easily take control of many organizations within the city due to knowledge of previous loops. This control ranges from nonprofits and corporations to all three branches of Tokyo’s government such as the Metropolitan Police, the Public Prosecutors Office, and the Special Judicial Constabulary. The military, police force, and underground terrorist groups have also fallen under the control of the Three True Guilds. Knowledge of prior loops have given them the ability to know precisely what to do in order to take seats away from the current powers.
The Three True Guilds have established a series of treaties over numerous loops with the goal of suppressing tactics that would force the Game into a stalemate. The restrictions of some of these treaties include no direct contact with the trophy of the Game until its final stages, numerous battle plans that result in the total destruction of Tokyo (as it would be pointless to repeat these calamitous events over and over again), and numerous armistices.
Creating a New Guild
There are three requirements needed in order to establish a new guild: a Guild Master, a minimum of four guild members who can participate in battle, and a Portal. Once these requirements are met, a registration fee can be paid to have the guild be officially registered into the Game.
Guild Masters are the central figure of a guild who acts as its leader and typically embodies the core ideology of the guild; this position is always held by Tokyoites. As the leader, a Guild Master has some exclusive perks compared to those below them. They can set their own location as well as the location of a safe house to be private from their own guild. Acting Guild Masters such as Maria can do this as well, although those higher in position of them will still be able to see this information. More notably, Guild Masters are able to contact the Game Masters through the App.
The title of Guild Master can be transferred as long as the request is sent and accepted; this is done through the App. One can also be the Acting Guild Master as a substitute if the real Guild Master is absent and unable to perform their duties.
A person can only be a member of one guild at a time, and guild transferring is allowed. Temporary or contract-based guild memberships are also recognized.
The exceptions to the one-guild rule are those part of the Game's two management guilds. Members of those guilds have a special privilege where they can hold dual membership of both their administrative guild as well as a regular guild. This privilege is given so admin members can keep surveillance over the actions of their second guild and territory. Notable dual membership includes Sanat Kumara of the Game Masters and Invaders, as well as Nyarlathotep of the Entertainers and Missionaries.
When part of a guild, players unlock several new features within the App. According to Shiro, they can power up other guild members and even detect when another guild member is engaged in battle. Additionally, guilds with Portals are able to see which guild members are within their territory through the App. When within their own territory, guild members receive similar benefits.
Portals are physical locations that the guild is tied to and act as markers for the guild’s territory. The area around and in between multiple Portals is marked as that guild’s territory. A Portal can be captured by another guild through App battles if the current guild loses against the attack, so keeping control over a Portal is an important priority. The more Portals a guild controls, the harder it becomes to control against opposing forces, so guilds must make sure to expand their membership and place members at their Portals to act as defense.
Guild Battles for Portals can only take place during after school hours, the time in between the end of classes and sundown.
Only locations approved by a Game Master can be used as a Portal, and there are requirements needed for a location to be a valid Portal. One requirement is that only places the public have access to are allowed to be Portals, such as libraries, churches, art museums, college campuses, historical sites, and other public facilities. Schools in Tokyo are not allowed to be Portals because not everyone can access them.
Safe houses are officially App-registered property owned by a guild that also acts as a guild’s safe zone. Safe houses are common within guilds, and bigger guilds own multiple. For a small guild, keeping up with the multiple fees needed that come with the property, such as rent, maintenance fees, management fees, and fire insurance may run the guild’s budget dry if not handled carefully.
Safe houses are important as they are registered as safe zones, meaning that invading guilds cannot win within it. Safe houses are also used by guilds for its members to gather or hide from an invading attack. However, they are not counted as Portals. They can be used to help maintain Portals by acting as a place to group up or hide in case of an emergency, but safe houses themselves are not treated as new territory.