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Adventure Guild
This is an organization, and we use the term loosely, that enrolls adventurers and gives them access to jobs. Jobs generally range from "find my cat" to "destroy Omega Volcano Satan", and are posted by random locals who can't, apparently, do anything for themselves.

Jobs generally are posted on a bulletin board (which may be an encrypted dataserver or a cork slab, depending on the setting), where certified adventurers sign up for them. "Certified Adventurers" is basically a euphemism for spiky haired obsessives, teen girls who will almost certainly turn out to be princesses, and other protagonist types.

If Craigslist had a section labelled "Jobs wanted: Medieval Commando Squads", it would be one of these.

Mainly a video game trope, but also shows up in Anime, especially when the setting is a Role-Playing Game Verse. Mainly shows up in Japanese works, because the Japanese seem to feel that even killing people and taking their stuff should be done in a structured, social context.

A subtrope of We Help the Helpless, but there's something more specific here. It has to do with the concept of a medieval guild adapted to serve the needs of a video game.

Competition or open war between rival guilds is a common plot point.

One more thing: Although the main characters are described as a guild, they usually don't have a common skill set. Fighters, mages, and thieves (and others) can all work for the same guild, but won't learn skills from each other. After all, that would make them similar, and What Measure Is a Non-Unique?? (There are occasionally organizations that cater to these types, but then we get into politics.)

See also Weird Trade Union, Murder, Inc., Thieves' Guild. Compare The Order, which has a more rigid structure and better-defined purpose. Also compare Hero Academy, which focuses more on primarily teaching students in successfully dealing with quests like those mentioned above (especially if such quests are strictly heroic) though may have some elements of Adventure Guild.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Video Games 

Non-Video Game Examples

    Anime and Manga 

  • Wizard guilds in Fairy Tail are this, rather than a Magical Society you might expect. This is because magic in this setting is informal and unique to the individual, and its practitioners are basically superpowered heroes for hire rather than Robe and Wizard Hat types.
  • Soul Eater has a very videogame-esque job board at the school, complete with estimated number of souls the students will receive on completion of the mission.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Occurs in some D&D settings:
    • Adventurer's Guilds are common in Eberron. The city of Sharn has two competing ones, the Clifftop and Deathsgate guild.
  • Shadowrunners and “Mister Johnson” in Shadowrun. In the Genesis and SNES games, your entire party except you was hired temporarily, and random missions were handed out by Johnsons to make money.

    Webcomics 


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