If you want to contribute here, you might also find this page's associated Talk page interesting!
This page is about creating and maintaining an active and successful guild. It is easy to create a new guild. It is much more difficult to create a guild that has the potential to be useful, interesting, or entertaining. It takes effort to keep a guild active. "Dead" guilds clutter up the list of public guilds; it is the guild leader's job to prevent this. If a guild leader wishes to step down, it is easy to have over guild leadership to another member.
Guild CreationEditThe Public Guilds page is already cluttered with inactive guilds that make it hard to find the active guilds and put additional strain on the server. Before creating a new guild, consider what guilds already exist and if you have the time to keep a guild active.
Community Guidelines Edit
What are guilds? Edit
Should I make my guild public or private? Edit
There are pros and cons to private and public guilds.
Public guilds can be found on the public guilds list, are easy to join, and can be revived by pirates; however it can be hard to keep track of members and trolls may come in (quite rarely thought).
You can also create a public guild as a lobby where players can introduce themselves with their User ID (UID) and wait for a member of the private guild to invite them.
Players may hesitate to ask for an invitation to a private guild. Consider including encouragement to "just join and read" or adding that friends and family of someone affected by the topic are welcome.
Who should make a public guild? Edit
A user should only make a public guild if they plan to stay active in Habitica. It is also suggested that users should only create a new public guild if they are experienced Habitica users who are already familiar with Habitica and guild features and have experienced good examples of thriving guilds and bad examples of dead guilds.
Does a similar public guild already exist? Edit
You should always check if a similar public guild already exists before creating a new one. Many "dead" guilds are duplicates of existing ones which the guild leader didn't notice before creating their new one.
A similar guild can be:
- A guild with the same name (yes, that's technically possible) or a very similar name.
- A guild with the same topic or a very similar topic. (Example: A gardening guild and a guild about planting. Planting can be outside one's garden, and gardening can include things like garden gnomes and nest boxes for birds, but the two topics clearly overlap.)
- A guild with a broader topic that includes the one you have in mind. (Example: You want to start a guild about crocheting, but there is already a guild about knitting, crocheting, stitching and similar needlework. That guild already includes the topic you had in mind.)
- A guild with a narrower topic that is already included in the one you have in mind. (Example: You want to start a guild about sleeping habits, and there is already one for getting up on time, and another one for people with irregular sleeping schedules, and another one for keeping a dream journal.)
- A guild with the same topic (or a similar topic) in another language.
On the website, the search function will find guilds that contain the search term in either the guild name or the guild description. In the apps, the search function will only find guilds that contain the search term in the guild name.
The search function uses the exact text you type in. For example, if you type "school exam", the search doesn't find all guilds that include either the word "school" or the word "exam", nor even all guilds that contain both words, but only guilds that contain exactly the term "school exam". (A feature that fixes that has already been requested.) If you want to find all guilds that contain either the word "school" or the word "exam", you have to do separate searches for each word.
Before creating a new guild, you should look for all (or most of) the search terms you can think of in connection with your guild's topic: The search terms you would use for your own guild, the name (and parts of the name) of your new guild, and search terms that would fit a guild with a slightly broader or narrower topic. Of course, you can't be expected to look for search terms in many different languages. However, if your new guild has something to do with a particular language (for example, a guild about learning Russian, or a fandom guild about a Japanese manga), you should look for search terms in both English and that other language.
If you want to be really sure, and have the time to do it, you can also read the whole list of public guilds. It takes a while, and it isn't required. But it can be quite helpful for a future guild leader to see which guilds exist, and which of them can or can't be found easily by a keyword search, and which guild descriptions you find informative, intriguing, or useless, and which of the guilds thrive or are inactive.
You might also find guilds with similar topics by looking at the Guilds Guide wiki page - but that page doesn't contain all public guilds, only the larger and/or more important ones.
What should I do if I find a similar public guild? Edit
If a similar public guild already exists, please check first if what you're trying to do can already be done within the existing guild! Please only create a new guild if you think that is the best solution.
In more detail:
- You should never create a public guild with exactly the same name as an already existing public guild. (Or if you think there is a special reason why you should, you should definitely ask an admin first.)
- If a guild with the same topic (or a very similar one) already exists, it usually isn't a good idea to start a duplicate one. Possible exceptions:
- The existing guild is very popular and already overflowing with chat - so there is enough demand for several such guilds. (Example: There are currently at least two thriving book guilds.)
- The existing guild has some problem that can't be solved within that guild. (Many problems can be solved within the guild though. Examples: If a guild leader is inactive, admins can transfer leadership to someone else if the old leader has been away for more than a year. If search terms are missing or there are other problems with the guild description, moderators can add search terms and change wording if the guild leader can't be contacted.)
- If a guild with a broader topic already exists, try to discuss your topic in that guild first instead of creating a new guild. (Example: You are trying to produce less CO2. There is no guild for that topic alone, but there are several guilds about living eco-friendly and sustainably where you can discuss how to improve your carbon footprint.) If, in the long run, this creates too much chat for one guild, you can then ask inside that guild if people would like to have an extra guild for that subtopic.
If you think that people who are looking for the narrower topic might not find the more general guild, the solution is probably not to create a new guild but to add more search terms to the already existing guild. (In our example, if a lot of people are searching for the words "CO2", "carbon footprint", "global warming", etc., a guild about eco-friendliness in general should add those to its search terms instead of creating an new guild.)
- If a guild with a narrower topic already exists, you can discuss your idea to create a guild with a broader topic there. You can also (politely and respectfully) ask if the members of the existing guild would like to broaden the topic of their guild instead of you creating a new one. It is their guild, however, and if the guild leader and/or other guild members would rather keep the guild topic as it is, that has to be respected. (Examples for guilds that broadened their topic: A guild about polyphasic sleep schedules became the more general guild "Naps of Power: Habiticans for Better Sleep", and "Gaming Addicts Anonymous" became "Digital Addicts Anonymous", thus including more computer activities than just gaming.)
- If a guild with the same topic but in a different language already exists, then you can create another guild dedicated to that topic provided that the language is not relevant to the topic (for example, a guild on learning Russian that is in the Russian language should not be duplicated in another language - a user should attempt to use Russian to communicate within that guild).
Can my guild survive on my topic idea? How can I make an educated guess? Edit
If the topic is very narrow (for example: basket weaving), the guild is unlikely to survive. It's probably a good idea to look for a guild with a similar but broader topic (in this example: arts and crafts, crafting handmade things), and start talking about the topic there. (If you find very many people there who are interested in the topic, you can always ask them if they would like the topic to have its own guild.)
Additional examples: a guild about a certain activity in a certain language should be discussed in the guild about that language or in the guild of that activity in English, which is the most used language on Habitica; a guild focused on a place (university, town) or based on a website with a small community shouldn't be public, unless there is active information about Habitica in that place (common sense should be used when determining the status of guilds for larger towns, municipalities, and countries).
If the topic is too broad and vague though, the guild is unlikely to survive, as well. (Example: Self improvement! Well, isn't most of Habitica about self improvement? What could people talk about in such a guild that they couldn't already talk about more specifically in other guilds?) In such a case, it would be a good idea to think about how you want that guild to be different from those that already exist, and narrow down the topic accordingly.
Additional examples: art in general should be divided into more specific art forms; sciences can be divided into more specific subjects for more focused discussions; communication is to be divided by mean of communication; crafting can be separated depending on the raw material used or the goal.
You never know until you try! Actually, one good suggestion is to ask in the Tavern if people would be interested in a guild on your topic. If a few people think it's a good idea, go for it.
What do I need to get started? Edit
To create a guild, you will need four gems and a good idea. It costs gems to create a guild to keep people from randomly making guilds and cluttering up the public guilds page. The idea is much more important! If you think you have a good idea for a guild but you don't have the gems, there are workarounds. (You can ask at the Pirate Cove if they currently have a "used guild" to give away for free, you can ask someone with gems if they can gift you the gems to make one, or if you already have a private guild, you can ask an admin to make it public.) These workarounds involve at least one other person, and they are more likely to help you if you have a strong guild concept!
Customizing your guild Edit
Guild Name and Descriptions Edit
Your guild name or description should clearly state the purpose of the guild and include common search terms.
Search Terms Edit
Habitica has many guilds, and few Habiticans read the whole list of public guilds when they are looking for guilds. They use the search function instead to find guilds with a topic they are interested in. However, the search function only finds guilds whose name or description contains the text it is searching for. (In the apps, the search function even only finds guilds whose name contains the text it is searching for - it doesn't search in the guild descriptions.)
If you create a guild name and description without thinking of specific search keywords, they may already include some words that people are likely to search, but the guild may be missed otherwise. A good way to add more search terms is to add a paragraph at the end of your guild description. For example, for a guild on pet ownership, the guild leader could include the following in the guild description:
Search terms (to make it easier to find this guild): pets, animals, cats, dogs, birds, fish, ... (Please suggest more in chat and/or send the guild leader a message if you can think of more!)You can and should modify the sentence about suggesting more search terms to your liking (depending on which method of communication you prefer, and whether you would really see every chat post suggesting new search terms).
More details of how to find good search terms:
- Try to imagine Habiticans looking for a guild like yours. Which search words would they use?
- Include search terms that are a bit broader or narrower than your guild's topic. Try to imagine Habiticans who don't think a guild like yours even exists, but are looking for a guild with a related topic. Which search terms would they use? (For example, you just started a triathlon guild. Habiticans might not dare to hope that there is a triathlon guild, so they might just search for "exercise", "sports", "cardio", "fitness", "running", "marathon", "swimming", "cycling", "biking", "bike", "bicycle", and "long distance".) Also try to imagine Habiticans who are looking for something very specific which is part of your guild's topic. (In the triathlon example, that might be "ironman", "iron man", "half triathlon", "aquathlon", etc.)
- Check spelling! Search terms with spelling mistakes won't work. If there are several correct (or at least frequently used) spellings and/or abbreviations, include them all. (Example: "roleplay, role-play, role play, RP".)
- The built-in guild search of Habitica is a simple text search, meaning that the search function finds exactly the term that was entered in the search field - even if it is part of another word. Therefore, if you add "cats" as a search term, both searches for "cat" and "cats" will find your guild (because "cat" is part of "cats"). However, if you only add "cat", a search for "cats" will not find your guild. (Obviously, that doesn't work with all plural forms: If your guild is about geese, you should add both "goose" and "geese".) It also works for composites: For example, if you already have "household chores" in your list of search terms, you don't need to add "house", "chore", or "chores", because they are already part of that search term.
- Should words that are already in the guild name and/or in the rest of the guild description be added to the search terms paragraph? The advantage of adding them is that if you decide to change the guild name and/or description later, the search terms are still in the search term paragraph, and you don't have to check again whether they're all still somewhere in the guild description. The disadvantage is that the search term paragraph gets longer than necessary. It's your decision!
- If the main language in your guild isn't English, please include the name of the language (in that language and also in English if possible) in your search terms! (Otherwise it will be very hard for speakers of that language to find your guild!) If possible, also include other search words in both languages. (For example, if you have a French guild about health, search terms should include "Français", "French", "santé", "health", etc.)
- Ask other guild members if they have more ideas. You can also ask in the Guild Leaders & Challenge Creators guild.
- Look at similar guilds. Which search terms do they use?
Other Useful Description Information Edit
Other useful pieces of information to put into the guild description include, but are not limited to: date created (currently, the administrators do not have a way of tracking when a guild is created), history of guild leaders, and a link to a wiki page if one exists.
Guild logo Edit
While pictures are pretty for logos, copyright laws can be complicated. Make sure that if you use someone else's artwork, you give credit where credit is due and make sure that the licensing allows for you to use it; you can use images in the public domain without obtaining permission.
If you want a logo but don't want to bother with copyrighting, get a member to do you a pixel art (or photo, drawing, etc.), or do it yourself.
Speech bubble Edit
The official name of the speech bubble at the top of the guild page is the "Message from group leader".
The speech bubble is a good place to put additional information, helpful links, and temporary info about current events.
Markdown formatting in the speech bubble works and makes sense. (Habitica does not currently support excessive formatting and linking in the guild description itself)
One of the main problems for guilds is guild leaders going "missing in action", i.e., not logging into Habitica anymore (or just neither posting in guild chat nor answering to messages anymore). If they don't "resign" and hand over guild leadership to another guild member first, the process of having Habitica admins assign a new, active guild leader can be rather lengthy, and the waiting period (to see if the old guild leader really doesn't come back) rather long. To prevent this, you can state in the group leader message: "If I am inactive in this guild for at least two months, and don't answer to private messages within a week, the admins of Habitica have my permission to assign a new guild leader as they see fit." or something similar. (Don't worry - when assigning a new guild leader, the admins will usually ask the other guild members about their wishes first. They will also usually give any gems still in the guild bank back to the old guild leader.)
Permission to Create Challenges Edit
The guild settings include a checkbox "Only group leader can create challenges". [Would someone like to add a picture here?] If the box is checked off, only the guild leader can create challenges. If it is left empty, all guild members can create challenges.
The checkbox is unchecked by default because good challenges from other guild members are usually very welcome. In some cases, though, the guild leader may want to restrict challenges more.
If a guild member (who isn't guild leader) creates a challenge, and then the setting is changed to "Only group leader can create challenges", the existing challenge is not deleted. The challenge owner stays challenge owner and can still edit and end the challenge.
This could also be used to allow only challenges that have been approved by the guild leader first: The guild leader might ask the challenge creator to create a draft in the Challenge Sandbox first, then read the draft, then uncheck the "Only group leader can create challenges" checkbox so the challenge owner can clone the challenge to the guild, then select the "Only group leader can create challenges" checkbox again.
Other settings Edit
The guild leader can:
- Change the name.
- Change/add the description.
- Change/add the logo.
- Choose whether anyone besides the guild leader can make challenges.
- Choose another leader.
- Change/add the group leader message.
Gems and the Guild Bank Edit
You might choose to not use the Guild Bank's gems as challenge prizes, for example if you're running a public guild purely as a discussion group. If you want to regain your gems, you can create a challenge for your guild and offer at least 4 gems as the prize. Then either select yourself as the winner, or close the challenge without choosing a winner. Either way, the prize gems will be returned to your account.
Guild Promotion Edit
Promoting your guild attracts members to the guild. Be mindful that while active promotion helps other users find and notice the guild, too much promotion can be considered spam and may drive members away!
The Bulletin Board Edit
A great place to share the news of your guild is The Bulletin Board 📌.
Guilds Guide Edit
Many Habiticans use the Guilds Guide to find guilds. If your guild qualifies for it, you can add it to the Guilds Guide. Please read the Guild Guide's introductory notes first to see if it qualifies. (Currently, according to the notes, a guild can be put in the Guilds Guide if it has at least 35 members or "fits perfectly into one of the important categories".)
As guild leader, you have a say in whether your guild should be in the Guilds Guide at all. (You can veto it if you want to make your guild harder to find.) You can also decide how your guild should be described in the Guilds Guide, and in which category it should be listed there (as long as the description and category are halfway reasonable and not completely misleading).
When in doubt about any of these things (Does the guild qualify for the Guilds Guide? Which category is best? Is the description okay? etc.), please ask in the Wizards of the Wiki guild. The Wizards of the Wiki can also do the actual wiki editing for you.
Tavern Challenge Edit
You can create a Tavern Challenge (note: this requires at least 1 gem) that sends people to your guild. Examples have included To-do tasks to join the guild, post in the guild, and participate in a guild challenge.
Tavern Chat Edit
Posting about the guild in Tavern chat usually isn't very useful (the post will scroll out quickly), but can be done additionally to announcing the guild on The Bulletin Board 📌.
Guilds with Related Topics Edit
Posting about the guild in guilds with closely related topics can also help to find a few new members. (Example: If you want to start a stitching guild, you might want to talk about it in guilds dedicated to knitting, crocheting, or sewing.) This should only be done in a few guilds; remember, over-promotion can be seen as spamming.
Guild Wiki Page Edit
Most guilds don't need their own wiki page. However, it can be helpful if you want to provide guild members with more information than fits into the guild description and "message from group leader" speech bubble. (Examples: Helpful info about the guild's topic, long link lists, rules of productivity games played in the guild, "guild history" such as memorable chats or information about who won former challenges, or resources for your guild's theme.)
Guild wiki pages should always be Armory pages. If desired, they can have subpages.
If your guild has its own wiki guild page, a link to it can (and usually should) be added to the guild's entry in the Guilds Guide. See examples there. (Look for sentences like "This guild also has its own guild page in the Armory.")
A wiki guild page can be hard to keep up to date! Please think about whether you or other guild members have the time and enthusiasm to maintain it, and which parts of it are really helpful. If you'd rather have your guild's wiki page deleted again, please mark it for deletion (or ask in the Wizards of the Wiki guild if someone can do it for you).
Being Active in the Guild Edit
As guild leader, it is good practice to look in on your guild as often as possible. Daily is ideal, but at least a couple of times a week is essential.
It is not necessary to post in your guild every day or even every week if the chat is flowing steadily. You will soon get used to the normal level of activity in the guild. Some guilds are very active with dozens of posts each day. Others tick over more slowly with just one or two posts per week. If conversation flags, try to post something of interest, respond to something a guild member has said, remind them of an ongoing challenge, etc. A successful guild will usually at least have one or two members who do this quite naturally, but as leader, it should be your responsibility to ensure that a guild doesn't die simply for the lack of a little input on your part.
Being Contactable Edit
It is possible to opt out of the Habitica private message system. However, if you are going to run a public guild and especially if you plan to run challenges in your guild, it is very important that your guild members can contact you if they have any queries about the guild or any challenges being run in it. If you don't feel comfortable accepting private messages, then perhaps running a public guild is not for you. If you have previously opted out of the private message system, please make sure you opt back in before creating your public guild. If you absolutely don't want to get involved in the Habitica inbox, provide an email as an alternative to contact you in your profile description.
If you notice a post that violates community guidelines (e.g., swearing, mean behaviour, invasive advertising, other spam), flag it, even if you don't yourself feel offended by what was said. Flagging posts alerts the moderators and they will take any necessary action. Any member of your guild can do the same - flagging posts in a guild is not restricted to the guild leader. However a good guild leader might wish to be more present and more vigilant than the members.
You (or other guild members) can politely and gently remind the author of an inappropriate post about the community guidelines, but be careful to not issue instructions, as that is considered "back seat moderating" and is itself a violation of the guidelines. For example, an acceptable response would be "FYI, Habitica does not allow language like that. You might want to review the Community Guidelines." An unacceptable response would be "Don't use language like that. Delete your message." If you are in any doubt, don't respond; allow the moderators to handle it. As soon as a post has been flagged by two players, it will become invisible to all non-moderators, so bad posts are likely to disappear quickly without the need for you to say anything.
Challenges are a great way to get some activity in your guild. One of the main barriers to the growth of a guild is people joining, saying hi and then getting stuck at the "now what?" stage. Having one or two interesting challenges (especially recurring challenges that run every month, or every week) can give new members an accessible next step.
Using challenges promote discussion can be helpful too. Having a task or two that requires posting in the chat can be a great way to liven up your guild. Be careful though, since too many of these can end up spamming the guild and drowning out meaningful conversation. If this does occur, emojis can be used to "label" chats that correspond to a certain challenge, and you can put this description into the task's notes.
Abandoned Challenges Edit
Sometimes a guild leader faces the problem of having an outdated or unwanted challenge (that the guild leader didn't create) in their guild. If the challenge owner is still active in Habitica, the guild leader can usually talk to them, and if the challenge is unwanted because it violates the Community Guidelines, the guild leader can ask a moderator to deal with it. But what if the challenge owner has left Habitica and abandoned their challenge? In such a case, the guild leader can do the following:
- The guild leader can send the challenge owner a private message. Depending on their settings, the challenge owner may be notified about it by email even if they haven't logged into Habitica anymore for a long time.
- If the challenge owner doesn't react to private messages, the guild leader can contact the elves in the Elven Grove guild. They have made it their business to take care of abandoned challenges and either end them, or find new owners for them and/or move them to other guilds. (It helps if the guild leader has already thought about whether the challenge should be deleted, adopted (and by whom) and/or moved elsewhere, has read the Elven Grove's wiki page, and has read a bit of the Elven Grove's guild chat to see how things are handled there.)
Things that don't delete old challenges:
- Changing the guild settings to "Only group leader can create challenges": Existing challenges are not deleted. Their owners stay challenge owners and can still edit and end the challenges.
- Throwing a challenge owner out of the guild (or asking them to leave the guild): The challenge is not deleted if the challenge owner is no longer a member of the guild. The challenge owner stays challenge owner and can still edit and end the challenge.
- If the challenge owner deletes their Habitica account, the challenge is not deleted. It is ownerless.
Some larger guilds may choose to have "leaders-in-effect". These are people that are active in the guild and have agreed to help encourage discussion and even make challenges. It is not an official title recognized by Habitica, but because only one guild leader is allowed per guild, it can help split leadership responsibilities between multiple people.
Sometimes it is useful to let guild members vote on something (for example, which of several potential guild logos or guild names they like best, who should win a challenge that requires posting useful things in guild chat, or who should be the next guild leader). There are several ways to do this:
- Writing a post in guild chat for each option, and stating that the post that gets most "+1"s wins. This is an anonymous and easy way to vote within Habitica. The disadvantage is that the posts can scroll out of chat and get lost, or at least scroll down and become hard to find.
- Making a challenge and either
- letting each participant state in the Extra Notes of a To-do which option they prefer, or
- having one To-do for each option, and asking the participants to check off only the To-do they are voting for. (If they check off several or none, the vote usually doesn't count.)
- Voting by challenge works within Habitica but isn't anonymous.
More Maintenance Tips Edit
Since motivating a guild and motivating a party are similar, you might also find some inspiration on the wiki page Keeping Parties Motivated.
Transferring Guild Leadership Edit
How do I find a new leader? Edit
PM active members and ask if they would like to take over, or ask for volunteers in chat. One way is to create a challenge and add tasks such as "Explain why you should be the guild leader" and "Vote in the election" to it. (See the subsection about Voting; the task should contain an explanation how to vote and a link to the external voting page if you use one.) If you have a guild wiki page, this can be a useful place to post candidate statements.
How do I assign a new guild leader? Edit
On the guild page, click "Edit Group" near the Guild name. Near the bottom of that box, you can select any member of the guild to be a guild leader under "Assign Group Leader". Pressing "Save" at the top will put the new guild leader into effect. Note that if there's a leader change, the name of the new leader will appear over the leader message, and it will look as if the new leader wrote it, if they don't remember to change it.
What happens if I just leave the guild or delete my account? Edit
While you should make every effort to elect or choose a new leader before you leave, if you leave the guild as a leader, the next member at the top of the list (i.e., the member who has been in the guild the longest) will then become guild leader.
What happens if I keep my account but never log into Habitica again? Edit
If you are inactive for 6 months or more, an active member can request a leadership change by emailing the admins.
What happens if I keep using Habitica but don't answer messages about the guild and don't say anything in guild chat? Edit
If you are not actively participating in the guild or answering any messages pertaining to the guild, another active member may request a leadership change. Generally, admins will try to do everything they can to contact you and not take the guild away from an active Habitica user.
I can't/don't want to lead my guild anymore. I don't have time to look for a new guild leader or make any detailed decisions about its future. How can I hand over responsibility for the guild within 30 seconds? Edit
If you remember which guild(s) you lead, you can just name someone a guild leader or leave the guild, resulting in the top listed member becoming the new guild leader. However, this is not recommended without consulting the user who would be taking over.
If you don't remember which guild(s) you lead, you can send an email to an admin, and they can reassign the guild leader in your absence. They will likely check in to see if anyone is willing to take over; if no one wants to take on the leadership role, the guild may be deleted.
Help! I'm suddenly the leader of a guild that I didn't create, I didn't receive a notification, and I don't even know how long I've been guild leader! Now people are suddenly messaging me about that guild! Edit
It's not your fault. Another guild leader likely either left the guild or deleted their account and you were automatically chosen as leader by being the most senior user within the guild, or they made you leader without contacting you (note: a feature for automatic notification of becoming guild leader is already requested). While it's not polite of the former guild leader to dump leadership on you without asking or notifying you, there are a few things you can do. First, you can accept leadership responsibilities. You can also try to find a new guild leader if you don't wish to take the responsibilities (see above). Lastly, if the guild is inactive or if no one is interested in becoming the new guild leader, you can delete or repurpose the guild.