This page is about creating and maintaining an active and successful guild. The tips will be useful for any guild leader, and for those planning to lead either a new or existing guild.
It is easy to create a new guild. It is more difficult to create a guild that is successful. Once a guild is created, it takes effort to keep a guild active. "Dead" guilds (i.e., guilds that are inactive or fail to gain momentum) clutter up the list of public guilds. The guild leader has several ways to prevent this. If a guild leader wishes to step down, it is easy to hand over guild leadership to another member.
If you want to contribute to this page, you might also find this page's associated Talk page interesting.
The Public Guilds page has many inactive guilds. Before creating a new guild, consider what guilds already exist and if you have the time to keep your new guild active.
Community Guidelines Edit
Before starting a guild, please read the Community Guidelines.
What are guilds? Edit
- Main article: Guilds
Guilds are for people who share an idea, an ideal, a hobby, a fan base, or have some other common interest. Members of a guild can create and share challenges with other guild members and have a forum for discussion.
Please read the Guilds page carefully before creating your guild.
Should I make a party instead? Edit
Please read the Party page to ensure you understand how parties are different from guilds. One important difference is that guilds cannot host quests; if you want to fight monsters with other people, you must be in the same party.
Should I make my guild public or private? Edit
There are pros and cons to private and public guilds. Consider these points carefully before creating your guild. A change in guild privacy status is a time-consuming process. The steps are outlined on Guilds.
- Better fit for narrow subjects
- Ideal for secret clubs, or a large groups of friends. Groups may wish to chat frequently but do not belong to the same party
- If the guild becomes inactive (or never becomes very active) the guild leader doesn't have to take steps to delete it. This prevents clutter in the list of public guilds.
- More difficult to gain members
- Not a good fit for broader subjects
- Anyone is free to join or leave freely
- Can be revived by pirates (or plundered)
- Too many public guilds creates lag when searching for guilds
- Too many public guilds on a similar subject may dilute membership and focus
- Trolls (rarely)
- Harder to keep track of members
Combination of Private & Public GuildsEdit
One strategy is to filter membership in a private guild by creating a public guild as a lobby. The lobby is a place where players can introduce themselves and ask for an invitation to the private guild. Most other chat happens within the private guild. This is a good strategy for guilds about sensitive or controversial topics, especially any topics inappropriate for public spaces as described in Community Guidelines.
Before starting a "private + public guild" combo, please read the Community Guidelines thoroughly (especially the subsection "Public Spaces in Habitica"), and familiarize yourself with what is allowed in public guilds, and what is allowed in private guilds.
The lobby should describe both the public and private guilds. This should explain how to get invited to the private guild. It should include appropriate restrictions for membership (Example: The lobby description can state a minimum age for joining the private guild.). People can introduce themselves in the public guild and ask for invitations. Any member of the private guild (not just the guild leader) who sees an introductory post in the lobby guild can get the user's User ID (UID) from their profile and invite them to the private guild.
The lobby's guild description can also include a few factual, non-judgmental keywords that allow users to find the guild via guild search. (Examples: "porn addiction", "drug addiction", "menstruation"). Search guilds using keyword "lobby" for useful examples.
Players may hesitate to ask for an invitation to a private guild. (For example, if the guild's topic is about an addiction, readers might not be sure if they are really addicted, or might feel shame about admitting it.) In such cases, the guild leader may want to lower the "psychological threshold". To do that, the guild description could include encouragement to ask for an invitation, and state that it is okay to just join and read, and that it is okay to leave the guild again, and even to leave and then change one's mind and ask for an invitation again several times. It could also say that there can be numerous reasons for an invite request, and that, from an invite request alone, no one can guess which it is. (For example, the reason might be mere curiosity about how "private + public combination" guilds work in practice, a theoretic interest in the topic, being a friend or family member of someone affected by the topic, wanting to evaluate how much oneself is affected by the topic, or actually being affected by the topic.)
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 suggested that users only create a new public guild if they are experienced Habitica users with some knowledge of what will make a guild succeed or fail.
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 the results of duplicate or very similar guild topics.
A similar guild can be:
- A guild with the same name 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, or exact phrase searching. 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 related to 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. 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.
You have the option of simply reading the list of public guilds. It takes time, and it isn't required. But it can be helpful for a future guild leader to see which guilds exist. It can also be inform how the keyword search function works. Observing the relative success of certain guild types can be useful.
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:
- 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) exists, it isn't a good idea to start a duplicate one. Possible exceptions:
- The existing guild is very popular and overflowing with chat; there is enough demand for several such guilds. (Example: There are currently at least two thriving book guilds.)
- Internal guild problems. Seek suggestions first. Many problems can be solved within the guild. 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 exists, 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 ask that guild if people would like to have a new guild for that subtopic.
If you think that people who are looking for the narrower topic might not find the more general guild, a suggestion is to create 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.
- 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 a good idea to first look for a guild with a similar, broader topic (e.g. arts and crafts). Start talking about your idea there. Explore the level of level of interest in your idea.
If the idea is too broad, the guild is unlikely to survive. For example, if you want to create a guild about "self-improvement". That is most of Habitica. It would be more helpful to define a form or style of self-improvement.
Additional examples: "art" or specific styles or mediums; "science" or subjects or professions or topics
Guilds focused on a specific "place" like your city, university, or website community can be too narrow unless there is a specific Habitica engagement there. Also common sense should be used for safety for the players. Narrow topics might be more appropriate as private guilds.
You never know until you try! 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.
Non-English guilds are welcome! If you are thinking of creating a guild on specific topic with the main language other than English, follow the same guidelines to explore the level of interest. Explore interest in the guilds speaking your preferred language, respecting their guidelines. And remember, you can still post in the Tavern and the The Bulletin Board 📌 in your preferred language.
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.
Customizing your guild Edit
Guild Name, Summary and Descriptions Edit
Your guild name and summary 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. Instead, they use the search function to search for keywords related to a topic. In order for your guild to be discovered, keywords must be located in your guild name or summary. In the mobile apps, search only discovers keywords located in the guild name.
If you create a guild name and summary without thinking of good keywords, your guild may be overlooked. A good way to add more search terms is to add a paragraph at the end of your guild summary. For example, a guild about pets might include this in the summary:
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. Imagine the Habitican that doesn't know your guild exists, but you would like to attract their attention. You may have made a guild about endurance running but others may be searching "runners," "5k," "10k," "marathon," or broadly "fitness," "sports."
- Use a thesaurus
- 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 summary be added to the search terms paragraph? The advantage of adding them is that if you decide to change the guild name and/or summary 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 summary. The disadvantage is that the search term paragraph gets longer than necessary.
- 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. Include your topic keywords in English and guild's language. For example, if you have a French guild about health, search terms should include "Français", "French", "santé", "health", etc.)
- Ask other guild members for ideas. You can ask in the Guild Leaders & Challenge Creators guild.
- Look at similar guilds. Which search terms do they use?
The selection of guild categories is also important. Ensure you pick the specific terms that match your guild topic. For more information see Guild and Challenge Categories.
Use of the Description Edit
Because the summary is limited to 250 characters and does not support markdown, the description is a useful place to put other pieces of information. Consider what topic being discussed, 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.
One of the main problems for guilds is guild leaders going "missing in action" The Description can be used by a guild leader to communicate long-term plans and intent. For example: "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."
Guild logo Edit
It is good practice to give credit to the creator of works, and to use work in the public domain or appropriate Creative Commons license
If you want a logo but are unsure of the copyright, consider asking a member to make custom art (pixel art, photo, drawing, etc.).
Guild logos can be inserted into the the guild description using markdown formatting.
Permission to Create Challenges Edit
The guild settings include a checkbox 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 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.
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. Respect the rules of the guild where you intend promote.
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 often. Daily is ideal, a few times a week is strongly recommended.
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 it is important that your guild members can contact you about the guild or any challenges. 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 remind the author of an inappropriate post about the community guidelines. Do not issue explicit 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 keeping Habiticans after their first arrival. Having an interesting challenge can give new members an accessible next step.
Using challenges promotes discussion. It may require posting and provide energy and a sense of teamwork. If you feel chat related to a specific challenge is overwhelming, you might suggest labeling challenge-related responses with a word signal or emoji.
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 have it dismissed. If the challenge is unwanted because it violates the Community Guidelines, the guild leader can ask a moderator to end 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 perhaps make challenges. It is not an official title recognized by Habitica. 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 a way to vote within Habitica. The disadvantage is that the posts can scroll out of chat or more difficult to find. Use the Party & Guild Data Tool to assist in determining the most chat likes.
- Using external voting sites (for example, AnonVote.com, Straw Poll, or a Google Form).
- 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
There are two options for assigning a new leader:
- On the guild page on the website, click the Edit button near the guild name. Use the Leader pulldown and select the new leader.
- On the guild page on the website, click the membership shield in the top left. For the member you wish to select, click the three dots to the right and then promote to leader. Please note this member will only show 30 members for your guild.
- Use the Party & Guild Data Tool. This method will allow you to change the leader to any member of the guild.
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., a random member) 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 post in the Report a Bug guild, and an admin 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.