Race Guilds: What Happened?

Wyrmrest Accord
03/30/2018 11:28 AMPosted by Avaey
I'm not a fan of guilds that are built upon the foundation of representing the interests of a single race. I feel if you're roleplaying in Azeroth, you're limiting your own narrative and opening yourself up to 'race' roleplay. If you're a group of mature roleplayers this might not be a problem but all to often it ends up at best being a group of people who spend most of their guild RP time concentrating on snubbing other races and at worst... coming a little too close to real world racial 'organizations'. Again this isn't every case, but a lot of times it really sucks that race guilds spend much of their time actively segregating themselves so as to justify their existence and 'celebration' of a races culture and lore.

Add this to Enekie's above sentiments that were perfectly communicated and I think you have some pretty good reasons why they're fading away.


I'd contend that cultural organisations focusing on a single race can exist without being directly racist. One could RP in a human guild without being the IC equivalent of a Neo-Nasty, for example.

I think what Enekie was saying is important. The long lasting race only guilds have their own exclusive events, for sure. But they also frequently interact with the world at large. This is important because it piques people's interest, so there's a few new members chucking their characters in, and it also gives the members new people to RP with in a context that makes sense. Server events run by race guilds can be particularly interesting, because they become "cultural exhibitions" displaying things unique to their race to the public eye.

Example: On Horde I'm a very "Eastern" RPer. Human and blood elf lore is probably my favourite so most of my characters are Undead and Blood Elves, simply because they intrigue me the most in terms of culture and backstory. However, recently I had an absolute blast taking my undead Death Knight to a Tauren event, run by a number of guilds. It was inclusive, despite my race. It was a lot of fun, and the people were really nice! Many good RPs were had. But the event was still 100% focused on Tauren culture and I think that's wonderful.

TL:DR: You can RP a race specific guild to celebrate culture without being the equivalent of a racist organisation, and that tends to work best.
The weird thing about race specific guilds is I never actually see them. Why do they seclude themselves? It feels like they try their hardest to stay away from the general public or something.

I never see anyone from Gnomeregan Forever, I don't ever see any Dwarven guilds even though they're a thing and Pandaren guilds occasionally show up from time to time but most of the time I don't hardly ever see any.

May just be me though. Or maybe they secretly hide to plot the demise of all the other races :o

Also I really want to use my 110 boost on a Dwarf just to get into an all Dwarf RP guild. I hear they brew a mean ale.
Personally I always gravitate to guilds that have a strong theme that isn't solely focused on race. I think ultimately I am a fan of just classic DnD adventuring and have more fun when you get a wide range of weirdos coming together to do a thing.

Though Strawmen is undead centric in our theme, it is something that can be of interest to those who are not dead. Which can offer a fun and fresh perspective to our RP. Picks and Pints is another guild I'm in that's theme is focused on treasure hunting instead of Dwarf clan race things y'know.

idk it just gets boring standing around talking about elf problems or orc problems or dad problems or human problems. It's just not the RP experience I am looking for.

03/30/2018 11:28 AMPosted by Avaey
If you're a group of mature roleplayers this might not be a problem but all to often it ends up at best being a group of people who spend most of their guild RP time concentrating on snubbing other races and at worst... coming a little too close to real world racial 'organizations'.

I wasn't gonna get into all this but that's essentially what skeeved me off from some race centric guilds. I'm already gagging at some of nonsense I'm seeing regarding some of the new Allied races coming in BfA. I just want to be like, y'all realize that this is make believe and you're all just lame humans like the rest of us in real life.
03/30/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Versca
you're all just lame humans like the rest of us in real life

i'm actually a colony of small frogs
03/30/2018 11:49 AMPosted by Verlinnea
03/30/2018 11:28 AMPosted by Avaey
I'm not a fan of guilds that are built upon the foundation of representing the interests of a single race. I feel if you're roleplaying in Azeroth, you're limiting your own narrative and opening yourself up to 'race' roleplay. If you're a group of mature roleplayers this might not be a problem but all to often it ends up at best being a group of people who spend most of their guild RP time concentrating on snubbing other races and at worst... coming a little too close to real world racial 'organizations'. Again this isn't every case, but a lot of times it really sucks that race guilds spend much of their time actively segregating themselves so as to justify their existence and 'celebration' of a races culture and lore.

Add this to Enekie's above sentiments that were perfectly communicated and I think you have some pretty good reasons why they're fading away.


I'd contend that cultural organisations focusing on a single race can exist without being directly racist. One could RP in a human guild without being the IC equivalent of a Neo-Nasty, for example.

I think what Enekie was saying is important. The long lasting race only guilds have their own exclusive events, for sure. But they also frequently interact with the world at large. This is important because it piques people's interest, so there's a few new members chucking their characters in, and it also gives the members new people to RP with in a context that makes sense. Server events run by race guilds can be particularly interesting, because they become "cultural exhibitions" displaying things unique to their race to the public eye.

Example: On Horde I'm a very "Eastern" RPer. Human and blood elf lore is probably my favourite so most of my characters are Undead and Blood Elves, simply because they intrigue me the most in terms of culture and backstory. However, recently I had an absolute blast taking my undead Death Knight to a Tauren event, run by a number of guilds. It was inclusive, despite my race. It was a lot of fun, and the people were really nice! Many good RPs were had. But the event was still 100% focused on Tauren culture and I think that's wonderful.

TL:DR: You can RP a race specific guild to celebrate culture without being the equivalent of a racist organisation, and that tends to work best.


Oh you absolutely can, and that's why I mentioned there might be an exception for mature, thoughtfully handled and run guilds. These often are comprised of a tight group of friends who love Tauren for example. As soon as you start 'recruiting' though you start running into the 'Orcs are the Best and Bravest' sorts in an all orc guild and it starts to become a story about how your guild is a bastion among weak and unworthy races. Sure, that IS a sentiment that exists in orc culture but as a roleplay device it's an ugly, one dimensional place that is hard to come back from.

In my very long experience, 9/10 single race guilds devolve into something little better then Scarlet Crusader guilds and the like. That small group of people who do it right though? Well it can be an amazing thing.
03/30/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Versca
Personally I always gravitate to guilds that have a strong theme that isn't solely focused on race.


Me too tbh. I mean despite being a real Forsaken nationalist, my main Horde RP toon is in a guild of wandering adventurers comprised primarily of Tauren and Trolls. I feel like putting her in a guild full of other Forsaken and only Forsaken themes would limit her development somewhat. She's already got those - it's her changing understandings of other races that should prove interesting!
[/quote]Where are they now?[/quote]
I read this in Taran Zhu's voice
03/30/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Versca
idk it just gets boring standing around talking about elf problems or orc problems or dad problems or human problems. It's just not the RP experience I am looking for.


03/30/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Versca
dad problems


#JustDadProblems
i'm starting a dad only guild

if you're a fan of dad lore and are looking for a dad-specific guild join <Dad Tribe>
I've been in two guilds, on other toons, that fell into the 'x, y, and z races and x, y, z classes only' mold. My insight on this from those experiences? One of those guilds spent most of their time in gchat badmouthing anyone who played anything outside of that mold. 'Real RPers don't play blood elves and blood elf players are 12 year olds that can't RP!'. That kind of thing. The second wasn't so bad, but when you're going to make your guild consist only of a very specific niche, and then tell everyone over Discord that, if your character in that very specific niche isn't also your main that you need to get out, it kind of illustrates part of the problem with race guild longevity. Both left varying bad tastes in my mouth. You either have people who are trying to fill some need to be petty and exclusive, or people who have an unrealistic expectation of the membership's dedication to a gimmick.

I'll admit, when I saw the thread title, it made me happy. Not in that I want to see race guilds die. But I am definitely happy to see that they are no longer the default. That maybe, just maybe, one of the strengths of the Horde is that we're a rag-tag band of misfits who are stronger by combining our diverse strengths despite our differences, and are weakened when we define ourselves by who we exclude. I'm pretty sure that was the moral of the whole 'Garrosh' thing.

They've definitely got their place. They definitely add flavor. I'd never want to see them go away entirely. But as was said before, there is a certain lack of diversity, and that has consequences when you're dealing with real people who want to RP more than one thing, or maybe bring friends and spouses along. There's a need to accept that maybe people's dedication to a theme only runs alt deep. And if a guild only exists because of a deep psychological need to form a 'No Homers Club', then maybe it's better off dying.
The Sunreavers still only accept Blood Elves. There have been some requests to allow other races, and give them an Emissary rank, but when we have tried that in the last, everyone brought in their alts and on some days, there wasn’t a blood elf online!

So, still only Blood Elves. It works for us.
There's simply the fact that if you're not running a Belf-only or a Human-only guild, odds are you're going to be alienating 60-70% of all potential recruits. A limited recruitment pool, on top of not everyone in that pool being people you want to recruit, on top of not everyone in that pool being characters who fit the theme of the guild if it goes beyond "[Race] Enthusiast", means that they usually just don't have good numbers, which often discourages new GMs and which in turns discourages the people they DO recruit.

Racial themes with flexible recruitment is the best way to go, imho. Picks and Pints runs on very heavy dwarf themes, but we accept all races provided they are characters who'd do the kinds of things we're doing. But because of the theme, it is naturally inclined towards dwarves.
Some one-race guilds have been, as people have referenced here, possessed of an exclusionary vibe, and seemed based less around enjoying that race's lore and more around creating an "in-group" and/or supporting the ego of a controlling guild master.
Having led one for six years on this server...Yes. Yes, this is definitely true.
So, hypothetically, were I to consider forming a Gnome Guild, it would be better to be open and inclusive of all races and classes but lean the guilds theme heavily in the direction of Gnomes. That would increase the likelihood of the success and longevity of said hypothetical Gnome Guild, yes?
03/30/2018 11:30 PMPosted by Caileanmor
So, hypothetically, were I to consider forming a Gnome Guild, it would be better to be open and inclusive of all races and classes but lean the guilds theme heavily in the direction of Gnomes. That would increase the likelihood of the success and longevity of said hypothetical Gnome Guild, yes?


I would think so. One of the strong associations with Gnomish lore is Engineering, so it would make sense if Engineers of other races were welcome.

Kind of like how, if you're really into drinking and caber tossing, you might be happy in a Dwarven guild even if you're not a Dwarf.
My guild was made to prep for BfA when we can unlock Zandalari, so it's like a clique within a clique. Lol...
But the new expansion has hype surrounded around Zandalari, so hopefully recruiting will become easier. x3
03/31/2018 02:03 AMPosted by Panjya
My guild was made to prep for BfA when we can unlock Zandalari, so it's like a clique within a clique. Lol...
But the new expansion has hype surrounded around Zandalari, so hopefully recruiting will become easier. x3


What's funny to me about the word "Dinomancy" is that the suffix -mancy refers to predicting the future. Necromancy is consulting the dead to see the future, cartomancy is consulting cards (such as tarot) to predict the future, etc.

So, one would think the word "dinomancy" would refer to using dinosaurs to predict the future.

Except... the word dinosaur is made up of dino- meaning terrifying, and -saur meaning lizard. So dino-mancy would be... using fear to predict the future? Now I'm confused.

Is there a linguist in the house?
I saw this post and thought I should put my two cents in if anyone cared to hear it :P

I'm the GM for <Agents of Suramar>, a Nightborne only RP guild, and I have to say, that yes, race specific guilds indeed face many of the challenges listed in the above replies, (Smaller member pool, or being viewed as having an intimidating concept are just a couple of examples I've experienced). However none of these challenges have deterred us from maintaining our original idea.

Our idea being that we are an organization put together by the Suramar government, to not only explore Azeroth, but to find ways to integrate our people into the Horde, and to better the Nightborne relations with the other Horde races. Having an IC goal like this, I feel at least, has helped us fight off a lot of the stigmas behind race specific guilds.

In fact, we have gone against those currents by doing our best to run community events, and to partner up with other guilds across the server. In no way shape or form do we wish to corner ourselves off in a section of Suramar, and not communicate with the rest of the server. This has kept us active, and vibrant within the RP community, without excluding anyone who wishes to RP with us.

Have I had some members who ICly are xenophobes or snobs? Of course, though we both ICly and OOCly state that the mentality mentioned, is not something we represent, and in some cases, we have actually changed peoples minds ICly about other races, which in itself has been a rather interesting experience, to watch an OC develop beyond their bigotry and ignorance.

I remember back in my Star Wars Galaxies days (I'm dating myself a bit I know :P), I was in a Wookiee only guild, and as hilarious as that sounds out loud, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life video game wise. In star wars lore Wookiees have a rather interesting culture and history, that due to the Empires involvement, had slowly been being taken away by their enslavement, and desecration of their home world. Having our guild allowed other players to explore the Wookiee culture in a light they didn't see possible, and it added a unique element to our server at the time. Since then I have always regarded race specific guilds as a staple to RP communities.

I suppose my point to all of this is that despite the challenges and stigmas Race specific guilds face, there is still good reason to have such organizations running around.

Though I do not believe that the challenges mentioned should stop anyone from going forward with a race specific clan/guild, I will say that it requires a solid understanding of these challenges, and proper execution to help keep it all afloat.
I feel like one of the things that makes running the Archivum Collective easier than some other guilds is the fact that there aren't many ideas that won't work for us.

If a member comes to me saying they'd like their character to be able to lead an arc about a village being terrorized by kobolds that have somehow uncovered secrets of necromancy, I can say "Sure, that works."

Our goals and values are so open-ended, but clear, that we can accept just about anyone, and basically the only arcs we can't really do are military.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum