guild artisan 5e guide

Guild Artisan 5e Guide – D&D’s Master Craftsman

A Guild Artisan 5e guide is a necessary tool if you want to make the most out of your background. The name of this background is partially self-explanatory. It is a Guild Artisan – or Guild Craftsman. 

However, choosing your background isn’t a simple task. There are over 60 official backgrounds to choose from in D&D 5e and hundreds of homebrews. Is Guild Artisan the right one for you?

This guide will cover everything you need to know about the Guild Artisan 5e. Since it is an official Player’s Handbook background, it is automatically legal in 99% of campaigns. 

Guild Artisan 5e Quick Overview

  • Skill Proficiencies – Insight, Persuasion
  • Tool Proficiencies – One type of artisan’s tools
  • Languages – One of your choice
  • Equipment – A set of artisan’s tools, a letter from your guild, traveler’s clothes, and a pouch with 15gp

The Guild Artisan gets the Guild Membership Feature. The player may choose – or roll – for the type of work they did at the guild. You can always turn to your guild for anything you need.

This means you will always have a place to stay if in a city with a guild hall or guild members. On the other hand, you must pay the guild 5gp each month, or else they may stop helping you.

What is Guild Artisan in DnD 5e?

Guild Artisan 5e

A Guild Artisan in 5e is a member of an artisan’s guild that is highly skilled in a specific field. They are well known within their guild and can craft things relating to their field as long as they have the materials.

Because of the Guild Membership, as long as you’re not broke, you always have a home. The background includes a connection to a master craftsman who you worked under as an apprentice before becoming a master yourself.

Guilds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

You don’t have to be a Guild Artisan to join a guild in D&D. A guild is any type of organization that have similar interests. They form to do what they love together and protect their trade.

This could be organizing resistance that would harm their freedom to practice. Or, it could be spreading awareness of their trade so that others can enjoy it and passion for it doesn’t fade over the years.

Not all guilds are public. For example, the thieves guild is a private guild that is difficult to find details about. Some guilds are free for anyone to join, while others have strict requirements. 

If you want to join a guild, talk to your DM or ask NPCs in-game until you find one that suits your fancy. You don’t need a background to have a future. You can create your own future at any time.

Choosing Your Craft

d20 Craft Example of What You Craft Tools (Xanthar’s)
1 Alchemists and apothecaries Potions, salves, perfume Two glass beakers, a metal frame to hold a beaker in place over an open flame, a glass stirring rod, a small mortar and pestle, and a pouch of common alchemical ingredients, including salt, powdered iron, and purified water.
2 Armorers, locksmiths, and finesmiths Jewelry, locks, armor, decor Hammers, tongs, charcoal, rags, and a whetstone.
3 Brewers, distillers, and vintners Alcohol A large glass jug, a quantity of hops, a siphon, and several feet of tubing.
4 Calligraphers, scribes, and scriveners Forgery, letters, manuals Ink, a dozen sheets of parchment, and three quills.
5 Carpenters, roofers, and plasterers Wood furniture and houses A saw, a hammer, nails, a hatchet, a square, a ruler, an adze, a plane, and a chisel.
6 Cartographers, surveyors, and chart-makers Maps, charts, blueprints A quill, ink, parchment, a pair of compasses, calipers, and a ruler.
7 Cobblers and shoemakers Shoes A hammer, an awl, a knife, a shoe stand, a cutter, spare leather, and thread.
8 Cooks and bakers Food A metal pot, knives, forks, a stirring spoon, and a ladle.
9 Glassblowers and glaziers Potion bottles, glass gear A blowpipe, a small marver, blocks, and tweezers. You need a source of heat to work glass. 
10 Jewelers and gemcutters Jewelry, shaped gems A small saw and hammer, files, pliers, and tweezers.
11 Leatherworkers, skinners, and tanners Leather armor, bags A knife, a small mallet, an edger, a hole punch, thread, and leather scraps.
12 Masons and stonecutters Stone buildings, armor, weapons A trowel, a hammer, a chisel, brushes, and a square.
13 Painters, limners, and sign-makers Portraits, signs, repairs An easel, canvas, paints, brushes, charcoal sticks, and a palette.
14 Potters and tile-makers Pots, tiles Potter’s needles, ribs, scrapers, a knife, and calipers.
15 Shipwrights and sail-makers Sails, ship repairwork Unknown – can use weaver’s or carpenter’s tools
16 Smiths and metal-forgers Metal armor, weapons Hammers, tongs, charcoal, rags, and a whetstone.
17 Tinkers, pewterers, and casters Devices that defy the laws of physics A variety of hand tools, thread, needles, a whetstone, scraps of cloth and leather, and a small pot of glue.
18 Wagon-makers and wheelwrights Wagons Unknown – can use carpenter’s tools
19 Weavers and dyers Clothing, cloth objects of any kind Thread, needles, and scraps of cloth. You know how to work a loom, but such equipment is too large to transport.
20 Woodcarvers, coopers, and bowyers Barrels, bows A knife, a gouge, and a small saw.

There are two ways to choose a craft for your Guild Artisan. You can either roll a d20 using this chart, or you can select a craft on this chart. It is possible to create your own craft or find a homebrew.

However, I haven’t seen any solid homebrew crafts that didn’t fall into one of these twenty categories. Feel free to work with your DM to customize your trade to make it fit your character.

Creating Your Guild Artisan 5e

Guild Artisan 5e

Instead of quoting the Player’s Handbook for these traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, I have listed original ideas. If you find traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws otherwise online, it is probably a copy of the Player’s Handbook.

Feel free to work with the PHB or create your own traits and such. It’s all up to you and the DM. Make sure the DM reads your character sheet before committing to these traits.

Personality Traits for Guild Artisan 5e

d8 Personality Trait
1 I always give everything I do my all, no matter the cost.
2 I make puns involving my trade every chance I get.
3 I imagine everything made via my trade.
4 I won’t accept anything less than a fantastic deal when buying or selling.
5 I never talk about my profession unless with someone from my guild.
6 I think I am famous and am surprised if someone doesn’t know me.
7 I give gifts of my trade to nearly everyone I meet.
8 I always think about what my guild master would do.

Personality traits are usually quirks that are neither negative nor positive. But there can be personality traits that are one or the other. However, they are always quite strong and noticeable.

Out of the four character-defining sections – traits, ideals, bonds, flaws – personality traits define characters the most. So make sure you make these count as they can really help you create the core of your character.

Ideals for Guild Artisan 5e

Guild Artisan 5e

d6 Ideals
1 Generosity. I craft so that others can utilize what I have been granted, as is my duty. (Lawful)
2 People. Ask me for friendship, and I’ll oblige, giving you my all. (Neutral)
3 Independence. Make your own way, because no one else is going to make it for you. (Chaotic)
4 Beauty. The beauty of what we can create shouldn’t be ignored. (Good)
5 Greed. I joined the guild for wealth and seek nothing else. (Evil)
6 Respect. Everyone has value and deserves respect for their particular skills.

Ideals are what keep you going. This is what helps you make decisions during your campaign. Ideals are the part of you that wants to create a perfect world – whatever that means to you

Ideals don’t have to be deep. They are actually similar to goals. Ideals are what you would share with your party as you probably believe everyone should have these ideals.

Bonds for Guild Artisan 5e

d6 Bonds
1 The master artisan that taught me is my guiding light.
2 I want to enhance the world’s use of my craft.
3 I live to seek revenge on those who left my guild in shambles.
4 I do everything I do for unrequited love in my guild.
5 I yearn for the world to recognize my skills.
6 I believe everyone should have access to my craft’s goods.

Bonds are what make you who you are today. This is often what you wake up in the morning thinking about, as it usually involves someone special to you. However, it doesn’t have to pertain to any other being.

Bonds go deep into the soul and show the world what you truly want out of it. If you’re not evil, your bond will generally be quite a heartfelt and convicting trait that connects you to others.

Flaws for Guild Artisan 5e

guild artisan dnd

d6 Flaws
1 I harshly judge the work of my trade I see in the world, and can’t help but comment on it.
2 I am easily offended when it comes to my craft.
3 I’m not above lying about the origins of my work.
4 I’m jealous of every other artisan that does what I do.
5 I look down upon anyone who doesn’t have a craft.
6 I continuously steal from my guild.

Flaws are faults that may be easy to see or not. They are your worst traits that may affect your life negatively. However, be sure not to make it your only personality trait, or else you may become one-dimensional.

Imagine if your flaw was, “I continuously steal from my guild.” If you get a chance to steal from your guild at an appropriate time, then do it. But make sure you don’t spend every session obsessed with stealing from your guild.

Guild Merchant 5e – A Guild Artisan Variant

  • Skill Proficiencies – Insight, Persuasion
  • Tool Proficiencies – One type of artisan’s tools – or navigator’s tools
  • Equipment – A set of artisan’s tools or a mule and cart, a letter from your guild, traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch with 15 gp

A Guild Merchant is a variant of the Guild Artisan. If you’re a merchant, you may have wares, but you won’t be able to make anything. As you can see, your proficiencies and equipment are similar, though slightly different.

The option to have a mule and cart will pique the interest of many. I know I would love to start the game with a mule and a cart. Not only would it be handy, but it would feel like it were part of my personality.


Question: What Class is Guild Artisan 5e Good For?

Answer: Any class can benefit from being a Guild Artisan. However, if you’re a Charisma-based class, you can sell your wares as well. If you’re a spellcaster, you can enchant them after you make them.

Question: What is a Clan Crafter 5e?

Answer: Clan Crafter is a background from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide that also uses artisan tools. The difference is that the Clan Crafter worked under dwarves specifically.

Question: Do Guild Members Make Money in 5e?

Answer: Not passively. They actually pay 5gp a month to their guild as a membership fee. However, you can make your own money by making goods and selling them on the market. 

Question: Can Anyone Join a Guild in DnD?

Answer: Yes. After the campaign starts, if you have an opportunity, you may attempt to join a guild. This won’t happen automatically, but you can be on the lookout for a guild to apply for.

Making the Guild Artisan Worth It

Part of choosing a good background is playing that background to its strengths. If you’re going to choose Guild Artisan and then never utilize your guild or make anything for your party to use, maybe something else is better for you.

The Guild Artisan is generally wrapped up in their guild and focused on their craft in everyday life. Use the ideals, bonds, and flaws section to get started, and then work from there to create your perfect guild member. 

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