The Principles and Virtues of «Ultima VI» on Guild Management avatar
Yohan Yuki Xie
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Ultima VI: The False Prophet brought forth a fresh array of principles and virtues known as the Axiom of Singularity, which the avatar (the player) must embody. What makes this particularly intriguing is its applicability to guild management.

Here’s how it works…

All begins with three principles: Control, Passion, and Diligence. From Control springs Direction. From Passion springs Feeling. From Diligence springs Persistence. But these virtues are no more important than the other five:

Control combines with Passion to give Balance. Passion combines with Diligence to yield Achievement. And Diligence joins with Control to provide Precision. The absence of Control, Passion, and Diligence is Chaos. Thus the absence of the principles points toward the seventh virtue—Order. The three principles unify to form Singularity. This is the eight virtue, but it is also the first, because within Singularity can be found all the principles, and thus all the virtues.

A circle has no end. It continues forever, with all parts equally important in the success of the whole. Our society is the same. It too continues forever, with all members (and all virtues) equal parts of the unified whole.

The Book of Circles, Ultima VI

I have been thinking for a long time how to share my experiences in effectively running a guild. There are two renowned guides by respected guild leaders/founders: Brimstone’s Guide (founder and leader of the Lost Order of Akalabeth) and Faust’s On Guild Management.

I could write another guide, but it would merely mirror the existing ones. I desire something distinctive, something that guild leaders and members will appreciate for its unique style. Reflecting on my RPG years, I looked into my gaming archives and found the Axiom of Singularity from Richard Garriott’s acclaimed game, Ultima VI: The False Prophet.

The Axiom of Singularity comprises three principles: Control, Passion, and Diligence. Fron these three comes the eight virtues. How can we apply these three principles and eight virtues to guild management?


From Control springs Direction.

As a guild leader, founder, or officer, or aspiring to be one, you need direction. You can not start and lead a guild if you do not know where you want your guild to be. This is your steering wheel, the first virtue that in itself is the road your guild will take. Direction acts as your compass, guiding the path your guild will traverse. Decisions should align with your chosen direction.

Our guild, the Holy Order of the Light, was founded with a clear vision: to promote responsible gaming, camaraderie, fellowship, and family. Our decisions stemmed from this vision, setting us apart. Determine your guild’s purpose: Is it for end-game raids, friendship, family connections, or conquest? Establish direction before making decisions.


From Passion springs Feeling.

Once direction is set, understanding the sentiments of your members—the second virtue, Feeling—is crucial. Guilds comprise human beings with emotions. Gauge their needs, expectations, and opinions. Empathize with them; effective communication fosters understanding. Feeling creates bonds within the guild.


From Diligence springs Persistence.

Be persistent, especially in decision-making. Consistency is key to achieving your guild’s goals. Challenges will arise, but persistence ensures progress. Do not give up easily and do not change your decisions (and plans) one moment and another. Learn from setbacks; they strengthen the guild. Persistence precedes rewards.


Control combines with Passion to give Balance.

Balance—the fourth virtue—is essential in decision-making. Strive for equilibrium in all aspects of guild management. Yes, you may have a clear direction already, you already know the feelings of your members, and the guild is more persistent than ever, but that guild you are steering is like a boat. If you lose balance your boat will sink together with all your members.

Here are a few suggestions where best to keep balance:

Real-life versus virtual world

Do not force or demand that your members must be online at a given day and time or they will be kicked from the guild. Do not tell them one day that they must be online for a minimum amount of time per day or week. It may be vital for particular goals you set for your guild especially those into PvP, but do not forget that your members also have a real life they have to live.

Remind them of their real lives. Healthy guild members mean your guild have active members.

Quality and quantity

This is an area where many guilds fail. Some go for quantity, have 500 members but their guild have a bad reputation. Some go for quality, they end up having few members who are of the highest quality, but they can only achieve a few as they lack the numbers.

Avoid extremes in real-life versus virtual commitments and quality versus quantity of members. Balance ensures stability.


Passion combines with Diligence to yield Achievement.

A guild thrives on achievements—the fifth virtue. Recognize and reward members’ contributions. Small recognitions foster engagement and pride. Achievements distinguish your guild from others.

Achievements will put your guild further apart from the rest. Who would not stay or join a guild where members are recognized for their contributions, as little as it may be?


And Diligence joins with Control to provide Precision.

Precision ensures clarity in rules and regulations—the sixth virtue. Specificity prevents misunderstandings. If there are tasks members are expected to do, lay down the details. Your guild is not a country where broad laws are left open for everyone’s interpretation and if there are disputes we go to a court for clarification.

Communicate effectively to gain members’ support and trust.


The absence of Control, Passion, and Diligence is Chaos. Thus the absence of the Principles points toward the seventh virtue—Order.

Maintain order within the guild—the seventh virtue. Chaos disrupts unity; order fosters cohesion. Clearly define roles, processes, and expectations. Orderliness ensures efficiency.

There was a time when I let chaos in our guild, the Holy Order of the Light, and it almost disintegrated. Do not make the same mistakes I did.

Your guild administration should also have order most especially in role delegations. Prepare a concise list of pages where the inner workings of your guild are explained in detail. Your officers and members need to know how your system works, how they can be promoted, how to submit proposals for new events, how disputes are managed and processed, and what do they have to do when new members are recruited and accepted.

Do not do what many other guilds are doing, “the first ten members to join will become an officer”. Guilds who started this way rarely survive. It works, yes, though sooner or later the administration will fail.

Here is another suggestion, often ignored: roster of members. Do not wait until your guild is big before you keep a list of members. In games where guild infiltration is part of the mechanics, you will end up having spies in your midst. Or, you might end up with someone whose objective is to create division and already notorious about it in the gaming communities.


The three Principles unify to form Singularity.

The eight virtue is singularity. Treat each member as an individual. They are not robots. They are not your slaves. You, your officers, and the members of you guild has to be singular. Singular in mindset. Singular in direction. Singular as an organization. You are one body.

Do they have skills in management? Give them that position. Are they good in communication? Let them be your guild’s face to the public. Do they possess a talent in negotiations, they fit best in your diplomacy committee, or as a person to strike deals for community services and possibly guild discounts.

You can embrace diversity while fostering a collective mindset.

The Axiom of Singularity

Within Singularity can be found all the principles, and thus all the virtues.

The Axiom of Singularity—the culmination of principles and virtues—underscores unity within the guild. You are the guild and they are the guild. You and your members are one. Members and leaders are integral parts of a unified whole, each contributing to the guild’s success.

Your guild is a community

A circle has no end. It continues forever, with all parts equally important in the success of the whole.

Lastly, remember that your guild is a community—the circle that perpetuates forever. It too continues forever, with all members (and virtues) equal parts of the unified whole.

Article history:

  • Fourth revision: 2024-05-13
  • Third revision: 2022-07-07
  • Second revision: 2009-01-05
  • First revision: 2007-06-09
  • First published: 2006-12-22

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Yohan Yuki Xieㆍ사요한・謝雪矢·ᜌᜓᜃᜒIf this is not the end of oblivion, then I shall live everyday as if my life were to end this very day.

The YOOki Chronicles

The YOOki Chronicles is Yohan Yuki Xie’s return into casual and personal blogging. The name “YOOki” is a mash-up of the acronym of YourOnly.One and my nickname ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki・雪矢).

Interestingly, according to Chinese legend, (YOO) is an ancient Chinese surname. The ancestors of the surname were closely linked with the ancient sage-king named Yu Shun. In Korea, the (YU) lineage traces to the Xia, Han, and Joseon dynasties. Holders of the surname Yu or Yoo had a reputation for charity and diligence.1

It is also the word for “willow” or the “willow tree” which means graceful or slender; and a tree growing near a body of water which provide continuous nourishment and resources for everyone. It can also mean to exist, an oil (anointment(?)), and simply as “U” (you).

The Hanzi (ki) character means to record, be disciplined, provide order. While the Hangeul equivalent, (ki), means energy, spirit, a banner, and a period of time; and is also a suffix used to make a gerund or an infinitive.

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