The Craftsmen hold possibly the most power and influence of any faction with a public face (and possibly more than any secret or covert group either). The vast majority of specialized goods are made by Craftsmen. No all specialized goods are made by Craftsmen, but the parts for a Gunnars ship or the saddle for an Equinja’s ride have to come from somewhere. Pirates and Ninjas alike both know not to mess with the people building their houses. You could get an independent builder to make your house or do it yourself, but the Craftsmen will typically do it cheaper, faster, and make it last longer.
Still, there exist those that like to challenge the Craftsmen. Thieves and con-men try to outsmart the Craftsmen and put a dent in their metaphorical armor. Most Craftsmen are more than capable of protecting their stores and products, but not every Craftsmen has the operational freedom to chase halfway across the country for some thief. That’s where the Collectors come in.
The Craftsmen aren’t just a group of artisans. They’re a full guild, and that means that some people have to keep things running without working directly in Guild duties. In other words, not every Craftsmen makes things for a living. The Craftsmen, like all organizations have their bureaucrats, their leaders, and, in this case, their police force.
The purpose of the Collectors is simple. Make sure that people make good on their deals and track down people that try to take down, con, or otherwise harm the Craftsmen. If someone just refuses to pay their debts, the Collectors come in and take it by force. Just because the Craftsmen aren’t typically combat-oriented does not mean one should underestimate the Collectors. The Collectors are very talented in combat and have been known to go head to head with masters of more combat-oriented schools. They are feared and respected for a very good reason. The Collectors typically try to handle things as peacefully as possible, but things frequently get violent and the Collectors aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when they need to. This is probably why the Collectors have been given the nickname the Craftsassins by some. It’s not good for the Craftmen’s image, but sometime the only way to solve a problem is to make it disappear.
The Collectors can come from any walk of life and frequently have combat styles matching with other factions with just a Craftsmen flavoring. They’re not all Wanderers either. Plenty of renegade ninjas and pirates that abandoned their factions or have been hired out have joined the ranks of the Collectors. If the Collectors don’t have a man for the job, it’s possible the job can’t be done.
The Debt Collector ability, as the name insinuates, originates with the Collectors and anyone in possession of this ability either works as a Collector or has done work for them in the past. After all, what use would someone have for a move that punishes enemies of the Craftsmen if they weren’t working for them at some point.
Of course, one of the most important aspects of the collectors is kept secret from the public. Specifically, some Collectors act as plants and spies for secret black market organizations. Their biggest target is currently the secret Gamblers guild, but they’ll infiltrate any group that poses a threat to the Craftsmen. This function of the Collectors is kept secret to the public and most of the Craftsmen guild itself. It doesn’t help to have hidden agents if everyone knows they exist.
In your campaign, the Collectors make an excellent re-occurring threat for less “legal” players. If a player has stolen goods or is with the Gambler’s guild, it’s likely they’ll have at least a few of these guys after them at all times. It’s a great way for building tension or giving an “on the run” kind of feel to your campaign. After all, if the Craftsmen want to find you, they usually can.