Here's a few simple steps and ideas to get you started in forming your own guild:
1. I'll assume your looking to form a guild to make the DDO experience more enjoyable. In most cases this is due to frustrations associated with being reliant on PUG's. Many of these can be eliminated by joining or forming a guild. I recommend you determine what aspect of DDO your looking to enhance and form your guild around that goal. Here's a short list of common DDO frustrations that can be eliminated by forming your own guild:
Zerging - By recruiting those people that like to take it slow you should be able isolate yourself from this style of play.
Waiting for groups - Either A. try to attract large numbers of people to your guild so there is always someone online to group with and/or B. have nights that members are expected to play or schedule events that will make members want to be online the same time as others.
DDO doesn't feel like PnP - That's because one of the big differences is your playing with complete strangers and don't have a chance to develop the friendships and teamwork found in PnP. So why not form a small guild just as one would form a PnP group. As the guild leader you can think of yourself as the "DM". Set the time your going to meet and have a plan for what you what you would like get done. Make sure when you recruit you find people that will be available when you plan on meeting.
Remember guilds can come in all shapes a sizes and serve many purposes and don't have to be a full time commitment. Here's a few ideas...
Dedicated guild - Recruit members that start together at level 1 and meet 1 or 2 days a week. The characters are only played on scheduled guild times.
Theme guild - You've seen these, all rogue guild, all Halfling, dwarf etc guild. Maybe you'll want to form a guild committed to helping new people through harbor quests etc.
Permadeath guild - No explanation needed
The possibilities are endless and the point is that not all guilds have to be huge or fit the standard guild mold. In fact the more interesting the goal of your guild is, the more likely you are to create interest in it.
2. Find forum space or a website so members can communicate outside of DDO. You'll find that sometimes communicating on a guild forum can be just as fun as playing. It also enables you to post rules and share stories, pictures or fraps with other members. All of these things help to build relationships and teamwork. Without a home outside of Stormreach, communications will be difficult. There are many places where you can find your guilds home. Here's a short list to get you started:
Own web space - If you have internet access then chances are your ISP provides a small amount of web space for you to use. If you have the skills to build your own site, this may be a good start.
guildportal.com - This is a turnkey solution and they will provide everything you need to build your home. It's a good fit for both small and large guilds.
Yahoo Groups - This provides the basics in order to communicate with your members and share experiences.
3. Create rules that will define who your guild is, what it's purpose is and outlines how things should work. It also ensures that you attract like-minded players and sets expectations. It's this type of organization that sets guilds apart and provides a benefit to it's members. Without some form of organization, you're really just creating a smaller group of characters to form a PUG with.
Some people may be "turned off" by rules so it is important to have rules that keeps everyone focused on the goals you originally setout to achieve while creating a fun playing environment. You don't want to turn away potential members that would otherwise benefit your guild with too many rules but too few rules and your guild may lose it's sense of direction. Determining the level of control will primarily be based on the goals you have for your guild.
4. Name your guild and register it in game. You may opt to get your guild members involved in naming the guild and if that's what you prefer, you can save this step till after you have started step 5.
5. Recruit recruit recruit! Once you know what your looking for from your guild, have a home to call your own and outlined what you expect from your members, it's time to find like minded people. This can be the most rewarding or the most frustrating part of getting your guild off the ground. Here's a few proven ways to get the word out:
Friends list - Send in game mail to charcters on your friends list.
In PUGS - Let anyone you think would make a good guildmate know about your guild when you group with them
Friends and family - If you have friends or family that play this is often your best chance at getting your first dedicated members.
Signature - Create a signature file advertising your guild in your DDO forum profile. Post regularly but remember your guild will be reflected in the comments you make.
Appropriate forums - Advertise your guild in the appropriate DDO forums.
Get members involved - As you add members to the guild, ask them to get involved with the recruitment.
5. Identify things that will enhance the guild. You can schedule events, manage a guild bank etc. Determine what others in your guild would like to see added or would be willing to administer to get them involved as well.
With planning, some commitment and communication you should have a rewarding guild!