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Goldenvale is Changing Your Corpora
[06/26/2003] [Randall]

Amtgard needs a uniform award standard.

Thatís it. No anecdotes. No stories where you hear about my Amtgard childhood or how I learned something about the park this weekend. Iím not even going to make fun of the Burning Lands or crack some joke about people touching each other honestly, although I might point out that the Emerald Hills is wrong Ė but you may be surprised to hear that they arenít any more wrong than any other kingdom. No, today Iím going to give you the simple truth that we have a problem and we need to fix it.

The situation right now is that three-quarters of the kingdoms of Amtgard have their own standards for the way they give awards. Only four kingdoms -- the Burning Lands, the Mystic Seas, Dragonspine and VSR -- use the Burning Lands Corpora, and even my own Dragonspine has changed some of our awards standards. The rest of the kingdoms offer up a dizzying array of different standards, guidelines, and ideals for what constitutes an award, and in doing so they change every award in every kingdom, up to and including knighthood.

First, letís get the easy stuff out of the way: in every kingdom that has its own corpora except for Goldenvale, the crown and sword belts have been made harder. This is not an objectionable change. Rather, itís a reflection of the way Amtgard has grown. In most kingdoms, you canít earn a crown belt without having served twice as king Ė and if you do manage it, itís because you served with distinction in multiple smaller offices. And the sword belt has seen higher standards applied to it as well, since most kingdoms now require you to have multiple awards to earn it. In the Golden Plains, you need every award.

No, the problem isnít with the kingdoms raising their standards. Itís with the kingdoms changing their standards.

Take the serpent belt, for example. In five kingdoms, Master Hydra no longer leads to this award. In the other seven, it does. And in the Wetlands, a Master Hydra qualifies you for a crown belt! To make matters worse, you can sing your heart out in eleven kingdoms in Amtgard and get knighted Ė except for Goldenvale, where theyíll give you an order of the Bard, which counts for nothing. Neverwinter and the Wetlands have a Thespian masterhood for good acting and roleplaying, and in those two kingdoms you can be knighted for having it Ė not that the other ten kingdoms care.

Or the flame belt, perhaps. Master Lion is a combination of Griffins and Lions in eight kingdoms, but the other four split them out. Itís even more confusing when Master Griffin counts for Sword in three kingdoms, Flame in another, and nothing in the remaining eight Ė whereas Master Lion earns a Flame belt in every kingdom in Amtgard, except the Wetlands, where it earns Crown. And in the Celestial Kingdom, it earns both!

The awards themselves are even a little fruity. In nine kingdoms, you can have ten Garber or Smith credits and it wonít matter, but if you move to the other three, you can score a Masterhood and a knightís belt. And if you make some armor in the Rising Winds, youíll possibly get an Armorer Credit instead of (or in addition to) an Owl, but if you take ten of those Armorer credits to the eleven other kingdoms, theyíll count for nothing. If you work hard online in eleven kingdoms, you might earn roses or lions, but not Goldenvale Ė theyíll give you an Order of the Spider, which counts towards nothing whatsoever, not even in their own realm! Not content to modify one knighthood, they also have the aforementioned Order of the Bard, which also counts for nothing. A musically-inclined person could become a knight anywhere in Amtgard, but if he entertains the kings of Goldenvale, heíll just be a Master Bard Ė and not a class master, either. Now all we need is someone to make some phony award related to fighting, and weíll be rolling.

Confused yet? It gets worse.

You can earn three different knighthoods with the same set of awards. Really. Become a Master Lion in the Burning Lands and you may be knighted flame. Travel to the Wetlands and youíll be qualified for a crown belt. Having earned that, you could go to Dragonspine, and if your Master Lion has enough Griffins in it, you could walk away as a Knight of the Sword.

Sing in Goldenvale crown quals and youíll get nothing, but maybe youíll qualify for monarch enough to become a Master Hydra. Thatís worth a serpent belt in about half the kingdoms in Amtgard, and if thatís not good enough, you can go back to the Wetlands and be qualified for crown. With the same orders.

It isnít even a case of kingdoms handling their own affairs. If you change what an award means for your kingdom, you change what it means for all of Amtgard. Think Iím just recognizing someone for taking their shots when I give them an Order of the Griffon? Think Iím giving them an order that will take them towards a service masterhood or belt? Wrong! Because some other kingdom changed the award, Iím also giving them an award that counts towards leadership and fighting. I might not want it to mean that, and it might not mean that in my kingdom, but because one kingdom does it differently, I no longer have that choice.

Itís tyranny by a minority and it is simply unacceptable.

Amtgard should use the same award standards. An order in one kingdom should mean the same in all kingdoms. A masterhood in one land should be the same everywhere. And knighthood should mean the same thing wherever you travel.

The kingdoms have a duty to find common ground. We already base our awards from the Burning Lands Corpora, where most of our standards overlap. Almost all kingdoms have already recognized modern standards on sword and crown belts, too. From these basic similarities we can built a better system and get rid of the lunatic scheme where a single award means three things in three different kingdoms Ė and god knows how many things, as more and more kingdoms are born. After all, letís face it. When it comes to thinking way outside the box when it comes to awards, nobody has the newest four kingdoms of Amtgard beat.

So letís set aside our differences and tell our kings and queens what we want Ė awards that mean something the game over. Donít let your award standards be defined by one kingdom. Donít let your neighbors change what your awards mean every time they have an Althing. Tell your kings now that you want award standardization to be on the agenda at Clan when the kingdoms meet Ė and maybe weíll move one step closer to a more unified Amtgard.

Thatís a standard we can all agree upon.

[ I'm not just picking on Goldenvale with the title of this article. I picked it at random. Any kingdom that messes with awards anywhere in Amtgard is changing your Corpora. ]

Burning Lands Corpora -
Dragonspine Althing Minutes -
Golden Plains Corpora -
Iron Mountains Corpora -
Celestial Kingdom Corpora -
Emerald Hills Corpora -
Wetlands Corpora -
Goldenvale Corpora -
Neverwinter Corpora -
Rising Winds Corpora -

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