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THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL AND HATE FOR AMTGARD
How To Give Awards
[10/09/2008] [Okami Cio Cio]

How to give awards Awards can be a real hot button for monarchs. There's all sorts of unwritten do's and don'ts when it comes to the giving of awards in Amtgard. Often you'll hear things like "Don't award your running mate," or "1-3rd levels of orders don't mean anything" and even "never award someone who's asked for recognition."

I don't want to talk about the philosophy behind awards for once - I want to give some tips that make the actual function of giving those awards easier. So to that end…

1. Read the corpora.

There are limits to awards, some awards that are only given once per reign, or other restrictions that will affect how you reward your populace. While not getting an award is a disappointment for some folks, getting an award that you can't keep or shouldn't have gotten is also disheartening.

2. Use the ORK.

Of course, not all kingdoms and groups are 100% in keeping folks' on-line records up to date. However, it's a great tool to start from. Previously, when in office and thinking about awards, I simply would start checking on the awards each member of my populace had and then think about what they need next

3. Ask around.

You're on the field and notice that kid's a really excellent wizard? Ask about his masterhood. The guy gets a great kill on you for the zillionth time? Ask about his orders of the warrior. You see someone in great garb? "Hey, did you make that? It's really nice!" and find out if they deserve another garber. By starting these topics of conversation, you'll also learn about the person and make the award all the more special when you give it.

4. Solicit recommendations.

Ask, and ask again for folks to suggest their friends and loved ones for awards. Keep a notebook with you at the park and ask in person when it's time for announcements to be made. Send email announcements to your group, keep on top of those responses.

5. Check with other Monarchs/Regents who might be affected.

It goes hand in hand with check your corpora, but giving awards to people who are affected by other monarchs than you, such as a Kingdom level award when the local monarch could give the same, or when someone is a member of another park. Maybe your Regent/Monarch really wanted to give that Rose. Make sure you're communicating with the other people who are involved.

6. Don't be afraid to explain why or why not when giving awards.

At times, I've had someone give me an award recommendation for someone that I've already considered and decided to wait or perhaps even gotten feedback from them that they're not comfortable accepting that award. In those cases, I've communicated with the person who provided the recommendation, to make sure they understood that I valued their input and why things weren't going the way they wanted. I always then further encourage them to continue to recommend people they see as worthy.

Sometimes, you might give an award that some folks disagree with. You decided to give that award for specific good reasons. Keep them in mind. "Yes, Joeblow may be a jerk but he's a clean fighter, always takes his shots and never questions anyone else's taking of theirs, so that Griffon was indeed deserved - his honor on the field is impeccable."

7. Always have the paperwork.

Even if it's that you've kept a fancy bit of paper on hand and scribbled out some instant calligraphy and drawn a smiley face for illumination, give them a physical representation of the award. The best thing to do is have your scrolls done in advance, and ready to go.

8. Update your PM - and make public announcements quickly.

Make sure you send your email, give your hard copy or both right away to your PM and make sure you've announced publically on any communcation nexus you use - mailing list, forums, whatever your format. It helps ensure that the player will have his information properly recorded.

These steps make it easier for your peace of mind and the people you're wanting to see properly recognized for their efforts. And don't forget the value of a hearty "Thank you" wherever and whenever you can.

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