[Bards] Topic: Comparisons

Robert Fitzmorgan fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Fri Dec 15 07:40:20 PST 2006

     One format I have used approaches the martial tournament form.  The
Bards in the competition all meet in the morning and are handed a number of
tokens.  Throughout the day the Bards challenge one another and wager tokens
on the outcome.  The Bards determine the nature of the challenge and choose
a judge or judges acceptable to both of them.  At the end of the day the
Bards meet again and the 3 or 4 Bards with the most tokens go into a final
round that is judged by the retiring Bardic Champion and the local Nobles.
     The Barony of Northkeep often uses this format with the added provision
that the final round must be an extemporaneous piece composed on site to a
given topic.
     It's a lot of fun, you get as much bardic in as you want, and it
involves the populace in the process of choosing the Bardic Champion.  It
also allows the people competing for, or running,  the championship to do
other things throughout the day without being tied to a particular place for
a long period of time.
     A couple of things you want to look out for though.  Don't allow more
than three bards in any particular challenge and don't allow wagering more
than one token per bard per challenge.  This prevents  4 or 5 bards who are
way behind at the end of the day from throwing all their tokens in one big
multi-bard challenge and going from way behind to top of the list on one

On 12/14/06, Michael Silverhands <silverhands at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Gerald wrote:
> > At Stargate Yule a question was asked; why must the A&S and bardic
> > champion
> > be announced as a "surprise" to the winner, while the martial
> > community has
> > the "advantage" of knowing the winner at the end of the final round.
> >
> > My answer was simply that we can't compare the two; they are oil
> > and water.
> > ...<snip>...
> > But the biggest difference, in my opinion, is that of the ability
> > to call a
> > blow.
> Exactly. Martial combatants judge themselves; bardic competitors are
> judged by others.
> In martial combat, there's usually just one judge who determines the
> winner (the fighter who calls the blow). He or she knows immediately
> when that occurs.
> In bardic competitions, there's usually a panel of judges who
> determine the winner. They need time to talk among themselves, tally
> scores, compare results, discuss their opinions, and choose a winner.
> Competitions are *very* rarely so objective in their scoring that the
> winner could be immediately (or even quickly) determined; the
> subjective element takes time to resolve.
> Alden wrote:
> > ...  It may just be tradition that keeps us from revealing the
> > winner until court.  Maybe "artistic folk" just like the added
> > drama, or perhaps we just default to the attitude we extend to
> > awards, where we carefully guard the knowledge to maintain the
> > surprise.
> >
> > In thinking about this, I think it might be fun to hold a bardic
> > competition, where the running scores are announced at the end of
> > each round.  Then after the final round, the competition organizer
> > could really play up the reading of the scores to announce the winner.
> >
> > Alden
> >
> A la "Last Comic Standing" (or "So You Think You Can Dance", or any
> of the other crop of artist competitions on TV)? I like this idea. :-)
> It would just require that the judges have previously worked out
> clear and consistent criteria for scoring, thus making it possible
> for them to determine and announce the winner quickly.
> Michael
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"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much
of a day."     John A. Wheeler

Fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Yahoo IM: robert_fitzmorgan
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