SR - Gang-stewarding events

Donal & Sosha catsden at
Sun Mar 21 23:46:42 PST 1999

Greetings all, Donal here. Time to draw a little fire, as I'm sure not
everyone will agree with my interpretation.

Dennis Grace wrote:
> I have a few questions.  How long ago was the last
> such tournament?  Why was the event run as a gang-venture?  What
> advantage did co-stewards offer over one steward from a single barony?
If memory serves, the last Tournament of the Worthies was run about 4
or 5 years ago. It was run as a cooperative event because a) when it
began, the main impetus came from one large household which spread
over several branches; b) there were at the time much looser limits
(if any) on how many events per year could be held at the Stones (if
this puzzles you, it can be explained rather simply: most of the
branches in the southeast part of Texas held at least one or two of
their events per year at the Stones);  c) perhaps most important, this
was a BIG event in its heyday. Initial startup costs were enormous
(fancy banners, the quintain, I think the big tote board, various
other props and gimmicks, etc.) For those reasons, it became
*convenient*, even *necessary*, to have Worthies event staff drawn
from several branches. I don't know how, or if, the event profits were
split; nor do I have information at my fingertips as to which was the
"official" sponsoring branch(es). I can look it up if you're that
interested. What should be noted is that there was one autocrat, who
was responsible for the event. Staff from other branches were
delegated certain responsibilities, according to who could do a given
job most efficiently. I think you are missing the point here as to
what a co-autocrat needs to be for. No one is suggesting that events
should be run by committee. I personally find the idea
counter-productive. A co-autocrat merely serves as representative of a
co-sponsoring branch. Sub-autocrat (there's an oxymoron) might be a
more accurate term.

> As I noted previously, I do not doubt that an event *can* be run by
> multiple groups, I just question the wisdom of doing so.  As far as I
> can tell, the only rationale for this requirement is distrust.  Someone
> in the seneschalate has decided we might try to sneak extra local
> (i.e.--non-regional events) events onto the Kingdom calendar under the
> aegis of Regional events, thereby supervening the limit on calendar
> events.
It's been a year and a half since Kingdom law was re-written, the
three-branch provision was in then. If you had a problem with that
provision, you had an opportunity to comment, as did nearly anyone who
took an interest. 

> If we have another rationale, I've yet to hear it (but would really like
> to).
The rationales for this requirement all point towards one goal. The
1) Allows smaller branches to hold a big-time event without undue
strain by pooling resources, both financial and talent.
2) Allows smaller branches, by holding a big-time event, to draw folk
from all over the region, some from all over the kingdom, encouraging
cohesion at both levels.
3) Allows larger branches to do something a little different without
having to give up a "traditional" event.
4) The biggie, and what the others all lead to: encourages cooperation
among the branches in a region. 
Many posts were made on this list during one principality discussion
or another, attempting to explain that a principality would draw the
branches in it closer together. Why is this now an undesirable goal?
You stated in an earlier post that you thought having more than one
group putting on an event would lead to hurt feelings, petty
backstabbing, and the like, and that this would hurt our ability to
function as a unit at war. My question now is, if we can't even put on
an event sponsored by more than one branch, how in the nine billion
Names of God are we to form a unit at a war? You want to talk about a
forum for hurt feelings, accusations of certain groups or individuals
not pulling their weight, Monday-morning quarterbacking about how
another plan would have worked ten times better? Go stand around and
listen to the talk after a field battle. But there are ways besides
war practice to get members of a region working together, trusting
each other, knowing each other. The strongest bonds of companionship
can be formed in combat - but if the unit doesn't train together, work
day-to-day together, *do things* together, they will never survive
long enough to form those bonds. The purpose of requiring multiple
branches to hold a "regional" event is so that all of the people and
groups who worked on it can say "This is *our* event." Not the event
held by that branch down the road.

> As to the idea of using a steward from one area, a gate crew from
> another, and perhaps a marshalling team from yet another--yes, I believe
> this is doable.  Again, I don't see any advantage in it.  So we've done
> it?  What does it prove?  What does it add to the event?  Are we so
> pressed for proof that our regional events are truly regional?
Well, yeah. You want a principality, right? Well, one of the
requirements for a pricipality is a history of regional events. The
BoD, for some reason, would like some proof that the member branches
of such a proposed political division at least be able to play nice
with each other. Otherwise, they may be wasting their time with a
packet demanded by a few vocal members which would fail due to apathy.
And the division of labor is not only doable, it's been done. Over and
over again, here and there, for many years in this kingdom. 

Look, boys and girls, none of this is new. A lot of the posts I've
been reading have the tone of "How dare THEY spring this new
requirement on us? THEY're just trying to make it harder for us to do
something!" Nope. It's all been around for a good long time, if
trouble was taken to look it up. What THEY want (if THEY exist), is
for anyone who wants to do something beyond their local branch, to
have support and cooperation beyond their local branch. A region, by
itself, is nothing. Nada. An administrative fiction, put together for
the single purpose of easing the load on the Great Officers of State,
by giving them a common framework to split their deputies' workloads.
The boundaries are set by Royal decree, and can be changed with a snap
of the fingers. The Coastal Region was not always there; it was
created ex nihilo for what doubtless seemed like good reasons at the
time. Gunthar and Sara could wake up tomorrow with a wild hair up
their collective Royal backside (and a very nice one it is, especially
in His Majesty's white tights ;)  ), and decide the map would look
better with only three regions. Or half a dozen. So. The only reason
to have a regional event, is to foster cooperation in a region, and
turn the fiction into reality. One group can decide to have a Regional
Warlord (or whatever; I'm casting my vote for Warden). But what is the
point, unless the region cooperates to make it more than just another
tourney? If you want to do it with one branch, go ahead, put in a bid.
Maybe the Regional Seneschal will say go for it. But without the
region behind the event, it won't mean a damn thing.

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