SR - Gang-stewarding events

Dennis Grace sirlyonel at
Mon Mar 22 09:42:40 PST 1999

Salut Cozyns,

Lyonel aisai.

Donal says:
>Time to draw a little fire, as I'm sure not
>everyone will agree with my interpretation.

Well, for the most part I found your response enlightenling, insightful, 
and informative.  I did have some trouble with one point:

>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.

Legislation never works this way, especially where administrative 
matters are concerned. When the change was made, many of us took no 
notice.  We hadn't considered the possible ramifications.  That happens.  
Laws are just ink on paper.  They can always be changed.

Donal also notes:
>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.

Not missing the point so much as arguing for a different model.  I can 
see now that the term "co-sponsorship" need not be as controlling a 
concept as I'd initially feared.  I still think individual groups should 
be allowed to run regional events without attaching funds and personnel 
from other groups, and yes I do see the possibility of problems 
developing from such a requirement.

Donal also posted:
>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.

Okay, but do we need a three-group requirement to accomplish this? Does 
some other law *disallow* one group's offering to front the expenses for 
another group?  

>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.

Same comment.  The rule doesn't accomplish this.  The support does.  We 
don't need a rule to tell Shadowlands that they can ask Raven's Fort to 
help them throw a regional event.

>3) Allows larger branches to do something a little different without
>having to give up a "traditional" event.

There's that calendar argument again.  Why should a group have to give 
up a traditional event?  Rather than requiring this three-group 
cooperation, can't the regional seneschal just authorize regional events 
on a case-by-case basis?

>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?

I'm not saying it's an undesirable goal.  I just think this method 
pushes it too hard.  If we're to develop such cohesion, it will be as a 
natural outgrowth of playing together as a unit. 

>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.

I don't remember saying anything about back-stabbing, but yes I think 
this requirement is a mistake.  I put it in the same category as loaning 
money to a friend.  Some folks believe strongly that loaning money to a 
friend is a surefire formula for losing money and friends.  I think it 
has to be taken on a case by case basis.  In some cases, I would *not* 
loan money to a friend.  Does that mean I don't trust the friend, that 
the friendship is less than sound?

We lived for quite some time in Artemisia during its inception as a 
principality.  We played together quite well, and we occasionally shared 
labor and expenses on events.  We never *required* that sharing though.  
I believe such a requirement creates undue stresses, especially where 
money and management styles are concerned.  Moreover, I think regional 
events can act as a source of friendly rivalry between groups within the 
region.  The events get better when individual groups try to outdo one 
another in successive versions.

Donal says:
>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.

Want a principality?  Maybe.  I think it could be fun.  I won't wilt if 
it doesn't happen.  As I noted:  been there; done that.  

I won't address the rest of Donal's letter because I agree with much of 
what he says.  My objection isn't to groups working together to throw an 
event; my objection is to the legislation of regional cohesion. That was 
why I asked Sosha what she meant by our *need* for cohesion.  I think a 
cohesive region a desirable thing; I also think that cohesion will be 
all the more strong for having been nurtured and allowed to grow apace.

lo vostre por vos servir
Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace
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