Today I am pleased to announce something that the Dark Council and Consuls have been discussing for several weeks: the proposal of new Clans. We begin with a bit of the rationale, a description of the two-step process, and conclude with the initial timeline for proposing new units. In the coming weeks, we will have many other announcements regarding our structures and how we plan to make the Brotherhood a more dynamic place for our units and members.
There are times in the history of this club where new ideas from the membership have caused an influx of activity and interest. Although the Dark Council is always interested in member ideas, there are times when our current structures do not fit the ideas members have. Sometimes, these ideas take the form of a new unit, whose fictional identity and purpose offers something fresh to our club. In a time where our membership derives more and more fictional identity for their characters from a unit's fictional identity, the refusal to consider additional units can cause us to miss new opportunities for members. The opportunity for club growth and development by allowing membership to propose new units is showcased in the example of Odan-Urr.
However, the formation of new units is often contentious. Obviously, the new units require members, and it is unlikely that all of the members of a new unit would be drawn from the rogues. Thus, those interested in forming new units often have to seek out at least some members in Clans; this can cause direct or indirect conflicts within units. Moreover, members proposing ideas to us in the past have not always presented truly new ideas for the club, and we want to avoid a situation where members are drawing together a team for a proposal that has no chance of passing due to its redundancy with what we already offer. Finally, it is important that our Consuls have some voice in the process. This news post has been summarized on our updated Clan and House Policy Wiki Page.
So, our solution is a two step process. The first step we call the pre-proposal. The pre-proposal is a document worked on by a single or very small number of individuals. This pre-proposal will go to the GM and the DGM, and assuming a basic level of feasibility, the idea behind the pre-proposal will be socialized with the Star Chamber, Dark Council, and Consuls, as necessary to gauge the opinions of our wider leadership body on the value that the unit poses to the club and how it would impact our existing units.
The GM will then make a final decision on if the pre-proposal will be approved, based on feedback gathered from these leadership bodies. The two-step process here is to provide a clear indication to everyone involved at various levels of our club that the proposal has some chance of succeeding. A pre-proposal moving ahead is by no means a guarantee of success, but it does help us prevent members from wasting their time on ideas we think are already sufficiently covered by clans. Following approval, the submitter can move on to a full proposal. That is to say that the initial pre-proposal should not be widely shared and must not involve recruiting individuals to work on the project. In fact, from this point forward, authors of a pre-proposal that 'recruit' others to their cause prior to the approval of a pre-proposal will have their pre-proposal rejected. For those that have previously established groups interested in proposing Clans, we obviously are understanding that this process is new.
A pre-proposal should:
Once approved, pre-proposals can and should be circulated widely. They can be discussed over Discourse, and although we strongly discourage direct recruitment, members may make posts and discuss them as needed. The proposer can now gather a team to work on the full proposal. Full proposals will provide a comprehensive outline for how the unit will function in our Brotherhood for the future. Part of the full proposal is a list of individuals interested in joining the proposed Clan. Any clanned members must talk to their unit leadership about their plans.
Full proposals must provide:
Full proposals will once again be socialized with relevant leadership bodies. Proposals will be evaluated based on the unique contributions the unit makes to the Brotherhood, the proposing leadership team and membership body, and the overall plan for the unit in its first year. The Grand Master will make a final decision on the full proposal, which could include a request to resubmit the proposal based on feedback.
We will not review any pre-proposals until the end of March (3/31). Any pre-proposals received prior to April will be reviewed simultaneously, and any feedback/approvals will be distributed to proposers at the same time. However, after this date, we will have rolling submissions of pre-proposals such that members may submit their ideas at their convenience, at which point we will review the pre-proposals as they come in. Full proposals will be expected two weeks after an accepted pre-proposal. The decision to have an initial review period is based on the fact there are some groups that may already have been working towards a proposal, while others simply have very rough ideas.
In addition, we suspect that full proposals for new units will be relatively rare. Our Clan offerings are currently quite diverse, and we suspect that in many cases, ideas could be better integrated into an existing Clan. But we can't rule out the possibility that the creative endeavors of our members, particularly as our fictional universe continues to expand, will be best advanced with new units as well.
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