Master at Arms Report 1
News from the Medal Bot
I’ve gone through the MAA policies on the Wiki, and I’ve combined the Restoration of Dossiers, Title, and Honorary Names Policy. I’m going to leave promotion guidelines and the Clan Title Census as their own pages for the time being. The next thing on the list is to go through all the policies and make sure they’re still correct/relevant. My request to the Brotherhood? If you think there’s something that needs to be added, deleted, or changed – please let me know.
Related to the above, I've gone through and updated the Clan Title Census with the past year and a half or so of updated. If you do notice any thing that needs to be changed (deletions or additions), please let me know!
Teylas has been voluntold as Praetor. Please offer your sympathies or congratulations. I'm not sure which one is more accurate!
I have a shiny image for reports thanks to the Herald. It’s at the top of it. Look at it, it’s awesome! Thanks V’yr!
Thanks to Voice Wally and Praetor Teylas, all the medal descriptions on the Wiki have been updated to fit the new Brotherhood/Star Wars canon. I think/hope. If anyone sees a description referring to something that is no longer canon, please let Teylas and I know! (Bonus points if you come up with something to replace it).
I am running another puzzle competition. Click the puzzle!. It runs for about a week!
A quick note about competitions, grading, and placements: One thing to keep in mind when deciding grading criteria and then the placements for all competitions (but especially cryptography related ones), there is often confusion with regards to typographical errors, spelling, and punctuation. There have been issues in the past where placements have been an issue due to a typo on the original image/thing to be translated or decrypted, and the placements could have changed based on whether or not people corrected the error or not. Additionally, there have been issues on whether or not punctuation counts or not. So, when deciding on grading criteria for these types of competitions – please be specific (Does spelling count? Do you translate whatever is on the screen regardless of typos?), because the last thing anyone wants is to have to regrade a competition due to a misunderstanding or confusion.
Awards of Note
One of the things Aabsdu did as Master at Arms was highlight promotion and medal recommendations, both for recognition and so people could easily see the evolving standards. They were stored on the Writing Recommendations Wiki Page. I’m going to continue this, but I will likely keep them confined to Master at Arms reports, but that page will remain up for the time being.
Takagari "DarkHawk" KogaRyu was promoted to Battlemaster – After a long time in the rogues, DarkHawk earned himself a promotion! Congratulations to him!
Bentre Kairn'tel Stahoes was promoted to Battlelord for his tremendous work in Clan Naga Shadow, and for the Shadow Academy! Congratulations!
Commander Chris Winchester, AKA Little Nero was awarded a Steel Cross for his work in Odan-Urr! Congratulations!
Warrior Zehsaa Hysh earned a Steel Cross for her activity in Scholae Palatinae, and a number of months as a Herald Magistrate! Congratulations!
Master at Arms Work Highlight – Dossier Fixing
One of the other things Teylas and I were talking about was highlighting some of the work the Master at Arms office does that people may not be aware of, so this week? We’re going to talk about fixing dossiers.
A few years ago, there was a big push to fix/restore/edit dossiers so that all previous units, ranks, and dates were consistent. Reason was simple, the more accurate a dossier is? The more accurate a person’s credit account would be when possessions launched. Now that possessions has launched, I figure it is time to let people know that again.
So for those members whose dossiers are incomplete (missing units, transfers, old promotions, join dates), please let us know – and we’ll work with you to correct errors. If you’re looking for some previous history, take a look at these news posts: Manual events and dossier fixes, Manual events and dossier fixes, Part 2!, Manual events and dossier fixes with a Vengeance!, Live Free or Fix Dossiers, A Good Day to Fix Dossiers.
Master at Arms Work Highlight – Master/Student Dossier Pairings
The other thing the Master at Arms office can do is remove old apprentices from dossiers. There are situations where a master/student pairing does not work out - and often times, the apprentice has already been moved to the rogues. In those cases, clan summits are unable to removing the pairing - but the Master at Arms can! If a member wants that to happen, please just send us an email.
Fixing Competitions – Updated Policy/Procedure
Remember last time when I went through a whole song and dance about emailing the Regent staff when you’re getting competitions fixed? Yeah, scratch half of that. Just let Teylas and I know and we’ll let the Regent people know what needs to be adjusted, because not every situation is the same. So in short, if there’s a competition error? Let the MAA office know and we’ll take care of it. Here’s the updated procedure below:
A member notices that there's an error in the competition they ran. Send Teylas and I an email letting us know what needs to be done.
Teylas and I will acknowledge your email and get everything ready (preparing to delete medals, reopening competitions, etc. - it depends on the situation).
If the placements have to be changed, we will reply and ask you to send an email to all the participants, so that they know what's coming.
Once that has been done, one of us will reopen the competition/delete all the placement medals, and reply back to the requester letting them know they can proceed.
Finally, the competition organizer can change the placements/change participants and then close the competition.
Ask the Master at Arms
Young Teylas decided to do one of these things, and to demonstrate how young and hip I am, I said sure. Thanks to him for organizing this! That said, for the love of pandas, this isn’t the only forum to ask questions. That’s why reports have comments! Now, onto the questions and answers:
Mark asks: Do you feel that medal awards are consistent throughout the seven clans?
Teylas: This is a great question. I just served as PLACON for the past 17 months and saw many-o-quarterly reports. In those, I think it's fair to say the distribution of medals throughout the clans fits a pretty typical bell curve. Most fall in the middle, some are really high some quarters, some are really low. Usually a clan that has a high quarter, will dip down the next. It makes sense.
Last year the average was 57.7 merit medals per clan. 3 clans were under that, 3 were over, and 1 was dead on (58). The reasoning why some are higher or lower are dependent on the clan, but as far as we're concerned if you feel you aren't able to get as many merit awards through: come talk to us. We'd be more than happy to look at the assessment and tracking tools at our disposal to see if maybe you're missing something, or don't feel someone isn't going to be able to get an award when they can. The best rule is always, always to come talk to Howie or I. We are here to help you guys.
Howie: Short answer? Sort of. Are they broadly consistent? Yeah, largely – but not every clan awards every single person in the same manner in way. Should they be looking at their member objectively, and provide each and every member with recognition? Yes, and we look at people’s contributions in the same objective way. The fact is though, everyone in the DB does different things, and they contribute differently and you need to look at every member as their own special case.
The goal of the Master at Arms office is to maintain a baseline of standards across the DB, but not that everyone always gets the same medal after a certain amount of time. The goal of the leadership in this club is to make sure that everyone is awarded appropriately, and that generally means equitably – but not necessarily exactly the same.
Katicorn asks: What piece of advice would you give to new leaders when it comes to awarding their members?
Teylas: As I got into in the last question: ask us. If you aren't sure: ask us. If you want clarification: ask us. Our number one job is to better facilitate the ability of clan leadership to properly award their members for their time and effort put into being a member of the Brotherhood. The other piece of advice I'd give is we now have an assessment tool. Use it! It's extremely helpful in tracking activity through the website in where your members sit.
Howie: Agreed, if in doubt, ask. That said, there is a balance to be had between asking, using the form (that’s why we have a site), and knowing how/doing your job. For our newest leaders, this balance is far closer to the asking part. As you become more experienced, you’ll get the hang of it – and it is expected that you’ll be far more comfortable. Another thing to remember? Remands and denials are not bad. They’re not a reflection on you as a person, and they should be treated as another tool in the box to learn how the Brotherhood’s structures work. To me, that’s the best way to learn as a new leader. Try, and if it gets kicked back, learn from it.
Squiddles asks: Aabs spoke of some projects he left unfinished, do you plan to help him complete these?
Yep. The XP system (it’s a point system, dammit!) has a bunch of background work done on it – but it is nowhere near ready to talk about, you know, in any great detail. That’s probably my biggest piece of long term work.
Hades asks: Is there a particular member who you are most eager to deny medals to and why?
Teylas: Mav, because he's the worst.
Howie: Mav, because he knows what he did.
Tahiri asks: What you looking for in the ideal newbie candidate?
That’s a really good question. I think the biggest thing would be to have working knowledge of how the DB works. Not necessarily all the ins and outs of what constitutes an appropriate medal or promotion recommendation (and what makes an inappropriate one) – I’d really like people to learn that from me. More so, I think a good candidate knows the different areas of the DB, not at an expert level – but knows they exist, and most importantly – where to find more information, or if there’s nothing written, who to ask.