Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Discussions related to the topic of having Darkon chapters or an over-all Darkon Alliance of clubs all using the same rules or similar enough rules to allow for inter-club events, and character reciprocity.
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Lord Dubh
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Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-12-10

Folks,

In 2012 the Senate of the Darkon Wargaming Club, Inc. was asked if they would be interested in a proposal on making the game system a nation system with chapters. The idea was backed by a greater majority and so we have had a lot of discussions with people around the nation on what such an organization would look like and I want to present some of those ideas to the club at large just to get feedback from the forums readers.

Chapters are a reality. They are unofficial but they exist, in fact there are four clubs out there that are using the Darkon Rules of Play exactly as we have them written and follow our changes when new rulebooks come out if not sooner. They do this because they want to play Darkon. Realm of Silverdain (Harrisonburg, Va), Realm of Dominion (Philadelphia, PA), The Forgotten Lands (Missoula, MT) and a new one yet named also in Montana.

These 4 groups all want to be part of a larger national organization with recognition, central credit and award database and reciprocity with other Darkon groups. They are unconcerned being involved in rule changes and do not foresee being concerned about them. I think the rule change process will change in the next 5-10 years as we grow nationally but for now it is a non-issue.

Facing the reality that chapters will happen, officially or unofficially, the Darkon Wargaming Club, Inc. should get ahead of this and just plan for it. The first step is the identify our core rules, which the committee has done fairly well already and the rulebook for 2013 has already been re-organized a little to better identify core and optional sections. Re-organization is not complete but until core rules are identified there is no reason to continue the edits.

So what goes into the core rules?

The core rules are those rules that a club can not go without for reasons of safety and game play. The obvious examples includes the rules on classes,the magic system, the armor and hit system (armor, weapons, hit zones, etc), teams/units, appearance, credit distribution and awards.

Optional or modifiable rules would be the Land Rules and Nobility System.

Reciprocity is an important factor as well and the things that should be recognized by each chapter would be: credits and awards (the awards defined in the bylaws, not the noble titles) and participation. How they are handled may vary from club to club, as an example a Knight of the Realm moves from one chapter to another. He would still be a Knight of the Realm with all IG perks but may not have the OOG perks or responsibilities until approved by the local chapter.

Obviously there should be limits in place as well. A person should not be able to go to an event in Baltimore region one week and then to Philly the next week and gain credits 1 per week if not more depending on what the chapters are doing that weekend.

So having read this long ass post, what are some of the opinions out there. I know that only like 5 or 6 people will read this but since none of them are on the committee a fresh opinion will be of value.

Thanks,

John M.E. Machate
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Zodiac89
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Zodiac89 » 2012-12-10

Sounds like a decent idea to me.
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Snudge » 2012-12-11

I think you already listed everything I would say was core rules.
But from our rule book I'd say chapters 1-7 are core, with Appendix I-IV also

I would hesistate to allow any chapter but us to make bylaw changes. I'm all for suggestions, but reserve that sort of thing to the founding club
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Lord Dubh
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-12-11

Snudge wrote:I think you already listed everything I would say was core rules.
But from our rule book I'd say chapters 1-7 are core, with Appendix I-IV also

I would hesistate to allow any chapter but us to make bylaw changes. I'm all for suggestions, but reserve that sort of thing to the founding club


Yeah, looking at Chapter 1 some things may vary but I agree...

Our bylaws have nothing to do with another club and changes we make won't effect other clubs. For example, if another club chooses to have a different system of representation, as long as it is legal in that state nothing for us to say about it. We use countries, small clubs with no chance of hitting 200 members may choose direct representation instead, not really our issue.
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Sir Tyriel Firebrand
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Sir Tyriel Firebrand » 2012-12-11

I agree with what has been said, but I believe Amt has a rule that deals with how many credits you can get in a certain time period. I would say you could get not more then three credits in a week.
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Arion_Lightseeker » 2012-12-12

Darkon should be a national organization, great idea. However, wouldn't there be a "national executive board" needed to handle and communicate with other said chapters?

What other benefits to club is forseen by "going national"?

I'm also surprised Darkon hasn't done this a long time ago, comparing to other foam fighting clubs (and other LARP organizations) for that matter.

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Lord Dubh
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-12-13

There are varied models we could use but one we don't want to use is the national corporation model which would require a single top level Board of Directors, which is how the SCA operates. This model places liability at the national level and ALL opposition to this idea in the past 15 years is based on liability concerns.

The Amtgard model has a body that the chapter leaders belong too, this is the intended model for us as well. In our case it would be the Presidents of each club sitting on the body, whose purpose is communication not administration.
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Defalcone
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Defalcone » 2012-12-16

As a group who have been using the Darkon rules for 8 years now we are going to throw our hat in the ring. First we are going to talk about why we want chapters. Having a chapter system in place is going to give groups like ours some legitimacy and allow us to increase our player base. Even though we have an establish returning player base, the fact that we are independent of Darkon makes us look like a fly-by-night operation to many potential new players an cross gamers.

We have a local Belegarth Chapter and last year were across from them at a Ren faire, Watching us fight made some of them rethink our group and now we have a few players cross gaming with us. While these players have made repeated attempts too get more of their fellow Belegarth players out to fight us they are wary of our independent status and think that our safety rules are somehow lax. When they heard that we could possibly become a chapter, suddenly their attitude changed. They became more open to the idea of playing with us as if we would be a different group if we were recognized by Darkon.

Having chapters would also improve the RP and Meta wargame aspect of the rules system. Imaging funding proxy wars in other realms, trading, forming of alliances across realms, and even piracy. A national event like Ragnarok or Chaos Wars could be created.

Liability is of course a concern, but not an insurmountable one. We dont want Darkon liable for us and Vise Verse, we are adults and can take care of ourselves. We dont expect, and do not want Darkon to be held responsible for our actions.

Also important to us is some degree of independence. We are a small group and dont have the numbers for a Senate or and EB so we are run by a small noble council. We have some local flavor to our land map with roads and ports.

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Lord Dubh
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-12-18

Thanks Ryan, good post.

So in regards to core rules, chapter 2-6 are all that is needed for any group to form and be recognized as Darkon. Chapter 7-9 are the ones that can be changed or ignored easily enough and not effect game play. Chapter 1 would need to be modified at each chapter unless we can figure out how to word everything so that it is generic...

Awards would be similar from group to group with differing names. Knight of the Realm is the one award that would effect movement from group to group. I suspect the easiest way to handle this is to allow each chapter to award them in a way that benefits the group and allow each chapter to have local rules on how to handle Knights of the Realm from other chapters. For instance, I know that if a Knight of the Realm from Warlord were to move to Darkon he would not be permitted to have a say on the Noble Council just because he has the award, but their could be a process by which he gets accepted by the NC over a period of time. Same would be true of one of our Knights of the Realm went to another chapter, we could not expect to be part of the club leadership without some sort of vetting.
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Defalcone
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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Defalcone » 2012-12-18

I think the awards system should all carry the same name. That way if you have the Order of the Hippopotamus in Darkon you wont have to change it to the order of the Snuffleupagus in another group. I don't think this really needs to be changed, and it would require no change if a person moved from one group to another.

What does need to be changed are the Relics, I don't think the names should stay the same from group to group.That way we don't have 6 Maelstroms running around the field. We plan to develop our own relics, some of them might share similar characteristics of some Relics in Darkon, but a few will be nothing like Darkon has.

That's a good point on vetting, something we have been talking about. We plan a six month vetting process should we receive a member of another group with a noble title before they are allowed to take a seat on our NC.

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Re: Chapter Realities - Core Rules and other stuff

Post by Defalcone » 2012-12-18

I think you guys should have two rule books, one rule book for Darkon ,that has Darkons name in it, and another generic rule book that just mentions the "realm" for groups that don't wish to make their own rule book.

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