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Vlad

Ranks and Advancement

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Q: What do all of the different ranks mean?

 

A: The ranks represent how long a member has been part of our community, as well as his or her willingness to participate and help others grow.

 

A description of the meanings of each rank can be found here.

 

 

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Q:What role do the Elders serve?

A: The Elders serve the Mighty Pen. They are dedicated to being active, to mentoring, to answering questions. Their writing skills are proven, and many are also Skalds or Bards. These are the people who run The Pen on a daily basis. If you have an idea for change, need help, or just something comes up these are probably the people to whom to talk. This is an entirely volunteer role, and indicates a strong desire to help others instead of focusing on self-development.

One Elder in specific has the role of LoreMaster. If there's a big announcement, it's his job to take care of it. If there's an event that affects everyone, he'll make sure people find out. When promotions take place, he'll be the one to promote. When things get completely out of control, it is his responsibility to step in and grab the reigns.
In short, the buck stops with him. One a quarter, every three months, the LoreMaster may "break the rules". This action may only be stopped by a unanimous vote of the Elders.

When an Elder can no longer actively support, they either resume their prior Voting Member Title, or become an Ancient. Ancients may advise, but not vote. They provide a body of wisdom on which we may call when making major changes to our future goals, but who are generally inactive due to Real Life commitments.

 

Not to be confused with an Administrator or Moderator.

 

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Q: What is expected of me if I want to get promoted?

A: Let's examine the description of each rank for the answer. The Ranks of the Pen are a way to measure one's progress as a writer. As you advance, you will find new areas of the Pen Keep become visible.

Initiate: The beginning of the Pen journey, and still getting used to The Pen is Mightier than the Sword culture. While Honored Guests are always welcome, The Initiate has posted an application, and been accepted by our Elder of Initiates. As an Initiate our expectation is that you write and explore. Work on developing your skills, and begin to explore the community. Non-voting rank.

Page: Promotion to the rank of Page indicates you've been consistently active and have shown a willing to give to the community by revising and developing your own works, incorporating critical feedback if you agree (it IS your work), or by providing helpful or constructive feedback on another's works.

As Jechum put it, Pages are members who are still growing, developing, promoting, and showing they can play well with others. Respect is a very important value at the Pen is Mightier than the Sword, and criticizing a work or an idea without criticizing the person is a developed skill. Non-Voting member.

Quill Bearer: One must show a dedication to the Pen and must show further improvement over the rank of a Page. Quill Bearers are most of the way to Voting membership, and should show a good amount of activity and responsibility. Quill-bearers do a Quill Quest to be promoted to a Voting member rank. Since Quill Quests often benefit the Pen as a whole, limited Moderator permissions may be granted at this level for the duration of the Quest.

 

Voting Membership:

 

Troubadour, Poet and Herald: On completion of a Quill Quest, the member choose what they feel is their current primary area of strength. While they help to determine the future and direction of the Pen through voting, these ranks recognize a person's desire to continue to develop and grow. Vote counts as 1(one).

Troubadour - Often coming from the Assembly Room, the Troubadour is a story-teller.

Poet - Often coming from the Banquet Hall, the Poet is, well, a poet.

Herald - Often coming from the Conservatory, the Herald is a Role-Player, a player of characters and enjoys the interaction of multi-authorized threads.

 

Skald - The Skald is one who has shown mastery of two of the three initial Voting ranks. Recognition is granted by a selection of the Voting Membership comprised of the holders of the specific Rank, the Skalds, the Bards, and the Elders. For example, A Herald wishing to become a Skald might focus on Poetry, and when ready, request the promotion. The existing Poets, and higher Ranks, would vote, and a simply majority would grant the recognition. Vote counts as 2(two).

 

Bard: The Bard of the Mighty Pen is a Voting Member who has shown mastery in all three areas of writing (Storytelling, Poetry, and Role playing). This is the highest Rank a member may achieve off individual merit, and it is correspondingly difficult to achieve. Voting on advancement to Bard is restricted to existing Bards only. Vote counts as 3(three).

 

Elder Vote counts as 5(five), and LoreMaster (votes only in case of a tie): These ranks are not promotions, but rather support roles taken on by dedicated Voting Membership in support of the community as a whole. An Elder or LoreMaster who finds their time taken by other concerns, or who wishes to devote more time to develop themselves or work on their own project, may always "step-down" to their prior Rank, without prejudice. We are primarily and first an environment of safety - pressures should be internal spurs to growth as a person, not from other members.

 

Non-Voting Positions:
Ancient: These are Elders who have stepped down due to the inactivity of Real Life, but still make themselves available for occasional advice. Their opinions usually carry great weight at The Pen.

 

Moderator/Administrator: These are Rank-independent positions of service. Some trustworthy members are comfortable with detailed technical functions but prefer reading or working behind the scenes over developing as writers. For security reasons, due to the power of these positions, the earliest a person may be considered for these technical support roles is Quill-Bearer, and that if it is necessary for their Quill Quest. Otherwise, any Voting Member may volunteer to be considered for one of these roles.

 

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Q: How often do promotions happen here?

 

A: Promotions are scheduled for every other month, but don't expect to be nominated each time! ;)

 

Over the months leading up to the promotions, members keep an open eye for people who they feel meet the guidelines for their next rank. These names usually get sent to an Elder, via PM or e-mail. The Elders will discuss amongst themselves, eventually deciding which candidates they'd like to see advanced to the next rank.

 

One Elder will emerge from the Tower carrying a finalized list to be approved by the Voting Members. The voters have one week to submit anonymous votes of Yea or Nay before the promotion becomes official. All members are free to vote, but when providing a negative response are expected to give a reason for opposing the promotion.

 

Once the week expires, a celebration is initiated when the LoreMaster makes the announcement in the Cabaret Room for all to offer their congratulatory remarks!

 

Note: The preceding answer involves dramatization, and the events depicted may or may not occur as described. You have been warned.

 

 

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Q: So what exactly are Quill Quests and how should I do one?

A: A Quill Quest is the requirement a Quill Bearer fulfills for promotion to Voting Member.

They may be either a writing project, or a task benefiting the Pen as a whole. Writing Quests may require a goodly amount of writing or leadership, but you can do your Quest over whatever span of time you need. An example might be coordinating a Special Event, such as a Carnival, and soliciting members to run Booths and Events.
Task Quests could be something such as selecting a member of Voting rank, and searching the Vaults for their works and creating a post which acts as an index of their works, with links to each.

You are encouraged to create your own ideas and then get them approved, by contacting one of the Elders. If you have part of an idea, or a half-baked Something, then still PM an Elder. They may be able to brainstorm with you. Looking at past Quill Quests for examples, is another source for ideas.
However, if you're really just stumped, PM an Elder, and ask for ideas, or a Quest assignment such as the LoreMaster used to do.

(Ref: http://patrickdurham.net/themightypen/index.php?/topic/15277-quick-guide-to-quill-quests/)



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