Changing the Recognition of Exemplars (Synod / Way)

At Event 4, the Hwyel (a Wisdom priest) put a statement of principle to the General Assembly about changing how Exemplars are recognised. It’ll be on the wiki in due course, but as a preview:

The General Assembly was called on to make the following Statement of Principle: “The General Assembly acknowledges that the current requirements to recognise an Exemplar of Virtue, being a Greater Majority of the a Virtue Assembly, are too easy to achieve with a small number of priests and, acknowledging that this cheapens the value of recognising an Exemplar, the recognition of an Exemplar of Virtue shall require both of: 1) A Greater Majority of the relevant Virtue Assembly, and 2) a Lesser Majority of the General Assembly. Furthermore, no judgment to recognise an Exemplar shall be valid unless it specifies which of the Signs of the Paragon the candidate has displayed.”

That kinda says it all, and - in the field - attracted the support of a third of the General Assembly, with a handful of dissenters.

Early on in development, letting Virtue Assemblies be responsible for identifying Exemplars of a Virtue made sense. However, in practice the Assemblies range from 10 - 30 in size, and a majority would be 6 - 16 (crudely), which isn’t that many to hand out a prestigious title.

Reviewing the thresholds for recognising Exemplars was something that I wanted to discuss with my colleagues over the winter, but player action in-game seems to support it as well. The advantange of the GA’s statement is that it can be taken as permission to amend the process without it being imposed from “on high”.

Statements of principle are not legally binding, so we are not obligated to slavishly follow Hwyel’s model as laid out in the Statement, though I believe it has much to commend it. I thought it might be good to let people talk OC about a change that is (very likely) to happen, now that we have a remit to do so.

What I like about Hwyel’s model is:

  • The initial emphasis/responsibility lies with the Virtue Assembly, which should have authority over Exemplar recognition
  • The General Assembly is positioned to act as a check on, for example, one nation’s significant influence in a Virtue Assembly (a check, I hasten to add, that was deployed effectively in the context of the Virtue Fund in at least two cases)
  • There’s a requirement for players to provide the civil service with information (which can then go on the wiki)

We could go even further and require, for example, 100% of a Virtue Assembly (or at least 0% opposition within the Assembly) but that adds another threshold to the simple two-tier Greater/Lesser which I like because its simple and two-tier.

Anyway, I thought - since its as much as mechanic/process as an IC element - that I would open for discussion and hope I don’t regret it.

(NB: There’s currently no plans to review Paragon recognition as Greater Majority of the General Assembly is a plenty high bar, as Darius i Ezmara knows well)

I’m really happy about the proposed changes. It certainly seemed too easy to have an exemplar declared under the old system and to me that really cheapened the title.

Now personally I am not sure offhand what the difference between greater and lesser majorities is. Thus I am going to go look it up…

…which I have now done. There is a bit of a guide for muppets like me on this page here: profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … _the_Synod

Personally I’d like a greater majority to be required for both paragons and exemplars, as I feel they should be A Massive Deal.

I initially misunderstood you as saying a GM of the GA needed for an Exemplar which risked, I thought, taking the Virtue Assembly out of the equation, which was to be avoided.

However, if your point was that a GM of the VA plus a GM of the GA was needed, that’s more interesting.

It may seem more restrictive than the Paragon threshold, but in reality the Paragons will have already had to pass through the Exemplar threshold and the General Assembly can, currently, only make Paragons out of Exemplars.

Interesting.

I thought this was an important part of Hywel’s suggestion - although I don’t know what the Civil Service required for Recognition beforehand, it seemed odd that you could put a judgement up which didn’t mention why someone should be an Exemplar, and it looked like it’d get really awkward to write up the Exemplar’s wiki page afterwards (if the judgement passed) when you had no note of the Signs of the Exemplar they’d exhibited. :slight_smile:

Might well have been part of the way the Civil Service were doing things to start with, of course, just not apparent from the first few Exemplar motions that came through.

My character and I thought it was a good change to the system.

It does occur to me that it’s not actually that much harder for a small number of priests from the same assembly to push an Exemplar through as it’s now gone from:

More than half the voting strength of the Virtue Assembly. (Greater Majority of the Virtue Assembly)

To

  1. More than half the voting strength of the Virtue Assembly. (Greater Majority of the Virtue Assembly)
  2. More votes for than against from the General Assembly. (Lesser Majority of the Virtue Assembly)

So it now requires members of the General Assembly to actively care about blocking the vote. so the impetus is on priests who think “Who the hell is this guy? No!” or “I know that guy… No!” or the vocal minority in the Virtue assembly who opposes it to run around getting support from the other assembly.

… Yeah that sounds like more game to me.

I frankly don’t think it’s that unreasonable to make Exemplarship require a Greater Majority from both Virtue and General, given that it’s been shown twice that General Majorities are obtainable providing you poke your priests enough.

[quote=“Bouteillebleu”]

I thought this was an important part of Hywel’s suggestion…[/quote]

In my mind this part was absolutely crucial but seemed, in my head at least, to be an affirmation of that which I already understood to be the case, bar the validity part previously. The signs are our best guide after all.

I like the addition of the GA in this, though I’m still pondering the lesser/greater part. And we know that the GM isn’t too tricky under the right circumstances as evidenced on the Saturday night when the GM veto occurred.

I do second the notion that GM possibilties can add much to roleplay on that basis and make people, if something is important enough to them, very busy in a fun way. cough :open_mouth:

I agree. It has kind of narked me so far that finding out what signs a Good Guy* has shown is surprisingly difficult unless you know who to ask.

*By Good Guy, I mean Exemplar, Paragon, or actually, even Liao Visionaries. The latter I hope to work on IC however.

I would argue strongly against making the GA role in Exemplarhood a greater majority vote. Examplarhood is meant to be a marker for Paragonhood - not the same as. It makes little sense therefore for such an Exemplar vote to be as difficult as the much more important Paragon vote. Yes, there are fewer signs needed for Examplarhood, but there should still be a difference in voting procedure for the two.

From an OOC perspective there should be living Exemplars out there as examples and inspirations. What this whole reform should focus on is not on “improving” the quality of the selection process by making it more difficult but by making sure more priests and citizens know about the Exemplars that are eventually recognised and the signs behind their recognition. Involving the GA in a lesser majority capacity will hopefully facilitate this - a greater majority role will just be a road block of apathy and cynicism.

A thought that is rattling in my head is the idea of a Presentation (not intended to evoke powerpoint)

A requirement for there to be a specified time/place at which the Signs can be presented to the Synod/Citizens openly, including a chance to meet a “living candidate”.

I can imagine that an enterpising priest could make good use of such an opportunity, for example, hiring one of the dramaturgical groups to aid with telling the candidate’s story.

That feels all very game-additive, as opposed to requiring a Synod priest to complete Form 32b with a tick-list of which signs had / had not been met.

[quote=“tillymint”]I agree. It has kind of narked me so far that finding out what signs a Good Guy* has shown is surprisingly difficult unless you know who to ask.

*By Good Guy, I mean Exemplar, Paragon, or actually, even Liao Visionaries. The latter I hope to work on IC however.[/quote]

Tillymint on that later point I would point you in the direction of your Gatekeeper, after all he does serve at the pleasure of his Cardinal :slight_smile:. The Gatekeepers do have a lot of latitude to organise themselves as they see fit, their meetings are not ones covered by Right of Witnesss for example, but I can think of more than a few ways to influence their decision making process. But I like the fact that you need to track them down to talk to them rather than just read some public minutes of their meetings to find out what’s going on, it keeps some of the mystery about things.

“their meetings are not ones covered by Right of Witness”

Yeah, it was never actually deliberate to make the Synod immune to Right of Witness. The idea was to move away from PD-defined meetings and timetables (and so I wouldn’t have to go to any).

The unintended consequence is that I have been told that the Synod is dodgy because they only ever meet in secret[1].

[1] Secret defined as “See noticeboard for details”

[quote=“Mark_Wilkin”]

[quote=“tillymint”]I agree. It has kind of narked me so far that finding out what signs a Good Guy* has shown is surprisingly difficult unless you know who to ask.

*By Good Guy, I mean Exemplar, Paragon, or actually, even Liao Visionaries. The latter I hope to work on IC however.[/quote]

Tillymint on that later point I would point you in the direction of your Gatekeeper, after all he does serve at the pleasure of his Cardinal :slight_smile:.[/quote]

Good thing for me I’m Cardinal, then, eh? :stuck_out_tongue:

In seriousness I don’t think it’s a problem that affects most regularly-attending Synod bods. And as I say, for everyone else I’m working on it IC. Yes, with my Gatekeeper :wink:

Honestly, Gatekeepers, such little scamps they are!

:wink:

Make it a GM of the VA and a GM of the Gatekeeper Council. Sure, we can be a voting body, right? We’re already the ones whose job it is to go around and decide who’s been naughty and nice. And I promise we will not misuse this power.*

[size=85]

*I do not promise that we will not misuse this power.[/size]

Can a decision of a virtue assembly to recognise an exemplar be reversed by a judgement of the Assembly of Nine? If so that seems the easiest way to prevent inappropriate exemplar recognition. (Rather than forcing people to get a GM of the general assembly).

Also reversing what people did makes enemies, and the Way says making enemies is virtuous. I’m sure it says so somewhere.

Making enemies, like wildly misusing powers, is both big AND clever. Naturally I would do no such thing IC.*

*[size=50]Aaaahahahahaahahaha. Ha. Ha.[/size]

I’m sure it’s brave. And pretty ambitious. Dunno about loyal :wink:

I like the new proposal as-is (i.e. GM of VA and LM of GA)

By way of an update, both this (and the National Assembly) issue were discussed fairly recently.

The current conclusion being that only the Senate has the power to enact structural changes of this nature. To whit, in order to make this happen, Hwyel (or A N Other) will need to get a Senator to do two things:

a) Check with the constitutional court as to whether this is a constitutional matter (which will impact on whether its possible and/or how it can be vetoed)
b) Having had it checked, raise it as a Senate motion.

The merit of the Statement of Principle in this regard is that it raises the issue within the Synod and enables debate and consideration before it goes before the Senate.

In this instance, if there are no “constitutional implications” (and there is unlikely to be), Hwyel can go before the Senate he will be able to say that his proposal has the support of the General Assembly, and is not just one made Navarr Guide trying to push his agenda on the Synod.