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Stefan's Florilegium


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evnt-stewards-msg - 11/17/13


Suggestions for SCA event stewards. "Autocrat" is the old SCA term for this position.


NOTE: See also the files: demos-msg, Evnt-Fee-Form-art, event-ideas-msg, hotel-events-msg, reservations-msg, tokens-msg, privvies-msg, gate-guards-msg, WB-Checklist-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



<<< And speaking of autocrats, I'd wanted to sing "God Rest Ye, Frantic Autocrat" to Laszlo at the Bardic Circle, but we were too tired to stick around after court. <sigh> What happened to the days when we could do bardic circles until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning?


Anyway, here it is, enjoy: http://moondragon.info/wiki/Bardic_stuff#God_Rest_Ye_Frantic_Autocrat


      -Tivar Moondragon >>>


An interesting song from the early days of Ansteorra.






Date: 18 Jun 90 17:56:00 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Unto the Rialto, Sionnaichan am Diolaimadh in particular from Taran.


After several years of running the troll (actually, we had a revolution in

Carolingia a few years ago, and we now call it the gate, with an attendant

gate-keeper, any prospective Keymasters get shot), I have some suggestions

that I find help immensely.


1) ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE A GOOD THING!  As much incentive as possible should be given towards getting advance reservations.


2) Names (SCA and legal) of ALL attendants are a GOOD thing.  In your event

announcements STRONGLY request names of all attendees, not just 'Snulbugga the fair-haired and 14 guests.' Its been my experience that such a policy

a) encourages actual attendance,

b)discourages complicated reservation switching

and c) aids in refunds should they become necessary or desairable.

(Carolingia, by the way, follows a policy of refunding only if the event makes money unless the refund is requested well in advance (a day or two))


3) Have plenty of change.  Take a look at your various fees, and try to figure

out what the likely amounts of requires change will be, and in particular the

amount most likely to be required.  If you're standard fee is, say, 9.50, then

you will need several rolls of quarters, if it is 8.50, then add a bunch of

dollar bills.


4) Know how much you have in your cash bos to start.  I have done a stint a

gate where no one bothered to count the cash at the start.  People had kept

fairly good records along the line, but no one knew how much we were

SUPPOSED to have, because who knew what we started with.


5) On a similar note, don't let the autocrat dump the entire event chest on

you. Have a certain amount of cash, well known in advance, and tell the

autocrat to leave the rest at home.  There is absolutely no need for the

gate to take responsibility for the $395.95 in checks that the autocrat



6) When receiving moneys, of whatever kind, try using an accounting trick.

Use a worksheet of four colums.  Have one column(or maybe two) for name, one column for money in, one column for money out, and a description column. Thus you might get:


Name                 Money In      Money Out     Decription

Snullbugga             10.00          1.50         Cash in, Change out

Snorri the Bored        8.50                       Check # 5551212


This gives you an accurate record of whats gonig on.


7) Have shifts for the gate, preferably set up so that there are two people

on the gate at once.  However, have one person in charge of the cash box.


8) Keep strict track of that box from the time the autocrat gives it to the

gate until the time it comes back, with strict accounting in between.  The

record should show something like:

Gave box to gate - cash $25.00

Received back box, - cash $135.00 in

                      cash  $25.50 out

                    checks $256.50 in

with the worksheet to show.


There are undoubtedly things that I have left out.  The point to remember

is that the gate is an accounting office.  The better the records that can

be kept befor, during, and after the gate period, the better for all





Lord Taran of Windy Hill                                      John H. Case

Barony of Carolingia                                       87 Moreland St.

Kingdom of the East                             Somerville, MA  02145-1441

                             JCASE at tufts.bitnet




From: ken at hayes.fai.alaska.edu.edu (Ken Burnside)

Date: 19 Jun 90 06:02:07 GMT

Organization: University of Alaska Fairbanks

In the West, this is called the Constabulary.  One of the best systems I've

ever seen (and got set into Kingdom Law) was the one that my predecessor  

developed as Constable of Oertha.

You have a sheet with room at the top for the following information:

Event Name

Mundane Site

Mundane Date

Underneath it, you have lines with headers for the following:


Mundane Name        Society Name        Card Number       Less than 18?


About forty lines per page is handy.  Have these clipped to notebooks with

waiver forms underneath them, for those without SCA cards.   Have about

two notebooks per person at the gate, with an absolute minumum of 3 of them.


Photocopy ALL of the waivered sheets, pass copies of them to your Seneschal,

the Chronicler, and the Chatelaine.  Keep the originals for yourself.


Remember that patience is NOT a virtue.  It's a NECESSITY.


Yorik the Blind,

Former Chief Constable of Oertha.



From:    Sionnaichan am Diolaimadh

To:      Jcase%tufts.bitnet at mitvma.mit.edu

Date: 21-Jun-90 10:24am

Subject: Running Troll


> 1) ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE A GOOD THING!  As much incentive as possible

> should be given towards getting advance reservations.

I have done so; Talewinds will have our first flyer come this month.

> 2) Names (SCA and legal) of ALL attendants are a GOOD thing.  In your

This is the reservation card I intend to use.  I might point out that I will

likely be using a two-part system, gate gaurd and troll booth, due to the

logistics of the site.


Reservations Form -- PLEASE PRINT:  #


Mundane (Given) Name:                 # Circle all

                                     # that apply:

_____________________,_______________ #

Last                  First           # Fri Night

                                     # Sat Night

SCA name: ___________________________ # Sun Night


Group: ______________________________ # Sat Feast

                                     # Sun Feast

--- If paying by check, fill out: --- #

                                     # Sat Daytrip

Check #: ________                     # Sun Daytrip

Address: ____________________________ #

        ____________________________ # ___________



Member: YES  NO    Tent or Cabin: ________________


Tag Number: ________________    Initials: _________


Ref. Number: _______       AMOUNT PAID: $__________




> announcements STRONGLY request names of all attendees, not just


I am primarily concerned with mundane/real-world names, as those are the ones that change less often.  Society names can be all too fluid.

> by the way, follows a policy of refunding only if the event makes money

> unless

> the refund is requested wsell in advance (a day or two))


To be fair to those who decide they want feast during the event, we have

established a cutoff date of midnight Friday night for refunds, until after

the event.  This will prevent us from being stuck with a dozen extra seats for

feast to fill a half hour before feast, as happened at the first event I


> 3) Have plenty of change.  Take a look at your various fees, and try to


We round things up to the nearest dollar, to avoid coinage if at all possible.

Since quite a few Trimarians prefer solid coin over paper money, I need but

bring sufficient change to cover breaking dollars and stuff, for it to carry

over. A branch of my bank is not two miles from the site, in case I need any

financial finagling.  I will need many dollar bills, though.  If they don't

pay in coin, they pay with $20 bills.

> 4) Know how much you have in your cash bos to start.  I have done a


Easily done; the system we're inventing will have receipts for all monies in

and out of the drawer.


> autocrat to leave the rest at home.  There is absolutely no need for the

> gate to take responsibility for the $395.95 in checks that the autocrat

> received.


Well, as reservationcrat/Troll, I receive the checks for pre-registrations.

See below for how I'll be handling not having them on hand.

> 6) When receiving moneys, of whatever kind, try using an accounting

> trick.

> Use a worksheet of four colums.  Have one column(or maybe two) for name,


I will be running off of my golem a series of receipts, fully filled out for

all amounts of payment save for the person's name and the date; receipt stubs

for my records; cash in-and-out vouchers for whatever reason.  I'll also be

photocopying the checks I receive in bulk onto pages, so I do have a record of

who sent in checks prior to the event, without having the checks themselves.


> 7) Have shifts for the gate, preferably set up so that there are two

> people

> on the gate at once.  However, have one person in charge of the cash

> box.


Point taken.  I'm starting to build a circle of people who will be assisting

me in handling Troll.


> 8)  Keep strict track of that box from the time the autocrat gives it to


In Trimaris, the Reservationcrat handles most of the funds, acting as a

clearinghouse for Autocrat and Feastcrat.

> is that the gate is an accounting office.  The better the records that

> be kept befor, during, and after the gate period, the better for all

> concerned.


Absolutely. I thank you most humbly and sincerely for your input on this.


Sionnaichan the Friendly Troll



From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 10 Nov 90 06:46:12 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago


           Bored at Crown?


I would like to strongly endorse one of the points implicit in Sgt.

Morgan Athenry's discussion of what to do at Crown Tourney--that one

is not limited to doing things the autocrat has scheduled.


In my view, what the autocrat is providing at an event is not a play

but a stage. If you are at an event and are bored, do something--tell

a story, start gossiping, ask a fighter to explain to you the blow

that he won the fight with, pull out a board game and teach someone

to play it, volunteer to bone some chickens or decorate the feast

hall ... . Don't stand around waiting for someone else to entertain



   Feeding Children (and other People)


One of the difficulties mentioned with regard to feeding people at a

feast is the problem of how much food to send to each table. My

impression is that this is a problem even if there are no children

present. Different adults have different appetites and different

tastes, so one table may eat much more of a particular dish than



My own solution to this is redistribution. Have someone wandering

around the hall, looking for tables that obviously have more of

something than they are going to eat and transferring the surplus to

tables that have run out. This not only results in a more efficient

distribution of food, it also feels hospitable, since it means that

there is someone visibly paying attention to whether or not the

guests are being properly fed.





From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Date: 12 Nov 90 21:47:49 GMT

Organization: DECwest, Digital Equipment Corp., Bellevue WA


An approach that I have seen used with success is to create a smalls table.


Set aside a table, or tables, specifically for the 5 to 12 year olds. Feed

them an abbreviated feast and allow them to police themselves. Supervise

them from somewhere else, i.e. not sitting at the same table.


Thus the autocrat can offer a seat at the smalls table for $X and a seat at

the main feast table for $Y. Sub-smalls, who are normally free anyway, eat

their parents scraps or whatever their parents brought for them.


There are problems. Can a smalls table be filled? Will the smalls actually

stay at their own table or will they run to their parents at the first

opportunity. Can the cooks cope with multiple menus?


Since I have seen knights start food fights, I don't think that a smalls

table will create significantly more mess.



       Aquaterra, AnTir



From: ayk at camex.camex.com.COM (Andrew Kobayashi)

Date: 12 Nov 90 23:21:48 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Master Kobayashi gives greetings!


On the subject of "children at feasts", i speak as the proud father

of one three-year-old son.  My opinion is that the cooks should do

whatever makes their life easiest.  If the price is too high, i'll

go off-board.


We generally go off-board anyway at anything we judge will be a

"big" event, because (through no one's fault in particular) the

feasts just don't start on time.  Grown-ups can cope with this

(most people i know don't ever believe the published starting time

for the feast anyway at such events).  But when my son gets hungry,

he's *hungry*, and no amount of explaining will make him any less

grumpy. We formed this rule at the "Debacle at Birka" last year,

which i won't relate here.  Suffice it to say the feast was late,

and i had to take Matthew (my son) out to a restaurant.


This brings up a pet peeve (minor flame alert).  Why is it that

"more food than you can possibly eat" is considered *good* when

advertising for a feast?  To my (perhaps old-fashioned) (but then,

if not in this group, where? :-) way of thinking, this sounds like

bad planning, especially with the way feast prices have been

escalating over the years.  Carolingia is no less guilty of this

than any other group, and i've been meaning to look into it in my

Copious Free Time.  (ho ho).


Anyway, is it really the case that we still can't plan a feast with

a reasonable margin for error after all these years, so that it is

necessary to serve outrageous quantities of food to make sure no one

goes hungry?  And, for that matter, what's wrong with not leaving

the table stuffed to the gills?


Peevishly yours,


               --Master Kobayashi Yutaka/Andrew Kobayashi

                 Carolingia,East/Boston Area,MA,USA



From: L6PJDU%IRISHMVS.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU (Cathy Lindsay 239-6679, 219)

Date: 12 Nov 90 14:31:00 GMT


Greetings from Katherine of Constantinople!

To comment on what to charge for children at feasts: perhaps it

would be useful to define what age is the cut-off.  For instance,

a ten year old and a two year old (on average) aren't going to

eat the same amount of food.  While it may be fair to charge

80% of the adult feast price for the ten year old, this would be

unfair to the parents of the two year old.  I am sympathetic to

the problems of cooks in determining how much food to prepare, and

to autocrats trying to be fair as far as prices, but I don't think

charging children the same as adults is right, especially when the

children in question are quite young.

As the mother of an eleven month old who eats people food (not

baby food) I was intrigued by the idea of a children's feast before

the feast proper.  One reason is that all too often feasts start

*very* late (I have been to feasts that began at 8 or 9:00), and

while waiting that long may be tolerable to an adult (or not :-) )

I wouldn't want to explain to a three year old that it's o.k.,

dinner will be served in just two short hours!  Also, in the case

of a very young child (like mine) who needs assistance in eating,

one or the other of the parents does not get to have a

civilized repast when the child eats with them.  I'm not saying

this isn't fun at home, but at a feast this would not be ideal!

(Oh, m'lord, please don't take that dish away yet, I haven't

had a chance to sample it yet!)  If the smalls' main hunger were

satisfied first, then they wouldn't be hungry and unhappy for

long periods of time, and they could still be with their parents

for the main feast, but perhaps be more engaged with playing,

and occasionally tasting.

Even before I became a mother I thought that when they were

looked after properly, it added to the flavor of an event if

children were present.  It is, after all, very artifical to have

a society where you only see adults from, say, 18 to 40 (and I

have seen events where this was the case: very few children, and

almost no one who looked over 40).  And I agree with Cariodoc

that having isolated children's activities is not the best.  But

in the case of very young children it may be wise to provide

foods they will eat, and before the poor things expire of hunger!

Of course, wise parents should bring food with them to events

(bread, cheese, fruit, whatever) but I still like the idea of

letting the smalls eat first.

Katherine of Constantinople    mka Cathy Lindsayt

(it *is* Monday morning, I can't even spell my own last

name aright: Lindsay!)

Shire of Whitewaters, MK     L6PJDU at IRISHMVS (bitnet)

                            L6PJDU at IRISHMVS.CC.ND.EDU (Internet)



From: justin at INMET.INMET.COM (Justin du Coeur MKA Mark Waks)

Date: 14 Nov 90 16:33:47 GMT


Kobi writes:

>This brings up a pet peeve (minor flame alert).  Why is it that

>"more food than you can possibly eat" is considered *good* when

>advertising for a feast?  To my (perhaps old-fashioned) (but then,

>if not in this group, where? :-) way of thinking, this sounds like

>bad planning, especially with the way feast prices have been

>escalating over the years.  Carolingia is no less guilty of this  

>than any other group, and i've been meaning to look into it in my

>Copious Free Time.  (ho ho).

Well, since I have feasts on the mind a bit (being the Chef for the

Carolingian 20th Anniversary Event, next February 16th, contact me

at (617) 891-3057 for more details, thishasbeenapaidcommercialannouncement),

I'll put in a few thoughts...


A feast really needs to be tailored to the crowd attending it. There

are feasts where it is good (indeed, perhaps Nwfential) to have large

quantities of MEAT, to feed to ravenous fighters who have recently come

from the fray. On the other hand, there are events where it is appropriate

to serve rather more delicate fare (for example, the last Ball I kitchened

had a feast *very* carefully planned to be Just Enough Food, so that people

wouldn't be hungry, but wouldn't be too full to dance, either).

Similarly, there are feasts where ridiculous amounts of food are appropriate,

generally where the feast is one of the (or *the*) main points of the event.

The classic example of this is BBM's Feast of Simple Fare, where Master

Sallamallah pulls out all the stops, and one simply *eats* for hours.

Truly one of the most incredible culinary experiences I know (which is

probably why this season's Simple Fare sold out long in advance). In

this case, I don't really mind the idea of the cook taking it as a

challenge to overstuff his audience -- gluttony may have been regarded

as a sin in period, but it was also a favorite pastime...


(Of course, it *is* possible to overdo it. One of the most extraordinary

feasts I've been to was (as I recall) orchestrated by Sallamallah and

Baroness Elpeth for a Coronation a few years back. The food was absolutely

superb, but there *really* was too much of it. I realized this when Elspeth

came out (at about 10pm) with the first dish of the third course, stuffed

mushrooms. I (*never* one to refuse a stuffed mushroom) could only look at

them and think, "those look *so* good, but I *hurt*!" I'm not sure that

they managed to dispose of much of that course, since most people had

already stuffed themselves silly. This is the exceptional case, though;

most feasts don't wind up with *that* kind of overabundance...)


(As an aside, I am put in mind of the period scale of some feasts. One

cookbook (Chiquart, I think) describes one (presumably more than single-

evening) feast, that incorporated some large number of *thousands* of

chickens to start with...)


                               -- Justin du Coeur

                                  Cooker and Eater of Good Food



From: karplus at ararat.ucsc.edu (Kevin Karplus)

Date: 15 Nov 90 18:19:51 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Having worked in the kitchens at many feasts, I agree that delaying

the feast is one of the worst sins autocrats, royalty, or cooks can commit.

Here are some suggestions on how to avoid it:


       1) Start on time, whether people are ready or not.  If a group gets

       a reputation for being late, people will look for other things

       to do in the interval, making it still longer.  If a group gets

       a reputation for serving food on time, people will be there.

       Changing a reputation may be tough, but it'll be worth it.

       At one feast for which I was autocrat, I tried holding the meal

       until the royalty showed up---they were busy a half mile away,             discussing things of great importance to them, not aware that they

       were ruining the event for everyone else.   After that I swore

       never to wait for royalty again.  It is courteous to tell them

       half an hour before the meal is served, so they can be present if

       they wish to be.


       2) Have court after the feast.  The events that try to crowd a

       tourney, feast, court, and dancing into a single event generally

       work best if the events are in that order.  Clearing the feast

       hall for court also prepares it for dancing, and people generally

       just want to sit around after eating too much, and so make

       an ideal audience for court.  Personally, I prefer

       entertainment for an hour after the feast, followed by three

       hours of dancing, but if a court is essential, right after the meal is

       the best time for it.


       3) Don't have a high table.  The royalty have enough attention during

       the day and at court---let them eat in peace.  The kitchen staff

       will be much less burdened if everyone eats the same foods,

       and the entertainment can be directed at the masses, rather

       than just the high table.


       4) Put out bread and fruit before the first course, even before

       people begin to be seated.  People can begin to fill up on

       bread (which is cheap and a most medieval food), and you'll

       get fewer people sick from drinking wine on an empty stomach.

       Save the most expensive dishes for the last courses of the

       meal, when you won't need so much.  People won't object to a

       meal being half an hour late if they have things they can

       start eating immediately.


Knud Kaukinen                   Kevin Karplus

inactive in the West            teaching at UC Santa Cruz



From: ag1v+ at andrew.cmu.edu (Andrea B. Gansley-Ortiz)

Date: 5 Sep 91 14:25:43 GMT

Organization: Engineering Design Research Center, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA


Mikjal Annarbjorn writes:

=In article <9109031341.aa24228 at mc.lcs.mit.edu>, Sarra Graeham writes:

=>          Even a child of four or five can help the kitchen staff carry

=>things from the kitchen to the hall.  (Mind you, the kitchen has to be

=>reasonably organized to be able to use the children's help, but fortunate-

=>ly this has never been a problem.)


=Not to disagree totally, but the universal reaction from the head

=cooks (I hate that gawd-awful, made-up word *feast-o-crat*!!! 8-) from

=both baronies here to this suggestion would be:

=       WHAT?!?! ARGH!!! NO WAY!!!


Children down to the age of four have been used as servers in the

BMDL. Firstly, none of the servers are allowed in the kitchen. There-

fore you don't have the problem of having children underfoot in what I

also consider a dangerous place for them to be.  All the food is brought

out of the kitchen and set up on server pick-up tables.  There is a head

server at the table to make sure everyone is taking the right amount of

stuff to the tables.


It takes an organized and patient head server to use their help, but

it can be done.  It won't delay the feast, and they often follow in-

structions as well as, if not better than adults.


Su segura servidora,

       Esmeralda la Sabia



Autocrat Help

Date: 18 May 92

From: ETIENNE at auc.eg

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: The Internet


Unto the Good Gentles of the Rialto does Etienne send greetings:


       Well, it seems some brave/foolhardy soul has once again

decided to volunteer as sacri... I mean as fearless leader for the

esteemed(and often hated) position of autocrat.  From my experience

as an ex-autocrat(I'm among the "Hey that wasn't so bad" crowd) here are

a few bits of (dare I say it?) wisdom:

       *Delegate, delegate, delegate.  When I ran our event I created

               _________-o-crats for every conceivable position including

               servocrat(in charge of feast servers) and my own vice-

               autocrat(autocrat of vice).  The latter person was

               perhaps the most important of the bunch as he took

               care of many, many small chores which, if left to

               their own devices would choke a shark.

                       Thanks Griffon!!!!!!

       *Of all of your subordinates, the feastocrat is always the

               first among equals.  While the event is yours to command,

               *NEVER* mess wit' da feastocrat in any location

               resembling a kitchen or feasthall. The Feast can

               make or break an event(in the midrealm at least)

               and the feastocrat knows what their doing.

       *Murphy is your co-pilot.  Things will not happen on schedule.

               Just remember that surprise is the spice of life.

               Try to prepare for all possible contingincies.  Check

               into local emergency services, notify local authorities

               so that the police don't show up with a" what's all

               this then?" attitude. Watch weather reports, have a rain

               site prepared just in case.

       *Politeness and publicity are also important.  Our small shire

               we were graced by three of the four actually making an

               appearance.  We also sent out invitations to all other

               chapters for a few hundred miles and we were pleasently

               surprised when some showed up from far away.  Make sure

               you lock down the date with the Kingdom Seneschal!!!!

       *Dealing with the help is important.  Solicit help from the

               shire to staff the event and then ask everyone in the

               Barony.  Expect that only 1/2 the people who signed up will

               actually work and sign up twice as many people for a

               given job.

       *Dealing with your delegated authority is also very important.

               Personally, I played autocrat to the hilt and told the

               other ________-ocrats "Just make sure that your bases

               are covered and you complete your assignments.  If you

               don't, I will intervene and you really don't want me

               to intervene."  This is a bit harsh and may not work

               in all cases.  In fact there was definitely some pre-

               event stress related to this leadership style.  However

               the event went off without a hitch.  My biggest decision

               was whether to move the event to the rain site or not.

               The kitchen was a bit understaffed but I was able to recruit

               some on the spot, expert assistance (thanks Gwynneth and

               Auntie Dagmar). Our small poor shire made some much

               needed money; And above all

       *Have Fun!  A smiling autocrat can do wonders for your event.

               I had a riot including a bit of under the breath comments

               about how royalty can never make up its mind where it wants

               to sit.


               Good Luck!

                                                       In Service

                                                       to the Dream



                                                       Cairo, Egypt



HELP! I'm going to be an Autocrat...

Date: 19 May 92

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: SCA


Unto the good gentles of the Rialto does Lord Hossein Ali Qomi send greetings

and prayers for the blessings of Allah.


Cassandre Marquand recently posted:


>Good gentles of the Rialto, I greet you well.  I recommend me to you,

>praying you to give to me of your assistance in my quest for such

>a thing as an Autocrat's Handbook, or some such.  Further, any

>practical advice that any of you may wish to impart, would be most

>gratefully received and whole heartedly appreciated.  In sooth, as

>the intended event date is suggested for this coming Autumn, with

>upcoming deadlines for site reservation, calendar booking, etc., and

>with this just newly assigned to my humble self, I beseech you,

>understand the urgency of this matter. I pray God speed you in this

>matter and send you your good wishes.


I've autocrated eleven events in the last twenty years and have found

it very useful to try to put on paper a plan before beginning the

process of recruitment and delegation of tasks.


The following is a template I developed for autocrating bids -- a kind of

outline to use when drafting a bid to propose to the local and kingdom

seneschal -- and I have found it useful as a general checklist for

necessary autocrating tasks.  It reads a little like the outline of a

military operations order (one's sordid past will out :-)).  I hope that

it is useful to you.


In Service to the Society,


Hossein Ali Qomi




I. Event Concept

A. Event Theme

B. Projected Size


II. Event Activities

A. Tournament

1. Tournament Concept

2. Tournament Mechanics

3. Tournament Judging (if applicable)

4. Operational Requirements and Budgeting

B. A&S Display

1. Display Concept

2. Display Mechanics

3. Operational Requirements and Budgeting

C. Courts

1. Courts Concept and Mechanics

2. Operational Requirements and Budgeting

D. Feast

1. Feast Concept

2. Pre-Feast Purchasing and Preparation

3. Feast Mechanics

4. Operational Requirements and Budgeting

E. Bardic Circle

1. Bardic Circle Concept

2. Bardic Circle Mechanics

3. Operational Requirements and Budgeting

F. Newcomer Orientation

1. Newcomer Orientation Concept

2. Newcomer Orientation Mechanics

3. Operational Requirements and Budgeting

G. Other Activities

1. Other Activities Concept

2. Other Activities Mechanics

3. Operational Requirements and Budgeting


III. Physical Arrangments

A. Contractual Obligations

B. Site Description

C. Camping Facilities

D. Cabin Facilities

E. Crash Space Arrangements

F. Cooking Facilities

G. Hygienic Facilities

1. Water

2. Toilets/Supplies

3. Showers/Bathing

H. Site Access/Troll

I. Security

J. Pre- and Post-Event Maintenance

K. Event Maintenance Contingencies

L. Physical Arrangements Requirements and Budgeting


IV. Site Preparation and Cleanup

A. Transportation

1. Summary of Transportation Requirements

a.  Pre-Event Requirements

b.  Post-Event Requirements

2. Transportation Plan

B. Set-Up

1. Summary of Set-Up Requirements

2. Set-Up Pla

C. Take-Down and Cleanup

1. Summary of Take-Down Requirements

2. Summary of Cleanup Requirements

3. Take-Down Plan

4. Cleanup Plan


V. Communications

A. Advertising

B. Press Liaison

C. Site Communications

D. Law Enforcement/Fire Liaison


VI. Personnel and Staffing

A. Event Autocrat

1. Supervisory Authority and Deputation Plan

2. Transportation Coordinator and Crew

3. Liaison with Baronial Officers

B. Site Autocrat

1. Set-Up Coordinator and Crew

2. Take-Down Coordinator and Crew

3. Maintenance Coordinator and Crew

4. Clean-up Coordinator and Crew

C. Head Cook

1. Kitchen Crew

2. Kitchen Clean-up Coordinator and Crew

3. Head Server and Server Crew


VII. Summary of Event Schedule


VIII. Summary of Projected Budget



Proposed Event Announcement for Publication

Proposed Site Contract





HELP! I'm going to be an Autocrat...

Date: 19 May 92

From: Ruth.Woodring at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Ruth Woodring)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Good gentle, do not panic!

There IS such a thing as a HANDBOOKE FOR AUTOCRATS, called, appropriately, 'THE AUTOCRAT'S HANDBOOK'published by Scold Press.  My copy is 2nd edition, published in 1985 - I assume they're still in print and available.

The address I have is :

             Skold Press

               c/o Thomas Chenille

               4 Bradley Street

               Lowell, MA  01850


alas, I've no idea as to price.   If anyone has an update on this informatin, please post it here!


The alternative to finding good advice in a book is this :Talk to theose in your group who have autocratted that event before.  Find out what things are expected:  Is it customary to send out invitations to all the nobility and peerage?  Is there always a knife/axe/spear competition or a crest melee?   What do you have to do, and what can you change?   As the experienced folks for advice -- bring along a notebook and take notes so you can rememeber everything later.  Keep important data and phone num

bers -- the person you  rented the site from's home number, the number of the Porta-john company, the  name and location of the nearest grocery (in case of feast overruns or  disasters in the kitchen) in a place convenient to you.  


Find someone who is willing to listen to you gripe about all the problems you're encountering.  Remember that no one will kill you, everyone screws  up, (so don't kill them) and a good sense of humour and some basic tact will  get you through many situations that looked hopeless.  Delegate.  Do this a  lot. If the day comes and all you have to do is co-ordinate things and fix  minor problems then you've done it right -- your job then is to make sure it  all runs smoothly, be available to answer questions, and keep things on  schedule.


And again -- don't panic --- get lots of hugs --- laugh occasionally ---  sleep the night before the event ---


Good luck!


Vashti of the Flaming Tresses, who volunteered once too often and got caught! (Central Region Seneschal), Barony of the Steppes, Ansteorra  



HELP! I'm going to be an Autocrat...

Date: 21 May 92

From: schuldy at bedford.progress.COM (Mark Schuldenfrei)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: The Internet


Vashti of the very long line postings wrote:


> Good gentle, do not panic!

> There IS such a thing as a HANDBOOKE FOR AUTOCRATS, called, appropriately,

> 'THE AUTOCRAT'S HANDBOOK'published by Scold Press.  My copy is 2nd edition,

> published in 1985 - I assume they're still in print and available.

> The address I have is :

>              [deleted]


All of this is very nice.  But.  The title is "The Autocrat's Handbook", and

it is out of print.  Not available.  Still copywrite, and not for duplication.

It was originally written by House Skold, Skold Press.


The original authors, and a whole gang of volunteers are actually in the process

of a rewrite and re-release, due spring of 1993, last I heard.


There is another, short term solution.  One of the original authors has taken

the results of their research, worked very hard, and expanded the book for a

less specific audience.  The result is called "Organizing Conferences and

Special Events", published by Pineapple Press, and the author is Darcy Devney.


This is not as SCA specific as the autocrat's handbook (although not as dated,

either). It contains much new information, but is much more general.  And,

it is a for-profit book, with a professional publisher behind it.  I own both

books, and rely on both books.


You may want to take a leaf from something we do in my local Barony.  About

every 6 weeks or so, we have an Autocrat's Round table, usually themed around

a specific autocrat topic, ie finding sites, balancing books, putting in bids,

disaster-proofing events, and so forth.  Former, current and future autocrats

are cordially invited, and we talk.  Another thing we are trying now (it's too

soon to call a success) is our group has a list of former autocrats who are

willing to act as advisors to a particular event, if asked.  We call it

the Autocrat's Big Brother/Sister program.





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: jschmidt at netcom.com (John R. Schmidt)

Subject: Re: What *isn't* wrong with children--what's wrong with YOU?

Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)

Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 17:12:56 GMT


Wow! Another issue degenerates!


As a non-parent who gets along with most children, and an often autocrat,

I've seen all sorts of interesting behaviour.  As a camper, I treat children

as I would anyone else who could use a few more clues--kindly, with knowledge

that they might be friends in the future, but firmly (ok, no big deal.

Who cares?)


As an autocrat for small and large events, the rule that has worked best

for me historically was that any problems brought to me that required me to

take action, that involved minors, would cause me to ask the minors and their

guardians to leave.  Although harsh in its statement, this rule forced

people to solve problems before they could become large ones, and also forced

those with problems to identify the source precisely.


Perhaps this could work for other autocrats.

John Theophilous



From: Ekaterina and Temur <Ekaterina at gnn.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: What *isn't* wrong with children--what's wrong with YOU?

Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 17:52:12


Bryan John Maloney wrote:

>Fine, so some folks choose not to have children, however, some of

the venom that same folks tend to direct towards "a child" or

>"children"--usually a hypothetical one makes me wonder about the

>health of SCA as a subculture...


You are right, there is much venom being directed towards kids.  

There are kids that can press the buttons of a saint and I for one

am no saint.  The person that the venom should be heaped on is not

the kid, be it 12 months or 12 years, it is the parent who has

allowed the situation to occur.


In the Baroney of The Bright Hills in Atlantia, we have all parents

sign a form that explains that THEY are the responsible parties for

their children.  If the child is allowed to behave badly, the

parent is notified by the autocrat of the situation, if it

reoccurs, security, usually Heinrich and company escort the

childern and the parents offsite and suggest that they should not

return until the parents have more control over their children.  

This has only actually occured once and the warning has been given

twelve to fifteen times.  The children here are much better now.





From: Pat McGregor <patriciaX_O_McGregor at ccm.fm.intel.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: minors at events, problems encountered at 30 Year

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 12:52:35 -0700

Organization: Intel IT Technical Publications


Greetings from siobhan!


Colin Yemm wrote:

> Luxuiel (jlv at halcyon.com) wrote:

> : Pat McGregor <patriciaX_O_McGregor at ccm.fm.intel.com> wrote:


> : themselves for the 10 day period.  I had considered multipart forms,

> : but was told that hospitals would only accept the original.  Sorry

> : about the hassle.


Just for a clarity note: Luxuiel (I think) wrote the thing about the

multipart forms, in response to something I had written.

> The paperwork can always FOLLOW the patient, depending on severity . .

> for this reason I would recommend that in future such original forms

> ALL minors be kept at the troll or with the medical info forms, where

> can be quickly located, as opposed to at the bottom of the pile

> in the guardian's tent located in the back 40 (cause the guardian sure

> isn't going to leave the kid's side to go get it, and "telling someone

> where it is" can cause more consternation/attitude/repercussions than

> pulling the forms at the central site.


Just for more information's sake, the forms were required to be on the

minor's body 24 hrs a day while on site, whether their parent's were

there or not. Several kids had them in pinnable containers (hunting or

fishing license cases can be pinned on the outside of undertunics

pretty nicely and still not show), in plastic in their shoes, or

in belt pouchs. At the beginning of _every_ Pied Piper/Page School

activity the kids were checked for the presence of these papers.


We also made extra copies and gave one each to every person who was

authorized to consent to medical treatment in our absence. So not only

did the kid have one, so did the person who might have to say yes.





PatriciaX_O_McGregor at ccm.fm.intel.com

Pat McGregor

IT Tech Pubs:Internet writer



From: bronwynmgn at aol.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: COSTUMING - Ideas for hoops

Date: 30 Mar 1997 13:07:39 GMT


ladyval at aol.com (Lady Val) writes:

> OR to throw the hoop slip in the back of

>the car, and upon arriving, step into the hoops as I emerge from the car (

>a little awkward with people at an event)


In my area of the East Kingdom, many people come to the event in mundane clothes and change at the site.  Most sites will set up a "Lords" and "Ladies" changing area just so people can do this, and so they have a place to leave their stuff  rather than lugging it back out to the car.  Of course, not all sites have a sufficiently large free room or two to do this, and several people trying to

change into hoops in your average ladies room doesn't work so well...





From: Steve Hendricks <steve at aimetering.com>

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Subject: RE: Event idea sources

Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 11:55:24 -0500


Hi, Stefan (and everybody else, too),


I looked at the autocrats-msg file to see if any mention was made of

musicians. To my not-so-great surprise, there was none.  So I thought I

would share some thoughts with you.


At the recent Candlemas, the musicians were afforded a smallish area in

a heavy traffic section of Pfluger Hall.  Since I personally carry over

10 thousand dollars'  worth of very fragile instruments to events, as

well as multiple copies of the Bryn Gwlad music book, I get nervous when

children are absent-mindedly playing nearby, or when people start

hurriedly carrying chairs and tables through the musicians' area.  Since

I usually lead the musicians, too, I get a bit stressed watching the

instruments and leading the music, too.


Therefore, I would like to suggest another little thing for autocrats to

worry about when setting up an event, or at least any indoor event where

you would like to have musicians.  Set aside a safe area for the

musicians. This area would be big enough to include room for musicians,

stands, music, and cases.  This is not an insignificant amount of room,

I know.  Stages are natural places for musicians, of course, since they

are usually removed from high traffic and often are sonically good

locations for performance.


It would also be helpful to plan on light for the musicians.  If you

intend to turn off any overhead lights during the evening, perhaps

having the musicians in an area when there are separate light controls

would be good.  Otherwise, plan on having no music in the dark.


If not on stage, I would prefer to see the area roped off or set aside

in some way to prevent random wanderings through.  While I do not wish

to remove the musicians from contact with others, I do want to see them

treated well and their instruments protected.


With this in mind, I would humbly request future autocrats, especially

those for indoor events, to speak with me or any other musician in the

guild before your event to arrange for the Music Guild to attend.


So, if you wonder why musicians often set up shop in a tavern away from

the main action of an event, now you have some idea why.  We want to

protect anyone from being seriously harmed by a musician driven insane

by the careless and inadvertent destruction of a beloved instrument :).

Also, we get more free mead that way :P


Also, I would like to suggest that the Music Guild be "officially"

invited to play during feasts and courts.  Years ago, we used to bring

our own food so that we could perform while feasts were enjoyed.  Some

of us planned that for Candlemas, but the opportunity was not afforded

us due to space considerations.  I'm not sure the idea even occurred to

those in charge.


It can be very nice to have music during courts, at least pavans for

those empty spaces when somebody is called to court and has to traverse

that distance to the throne in silence.


And a fanfare to start court can be ever so much more effective than a

herald, unless the herald has lungs of steel.


These are just suggestions on how to better use our Bryn Gwlad Music

Guild, which is a wonderful and rare resource and could be better

utilised -- hopefully to everyone's enjoyment.





From: Lisa <ladyemp at sbcglobal.net>

Date: March 25, 2007 9:56:20 PM CDT

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: Re: link to ADA requirements for Parks and Recreation areas


This is the list of requirements for campgrounds also.




This first link concerns mostly buildings, but does cover any and all

buildings at all sites, including parks and recreation.




This second link covers everything regarding ADA accessibility.  There is a

section, I beleive in Title 2 that covers parks and Recreation.  If I find a

specific link, I'll forward it to you.


Elizabeta of Rundel



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pavilions ONLY?

From: dicconf at radix.net (Richard Eney)

Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 15:47:39 -0500


Robert Uhl  <eadmund42 at NOSPAMgmail.com> wrote:

>Steve Urbach <dragonsclaw at NOTmindspring.com> writes:

>> Ought right Ban every where, if it must be SOLEY rests with the KING

>> (who word is LAW), Not with the event Autocrat or other parties.

>I dunno: the steward or mayor or what-have-you decide whether there will

>be merchants at all, so why not decide which merchants?  And might there

>not be a place for an event which sets stricter rules than the SCA norm

>for, say, tents?  Or music, or even armour...


The autocrat is the one who is legally responsible for what goes on at

the site.  For that reason, the autocrat's decision rules, and the king

bows (metaphorically) to the autocrat for the duration of that event.


=Tamar the Gypsy



Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 03:43:07 -0600

From: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at  austin.rr.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at  lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] tables?


Cailte said:

<<< i particularly like elbow room at the dining table.

people will try to scrimp on budgets by putting as many

people at a table as possible.


let me clarify that as the occasions where tables and

chairs are an additional cost by the piece.  by renting

fewer tables, money could be saved or put somewhere else. >>>


Maybe this is a bit of interkingdom differences, but how many of you  

have to rent tables separately from the hall for your events?


I've not run many events myself, so perhaps I've just missed it, but I  can't remember our barony hosting any events where we rented a hall  

and had to rent tables separately. I seem to remember those always  

being part of the charge for the hall. Sometimes we might have had to  

bring in some more, but not on a big scale.


For outdoor events and demos the barony now has a dozen? of the  

plastic topped 8-ft folding leg tables that we haul out to the site.  

They do, unfortunately, take up a fair amount of trailer space. :-(




THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas



Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 09:19:39 -0600

From: "Kathleen A Roberts" <karobert at  unm.edu>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at  lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] tables?


On Tue, 8 Dec 2009 03:43:07 -0600

 Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at  austin.rr.com> wrote:

<<< Maybe this is a bit of interkingdom differences, but how

many of you  have to rent tables separately from the hall

for your events? >>>


it is a particular venue in albuquerque.  you tell them

how many chairs and tables you need (and this is for a

large feast, anywhere from 250 to 300 feasters).  you get

the building, which is hall and kitchen, and then they

nickel and dime you from there on for the bar, parking,



I assume this probably exists other places in the Known






Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 08:50:53 -0400

From: Gerita della Mara <geritadellamara at  gmail.com>

To: atlantia at  seahorse.atlantia.sca.org

Subject: Re: [MR] Fall Coronation


I've come from a background in event management (before my kids were

born, when such things were actually possible), so please take my

comments with a large pinch of salt!


1.  An event of any size at all Must be booked at least a year in

advance.  This is so that you get everything you want, when you want it,

the way you want it.


2.  Contracts must be signed timely....like, as you book the

event....not 7 days out.  This necessitates someone with enough

authority to actually sign to have the commitment to participate in the

process and sign on time.


3.  Meetings with site ownership/management need to be held throughout

that year in order to work out details and add them to the "official"

plan.  In this day and age, people tend to use email a lot but really, a

lot of this needs to be done during actual, real face-time so

misunderstandings don't grow to the size of Gargantua before anyone notices.


4.  Everything agreed upon must be written in the official plan.  

Everything.  Including the number of garbage cans, when they'll be

emptied, and who buys the liners.


5.  With the highly specialized nature of our events (admit it, we're

unique), we need the ability to literally walk the site, to see exactly

where that wire crosses our proposed battlefield, and how many miles we

need to walk to the feast tent. Measuring it out works, but actually

doing it really makes it real enough so planning is accurate.  This is

where that 'southern' pair of eyes simply will not work [for a northern event site].  What you see as 'just a short way' I may see as a prohibitive distance...


...and the list goes on.





From: Jeremy Slick <sagtaurian at  GMAIL.COM>

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Running an Event

Date: July 17, 2013 1:58:34 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at  listserv.unl.edu


There is an Autocratting 101 Compleat Anachronist available through the Stock Clerk that is a good resource.


That aside, I'm a big fan of having co-stewards. The times I've been in that spot, it worked very well...especially if you have one focused on the site/logistics and the other on the people/communication. That and the biggest key is regular communication with the event staff and the hosting group...definitely cuts down on last minute surprises and helps keep momentum up.


The other thing with putting a checklist together is if it's a local event (and if you're mirroring something done in the past or doing something completely new)...or if it's a Kingdom event with a preset structure. The great thing with the Kingdom events is that it does already come with the structure already built in, so you can focus more on the logistics than trying to come up with ideas of things to do. Just need to make sure for Kingdom events that you have the expectations of the Crown (from their chamberlain).




<the end>

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