Amtgard the Organization
Amtgard the Organization
Amtgard is more than just a game; it’s also an extensive organization spread across the globe. Over the more than 30 years since its inception Amtgard has evolved a very stable representative government to help administer the various activities needed to keep everything running smoothly. Each group has its own culture, behavior, and individual set of rules governing how it operates, but there are some common elements.
The Circle of Monarchs (CoM) is the ruling body of Amtgard and is formed by the heads of state for each Amtgard kingdom. The Circle has a number of powers and duties including (but not limited to):
- Amending the rules on odd-numbered years (requires a 75% vote of all represented kingdoms at a meeting)
- Adjudicating disputes between kingdoms
- Approving new kingdoms
- Serving as the court of last resort for player grievances
Kingdoms in Amtgard are large geographic regions responsible for all of the Amtgard groups (called ‘Parks’) and members within their area of influence. Kingdoms have authority over their constituent Parks and are responsible for helping them succeed and grow. Kingdoms typically have the following leadership positions which are elected every six months:
In charge of organizing the group for the duration of their reign in office. They are the highest authority in the kingdom.
Assists the monarch in the organization of the arts and sciences during their reign in office by doing such things as holding workshops, cultural tournaments, and craft nights.
Assists the monarch by making sure the kingdom financial records and attendance records are in order during their reign.
The head reeve is in charge of settling any rules disputes, making sure that all reeves are qualified and doing their job well, and advising the other elected officers on any rules issues they may have.
In order to play Amtgard, one must have other people to play with. Parks are groups of people that get together on at least a bi-weekly basis to play the game and spend time with one another. All Parks start as a Freehold, by signing a [Freehold Contract] with Amtgard International. Most Freeholds will become a Sponsored Park by joining a Kingdom, allowing them to progress in name as their size increases. Your local Kingdom corpora will provide specific details about the names and privileges of increasing Park sizes.
Parks typically have the same leadership positions as kingdoms do and are elected on the same six month schedule. Not all Parks need to have all positions filled at all times. Some smaller Parks only need a monarch while larger groups need a full complement of officers.
In order to ensure that the Park is following the rules, and that the game is being run fairly for all participants, members of the park may also choose to become members of the Reeves Guild. Reeves are the judges or referees of the game, and are recognized by the gold sash that they wear on the field. Reeves should have in-depth knowledge of the rules, and are tested by the current Guildmaster of Reeves to become members of the guild. When a reeve is in charge of a battlegame, their word is final on disputes involving game play. If a player wishes to dispute a reeve’s decision, they may do so after the game with the reeve in question or with the Guildmaster of Reeves. However, while the game is occurring, the decision may not be disputed. Arguing with a reeve on the field may result in being penalized or even ejected from the game. Consistent arguing may result in being removed from play for an extended period.
Companies and Households
In addition to the Park structure, groups of people either within or between different Parks and/or Kingdoms may choose to band together due to a common interest. There are two types of social organizations of this nature: Companies, and Households. Companies are typically groups that focus on fighting or competition. Traditionally, most companies have a leader (e.g. Captain), a second-in-command (e.g. Lieutenant or Sergeant), and heraldry of some type. Given the normal semi-competitive nature of companies, people traditionally only belong to a single company at any given time. Households are typically non-fighting groups that focus on non-competitive aspects of the game, such as arts and sciences, service, etc. Households also traditionally have a leader (e.g. House Lord or House Lady) and heraldry. Because of the traditional non-competitive nature of households, a person may be a member of any number of households.
Awards and Symbols
Amtgard has an extensive award system that is used to recognize and promote excellence in a wide variety of different areas such as service, fighting, arts and sciences, honor, and so forth. Please see Appendix A for a full breakdown of the shared awards system that all Kingdoms adhere to. Each Park may choose to have additional awards as they deem necessary with the approval of their ruling Kingdom monarchy. Some of the more recognized awards are listed here below.
Apprentices are individuals who have a formal student-mentor relationship with a Paragon. Apprentices are taught the ways of the Paragon’s Order and have a desire to improve their abilities within that Order. Players are typically Apprenticed to only a single Paragon at a time. Paragons of on Order may themselves be Apprenticed to a Paragon of a different Order. The reserved symbol of an Apprentice is a belt favor in the color of their Paragon’s Order trimmed in silver.
A catch-all term for members of Amtgard who do not participate in the combat portion of the game. These players are often very valuable to the organization as they provide logistics, leadership, and support to keep the rest of the game moving smoothly. Examples can include water bearers, heralds, event organizers, and Serpent Knights.
Knights are members of Amtgard who have been recognized as exemplars in a given area as well as role-models. Knighthood is a recognition of character in addition to possessing a level of skill beyond that of a Master in their field. Knights are recognized by a variety of reserved symbols, such as a white belt, an Unadorned Chain, spurs, and a white or black phoenix. There are four orders of Knighthood in Amtgard, each of which recognizes a different skill and has its own belt trim color:
- Sword: Awarded for martial excellence. Its symbol is a white belt trimmed in silver.
- Serpent: Awarded for excellence in the arts and sciences. Its symbol is a white belt trimmed in green.
- Crown: Awarded for excellence in elected office. Its symbol is a white belt trimmed in gold.
- Flame: Awarded for excellence in service. Its symbol is a white belt trimmed in red.
Knighthood may only be bestowed at the Kingdom level.
Masterhood may be granted in recognition of outstanding skill in a given area, and has a reserved symbol of a gold phoenix on a solid color background. For more information on the qualifications to be considered a Master, please see Appendix A.
Masterhood may only be granted at the kingdom level.
- Dragon: Gold phoenix on a green background.
- Garber: Gold phoenix on a blue background.
- Lion: Gold phoenix on a purple background.
- Owl: Gold phoenix on a brown background.
- Rose: Gold phoenix on a white background.
- Smith: Gold phoenix on a grey background.
- Warrior: Gold phoenix on a red background.
Men-at-Arms and Pages
Men-at-Arms or Pages are typically individuals who are sworn to Knights, Squires, or Nobles. Historically both Men-at-Arms and Pages fulfilled a variety of responsibilities, such as servants, soldiers, or apprentices to Knights or members of the nobility. In Amtgard, being a Man-at-Arms or Page denotes a special relationship between the individual and his or her mentor, who is typically a Knight, Noble, or Squire. Men-at-Arms can generally be recognized by either a black belt with silver trim, or a green belt. Pages can generally be recognized by a yellow belt.
Sometimes referred to as a ‘Class Masterhood’ this is an award given to a player for consistently being an excellent example of their Order (class) in full-class battlegames. A player should look like, role-play, and be highly effective at playing their Order to be bestowed a Paragon title for that Order. A Paragon should take the lead in teaching new players how to play their Order, assist them with getting the necessary equipment, etc. A player may receive multiple Paragon titles, one for each Order. At the discretion of the Monarch active Paragons may be consulted about new Paragons being inducted into their Order. The reserved symbol of a Paragon is a sash in the color of their class with silver trim.
Squires are individuals who have been sworn to a knight. Historically, squires were arms bearers, servants, or trainees of a Knight. In Amtgard, however, it may be bestowed by a knight for a myriad of reasons and most often takes the form of a mentor - student relationship. Their reserved symbol is a red belt.
Amtgard strives to maintain a fun, friendly, welcoming environment for mature players. As such the following behaviors are not acceptable and may lead to ban from combat or attending:
- Speech that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their property or safety
- Physical violence outside of the normal bounds of combat conduct
- Sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual contact
- Theft or willful destruction of other peoples property
- Repeated unwillingness to follow game rules
- Creating a hostile environment detrimental to the enjoyment of the group as a whole
The Monarch, with the joint agreement of either the Prime Minister or the Guildmaster of Reeves, may ban a player from their group (and subgroups) for any of the reasons including, but not limited to, the list above at their discretion for any amount of time they feel appropriate. Any Monarch, with the joint agreement of either the Prime Minister or the Guildmaster of Reeves, may end a ban on a player at any time with the exception that a park Monarch may not overturn a ban instituted at the Kingdom level.
Any Kingdom Level ban placed by a player’s Kingdom of residence for items 2 or 3 is automatically extended to all Kingdoms and their Subgroups. It is the responsibility of the Monarch enacting the ban to notify the Kingdoms using the Circle of Monarchs communication tools [facebook] [esam]. Any Kingdom Monarch, with the joint agreement of either the Prime Minister or the Guildmaster of Reeves, may exempt their Kingdom from this extension by choosing to assume responsibility for the banned player and allowing the banned player to engage in Amtgard activities within their Kingdom and Subgroups. In doing so, that Monarch is stating that they believe the following is true:
- The banned player adds no additional threat to the safety of the players in this Kingdom or its Subgroups
- The presence of the banned player will not create a hostile or unwelcoming environment for other players attending functions of this Kingdom or its Subgroups related to the nature of the ban
- There is a compelling reason that having the banned player participate in the functions of this Kingdom and its Subgroups is beneficial to the functioning of those same groups
Combat in Amtgard is reserved for players of at least fourteen years of age. However, a monarch may choose to assume responsibility for allowing a child under fourteen to engage in combat, provided after evaluation, the monarch determines that the following minimum requirements are met:
- The child’s legal guardian must agree to assume all responsibility for the safety of the child and execute an additional waiver to that effect, acknowledging the risks inherent in Amtgard combat, especially for children engaging in combat with adults, and assuming responsibility for those risks.
- The child’s legal guardian must be present and within sight of the child during the time combat is taking place.
- The child must be of a sufficient size and health as to not pose a safety risk to themselves, or others, within the normal parameters of Amtgard combat.
- The child must consistently following the rules of combat and behave in an honorable manner on the field.
- The child must be mentally and emotionally capable of handling the combat environment without becoming upset or agitated.
Children under the age of fourteen may still engage in combat with children of similar age and size, provided they do so separately from other players, have a signed waiver, and are supervised by their legal guardians.