I agree with what you're saying - rules tinkering and rules interpretations has been a problem and continues to be. I've heard the same comments from the same people you mention and have seen friends and students walk away from Rapier because of this fluidity. It is has been a real problem.
I know what everyone may be thinking: "Isn't that the guy that took the rules while he was KRM and started tinkering like a mad-man?"
Yes I am.
Of course, those changes were 2 years, 4 Marshal Classes, and 3 Rapier Moots in the making. And the changes were to do two things:
1) Eliminate some of the subjectiveness and regional influence in the interpretation of the rules.
2) Expand some rules back to Society standard to increase the Rapier Fighter population. (ie the whole legged fighter debate)
Rules changes need to be considered, purposeful and well thought through in terms of past, present, and future circumstances. They should take time to enact.
Our KRM, THL Albrecht, is doing this. He's having Moots, watching/participating in List discussions, etc. With this particular item he's trying to clean up a mistake on my fine art drawing in the rules (my humble apologies again!).
I think we are in good hands and I trust the KRM will take the appropriate action with this. He's the one that will make the final determination for what he takes back to the Earl Marshal for changes, if any. I don't think everyone will be happy with the appropriate action, but that's just reality. I hope everyone continues to play happlily in a consistent and safe manner.
Mateo de Merida
--- On Wed, 5/12/10, Ross Weaver <ross.weaver@...> wrote:
From: Ross Weaver <ross.weaver@...>
Subject: [E_Rapier] Rules tinkering...
Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 2:57 PM
Last night I did realized one of my basic oppositions I didn't mention
to the considering of changing the rapier rules is trying to avoid
When I was KRM, and afterwards I heard a number of complaints from
rapier combatants, armoured combat combatants (who were explaining why
they would never consider rapier), teasing from Knights, SCA folks in
general and non-SCA people (WMA sort really) about the SCA rapier
rules tinkering. Basically the general feeling is that the rules are
always in flux, you can never predict what would change, and unless
you have some psychic insight into the minds of those that create the
rules (because it doesn't matter what was written, it only matters
what they were thinking when they wrote it), so you can't really know
the rules. Which makes many reluctant to participate because they
don't want to put all their kit together then be told it isn't legal,
or be kicked of the list for something that was legal last week...
I've usually told them "No, no, your impression is wrong, sometimes we
clarify because something went wrong but they are essentially the
same". But things like this make me think maybe they are right.
One of the problems in the SCA is that we are spread fairly thin
through a good part of North America (I know there are some very
populous kingdoms, but there are also very large emptyish areas).
There are many groups without a rapier marshal, experience rapier
combatant or access to a rapier marshal, but people that may be
interested. They have to be able to get the rules, understand them
and be able to start participating in some form, but if the rules keep
changing, or they are told, "well it really wasn't meant that way" all
the time, then we wont get these new members then, they wont even try.
We even scare away armoured combatants from trying it because of this
impression of constant rules tinkering, and even people in groups with
Are our rules perfect? No. Can they be perfect. No. Are they
adequate? I think so...
That is why even when people like Albrecht and Mateo come up with a
good middle ground or clarification I still question why we should
even change it, keeping things the same has many advantages. We
shouldn't change things unless there is a real problem and when we do
we have to make sure the change addresses that problem for sure,
because changing it later may be possible but can be frustrating for a
lot of people, many who have no voice in the rapier community.
P.S. I have to be quiet now for a while and actually get some work
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