Coord 213: Building a Prestige Log

As a coordinator, you will, at times, need to assist members with their Prestige logs. While members are expected to maintain their own logs and keep track of all their gains, there will be new members who aren’t familiar with the finer points of Prestige and may need some education – and veteran members who may have let the log lay fallow for some time, and need some help reconstructing missed gains. But where does one start in assembling a Prestige log, especially when they may need to reconstruct it from scratch?

The Prestige Sheet: The Basics

For purposes of this article, we’ll be using the MES standard Prestige template, as found at this link:

MES-Prestige-Log.xls

The various slots are rather simple – there’s a place for the date (which usually comes down to month and year), a description of the services that earned the Prestige, a scroll bar for categories, and the various ways of breaking down the Prestige. Awarded reflects the actual award, Usable Prestige reflects how much actually applies to the log as a result of caps on each category, and Remaining Total applies the Usable Prestige to the actual total.

If you’re starting up a new log for a new member, the categories that will come into play will be the simplified categories from the current MES Handbook.

Administration – Awarded to officers on both the Storyteller and Coordinator sides for duties performed during the month. Officers are awarded from the Prestige Budget of their superiors, and such awards can usually be found in their Reports – a DC Report will usually contain awards for ADCs, an RC report will contain awards for ARCs and DCs, and so on. The various offices have caps of their own – serving in any one office, Storyteller or Coordinator, primary or assistant, has a cap of 50 per month. This Prestige is capped at 80 per month across all categories. Unless a permission has been gained from the National Coordinator’s office, one person can’t gain more than 3 primary offices at one time.

Non-Administrative Game Support – Awarded to members who contribute to the general benefit of the game – securing a game site, writing an accepted plotkit, donating materials to a game, providing players with lodging, moderating an IC e-mail list, and serving as an IRC operator are just some of the ways to do so. At the General level, such claims are reported up to the DC by the members. This Prestige is capped at 50 per month, with a maximum of 30 per individual claim.

Social/Non-Game Support – Awarded to members who’ve contributed to the club in ways that do not directly benefit a game. Such gains derive from contributions to club philanthropic drives, writing articles for club newsletters, organizing or contributing to a social event, creating or updating a website, and similar activities. When claiming Prestige for donations to the club or philanthropic drives, you must record all contributions, be they time or money, when reporting up the chain (e.g., “Donated 5 cans to church food drive” or “Spent 3 hours at no-kill shelter”). At the General level, such claims are reported up to the DC by the members; at the Regional or National level, activities are reported up to the officer in charge (such as the ARC/ANC Charities), and usually published in official reports. This Prestige is capped at 50 per month, with a maximum of 30 per individual claim.

National and Regional Convention Events – Awarded to members who contribute to, well, it seems kinda obvious. This can include volunteering at a convention (for anything from AVST to Hospitality to Security to Registration), organizing the convention (securing a site, arranging room blocks, creating a convention website), or contributing flyers, banners, or other supplies to the convention. Prestige for such gains is capped at 100 per event, with a cap of 30 per month for contributions leading up to the actual convention.

Standards and Early Renewal – These are awards handed out for completion of the club’s educational standards, and for renewal before the expiration of one’s membership. There are different awards for each standard, and no monthly cap, while Early Renewal prestige is awarded at, and capped at, 50 General per year.

Those who use the standard Prestige log long enough will find that it doesn’t have enough space to record the gains of a veteran MES member. Fortunately, the sheet is not locked, and can be modified in an easy manner. Once you run out of space, Copy the last box in the column, highlight the number of spaces below it, you think you’ll need in the future, then Paste it in. Be sure to repeat this for Columns A through N; the sheet will automatically modify the formulas in Columns G through M to fit their new homes. Do make sure to use fairly blank values when copying, though – you don’t want to use a gain of 50 Prestige, only to find that you “suddenly qualify” for MC7.

Assisting a New Member

It’s likely that, in the first few months of a new member’s tenure, they’ve been focused more on character building and the game itself, rather than the fine details of the club. As such, they may have contributed to local domain efforts – and even the greater efforts of the organization – without being aware of their gains.

In these cases, let the member know that you’re available to talk to them about assembling a log. While each member’s prestige log is their own responsibility, such a gesture will remind them of the importance of maintaining a log, and will open a good sense of rapport between the member of you.

Before you meet to build the log, encourage the member to read through the Membership Handbook, so that they have a clear understanding of the various categories. Point out to them the various contributions they’ve made to the domain over the past few months, and how they might be worthy of Prestige:

  • Did they help clean up or set-up a site after a game, if so what date?
  • Did they portray an NPC while they were still trying to learn the ropes of the venue?
  • Did they bring food to a game, if so how much did it cost?
  • Did they go out of their way to help someone get to a game? The person’s name and member number will be needed.
  • Did they attend a domain meeting, if so what date?

All these things, which may seem small in retrospect, can earn the member Prestige. Impress on them the importance of reporting such gains in the future, focusing on logging gains by the end of the month at the very latest. If your Domain does not have an “e-mail blast” at the end of month declaring when monthly Prestige is due, consider instituting one. Not only does it drive it home for the new players, it helps remind veteran players who may have fallen behind on reporting their gains.

Reporting prestige to an officer can be handled through discussion but is most useful for the officer if it’s done via email or an online form. Often officers will have a sign in sheet at games where players can write down what they have brought or done to help during that game. As well, sending out a form for people to fill out a few days before reporting helps coordinators to cross check their information submitted to make sure nothing is missing.

It’s a member’s Direct Coordinator – most often, their Domain Coordinator – who has the ability to award and confirm prestige. As such, Domain Coordinators should remember that they only have a three-month window to “backdate” Prestige awards. That’s not to say that potential gains outside that window should fall by the wayside, however. If you feel one of your members has done something to merit a good deal of Prestige, report it up to the Regional Coordinator – they have a window of one year for codifying past gains.

Reconstructing a Veteran’s Log

This is a situation most likely faced when a veteran member transfers domains, or has let their log go ignored over the years. If a member reaches out to you for assistance – or, perhaps, if you’re going back over a log you haven’t touched in years – it’s going to be tricky to reassemble everything from memory.  Fortunately, with more established members, there’s more of a chance of a paper trail.

A note of consideration, before we begin. With veteran members, a good deal of Prestige will fall under the categories as they were before June 1st, 2013. In reassembling the log, you’ll need to take these categories, as well as the ones post-changeover, in mind. For this field, it’s best to use the June 2013 Prestige Guidelines on the MES websites, which also list the Prestige categories and caps for all previous iterations:

Prestige Guidelines

Furthermore, members returning to the MES from an absence do not need to worry about rebuilding their log in minute detail. By current MES policy, any returning member can be reinstated at the basic values for the MC last found logged in an official report. But, then again, there are always some gains that slip between the cracks, and they may need to be found.

So, how can you help this member find all their old Prestige? Well, first of all, there’s recalling specific contributions – how long did you run this venue? Were you ever an officer? All of the past prestige awards should be found in the MES records from the years of the previous membership. If the award is not recorded and the member has clear and compelling evidence of them, the 3 month limit on backdating may be appealed and reviewed for addition to the log.

Where to find awarded prestige?

  • The Prestige Search  – The Prestige Search function on the MES website will log all Regional and National Prestige awards. Sometimes, though, contributions go unobserved – maybe, in the hectic rush of a convention, a Venue ST didn’t jot down an AVST’s contribution. In cases like these, it’s best to get in contact with the Regional Coordinator/Storyteller where the contribution happened – that way, there’s a better chance of finding someone who can recall the contribution and attest to it.
  • The Report – Even if Prestige is not directly reported to the Direct Coordinator/Storyteller, a Report will, at the very least, log all awards for Storyteller and Coordinator staff.  Plus, there are those Domain Coordinators who will log a person’s Prestige gains and mark them down of their own accord. If the member is a veteran of your domain, make sure to go back over the records to see if the old DC penciled anything in; if they’re a transfer, get in touch with the old DC and see what can be found.
  • CRD – The Camarilla Reference Document has been used by players in the past to log characters, documents, Prestige, and the old Ordeals. Through use of the CRD, it’s possible for both player and Coordinator to find old records and passed Ordeals on the player’s specialized profile.
  • Standards/Ordeals – All Standards (and the Ordeals before them) are logged in the MES database and accessible through the Standards link under the Legacy Tools tab in the Member Portal. All past gains through these tests can be found here.

Prestige not covered in a published coordinator report will be stripped during future audits (see Coord Document 214: Auditing a Prestige Log).

In the End

Assembling a Prestige Log ultimately falls to the members – but as a Coordinator, you will be called upon to aid them. It’s hard to reconstruct the past perfectly, but there’s a good chance you can find enough to fill in the gaps. The MES leaves a longer paper trail than most people imagine, and it’s fairly easy to find an old officer who will be willing to vouch for an unmarked contribution. Once you lend the member a hand, there’s a very good chance they’ll be able to pick it up on their own, and maintain their own Logs in the future.