I've been saying for months now that I need to get Low Company kickstarted again, and beginning to actively plan to do so. But part of why it's slid so badly in recent years is that I am not terribly happy about the way I've been running it -- somewhere along the line, it stopped being a guild (insofar as it ever had been), and turned into simply a class. That class is useful in some respects, but it's frankly rather stressful as a format for me (it completely hinges on me, with no room for error and not much help), and it doesn't really motivate anyone well. So I'm pondering what I want to do with it.
(For those who are new: The Low Company of Gamesters and Gamblers is the Barony's games-oriented Guild-Like-Object. Within the Company, my nickname is "Ace" -- that was originally going to be the title of the head of the Company, but since I've always *been* the head I've sort of adopted it as a personal cognomen. It's been largely inactive for the past couple of years.)
Anyway, I'm looking for input and lateral thinking, so consider this thread an invitation and request to discuss the Low Company. I'm not looking to make decisions yet -- the discussion about Guilds in general is still generating too many interesting ideas for me to want to resolve things prematurely -- but I'd like to get more-focused input while I think about this. So I'm asking a few questions of anyone in Carolingia and environs who is interested in period games. I *really* want to get some soundings here, so please muse on any of these that you find interesting.
-- What would *you personally* like to get out of Low Company? Feel free to wander hither and yon on this point.
-- Are you more interested in playing games at LC meetings, or at events? If both, what do you think the balance would be for you personally? How much do you view LC meetings as a practice for events, and how much an activity for their own sake?
-- What balance would you prefer in LC meetings between learning new games, and playing ones you already know?
-- Where do you think the balance is best placed, between relatively social multi-player games (such as cards) and two-player games (such as most period board games)?
-- What difficulty level do you think is typically most appropriate? Looking at it a different way, do you think it's better to focus on more sophisticated games interesting to the hardcore gamers, easier games more interesting to the casual social gamer, or an even mix of both?
-- What do you think is the most appropriate schedule for LC? Monthly, semi-monthly, weekly, irregularly, etc?
-- How social an experience do you think LC should be? What do you think are ways to encourage that level of social interaction? Related to that, how much "group identity" is appropriate for the LC, and how might that be encouraged?
-- Do you think there are projects that might be appropriate to LC? (Defining a "project" as a medium-term activity that requires a measure of commitment from some members of the group.) More specifically, are there game-oriented projects that you would find *fun*?
-- How much do you think that the LC *as a group* (as opposed to as individuals) should get itself involved in the activity of games at events? More generally, how do you think the LC can and should serve the Barony?
Okay, that's a good start. Feel free to sound off about questions that I haven't covered. I'm basically inviting brainstorming on the subject, to give me a solid base as I begin to start the group up again. As such, I am specifically *not* looking for arguments: I'm less interested in determining "right" and "wrong" answers at this point, than in a far-wandering discussion that gives me some ideas of how people feel about the activity and what we might do with it. Please chime in, even if you find yourself echoing what others are saying -- I want to know what folks are interested in...