How Getting Peered Works Mechanically

28 Aug 2018 by gebhard, 1 Comment »

There seems to be a number of questions and confusion about about how getting peered works.
What roles do the King and Queen play?
How do members the orders  play into the process?
What is the poll?

These are many questions we’ll explore together, as we review the mechanical process of becoming a peer.

“How do I become a peer?” is an on going question. It has a complicated and personal answer, but, until you understand this process, any advice on that front will be inaccurate.

What is the peerage process?

Before we get started, every Kingdom has their own culture, traditions,  and processes. The Peerage process will vary by Kingdom the following is only representative of the Middle Kingdom.

The Overview

The King and Queen choose who they will make a peer, and they must “consult” the order, then they make an announcement to the order of their intent.

Then the details like, “Who will beg the boon?”, and “At what event it will take place?”, and so on begin.

The King and Queen

The King and Queen have total discretion on this matter. They are like a monarchy. I know this seems odd, but we are a group that re-enacts the middle ages.

They could decide to peer Newbie-Bob at his first event. This would be very bad for Bob and for the Kingdom, it will likely never happen, but it is theoretically possible.

Likewise, Bob could be the very best at doing a thing. He may have been working on that thing for 20 or more years, and everyone could say Bob is very best at his thing. Yet, the King and Queen have no obligation to peer Bob.

This may sound scary, but Royalty enjoys giving awards. I’ve not known any that didn’t. If you ever get to stand behind the thrones during court, you’ll understand why.

If something is happening (or isn’t happening), it’s because there is a picture that you and I do not get to see. While it may seem crazy to you why: “Bob got peered” or why: “Bob isn’t getting peered”, I promise there are good reasons that we don’t get to see.

Bob doesn’t need his dirty laundry aired out in public,  it wouldn’t be good for anyone.

We must trust our Royalty.  The amount of dedication, energy, money they give is vast, and is worthy of respect, and understanding. They are often on the road 30-42 weekends over a year. Think of the cost of that. They do get help with gas, and sometimes lodging, but that’s all.  The personal strain, hardship on their lives, and personal relationships should never be under estimated. They give a lot to do the best they can for the Kingdom.

No one signs up to work that hard just to harm those they have an oath to serve. 

The Role of Peers

Peers have four primary functions. (in no particular order)

A.) Help Bob. Part of a peer’s job is to offer guidance to others, both in development of skills, and other peer like qualities.

B.) Serve, and advise the Crown. 

C.) Be the best example that they can be of that peerage.

D.) Protect, facilitate, and promote the Kingdom and the SCA as a whole.

( E: This isn’t a role, but it’s something I enjoy. Peers get to hang out with other peers. The vast majority are really amazing people who are very dedicated to making the SCA a fun, accepting place for everyone. Being a peer is a job, but it’s hard work most enjoy.)

Polling is not voting

Since the Royalty can not be everywhere, there is a electronic message board, for advice to be collected. As the Royalty chooses, a poll is sent out to be filled in by the respective peerage groups. The results are tallied for the benefit of the King and Queen to do with what they see fit.

The poll is not voting. It is only advisement to the crown.

Kings and Queens will choose who they wish to peer no matter what the order says about a candidate.  However, Royalty generally wants members to fit in to their peer groups, and it’s uncommon for the Crown to go completely against the order.

It would be fool hardy for anyone to assume that a peer was not supported by the peerage.


The Process

A peer will stand up in a peerage meeting and say, “I think Bob is doing great, and should be added to the watch list”. After a decision lead by the Royalty, they will decide if Bob should be added to the watch list.

If so, the secretary of the order will add Bob.  Peers may comment on their experiences with Bob both online, in peerage meetings, and in person with Crown.

The poll that goes out has “Drop”, “Not Now”, “No Opinion”, and “Move to the Vote List” on it for Bob.

At a given point, the Royalty will decide to move Bob to the Vote list.  This will commonly happen after a peerage meeting, in which Bob’s attributes will have been discussed.

There is no “magic” number that Bob must meet to get promoted to the “Vote” list from the “Watch” list.  This is completely at the discretion of the Royalty. Once again, this will rarely happen without a large approval by the Order.

Once on the, “Vote” list, a poll will go out for Bob with, “Drop back to the watch list”, “No opinion”, “Wait”, or “Elevate” on it.  

At some point in the future the Royalty will decide to, “Drop” Bob or, “Elevate” Bob.

It can hurt Bob if he’s left on the list forever, if he doesn’t move up he will most likely be taken off.

If that happens, it’s no big deal. He can be put back on at any time. Depending on his circumstances.

There are many reasons why someone can be removed from the list and then put back on. Many of those reasons aren’t negative. 

The list is secret you will not know when you are on it, or what is said. You’ll have a advocate which will filter the advice and help you. (as well other peers of the order, see peer Role A).  This is for good reason.  I’ll talk more about in the future.

In Summary

Royalty will give awards to those they find worthy. They rely on the opinions of peers and members of the populous to make their decisions.

Please take the time to fill in award recommendations, your opinion is very valuable, but also understand there is a bigger picture that we may not always get to see.


Picture taken by: Isabel Taylor

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One Comment

  1. interesting article! And interesting to learn about how things work in the midrealm. Here in Calontir we don’t have the electronic polling. All the polling is done in order meetings at events.

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