A Tale of Two SystemsEdit
The High Fantasy Society has evolved two awards systems; one much like the system inherited by it's parent organization (aka. the Ladder system), and an apparently HFS-unique development (aka. the GSC system).
The Ladder SystemEdit
Ladder awards are those that a player can earn for a variety of accomplishments in service, the arts & sciences, combat, or leadership. Typically there are ten levels of award (called Orders), each more difficult to achieve than the previous. Once ten Orders of a specific type have been achieved, the player is eligible for Masterhood.
In reality, many Kingdoms have trouble keeping up with the "increasing difficulty" requirements. More than one player has been awarded five, six, or even eight Orders while each granting person thought he or she was giving a first- or second-level award. No one is known to have achieved all ten like this, but no one doubts that it has happened at some point. This has been reduced somewhat by character-tracking databases and the spread of Internet-capable laptop computers that allow a player's records to be checked on-site, but it is still a challenge to prevent abuses or exploitations of the system.
Some Kingdoms permit issuing Orders above 10th-level. These Kingdoms also typically require a greater number of Orders for certain Masterhoods.
The GSC SystemEdit
GSC is an abbreviation for "Gold, Silver, Copper." This system assumes that all awards are basic-level awards, the Copper-level award. Once five Copper awards have been received, the fifth is a Silver-level award. Once five Silver awards have been earned, the player is granted a Gold-level award and qualifies for Masterhood or receives that title outright.
The large number of awards needed to reach Masterhood (a total of 25 Copper awards) offsets the reduced requirements for each award, though inattentive granting can still be a problem.
Variations in the GSC SystemEdit
Several Kingdoms use a slight variation of the GSC, instead using only Silver and Gold awards, with the final award being Masterhood. This is merely a change in naming practices, with Copper/Silver/Gold being replaced with Silver/Gold/Master progression.
While most Kingdoms issue Copper awards for the same degree of performance, a few attempt to require greater performance each time to qualify. These kingdoms have the same troubles as those that use the Ladder system, and oversight greatly depends on the diligence of the local Chancellor/Prime Minister.
Some Kingdoms compromise, allowing basic performance for each Copper award, but requiring an obvious increase of skill or performance before a Silver-level award is issued. At least one Kingdom performs conversion from Coppers to Silver (or Silver to Gold) only on request of the player who may be required to prove his merits before the conversion is granted.
These are just the more common variations. Each Kingdom has it's own minor variations that depend on local tradition and the Monarch's interpretations.
Systems Used by Each KingdomEdit
Here is a list of the awards systems in use by each Kingdom as best as available data allows. Several Kingdoms are not listed.
Ladder System = Barad-Duin, Drandmir, Kalladen
GSC System = Bhurtok, Calinorn, Challain, Dragon Springs, Drakenfjord, Shadowmist
Converting Between the SystemsEdit
Converting between the two systems has been problematic, but necessary. Kingdom officers have long been challenged by how to deal with granting awards to visitors, or how to translate the awards of players who have moved from another Kingdom. In 2007, Sir Cedric Einarsson developed a practical conversion method to allow this. It does not take into account specific awards or local variations, but it does account for the increasing difficulty requirements of Ladder awards. Good Chancellor should be able to quickly adapt this chart for their local needs.
1st Order = 1 Copper
2nd Order = 3 Coppers
3rd Order = 5 Coppers
4th Order = 8 Coppers
5th Order = 11 Coppers
6th Order = 15 Coppers
7th Order = 19 Coppers
8th Order = 24 Coppers
9th Order = 29 Coppers
10th Order = 35 Coppers
Each Order above 10th is converted as +6 Coppers