Autocratting 101

How to Autocrat

A class presented at Officers Day, November 8, 2014 in Rockhaven

(Known World events and Kingdom events (Coronation, Crown Tourney) have additional requirements not discussed here.)

An autocrat must be a paid member of SCA. Northshield Laws, page 2.

The Four Interdependent Elements

  •   Space – a site
  •   Time – a date and duration
  •   People – Someone to come to the event
  •   Fun – Something for people to do

Space – the primary frontier

Eithni’s  Site Investigation Template –

150-mile rule  “No two events will be allowed within a 150 mile radius of each other.”

Things to think about –

Contract – “An autocrat’s guide to site rental contracts” by SCA Legal Committee

Which spaces are rented?  privacy?  bathrooms/privies (number, type, paper supply) Kitchen?  Cooking equipment?  Chairs & tables? Blackboards?

Insurance – See the SCA Seneschal’s Handbook, page 48.

SCA Inc will send a “Certificate of Liability Insurance” to show the site owner that we have insurance.  To add the site’s  name to the policy, or to cover equestrian activity requires additional time (6 weeks) and additional charge.

Other:  parking, alcohol, garbage, breakers, pre-cleaning needed? Deposit? Waivers? Minor waivers – for children?


For an event to be “official” (i.e., to hold court) it must be announced in the kingdom calendar.  Northwatch deadlines are usually the first of the month before publication. (So the deadline for December Northwatch is November 1.)  Quarter-page event ads are free for one month.

“The 2nd weekend of each month is reserved for the use of the Royalty/Kingdom.”

Conflicting events – “conflicting” can be a loose term.

Check neighboring kingdom calendars and possibly local events.  You don’t want your guests to compete with the State Sportsball Championships for parking, motels, and pizza.


People make any event – but they have to know about it.  A Northwatch ad is necessary.

Use every possible media. Seneschal list.  Email lists for the orders & specialties  – to recruit teachers and helpers, & also to get the word out (especially for a new or specialized event). Make a facebook event page.  Tweet freely!  Push at other events.

The Event Information Officer lists required and optional information.  The easiest way to submit the information is to fill out the form on the Northshield website.

Have the event website ready to go before submitting it to kingdom, and keep it updated.

Once the event is on the Northshield website, test the maps.

Your group doesn’t have to staff every leadership position. Ask for help. (Especially with lunch.)

Volunteer  registration on your website is cool, but don’t panic when it’s not used.

Is pre-registration necessary (e.g., for feast?)

Train your staff – especially gate helpers and servers.

Something to do AND someone in charge of it

Activities:  fighting, fencing, archery, TW, equestrian, hound coursing, (marshals) A&S, classes (teachers), bardic, dancing. (musicians) , games, drinking, kid stuff,  merchants, eating (lunch? feast?).

Pester leaders gently to be sure they’re doing their jobs. Set deadlines (e.g., The list of teachers must be sent to the webslinger by October 31.)

Themed events vs general events.  Expected activities.

What can you afford?  (Solid gold site tokens?)

It’s Not Over When It’s Over

Not even after cleanup – and don’t forget the SCA tradition of leaving an event site cleaner than we found it.

Reports –

There are three gate forms on the Northshield website – use one if possible. The wording on the form is a legal document. Don’t mess with it.  Don’t forget the minor waivers.

Comprehensive event report form  (within 30 days)

Exchequer’s report  (due within 30 days. Required to fill in comprehensive form)

MoAS post event report (fill-in, for events or demos).  Within 30 days.

Tourney reports need to be sent to the respective Regional Deputy. Injuries or incidents need to be reported within 48 hours.

NMS submission form

Waivers need to be sent to the Minister of Waivers, who keeps them for up to 20 years.

Heralds – Court reports must be emailed within 72 hours.

Thank you letters to site, other groups or individuals who were staff, special guests…

Kudrun Pilegrim 10/29/2014  Revised 6/16/18.