The O.R.K. Users Guide
Note: The O.R.K. is a constantly growing and evolving utility. The Information contained in this document may not necessarily be up to date. However, it should still be a good foundation.
What Is It?
Simply put, the ORK (Online Record Keeper) is the niftiest chapter records utility in the whole farking world. It's a web based utility that allows you to track virtually everything you might need to know regarding your players. It is so spiffy in fact, that at the time of writing this, three kingdoms have made it their official record keeper. If your chapter isn't using it, there is something seriously wrong and you might want to consider medical help. Oh... and its author, Rewth, is a smart ass.
First off, in order to use the ORK, your chapter needs to have been set up. If this hasn't already been done, you need to send an email to Rewth and request it. Email email@example.com and let him know your chapter's name, kingdom, size (shire, barony, duchy) as well as your local Prime Minister's name and email address. Additionally, it is good to include two passwords, one for your Prime Minister and the other for your Monarch. Remember, Rewth is a lazy bastard; it may take a few days before he responds, but if you haven't heard anything in a week, email him again.
Once you have a Chapter set up you will need to log in. Go to http://www.amtgardrecords.com/admin to do so. Feel free to bookmark this page. Do not bookmark internal pages, the result isn't pretty.
Here you will find two forms, one for ORK administration, and one for Knights' administration. You want the first one. You will need to choose your chapter from the list. They are sorted by kingdom first, then alphabetically. Then choose your security level. Enter your password and click "Log In." You should now be looking at the main menu. If not, bear in mind that passwords are case sensitive, and also that some passwords might be shared between multiple people and could be changed. If all else fails press the PANIC key on your keyboard repeatedly. Then email Rewth after you have calmed down. If you do not have a PANIC key, you are probably doomed, but go ahead and email Rewth anyway, he can probably still help.
The are five security levels. Each one has its own separate password.
Chapter Prime Minister - This should be the primary account used to access the ORK. More than one person should never possess it at any given time. This account has full read and write access to the entire chapter. They can literally do anything they want, from adding credits to deleting players. This should be your elected records keeper's account.
Chapter Monarch - This is a read-only account that can pretty much only look at reports. You should give this out to your chapter's monarch so they can run some reports for themselves. However, this is also the account that can be shared amongst multiple people. Anyone that needs access to the back end reports can use this account and it won't cause any trouble. They can't break anything with it.
Kingdom Prime Minister - This is a FULL access account just like the Chapter Prime Minister. However, it has two notable differences. First off, it can log into ANY chapter within the kingdom. Meaning it has the potential to be very dangerous. However, it can ONLY log in to chapters that have specifically granted it permission to do so. Once you log in you will see this option on the first screen. This account should NEVER be possessed by more than one person and that person should change the password very regularly. Did I mention that they can log in and muck with ANY chapter that gives them the right to do so? Don't let some commie mutant traitor get ahold of this password. The only thing Rewth can do to fix what they break is offer you his condolences.
Kingdom Official - This is identical to Chapter Monarch in its capabilities, with the exception that it can be used to log into any chapter within the kingdom. This account is not restricted by each chapter like the Kingdom Prime Minister is. This is the best account for Floating Crown Kingdoms to give out to their Kingdom level PMs if they choose to not use the Kingdom Prime Minister account.
Kingdom Herald - This account is ONLY able to see heraldry options (player photo and player heraldry). However, they can log into any chapter they choose within a kingdom. This account can be used by a kingdom to give one person or one group of people the ability to maintain the entire kingdom's images within the system. Note: the ORK does not host these files, it simply links to them. If your kingdom would like to use this feature it will need to have a large hosting solution available to it for image storage. Photobucket.com is good option.
The first page you will see upon logging in is a basic account information page. Most accounts only see their account password (which can be changed from this point). However, the Chapter PM account can see a few more details. Any changes made must be committed by clicking the "Apply These Changes" button.
Prime Minister Password - Your password.
Prime Minister Name - Your name, this appears on the front end under "This chapter's records are maintained by".
Prime Minister Email - Your email address, this is the email addy displayed in the same place, so your populace can email you with changes and updates.
Monarch Password - The Chapter Prime Minister has the ability to see and change the Chapter Monarch account. This is so they can distribute it to those who need it.
Chapter Location - This displays on the front end as well, at the top of the chapter page. Enter a city/state combination or something similar.
Grant Kingdom PM Account Write Access To Your Chapter? - See the Kingdom Prime Minister security level above. This check box determines whether that account can access your chapter's records.
On the left you should see a frame window containing your navigation menu. What you see listed here is dependent entirely upon what security level you logged in with.
PM Controls - Available to Chapter Prime Minister and Kingdom Prime Minister
Reports - Available to Chapter Prime Minister, Chapter Monarch, Kingdom Prime Minister, Kingdom Official
Herald Controls - Available to Chapter Prime Minister, Kingdom Prime Minister, Kingdom Herald.
Misc: Known Bugs, Version Notes, Help, Ask Rewth, Log Out - Available to everyone.
For customizing your chapter within the ORK. Currently you can only modify what non-standard classes your chapter recognizes, but later will be able to modify a number of other elements within the Admin section. It will determine what values show up in various pull down menus and also how various calculations are performed. I swear, eventually this section will get tons cooler, allowing you to customize the ORK in a myriad of ways. In the mean time it is kind of minimal in its niftiness.
Unless your chapter institutes some major changes, you will likely not need to do anything here unless a new feature is released or you are the first PM to begin using the ORK and need to configure your chapter in the first place.
If your chapter allowed a player to take credit in alternate classes rather than treating them as monsters you can add them to the "Classes Currently Recognized" list via the select bar to the right. This will ensure that they appear in various pull downs throughout the site. If you clear a class from the list it does nothing to those players who already have credit in those classes. Instead it simply removes it from the list of choices within the Admin utility.
This is where you do the vast majority of your manipulation of records that doesn't involve credits, and even a lot of it that does. This is the section you will want to familiarize yourself with very quickly, especially if you are a new chapter. It is the biggest and most powerful portion of the ORK. It's like its buttocks or something equally big and powerful on a real orc. Yeah... it's definitely the butt muscle.
Upon selecting Player List you will notice that your screen has split into two sections. The top contains three option buttons (Add New Player, Active Players and Inactive Players). The bottom contains your current active player list.
Add New Player
Clicking this button changes the top menu to a data form. Fill it out and click Create (in the upper right) to complete the creation process.
Things to bear in mind:
Short Amtgard Name is what appears in pull-downs or in three-column lists on the site. It's really for convenience sake. It can be particularly annoying if this field is excessively long.
Full Amtgard Name appears at the top of the player's record on the front end. For the most part it is the publicly accessible name of the player. This is the part to put titles or last names and other goofy stuff.
First Name, Last Name - all the contact information, Email Address, etc., is all for the benefit of the Contact List report. Otherwise most of this info is optional. I will stress though that this can be exceptionally useful. It kinda sucks calling up yer buddy and asking his hot sister "Hey, can I talk to Ragnar the Merciless" because you don't know his real name.
Dues Paid Through is for the voting eligibility report. Be sure to enter it in the proper format (YYYY-MM-DD) or the report won't function as intended.
Waiver on File is purely informational.
Active - this one is rather important. If this box is checked the player will appear on the Active Player List and also on the front end of the site. If it is unchecked the player appears on the Inactive Player List and will ONLY be visible on the front end via the Search function.
Active Player List/Inactive Player List
Functionally these are both the same thing, just displaying two sides of a coin. They list the players created under your chapter. If the player has his Active box checked he appears under active players, unchecked under inactive. Simple.
Select a Player under a list and your whole world changes again. I swear, it's like magic! The top window displays the various functions available for a player's records, the bottom contains the record itself and buttons to go to the player's credits or return to the list.
Player Info is almost identical to the data contained in the create a new player function. The only notable additions are Current Chapter and DELETE This Player.
Current Chapter is how you transfer a player's records. If you change it to another chapter and click Apply Changes button you will immediately send that player to the chapter you selected. This is a one-way transfer. You can not take a player's records, you can only give them away to other chapters. If you screw up, contact the PM of the chapter you sent it to or Rewth, and the player can be transferred back under your control.
DELETE This Player - Simply put... NEVER delete a player. There is no reason to. The ORK has plenty of space, and you never know when they might come back. Plus, there is no undoing this. Once a player is deleted they are gone. Very gone. Really, real-world gone. The only time you would want to do this is if you create a player multiple times and are merely cleaning house. Did I mention deletion is permanent? Deleting is a BadThing. (tm)
Full Printable Record - This is basically for creating a hard copy of a player's records. It's useful for making a nifty book that you can drag back and forth to the park, or for appeasing those people that worry about maintaining records in a digital format... cuz you know, data is so much easier to lose than a book... anyway, it prints up just about everything there is to know about a player. Awards, credits, personal info: everything. Come later versions I might make it look a little bit prettier. If someone asks nicely.
Add Title - This will add a title (Lord, Baron, Grand Duke, Supreme Inquisitor, Grand Orator of the Inane, pretty much anything) to a player's record. Knighthoods are also appropriate here, unless the player's records are maintained in the Knights' version of the ORK as well, in which case the Knights' ORK will handle their knighthood entries. Which is nice cuz it means less work for you. Unless they also happened to stick you with that responsibility too.
Recommended Format: "Title(ABBR)" in the title field, where (ABBR) is the chapter abbreviation if the title is chapter specific. "Name - Chapter" in the Given By field where Name is the monarch, and Chapter is the chapter presenting the title. Try to use Emperor/King or whatever position they are currently in for the monarch.
Add Position - This is for listing positions held in office. Things like prime minister, king, champion, etc.
Recommended Format: "Position (ABBR)" in the position field where Position is the position they held, and ABBR is the chapter abbreviation that they held this position in.
Add Masterhood - Very specific list of awards, masterhood in classes or awards are appropriate here.
Recommended Format: "Name - Chapter" in the given by field where Name is the monarch, and Chapter is the chapter presenting the Title. Try to use Emperor/King or whatever position they are currently in for the monarch.
Add Award - Lists the various types of standard awards that can be given to a player. This feature only allows the addition of awards recognized by the corpora of at least one kingdom. If you need to add an unlisted award do so via the Add Misc. You may also add a Memo describing why an award was given. This is extremely useful when monarchs are considering future awards.
Recommended Format: "Name - Chapter" in the Given By field where Name is the monarch, and chapter is the chapter presenting the Title. Try to use Emperor/King or whatever position they are currently in for the monarch.
Add Group - This is a plain text field allowing virtually anything to be added. It is generally for listing memberships in households and companies. There is no suggested format.
Add Misc - This is a plain text field allowing virtually anything (including html links or img tags.) It's basically a catch-all field for listing anything else a player might want on their record.
Common entries here include listing a knight's squires, or listing that someone is a man-at-arms to someone else. Uncommon entries include impromptu awards, declarations of love, or what color of pants the person wears on a daily basis.
If the Knights' ORK is currently in use in your kingdom, squire and knight relationships are often handled by it and no longer necessary for the Chapter PM's to maintain. There is no suggested format, but use common sense when linking to external content. Linking to hot girl-on-girl action might seem funny, but it's a great way to piss off someone's boss.
View Credits - this button is often overlooked. It is not displayed on the upper menu, but rather on the bottom half of the page with the player's pseudo-record. Clicking it will bring up the player's credits pseudo-record. At the top your menu will change to allow the addition of any amount of credits to any valid class to that player. It is important to note that this allows free-form values to be entered whereas the Add Credits from the main menu does not. This is the best place to do entry of bulk credits during the initial setup of your chapter. Note: use January 1, 1980 to represent all bulk credits that do not have a specific date.
Individual Class Credits - Once a player has received credits in a class you can click that class itself in the bottom window. This brings up a view displaying only that class' credits. From here you can delete or transfer them to another class in case of errors during initial entry. You may also add credits via the upper window.
Edit/Delete buttons - Back on the player's main pseudo-record you will note Edit and Delete buttons next to virtually any entry on the page. Clicking allows you to either modify an existing entry, or delete it altogether. I'll leave it to you to figure out which does which.
The Player Finder link is really just a quick lookup utility to make finding a player easier. Sometimes players don't sign in with their Amtgard name. The player finder allows you to quickly find them by typing in a few letters (it doesn't require complete names) of either their mundane or Amtgard name.
Add Daily Credits
This is where you will enter your weekly attendance at the park. You will likely log in once a week specifically to use this page.
It's fairly simple. Select the appropriate date in the upper right (Credit Date), then select the player (Player), the class they want credit in (Applied To), the number of credits (Value) (one is the default) and the chapter they acquired credit in (in case they attended outside of your chapter)(again, your own chapter is the default). As you enter players they will appear in the bottom window, and the date entered will remain as you add them (so you don't need to constantly reset it).
There is currently a bug with the "other" chapter for credits acquired in. I'll fix it eventually, but in the mean time, the credit is added, but it doesn't actually appear on the list.
Add Visitor Credits
It's important to note that you can only use the Add Daily Credits function to give credits to players in your own chapter. If you have visitors you will need to add them here. Functionally it is very similar. The Player Name field is free form (and is also not actually tied to anyone's records) and you will need to enter a home abbreviation indicating where they visited from. It is also important that you realize that these credits are not added to the player's official record, they are only stored in your chapter. You will need to generate a visitor report and email it to their PM. Most PMs are understanding if you only do this once every few months.
The reports section contains a number of useful queries that present the data you've entered in a multitude of views. These are generally useless if you don't enter credits or regularly maintain your chapter's records. Virtually any account that can access your chapter can view these reports and in some cases it is the only thing they can see (the monarch accounts). All reports have a ORK view and a printable version. The printable versions are basically text files and don't have any of the issues printing that HTML does. In the future these will all be dynamically created PDFs. Cuz I'm that cool.*grin*
This is basically a giant list of every active player in your chapter and their level in every class they have ever taken credits in. Unfortunately, it's a little slow right now, but you have to realize it's doing a huge amount of number crunching on a VERY large set of data. I should probably fix that... This report is great for printing out every few weeks and taking it to the park so your players can see exactly where they stand in each class.
Soon To Level
This is a subset of the Total Credits report. It displays exactly the same information, but only for those players who have less than 3 credits to go before crossing a level boundary. This is generally good for guildmasters to know when to start watching a player in a class and prepare to give them their level test. Everyone else pretty much ignores it.
This lists every player in your chapter that has undeclared credits. Basically anyone that signed in without selecting a class to take credit in. They should let you know ASAP what class they want that credit in so you can change it on their record. Undeclared credits are bad. Evil bad and naughty. So naughty you don't even get a spanking.
This is a great report to give to your monarchy right before midreign or the end of their reign. It goes through your player base and prints out the level each player has been awarded in each award, as well as the last time they received such an award. It is extremely useful when determining whether or not to give someone another order. It also lets them see where masterhoods may be appropriate or where they would be overextending their bounds by handing out another award of a certain type (due to corpora restrictions).>
This report lets you select a date range and then shows you a daily break down of attendance at your park between those dates. You can also pull up a Details Report of any one of those days to see which players specifically attended as well as how many visitors were there. Bear in mind it only counts players that belong to your chapter. This is because most kingdoms do not count visitors when tracking attendance, especially when determining chapter sizes.
Remember when I said you should regularly print out visitor reports and email them to the chapter PM's? Well, this is where you do it. Select a chapter abbreviation and a date range and it will give you every player from that chapter that you entered via Add Visitor Credits. You can then email that list to the PM to notify them of their players' attendance in your chapter.
Great for seeing who can vote in your chapter based upon attendance and status of dues paid. Select the date range you want to determine eligibility within (usually a 6 month span of time). Any player that has attended your chapter during that time frame will be listed as well as when their dues paid status expires.; It does not include fighter practices (.25 credit entries), and entries with a value greater than 1 are considered to only count as a single attendance. Clicking the Details button gives you a specific break down of that player's attendance within your park in the range specified.
Pretty simple. It's a contact list. You see every player in your chapter. Their real name, their Amtgard name, phone number, email address and date of birth. Nifty for phone chains, bugging missing players into coming back out, or just giving your players a way to communicate with each other better.
Sign In Sheet
This is a nice little form you can print out each week that combines a lot of data into a single form. It doubles as a sign in sheet, as well as a total credits report for each active player in your chapter. You print one out, take it to the park and your players can circle the class they want credit in, sign their name for validation and at the same time see how many credits they have in each class. There is also room for a few new players to sign in as well.
There is only one tool listed under Herald Controls. It's fairly simple. You select a player from your chapter and it pulls up the player photo and player heraldry URL. Both are designed to receive full URLs to image files (meaning they start with http://) Please note that the ORK does not host the image, it simply allows you to link to them. Your chapter should set up some public webspace for such a purpose. Photobucket.com usually works fairly well. Note that each URL must end in gif or jpg or it will not be displayed, and that an image with a width greater than 150 pixels will possibly make the player's records distort and dramatically alter the layout of their page.
While each file implies what it is to be used for, there is no restriction in place. If they want two heraldry entries (perhaps a second for their company?) or two photos (for the particularly vain player) they are more than welcome to do so. You can also Photoshop multiple images together in a vertical tile if you wanted to display more than one of each type.
This lists the current bugs I am aware of in the system. Theoretically this list stays extremely short.
Not always updated, it displays the major features added in each main release. Not all features are listed and not all features warrant a full version change. Lately I've kinda neglected this and added a ton of little things without increasing the version. Damn, I suck.
Theoretically that's where this file will be located.
This displays all my current email and instant messenger accounts. You can always contact me via email, and I'm generally available on IM during standard work hours (Mountain Standard Time).
Very simple, it logs you out of the system. Allowing you to reconnect via a different account or into a different chapter.
Again. If there is anything that this document doesn't cover, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am more than willing to help out or answer any questions you may have. I can also do some minor custom reporting if need be and if my free time allows.
Thanks for making it this far. Enjoy!
(July 7, 2005)