Elleth wrote:That said, in a perfect world I'd love to see our community evolve a tier that could match the "American Mountain Men" - a gentleman I once knew who came up in their ranks in the buckskinner movement of the 1970's told me about their standards: http://americanmountainmen.org/membership/requirements/
It goes against my own personal nature I admit: I've finally made peace with the reality I'm more homesteader / crafter than adventurer, at least in this season of my life. But I think if I had a preference for the general direction our hobby moved, it'd be this one. It's also frankly harder, so... "barrier to entry" and all that.
So, personally I tend to avoid any kind of "ranking system," as in my view they regularly lead to corruption and gaming the system. Anything more than say three basic tiers, along the lines of Novice/Apprentice/Master tends towards the distasteful in my mind, and even then, who gets to award such titles? Who gets to be a "Master," and why? Master of what? And as Elleth rightly points out, many of us don't portray Rangers specifically or necessarily adventuring types. This has long been a complaint of mine in MMOs/RPGs and the like - there is rarely an effective path forward that doesn't involve repeatedly killing things.
So when I look at that list of Mountain Man standards, what I see isn't a complete set of requirements required to achieve a job title, but a series of skills that could earn, well... merit badges. I've honestly never even thought of the idea before seeing this list, in terms of our group, but it could be pretty cool! We could all fairly easily (I think) propose and define certain skills requirements that would earn a badge, and the making/awarding of badges could support its own craftiness; different materials, makers, etc. We all do seem to like trinkets...