*There is a discord with even more information (oh yay)
Overview of the game
The Political Game is a discord based roleplay game that focuses on taking control over individual members of a political council, advancing their ambitions and whatever that implies. You will have complete creative control over who you wish to represent in the council so long as the defining factors are true about this person:
-They are, in fact, a person
-They do not want to destroy the nation, or at least cannot start with this goal
-They were prominent enough in the civil war to be appointed to this council
-They are an adult
-They are not a known criminal (“known”), or at least at the start
Added note: Individual characters (for ease) cannot be directly killed by another individual character. The world will sort of plot armor them in a funky way if you try to simply stab someone in the back… because trust me, making a whole mechanic for combat and the like is not something I want to do (again)... Besides this is a political game.
How this works: Every so often a meeting will be called, and during that meeting members will vote on issues to guide this new nation — sounds simple, right? Well, in between these meetings, the players are able to contact each other (with me present in the method to oversee) and hash out secret deals or plots to further your personal ambitions. You can do this at any time on discord in DMs or I can make private channels.
Eventually this all accumulates to the council meeting where anything can happen. After the meeting, I will crunch everything that took place as well as calculate the actions and reactions of the world around the council and send out a report.
Because I like examples, here’s an example.
General Tiger contacts the old War Hero known as Rhino in secret. The two had long been acquaintances and recently felt at odds with the Religious Visionary Gibbon, especially after the most recent meeting that severely drained the agency the generals of the army had been enjoying these last few months and even put the military under the direct control of the council rather than its generals.
The two formed a secret faction and slowly hashed out that they would use their influence to persuade a small group of loyalist soldiers to disguise themselves as a neighboring nation long held as an enemy and raid a border village the same day that Gibbon was holding a banquet in honor of the latest change in the military — complete with military fanfare.
The plan goes without a hitch and during the next meeting, war is declared on the enemy — and Tiger and Rhino are chosen to lead the military to battle, Gibbon disgraced.
IRL translation: The players for Tiger and Gibbon created a dm or channel together with myself present and hashed out this plan in character. Once they agreed on a final course of action, I took it all into account with everyone else's machinations during this period and with everyone ready for the next meeting, I executed everyone’s plans and formulated a report — Gibbon disgraced.
With this new pre-meeting report, I posted it to our discord and helped form the itinerary for the meeting (alongside player made issues to bring up) then our meeting took place, and lastly I formulated a post-meeting report and thus began our next free period of plotting and shady deals.
Additional notes on how to play: There is no set time or amount we need to meet nor are you required to fulfill a minimum or maximum amount of activity. You get as much as you put into this game, and if you cannot make a meeting, you can put in an absentee vote (with the risk of what you're voting on being null or voided during the meeting). However, if you do not interact between meetings at all and never make meetings, eventually we will have to remove you -- but at that point you simply just aren't playing any portion of the game.
A few notes about this world:
-This is a fantasy world with magic lingering on its fringes
-Nothing in this world is based on real events, people, or nations
-The only ‘Race’ is human — no elves or dwarves
-The technology present is your traditional epic fantasy of swords, grand palaces, and outhouses
-Let’s call the world “Honua” and our continent “Aina”
-Our nation is in the Undesten region, there will be a map present in the discord
-The Undesten region is surrounded by the Kalt ocean on the west border and the Jala straight borders the south while the Frio mountains to the north. The Mizu river marks our eastern border
-The western Kalt expands greatly to the point that our own cartographers never recorded past the Mamao archipelago, and only know of it by word of mouth. Beyond that, somewhere, lies the Gizati Empire (our savior)
-The southern Jala straight sits between us and the Republic of Rodak, a neutral state known for its merchants and seafaring lifestyles
-The eastern Mizu river separates us from the remnants of our old overlords, the weakened Yareje Rumpstates. They sit between us and the Kingdom of Hermana, also recently independent from the Yareje.
-The northern Frio Mountains sit between us and the Theocratic Kingdom of Gnosi, our strongest direct neighbor
We, the people of the Undesten region, were sanctioned a province of the old Yareje Empire for over two hundred years, following our annexation by their military might. Our culture remained defiant despite this. The Yareje Empire enjoyed a booming golden age of conquest and pomp, with the aristocratic families sitting pretty on mounds of loot and treasure from across the world. These same families eventually settled in our region, slowly blending into our culture and forming our upper class (some of which you may be descended from!).
Eventually the sun sets, and in recent years, a powerful Empire from the far west made contact with the Yareje — the elusive Gizati empire. They quickly took stock of the situation and saw the growing schism and long boiling hatred between our people and being pawns of a great nation — and so in a stroke of irony, this new great nation sent us an offer.
We took it, and with their help, we destabilized the Yareje in the west, while the Kingdom of Hermana took the east, eventually causing the collapse of the Yareje empire in near entirety. The price? Well, the Gizati quickly rounded up our most influential and talented members and formed this council to lead and guide the new nation they helped rip from the Yareje… with the caveat that they remain on the very same council as mediator.
So here we are, at our first meeting — the Yareje are in shambles, our nation is confused but free, and a new Empire is sitting at our doorstep, smiling.
Itinerary for the first meeting, lead by Gizati Ambassador, Chairwoman Ime Beti (does not all need to be addressed in first meeting):
-What shall we do in the case of ties
-Where should we establish the capital
-What should we name our nation
-Who or what shall lead the military
-Will it be a permanent military?
-Who or what should be in charge of the treasury, and where is it
-How do we plan on filling the treasury
-How will we be recognizing religion in our new nation (prompted by the Gnosi)
-Will we be giving 20% of our current treasury to the Gizati as repayment (prompted by the Gizati)
-Will we continue the slave trade with the Republic of Rodak (prompted by the Rodak)
-(Any additional questions individuals wish to propose to the council for voting)
Resources and how they work:
Nations and individuals are restricted to what resources they have available to them. The following are the most common in the game:
-Wealth (our spending power) gained by taxes, looting, trade deals, and other means. Individuals start out with an amount depending on their backstory. 1 wealth = a month’s pay for the average citizen
-Military might (our military power) which represents our offensive power. This can be decreased and increased by spending, training, and technology present. 1 Military might = a single warrior of average kit
-Influence (our social power) while not tangible, this is the most important resource in the game. It determines your authority. Without influence, you’re nobody. This can be further divided into types of influence (such as aristocratic, religious, military) 1 influence = well let’s be honest, there is no tangible translation.
Just like our nation, every player starts out with some of these resources pooled depending on their backstory. Resources are then used to make deals, thwart plots, and guide the world to your liking.
Backgrounds to choose from (feel free to then explain and customize how or why these fit your character)
War hero: Before the war, your name was not known. When the world turned to swords and flame, however, you took the hilt and made a name for yourself in whatever manner. Now your name is not only one shouted in every barracks, but one that young warriors strive to meet. Some even lay the victory over the Yareje on your shoulders. Because you were nothing before the blade, you do not have much in the way of wealth, but demand the respect of warriors everywhere and the influence that follows that.
Wealth: 120 (10/month)
Military: 500 (an army of loyal retainers and friends await your command)
Influence: (military) 100, (commoners) 100, (aristocracy) 50, (religious) 0
General: Long before the war began, you had your military career already in full bloom. Either you were a general before the war, or quickly took rank during the war. Regardless, you helped lead the revolting factions against the Yareje Empire alongside the Gizati troops and our war heroes. It is most likely you were already from a high born family, and if you weren’t — you certainly have lived like one, enjoying the perks of such a high ranking profession.
Wealth: 480 (20/month)
Military: 2000 (your legion awaits command)
Influence: (military) 60, (commoners) 0, (aristocracy) 60, (religious) 0
Aristocrat: Either your family made its money during the war, or long before it, you are a scion of the rich. Likely your spending and sway aided the war efforts and that’s why you were appointed to the council, or perhaps you were simply that rich and influential that you had to be picked. Either way, your lofty appointment was of no surprise to your peers — you are the upper class after all.
Wealth: 1800 (150/month)
Influence: (military) 0 (commoners) 0, (aristocracy) 100, (religious) 0
Celebrity: Either it was your revolutionary ideas, charismatic personality, or influential works, but something launched you from a simple noble to one of great renown. During the war, your words/art/music kept people fighting, and people hoping. You weren’t just a simple entertainer though, as you championed many new ideas in the realm of theology and philosophy. Before long, you found yourself appointed to the council on behalf of your incredible ideas and influence.
Wealth: 600 (50/month)
Influence: (military) 10, (commoners) 50, (aristocracy) 50, (religious) 50
Visionary: From an obscure beginning, you arose in the recent years as one of the new authorities on all things religion. People flock to hear your words, and many donate themselves to your cause. Vast sermons pour from you, and now your amazing mind is asked to guide this new nation.
Wealth: 180 (15/month)
Influence: (military) 0, (commoners) 100, (aristocracy) 100, (religious) 100
Valiant: First you were a knight, then you were a poet, finally you were a Valiant. You are a shining example of ethics and morality, carved from a life at war. From the curdling blood pits of battle, you brought a cooling word to your brothers and sisters of the steel. Slowly your words spilled from the ranks of warriors and to the world beyond, and after the war you found yourself not just a veteran of battle, but a new voice among the calls of religion and thought.
Wealth: 120 (10/month)
Military: 250 (a small group of paladins and knights plea to be your guard)
Influence: (military) 80, (commoners) 50, (aristocracy) 50, (religious) 80
How Influence works
Influence helps determine your push and pull with certain groups as well as who backs and supports you. Your decisions can see your influence fall with certain groups or rise with others — just don’t lose all your influence. A politician with no influence is in grave danger of removal by several (some unsavory) means. In addition, the council as a whole has a level of influence, that if it should fall to zero, our very government is in danger internally.
Besides this internal influence and four categories laid out in the background, there are auxiliary influence modifiers as needed, some examples are influence with certain other nations and factions. Another example is subcategories inside a category, such as individual religions inside of religious influence.
When designing your character, you may be assigned additional boons and influence depending on the details of your past. An example of this is a specific bonus to an individual religion's influence if you're a Visionary known for their work in that specific religion.
The Undesten Region is home to many different religions, each with their own influence circle.
Haipule: This extremely ancient religion is animistic in nature and originates from the Yareje region. Adherents recognize innumerable spirits and supernatural beings that control day to day life. Often, spiritual worship consists of recognizing local gods and beings and then pleasing them depending on their demands in favor of boons or good health.
Traditionally, while every house has its own spirit, as does each family, village, mountain and city, most regions have spiritual leaders known as Kumu. While each Kumu comes into their occupation differently, the usual method is that a Kumu is accepted and ordained by a local lineage of Kumu for that village or town. Some exceptions to this rule are wild Kumu, or spiritual leaders self ordained and self-exiled to natural areas to better understand the spirits around them. Sometimes, these wild Kumu are sought out by those in need of guidance.
Thriskeia: This is the native religion of Gnosi. It had originated in the Frio mountains over six hundred years ago during the life of the preacher known as Thriskeia. Nowadays, the religion is organized under the guidance of the Matriarch of Gnosi, the Enlightened Mother (although sometimes Enlightened Father) and Theocrat that rules the Gnosi kingdom and the followers of the religion. From her stems the Brilliant Attendants, a holy council that controls and more administrative details of the religion. Under them, the Servants of Light control entire regions and ensure a healthy flock of religious followers. On the local level, the Speakers facilitate congregations.
The religion itself closely follows and interprets the teachings of Thriskeia, a Gnosi woman who was born during an age of extreme subjugation and abuse of government. From these roots, Thriskeia preached equity, compassion, and the true responsibility of governing bodies. Lastly, she accredited her wisdom to various visions from the God known as Theos, a traditional Gnosi god.
Her various visions and sermons were collected and recorded in Gnosi bibles that were also then combined with older teachings of the God Theos, formulating the Monotheistic religion of Thriskeia. Often, to separate the historical person known as Thriskeia from the religion itself, the Thriskeians usually refer to their patron as Teacher or Moreh.
Mamoste: The Mamoste consider themselves the true followers and inheritors of Thriskeia the Teacher, and condemn the Gnosi theocracy as an overgrown irony. The Mamoste hold the same teachings of Theo and Thriskeia as the traditional Thriskeians do, but believe that Thriskeia the Teacher spoke against large governing bodies, and so find the theocracy as counterintuitive to the visions of the Moreh.
Often the two angles of the religion come into conflict, with the Theocracy defending their position as pure and their rigid structure as necessary to keep followers and adherents from straying too far from the path — while the Mamosteans argue that the large, mundane structure is simply too large of a target for corruption and greed. Mamosteans further argue that large governing bodies run by mortalkind is doomed to the same flaws as the people it consists of, and eventually the entire structure will sway from the true path regardless, due to human interpretation and reinforcing/building off of ancient and false assumptions made by predecessors of the same government.
Shukyo: This enigmatic religion has uncertain origins, with its ways either being older than Haipule worship itself, or originating with a group of obscure sages from a land south of Rodak in the last one thousand years. It wasn’t until that the religion was codified with the book known as Shikata about eight hundred years ago did the teachings begin to take hold in the Undesten region.
Shikata is a collection of wisdom from various Shukyo sages, formulated by the fantastical author simply known as Prestor and presents the reader with the fundamentals of Shukyo thought and philosophy.
While atheistic in nature, the religion holds plenty of space for the worship of God or gods, with the focus of the teachings directed towards attitude towards life and reality rather than cosmic nature. In essence, Shukyo teaches ease, inaction, thoughtlessness, and the supremacy of doing without forcing. It preaches the flow of nature and contentment with life and the way. In Shukyo, the less interference needed, the better.