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Acharis

Senate mechanic (strategy)

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I wonder about some sort of "imperial senate" for a space empire building game (where you play as an almost absolute emperor). Initially I thought a senate would be pointless (since it's a form of absolute monarchy) but then I realized even in our history there are/were instances of an apponted upper house... So I wonder, can we make a senate for a game which simulates a powerful emperor?

 

I look for overall comment of the idea, and how to change/polish it.

 

 

The premise would be that you as the emperor are appointing senators as you want. But if you don't appoint representatives of all factions equally then people will be upset (and upset people means assasins and uprising which is not nice even for an absolute emperor).

 

Mechanic:

- you have a pool of candidates to select from, each belong to a certain faction and have certain skills/traits

- the people want you to appoint a certain proportion of senators from each faction (5 red, 5 blue, 5 yellow, etc) but don't care which one candidate you select or what skills they have

- you, as the emperor, don't care about factions at all, all you care about are skills/traits

 

So it's a sort of puzzle, or modular choice. You have 8 red and need to select 5. But if you want to, you can bend the rules and select 4 red and 6 blue for example if you like this set of skills better, you will need to pay for this (unhappines, reduction of empire's stability) of course.

 

 

Senators would have passive skills like: corruption  (the lowest the better), law making (the higher the better, it generates sort of "research points" to make new and better laws/edicts in the empire).

They would also have active skills, like a senator that likes military would generate for you positive random events (more officers recruited, overseeing the training of troops, etc), another one that prefers diplomacy would automaticly improve relations with other empires or spy on them.

 

 

 

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As long as there is no threat of an overpowered senator overthrowing you, doubt it really matters.

 

But if it does involve, then if we take Rome (itself and RTW series) at a basic scale,

 

It's not only who you appoint but also what public wants, will you defy them or bend to their will?

 

If a senator gets too powerful , may be threat for you, if too weak they may not be useful.

 

And also there is matter of extent of power you'll grant to Senate, or Senate will get by "force" :)

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What if instead of assassinations and rebellion the senate became more about balancing each factions agenda and ideology?

 

The Yellow group might be focused on international trade and happy to exploit the local population and resources each member of yellow in the senate increases production of trade goods but deceases happiness and increases pollution. The green group might be focused on farming and they boost food production but reduce mining efficiency and expansion rates of cities. The purple group might be focused on purely on the people and they increase happiness but decreases efficiency of all production.

 

There could be ideology unlocks at levels as well. So if 7 of the 12 members of the senate are yellow then you unlock banana republic giving a big monthly foreign aid bonus but greatly increasing corruption across the board.

 

In other words make it like real politics when you have to balance not just the individual but the faction the faction they represent.  An equal balance between everyone isn't necessarily the best state it should be about stacking the deck with advantages you want without harming your other interest too much.

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You may want to think in terms of a cabinet rather than a Senate. So you appoint the Minister of Trade from the Yellow faction, but you give Internal Security to the Blues. (Or else!) That way there are more constraints on the skill matchup. With 20 "senators-without-portfolio" to appoint, you can probably find some combination of them who have the skills you need even with the 5-from-each faction problem. But if you need specifically to have someone good at math in the Trade department, well, better hope there's someone like that in the Yellow faction. Especially if the factions care about different things; maybe the Yellow faction really likes trade and finance, and won't be anywhere near as happy to be given Internal Security - even if the Green guy who got Trade is actually really good at it. (Maybe especially then: Those dang Greens believe in subsidising nano-manufactures and taxing hydroponic farmers!) Also, you can have Cabinet positions of different weight; if you give the Treasury to the Yellows, and Internal Security to Blue, then Green has to get Education, Agriculture, and Propaganda to get the same satisfaction level. In Britain, for example, the Treasury was the position with most prestige - for two centuries or so, the "Prime Minister" would usually take the Treasury as his actual departmental responsibility; being "Prime" wasn't a separate title - followed by the Foreign Minister. Then the list goes on down through Admiralty, Board of Trade, "Air Minister" for a while in the thirties... until you get down to the likes of the "Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard", which nobody has ever heard of; but you could give it to the Yellows as a sort of consolation prize for not getting anything important. Sort of like the Admiral position in Junta, if you ever played that. 

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