This page is designed to show how things are going in ones empire. Both financially and politically. While their are many kinds of governments, each has an underlying broad style which is reflected in these several different types. An average of an attribute and ability, rounded down, are used to determine your rating on the scales. This can be rated up or down by your ability to manage the economies of your lands.
Personal Charm and Ability
Ruling by your own personal charm, skill and possible rights you claim from birthright, religion, or other possible sources. A ruler using this method uses Charisma or Manipulation and Presence to rule. Take the average of one of the first two and of Presence, rounded down and compare to the table.
• You are either completely under the thumb of another and have only stayed in power by their efforts and guiding hand or you are about to have a visit with the headsman and an angry mob.
•• The common man doesn't care one way or the other about you, though wouldn't care much to see a change in rulers, at least innitially. So long as no particularly ambitious people show up in your land you can expect a mundane, normal rule and be quietly forgotten by history.
••• You have learned how to inspire loyalty and build trusts and friendships with those under you. The people speak well of your rule and while your personal charm can make them be at least content even if you are not the most effective of rulers.
•••• You are a powerful binding force in your court. Even the greediest of sycophants, while self serving still, do want you to continue your rule and serve you faithfully. You need not worry for rebellion from your own people unless forces from other kingdoms or powerful entities try to turn the land against you.
••••• Spontaneous gifts, parades, people wishing to join and serve you are things that you can expect at this level. It is even possible smaller nearby lands will seek to join themselves with your own lands to fall under your blessed leadership. Beware though, some rulers will fear your charm and do what they can to stop you from enjoying a blessed reign.
Ruling through manipulation of a group in whom the power of rulership lies. A collection of nobles, spirit leaders, religious figures or elders for example. You must carefully balance the desires of all of them, while following your own agenda and playing one off against the other to keep yourself in power. This uses either Charisma or Manipulation and Socialize to determine the score. Take 2, average and round down.
• To be honest...your the one being manipulated here. Either accept your place or orchestrate some military takeover to remove any threats.
•• Perhaps the others are lazy, or their isn't much power and fame and wealth to be gained from your lands but more often then not you are able to guide things how you want them to go by carefully collecting and doing favors for people and then using them in turn.
••• Things go well in the council, you have a large amount of stocked favors at your disposal and have masterfully either become the leader of the largest faction or neatly avoided joining any and being the neutral party to which others might turn. Sometimes you find yourself having to follow the will of the council, but even then you can guide is slightly.
•••• You know things about them, they are all imbecills, or perhaps you really are blessed with a silver tongue. No matter which it is, the idea of the council changing one of your descisions is laughable. Possible though it is, only doing completely radical things or letting some of your own skeletons get known will have you in hot watter.
••••• Your will is voiced unanimously through the council. Only outside threats and incompetance from your lessers will hold you back now.
To rule by Tryanny takes more to pull off successfully. One must orchestrate fear throughout the people, and maintain an iron grip in all the facets of the land that directly keep one in power, to which all others will succumb to. This generally means the military, though powerful artifacts such as the Perfect of Paragon or the Realm Defense Systems do very much the same thing. You can show no weakness, and serve only your ambition. If it is immediate fear, and people giving you the respect you think you deserve even if they don't actually respect you, this is the way for you. This style requires one higher level of bureaucratic requirements then normal for your size as without proper tools at your disposal you will fall to angry mobs shortly. If you rule by a powerful tool this does not apply. This form of government needs Manipulation + Socialize to properly handle and perceive the interests and factions that need to be supported or surpressed to keep yourself in a position of absolute authority.
• You are one step away from the headsman's axe, or are merely a figurehead puppet and actually serve someone greater. Pity about all those foodtasters suffering stomach aches...
•• People live in fear of you, but you live in your own paranoid fear. You have somethings under firm control...but can't shake the feeling that there are things you can't see or control around you.
••• The reins of power are firmly in your hands. You get instant respect and the populace has been properly cowed by your legions of fear. All you need do is keep them fed and not in complete suffering and you need not fear an uprising.
•••• Welcome to the grand world of infamy. There are statues of you all around, and nowhere in your land is your hand not felt. Not a week goes by without someone needing to have their head removed, all in the name of you of course.
••••• The terror can almost be tasted. Beware though, while your people are broken word of you has spread. Those accursed do gooders, adventurers, are sure to try to dethrone you. Watch carefully for the strangers from afar.
Ruling by Looks
Often times a weak ruler is just a pupput of someone else, and oftentimes the puppeteer is a beautiful man or woman, who pulls the strings of the ruler while keeping them enthralled with their looks. Now this is a fine path to tread. You must be careful not to be too obvious, so that everyone knows what you are doing, but careful enough that the smart ones know and in turn seek your favor to influence the ruler and get their agendas done. If you keep from everyone knowing what you are doing, then should a revolution occur you will likely be spared and perhaps find yourself able to rule again through a new puppet. Make sure you build up enough favors though in case you need to make a hasty withdraw to somewhere with nicer climets. This uses the average of Appearance and Socialize. This will not work on those with a temperance higher then 3 or willpower higher then 6. Need one level of Bureaucratic rating lower then normal for the area size as you only need to make sure your descisions are not completely economy destroying.
•• My my...what a tiny harem this ruler must have, or do you live amongst the Akzekhi?
••• Your position is tenuous, and it would be wise for you to be sure that no one else of better looks is around to distract your puppet. Its an accepted court fact that you have his ear, but you don't have complete control over him...yet.
•••• Your control is strong, and with almost all descisions you can influence them, even after they have been made. The smart of the court flatter the king while showing favor to you to make sure that they remain high in the court. Though in some matters you can not turn his mind, sadly his pride still can make him stick to the stupidest of ideas or he might even have a sense of honour.
••••• There is nothing you can not have your puppet do. With a little more careful planning you could probably officially suplant him and become the new ruler of the kingdom. Such delightful power is yours and all for rewarding the simplest of the puppets desires. Congratulations.
Power Behind the Throne
Manytimes the ruler is just a mouthpiece for another. Everyone is loyal to the mouthpiece though which can create problems. The wise vizear knows this, and keeps his whispered words of advice to ones that will make sure that the ruler is allways in support of his views. With poisoned tongue he keeps other from getting close to the ruler, and with carefully chosen words enriches himself and keeps the land running smoothly. The risk in this is that others may see your touch and feel the king would be better off without your guiding hand and seek to eliminate you. Another risk is that you might make bad descisions and give bad advice, showing yourself to be incompentant to the ruler and your control slackening. This uses Manipulation + Socialize to control the ruler and through him the land.
• The court fool does not rule, shut up and let your betters run things.
•• The ruler is hotheaded, and often does not even ask for advice before making his descisions. Bide your time, influence when you can and enjoy your lofty position.
••• You have tasted power and it is sweet. You juggle your efforts between keeping other advisors from gaining the ruler's ear and providing skilled advice yourself. Still, you get to enjoy many small corruptions that you have convinced the king to provide you.
•••• The smartest of the court know of your influence and hold on the ruler. That general...it would be best to make sure he is off with in a far away hold, or kept busy doing something. The ruler trusts you completely and believes you only have his best interests at heart.
••••• You have reached the final stage of manipulation of ta ruler. Yes, you are now engaged to one of his progeny and it is only a matter of time before you can make you move and set up your own children as the new rulers of this land. Your work isn't quite over yet though, be ever vigilant for those who are loved of the people and the king for they might oppose you.
The Running of the Empire
A large and vast empire requires a greater level of bureaucratic skill, organization, and complexities then found in smaller ones. A small empire, run by a brilliant economic mind will find itself experiencing profitable windfalls, efficient and fast government, and many other smaller bonuses which will enhance the ruler in the eyes of the people. As the size of your empire grows, a greater minimum level of bureaucratic skill is needed to keep it together as well. If you just meet the level, your empire exists but doesn't have the manpower, funds or organizations for major undertakings without serious disruption in its lands. The Old Realm was run and organized by beings with truely beyond human levels of understanding which let it run smoothly, in the second age few beings have the skill needed to manage that. Countless organizations and legions of mortals made sure the system worked under their brilliant direction.
This section will be divided up into two categories. The first will handle the size your skill can handle, while the second will revolve around how exceeding the minimums needed will reap benifits. Both use Intelligence and Bureaucracy to determine your rating. The ruler himself need not be the one whos attributes and numbers are used, a trusted aid or ally can handle this. Just beware the skilled bureaucrat trying to supplant you. Also remember that this assumes you have allready in place a bureaucratic system and organizations, the single character is not on her own singlehandedly running things, but organizing, directing, and overseeing things. While it is possible to handle an empire on ones own it is much harder and for any land of real size demands the use of powerful charms to be able to keep the empire running smoothly.
• You can properly manage a land the size of a large city, where there is in truth little need for government at all due to most people knowing one another and individual common sense and handling their own problems letting things work. Cities that are part of a complex interaction with their neighbours would be the next level.
•• A small kingdom, an actual political entity on the map. You have treaties with all nearby lands in some form or another, and trade exists. Still, you still use broad organizations to run the government. The greatest independant city states such as Great Forks or Nexus still require a greater level of skill then this.
••• At this stage your territory you can handle is an actual noticeable presence on the map. If you were to take your index finger, and point it straight down at the map that would show you the territory you control, though in some cases such as the west try laying your finger flat out for a better representation. This is also the minimum level needed for the greatest city states of the Threashold.
•••• A great and wide empire can now be handled. Looking at the map in the core book the largest area between the rivers and the Eastern forests would be about the size of a land you could run. At this level though, it really is best to be beyond the skill needed to proplerly harness the might of your lands.
••••• Most of a direction could be handled by this. In some cases such as the Blessed Isle the government structure allready in place hinders the current system, which is why though they have gifted people in charge, things are falling apart.
••••• + This is the minimum level needed for true Creation spanning empires. Your name will be remembered for ages if you are the ruler of such a land.
An empire is considered to have disposable wealth equal to its size, that can be spent without greatly impacting the people. This wealth regenerates at a rate of 1 dot level a month, assuming the character can make an Intelligence + Bureaucracy roll at a difficulty of the resource level you are returning to. While you have the reduced resource level also reduce your control rating by one for each dot you have dropped down as the change in finances affects the people. This will take twice as long to return to normal as it did for you to regain your resources.
For each full dot you exceed beyond you will shortly receive, if you do not allready possess greater then or equal to, a level of resources equal to the size of your empire plus one for each dot you exceed it by. So if you have a level 3 empire and your rating is five you count as having personal discretionary resources of 5 to spend as you see fit. Note, this is not *your* actual resources. It can be spent and will slowly refill. So if you allready had resources 5, and were in the above case you would have an effective additional background of it at level 5 with which you could spend on things. If you buy something equal to the level of your empire provided resources the level provided drops by one as normal. This still doesn't really impact your people noticeably though. Each month you can try to rebuild your Resource base by makeing an Intelligence + Bureaucracy roll at a difficulty equal to the Resource level you are trying to return to.
Example: You have a kingdom of size 1, but you have managment skill level of 5. You can direct and manage the funds to such a degree that you count as if having a resources of 5 that can be used without impacting the empire. The only problem is that in many cases you could very well lack the manpower to properly harness the wealth at your disposal.
Exceeding the minimum level for size also boosts your ability to handle the people. If you exceed the minimum requirements you count as having one greater level of control in the above government styles however this counts as reducing your effective level of Bureaucratic control by one as well as resources are spent handling your people.
Furthermore grand efforts that require empire wide working can be worked without undue impact on the people. Grand city rebuilding schemes, empire wide education reforms, faster streamlined government, public works in your honour, all the signs of a great kingdom can be worked on now. Militaries are not factored into this, as generally any kingdom worth the name will have a strong standing army at all times though great attempts to conquer new lands would count for this.
For each dot you are below the amount required, double the number and subtract that from your governmental rating. Even the most charismatic of people can not run an empire just on their force of personality. If you are reduced to 0 or lower, your empire will not hold together and fragments. Furthermore, it is assumed that a character is not singlehandedly running things, but is overseeing a large, at least body of bureaucrats that allow the system to work. Running an empire on your own is a 3 level penalty. So if you averaged 5 it would drop to 2. A badly run bureaucracy(the organization as a whole has an average of one or no dots) or a badly understaffed one is a 2 level penalty. An only minorly understaffed, or with the organization being only minorly underskilled(average of 1 and 2 dots) is a 1 level penalty. Properly staffed, with the average worker being Bureaucracy 2, with general heads of the groups being 3 is no penalty. If your average staff member has 3 or more dots, raise your effective level by one.
Which is great, but what can you do with it? :)
That question (Well, that and 'Why would you rule?' plague my every effort at coming up with a good Mass Leadership system. DS
- Its not done yet. In the end you just use this to see in a general sort of way how your day to day control of the kingdom is going. I still have to bring in the Bureaucracy part of it which will help to give ideas what can be done as a well organized empire has growing wealth and other useful thing. -BogMod
- Which is fair enough; in general, I just prefer to focus on the in-play aspect of mechanics. I'm also really looking forward to the rest of your work :)
- Mm. Is there an elegant way to talk about another roleplaying game that would be easy to use for Exalted Political Games, what I've been tinkering with for a while now? :) DS
Tyranny should be able to use Presence, while Personal Charm should be able to use Performance. Managing Factions should definitely be based off of Bureaucracy. - Quendalon
- Tyranny uses socialize to allow one to keep an eye out on the factions and groups and people that have power as well in your empire and lets you recognize signs that they might turn. I did not want to use Performance for Personal Charm because for day to day events performance doesn't seem like the right kind of skill. Every day does not involve a grand parade or such to keep you in power. Managing factions again uses socialize to manipulate them all to let your descisions be the ones that rule. Effectively handling any empire uses a second set of Intelligence + Bureaucracy which I haven't written out yet. When I do it will show how effectively your empire is ran, while the one that uses socials is just how secure your position of power is. -BogMod
A few things. A) Keep in mind, the Realm of the Dragon-blooded (functionally a Direction) was held together not by any one person, but by a vast burueacracy of Demigods with Powers specifically relating to keeping things running. even during the First Age, the Solar Deliberative had multiple Solars, Lunars and Sidereal running around and keeping everything tied together- I have the personal impression that the Blessed Isle was still the only nation under their direct control, and the Threshhold was even then, a collection of 'lesser' tributary states.
In other words, I think you're ratings may be a little low- it seems like you're trying to make sure PCs can run the world on their own, and I'm not positive that's a Good Thing- the versimilitude break could be huge. While running the world on their own is something an Exalt should be able to do via the right Charms, it's a HUGE task- Probally Essence 4 or 5, at least. Doing so mundane could easily require Bureuacracy skills in the super-human.
Now, that's not assuming a land with the aid of a bureuacracy. Which has the effect of dilluting your direct power to change things, but multiplying the distance overwhich you can apply that change.
Further, I don't quite grok the economic system. If I have a kingdom of Size 1, and a Bureuacracy of 5, how much money do I get? Vs if I have a kingdom of Size 5 and a Bureuacracy of 5? DS
- I hope this has explained little better the funding system for governments and how just size yields wealth and well managed empires do as well. As for the matter of the bureaucratic organizations that are found with a bureaucracy I was running under the basic idea there was an infrastructure in place allready to help make sure your directives are carried out. I have added notes about such to things. Further comments are appreciated. -BogMod
- Hm. First, what exactly is 'disposable wealth'? Unless you switch to Manacle and Coin, that's a turn of phrase without much meaning in the Exalted Resources system. 1 Resources 5 purchase is VASTLY more expensive than 5 Resource 1 purchases. Yet that equivelency is all I can figure you mean by introducing the new term. Also, you provide a very real possibility of a negative control value- and a lot of the REsource system overall ties in with the control value, which still has no qualitive meaning.
- And it's still not really clear where the numbers are coming from. It's possible I do understand the mechanics your proposing, but it sounds like 'You have Resources equal to the empire size OR your management ability, whichever is larger'. And that doesn't seem right either.
- Also, you haven't really eliminated the impression of 'this is what it takes for one person to run a country of size X' vibe from the Bureaucracy chart. Nor do you have any meaningful guidelines for quality or size of bureaucracy. At the same time, mortals (ya'know, folks what lack Charms) could run a Creation spanning empire; it would just require a massive and unweildly bureaucracy.
- Out of my morbid sense of curiousity, do you have the Pendragon suppliment that deals with running lands and such? DS
- Allright then, I shall try to explain a little further here and before I go on too much, I do want to try to keep this as simple a system as possible. Disposable wealth I just meant as money you can spend, I didn't mean it to really mean anything beyond its normal meaning. Allright, just haveing an kingdom of size X means that it can produce wealth equal to its size. That wealth can be used but it impacts the people's lives. They go through increased taxes, reduced services, etc to pay off the purchase assuming its of a purchase that would cause a resource reduction. Ie. A size 4 empire makes a size 4 purchase.
- Now then a well managed empire has additional cash beyond the normal the empire would supply. Basically a surplus of funds due to well managed trade, lean organized government, a well managed economy, etc. Spending this fund does not negatively hurt your people in any way.
- So effectively, you can have 3 sources of resources for a character. You could have your own personal character Resources background. An amount provided by your kingdom but would hurt them to spend too freely from and a final one that can come from running an empire well and when used does not penalize the people. I don't own either Manacle and Coin or anything by Pendragon I am sorry to say.
- You make a valid point about needing some concreat guidelines for how things get penalized depending on your bureaucracy. Perhaps 2 level penalty for doing things on your own, 1 level for haveing a too small, too large or unskilled one at your disposal and at most a 1 level bonus for a highly skilled one. Assuming that due to numbers involved its harder to get a strong bonus and easier to get a penalty.
- Mortals can have a world spanning empire in this system. They would have a huge bureaucracy, but with technology as it is and without the great benifits of charms and artifacts it couldn't be smoothly run enough and thus, they would need strong leaders to keep things together. -BogMod