Politician PCs begin with the title of "Consul" and are part of an advisory council intended to assist the Director in the running of the colony. However the Director was forced to eject from the Daedalus separately and is currently missing. Without an obvious replacement the consuls serve as the leaders of the colony. Their goal is to balance the happiness of the departments and corporations while ensuring the survival of the colony and pursuing their own agendas.
One of the core elements of the game for political characters is bargaining for votes: each politician has their own constituency who tend to be loyal, but they can try to buy off those belonging to other politicians or those that have not chosen a side. Votes can be traded for resources or promises of future favors and used to change the direction of the colony by enacting new Policies or amending the Charter which outlines the rules for governing the colony.
The following sections outline the general political rules but these are mostly determined by the Charter which is subject to change through political process and roleplaying.
Consuls can propose new Policies and Amendments by spending a point in their Politics skill. The proposed changes are then voted on through a Ballot.
A reasonable attempt must be made to notify all consuls that a ballot is taking place and they must be given an hour to attend.
Only Consuls can cast votes in a Ballot but they may appoint someone to cast the votes in their place.
(So no sneakily starting a ballot without telling all the PCs and giving them a chance to turn up. If a player is away, their character will be assumed to be indisposed and will not take part. Although they may appoint a proxy to vote in their stead).
In order to run a Ballot, a GM must be present (representing ODIN). They will take everyone's votes and reveal the winner.
Votes may be cast as either "for", "against" or "abstain".
During a ballot, consuls gather support from their constituency in order to try and make the ballot pass.
A consul begins each session with a number of vote cards equal their Politics skill.
Each time a vote is held, they can use these cards to indicate their support of one side or the other.
Vote cards represent physical items: a credit card-like object that is slotted into a machine to indicate the consuls vote.
Vote cards are not consumed when used, but can only be used once on each ballot, so multiple ballots don't exhaust a consuls votes.
Other characters may also have vote cards, and while they cannot use these themselves, they can trade them to consuls for political favors.
Department Delegates (usually PCs) and Corporate Delegates (usually NPCs) each have 2 Votes.
NPCs with votes will usually have some sort of favor they are after and will give their votes to whoever completes their task.
Votes can be traded between characters, either for a single ballot or as an ongoing loan and the terms and conditions of such trade are entirely up to the PCs.
Common examples would be scientists trading their votes for more resources, soldiers trading them for better equipment, or consuls trading them for favors.
Anyone can hold vote cards and can trade them to anyone else, the only exception is that colonists in hibernation do not hold or trade votes.
Policies are new rules that the colonists have to follow.
They usually have an immediate day to day effect on the colony, for example rationing food, changing the working hours, or limiting people's rights.
Policies are enacted by Ballot but cannot contradict the Charter.
Policies can have stat effects on the Colony, granting or costing resources.
Once a Policy is put into play, it doesn't take affect until the end of the session and once in play it remains in play for a minimum of one session. This means that changes can occur any number of times during a single session and only the final state of the political arena at the end of the session actually applies.
Players can make up new policies, limited by the IC rules listed in the Charter.
New policies have to be approved by the GMs and entered into the ODIN app (which can be done at session).
A policy can also grant mechanical bonuses and penalties to the colony or the people within it, any such effects have to be approved by the GMs but as a general rule:
- A policy can grant a bonus, usually equal to +1 to the production of a resource, but must also give a penalty of similar value.
- A policy may grant any number of penalties.
- Other bonuses and penalties might also apply at GM discretion.
- Any bonuses and penalties have to fit the theme of the policy.
- The wording of Policies must be kept concise and clear: players don't want to trawl through pages of legal jargon.
e.g. Rationing food could give bonus food but lower morale because people don't like being hungry.
A single policy can cover multiple areas and have multiple effects, however this makes it easier to remove them all as one with a single Ballot.
The stat effects of the policy are granted by the policy itself: for example one that increases food production by +1 gives a single +1 bonus, not +1 per farm.
Example Policy Effects
Amendments can be enacted to change the Charter.
These allow for the rewriting of the fundamental rules of the colony, can change the way all political processes function, and can drastically affect roleplaying the direction of the colony. They are more powerful than policies but usually harder to enact.
Players can make up new amendments, limited by the IC rules listed in the Charter.
New amendments have to be approved by the GMs and entered onto the wiki page, they must be similarly concise in their wording.
Amendments do not usually give resource bonuses or penalties.