Once, there was Realpolitik. It was good. Yay! said the people. Realpolitik! Then there were sequels. They were not so good. Boo! said the people. Bring back real Realpolitik! And some listened, and some did. I cannot name all those who made the effort and put in the work here, for I was adrift in the sea of my own uncertainties, banished of my own volition from this genre I had forged, driving myself higher in my pursuit of off-forum dreams and ice cream. Yay! said the people. Ice cream is good! Why don't we have ice cream? But now I have returned, and though I do not bear ice cream- Boo! said the people! Ice cream! -I do bear something not seen in a long time. In my exile, I was gifted a vision, and in that vision I was naked on a ferris wheel, screaming my hate while llamas danced around me. This has nothing whatsoever to do with this thread, I just thought I'd share. But I won't share my ice cream. Get your own. I have quite forgotten how I was moving from A to B to Q to '17, but '17 is where we have arrived, by the circuitous circumlocutions of fate and ferris wheels. Realpolitik '17. Hold on to your knickers. *** Game: Civilization 6 Country and Leader: Arabia and Saladin Difficulty: King Map Type: Continents Mods: None I possess Poland. RULE NUMBER ZERO: The will of the GM is absolute. If I ever post in BOLD RED, this is your cue to straighten up. I have full and absolute rights to cancel elections, ban players, void the results of elections, leak political secrets, and a whole lot of other stuff. I sound pretty stern there, but that'll only come up if you drive me to it. Play nice, respect your other players, be kind even to people who don't deserve it, and LISTEN when I nudge, so that I don't have to slam the BOLD RED down in your face. RULE NUMBER ONE: Democracy is absolute. Even if your party is a nazi party, or a crazy religious party, or crazy technologists, or communists or imperialists...you MUST hold elections as mandated. Refusing to step down is not an option. RULE NUMBER TWO: No use of a complaint generator. This is just a personal grievance of mine - spam is terrible, and if you have a beef with another player over in-game policies, articulate it in your own words. And if you don't know what a complaint generator is, well, you won't use it so we all win. Terminology: A "Turnset" is 25 turns, and then a thread update showing what has happened in those turns. A "Term" is a full 50-turn Presidency. The "Inaugural" Turnset is the period immediately after the election, but before I play the Turnset Plan. This is a period for thread actions. The "Midterm" Turnset is the period immediately after the mid-term update and during the Council Elections, where the Opposition, President and old Council can make new thread actions. Who the hell are YOU? Spoiler : My name's Lighthearter. You can call me LH. Everyone does, except my mother and my wife. I've been GMing for seven straight years now, whether RPs, IOTs, ACs, DND games, or other ill-fated projects. I'm as close as you can come to an authority on the Realpolitik genre, since I was there when it was first invented on the Paradox forums, and without tooting my own horn too badly, I've run a lot more of them than the original creators did. My resume includes six Realpolitiks, that many IOTs at least, countless ACs, and a bunch of one-shot ideas I never managed to make full game concepts. I am your GM for this ride, and also the "Election Moderator", who will arbitrate rules and declare a formal winner in every election. I spend my free time from GMing teaching martial arts and writing books. My sig contains a link to my online serial projects, in case you have no taste and a lot of free time. My steam username is Lighthearter, and feel free to add me if you would like. I can also be found in this chatroom of mine on a semi-regular basis. What is Realpolitik? Spoiler : Realpolitik is a game genre that originated on the Paradox Forums(all credit to TRP!). Originally created for Hearts of Iron II, I was the one who converted the concept for Civilization 4 in early 2010. In it, one player is the President, in full command of the nation we are playing in game. However, this is not a Succession Game, and the President must operate THROUGH me, by sending me a PM with turnset orders contained within. The opposition can take actions to interfere with the President's plans if they disagree, the Vice President has agency of his/her own, and new to this installment of the series, the NATIONAL COUNCIL has their own options for exerting their will on the nation. In essence, our goal is to win - but we must work together to find the best path forward. In addition to the bland in-game number crunching a president must do, there will be random curveball events flung his/her way, right from my demented imagination. Okay, so how do I join? How do we play? Spoiler : Just state you're joining! If you want to, create a Political Party as well. There can be Ten Parties. Or you can join a party someone else has made...or you can remain an independent voter, though only a member of a party can be President or Vice President. I highly discourage founding a party virtually identical in stance to one that already exists. I will allow it if there are no different parties wishing to be founded, but if space becomes an issue, some parties might find themselves merged or disbanded by the Election Moderator. Ye have been warned. If you are joining at game start, place a vote for what country and map type we are playing on. I am currently THINKING I will play on Standard Size, because my computer struggles to handle that size but CAN do it. I cannot be talked into anything larger because of my spec limitations, but I could be talked DOWN to Small if that was the will of the playerbase. My GM Vote is worth 2 player votes and counts as a tiebreaker as well, but I will respect the will of the playerbase if I am out-voted. In an election, you have two votes. You may not vote twice for the same Party(For details, see next section). You may not change your vote after it has been cast. To vote, you must post in the thread that you have voted, in bold. You can officially state your votes there, or you can send your votes to me in PM, each Party bolded. You may not outright lie about who you voted for if you send PM votes, but you may imply what is not true or refuse to answer. If you're a Party member or independent, that's all that's necessary. However, if you're a party leader, you've got more to do, and if you're not, you need to understand what the dummies in charge are doing, so saddle up for the next section! Becoming President For Dummies: (Electoral rules) Spoiler : Okay! It's election season! Pull out the bumper stickers and the arsenal of politically-motivated uncalled-for insults that degrade the humanity of the opposition while ignoring the issues and reducing complicated realities to simple buzzwords! The first election will be held on Turn 25, after I've had a chance to get our civ set up in basic form. Until I play that far into the game and post the update for it, you'll all have the chance to settle your positions and engage in spirited debate about what to do next and what our focus should be. As always, keep it civil and kind. If you are the sitting President, you may not run for President or be Vice President. However, you may run for non-consecutive terms. Every player, regardless of whether they are in a party, possesses two votes in an election. You may not vote for a person, but for rather a party. As stated above, you cannot double-vote for the same party. You might be asking "but LH, doesn't that mean we have to vote for two different Presidential candidates?" Ah, you hypothetical player, here is the meat of the game: Coalitions. Two or more parties may join hands in a Coalition, and this is the platform that puts up a candidate for the presidency. All votes for all component parties in the Coalition will be counted together for the final tally...but there are some details that must be considered. We'll get to those in a minute. Let's say you've formed a coalition. Congratulations! You and your newfound allies have your eyes on the presidency, and you want to take it. First, you pick someone to be President from your little gang. Let's say it's you. You're handsome and smart enough. I believe in you! Now you've fulfilled the basic requirements to run: a coalition of 2+ parties backing a single candidate, who is a member of one of the member parties. Formally announce your candidacy, and the name of your backing coalition, in bold print. The leaders of your coalition-mate parties will need to confirm their support in bold as well, just to be safe. Your next task is to pick a Vice President. For details on what this person does, check their section below. The short of it here is that they are your Number Two, your second-in-command in case the worst happens while you are in office. It's a prestigious position. Offer it wisely, as you might be able to swing some additional votes from giving it to an independent party...or solidify your base by giving it to a friend. This does not have to be done at the same time as you announce your candidacy, but must be done before you can assume office. Now, your goal is to win votes. Invoke a politician's arsenal! Make promises you don't intend to keep, unleash buzzword offensives, muddy the waters and avoid clarifying your plans. Run your campaign however you see fit, and exert as much control as you wish and your allies will permit over operations. Don't forget you have votes too! Use them! Hope for Endorsement from the sitting President or Opposition Leader, or Endorse yourself if applicable! At some point in the week-long election process, you will be presented with either a request for an interview or a summons to a debate, either one hosted by myself. You may choose not to participate, but I will be armed with questions from voters of all affiliations, and it might be your chance to win some votes and show up your opponent. All questioners will remain anonymous. Over the election, I will post periodic updates that tally all votes so far cast. Votes cannot be changed once cast, but parties may withdraw from coalitions mid-election and join up with new ones. Secret votes will be listed to the side as a number, but not assigned until the final update, where I calculate the results. The winner must fit my criteria three: They have the most votes, even if only by 1 They have at least 40% of the total cast vote behind them They have formally announced their candidacy and picked a Vice President Electoral Tie Rules: Spoiler : If any candidate fits all three of those categories, they become President. If no candidate fits all three, for any reason, we enter a condition known as an Electoral Tie(Opposition Strength increases by +1[More on this in the Opposition section]). I will call both Presidential candidates together into chat or a PM thread, and we will attempt to negotiate a solution. If this reaches an impasse, the election will be resolved either by myself or the National Council. This also increases OS by an additional +1, regardless of the result. The National Council will vote if they are chosen, whereas I will use a 50-50 RNG. If the candidates cannot agree on whether the election resolution goes to the NC or myself, I will RNG that, but it will be weighted in favor of the NC. 60-40 is the number in my head, but I may increase that slightly as I consider balance ramifications. If the winner has less than 60% of the overall vote, it is considered a Close Victory, and Opposition Strength increases by +1 under the new Opposition Leader. Details are in the Opposition section. The candidate that comes through this process the winner, however it happens, is the President of the Nation! Congratulations! Break out the beer and cake! Call your girls/guys! Celebrate! If you lost...well, you're the Opposition Leader now, most likely. Stay strong, and start planning your opposition to the President's moves. Skip ahead to the Administration, Vice President, or Opposition section now, whichever one you have fallen into. BEING President For Dummies: (The ADMINISTRATION) Spoiler : You won! Congratulations! Now what? Well, here is your first and greatest responsibility: creating the Turnset Plan. This is a plan for the next 25 turns of gameplay, assembled based on screenshots I have posted and conversations with me via Steam or chat or thread or PM. I will be happy to provide any information I have access to in-game if you request it. You are in full command of the nation's resources for this timeframe, however you must remember you rule indirectly. When you have completed your Turnset Plan, you must send it to the three members of the National Council(and me, of course) via PM. They will then deliberate on the plan, and are not required to keep you in the conversation(though they MUST keep me in the loop). Finally, they will vote, and if they are in favor of your plan, it will be put into action as soon as I am ready to play it. If they are not in favor, you must assemble a new plan. See the National Council section for details. If it's approved, woo! I can either simply rely on your PM and make my best guess as to your intention if curveballs appear over the 25 turns of your plan, or we can stay in touch over Steam as I play, if our schedules mesh. That's entirely up to you, but if scheduling proves difficult, I will not hold up the game for very long just to keep us in touch. You can also detail your Vice President to oversee the turn-by-turn through Steam if that works better. That's the in-game portion of your duties. However, the Opposition can take actions too, and so can the National Council. You have your own arsenal of actions you can perform in the thread game for your own benefit. Actions must be announced in thread, in Bold. Each action can be performed only once in your Presidency, and you may only perform one action per turnset barring special circumstances. EXCEPTION: Either the President or Vice President may Endorse a National Council candidate without it costing their Midterm Action. The President has priority if both attempt to claim this free use. The Pride Medal: This is our country's highest honor, and it provides an additional vote in the next Presidential election to whomever you award it to - though it does not eliminate the restriction on voting twice for a single party. Early Elections: You may, in the Midterm(NOT immediately after being elected), choose to step down and hold new elections immediately, to be resolved at the same time as the Council Midterms. You may run in this early election if you so desire, but you run the risk of...losing. Endorsement(President) : This power may ONLY be used during a Presidential Election. You declare one formally-announced, qualified candidate your pick to be the next leader of the nation. This awards them one extra vote in the election, and if they lose, they automatically become Opposition Leader. Endorsement(Council) : This power may ONLY be used during a Midterm Election. You declare a candidate your pick to sit on the National Council, which is worth two votes in their favor. Lean On National Council: You can exert pressure on the National Council and force them to perform one of their thread actions, though it will not cost one of their actions. The Vice President gains a seat on the Council and a vote for this action only. Judicial Legislation: By sponsoring and passing legislation related to the National Council, you may take away one of their actions for this turnset, or provide them with an additional one, at your discretion. Council Shakeup: You may use this power to immediately remove one member of the National Council from their seat, on the Inaugural Turnset only, and then appoint a willing replacement to fill the rest of their term. If the new Council rules this action illegal, it is overturned and you may not vote in the next Midterm election. Delegitimize Opposition: You may use this power to immediately drop Opposition Strength by 1. Opposition Legislation: By sponsoring and passing legislation related to the Opposition, you may take away their action for this turnset, or provide them with an additional one, at your discretion. Imprison Opposition Leader: If you so desire, you may order the Opposition Leader imprisoned. This takes one vote from them in the next Presidential Election and prevents them from performing any Opposition Actions as long as you are President(However, the Opposition may elect a new Leader who may take actions on the Midterm, if you use this power on the Inaugural Turnset). If the National Council votes on this action and comes down in your favor, the OL loses both votes in the next election. If the NC votes against you, you lose one vote next election in penance, and the Leader walks free, suffering no penalties. Fire Vice President: You may immediately fire your Vice President and appoint a replacement. Useful if someone else forces their man into his job, for you to eject the newcomer and reappoint the old guy. #2 Is More Than Plumbing, For Dummies: (The VICE PRESIDENT) Spoiler : Right, you were chosen to be Vice President, and in spite of himself, that guy actually won! Wow! Clearly you did it for him, right? You were the power behind the run. Well, now you're IN power, and you better sharpen up your "power-behind-the-throne" skills. Your role is that of a support and a reserve: your #1 job is to exercise the duties of the President if he is impeached or if he winds up unable to supply a turnset plan in time. Have ideas in mind just in case, but hope you're never needed. However, you do have a secondary role: an extremely powerful fourth political wing. Sure, on first glance, you can do very little, but your powers make for an excellent bargaining chip with the Opposition or the Council. However, that makes your job pretty inviting to both those groups, who can take actions to replace you, so make nice with your boss: the one man who can prevent you from being forced out by his enemies. Actions must be announced in thread, in Bold. Each action can be performed only once in your Vice-Presidency, and you may only perform one action per turnset barring special circumstances. EXCEPTION: Either the President or Vice President may Endorse a National Council candidate without it costing their Midterm Action. The President has priority if both attempt to claim this free use. Legislative Support: This action provides the President one additional action of his own, either in the Inaugural or Midterm Turnset. Opposition Support: This action provides the Opposition Leader one additional action of his own, either in the Inaugural or Midterm Turnset. Judicial Support: This action provides the National Council one additional action of their own, either in the Inaugural or Midterm Turnset. Endorsement(Council) : This power may ONLY be used during a Midterm Election. You declare a candidate your pick to sit on the National Council, which is worth one vote in their favor. I know, it's not as powerful as the President's, but neither are you. If you're unsatisfied with how your boss treats you, or how he is fulfilling/reneging on his promises to certain people and parties...remember that you can join the Opposition or team up with the Council at any time, and the same logic that lets the President protect you from them allows them to protect you from him. Next 2 Posts reserved.