Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-20-2019, 09:50 PM   #571
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
A nigh-outsider (is royal blood necessary?) might step forth with a list of valid achievements and claim the throne by surprise.
That was one of the things that I thought might emerge from it, yeah. It would definitely be in the interest of the power players to keep track of who scored with what points.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 09:56 PM   #572
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Really? I thought they were distinguished military officers. Of course probably the one was usually the other and it depended on what trait you wanted to emphasize.

Though while we're at that, why not make a horse an emperor? Actually it sounds funny but come to think of it, Iroquois made animal spirits the heads of the clans.
According to some accounts, IIRC, Caligula did try to make his favorite horse a consul. Whether that was historical or not is debated to this day. Of course, rulers who behave like Caligula have a tendency to end up like, well, Caligula. Alienate everybody and you've got nobody on your side when they (whoever they may be) come for you.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2019, 05:00 PM   #573
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
According to some accounts, IIRC, Caligula did try to make his favorite horse a consul. Whether that was historical or not is debated to this day. Of course, rulers who behave like Caligula have a tendency to end up like, well, Caligula. Alienate everybody and you've got nobody on your side when they (whoever they may be) come for you.
True. Of course if the Emperor is intended to be a powerless icon, that actually might work.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2019, 11:20 PM   #574
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

This is another one that would require either serious magic or advanced technology, but in principle the latter could make it happen (the details are still a bit past state of the art, but even so). I'll describe it from a technological POV, but you can rewrite to work with magic.

It's a feudal system, that works more-or-less along familiar lines (the monarch grants a fief to a vassal, who swears fealty to the monarch and gives him or her a cut of the action). I can't picture this system meshing well with a republic of any sort, but it might fit well in to feudal politics.

The difference is that when a fief is granted to a new noble, or a new noble inherits the family fief, he has to agree to the implantation of a device that performs a few functions.

1. It keeps track of the location of the vassal for the monarch at all times.
2. It acts as an 'identifier' confirming that the noble is indeed the rightful lord of whatever.
3. It transmits a record of what is said and done by the noble to the monarch (i.e. it records the surroundings). *
4. At the command of the monarch, it can kill the noble. **

Actually, it's sort of like the Omicron Device from GURPS Black Ops. I'm picturing something equally small and unobtrusive, though it might not necessary go in same part of the body.

Now, this isn't exactly totalitarian or dystopian, necessarily. The system I'm picturing has this as being entirely voluntary. You can refuse the device, but do so repudiates your claim on the fief, which then passes to the next heir in line (if s/he accepts the Device). If you refuse it, you become a commoner, possibly with a modest pension to ease the transition. A noble can also disclaim his fief at any time, the Device will be removed, and he's free...but no longer lord of x.

* Item 3 is juicy. Exactly how much it can perceive, record, and transmit makes all the difference. For ex, suppose it can record all audible conversation and sound around the noble. That's inconvenient...but he can still communicate in secret by writing his comments instead of speaking them. If it can identify who is nearby, he might be able to communicate in secret with someone, but the king will know that that someone was present.

If the device can 'see what the noble sees', that's another complicated thing. The Device does not necessarily make aristocratic plotting impossible, but it does make it difficult. Which means far fewer successful plots...but it means that those who do succeed in plotting are likely to be smart and competent.

** Item 4 is the scary one from the noble's POV. You could imagine this system with Option 4 kept a crown secret...or openly known to the nobles. Either one would have advantages from the monarch's POV.

It strikes me as likely that along with the nobles, the highest servants of the monarch, and probably the spouse and offspring, and other near kin, are likely to be Deviced.

This could make for...complicated...politics.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.

Last edited by Johnny1A.2; 07-07-2019 at 11:23 PM.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2019, 05:01 AM   #575
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
* Item 3 is juicy. Exactly how much it can perceive, record, and transmit makes all the difference. For ex, suppose it can record all audible conversation and sound around the noble. That's inconvenient...but he can still communicate in secret by writing his comments instead of speaking them. If it can identify who is nearby, he might be able to communicate in secret with someone, but the king will know that that someone was present.
It's entirely possible to construct plots of arbitrary complexity without ever speaking a word about them. It is not the way we prefer to do things today, but it's been important for much of history.

But the real problem with Item 3 is that the monarch does not have time to monitor lots of nobles personally, even if they have the inclination. There will have to be staff to do this work, and they will end up wielding its power.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2019, 09:41 AM   #576
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It's entirely possible to construct plots of arbitrary complexity without ever speaking a word about them. It is not the way we prefer to do things today, but it's been important for much of history.

But the real problem with Item 3 is that the monarch does not have time to monitor lots of nobles personally, even if they have the inclination. There will have to be staff to do this work, and they will end up wielding its power.
That sounds like Venice with all it's complicated guardians-of-guardians, and guardians-of-guardians-of-guardians.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2019, 01:22 PM   #577
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It's entirely possible to construct plots of arbitrary complexity without ever speaking a word about them. It is not the way we prefer to do things today, but it's been important for much of history.

But the real problem with Item 3 is that the monarch does not have time to monitor lots of nobles personally, even if they have the inclination. There will have to be staff to do this work, and they will end up wielding its power.
True. That turned up in Black Ops, for that matter. ARGUS doesn't control the Omicron Device, the Security Department does.

Still, in such a system, they staff themselves would likely be Deviced, and there would be fewer of them.

Also, even if the Duke of Zak knows that the King probably isn't monitoring him at a given moment, he can't be sure. From the King's POV, that's useful.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 07:35 PM   #578
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

"The brute". Not an official title but one of the most important roles in government. He is the one who has enough leverage (in clientage, proxies, and in my case votes owned in a Senate organized like a joint-stock corporation) to choose the cabinet or at least veto other people's choice, as well as to guide policy. He is a power from behind the throne but brutes have been in this culture so long as to be an institution. Despite the humorous name, the role is not necessarily unpopular as long as the holder uses enough discretion so as not to give provocation.

A brute is not the same as a cabinet member (those are chancellors) or a noble (that is a doge, or archducca depending on whether it is the city or commonwealth level). Nor is he a legislator. If he has any of those roles that is as another hat. A brute is someone who makes politics "go" and theoretically may not have an official title at all though that is unlikely. In any case his role is not Constitutionally instituted.

Incidently, the idea was inspired the "whip" in English terminology. The best comparison though is to a "boss".
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison

Last edited by jason taylor; 07-12-2019 at 09:31 AM.
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2019, 06:28 PM   #579
Kale
 
Kale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cowtown, Canada
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
"The brute". Not an official title but one of the most important roles in government. He is the one who has enough leverage (in clientage, proxies, and in my case votes owned in a Senate organized like a joint-stock corporation) to choose the cabinet or at least veto other people's choice, as well as to guide policy. He is a power from behind the throne but brutes have been in this culture so long as to be an institution. Despite the humorous name, the role is not necessarily unpopular as long as the holder uses enough discretion so as not to give provocation.

A brute is not the same as a cabinet member (those are chancellors) or a noble (that is a doge, or archducca depending on whether it is the city or commonwealth level). Nor is he a legislator. If he has any of those roles that is as another hat. A brute is someone who makes politics "go" and theoretically may not have an official title at all though that is unlikely. In any case his role is not Constitutionally instituted.

Incidently, the idea was inspired the "whip" in English terminology. The best comparison though is to a "boss".
Reminds me of a certain character from "The Expanse":
https://expanse.fandom.com/wiki/Chrisjen_Avasarala_(TV)
__________________
FYI: Laser burns HURT!
Kale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2019, 02:32 AM   #580
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Imagine a hereditary monarchy (and the same system might apply to the aristocracy too), in which the crown passes, not necessarily to the child of the previous monarch, but to the candidate with the most 'points' in a complicated point system.
Actually, assessments like these have historically taken place, in cases when either there wasn't an obvious heir or if the general situation was unstable. There wasn't a fixed and stated numerical value and the various factors were weighed essentially by the consensus (or lack thereof) of the nobility, but at the end of the day, choices were made based on such assessments.
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.