The intent of this system is to allow PCs to be able to select town rulers. While the system looks superficially like democracy it's much closer to an oligarchy - only PCs get to vote, reflecting their greater influence in the world (whether as warriors, traders etc) compared to their NPC friends.
The system will take some tuning etc. For now, the salary portion ('Appointing officers' below) isn't implemented but will follow in the near future.
Q: What is affected by the tax rate?
A: Quarter and shop upkeep (the amount you have to pay each month to keep ownership), and the proportion of proceeds from selling items in player shops that goes to the government rather than the owner.
Q: Where do I find the registrars/trade czars?
A: They should be in fairly logical places - their titles vary per town. So try looking in central places in the various towns...
Becoming a Citizen Edit
- Speak to registrar NPC. Pay 10k, you're now a citizen of the town.
- Taking citizenship at a town removes any citzenship of other towns.
- Citizenship will expire if you do not log in for 5 game years (6 RL months).
Electing a Leader Edit
All citizens will be able to vote for their leaders. Leadership posts for each community are decided by the admin team. There may be a single monarch or mayor position, or a council of equals.
Any citizen may challenge for the top job if the last election was held more than one game year ago. To do this, they speak to the registrar, and that triggers an election. During the next game month, any citizen can speak to the registrar to vote (or to change their existing vote). At the end of the election, the person or people (if there are multiple posts) with the highest vote counts gain the office.
No more than one vote per candidate per player (and you can't vote for one of your chars using another char, either).
While an election is active, all citizens will be reminded of the fact when they log in (and when an election is called, it will be declared server wide).
The counts will be secret until the election is completed.
Current election bug Edit
- "This is the second conversation to grow unstable with 10 scripted options attached to it - for now, please can we try and keep the number of candidates in elections <10." Mithreas
With more candidates not all of them will show up as option for voting to all players. Some players would have one option, some players would have only 2 options, and others three options.
It is possible to vote for candidates that aren't displayed by pressing the number that they would appear as if they were listed. So it's purely a display issue - which isn't affecting everyone consistently and which persists across resets.
The developers are searching for solution to this.
Roleplaying elections Edit
The system does not represent democracy. Not every character can vote freely, only those privileged few that are influential, wealthy enough and paid for their citizenship. All those unrepresented masses of NPCs don't get a vote at all.
Not all voting have to be fair and nice either. There is plenty of space for lying, intimidating, bribing or even assassinations of opponents.
- "All governments exist at the tolerance of the majority. Dictatorships, Fascism, Communism, Monarchy, Oligarchy. All forms of government are backed by the force of the majority OR the force of a minority AND apathy from the majority. People as a group are ruled because they choose to be. The "election" process in settlements is just a mechanic to show who holds the most power.
- The system certainly does not support democracy because in a democracy one cannot revoke the citizenship of another person. This system allows this, which means that elections can be rigged. BUT there is a secret ballot, so that means that a revolt can happen at any time. Citizens can conceal their true feelings, NOT get banned, NOT have their citizenship revoked... wait until the election and then vote for someone else. Treason happens in secret not on a soap box." coldend
Being a Leader Edit
A leader can do lots of stuff, as follows.
Appointing Officers Edit
A leader may create officer positions by speaking to the Registrar. To do so (s)he must give the name of the position, its salary, and the name of the first holder (who must be logged on).
The leader may, at any point, change the holder of a rank or remove a rank.
Salary is paid monthly direct from the bank account of the town to the bank account of the holder.
Anyone holding such a position may create other positions underneath their own position. They may hire and fire the holders of those positions, and set their salary. However, any salary then comes out of the bank account of the holder of the rank.
For example, the mayor of Bendir appoints a guard captain and gives them a salary of 1000g a month. The captain creates five guardsman postions and a sergeant position, and gives the guardsmen 100g salaries and the sergeant a 200g salary. Each month, the captain gets 1000g from the Bendir account, and 700 of that is immediately transferred to his subordinates. If the captain created another five guardsman positions with 100g salaries, he would then make a loss each month.
Anyone may resign an office they hold by speaking to the Registrar. If one or more leadership positions are vacant at any time, anyone may call an election (even if it's not been a year since the last one).
Leaders will not be paid by default. They are encouraged to set up offices that they can hold in order to salary themselves.
Taxes and Money Edit
Taxes have a base rating of 10% - this means 10% of every shop or quarter sale goes to the government, and 1% of a quarter or shop's full value is paid to the government each month (including cost of improvements if any). The leader(s) of the community may alter this base tax rate by talking to the Registrar.
Any community leader can withdraw or deposit funds from/to the community bank account.
If the settlement bank balance reaches zero or less, then:
- Taxes will automatically be doubled until the balance becomes positive
- Salaries will stop being paid until the balance becomes positive
- Trade (see below) will continue.
The community leader(s) can choose to enter hostile relations with another community. All citizens of rival communities will become exiled at that moment (see below "Being banned or exiled").
Similarly, community leader(s) can open trade agreements with other nations. Opening a trade agreement means that the other nation will be able to buy resources from you (and, if they reciprocate the agreement, your nation will be able to buy from them). See below for more on trade.
Finally, community leaders can make their settlement a vassal of another settlement, or release a vassal they already have. Community leaders have control over vassal states: they can perform any of the community leader actions on the vassal state by speaking to its Registrar and Trade Czar NPCs.
Community leaders can banish individuals. They will be treated exactly the same as citizens from rival states (see below "Being banned or exiled").
Community leaders can also strip citizenship from any citizen of the community, and may evict the resident of any quarter or shop in the town.
Being banned or exiled Edit
Characters that are banished from a settlement by its leader and citizens of settlements that are hostile to it are unable to enter the town and its immediate premises, unless they are in disguise and pass a disguise (bluff) check. They will continue to make checks until they leave, and will be thrown out if they fail one.
This takes effect after newly hostile character changed areas.
Tips what to do when individually exiledEdit
- written by DM_Iron
If you are exiled from a city and you feel it is unwarrented, some possible solutions could be:
- Send a note from a citizen or an unexiled person to the leader of that settlement stating your need for repentance and ask if there is a fine you can pay to allow you 'supervised' movement through his territory.
- Capture a hostage and explain to the leader of this settlement that you will torture/kill/give a comfy pillow to this hostage until he lifts the exile. Then do a prisoner exchange. Or if you are truly devious, tell him you will exchange the character/hostage at the settlement only, giving you access to the areas you can't get to as you give the hostage back and sneak through his/her territory to the 'restricted' areas. Of course portal lenses might be helpful to get back out of there...
- Approach a disgruntled citizen and sponsor him to become the next leader. Approach the existing leader stating you will withdraw your support for his rival if he/she allows you passage through his/her territory.
- Become the champion of that settlement and fight the settlements' enemies. Commission a bard to sing of your exploits in the settlement on how well you have thoroughly trounced the settlement's enemies and you do all this for redemption.
These are just a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head. The system will not go away. Accept it. The way it is now, is probably the best way it can be implemented within the confines of the scripting mechanics of the game.
Elections while being exiled Edit
- written by Mithreas
- Undeniably, if the guards of a city are looking out for you, speaking with someone in authority (in many cases, in front of NPC guards) is breaking your disguise and you should be thrown out.
- Equally, if someone is in power and exiles anyone who might stand against them, then they can achieve 'lockdown'.
I think that summarises the principle arguments. So here's an Official Ruling (tm). It is metagaming to stand for office OR VOTE in a place where you're exiled though it's perfectly OK to win an election where you entered as a candidate and were subsequently exiled (and you can then subsequently take up office, reverse your own exile and probably exile the prior leader!). At some point I will update the system to make it impossible to talk to the registrar if you're exiled.
What about avoiding lockdown, then? Well, there are plenty of ways that the situation can correct itself in the longer term, if players act that way.
- A player who wants to stand or vote can persuade another councillor to unban them, in places where there are several
- If a leader gets too ban-happy they'll reduce the population of their settlement and weaken it to the point where it's less fun to play, particularly in the more remote locations. If nobody visits, it's going to get boring - and new leadership will likely come to pass as the old leader gets bored.
There are other ways too, but I'm not going into detail. In short, the solution to a perceived flaw in the implementation of a system is NOT to compromise RP by ignoring NPCs and players should instead accept the limitations of the simulation and where applicable make clear, simple and concise suggestions for how the system can be improved.
(NB - this section under construction).
Every settlement needs an amount of certain basic resources, determined by the number of registered citizens it has. These basic resources are food, cloth, metal, wood and stone. Settlements may obtain these items by two means: PCs depositing them, or trade with other settlements (or the outside world).
All trade is managed by the community leader(s). (Dev note - may want to add the ability to delegate?)
Trade Managment Edit
Community leaders can set their buy/sell rates for each resource. Each game year, the stockpile of resources held by each settlement will be reduced by the amount needed for all their citizens. If the amount currently stored falls short of the amount needed, the settlement will automatically attempt to buy from the surplus generated by other settlements, or (if available) from external sources (option only available to Cordor and Wharftown, which have ports, or any other government that's bribed a pirate in the Crow's Nest to ship in resources). The cost to import resources from elsewhere will be very high, especially if using pirates. Settlements can only buy from settlements that have a trade agreement in place with them.
At any time, community leaders can build up the stockpile of resources by speaking to the Trade Czar and trying to buy resources from a settlement that has a trade agreement with them, or from external sources. This might allow, for instance, Cordor importing a large amount of metal from the mainland and then selling it to Brogendenstein for a profit.
PC Deposit Edit
The Dev Team will maintain an inventory of items that 'count as' one of the five basic resource types. For example, nuts, berries and fruit would all count as food. The Underdark might have mushrooms that count as wood, and both hardwood and softwood will count as wood too.
PCs speaking to the Trade Czar in the settlement will be able to gift or sell resources to the settlement. If they choose to sell, the buy price is derived from the price the community leader(s) have set for buying goods.
Running Out Edit
If a settlement is unable to source the resources it needs, e.g. because they haven't bribed the pirates and nobody else is trading it, then it will suffer a reduction on all tax income each year until the situation is remedied, to represent the decay of the community as an essential resource isn't available.
This could become crippling quite quickly if it's not remedied...
TBD (to be done) - allow players to fund farms, quarries, timber mills etc that will produce a value of resource and add them to their nation's stockpiles. The industry should have a maintenance cost (coming out of the PC's bank account) but this should be << the value of the resources it produces.