JollyJormungandr
 member, 9 posts
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 18:35
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
Hey, I have an idea for a Political Roleplaying Game.
I'm working on a fictional island called Idra that consists of three nations: Grutania, Lorimon and Thurvaldia.

Grutania is a kingdom with a parliamentary system, where elite people called regents have the ability to vote. Other people have no voting rights, but can elect a regent to be their voter. The king still remains some political privileges. The following ideas for political organisations are:

Party
Regentist Party (basically a sort of conservative liberalism, like the Republican Party)
Democratic Block (basically progressive/social liberalism, like the Democratic Party)
Three Star Movement (radical democratic socialism, like the Green Party)
National Conservative Party (conservatism, royalism)
Union of Traditional Royalists (absolute monarchy)
Communist Party of Grutania (communism, marxism)

Organisations
Anarchist Federation of Idra (anarchism)

Lorimon is a free fought country, seperated from the Idran Kingdom (ruled by the dynasty that now rules Grutania) by a rebellion of anarchists and left-wing nationalists. It has always been a leftist nation, with an old conservative elite who stood on the side of the Idran Kingdom. The following ideas for political organisations are:

Parties
Lorimon Socialist Party (social democracy, originally left wing seperatists)
People's Patriotic Front (Leninism, originally a seperatist movement)
Elisian Unionist Party (conservative unionism, royalism)

Organisations
Anarchist Federation of Idra
Maladarian Unit (fascism, absolute monarchy)


Thurvaldia is just like Lorimon a nation that has fought itself free from the Idran Kingdom. The majority of Thurvaldians live an agrarian life, with a small conservative elite in the capital and surrounding areas. There are two governments: one an agrarian socialist confederation with its main power in the middle and south of the nation and one conservative government with its main power in the north. They each claim to be the one true government of the country, though the country is officially united.
Political orgs are:

Parties
Regentist Party of Thurvaldia (conservative liberalism with a royalist flank)
Equalist Union (social liberalism with a social democratic flank)

Organisations
General Union of Workers and Peasants (anarchism, agrarian socialism, socialist regionalism)
Conservative Farmers Movement (agrarian conservatism)
Libertarian Communist League (platformist anarcho-communism)
Anarchist Federation of Idra


I don't know yet what game mechanics to use, looking for people to help me with that.

Also, I'm decidedly anti-fascist so fascism is only for roleplaying, not actual sympathy with it.
JollyJormungandr
 member, 10 posts
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 18:37
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
Also, I could use help in general to make this game a fun experience.
bazhsw
 member, 47 posts
Fri 6 Nov 2020
at 21:18
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
I really like the concept of your game, even though I don't really have the capacity to take part.  I would like to offer you some feedback on the concept though.  Would you be looking at players taking part as leaders / senior figures in a faction (like a nation roleplay) or would you be looking at players taking the role of a character who is influential or impacted by one of the factions?  The former may be easier to manage (ie the player controls 'party x') but you have a different game than having individual characters.

If it's individual characters you're looking for you may wish to rein in a little your ambitions and focus on one region or one faction and slowly build in the others depending on the scope of your game and players, otherwise it may be hard getting people to be able to interact with each other.  So whilst I would love to be a citizen who is part of the Anarchist Federation of Idra, how much interaction would I have with a parliamentary representative of the Regentist Party?

A final bit of feedback - be really mindful that to run a political game you do need a certain maturity of player.  It's almost inevitable the kind of people who are interested in this kind of game would have defined real world political views.  You run a risk that real world political views will be part of the game (not a bad thing) but it may get into your OOC too and unless everyone is really cool you may have some bad experiences / unhappy players as people fall out.  It's also important to recognise that what is considered left / right wing differs by nation and culture.  Some things that are considered 'crazy' in some parts of the world are 'normal' in others and also different words carry different meanings (libertarian or liberal is a good example).

It would be great for you to succeed in your idea and I'd be happy to kick around some further ideas with you but there are a lot of potential pitfalls when you get people together to join in.

Good luck!
StarMaster
 member, 369 posts
Sat 7 Nov 2020
at 18:06
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
I think the game sounds interesting, too, although it sounds like it might work better as a board game or even a card game, as the players would be playing a country. Or would they be playing a faction?

It also sounds a bit like the Great Game that England, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Austria and the Ottoman Empire played back at the end of the 1800s. That brings up one question: what is the setting? It doesn't sound like modern times, but it also doesn't sound like a medieval/fantasy setting. Were you thinking of having magic available?

I'm not familiar with that many games, so the only one I can think of that might come close to what you want is TSR's 1995 Birthright game. True20 had feat trees that dealt with controlling mobs and factions and such.


What is the objective? What are the 'winning' conditions?


Whatever system you use, it'll need to cover some key points.


Country/faction stats: army and navy strength, geography, industrial base, agricultural base, resources (known and unknown), etc.


Issues: economy, trade, citizen welfare, etc.


Ploys: promote trade, taxation, celebrations, assassination, etc.
JollyJormungandr
 member, 11 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2020
at 17:07
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
Hey thanks for your replies!


bazhsw:
I really like the concept of your game, even though I don't really have the capacity to take part.  I would like to offer you some feedback on the concept though.  Would you be looking at players taking part as leaders / senior figures in a faction (like a nation roleplay) or would you be looking at players taking the role of a character who is influential or impacted by one of the factions?  The former may be easier to manage (ie the player controls 'party x') but you have a different game than having individual characters.


Yeah true. Maybe the best thing (and the most interesting to me personally) would be to some thing Russian Revolution style thing, where the Aristocratic family and allies are NPCs, and the game is about the inner workings and politics of the (revolutionary) opposition. And to maybe restrict the playable area to a small kingdom with the plot background of a revolutionary wave coming through the island.

bazhsw:
A final bit of feedback - be really mindful that to run a political game you do need a certain maturity of player.  It's almost inevitable the kind of people who are interested in this kind of game would have defined real world political views.  You run a risk that real world political views will be part of the game (not a bad thing) but it may get into your OOC too and unless everyone is really cool you may have some bad experiences / unhappy players as people fall out.  It's also important to recognise that what is considered left / right wing differs by nation and culture.  Some things that are considered 'crazy' in some parts of the world are 'normal' in others and also different words carry different meanings (libertarian or liberal is a good example).


Yes, those are some very good points. Maybe I can depolitize it a bit with adding more fantasy elements and distance the world more from real life ideologies and philosophies.
On the other hand I don't mind the players being political, as long as there is no farright element to it.
Politics are interesting to me and I always found many established political games unfulfilling.

StarMaster:
What is the objective? What are the 'winning' conditions?


Whatever system you use, it'll need to cover some key points.


Country/faction stats: army and navy strength, geography, industrial base, agricultural base, resources (known and unknown), etc.


Issues: economy, trade, citizen welfare, etc.


Ploys: promote trade, taxation, celebrations, assassination, etc.


True, I think the main objective would be overthrowing the Royal elite and establishing a commoner run republic. Maybe the setting can be a Steampunk fantasy setting with about two playable races. Depending which race you belong to decides which faction you are likely to be part of.

I think the country stats are indeed important, I will take those with me.
Anachronist
 member, 40 posts
Sun 8 Nov 2020
at 17:48
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
I always applaud efforts to start games of this kind. When well run I imagine they would be a lot of fun.

But from an outsiders perspective, this seems like less a political game and more a game about strait rebellion. If you already have in your mind that the players objective is to overthrow the current power and to install a populist Republic, it would seem like most of your mechanics would revolve around making that happen, and less about the political situation in these countries?
bazhsw
 member, 48 posts
Mon 9 Nov 2020
at 22:31
Political Roleplaying Game - Island of Idra
quote:
Yes, those are some very good points. Maybe I can depolitize it a bit with adding more fantasy elements and distance the world more from real life ideologies and philosophies.
On the other hand I don't mind the players being political, as long as there is no farright element to it.
Politics are interesting to me and I always found many established political games unfulfilling.


I wouldn't necessarily depoliticise things but just be mindful of what you want and do not want in the game.  If there are certain political factions you do not wish to be in the game I would be explicit about it, and importantly give some examples.  It's important to recognise that what you think is 'far right' may be considered as something else dependent on the reader and their culture.  (I think it's fine to say 'this is a political game but we won't have 'x' here' - it's your game after all).

What is it that you have found unfulfilling about previous political games?  The answer to that question may prompt some of your thinking about design and setting.  A game about a revolution featuring heroes and villains of the revolution and it's factions is a political game that focuses on the individual.  A game about the moves and actions of parties and factions across nations is another game.  Both are political but both have different approaches