Author Topic: The Republic Reborn  (Read 205474 times)

Polycarp

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The Republic Reborn
« on: January 23, 2012, 06:16:14 AM »
IC: The Romans
“Is there anything in history more notorious than the wantonness and pride of the Romans?  A race unaccustomed to peace, familiar with tumult; a race to this very day fierce and intractable; who will never submit except when they have no power to resist.”

- Saint Bernard of Clairvoux, On Consideration

The Republic Reborn


In the middle of the 12th century, an age of great change and conflict in Europe, the people of Rome grew tired of the Papacy’s domination over their ancient city.  They rebelled, and in 1144 the Commune of Rome was declared.  They aspired to put the fate of their city back in the hands of the Senate and People of Rome, Senatus Populusque Romanus, and in this task they enjoyed some modest success.  The medieval Senate persevered through both victory and defeat for nearly half a century before its independence was ended.

This is a cooperative forum game, beginning in the Summer of 1152, that explores the possibility of the Commune’s survival under a new and more radically independent Senate.  Players will control characters belonging to an influential Roman family, and through them guide the course of a proud city surrounded by rivals and enemies in an age of Crusades, Emperors, and the growing power of the Italian communes.

How to Join

I am currently accepting new players, so if you're interested, PM me and give me an idea of what kind of character you'd want to play!

The spoiler below has original joining information, which may be helpful but is not completely accurate for people joining the game now.

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How the Game is Played

This game proceeds in turns, each of which is equivalent to one season in game (thus, there are 4 turns in a game year).  Turns will take at least a week in real time; the deadline for turns is flexible and will change based on players’ needs and availability.  At the end of each turn, I will post an “update” that will inform you of the outcome of your ventures and the current events from the world around you.

Play is conducted by posts like so:

IC box text (Green) indicates what your character says; speeches can be directed to the senatores consiliarii (just your fellow players), the entire senate (the players plus all NPC senators), or to the public at large (i.e. a speech in a major public square).  Letters that you write to PCs and NPCs should also be in an IC box, as well as any other prose you decide to write for us (totally optional, but encouraged if you’re feeling creative!).  Note that letters to people outside Latium may take a full turn or more before a response is returned.

OOC box text (Red) indicates what your character does.  This can be almost anything you can think of, from building a new familial tower-house, to distributing money to the poor, to spying on an enemy (player or NPC), or raising a private militia.  If you want to do something that absolutely must be kept secret from other players (e.g. trying to assassinate them), you can send me a PM, but everything else should be posted in an OOC box.  Please post only one OOC box per turn, with all your action orders.

Regular text (like this) covers general out of character comments, as well as clarifications on how the game works and questions about the game world.

On Metagaming: If a letter isn't addressed to your character, your character doesn't know about it, period.  I have a very high opinion of the people on the CBG and I trust them not to abuse the forum format to metagame.  That said, we can't always help ourselves, and I realize it may be necessary to conduct some business by PM - this is fine, but whenever something can be in the thread, it should be in the thread.  Most things you do won't be secret anyway - rumors are the fastest moving thing in medieval Rome, and any business you conduct that's not heavily concealed is probably going to get out.

Wealth and Spending

When you write your OOC orders, you may specify how you want to use any amount of wealth you possess (or "WP," Wealth Points).  You can spend WP on almost anything.  It can be used to contribute to an ongoing project, maintain soldiers and mercenaries, or pay fines and bribes.

Private “armies” usually require a payment of 1 WP per 100 men each season, assuming they are armed and equipped as masnada or urban militia.  Better-equipped men will cost more, and more poorly equipped men may cost less.  Mercenaries aren’t paid in this manner; instead, they accept a fixed payment in exchange for their services for a single campaign.  If the campaign is especially long or difficult, or there is little plunder to be had, they may seek to renegotiate their contracts.

By spending WP on enterprises, you can increase your income.

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You can also improve your prestige and safeguard your family and your savings by improving your estate (and even building multiple estates).

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It’s possible, of course, to accumulate WP by saving it rather than spending it, though there is a certain risk to this.

There are no banks in 12th century Italy, and there isn’t enough free currency to hoard coinage like some kind of Roman dragon.  When nobles and merchants save up wealth, it usually means buying precious assets – usually metal items like silver tableware and gold jewelry, but occasionally oriental tapestries and so on – that can later be sold if it becomes necessary.  This means that if your estate is sacked or burned down, you will lose most or all of your saved wealth.  Fortified estates and tower-houses, of course, are less vulnerable to this, but it’s always a possibility.

How the Senate Works

Each PC is a Senator and member of the senatores consiliarii, also called the “lesser council,” which is a group of influential senators vested with executive powers who have closed door meetings apart from the senate at large (the “greater council”).  In this way it’s sort of like the difference between the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.  There are currently 100 members of the new Senate, most of whom are NPCs, but the senatores consiliarii is made up only of PCs.  The senatores consiliarii debate matters of policy and guide the ship of state in the direction they see fit.

The Senate elects two Consuls every Autumn.  One Consul is in charge of internal affairs (everything inside the city, including taxation, defense, and public works) while the other is in charge of external affairs (everything outside the city, including war and diplomacy).  Any PC can stand for Consular election.  Elections are determined by a vote, but how much your vote is worth depends on your PC’s Influence stat.

Though Consuls have the ultimate civic power, you can still do things privately even without Consular authority.  You can build your own fortifications, make speeches, raise private militias, feud with one another, send messages to NPCs – anything you want so long as it’s not “official business” of the city.

A Consul cannot be formally recalled, but he may be overthrown (even violently) if he takes actions against that clearly defy the will of the senatores consiliarii and the wider Senate.  Be wary, for the Romans are a wrathful people, and the fate of Caesar could easily be yours.

It should be noted that because wealth is the only requirement for Equestrian rank, and all player characters are relatively quite wealthy, all player characters are assumed to be equites as well.

Final Notes

  • Put everything you do in your OOC orders.
  • If you have a spending limit for a project, note it; if you aren't sure how to tackle a big project, make a request in your orders ("find out how many WP it would cost to...")
  • Orders may benefit from adding IC material, like speeches; though giving a speech isn't guaranteed to make a positive difference, adding IC material will seldom make things worse.
  • Put in as many details as you think you need in your orders.  Though I don't encourage you to be needlessly wordy, I will never penalize you for too much detail or too many suggestions.  If your idea to cut costs or raise your influence doesn't work, it just doesn't work - move on, try something else next time.
  • Seek allies when possible.  This is a cooperative game and you'll benefit from getting others in on your plans, whether it's PCs or NPCs.  If you do favors for people or groups, they'll be inclined to help you with your goals later.  That said, don't be afraid to have a rival - factions and competing interests can make the senate more interesting.
  • Think laterally.  I try to reward creativity as long as it doesn't become anachronistic or fantastic.  As I've said, I will consider any order you make.  Put yourself in your character's place and consider how he would approach a goal.
  • As GM I reserve the right to veto anachronistic things, like naming your character Vin Diesel or attempting to invent the internal combustion engine in the 12th century.
  • This is an alternative history game, with an emphasis on alternative.  You should not count on all events unfolding how they did historically, because you may be surprised.
  • While sending me a note if you are going to be absent is courteous, it is not strictly necessary.  As I said, the game can continue as long as there is some bare minimum number of players.  If you do inform me of a temporary absence, however, you may be pleasantly surprised – perhaps your character has gone on pilgrimage, and will return with a bonus!
  • Finally, have fun.  I hope you'll enjoy playing a medieval Roman and I’ll do my best to help you enjoy it.  I will consider any suggestions you come up with to make the game better.

And a final word of advice, from another GM running a similar game about nations:
Quote
And here's the most important part--we're working together, not against each other. Now, I'll frequently decide that "working together" means me throwing a nasty NPC horde at you, or some thoroughly unfortunate internal event, and you'll maybe occasionally decide "working together" means invading your fellow players or otherwise perpetrating dishonorable deeds (tsk tsk)--and that's well and good. The point is that this isn't like the adversarial court system, where each side throws the best they've got out there and let's the conflict sort out whose right. Rather, give some and take some. You don't always have to be the best ruler for your nation. Sometimes losing gives your experience some flavor. In summary, you don't just decide which way to trim the sails and crank the wheel, you also get to choose which way the ship sails (and I'll keep changing the way the wind blows to keep things surprising!).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 12:05:40 AM by Polycarp »
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Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 06:16:45 AM »
The City of Rome
Summer of 1159
Current level of rage: Frothing! [5]
Society
Population: 29,280
  • Equites: 420 [Citizens and nobles of households wealthy enough to bring a warhorse to the militia muster]
  • Popolo Grasso: 8,460 [Citizens of households wealthy enough to provide for a pedes (infantryman) or balistarius (crossbowman) in the militia muster]
  • Popolo Minuto: 20,000 [Non-citizen subjects without political power]
  • Ebreo: 400 [Jews, exempt from military service]

This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues
1. “We demand bread!”
2. “Barbarossa is coming… will he be a tyrant or a liberator?”
3. “Good riddance to the prefect – Rome shall be free!”
4. “The Arnoldists endanger us all when they seize churches like this...”
5. “Niccolo Capocci is a loose cannon catapult.”

Economy

Commune of Rome
Treasury: 4 WP

Income: 2 WP
  • Duty, Patrician Pierleone: 1 WP
  • Rent, Colosseum: 2 WP (Spring Only)
  • Papal Stipend: 1 WP

Expenditures: 1 WP
  • Upkeep, Senatorial Palatini (50): 1 WP
  • Mint Fee: 1 WP (Spring Only)

The economy of Rome is based on religious tourism and the local export of lime and marble.  Various trades are practiced in the city, and it serves as a marketplace for the peasants of the Roman contado.

Politics

Our Consuls this year are Vittorio Manzinni and Roberto Basile.

The Senate of Rome is led by these men, our esteemed senatores consiliarii:
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We have the following treaties and formal agreements with others:

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Maps

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Military

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« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 04:50:38 PM by Polycarp »
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Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 06:16:58 AM »
History and Background

Previous Updates


Notable People

Noblemen
Aimeric de Savelli:* Head of the Savelli family.  Killed in the Battle of the Laurels in 1158.
Antonio Demetri della Suburra:* Head of the Demetri family.  Nephew of Anastasius IV.  Returned to Rome in 1155 after the Treaty of Campus Neronius.
Cencio Pierleone: Nephew and rumored heir of Giordano Pierleone.  Currently a clerk for the Papal Chamberlain, Boso Breakspeare.
Giordano Pierleone: Head of the Pierleoni family.  Patrician of Rome and ruler of the Leonine City, as well as magistrate of Trastevere.
Gionata Tusculani: Head of the Tusculani family and Count of Tusculum, jointly with his younger brother Raino.
Gisulf de Ausonia:* A minor Lombard nobleman who attacked the son of Senator Basile and his new bride.  Outlawed by Prefect Colonna; current whereabouts unknown.
Leo Frangipane: Eldest son and heir of Oddone Frangipane, Lord of Tolfa.
Martino de Corso:* Signore of Formello.
Niccolo Capocci:* Signore of Monte Ritondo and Castrum Nomentum, until they were destroyed.  Currently rebuilding them.
Oddone Colonna: Head of the Colonna family.  Signore of Palestrina, Castrum Colonna, and other estates.
Oddone Frangipane: Head of the Frangipani family.  Signore of Tolfa, Castrum Monticellorum, Torre Astura, and other castles throughout Latium.
Pietro II Colonna: Previous head of the Colonna family, Prefect of Rome, and Signore of Palestrina, Castrum Colonna, and other estates.  Died of the Roman Fever in 1157.
Pietro Latro:* Vicarius of Civitavecchia, which he rules in the name of Farfa Abbey.
Raino Tusculani: Count of Tusculum, jointly with his older brother Gionata.
Ruggero Pierleone: Younger brother of Giordano Pierleone.  Owner of the Pierleoni family tower house on Tiber Island.
Tolomeo II Tusculani: Previous Count of Tusculum.  Went bankrupt.  Died in 1153, and succeeded by his sons Gionata and Raino.

Ecclesiastics
Adrian IV: The current Pope, and the first English Pope!
Anastasius IV: Pope from 1153 to 1154.  Born Corrado Demetri della Suburra, of the Roman noble family of Demetri.
Rusticus:* Current abbot of Farfa.  Appointed by the Emperor to succeed Abbot Anselm II, who had fought with Rome and Rieti.
Arnold of Brescia: A Brescian monk with strange and possibly heretical views on apostolic poverty and holy sacraments with a large following in Rome among the popolo minuto, especially women, and the lesser clergy.  Currently excommunicated.
Eugenius III: Pope from 1145 to 1153.  Born Bernardo da Pisa of the Pisan noble family of Paganelli.  Also called Eugene.
Wetzel: A fanatical Arnoldist preacher, originally from Bavaria.  Said to be a former monk.

Foreigners
Alexios Axouch: Protostrator of the Greek Empire (second-in-command of the imperial army).  His father was a Turk.
Bulgarus: A Bolognese legal scholar who supports the legal concept of ius strictum (Roman law strictly applied).
Damianus Truffa:* Rector of Rieti, and co-ruler of the city along with Rieti's bishop.
Friedrich von Hohenstaufen: Emperor of the Romans, King of the Germans, King of Italy, and famed destroyer of cities.  More commonly called Frederick, and more formally called Fredericus.  Recently the Italians have taken to calling him Barbarossa, "red beard."
Ildebrando Ferrante:* Camerarius (Chamberlain) of Perugia, chief among Perugia’s consuls.
Kosmas Bariotes:* An Apulian Greek and high official (sebastos) in the Greek Empire.  Formerly the Greek ambassador to the Papal Curia.
Martinus Gosia: A Bolognese legal scholar who supports the legal concept of aequitas (equity).
Roger II de Hauteville: Former Norman King of Sicily and infamous warmonger.
Rogerius Placentia: A Piacentini legal scholar who studied in Bologna under Martinus Gosia. More colloquially known as Roger of Piacenza.  Currently in Rome.
William de Hauteville: Current Norman King of Sicily, and the only living son of Roger II.  Formerly excommunicated.

*Anyone with an asterisk by their name is a fictional person invented for this game.  Even fictional persons, however, may be members of real historical dynasties that really controlled the territory they do in this game at this time.  Note that just because a character in this game is a real historical person does not mean their life or actions will unfold the same way as they did historically - this is, after all, alternative history.

Landed Titles

Signore: A lord; a noble land-holder.  The term comes from the Frankish seigneur (from the Latin senior, "elder") which was introduced to Italy by the Normans.  This is the lowest and most widespread title of nobility in Italy and the Papal States.  Minor signori of the countryside are sometimes called cattani.  Signori may also be referred to as "barons;" in Italy, the titles are generally interchangeable.
Count: A feudal lord ranking above a common signore.  The title is a very old one, originating from the Latin comes ("companion").  Some counts are basically signori with an honorary title, while some are powerful landowners who rule whole provinces.
Margrave: From the German markgraf, meaning "March-count."  Marches are usually territories presently or formerly on the borders of the Empire.
Duke: A high title of nobility.  The only current Duke in Italy is the Duke of Spoleto.  The term comes from the Latin dux, meaning "leader."  The title "Doge" (of Venice) comes from the same root.
Vicarius: A layman who administers a church-owned estate.  Though vicarius is not a title of nobility, some vicarii are quite independent and have managed to have their office made hereditary within their family; in this case, the vicarius is a signore in all but name.  The term means "deputy" in Latin and is the origin of the word "vicar."
Rector: A rector is a governor of a province or city within the Papal States.  Rectors are generally ecclesiastics like bishops or cardinals (the Rector of Rieti is an exception).

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« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 05:33:14 AM by Polycarp »
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Llum

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 06:11:01 PM »
Name: Fortis Calafatus
Age: 44
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 5
Orthodoxy: 7

Notes: Born 1108, son of Calafatus de Spino a minor noble who served as a mounted soldier in the First Crusade. De Spino lost part of his left hand in the Siege of Jerusalem, when he returned to Rome he retired to his country estates to raise horses and teach his sons to ride. Here Fortis learned the trade of knighthood and a fierce piety. When the Second Crusade was called Fortis was quick to answer the call and rode with his fellow Crusaders for four years.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 06:18:48 PM by Llum »

Mason

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 07:20:04 PM »
Name: Costa Oliveri
Age: 36
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 5
Orthodoxy: 6

Notes: Born in 1116 Costa is the youngest of 3 brothers. The oldest died on the walls of Jerusalem and the middle child, Galus was bought a position in the Church by their father; Galus is still in service to the church. Costa took over the family estate after his father died. Much of the family fortune is depleted, having funded the First Crusade and buying the position for Galus.

Costa is first and foremost a businessman, and is very good with the average citizen. He is known as the "Friend". (Amici?) He struggles with loyalty to the people of Rome, and loyalty to his older brother.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 07:23:52 PM by Sarisa »

Stargate525

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 07:24:16 PM »
Awesome to see you start one of these up again!

Name: Bernardo Simone di Fontane
Age: 33
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 6
Orthodoxy: 4

Notes: Born to a wealthy family outside of Rome, near Tre Fontane. A canny merchant and patron of the arts, he had little to do with the crusade besides selling weapons to the nobility who were going out to fight. He has little love for the papacy, but mostly takes issue with secular disagreements; his doctrine is lax but sound.
My Setting: Dilandri, The World of Five
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LD

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 08:27:12 PM »
Was the population really so low in 1152? I recall it declined from its near 1 million before its period of constant sacking; but I did not think it declined hat much(!) Shouldn't the population be more around 200,000?

I'm still unclear how resources are divided among the players and balanced; that is, whether the GM simulates things ahead of time and we react or if we create the conflict.

I can't commit to doing much, but I'm willing to give this a try for however long it goes. Sadly these games seem to peter out rather fast. I hope to enjoy it while it lasts :)

OOC
Vittorio Manzinni
Age: 60
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 6
Orthodoxy: 4

Notes: 1092-xx. The half-Sicilian, half-Roman glass and lumber merchant Manzinni is renowned for his unorthodox practice of importing glassware, woolen fabrics, linens and roots from the Fatimids (ongoing) and lumber importation from the Levant during the reign of his crusading commander Baldwin II (1118-1131), until his ships mysteriously mutinied during Falk's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulk,_King_of_Jerusalem regency--he blames Melisande rather than Falk for those circumstances.

At one time, when trade was running well, he was good friends with his cousin-in-law Roger II of Sicily, for better or worse as far as politics in Rome are concerned.

He is bitter, having seen his fortunes decline after the subsequent ascendancy of Falk, Melisende, and Baldwin III in Jerusalem. His major trade routes are quite controversial. He knows and everyone else knows that he is only in the Senate as a nod to their attempts to do honor to his in-law Roger of Sicily. Although he donates large amounts of gold to refurbish Churches in Rome, he is persona non grata with the Popes and is suspected of being a heretic. Despite his fears of being accused of heresy, he has his mansion decorated with Egyptian and Baghdadian arts and he covertly smokes hashish with dusky Sicilian ladies in his gardens at night.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 08:36:48 PM by Light Dragon »

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 10:28:30 PM »
Quote from: Light Dragon
Was the population really so low in 1152? I recall it declined from its near 1 million before its period of constant sacking; but I did not think it declined hat much(!) Shouldn't the population be more around 200,000?
I've never seen an estimate of Rome's population in the Middle Ages that exceeded 50,000 - and that's for the whole span of the era, not the 12th century in particular.  With foreign grain imports ended and all the aqueducts cut, there was no infrastructure to support the city's earlier population, and after the Empire's fall most of the people that remained left for more secure settlements in the hills.  The Plague of Justinian, incessant wars in Italy, and constant coastal raids by Saracens reduced the population even further.  That said, even at 30,000 Rome was among the largest cities in western Europe at the time, though dwarfed by Constantinople and many cities in the Muslim world.

Quote
I'm still unclear how resources are divided among the players and balanced; that is, whether the GM simulates things ahead of time and we react or if we create the conflict.
Regarding resources, there is a division between the resources of the players and the resources of the city.  A character's Wealth is only the resources of their own estate and/or business; this is not related to the economy of the city, though one could potentially influence the other.  At this point there is no "public" income or treasury, so anything that costs money will have to be paid for out of the pockets of Senators.

Regarding conflict, I would encourage players to make this a proactive game.  Ideally your characters will have goals and agendas that your actions will be based on.  Though "power" is pretty much everyone's goal, your specific idea to gain it might be to rebuild Rome's port city, reconcile the Senate with the Papacy, spread Arnoldist ideas throughout the land, conquer Latium for the glory of Rome, or even get so popular and influential as to have the citizens acclaim you as "Emperor."  Some of these goals, obviously, will involve more conflict with other players than other goals.  I encourage inter-player conflict; you are politicians, not adventurers, so having opponents within the Senate is perfectly sensible.

That said, there are challenges and events that I will throw at you and you will have to react to.  Some of these are long term challenges, like the Emperor's coming intervention in Italy; some of them are more immediate, like the fact that hostile nobles and Papal forces still control part of the city.  The list of "This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues" above will give you an idea as to what people are concerned about and what events might be coming to a head soon (that list will change each turn).  Resolving these popular issues favorably is a good way to increase your Popularity and Influence, but remember that what the people want is not necessarily the same thing as what's in the city's best interest.

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I can't commit to doing much, but I'm willing to give this a try for however long it goes. Sadly these games seem to peter out rather fast. I hope to enjoy it while it lasts :)

We all know plenty of games, whether forum, IRC, or IRL, that fold up and end before we'd like them to.  It happens often, and it often happens unexpectedly.  I can't control what may happen in the future, but I will say that my current intention is to run this as long as I have the players to do so, and I likewise hope that everyone participating will enjoy the game.

Regarding the game start, I think we'll formally begin on Wednesday if there are no objections.  I'll post a few letters and notices, then you'll be free to respond, discuss, and form plans before the update, which we'll tentatively schedule for a week from tomorrow.  New players are welcome to join at any time, whether before or after this formal start.

Consular elections are in the Autumn - that is, next turn.  For this one first turn, the interim Consuls are Fortis Calafatus as Consul for external affairs and Costa Oliveri as Consul for internal affairs (simply because Llum and Sarisa posted first :) ).
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LD

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 12:06:57 AM »
>>Regarding conflict, I would encourage players to make this a proactive game.  Ideally your characters will have goals and agendas that your actions will be based on.  Though "power" is pretty much everyone's goal, your specific idea to gain it might be to rebuild Rome's port city, reconcile the Senate with the Papacy, spread Arnoldist ideas throughout the land, conquer Latium for the glory of Rome, or even get so popular and influential as to have the citizens acclaim you as "Emperor."  Some of these goals, obviously, will involve more conflict with other players than other goals.  I encourage inter-player conflict; you are politicians, not adventurers, so having opponents within the Senate is perfectly sensible.

I like this, but do we just decide willy-nilly our opinions on these things? Would it be useful for us to either:

a. Answer a checklist survey of our opinions on certain issues and how they might help us in our quest for relevance? (This may be a poor idea because it would allow the other players to plot against us?)

b. Know ahead of time what goals might serve our personal interests (told by Polycarp?)

Without actual quantification of relative values of things, it's hard to plan... I don't necessarily advocate for firm numbers since those don't exist in the world at the time, but I'm finding it hard to see exactly what certain actions I can take and exactly what options are available. It may be more simple to see things once the game begins, but the options seem pretty unlimited.

Stargate525

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 12:14:07 AM »
Quote from: Light Dragon
Without actual quantification of relative values of things, it's hard to plan... I don't necessarily advocate for firm numbers since those don't exist in the world at the time, but I'm finding it hard to see exactly what certain actions I can take and exactly what options are available. It may be more simple to see things once the game begins, but the options seem pretty unlimited.
If it's anything like Poly's last (awesome) game, that's kinda the idea. I won't mind saying that I have the long-term goal of having all of the Mediterranean back to singing 'Rome, Rome uber alles.' 
My Setting: Dilandri, The World of Five
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Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 02:48:54 AM »
Quote from: Light Dragon
Without actual quantification of relative values of things, it's hard to plan... I don't necessarily advocate for firm numbers since those don't exist in the world at the time, but I'm finding it hard to see exactly what certain actions I can take and exactly what options are available. It may be more simple to see things once the game begins, but the options seem pretty unlimited.

They are unlimited in the sense that I will consider any order you give me; they are not unlimited in the sense that some orders may be beyond your means, ability, or technology to accomplish.  Let me give you some examples of how an order might be made.

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I hope that's been of some value.  Remember:
  • Put everything you do in your OOC orders.
  • If you have a spending limit for a project, note it; if you aren't sure how to tackle a big project, make a request in your orders ("find out how much it would cost to...")
  • Orders may benefit from adding IC material, like speeches; though giving a speech isn't guaranteed to make a positive difference, adding IC material will never make things worse.
  • Put in as many details as you think you need in your orders.  Though I don't encourage you to be needlessly wordy, I will never penalize you for too much detail or too many suggestions.  If your idea to cut costs or raise your influence doesn't work, it just doesn't work - move on, try something else next time.
  • Seek allies when possible.  This is a cooperative game and you'll benefit from getting others in on your plans, whether it's PCs or NPCs.  If you do favors for people or groups, they'll be inclined to help you with your goals later.
  • Think laterally.  I try to reward creativity as long as it doesn't become anachronistic or fantastic.  As I've said, I will consider any order you make.  Put yourself in your character's place and consider how he would approach a goal.

In my experience with World at Dawn, the previous forum game similar to this, I observed another important rule - when in doubt, write a letter. I can't speak for other PCs, of course, but a great way to get yourself involved and find plot hooks is to just start talking.  Have Vittorio send a note to King Roger telling him about the dire situation you're in, or write the Republic of Pisa and ask them if they'd give you aid or resources in exchange for trading rights or other favors.  Write another PC and tell him you'll give him your vote for Consul if he does this little favor for you.  Send a letter to the Colonna family holed up in their estates and see if they'll negotiate.  Look at the list of important popular issues, pick one that has your character's interest, and write to someone who's involved in that issue.  Anyone you write to in Latium will generally respond in the same turn, and I don't mind answering lots of IC mail, so there's no reason not to do it.

Regarding metagaming - if a letter isn't addressed to your character, your character doesn't know about it, period.  I have a very high opinion of the people on the CBG and I trust them not to abuse the forum format to metagame.  That said, we can't always help ourselves, and I realize it may be necessary to conduct some business by PM - this is fine, but whenever something can be in the thread, it should be in the thread.  Most things you do won't be secret anyway - rumors are the fastest moving thing in medieval Rome, and any business you conduct that's not heavily concealed is probably going to get out.

I'll end this with the same quote I started the World at Dawn with, pulled from another game like this run by another GM (this particular game was about nations rather than people):
Quote
And here's the most important part--we're working together, not against each other. Now, I'll frequently decide that "working together" means me throwing a nasty NPC horde at you, or some thoroughly unfortunate internal event, and you'll maybe occasionally decide "working together" means invading your fellow players or otherwise perpetrating dishonorable deeds (tsk tsk)--and that's well and good. The point is that this isn't like the adversarial court system, where each side throws the best they've got out there and let's the conflict sort out whose right. Rather, give some and take some. You don't always have to be the best ruler for your nation. Sometimes losing gives your experience some flavor. In summary, you don't just decide which way to trim the sails and crank the wheel, you also get to choose which way the ship sails (and I'll keep changing the way the wind blows to keep things surprising!).
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"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

LD

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 06:06:10 PM »
Ok. That explanation helps. It seems that the game is set up like the NSDM, National Security Decisionmaking game. The most useful thing you stated (after the involved blow by blow example of play) is that we are working together.

>>The point is that this isn't like the adversarial court system, where each side throws the best they've got out there and let's the conflict sort out whose right.

I did not understand that originally and that makes me more comfortable with how things are being laid out by you.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 06:07:58 PM by Light Dragon »

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 11:04:52 PM »
Yes, I really should have stated that in the first post like I did in World at Dawn... but I'm glad I was able to clarify things for you!

I'm working on a better version of a map of Italy.  When it's done, or at least done enough, I'll post it and we'll have our official start.  That may be today or tomorrow.
The Clockwork Jungle (wiki | thread)
"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 04:07:00 AM »
The new Italy map is up and looking spiffy though photobucket resized it a bit - I'll try and work on that later fixed.  The borders on the Latium and Italy maps don't quite match up, but that shouldn't matter right now and it will be fixed in the next update.  With that accomplished, we are ready to begin... the current deadline for orders is Thursday, February 2nd.  If you need more time beyond this deadline, send me a PM.

Edit: Just added a short description of the four major Roman families in the History and Background section (Frangipani, Tusculani, Pierleoni, Colonna).

IC: Arnold of Brescia preaches to a great crowd
Faithful flock of the Lord, those of you who fear God, rejoice, for in His wisdom He has empowered us to chase the false Pope and his thieving, lecherous, gluttonous officers from this holy city, as Christ chased the moneychangers from His Father’s temple!  Let Rome rule Rome, and let the humble do the Lord’s work, for no sacrament has power when given by a priest with rings on his fingers and gold in his coffers!  Men of God must seek the Kingdom of God, not rule the Kingdom of Men and enrich themselves from it.  Did not the Lord say, render under Caesar what is Caesar’s?  Then let us cease to give the wealth of Rome to false clergymen!  Let us not stop at a mere deposition of the insolent Eugene and the creation of a Roman Senate, but let there be a Roman Caesar as well!

An unruly mob of poor Romans, men and women alike, cries out in support of the monk…

IC: A Letter to the Senate
Abandon this madness at once!  All men of Rome know that I have served its people with my life, and yet I and other patriotic Senators have been thrown out for speaking the obvious – that we are in no position to bargain with the Pope, with no allies of our own and these rumors that King Frederick will take his side.  You have gone too far, and will surely pay for it.  Control these mobs, allow my family and the other exiled nobles to return and reclaim their property, and I will do my best to negotiate with the Pope for some settlement that will save all our hides.

- Patrician Giordano Pierleoni

IC: A Letter to the Senate
Honored Senators,

I am writing you to assure you that my people have no part in the occupation of our community in Trastevere by the Pierleoni and their men.  Though the Pope has long been our kindly protector and we hope that he will soon be reconciled to you, we bear no ill will to the Senate and people of Rome.  We fear violence will come to our doorstep soon, and we hope that when it does the great Roman Senate will remember that we are faithfully observing the neutrality required of us.

- Shabbathai ben Moses, leader of the congregation of the Jews of Rome

IC: A messenger approaches the Consuls
I bear a message from my master, Oddone Frangipane, Lord of Tolfa:

“So I have heard the tide has turned against the poor Patrician, and he is out of favor with his very own Senate?  How quickly things change in our fair city!  My family and the Senate have never been close, as you know, but perhaps we may work out a deal.  See that Giordano Pierleoni is delivered to me, and I will withhold military support to the Pope and his forces.  Not one man nor beast from all of my family’s fiefs will aid Eugene if you do this favor for me.

Naturally, I will deny proposing any of this if you should be so unkind as to tell others of my very modest and sensible offer.”

This messenger destroys this message after reading it aloud to the Consuls.

Note: Speeches, like Arnold's, are "heard" by all PCs, as are letters to "the Senate."  Letters to the Senate can be replied to by any Senator, though it may be wise to discuss your answer before sending off different and potentially conflicting responses.  Letters to the Consuls are known only to whoever is Consul at the time, though they may choose to share the information with the other senatores consiliarii (the PCs).
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 07:14:28 AM by Polycarp »
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TheMeanestGuest

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 08:21:00 PM »
Name: Roberto Basile
Age: 40
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 6
Orthodoxy: 5

The son of a common fisherman, Roberto was born in Amalfi in 1112. He does not speak of his earliest years, and will mention Amalfi only as it concerns his own contribution to the investiture of the city by sea as a companion of George of Antioch. Coming to captain his own ship in service to Roger of Sicily, Roberto accumulated a substantial fortune interdicting Saracen vessels off the coast of Tunisia. Eventually tiring of life at sea, Roberto settled in the city of Rome in 1141, marrying the daughter of a local merchant. Since then he has mostly put his efforts towards the cultivation of his renowned sweet eating oranges. Initially taking up his senatorial duties with some reluctance, he has come to relish his involvement in politics as of late. Those who knew him in his days as ship's captain would recognize an all too familiar twinkle in his eye.
Let the scholar be dragged by the hook.