Thursday, July 6, 2017

Planetary Governments of the Alliance

As I wrote the Alliance, it became clear that the divide between planets and the aristocracy was a crucial element of the political landscape of the Alliance.  On a particular world, one faced the military and law enforcement of a planetary body, but that might technically fall under the purview of an interstellar aristocracy, and certainly off-world, one faced the naval power of the aristocracy.  So for the next couple of weeks, I want to stop and take a look at the sorts of worlds that exist within the Alliance, which will be a fairly generic exploration (given that any world that serves the Alliance could just as easily fall under the sway of the Empire, or be independent).  Today, we'll kick off this little series with Planetary Governments themselves.

Planetary Governments

Unlike the Empire, which at most allows the fiction of self-rule, the Alliance expects its member worlds to govern themselves. The Senate, after all, only concerns itself with how members conduct business with one another, and how they present a unified front to the rest of the Galaxy. When it comes to taxation, law enforcement and defense, the Alliance expects each world to contribute on their own.

As a result, each world within the Alliance has their own government, their own agendas and their own needs. In practice, these tend to be subordinate to the needs and desires of corporations and, especially, the aristocracy, but each world has its own representation and some especially wealthy and powerful worlds have considerable pull.

While this document deals primarily with the worlds of the Alliance, one can use it as a template for any independent world.

Agendas of Planetary Governments

Planetary governments come in all shapes and sizes; see “Game Worlds” GURPS Campaigns for ideas. The Alliance tends to be choosy about what worlds it allows into its fold, as it wants to ensure that the Alliance retains a certain culture that benefits its pro-corporate, pro-aristocratic policies. Thus, most worlds tend to fall into one of the following categories:

Feudal: Many Alliance worlds are rules directly by the nobility of the Alliance. While those nobles have representation via the representatives sent to the Senate via their house, they might also have representatives from their world. Typically, the aristocrat appoints his Senators directly, and often appoints himself Senator, in which case he serves in the Chamber of Lords (this is a common way for a particularly powerful house to pack the Senate with more and more of its members). Such worlds tend to be CR 4.

Monarchies: The Alliance absolutely recognizes the prestige of aristocracy and power and absolutely accepts the idea of a single ruler of a planet, but expects that this ruler’s power is tempered by custom and tradition. Monarchies in the Alliance tend to be under the nominal thumb of an aristocrat, creating the unusual situation where a king seems subordinate to a duke; generally, the aristocracy evades this awkwardness by allowing the world’s king to place his world under the “protection” of a powerful noble, thus maintaining this fiction of an independent king. On such worlds, the king typically appoints his senators (almost never himself), usually with the advice of his “protector.” Such worlds tend to be CR 4.

Representative Democracies: The Alliance prefers democracies that resemble itself. Many independent worlds have their own senates, where they allow the powerful and influential to have a voice on how the planet is governed. Such worlds tend not to be ruled directly by an aristocrat; if a noble has power over the world, it is merely ceremonial, where he attends the senatorial meetings and then signs off on the agreements they make. Such worlds elect their senators, and tend to be CR 3.

Corporate: Just as nobles rule some worlds directly, so too do corporations. These tend to be common on worlds that began as mining colonies and that grew into prosperous worlds, but still fall beneath the thumb of the corporation that began them. Just as nobles use these worlds to bolster their representation, so too do corporations. On such worlds, corporations appoint their senators (typically via a vote from the board, but it depends on how the corporation operates), and they tend to be CR 3.

The Alliance rarely has worlds with the following governments:

Anarchy: The Alliance demands that worlds have the ability to send proper senators, and to have some sort of rule of law. Anarchies, free-ports and pirate havens definitely don’t fit the bill.

Athenian Democracy: The Alliance takes a dim view on “mob rule.” From their perspective, the great unwashed masses overthrew the Federation and installed an Emperor, and they see such things as inevitable. To them, an Athenian democracy is little better than anarchy.

Dictatorship: While the Alliance accepts one man, one rule in the case of worlds, they want that rule tempered by custom and tradition. A single strong-man who does as he pleases looks too much like an Emperor, and the Alliance disdains such worlds.

Technocracy (Especially Cyberocracy): The Alliance, especially its corporations, relies on the service and subjugation of robots for its service. The idea of giving them power is abhorrent, and while a Technocracy might be run by engineers and scientists, the idea still gives the Alliance hives, unless such worlds are nominally ruled by a noble, a monarch, a corporation, etc.

Theocracy: The Alliance doesn’t mind religion or philosophy per se, but sees them as something that one uses in one’s life, not as means of government. They also remember the crusader states of True Communion and the failure of the Oracular Order when it was too close to the Alexian Emperor.

Tribal: While a chieftain looks a great deal like a monarch, if the Alliance finds a government “too primitive,” it may turn its nose up at it. Such worlds, if they come under the Alliance, do so under the “protection” of a noble, as a technically feudal world.

Planetary Government as Opposition

Planetary governments tend to vary in competence, from effectively helpless worlds with inept management (BAD -0) to highly competent worlds with tight security and excellent technology (BAD -5). Most worlds average at BAD -2, but may vary depending on what part of the government one is messing with (the postal service? BAD -0. The king? BAD -5!)

Serving a Planetary Government

Political Ranks

Those who rule a planet tend to have Political Rank 7 [35]. Their actual title varies: monarchies have kings or queens; republics have prime ministers, chancellors, presidents, etc; corporate worlds have executives, chairmen, chief commissioners, etc. If a nobleman has ceremonial powers over a a world, while real power resides with his “advisors,” then he receives Courtesy Political Rank 7 [7]. This also applies to ceremonial monarchs when true power resides in the hands of some other body (the Alliance finds this an eminently acceptable compromise, and is perfectly find with Tribal or Democratic or Dictatorial worlds provided they have a fiction of a noble or monarchial rule!).

Many such rulers also have Military Rank 7, Law Enforcement Rank 7, and so on, though not necessarily, as each system may be unique. For example, a Republic might have a distinct leader for each branch of its government, all arranged together in an executive committee!

Naturally, every Alliance world also has two Senators. See the Alliance Senate for more details!

Additional Ranks

All planets have some form of Administration. See the Imperial Ministry for suggestions. They typically also have Law Enforcement Ranks (see the Alliance Constabulary) and Military ranks (see the Alliance Militia), as the Alliance expects each world to enforce its own laws and to have its own defense.

Being a member of the Alliance also requires extensive interactions with other worlds and other members of the Alliance. Thus, diplomacy is a mainstay of all Alliance members! The Alliance forbids foreign policies divergent from its own, thus Alliance diplomacy is entirely internal. Such diplomats have Legal Immunity (Diplomatic; Within the Alliance Only) [4], and the following ranks:

6: Ambassador

5: Special Envoy

4: Envoy

3: Secretary

0-2: Attache or Assistant

Favors of Planetary Governments

The following favors apply primarily to political, administrative and diplomatic favors that someone within a planetary government, or someone who has a favor with a planetary government, can seek. Democratic governments might require a further Reaction Modifier to grant the favor, as political will and popular opinion might change day by day.

Entry Clearance (Pulling Rank page 13): Planetary governments can typically open up governmental buildings, or even military or law enforcement buildings for “inspections.” They can also grant access to the world itself, in case there’s some sort of legal trouble.

License (Pulling Rank page 13): Planets with high CR might grant members of the planetary government (or their friends) special exemptions from their laws. This usually applies to landing permits or the right to carry weapons.

False ID (Pulling Rank page 14): The Alliance recognizes all forms of identification put forth by their members (which often vary considerably). Thus, if a planet wishes to issue someone a false identification, few will question it.

Cash and Funding (Pulling Rank page 16): Planetary governments generally have access to considerable funds; they can certainly put some together to assist an adventurer, if necessary.

Planetary Government Character Considerations

Requirements: Characters serving as a planetary governor must have a minimum of Very Wealth (Wealthy) [30] and Political Rank 7 [35]; They usually have titles and additional status, but not necessarily. Those who merely serve a political government might have Diplomatic Rank, Administrative rank, etc.

A Favor from a Planetary Governer is worth 7 points. A planetary government as a Patron is worth 25 points as a base and, as an Enemy, is worth -30 points.

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