The Fourteenth Dynasty of Josh
21 February 2021 - 15 March 2021
The Most Serene Republic. La Serenisimma, the Jewel of the Adriatic, Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. The seat of the Doge, but the Doge is dead.
Most of the Doge’s Palace is silent, but the Chamber of the Great Council is alive. This room, one of the largest great halls in all of Europe, is densely decorated in gold molding and elaborate frescos - the work of Venetian masters like Bassano, Veronese, and Tintoretto. Those great works are today not visible behind the thronging mass of people.
Today is the convocation of the Mazor Consegio, the Council of Great Wise Men, the hereditory patriarchs of the ancient families of Venice summoned in accordance with their status as enshrined in Venice’s Libro d’Oro. The Great Council of Venice is ornately designed to prevent any one family or alliance of families from establishing a dominance, while also keeping too much power from the hands of the Doge, a task at which it has been successful for hundreds of years. Today, more than 2,000 artistocrats are present as electors. From their number, a lottery will be used to select 30 nominators, who will reduced by lot to 9; these 9 will then chose 40, and those 40 will be reduced by lot to 12; those 12 will chose 25, and the 25 will be reduced by lot to 9; those 9 then elect 45, which are then reduced by lot to 11; then the 11 chose 41, and those 41 elect one, the new Doge. It is a ludicrous system, designed to keep power in the hands of the nobility - but not any member of the nobility in particular - and it has worked for centuries.
Today, you are here to elect a Doge. Hopefully not yourself; the position of Doge is one of glory but no real power, and the ducal palace was too often merely a prison into which a cold and determined aristocracy could thrust any one of their own number who had the misfortune to incur their suspicion. But an empty dignitary under your control is better than one selected by your rival, and so: today you start mixing and jostling and scheming and shoring up their status, in the hope, knowledge and certainty that your power and the power of the Most Serene Republic will be intact when the day is done.
Throughout the ruleset, replace the term Emperor with Elector and Player with Doge. Set the Special Case rules Seasonal Downtime, Dormancy, Dynastic Distance and Dynastic Tracking to Active, leaving all others inactive, and set the page referred to in the rule Dynastic Tracking to be Chamber of the Great Council.
The following players were active at the start of the Dynasty:
Brendan, Bucky, Clucky, Darknight, Josh, Jumble, Kevan, pokes, Raven1207
And at the end:
Brendan, Bucky, Clucky, Cuddlebeam, Darknight, Josh, Jumble, Kevan, pokes, Raven1207, Zack
Posts of Interest
- One of the main ideas of this dynasty, as set out in Votes and Power, was that anybody could declare victory at any time, but success would be based (instead of merit) on the political heft of the declarer's coalition. Power and Heft were secretly tracked, with Electors not necessarily knowing their own values.
- A DoV could only be enacted if Electors with more than 50% of the total Power in the game voted FOR it. If a Secret Faction had enough power to make a successful DoV then Electors would be notified by the sound of opera drifting over the rooftops.
- To enable the cabal-building aspect, Electors had both Factions and Secret Factions which were based on Italian family names.
- Electors could form Proposta to join Secret Factions aggressively, forcing cabals to stay fluid.
- A mechanic existed for Electors to narc on their Secret Faction; it was repealed unused midway through the dynasty.
- On the subject of unused mechanics: the Winnower was a role that shifted from being chosen randomly to being elected, and was also never used, although the dynasty ended before it could be repealed.
- Secret information was occasionally divulged through periodic Masquerades, which revealed anonymised Political Power and secret factions.
- Electors had a value which tracked how overtly suspicious they were to the rest of the Court; initially Mistrust, this was later changed to Scandal. Having a high Scandal was bad; the Electors (initially individually, later based on their Faction) with the highest Scandal were inert for the purposes of contributing to a Victory cabal.
- Electors could make Rumours about each other, with the source and target anonymised; these were used to inflict Scandal on each other.
- Rumours were eventually liberalised so that the targets were revealed.
- Electors could be pursuing a Campaign to affect their stats between Masquerades.
- The original Campaigns rule contained a number of fun scams, some, many or all of which were either fixed, exacerbated or newly invented by a later comprehensive(?) fix.
- However, this was deemed to neuter the rule, so it was later repealed with some classic Brendan business that Kevan actually thought up and Brendan just took credit for along the way ).
- An attempt was made to define past actions as 'immutable gamestate', that could be referred to but not indirectly amended. It didn't succeed but was considered an important fix that be addressed again at a later date.
- Intradynastic hiatus was extended to cover the changes to the ruleset made by the Ascension Address itself.
- The first Masquerade
- The second Masquerade
- The third Masquerade
- The fourth Masquerade
- The fifth and final Masquerade
A rule change made it so that the Electors with the highest Scandal no longer had their Power count towards the total that individual Hefts were calculated from; this meant that the Hefts of all other players went up. This had the immediate effect of pushing the Giolitti Secret Faction (Clucky, Jumble and pokes) over the 50% threshold, as announced by the stirring aria of the prima donna.
Clucky raised a DoV for the Giolitti Faction to win, and Jumble and Pokes successfully voted it through. In selecting the winner, it was revealed that Kevan had also sneakily joined Giolitti overnight, having heard rumours that such a win may be imminent - and the dice roll went his way.
However, two issues emerged. The first was that the Doge's DICE1000 relied on rounding, and the rule didn't permit that smoothing of the odds; this claim failed on the discovery of the other technicality. Because Victory and Ascension was superceded dynastic rules for the dynasty, all of the victory actions were also dynastic actions, which could not be undertaken while in hiatus. Several fix CfJs ensued. In the end, the roll was upheld and Kevan became the new Emperor.
Post-dynastic commentary can be found here.