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 What We Know So Far - The Conclave

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Camillius

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PostSubject: What We Know So Far - The Conclave   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:58 pm

short answer.. very little.

But a little taste of what we might expect has appeared on FB from Andy Raff:

"The big success has been some excellent development work on the Conclave. The Archmagi had stalled a bit, but we've brought fresh eyes in and it's starting to take off. The Conclave feels a bit more like the Synod than the Senate - it has a set of powers it can wield rather than a more open remit to pass laws (currently these are called 'gambits' and there's more than a bit of a suggestion of gaming about the Conclave, in the way it formalises the politics of magicians). Partly it's about putting the magical resources of the Empire in the hands of the players to wield as they wish.

Membership is not free, but currently there are no plans to make it dependent on a personal resource ... well not exactly. I'll talk about that later when there's less chance of it triggering a OMG PD DESIGN FAIL NO CONTEXT HORROR thread. The first requirement you have to meet to be part of the Conclave, however, is likely to be that first you have to get to the meetings ... which is not as simple as it sounds (I'll talk about that later).

There's a couple of things we are reasonably confident about; that the conclave appoints a limited number of Archmagi who have specific roles that go beyond the ceremonial; that it is up to the conclave to determine which Eternals are considered allies or enemies of the Empire; and that ultimately while the Senate and the Synod may have their own ways of dealing with certain issues, it is up to the Conclave to decide if a magician is misusing their powers or not, and take the appropriate steps. While any number of people may have their own opinions, it is currently the Conclave who decides whether you overstepped the bounds of good-practice by throwing the CURSE OF DECREPITUDE on someone. I'll be interested to see if that element can be made to work.

What I like is that the Conclave is very much a political body. You don't get magical swoofs for being in the Conclave because magicians already have the most powerful tool they're going to wield - magic. The Archmagi don't gain super-fuckblammo-juice any more than (say) the Cardinals gain the ability to dictate where souls go after death or the Senators get the ability to randomly dictate law for their own amusement.

Another element that pushes the political feel is the existance of the orders. The orders serve as special-interest groups within the Conclave. You don't have to be in an order, but we anticipate that the ability of the orders to self-organise will make them powerful in the Conclave simply because it'll make the cat-herding easier. These aren't orders defined by their magical aporoach but their political agenda, and they're very much non-national organisations. In fact I can imagine members of the same coven gravitating towards different orders once it gets down to the nitty gritty.

There are six currently active orders which are very much designed as political parties (in a style that may be familiar to readers of Feist or players of the Lyzars at Maelstrom). They're defined much more by the uses they put magic to rather than the way they cast spells. The current orders on the tablethat we're discussing (and be aware names especially may change) include:

* "The Rod and Shield" which attracts magicians who think their magic should be used to reinforce armies and conquer barbarians.
* The "Golden Pyramid" are pushing magic as an economic force (and coincidentally can see a value in persuading their fellow magicians to recognise artisans as magicians);
* the "Celestial Arch" who think magicians make the best senators and that magicians should lead their fellows to a glorious future (while simulataneously leaving all pesky questions of the legality of magic use to the conclave, damn you Senators!), while their regular rivals in the "Sevenfold Path" wish magicians would think more about their souls - and that the Synod would get a sense of proportion where magic is concerned.
* The "Shuttered Lantern" attract magicians who think magic is the best espionage tool ever invented and ought to be used in service of the Empire whether the Empire likes it or not, and I think offer some extra potential for spying and doing dodgy deeds in the name of the greater food
* and then there's the weirdos of the "Unfettered Mind" who think magic is an end in itself and coincidentally wouldn't the world be so much cooler if it had more owlbears and jetcarsin it.

As always, the PCs are in charge here - and while we've got some basic sketches of the agendas and how they work I'm gleefully anticipating things like a bunch of Landskeepers taking over the Celestial Arch and gently pushing it's political agenda in the direction of making the Marches stronger ... until someone from Navarr notices and makes a play of their own. We're also discussing how formal membership needs to be, and how players make new orders - or dissolve old ones.

One thing we are reasonably certain about is that convocations of the Conclave, where gambits are made and decided upon, will take place off-field. There's an element of separation and secrecy to the Conclave that i think sets it apart from other political arenas. We're tryingt o design it to be literally "occult" - hidden, subtle, cunning - in a way that the Senate and the Synod are not.

Aaaaanyway. I could go on, not least about Moonbase Alpha (the Hall of Worlds) and our plans for it. But instead I am going to stop there and do some actual work. I'll hopefully have more suspiciously-horsey meat for you to chew over soon."

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Camillius

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PostSubject: Re: What We Know So Far - The Conclave   Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:56 pm

We now have a little more to go on:

http://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Imperial_Conclave

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