The Senate

(Rules In Progress)

The Senate writes the laws of the Empire; no other body can introduce laws. One or more Senators will introduce a bill and then argue on its behalf; arguments and rebuttals can go on for up to a week, the legal limits on debate time. Then the vote of the Senate is taken; with a two-thirds majority (of all Senators, not just those attending), the bill will be signed into law.

The Emperor may veto any law that the Senate approves. However, the Emperor may not introduce laws. The Senate needs the Emperor for approval of laws; the Emperor needs the Senate for creation of laws.

The Senate also has to approve any acts of aggression against foreign powers. The throne may use the military in any fashion within the boundaries of the Empire – but to attack another nation requires consent of the Senate.

Since the Emperor endows titles, and many noblemen choose the Senators who represent them, the Emperor exerts much influence on specific Senators.

There are two ways for a character to become a Senator. Generals and Guildmasters may be “promoted” (i.e. elected) to the Senate as a Junior Senator from one of the following cities (for the purposes of this game, there is no difference between Senators from different cities):

Port Lucinius
Raven Scarp
Tel Akbir
Thyatis (City)

Each city may have 2 elected Senators each. This allows for a total of 20 elected Senators. In the extremely unlikely event that more player-character Senate positions are needed, more areas will be detailed.

Dukes and counts may also choose Senators (one each). However, as will be seen, choosing a character with little personal influence as a Senator is almost a death-sentence…unless that character is extremely well connected to powerful and influential friends.

No Senator, while in office, may hold a position in a Ministry, a military unit, or a fighting order. Any such positions must be abandoned upon being elected.

Each month, Senators may be required to spend time in the Senate Building. This great building has a central debate-hall that seats 300 Senators and guests near the floor, and 1,200 spectators (when such are allowed) in the balconies. The building also houses great numbers of small offices – one three-room office for every Senator in the Empire.

A Junior Senator must spend two weeks, a regular Senator must spend one week, and a Senior Senator need not spend any time at all in the Senate Building, as the week-to-week business can be accomplished through servants and lackeys. The Speaker of the Senate must again spend two weeks per month performing the duties of his position.

Minimum Social Level Monthly Pay Monthly Status
Junior Senator 6 30 8
Senator 8 35 9
Senior Senator 10 40 10
Speaker of the Senate 12 50 20

Every season for a Senator is like being on an Adventure (remember, the lower the modifier, the more likely the event will occur):

Assassination Attempted Sung by the Bards Promotion Bribes and Kickbacks
Junior Senator +3 0 -1 -4
Senator +4 0 0 -5
Senior Senator +5 0 0 -6

All Senior Senators roll for “promotion” only after the summer season. If more than one character makes a successful roll, the character with the lowest modified (in case Influence is used) roll is elected. If there is a tie, the character with the highest Social Level wins. If there is also a tie for Social Level, one of the characters may step aside in favor of the other. If neither steps aside, a duel must be fought.

Whoever is elected will serve as the Senate Speaker for one year. No character may ever become the Senate Speaker permanently. Since the Speaker does not roll on the above chart (being swamped with bureaucratic planning, writing, rewriting, ruling on procedural issues, etc.), thus there is no opportunity for “promotion” (and a severe reduction in the ability to accept bribes and kickbacks – but then again, the Speaker is immune from Assassination Attempts, unless a duel is fought during his term in office). Since a character cannot become the Speaker except by “promotion,” no character will ever be Speaker for more than one year in a row.

The Senate

Thyatis Engarde! sbwilson