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Thread: An Early American Setting - WIP Title

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    Lucius Malfoy's Avatar Pure-Blood
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    Default An Early American Setting - WIP Title

    Setting Information
    The year is 1789. America has won its independence and endured its first rebellion. The first President has been elected this year and the country rejoices, yet there is much to do. America is without a standing military and the Bill of Rights is undergoing debate and discussion among the various politicians. Britain is still lingering upon the continent with Spain and France also possible threats. France is enduring a period of instability, which has temporarily albeited, in the wake of the constitutional monarchy imposed upon the King by the people. America must look to its shores to build itself up or risk losing its independence to more powerful neighbors. It must look West to expand its boundaries, secure its vital trade routes, and seek to keep any possible enemies at bay.

    1789 is to be a vital year for this young country.

    Maps - credit to Pericles of Athens

    Political Map

    Economy Map
    Last edited by Lucius Malfoy; August 11, 2019 at 01:22 PM.

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    Default Re: An Early American Setting - WIP Title

    Dynamic Foreign System
    Dynamic Foreign System (aka DFS)

    Throwing a pebble into a pool creates a ripple effect. So, too, does changing history in one country, even if it’s in a seemingly inconsequential way at first. Or, as the old poem goes:

    “For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

    In past games, history outside of the country being played would flow on rails, following the same linear paths it did in our reality. No longer! The Dynamic Foreign System intends to provide at least a little variability in how history unfolds from the moment the game starts. Every year, mods will select a number of major historical events that year which plausibly could’ve gone another way, determine those other ways and their likely short to medium-term consequences, and roll a die with as many faces as there are outcomes to determine what happens.

    For example, let us take the Flight to Varennes. There could be at least two other outcomes to King Louis and his family trying to flee the country in addition to the historical one, them getting caught: perhaps he succeeds, or perhaps he doesn’t try at all. Then we, the mods, will take a 1d6 and assign outcomes to each value:

    1-2, historical outcome. 3-4, Louis escapes successfully. 5-6, Louis doesn’t try at all.

    The historical outcome would produce historical consequences, ie. Louis and the royal family discredit themselves badly, get confined to the Tuileries Palace and are probably doomed in the long run (though he might be able to avoid getting condemned to death by vote at a later event subject to the DFS).

    If he escapes, it could make him into a lightning rod for royalist resistance, or still discredit him and actually damage the royalist cause more by leaving them stuck with a hated figurehead instead of a royal martyr - subject to more rolls.

    And if he doesn’t try to flee at all, thereby retaining popularity and credibility, perhaps the French Revolutionary Wars peter out more quickly and the Bourbon constitutional monarchy will survive. This is just one example out of many.

    We encourage players to suggest major historical events to be subjected to DFS rolls, as well. It is not guaranteed that the mod team will tackle them all, obviously - too many rolls and too much time lost - but the most interesting (not necessarily the ‘biggest’ events, either) will certainly be taken under consideration for their own rolls, to further spice up and alter our timeline from reality’s.

    Electoral Rules
    Electoral Rules - Presidency
    The United States of America are, presently at least, a constitutional representative democracy. The President of the Union is not directly elected by the voters, but rather by an Electoral College representing the Union's constituent states. Per Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, each state's legislature appoints a number of electors (who then vote for the President in the stead of the people they represent) equal to the combined number of their Senators and Representatives in Congress; the former is fixed at two per state, but the latter changes to represent the state's population every ten years.

    To win the election, a presidential candidate must secure a simple majority (50%) of the Electoral College; they do not have to win the highest popular vote, or even the most states. States must however have a minimum of one elector.

    Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates must be nominated by a party no later than the end of Monday on an election week (in-game year). That means a party's players should convene and begin debating on nominations ideally a week in advance. When the debate is over or time runs out, player characters need only vote for who the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of their party; by default a simple majority will do, although the players are free to make their party election as complicated as they'd like.

    Per Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution, all presidential candidates must be at least 35 years old and be a natural-born citizen of the United States - or a citizen of the United States when the Constitution was adopted, as a sort of grandfather clause for the Founding Fathers, who were technically born in the British Empire rather than in the United States - who has also resided for at least the past 14 years on American soil in order to qualify for the election at all. It is also, to put it mildly, exceedingly unlikely for any candidate who isn't a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant to prevail at this point in the young nation's history.

    At present, these are the states' electoral votes:
    Massachussets - 16
    New Hampshire - 6
    Connecticut - 9
    Rhode Island - 4
    New York - 12
    Pennsylvania - 15
    New Jersey - 7
    Delaware - 3
    Maryland - 8
    Virginia - 21
    North Carolina - 12
    South Carolina - 8
    Georgia - 4

    The people of each state naturally have their own priorities, often quite different from those of other states. Presidential candidates will need to announce stances on an assortment of issues important to the states, which affects the likelihood that that state's people (and, by extension, the electors representing them) will vote for them. They must first choose whether they agree or disagree with the issue, then rate the strength of their agreement/disagreement from 1 to 5. The states too will rank their stance of agreement/disagreement from 1-5, demonstrating how major each state thinks each issue is.

    On election day, the presidential candidate's points in an issue are multiplied by the state's points; if they disagree on an issue, then the state's points in that issue become negative in this equation. This must be done for every issue, and whichever candidate has the highest number of points after all issues have been calculated wins the state.

    For example: Let us say there are three issues in contention this election - abolition, tariffs, and war with Britain. Candidates A and B must select whether they agree or disagree on these issues, then rank their agreement/disagreement from 1-5. Let's say these are their final stances:

    Candidate A:
    Abolition: Agree - 5 (this is an urgent priority for the candidate and something they believe in deeply)
    Tariffs: Agree - 3 (this is a middling priority for the candidate)
    War with Britain: Disagree - 2 (this is something the candidate doesn't like)

    Candidate B:
    Abolition: Disagree - 5
    Tariffs: Disagree - 4 (this is something the candidate is firmly opposed to)
    War with Britain: Agree - 4

    Now, for this example, let us suppose this election takes place in Massachussetts, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, and their stances on the issues are thus:

    Massachussetts:
    Abolition: Agree - 5
    Tariffs: Agree - 4
    War with Britain: Disagree - 5

    Pennsylvania:
    Abolition: Agree - 2
    Tariffs: Disagree - 3
    War with Britain: Disagree - 1 (this is a very low priority for the state)

    South Carolina:
    Abolition: Disagree - 5
    Tariffs: Disagree - 4
    War with Britain: Agree - 5

    On election day, the chips fall thusly:

    Massachussetts:
    Candidate A: 47 points (5X5 on abolition = 25, 3X4 on tariffs = 12, 2X5 on war = 10)
    Candidate B: -61 points (5X-5 on abolition = -25, 4X-4 on tariffs = -16, 5X-4 on war = -20)

    Result: Landslide win for Candidate A.

    Pennsylvania:
    Candidate A: 3 points (5X2 on abolition = 10, 3X-3 on tariffs = -9, 2X1 on war = 2)
    Candidate B: -2 points (5X-2 on abolition = -10, 4X3 on tariffs = 12, 4X-1 on war = -4)

    Result: Candidate A wins, but his margin of victory isn't nearly as overwhelming as it was in MA.

    South Carolina:
    Candidate A: -47 points (5X-5 on abolition = -25, 3X-4 on tariffs = -12, 2X-5 on war = -10)
    Candidate B: 61 points (5X5 on abolition = 25, 4X4 on tariffs = 16, 5X4 on war = 20)

    Result: Landslide win for Candidate B.

    Having won Massachussets and Pennsylvania, Candidate A wins the election with 31 electoral votes or EVs (MA - 16 + PA - 15) to Candidate B's 8 from SC.

    But wait! The gap between candidates wasn't as bad in Pennsylvania as it was in MA and SC. That means PA is what we call a 'swing state', which can plausibly be pulled either way with a bit more effort. Every $1,000 a candidate spends on campaigning within a state gives him +1 point for the election day count. That means that if Candidate B had spent $6,000 on Pennsylvania, he would have won the state by one point, unless of course Candidate A also spends on the state to maintain & widen the gap between them.

    If there are more than two candidates running, whoever has the highest number of points still wins. In the event that both candidates' # of points is tied in a state, a moderator must roll a simple six-sided die: 1-3 one candidate wins, 4-6 the other wins instead. If there are more than two candidates and they have somehow all gained exactly the same number of points, feel free to use a bigger die.

    Since the 12th Amendment doesn't exist yet, although parties must still nominate a vice-presidential candidate, Vice-Presidents are not voted for together with the top half of their ticket (the presidential candidate), but elected separately in a parallel electoral process. Essentially, this means that until the 12th Amendment (or something like it) is ratified, election years actually have two major elections running concurrently: one for POTUS, one for VPOTUS. The vice-presidential election follows the exact same rules as the presidential one. This means that theoretically, a President can end up having to serve alongside a Vice-President from another party.

    Since the 22nd Amendment also doesn't exist yet, there are presently no term limits on the Presidency. A President can run for the highest office in the land as many times as he wants, the only thing keeping him from it is the will of the people and his party; in fact, even the customary precedent for two terms doesn't exist yet either.

    Moderators may add bonuses or maluses to presidential candidates depending on that year's events. For example, a President who has lost a major war or is presiding over an economic depression can expect a steep uphill climb for re-election, as can whoever is chosen by his party to succeed him if he himself won't or can't run again.
    Electoral Rules - Congress
    Now, we have covered covers presidential and vice-presidential elections. But what about legislative elections? After all, in the United States separation of powers is a core tenet of the government. The legislature, Congress, is divided into two bodies, an upper house called the Senate and a lower house called the House of Representatives.

    Given the complexity and frequency of these elections, to save time and moderator energy, it will be assumed that player legislators will automatically stay in office until the player wants to retire the character, they die in office, etc.

    There exist only two Senators per state, no more, no less (until and unless altered by constitutional amendment). Senators serve for six-year terms and are not currently popularly elected, instead being appointed by state legislatures much like electors. Thus, each state will automatically select Senators based on how it and the existing parties compare on issues.

    Both parties' issue-points are calculated (points invested into agreement/disagreement on an issue that's in sync with the state are added, and where the party and the state AREN'T in sync the former's points are subtracted) and compared to the state's own tally of issue-points; if the party with the closest number of points does not exceed the state's own total and the party with the fewest points is still within 5 points of the state's total, then that state's Senators are split, with one each being from both parties.

    Otherwise, the party that comes closest to (or even exceeds) the state's total gets both of the state's Senators. In case of there being three or more parties, the 5-point rule only applies to the two parties closest to the state's issue-point total.

    Example: Parties A and B are contesting the Senate seats in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia.

    Party A:
    Abolition: Agree - 4
    Tariffs: Agree - 2
    War with Britain: Disagree - 3

    Party B:
    Abolition: Disagree - 5
    Tariffs: Disagree - 3
    War with Britain: Agree - 1

    And the states hold the following stances:

    Connecticut:
    Abolition: Agree - 5
    Tariffs: Agree - 4
    War with Britain: Disagree - 4

    New Jersey:
    Abolition: Disagree - 3
    Tariffs: Agree - 3
    War with Britain: Disagree - 2

    Virginia:
    Abolition: Disagree - 4
    Tariffs: Disagree - 5
    War with Britain: Agree - 3

    In Connecticut, Party A easily attains both Senate seats (CT has a total of 13 points; Party A has a total of 9 points; and Party B has a total of -7). In New Jersey, each party gets a Senator (NJ has a total of 8 points; Party A has 1; Party B also has 1). In Virginia, Party B takes both Senators (VA has 12 points; Party A has -9; Party B has 9).

    Player Senators count toward a state's Senate limit, so if there are already two player Senators present from any state, that state would never need its elections calculated unless one of the players drops their Senator.

    ===============

    Members of the House are popularly elected every two years and apportioned by population at every decennial census to match its share of the national population, though each state is guaranteed at least one Representative. If you need an easy way to calculate the number of House seats a state has, just take the number of EVs they have and subtract two (representing the two Senators).

    Mechanically, party seats in the House are to be calculated thus: for every issue on which they agree with the state's own stance, multiply the party's issue-points by the state's, then add each result and convert the total to a percentage. The number you are left with corresponds to their percentage of that given state's Representatives; in case you end up with a decimal, round up (if it is .5 or higher) or down (if it is .4 or lower).

    Once all parties have been subjected to this process, if the total of each party's percentage isn't 100%, the holders of any remaining seats are to be decided by a moderator's dice rolls.

    Taking the above parties and states into account, and assigning 14 seats to Massachussetts (16 - 2), 5 to New Jersey (7 - 2), and 19 to Virginia (21 - 2):

    In Connecticut, Party A is guaranteed a minimum of 40% of the seats (4X5 + 2X4 + 3X4 = 40 X 0.01 = 0.4, 40%), or 6 seats (0.4 X 14 = 5.6, round up to 6). Party B gets 0 by default, since they don't agree with the people of Connecticut on any issue. This leaves 8 seats for a mod to roll for, which is also the only way Party B can get seats here.

    In New Jersey, Party A is guaranteed a minimum of 12% of the seats (Tariffs: 2X3 + War: 3X2 = 12 X 0.01 = 0.12, 12%) or 1 seat (0.12 X 5 = 0.6, round up to 1). Party B gets a guaranteed minimum of 15% (Abolition: 5X3 = 15 X 0.01 = 0.15, 15%) or 1 seat (0.15 X 5 = 0.75, round up to 1). This leaves 3 seats for a mod to roll for.

    In Virginia, Party A is guaranteed no seats due to disagreeing with the state's people on all issues. Party B is guaranteed a minimum of 38% of the seats (Abolition: 5X4 + Tariffs: 3X5 + War: 1X3 = 38 X 0.01 = 0.38, 38%) or 7 seats (0.38 X 19 = 7.2, round down to 7). That leaves 12 seats for a mod to roll for, which is also the only way Party A can get seats here.

    Player-controlled members of the House also contribute to their state's limited number of Representatives, much like player Senators.
    Electoral Rules - Governors
    In this period of American history, the federal government was still weak, and state governors wielded vastly more power and influence than they do today (which is still not inconsiderable, but a great deal less than they did at the nation's dawn). Besides being their state's chief executive and thus being the one who gets to make appointments throughout the state and to sign or withhold a signature from laws passed by his state's legislature, state Governors enjoy the exclusive right to call up (or not call) their state's militia for any reason: the federal government can call on them to mobilize the militia, but the Governor can simply say 'no' even if there's a major war on.

    Governors are elected for 4-year terms outside of New Hampshire, which elects them for 2-year terms instead. No state presently has term limits for Governors. If a player Governor is not challenged by another player, then to cut down on moderator work and yet another election, it will be assumed that they automatically win re-election unless something so grave that it requires the mods to rule otherwise has occurred (ex. a major scandal has been unveiled, or the Governor's party just lost a war and crashed the economy disastrously).

    The process of a gubernatorial election is identical to that of the presidential election, just downsized to one state. States and candidates must have selected a stance (represented on a 1-5 point scale) on various issues that are relevant in that election year. On election day, the gubernatorial candidate's points in an issue are multiplied by the state's points; if they disagree on an issue, then the state's points in that issue become negative in this equation. This must be done for every issue, and whichever candidate has the highest number of points after all issues have been calculated wins the state.

    For example: Let us say there are three issues in contention this election - abolition, tariffs, and war with Britain. Candidates A and B must select whether they agree or disagree on these issues, then rank their agreement/disagreement from 1-5. Let's say these are their final stances:

    Candidate A:
    Abolition: Agree - 5
    Tariffs: Agree - 3
    War with Britain: Disagree - 2

    Candidate B:
    Abolition: Disagree - 5
    Tariffs: Disagree - 4
    War with Britain: Agree - 4

    Now, for this example, let us suppose this election takes place in Pennsylvania, and their stances on the issues are thus:

    Pennsylvania:
    Abolition: Agree - 2
    Tariffs: Disagree - 3
    War with Britain: Disagree - 1 (this is a very low priority for the state)

    On election day, the chips fall thusly:

    Pennsylvania:
    Candidate A: 3 points (5X2 on abolition = 10, 3X-3 on tariffs = -9, 2X1 on war = 2)
    Candidate B: -2 points (5X-2 on abolition = -10, 4X3 on tariffs = 12, 4X-1 on war = -4)

    Result: Candidate A wins, but his margin of victory isn't overwhelming. If Candidate B invests enough money into his gubernatorial campaign, he could defeat Candidate A.

    Economy Rules
    Federal Economy
    Instead of using province-by-province income calculations, the United States economy will be represented in two ways: taxation, and trade. Taxation is straightforward: Congress can set taxes (ideally just on products like whiskey, an income tax at this stage in history would be unpopular to the point of being impractical), and moderators will determine the amount of money the tax brings in - if we can’t directly find a source in history for the revenue the tax generates, then we’ll calculate it as best we can using our discretion. For example, if Congress votes to impose a house-tax in 1798 as it did historically, the tax will provide $2 million in annual revenue (as it did in history).

    Of course, imposing stiff taxation, and sometimes any tax at all if it’s on the people in general or on critical goods, can spark unrest or even open rebellion. Conversely, an administration or party that doesn’t tax the American people heavily, or at all, or which reinvests its tax funds in infrastructure (for example, building a National Road to better connect East and West, which was historically done between 1811 and 1837) will enjoy greater odds of retaining power in the next elections.

    Trade is slightly different, and provides a more predictable income. America can sign trade agreements with other nations that generate a fixed amount of money every turn, subject to annual fluctuations from events such as wars or stock-market crashes. The amount of money made from trading with another country can then be tariffed, with the tariff % translating to the amount of $ the US government is collecting off the trade. For example, if trade with Britain generates $500 million in revenue, then a tariff of 10% generates $50 million in income for the US government.

    Naturally, foreign governments will not take kindly to being tariffed heavily and may retaliate in several ways. They may impose their own tariffs on American trade, reducing the value of the trade connection and thus the amount of money the US gov’t gets out of its own tariffs, or break the trade agreement off altogether; they may opt to frustrate American interests abroad by aiding America’s enemies, or meddle in American internal affairs by supporting opponents of the incumbent administration; or they might even attack America if the trade connection is sufficiently valuable and the American military isn’t strong enough to deter them.
    State Economy
    Economy - State Level

    States draw income from their counties - provinces on a map - in a manner somewhat similar to the estate system used in the Wars of the Roses and My Kingdom For A Horse RPGs. The combined revenue from all of a state’s constituent counties (representing every cent the populations in those counties make annually) must then be taxed by the state Governor: for example, in a state where the total revenue of the state’s counties come up to $10,000,000 and the Governor sets a tax of 10%, the state’s final income is $1,000,000 (10 million X 0.1, or 10%).

    There is no way to upgrade a county’s economic tier outside of building Public Works.

    The four tiers of county income are:

    Poor (Red) = $15,000
    Mediocre (Orange) = $30,000
    Prosperous (Green) = $50,000
    Rich (Dark Green) = $75,000

    The following is the present economic map of America, created by Pericles of Athens: Economy Map
    Personal Economy
    The United States is not a medieval European feudal society (not even in the South), so one cannot simply sit around collecting estates represented as provinces on a map to make money, as had been done in the WOTR games. Instead, characters make money via an Economic Profession.

    Each family will choose an economic path that will grant money and boons via upgrading it. The paths are Mercantile, Plantation, and Yeoman Farming, representing the main means of generating income in the North, South and West respectively. Each branch will have a few steps before the next stage is unlocked, bringing forth a bonus for achievement.


    Upgrades can be purchased once per year.


    Mercantile
    Tier 1: 0
    Unlocks Income of $2,500/year


    Tier 2: $4,000
    Unlocks Income of $5,000/year


    Tier 3: $8,000
    Unlocks Income of $9,000/year


    Tier 4: $15,000
    Unlocks Income of $20,000/year and +1 Wealth


    Tier 5: $25,000
    Unlocks Income of $30,000/year and a yearly roll for additional merchant income (roll as high as 5,000 and as low as 1,000. Rounded to the nearest hundredth.)


    Plantation
    Tier 1: 0
    Unlocks Income of $4,000/year


    Tier 2: $5,000
    Unlocks Income of $7,500/year


    Tier 3: $10,000
    Unlocks Income of $10,000/year


    Tier 4: $15,000
    Unlocks Income of $12,000 and +1 Charisma


    Tier 5: $20,000
    Unlocks Income of $25,000/year and a yearly roll for additional income (roll as high as 15,000 and as low as 1,000. Rounded to the nearest hundredth.)


    Yeoman Farming
    Tier 1: 0
    Unlocks Income of $1,500/year


    Tier 2: $3,000
    Unlocks Income of $4,000/year


    Tier 3: $6,000
    Unlocks Income of $8,000/year


    Tier 4: $12,000
    Unlocks Income of $15,000 and +1 Wealth


    Tier 5: $15,000
    Unlocks Income of $20,000, +1 Charisma and a yearly roll for additional income (roll as high as 10,000 and as low as 1,000. Rounded to the nearest hundredth.)


    Note: To reduce moderator workload and streamline the RP, we encourage players who have reached Tier 5 to roll their own annual bonuses on Orokos. All it requires is that you register an account, which is completely free: this done, you can get straight to rolling a die with the number equivalent to the high end of your income tree’s bonus range (1d5 for Merchants, 1d15 for planters, 1d10 for yeomen). Multiply the result by 1,000 and you will have that year’s extra income, all without having to wait for a moderator to do this for you.


    Since the history of your rolls will be publicly viewable, cheating is not possible under this system. Orokos can be found here: https://orokos.com/


    Player characters can also further boost their income by joining the US Armed Forces and receiving an officer’s commission. On land Captains, who command individual companies, make a default of $240/year; Colonels, commanding regiments, make $312; and Generals, commanding entire armies, make $600. PC officers’ income comes out of the US treasury, and can be adjusted by Congress. At sea, PCs can only be commissioned as Naval Captains with command over a single ship, who make $312 like a Colonel, and Admirals with fleet command who make $600, like a General.


    ​More to come!
    Last edited by Lucius Malfoy; August 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM.

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    Lucius Malfoy's Avatar Pure-Blood
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    Default Re: An Early American Setting - WIP Title

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