Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Rainy City Parliament

The following words were found on a damp handbill stuck on doors and in bars throughout the city, and in all  manner of other places where wizards are not known to gather...
The Alchemist’s Guild can no longer maintain order in this city, for it is well-known that they can not maintain even the foundations of their own Guild House. The wizards care not for the people, only their damp pages and fancy rugs. It is time that the people be represented by a Government. All Rightful and Good Thinking Men of the city are invited on the first Sitting Day of the Rainy Season to congregate the Grand Public House in Upper Banks. Together we will fill the void in the hearts of our people with Good and True Public Legislation. We will be a Parliament. Only Men of Honor need apply. There will be pies.
Lord Chidney Bragg, the Right Honorable Gentleman from Cascade Street South, First Publican

The Premise
The Rainy City will have its parliament, and you have been sent (or have chosen yourself) to act as a publican and ensure that the will of your neighbors, followers, or good old mother is enacted into law. The first session of parliament will meet in the newly rechristened Grand Public House in the newly rechristened Parliament Square at the highest point of the Mids Upper Banks, a square that stands within view of the Galleria of Embassy Row up the north face of the scarp and Tower Cliffs up the east. Publicans may include a mix of neighborhood representatives, guild speakers, and self-appointed spouts representing the diverse array of neighborhoods, guilds, societies, cults, blocks, races, and gangs of the city. Any constituency, large or small, can put up a representative to contribute to the establishment of true governance in the Rainy City.

Campaign Structure: Tales of the Rainy City
The structure of the campaign is orbital, with the new parliament at the center. Some sessions will revolve around sittings of the parliament (beginning with the first). Others will include vignettes chosen by the players as opportunities to see what is going on throughout the city. For example, whatever interest groups the players make characters to represent can be visited in their day to day lives and their responses to the plots and machinations of their representative and other groups in the city. This can go from the heights of Embassy Row society to the depths of the Sump. We’ll also occasionally be stopping in to see how others respond to the parliament’s actions, such as when the wizards respond to this new organization of mundane politics.

The Parliament’s first meeting will be on our first session, and there’s never been a parliament – so the publicans will be creating its rules as they go (with some basic foundations laid down first re: e.g. unparliamentary language). This way it does not matter whether players know anything about parliamentary procedure. They’ll be inventing it as they go. (Though it’ll help that some of the players probably do know something about either parliamentary procedure or Robert’s rules.)

Players may choose a faction from the example list or may create their own. Constituencies can represent large groups of people (e.g., a whole neighborhood like Uptown or large, powerful guild like the Alchemists' Guild) or small groups (e.g. the eight Troglodytes who live in the Sump but who managed to actually send a representative on day one and so are grandfathered in).

Example Factions

Feel free to choose from this list or make your own. If you want to spin off one of these, let me know so I don’t detail them myself.

  • The Alchemist’s Guild (Old Town)
  • The Thatcher’s Guild (Old Town and all the city)
  • Uptown (Sump)
  • The Worm (Sump)
  • Tower Cliffs (one apprentice for each wizard who has sent one this week)
  • The Brotherhood of the Pump (Levee Town)
  • The Admiralty (Vagabond Bay)
  • The Divingman’s Club (Nimbus, Lucius Sol)
  • Mad Dog Konstantinos (Sump)
  • The Exorcist’s Guild (Old Town)
  • The Hodgepodgers (Old Town)
  • The Zoologian’s Society (Monster hunters, trappers, zooists)
  • Ambassadors
  • The Puddingmen (city wide)
  • Cutlers (Vagabond Bay)
  • The Noble Association of Fishmongers
  • The Molten Men (smiths and molten man festival organizers) (Levee Town)
  • The Ratkin delegation (Vagabond Bay)
  • Silver Cliff Miner’s Union (Tower Cliffs and Levee Town)
  • The Flood Street Gentlemen (The Sump)
  • The Brotherhood of Cadgers and Badgers (City Wide)
  • The Masons (Levee Town)
  • The Dressmaker’s Union (Levee Town)
  • The Toolmaker’s Association (Levee Town)
  • The Fellowship of the Quill (scribes) (Old Town)
  • The Guild of Aurifabery (Old Town)
  • The Association for the Beneficial Incorporation of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (Mids)
  • The Noble Association of Fishmongers (Vagabond Bay)
  • The Mortuarian Society (Mids)
  • The Renovator’s Association (Mids)
  • The Smoker’s Club (Mids)
  • The House of Lords (Mids)
  • The Spouting Club (Mids)
  • The Spit-Farthing Club (Mids)
  • The Honorable Association of Liars (Mids)
  • The Humdrummers (Mids)