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Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!





Hello, i'm Saros. You might remember me from such shitshows as The War of the Worlds (Aurora LP) or my various Grognard LP's.

Welcome to this participation lets play of Stellar Monarch. Stellar Monarch is an indie title in the Empire building/4X category (not dissimilar to Stellaris) which has a unique take on the genre in that it focuses on making decisions as an Emperor/Empress and managing your court rather than the minutae of running a sprawling empire.

Out is fiddling around with individual planets, placing schools and farms and in is expending scare political capital to issue sweeping edicts which effect your whole empire. Xenocides did a more standard LP here in which he went into the game mechanics in detail. I will be playing out the game alongside some judicious savegame editing (to allow changing character names and house affiliations).

However for this LP we are doing something a little different. I am going to be the Emperor, the one playing the game and making the wheels of Empire turn and I want goons to take on the roles of courtiers and navy officers who are part of one of five Noble Houses vying for influence within the Empire. You will scheme and fight for control of the court and our Imperial fleets and with success you will gain more ability to influence the direction the Empire takes. Failure will of course, not be tolerated.

All houses seek to curry favor with the new Empress, those that succeed will be able to use the Empress's Favor to carry out (metagame) actions at each audience (every 16 turns). We will also be having whole thread votes on events and decisions (e.g. to build an Imperial battlestar, or something more practical), on purges and storyline events that occur within the game.



There are five major houses currently ascendant within the Empire.

House Saturn
House Saturn (Genetechnologists) has strong holdings amongst the Empire's scientific and technological establishment and are firm believers in power through technology. They are ambitious and have a strong position in the court with large numbers of lower ranked courtiers.

House Juno
House Juno (Traditionalists) are the oldest and most noble house in the Empire, rumor has it the immortal Empress was originally of Juno stock - a claim which they quietly encourage. Recently fallen on hard times they cling to traditions and past glories. To counterbalance their weaker position in court they have the most powerful warfleet of the noble houses and are not afraid to use it.

House Janus
House Janus (Cancellists) have fallen from grace in the court in recent times but as the Empire's industrialists and bureaucrats they tenaciously cling to power. They have recently mobilised a warfleet to seek the Empress's favor by adding new territories to the empire.

House Mars
House Mars (Warlords) are the most militaristic of the great houses with a long tradition of military service. With extensive holdings across the Empire's military industrial complex they have risen to a position of pre-eminence as the Empire gradually rises from its slumber.

House Mercury
House Mercury (Merchants) are the merchant class of the Empire, with fingers in every pie they have risen in the court to be second only to House Mars. A bright future beckons if they can use their wealth to cement power in the Imperial court and secure the Empress's favor.



:siren: Goons, I need you to Sign Up in the thread and choose a noble house to join. I also need you to choose if you are joining as a Courtier, Officer or one of five House Dukes. :siren: If your forums name is longer than about 8-9 characters indicate how you want it truncated otherwise I may have to do it myself to fit in inside the games character limits.

Courtiers (18 positions with decent turnover) will take up positions in the Imperial court and use their influence to direct the course of the Empire via the six ministries (Defense, Treasury, Justice, Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Protocol). Unfortunately the court is fickle so you may not get your pick of a ministry to start in but if you express a preference I will do my best. Your career could also be cut short by disgrace or an assassins knife!

Officers (9 positions initially slowly rising to 27 positions) will take up Admiral, Vice Admiral or Political officer positions in one of the Empires nine warfleets. Admirals will be responsible for direction of their fleets, assigning targets and offensives and claiming glory for their house if they succeed while Vice Admirals wait in the wings to succeed their Admiral should the Empress's displeasure fall on them. Political officers ensure the loyalty of their fleet officers and their house shares in the fleet's glory. Officers are also able to defect to other houses if they should be given the opportunity...

House Dukes (5 positions, metagame entirely) are the respective heads of each noble house. They make the decisions on how to spend political points in the game of the court (shuffling & dismissing courtiers) and spend the glory and Empress's favor their noble house accrues. Dukes can also be courtiers if they wish.

Most importantly no experience with Stellar Monarch is required for any of the roles!

So Sign up! and feel free to pop over to the LP Discord and ask for a relevant role for your noble house to get the scheming properly underway. As people do so I will change the ingame characters names to match their forum names. If you have an alternative name for preference please state it when signing up!

Tracking sheet for game status is here!

Saros fucked around with this message at 10:05 on Jul 28, 2021

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Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Table of Contents


Info Posts:

Combat in Stellar Monarch


Reserved for Metagame rules & errata.

Late addition to the Diplomacy post (page 2) to make the states of borders clearer.
Stellar Monarch is not like most games in that you arent forced into Peace or TOTAL WAR. The default state between nations is basically a fluid border where whatever you can get away with, goes. Building a truce takes a bit of time and investment but does freeze your borders. Without a truce you are free to snipe border worlds and the like without too much of a response but if you hold too many worlds that an Empire has claims on (thinks they should own) relations will deteriorate and you will get a more robust response from them.

Clarification on Political officers
You do not get bonus Favor if a political officer of your house is attached to a fleet sworn to you.

Saros fucked around with this message at 16:59 on Aug 16, 2021

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



State of the Empire.



The Empress is dead! Long live the Empress!



After the unexpected death of her Excellency, the Immortal Empress a new clone-Empress has been quickened. A new Era dawns as she takes up her rightful mantle.


Known Space


The Empire is slowly emerging from a period of xenophobic isolation, little is known of the greater galaxy but some information at least trickles through on the Empire's immediate neighbours.




The Empire is one of four major powers in this little slice of the Galaxy. The others are all positioned to galactic east and south and the Empire has the worrisome position of being the smallest of the major powers by a significant margin.
To the west is the rapacious bio-menace of the Hive. Un-thinking insects, they will swarm over any world left weak but currently their threat is limited as no Over-mind has emerged in recent memory.
A large empty swathe of space also exxists to the west and south, ancient stories tell of systems razed by alien armadas and populations of whole worlds carried off but more recent scholarship dismisses these stories as propaganda to cover up failures of colonisation.



Closer to the Empire a number of minor polities hold systems. While they are individually weak targeting them could provoke the major empires into a response.


The Empire



The Imperial court is currently out of balance, the loss of position by House Juno to House Saturn in recent decades has upended a long-standing balance of power and the ascension of a new Empress is likely to upset it further as the great game of Empire steps up a notch.



The staffing of the ministries has effects on our Empire due to the competence of the courtiers involved. The ascendant houses in the court will be granted more Empress's Favor at each audience but imbalances in power reduce the stability of the Empire and disloyal or corrupt courtiers encourage rebellion and loss of taxes.

The Fleets




The Empire is currently at a nadir of its military power.



The Ninth fleet, the mighty Empress's Own lies in drydock around Terra. Its crews having become prestige appointments only, many not having set foot on a ship in years.

The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth fleets are some of the most veteran and numerically strongest in the fleet, unfortunately they remain on defensive postures with their squadrons dispersed over the border quadrants of the Empire, unable to concentrate any significant firepower.



The First fleet swears its allegiance to House Juno. With its crews drawn from their worlds and its senior leadership all stalwart Juno loyalists the Empire's single strongest formation orbits Terra, awaiting word of a new campaign for the glory of the Empire.



The Second fleet swear allegiance to House Janus. Recently deployed to the south to protect their interests on the border with the Vix Collective the tacticians of House Janus seek new opportunities to curry the Empress's favor through force of arms.

Finally the Seventh and Eighth fleets exist only on paper. Maybe one day soon an enterprising Duke will bend the Empress's ear to reactivate them.



A massive rearmament programme is beginning as under the direction of the new Empress ships roll out of the shipyards and fleet academies raise class after class of new recruits. Mineral reserves are falling swiftly but expanded mining operations are planned for the future.

The Empire stands poised at the beginning of a new era. Where shall we take it next?

Saros fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Jul 27, 2021

Incy
May 30, 2006
for other Out

Hello I would like to be an Officer of House Mars please.

sniper4625
Sep 26, 2009

Loyal to the hEnd


The Duke of Mars!

Jossar
Apr 2, 2018

Current status: Angry about subs :argh:


Sign me up as an Officer for House Juno!

Innocent_Bystander
May 17, 2012

Wait, missile production is my responsibility?

Oh.


I'd like to be an officer of house Janus, please.

wedgekree
Feb 20, 2013


Will observe and if get into things may ask to join down the line if things are still open!

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


For the record the correct answer to stability here is to kill the last member of house Juno and balance around 4 houses... Sign me up as a House Juno Courtier

Should be a good way to make the game not feel like a 4X that starts with the game already won.

Boomboomf22
Oct 21, 2016


I wish to be a Naval Officer of House Saturn

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.


Why do I get the feeling trying to not yeet ourself into warring against everyone is going to be a difficult/impossible option?

House Saturn Courtier at your service.

Boomboomf22
Oct 21, 2016


Krysmphoenix posted:

Why do I get the feeling trying to not yeet ourself into warring against everyone is going to be a difficult/impossible option?

House Saturn Courtier at your service.

because this is a SA thread?

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


Boomboomf22 posted:

because this is a SA thread?

And there's not a prominent "Become Socialists/Communists" option available first.

Courtier of House Mercury preferably for Treasury.

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Krysmphoenix posted:

Why do I get the feeling trying to not yeet ourself into warring against everyone is going to be a difficult/impossible option?

Peace in Stellar Monarch is merely a temporary truce while forces are rebuilt and mustered. The Empire isn't quite the Imperium of 40K but it also doesnt acknowedge any other political entities than itself as valid.

That said trying to war with everyone at once, especially early in the game on high difficulty levels (like we are on) is not the best idea.

Keep those sign ups coming! I really need a Duke for Janus/Mercury/Juno before we can get the game rolling.

The court is starting to fill with goons and some admirals are trickling in.

Saros fucked around with this message at 11:06 on Jul 28, 2021

Veloxyll
May 3, 2011

Fuck you say?!

This is a terrible idea - sign me up for Dukeship of House Janus.

We will pave the galaxy with factories or die trying.

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


Might try my hand at being a House Saturn Officer

Peace through superior firepower, superior firepower through weird ultrascience!

e: Idk if you want to list me as Ichabod Saturn, but if I'm Sexbeast Saturn I may also become Lord Flashheart from Blackadder

Ichabod Sexbeast fucked around with this message at 11:47 on Jul 28, 2021

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Saros posted:


Keep those sign ups coming! I really need a Duke for Janus/Mercury/Juno before we can get the game rolling.


I claim my rightful role as the Duke of Juno. Now fire up the space badminton, prep my cyber polo, and by god man, don't leave the champagne on ice for too long!

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



The sequence of Play



Each Audience period lasts 16 turns in game and this will be how often I update the LP, one update = a 16 turn Audience period. At the end of every audience your [Political points are refreshed (used to shuffle and dismiss courtiers) and you get a series of events for the whole thread to vote on. At the start of every Audience House Dukes get a chance to spend their accumulated Empressís Favor points on actions as well as three political points to spend to shuffle the court.

Political points

These are an ingame resource and are used exclusively for promoting/demoting, changing the ministry of and dismissing Courtiers. Each Duke gets three points to spend per audience and the Empress reserves one point which will be used last to try maintain stability.



Above is the court at the start. All courtiers have competence, loyalty and corruption ratings. They influence their ministry based on these stats (1 is low, 12 is max). Ideally you want high competence and loyalty and low corruption. The courtiers ranks (1/2/3) increase the houses overall standing in the court and also give empire wide bonuses based on the ministry they are in (higher ranked = greater effect).

Low loyalty causes a greater buildup of the rebellion and high corruption means they siphon money from your budget. Unbalance between the houses also reduces imperial stability and increases rebellion buildup. The protocol department has zero empire wide effects and is usually used for stashing useless but loyal courtiers of under represented houses.

Political points are spent to promote/demote courtiers for one point (move up/down one step) change ministry for one point (move one step left or right, note defense does not wrap around to protocol) or dismiss any courtier for three points (takes effect next turn and you get a new randomly generated courtier in their place.)

Dukes will issue their court moves using their three political points at the start of each audience via PM or in thread (in spoiler tags, we will be using the honor system so no peeking by other houses please.) Moves will be carried out strongest house moving first with one move per house. Then after all have moved the strongest house goes again etc. Courtier dismissals will be carried out last. The court sometimes moves in mysterious ways so I will will not be making it explicit who ordered what moves or dismissals, merely presenting the result of the reshuffle.

Basically Dukes want to ensure their faction is the most powerful in the court or controls ministries entirely as this gives them more Empressís Favor. They do this by dismissing hostile courtiers, promoting their own or demoting enemies. They are expected to cut deals between each other as no one has enough political points to do everything themselves!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Empressís Favor is acquired by the following means:

At the start of every audience each house gets a distribution of favor to spend based on its overall position in the court ingame. Favor does not have to be spent immediately and I will track it on the spreadsheet used to track fleet status and goon dorfing.

-Strongest house gets 10 Favor.
-Second place gets 8 Favor.
-Third gets 6 Favor.
-And the final two get 4 Favor each.

Also if you end the audience with all three of the courtiers in a ministry you will get +1 bonus Favor.

Furthermore two points are accumulated by your house every time a fleet sworn to said house conquers a new world for the empire. Reconquests do not count for this unless it is a rebel world. A fleets sworn House is determined entirely by the house of the Admiral.

The uses of Empressís favor:



Empressís favor is used for the following actions which are either ingame actions or will affect the way I play the game out.

Gameplay Actions:

Change diplomatic stance towards a polity (2pts)

Moving the diplomatic stance of one Major or Two Minor empires one slot positive or negative. In the middle (default position) I will basically ignore the empire, fully positive I will work towards a truce and fully negative we will only perform hostile actions towards them.

Exploration and Colonisation target
(2pts)
Give me a target direction or world to Explore and Colonise towards. Can be used to open borders with a new foreign Empire.

More options will be added here as we progress in the game.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Ducal Fleet management:

Firstly every audience there is a secret bid for ďSummon Admiral to court.Ē All dukes PM or spoilertag thread post a favor bid to be able to carry out this action. E.g. people will state ďI bid three favor to elect to summon the Admiral of the third fleet.Ē If you are not successful you can include contingencies to spend the favor elsewhere or it will be returned to your pool.

This can only happen to one admiral per audience and if your bid is successful you get to choose one of two options.

-Dismiss the Admiral. The Vice Admiral takes over the Fleet and one of the Squadron Commodores is promoted to an unaligned Vice Admiral. This may cause the fleet to become sworn to a different house if the Vice had different affiliations.
-Attach a Political officer of your House or dismiss a serving Political officer Political officers act as a loyalty bonus for the Admiral in game and if a fleet loyal to another house with a political officer of your House conquers a world you get +1 Empressís favor (the Admirals house still gets two).

In the cases of ties with actions (e.g. two houses try to suborn the same vice Admiral) or bids the winner will be the weaker house. I.e. the one with the lower position in the court or the lesser amount of sworn fleets.

Swear Defensive fleet to your house (24pts base modified by -4pts for every existing defensive fleet and +2pt for every fleet your house currently has sworn to you.) You take control of the defensive fleet adopting the existing unaligned Admiral into your house. This causes the fleet to flip to an offensive fleet and the existing ships will no longer be tasked with defending the Empires borders. You retain the existing ships but they may need some re-organisation.

Activate Reserve Fleet (Base 8pts +4pts per fleet currently sworn to your house). You Activate a defunct fleet with three new empty squadrons. The Admiral is adopted into your house. Reserve fleets start on the lowest priority for reinforcements.

Adopt Unaligned Vice Admiral
(4pts) You adopt a Vice Admiral into your house. While it has no immediate effects who knows what could happen in the future.

Accept Defecting Officer
(4pts) If an officer in another house expresses a desire to defect you can adopt them into your house along with whatever position they hold.

Add a squadron to a fleet
(6pts) Fleets have a default of three Squadrons, this adds another which will be filled out with ships by the reinforcement process.



Increase a fleets reinforcement priority (4pts) Does what it says on the tin, this fleet will receive a greater priority for replacement ships.

Decrease a fleets reinforcement priority (2pts) Does what it says on the tin, this fleet will receive a lower priority for replacement ships. Can be played on any fleet by any house.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Roles



Admiral Duties - Admirals of each fleet are asked to issue orders for their fleet. These can be as specific or general as you like. You could ask for a general offensive against a power or you can set specific targets and paths to take to get there. Perhaps a campaign to shorten the border with one power while using part of the fleet to hold off another?

The one caveat is that invasions take time (and stormtroopers! More on them later) and you have to hold the planets orbitals to perform them. You also have to have the planet you are conquering be next to one of your own.

Political Officers and Vice Admirals have no orders to issue. All officers are also able to secretly approach other houses to defect which can be accepted via an Empress's Favor action at the next audience.

Courtiers have no specific duties at this point but you are expected to scheme with and advise your Dukes.

--------------------------------------------------------------

If anything is unclear please ask away! Details on current status for officers, fleets, houses can be found on the Tracking Sheet. Once we have the final Duke signed up we can proceed with the first Audience!

Saros fucked around with this message at 07:58 on Jul 29, 2021

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





I'll join up as an Officer for Mercury

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


Are officers the "Dorf Me" position? I would like to participate without actually DOING anything (which I suppose makes me perfect for a courtier shoved into the Ministry Of Protocol).

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Courtiers and Political Officers are the most "dorf me" position. For the others there is a non-zero chance you might end up with an actual job (the horror!)

:siren: We have five Dukes! Congratulations to the following.



You have a chance now to spend your three political points before we progress to turn 2 and the first Audience.



The current state of the court is thus, PM me your moves via forums or discord or post them spoilered in the thread. [e] Xelkelvos is mis-named, I seem to have dropped the name on the wrong courtier in the editor. Oops.



Dont forget, court makeup and competence has effects on the rest of the Empire!







Saros fucked around with this message at 16:22 on Jul 28, 2021

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


In that case, please make me a Political Officer :commissar:

Asterite34
May 19, 2009




Dorf me up as Courtier of the Bene Tleilaxu-I mean House Saturn

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Volmarias posted:

In that case, please make me a Political Officer :commissar:

Of what house?

GunnerJ
Aug 1, 2005

Do you think this is funny?


What the heck does "cancellist" mean?

Saros
Dec 29, 2009

Its almost like we're a Bureaucracy, in space!

I set sail for the Planet of Lab Requisitions!!



Its House Janus, in actuality I think it means the one man dev team has english as a second language.

sniper4625
Sep 26, 2009

Loyal to the hEnd



Duke Kerath of Mars

I look forward to working with my fellow Dukes and all loyal subjects of the Empire to reform, strength, and spread our most sacred institutions.

Tiger Crazy
Sep 25, 2006

If you couldn't find any weirdness, maybe we'll just have to make some!


I would like a officer position of House Janus. We shall regain our glory.

Also shorten my name to Hobbes.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


Saros posted:

Of what house?

Whoever Gets Assigned First

:shrug:

House Juno if I must pick

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


GunnerJ posted:

What the heck does "cancellist" mean?

House Cancel Culture

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



Political officer, House Juno

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


GunnerJ posted:

What the heck does "cancellist" mean?

House You can't conquer that, we still haven't got the paperwork sorted for the systems we already have. Obstructive Bureaucrats.

Freudian
Mar 23, 2011



I think "cancellist" is meant to be related to the word "chancellor" - so, like it says, being heavily involved in court bureaucracy.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012





An Official Statement from the Duke of House Juno



My fellow Nobles. Before us stands an immense future that is saddled with the debt of the past. Let us move into this great new age with an eye to remedy the failures of our ancestors and focus us stability, skill, and diligence. Of this I speak the courtiers that diligently not work, play, or enrich themselves. Cast out those who do ill to the empire, cast out those who seek to only pad their own credit books. Cast out those who would seek to maintain the status quo. House Juno stands ready and looks forward to a new age of stability so that we may all enjoy the fruits of the empires labor.

sniper4625
Sep 26, 2009

Loyal to the hEnd



Duke Kerath of Mars
Hear, hear! My door, of course, is open to further discuss specifics.

Jimmy4400nav
Apr 1, 2011

Ambassador to Moonlandia


Looks like a blast! Please dorf courtier me as a member of House Mercury please!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





please dorf me as the courtier with the highest corruption and competence scores, not particular as to faction, name mojangles

Asterite34
May 19, 2009




Yooper posted:



An Official Statement from the Duke of House Juno



My fellow Nobles. Before us stands an immense future that is saddled with the debt of the past. Let us move into this great new age with an eye to remedy the failures of our ancestors and focus us stability, skill, and diligence. Of this I speak the courtiers that diligently not work, play, or enrich themselves. Cast out those who do ill to the empire, cast out those who seek to only pad their own credit books. Cast out those who would seek to maintain the status quo. House Juno stands ready and looks forward to a new age of stability so that we may all enjoy the fruits of the empires labor.

So what I'm hearing here is, you DON'T advocate casting out those who would make man-barnacle hybrid supersoldiers? I understand that correctly?

No reason, just checking :science:

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


Once someone undergoes the Barnaclization process it's REAL difficult to shift them if they don't want to be shifted

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Tevery Best
Oct 11, 2013

Hewlo Furriend


Please make me a Vice-Admiral loyal to House Juno. First Fleet would be preferable.

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