The following are the guidelines which Setting uses to determine what ranks will be eligible to be filled by PCs. From there Setting should be able to manage the scope of influence that positions PCs can hold to keep them in check with the game and what players can expect when they engage in this kind of play.
Even with the rank and reputation systems in place there are some positions of which have such a large impact on the setting that the Setting department must be able to manage and maintain those roles to ensure the setting can keep moving forward and the needs of all the players can be met.
This only applies to ranks that are classified as 'political' under the rank and reputation system which is defined as: Ranks that are associated with elected positions, advisors, generals, and counsels that determine the direction of an organization or population. Leaders of any organization are automatically political positions. This includes elected officials, leaders of guilds, and highest ranking military officers.
There are a couple of things that complicate things if a PC were allowed to obtain certain ranks that Setting must consider:
- First and foremost player consent is required for actions regarding a PC. Meaning if the player does not agree to participate in certain rp and actions then they can not be forced to.
This is a problem for some positions require certain rp or actions to take place in order to keep the story of the setting moving. If a player refuses to rp out these actions, it could have a drastic impact on the setting and upset the balance in regards to other players. This also applies to the 'quest giver' role these ranks tend to have, and if a player refuses to help create 'quests' in the content, then other player needs are not being met.
Only a player can control their PC, no one else can.
Back to the 'quest giver' role some of these positions have, SH's need access to these character in those roles to prompt the stories that lead to sessions. These positions are the source of plots. When a PC is in that role, SHs do not have access to it. This can further complicate things if the player of the PC can not always be around to play out the RP scenes other players need, even more so if they just refuses to play with other players. While Setting can null rp scenes or remove characters which have violated the rules, they can not take control of a PC and force things to happen. The only way Setting can control the PC is if the player consents to have the PC turned into a NPC. This way the player relinquishes control of the character to Setting, and no longer has authority over it, and further interactions with the character follows the standard NPC rules.
Players are also not required to inform anyone of their PC's goals and motivations, they are also not required to stick with the same goals and motivations.
Setting needs to know the goals and motivations of those in the position so they can keep the SH's informed in order to help drive and inspire plots and changes within the setting. In addition Setting needs to know and state what can be done to influence the NPC in order to achieve their goals, or possibly change them. Motivations are crucial as this is where many plots come from. In addition SH's need to know these in order to further play out plots when organizations have differentiating goals and motivations and why their leadership is driving them in those directions. If a PC were to be in these roles, then the goals and motivations could constantly change, or go unknown. This leaves a single player with the power to drive plots which could have drastic impacts on the setting and thus potentially override the needs of other players. This would also complicate things as then story arcs will become inconsistent and potentially damage the setting.
Some of these ranks are a setting fixture. A setting fixture can be defined as something that is core to the setting, often something that is not intended to be beatable, it is part of the very foundation of the setting. Setting fixtures tend to rarely change. To change a setting fixture is a massive process and if they do they have to be replaced with another setting fixture. In some cases what makes some of these ranks a fixture is not even related to a character, but the very nature of the rank itself and just how much impact is has on the setting. Setting needs to be able to help direct any setting fixture changes, as this is part of maintaining the setting direction. Much of the change would be reflected in sessions, which is where the players will be able to exercise their influence.
These ranks often contribute to the direction the story of the setting is going. Therefore there must be an opportunity for all players to have a chance to exercise their influence as they see fit. If some players do not like the new direction, they should be afforded the chance to try to counter it. While others that support it have the chance to counter those trying to stop it. This means those ranks need to have a chance to be influenced. So any rank a PC may hold should have NPCs in the same rank that could potentially act as a direct counterbalance that can be used when the story plays out.
If there is only one seat of the rank then it will always be filled by a NPC. Due to the impact these ranks have Setting must be able to retain control as needed and keeps with organization rules of having a NPC in a position of authority to keep the organization active in play.
Currently this means the only ranks that will truly be out of reach of a PC is one of the absolute highest authority (ie Queen, Emperor, President, etc). However PCs will have a chance to earn ranks which will allow them more direct influence over the highest authority in their play and a chance to drive more setting impacting plots that they would otherwise be unable to.
Once a year Setting should audit the ranks and account for the following:
- The audit will be announced to give players a heads up that the review is coming and to make sure they are prepared. Also at this time players whom know their character will still qualify for the rank but no longer wish to remain in it can inform Setting their character is retiring to open the seat. Recommend 2 weeks in advanced. Then during those two weeks Setting can focus on updating the organizations before auditing the PCs.
- Growth of the organization - most organizations may not grow in size, but if they have grown in stats then more positions of higher authority should open up to reflect the additional management needs.
- Tallying the positions and determining how many can be opened for potentially interested players. At most 50% of the seats of a rank should be PC eligible if possible. If there is an odd number then PCs can take up the lesser amount of the split (ie there are 9 seats, 4 can be open to PCs)
- Ensuring the duties and requirements of the ranks are clearly stated. Any additional OOC responsibilities also needs to be listed as the players that take up these roles need to be able to work with Setting.
- Reviewing current PCs in the ranks and making sure they meet the qualifications to remain in the rank.
- Announce the open seats for PCs and allow time for players to respond with their potential interest.
After the deadline to inform Setting of interest in participating in political ranks, Setting will do the following:
The PCs contending for the rank seats will be checked to make sure they qualify. If there are more PCs then there are available seats, then the top contenders will be given the seats. In cases of a tie Setting and Social will contact the players and inform them of the tie. If things can not be resolved in the discussion then one of two other options will be used: A Setting determined related rep could be use to bolster the purchase. Or a kind recruitment session is held, where the one that generates the most pp in a set of predefined rounds wins. Any alternatives for a tie break will be listed by Setting in the organization information.
At any time a PC can retire from a rank. The player must inform Setting that their character is stepping down so they can work out an exit strategy and enable them to make an announcement open the open seat for anyone that may be interested.
Setting will work with the players of PCs in these ranks on related plots to ensure what plots are being driven by the players are within the realm of Setting approval.
Setting Leads once a year should ask for Setting staff willing to help assist in handling the IC duties. Setting staff that take up this duty will receive extra training to ensure they have the tools on hand and to enable coordination as things move along. Any and all of the IC actions will be reviewed as well to ensure that everything is following the rules and to update accordingly. In the case of a lead's character being involved, then that lead must excuse themselves from any participation of review involving their character. In times where there is only two or less leads, the setting staff will act in place of the excused lead as per the site constitution.