Monday, September 21, 2015

Minister: Holding a Seat of Office

Much of world of Brunelleschi is defined by Ministers. These are Lord characters (in most but not all situations) who have taken responsibility for managing one or more districts in a Settlement. They can make laws, vote for new Sovereigns/Ministers and preside over the Court. While their powers are defined and can be vastly changed with Civic Systems, they are always key players in every Settlement. This blog post will outline what it's like to become a Minister and how to do your job.

Becoming a Minister
There are two primary ways to become a Minister. The first is being appointed by the Sovereign/Ruling Ministerial Dept/Ruling Group. The second is being voted for by your peers and (sometimes) the NPC populace of your Settlement.

Every Government System has a way to appoint new Ministers. If you don't live in a Populist settlement you will probably have to apply to the existing highest powers for acceptance and appointment in order to gain a seat of office. In most Authoritarian settlements, the Sovereign has the primary appointing power but can delegate to Minister of the Interior.

In Egalitarian and Populist systems, you can or must be elected by the people Populist elections include votes from the NPC population but they can be influenced by players. In order to become eligible either for appointment or election, first a player must fill out a Minister application form. These can be found in the Move pages and let decision-makers know that you want to lead.

Doing Your Job

Department Politics
Each district, and it's Ministry belong to a Department. Ministerial powers are separated up by-department, such that minister of commercial districts may control commerce law while ministers of defensive districts usually have power over military laws. However, the departments are not always equal. Depending on the class-bias of your Civic Systems, one or two ministries can have greater power and privileges than the others. These powers often manifest in right to preside over court cases, select new Sovereigns and Ministers and control categories of general law.

District Management
The primary function of Ministers is to take some of weight of management off the Sovereign. Every Minister has control over construction and production of the buildings and empty lots in their district. This will usually leave them in charge of some vital piece of the Settlement's functioning economy and Ministers will often be required to share and trade resources in order to keep production chains in tact. For example, the Chief Botanist will be in charge of getting Lumber to every other Minister who may need it for their district's production buildings. They will also be the primary source of Lumber on the local market, unless they sell lots in the Forest District to private citizens to build their own logging camps. Access to Shared Storage is the smoothest way to deal with this necessary exchange of goods between Ministers.

Ministers in each district will be expected to manage the employment, production, and happiness in their District, but in these ways they will also rely on their Sovereign and fellow Ministers. Settlement-wide happiness penalties effect all Ministries and population for Employment is often focused in a few residence-friendly districts. A Housing Inspector must keep up with the employment needs of their fellow Ministers' working buildings or the Settlement economy may collapse due to work stoppages.

Government Duties
Depending on the Civic Systems, certain Ministers may be called to greater duties than district management. In the event of Court cases, they may be called to act as Officiant, Prosecutor or Defender. In cases without a jury, they may be the only word on punishment or release of accused prisoners. Ministers may be called to vote on new Ministerial appointments or Sovereign succession. Perhaps the greatest duty is eligibility to ascend to Sovereignty themselves. Based on the succession rules for the settlement, a Minister may ascend to the throne without so much as a by-your-leave.

Changing Laws
Ministers are granted the ability to write and change laws and policies. Taxes, Immigration and legal actions are all affected by Ministerial choices. Most Government systems separate ministerial privileges based on department. Elitist governments tend to give most of the power to a single department, but usually these powers are separated based on logical expertise. Making a change to any of the current laws/government settings costs Importance to initiate, and often Importance to maintain a difference from Civic System defaults. While Ministers are not required to exercise these powers, they may be expected to based on events, precedent or popular demand.

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