Rules and Information

"O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" - Francis Scott Key
Locked
Huojin
General Secretary
General Secretary
Posts: 3354
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Rules and Information

Post by Huojin » 02:51:38 Sunday, 04 January, 2015

Rules

So, as usual, this type of game is known as a govsim (government simulation), wherein most actions are free form. You can do basically anything. Some actions will be free, others will require the use of credits, which represent a variety of things, including manpower, funding, etc.

However, this game is a little different, and perhaps a little more complex, in that there's more governing and arguing to do. Accordingly, there are some additional rules.

Where there are multiple factions in a party, you have a national committee forum. Here you can debate and agree your national platforms prior to elections, coordinate strategies, argue over party funding allocations for re-election in various states, and when the time comes, the details of your national committee to select your presidential candidates will be posted here.

Unlike most govsims, the MSA has a bicameral legislative system, so passing laws is a little different. When a topic proposing legislation is made (bear in mind, this doesn't have to be a full appraisal of a law, merely the basic details), players must specify which house (Senate or House of Representatives) it is being submitted to by using [HOUSE] or [SENATE] as a tag in the topic. Then whoever is in charge of that given chamber (the Speaker of the House of the President of the Senate) will decide which congressional committee has jurisdiction, and the player (if any) with influence over that committee can review the legislation, sit on it, make changes to it, etc. All that good committee stuff. Or not, if they choose, in which case you all then get to debate it and vote on it. If it passes, we'll change the tag on the topic title, it'll move to the other house, and we do the whole song and dance again, except now the voting balances are different.

If changes are made, it's sent back to the other house for approval or not, and so on. At the end, when both houses have agreed, whoever's President gives their assent, or vetoes the bill.

Important things to note: you are able to filibuster a bill if you want (in the Senate only). This is done by stating in [[OOC brackets]] that you're filibustering, and then writing at least 800 words worth of ranting and debating to constitute your filibustering attempt. I'll then probably take some factors into account and roll to decide how successful your filibuster has been. Unless other congressmen use cloture to shut you up.


For the purposes of understanding the limitations of power of your positions, here are some simple, useful links:

A Short Guide to the American Political System

Sparknotes - Congress: The Legislative Process

congress.gov - The Legislative Process

Filling Congressional Vacancies

Huojin
General Secretary
General Secretary
Posts: 3354
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Re: Rules and Information

Post by Huojin » 05:15:21 Sunday, 04 January, 2015

A little additional information regarding giving information on all congressmen and Supreme Court justice, as I was originally planning to do. It's a lot of work to write out 120-ish people on my own and manage them all as NPCs, so I've instead decided that in addition to your characters you're all carefully crafting, you may also work with me as GM to develop any number of additional members of your faction or group.

This would, for example, involve picking names and races and backgrounds and whatnot, to which I will (secretly) add minor details here and there to make things interesting without deviating overly from a shared vision. We can go into as much detail as you like and a brief summary will be created in the Federal Records Center for each person, sharing only the basics. If you want to give lots of detail, we can do that. If you just want a basic summary similar to what people would see, we can do that too.

If you don't want to do any of this, I'll name the people and come up with details on an ad hoc basis for game purposes.

Might be more fun the first way, jussayin'.

Also you're free to roleplay as people within your faction, not just your central character, when posting in debates or discussions of bills or things like that, provided you adhere broadly to the spirit of their character and of the game and of not being a humongous douchenozzle. If in doubt, run it by me quickly.

Huojin
General Secretary
General Secretary
Posts: 3354
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Re: Rules and Information

Post by Huojin » 22:20:08 Monday, 05 January, 2015

I've made a separate post in the Federal Records Center about the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC).

HUAC is different to other committees, so I'm going to write a little bit on how it's going to work.

In essence, the HUAC operates different to other congressional committees in that it doesn't have a jurisdiction regarding legislation. Instead, the HUAC does some other things:
  • Writes reports on a given issue. A thread is started regarding a given issue by any player whose faction has a Representative on the committee (for example, the Yellow Report backing the internment of Japanese Americans). A debate can follow, once a consensus is reached the Chairman outlines the key points (in short simple bullet points, nothing fancy required), and a vote is taken to submit this report.
  • Launch probes and investigations. Proposals for probes can be made, the Chairman is responsible for holding a vote to decide whether a probe or investigation ought to be launched, at which point the HUAC can call individuals and groups to testify (confirmed by majority committee vote). A thread would be made by the Chairman for the probe/investigation, and testimony and debates would be held there. For NPCs, the GM will simulated the responses. For semi-PC (i.e. PC-aligned), players will simulate responses with GM oversight. For PCs themselves, they can offer their own responses without restriction. The findings of the probe or investigation are collated by the Chairman and subjected to a vote by the committee agreeing to publish those findings.
  • Refer individuals/groups of individuals for trial. Going further than simply launching investigations, the HUAC can agree by majority vote to place individuals or groups of individuals up for a full vote of the House of Representatives for stated charges. For example, refusal to testify before the HUAC could result in charges of contempt of Congress. Other charges are also available, and are up to HUAC members to decide on and agree by vote. These charges can have a number of outcomes, including jail time.
There's also 9 members, which includes 1 chairman.

Any questions or issues should be levelled in the Questions and Inaccuracies thread, although I'm also available via PM and on IRC, as usual.

Huojin
General Secretary
General Secretary
Posts: 3354
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Re: Rules and Information

Post by Huojin » 01:19:34 Tuesday, 20 January, 2015

Addition to the Rules

Whipping the Votes

As you might notice, in the stats "whips" are listed amongst the congressional leadership - a majority and minority whip for both Senate and House. Different factions will, obviously, have their person appointed whip (by the majority or minority leader for that chamber of Congress).

There was, previously, nothing more to whipping than the title. Until now.

Players who have the whip in their caucus/faction may use the whip to get NPC congressmen to vote on bills without caucus leader consent. The upshot of this is that if, for example, one caucus/faction is reluctant to vote, or the player is absent, the whip can go through the GM to speak to the congressmen in that faction directly (I'm available on IRC, via PM, and other methods as usual), bypassing the caucus/faction leader. This'll be especially helpful if you're just short of a majority on a vote. It won't always work, but as each congressman will have a background (sooner or later), you'll be able to make appeals directly to them.

Have fun.

Huojin
General Secretary
General Secretary
Posts: 3354
Joined: 07:30:29 Thursday, 02 August, 2012

Re: Rules and Information

Post by Huojin » 15:53:36 Sunday, 15 March, 2015

After a great deal of confusion and screwing about with committees, they've been removed from the legislative process.

This means that when you present a bill, the Speaker or Pro Tem still has to add it to the schedule, but after that you're all free to debate and vote on the bill.

This is the new way I'm choosing to do it, to eliminate confusion and super-slow-ness, but still maintaining the important role of the Speaker and Pro Tem.

Committees will remain important for congressional reports (which can be mandated/requested through bills and whatnot), reasons of prestige, influence, and so on, and for important specific jobs like impeachment.

Locked

Return to “Mountain States of America”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests