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    Default Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    The world of D&D has rules for just about everything, but one thing that I’ve never seen is a set of rules for how to win an election. Granted, most campaign settings are in kingdoms or similar autocracies, but democracies have been around in one form or another for over 2,500 years, & almost all real-life feudal societies have had some democratic aspects, if only for guild-house or noble elections. Therefore, I decided that since my gaming group sometimes has someone running for office, & (at least here in the States) election season is in full swing, I’d organize my thoughts on the subject into one concise rule set that is relatively balanced & realistic. Here are the results, so PEACH.

    Basic Formulas
    • Alignment Modifier = your alignment check - opponent’s alignment check
    • Charisma Modifier = your Charisma score - opponent’s Charisma score
    • Level Modifier = your total character level - opponent’s total character level
    • Voter Percentage = 5d20 + Alignment Modifier + Charisma Modifier + Level Modifier

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected

    Getting Elected: A Simple Guide
    To determine the percentage of votes that you will receive in an election (Voter Percentage), start by simply rolling 5d20. Then add the following modifiers: an Alignment Modifier, a Charisma Modifier, a Level Modifier, & any Complications that apply to you (this last step is optional; DM’s discretion).

    Alignment Modifier
    To determine your alignment check, using the guideline below:
    • Your alignment matches the community’s alignment = +10
    • Your alignment is 1 step away from the community’s alignment on either axis = +0
    • Your alignment is 2 steps away from the community’s alignment on either axis = -5
    • Your alignment is 1 step away from the community’s alignment on both axes = -5
    • Your alignment is 1 step away from the community’s alignment on 1 axis & 2 steps away on the other = -10
    • Your alignment is the exact opposite of the community’s alignment = -15

    Determine your opponent’s alignment check, via the same method as you did for your own. Subtract your opponent’s alignment check from your alignment check; the resulting number (either positive or negative) is your Alignment Modifier.

    Charisma Modifier
    Subtract your opponent’s Charisma score from your Charisma score; the resulting number (either positive or negative) is your Charisma Modifier.

    Level Modifier
    Subtract your opponent’s total character level from your total character level; the resulting number (either positive or negative) is your Level Modifier. NPC classes are counted as PC classes for the purpose of calculation.

    Voter Percentage
    To determine you Voter Percentage, roll 5d20, & then add your Alignment Modifier, Charisma Modifier, & Level Modifier.

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected

    New feat: Political Savvy!

    Political Savvy [general]
    You are particularly skilled at the delicate art of political maneuvering.
    Prerequisites: Negotiator feat, Persuasive feat
    Benefit: You gain a +1d6+2 bonus on all voter percentage checks to get elected to office. In addition, you receive a +1 competence bonus on all attack rolls, saving throws, & checks that directly relate to your political career.

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected

    Complications: the Campaign Trail
    Now, the above formula will suffice for most elections, especially between 2 NPC’s. However, if a PC is one of the candidates, then the DM might want to consider adding in some mitigating circumstances. These are complications, & they are listed below to add variety & realism to an election, as well as provide some behavioral principles for candidates to follow. Most complications have no effect unless they are publicly known to the voter bass at large. If a candidate donated funds to a local church anonymously, it would bestow no bonus to their voter percentage. Conversely, if a candidate is secretly a member of an illegal organization, then it would confer no penalty.

    For lengthy election campaigns, when both sides are trying to sway voters over a period of days, weeks, or even months, it is advised that the Voter Percentage roll be made at the beginning of the campaign (most likely by the DM, in secret), while complications be added sequentially, as they happen. An important thing to remember is that your Voter Percentage cannot exceed 100% or go below 0% at any time. A candidate may be completely dominating his opponent halfway through an election campaign, getting 100% of the vote with his various modifiers. But then, if his campaign is wracked with scandal, a complication penalty will still be levied in full against his Voter Percentage, & cannot be mitigated by previously-factored modifiers, such as alignment, Charisma, or class level.

    Bonuses
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    • used Raise Dead spell on a dead citizen (good-aligned community only)* = +1d3
    • used Animate Dead spell on a dead foreigner (evil-aligned community only)* = +1d3
    • gained a level in a class* = +1d3
    • donated 25% or more of your WBL to a public church** = +1d4
    • donated 25% or more of your WBL to the government** = +1d6
    • assist in the defense of the community from a threat (CR ≥ your character level - 2)* = +1d4+1
    • endorsed by a popular local VIP* = +1d3
    • condemned by an unpopular local VIP* = +1d2
    • survive an assassination attempt = +1d6+4
    • has the Negotiator feat = +1d4
    • has the Persuasive feat = +1d4
    • has the Leadership feat = +1d4+2
    • has the Political Savvy feat = +1d6+2
    • has 5+ ranks in Diplomacy* = +1d4
    • member of the upper class/nobility = +1d4+1
    • previously a community leader = +1d4+2
    • spectacular public speech (Diplomacy check; DC40+)* = +1d6+2
    • given honors by community officials = +1d4


    Penalties
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    • running against an incumbent = -1d4
    • lost a class level due to energy drain* = -1d3
    • arrested for a minor crime = -(1d6+2)
    • arrested for a major crime = -(1d8+4)
    • arrested for a capital offence = -(1d12+6)
    • convicted for a minor crime = -(1d6+2)
    • convicted for a major crime = -(1d8+4)
    • convicted for a capital offence = -(1d12+6)
    • implicated in a criminal scandal (but not arrested) = -1d8
    • involved some non-criminal scandal* = -1d6
    • endorsed by an unpopular local VIP* = -1d2
    • condemned by a popular local VIP* = -1d3
    • slain a community authority* = -(1d6+1)
    • slain a community official* = -(1d6+2)
    • slain a political opponent* = -(1d6+4)
    • damaged public property* = -(1d4+1)
    • entered combat with community authorities* = -(1d4+2)
    • member of a criminal organization = -(1d4+2)
    • had a dark past (previously an outlaw, a cultist, a local bully, etc) = -(1d6+2)
    • member of a minority race = -(1d4+1)
    • member of an unpopular race/class*** = -1d8
    • negative Diplomacy modifier = -1d4
    • exposed as lying about race/class/alignment* = -(1d6+2)
    • fail a Diplomacy check for a public speech* = -1d4

    Notes
    • * = cumulative modifier, so add this for each instance
    • ** = in a theocracy, where the government is a public church, only donations to the state church are counted (& those are counted as a government donation)
    • *** = unpopular races can include ogres/goblinoids in human communities, dwarves in elven communities, etc; unpopular class can include barbarians in lawful communities; arcane spellcasters in theocracies, rogues just about anywhere, etc (DM discretion)
    Last edited by Zeta Kai; 2008-06-03 at 11:56 AM. Reason: added parentheticals

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected

    Example
    Hrothgar, a PC, has decided to run for mayor of the town of Gurnholm. His opponent in the race is the incumbent, Lord Beorald. Hrothgar rolls 5d20, & gets a 45, slightly below the average (52.5). Hrothgar then applies his alignment modifier (he is LN, which is the same as the town’s alignment, for a bonus of +10), adjusted for Beorald’s alignment (also LN, for a bonus of +10), which results in +0 (10-10=0). Hrothgar then applies his Charisma modifier (his Charisma score is 17, subtracting Beorald’s score of 14), which is 3 (17-14=3). Lastly, Hrothgar applies his level modifier (he is a Barbarian 6/Rogue 2, class level 8), adjusted for Beorald’s level (he is an Aristocrat 4/Bard 2, class level 6), which results in +2 (8-6=2). This all results in a Voter Percentage of 50% (45+0+3+2), which means 50% of the voters chose Hrothgar, while the other 50% stuck with Beorald.

    The DM decides to apply some complications to settle the election. He applies a 1d4 (average 2.5) penalty to Hrothgar for running against an incumbent. Hrothgar has 5 ranks in Diplomacy, but so does Beorald, so the net gain for both is +0. Hrothgar is endorsed by a popular local noble house (+1d3; average +2), while Beorald is caught having an affair with a barister’s wife (non-criminal scandal; -1d6; average -3.5). At the end of the election campaign, Hrothgar receives 53% of the vote to Beorald’s 47%, so Hrothgar wins the election, become the new mayor of Gurnholm.

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    How do you explain it when a person gets over 100% of all votes?

    Seriously, though, nice system.
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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    Thank you, RoC. Under the Complications section, there was the following passage:
    ...An important thing to remember is that your Voter Percentage cannot exceed 100% or go below 0% at any time...
    That should clarify things for you.

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    Zeta, a minor mathematical detail on your penalties.

    -1d6+1, and -1d8+2 for instance.

    These will result in a 0-5 negative modifier and a 0-6 negative or +1 positive modifiers.

    I think those "+" are not what you were aiming for.
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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    Quote Originally Posted by Draken View Post
    Zeta, a minor mathematical detail on your penalties.

    -1d6+1, and -1d8+2 for instance.

    These will result in a 0-5 negative modifier and a 0-6 negative or +1 positive modifiers.

    I think those "+" are not what you were aiming for.
    To clarify the intended calculations, all penalties that contain a "+X" have been put in parentheses (example: -(XdX+X)). That should do it.

    Also, if I have time left after working on Final Fantasy d20, I'd like to add rules for running against multiple opponents, as well as rules for handling electorial corruption (which may be a bit oxymoronic).

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    How do you explain it when a person gets over 100% of all votes?
    It's the fantasy version of Chicago?

    Seriously, though, nice system.
    Yeah... although a little too much random chance around the fringes, honestly, as in real life, a 60-40 spread is a "blowout" victory, while this could easily lead to 90-10 type results. Maybe have the base roll be 29.5 + 2d20; using the half percent leads to a distribution with a mean of exactly 50.0% and a range of exactly +/- 19.5% on either side of the mean whoops, that wasn't right... the mean would still be 50.5%, and the range would be 31.5% to 69.5%, so there's slightly more range on the upper side than the lower side... 29 + 2d20 would have a mean of 50 exactly and a range of 31-69 -- having the base not be a whole number also means that you have a built-in tiebreaker. since all of the modifiers are whole numbers.
    Last edited by Duke of URL; 2008-06-04 at 08:39 AM.


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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    What I have issues with the most in this are the modifers:

    I don't get why having a level drained would make it harder to be elected. Especially when a failed assassination attempt gets pity votes. While politicians may bash each other for many things I don't think they'd bash each other over exposure to negative energy.

    Also animate dead on a foreigner sounds like it would get abused really quickly in evil communities when the necromancer buys leadership by raising tons of dead peasants, sends them on suicide missions to get more bodies, lather rinse repeat.

    Also the incumbent penalty really shouldn't apply when the previous official did a bad job.

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    Quote Originally Posted by MDruid View Post
    What I have issues with the most in this are the modifers:

    I don't get why having a level drained would make it harder to be elected. Especially when a failed assassination attempt gets pity votes. While politicians may bash each other for many things I don't think they'd bash each other over exposure to negative energy.

    Also animate dead on a foreigner sounds like it would get abused really quickly in evil communities when the necromancer buys leadership by raising tons of dead peasants, sends them on suicide missions to get more bodies, lather rinse repeat.

    Also the incumbent penalty really shouldn't apply when the previous official did a bad job.
    I would think that in an evil town, animate dead is handy for increasing voter turnout....after all, if dead people can vote in Chicago....

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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    Sweet stuff.... But I'll just use diplomacy, insane synergization and such related feats, as well as leadership. Wink.
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    Default Re: Democracy in D&D: Roll the Die to Get Elected!

    The system looks nice, but as a European, I have to ask,

    How do you stat an election with more than two candidates?
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