The Game of Succession
Galactic Emperor: Succession is a competitive game, relying on confident diplomacy. It's a social game, requiring interaction with your fellow Archons. It's a strategic game, involving the careful husbanding and trading of resources. Finally, it's a roleplaying game, allowing you to play an alien species in a distant galaxy.
Succession is what Skotos terms a Stage. It runs in a small setting for a limited amount of time and at the end of that duration the story is completed and winners are named. Succession begins play every Tuesday afternoon, with the Emperor's assassination. From Tuesday afternoon through Friday night, the players vie to increase their prestige and voting power in an attempt to secure a place on the ballot for the Emperor. On Friday night at 8:00 PM PST, the candidates for Emperor are selected: the top four Archons in terms of prestige, and any who have managed to be voted onto the slate of candidates. From Friday night until 8:00 PM PST Saturday, players vote for the next Emperor, after which the game ends.
The game remains open on Sunday, and players should feel free to meet and discuss the events of the past week, or plan strategies for the week to come. On Monday, Galactic Emperor is taken down for maintenance and improvement, and the cycle begins anew on Tuesday. The timeframe of the game is not static in terms of the storyline: between games, anything from one to one thousand years might pass in the Galactic Emperor: Succession universe; the Vl'Hurgh and the Empire rebuild their fleets; the dynasties expand to new territories; and once again, the Emperor is assassinated...
Creating a Character
Because Succession is a six-day game, you'll create a new character once a week. Thus the process has been streamlined to make it simple. The process of character creation is divided into two parts: selecting a dynasty and selecting an Archon.
Selecting a Dynasty
Before you create a character you'll be offered the opportunity to create a dynasty. Even though you'll have a different character each week, you can have multiple characters from the same royal house, allowing you to develop a continuous history and characterization over a number of games. Dynasties will also be reported in the high score lists, but other than that have no affect on gameplay.
As you'll see, you can create a dynasty for each of the four races of Succession though you'll only be able to play one each week. For your first week, simply click Create to form a dynasty for the race that you want to play. Then, after selecting a specific dynasty, choose Play. You may also, if you wish, Delete a dynasty that you're no longer interested in.
Selecting an Archon
Once you've selected your dynasty, you'll be offered the chance to play a specific Archon, chosen from your dynasty's royal house. Each Archon has a suggested personality trait, which you can use or ignore as you see fit. You'll be able to cycle through Archons by clicking on the Male or Female buttons until you see one that you like.
After you've selected your Archon's name you must make one last choice the selection of a public name. This is a screen handle that will be used for listings on high scores lists, so that all of your victories may be grouped together, no matter what dynasty or Archon you played.
Although the game of Succession allows for a lot of rich complexity, there are only two core ideas which must be understood before you begin play.
First, you will have two distinct venues of play: your personal Yacht and the Palace above Principality. Second, you must strive to do two things: trade your specialists with the other Archons to turn your planets into Specialized Colonies, and increase the voting power of the specialized colony types you own in order to get the prestige needed to become Emperor.
Touring the Yacht & the Palace
Because of its hybrid nature as both a strategy and roleplaying game, Succession is played in two distinct venues. Most of the strategic elements are accessed through a web-based set of forms which depict your Yacht. Most of the roleplaying elements are played out in a text-dominant interface which represents the Palace above Principality.
The initial game screen depicts the view from your Yacht's bridge. It shows the various informational pods which may be used for research, communication, or command. To the right is a listing of your Colonies and Specialized Colonies, your Prestige Score, your Voting Power, and the various numbers of specialists you have available for trade. These resources will determine your strategy as the game of Succession unfolds.
Although many commands can be accessed directly from the Yacht, you'll eventually need to enter the Palace Minor. The Palace Minor is described in a prose environment, similar to other Skotos games. It is here that you must go to trade specialists with other Archons, to get resolutions endorsed by your fellow Archons and put up for vote, and make the alliances required to become the Galactic Emperor.
You can enter the Palace Minor by selecting Palace on the main Yacht screen.
Maximizing Your Chances At Victory
The ultimate goal in Galactic Emperor: Succession is to maximize your prestige, and in the world of Succession, prestige is synonymous with the degree of your dedication to the Empire. You will also need to increase your voting power, which is the quickest route towards increasing your prestige. The four Archons with the greatest prestige will automatically be candidates for the Galactic Emperor anyone else wishing to be a candidate must be voted onto the list of possibilities. After the Emperor is selected, and personally takes rulership of the Core Suns, the six remaining candidates with the highest net prestige will be picked to rule six of the Empire's Hegemonies.
You can determine your own prestige and voting power by consulting the chart at the upper right of your Yacht Bridge screen. It divides the important factors of your score into two parts: prestige and voting power.
Once inside the Palace you'll have another method to assess victory. You can get a rough idea of the net worth of the ten most prestigious Archons with the lens prestige command.
Increasing Asset Value
Prestige is gained from improving the value of your worlds and by increasing your voting power. Each Archon begins with ten generalized colonies, representing the home system that they rule over. They also begin with a number of specialized workers, representing their most talented citizens. Five specialized workers of two different types can convert a generalized colony into one which is dedicated to the service of the Empire, and is worth more prestige in the eyes of the other Archons as it shows that one is willing to sacrifice in order to become Emperor.
Archons may also vote to recognize the importance to the Empire of certain kinds of specialized colonies by increasing the voting power that these specialized colonies are worth. The more votes a single Archon has, due to the types of specialized colonies that he or she has created, the easier it is for that Archon to pass resolutions and get elected Emperor, and the higher that Archon's prestige becomes.