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Bruce

Game Guide (Round 4)

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General Rules

Once creating our character, you are a full member of the House of Representatives. Welcome! These rules will serve as an overview of the game. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask here.

IC / OOC Distinctions

In-Character (IC) posts are ones made by your character in the game world. Out-Of-Character (OOC) posts are ones made by you, the player. With the exception of the Questions forum and replies in the Characters forum, all posts made in any Capitol Hill forums are considered IC. This includes party war rooms and other private meeting rooms. Leaking of private IC information will be met with realistic IC penalties and (in very extreme cases) perhaps OOC penalties as well. On a case by case basis, penalties associated with leaking may or may not be insulated to the leaker(s) themselves.

Meanwhile, all Private Messages and off-board communication is considered to be OOC unless explicitly marked otherwise or as part of an admin-ran event.

Activity Requirements

If a player goes an entire Congressional session without making an IC post, his or her character(s) will be removed from the game and their Senate seat will become available to new players. Votes do not count towards these requirements. The President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, HML, HmL, Party Chairs and Committee Chairs will be considered inactive if he or she does not make an IC public post for 7 RL days. On a case by case basis, he or she may just lose their areas of responsibility and may not automatically be signed out.

New Characters

To create a new character go here, choose your party, and select the "Add New Character" button. After you have submitted the form, an admin will approve your character (usually within 24 hours). While you are not limited by party & state, make sure that your character is electable.

Attributes

All characters are assigned attributes after they have completed the tutorial and won the special election. Each individual attribute is capped at 100. Attributes can be increased through Event Cards or Campaign Schedules (see below).

  • Experience -- Represents the professional accomplishments of the character.
  • Name Recognition -- Represents the familiarity of the public with the character.
  • Wealth -- Represents the character's fundraising base.
  • Charisma -- Represents the character's ability to move an audience.

Voting Blocs

All voters in all states have been split into one of 8 categories. The demographics of a state should be the most important consideration when playing your character -- make sure that you can be elected! The first four voting blocs are inclined to vote Republican while the final four tend to vote for the Democratic candidate. Of course, Independent characters can pull support from anywhere. 

  • Nationalist -- hawks, high defense spending, pro gun rights, anti free trade, anti immigration
  • Evangelical -- conservative on social issues, church/state issues
  • Business -- lower business and personal taxes for wealthy, pro free trade
  • Moderate Conservatives -- right-leaning moderates
  • Moderate Liberals -- left-leaning moderates
  • Social Justice Warrior -- anti-discrimination, pro immigration
  • Progressive -- supports increased welfare programs, lower taxes on poor
  • Environmentalist -- supports environmental protection, doves in foreign policy

Each character receives a varying amount of support from each of the voting blocs depending on the character's Affinity Ratings. Nearly all of the IC actions of the player can influence his or her affinity ratings. The character's affinity ratings have a maximum of 100 and a minimum of 0 for each voting bloc.

Party Switches

Characters are permitted to change parties, but all realistic IC consequences will apply. While war room masking will be immediate, leaking in this situation is more likely to be met with OOC consequences.

Independents / Third Parties

There are a limited number of Independent members of Congress permitted and are only available after an application period. Independents are likely to caucus with either the Democrats or Republicans and are eligible for committee seats and even party leadership.

Expected Behavior & Penalties

Players are permitted to have no more than 1 character currently serving in Congress and at most 1 additional multi. 
The POTUS can have a house multi, but that house multi cannot run for the senate.

If two or more members share an IP address (i.e., siblings), they must each play in the same party and must alert the admin team. Do not mislead the admin team in any way on any subject.

As with the rest of the TedderVision community, players are expected to remain courteous and respectful to all other players and admins at all times, especially OOC. We can disagree on issues, even ones of great importance, without resorting to name calling and temper tantrums.

Failure to abide by these simple rules may result in IC and OOC penalties as decided by the admin team on a case by case basis, perhaps even resulting in a permanent ban from the community on the first offense. 

Roleplaying

The activities of a politician do not begin and end on Capitol Hill. Players are encouraged to communicate with one another and with their constituents in the News & Social Media forums. Each turn, an admin will send all players an opportunity to respond to the biggest press questions of the day. In addition to affecting his or her affinity ratings, all roleplaying will influence the player's press influence (which includes other perks like small donor money given out weekly).

Momentum

After winning primaries, receiving endorsements, participating in RP opportunities, or as a result of Event Cards, a character may receive Momentum points on any given turn. Momentum is a very broad term to mean an increase in your approval among all voting blocs. Candidates may also lose Momentum as a result of Event Cards and/or their scandal being released. Momentum has a national effect unless otherwise noted. Momentum functions as a boost to your public opinion among all voting blocs. It's exact effect depends on a number of factors, but as a rule of thumb +100 Momentum would be the equivalent of one free Tier 1 ad targeted to each voting bloc in each state.

Event Cards

At the beginning of each turn during a formal election, each character will randomly receive an Event Card. These cards have a variety of effects such as increasing your attributes, awarding cash, or damaging another candidate's momentum. You can play these cards on any turn, even outside of formal elections. To play a card, simply copy and paste it into your campaign schedule for that turn. 

Players may save Event Cards to use at their leisure, but no player may have more than 3 unplayed cards at any one time. If a player desires, he or she may return an Event Card (except negative cards). The returned card will be permanently removed from the deck but the player will not receive a replacement. 

PACs & Lobbying

Lobbying will be grouped into three areas for the first election and session - ideological groups, major issues, and minor issues.

Ideological Groups

The eight ideological groups align with the eight affinity groups that we use for everything else. The way this works is that I will tabulate a scorecard for each group each session based on your bill sponsorships, co-sponsorships, and votes. After each session, they will generally give out two $3 million prizes and two $1 million prizes based on the scorecard. For Presidential elections, each group can decide whether to give more to Senate candidates or if there's a Presidential candidate they want to invest in with $7 million.

Major Issue Areas

The major issue area groups are split into three - Foreign, Domestic, and Economic. Each issue area has two PACs, one generally conservative and one generally liberal. Each group will keep track of your votes and sponsorships in their area and give out awards of $3m, $2m, and $1m each session. They have an extra $5m to use if they want to in Presidential years.

Minor Issue Areas

Most of the time, there is only one group here. However, I think they are relatively balanced between liberal and conservative groups. Each group has $3m each session to do as they please with an extra $3m in Presidential years.

Your Actions

This lobbying system is supposed to be very hands-off for you. Continue voting, sponsoring, and making statements like you always do. There will be an opportunity each session to speak to the minor issue groups to curry more favor with them. An important thing to remember is that the only groups who have to give out money each turn are the ideological groups. Each of the issue area PACs, if they don't like anyone enough, can choose not to donate and hold on to their money.

Admin Team

Edited by Shiggy

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Congress

All players control a character in Congress and possibly an additional multi, but all other aspects of the American government are simulated by the admin team with player actions in mind.

Senate/House Leadership

Depending on the results of the previous Senate election, the majority party should select a President pro tempore (PPT), Senate Majority Leader (SML), and Senate Majority Whip (SMW). The Minority party should select a Senate Minority Leader (SmL) and Senate Minority Whip (SmW). These elections should be held in each party's war room. The PPT has the official responsibility of selecting what bills are brought up for debate on the Senate Floor and the SML has the responsibility of naming Committee members, but this can fluctuate according to the wishes of the players involved. The House of Representatives has the same leadership structure with the exception of the PPT being called the Speaker of the House.

House/Senate Committees

According to how many seats they won in the previous election, each party will be allocated a certain number of seats in each of the standing committees. The leader of the majority party in each committee will serve as the Chair while the leader of the minority party in each committee is given the title of Ranking Member.

Standing House Committees

  • Judiciary & Finance -- Appropriations, Banking, Budget, Commerce, Finance, Judiciary
  • Foreign Relations -- Armed Services, Homeland Security, International Affairs
  • Natural Resources -- Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Science
  • Public Services -- Education, Health, Housing, Labor, Pensions, Transport, Urban Affairs

Standing Senate Committees

  • Judiciary, Finance & Foreign Relations -- Appropriations, Armed Services, Banking, Budget, Commerce, Finance, Homeland Security, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs
  • Natural Resources & Public Services -- Agriculture, Education, Energy, Environment, Health, Housing, Labor, Pensions, Science, Transport, Urban Affairs

Legislation

All new bills should be submitted to your respective house's hopper where other members can choose to cosponsor the legislation by posting a reply. If you so choose, you can have sponsor in the other house as well. If you are using a bill that exists in real life or was written by another player (either of this game or a similar one), you must always credit the author. In the case of using a bill written by someone else (but not a real life bill), you must have permission from that person before you can introduce the bill.

Within 72 hours, the PPT or Speaker will assign the bill to one of the Committees where it is to be debated and voted on. If the bill passes committee, it is recommended to the entire chamber and moved to the Clerk's Office.

Once a bill has been moved to the Clerk's Office, it is eligible for the Presiding Officer to bring it to the Floor for debate.  Each docket can consist of no less than 3 bills and no more than 5 bills. The Presiding Officer (or his/her designee) should announce each docket of new bills to hit the Floor no less than 24 hours before being brought up for debate. While the Presiding Officer controls the docket, the Senate Majority Leader can place a "hold" on no more than 3 bills per session (only the SML, not the HML), meaning that they cannot be placed on the docket. The Senate Minority Leader can place 1 "hold."  Each amendment and motion should be voted on for 24 hours, and if cloture (in the Senate) is reached while a motion is ongoing, voting on final passage may not occur until consideration of all properly recognized motions is complete.

To end debate on a bill on the Senate Floor and vote on final passage, a Senator would need to make a motion for Cloture which must be passed by 3/5 of those voting on the motion. If passed, the bill will then move to a 72 hour vote. Votes will be conducted using the poll feature on these boards.

If the President has not vetoed nor signed a bill for 72 hours after it has been posted in the President's Desk forum, it will be considered to be a pocket veto (meaning the legislation does not become law). Only legislation sent to the President within 8 days of the end of the session of Congress is eligible for a pocket veto.

Filibusters

A Senator can use their right to filibuster a bill only once per Congress. If a Senator wishes to conduct a filibuster, he or she must make at least 1 post in the debate of the bill they are filibustering every 30 minutes for as long as they wish to maintain it. If he or she keeps this up for 6 hours, then the entire Senate Floor will shut down for the remainder of the filibuster. A filibuster is ended when:

  1. The Senator fails to post within 30 minutes, or
  2. The PPT pulls the bill from the Senate floor (thus killing the bill), or
  3. The Senate passes a 24-hour "motion for cloture" requiring 60%.

A filibustering Senator can yield to another Senator for a question if he or she explicitly says so before the question is asked. The question being asked is eligible to meet the filibuster requirements but also depletes that Senator's one filibuster per Congress. 

End of Session

At the scheduled end of each session of Congress, all votes must be concluded on the Senate Floor and in Committees. Generally, all bills that have not been defeated remain eligible for consideration in the next session.

Executive Branch

The President is the leader of the executive branch and in many way shapes how his or her administration will function. Each player is permitted just one character in the executive branch (in addition to the player's Senate character), and must be appointed by the President (or their designee). There are 5 Cabinet positions (Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Interior, and Attorney General), but the President may also appoint players to their staff. Cabinet secretaries generally require confirmation by the Senate. There is no limit to the number of players the President appoints to his or her staff, but there is not separate masking for each position (merely one blanket Executive Branch masking plus the use of password-protected forums).

Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court on Capitol Hill is controlled through a group of admins to bring fairness and representation of political views to Capitol hill. The admins as a whole group will decide the cases and will write decision summaries. As the game goes on, the President may be requested to nominate a new justice to the court.

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Elections

As a politician, elections are an important part of your life. During each election, 1/3 of Senators face reelection (according to their Class) and all member of the House face reelection every 2 years. Outside of formal elections, all characters can submit short schedules in preparation for their next election.

House Elections

House Elections will be every two years. Each player with an active House member (that is NOT running for higher office) may participate. Each campaign shall be collaborative between active House members using a national campaign format.

Senate Elections

When a Senator faces reelection, another player is permitted to create a character to challenge the incumbent. A player that already has a Senate character is permitted to create a challenging candidate, but if the challenger wins the election the player will need to choose only one Senate character to play with. NPCs may also challenge a player. There will be a modified national format as well.

Presidential Elections

Every 4 game years, a Presidential election will be held. This starts long before the end of the Congressional session to allow for a full primary schedule. 

The Democratic primary utilizes a system of superdelegates. For this game, superdelegates are endorsements gained from other Democratic Senators and TedderVision community members that do not play this minigame. Superdelegates from Senators receive a multiple of 10 (meaning that each member casts 10 superdelegate votes, but they must all be for the same person). Meanwhile, TedderVision members that do not play this game casts just 1 vote. They are not required to create characters, though are permitted to do so if desired. Each primary season a topic will be created for superdelegates to post their endorsements as a reply. Superdelegates may change their vote at any time before the beginning of the Democratic National Convention.

The Presidential nominee from each party should select a Vice Presidential nominee for the General Election. Vice Presidential candidates are not playable characters, so a separate campaign schedule isn't submitted for them. VP candidates may be players or real life characters. If the Presidential nominee chooses a player's character, that player is still encouraged to participate in roleplaying.There are no Independent candidates for President except by invitation by the admin team. 

Campaign Events

During each turn, all characters are invited to spend a certain number of hours on the campaign trail. No schedule may go over the allotted number of hours, unless playing an Event Card, but not all hours must be used. Players should submit each turn's schedule by replying to the appropriate topic in this forum. To maintain secrecy until after the deadline, all posts in this forum are kept hidden until after the deadline.

Quote

Fundraisers (2 hours) -- STATE REQUIRED
By holding fundraisers, characters can get donations to their warchest. The success of a fundraiser is based on the character's Wealth attribute, his or her polling, and a random number variable. Each fundraiser will generate between $0 and $100 million. A character may not hold more than 2 fundraisers per turn. The fundraiser must be held in a particular state, but the chosen state does not affect the outcome of the fundraiser. A player can have no more than $500 million cash on hand at any time among all characters they control.

Rallies (1 hour) -- STATE AND TARGET REQUIRED
The traditional campaign event where your candidate gets on stage and recites his or her stump speech. While the player does not need to post a speech, he or she must include where the rally is being held and which voting bloc is being targeted. Campaigns are permitted to target more than one voting bloc, but the impact of the rally will be split between the targeted voting blocs. Rallies do not cost any money and there is no limit on the number of rallies a candidate may do in the turn so long as he or she has enough hours to spend. 

Polls (30 minutes) -- STATE REQUIRED
While I will occasionally post public polling information, these public polls have a margin of error of 3% and are only posted sporadically. However, each campaign can conduct their own polls which have a margin of error of only 1.5% The results of these private polls will be PMed to the candidate at the conclusion of that turn. Each state has its own polling costs according to the chart below. A player may not conduct more than 10 polls per day. By default a poll will include the total of all voting blocs in the state, but an individual voting bloc may be targeted for a poll.

Ads (15 minutes) -- STATE, TARGET, AND POSITIVE/NEGATIVE REQUIRED
Media ads are vital to any campaign. While the text of the ad does not need to be written, each ad must either be a positive or negative ad (if negative, it must target a specific candidate). Ads also must target at least one voting bloc. Ads are permitted to target more than one voting bloc, but the impact of the ad will be split between the targeted voting blocs. A player cannot run the same ad in multiple states. In other words, you must spend an extra 15 minutes per state in the chart below. There is no limit on the number of ads a player may run in the turn so long as he or she has enough hours and money to spend. 

Attributes Upgrade (15 minutes)
Candidates may spend 15 minutes and $2 million to upgrade one attribute by one point. A candidate is limited to no more than 4 upgrades per turn.

National Conventions

National Conventions are an opportunity for each party to highlight their agenda and nominee for President. After one player from each party has achieved the majority of delegates, the primary is completed. When characters drop out of the primary race, they may choose to endorse another candidate. Though all delegates remain committed until after the first ballot of the Convention, the candidate being endorsed will receive momentum points.

If no candidate achieves a majority of delegates after all primaries have concluded, the nominee will need to be selected at the convention. During each round of voting, all candidates retain control of their delegates whether they have dropped out of the race or not. The first round of voting will be the results of the primaries, but in subsequent rounds all players should vote again until we have a nominee. Each party leadership and Presidential nominee can post additional Convention information for RP, but it is not required.

There are no official Conventions outside of Presidential elections, though players are free to RP equivalent events on their own.

Edited by Richard

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