It is Monday and time for another page in the developer diary!
Today I'd like to talk about the Senate and Laws. In Vae Victis, all republics have a Senate, which provide the player with both new opportunities and obstacles. There are five parties in the Senate; Military, Mercantile, Civic, Religious and Populist. In the Senate screen, the player can see how many seats each party presently holds, who the five party leaders are, and the three most likely candidates for Consul.
Every adult character in a republic is aligned with one of the parties, which provides the basis for a whole slew of character events. Moreover, each party gives a significant bonus when it is in power (when the ruler is from that party.) The exception is the Populist party, which represents dissenters of all kinds. When they are in charge, the country suffers a penalty. On the other hand, if the Populists hold a lot of seats in the senate, but the ruler is from another party, they might decide to start a Civil War...
Current issues within the state will shift senators from one party to another. For example, a long period of peace will strengthen the military party, and a lack of trade will incite senators to align with the Mercantile party. To give the player some control over these political winds, the five technology magistrates will strengthen their parties in the senate, depending on their charisma. For the same reason, the new office of Censor has been added; it is a powerful office, open only to previous consuls and magistrates. Through their control over the Senatorial and Equestrian ranks, the two Censors carry a lot of influence in the senate.
The Senate will task the player with time limited missions, and it has the power to block diplomatic actions depending on the current strength of the parties. For example, if the military party is weak, it might be difficult to declare wars...
To the right of the Senate screen is a list of Laws. Laws are essentially decisions, like in In Nomine, but there are some differences; Laws have a permanent effect while they are instituted, and they can be revoked. (Monarchies and Tribes will also be able to pass and revoke Laws, but their selection will be more limited and slightly less important.)
To sum it up, the special events and ruler bonuses for republics can make them more powerful than monarchies, but they are also more difficult to run!