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jumbi

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Good people of the Imperial City, welcome to another Elder Kings developer diary! Today I'll be detailing a feature coming in the next update that is currently being tested on the SVN: the Elder Council. Brace yourselves, it's a bit of a long one!

The Society
The Elder Council is the central administrative organ of the Empire, operating of the Imperial City. In-game, it represented as a society. There are 4 ranks: Councillor, Advisor, Chief Councillor, and, the grandmaster, the High Chancellor. The Elder Council maintains its own treasury, which its members use to carry out administrative quests throughout the Empire. The Council, particularly through the High Chancellor, has several special interactions with the Emperor. There are different restrictions to join the Council, which will be discussed later on.


Some of you may have already noticed a problem with this. That is, in the Interregnum bookmark, as its name indicates, there is no Emperor and no Empire. What can the Council actually do during this time? At any time, rulers who are de jure members of the Empire (the Cyrodiilic Empire in all current start dates) may opt to voluntarily pay taxes to the Elder Council, making them eligible targets for quests. Members of the Elder Council are always eligible targets, as they always pay their taxes.


There are several different types of improvements councillors can make, such as improving tax collection, shoring up recruitment efforts, and suppressing local revolt risk. Councillors are given a budget from the Council treasury to perform their tasks, and both the local ruler and the councillor have a chance to invest in the quest themselves (or discretely reward themselves for such hard work). Success is determined based on the remaining budget and the skill of the councillor.




Councillors can also receive a call to attend to Council business in the Imperial City. Before setting off, they can pay for extra guards to accompany them along the way, assuming the Elder Council isn't footing the bill (more on that below).


If you aren't properly guarded, bandits may decide to liberate you of some of your belongs, including, Meridia forbid, the amulet crafted for you upon joining the Council.



Once at the Imperial Palace, there will be various tasks for you to attend to based on your skills, giving more society currency and a temporary bonus.


Imperial Pretenders
Some may now be wondering how to claim the Ruby Throne. The most straightforward way is the traditional route of conquering enough land and creating the Cyrodiilic Empire (and then Tamriel) normally. However, for those High Kings of Cyrodiil looking to gain recognition as Emperor without needing to conquer their way to High Rock, holders of the Imperial City can seize the Elder Council and demand the Ruby Throne.

The Elder Council is quite likely to reject your demands, however. Holding provincial high kingdoms and not having the warlord trait improve your chances of being approved, as well as having members of the Elder Council being of your dynasty, culture, realm, and religion. If the Council rejects your demands, well...


A member of the Elder Council will be selected to be the council's war leader. Any members of the Elder Council that voted against your demands will join the war against you, and the High Chancellor will ask for help from any holders of de jure kingdoms in the Empire. This war puts a higher value on battles than sieges, so even if the Council war leader has only one province, they shouldn't fold immediately. A weak, divided Council will fall easily, but a large Council united against a pretender can be a continent-spanning coalition.


Once the Council is defeated, or if they never oppose you to begin with, you will be granted a new titular title representing your Empire. As, of course, you are the true claimant to the Ruby Throne, its history will reflect this reality.



However, this pretender title has several drawbacks when compared with the true Cyrodiilic Empire. For one, it's a titular kingdom, not a de jure empire. Secondly, it garners less Imperial Influence (used for interacting with the Council, more below) each year, and its holder doesn't get the special Emperor trait. Thirdly, it is far more likely to dissolve. For example, if an elective confederacy is recognised as the Empire, the Elder Council is likely to disavow the elected heir on their succession, especially if they're not of the pretender's dynasty.


If, however, a pretender forms the true Empire, all previous pretenders in their line will retroactively be considered to have been true Emperors. Whether you are a pretender or the true Emperor, you and your de facto vassals will always pay Council taxes and be valid quest targets.


Laws of the Empire
There is a set of special laws that dictate how the Elder Council interacts with the Ruby Throne. These can be reviewed in the current events menu.


The laws so far are:

Councillor Guards
  • None: No effect.
  • Light: All members of the Elder Council gain a small bonus to plot power defence, and some of their guards are paid for when travelling to the Imperial City.
  • Full: As with light, but with a higher bonus to plot power defence.
Administrative Quest Funding
The initial quest budgets can be set to be 0, 25, 50, or 75 gold. Higher budgets mean more chance of success but costs the Council more.
Join Requirements
In addition to being de jure/de facto citizens of the Empire, the following are possible join restrictions:
  • Quality: Not a warlord and one of the following: at least 20 in one skill, holder/direct vassal of the Imperial Commune, a member of the Emperor's council or personally prestigious or froma prestigious dynasty (exactly how prestigious varying based on feudal rank).
  • Paid: Councillors pay to join the Council, with the money going to the Council treasury.
  • Nominated: Councillors are nominated by the High Chancellor/Emperor and confirmed by the Council.
  • Appointed: Councillors are appointed by the High Chancellor/Emperor.
Nominated and Appointed have separate versions for both the High Chancellor and Emperor.

Nominating/appointing councillors costs society currency for the High Chancellor and Imperial Influence for the Emperor.
Law Proposals
  • High Chancellor: The High Chancellor can propose council laws.
  • Both: Both the High Chancellor and the Emperor can propose council laws.
  • Emperor: The Emperor can propose council laws.
Proposing laws costs society currency for the High Chancellor and Imperial Influence for the Emperor.
High Chancery
  • Independent: The Emperor can never dismiss the High Chancellor.
  • No Confidence: The Emperor can have the Council vote to dismiss the High Chancellor.
  • His/Her Majesty's Pleasure: The Emperor can dismiss the High Chancellor at will by spending Imperial Influence. They can also designate their successor using Imperial Influence.
Imperial Allowance
Determines the percentage of the Council's income that's given directly to the Emperor. Ranges from 0% to 50%.
Imperial Legislature
  • None: Realm laws are only voted on by Emperor's regular council.
  • Advisory: The Elder Council gives an official advisement on whether or not to enact a law if the Emperor's council approves it. This advisement can be ignored, but your vassals and members of the Aristocratic faction (more on that below) will be annoyed.
  • Binding: If a law is approved by the Emperor's council, the Elder Council must then approve it.
For both Advisory and Binding, the Emperor can veto the Council's gathering before a vote is taken, forcing the law into effect, but angering the Aristocratic faction and his vassals, and slightly irking the Imperialist faction.

The jump from None to Advisory can only be made if the Emperor's council can vote. Similarly, the Emperor can only strip his council's right to vote if the Elder Council cannot offer any opinion on realm laws.


An example of the Emperor ignoring the Elder Council with the Advisory Imperial Legislature law in place.

Any votes put before the Elder Council, be they nominations, council laws, or realm laws, require a simple majority to pass. All councillors belong to either the Aristocratic faction, believing that the affairs of state are best left to the Elder Council, or the Imperialist faction, which believes that the Elder Council should only advise the Ruby Throne, not dictate law to it.

Councillors will tend heavily towards the Aristocratic faction. The best way to get Imperialist councillors is to try and stack the council with characters of your culture and religion who either love you or are dynasts. Councillors have a particular distaste for Emperors who are warlords, different religions, or different culture groups. A strong Imperialist faction will favour laws strengthening the Ruby Throne and provide more Imperial Influence each year.


However, the Emperor has a strong tool to hold back the oft-dominant Aristocratic faction: the Imperial Veto. Any vote put before the Council can be vetoed by the Emperor. Nominees can be dismissed without a second thought, council laws killed on the spot, and realm laws forced into effect. If not vetoed, motions require a simple majority to pass. Any ties are decided by the High Chancellor.




The drawback to this is that people will take a strong dislike to you doing this. The Aristocratic faction will hate you, your vassals will quickly become annoyed at this seeming abuse of power, and even the Imperialist faction will begin to turn if enough proposals are vetoed.

However, if the Elder Council is the dominant political force, the Imperial Veto can claw some power back to the Ruby Throne. If enough proposals are vetoed, the Council will cede some power to the Emperor in an effort to make the Empire run smoothly. The exact concession they make will depend on the current balance of power. Vetoes can force the Council out of a position of dominance, but they can't force through any strongly pro-Imperial laws.


That's all for now! You've all been imitating the conquests of Reman, Tiber, and Uriel V. We hope that now you'll be able to follow in the footsteps of Uriel VI. Who knows, there might be some more aspects of this in the works...


The Elder Council is currently live in the latest version of the SVN. Any feedback regarding it is greatly appreciated! For those who don't want to use the SVN, it should be coming with the release of 0.2.2.

Thanks for reading!
 
Last edited:

EmoPro

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Wow... I'm in awe that the feature made for societies can be turned into something with such depth... Now if the HRE, ERE, Islamic Caliphate or even the Persian empire can have such depth in CK2...

I cant wait :D
 

Astrades

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I was wandering if you ever make something which will be simulating elder council and your ideas seems interesting. But i hope council will not give too much bonuses for imperials. And what it be with nonhuman conquerors of Cyrodiil? Council will do something?
 

jumbi

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I was wandering if you ever make something which will be simulating elder council and your ideas seems interesting. But i hope council will not give too much bonuses for imperials. And what it be with nonhuman conquerors of Cyrodiil? Council will do something?
The bonuses given by the Council quests shouldn't upset the balance of power too much. They're highly dependent on having a competent and well-funded Council, and the modifiers given by success are fairly minor ones (plus a competent Council generally means a large Council, which will, in turn, burn through the budget much faster). At the moment, the Elder Council is tied directly to the Cyrodiilic and Tamrielic Empires, regardless of the culture of their ruler.
 
Last edited:

Basileus Basil

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Can't wait to play as the Emperor! The interactions between the Ruby Throne and the Council look amazing. How will we be able to appoint councilors as an Emperor? It will be a honorary title or a diplomatic decision?
 

KaiserWilhelmI

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Oh this is juicy! Great work.
 

jumbi

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Can't wait to play as the Emperor! The interactions between the Ruby Throne and the Council look amazing. How will we be able to appoint councilors as an Emperor? It will be a honorary title or a diplomatic decision?
It will be a diplomatic action, so you can appoint councillors without the appointees needing to be your direct vassals.
 

drmonkey

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Are the interactions between the emperor and the council only for emperors of Cyrodiil or Tamerial or or for any emperor that holds Cyrodiil?
 

jumbi

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Are the interactions between the emperor and the council only for emperors of Cyrodiil or Tamerial or or for any emperor that holds Cyrodiil?
At the moment they're for the holders of the actual empires of Cyrodiil and Tamriel.
 

Ruisuki

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is the emperor forced into this new society? Given hes a target and pays taxes to it. Does this mean you cant join other societies if you reach that title?

Will the potentate feature you teased at the end be explained in a future DD, or is it planned as part of release? Also how far off is 0.2.2?
 
Last edited:

AliceVonderland

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So, I have formed the Imperial Potentate and are an Imperial Republic, managed to marry into the Reman Bloodline, and hold the amulet of kings. What do I do now? the Elder Council seems to really hate me, and I worry as I have no decision (as of yet, I only hold Cyrodiil) to crown myself the true emperor or whatever... I am worried, because my succession is elective, and while murdering all who won't vote for your chosen heir is fun, after the 6th or 7th assassination it gets a little tiring. So I guess my question is, is there anyway to get out of Elective succession/name yourself emperor as a Potentate in the SVN? or is that being worked on? or do I just not hold enough High Kingdoms?
 

Lysistrata

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You might want to tighten the restrictions on who can join just a bit. I've just had the Captain of the Brethren of the Gold Coast become High Chancellor less than a decade after starting because a plague broke out in the Imperial City. It might also be an idea to give extra influence to councillors inside Cyrodiil, especially ones close to the Imperial City. It makes sense that councillors who are able to be present more would get more influence on the council.
 
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jumbi

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So, I have formed the Imperial Potentate and are an Imperial Republic, managed to marry into the Reman Bloodline, and hold the amulet of kings. What do I do now? the Elder Council seems to really hate me, and I worry as I have no decision (as of yet, I only hold Cyrodiil) to crown myself the true emperor or whatever... I am worried, because my succession is elective, and while murdering all who won't vote for your chosen heir is fun, after the 6th or 7th assassination it gets a little tiring. So I guess my question is, is there anyway to get out of Elective succession/name yourself emperor as a Potentate in the SVN? or is that being worked on? or do I just not hold enough High Kingdoms?
As the teaser indicated, the de facto Potentate is still very much WIP. At the moment, it exists solely as a titular empire for those who manage to reform the Commune.

You might want to tighten the restrictions on who can join just a bit. I've just had the Captain of the Brethren of the Gold Coast become High Chancellor less than a decade after starting because a plague broke out in the Imperial City. It might also be an idea to give extra influence to councillors inside Cyrodiil, especially ones close to the Imperial City. It makes sense that councillors who are able to be present more would get more influence on the council.
Sadly, monthly society currency gain is a fairly inflexible system. As best I can tell, it only accepts society rank, attribute scores, and having specific traits as reasons to increase it.
 

AliceVonderland

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I figured as much, oh well, I guess i do have tons of money, and the assassinate button is very useful... Eh, Emperor, Potentate, doesn't matter, as long as I stay in Top Dog position.
 

jumbi

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It might also be an idea to give extra influence to councillors inside Cyrodiil, especially ones close to the Imperial City. It makes sense that councillors who are able to be present more would get more influence on the council.
Just to follow up on this, I've added a yearly event (hidden so as not to be annoying) that gives councillors bonus society currency based on different factors, including whether their capital is in Cyrodiil.
 

Lysistrata

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I've just had another thought: at the moment, being on the Elder Council isn't that much fun when the Empire doesn't exist, since you can't directly fill the void because you're a councillor, and changing most of the Council's policies requires the existence of an Emperor.

I think to get around this, there should be a targeted decision where you can designate a Clivia-style puppet Emperor if you're the High Chancellor and hold some sort of kingdom (besides the Heartlands), as long as your chosen puppet is your vassal, holds the Imperial Isle, aren't a member of the Council themselves, and none of the other versions of the Empire exist. If the Council votes to recognise them as Emperor, they get a duke-tier titular title and function as Emperor for the purposes of the Elder Council, and can switch to the king-tier fake empire if they get independent. The controller of this puppet emperor should get a significant bonus to council influence at the very least, and conversely the puppet should get less Imperial influence than a higher-ranking Emperor would.

So say you're playing as Abnur Tharn in the Post-Banner War bookmark, you'd be able to nominate your daughter Jerina as a puppet empress.
 
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