Text-only Version: Click HERE to see this thread with all of the graphics, features, and links.

This thread is used to track the attitude of the Senate towards the Rebel Alliance in my Original Trilogy Star Wars game.


The Emperor will find it difficult to maintain control without the Bureaucracy

Obi-Wan's words ring true- and are confirmed later by the Imperials in ANH. Much as he really wants to, the Emperor actually is incapable of ruling the Galaxy without the bureaucratic process of the Senate maintaining control of each individual world.

This may seem odd to many- the Emperor is the most powerful man in the Galaxy, yes? He also directly controls the armed forces which are beyond any other force in the Galaxy, yes? Why does he put up with mere politicians?

Well, for a start, it is LITERALLY impossible to simply exercise your will over the countless worlds of the Galaxy, even if you had a trillion trillion men. It doesn't work like that. All subjects within Empires in history have operated within a hazy area of apathetic collaboration with the Imperial masters (except with the British Empire, which had no grand army to speak of and so used money to get very ACTIVE collaboration instead). The Senate gives him an administrative mechanism by which those worlds can be controlled.

Secondly, the Emperor cannot operate in a Galaxy that is continuously battling against him. He was voted into office and power- that is his way- and he prefers to keep things in a position by which he is seen as a legitimate leader (smaet, because otherwise things would collapse). If the Emperor disbands the Senate, any facade of this disappears. Every world would have their elected leaders removed and there would be a chaotic babble of protests. It wouldn't work.

Thirdly, the Senate gives the Emperor a way to rule without dictat. Why make an absolute proclamation that forces everyone to obey, when instead you can use your political skills to get the SENATE to make a decision instead, and make the whole process look very proper and uncontroversial- democratic, even.

Hence- the Senate stays. For now.


Holding her could be dangerous. If word of this reaches the Senate...

The first two reasons above are reason the Emperor HAS to keep the Senate. The third is a reason he SHOULD.

The third reason, however, fails. Much as this would be the route of the smart politician, for all his intelligence the Emperor is, at heart, a megalomaniac of the grandest proportions- he is a Sith Lord, after all. He is simply incapable of actually tolerating anything that limits his power.

And the Senate DOES limit his power. Control over people is power. If he ever acts against the Senate, the people start to protest, his control lessens, his power lessons.

Technically speaking, the Emperor, under emergency leglisation, can make ANY decision, unilaterally, without reference to anyone. But doing tbis makes him very unpopular indeed, and he is loathe to do it. Therefore true Galactic power really still lies in the Senate- they still make executive decisions, in much the same way they ever did- which is to say, it is mostly corrupt and greedy.

Many Senators, after all, see the Empire not as a barrier, but as a means to power, Many can be threatened, bought off, persuaded. Few are willing to actively risk defying the Emperor openly. Nine times out of ten, the Emperor can get what he wants from the Senate... but his patience is not infinite, and splits occur. There are many complaints from the Senate against the Emperor, and his political machine must deal with them.

Of course, the Emperor can try and act covertly and make sure the Senate never hears of something bad... but his agents had better be very careful...


The final remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away...

So eventually the Emperor does indeed plan to repalce the Senate.

Almost immediately after the deaths of Count Dooku and General Griveous, Palpatine implementsd a series of Regional Governors to help exercise control of the Republic as it re-builds. Their purpose is hazy- why need Governoers if all worlds have Senators? They occupy an uncomfortable double-world, their power coming from the Emperor, the Senaoters around them given power by the people.

This ambigious double-system is deliberate. The Emperor is slowly creating a viable alternative system that could run the Galaxy in the absence of the Senate. The Governors are all totally loyal to him; there will be no questioning.

The final obstacle, therefore, is the literal impossibility noted above- that no army is large enough to run an Empire by force. The solution here is the Death Star- power that has to be respsteced even on a Galactic scale. The Emperor's eventual plan is to disband the Sneate, give all power to the Governors, and if anone dosagreess... destroy their planet. Thus will his plan be complete. Of course, eventually he is left with neither Death Star nor Senate, and it is from this point on that the Dark Side starts to lose control; little wonder that his plan after that is simply... build another Death Star. By then, he's really run out of options.

Our game takes place years in advance of this- but the system of Regional Governors has been in place for fifteen years and should be noted by all.


The Rebel Alliance will continue to gain sympathy within the Senate...

As it is, the Senate yet survives, and it is a battleground for influence to be fought over. For a long time, the Senate has been a 'passive' opponent- even if it does not like the Emperor, what can it do?

The establishment of the Rebel Alliance as a viable force has created that alternative. This is an odd circle, though, because the Alliance needs the support of the Senate to ever be a viable force. This inxtricable link of the Galactic Civil War is therefore an innate part of this game.

Without Senate support, the Alliance is just a bunch of hunted malcontents. With it, they can cause popular protest against the Empire, they can make sure their cause is heard at all levels... and they can receive help. With the Senataos on their side, the Alliance can receive hideaways, facilities... and weapons. From guns to ships to fleets, the Alliance cannot reasonably manufacture its own forces. But it doesn't need to, if the myriad worlds of the Galaxy can help out.

The Senate, therefore, is a weapon. But it is a double-edged sword. The Senate could become the Alliance's enemy- and the last thing the Rebels need are more enemies. If they can find no friends anywhere, they will surely die.


'Senate Sympathy', as well as being an interesting plot point, is also the mechanism of restraint and control in this game, to replace Censure and Animosity in the PT game. The fact that the Senate will hear of your actions is a vital modifier on the possible actions of Rebel and Imperial alike.

Senate Sympathy runs by a very simple system. It starts each episode at a certain level, starting the Campaign pre-set and then altering, episode by episode, as we go by. Because only major Galactic events can affect Senate Sympathy, you can easily therefore guess that each episode takes place in some important and publically aware arena.

Senate Sympathy is built with the Rebels in mind- the higher it is, the greater the Senate supports the Rebels. It rates from 1 (lowest) to 20 (highest). A shift of more than two points in an Episode represents a major shift in attitude.

In each game, there will be certain conditions given to all that will affect Senate Sympathy. These are the obvious ones; there may be others, either hidden or to be discovered in-game. Others may disappear during a game. If I ever judge oen to be reasonably hit, it is applied... but the final shsift in Sympathy only occurs at the end of the Episode.

Other than role-playing differences, Senate Sympathy has two gameplay affects:


By default, Senators do not wish to risk themselves talking to a bunch of condemned Rebel terrorists. However, if Senate Sympathy increases, then they become more willing to entertain alternatives.

By the same token, the Imperials will find a sympathetic Senate evasive and procastinating. An unsympathetic Senate, however, will happily aid the agents of their Emperor.

A simple modifer gets applied to all rolls involving the Senate; that modifier is decided by the Senate Sympathy level


The Alliance is in DESPERATE need of resources, compared to the near infinte reach of the Empire. Aside from any plot-speciifc events, Rebel players can only receive help in the form of resources if Senate Sympathy is relatively high. If it is, Rebel command has things it can distribute to players- starting with guns and tools, the theoretical upper limit is not even within the scope of the game, extending as it can possibly do to battle fleets.

The Imperials receive no extra help for a low Sympathy score- they already have all they will ever need. But if Sympathy gets very low- below 5- the Rebels may find that it is not only the Empire who oppose them at every turn.



All Imperial Senate rolls are at +1

All Rebel Senate rolls are at -1

Rebel supply is effectively non-existant


15 years of unlimited power from the Emperor has worn the patience of the Senate thin. His continual refusal to let go of emergency powers- first because of Confederate remnants, then because of Rebel terrorists- has gone beyond any more excuses, and no Senator harbours any illusions about the motives of the Emperor any more.

However, many Senators want a slice of that power, rather than being cowed by it. Many others are apathetic, and look only to their own affairs. Far more are terrified. The Empire is large and strong. The Alliance is weak and insignificant. Why risk their lives for that?

Nonetheless, the cumulative effect of dictatorship from the Emperor has meant that the Senate is willing to listen, at least, to pleas from the Rebels.



Senator Coran Andran is arrested unreasonably: +2
Any Senator is arrested unreasonably: +1
Any Senator is threatened/harmed by the Osokans: -1
Senator Coran Andran is threatened/harmed by the Osokans: -2

Lanzar is unreasonably blockaded: +1
Lanzar is unreasonably invaded: +3

Evidence of Osokan atrociites is uncovered: -1
Drakkon is reasonably arrested for trial: -1

(Note- 'unreasonable' is a fuzzy term. Technically, of course, any move by the Empire is going to be MORALLY unreasonable. But here we are referring to the letter and spirit of the law. If you arrest a Senator just because he is in your way, that is bad. But if the Senator has actually broken the law, then whilst the good guys in the Senate may mourn his arrest, the Senate won't actually protest. Only if the Imperial machine overrides the laws of the Senate is there trouble.)

The Senatorial mission on Lanzar is an important one. If the Imperial machine acts unilaterally to obstruct or remove it there will be an outcry in the Senate. The outcry will be huge if that disruption is aimed at Coran Andran who, as one of the oldest, most respected and most powerful Senators there is, has massive support within the bureaucracy.

Of course, should the Osokans be seen to be biting at the Senate themselves, the Empire will be looked to to sort the issue. Incidentally, any act by the Rebels to interfere with the Senate will simpy be disallowed in-game.

The presence of the Senate has re-assured many that the rulers of the Galaxy can bring wisdom and peace. If, during peace negotiations, a battle fleet suddenly decides to blockade the world, or a massive army invades it, the outcry won't just be from the Senate. The whole Galaxy will wonder if it will be them next. If these things are done without good reason, the penalties are severe.

The Osokans are a vicious and unpleasant race. The Senate is willing to paper over many of their past crimes in order to secure peace. But an Imperial presence looking to gain popular support could gain ground by exposing these evils- and if the notorious Drakkon himself can be taken alive to account for the crimes of his people...

A few points to make:

Firstly, the Empire tends to have an 'act first and sort it out later' approach. Playtesting off-line showed that if the Empire is so afraid of the Senate that it never does anything that might increase sympathy, the Rebels have a laughably free hand.

Instead, the onus is often on the Imperial players to take risks, and hope that they can be retroactively justified. Decisions on sympathy swings are not always taken immediately- for example, arresting a Senator and finding grounds to do so three days later is just as good as finding grounds beforehand. So long as when everything is looked at, it seems reasonable, you can get away with it. Of course, this creates a ticking clock for the Imperial players, and provides good ground for the Rebels to try and thwart them.

Secondly, specifically to this game- any attempt to expose Osokan evils that the Emperor was complicit with will reverse the points on offer. So Imperial players, don't go trying to expose what you as players already know about the Osokans- that's all been buried for good reason.

Thirdly, remember the spirit of the game. Faking evidence counts as unreasonable. Imperials will be forbidden from inciting the Osokans to attack the Senators. Mood is vital to this game, folks!

Lord Melkor
Interesting. Will it be possible for the Senators or Administrators to actuallly adress the Senate? (maybe at the end of Episode?)

Can Contact in the Senate be used to spread propaganda among Senators?

It's not covered by the opening episode, no.

Ush - a brief question - is it plausible that the Senator's bodyguards would be made up of imperial troops?

EDIT - No longer important. (Also just realised this is a shared thread... stick out tongue

Those are two separate questions.

Well - would the Senate have imperial bodyguards?

Nope, as I am sure you know, the Senate has its own guard.

sounds neat

Ah, okay...

I didn't actually know - I've never gone deep into the background of Star Wars. But thanks!

Already... Ideas... Forming...

so when doe stis start?

General Zink
When the current game ends.

Originally posted by Ushgarak
Nope, as I am sure you know, the Senate has its own guard.
To point out what they look like for those who aren't sure, there are two clad in red armor when Yoda enters the room where Sidious is in Episode III (he uses the Force to throw them back into a wall).

they are also shown in ROTJ, when luke is gonna fight Vader in front of the emperor, I think

Actually, those are the Emperor's (Chancellor's) personal guard. They're in AOTC, ROTS, and ROTJ. The Senate guard are similar, but are blue, with different helmets. They are seen in all three prequel movies, I think.

k Jazz

Sorry, just bumping this for easy access.

Lord Melkor
Useful indeed, I just noticed following Nadir`s plan would mean decrease of Sympathy of at last 4! And Ush said he is politically more skilled than Jarek....

That depends what he cares about.

Lord Melkor
I assume Emperor won`t be very angry about Sympathy decrease of 1 or 2? He may be already planning disolving the Senate, and his instuctions to me really seemed like invitation for harsh resolutions.

He is planning to dissolve it once the Death Star is complete. As it stands, he cannot maintain control without it. He's sent you to handle what he called 'political barriers'. He will not be impressed if you simply ignore them.

We have to find the fine line between action and pissing off too many Senators, then, in order to get things done without shooting ourselves in the collective foot.

What were the results of Kyle's blockade running on Senate Sympathy, if we could get an update? Or is this all calculated at endgame?

Captain REX
I think it decreased, then increased, so we're still at 8.

It bounced back evens. Decreased for arms running, but increased for the illegal use of force.

Captain REX
That's what I thought.

Does Rebel Sympathy just soar when the Senate is disolved?

Well, yes. From that point on it is assumed that many planets start to openly aid the Rebellion, hence them having a fleet by ROTJ.

Lord Melkor
Senate Sympathy doesn`t change at the end of this Episode, if my calculations are correct? Which I consider a minor Imperial sucess, since Rebels didn`t use this opportunity to become more popular with the Senate.

Text-only Version: Click HERE to see this thread with all of the graphics, features, and links.