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Actinguy's Founding Fathers

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(This game is not currently open for new players, as all slots are filled)

In the Fall of 1787, after nearly four months of wrangling, brow-beating, and arm twisting, the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia emerged with a Constitution.  Over the next several months, it would be ratified by the newly-independent states.  They also had a leader, the universally popular George Washington ( @Leuser).  Now it was time to see if it would all actually work.  Could a democratic republic, surrounded by enemies, deeply in debt -- a new experiment in the world -- thrive and survive?  

Or would Benjamin Franklin's (Also @Leuser) dark hint -- "A republic, if you can keep it" -- prove all too apt?


Welcome to Founding Fathers!  You each play as your own team of statesmen, working to build their own legacy -- something that will outlive them when you die. 

You will achieve great things if you work together.  But working together will only get you so far.  After all, you are not playing to be forgotten among the masses.

As the game begins, George Washington has just been elected President.  John Adams (@Agent B), his Vice President, has not yet come to curse the office as "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." No other offices have been filled, yet.

If you can keep this nation --this grand experiment -- somehow financially afloat...independent of foreign intruders...and also held together despite deep differences between the north and south...then you just might have a shot of playing all the way up to the 1860's.  A span of nearly 100 years of (alternate) American history.  And if you make it that far, and are interested in pushing further, I'd be happy to buy the sequel that would let us keep going into World War I.

But if you fail -- then it's game over.  If you are remembered at all, it will be as the men (and possibly women) who were handed an incredible opportunity to build a new world, and ruined it over their ideological differences.  

President Washington's first task shall be to assemble the greatest minds our nation has to offer.  He'll need a Secretary of State to handle foreign affairs.  A Secretary of Treasury to handle our finances.  An Attorney General to handle our laws.  A Special Envoy as our chief diplomat.   A General to lead our armies.  A Postmaster General to keep the mail delivered on time.  A Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court to ensure out laws are enforced fairly and dutiful.  And, yes, he will need a Secretary of War.

He will need great minds.

He will need you.

Here is the starting statesmen for each player.  You are also dealt two cards to be held secretly in your hand.  I will private message these to you.

@Leuser you control the President of the United States, plus the legendary (and 83-year-old) Benjamin Franklin -- plus the 21-year-old son of your own Vice President.  With the exception of Quincey, your team is particularly old and you'll likely want to focus on getting as much popularity as possible in the short term, as you won't be alive in the long term.  Washington currently leads the Conservative Party, and is a shoe-in to be nominated for a second term -- unless you royally screw things up.

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@Agent B you are the Vice President of the United States.  As you have only Conservatives currently in your hand, it's likely in your best interest to act to the betterment of the Party for long-term achievements.  As Vice President, Adams is currently viewed as Washington's likely successor for the Conservative nomination for President -- but he won't have as easy a time of it as Washington does.
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Nipping on Adams' heels is that lovable rascal, @Shamilton's Alexander Hamilton.  He is actually tied with Adams for popularity (how party leaders are chosen) right now -- but Adams wins the tie by virtue of being the elder statesmen.  Of course, being elder also means Adams is more likely to die first -- so Hamilton just has to Wait For It and Not Throw Away His Shot.  (He doesn't have to wait for it, of course...a single popularity point more than Adams will give Hamilton the boost up to succeed Washington as the party's nominee).  While @Shamilton and @Agent B both have a full court of conservatives and therefore should work together for the party...they also have the immediate challenge of battling to become President when Washington is gone.
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Then there's @Woot with the full plate of Liberals, including the much villainized Aaron Burr and TWO of our future Presidents -- including the 22-year-old Andrew Jackson.

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Finally, we have @mlcorcoran with the leader of the Liberal party, Thomas Jefferson.  But he's in an interesting spot -- he's got the presumed next Liberal candidate for President...but the rest of his characters are Conservatives.  Which path will he pursue?

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(I'll post more information and instructions momentarily.)

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The point of the game is to rack up popularity.  Popularity goes to an individual statesmen -- and when that statesman inevitably either retires or dies, those popularity totals are converted into Victory Points.  You win by having the most Victory Points at the end of the game. 

How do you achieve popularity?  Well, getting elected President is a great way to do it.  You get three popularity for being elected President, plus you can (usually) assign members of your own team to cabinet positions for more popularity, and then as you handle various crises?  Why, that's more popularity too!

But if you can't get elected President?  All is not lost!  All you have to do is convince the President to give you one of those sweet, sweet cabinet positions (or appointment as General, etc), handle crises that fall under your department, and wait for that old coot to die so you can move up!

There are also influence points, or IP.  At the start of the game, each player (NOT each statesman) begins with three IP.  You can use these IP to handle issues that come up (we'll talk about this later).  You can also use IP to either boost your statesman's popularity -- or build support for your political party.  All of this comes into play later, during the "Player" phase of the game.

But right now, we are in the Issues Phase.  

As President of the United States, @Leuser may do any of the following, in any order he chooses.

1) Reveal and handle an issue.  He will ultimately need to do this four times, before we advance out of the Issues stage.
2)  Pass/Repeal any taxes (with his Secretary of the Treasury, which he'll need to appoint first).  There are currently no taxes to repeal.  
3)  Pass/Repeal any tariffs (again, with his Treasury Secretary).  There are currently no tariffs to appeal.
4)  Appoint offices.

Again, these may be done in any order.

All of the action is currently on @Leuser, though I encourage the rest to consider petitioning him for whatever offices you might be interested in.  Roleplaying in character can be fun, for those who are into that sort of thing.  But those who aren't comfortable roleplaying don't have to.

There are two kinds of offices that @Leuser needs to appoint.  The first are political offices.  All of these MUST go to Conservatives (the President's party) -- with the exception of one that he may choose to give to a liberal.  In other words, he must give 4-5 of these to conservatives, and 0-1 to liberals.

Note that each office comes with one popularity point -- except the Secretary of State, which comes with two.

All of these offices are surrendered before the next President (or Washington's second term) takes office.  


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Then there are the non-political offices.  As such, they can go to Conservatives OR liberals.  Each of these are unique.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court -- this is a lifetime appointment.  Once appointed (and accepted), the Chief Justice serves until he dies...or until he is elected either President or Vice President.  It comes with no popularity, but the Chief Justice can play a vital role in a lot of scenarios that fall under his jurisdiction.

General -- Can only go to those with an "M" listed by their popularity/ability.  They retain their role even when the Presidency changes...but it is not necessarily a lifetime appointment.  They can be stripped of their rank in favor of a different General with a higher ability...or in favor of a military man from the President's party if the current General is of the opposite party.  They of course must resign as General if they are elected President or Vice President.

Postmaster General - Not actually in charge of anything, though it does come with one free influence point.  This was traditionally a "patronage" job -- a thank you to the person who helped the President win office (often awarded to their campaign managers).  Later in the game, this may convert into a political office with popularity points, but you don't have to worry about that yet.

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Next topic:  Finances.

Currently, we have a revenue of -30, and a reserves of 0.  This means that if Washington neither spends nor earns any money for our nation, then at the end of his first term, America will be 30 in debt.  That by itself...even with the interest that is charged...is not necessarily a big deal.  However, you will find that it quickly adds up if not resolved, and debts of more than 100 run an increased risk of financial disaster that could harm the sitting President and Secretary of Treasury...or even ending the game entirely in financial collapse.  It is generally in everyone's interest to balance the budget and run up a surplus...though of course sometimes you may want to go into debt to chase after some shiny popularity points!

How do you increase your revenue?  Well, by tariffs, for starters.  You may only attempt to pass ONE tariff per Presidential term, and of course you start with Tariff I.  

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Note that they say "Treasury + Congress".  This means that you need to appoint a Secretary of Treasury -- AND you need to get Congress to approve.  We'll discuss how Congress works when it comes up.  Note the "difficulty" in the top left.  Your Treasury Secretary must have an Ability score higher than that difficulty...or they (or you as President) must spend enough influence points to overcome the gap.  One influence point will give your Secretary a one-time boost of one ability point.

There's also popularity in the top right.  If you successfully pass Tariff I through congress, both the President AND the Treasury Secretary will receive 2 popularity.

In addition to tariffs, there are also taxes.  These are usually less popular than tariffs, but sometimes necessary.  You'll note they don't come with any popularity.  (The number after the slash means you get popularity for repealing them if they already exist).  

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In addition to not being popular, taxes can also kick off some really bad times.  See below:

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Okay.  That's probably enough to get us started.  

We are currently on @Leuser President Washington to do the following in any order he wishes.

1) Reveal and handle an issue.  He will ultimately need to do this four times, before we advance out of the Issues stage.
2)  Pass/Repeal any taxes (with his Secretary of the Treasury, which he'll need to appoint first).  There are currently no taxes to repeal.  
3)  Pass/Repeal any tariffs (again, with his Treasury Secretary).  There are currently no tariffs to appeal.
4)  Appoint offices.

To advance to the next state (treasury) he will need to appoint every office and also reveal and resolve four issues.

When you're ready for the first issue, Washington, let me know.  I'll reveal it and talk through how the issues work.

The rest of you are encouraged to begin making your case to Washington on why your candidates are the best for the offices of your choice.

I'll continue to walk you through things for now, but here are the rules for those who want to read ahead:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/download.thegamecrafter.com/1554086509/Living-Rules-version-1.6-(January-2015).pdf

And here is the FAQ that explains some of the more complicated rules, and was updated just days ago:

https://upandawaygames.com/FoundingFathers/faq.pdf

The game is afoot!  You may now begin.

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Things to consider as you hand out appointments:

1)  The character's ability.  Higher ability means they will be more capable of handling issues that pop up.

2)  The character's popularity.  Many offices offer boosts to popularity -- both with the initial appointment and also by handling issues successfully.  Give the wrong character too much popularity, and all of a sudden you might not be party leader anymore (which will cost you being nominated for the next term as President).

3)  Future considerations.  You're not going to control the Presidency forever.  Start building some good will now, and hope they remember you fondly when you're the one with your hand out one day.

4)  Not necessarily a consideration, but the other players do have the right to refuse whatever appointment you offer them.

 

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4 minutes ago, Leuser said:

To confirm, I do not actually appoint a PM until the post office is created?

Nope (I used to think that, but was wrong).  You appoint the PM now -- when a card comes into play later, it will be upgraded to a political post that gives a popularity point, but you don't have to worry about that at this stage.  For now, it's just an influence point for whoever you appoint it to.

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I would like to begin by appointing offices:

State - Ben Franklin

Treasure - John Quincy Adams

AG - John Jay

War - Wilson

Envoy - Marshall

Justice - Jefferson

General - Jackson

PM - Pinckney

 

@Actinguy, should I post my next move now as well or wait to see if everyone accepts?

 

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2 minutes ago, Leuser said:

I would like to begin by appointing offices:

State - Ben Franklin

Treasure - John Quincy Adams

AG - John Jay

War - Wilson

Envoy - Marshall

Justice - Jefferson

General - Jackson

PM - Pinckney

 

@Actinguy, should I post my next move now as well or wait to see if everyone accepts?

 

Tagging @Agent B, @mlcorcoran @Woot for their consideration.  (You have the right to refuse if you so choose, though most offices do come with benefits listed above).

@Leuser:  It's up to you.  You can propose a tariff or tax if you'd like, or reveal the first issue.

If the issue requires one of your appointed officers to act, we'll have to wait for them -- but if it's something your guys can do themselves, then we can just keep right on trucking.

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Ok.  The issue on the table is whether to institute our nation's first tariff.  You may vote yes, no, or abstain.  If it passes, our nation will climb out of debt and have a little surplus for a rainy day.  However, it will also give @Leuser four more popularity points (2 for President Washington, 2 for Secretary of Treasury John Quincey Adams).  

Here is the current number of votes you each have (some of you may hold cards affecting your totals.  See your private messages.)

@Leuser: 15
@Agent B: 7
@Shamilton: 12
@Woot: 10
@mlcorcoran: 9

That's a total of 53 votes, so 27 is enough to pass...unless anyone plays cards affecting the total number of available votes.

In addition to cards, you also have the option to "purchase" 3 more votes for a cost of 1 influence.  Everyone has 3 influence right now.

We'll start the vote in order, beginning with @Agent B.

 

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We also need some clarity on which Pinckney you intended to offer the Postmaster general position to, @Leuser.  It's a large family.  (There are two Pinckneys currently in play).
 

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Just now, Actinguy said:

We also need some clarity on which Pinckney you intended to offer the General position to, @Leuser.  It's a large family.  (There are two Pinckneys currently in play).
 

Charles Pinckney.

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I'm working on an excel sheet to track everyone's popularity and job titles, etc, that I'll share as soon as it's done.
 

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31 minutes ago, Leuser said:

I would like to begin by appointing offices:

State - Ben Franklin

Treasure - John Quincy Adams

AG - John Jay

War - Wilson

Envoy - Marshall

Justice - Jefferson

General - Jackson

PM - Pinckney

 

@Actinguy, should I post my next move now as well or wait to see if everyone accepts?

 

Jackson honorably accepts the general appointment.

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38 minutes ago, Leuser said:

PM - Pinckney

When did the U.S. add a Prime Minister office?

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38 minutes ago, Leuser said:

I would like to begin by appointing offices:

State - Ben Franklin

Treasure - John Quincy Adams

AG - John Jay

War - Wilson

Envoy - Marshall

Justice - Jefferson

General - Jackson

PM - Pinckney

 

@Actinguy, should I post my next move now as well or wait to see if everyone accepts?

 

Being a military man, I, James Wilson, honorably accept your nomination as secretary of war, Mr President! 

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

When did the U.S. add a Prime Minister office?

Post Master. Though I can see a hint of sarcasm as well. If that is the case, I am planning Brexit with my next move. 

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Just now, Leuser said:

Post Master. Though I can see a hint of sarcasm as well. If that is the case, I am planning Brexit with my next move. 

Actually, no sarcasm. As a Canadian, myself, we only ever regularly hear a lot about the top five U.S. cabinet members - State, Defense, Justice, Commerce, and the Interior (and, recently, DHS). That, and it being late at night, the abbreviation PM, which in Canadian parlance is practically exclusively used for the Canadian or another Parliamentary nation's Prime Minister, through me for a loop.

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9 minutes ago, Patine said:

Actually, no sarcasm. As a Canadian, myself, we only ever regularly hear a lot about the top five U.S. cabinet members - State, Defense, Justice, Commerce, and the Interior (and, recently, DHS). That, and it being late at night, the abbreviation PM, which in Canadian parlance is practically exclusively used for the Canadian or another Parliamentary nation's Prime Minister, through me for a loop.

Now that's INCREDIBLY interesting that you call Commerce and Interior "top cabinet members". I think most people would give deference to Treasury, Education, DHHS, as you said DHS, Energy, HUD, Labor, Veteran's Affairs or Agriculture before going to those two.

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45 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

Ok.  The issue on the table is whether to institute our nation's first tariff.  You may vote yes, no, or abstain.  If it passes, our nation will climb out of debt and have a little surplus for a rainy day.  However, it will also give @Leuser four more popularity points (2 for President Washington, 2 for Secretary of Treasury John Quincey Adams).  

Here is the current number of votes you each have (some of you may hold cards affecting your totals.  See your private messages.)

@Leuser: 15
@Agent B: 7
@Shamilton: 12
@Woot: 10
@mlcorcoran: 9

That's a total of 53 votes, so 27 is enough to pass...unless anyone plays cards affecting the total number of available votes.

In addition to cards, you also have the option to "purchase" 3 more votes for a cost of 1 influence.  Everyone has 3 influence right now.

We'll start the vote in order, beginning with @Agent B.

 

I vote yay! towards the institution of a tariff.

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43 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

Now that's INCREDIBLY interesting that you call Commerce and Interior "top cabinet members". I think most people would give deference to Treasury, Education, DHHS, as you said DHS, Energy, HUD, Labor, Veteran's Affairs or Agriculture before going to those two.

The Department of Commerce comes up far more often in Canadian news than the Treasury because of trade - especially Trump's recent, out-of-the-blue renegotiations of NAFTA and his pulling out of the TPP. The U.S. Department of Education practically never comes up in Canadian news, not does Veteran's Affairs or Labor, that I've seen in my life (though American veterans and labor resolutions issues are discussed - the Federal Government Departments and Secretaries are rarely given much coverage themselves).

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

The Department of Commerce comes up far more often in Canadian news than the Treasury because of trade - especially Trump's recent, out-of-the-blue renegotiations of NAFTA and his pulling out of the TPP. The U.S. Department of Education practically never comes up in Canadian news, not does Veteran's Affairs or Labor, that I've seen in my life (though American veterans and labor resolutions issues are discussed - the Federal Government Departments and Secretaries are rarely given much coverage themselves).

Ah yes, Commerce does make sense in the foreigner's context.

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