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Still working on my scifi campaign ( I think I have maybe 3 month before it starts)

It will start in an orderly, albeit militaristic, space civilisation... That will shatterwith a coup.. (that was the plan)
But then I watched some episode of Horrible History.. and I learn how there was like... 40 emperor? in a row in a short time after Julius Caesar death, in a string of coup...

And I am wondering.. why just one coup? Why not a string of them?
But then it's different, it's the future, with better information, technology, vast distance between protagonist.... Such political madness seems to only have happened in the distant past....

In a few words I wonder.. How many coup in a row would be realistic? What say you?

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If you have a weak Emperor and he is deposed in a coup, the new Emperor could be seen as really strong, because he succeeded, or really weak as he isn't the proper Emperor. supporters of the old Emperor could arrange their own coup against the new Emperor. Pretty soon you have supporters of various ex-emperors arranging coup after coup until a strongman comes along and puts them all down very hard.

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If realism as in verisimilitude is the goal, just do it on feel. Once it feels like you are doing the same thing over and over again, that's enough.

If you are talking about representing history, the Roman situation was based on certain "generals" having control of Legion(s). This means as long as there is no force that achieves hegemony, they can continue as long as resources and the will to fight hold out.

In the case of Mongolia after Genghis, it was the dead Khan who left no heir along with external wars that led to the fracturing of the Khanate.

The Three Kingdoms period in ancient China is another good one, as a weakened Emperor is held hostage by a warlord no one trusts but no one can defeat. This leads to a 3-way balance of power which dissolves into all-out war. the victor is which is then consumed by Pyrrhic victory as another dynasty usurps the throne.

Vast oversimplification of historical events no charge.

Edited by hix
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Posted (edited)

I think I wanted to challenge the natural awe and reverence player have toward royalty... But that probably not works, since it contains reasonable wariness of power...

The string of coup would be mostly a (vast) family affair, with an emperor having lived for few hundreds of years...
Me think now, I will start with a bloodbath... follow by 1 or 2 more coup and a fracture of the empire that will be more or less stable for the players game period afterwards...

I have some open ended campaigns end ideas... one of them might be helping one of the .. contenders? pretenders? something.... ^_^ 

There will be independentist raising to the occasion as well... but it's another story...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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  • 3 weeks later...

Alexander the Great's mighty empire shattered after his early death. He did have an heir but he was only a child. Alexander's trusted generals each considered themselves Alexander's chosen heir, and none of them either trusted the others or had the power by himself to seize the Empire. At certain points in history ambitious people realise that they can take power by force, and then it's on for young and old.

Edited by Questbird
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14 hours ago, Questbird said:

Alexander the Great's mighty empire shattered after his early death. He did have an heir but he was only a child. Alexander's trusted generals each considered themselves Alexander's chosen heir, and none of them either trusted the others or had the power by himself to seize the Empire. At certain points in history ambitious people realise that they can take power by force, and then it's on for young and old.

It's rather remarkable how the post-Alexander and post-GenghisKhan empires played out so similarly...

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:55 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

In a few words I wonder.. How many coup in a row would be realistic? What say you?

It probably depends on how strong the given leader's supporters are composed to any rivals, how fast it would take to move troops (and spread the word), the advantages of being in charge, how much of an impact the leader has on the people (i.e. does it make any different to someone 1000 light years away what goes on at the capital?), as well as what else is going on to distract people or make them pay attention to their leader (famines, wars, economic boom, etc.)

Just look at the Roman Empire. At times there were a string of coups, it's just that the winners always kept the same trappings of power so that Empire seemed to go on the same, just with a different leader, multiple claimants at the same time, etc. And the late Roman republic might have been ever worse, as anybody who could raise and army could take over the Republic to some extent. 

But also per the Romans, whoever is in charge probably would want things to look better and more stable than they really are. You might even have some people revising history to remove certian rulers who were undesirable for some reason. So you could wind up with only ten Emperors in a timeline where they were really fifty! 

Edited by Atgxtg
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