Now that the recent changes to how Conclave works have had a year to run I thought I’d ask people what they’d tell someone who wants to get involved in Conclave politics and even why they’d want to do that?
You, YES YOU, can wield all the lawmaking power of the Conclave. The Hats of the Conclave are largely soft power and have no more power to pass declarations than you do!
That said… RUN YOUR DECLARATION PAST your favourite Conclave hat wearer. If you can’t sell them on it, you probably can’t sell Conclave on it: if they’re dubious, get their feedback. But don’t ask them to raise it or speak for it. Speak for yourself. Do your own legwork.
Public speaking! Speak slowly, clearly, and loud enough to hear at the back. Use judicious amounts of humour. It’s actually not a million miles from stand-up. Be concise! Practice soundbites beforehand! Learn from actual OOC politicians!
Bonus point: * The ability to spend more mana is a trap. Your point should be over and done with in one minute: if it isn’t, another minute won’t help.
Attendance is not mandatory, Citizen. If you nothing on the agenda appears relevant to you, there’s little reason to turn up and be bored. You could use that time to do some more politics somewhere else.
The time after Conclave is prime Eternals and wizard chat time, so that’s your best chance to catch a Conclave position holder.
Selling the idea around before Conclave is big and clever. Either to gauge interest or to get a national mob of magicians to stand behind you and go YEAH.
Grandmasters have literal bags of mana. Bags. Of Mana. Also magic materials, which may be handy. All of which they are supposed to be spending on their order’s interests. Convince them your plans are in their order’s interests, get funding. If they don’t agree, you could stand as a new, better Grandmaster. As a tip, try and get your funding from several sources. It’s easier to hit up three GMs for a couple of mana each and shake some more out of some special interest than it is to get 10 mana out of one GM.
Note Grandmasters also have some magical materials kicking around in their magic sacks too which are yours for the asking. You can see what materials and mana each order will have next game on this page 381YE Autumn Equinox Conclave session which you get to from the Recent History page (well you will when the Income section is updated ) .
Only just getting into the Conclave game, but thus far I love it
- Keep it short
- Do your home work
- If you don’t ask you won’t get
My Conclave advice is different to my Conclave politics advice, so I’m doing both.
If you can afford it, buy a comfortable portable seat and take it to Conclave.
Make sure you’ve been to the loo / eaten / done your self care before you go. It can be two or even three hours for a busy event
Try it at least once, but don’t be afraid to leave if you need to / get bored. Empire is supposed to be fun!
Conclave Politics Advice:
Join an Order and talk to them. They have joint goals and may back you up.
A lot of Conclave politics doesn’t happen in Conclave. Conclave is the mechanism for decisions to formally happen. Talk to people about how to get things done.
If you are speaking in Conclave, remember to be clear and concise. It can be socially and politically unforgiving at times, but remember that it should be about your character and not you! And remember that in turn when replying to other people.
My 3 points would be:
Conclave can take some engagement and repeat visits to properly get to grips with. At first, you will see people standing up and talking, but getting to know who are the influencers, movers and shakers, and who will back what up, and when, is the real game. Try and go along with someone who is already engaged and can point the more hidden stuff out to you, and some of the reasons why people are putting forward declarations or arguing them down. This is hard to pick up without going regularly or finding a good guide.
Know the difference between the main Hat groups and what they are for.
Grandmasters (and Orders) are driven by their agendas. They control power blocs of mages who mostly share an ideology. Unless you are in an Order or known to a Grandmaster, you will have a hard time speaking up in response to stuff. Grandmasters also control the Conclave’s resources - so they are the ones you want to ask for mana.
Archmages are the Conclave’s designated experts on each of the Realms. If you are trying to do stuff with a particular Realm, then the relevant Archmage would be a good point of contact. This especially goes for wanting to get in touch with Eternals. Archmages are a good start point to get in touch with other mages interested in a Realm, and engage with that Realm’s plot. Archmages do not have any mana. They cannot give you some.
Addresses and Declarations in Conclave are invariably one publicly available node on what might be an otherwise hidden strand or even vast web of plot. Someone might be making a Declaration in response to some information they uncovered, or a linear they went on, or a Herald they talked to. If you hear something you are interested in, or if someone raises a Declaration about something you are interested in, then you can find them later and chat to them more. The Civil Service record the names of the people who are raising these motions, and if you ask nicely they might show you.
As a rough average that may vary from session to session, 90% of addresses/declarations etc. will be of no interest to you.
However, each part of that of that 90% of tedium for you is at least one other person’s 10% of vital importance.
By all means find something else to do in that time, but even if it is IC snarking from the back ranks have the OC decency not to trample all over their enjoyment just because you’re bored IC and OC.
Bring a chair
Check the agenda in the Hub throughout the day before Conclave - if you want to talk to someone about something on there, try and grab them before conclave, when it doesn’t cost mana to talk
Bring something warm to wear, Conclave can take some time and temps drop later on at night
- As stated further up, keep it short. If you waffle, or just repeat things others have said, you’ll only annoy people.
- Know the difference between the hat wearers, but do not be afraid to lean across to a nearby person and (quietly) ask who the person currently speaking is, or what’s going on. They tend to like sharing, and otherwise you just sit in confusion. No-one judges you for asking.
- If you really want to get into the politics, make Conclave your game. Attendance isn’t mandatory, and I wouldn’t necessarily advise that someone always give up their evenings to do it, but it can be a real bugger when you decide not to go one time when all the interesting shit ends up happening (especially if you’re the only one in your group who goes regularly for the entire thing). Consider carefully!
If you can afford it, buy a comfortable portable seat and take it to Conclave.
YES. They’re not actually that expensive, I got a wooden folding chair from Argos for about £10.
On the politics, if you’re going to raise a point, don’t bother if it’s not actually going to affect the vote or contain any useful information Conclave actually need to know (e.g. a factual correction to an address). Speaking at length in favour of something that’s not controversial and is obviously going to pass is just wasting everyone’s time and won’t make you any friends. Raise a point if there’s a reason it might actually make a difference, that’s what will earn you respect.
This is the easiest bit of the game to make a reputation for yourself in some ways. While it is absolutely true that a lot of the politics happens in advance, this is the one place in the game where sometimes you are going to change the result by swaying a lot of opinions very quickly with your public speaking. If you have a point to make - don’t be afraid to make it! Even if you haven’t joined an order, most Grand Masters will let someone speak if they have a point to make - just ask. If you are a confident public speaker - great, here’s a chance to let your skills shine - but make sure to respect the time of your listeners. If you are not a confident public speaker, or are not playing one - sometimes that can actually have a bigger impact as the nervous Mage with the shaking voice manages to make the point that the debate really needed to hear, and everyone understands how high stakes it is.
It will probably really help to go over the agenda - or at least some of it - with someone more experienced, in advance. If you have a sense of what the agenda items are, you can form opinions and do a bit of research in advance. “I hear someone’s raised a declaration of interdiction against the Imperial Crown! What’s that all about?” or similar about whatever today’s most controversial motion is, is a good conversation starter elsewhere on the field.
My absolute love of conclave comes from the way that the politics and the interpersonal relationships all play out publicly. Watch for people’a reactions! This is where the social PvP happens hard and fast in real time. If you attend multiple sessions you will get to know all these tidbits of characterisation, drama and gossip about the regular attendees - who hates whom, who is secretly in love, who’s buttons it’s really easy to hit on a particular topic… For me, that’s where the real jam and interest comes from. It takes a bit of commitment to get there - to stick around long enough and pay enough attention to really be able to watch those currents. But you don’t have to play that way, if it doesn’t sound like your fun! It’s equally valid to only show up if the debate is relevant to your other game; and your voice can be just as loud if you are saying the right thing at the right moment without that kind of commitment. The fact that you can find reward from both high investment and low investment play is one of the things that’s really damn cool about Conclave.
Final thought - yes, I can’t count to three - if it’s gotten brutal, which it can do sometimes, take some time to check in OC with people. It really helps to make it clear that the conflict is in character - sometimes it can hit close to the bone because people will be talking about what might feel like you real public speaking or confidence or competence skills. It’s all bark and no bite, and pretty much anyone will be cheerful to help you out OC if you need it!