Worry not, I am not breaking my rule to write about current events, fraud-riddled as they are. Rather, I am here to talk about inter-world travel and politics in SaSS:R (“ever sassier!”)
You see, in theory inter-world travel in the Rozaline worlds is quite easy–have a small and fairly cheap device, set the frequency, and turn it on! The first problem is that a certain, albeit small, percentage of people using this method simply disappear entirely. This understandably makes people contemplating using it twitchy and nervous. The second problem is that the devices can only be made to bring with it two to four cubic yards of material, and the larger it is within that range the less reliable it is (i.e. the more likely you are to simply disappear on using it.)
What this means is that world-shifting is usually reserved for the poor, the madly adventurous, and the explorers searching for new frequencies to reach new worlds. Instead, most people and supplies travel between worlds by way of inter-world gates, which can be made any size and are 100% reliable in the sense that you always get to where you set out to go. A single gate can send you to any world that is ‘adjacent’ to the world the gate is on, though there is a re-tuning period to switch between destinations.
Gate travel is more expensive, because gates are usually large, the mechanisms involved are more expensive, and keeping them ‘open’ involves what are, for their time, large amounts of electricity. But what this means in terms of politics is what I am really here to discuss.
Because most settlements or colonies do not have a gate of their own, or have only a very small one. Because interworld gates are one-way sending devices, being able to receive from one is very different from being able to build and maintain one. Sending payments, for taxation or for goods and services rendered, without a gate means it is reserved for highly value-dense items, like gold, silver, platinum, or high-quality gems.
What this means for the political structure of the various colonies is that they send a single payment for the whole colony, much like the treasure fleets of the Spanish Main. Politically, most imperial governments don’t even bother taxing individual people or goods within the colony at all. Rather, they tax the subsidiary government based upon its income. In some imperial structures, the leader of the local government is appointed by imperial fiat, but in most it is up to the locals to determine how they are to be ruled (as long as they comply with imperial law.)
In SaSS:R, as in Infinitas, I include small bits of fiction to make the setting more real. In both I put this fiction in the appendices, so as to not get in the way of playing the game. In one I wrote for SaSS:R, a French Ministry of Finance agent is visiting a colony with his wife in order to audit and collect the taxes (although this colony has a small gate) from the elected mayor of the colony, and in the process help out with a problem that arrives. The mayor of Nouvelle Annecy is elected by all adults within the colony, even though the French Empire of 1900 in the worlds of Rozal has no elected Imperial offices and only two elected provincial bodies (Les petits parlements and Assemblée provinciale), neither of which has universal suffrage. But doing it in such a fashion is not prohibited by Imperial law, and so Nouvelle Annecy and the surrounding colony get to decide… at least until they get big enough to have a proper gate and get a viceroy appointed.
Anyway, let me know what you think! Definitely, there will be potential drama involved.
2 thoughts on “Theoretical Politics”
I can recommend this book for worldbuilding politics:
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Thank you for the recommendation, Misha. It looks like a good basic primer, albeit the preview has a couple pretty egregious errors (e.g. labeling as values and unanswerable by logic things that have logical answers.) I might pick it up if I find I have a few dollars free at some point, though at the moment the budget is tight.
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