Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Hakkonen
Weasel
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:55 pm

Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Hakkonen » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:56 am

MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia indicates that a duke is "associated with a subsector or sector," while a count is "associated with two or three worlds within a subsector." If, for the sake of argument, a given sector is ruled by a duke, is it then appropriate for subsectors to be ruled by counts; or are there gradations of duchies? Would it make more sense to introduce a new level of nobility, a prince(ss), to hold title over an entire sector?

What are the major divisions (Department/Ministry level) of the Imperial government? State, Defense, Treasury, Interior, Commerce... what? Is the sector bureaucracy answerable exclusively to the duke, or is it considered part of the larger Imperial government? Sure, the duke rules in the name and at the pleasure of the Emperor, but what happens at the interfaces between the duke's organization and the Emperor's? Or between the duke's and a subsector-ruling count's?
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2518
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:24 am

Hakkonen wrote: If, for the sake of argument, a given sector is ruled by a duke, is it then appropriate for subsectors to be ruled by counts; or are there gradations of duchies? Would it make more sense to introduce a new level of nobility, a prince(ss), to hold title over an entire sector?
No, as far as I know, one of the subsector-dukes is also sector-duke, and one of the sector-dukes is also archduke of the domain.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5661
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:41 am

A principality infers more autonomy than the Imperium could tolerate within it's borders.

Nobility tend to require a personal powerbase, relatively speaking.

Traveller tends to get the Western European feudal hierarchy mixed up a bit, since a Marquis is between a Count and a Duke.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:47 pm

Imperial government starts at the subsector level - while this statement goes back to early setting info and has a bit of a retcon of late it is still a good rule of thumb for frontier sectors.

A subsector duke is appointed by the Emperor. Subsector dukes vie with each other to become the de-facto sector duke - although this position is more of a first among equals position on paper the 'sector' duke is likely to wield a lot more economic, political and military clout.

Archdukes are/were a holdover from the early days of the 3I when communication was much slower and so sectors were lumped together and an archduke appointed to represent the Emperor - the archduke ranks above the 'subsector/sector' duke.

The Archduke had just about disappeared from the Imperial government apparatus, until post FFW and pre-Rebellion the Emperor Strephon decided to re-emphasise their authority as a way of gaining more Imperial oversight of their territories - it did not turn out well for Strephon...

Of late the idea of Imperial counts has raised its ugly head - first mentioned in the Traveller Adventure IIRC - if Imperial counts are considered to rule 'counties' within a subsector then:
a) how does the Imperium maintain the fiction of local world autonomy
b) how does a subsector duke cope with upstart counts who want to be duke...'
baithammer
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby baithammer » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:27 pm

The Spinward Marches book explains it fairly well.

- Imperium is divided between 7 Domains of which 6 are under the banner of an Archduke ( Spinward Marches has no appointed Archduke.)
- The Archduke is the representative of the Imperium for the Domain which has 4 Sectors with 16 sub-sectors, the worlds in said Domain/Sector/Sub-sector have their own autonomy.
- Dukes represent the sub-sector.
- Counts usually administer the interests of 2-3 worlds in a sub-sector. or act as diplomats or head corporate bodies,ect.
- Marquis generally administer a single world or is Major Business interest for that world.
- Barons are generally granted a fief to administer, such as wilderness or other undeveloped areas.
- Baronnet is a senior Knight generally granted a smaller fief to administrate
- Knight can be granted a small fief but just often have the title without being landed.

Essentially, they're there to represent the world / fief to the Imperium while also acting as a tax collector.

Further, the reason imperials have the soc stat, is to represent how close to those in power the character is. ( The whole, "Do you know who I know?" retinue in a nutshell.)
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:45 pm

CT Library Data N-Z
Following the Civil War, the emperors were understandably concerned about individuals with power approaching their own, and moved to lessen the importance of the archdukes in the Imperial government.
Currently, the domains have little practical significance. The lmperial navy no longer includes the domains as a level in its bureaucracy. The domains collect no
taxes. Legislation and enforcement are the prerogative of the Imperium, or of the sectors. Outside the Imperium, the domain has never been more than a convenient map reference.
The archdukes, however, retain some powers. Each archduke has the power to create knights and baronets (subject only to the disapproval of the Emperor). Archdukes maintain their hereditary lands and their incomes. Further, the archdukes serve as surrogates for the Emperor, entertaining and receiving lmperial nobles at functions that the Emperor cannot attend due to distance.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5661
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:08 pm

Bureaucrats are considered more reliable, as being from the bourgeoisie, they have no personal power base, just the force of the imperial institution they serve.

Domains give individual naval commands depth and resources they can concentrate on a major threat.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:06 pm

For most of the recent 3I history domains didn't feature in IN organisation - they only return to prominence post FFW due to Strephon's reforms. In the period MgT 3I is set the domains are name only with an titular archduke that has more power if they are a 'sector' duke.

As an aside the 3I nobility owes more to its structure to the old Roman Empire than European feudal systems - the subsector duke is a lot more like the Roman dux.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5661
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:40 pm

Fairly sure that the Spinward Marches Sector Command was reinforced from Corridor at some point.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:30 am

IN doctrine pre-FFW was to have forward elements based around starship squadrons - ie the ships actually stationed in the Marches. The IN held its tender/Rider squadrons and the bulk of the fleet in Corridor to counter attack once the Zhodani intentions were hinted at.

How is this doctrine linked to domain level planning by the IN? The sector fleet of the SM - which includes the off board re-inforcements in Corridor - were co-ordinated by the Spinward Marches sector Admiral based at Mora. Oh, and until Norris elevates himself to Archduke upon getting early word of Strephon's assassination there isn't even a domain of Deneb nor any extant domain apparatus of government.
Hakkonen
Weasel
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Hakkonen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:51 am

To what degree is the structure of government standardized throughout the Imperium? Put another way, how much leeway does a sector Duke (or a subsector Duke, for that matter) have to organize "his" government?
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2518
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:00 am

Sigtrygg wrote: Oh, and until Norris elevates himself to Archduke upon getting early word of Strephon's assassination there isn't even a domain of Deneb nor any extant domain apparatus of government.
Slight nitpick:
Imperial Encyclopedia wrote:In 589, during the First Frontier War, a seventh domain was established: Deneb (Spinward Marches, Deneb, Trojan Reach, Reft). The intent was to appoint an archduke to be responsible for their supervision. However, the Civil War broke out before an archduke was appointed.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2518
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:27 am

Hakkonen wrote: To what degree is the structure of government standardized throughout the Imperium?
The whole point of slow communication is very weak central structure.
Library Data, A-M wrote:Individual worlds, and even entire systems, are free to govern themselves as they desire, provided that ultimate power is always accorded the Imperium. Interstellar government begins at the subsector level- on one world designated the subsector capital. The ruling figure at the subsector capital is a high-ranking noble selected by higher levels of government. This duke has a free hand in government, and is subject only to broad guidelines from his superiors. But at the same time, the duke owes fealty to the higher levels of government, ultimately to the Emperor himself.
I assume little standardisation.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5661
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Condottiere » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:53 pm

The problem with civil wars, is that military and civilian authority tends to coalesce with the military dominant, the reason the Americans used to be so paranoid in trying to keep those chains of command separate. And the Communists insist on Party control over military institutions.

You don't really need to keep the strategic reserves that far back, and I doubt that the Spinward Marches are under establishment, since the Imperium Navy has to have enough demonstrable strength to act as a deterrence to the Zhodani, but I suspect they think the worst case scenario is that the Zhodani can roll over Imperium forces until they reach Corridor, possibly setting up a short defensive line to prevent the Imperium from being able to intervene in Zhodani mopping up campaigns through the cut off Imperium subsectors.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:58 pm

It is very difficult to fully appreciate the effect of the jump communication lag on military strategy.

Play a game of FFW blind with only the referee able to see the god mode map, each player can only see their own map and the initial placement of Imperial forces.

If the Zhodani invade the Imperial Navy has no idea whatsoever where their fleets will be until they receive couriers to say 'Zhodani fleet arrived here' and that information may be over a or two month old, which means the Zhodani have moved on.

You wait until you know where their fleets are aiming for and then concentrate your reserves in those areas.

The reason the Jullians won against the Imperials is they kept moving, the Imperials could never pin them down and thus had to sue for peace or risk their entire Third Imperium project unravelling.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4068
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby phavoc » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:44 am

In the upcoming Grognard book, Loren Wiseman had written back in 2008 that Traveller took a lot of inspiration from, what he called, 'Brits in Space'. For the peerage he had said,

"Nobility: We took most of the details of the nobility in Traveller from the system outlined in Burkes Peerage, and much of the etiquette involved came from British authors. American nobility tends to be movie/sports stars and old moneyed families, so our view of what actual nobility is like is a little unusual."
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5661
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Condottiere » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:23 am

You always have an elite.

The form it takes varies, but usually evolves to promote it's own interests, infiltrating powerful institutions, networking with peers, sucking up to their bosses, and protecting it's progeny.

But a working nobility doesn't need an intermediate marquisate, and since it's incorrectly hierarchically positioned, just be jettisoned.
baithammer
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 am

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby baithammer » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:11 am

Elites only last so long as the bulk of the people buy into it, when the elite get too comfortable they often get usurped and a new elite developes.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5661
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Nobility & bureaucracy at the sector and subsector levels

Postby Condottiere » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:35 am

In that sense, Zhodani are correct on the need to revitalize their nobility through a limited form of social mobility.

If you like having Magneto and the Hellfire Club in charge.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 19 guests