The Imperial Ministry

The Imperial Ministry represents a large collection of smaller organizations that run the day-to-day affairs of the Empire. Given the somewhat incestuous nature of appointments and competing agendas, treat it as a single, large organization with the understanding that it has competing sub-organizations all vying for funding and the political clout of their masters.

Some example ministries within the Empire:

  • Ministry of Finance: Tasked with collecting taxes, governing business and enacting Imperial will upon galactic corporations.
  • Ministry of Heritage: Tasked with creating and censoring art, this ministry is the core of imperial propaganda efforts, as well as the indoctrination of the youth. They're also tasked with antiquities and museums, and thus psionic conspirators seeking to uncover ancient relics often co-opt the ministry. They also receive more direct orders and special security clearance from the Emperor directly than any other ministry.
  • Ministry of Science: This branch of the government competes with the Ministry of Heritage over universities and handles funding for major research projects, usually for military purposes. This ministry is a hot-bed of Neo-Rationlists.
  • Ministry of Affairs: The most powerful of the ministries (outside of Justice), this governs diplomatic efforts both inside and outside of the Empire. In practice, internal "diplomacy" means the indirect governance of worlds, and those highest in its ranks can become legally untouchable and virtual dictators.
  • Ministry of Justice: This ministry governs Imperial Security.
  • Ministry of Defense: This ministry governs the Imperial Navy, in principle.

Agendas of the Imperial Ministry

The Imperial Ministry typically engages in the same agendas as any Imperial organization, mainly that of covering up its own corruption and attempting to ruthlessly expand their own personal power. The Ministries certainly bicker with one another, arguing over who has what jurisdiction in a particular, specific case. But individual ministries might have unique agendas based on their actual roles within the empire.

Ministry of Finance:

  • A minister has long been skimming from tax funds from a backwater world that has turned out to be more lucrative than expected, which he launders through bogus contracts to a corporation; An auditor has decided that something strange is going on, and now the Minister needs evidence his crimes and connections hidden, or the auditor conveniently assassinated.
  • A corporation with ties to an outspoken senator has grown rich and powerful; with their rise, so too do the fortunes and fame of the senator rise. The Emperor wants the senator's power-base eliminated without visibly eliminating the senator himself. This requires concocting evidence of criminal activity on the part of the company (or even finding legitimate wrong-doing) or, barring that, create new policies that hurt the company's profits.

Ministry of Heritage:

  • Due to imperial infighting and incompetence, a rebellion won a great victory! The Emperor moves swiftly to shore up his defenses, but meanwhile the increase in military spending paired with the high profile win for the rebel group has pushed many people on neighboring worlds to reconsider their position against the rebellion. Thus, the ministry must censor all reports of the rebellious victory and step up efforts to paint the rebellion in a negative light. Confessions of a known rebel to terroristic warcrimes would certainly help!
  • Archaeologists of the Ministry of Heritage have uncovered the location of a temple sacred to the local population, and this temple might contain psionic secrets the Emperor desperately wants. However, a full Imperial dig on the site will certainly incite local revolt amongst the populace. The minister plans to censor any reports of the dig, paired with propaganda about the unity of the Empire and the local faith, to provide cover stories for the sudden Imperial presence on the supposedly hidden temple (for example, co-opting a local priest and showing footage of him inviting them into the temple).

Ministry of Science:

  • A plague wiped out an entire imperial garrison to a man! The Ministry of Science sends in its researchers, backed by Imperial Chem Troopers, to investigate the plague the caused the sudden death, and to see if they can find some way to weaponize it.
  • A planet known for its top-notch university and data-libraries has finally fallen under imperial sway. The Ministry of Science intends to remove old administrators and education programs and replace them with their own, and neo-rationalists within the Ministry want to be sure that their particular philosophy is spread among the students.

Ministry of Affairs:

  • An alien king, despite reservations, has finally allowed an Imperial embassy onto his world. Now, the real work begins: first the ministry must build ties with locals sympathetic to the Empire and ensure that they're dazzled and glorified by invitations to the Imperial Capital, while snubbing and undermining those who support the local regime. Then, once informal alliances have been made, maneuver one into a position of inheritance under the king, and then have someone assassinate him: Bonus points if you can pin the assassination on the Rebellion as a response to the regime's diplomatic gestures to the Empire.
  • An old ally of the Empire demands both senatorial representation and citizenship for his people, both of which are opposed by nearby worlds which are senatorially represented and citizens, for fear that their unique status will be watered down. Neither really matter much to the Empire, but this is a perfect opportunity for a minister to advance his career by carefully "negotiating" a compromise among the various parties.

Imperial Ministry as Opposition

The Imperial Ministry has no minions of its own: it relies on the Imperial Security (the Ministry of Justice) to handle its security. If one can penetrate its velvet ropes, they'll find that he ministry is rarely difficult to deal with, usually no worse than BAD -0 or -2. They're not the true source of power in the Galaxy, but rather, they are used (or protected) by worse and more powerful organizations and conspiracies

Serving the Imperial Ministry

Ranks of the Imperial Ministry

The Ranks of the Imperial Ministry are as follows:

10: The Emperor
9: The Chancellor
8: High Minister
7: Minister
6: Director, Viceroy or Ambassador
5: Deputy Director or Special Envoy
4: Auditor or Envoy
3: Secretary
2: Supervisor
1: Attache or Assistant
0: Civil Servant

The titles for Administrative Ranks 0-3 are informal, though the ranks themselves definitely matter. The actual names might well change from Ministry to Ministry. Administrative Rank 0 represents the average schlub working a desk-job for the Empire. These are your wretched bean-counters who put in their 8 hours before dragging themselves back home. Administrative Rank 1 and 2 represent supervisors or managers of higher level positions in the management of a particular office, while Administrative Rank 3 represents someone who governs an entire office, and usually have explicit titles like "Secretary of the Office of Indigenous Taxation for Grist."

The title of Attache at Administrative Rank 1 represents someone with unique powers and is often attached to higher level ministers as personal assistants, or to diplomatic missions. They do not generally govern people directly, but gain special legal privileges or security clearances. This represents things like the bodyguard or intelligence liaison of a more powerful official. Characters with the title might have higher levels of rank, but no higher than 3 (if you need to break them down, do so into Deputy Attache, Attache and Special Attache at 1, 2 and 3 respectively).

Administrative Rank 4 of Auditor represents a special position: Auditors investigate their own ministries, looking for signs of corruption or deviation from the Imperial will. Auditors have ranks as well, answering to Special Auditors at rank 5, and Chief Auditors at rank 6. They have Legal Enforcement Powers (Auditor) [10] which means they may make arrests within the purview of their own, specific ministry, but are not required to obey your civil rights while investigating you (that is, they can peer into your private life, raid your private communications, etc; the ministers of the empire must be beyond reproach!). They are the boogeymen of the Ministry.

Administrative Rank 4 also contains the lowest rank of imperial diplomats. Envoys, Special Envoys, Ambassadors and Viceroys all receive Legal Immunity (Diplomatic) [20]. This grants them complete immunity to all laws and access to a "diplomatic pouch" as well as the ability to extend some of this legal protection to some of their subordinates (typically attaches and assistants), in that if they do something on the diplomat's behalf (or the diplomat can claim that they were), they might be able to get them out of trouble. The difference between the ranks of Ambassador and Viceroy is that the former is sent to external powers and the latter to internal powers. That is, if the Empire wants to open up negotiations with, say, the Cybernetic Union, they send an Ambassador because the Empire has no sovereignty there. But if they want to "send an ambassador" to a conquered world that lives under the fiction of their own sovereignty, the empire will send a Viceroy, who rules through the local ruler.

Administrative Rank 5 and 6 represent regional ministry command. Directors and Deputy Directors have complete command over a planetary-scale branch of the ministry, such as total taxation of a world (or even a limited region of space) or some specific element of the ministry (such as an entire course of research).
Administrative Rank 7 and 8, the ranks of Minister and High Minister, represent complete control over a ministry itself. They typically reside on the capital and form a council to which the smaller branches of a ministry all report to. The Ministers make up a council that advise the High Minister, who represents the complete master of one specific ministry.
Beyond those ranks, we reach the Imperial Court; The Chancellor handles the domestic affairs of the Empire, and all Ministries other than the Ministries of Defense and Justice answer to him. And he, ultimately, answers to the Emperor.

Favors of the Imperial Ministry

Authorization and License (Pulling Rank page 13): The Imperial Ministry, as a legal body, can authorize anything within their purview:

  • The Ministry of Finance can grant license to form a corporation or to collect taxes on their behalf, or authorize a trade deal.
  • The Ministry of Heritage can authorize archaeological digs or the distribution of a "news" story.
  • The Ministry of Science can license a particular scientific institution or allow research into "forbidden" topics.
  • The Ministry of Affairs can grant an individual full Imperial citizenship, or allow a foreigner access to the Empire (a visa).

Entry Clearance (Pulling Rank 13): Most ministry buildings are, technically, open to the public, though in practice many of them have security layers that prevent the public from gaining access to the deepest recesses. For the most part, actual employees are allowed free access. The Ministry of Science and Research, though, usually has top-secret research facilities, and the Ministry of Culture and Legacy has libraries of forbidden knowledge. Both could require Pulling Rank to access.

Consultation and Specialists (Pulling Rank page 15 and 19): The Imperial Ministry has access to skilled bureaucrats and attaches who can assist you. A typical Contact within the Ministry has skills such as Administration, Current Affairs (Politics), Diplomacy, Savoir-Faire (High Society), Law, Politics and Propaganda. Specific ministries have access to specific skills:

  • Ministry of Finance: Accounting, Finance
  • Ministry of Heritage: Archaeology, History, Literature
  • Ministry of Science: Engineering (Any), Expert Skill (Psionics), Research
  • Ministry of Affairs: Current Affairs (High Society or Regional), Law (International)

Files (Pulling Rank page 15): Each ministry has pages and pages of diplomatic dossiers, accounting books, or top-secret research documents or archaeological finds, that one can access via the proper channels.

Cash and Funding (Pulling Rank page 16): Ministries regularly grant money to their officials for some specific cause (and double the values shown: a Rank 4 diplomat can access $50k on a successful pulling rank roll), but they're more likely to fund a major expedition, such as an archeological dig or a prototype warship. For those purposes, treat the funds as effectively unlimited.

Facilities (Pulling Rank 18): The Imperial Ministry can grant access to top-of-the-line Archaeology, Engineering. Propaganda and Research tools, as well as the ideal places to throw a party. These facilities all grant +5 to any roll for these purposes.

Transportation and Travel (Pulling Rank 19): The Imperial Ministry will help you get to anywhere you need to go, inside the Empire and, to some extent, outside of it too. Transporation is generally limited to the Ministry of Affairs (private shuttles will move literally anything you want and bypass any customs agent), but all the Ministries have things like they like to transport, from valuables to antiquities to secret prototypes.

Propaganda: Given sufficient time (say, a week ahead of time, but it's ultimately up to the GM), the Ministry of Heritage or Affairs can spread a particular idea. Treat this as Compliments of the Boss: A successful request applies +3, a critical success applies +6, a failure applies -1 and a critical failure applies -2. This applies to appropriate influence rolls and to Communion reactions for path-based miracles for the appropriate path. This effect is temporary: usually no more than one adventure (usually lasting no longer than a week: for more permanent effects, buy some manner of Reputation), and only to a single world. The player needs to define the nature of the propaganda up front and it only applies as appropriate (for example, if you spread the idea that you are the reincarnation of a world's savior, you cannot use it to impress off-worlders or the non-religious, or when you behave "out of character").

Character Considerations

Requirements: Characters serving a Ministry must have a minimum of Wealth (Comfortable) [10], Adminisisrative Rank 0 [0] and Duty (9 or less or 12 or less) [-5 to -10].
For those serving ministries, Auditors (Administrative Rank 4-6) can take Legal Enforcement (Auditor) [10] which allows them to investigate a single ministry with complete impunity, able to do anything necessary within the jurisdiction of that ministry, to uncover corruption.

Those serving as envoys, ambassadors or viceroys (Administrative Rank 4-6) may purchase Legal Immunity (Diplomatic) [20], granting them total legal immunity to any group where they represent the Empire, including a diplomatic pouch, with the full weight of the Empire's disapproval to anyone who overrides this immunity.

Most characters won't directly serve a ministry, but might have a minister who looks out for them. Having a Favor with the ministry is 1 point/rank for a single successful use of Pulling Rank with a ministry. A single minister as a Patron is worth 10 points as a base. Most Contacts in the ministry are skill 15-18. A Minister as an Enemy is worth -20 points, and is typically only a Rival and thus worth half point, and is usually only on a 6 or less, and this is at default -5. Having the Imperial Chancellor as a Patron is worth 25 points.

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