Are there any RPGs that handle politicking well?

Are there any RPGs that handle politicking well?

I'm going to go GURPS for 500 bob

I wanna say stuff in the LARPG genre does it well. World Of Darkness usually bases its settings around it, and I could easily see Fiasco or Primetime Adventures do something with it.

Ahh, but is there in fact a gurps book about politics? or negotiations? bargaining? swindling?

I've never got around to trying it, but Reign seems like a good fit for this kind of game. It;s got a flexible system for statting out organizations that could be businesses or empires or whatever, so once the PCs are done with their face-to-face RP they can go to the strategic layer and decide whether they want to go with espionage or economic pressure or whatever depending on what dice their team can throw in each field.

GURPS - Social Engineering


Exalted 2e handles it exactly like reality
The perfect defense against anyone talking to you is to draw your weapon and fight them
Talking is meaningless if you have enough power to kill whoever is talking to you
Might makes right

>The perfect defense is to draw your weapon and fight them
>Talking is meaningless if you have enough power to kill whoever is talking to you

okay genius. What if he is stronger than you and you draw your sword while he is talking? You clearly didn't think this through when you coined the term "perfect defense"

thanks, brother! any others?

Diaspora has a neat social combat system that goes a long way to simulating months of politicking in one session or less.

Yup, that's why a Man at Arms had as much sway as the King back in medieval times, because he was well trained and experienced in combat.

Oh wait, no, that's not how things were.

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New World of Darkness is pretty good for politics (haven't played oWOD). You have tribal conflict in Werewolf, cloak and dagger in Vampire, intrigue in Changeling, and power jockeying in Mage.

>What if he is stronger than you

Counseling the Dead in Geist.

Why do people forget about what is, arguably, the most interesting game in the series?

Haven't personally played, but L5R might be what you're looking for.

because its execution is very flimsy and lacks any clear antagonists.

I don't know how you mean the execution is flimsy, but there are plenty of antagonists. Sin Eaters are closer to normal humans (except perhaps Mages) than any other WW protagonists, and as such have to deal with the most mundane protagonists, but are set up so that they can have run-ins with other supernatural creatures. However, the main antagonists of a Geist game is... The Geists. You literally have a god of death co-inhabiting your body, and that creature has it's own will and own motives, that may not align with your own. It allows Geist to work for both 1 on 1's and in groups.

Also, it's been a while since I played WW, but at least at the time Geist was published, basically all that was out there was the core books (Mage, Vampire, Werewolf, Prometheus) - even Changeling wasn't out - and NONE of the core books really had any strong antagonists - werewolves being the slight exception (it was hard, but very possible to ignore the spirit world completely). Most of the antagonists early on was other creatures of your type. Vamps vs Vamps, Mages vs Mages, etc...

I'm sure that's changed now, but it seems like Geist didn't get the splatbooks that other races did, if you're saying that.

Anything that uses the Fate system- like Diaspora and such. Mostly because of the way stress tracks work. Stress Tracks are one of my favorite things in the game- you could emulate anything through them.

Of course, Fate is a generalist system, so it loses focus a bit... and I'm really not sure if it's actually *good* at politicking, I just know it's the best at politicking out of all of the RPGs I know of/have played.


Kings were military dictators who's authority derived solely from their ability to command large numbers of men-at-arms through oaths of fealty, which matters far more then being an exceptional combatant in their own right. Where kings elected in your version of history? Did you actually think they were appointed by god and all the armed men they had under their command was just a formality?

I was responding to What he was saying was more or less that the King would only have been able to command his men if he was stronger in personal combat than them, but obviously that's not the case.

Don't play one that has an extensive magic system or magic mechanics. I just got off an Fantasy Craft political campaign and mages basically broke the game by circumventing all non-magical scheming elements and invalidating most threats. The normal politick mindset goes out the window when someone can just cast perma mind-control on NPCs willy-nilly.