The next twenty-four hours are hugely important to me and mine.
It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day tomorrow.
Okay, seriously, voters in Scotland are about to vote over independence. The future is uncertain.
(Go and vote. This is a once in a generation chance. People have fought and died for less.)
But to talk about it game-wise, have you ever had a major political change in a campaign, which was beyond the scope of what the PCs could affect? Were they swept up in events, caught in villainous machinations, sent to war, suddenly in or out of favour due to their allegiances?
In political games, the PCs are often movers and shakers.
Ousting the Prince in Vampire might not be easy but it’s certainly possible. Even an unaligned and unrecognised vampire is on the inside track - getting to see him on a pressing matter is a lot easier than meeting your MP in real life. The Man has a face and a name.
Characters in Legend Of The Five Rings are as likely to hear about a succession war from one of the would-be successors as a passing newsteller in the country. There are character types built around courtly life.
One thing that bothered me about Rebellion era Star Wars games is that the PCs were generally pitched at a lower level of galactic significance than the heroes of the movies. Only Luke could talk Vader around. Another reason to play in a different era.
Characters from other genres might get pulled into power politics for an adventure or two, and when they do it’s usually at the top tier. The assassination of a king or a megacorporate CEO is a more enticing adventure hook than that of the assistant head of the local cobblers’ guild or the manager of a Kwik-E-Mart. (Although it can work, and not just in Warhammer - White Dwarf 90 had a great little AD&D adventure about rival silk merchants, although it did feel decidedly WFRP-y.)
Superheroes save the President. The Doctor saves the Queen (apart from Liz 10, who saves herself). They also save shop assistants and wait staff. Each is given equal importance.