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Backbench Support System and Factions


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Backbench Support System (BBS), XP, and Factions

The Backbench Support System (BBS) is how we determine votes and measure each players' influence within their party and faction. Though the support can be somewhat fluid, this gives you a good idea of how backbenchers move around and support the various important people (read: player characters) in each party. They are based on factions and XP. Within each faction, 80% of MPs will be assigned based on BBS. The remaining 20% will be under the control of the A-Team and available for backroom dealing between prominent MPs, the Chief Whips, and others.

Importantly, BBS is not a hard-and-fast rule. Players who go wildly outside of their faction's remit will not be joined by the majority of their BBS supporters and they may even begin to lose supporters if they push it further. The BBS is an indicator of a character's overall influence, not the determining factor in the final results of votes.

Experience Points (XP): XP is, most simply, a quantifiable level of experience for your character and numerical representation of how they are viewed within their faction.

XP is earned by:

  • Experience in your biography - significant Parliamentary and political experience, as well as a well fleshed-out narrative, provide a base amount of XP for your character.
  • Leadership and frontbench service - characters on their party frontbench earn XP: leaders earn the most XP, followed by Great Office holders, and then all other frontbench members.
  • Live events - excellent performances in live events, whether that's PMQs, an interview, or a TV show, can earn you XP.
  • Launching policies - launching policies in Parliament (for government ministers) or in the press (for opposition MPs and backbenchers) can earn you XP, particularly if the policy you are advocating aligns with the views of your faction (ie, a Labour to Win member announcing a nationalisation plan might not earn XP for that).
  • Speeches and debates - outstanding speeches and contributions to Parliamentary debates are likely to earn you XP.
  • Writing - Op-eds (published in The Papers) and pamphlets, reports, or books (published in Waterstones) are likely to earn you XP, particularly if done well.
  • Behind the scenes maneouvers - Maneouvers behind the scenes, including aligning support for your policies and arranging deals with MPs, will help you be seen as a Parliamentary operator and earn you XP.

The A-Team will maintain a master list of how much XP each player has. This will not be made public, although if you ask nicely an A-Team member might tell you how much XP you have.

And while XP generally goes up, it can also go down. Particularly poorly received policies or poor speeches and contributions might leave people scratching their heads, as well gaffes in live events (if they become a habit). Likewise, leaving the frontbench will see you lose some (but not all) of the XP that you had from being there in the first place. Additionally, advocating for positions outside of your faction's general worldview will see you lose XP within your faction (but you might get a helpful hint if you're doing this too much) or have a negative modifier applied to your XP.

Factions: Each faction within each party has been assigned a set number of MPs which support it. 

Faction sizes will change significantly at elections, as some MPs lose their seats and new MPs are elected. Additionally, they may change during a session based on by-elections (if an MP aligned with your faction is elected) or other events (if players defect from your party, they will likely come from predominantly one faction).

Determining BBS: Each faction within each party has been assigned a set number of MPs which support it. BBS is, most simply, a mathematical equation: your personal share of XP (with any multipliers applied) is divided by the total amount of XP within your faction and then multiplied by the number of available MPs in your faction (80% of all faction MPs).

While we will not publish XP numbers or the inputs that go into the BBS system, we will update an estimate of the total BBS assigned to each player every quarter. These will be relatively accurate but, as we said, it should be considered an indicator of influence, not a hard and fast rule (or number).

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