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I'm looking for a way to play the idea of the board game Junta as an RPG.

In Junta, you play a corrupt member of the ruling families in a banana republic, supported by various groups, ordering assassinations of rivals, changing loyalties quickly depending on who bids most and living a dangerous life between military coups and assassination attempts.

While I generally prefer systems with a focus on the narrative, I want the imminent player versus player to be supported by the mechanics, and I would prefer a system with appropriate mechanics for influence on population groups and military leadership, and close to no focus on the individual physical prowess of the player characters.

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Sounds incredibly interesting. The only thing I can think of that is anywhere near similar from my knowledge is stuff like the qualities in V:tM or other games that essentially say "You have X followers.". If you'll excuse me, I have a new project idea. –  Kyle Willey May 5 '13 at 1:20
    
Also, are you looking for something open-ended, like a traditional roleplaying game, or a more experimental guaranteed endgame system with defined characters? Open-ended with conflict between characters may be difficult, since they're difficult to lump together when at each others' throats. –  Kyle Willey May 5 '13 at 3:32
    
Cobbling something up; goal is the same-ish (gather money before the place totally collapses), but gameplay's rather different (except for El Presidente), and focused on players essentially doing over-the-top propaganda PR releases about their actions to gain advancement points. –  Kyle Willey May 5 '13 at 4:29
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2 Answers 2

You might want to read the Houses of the Blooded rpg. It is designed to be a game of political backstabbing and power play.

It is well written, coupled with a fantasy setting (and quite interesting one) and is grim and romantic by design. You will need to prepare an awful lot of custom setting material. But game includes actual rules for:

  • Vassal-lord relationship
  • Political squabble
  • Territory & resource management (complete with exploration and development)
  • Missions for mercenaries and/or your agents
  • Army conscription and managent
  • Season-by-season time flow

Game is based on a heavily modified FATE ruleset and has an amazing medieval Japan adaptation called Blood & Honor. Anyways, I'll leave the details to reviews.

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REIGN

You could use the Company rules from Reign. They are specifically designed to abstractly model the states and activities of groups. A Company is any group, from a gang to a government.

You can use the rest of the rules for your PCs or not - that's up to you. The Reign Enchirodon has all the Reign rules and mechanics and none of Greg's setting in a concise and affordable package.

I used the Company rules as a replacement for the House rules in the otherwise very good game for a Game of Thrones campaign. I let my young Nobles help (and sometimes harm) their Houses with stealth, guile, valor, rhetoric, and more.

You could do the same, using the PC-centric ruleset of your choice to model your PCs. You can then decide how the actions of your players influence the rolls / stats of the Companies (ruling families, factions, political parties, whatever).

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