Greetings once more fellow dead compatriots!
Continuing the email series this weekend for “Dev Diary 2” we present to you an overview of the structure of kindred city government in Los Angeles. Below you will find descriptions for the major positions and offices. Attached is a chart laying out much of the bureaucratic hierarchy beneath the Prince. Not shown are minor positions and much of what would be considered “support staff” (which Harpies sometimes refer to as their “entourage”.)
If you look at this and feel overwhelmed, that’s entirely the point. You are NOT expected, neither in nor out of character, to know this governmental structure. Even if your character has a role in this government, it’s likely only going to be relevant to know who reports to you and to whom you report. The primary purpose of this information is to provide a backdrop to the story of your characters.
The Prince of L.A. is in charge of running the city and is put into power via elections in a manner remarkably similar to that of the mortal U.S. government. A Prince may serve only two terms, each of which last merely 20 years. The Prince is in charge of organizing the Seneschals and ensuring that the many channels of city function all run smoothly. Generally, towards the beginning and end of their first term, a Prince listens to public opinion because the people have control in elections. Ultimately, though, every Prince has their own views, and their position gives them the power to back them.
The Primogen and Prisci Councils
The Primogen and Prisci Councils of L.A. are very similar in structure. The Primogen Council is comprised of a representative from each of the five recognized covenants in the city while the Prisci Council of L.A. is made up of a representative from each of the five clans in the city. The city government holds no elections for seats on either Council; each covenant or clan chooses their representative in whatever manner they deem fit. They may also pull their representative at any time, although doing so on a whim would likely damage their reputation in the eyes of the other covenants. While those who sit on the Councils may not be the leaders of their respective clan or covenant, they generally are well respected both with their constituents and within the city as a whole.
Together, the Councils layout the long-term and broad policies of the kindred of Los Angeles and leave it to the Prince to implement and enforce them. The Prince always has ample leeway in how to carry out the agendas of the Councils and anything not specified is subject to the will of the Prince. This is not without checks though. The Councils approve the Prince’s appointees for the various positions in the bureaucracy underneath the Prince. Each Council has their own Harpy with their own staff. While generally a fairly slow process, the Councils may also modify their policies to negate decrees of the Prince. In the worst case, the Councils have the power to depose the Prince, although this has never happened, yet.
Department of Administration
The Seneschal of Administration heads the Department of Administration and sees to it that the government continues to function internally. The SA oversees several offices who specialize in the most business-like aspects of the city government.
Office of the Minister – The Chief Minister keeps track of major communications and marketing movements in and around L.A.
Office of the Herald – The Chief Herald handles communications and policy announcements from the Prince and filters these through the appropriate channels down to kindred society through various media.
Communications Office – A relatively new position, the Communications Group manages the image of Kindred in the eyes of the mortal world. This includes both maintaining the Masquerade in the public media and, if and when the Masquerade is dropped, controlling the public image of kindred in L.A.
Office of Finance – The Chief Financial Officer appropriates government finance for purposes such as taxation, procurement of goods and services, and human capital. This includes numerous checks and balances and a number of business functions connected to the manipulation of mortal markets and financial industries.
Department of Information
The Department of Information, lead by the Seneschal of Information, addresses domain, security, and technological concerns throughout the city. The SI manages three offices:
Office of the Interior
Master of Elysia – The Master of Elysia oversees all the Elysia of Los Angeles and their keepers. The ME also decides where court will be held and administrates each session along with the keeper of that elysium.
Master of Regents – Each Regent granted the privilege of domain is responsible for administering and keeping the peace in their domain. They all coordinate with the Master of Regents regarding these responsibilities.
Office of Security
Head Hound – While some hounds are assigned to a specific bureau to work with the local sheriff and some actively patrol the city to enforce specific decrees, all hounds ultimately report to the Head Hound.
Commissioner – The Commissioner, often called the Chief Sheriff, oversees the sheriffs of Los Angeles.
Guardian of the Masquerade – The GM works with nearly every other office of government to maintain the Masquerade.
Office of Information
Technology Area Manager – The technology operations group handles technology development and support for the organization. This includes but is not limited to development of software to automate and simplify record keeping, news releases, identifying masquerade breaches, and processing government documentation.
Information Security Manager – The ISM oversees security of all information related to the city government, network security, encrypting confidential or sensitive information, and document retention controls.
Department of Kindred Relations
The Seneschal of Kindred Relations has a fairly straightforward job. The SKR supervises the city’s relationships, both within L.A. and between the city and the United Domains.
Office of Relations – The Community Affairs Manager coordinates relations between the government and local communities. The delegation to the United Domains also reports to the SKR through the Office of Relations.
Office of Policy – The Chief Policy Advisor organizes the Prince’s policy platform and coordinates with the Primogen and Prisci Councils.
Office of the Prince’s Harpy – The Prince’s Harpy keeps formal records of boons and is the Prince’s voice to the public on city issues, legislative affairs, and major Kindred in the city.
Department of Counsel
The Seneschal of Counsel organizes a variety of groups to provide the Prince and the Councils with the most well-informed analysis of any situation that may arise.
General Council – The General Council and the GC’s staff are experts in trusts and contracts. The function of this department serves to represent the organization, staff, and policies against legal inquiries from the United Domains, local citizens, or any other party. Government attorneys often times work hand in hand with the ops risk team to evaluate and provide feedback on potential procedural gaps or oversight against regulation.
Council of Risk – The Chief Risk Officer advises on risks associated with the strategic values and business ventures undertaken by the government. This includes legal risk for unprecedented or avant-garde ventures, media risks which could potentially breach the masquerade, and reputational risk which could damage the public image of the organization.
Council of Spirit – The Spiritual Advisor provides council pertaining to the myriad occult and supernatural sources. Fortune cookies are a favorite of the Prince for new ideas.
Storytellers of the 2013-2014 Mainstage Chronicle