Domain and Regency » Government » Oligarchy
Part of a series on Government
How many rule
Monarchy · Oligarchy · Anarchy
Who is served
Aristocratic · Theocratic · Plutocratic
Magocratic · Kleptocratic · Autocratic
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Vassal · Lieutenant · Cohort · Advisor
Specialist · Follower · Court · Officials
Dynasties · Bloodline · Investiture
Heir · Ceremony · Cadet
An Oligarchy is the rule by a small group of people. This might be a guild council, a synod of priests, a noble assembly, or representatives from different holdings throughout a domain. In an oligarchy, the regent is primus inter pares, or first among equals. The group decides the actions to be taken, but the regent executes the action.
In play, this generally means that the DM has an agenda for the council or various council members, and when the PC regent proposes an action in accord with this goal, the council accepts. When the PC suggests a course of action substantially different, or opposed to this agenda, they object and must be won over through an extended skill test. An oligarchy can allow for a very political game.
Weak kings are an indication of an oligarchy. Holdings in the hands of many people who in other domains are subordinates are an indication of an oligarchy. Guilds are the domain that use oligarchy most often.
In an Aristocratic Oligarchy, a group of nobles hold enough power through offices, holdings, and their own network of allies, to require a king to follow their agenda. This power can be traditional and based on the institutions of the domain, or it can be a usurpation of the regent's prerogatives (usually because the regent is a perceived failure. This kind of Baronial Government can be an alternate use of the Great Captain event. Stjordvik is an Aristocratic Oligarchy, where a great deal of power is held by the Eorls and the crown is powerless to compel them. Many Eorls control the law holdings in their own provinces.
In a Theocratic Oligarchy, a group of priests exercise power and must approve the proposals of the regent. Éla?s Midnight Shadow is a Theocratic Oligarchy.
In a Plutocratic Oligarchy, it is the wealthy who control affairs either indirectly through their wealth, or directly by formal councils. Guilds are often Plutocratic Oligarchies, but another example is the Nuridan Temple of Sarma.

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