The Senate, in a republic, has 100 seats, and each seat belongs to one of of five factions. Every adult character in a republic has a predilection of each faction, and is supportive of one. Each faction also have a leader, generally the most prominent character that supports that faction.
Depending on which faction the ruler of the republic belongs to, the republic gets various bonuses or maluses.
- -Civic Faction: +25% Tax Income, 10% Cheaper and Faster buildings.
- -Military Faction: +25% Land Morale, +25% Naval Morale
- -Mercantile Faction: +25% Commerce Income, +5 Diplomatic Reputation
- -Religious Faction: +10% Omen Duration, 33% Cheaper Religious Conversion
- -Populist Faction: +10% Power Costs
For Modders: You can freely add or remove factions and make them available to different government types, or have any type of trigger allowing the faction to give unique ones.
As you may notice there, having populists in power is not entirely beneficial.
The amount of seats in the senate change over time, depending on different factors, with the charisma of the faction leader always impacting the attraction of the seats.
If you wish to strengthen a parties position in the senate instantly, you can always spend oratory power to convince 10 seats to join that faction instead. Doing so however, increases your tyranny.
So why must you take into account the composition of the senate. Well.. There are three types of activities where the senate will impact your ability to do exactly what you want at any given time, like a ruler in an absolute monarchy.
The senate can outright block you if the support for the action you desire to do, if less than 40 seats is currently backing that action. And if less than 60 seats back the action, you can force it through, but you will gain some tyranny from it.
There are three different categories of actions which require senate approval.
- -All changing of laws require approval by the senate
- -A lot of character interactions, like banishing, imprisoning, etc.
- -All diplomatic interactions with other nations.
If the senate will approve an action or not depends very much on its composition, and what you want to do. Military Faction is very likely to back new wars, but even some of their seats will be against wars if you have war exhaustion, low at manpower or currently in a war.
When you do an action, a lot of times it has impact on the characters of your nation. Loyalty is lost or gained depending on faction membership, and seats are gained and lost for different factions.