So I'm looking to start a game that will be more politically focused than I normally run. I've not decided on what tribunal I will run. I have all the tribunal books from 5e and I'm trying to find a way to have the players be involved in the tribunal of 1221. I have always started players at the tribunal or a year before it as I started as a player starting within that time. If anyone could assist with any suggestions on what I should be focusing on and any ways that might assist in bringing new players into politics. I realize that due to the differences in hooks and politics of each tribunal it may vary so general suggestions as well as suggestions for tribunals that might lend better to a politically inclined campaign would be much appreciated.
The Lotharingian Tribunal?
depends on what kind of politics you want. Hermetic politics would be either Rhine (where the grand Tribunal meets, head of Bonisagus and nominal center of the order)
Mundane could be Transyvania (where magi hold fiefdoms) or Rome (which lies at the center of the Church as well as multiple trade networks and most European intrigue), though good alternatives would be Hibernia (England is invading and IRL the Catholic system of Christianity was displacing the Celtic Monastic system) Iberia (ending phases of Reconquista, plenty of small scale conflicts over lands), Theban Tribunal (the natives are still taking back their land from the 4th Crusade, and Jerbiton is certainly involved), or of course the Levant, where Christianity meets Islam, Sahirs meet the Order and Fredrick II is taking Jeruselum by diplomatic negotiations...
Ah sorry. I may need to clarify a little. I am familiar with the political hooks of each tribunal. one you missed was the crusade in Provence. I'm more looking in tips and tricks for starting a political campaign where the players will be able to be engaged early and keep them engaged.
A political Ars campaign needs lots of info available to your players. Other kind of info than they may be used to handle.
Yes, start their characters out on a Tribunal meeting, but make sure not to 'burn' them there. Construct a small issue to keep them occupied, and otherwise have them see the big wheels turning and have some small talk with the protagonists.
Make sure they can study Order of Hermes Lore and relevant Area Lores afterwards. Perhaps get an Order of Hermes Lore encyclopedia (A&A p.26 box Encyclopedias) for quick look ups into their covenant.
Then, when the players have some ideas of the basics of Hermetic politics, have them find and develop the interests of their characters. Yes, some were already designed into their covenant, and implied with the choice of their Tribunal. But don't just define them as the interests of their parentes, or of senior members of their covenant. Don't have political issues come to their doorstep in droves. Have them define their own, and take these up in the campaign then. Yes: this implies politics within the covenant and among the members of the troupe first.
And from this you can develop a political Ars campaign.
If you have players who know the system, ask them to make a character who wants to change some aspect of how the Order of Hermes works. If you don't have a player who is willing to go along, don't do it, as they will be avoiding all of your hooks with prejudice
The Rhine Tribunal might be a good choice since all magi are required to join a Gild.
Their Gild choice will to some degree push them into politics and there is plenty of stuff going on.