Pixar's 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling, originally tweeted by Emma Coats.
Hello and welcome to our community. So you're interested in RP. That's great. Are you completely new to writing? Or do you have years of experience? This Academy is where everyone starts. We can't wait to see what you have in store! Be sure to put your best foot forward. The point is to help you become a better story writer and guarantee a good experience for everyone.
You already have a writing sample?
That's great! Be sure to share it. An example of your talents will make it far easier to estimate your skills.
You don't have a writing example?
Not a problem. Our dedicated staff is here to help. With easy writing prompts and relevant feedback, you will be guided towards completing your candidacy.
What should you write?
Some writing prompts are listed here. Each RP in the Academy can be rated using the stars system. You will be expected to write your first RP on your own. This should serve as an introduction to your nation and/ or main characters. Staff and mentors will also share guidance to help you improve.
A change in leadership. This can come in many forms: a peaceful election including debates; the death of one and coronation of another monarch; a revolution and overthrow of the government; etc. A tourist visits your nation and describes the sights and experiences. What is there to see? What are the people likes? Which cuisine do they enjoy? A snapshot into a citizens life. What a person in the country does. Y'know, what do they usually eat? Where do they work? When do they sleep? How are their relationships handled? etc. For a place like Derthalen, he could write about the peasants, the slaves, the nobility, and the lack of technology and attitudes towards family would be obvious very early on. For a place like Iverica that's more normal this prompt can kinda suck but people watch reality television so obviously there's people into more mundane situations. A cultural event is happening. People are invited. What is happening? Where is it taking place? How are people behaving? Is there any media reporting on the event? Shopping. Your character goes to buy something. How does this work? Who do they talk to? How is money exchanged? What should I be aiming for?
Good writing is a combination of quality and quantity.
About quality: it’s important to give a strong sense of the place and offer a landscape of the imagination that sweeps the reader into the world. A focus on worldbuilding adds depth and meaning to your writing, is a great way to brainstorm within your writing, and helps you forge deeper connections to the world on the page. And therefore, your readers will too.
About quantity: I can already hear you think "how long does my text need to be?" Too short will be, well, too short. Aim for something between 500-1000 words. Here are some examples:
list of links 3. Graduating
How does graduation work?
Each RP in the Academy can be rated using the stars system. If a minimum of 2 staff members support your writing, then your candidacy will be approved. This means you graduate to become a full member and can join our larger community.
How long does someone remain in the Academy?
Depending on the quality and feedback they can graduate to become a full member. An already experienced player will have no problem writing their way through this trial. Graduating will grant access to the main RP areas, where more interaction is possible.
What happens to the RP's in the Academy?
These RP's are not directly part of our canon, but they can be promoted if the community agrees the quality is good enough. This means your academy writing are moved into the main RP forums and become part of our shared stories.
Effective Onboarding Program
Onboarding is a key to retention
Onboarding is a systematic and comprehensive program to integrate new members within the community and its culture. It gives the new members the tools and information to become a happy and productive member of the community. It’s about making a great first impression that leaves your users satisfied and wanting more. Onboarding should be a strategic process that lasts at least one month to ensure high retention. But how do you go about achieving this?
There are several methods you can employ to onboard new members. We chose to focus on these three:
Walkthrough. The walkthrough method is about guiding members through the features of the community and explaining the benefits of using these features throughout the walkthrough. Its purpose is to eradicate any confusion from the beginning on. It can be executed in lots of different ways, and you should be careful that your explaining texts don't get too boring or repetitive. You don’t want users to rush through the process without them learning anything substantial. This holds true for all methods and not only this one. Learning-by-doing. Let your members do what you want to teach them instead of telling them how it is supposed to be done. For example, create a demo roleplay. In this demo, they can practice first without having to worry about doing it right. Guide them through the process so they learn how to do it on their own. This way users become more confident when actually writing something. This might take a little more effort from the member. However, if it’s done in an easygoing way then users will enjoy it and learn more. Don’t worry if you think this would make your onboarding process too long. The solution is simple: split it up into multiple parts. Have an interactive checklist so users can start a tour whenever they feel like it.
Mentor onboarding. This process means taking the time to get in contact with your members and helping them personally. This term can be explained fairly simply by using a concept you’re already familiar with: an educational mentor. A mentor’s job is to attend to a member’s potential and development (within reason, of course). Do you have a question about the community? Would you like to understand how to use a feature? The mentor is there for you.
Effective onboarding brings big benefits
One study by the Dartha Research Group from @Rihan shows that:
86% of respondents felt that a new member’s decision to stay with a community long-term is made within the first month of membership. 66% of regions with onboarding programs claimed a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into community culture. 62% had higher time-to-productivity ratios, and 54% reported higher community engagement. Start early and assign a mentor
83% of highest performing regions began onboarding on the first day of the new members' arrivals. Also, high-performing regions are 2.5 times more likely than lower-performing regions to assign a mentor during the onboarding process. The end of the first month is traditionally marked by onboarding transitions from mentor-assisted training to individual autonomy.
Every story features at least one character, and this character will be the key to relating your audience back to the story. This component is the bridge between you, the storyteller, and the audience. If your audience can put themselves in your character’s shoes, they’ll be more likely to follow through with your story.
Character Creation 101: Better Characters are a Click Away! Roleplaying Tips and Suggestions Creating a Successful Villain Non Playable Characters (NPC's): What's they're really about and more Mapmaking (cartography)
Nice mountains in Photoshop (should work in GIMP too, I haven't tested it yet) One page from there in particular, with useful mapping resources The famous Climate Cookbook First tutorial on applying the CC to a world Second tutorial on applying the CC Some other climate-related tips that I had bookmarked for some reason NASA's very own g-projector, for converting between map projections Software to develop climates based on terrain - there is a free version Designing continents from scratch A diagram for determining climates the easy way Possibly the single best page on the internet for designing a whole planet A collection of map tutorials, as well as some biome guides A satellite map tutorial for Photoshop A guide to rivers Relationship between geology and civilization (Songs of the Eons) Worldbuilding
A load of questions to consider to help you develop your nation Various useful things from the Worldbuilding School r/worldbuilding's resources list Tutorial on good country design Same site, dealing with cities And currency... Guide to a Wiki-Style Factbook, Embassies, and Consulates Generators and tools
Random generators, though more tailored to a medieval/fantasy setting Parliament diagram maker Conlangs
Grammars of not one, not two, but 1,362 languages Flagmaking (vexillology)
Flag designer, browser-based or downloadable for free with more features Guide to good flag design A collection of logo design tutorials Source: Worldbuilding resources for fun and profit (by Vrnallia)
All our Moderators come from a community of volunteers who help support the community mission. This article will explain the guidelines that apply specifically to our Forum Moderators. The forum moderators are hand-selected members of the community who are here to help us maintain a healthy and collaborative community environment in the forums. We spotted them by noticing their love for learning, collaboration, community, and teaching.
1 Moderator Guidelines
Our community of Forum Moderators volunteer for an active writing community. Moderators are the leaders and main contributors to the stories and discussions. Although they help us all maintain a safe, fun, and productive learning environment, their primary purpose is not to police others, but to take an active role posting relevant content and contributing to discussions as role models for all users.
Here is a general overview of the guidelines that all Moderators agree to before stepping into this role:
2 Moderators will:
Be reasonable and use their abilities responsibly Be respectful and sensitive to learners of all backgrounds and abilities Help new learners feel welcome Lead by example Uphold and encourage the Community rules Give explanations when content is not approved Report abuse Communicate with each other and staff Reach a consensus before speaking “officially” to members Remove profane or hateful attacks toward individuals or groups of people Remove personal information (when reasonably deemed inappropriate or dangerous) 3 Moderators will NOT:
Delete discussions before confirming they break the guidelines Delete threads or discussions based on personal views or dislikes Delete threads just because they are critical Ban or request a ban without evidence of the member breaking a specific guideline Speak “for” the entire community without confirming information about to be released Go overboard with the number of sticky comments Publish private correspondence, screenshot, resources, etc. before obtaining permission from all involved—community members and/or staff 4 Good to know
Moderatorship is not a trophy Moderatorship is not an entitlement Moderatorship is not diplomatic immunity Moderatorship is not a game Moderatorship is not for sale 5 Want to become a moderator?
As a Moderator, you are volunteering to become a leader and contributor to within this community. Your primary purpose is not to police others, but to take an active role posting relevant content and contributing to discussions in order to set the tone for the types of conversations you yourself would like to see more of. Some elements that might increase your chances to become a forum moderator are:
Be super helpful, respectful, welcoming and polite in the forums. Mods keep an eye on caring and knowledgeable community members and remember them when new moderating slots open up Be an active member of the community Be a calm and positive participant in conversations Be considerate when it comes to username, wording, avatar, bio and other choices associated with your account Create interesting and relevant forum posts regularly, or help answer questions within the course You can also contribute to a guide if you want to help out with a particular topic Now if you think you'd be a great moderator, all you have to do is to share your full application in the main technical forum. Please copypaste this text and include your answers.
WIP: Here is more inspiring content still to process and integrate
How to be a good forum moderator (contains more practical guidelines) Discourse moderation guide (advice on how to deal with difficult users) Forgive fast, block even faster (especially the list with "Rules for Online Sanity")
1 Getting started with Worldbuilding
Worldbuilding is the creation of an imaginary world. Sometimes this is also called a conworld ("constructed world"). If this is your first experience with worldbuilding, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. If you don't quite know where to start, this guide will help you move forward and create your own world.
The first step is always the most difficult. Your experience in this community will be reflected on how much you put into the development of your nation and how much you participate. Deciding where to start can be a challenge. We advise small steps. Take your time. For starters, here is an example of what your first weeks could be like.
Day 1. Read some of our existing articles and roleplays. We're an old community, with loads of history. To not be overwhelmed by everything that's going on, take some time to inform yourself. Feel free to post your first "hello" message in the appropriate subforum. http://www.europans.com/forum/3-hello-my-name-is/ Day 2-3. Figure out your nation. Everyone here is in control of their own nation. This includes the national leadership, business tycoons, entertainment superstars, top athletes, and any other character you can think of. These people belong to a nation. And by controlling your characters, you can control the events that occur, which in turn shape your nation. Try and explain all of this in a factbook about your nation. Guidelines on how to create a factbook are explained below. And remember: it's okay if you don't have all the answers right away, you can always keep refining and updating this factbook. Day 4-6. Tell us about your world with a news update. What is taking place that's important in your people's lives? By writing a news article you can help others to understand what's going on. Guidelines on how to set-up a news agency are shared below. Day 7. Now that your nation is explained in a factbook, and the first news articles have attracted attention, it is time to claim your spot on our world map. A map will serve as a visual aid in your work. It will also help explain who your neighbours are. http://www.europans.com/map/ Week 2. Interact with your neighbours. There are loads of possibilities to do so. Pay them a state visit. Open an embassy. Have some tourists visit for sightseeing. Play a friendly sports game. Week 3. Look into existing international organisations. Most will allow newcomers to participate via observer status. If there's a good fit, you can apply for full membership. Week 4. Celebrate your first month as a new member of the community! 2 Create your own new nation or country
This is usually one of the first ways other players learn about what your nation is all about. If you've ever seen an existing Wikipedia article about a nation, this framework will be very familiar.
Etymology. Where does your nation's name come from? Most RL national names come from a small variety of choice. Some examples: land of a tribe (ex.France, Persia, Mongolia, Russia), characteristic geography (ex. Netherlands, India, Morocco), an old ruler or religious figure (ex. Philippines, San Marino, Europa, Saudi Arabia), the Latin description of a place (ex. Australia, Argentina, Liberia). How is the name pronounced? How is it translated into other languages? Geography. Where exactly is your nation compared to others on the global map? Describe the landscape, plants and animals. Which mountains and rivers are important to include? Describe are the climate and seasons? How does geography determine where people live? Are there areas separated from one another? How about cities? This will greatly help you with the next part of history. History. How did your current nation come to be? What were its previous incarnations? Was it part of a union with a neighbour? Which events shaped the way it is today? Politics. Government. Separation of powers. How rules, how, and for how long? What levels of government exist? How about the local level? Who makes the laws? Who deals out your justice? Which government services exist? What is the name of your police? How are the armed forces organised? Foreign affairs, alliances, membership of international organisations. Economy. Exports and imports. International partners. Currency. Energy. Transportation. Science & technology. Unemployment numbers. Tourism. Society. Demographics. Ethnic groups. Social classes. Language. Education. Marriage. Religion. Healthcare. Diseases. Culture. Cuisine. Art. Architecture. Entertainment. Music & Radio. Television. Local customs. Clothing. Morality. Sports. Stereotypes. Your national symbols such as the flag and national anthem. Public holidays and festivities. Many writers have already come before you. Feel free to browse their creations for additional inspiration. http://www.europans.com/forum/145-factbooks-and-national-information/
3 How to create a fictional News Agency and articles
Every day we are constantly bombarded by news about ongoing events. This information comes from a news agency, with articles written by journalists, to inform a broad public. Here is how you can create your own news agency to communicate with the wider world about what's going on with the people in your nation.
Media company. Your very first article will usually be about the media company itself. When was it founded? Where is it located? How many readers or viewers does it have? Is it part of a larger group or holding? Who is the managing editor, the person who gets in hot water when a controversial story is published? The 5 W's. Any news story should at least include the 5 W's. These 5 W's are: who, what, when, where, and why. Or to give you a more elaborate answer: what happened when and where, who did it, why did it happen? People. Who are the main actors involved with this story? Did they say something in public which you can quote a response? How about a person or group on the opposite end? Are there any random witnesses who can tell their own story? Our newsroom is one of the most active areas of this forum. Feel free to look around! http://www.europans.com/forum/93-the-newsroom/
4 Character development in story writing
Personal details Physical description Personal history, what's going on right now in their life, and what happened before Occupation, education, hobbies Good and bad qualities, quirks and flaws Drives, wishes, hopes and fears, beliefs Family members, parents, children, love interests, relationships Loyalties and enemies https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=519192#europa
Why do we exist? Our purpose is to connect, facilitate and inspire a community of worldbuilders and roleplayers.
How do we do this? Our mission is writing the stories of nations and the journey of their characters across time, space, history, and politics, with a focus on how they’ve transformed (themselves, their people, their neighbours) as part of the process. We help each other improve through storytelling and character development.
What do we hope to achieve? Our vision is to build a thriving community that connects a number of quality writers, artists, and storytellers together to help them realize, build, rethink, and grow the next story of their fictional nation.
(The purpose is why we exist. The mission is what we're going for and how we’re going to do it. The vision is where we want to go.)
Whether planned or not, all communities have a culture. Culture is a set of shared beliefs, values and practices. Our culture code is the operating system that powers the community. This culture doesn't just help attract amazing people, it also amplifies their abilities and helps them do their best work. Because talented people are more easily attracted when a great culture is present.
Where we come from
Established on January 9th 2004, Europa is a colourful mosaic of diverse nations and players, based on the ideals of freedom and democracy. We enjoy a realistic RP with Modern Tech, and offer a welcoming community spirit. Good writing is appreciated and we are proud of our solid history and lore. We are originally based on the game of NationStates. This is probably where you found us in the first place, right?
Is this community for you?
Worldbuilding is not for everyone... but it might be for you.
You are someone who likes to imagine alternative worlds. With characters who resemble real-life, but different. You've always wanted to be the leader of a nation. You like showing off different points of view. You have a thorough grasp of what it takes to create a realistic setting. For writers, artists, philosophers, and wannabe politicians alike: the creation of new worlds and new universes has been a key element of fiction writing.
If you've answered yes to most of these questions, then you might be into worldbuilding.
» Get started with: Worldbuilding for Dummies
As our service provider is based in the US and we serve individuals within the European Union, we will, from 25 May 2018, be bound by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR, Regulation (EU) 2016/679). The GDPR will apply to Europa as a Data Controller.
Our lawful basis for processing data is consent. All users are required to agree to terms and conditions prior to registering for the forum, and we provide an EU cookie notice at the first contact. Our terms and conditions will be updated in due course to fully comply with GDPR requirements.
Following the GDPR, each individual has the right to: be informed, access, rectification, erasure, restricted processing, data portability and object. This article will outline how we intend to allow members to exercise their rights under this Regulation.
Quote from: Your rights
More information on your rights can be found here. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/
In accordance with GDPR, if we become aware of a data breach, we are obliged, within 72 hours, to notify any users involved. As we do not believe such a breach would result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, breaches will not be reported to the supervisory authority. Children
The GDPR contains new provisions intended to enhance the protection of children’s personal data. After consultations we will consider our approach to these provisions. Order Law
At present there is no Europa law to deal with Data Protection, we will consider our approach and determine whether such legislation needs to be made. Other provisions
As our data processing does not possess a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, we are not required to undertake a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), nor are we required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). We will consider on an ongoing basis all other requirements.
At the end of the day, all of these rules are here to help keep the forum community accessible, fair and honest with all of the members. Use your best judgement and common sense when posting, and most of all have fun. Thank you for taking the time to read the forum rules and know that we appreciate you.
§1 Forum Rules
If you do not agree with these terms, please do not register or use this Service. By registering on this forum, you agree to any and all terms and conditions set forth within this document at all times and any changes made to them thereafter. The forum Administration reserves the right to change these rules at any time without notification. This forum contains additional terms that further dictate procedures. By engaging in the roleplay forums, you agree also to abide by rules and guidelines outlined in the Roleplay Rules of Europa. Members are responsible for regularly reviewing this document, and by continued usage of this forum and that which it stands for, signify acceptance and agreement to such changes. These terms may be updated at any time without notice. But we'll ping everyone just to be clear. §2 Your Account
Please sign up using your NationStates name. All names are subject to these community rules as are avatars, signatures, posts and posted images. Each member is responsible for any and all activity performed on their account. The sharing of accounts is highly discouraged, and each member is advised to keep their account secure. You are not allowed to have multiple accounts on this board. This includes (but is not limited to) active, suspended, or banned accounts. The use of multiple accounts to bypass punishments such as, but not limited to, posting restrictions, suspension, or bans is strictly prohibited and in such cases, the Administration reserves the right to ban the new account(s) created. The use of multiple accounts for voting is strictly forbidden and frowned upon. Such cheating will result in the banning of the new accounts, and punishment against the original account. Additional accounts will be tracked down, and Staff will decide on the penalty. §3 Your Content
Above all else, respect others. If you see disrespectful behaviour, report it, rather than further inflaming the situation. Before you write or comment, ask yourself if your contribution increases the strength and virtue of the community. Although we feel that full internationalization is important, please keep all posts and replies in English. Search before posting. If you have a question, please use the forum search function before posting, to make sure that it has not already been asked and answered. Searching the forums before posting will help prevent duplicate posts, which may result in you being able to find what you are looking for much faster. Copyright and ownership. Comments and forum messages are owned by the poster. No spam or offensive content. As a member of this community, you are asked not to post any prohibited content. You may not post, upload, link to, or email any content that contains, promotes, gives instruction about, or provides prohibited content. Prohibited content includes any of the following: Racist, abusive, threatening, or harmful material. Content that infringes any rights. Pornography, nudity, or sexual content of any kind. Excessive profanity. Any personal information without the consent of the individual or invasion of privacy. Illegal Drugs. Terrorism. Viruses, hack tools, or other harmful or malicious software. Gambling. Torrents, cracks, Warez, CD-Keys, Serials Numbers, etc. Posting of this nature will be removed by Moderators and persistent posting of prohibited content will result in a warning and possible banning. If we find that a member continuously makes inappropriate or unneeded posts, the member will be put under Moderator review for as long as deemed necessary. Please remember that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy or completeness/usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this forum. Any member who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact a member of the Staff. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so within a reasonable time frame if we determine that removal is necessary. You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a member's privacy, or otherwise in violation of any law.
§4 Your Actions
Staff will try to use discretion and common sense about these offences while the board is small. However offensive posting or activities that break the terms of service cannot be allowed.
Account Hacking: Stealing another member's account by gaining their password. If you lose access to the forum, you can report this by TG to a Moderator's nation. Flame: Expressing anger at someone in uncouth ways with OOC comments (i.e. swearing, being obnoxious, threatening etc.) though it does to watch what you post IC as well unless the other posters know you're not serious. Flamebait: Posts that are made with the aim of angering someone indirectly. Not an outright flame, but still liable to bring angry replies. It's in the same context of trolling but with flame baiting, it's just the one person. Gravedigging: Posting a reply on a long-disused thread; bumping threads that aren't used anymore without good reason. Obscenities: Sexually graphic images and posts. Very strictly forbidden. Obscenities in the forums should be reported to this forum. Quote Pyramids: When replies with quotes get quoted and then that reply gets quoted and so on and so forth. It's OK if it's just a few quotes but once they start getting monstrously huge, it is not OK. Spam/SPAM: Off-topic, irrelevant and multi-posts that clog the board. This includes posting lots of smilies which is known as Smilie Spam. Spamming in the forums should be reported through this forum. Thread Hijacking. Appropriating a thread for a discussion totally unrelated to the original purpose of the said thread. Trollbaiting. Posts that are made to attract trolls. Trolling. Posts that are made with the aim of angering people. (like 'ALL JEWS ARE [insert vile comment here]' for example). Also is used to refer to making obviously silly topics that people nonetheless will reply to. (making a case for the proof that Teletubbies exist for instance. There will always be someone who feels compelled to post 'No they don't.' Threads like this should just be ignored.) §5 Consequences
As a consequence of these agreed-upon rules, the staff agreed on implementing the following system of warnings and punishments regarding roleplaying:
Warning. Ignoring these established rules, as well as other behaviour deemed as 'misbehaviour' by the members in general and staff in particular, will be subject to the following warning: the member will receive a clear warning by a staff member. Members can inform the staff of any abuse by reporting a particular post/topic, or via private message. Strike 1. If the initial first warning is ignored and more misbehaviour from the member takes place within a 90-day period, then a three (3) day warning will be issued during which all posts on the entire forum will be presented to a staff member for review before appearing on the forum. This will also go on your permanent record as the 1st of 3 strikes. Strike 2. If both the first and second warnings are ignored, the following measures will be taken by moderation/administration: one (1) full week of moderation of all posts; a ban from the role-play section for a full week as well; the staff will discuss the matter and decide if additional punishment(s) are in order. This will also go on your permanent record as the 2nd of 3 strikes. Strike 3. If the member(s) still continue to be a pest, ignoring the same rules despite previous warnings and punishments, you will receive a 3rd and final strike on your permanent record. No further warning will be given. The member is immediately banned from the forum until pigs fly.
Proposal to update §3 (23 June 2018)
Content that is prohibited in this community includes that which may:
Invade the privacy of another individual; Incite violence against an individual, race, ethnicity, or orientation; Be pornographic in nature; Be otherwise indecent or obscene. Content that is intended to defame, slander, ridicule, mock, threaten, harass, intimidate or otherwise abuse another individual is also prohibited.
Examples of these types of prohibited content include:
Sharing links or media that have been intended to cause harm and incite fear within groups and individuals that can be or has been used for racial (e.g anti-semitic propaganda), ethnic or gender vilification (homophobic remarks or jokes); and Posting your (ex-)partner's home address; Posting pictures of your partner inappropriately dressed; Mocking someone based on their nationality. This applies to all content that is shared "In Character" (IC) or "Out Of Character" (OOC), there is no excuse.
Proposal to update §4 (20 January 2019)
In any sufficiently large enough community, the chance of a possible conflict is bound to increase. For this reason, we have established some clear rules of what is or isn't allowed.
§0 Count to four
Be realistic Be original Be respectful Be active §1 General
First of all, when starting, it can be useful to formulate some attributes that define one's nation: what will make it unique in terms of its government, sentiments, culture, etc? Is your nation a socialist paradise full of tree-hugging hippies? Is your nation a rogue nation, led by some terrorist organization? Is your nation the military capital of the world?
This is all up to you. You could be the most dictator-ish dictator in the world, or you could hold a direct democracy where the people of your nation vote to make laws. Does your nation have several branches of government? Or is it just you and your posse? This also leads to who is your President, your Enlightened Emperor, your King, your Chairman? Does he have a cabinet? Does their cabinet have any power? Does your leader even listen to them when they speak? Do you have a Congress-type system? Any Judicial Department? What do your citizens think of you? What are some of the laws in your nation that aren't presented in issues?
Now, be realistic in all this. Don't say, "I'm a rich idiot leader who makes everything strict but my citizens love me!!!" If you're a strict dictator, your citizens could hate you. And you could kill the ones who voice this publicly. If you'd be a direct democracy, you'd run into problems real direct democracy have. This all goes into what your nation is really about. If you're not going to voice these, then at least know them in your mind. It makes roleplaying a lot more easy and fun.
How to be a good roleplayer
Ask Questions. There are a lot of people here who are very much interested in helping you understand all about role-playing and its intricacies. Be Courageous. Our role plays come in a wide range: from the simple single person story, to very complex group stories. The community on this forum will help you figure out the game that can be the most fun for you. What's the Best Way to Role-Play? If you're having fun, you're doing it right. If you're not having fun, ask the community and we'll see how we can help you. How to be a great roleplayer
No-win-scenario. The problem seems to be, and this is something we run into often, the mistaken idea that this is a game where you can "win" everything. This is not true. In fact, the truth is quite opposite. Our story does not end when one player manages to dominate and overpower every other player. For example: you will never have a global empire, simply because that would push everyone else out. OOC planning. I keep mentioning this, and it keeps being ignored. For any story that involves multiple players, the ideal is to have a set outcome in mind. This can be a small win, a small loss, or a stalemate. But it forms the core of a story, going back and forth, letting everyone involved feel like they at least won by participating. You can win a couple of battles but still, lose the war. If none of the parties involved wants to negotiate with other players, then this goes against the rules of good sportsmanship. And that could make the entire story invalid. By that I mean: we don't take the events seriously and ignore the actions that were taken. §2 Specific
Population. Nations can start out at max. 50 million. This can be increased up to 200 million after adequate RP. This is an easy rule to follow. Map. For any and all regulation regarding the map rules, we kindly direct you to the existing topic which already explains the required qualifications, application procedure, and how to expand. Time. We use the same time and date as today, unless mentioned otherwise. Every roleplay is different from the next. A lot of the time, events will be in real-time or slightly slower, with events in posts happening one after the other, no matter when they were posted by the player. There is a time machine forum for doing events that take place in the past, or the far future. Alliances. Many alliances are formed between nations, whether one-on-one alliances or a huge nation alliance. Some take these alliances a bit too lightly. When an ally is at war, you should participate in that war! You're that nation's friend to turn to when it's in trouble. When forming an alliance, you should also have embassies in each other's nations. You can have meetings and talks with them whether on the public forums or through private messages. You should also make many allies. The way to win a conflict is to have a good support group. And they don't necessarily have to be big nations. Six newly created nations will probably defeat three older ones. Allies are needed in NationStates if you want to survive. §3 Technology Level
In this community, we use Modern Tech. Let me repeat that: we use Modern Tech. One more time: that's Modern Tech.
In roleplaying, a Technology level (often shortened to Tech level) describes the country's level of technological advancement. For example, if a country roleplays with the technology we had in 1900, they would be a Past Tech country, while a country that roleplays with the technology we have now would be a Modern Tech country.
The world we have established here uses Modern Tech. Abbreviated as MT, this is one of the most commonly used technology levels there are. Players use a similar level of technology to countries in the present day. This, of course, varies on the circumstances. As a consequence, this means alternate technology, post-modern technology or any form of future or futuristic technology is not allowed. The agreement of using only MT was established in 2005.
More info on NS MT RP: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=423106
OK, face it, young ones: you're not going to be able to create your nations, come to the forums, buy the most advanced modern-tech tanks in the world. It takes time to develop. While you don't need to sit down and create a thread saying "I'm developing a tank for my storefront!" you should make sure you think about statistics, fluff (description), and other details before you create it. Then you should give it development time, depending on what it is, one or two real months.
Equipment. Now, buying equipment. You're not going to create your nation, come onto the forums, declare you have a twenty-trillion dollar military budget, and buy a thousand Navy Carriers. You have to define your budget. A nation of <100 million population shouldn't be buying weapons of mass destruction. Wait until you are 100 million to even start your programs. Nukes are dangerous weapons and shouldn't be in the hands of the newer nations. We don't expect that a 300 million population nation is donating them to you! It is GODMOD on these forums and that is that. Period. Manpower. Most of the time, your military is going to be 2-5% of your nation. Some nations, if they prepare 2-4 years ahead, can bump this up to 10% if they prepare big-time. This, even with preparation, will be a huge blow to that nation's economy unless they prepare maybe 10-20 years ahead. And remember, that 2-5% is very split. It would be generous to say 50% of your military is combat ready. But some nations do just for the sake that this is a game and we're not here to logistic ourselves to death, although this is important. Half of your military, if not more, are drivers of the food, ground commanders that don't fight, aeroplane maintenance, ship maintenance, etc. Those non-combat troops are vital to having a working military. So don't think you can have >5% of your population as combat troops. It would be generous to say half of that. Keep records of whatever you buy. I usually keep them in a notepad or Microsoft Word file. I also keep records of most of my major posts and what I sell. This helps keep you organized and realistic. Going to war. If your planning on invading/starting war, you need to have a valid reason. And, unless the other nation is an idiot godmodder, you need to get permission and work with them to get the war to go perfect and great. Reasons for war? Political ideals, recent actions, sanctions and ultimatums not met, etc. Now, when you do invade, you have to post what you're invading with. Then you have to post it going there. Then you have to post the actual attacks. Make it as detailed as possible, with character discussing the events, news stories about panic, etc. Never post someone else's casualties. Let them do it. But if they are being stupid or unfair, then work it out with them through OOC discussion. Make it detailed. RP the bomber pilots getting into their planes, the flight to their target, and the attack itself. Make it interesting! Remember: it takes time to get things to places, it doesn't automatically go there. Now, roleplaying events, propositions of bills, statements from your government, etc, are done the same way. Use government press releases, leaked documents, News reports, etc. Mobilisation. Going to war is not like going on a road trip with a couple of buddies in your car. Large-scale military forces, no matter what plans are in place, cannot mobilise and head off to action in a matter of hours or even days. Think in numbers of weeks, minimum. This is especially true if the force is going long distances away from home (and supply lines) into a potentially hostile territory. In other words: it takes a heck of a lot of time to prepare the moment for large groups of people and large amounts of equipment... Please RP accordingly. I want to stress this was not aimed simply at anyone but was a reminder for everyone. If people want to have their IC country secretly mobilise (ha, good luck!) you can state it is happening OOC... but there will be signs IC an intelligent country would get (it is very hard to hide the movement of thousands of people and tons of equipment). Weapons of Mass Destruction. Ok, first off, nukes should be a last resort no matter what. Now, the decision is when to ignore nuclear attacks and when to accept them, because they are very damaging. If a nation ignores a perfectly well-based and well-planned attack, then they are wrong. If they ignore a stupid-idiot-attack made for no reason, then attacker is definitely wrong and can be ignored. Because they are normally associated with poor RP and have wide-ranging effects, nuclear weapons, orbital weapons, and other devastating WMDs are not allowed, unless both the moderators and the victim specifically allow for them to be used. §5 In Character rules
Metagaming. Taking OOC knowledge IC in order to gain or improve upon yourself. This includes hearing people talking about planning troop movements on Discord and suddenly you know about it IC. This is poor sportsmanship and will not be tolerated, no questions asked. Powergaming. Forcing an action upon your opponent without their permission or consultation. This would be me firing a missile at an Orioni warship and having it hit and destroy it in the same post. This prevents Orioni from being able to do anything to prevent this. If we talked about it on Discord and planned that post to condense things, that's fine. Otherwise, it's not allowed. Puppeting. A player cannot use a puppet nation to supplement the nation they roleplay as, either militarily, economically or by adding their populations together. Players are encouraged to role-play with their main nation. Godmod. Doing things that aren't realistic, basically? Don't. Submitting unrealistic losses and can be on-par with Powergaming. i.e. Adaptus nukes a city of mine and nobody dies because I invented the machine that sucks away explosions and radiation like a cheap hooker. Strictly not allowed and will certainly be punished with a strike (see below). Voiding roleplay. A scenario may only be voided if the main parties (not people who come in after it begins) agree to it. This is to prevent people from backing out when they stray into hot water and bring an actual sense of consequences to their IC actions. People will ask why this rule exists in particular. It's to force a feeling of consequences and gravity to the actions of everybody in the region, including yourself. Ignore-canon (mixed IC/OOC). Angry with somebody? Want to ignore their existence in your canon? Too bad! Your canon is Europan canon, and what is and what is not canon is only decided by the staff. Basically: DWI or restart elsewhere. If you have a complaint about a nation, take it up with the staff.