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[IDEA] NPC nations


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Situation

The world is empty. Expansions are slow. Europa is mostly inactive.

Proposal

Could NPC nations add some more flair to this? Mind you: without encouraging puppet-wanking (see definition at NSWiki).

Previously proposed in 2012 by our old friend @Bainbridge Islands:

And again in 2018 by @Mauridiviah:

Some examples

  1. A big bad nation in the middle of Alharu. Because everyone likes a war, but no-one wants to be the loser.
  2. Someone outside of Europa willing to RP as Ide Jima or Deltannia or Jilderen or ...

Questions

  • Just looking for feedback and ideas on something we haven't tried before.
  • I also don't know any good rules that could help guide this.
  • Someone please tear this apart and highlight all possible ways this could go wrong or be exploited
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Not on a computer so I'll sort of keep this short but I do think consistent NPC nations (meaning ones that are not solely used for expansion purposes) could be useful and interesting if used properly. That being said, there'd have to be some sort of vetting process (which I'd prefer to keep within the mod team hands) to keep everyone and their mother from making them as well as assuring that it doesn't turn into people basically having two, three, etc. nations.

One way could be to enforce a rule that any NPC nations have to be controlled by multiple people or by enforcing rolling for multiple actions/reactions. 

NPC nations for the sake of having something in the 'void' obviously isn't the way to go but promoting interesting ideas is always good. One idea for an inner Alharun nation could be a federation where interested nations control a part, although that may be a bit RP-ceptionish.

A good test run and example case, once we've ironed everything out in regards to rules and such, could be done through the whole Bahinar situation me and Fulgistan have vaguely cooked up. It's never been intended for either of the states or the unified state to join either of our nations so in that regard it'd fit.

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32 minutes ago, Orioni said:

Situation

The world is empty. Expansions are slow. Europa is mostly inactive.

Proposal

Could NPC nations add some more flair to this? Mind you: without encouraging puppet-wanking (see definition at NSWiki).

Some examples

  1. A big bad nation in the middle of Alharu. Because everyone likes a war, but no-one wants to be the loser.
  2. Someone outside of Europa willing to RP as Ide Jima or Deltannia or Jilderen or ...

Questions

  • Just looking for feedback and ideas on something we haven't tried before.
  • I also don't know any good rules that could help guide this.
  • Someone please tear this apart and highlight all possible ways this could go wrong or be exploited

I do think that this is a really good way to get people involved and help revive this server to a point. Of course, there are a few ways that this could go wrong. As @Variota mentioned, these NPCs should be kept only in the mods hands and not be made to the point where everyone is planning on creating NPC nations or taking control of dead nations. Maybe those who are balanced and can be trusted could be used as NPC nations as well, but I can assume that this would be very rare and could pave the roads for exploitation.

I don't think I should be trusted with this input because I'm not good at moderation, but it's good enough to do something. All in all, this is a good idea to bring this server to live in any way we can.

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On the concept of having NPC nations, there are two ideas that pop to mind. 

In the Greater Middle East (a nation states region based on modern day RP kinda like this) roleplayers that have been there a long time can have another nation to RP as. This isn't as easily applied to a region like this as pre-existing nations are non-existent [badum tss]. One condition is that the extra nation is very far from the main one. It could prove an idea worth exploring. 

The second one: events or event nations. The mod crew could come up with some crises in NPC or inactive nations that would put factions against each other. These events could prove interesting happenings to spice things up and promote factionalism but as stated before no one likes to lose. Ideally, the mods would balance the losing and winning sides to equality. The best outcome would be that inactive nations are given purpose and activity would be spiced up. The worst case scenario is that Europa becomes your average run-of-the-mill Cold War RP where one side completely dominates. 

I haven't been in Europa long enough to get the full perfect crystal-clear picture, but from what I've seen Europa is a more peace-oriented region where there most likely won't be any global crises more or less local ones. Both of these ideas have their hindrances but I've seen them work in other RP's to varying degrees of success. 

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I know I am somewhat new. I definitely consider myself still to be a newcomer here, so if something comes off wrong my apologies. I agree with mostly what has been discussed, suggested so far. I'll gladly pick apart ways it could go wrong, but that is not to say we should not go with your idea in some form, rather protect from it. I think the biggest thing to consider of all, though, don't give too much credit and thought to map filling. It has advantages and disadvantages, and going the wrong route can further highlight problems with going this route. Not to say you shouldn't! It definitely can bring life if the execution is there.

I have actually personally overseen the pros and cons of your first point having done it with some folk in a past, now defunct region. For those in Alharu that are well equipped to take on a big bad nation, they are more than likely will. The issue could come with the following: The logistics and roles the mod team will have in overseeing the big bad nation, how relatively powerful/influential you make it, and the interest from others across the globe. The latter was probably a larger issue - people further away, even if active and looking for something to do, just genuinely had no interests, and if we like pushing the "Does it make sense IC?" question, very often the answer to it seemed to be no. With constructing something like this, it would really be a matter of being careful how it is constructed and how it is made relevant to everyone, how if the "Does it make sense IC?" question for people further away comes up the answer is likely so. I have not really gotten a true gauge in Europa so I am not going to pretend it is a problem for Europa, but from personal experience it is something I think should have been kept in mind more.

With regard to the administration of the big bad nation, a con can also be how much of a nightmare it can become for mods, it is not a one or two person project. It can easily be three or four. It is a team effort, and if not everyone is able to do their part, it hurts. It isn't a win for anyone. Other team members get pressure to pick up slack. Players can be left waiting. It is something to be wary of. This side can possibly hurt more if other possible issues are able to avoided. It can kill it. Though, I suppose it is a matter of how it is fleshed out...

On the matter of NPC nations filling the map, I wouldn't fill it all in with NPC nations especially what have I been able to gather from Europa. It seems more likely to hinder than anything else. I wager this is not your intention, but I like covering my bases the best I can. That is not to say though it would not hurt to place a small handful on a continent here or there. It could benefit existing active nations to have more interactions, and pushing a non-expansion policy on them would be ideal in my opinion. I would say in the continent of Europa especially those surrounded with inactive neighbors could possibly benefit from more interaction by making one of those an NPC.I would say Argis could benefit from this, too. As for those on newer continents that just aren't filling and don't have many active neighbors like Alharu they could greatly benefit from newly created NPC nations to spice things up and maybe even help future newcomers find a place there.

I think something that could help with activity is doing events like Shffakhia suggested, which can go in line with the first point I guess, but they don't have to be a big bad nation or NPC - just events mods come up with can be rather beneficial. They can be crises of an economic kind or perhaps something where climate change starts being felt more by Eurth. Crises could also be created on a more regional/continental scale than be global. Argis could experience a frost like never seen before.

Personally my approach with this idea would more or less be what has been already suggested and some more:

  • Revive some long dead nations plopped on the map, reform them as NPCs, especially if they have significance in the canon. (An example being the existence of Fleur De Lys to Shffakhia).
  • Create some new NPC nations on newer continents.
  • Push regional and global events.
  • Keep pretty much most, if not all decisions in mods' hands, exceptions being people the mod team feels are generally level-headed, and somewhat sensible. I think if anything else this is very key.
  • Have a non-expansion policy with regard to NPC nations. No expansion. Period.
  • The purpose and usage of NPCs should be fleshed out somewhat decently beforehand. It helps to make revisions later in my experience for NPCs than to have to implement something later.

I can't think of anything else to say right now, but that might be from the most mind boggling discussion I have had in a while. I don't mean to impose either, merely suggestions is all and a bit of it being from personal experience and successes.

Edit: Oops, I didn't think it would be that long.

Edited by Oyus (see edit history)
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My opinions on NPC nations:

  • I am against filling the world with random NPC nations
  • NPC nations are created by lorewriting of PC nations
  • NPC nations should only play a role when it comes to expansions (Sachsen, Enolia, etc.)
  • we should stick to the one nation per player policy
    • except civil wars (->Mantella/Cristina)
  • I don't like the idea of recurring players wanting to play a new nation. Sure, this could diminish the fun those people have, but:
    • we shouldn't raze historical nations, their history and achievements
    • we shouldn't let people have more than one nation on the map, clogging it with de-facto NPCs
    • we shouldn't tolerate exceptions as that would create precedents detrimental to our running system
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Tossing my hat into this, but I would completely be against using dead Europan nations, as that is a violation of IP right. Sure, they're gone, but that does not give anyone the right to swoop in and use someone else's content without permission. Especially given that there's only four and occasionally five 'old guard' players left that actually know how those nations acted and were played, well, leaving them in the hands of players who didn't know those nations seems like a ill-thought out plan.

And again, I'm entirely against the use of other player's content, no matter if they're gone or not, because it's a violation of that player's IP. If there was no permission given, then those nations should not be used.

The best solution to this problem would be the creation of NPC 'power blocs', or just certain areas on the map that would contain cluster of NPC nations that could either be allied together ala Soviet Union, or it's just a politically tense little cluster of nations. The best way to make those areas interesting is to then build them up internally by giving them canon, characters, lore etc. You're essentially making a 'setting' within that area for people to do stuff in/with. That, in and of itself, could generate activity just from the creative aspect of it. Same goes with deciding what happens to them, the players that built them should be the ones that decide what happens, what action they take, be it a group or a single player.

That being said, these actions should be responsive to other players. The ones running the NPC nations should, at best, act as a Dungeon Master that gives outline and information, rather than interact directly. That gives the actual players that want to interact with the NPC a wider berth to do whatever they would like when it comes to writing RP posts. 

And, to avoid cases of IP abuse, theft, and other unpleasant things, make it clear that these NPC nations are being made for use within the Public Domain, so that anyone can use them, especially if the player goes inactive for long periods of time or quits altogether.

Example: I've been designated to DM the nation of Koreanesia. I then come up with a general background for that nation, it's leader, basic government and military, how it's people look, dress, basic culture, general look at feel so that it isn't just cardboard cutouts. Orioni is expanding into that area, so I provide Orioni with the information needed for him to interact with it. City names, places of importance. Orioni has then chosen that a military invasion would be the best way to go about this, so I provide him with ORBATS (if desired) or a general military reaction. Orioni is then free to portray that battle however he may please, and so on and so forth until he has completely conquered that nation. Then other players within this nation cluster would react on a general level, based on how those nations have been built. And if those players go on hiatus or leave? The information is public so that someone else can pick up as DM for those nations.

That would make having NPC nations work a little better than handing control over to the mods or individuals. 

And I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the best way to do this? Archive the old Europan continental map, move all the old threads into an archive subforum, move everyone interested in taking part over to the new continents (Given it's just the Occident and Orioni's giant island at this point). That removes the need to try to 'fill in' the Old World, part of the map that has deep history, with NPC nations. Start fresh, with everything that's happened in the last two years being the starting point for the current region canon. Less space to fill in, less concern about tripping over people's things, and in general you don't have to worry about old canon at all. A full reboot. But I know that chances of that happening are pretty slim.

 

Edited by Vocenae (see edit history)
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Sorry to be a dick, but I think both ideas are dumb. Removing inactive nations from the map is dumb, since that would make it even more empty and therefore even more "attractive" for slapping down NPCs everywhere. If players need nations to conquer, they can make them up, since it's their own lore they are writing. I wouldn't want someone else influencing my nation by worldbuilding the people I conquer. If players have problems with inactive nations, they can try to get rid of them IC, just like Alenveil and PyeMcGowan are. So what if Lusotropia is inactive? It's a chance for Iverica to liberate a nation from a Salazar-like regime and to unite a cultural region under one banner, should he ever wish to do so. Furthermore, it would be getting rid of a significant part of the region's history. Also, I support O's efforts to fill the continent of Europa with nations he previously removed from there. If a nation has been on the map in the past, they also gave consent to be present on the map. Note, that the map is also under O's copyright. There's nothing stopping Ide Jima from playing on the continent nor from expanding. Europa should remain locked to new nations, just as it was previously decided.

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Clarity on my post earlier in case the was any confusion:

  • If at any point I implied that players should control old Europa nations, that was not my intention. I could only see it be done responsibly and managed responsibly by mods who knew how those nations played and reacted in order to realistically bring them to life through a responsible and justifiable means of new life. I would also like to emphasize that I only see nations that have great significance in the canon should really be considered for this manner of revival if applicable. 
  • Unless a nation was added and has done pretty much the equivalent of nothing or close to it and would not destroy canon by their removal, there is no real necessity to keep them, the only continent I see being the exception to this being Europa from what I have come to understand... 
  • No one new should be added to Europa, it was decided and it serves no real purpose to reverse that decision, as it just discourages settlement on much, much emptier continents.

I don't think we should discount this idea so quickly and have further discussion on this, even if at the end of the day nothing changes. It does not hurt to discuss. 🤷‍♀️

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In a post I'm writing, I make mention of the use of foreign-flagged vessels. In this instance, I was initially considering either asking a current player if I could use theirs or an older, inactive nation. But then that might not be an ideal solution, so I dropped that idea.

However, I imagine it will be easier to just to not mention what possible nation they might be flagged as. There are, of course, a couple of issues with this - it isn't particularly realistic and does cut away any potential follow-up for any other intelligence service snooping around, if they should so wish to try to do that.

But, I suppose, there are IRL many small and otherwise insignificant nations that act as flag nations like that, and it isn't like Tagmatium isn't above bullying smaller nations and just utilising shell companies to accomplish this. So I think I may just keep it vague, even if it is a bit Godmod-y. And I can always work out with another player if they want to follow it up, but I doubt that that will be the case.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

The most recent map update (30 December 2020) includes an attempt at NPC's in Aurelia. Please keep in mind that this is an experiment.

Rx10eXel.png

Right now this continent has a limited number of active players. The borders and names come from a really detailed proposal by @Shffahkia. There are also some references in https://iiwiki.us/wiki/Shffahkian_Empire. The above image shows what these places could look like in the present.

What's your opinion on fleshing out these empty areas? How would you solve potential conflicts? Which changes or improvements would you prefer?

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One of my worries with filling up the map is that it could edge in the "nicer" areas that might have been chosen by real players. Especially if the NPCs then get fleshed out, certainly if they're being eyed up as a potentional expansion in the future, as those of @Shffahkia are - and no offence to him meant. I'm sort of planning something along that route with the six islands to my north east, as I've given them a name and something of a history. We have somewhat surmounted this in the past by generally discussing where new nations end up being placed but this could discourage this. At the moment, for example, @Anatea is now a bit boxed in by nations. Obviously, a way to get around this is either erasing the NPC that is to his west or getting Anatea and Shffahkia to discuss things a lot more closely with regards to the character and shared fates of the NPCs and the area.

I think I'm repeating myself, although I can't remember if this was said via Discord or on the forum, but I still think Rihan and his minions need to be erased. It is the most fitting thing for someone who tried to manipulate our region and lied to our members in such a shameless and intentional manner.

Aluxia, for example, was supposed to be a nation that was heavily influenced by Tagmatium in the past. In the 1400s, it was converted from whatever native religion it had to the church of my nation and from then remained within the periphery of the Aroman wurld. This is pretty much redundant now, with Secryae effectively fulfulling the role of a Tagmatine toe-hold in the New Wurld. I'd suggest that whilst I have the biggest claim to any future stewardship of that nation, in a manner that was suggested for Pallamara and Saale by @Variota, I don't want it. And, more to the point, I don't need it.

Although that whole part of the wurld needs a bit more of a look at. There are a fair few nations that are long inactive and I'd definitely suggest that, next time we have a new member that is interested in those sort of climates, we just open up things like Eurofuhrer, PyeMcGowan, Theodoria and Astriedan to them.

Dartha delenda est.

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Here are some thoughts that have come to mind in regards to this proposal

  • There has been a great amount of time and great amount of new ideas and remedies for those that interacted with Rihan that I think rather than embracing/honoring the plan of a since disgraced member of this community we ought to go through with erasure entirely. Maintaining them as an NPC serves no purpose given that pretty much everyone with interactions with this member have since moved on from the community or done what they needed to as far as preserving the work for those interactions goes. Maintaining an NPC themed as Rihan would be akin to retaining an American Confederate General statue: Memorializing disgraceful criminals. The difference here would be, no one has love and affection for this individual, truth be told. If an NPC must be maintained there, I would hope it isn't one that is much similar to Rihan thematically if at all. Keeping Rihan is a solution no active Aurelian wants to see-at least with previous discussions. The same if not more can be said for Aluxia, and Tag has well spoken on this. Let us erase the last of this stain on our map and move along.
  • Implementing Aurelian NPCs would impact potential plans for a new, promising, and currently active member in Anatea and I personally feel that we would be boxing them in by implementing this.
  • I take issue with filling Aurelia not necessarily because I have some lofty goals or ambition for taking it over in its entirety, but because I take issue with potential deterrence of real player nations settling there, and at that potential long term and involved members. By filling Europa in this manner, much fewer people seemingly inquire about it and saves the explanation of why it can't be looked at. I think this could do the same, only with Aurelia and I don't think that is necessarily good at all. Even potential members may be deterred by seeing very little space on the map to pick from. We would have to be bustling with activity and members for us to let that be a minor concern.
  • If we do want to push NPCs in the New Wurld (of which I am not opposed), I feel we are better off looking to create a small handful of them. A couple at a time and more spread out than localized entirely in Aurelia. Not to mention, perhaps looking to place them in the middle of the continent and/or in undesirable places. "Limited player interaction" can be remedied without spamming Aurelia full of NPCs as has been done. While the proposal this stems from was thoughtful, I think it could use some altering and/or compromise...
  • Tag has touched upon this already, but Argis, and I think Alharu and Aurelia, could use a clean sweep of some long inactives that have shown no potential of return. I won't name tham all but a couple for consideration: Cashar in Alharu, Fjallshima in Aurelia, Stalgora in Argis; amongst others.
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Here i am fellow eurthians (?) :D
i already posted this in a different topic, but Ori asked me to post this even here, where is even better :D But first i spend a little word as my rolemates did in the past 2 posts :D

On 12/30/2020 at 8:32 PM, Tagmatium Rules said:

At the moment, for example, @Anatea is now a bit boxed in by nations. Obviously, a way to get around this is either erasing the NPC that is to his west or getting Anatea and Shffahkia to discuss things a lot more closely with regards to the character and shared fates of the NPCs and the area.

I absolutely agree with Tag here :D infact talking with Shffahkia was decisive to have at least a little bit of consensus and even think again about the npcs i really want/need to add, just by adding those i really need for my history and future rps.

On 12/31/2020 at 7:50 AM, Oyus said:
  • Implementing Aurelian NPCs would impact potential plans for a new, promising, and currently active member in Anatea and I personally feel that we would be boxing them in by implementing this.
  • If we do want to push NPCs in the New Wurld (of which I am not opposed), I feel we are better off looking to create a small handful of them. A couple at a time and more spread out than localized entirely in Aurelia. Not to mention, perhaps looking to place them in the middle of the continent and/or in undesirable places. "Limited player interaction" can be remedied without spamming Aurelia full of NPCs as has been done. While the proposal this stems from was thoughtful, I think it could use some altering and/or compromise...

I agree with Oyus even on this :D hoping to have more active players in the future, maybe just some and important NPCs could be added :D just to avoid to fill the area too much, unless the situation in the future will be different (deserted continents without any new player) 😮


After all this i can show what npc nations could be added near me and even why (i changed some stuff from what i posted in the other topic :D)
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  • Astarlia: this nation was part of Anatea in the Classical & Post-Classical Era, becoming indipendent after a civil war in 1014. From that year on the relations between the two nations were quite hostile, but after some time they began to become more friendly until they signed a defensive pact for themselves, helping each other in any possible way. The relation between them would be similiar to the one between UK and USA.
  • Ex Ruthenian nations (New Ruthenia, Casma, Lybadev and Pyrr): once part of the Federal Republic of Ruthenia (really similiar to Yugoslavia), after the Dalstavian War they become indipendent, changing their type of government after years under a bloody dictatorship. They are an important part of Anatea's lore due to the fact that the ruthenian invasions in the Classical & Post-Classical Era conquered Ruthenia and the Dalstavia region (once part of Anatea in the same Age), also the Dalstavian War is an important part of the history of Anatea because it will begin the subplot of Anatea about who was really behind the entire conflict (hinted in "In the Shadow" chapter) and the beginning of Anatea being a not isolationist nation anymore.
     
  • Azuria: once part of Anatea in the Classical & Post-Classical Era, it will become indipendent (WIP about why & when) and later on an hostile nation towards Anatea & Astarlia, triggering the defensive pact that the two nations have (WIP about why & when). Before the end of 2021, a war between Anatea & Astarlia VS Azuria will break out, resulting in the invasion of the nation and then in its splitting (showed in the map) and annexation (similiar to what happened to Germany after WW2).
  • Illirea: even this nation was part of Anatea in the Classical & Post-Classical Era, but then it was conquered by Zastov in the 1600s. Later on will become indipendent by Zastov togheter with Yustov and it will be peacefully annexed by Anatea for protection with the upcoming tensions between Anatea and Zastov and for return to be one thing with Anatea.
  • Zastov: a really important nation for the lore of Anatea. It's a far-right nation masked as a democracy. It will be involved in various part of Anatea's lore, beginning with a war in the 1600s which will take Illirea from Anatea, and then it will fight once again Anatea in the "Ruthenian War" in 1860 [Ruthenian War= Zastov, being landlocked, tried to attack and conquer Ruthenia (the weakest nation in the region) for have an outlet to the sea for commercial reasons, but a coalition composed by Anatea, Ruthenia, Astarlia and Erastia will prevent Zastov to reach the sea, protecting Ruthenia and winning the war (similiar to the Crimean War)]. In the modern age it will become a rival of Anatea after the fall of Azuria and there will be some tensions, just to create some interesting rps in the future. This nation could be used as one of the "evil nations" for trigger some wars or proxy wars in some part of Eurth :D
  • Erastia: a kingdom in the southern part of Aurelia. It will be involved in the "Ruthenian War" along with Anatea and will have some peaceful relations with Anatea, but in the end it's not important its presence, so we can not add it, cause for the "Ruthenian War" we can include some other nations like @Metztlitlaca@Oyusor others for worldbuild togheter our histories.
  • Yustov: once part of Zastov, it will become independent and then will be annexed peacefully by Anatea for protection against Zastov.
  • Ostav: an island Union, it will become important in the modern age with the "Clear War" (1923-1925), the first war in which Anatea will use airplanes and will understand the importance of air superiority. This war is important because it's the first war in the South Aurelian region in which no civilians were harmed (because the conflict was fought primarily in the sea, and with the sole use of aircrafts and ships). Unless @Oyus, @Metztlitlaca or @Gallambria would partecipate in it by being the enemy in this war and thus by changing the reason behind the war, like Anatea trying to force a naval block in the northern regions or else (no worries, the war will end without any victor for the fact that there were a lot of losses without being able to even begin a landing in enemy territory lol so there was a peace accord) this nation could not be added, saving more space for future players!
  • Nostromm: Not important, just a name that would fit to the nation. But it's not important, so you can decide to not add it.
  • Taygene: important nation in the lore of Anatea because it had an alliance with it. It will be the main trigger for the "Clear War", without fighting in the war. But even without the clear war, would be important cause there will be some tensions with Anatea about jet fighters production and technological advances about them, so would trigger the new jet fighter i'm working on (no worries, nothing futuristic, just a enchanched version of the McDonnell Douglas X-36 lol)

The end!
The blueish color on Anatea and in some nations is the maximum extension of Anatea in the future rps, just to warn how much i want to expand Anatea (i will post the expansion ideas in the future and after i contributed to the region of course) and which NPC nations will be involved (probably around 2025/2026 the expansion would be completed :O)

About the permission for the npcs i have Shffahkia permission here! :D

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