From 2020-2021 the staff held regular meetings to discuss the need, governance and rules involved with the creation and use of a NPC or Non-Player Country. This document is the summary of these discussions.
With worldbuilding there is plenty of ground to be covered in creating a whole new environment and setting. From the beautiful fauna that grows in our countrysides to the concrete and glass skyscrapers in our cities. From the refined cuisine of the upper class and elite, to the essential staples of the lower class' daily meals. What does your nation look like? What does it sound like, taste like, smell like, feel like? With worldbuilding prompts, they can be the guiding questions you need to fill in the blanks, or start anew.
What are your nation's famous cities, and why? (Bonus brownie points for cities excluding your capital) What features make your cities unique? How are your urban areas developing in the present day, and what are the plans for the future? What are the most important or interesting regions of your nation, whether administrative or cultural? What makes the residents of these regions stand out among other groups? And how does the climate of your various regions influence their people? What bodies of water are the most important or famous in your nation? How has access to water (or lack thereof) featured in your country's history? Land! What is the terrain of your nation's land? How is the ownership of land divided between various groups and classes? Are there any lands that lay outside your nation's borders that are considered traditionally part of your nation? Weather! What are the most common weather patterns in your nation? How have your people adapted to the weather? What, if any, natural disasters or hazardous weather commonly plague your nation. Parks and Preserves! What does the average public park look like in your nation? Do you have wildlife or other natural preserves and reservations? What is the ecological future of your nation's flora and fauna? Tourists want to travel from one end of your country to the other end. Which places do they visit? Describe the 5 natural wonders of your country. What sort of biomes and landscapes are found on your country? Are they rare compared to other countries? Describe the most beautiful valleys in your country, or the most hellish ones. Name the greatest rivers of your country, and their ports. Name your country's islands from greatest to smallest. Identify the major mountain ranges of your country. How did your nation decide which city was to be its capital? I’ve spent some time in the city, and decide to travel to the countryside. How different is life there? How does the balance between civilisation and nature hold up in your country? Does one overwhelm the other? Do they struggle against, or compliment one another? 2 History
List and describe some of the most famous ruins in your country: what were they in the glory days, why were they built, why are they in ruin? What are the mysterious landmarks in your country, where ancient culture built it but no one knows why? Lost Arts! What skills or trades from your country's history have waned or even died off over the years? Is there a technique or substance from your distance past that modern people are unable to reconstruct? Are there any efforts are maintaining or reviving these lost arts? Migration! Are your people the original inhabitants of your nation's lands, or did they displace another group? In more recent history, how are your people moving around within their own borders? Are some regions experiencing a population boom, and are others experiencing a shortage of people? Why? Can you give me the synopsis of one of your people's cultural/national epics? (The foundational myths.) What's the closest your country has been to wholesale destruction? (Apocalypse) I'm reading through the history books. Which names am I sure to come across? From knights of virtue to pirates on the seven seas, what types of people have been romanticised in your country? What’s the most legendary artefact lusted for by adventurers and scholars alike? How do your people think the world began and will end? Are they correct? By what means & how did your nation become independent? Who is considered the founding "father/mother" of your modern nation? What is considered the "Darkest Day" in your nation's history? 3 Government
Who is the leader of your country? How did they get into power? What do people in your country value most in a leader? (Strength? Kindness? Rationality?) Tell us about a famous dynasty or family in your country. Which political parties exist, what are their differences, and how do they work together? Describe the election process in your country. Describe the different government buildings in your country. Law & Order
Police. Wandering through one of your country's cities, a thief steals my wallet. I report the incident to a local authority. Who would they be, and what will (Or won't) they do about my stolen wallet? What powers and restraints does your police force (or other primary security agency) possess? Can the judiciary strike down laws in your nation? Why/why not? What are the gun laws of your country? Can you tell me a little something about the organised crime in your country? A complex series of murders has been committed, and it has become aware that the rank and file police won’t be able to solve it. Who is sent to solve the case? (And will they succeed in finding the killer?) Can you give me an overview of what could be found in your country’s black markets? What is the single greatest threat, be it natural/meteorological, political or social unrest, that your country faces today? A great calamity has occurred, be it fire, flooding or Kaiju attack. Who is sent for clean-up and repair? Foreign relations
Which international organisations are you a member of? Who are your allies and/or enemies? Who is your nation's closest ally and why? What is the most significant foreign policy goal for your nation's current government? How are the immigration procedures in your country? Military
Wartime and Peacetime! How long have your people known peace? How has conflict (or the lack thereof) shaped your modern history? Are there any civic rituals observed by your government during either period? Armed Forces! How many branches of your military are there? What are famous formations within it? What is its history and social standing in your nation? And what are the plans for the future? What are your country's military branches? Create an organisational chart of each military branch based on rank. Describe a day in the life of an average soldier in training. Who are the greatest, most feared enemies in your country? List the greatest battles in your country: When they were fought, who fought in them, why they were fought, how the winner’s won. What tactics provided the greatest advantages in battle? List out military strategy that has inspired your country. Describe the different military uniforms for the countries and branches within your country. Describe the royal guard and the holy guards of your country. List all of its ships from smallest to largest, and detail what they’re known for. List the different forts and castles from smallest to largest and detail who built them and why. Describe the different civil wars in your country. What is your nation's stance on nuclear weapons? Does your nation have conscription, why so or why not? 4 Economy
How do your people prefer to get around? How does this differ between urban and rural areas? Does your nation employ unique modes of transportation, and how have they been affected by globalization? Hunting and Fishing! What are the preferred targets for hunters and anglers in your nation? How prevalent is either activity, and what bodies regulate it? Are any quarries prized above others? How are your country's major trading partners, and why are they important? What forms of gambling are legal in your country? Which are the most popular? What is the major gambling centre(s) in your nation? Is it lucrative? Who or what controls the gambling scene? What’s the public perception on gambling? Drugs! What are the most common recreational substances in your nation? What is their legality? Which demographics use which drugs the most? What is the War on Drugs like in your country? Travel! What are some popular destinations, foreign and domestic, for your country's citizens? Do people tend to travel more for work or for pleasure? And which other countries on Eurth are most likely to visit your nation? What are the railways like in your country? Is it isolated, or is it part of a wider network? What gauge, motive power, and coupling systems are used? Where are the best trade ports in your country? What is your country's largest export? What's the currency of your country? How did it come to be used? What preceded it? Which kinds of building materials are available? Where does the drinking water come from, and how is it distributed? Who makes the food? What happens to trash and sewage? Are there banks? If so, do they provide loans, bookkeeping, Worker pensions etc? Is there a centralised banking system, or are they independent? Is there any form of financial regulation? Or is Cronyism the standard practice? What are your country's main revenue sources from agriculture? What do your farmers harvest? What are your country's main revenue sources from industry? How many people are working, what's the worldwide rank? What are the occupation percentages? What's the most valuable material in your country, and how is it used? Where do people get the news? How much of a career can a writer have in your country? I am in search of work. Where could, would, and should I apply? By now I’ve spent quite some time in your country, and would like to settle down. How do I obtain a house? How does a package or message arrive from one place to another? 5 Demographics
The youth! What is your nation's age of majority? What are the activities that children and teenagers are primarily associated with in your culture? And most importantly...are the kids alright? Generations! What are the defined generations of your nation, age-wise and culturally? How do different generations get along? And who makes up the next generation to lead your country in the future? Is there a class system in your society? If so, what style is this system? Does this system allow for class movement? Can the lower class become upper class? Is there a form of discrimination or segregation? If so, how is it justified? Does a nobility exist or other societal elites? If so, what constitutes an elite? Do the nobles interact with other members of society? Is there a strict separation? Who’s making the big bucks in your country? (Bonus: What’s the difference between the old and newly rich?) Most expensive and poorest zones in your capital (prices, safety, etc)? Are there any separate attitudes regarding gender? Are there particular jobs/activities reserved for only one gender? Are extra benefits granted to one particular gender? What does an average household look like? (Is it a modern nuclear family, or a multigenerational feudal household? Do pets live inside?) Who is regarded as the prime parent? Can you tell me about the itinerant folk of your country? (Bonus: Why do they travel?) How are children treated in your country? (Until what age are they considered to be kids? Are children allowed to work? Can they vote? Are they considered people or property? Do daycares and schools exist? Has the concept of teenager/young adult been introduced in your country?) What about weddings? (Who officiates? Where are they typically held? How many people are invited? How significant is marriage in your country? What would be an ideal wedding?) What about funerals? How are they performed? Who is invited? How significant are they? How are the dead honoured? What happens to their body? Are they given a stone, a cross, a...? Can you tell me about one of your country’s secret societies? Greasers, punks, goths and tunnel snakes who rule. What subcultures do rebellious youth join in your country? What are the largest minority groups in your nation? How has the life in your country changed in the past 10 years? Language
Can you give me a linguistic overview of your country? (Language families, broad distribution, intelligibility, lingua franca, trade language, etcetera.) What are some common names in your country? (Bonus: Why are they popular?) Can you give me a proverb or two (or more) from your country? What are the days, weeks, months, years called? Education
Now stuck in your country, I would like to continue my studies. What university, academy or similar institution would I want to apply for? (Bonus question: Where would I actually end up studying?) Astronaut, fireman, doctor. What's the profession that your kids (and adults for that matter) tend to dream of becoming? Religion
Funerals! What rituals and ceremonies are observed when someone dies in your nation? How does this vary between different religions or ethnicities? What are the common burial practices of your nation? Is there anything else (for instance, wearing black clothing in the real-world West) that is associated with death or funerals in your culture? What are the different religions in your country? What is the primary religion of your country? How do people worship in your country? What are the greatest sins of your country? Create an organisational chart of your holy leaders. Who has more power, the political or the religious leaders? Describe your people's idea of the afterlife. Make a calendar of the holy days in your country and describe what happens on that day. List the different holy texts of each religion in your country. When broken down to its essence, what do the biggest religions in your country believe in? (Bonus: How do they treat each other?) Are there religious communities or foundations? What are they like, and what role do they play in society? Health
Healthcare! What are the most common causes of death and injury in your nation? How is your healthcare system structured? How available is access to healthcare in your nation? What do sick people do if they want to get better? Disease shaped our world, so what role have plagues and the like played in your country? Where, and by whom is healthcare taken care of? What about specialised care? Dentistry, physical therapy, eye care, palliative care. And what of alternative medicine such as acupuncture and chiropractic care. 6 Culture
How do the people of your nation spend the days when they are not working? How long are your weekends? Who gets to take weekends off? How have domestic animal companions shaped the history and culture of your people? Are certain pets held in higher or lower regard than others? And which pets are signifiers of a particular group or subgroup? Are there any interesting laws governing the ownership of pets in your nation? What do your people consider to be art? Who are the major artists in your country, and what are they known for? Meals! Do your people gather for the conventional 3 meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, or do they follow an alternate arrangement? What is the largest meal of the day? What are some favourite foods served at particular meals? Etiquette! What qualifies as good manners among your people? How do people behave at meals and other social gatherings? What's a major faux pas? What are the most well-known folk stories in your nation? Who's the bringer of good fortune and springtime, and who's the scary boogeyman who parents scare their children with? How have folk tales been reinterpreted and recycled in your modern popular culture? Which old folk stories do grandparents tell their grandchildren? What are these stories meant to achieve? Clothes! What are the traditional elements of formal wear on your various occasions, and what do your citizens wear while relaxing? How has clothing changed over time, and why? What outfit(s) might be considered your "national dress"? What do your people find fashionable? Which differences in clothing exist between classes and generations? What's the latest fashion trend in your country? What sorts of headgear do people wear? (And why? Is it functional? Ceremonial? Prestigious?) Who is the most renowned celebrity in your nation? What sort of music is popular in your nation? Is there a genre that your nation has created or contributed to? What sports do your people play? What are the most popular sports in your nation? What is their history, and how is professional play regulated? Is there any unique sports made up by your nation's inhabitants? Are there any "extreme" sports that are popular? What sort of architecture can one expect in your nation? Detail the architectural styles for the following: Major palaces/castles, major religious centres, major learning centres, major transit centres and major museums. What is the best food to eat in each region of your country? Can you give me an overview of your country’s most popular beverages? Breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses... What are the eating times in your country? What will be served for a typical breakfast? What will be served for a typical lunch or dinner? It's late at night, and I'm hungry. What food venues are still open? When families get together which food do they share? List and describe the most impressive buildings in your country. Holidays! What secular and religious holidays are observed in your nation? What are the rituals that accompany them? And what specific traditions does your nation have around worldwide holidays, like those celebrated by major religions? Is there anything your peoples eat and drink exclusively on days of celebration? What is your country's equivalent to holidays such as Christmas and Halloween? What's the biggest, most beloved celebration of the year? I’m invited to this grandest event of the year. What should I wear? And what would I wear if I were a woman? When do the people celebrate the new year in your country? What does it involve? What is your young people's favourite places to hang out? What customs and rituals show up in your country? Does your government fund the arts? And, if so, is arts funding given with 'no strings attached'? Which film was the latest box office success in your country, what was it about, and why was it so popular? How is time measured on terms of days, weeks, months, years? What symbolism do various colours have in your country's cultures? What is the most distinctive symbol of your country that would be most likely to be recognised elsewhere? All done!
Really? Did you answer all of these!? In that case you can always continue down the rabbit hole and explore another even longer list of worldbuilding resources.
Onboard more admins (January 2021) Cleanup Discord roles (January 2021) Fix Discord doormat (February 2021) Fix Discord starboard (February 2021) Schedule next staff chat (February 2021) Forum website
Getting started with Invision Community, optionally try the free demo Technical tasks Respond to private messages for assistance Support reports by moderators in the Moderator CP Run software updates & re-test systems Monitor Technical Helpdesk Quality control Keep stories sorted in the right sub-forum Cleanup over-use of topic tags Edit obvious typos to maintain quality Cleanup markup / layout problems Academy Respond to new member introductions Followup on academy candidate's status Graduate academy candidate to member in Admin CP Role-Play Department Collect map applications and tag as "todo" Collect map expansions and tag as "awaiting rp" Discord server
Monitor doormat Monitor helpdesk Monitor staff discussion Monitor @admin mentions Organise recurring staff meetings NationStates region
Greet new members on RMB Regular story poll or other community activity Post weekly/monthly summary to Eurth News Network Reject silly embassy requests, WA lobbying, R/D invitations IIWiki pages
Monitor #Eurth category changes Continue Project Wiki Cleanup Transfer relevant lore from forum to IIWiki
“Great literature is one of two stories,” we often quote Leo Tolstoy as saying: “a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” That’s all good and well for the author of War and Peace, but what about the thousands of writers struggling to come up with the next story?
The many aspirants looking to write their way can turn to a 1919 manual called Ten Million Photoplay Plots by Wycliff Aber Hill. In this book he provides a “taxonomy of possible types of dramatic ‘situations,’ first running them down in outline form, then describing each more completely and offering possible variations.”
Hill’s 37 basic dramatic situations can be broken down into more specific story plots.
(2) Lost loved ones recovered.
(3) A miracle of God.
(5) Love’s obstacles.
(6) Rivalry between unequals.
(7) Rivalry between kinsmen.
(8) A mystery.
(9) Loving an enemy.
(10) Sacrifice of one’s self for an ideal.
(11) Sacrifice of one’s self for kindred (or friend).
DISASTROUS SITUATIONS PRECIPITATED WITHOUT CRIMINAL INTENT
(12) Possessed of an ambition.
(13) Fatal indiscretion.
(16) Enmity between kinsmen.
(17) Effort to obtain.
(18) Daring effort.
(20) Kindred avenged against kindred.
(21) Mistaken jealousy.
(22) Involuntary criminal love.
DISASTROUS SITUATIONS PRECIPITATED WITH CRIMINAL INTENT
(23) Struggle against God.
(25) To sacrifice all for a passion.
(27) Adultery with murder.
(28) Criminal love.
TRAGIC SITUATIONS OVER WHICH THE VICTIM HAS NO CONTROL
(29) Loved ones lost.
(30) Falling a prey.
(32) An innocent suspected.
(33) Obligation to sacrifice loved ones.
(34) To learn of the dishonour of a loved one.
(35) Mental derangement.
(36) To kill a kinsman or friend before recognition.
There Are Only 37 Possible Stories, According to This 1919 Manual for Screenwriters (Open Culture) The 37 Basic Plots, According to a Screenwriter of the Silent-Film Era (Slate) Ten Million Photoplay Plots (uploaded to Scribd by Rebecca Onion) Photoplay plot encyclopedia (1922 by Palmer, Frederick)
Like an iceberg, only the ‘tip’ of culture is visible (observable) to the eye while the bulk of what makes up cultural identity is submerged (unobservable). This framework can be used to explain the concept of your culture to readers. For example: which factors influence a person's observable behaviours and practices?
If you'd like to know more, the Worldbuilding Magazine did a podcast on The Iceberg Principle (S22 E03) in May 2020.
Update (16 June 2020): a cleaner designed iceberg was published on Reddit, with some changes to the framework.
Located within this article are a variety of questions that have been asked before or that are seen as important enough to list off. These questions range from certain restrictions to basic questions about real life equivalents. In case you feel that there is a question missing, feel free to put it in #helpdesk on discord or send a message through the forum's messaging system.
I want to join! How do I do this?
Wow! That's great! In this case, follow the instruction presented at the Front Desk of our Academy.
How many nations can I have?
You can have one nation and one nation only. That's not to say that you can't have, as an example, various groups or autonomous states within your nation as a way to switch things up.
I have elves, dwarves and orks. Is that okay?
No. Eurth is a human-only non-fantasy region. Realism is the key word. Could you have an elite that gets their ears cut through plastic surgery as a way to adapt to some weird body ideal and look elf-like? Sure, so long as you keep in mind that this has disadvantages. Surgeries can go wrong, ears can get infected, not everyone will want to do it, other nations and cultures will find yours weird, etc. Similarly, dwarves... Could you have a nation with a higher than normal rate of dwarfism or a shorter population? Sure. But keep in mind that you're not going to have a nation only made up of these people. Keep in mind that dwarfism leads to a whole variety of health issues, among other issues.
How about human-only meme nations?
No. We're aiming for realism. That excludes meme-nations based on a joke. This stems from a strange interaction with Kendrickianna, a meme-nation based entirely on animated GIF's of the RL entertainer Anna Kendrick.
MAP & CARTOGRAPHY
How can I get on your map?
Candidates will have to go through the Academy first. Once you graduate, the path to map-hood is open. To help things along we've also included some nice and easy to understand instructions on applying for the map. If you feel unsure about any of these, please look around at some earlier applications to see how they were handled and answered.
Can I be on the Europa continent?
No. This is a legacy area and is locked to new players. Other continents were added to increase the possibilities. To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke: "All these continents are yours except Europa. Attempt no claim there. Use them together. Use them in peace."
HISTORY & CULTURE
Is there a [add name of messiah] equivalent on Eurth?
Eh, yes and no. Here's the thing: We try to get everyone to be as creative as possible, to move away from real life. In some ways, this has succeeded, in some ways, it hasn't. In reality, a discussion on the history of Christianity and Judaism ended in limbo and the main nations having Judaism and involving Judaism turned out to be one of the many personalities of the person that made the first question of this FAQ extremely important. Similarly, none of the Muslim nations are active and their lore hasn't really been fleshed out. It's all a bit scattered and in limbo as people claim to have their own, non-affiliated churches and religions; although the discussion on the history of Christianity and Judaism did help in that regard to get people to consolidate and associate a bit more.
Is there a Roman or Byzantine Empire?
There was a Byzantium-like area in Europa called the Aroman Empire. Similar to the RL Roman Empire, it crumbled into various nations, the most important of which are Adaptus and Tagmatium. Tagmatium is a great and active staff member and would love to explain more to you if you need specifics. Another great place to start in regards to the Aroman Empire is the iiwiki page on it.
Can I claim a global religious leader ?
Maybe, depending on the religion you wish to lead. Have a look at our IIWiki article on existing religions on Eurth first before starting this OOC discussion.
Can I claim my nation is populated by neanderthals or other variants of humans?
Listen, you can claim almost anything. You can claim the people in your nation are some special type of homo whateveris. Hell, I made a news post where phrenologists were mentioned. You're more than allowed to have pseudo-science reign your nation if you wish to do so. Realism, obviously, dictates that these claims hold no factual proof and aren't true but that could be the whole fun of it, roleplaying a nation where scientists, politicians and whomever else do their best to fudge results and more. Just think of North Korea and some of the great claims they released at times.
Can I have nukes?
Short answer? No. Long answer? Theoretically, it's possible for a nation to develop nukes. It'd require a lot of roleplaying, a lot of time, etc. And there are specific guidelines/rules in the works which may end up changing this answer to include more/specific instructions. But what you really want to ask yourself is: Why do I want nukes? Do you want them for historic reasons? Do you want to have them in modern times? Having nukes as a historical plot point while not having them in modern times is far more acceptable, for example, albeit still something you should discuss with the mod team; your nation getting close to developing nukes could be the last reason needed for a hostile power to start a war, invade you or otherwise seek to disrupt that progress. That, of course, also goes the other way around. However, what we often see is that people seek nukes for two reasons, either they want nukes to be the cool kid on the block that has all the nifty gadgets (the Rule of Cool comes to mind in that regard) or they seek nukes to become impregnable, a power right from the start. Please don't try to be either one of those two because you're going to have a bad time here in/on Eurth in that case.
Can I have Thorium?
Eurth has the rule that only proven technologies can be used on Eurth. This means that, while you can have thorium research centers, as that's been done, you can't have thorium energy plants, as they haven't been done. That's the general rule of thumb for everything, what's been done can be done. In doubt? Discuss it with a member of the mod team.
Can I have a space program?
Yes, provided you complete the necessary steps for developing one. Going to space is expensive. Some steps on the ladder require that you cooperate with other players. This will increase your enjoyment.
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.
Take a gander at our official INTRO & BALANCE SHEET! The guidelines to this introduction are a quick and dirty summary of how Eurthers operate. What you choose in the balance sheet will serve as your canonical starting statistics! Feel free to edit them throughout your academy phase as you get a better feel for what you want your nation to be!
Remember! Criticism and Feedback is meant to help, not hinder. Over the course of your journey you may encounter staff members that may give input you do not want to hear. These staff members will work together with you towards a common goal.
Ensure new candidate have the knowledge and ability to write their story as a part of Eurth. Integrate all new players into the Eurth community and lore. Increase awareness of Eurth experiences that promote academic success and integration. Ensure new candidates understand the rules that everyone else plays by. Together, these goals establish the foundation of knowledge, skills, and abilities all students need to be successful in Eurth. Take their advice in good faith. This community thrives on members that respond well to feedback. Manage your own expectations wisely! Just as this community only accepts individuals above the age of 16, it also expects applicants to be emotionally above the age of 16.
**Kindly refrain from creating duplicate accounts or attempting the academy with more than 1 nation. Please also avoid re-attempting the academy with different nations or names without first consulting the staff. Staff has every right to suspend dupe accounts and/or permanently ban users that attempt this. The staff puts in work for every candidate, creating dupes increases our workload needlessly.
Q. What if I already have a writing sample?
A. That's great! Be sure to share it. An example of your talents will make it far easier to estimate your skills.
Q. What if I 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.
Q. What should you write?
A. 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. Here are some easy to understand writing prompts:
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? Q. What should I be aiming for?
A. Good writing includes 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 wurld. A focus on wurldbuilding adds depth and meaning to your writing, is a great way to brainstorm within your writing, and helps you forge deeper connections to the wurld 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. This is not Twitter. But we also don't intend for you to write a book. For a good first impression, aim for something between 500-1000 words. To show you how long this is, here are some examples:
"On Turmoil's Shores" by Stalgora a.k.a Sam North (Story Example) El Quotidie Verbo by Heiheguo a.k.a Gene (News Example) Esonya Weekly Tales by Esonya (Slice of Life/News Example) Q. Are there any other rules for graduating?
A. The bare minimum requirements for passing the academy are:
General Outline/Vision of your country. This submission should answer the questions: "Where did my country come from?", "How did it end up the way it is now?", "What are its goals in the present?", and "What kind of nation does it aim to be in the near future?" Using the tag: [Vision Statement] write a 2-3 paragraph overview of what you want to achieve with your nation. If your idea is a progressive one, outline how you plan to take your nation throughout each phase of its development. Roleplay story of your choice. You choose! Stay in-character and use the tag: [Academy RP] when making a new post! (e.g. slice of life, news post, political drama, action story, historical RP, etc.). It should give everyone an idea of what life or events in your nation are like. Refer to the above sections for guidance. Basic factbook that contains a general overview of your nation and the statistics you are choosing. There are two ways you can create this factbook: you can either create one in our in-forum list, or (if you're feeling adventurous) you can have a go at using IIWiki which is used by many RP communities. Updated: 8/feb/2021 — There are now only 2 requirements to pass the academy. The news RP has been removed as a requirement.
Once you've posted all of these on the Academy please contact a staff member by message on this forum, or by pinging @staff on the Eurth Discord. There might be some delays as all staff are volunteers!
Introductions: Say Hi! Vision Statement: see above. Sample Academy RP: See above. Editing/Using Feedback: Staff will read what you've posted and may give some comments. Starting your iiWiki: Start a simple page with the foundations of a culture, some politics, and some economics. Include your Stats: have these approved by staff. ping @ rp mentor on discord and list your desired stat values. Then, include the stat values in your wiki draft. Communicate with Staff: await some final comments before jumping right in! There might be something important. Apply for a Map Spot (after graduation) 4. Graduating
Q. How does graduation work?
A. 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.
Q. How long does someone remain in the Academy?
A. 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.
Q. What happens to my RP stories in the Academy?
A. These RP's are not automatically part of our canon. But they can be promoted if you yourself request this and if the community agrees. This means your academy writing are moved into the main RP forums and become part of our shared stories.
Q. Before you go, the staff would like to bring up the faint possibility of your becoming inactive.
A. In the faint possibility of you becoming inactive, the staff would like to point out that:
If you become inactive or show little interaction with other players ("ghosting"), there is a possibility that staff may choose to place you elsewhere on the map or edit your lore. In some cases, if you are completely inactive, you may be removed from the canon entirely. Inactivity can also take the form of simply releasing posts that do not in any way engage with the community ("purging"). The absence of one member might prevent the community from moving forward ("blocking"). You own your intellectual property as an active member. However, becoming inactive means that staff may need to take control of your stories, posts and content. P.S: Don't forget to set your final statistics!
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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 role-play. 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 ACME Research Group 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
The same ACME survey also proves how:
83% of the 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! Role-playing Tips and Suggestions Creating a Successful Villain Non-Playable Characters (NPC's): What they're really about and more Worldbuilding
A load of questions to help you develop your nation Various useful things from the Worldbuilding School How to Build a Fictional World (Neil Gaiman's Masterclass) How to Write a Believable World: A Guide to Worldbuilding (Masterclass) r/worldbuilding's resources list (Reddit) Making realistic countries (Open Geofiction) Making realistic cities (Open Geofiction) Making realistic currency (Open Geofiction) Guide to a Wiki-Style Factbook, Embassies, and Consulates (NationStates) Dr. Zahir's Ethnographical Questionnaire (FrathWiki) /r/Worldbuilding Resources Master List (Reddit) Writing
Worldbuilding Prompts Writing tips and resources (Valucre) Krieg’s Guide To Losing (Kriegorgrad) Creating a Politician within Nationstates Roleplay (Jenrak) Non-Playable Characters (NPC's) -What they're really about and more (Euroslavia) Verse by verse: AI poem generator (Google) When to Stop Worldbuilding and Start Writing (J.S. Morin) Flag-making (vexillology)
Flag designer, browser-based or downloadable for free with more features Guide to good flag design A collection of logo design tutorials Map-making (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) Generators and tools
Random generators, though more tailored to a medieval/fantasy setting Parliament diagram maker Conlangs (constructed languages)
Grammars of not one, not two, but 1,362 languages (Incatena) Neography: constructed writing systems (Reddit) Source: Worldbuilding resources for fun and profit (by Vrnallia)
Still want more?
Have a look at our collection of worldbuilding video's.