In any sufficiently large enough community, the chance of a possible conflict is certain to increase. For this reason, we have established some clear rules of what is and isn't allowed.
This page is long, but what it boils down to is this:
- Be respectful
- Be realistic
- Be original
- Be active
§1 General RP rules
1.1 Define your nation's lore
First of all, when starting, it can be useful to describe some features that define your 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 state, led by some terrorist organization? Is your nation the economic capital of the world?
Coming up with these ideas 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.
1.2. Interacting with other players
You can be a good roleplayer if you follow this advice.
- 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.
You can be a great roleplayer if you go even further.
- 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. We keep saying this, but sometimes people still ignore it. 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 we mean: we don't take the events seriously and ignore the actions that were taken.
1.3 Amendment: Defining "Realism"
According to "The Roleplay Terms of Eurth" from the Eurth Intro & Balance Sheet, § Realism:
- This mainly involves technology and the logical step-by-step explanation of your IC actions. Eurth expects newcomers to check with the Moderators FIRST, before dreaming up what technology your nation can have. You may dislike this at first but will appreciate it all the more when, for example, the next player comes around and claims flying supercarriers, underground megacities or invincible vertibirds. We base this Technologic Realism both on what is theoretically possible in the real world and the actual progress on Eurth. For example: what is attainable for the United States of America (IRL) will only be possible for a starting or even a veteran nation (IC) that has progressed to that point.
- What Realism is on Eurth: As a rule of thumb, starting players should only be allowed technology and capabilities that are widespread and have been proven many many times over in the real world. For example, a futuristic prototype may exist in the real world but hasn’t matured, isn’t widespread, available only at an unreasonable price. If you want to achieve cutting-edge technology, we expect you to work from the pre-requisite technology to even achieve the same level as IRL. This rule applies to everyone.
- Why Realism is needed: New players that start with everything might hurt the creations of others, because they were ignorant of the effects of their actions or because they do not care. Maintaining a common ground of Realism on Eurth prevents big toxic fights and ensures that players perform their due diligence. Due diligence being self-moderation--keeping your technology level realistic to your nation’s situation and making sure your developments follow a logical and realistic path of progression.
- How Realism is maintained: The most sure-fire way to go about this is to talk to a Moderator AND follow their guidelines. For example: insisting upon the validity of your nanites or efficient thorium reactors is frowned upon. If you want to progress to present-day prototype technology, begin by asking yourself: “What tech did this evolve from?” Start a good quality Roleplay and achieve the necessary steps of progression.
- 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 your nation.
Time. We use the same time and date as today, unless mentioned otherwise. Every roleplay is different from the next.
- Real time. If no custom date or time is mentioned, then it is assumed we follow OOC real time.
- Slower. 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. For example: if you're waiting for other players to respond, you can stretch time so one RP day can last several RL days. Ensure all participants agree when time moves forward, and consider options for de-blocking a story when a participant disappears.
- Faster. Time becomes more flexible if, for example, a story is set in the past, you can more easily skip ahead several days, weeks or even years. 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 play a influential state 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.
- Tropes. Some players keep coming up with the same problematic tropes. Here's a list of what's been disapproved: working thorium reactors, underground cities, walker mechs, flying cars, man-bears, cannibalism, elves, Star Trek.
§3 Technology Level
In this community, we use Modern Tech (as defined by NS MT RP). Let me repeat that: we use Modern Tech. One more time: that's Modern Tech. The same principles that apply to Realism (1.3) apply to technology. If it does not exist ubiquitously in our current world, it should not be assumed to also exist without prior RP on Eurth. If it exists in real life but only in a limited form, then consultation before a Roleplay effort is required.
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. For example: Thorium reactors, nanites, walker tanks. Technology that falls outside of this realm will not be considered canonical by the community. Players who continually repeat such claims may become subject to disciplinary action by the Eurth Staff. The agreement of using only MT was established in 2005.
Do you have questions about whether a specific technology is valid? Consult a Eurth Staff member.
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 statistis, 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. We usually keep them in a text document. We also keep records of most of my major posts and what we 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. we 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 International Law
In order to maintain a level of order in In-Character international relations, the Eurth Staff has agreed that it is best to assume that majority of Eurth accepts certain Real-Life international agreements. Whilst these have not been Roleplayed, we must assume that the international community has held Summits or Conventions in the In-Character past and agreed to abide by said agreements. As a rule of thumb, these agreements will have come in to effect on Eurth the same year they had come in to effect on Earth.
Article 5 Texts
- ICAO Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation (1944)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
- Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961)
- United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)
Should any member choose to declare that their nation has never agreed to any or all of the above Article 5 Texts; or has declared that their current or active government rejects the above Article 5 Texts; they must state so officially via a post on this forum that is both public and easily accessible. It will be considered a breach of this rule to retroactively declare or to declare in poor-faith that their nation does not comply or abide by any or all of the above Article 5 Texts; referring specifically to cases in Roleplay wherein one or more member(s), out of convenience or caprice, justifies their violation of the Article 5 Texts with claims of ignorance or retroactive rejection of the Article 5 Texts.
How are these treated In-Character?
They are assumed to have happened historically. How your nation responded to this is up to you. There is no International Court of Justice (yet), but one can assume that most nations on Eurth may denounce actions that violate the Article 5 Texts. Some may even go as far as to impose santions, embargo, or even conduct a blockade of your nation.
§6 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. In cases were an expansion via NPC/Puppet has passed OOC, a player may add the pre-set and staff-reviewed statistics to his lore or nation if the necessary roleplay has been completed and has adequately addressed the guidelines as promised in the OOC planning.
- Godmod. Doing things that aren't realistic, basically? Don't. Submitting unrealistic losses and can be on-par with Powergaming. For example: 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.
- 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 Eurth's canon, and what is and what is not canon is only decided by the Eurth Staff. Basically: DWI or restart elsewhere. If you have a complaint about a nation, take it up with the Eurth Staff.