Pinned A Comprehensive and Detailed Guide on Roleplaying

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    • A Comprehensive and Detailed Guide on Roleplaying

      LightningTurk here, after a bit of a break and a clear head, i've come back to see if there is anyone still alive.

      I wanted to take the opportunity to bring this descriptive guide on the concept of RP rounds to light. This written guide of sorts is for anyone, new or old to learn from. feel free to add any concepts you feel are relevant to the topic of RP within rounds.

      This below information was first written by Don Viswanath and Rage over on Supremacy 1914, and was compiled and edited by myself.


      What is Roleplaying?

      What is Roleplaying?
      This is by itself a very difficult question, and the answer is subject to much debate. However, from prolonged discussion and by incorporating various opinions, we can define role playing as "the fine art involving the use of a character, real or fictional, along with other functions of state, and a combination of real, historic and fictional events and scenarios for the promotion and extension of one's game such that all events that take place in the natural course of a normal game are represented adequately and with reasonable limits of realism via the in game communication features such as letters, pacts, treaties and articles."

      What is a character?
      The character can be a head of state, minister, general or any other persona you use to represent your state in the international forum within a game. There can be one or more characters, used in combination or individually, and with varying story lines and background stories which may or may not be adopted. Your character will represent you in all state affairs, whether it be the sending of diplomatic messages or posting of articles, or negotiation of treaties and pacts. Your character will also be subject to any events that take place during the game and will have to be played within reasonable limits of realism.

      Example: Tsar of Russia Aleksey Mikhailovich I (head of state), General Alex Summers (chief of armed forces)


      What are functions of a state?
      This list can be neither complete nor exhaustive. It includes any and all functions of a nation, like declaring war, peace, trade pacts, military alliances, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), holding military exercises, diplomatic communications, official press releases, declaring ultimatum, state of emergency etc. These events must be used realistically, such as they would in real life, and in conformity with the game rules, as playing realistically without regard for the constraints of the game is not viable.

      Example: India and Russia holding a joint military exercise. To be realistic, both nations release units to the said territory to hold the exercise. However, since this will involve a morale drop, it will be concluded quickly, in keeping with the constraints involved in the game mechanics. The conclusion is not because of a rule of thumb, but because not pulling your troops back will cause them to lose morale and become ineffective in combat, which is a situation you must avoid. If it means nothing to you, you may leave your troops in neutral territory.


      What are events and scenarios?



      Events are the occurrences that are controlled by a single nation. The appointment of a new Air Chief Marshal of Italy is an event, that is cast by the player controlling Italy, using his various state functions and his character. It cannot be influenced from outside directly, though diplomatic pressure may be put off the player to cast events favorably to other parties.

      Events can, however, influence other players actions, by working to change the balance of power.

      Example: Italy declaring the dissolution of parliament is a event. It may be forced by another country, remaining anonymous, by way of diplomatic pressure, and to avoid further damages, which will relegate Italy to a weaker position according to the game mechanics, Italy may conform. The importance here is that the event is the en-action of the action Italy would take to avoid incurring damages that would otherwise happen, and the original action being something that would take place in the normal course of a game, RP or otherwise.

      Scenarios are group events, which influence and are influenced by more than one nation/player. Such events hold much greater influence on other players than a normal event, as they serve to change much of the prevalent Geo-political scenario on the map and shift the balance of power considerably. Hence, they are herewith termed 'Scenarios'.

      Example: Forming an alliance between two nations. Such an action would have a widespread impact, as players seek to either form rival alliances to counter them or seek to gain the favor of the nation’s currently allied to each other. It will serve to create much tension and fuel further events and scenarios. Such actions will be taken in response to these scenarios because of each player wish to either maintain the balance of power or shift it in their favor.



      Events and scenarios combine to form the basis of the game, and create tensions and fuel further events and scenarios, which will provide the material for further RPing the game. They must be used with care and realism, and at the same time in a manner that will not be self-defeating or serving to subside the predominance of the game mechanics.

      Example: Making an event whereby a player gives all his resources to another is possible, however, such an event is not realistic, and will stand harsh penalty from the game mechanics. On the other hand, giving resources to appease a player and gain peace is both realistic and true to the game mechanics, as avoiding war might be favorable in future consideration.

      What is the promotion and extension of one’s game?
      The aim of this game is to make the nation you control the most dominant on the map. Playing an RP game on this site, with the current game mechanics, we must respect this object of the game, and play accordingly. Every action you take in the game must be for your cause, towards advancing your position, and achieving your goals, both long term and short term. Playing in keeping with the realism of this game is of utmost importance.
      However, it is also paramount that you RP every action of take in control of a nation, and in keeping with real world realism. Every action must be re-enacted and communicated as it would be as a matter of operation of an actual state.

      Example: On the brink of disaster, it may be correct, RP wise, for Germany to not surrender and continue fighting. But this is not realistic, or in line with the game mechanics, as fighting no longer serves your purpose of advancing your position. However, it is also not right for you to abandon all RP attempts and randomly attack another nation without a justifiable casus belli or proper reason for war, just because it is strategically viable to do so as per the game mechanics.
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    • Attacking a nation just because you can is not unrealistic. However, attacking without providing proper cause is. So, even as we seek to advance our position, and take advantage of a weaker state, we must take the time to find a casus belli and RP the events properly to lead to war.
      The complicated balance between the above-mentioned element and the casting of various events and scenarios is what makes role playing a fine art.

      What is the natural course of a game?
      The natural course of the game assumes that you will act as a rational player and play to advance your own position, or at least maintain the balance of power, so that no player gains too much power and becomes dominant. In this condition, the actions of the players, as they wrestle for control, for the most case using diplomatic and economic means, the occasional subterfuge and the rare war, which are all means and extensions of state policy (i.e., state functions) , will create tensions and continue to fuel the RP, by providing events and scenarios which will lead to more events, in a self-sustaining manner, until such day when the number of players in the game gets reduced to the extent that there are only a few and more or less equal superpowers remaining, who are in a state of stalemate, and cannot continue the game further without RP, or such a state where the game finishes by one player reaching the victory condition.

      How to represent adequately and with reasonable limits of realism?
      Adequate realism, conforming to both the games requirements and the standards of the role-playing community is something of a balancing act. It requires practice, and patience. The first and most important thing is to understand that things can go wrong and be ready to make changes to meet the demands of others. At the same time, don't let others change your intrinsic style. Your choices should be your own.

      Reasonable levels of realism mean that you should RP any event you may create, or influence, or otherwise interact with, and any communication you may engage in, with a likeness to the real-world interactions between nations. However, you need not go to great troubles to make it in depth.

      Example: While in real life, there may be many bureaucratic works intervening between two heads of state as they establish contact, you may play it as two characters establishing direct contact. However, realistic titles and signatures to the correspondence would be appreciated.



      Example: Most games use a time scale, like 1 game day being 1 month. In such games, if you are to date your articles, or your events (ex: declaring a time bound ultimatum) then you would have to keep note of the time scale used.


      What is the balance of power?
      In this game, strategically, every nation stands an equal chance to win. The resource distributions and locations might be different, but every nation can win according to the circumstances of the game.

      In this game, whether you are playing an alliance game, individual game, role playing game, or any other version of it, your first intent should be in keeping the balance of power as it is, i.e., making sure that the balance of power does not shift in favor of any one or more players. If all it does, it should shift in your favor, not that of anyone else.

      The basic idea of making yourself more powerful is in securing enough of all resources to make sure you can build up and progress. This must be so even more in an RP, where you are not allowed to wage endless wars and attack without proper reason, as it will destroy popular opinion and support for you and will make more players opposed to you, as your aggressive attempts to shift the balance of power in your favor may be seen as dangerous to others.

      Similarly, when another player makes a gain, territorial, economic, political or diplomatic, you should work to neutralize this gain. If a nation has won over another in a war, allowing them to take over the whole of the conquered territory will not benefit you. You must attempt to minimize his gains as much as possible, by supporting a peaceful and equal solution, that would involve only a bare minimum of gains to the winner, and a bare minimum of losses to the vanquished. And an alliance should be countered by forming one of your own or making favorable acquaintance with the allies.

      You must also avoid long wars and must try to make others stop prolonged conflict by using your diplomacy or ultimately, your own military intervention. This is because a war will eliminate one of more military powers, players on the geo-political playing field, which will tend to cast another power as dominant.
      Playing with the balance of power in mind is important as, combined with good RPing, this will make for a game which lasts as players introduce checks and balances to neutralize each other, as well as providing enough tension and RP material, fueling events and scenarios to keep the game interesting. Remember, the real balance of power is not indicated by the DE points.

      This, so far, describes the game as understood by the Old Guard and Leadership of The Roleplayers Union as well as any experienced players of the Role Playing Community. It is also the style that has generated games with the most interest and longest life.

      But there are other things that set this community apart from the more informal players. Prominent among these other features are a "Code of Honor" and a "Game Limiting/Scheduling System", as well as an equal acceptance of classical, non-scenario-based games and other, more fashioned, scenario based games.

      Codex Immortalis (Code of Honor)

      This is the commonly accepted standards of behavior that are expected of you when you become a part of the community. Every respectable, responsible member of the roleplaying community is expected to stay true to this Code.

      1. No Gold usage.
      2. Respectful behavior, on the forum, on the community site, and in any discussions pertaining to the community
      3. Proper usage of role-playing techniques in games. Avoid land grabbing, and understand and respect the fact that we are playing more for enjoyment than victory.
      4. Use discretion in joining games; play to your strengths, as the enjoyment of others is also in your hands. Join only games that you will be able to play well in, and not all the games you would like to. Develop your knowledge and style before engaging in wider varieties, to make the gaming experience much richer for everyone
      5. Launch games judiciously. This is the basis of the limiting system and will be explained in detail later.
      6. Devote appropriate time to each game. Use all available resources to make your character and plot as realistic as possible. Make the historic founding as reliable as possible. Respect the commitment of others to the game by showing your commitment to be equal to theirs
      7. Cooperate with your fellow role players, the EN Forum Staff, and all Call of War Staff and membership. The growth of the community requires that we put aside differences and work to overcome prejudices.


      The Code is a general guideline for behavior in the community, and cannot be, and will not be, enforced. However, those who do not abide by this code, as and when reasonably possible, will not be considered as part of this community, and specifically, this faction of more stringent, formal and 'old school' gamers.

      It is our belief that this code will only do good for the whole community, and it is with the greatest of regret that we are outlining this code of honor for the entire community as a protocol of operation for a 'faction'. However, in the hope that it will be accepted by practice, we are moving ahead to enforce these protocols amongst those who will accept and abide by these very general of guidelines, that will be most leniently enforced.

      thank you for your time and consideration in reading part or all of this. I plan to create a new RP round soon and this will be a good gauge of activity.
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