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What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

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Scolopendra
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What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

Postby Scolopendra » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:36 pm

This is essentially a repost of this thread but broadened to a general concept of setting. Originally the problem was with real-life based alternate history threads, but the concept is inherently expandable to anything where the setting is an atom-for-atom ripoff of something else.

Stuff like "well, it's 1970, you be the Soviets and I'll be the Americans and the Arabs just overran Israel" or "let's replicate the Oblivion game world" (as complete hypotheticals) are not appropriate for these boards. The entire point of the site is to make your own nation. We don't really mind if it's an alternate-history version of a real place (sort of like how Draka is an alternate-history South Africa), or based heavily on some other fictional source like the Galactic Empire or the Federation, but the idea is you play the roles of your nations, whatever they end up being, not those of arbitrary real-life nations in alternate-history situations or essentially closed fancy simulations of other game worlds.

Alternate NS history ("remember that war we did a while back? What if X instead of Y won?") is fine. Alternate IRL history ("What if the Red Army didn't rally at Stalingrad? You be Stalin, I'll be Hitler") is not. Basing something on previous art ("it's like the Galactic Empire from Star Wars") is fine. Being exactly the same as previous art ("okay, let's do something in the Galactic Empire just before A New Hope where the Imperial Navy is putting down Rebellion forces on a fringe planet") is not.

In the clarifications below, "real-life" can be replaced with "previous fictional art" and the concept remains the same.

- = - = -

EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION:

Summary: Using Real Earth geography is fine. Using the shape of Real Earth countries is fine. Using Real Earth populations is fine. Using the actual Real Earth countries (culture, history, et al), and thus essentially being a carbon copy of a Real Earth country, is not
[QUOTE=Amazonian Beasts;12715756]Question:

If we simply use an Earth Map (since, kinda hard to utilize a map without one, and NS RPs also use Earth maps frequently WITH no reprocussions), and limit populations and economcs to more realistic national limits (since, let's face it: 8 bil for an MT Pop is outrageous on any planet with gazillions of nations)-would that be considered off-limits?

Landmasses aren't a concern. It can look like RL Earth; that's not a problem.

If so, then there will really be no more Earths. I can't see how that at all would be incidental, since the only thing that includes "real World stuff" is the map, which many RPers use anyway in non-Earth NS RPs (check the big Hataria thread, where his territory is split up). Tech, history, leaders, people-all would remain NS.

That's why this is only concerned with, specifically, "real life" alternate history threads. Kahanistan, ICly, is some sort of weird alternate-history southern Israeli breakaway nation. That's fine. Were Kahanistan to play the role of real-life Israel in a reenactment and alternate-history version of the Arab-Israeli war with other people playing Syria and Egypt, that wouldn't be appropriate.

Thanks for your time.

De nada. That's what it's for.[/quote]

Summary: Yes, you can make an alternate-history version of a country that split off of the real life timeline somewhere back a ways (many people already have). No, you cannot make a carbon copy for the purpose of reenacting or doing an alternate version of some historical event. You cannot refight WW2 as the Nazis, Soviets, British Empire, Japanese Empire, French Empire, and the States; you cannot refight the Cold War with Soviet and USA (and loads of proxy state) clones.
[QUOTE=DMG;12715846]Question to the Mods: Is this just a nominal thing? What if somebody and I wanted to make our NS Nation the duplicates of the USA and the USSR, respectively - and then we went about fighting a massive global war?

Given that people have played (at least in my own knowledge) as 1945 Australia and some sort of wonky diverged-in-the-1970s Seattle Overland Corridor, I can't see how that would be a real problem from the standpoint of precident. It would be dramatically limiting as to where one could go with it, and one could theoretically get multiple Soviet Unions inhabiting the same 'volume' shouting at each other as to which one is the 'real' one... which could in and of itself be interesting. It that sense it is merely nominal.

The problem comes with importing real-life conflicts and just rehashing the Cold War or WW2 or Vietnam or the Crimean War or (etc etc etc), which is just the exact same alternate-history exercise as people can get on dedicated alternate-history websites. Using an alternate history for backstory is perfectly fine. Using a "real" nation based on that alternate history is just fine. Once it falls into the, well, I guess "NSverse" it has to relate to other nations in that general milieu. In that way, no, a USSR-puppet and a USA-puppet couldn't just refight the Cold War (or make it into a hot war), as that's just a rules-lawyering loophole around the concept (RL alternate historicizing) intended.[/quote]

Summary: Yes, you can recruit for off-site alternate history boards of your own devising, so long as it isn't the only thing you do. 'Cuz that would be adspamming.
[QUOTE=The PeoplesFreedom;12715891]Er.. Question, can we post an interest thread for Alt History and people can sign up and then could we created an off-site forum to actually do the roleplay?

Yeah, that should be fine.[/quote]

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Filbertiana
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Re: What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

Postby Filbertiana » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:00 am

Max Barry wrote that UN is banned on April 1 2008,and I made thread in which I wrote something about ban and Imagined many things and you,sir moderator,locked it because "RL And NS do not mix!"

Lets say that to Mr.Barry!

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Re: What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

Postby Kryozerkia » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:17 am

Filbertiana wrote:Max Barry wrote that UN is banned on April 1 2008,and I made thread in which I wrote something about ban and Imagined many things and you,sir moderator,locked it because "RL And NS do not mix!"

Lets say that to Mr.Barry!

That has nothing to do with Scolo's thread about RP'ing. If you have a problem with a Moderator's ruling on a thread that was located in the General Assembly then take it over to Moderation where it can be looked at. Making posts like this is considered spam, and it would be in your best interests if you knocked it off and stopped making posts and threads in the forums were they don't belong. In fact, I believe this very topic was already covered by Scolo over here.
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Re: What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

Postby Scolopendra » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:24 pm

Filbertiana wrote:Max Barry wrote that UN is banned on April 1 2008,and I made thread in which I wrote something about ban and Imagined many things and you,sir moderator,locked it because "RL And NS do not mix!"

Lets say that to Mr.Barry!

He didn't ban it, the United Nations mailed him a cease-and-desist letter saying that if he continued to use the UN name they would sue him.

That is an extremely different thing, and your current attitude does not suit you nor does it aid whatever you hope to achieve (which I am finding extremely difficult to divine).
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Re: What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

Postby Allemande » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:19 pm

Just to clear up a question in my mind...

I've long considered a "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" thread (or connected series of threads) in which nations that consider themselves located in the Pacific would "replay" their respective parts in the Pacific War of 1941-1945 (Allemande is such a nation; I've always held that we were involved heavily in that conflict, and that the events of that war had a profound effect on our history). The idea would be to give people a vehicle to flesh out a chapter in their own nation's past history.

In the case of Allemande (and possibly some of my other regional puppets), this would mean playing myself and then having one of more other players take the role of either Allied powers (such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) or Axis states (in this theater, that would pretty much be Japan alone, although Germany and Thailand could be involved as bit players). Naturally, if other NS states wanted to participate in the war on one side or the other as themselves in the 40's, that would be ideal.

The question is, what could I do in such a thread, and what would be forbidden? Could this simply be a three-player thread (Allemande, "Allies", and "Axis"), or could there be a separate player for each RL nation (along with Allemande, of course). Would each player also need to play an NS nation along with their RL command? Or would we just have to leave the RL powers out of it altogether?

Personally, I think that there's a lot of rich RP opportunity here for "pseudo-historical" threads in which we rewrite the great events of history to include ourselves in the story. I do understand what we want to avoid (alternate RL history replays), which is why I'd stress that the focus would have to be on how these events impacted our nations.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Caveats?

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Scolopendra
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Postby Scolopendra » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:40 pm

After giving it a good think, there's an issue--manageable, mind you--with that sort of simulation. Over a certain level any sort of historical RP will become an alternate historical RP, driven by the author's own concepts of what historical personages were like, what historical ideologies and doctrines were worth, and how history itself flows. The issue is the scale: if Admirals Nimitz and Yamamoto get involved, then the temptation will be there to replay World War Two with the mild caveat that a given plot event must occur so that some fictional country may be given life. Either the replay will be historically accurate, at which point the entire exercise is redundant and NS Is Not A History Textbook, or the replay will not be historically accurate, at which point we've crossed the alternate history line and NS Is Not A Harry Turtledove Fansite. On a small enough scale, however, one could argue that it could be gotten away with in the same way that "historical fiction" (such as C.F. Forrester) is not "alternate historical fiction."

Let's take, for example, Captain Horatio Hornblower, naval genius. His existence, or lack thereof, has no real factor on real history because he was never a strategic asset (except, perhaps, in cases where he merely reinforces standard history). Let's see... he dealt with a South American tin pot dictator who never existed, sank some French ships which never existed (and was just doing what plenty of ship of the line captains were doing at the time), laid low with some minor French nobles that never existed, met the tsar as a minor 'hey resist France' voice, assists the defense of the siege of Riga (which never happened) but doesn't change the outcome (the French fail to take Riga, in both reality and the books because the outskirts of Riga were set on fire to deflect them), cursorily meets von Clausewitz, so on and so forth. Even though he marries the Iron Duke's (fictional) sister, he is at no time the focal point of history. The only time his fictional decisions have any bearing are when fictional events that never happened anyway are involved, and his decisions merely reinforce real history.

Therefore one would suppose that, extending this logic, it would be possible to do historical RPs with real world elements so long as they have no strategic impact on the events described. General MacArthur may be out, but Brigadier General Phineas Q. Shedgewick of the 891st Fictional Rifles could be in. Obviously, this limits the possibilities to national histories that are adjuncts rather than alternates to real (world) history; it'd be much easier to get away with having Fiji in one's backstory than Shikoku.

The entire point of the ruling is to prevent non-NS-related alternatism, not prevent the establishment of backstory. With that in mind, being able to keep the historical fiction/alternate history distinction clear is key, and the fundamental basis is this: historical fiction only relates to the tactical situation in which its characters find themselves and their actions merely reinforce the strategic timeline, "slotting into" history rather than changing it. This becomes a lot easier on national levels if imaginary islands or landmasses are involved. Of course, a lot of NS nations are already based on alternate histories and that's fine too, but since a full-blown alternate history creates a series of necessary plot points, RPing it becomes redundant. Tactical portions of the alternate history directly related to the national history would be acceptable.

To refine the ruling, then, all NS RPs must still be related to the NS world or NS nations. Historical elements may be included so long as they are limited in scope so that no more of history changes than is necessary to fit the previously-established national backstory. The backstory must be previously defined so as to prevent this to become a loophole to allow freeform alternate history RP. Participants must be able to, at any time, logically defend the contents of their RP in relation to the 'fleshing out' of NS national history. Finally, to close the loophole completely, full alternate-history RPs (i.e. where the Draka win World War II) amongst a bunch of real-life nations are still not allowed and are best left to historical factbooking. A key litmus test will be the number and importance of actual historical figures used.

The Horatio Hornblower novels are examples of an acceptable level of historical trickery; Inglourious Basterds is an example of an unacceptable level.
Last edited by Scolopendra on Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: mild edit because we all know rule lawyers exist.
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Re: What is and isn't an NS-setting RP

Postby Allemande » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:03 pm

Thanks for the insight and advice. I had already intended, in the case of my particular "pseudo-historical" RP, that the outcome of the Pacific War be the same, right down to the timing of events and the occurrence of major battles near my territory (e.g., Battle of the Coral Sea) or battles that my people may have been involved in (e.g., Battle of the Java Sea). That would be something that would, in fact, be ironclad and built into the RP up front, because my history is intended to dovetail with actual history as closely as is possible for a fictitious Western Pacific state; there should be no contradictions.

The use of historical characters is an interesting problem. I see them as being people we could use for color or key plot roles (do we know every order Yamamoto or Nimitz issued?) so long as we don't change their personal "story arcs" (Yamamoto gets shot down and killed, Macarthur escapes from and returns triumphantly to the Philippines, etc.). We could even play a role in these events so long as they remain fundamentally the same.

This suggests that a good way to handle it (at least in my Pacific War example) would be for there to be a number of nations involved on both sides. Axis nations would need to understand that they will lose the war, although they could "lose gracefully" in the fashion of Italy or Thailand (changing sides, surrendering with easy terms); Allied nations would need to understand that they're in for a mauling early on, perhaps getting occupied and having large numbers of people slaughtered.

In that model, Allied NS nations would double as the RL Allied "decision makers", while Axis NS nations would do so for their side. But - as you indicate - they would have to understand that they could not make any decision that would change the outcome of the war, or even any individual battle. Japanese forces landing in Allemande would have to be members of a fictitious Japanese army and probably be led by a fictitious commander; Allied troops attacking an Axis NS nation would be comprised of similarly fictitious forces and leaders.

I'm reminded of Turbine's MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online: Players can interact with members of the Fellowship or key persons on either side, but the plot of the various tales behind the story cannot be affected by anything the players do. They can and do, however, support or complement the story line. The classic example is where players find a pony lost in the wilds near the West Gate into Moria and return that pony to Bree; the pony, of course, turns out to be Bill, and the players' quest explains how he made it home when Sam Gamgee was sure that he wouldn't.

Again, I thank you for your help with this.

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Postby Scolopendra » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:22 pm

Allemande wrote:The use of historical characters is an interesting problem. I see them as being people we could use for color or key plot roles (do we know every order Yamamoto or Nimitz issued?) so long as we don't change their personal "story arcs" (Yamamoto gets shot down and killed, Macarthur escapes from and returns triumphantly to the Philippines, etc.). We could even play a role in these events so long as they remain fundamentally the same.

Horatio Hornblower met Tsar Alexander I, who even had some speaking lines. Didn't affect anything, even though the good Captain dallied with the Tsar's (sister? niece? someone in the royal family; it's been a few years since I've read The Commodore). Cardinal Richelieu was a major player in The Three Musketeers, although of course that novel didn't really affect his "story arc" either. Walk on parts and minor speaking roles are probably fine, and when in doubt, blame a subordinate.
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Postby Allbeama » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:19 pm

One of my nations IC is based on a race called Drow from the D&D world of Toril/Faerun. Can I use canon from the Forgotten Realms in my RP's or do I have to make up place names and major players? :eyebrow:
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Postby Scolopendra » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:31 am

Allbeama wrote:One of my nations IC is based on a race called Drow from the D&D world of Toril/Faerun. Can I use canon from the Forgotten Realms in my RP's or do I have to make up place names and major players? :eyebrow:

Other people have used external canon (especially Tolkien) before so I don't see a problem with it, assuming that it's used as backstory. Merely referring to external canon is different from replaying it, and it's only the latter that poses a problem.
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Postby Allbeama » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:03 pm

Scolopendra wrote:
Allbeama wrote:One of my nations IC is based on a race called Drow from the D&D world of Toril/Faerun. Can I use canon from the Forgotten Realms in my RP's or do I have to make up place names and major players? :eyebrow:

Other people have used external canon (especially Tolkien) before so I don't see a problem with it, assuming that it's used as backstory. Merely referring to external canon is different from replaying it, and it's only the latter that poses a problem.


So it's the difference between having Drizzt in an original story and retelling Drizzt's story for example?
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Postby Scolopendra » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:25 pm

Allbeama wrote:
Scolopendra wrote:
Allbeama wrote:One of my nations IC is based on a race called Drow from the D&D world of Toril/Faerun. Can I use canon from the Forgotten Realms in my RP's or do I have to make up place names and major players? :eyebrow:

Other people have used external canon (especially Tolkien) before so I don't see a problem with it, assuming that it's used as backstory. Merely referring to external canon is different from replaying it, and it's only the latter that poses a problem.


So it's the difference between having Drizzt in an original story and retelling Drizzt's story for example?

Essentially, yes, as far as plot concepts and "canon" goes. Character-wise, it's best if unoriginal characters (if they need appear) appear in only walk-on or tip-of-the-hat roles. I only specify so that the analogy doesn't confuse anyone.
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Postby Underdark Drow » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:35 pm

Scolopendra wrote:
Allbeama wrote:
Scolopendra wrote:
Allbeama wrote:One of my nations IC is based on a race called Drow from the D&D world of Toril/Faerun. Can I use canon from the Forgotten Realms in my RP's or do I have to make up place names and major players? :eyebrow:

Other people have used external canon (especially Tolkien) before so I don't see a problem with it, assuming that it's used as backstory. Merely referring to external canon is different from replaying it, and it's only the latter that poses a problem.


So it's the difference between having Drizzt in an original story and retelling Drizzt's story for example?

Essentially, yes, as far as plot concepts and "canon" goes. Character-wise, it's best if unoriginal characters (if they need appear) appear in only walk-on or tip-of-the-hat roles. I only specify so that the analogy doesn't confuse anyone.

Alright then. Well, I am diverging somewhat anyway, but then D&D is wonderfully known for allowing judicious tweaking of canon. I am gonna use this nations leader as the top drow matron instead of Triel Baenre for example. :)
Last edited by Underdark Drow on Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dragman157 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:40 am

agfragr

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Peace

Postby Vistigoth » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:09 pm

I think that to have a good nation you must have peace with many nations.

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Scolopendra
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Postby Scolopendra » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:12 pm

I'm not sure that follows from the topic of this thread, but okay.
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Postby Arkinesia » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:48 am

Would it be allowed to write your nation's history in an NS RP with other players?
Last edited by Arkinesia on Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bazalonia » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:00 am

Arkinesia wrote:Would it be allowed to write your nation's history in an NS RP with other players?


I can't see why it wouldn't be allowed. unless of course you and the other players are just going to rip off a RL nation.
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Scolopendra
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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:41 am

Arkinesia wrote:Would it be allowed to write your nation's history in an NS RP with other players?

If it follows the guidelines above should real history or real nations end up playing a tangential part, then it's practically encouraged.
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Sungai Pusat
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Postby Sungai Pusat » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:19 pm

I just wanna know if Nationstates, as in this forum, is an RP forum. (Directing to another player's thread, none of mine.)
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Postby Lykosia » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:51 am

what's the difference between NationStates and International Incidents? I find it quite similar.
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Scolopendra
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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:33 am

Lykosia wrote:what's the difference between NationStates and International Incidents? I find it quite similar.

Members that post primarily on one forum or the other will list differences; usually the argument goes that NS tends more towards character-driven RP while II tends more towards technological or conflict-driven RPs. That being said, there's nothing that prevents the "usual" content from one to be posted in the other, so technically there really isn't much of a difference. The actual difference is that because there are two forums, there are two different communities that differ primarily in their internal cultures more than anything else.

Naturally, each forum community thinks it's better than the other. ;)
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President Mathias
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Postby President Mathias » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:33 pm

Would this be okay? viewtopic.php?f=4&t=95881

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Scolopendra
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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:40 pm

Yes, that's fine. A missing XI Legio is a perfectly acceptable backstory, and you're not actually RPing the Roman Empire back-in-the-day.
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Moontara
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Postby Moontara » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:05 am

?
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