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[Info] Book of the Multiverse²

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:17 pm
by Esternial
Information on P2TM Roleplays and your P2TM Information Headquarters
Based on Sentinel XV's original version



This little 'project' I've brought up on myself is intended to update Sentinel's Book of the Multiverse, which has sadly become somewhat outdated due to the fact that Sentinel has been quite busy with far more important errands. Additionally, I intend to fuse the Multiverse Compedium and the Book into one thread, much due to the fact that both already serve a similar function anyway. This project will take some time to finish, so bear with me while I do so.

Please do not post here as long as the WIP tag remains in the OP

You'll also recognize a lot of Sentinel's own work here, largely because there is no need to replace it.

Used content: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=215745

Edit (5-3-2013): Added section "The 5 Biggest Dangers in RP'ing" and Table of Contents; (6-3-2013): Added section "Community Guides"; (10-3-13): Completed section "Three Pillars of Roleplay", added "Multiverse Dictionary"; (16-3-2013): Added poll;

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:17 pm
by Esternial
Introduction to P2TM RP
Author Credit: Sentinel XV, Euroslavia | Some Sections Taken From: Welcome to Portal to the Multiverse
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The Creation of P2TM
After some discussion in the background between moderators, Max, and [violet], there was a decision to create a new RP forum for ones that were being placed into Forum 7. The amount of RP's there was severely underestimated and has grown into what we believe to be a community that deserves it's own forum. And so, lo' and behold, we were granted Portal to the Multiverse. The name itself was suggested by Reploid Productions, the creator of the original Forum 7. This is our new home.

P2TM Overview
Every RP thread that doesn't involve your own NS nation belongs here. As with the other forums, the same etiquette and rules apply here. Moderators themselves do not get involved in policing roleplay. Thread ownership applies here. If there's someone you don't want to be involved in your RP, you may ask them to leave or ask the mods to remove their posts if they refuse your initial attempt to tell them to stop. One of the main reasons for the split from F7 is that P2TM does not have an auto-prune, meaning that your roleplays are safe from being deleted due to inactivity.

P2TM, A World of Opportunities
Or: What To Do In P2TM?
The sky is truly the limit for P2TM. Roleplay has many facets, and with literally no restrictions placed upon content (other than subjects which might violate the Rules) the possibilities are bounded only by your own imagination. Do you want to create an RP in which an amalgam universe meshes together other fictional universes? You can do that here. Do you want to create a character-driven sports RP? You can do that here. Do you want to make a superhero RP? You can do that here. So go out, have fun, and always remember to bring your towel.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:18 pm
by Esternial
Introduction to P2TM Roleplaying Threads
Author Credit: Transnapastain | Taken From: A Hitchhiker's Guide to F7
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Roleplaying threads operate in much the same way here as they do in International Incidents and NationStates. Where Portal To The Multiverse (P2TM) Roleplay differentiates itself is that these threads do not directly involve your nation. RPs in P2TM tend to move beyond the game of NationStates and back into the real world, or shoot further into the realms of fantasy. Common themes include alternate history, various war reenactments and spin offs, franchise based RPs (such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc.), fantasy and sci-fi, and Zombies, just to name a few. In truth, your imagination is the limit, as far as RP topics and content goes.

Threads tend to be divided into the categories of “out of character” interest threads and sign-ups, and “in character” story threads. The difference is easy to tell. Just like on NS or II, “out of character” threads will generally be denoted with the (OOC) tags in the title, with “in character” threads will sport the (IC) tags. Remember that thread ownership does apply to roleplays, and that, if the original poster (OP) asks you to stop posting in his/her thread, it's advisable (read: mandatory) that you heed that request, regardless of the reason, or lack thereof, and quietly leave, dignity intact. The only thing worse than a dingbat domineering a thread is two dingbats fighting in a thread.

If a roleplay thread interests you, and the IC thread proclaims it an “open” RP, in general, you can feel free to post relevant content in that thread. As with II and NS, one line posts with little to no detail or description are frowned upon. If the thread is closed, seek out its OOC counterpart, or, failing that, telegram the OP. Please do not post in the thread until speaking with the creator, that's just common courtesy

Remember, roleplaying is about telling a story, not idly chatting with friends. Threads that involve only idle banter amongst the players may be subject to closure, and we don’t want that, do we?

Past roleplay examples:

Have a great idea for a roleplay?

Post it! Outline your idea in an OOC thread and what you expect from payers joining, and see if anyone is interested. Please refrain from unwarranted or repeated “bumping” of posts, it looks tackier than an emo Hallmark card. Trust me when I say, if people are attracted to the idea, they’ll post. If your idea flops, don’t be discouraged! Not every idea is a winner, but, in general, the P2TM RPing crowd is diverse enough that nearly any idea will find a fan or two. And, hey, maybe it just wasn't the right time for your Magnum Opus. Let is simmer, let it grow, bring some friends along, and try again in a few months. It might be better for it!

If you want to share your ideas and need some help to nurture it into a solid Roleplay, check out The Traveller's Café. You're also allowed to advertise your RP's there.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:18 pm
by Esternial
The 5 Biggest Dangers in RP'ing
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Even though there's no limit to one's creativity here, there is one that prevents you from giving yourself an unfair advantage. Don't dictate other people's actions and leave room for them to respond rather than forcing them down a single corridor with no leeway. Avoid making unrealistic posts as well, such as surviving a barrage of gunfire aimed directly at you. It's not feasible and will likely end up ruining the magic of the story with your inability to take a hit for the sake of the RP. If you show you can take a loss - even have one of you characters die - you'll prove to others that you're a capable RP'er.


Try not to bring OOC knowledge into the IC. If you've discussed that your character is going to be ambushed, try not to have him/her suddenly get the bright idea to board up that hidden trapdoor. Keep your own OOC knowledge seperated from your character's IC knowledge, which is best achieved by trying to think like him/her.


When RP'ing, try to be at your best behaviour in the OOC, which will make the OOC thread a much more open place for you. You'll be able to discuss the RP's direction and your own characters. Ask for consent if you want to do something to another character that could injure, kill or simply impair its abilities. You would like the same privilege. Flaming people in OOC threads, posting when you’re being asked to stop and being an overall nuisance are some example of douchebaggery…or maybe just an over-persistent RP’er. Either way, you’ll nurture a negative reputation; people will likely avoid dealing with you and you might end up participating in very few RPs.

Don’t forget that Nationstates is just a game, so don’t take things too seriously and discriminate people without giving them a chance or two.


Bad formatting is a broad term. It ranges from the massive walls of text that will likely get skipped by most to one-liner posts that make people cringe at your inability to write anything else aside from what your character is going to do, even if they should be impressed that you could do it with so little words. Use the enter button and create paragraphs. Much like most people take bites from their sandwich, your fellow RP'ers will probably have less problems reading paragraph-per-paragraph rather than cramming in that sandwich in one go and probably choke to death. Check grammar and spelling if you know you’re not a champ at it. No shame in the occasional errors, but don’t just write and post if you know you're prone to making lots of mistakes. Preview buttons are your friend.

Avoid bumping. This is the act of moving your thread up the forum index by making short, often pointless, posts in order to make your threads more visible. Doing so conveys a bad message to others, as being unable to produce a meaningful post and instead option for a bump to get attention is not considered a good quality for an RP’er.


Losing interest. Responsible for the majority of RP deaths, ever. When an OP loses interest, the RP is just a train with no engine. It might coast for a while, but eventually it'll go slower and slower, to the frustration of the people that are still actively involved in it. Maybe they can push it onwards, but without an OP it doesn’t stand much chance. Inactivity is the bane of all RPs. As an OP, it's your job to keep people interested.


Retconning is the act of abolishing a post or event that has occurred in an RP, meaning it no longer applies to the mythos or canon of your overall storyline. A typical example of retconning occurs when someone godmods or affects the overall story in a negative manner, or maybe when certain actions lead the RP down a path the OP would rather avoid. As you can probably imagine, a lot of people can grow very agitated at you when you decide to retcon a story in the middle of completing it.

The good rule of thumb is to stick with a roleplay for as long as you can. Mistakes are human; rather than strive for perfection by undoing everything in an attempt to maintain quality or stick to your envisioned plotline, it would be more advisable to adapt to changing conditions and try to guide the story into a new direction. Not only will it avoid your flowing story from hitting a proverbial brick wall, but it’ll also involve your fellow RP’ers more in the plotline of the RP and its direction
Quitting out because things don’t go as you want them to makes people not want to roleplay with you. A retcon is basically a last resort to be used when people refuse to co-operate or when you simply can’t find a way to fix a bad situation.

Some Tips to keep your RP from going under
Author Credit: Nightkill the Emperor, Agritum

The key to keeping your RP active is to keep the OOC active as well. Turn it from just a place for sign ups into some sort of community thread for all your participants. In time, the OOC will be somewhat analogous to a chat thread, where you and other RP'ers in your group will discuss things that are both related to the RP and those that aren't. Lore and backstories might be written there, some discussion about the technology used in the RP or plot-related debates that will guide the story - as an OP you'll have to be prepared to let your set plot bend to your group's suggestions.

Don't be afraid to go a bit off topic, like discuss what happened during your day, as long as most of the discussion stays related to the roleplay you won't have too much trouble.

Nightkill the Emperor wrote:I'll give an example: in my Elfen HIgh, we often start discussing things that are related to the roleplay though not exactly, such as one shots of the backstory (which I keep in the third post of my OOC) and discussions of whether humans would nuke Dys, or how angels reproduce or just fun little discussions about our day at times. As a result, we all know each other and we know the RP's universe very well and we enjoy developing this tremendously.

As a result, Elfen High consistently has high level IC posts as well as an incredibly fast rate of posts because everyone is committed and interested.

There's also another side to the coin. You must be generous with giving your participants their freedom, but when it gets hairy you have to show your authority. Warn inactive roleplayers with a kick and nip misbehaviour in the bud and hand out time-outs, temporarily kicking someone out of the OOC. Get others to work along and ignore someone if you've put them on their time out or employ the Mods if things really get out of hand.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:18 pm
by Esternial
The Multiverse Dictionary
Author Credit: Solm | Some Sections Taken From: The Unofficial Guide To Role-Playing Abbreviations
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(this article is still incomplete)

Sticky -(NationStates sticky)-[stih-kee]-n Useful threads that appear on each page of a certain forum, usually helpful with roleplaying certain things, such as wars or terrorism. They are placed there by the Moderators. (See Moderators) To Sticky-v The act of stickying a thread.

OPEN -[oh-pehn]-adj. The tag on the title of a thread indicating that all NationStates members are welcome to participate.

CLOSED - Closed-[klohsd]-adj. The tag on the title of a thread indicating that only invited members are allowed to post in-character posts inside.

SEMI-OPEN/SEMI-CLOSED - SEMI-OPEN can vary, but usually means that you have to TG the starter to post or RP in the thread

ATTN - ATTN means Attention, it usually has a nations name directly after it, it means that the nation after it should read and it is about them.

Interest - Usually a thread where the OP (Opening Poster) asks the Nationstates players if they are interested in the specific Roleplay, and if there is enough interest to actually start the Roleplay. This is an Out-Of-Character thread and usually leads to an In-Character thread.

Tag -[tag]-interj. 1. An exclaimation used by a member expressing that he/she is interested in the thread, and will post later. 2.-n Added on letters to a post or thread title that expresses the way it should be interpreted. EX: A post with the Out-Of Character tag (OOC) at the beginning should not be read as a roleplay. (See roleplay) However, a post that has the In-Character tag, or no tag at all, should be read as a roleplay. EX2: A thread title with the “Open” tag indicates that the entire thread is open. But a thread title with “Closed” added on indicates the entire thread is closed.
[Mod Note] As a side note, with the move to the NS forums, you do not have to tag something to be able to subscribe to it. See: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8209

IC - ABBR: In-Character-[ihn kayr-ahk-tur]-adj. Writing as a character, e.g. the president. In-character is how you roleplay.

OOC - ABBR: Out-Of-Character-[owt ov kayr-ahk-tur]-adj. A post as yourself, not as a character. Use out-of-character when asking a question while in an IC thread.

SIC - ABBR: Secret-In-Character [see-kret-ihn-kayr-ahk-tur] Writing as a character, to describe an event which the other members of the Roleplay can know OOCly but cannot use ICly, e.g two General's talking about an upcoming ambush.

Bump -[bump]-interj. ABBR: Bring Up My Post; An expression used to bring up a thread to the top of the first page in the forums.

IGNORE Cannon -[ihg-nohr can-nun]-n A weapon used against godmoders when they will not stop godmoding. IGNORE Cannons are invincible, never run out of ammunition or power, and cannot be used by godmoders.

Spam -(NationStates spam)-[spam]-n Any degree of useless posts that are either in the wrong place or do not hold any real meaning. To Spam-v The act of spamming.(-er, spammer[n])

Flaming -[flaym-ing] -v Expressing anger at someone in uncouth ways with OOC (out-of-character) comments (i.e. swearing, being obnoxious, threatening etc). Flaming is an offence on this forum and should be reported in Moderation when it occurs. (-er, flamer[n.])

Metagaming - [meh-ta-gaym-ing] -v Using of out-of character knowledge for in-character situations. (-er, metagamer[n.])

Godmod - To, in any way, say what happens to other characters. EX: “Your character has been run over by a car” It’s up to the opposition to determine their losses. 2. To avoid death, especially when the odds are stacked against you. EX: “My character projects his energy field to withstand the nuclear blast”(-er, godmoder[n.],-ing, godmoding[adj.,v.])

OP - ABBR: Opening Poster; The user who creates the thread, therefore called the Opening Poster, this person is the judge of everything in the thread and owns the thread (under the moderators).

Newb -[newb]-n A NationStates player that is new to the game, and wishes to learn how to roleplay.

N00b -[newb]-n A NationStates player who does not understand the concept of godmoding, and frequently does it. Usually perpetuated as an insult.(-ish, n00bish[adj.]) Orig.-Eng. New.

N00bspeak - sometimes 1337-n The language that experienced members use to mock n00bs, and also to make a point to the n00b. EX: “1 fir3l> L00000000000000000))0000 n00ckz0rz a7 j00 an1) j00 dr3 d3ad!!!!!!1111!!!!one.”

Moderator; informal Mod -[Mahd]-n Members of NationStates who control the forums and the game; they watch over the forum, to look for spammers (see Spam) and threads that are full of spam. They have the ability to edit threads and posts made by other users, delete threads and posts, move threads to other forums, ban users, and other things.(-ing, modding[v.])

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:18 pm
by Esternial
Three Pillars of Roleplay
Based On: Advice on Novel Writing, How to Avoid Being a Novice
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The Character
Characters are pretty important. They’re the writer’s personal playthings, allowing a whole variety of roads to walk down. Romance, glory, certain death, etc.

Your character determined by its opinions, which you have to define. While you create a character, you’ll invest time into carving out a whole three-dimensional sculpture from an otherwise bland marble block.

Who is your character? What does he/she look like? Where does he/she come from? Things like origin greatly determine a person’s characters. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:

Depth. Try not to make them too bland or one-dimensional and avoid expressing different personalities through one and the same character, unless you're going for a schizophrenic. A brooding character with a painful backstory seems unlikely to suddenly flip to a cheerful demeanor. That said, you don't want them to be a constant sad sack who is basically a friend to death but you also don't necessarily want Superman. Someone that understands the thrill of victory and the pain of defeat makes for a balanced, human character.

Finally, you don't want to create a character that's so flawed that he becomes a parody. The most fleshed-out characters all have more to them than a jinx. But you don't want to make a Mary Sue either - someone who's /so/ perfect that readers associate the character with being an author/writer's pet.

Detail. Be specific and don’t be afraid to elaborate. Tiny details like your character’s view on the world, his personal ideals, quality of life and even his favourite food; all add detail and colour to your character and make him or her more human-like and less bland. Don’t be afraid to use symbolism here either. For example, a grey and sick king sitting on the throne of a corrupt and dying kingdom.

Avoid adding too much detail, as it may end up dragging your post down. Reading something must be enjoyable and at least a little fluent. Getting bogged down by a list of many tiny details distracts the reader.

Character. Both behaviour and speech determine this aspect. The way he talks (rather shy, composed, very bold, etc.) and the way he acts towards other people depending on their own origins. A poor peasant possible lacks the vocabulary of a Lord.

Motivation. As mentioned in “The Plot”, each character has a personal agenda, with his own motivation for his actions. It’s unique to him, and one should especially remember that it is subjected to change from events that take part during the story. Perhaps a bold and daring man suddenly turns humble when he meets the love of his life? Some factors carry a heavier influence than others, but the influence is still there.
A few questions you might ask yourself about your character are:

  • What is his/her origin/background? (Ethnic background, social class, parents’ occupation, civil status, intelligence/education, etc.)
  • What does he look like? (Appearance, but also health and possible disabilities)
  • What does he do? (Skills, occupation, hobbies, etc.)
  • What are his values and beliefs? (Religion, politics, views on life/death, etc.)
  • What are his personal qualities and preferences? (Taste in …, sexual orientation, sense of humour, ambitions, fears/anxieties, etc.)
  • Are there any important events that define him? (both positive and negative)

Note: Avoid stereotypes and clichés, unless they fit into the situation or RP. Try giving a female character some decent clothes for a change, instead of pencil skirts or school girl outfits. With this I mean that you should give you characters the clothes that fit their personality, some actually do fit pencil skirts, but would they wear them themselves in reality?

The Plot
In most RPs, there isn’t just one plot, there is a whole mass of sub-plots that originate from the unique background and actions of your characters. They have their own agenda, their own reasons to do what they do. Make sure their actions make sense for your character.
These individual plots are modified throughout the story, and require improvisation because you can’t control other characters’ actions. Don’t fret – and especially don’t have a hissyfit – but rather adapt to the circumstances. Adapt to changes in the plot.

Avoid random events. When something happens, it should ideally affect the plot (or a subplot) - although it’s not always possible. Sometimes not in a very obvious manner, such as by using symbolism. It makes your participants think. It’s a great experience for someone to find out later that that seemingly irrelevant pedestrian you mentioned a long time ago was actually the serial killer they’ve been hunting all along! Basically, by mindfucking your audience you give everyone a great show. Everything holds a reason, or at least most of it does.
Ask yourself this question: Why this element and not something else? This applies to names, actions and even dialogue.

Foreshadowing is a great way to create suspense. Whether through an omnious warning or an ancient prophecy, it keeps your characters on the edge of their seats and curious as to what will actually happen when you push that shiny red button that’s called plot advancement. Don’t abuse it, though. Show people what’s coming through an opaque lens. They know something’s coming, but what, where and when is a mystery.

Apply counter-pressure. This is physics, people. Every actions induces an equal but opposite reaction. Turn on the fan and throw stuff at your characters, try to slow them down or even kill them, and those masochistic gremlins will be even more motivated to get to the goal. Play hard to get, but don’t make it impossible either, you might risk sacrificing your plot in the process.

The Dialogue
Dialogue comes in different forms, but when you consider adding one to your post you should ask yourself whether it actually sounds like speech, so try repeating your sentences inside your head or out load.

The function of dialogue is to convey information from your character’s point of view. This way, you can pass on information, build your character’s personality (eg. Passive-aggressive, calm and verbose, etc.), develop conflict and much more.

Note: Try your best to avoid chatter that doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. Also, it can sometimes become quite dreadful when you have you character explaining too much, especially if you have him or her say things that he wouldn’t know or are completely irrelevant. Additionally, dialogue should conform with the speaker’s background (eg. Having a biker gang member speak formal English), I cannot emphasize this enough. Make sure your character speaks naturally, as they would in reality.

Words are often not enough to bring across the entire picture, which becomes especially obvious when you have a character that is in conflict with his own words. His actions can betray what he’s feeling, and as we know people don’t always speak their mind, making the use of actions more imperative.

Also, when using dialogue, try and justify its use. Does your character reveal or advance the plot?

Some more tips:

1. Moderation. don’t exaggerate things like dialect, addressing others and especially dialogue itself. Avoid ‘all speech’ posts.
“Hello, Tom” “Ah, Andy! How are you?” “I’m doing fine, Tom!” “That’s good, Andy.”
“Awrite! Far hiv ye been, min?”

2. Variety. use common synonyms of ‘say’ – preferably those that carry across some kind of mood or sentiment from the speaker, like snarl or snap – and
maybe some other frequently used words, but don’t go overboard with words that sounds like you’re at a really fancy party full of barons and lords.
Sometimes, your characters will be so unique in their speech that you rarely have to use “he said” or “she said”
“I can speak for all of us when I say you should shut up” She averred, flinging an empty can in Earl’s direction, which rather irked him.
“Maybe you should shut your trap yourself?” He riposted.

3. Paragraphs. Add a new paragraph for each new speaker, this is mainly to avoid confusion

4. Thoughts. Many would suggest italics. To emphasize a word in a line of thought, don’t put it in italics (or use bold if you feel comfortable with that).
It’ll stand out.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:19 pm
by Esternial
From idea to post: Creativity and Common Sense
What to bear in mind when something pops into your head
Based On: A Theory of Roleplay: Creativity and Common Sense
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Never forget that creativity is relative.

While many value original content, there is no rule that dictates that you cannot build your story on the foundations of another. Even within the confines of pre-established canon, people are capable of weaving incredible stories through their own imagination and interpretations of said canon, expanding on the basis with their own concoctions.

Things often seem creative whilst actually being based on something else, often the result of the writer adding their own ideas and creativity to an idea to morph it into something that resembles it, but differs enough to be considered its own story rather than a spinoff or fanfiction. Drawing inspiration from others should never be avoided. If you need inspiration, look at multiple sources and extract elements that intrigue or fascinate you, elements that you think will make a valuable addition to YOUR story or post. Don’t just make a carbon copy, though, but make your own interpretation of it and expand on that with your own ideas. Doing so will result in a much more enjoyable writing experience for both yourself and those RP’ing alongside you.

Remember that the inspiration you draw onto is only the starting point. What you create from it will have to come from you, but those small ideas make great grips to scale that invisible wall and help you write a unique piece of work you can be proud of.

Common Sense
There are many roleplaying aspects which will be put to the writers discretion, and especially when writing about fiction it may be difficult to know what really is “common sense”.

In a world of magic, common sense regarding the laws of physics doesn't necessarily apply, so realism based on real world physics doesn't always have to be there. In a story about an insane asylum, the people will not always be making normal actions or having normal thought processes, so your character doesn't necessarily have to follow "rational" thought processes.

In these world, the concept of common sense has shifted, but isn’t completely off the table. You should attempt to place yourself in the middle of the world you’ve created and ask yourself “does this make sense?” either from your character’s point of view as well as a third-person perspective.
For example: in a medieval setting, would it make sense for me to have a wristwatch? Generally, the answer to that question is “no”, unless you’ve made some changes to that particular setting. Try to be “realistic” within the setting you’ve created, and never forget that, regardless of setting, there are always boundaries you can cross. Try not to flirt with them too much.
In RPs, common sense applies OOCly as well as ICly. Unless everyone agrees, don't try and give yourself an instant win option, regardless of how well it's explained ICly. It removes the fun. An example he provided would be "we have slipstream drives on our space missiles, so they can just disappear from inside my ships and reappear inside your defenses."
Never forget that things may not always go as your envision them. Be prepared to adapt.

Creativity and common sense are two valuable aspects in the process of writing an enjoyable and believable piece of work. Depending on the kind of RP or work you’re doing, the need for both may vary. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how creative you want to go or how much common sense you want your post to have, but maintaining at least a balance would be optimal to produce a post that is good in quality and enjoyable to read.

Remember, the writing process is what you should focus on most. It’s a creative process, where you travel down a vaguely outlined plot towards the unknown. You don’t know where it’s going, so you might as well enjoy the trip.

Further reading: "On Literary Influence" by United Gordonopia
Creating some interesting reading material for those looking to develop their own signature writing style, United Gordonopia shares his own influences and how they've shaped his writing style.
Since the beginning of art itself, artists have sought inspiration and guidance from those who came before. The Greek playwrights rooted their works in their culture's timeless oral tradition. Chinese classics, such as Journey to the West, compiled elements from countless stories dating back thousands of years. Twentieth century existentialists such as Sartre and Camus found inspiration in nineteenth century philosophers and artist like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky who themselves derived so many of their ideas from their predecessors. Regardless of how 'modern' and 'revolutionary', all art has influences.

Like any forum for creativity, NationStates requires writers to develop their own style. However, jumping blindly into the literary art of the roleplay post will result in nothing but chaos. In order for a roleplayer's work to succeed, that roleplayer must seek influences from those who came before; both on this website and in the artistic canon of mankind as a whole. In order to aid all roleplayers with this often daunting task, I proudly present:

On Literary Influence
A Guide

I shall begin by saying that in my experience on NationStates, there are two primary sources of literary influence: roleplayers already on the site and writers from the world's literary canon. As one can find numerous guides providing excellent examples of Nationstates roleplaying, I will address the latter source first.

World Literary Canon

Dating back thousands of years before the common era, there are more pieces of written material than one can possibly comprehend. Thankfully, every culture has established its own canon of great works, which often serves as a useful guide for aspiring storytellers. The task for an individual is to find the works and artists most relevant and inspiring to their own goals. Using these works as a foundation, it is possible to build a style capable of standing alone.

I myself have found inspiration in numerous writers from the Western tradition. Perhaps the most notable influence on my style of writing has been from the alternate history novelist Harry Turtledove. From his Timeline-191 series (also known as Southern Victory) comes the core of my style of writing. This style, evident in many of NationStates' great writers, consists of using multiple characters in short vignettes to tell a single unified story. The second novel in the series, The Great War: American Front, demonstrates this perfectly. Chapter I is separated in to four distinct sections, told from the point of view of George Enos, Jake Featherston, Cinccinatus, Flora Hamburger and Reginald Bartlett. These characters are as diverse as they are fascinating: one is a Boston fisherman and father who is eventually forced to join the navy, one is an ambitious non-commissioned artilleryman stuck in a highly aristocratic unit, one is a black laborer in Kentucky who is simply seeking a better life for his family, one is a female Socialist activist in New York who eventually rises to the highest levels of political power and the last is a Richmond pharmacists assistant who eagerly joins up as soon as war is declared. Throughout the novel, there are around twenty of these 'viewpoint' characters who appear several times, and whose stories often intersect. Through their eyes, the reader is able to grasp the big picture of the novel, all while anchoring the story on a human level.

The applications of this style of writing are numerous. Though rough, I think that my unfinished roleplay, Fall of a Republic, demonstrates this style perfectly. Particularly in some of the later, more developed posts, one can see that reoccurring characters from both my own nation and Independent Hitmen tell the story through their individual experiences. Although more compact than Turtledove's work, the posts illustrate how a writer's influence can be felt.

This style is, of course, only one of many and is certainly not the only way to write on NationStates. However, finding a small group of authors, or even one, that you can derive the very basis of your style from gives your posts a feel of unity and cohesion that they would otherwise lack. In my case, that author is Turtledove. For others, there is a world of literature to choose from.

Of course, influences can be much more specific than a writer's entire style. Often, an allusion to the style of another artist can be contained to a single post. For example, the opening to my most recent roleplay contains subtle influences from Ernest Hemingway. In the post, the staccato style of describing a scene, almost like a train of thought, is used several times. For example, the first paragraph exemplifies this staccato with its short, terse sentences, especially near the end. Although I do not regularly write in this style, I felt that it would be appropriate and intriguing to bring in the Hemingway style for this single scene.

Another personal example of this would be in one of my short stories, Define a Nation. Rather than take influence from a writer or book, I chose to pay homage to one of my favorite television programs: 24. The frantic nature and multiple twists, as well as several of the characters, are heavily influenced from the show. This story also demonstrates that influences need not be contained solely to literature, but rather can derive from any form of expression.

NationStates Literary Canon

Just as important, if not more, than outside influences are those residing on NationStates. Roleplaying has existed since the site added a forum, and although most threads before 2009 are now lost, there are still hundreds of thousands of posts to inspire any writer, new or old. One of the simplest things that can be done to develop a style is to find writers whose style you admire, and taking inspiration from them. Simply reading through threads from well known writers and regions can uncover a wealth of material.

For example, Layarteb is one writer whose writing I respect very much. In particular, his short story, Laurent's Lament has had a major influence on my own writing. The story begins with intriguing character building, rather than jumping directly into the action. Paul Laurent, one of the two main characters, is introduced while angrily correcting a telemarketer on the pronunciation of his last name. From there, the narrative shifts to the central focus: a phonograph from Paul's great-great-grandfather. The story shifts to this ancestor's chilling recounting of a police investigation he is currently working on, before ending with a brilliant twist.

The story provides numerous opportunities for sparks of creativity. It demonstrates how a relatively slow-paced, character heavy story can succeed on NationStates. It shows that a twist ending doesn't have to be a bomb going off suddenly, or an assassination; it can be a single sentence that changes the readers perspective of the story. It shows how character development that is seemingly irrelevant to the story itself can make the piece that much more engaging.

On the other hand, the works of writers like Questers provide insight on a different level. In The Tiger and the Eagle, Questers provides an amazing example of writing that simply seems real. From the first post, everything is perfectly tuned to draw the reader in. Elements such as the terse dialogue hold nothing back and only serve to enhance the dire reality of war. Not only does this thread demonstrate a fascinating, engaging roleplay, it also demonstrates techniques that any writer could apply to enhance their own work.

In Conclusion

As a final note I should add that influences, and even direct homages, should never feel forced. When I read, I don't simply look for techniques to improve my own writing. Rather, I read because I love to and when I find writers whose work captures me, I try to figure out how I can emulate a small part of their style to better my own writing. As you explore the endless collection of written word from NationStates and beyond, do so with an open mind. Don't try to emulate a writer simply because others say they are good, do so because their work truly speaks to you. When influence comes in this way, you will find your writing grow in ways you never thought possible.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:19 pm
by Esternial
Community Guides/Advice
Author Credit: see article

This section is reserved for guides by NS denizens, which might be of interest to you. If you want to write a short guide or some kind of report, you may always post the finished product in this thread, and I'll link to it from here.

How to avoid being a novice
Introduction to Nationstates Roleplay
What Is Godmodding?
Krieg's Guide to Losing
Seven Surefire Ways to Improve Your Roleplay
Roleplaying Tips and Suggestions

Nightkill the Emperor wrote:So, you're rping in/as a foreign nation...

Well, you should probably learn things about them, yes?

First off, there's a marvellous list here which helps cover the cultures of many countries so you can roleplay them more accurately, including the USA, England, Scotland, Canada (English and France), Ukraine and so on. Many people (from all nations, not just Americans and Japanese) tend to be bafflingly ignorant about different countries and therefore cause me severe pain when they begin roleplaying that nation entirely wrong. Different nations hold different cultures and different views, which must be researched in depth. Yes, even between America and Canada there can be large differences that need to be looked into. For example, the pages for America differs substantially from English Canada and even more from Québec.

What else? Oh, yes...

Red coloured nations drive on the right. Blue coloured nations drive upon the left. This can actually be meaningful and important. As another note on the subject of driving, cars in Europe tend to be designed to be agile and make turns easily, while cars in the United States were designed for power, as the USA is extremely large (one can drive across Texas for day and night...and still be in Texas. A horrifying thought).

I cannot tell you what an incredible resource WikiTravel is for research. This site expertly explains many countries and cultures, or provides brief overviews - and even goes into detail about the individual towns and cities, and even neighbourhoods. Brilliant stuff.

I'd add more to this, but I've just given you all the resources you need, as well as a brief tangent on automobiles.
Cerillium wrote:(this goes to those trying to convey Asian languages as well):

Option 1: "σκατά!" It makes little sense and conveys nothing to someone who doesn't read Greek letters. Some Cyrillic/Greek letters or Asian characters appear as boxes depending upon what the person is using to access a site.

Option 2: "Skatá!" It makes more sense. The letters draw us in because they're familiar. It's using letters which we can pronounce in our heads as we read. Same word, common alphabet.

Option 3: "Shit!" Well, that makes sense but doesn't convey a sense of someone cursing in a foreign language.

We're writing to appeal to an English-speaking audience and to English-speaking players. So, "Ublyudok!", although we don't know it means "bastard", is "readable" to us. We can "hear" [a character] saying it.

" 分かりますか " can't register in anyone's heads...No one else has any idea what the consonants and vowels sound like. "wakarimasu ka" is something you can "hear" in your head when you read it. It still conveys a foreign language (Japanese) speaker.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:19 pm
by Esternial
Roleplay Resources
Author Credit: Sentinel XV, Euroslavia | Taken From: Welcome to Portal to the Multiverse
Back To Top

Below are resources for you to use in crafting a lore- or canon-based RP's. While it is not necessary to use these, if you are planning on making an RP set in a particular fantasy universe it would be wise to make sure that the information, technology, species, and cultures that are present in your RP are concurrent with those in the fantasy universe you chose.

RPG Tools
Random generators, worldbuilding, etc.
7th Sanctum (random generators)

Real World resources:

Encyclopedia of Nations
The World Factbook
A large collection of maps (since 3000 B.C.)
Worldbuilding advice
A few words from a fellow (ex-)Mentor

Popular resources for non-NS information:

Warhammer 40k
Warhammer 40k Wikipedia Entry
Warhammer 40k Wikia

Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls Construction Set Wikia
Elder Scrolls Wikia

Eragon Wikipedia Entry
Eragon Wikia

Kingdom Hearts
Kingdgom Hearts Wikipedia Entry
Kingdom Hearts Wikia

Comic Book Universes and Superpowers
Marvel-dedicated Proboards
Marvel Wikia
DC Wikia
Superpower Wikia
List of Superpowers Wikipedia Article

Fallout Wikia

Mass Effect
Mass Effect Wikia

Kill Zone
Killzone Wikia


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:20 pm
by Esternial
Author Credit: Sentinel XV
Back To Top

What are the rules of P2TM?
All of the normal rules of NationStates (as found in the One Stop Rules Shop) apply in the Portal to the Multiverse. There really aren't any other concrete rules for P2TM, other than limiting posted threads solely to OOC or IC threads. There are a few other unwritten rules, though, namely: don't be a dick, try your best to use proper grammar/spelling, and have fun.

What is thread ownership, and how does it work?
Thread ownership is exclusive to RP forums. Very simply put, it entitles whomever creates a certain thread to a certain degree of authority over those that post in it. Basically, the OP owns the thread. They get to enforce their own rules and have the right to "ban" people from posting in their threads when someone becomes unwelcome. The OP's word is law, and those that disobey it - in serious cases - can be reported by the OP for harassment or spamming their thread. Note also that only OPs reserve the right to request a lock on their thread, or the removal of specific posts.

How do I come up with an idea for an RP?
Anything that has ever interested you can be fuel for an RP. Say you like dinosaurs: why not make an RP about dinosaurs? There's really no limit on what you can do and what you can make in P2TM, and chances are that others will share your interests. Additionally, you might check out the Roleplay Resources section for information and ideas.

Why won't people join my RP?
Maybe there's not enough interest in the topic. Maybe they're too busy with others RPs. Maybe they don't like the style (character vs. nation, etc). Maybe they just don't plain like you. There are a plethora of reasons that some RPs flunk and others soar, but remember to not take things too seriously: just because your wonderful RP idea didn't make it off the ground doesn't mean that people don't like you, and it doesn't mean that you're terrible at creating RPs.

What sort of thread goes in P2TM?
Any and all threads that are roleplay threads (both their OOC and IC aspects) that do not explicitly deal with your NationStates nation. For example, an RP about Nazi Space Dinosaurs would belong in P2MG, while a thread about a summit conference of NS Nations would not.

Why was P2TM split from F7?
I quote Euroslavia on this:
Euroslavia wrote:After some discussion in the background between moderators, Max, and [violet], there was a decision to create a new RP forum for ones that were being placed into Forum 7. The amount of RP's there were severely underestimated and has grown into what we believe to be a community that deserves it's own forum.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:27 pm
by Esternial
You may now post. Questions, suggestions, etc.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:23 am
by Agritum
Better than Sentinel's one *nods*

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:39 pm
by Olthar
Looks very helpful. Well done. :)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:02 pm
by Sentinel XV
Nice work, buddy.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:20 am
by Esternial
Sentinel XV wrote:Nice work, buddy.

You're back!!! :hug:

The mods can restore the original if you want. I started working on this one since I thought that you'd left NS and wouldn't be working on it anymore.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:47 am
by Esternial
Well, I've added everything that I wanted to add.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:03 pm
by Sentinel XV
Esternial wrote:
Sentinel XV wrote:Nice work, buddy.

You're back!!! :hug:

The mods can restore the original if you want. I started working on this one since I thought that you'd left NS and wouldn't be working on it anymore.

No, I just drop in every now and then. But regardless, I like this one better than my own version.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:34 am
by Esternial
I found this guide I wrote once, don't know if it's any decent: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=214617&p=12144736#p12144736

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:44 am
by The First Galactic Empire For Nerds
How do you put a picture in a post? I opened up a RP called World War X and couldn't put a picture in my Application.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:10 am
by Esternial
The First Galactic Empire For Nerds wrote:How do you put a picture in a post? I opened up a RP called World War X and couldn't put a picture in my Application.

Use this. Replace the Caps text with your link.
Code: Select all
[img]IMAGE LINK[/img]

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:49 am
by The First Galactic Empire For Nerds
Esternial wrote:
The First Galactic Empire For Nerds wrote:How do you put a picture in a post? I opened up a RP called World War X and couldn't put a picture in my Application.

Use this. Replace the Caps text with your link.
Code: Select all
[img]IMAGE LINK[/img]


PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:36 pm
by Len Hyet
Damn Este, you done good!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:03 pm
by Saint Kitten
Why aren't we publishing this?!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:39 pm
by Esternial
Saint Kitten wrote:Why aren't we publishing this?!

Legal reasons.

Plus the literary world is biased against alpacas. Probably afraid of our talent.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:08 pm
by Saint Kitten
Esternial wrote:
Saint Kitten wrote:Why aren't we publishing this?!

Legal reasons.

Plus the literary world is biased against alpacas. Probably afraid of our talent.

Those nerps. They are missing out, Alpacas have more talent than the average human. Hope those legal resons clear up :P