Supremacy 1914 RP GuideEdit

For a long time now, we have had a prolonged internal struggle in the Role Playing Community of S1914, an endless attempt to reconcile with itself. In the belief and hope that a modicum of clarity will do what previous discussions have failed to do, I will post here the ideology of one faction of the S1914 RP community, for it has been made clear in recent discussions that there is a clear rift between the players that divide them into two. Much as I regret this, avoiding the question of "who is who" is not helping us much, and perhaps accepting that there is a rift will help better.

As far as I can make out, there are two major factions: one, who believe in the old, structured way of RP, and are opting for a return to the ordered and formal styling of the community that once existed, by incorporating select elements of the new generation additions to the community, like scenario based role playing games, and the other, who seek a more informal and casual gaming base, and are not ready to accept what may be deemed community rules that they fear will fetter their freedoms.

What is Role Play?

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 fictionalevents 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."

This definition raises other questions.

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 also in conformity with the game system, 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 of 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 to gain the favor of the nations 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 players 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 ones game?Edit

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.

Attacking a nation because you can is not un-RP like. 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 presupposes 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 more or less 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", the experienced players of the Supremacy 1914 Role Playing Community. It is also the style that has generated games with the most interest and longest life.

*The guide is subject to change with suggestions forwarded to me.

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.

The Role Playing Code of Honor : Codex Immortalis

This is the commonly accepted standards of behavior that are expected of you when you become a part of the community. Members of the 'Old Guard' and indeed, every responsible member of the community is expected to stay true to this Code.

1. No Gold Mark 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, and the EN Forum Staff. 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.

The Game Limiting System : Arguments For and Arguments Against

Arguments Against the Limiting System:Edit

1.See, who is going to do the limiting? Who are going to be the one's that make the set games? Who are even going to enforce this? ....... To me, this is limiting MY freedom, under this, I can't make a bloody RP if I wanted, and even if I could, I would have to wait until the people enforcing these laws tell me 'You can go now'
2.Honestly, I am Strongly against this. If there was a Limit of RPs, then I wouldn't be able to make my own Scenarios. Sure it may be fun for me to have an RP Game filled with People to The Max, but then some of us would not be able to use our Creative Minds to make different Scenarios. If someone decided to waste The RP Limit on One Scenario, then we would all be forced to play it when a different Scenario/Theme can be made by ourselves without The Limit. If the Set RPs are GM Rounds, then some of us might just be cut off from it. Being forced to join a Certain Game just to RP will limit the possibilities for New Ideas/New RPs...........
3.The reason I vote no is because having a lot of RP's circulating is good. This means that there is a lot of variety to choose from. ........ at this point it is your choice on what you want to buy. .......... if there are one or two RP's going around and you want to RP, you are limited to those few whether the situation (Scenario, classic, etc) interests you. Now if you have many RP's circulating then there is variety in the RP's, you can choose what you want and not have to RP the ones you don't and still get your RP "Fix".
4.How can you limit the amount of RPs anyway?
On a free forum, on a free game?
blacklist? Force?
Sounds like something that may cause more harm then good.
5.Silly idea...
6.I for one would go into isolation if somehow all of the RP'er's on SP lost their mind and agree with this. It sounds like a militaristic police state more then anything...
7.All RP games on the forums are the same, there is no variety. Limiting will make it even more boring.

Arguments For the Limiting SystemEdit

1.well now i must Agree with everyone who is Voting to Limit Rp Games
i have been waiting for Three days for one to Start
and Ive try ed Joining others and have yet to Receive Any answers
as if when they will start.
So i Must Say something Has too Be done.
2.Limits are needed because RP games have too much competition towards each other.
The forums right now is much like a street. And on that street is several grocery stores. They all sell the same things, no real difference besides pricing. All of these said "grocery stores" compete with one another for no reason, being that their owners should have never opened a store on a street in which on the same street, their exists well over 3 stores selling the same product.
3.Of course there will be many that doesn't get their games started, but making one game successful is better than having failed hundreds.
4.So many RPs have died out after day 20 or never even been launched becuase of the sheer amount of other RPs available to join. People just turn their attentions toward another game once it's proposed. True, some do play both rounds, but evidently this is not largely so. The result being that the first game dies because people immediately join new rounds en masse.
5.this is not about imposing a restriction on the community. It is about accepting that a limit would be good and taking it upon ourselves to delay the launch of games we start so that there are never too many games being played, preferably no more than 2 for each player, so that each player may bring his best, and at the same time show more commitment to the game. You may plan, discuss and recruit for your game, just hold back on starting it. And we can have a community arrangement for a scheduling system, work something out that gives the best chance to the earliest and most popular ideas
6.But we would not be limiting the number of games. And certainly not using force. If this ever works, what I envisage is people opting themselves to put up a schedule by which they will launch games. By mutual, free consent. Not by force. People should understand for themselves why this is harmful to launch a ton of games
7.You want to know who will be scheduling it. You all will be doing it yourselves. We can make a google doc that will be posted on the forum, and another copy on an off site forum. It will be modified on a first come first serve basis. If you post the idea for your RP first, your RP will be launched first, before others. And, if your RP fills up first, it gets preference. We will limit the number of actively played RP games to a set number based on how many players there are. As Xgon has provided evidence, we can say that there are no more than 50 RPers here? (counting every tom-dick-harry who shows up) At 15 players per game (which seems to be the average now) we can say, 6 games at a time? Certainly enough? It will give people time to play in depth in each game. We can see the number of slots available in each cycle of game launches, and adjust the number of games accordingly. It will be a community decision.
8.At the store, if food isn't picked fast enough, it will go bad. Just like several rp games.
9.The point of a limit system is to get games started quickly, and effectively. Instead of just having a mob of rps thrown at players. Some players join em all, some players simply take their luck and join one.
10. I am not against a lot of games being up. I am against them all being launched at once, and everyone being forced to play in all of them at once. The games can be put up for discussion and signing up....just that if you launch them all at once, I feel the pressure will force players to abandon games and perhaps cause games to tank. cannot prevent people from irresponsibly joining, can you?......You need not force anyone to join, they will apply when you post the thread, and will join if you let them. And once 5-6 of the games he signed up for start, he will start quitting, finally understanding he cannot keep up. He may not be let into another game again, but to what end? The game has been ruined.....And besides, how is scheduling the launch so we have no more than, say, 3-4 RPs on at a time (there are no more than 20-30 active RPers, hence, enough for everyone to play 2 games at least) , when it provides sufficient number of games for everyone, and at the same time does not overload anyone?
12.i voted to limit the number of rps up because honestly to many times i see like 5 rp games with only 1 or 2 people in them and they soon die off maybe if we had less games and more people it would actually help the community
13.Getting mre people will not be the solution. Maybe it will increase the amount of Roleplayers but it WILL also increase the amount of Roleplaying Games, and we would just stand where we did before. However together with less games, it could work.
14.It is about scheduling the launch of games so that when the game is launched, it doesnt go unfilled. Currently, people join all the games they see, and then go inactive on a few they dont like, and dont play well in others either. If people were to limit themselves to join only 2-3 games at a time, then things would be fine....but currently, when I come on in the morning to check the forums, I see the same guy applying to every active game in the space of five minutes. I do sometimes intervene and tell them to join a lesser number of games is not a working solution.
15.We need the community to either get bigger or we need to make less games
16.A few bigger games are better than a lot of small, not started games.