Roleplaying in TNP, Eras-style A guide in the form of an FAQ relevant to the Eras environment. Disclaimer: This is a living document that is always a work-in-progress and subject to corrections from others with more experience in the environment than myself. Your mileage may vary. Check back often to see if something is updated. I will highlight additions and major changes in blue. Last Update: August 11th, 2018 [hr] Q: How do I get started in TNP's Eras RP? A: The two biggest steps in getting started is to access our forum: http://forum.thenorthpacific.org/forum/3024521/ (oh wait, you're already here... Excellent!) and join our RP discord! https://discord.gg/adQhY8F Q: What's the first thing I should do to get involved? A: Decide what kind of nation you want to run, determine its culture, its form of government, its language. Once you have those things in place, then decide if you want to blend in with similar nations on the map, or if you don't mind being a statistical outlier. It is perfectly fine to not be like your neighbors. There are some homogeneous locations on the map, like Gothis, but there are also heterogeneous regions like Iteria. No matter what your nation is like, you can fit in anywhere. Q: How do I make a claim on the map once I've figured all that out? A: Head over to http://forum.thenorthpacific.org/topic/9003207/1/#top and stake your claim. Make sure to review the current update map prior to making a new claim. When you've done this, we can give feedback on your population density, military strength, economy, and so many other factors. Please check the rules in the original post on how to draw your claim. Q: I keep seeing references to Eras. What is that? A: Eras is our forum roleplay world. When you roleplay with this specific community, you're not roleplaying as a nation in The North Pacific. You're part of Eras. (There is, however, a separate community known as the RMB community that roleplays directly on The North Pacific's Regional Message Board, with their own map and own set of rules. This guide is only for the forum-based Eras environment.) Q: How can you fit all 9000+ TNP nations on the map? A: The map is not a map of The North Pacific, it is a map of our part of Eras. Only nations that join the Eras roleplay group and make a claim on the map are on it. Q: What if I already have a map of my nation, and I can't fit it on your map? I'm an island nation, and you don't have my islands. A: If this situation applies to you, you have two options. Start off by asking the cartography team to review what you've already done and see if they can fit it on the map.The other option is to make a claim using land we've already allocated and start over. Building a new nation can be just as fun as your first, and your new nation doesn't have to be an existing NationStates nation. Q: How many nations can I have on the map? A: When you're just starting out, one. Once you're considered active and experienced, you may be allowed a second nation, but two nations is the absolute limit. You also can't use a second nation to deliberately gain power in international bodies. Think of it like the NationStates limit of one World Assembly nation per player. Q: How big of a claim can I make? A: Your two nations combined should use up no more than 172,000 land pixels (border pixels aren't counted) on the map at original resolution (6750 x 6750). If you have GIMP or Photoshop, you can calculate this by selecting your nation on the map once you've drawn your claim and using the Histogram function. The histogram will show you the number of pixels used. If you don't have that, imagine a box 414 by 414 pixels big and fit your nation in that, chopping it up to fit if necessary. Caution: Be careful if you are a Photoshop user. Sometimes the histogram will use cached data when giving you a pixel count. If you see a warning triangle, click it to have the histogram recalculate with uncached data to get your real pixel count. Large map claims will often find themselves subject to this. Q: Is there a minimum size to a claim? A: No. There are some really tiny nations on our map, like Draconics, Ruskaland, Korova, and Sil Dorsett, but if you go for a small claim, you should be ready to face the consequences of doing so. It's like roleplaying in Hard Mode. Your international clout and defensive capabilities are sure to be stifled, so diplomacy becomes even more important! Q: Why do some nations disappear from the map? What do I have to do to stay on the map? A: Post on our forums at least once every 30 days and roleplay at least every 60 days. If you fail to do this, you may be a candidate for removal from the map so we can free up space for active players. Our assumption is that if you haven't met the posting requirement, you've left the community. Posting on Discord, IRC, or the RMB does not count! Q: What is unclaimed territory on the map considered? Is it NPC territory or is it the wilderness? A: Some consider it to be untamed wilderness, some consider it to be NPC territory. All that is confirmed though is that the land is not developed in any way. If a Player Nation was there before, it is considered to be the lawless lands of a collapsed government. Q: Are there roads and rail through unclaimed territory? A: Generally, no, but subject to a moderator or conclave decision if you need something. Q: Can you fly through unclaimed territory? A: Yes Q: Do new nations on Kian or Meterra have to have joined the Kianese Empire at some point in their history? A: Short Answer: No, but there's worldbuilding and historic implications involved here. You should be open to working with your neighbors to develop a collaborative history for your nation's ancient history, the continent on which you sit, and the world in general. There are some aspects of this world that have already been established, and perhaps need to be defined somewhere, but players taking part in this world should be cognizant of what has been created by those who have come before and work with them. Having too much self-contained history doesn't lend well to good collaborative efforts. Q: Can I be an interstellar nation, or an Atlantis-style underwater nation? A: Canonically, no, and while exceptions may appear it's usually reserved for players who have been around for years. Eras is a Modern Tech world and emulates modern-day Earth. Your nation should, in most cases, be able to fit as if it were a real nation on Earth. You are still free to RP your nation as you like, but it won't be included on the map or be considered part of the main canon if it's not realistic, unless the RP Moderators or RP Conclave approve a new exception. Q: Does magic exist? A: There are a couple canonical examples of ancient civilizations that utilized magic, but in modern-day Eras magic is practically unknown. Sorry, but no Harry Potter stuff. If you're going to use it, use it carefully, and check with an RP moderator before doing it. Q: Can I have non-humans in my nation? A: Any new species must have prior approval from the RP Conclave (Goyanes, Esplandia, Yalkan, Zyvun, Sodium McSalterson, Nogori, Andrenne) to be included in Eras. It is expected that species proposals are well written and well thoughtout. If you cannot explain how the new species is essential to your RP, how they came about, and why they are unique enough to be considered a separate species, your proposal is unlikely to be approved. Even if your proposal meets all of the Conclave's criteria, it is not a guarantee that it will be approved. To be transparent, there are already examples of werewolves, vampires, dryads, and dragons in the canon of some of our nations. A good rule of thumb is that you are free to accept approved races from other players in your RPs, but, if you choose not to, any characters should be converted into humans by your RP partner. This also means that you should be ready to convert a character to a human if requested by your RP partner. Q: What is considered Modern Tech? A: Anything that exists in the current real life year, minus 10 years to plus 2 to 5 years. For military technology, a nation holding over older technology would likely only hold technology dated back to the 1970s. So no Phasers or Warp Drive, but Railguns are okay as they're being developed in real life. Again, some exceptions may apply, like the development of artificial intelligence, but check with RP moderators or the RP Conclave before implementing it. Q: Can I roleplay stories outside of Modern Tech? A: Yes. Past Tech stories can be used to build an aspect of your nation's canon. Future Tech stories probably won't be considered part of the mainstream canon, but it can still make for a good read and foreshadow future events. Make sure stories outside of Modern Tech are clearly marked on the forum, either by a topic title [Tag] or subtitle. Q: Can I claim English as my language? A: As the originator of the language, no. As a user of the language, still no, because there is no English in Eras, as England does not exist in Eras. Another language called Mercanti is generally accepted as being like real life English and is the lingua franca of Eras. Mercanti is used as a sort of universal translator to facilitate communication, diplomacy and trade between players and their nations. Your nation may speak Mercanti as a primary language (with its own accent or dialect), being something adapted and assimilated over time. Please see this forum thread for more information about its origins: http://forum.thenorthpacific.org/topic/7464702/1/#post8260690 Q: Can I claim any RL language as my own? A: Generally, we consider each nation to have its own language. You are certainly free to create a constructed language of your own and claim ownership, but use of a pre-existing RL language shouldn't be referenced by the RL language's name or be claimed as such that you are the only user of it. If you say that your language is based off French, for example, and another nation comes along and its language is based off French, you should collaborate with that player to sort out the language's history. Q: Can I go to war with other nations? A: Good. Luck. With. That. Now, I'm not outright saying you can't. You certainly can if you want, and I don't mean to disparage the tenacity of those involved in recent conflicts, as it has lead to really interesting events and lead to changes in our environment nobody could have ever predicted. However, in all seriousness, unilaterally declaring war on another nation without having casus belli is a terrible idea, unless it is your intent to deliberately cause such changes! A lot of nations in Eras are part of political alliances that defend their members. If you just randomly declare war, you're gonna have a bad time. Things will happen to your nation that you will not like. Trying to evade the consequences or trying to press the "I win" button is godmodding and can result in null-canoning at best to being banned from roleplay at the absolute worst. A better idea is to bring your story idea to the player you want to engage with and work the entire story out with them, including the events of the war and the end result ahead of time. That way nothing you didn't expect will happen. Co-writing a story with someone else is a good way to establish credibility as a good roleplayer, and you'll see more options open up once the community knows it can trust you. Q: Can I have one million troops in my military? A: Players with high populations of above 100 million might be able to get away with this, but think about the consequences of having a high percentage of your population in the armed forces. This includes your reserve forces too, as weapons and medical care must be allocated for them too. Can you really field an army that large without bankrupting your nation? The general consensus is that a modern army should not exceed 1% of your total population, but also consider that the United States doesn't even reach 0.5%. You need a healthy supply of non-military and non-retired workers to maintain your country during wartime. Reserves are tricky to balance, and we suggest consulting with an RP moderator to gain some clarity into the issue before finalizing your numbers. Q: My nation's currency equals 20 NSD. Is that okay? A: Currencies in Eras are subject to the same supply and demand curve as in real life. When your currency equals that much of the universal reserve currency, either you must have something critical to export that everyone wants and you are the only supplier of it (which is highly unlikely), or nobody will buy your currency because it is priced so high. The top crude oil producing nations in real life only have a conversion rate of 2 to 3 USD per 1 unit of their currency, but it is because of the demand for their oil that the rate is this high. Demand for a nation's products determines the demand for a nation's currency. Take this into consideration when you set your exchange rate. Q: My nation has 4.353 billion people and a GDP per capita of 119,040 NSD. Why'd I get turned down on the population thread? A: An early mistake new players make is using their NationStates statistics when roleplaying in our group. The Eras environment does not use them. With regards to population, it should be of a reasonable density, thus why you should have a map claim so we can see the size of your nation and help you figure out an acceptable population. For GDP, unless you're an exclusive and tiny city state like Monaco, your GDP per capita most likely isn't going to be that high. GDP is not the same as your average income. NationStates gets this wrong! Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product. Q: Can I use other figures from NationStates, like my pacifism or trout fishing scores? A: You may use the statistics as inspiration for how your Eras RP equivalent nation is, but do not use the exact figures from NationStates. They're generally unrealistic, and some things can't be quantified anyways. You are also free to completely ignore a NationStates statistic you don't like it. If you have low levels of pacifism in NS, but you don't want your RP nation to be an aggressive warmonger, it doesn't have to be. Finally... Q: Are there any expectations for how I write my posts? A: Our forum RP writing style generally focuses on storytelling and capturing the thoughts, actions and emotions of the characters relevant to our nations and the story at hand. While submitting a simple one or two sentence post that changes the current state of the story technically is not wrong, it is not preferred, and we would like to see a narrative of how the change in the state of the story occurred. If your nation is satisfying some sort of ransom, for example, how did your nation decide to pay it? Did your legislative body authorize it, or did your executive leader cave into a demand? What thoughts were going through their mind as they made this decision? What discussions with other characters happened in the background? This is the kind of content that builds the environment beyond what is visibly happening and into the deeper minds of the characters that are shaping Eras. It makes for a much more interesting read.