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What is role play?

Role Playing is acting, just without a script. Role Playing is more like life than things like plays or other scripted acts. Everyone has a part that they play, whether it's school, work, boyfriend, girlfriend etc., it is unscripted. Role play is unscripted. Players figure things out as they go along, putting up with rough patches, and most of all, try and have fun.

Role play on NationStates

Roleplay is an extension of NationStates gameplay. The thing about NationStates' forums is that they are "free form." Free form means there are no rules regarding Role Play. There are rules governing behaviour in the forums, but not how players role play. That means that players can decide to pick 20 random nations and invade them. This is frowned upon by many, but it is just an example of what free form means.

The role of the forums

In NationStates, a major part of role play is war. These sorts of battles most often occur in the International Incidents forum. There are many happening everyday, yet many fail. When roleplaying a war, players often try to remember one thing: not to try to win. Far too many times, one nation will be losing a battle, when the owner gets mad out of character and goes ballistic and starts to flame. Flaming is arguing beyond the point of a valid debate, and more along the lines of substanceless personal attacks. Flaming is worthy of moderator action against the player partaking in it.

The NationStates forum tends more towards character-based roleplaying and sports roleplaying, though wars and battles are also fought there. Each topic there is its own separate roleplaying event: some standalone, others tying to one or more other threads, some as spin-offs or continuations of previous roleplays, etc. Such is the nature of free-form role play - even time itself is a variable. Entry into these roleplays is often more formalized: the topic title and/or first post shows if the RP is an Invite RP or open to anyone. There may be both IC and OOC topics for a given roleplay, and IC and OOC posts should be put into their correct topic.

There is an element of roleplay in the United Nations forum, but often there will be a mixture of OOC comments mixed in with the purely diplomatic comments made IC. The UN is only semi-RP, and posts there are subject to more mod intervention for inappropriateness than in the other two RP forums.

Roleplay in the other forums is strongly discouraged, though Gameplay does permit a bit of region-based RP in the form of regional ads. The other seven active forums have specific purposes, and the Archives can't be added to even if you wanted to. Players generally stick to NS, I.I., and the UN for national and in-character roleplaying.

Offsite roleplay

Roleplay also occurs in many of the larger offsite forums and on IRC. Sometimes they are used for planning purposes, and the conversations end up in the NS forums, other times they are complete and separate, although they use NS-related nations and characters. In short, players can roleplay their nations in multiple places with great ease.

A Brief Introduction to the Terminology of NationStates
Game Terms Military Abbreviations Political Abbreviations

The basics: economy, budget, military

A common question new nations ask is "What does a "good" economy mean, what is my national budget, and how big is my military?" All of those things can mean anything players want. Good could mean each person makes one dollar a year, nations' budgets could be infinite, and militaries could be an entire nation. That usually makes for what most players consider bad RP; most prefer to try and keep it as realistic as possible. Although NationStates itself is not entirely designed to be realistic, mimicking real life as much as possible has its benefits. The main ones are:

  1. No one will role play with someone that has a military of 500 million people or buys everything in a storefront.
  2. It isn't much fun for many people.

Many players don't keep track of their nation's budget, they just buy within reasonable limits, which is generally accepted. Some people use the GDP Calculators. Raw data can be obtained from the XML feed.


Ignoring a nation means a player do not recognize it at all. It doesn't mean that all nations owned by that same person are also ignored, just that one. Most players try to reserve ignoring as a final tactic if nothing else works.

Most invaders and defenders completely disregard roleplay actions, and can thus be considered to be ignoring them.

Additional information