Guide for New Players

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Socialist World Republic
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Guide for New Players

Post by Socialist World Republic »

You're new to the forum and probably have a lot of questions? Let's give you a quick rundown of how things work here then! But, first things first, welcome! We hope you stay around and enjoy your time here.

So, what's the Great Game?

"The Great Game" was a political and diplomatic confrontation that existed for most of the 19th century and - oh! Well, as far as this forum is concerned, the "Great Game" is something inbetween a pen and paper RPG, a grand strategy game and a model UN. It is a place where we collaboratively build a world and then proceed to roleplay in it, with focus on the political confrontations and diplomatic power struggles of the nations within that world.

The basic setting

Our world is also often called Gailund. The date is always precisely 60 years in the past from our real world, meaning it is currently 1960, with the technological level mostly identical to the real world of 1960. There is, however, no nuclear technology and especially no nuclear weaponry for reasons of game balance. Furthermore, space technology is a few years behind the real world, to allow for our players to play a space race. We pride ourselves on realism, even though the world is itself fictional with its own unique geography and history.

How you play

Every action in the game is done by writing about it. This is typically referred to as "IC", meaning in-character. If you talk about the world and its characters from an outside perspective, for example as the player not the characters, that is referred to as "ooc" - out of character. Please label ooc comments as such if you make them in the IC sections of the forum.

You can take any number of different characters to roleplay as. You can often drive the narrative forward for example by writing in-universe news articles, but you can also write about the actions of your politicians, businesspeople or military commanders, to name just a few. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to tell your stories.

Every account on the forum represents a country and all its citizens. As a player, you have ultimate creative control over all their actions and the events within your country.

First steps

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The first thing you may want to do on this forum is introduce yourself. Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are and what you want to play as, if you already know. The right place for this either way is the Introductions Subforum where you can start a thread to announce your arrival on the boards.

You are also welcome to join us on our Discord Chat.

Our community views itself as a friendly, welcoming and helpful place. We hope it stays that way, so maybe also take five minutes to familiarize yourself with our rules for behavior as player of the game.

Creating a nation

The next step should be to start your own nation. There are many different ways to go about this, so don't worry too much. Some players focus on a culture they want to explore, others structure their nation around a central political conflict they want to be the main driver of their roleplay. Whatever your approach, it doesn't have to be perfect. We build the world continuously as we go, worldbuilding is part of the game itself. That means you can leave many aspects vague or unexplored before you start playing.

The Great Game is a game played with other people, not a writing project to be finalized in private before showing it to anyone. It is often wise to present your ideas, long before you have thought them through, to the rest of the forum to see where it could fit in. People will probably approach you rather quickly with suggestions for improvement, great ideas you may never have thought of yourselves or concrete ideas for some fun story-thread to explore together!

Get a mapspot!

Once you know what you want to play as, you should get your nation on the worldmap. You can find the current worldmap in the stickied thread in the map forum and this is also where you can apply for a spot on the map. Your nation can be placed on any unclaimed land and you are free to define its borders as you wish. Try to fit your nation on the map in a way that it enriches the world instead of providing headaches for established players. (An example of such a "headache" would be to explain how exactly that Han-chinese nation bordering a French and a German one came to be. Try choosing a different location in such a case!)

It is, by the way, absolutely possible to have colonies, satellite-states and the likes. Feel free to introduce them as well. Just make sure they actively feature in your roleplay.

Start writing

Once you have your basic concept ready and chosen where in the world you want your nation to be, there is nothing stopping you from joining the game. How about writing some news about latest events and developments in the newsforum? Or maybe you already have a storyline in mind you want to explore in depth. However you want to go about this, it is probably the right way. Feel free to experiment a little, but try not to rush things. Read other player's posts to get inspiration and a better idea of how the balance of powers currently works, which nations would be natural friends and allies - and which diplomatic landmines to stay clear of. You can also spend time writing background information about your country on our wiki!

Most importantly: you don't have to do everything in a day. The Great Game is a long-term commitment with a slower pace than other games. Things unfold mostly in real time and some players have storylines planned over months or even years. So feel free to take your time as well and come back regularily to see things develop.

Do's and Don'ts

Do use in-universe terminology. You can find a number of established fictional names and terms here. Using them makes our world feel more alive.

Do reference other players roleplay. Everyone likes to feel noticed. Just even offhandedly incorporating an established fact about another players nation can motivate that person and feel appreciated.

Do know your limits. And design your nation accordingly. It's okay if you only have limited time to spare for writing posts and roleplaying. We all have real life commitments. But maybe you don't need to play as a huge, super-influental great power then. Events in the game have a tendency to develop a life of their own. Try to design your roleplay in such a way that you can actually keep up with it. Anything else can lead to frustration.

Don't play to win. There is no ultimate goal and you can't "win" the game, for example by defeating everyone else. There's also no losing, either. The only way to lose is to let things spoil your fun. If another player for example bests you in a military confrontation, try to view it as an opportunity for numerous new stories to pursue.

Don't powergame. Powergaming means setting your country up in such a way as to be the "best" in everything, to win every war, to be stronger than everyone else... this doesn't actually make your country the superpower you imagine it to be. It just makes other players wary of interacting with you, meaning your country actually becomes unimportant to the game, while robbing you of opportunities for internal storylines (because powergaming usually involves great internal stability and harmony).

Don't give up in anger. Things will often not play out the way you anticipated them to. That's only natural once other players with their own ideas get involved. Meanwhile, creating something and bringing it to life can lead to emotional attachments that may manifest themselves in frustration or outright anger about other players interfering with it. This is especially true in competetive situations, like wars. The best way to counteract this is to communicate your feelings clearly, early and without aggression. Let other players help you deal with them and view them from another angle. And if necessary, just take off a day or two to coold down and get a more objective picture of what actually happened.

Don't be a perfectionist. A handful of mediocre posts is often better than that one you've honed to perfection and where every word has been carefully deliberated. This is still a game primarily, not an attempt to write an award-winning novel.
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