>My question at that point though is one, why not just play an empire building game?
If you wanna RP as an anime knight, why not just play Final Fantasy 14?
If you wanna RP as an action movie crime lord, why not just play Saint's Row or GTA Online?
If you wanna RP as a sports star sensation, why not just play Madden or FIFA?
If you wanna RP as a fantasy adventuring rogue, why not just play Skyrim?
If you wanna RP as a country, culture, language, and history that you have to create and do a bunch of research for, why not just write a book?
On the other, it can fall to dick measuring, and at that point I cite my grand strategy game question. If you want that level of progress in a--let's face it--usually far fairer environment, then a game with carefully balanced mechanics is probably a better way to go. And it gives the dopamine hit of progress without necessarily having to step on anyone's toes intent-wise.
Two key points here, one per statement:
1) Dick-measuring contests are the stuff that politics and plots are made of. It's all dick-measuring. If there weren't any, and everyone was smart and rational and nobody was stupid or petty or incompetent or jealous, then it'd be a really boring state of affairs. The best part about dick-measuring contests is that usually what ends up happening is that nobody ends up actually pulling out their dick, out of fear that their opponent actually
has the bigger dick - just like in real life. Getting your toes stepped on is just part of politicking: It's how you deal with your boo-boos that drive the plots forward, and it's easy to forget that sometimes. You will rarely ever be able to get all that you want, and its part of the development of the plot - goals, aims, dreams, ambitions, all crashing headlong into reality as you have to face the inconvenient truth and decide how you want any of this to be incorporated...if it even can. But it's all those wants and desires - and why we can't have them - that make plots. And plots make for stories.
2) Strategy games aren't balanced, even by their developers' own admission. Why? Because nations aren't balanced.
Perfectly-balanced nations isn't even a desirable goal by any stretch of the imagination: All that really tends to do is leave a staleness that makes it difficult to really maneuver around. A country like Bulgaria or Syria, no matter how hard they try, just aren't going to out-punch someone in industry or economy or military might like China or the USA. So they have to get crafty and use what they've got. Start using connections and find out just that little competitive edge that they have that they can use as leverage, maybe get a few good friends on the side. Maybe some of those friends don't like some of your other friends, so you have to play a game of negotiation and placation, and compromise with all of them until either you reach some sort of agreement or you just have to get on one side of the fence or the other.
The overarching theme here is that it's all give-and-take.
You know, it's really funny seeing all of the points of conflict in NRP being brought up: They're all beginner's traps of Nation RP. Superpower Gary Stu nation? Pure beginner's trap - it's pretty common assumption that it's way
better to make a country that is, at the start of the game, undergoing some manner of instability, crisis, or is otherwise in some undesirable situation and work towards it.
Let's just start this all up - think of this as kindergarden of NRP basics. Nation RP is easily the most
detail-oriented type of RP you can do. There's so many moving parts to any organization that it can get mind-bogglingly complex that you could never reasonably hope to get any or all of it completely on your CS before you start writing posts. And some people never even get that far. And it usually comes down to research: A whole
lotta research. And for a lot of people, doing that much legwork isn't something they're really into. Keep in mind, it's perfectly normal
for the nation to not
be 100% developed before the game starts, but as situations and ideas come up, you gradually do more and more research, tack on ideas here and there, and really flesh it out more and more as you think about things you didn't have to earlier.
You know...kinda like a regular character RP.
Which is kind of the elephant in the room anytime NRP gets brought up. People seem to forget that Nation Roleplays...are roleplays. Just because you slap "nation" on it and maybe
expand the scope of what you're writing doesn't just slap away all of the other problems that you can encounter anywhere else: In basically any other kind of roleplaying, you'll get all these same problems - undependable posters, Mary Sue/OP characters, drama, unreasonable demands, lore disputes, et cetera.
But the concept of the entire country at play offers a whole level of creative freedom and possibility for interaction that i've never
been able to get in any other kind of roleplay.
And when all
that legwork finally
all comes together and you and your RP group are filling out ideas, and it's all now in motion...just a sudden spark of imagination sets off a chain of ideas - ideas that turn into whole plots, motivations, intrigues, and you spend the next 2 hours talking over just the possibilities alone.
You know how character RPs can utterly sparkle
when you finally get to delve deep into their psychologies? Nation RP does that - but for sociology, history, military science, art, architecture, music, and so, so so much more.
And when that all happens, the world you've spent so much time together creating with you and your friends just completely comes alive. It's like turning the lights on in your basement and you find an old Christmas present that your parents just forgot to take up one year, and you unwrap it and like you somehow forgot, you re-discover what it means to let your imagination run wild. You get completely lost
in it, where it almost seems real.
And even with all of this coming together - a country's culture, it's people, it's art, what they eat for breakfast, how they look at the news in the morning, and all those people living, breathing, being
in this own space sets off something in the back of your mind, like it's a dream that's just too vivid to ever forget.
It's time when you are master of the universe. As you staying ageless and motionless before your computer, flying untouched over human frenzy, where cities rise and crumble under my thumb, tiny people ran hurriedly to their lives and deaths on the roads you built, and time flew and froze at your command.
Then it all stopped, and you have to become one of those running specks. They call it life.
And that feeling is so good, so great, so utterly fucking wonderfully intoxicatingly Kafkaesque
that you will bitch and moan and fight and argue over and over and over again with 100 different groups over 10 years over the most minute details...just to get there again. And it's the best feeling in the whole fucking world.