International role play planning and discussion

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International role play planning and discussion

Postby jamescfm » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:49 am

In making this thread, I'm hoping to start a conversation about the international role-play in the game at the moment. On several occasions over the past couple of years, there have been attempts by players to establish prominent in-game alliances or to create international conflicts- with mixed success. In my opinion, a running theme throughout these attempts has been a failure to properly prepare and coordinate international role-play in order to maximise the chance of its success. With that said, it may appear fruitless to try, once again, to develop a new dynamic which would allow for some interesting international role-play but that isn't going to stop me trying. The only further preface I wish to give to these proposals and suggestions is that I do not want players to read them and immediately begin trying to implement them, in fact that is totally contrary to what I am suggesting. Rushed role-play is almost always bad role-play.

Essentially, I am proposing that any and all players who have an interest in international role-play begin the construction of two competing spheres of influence/groupings of states. While we should avoid the process appearing artificial or formulaic, there will inevitably be a degree to which actions are taken for out-of-character reason which serve to aid in building these two rivals "blocs". As I made clear in an in-character context in this article about the Northern Council, the chief problem with that organisation was that it did not have an explicit ideological nature for its rivals to coalesce in opposition to. The game is not split neatly into monarchies and republics or planned and free market economies nor is it necessarily desirable for it to be. In my view, the only realistic division of Terra at this point is on the issue of liberal interventionism versus national sovereignty.

Conflicts on this issue have surfaced before and, as I understand it, were a major factor in the development of Particracy's world war. As a consequence, there are already some approximate dividing lines which we could seek to exploit in splitting the globe in half. Istalia and Kazulia seem to be nations in favour of intervention, Vanuku and Trigunia are generally perceived as defenders of sovereignty and nations like Indrala don't appear to be defined either way. All players need to do, in these nations and others, is seek to develop or strengthen relations with like-minded nations and distance themselves from opposing ones so that a natural split begins to develop. Obviously, this shouldn't be clear cut and there should be a spectrum on which all nations fall.

In terms of what happens once this bipolarity has developed, that is very much up for discussion. Once the framework exists, a single atrocity could act as catalyst for a global conflict or a cold war-style situation may develop. A particularly radical idea I conceived is that the anti-interventionism nations might end up leaving the World Congress, or a war may necessitate the reformation of that organisation (a matter already being discussed in an out-of-character sense). Either way, I am eager to hear what others think- negative or positive.
Last edited by jamescfm on Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby Doc » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:44 pm

I'm thinking that developing a bipolar world is difficult. Bipolarity in neorealist theory is not stable. A defection, no matter how small, causes major international crises because bipolarity is governed by relative power considerations. Its the reason that there haven't been many bipolar schemes in the history of the world and the ones we have seen have all been very short lived.

A tripolar system is more stable, because the third pole can play the other two off against one another. Many scholars would argue that after Nixon went to China, the world became a 2+ polar system or a tripolar system. It allows lesser powers the opportunity to either bandwagon or balance, where bipolarity only allows for bandwagoning. So minor players prefer the tripolar system, and since the majority of the world is made up of them, it tends to lead to a more stable system over time.

As a Brethrenist Party, I wouldn't mind a bipolar world, so I have a MO for working for pacifism and playing an opposition Party.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby jamescfm » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:45 pm

Doc wrote:A tripolar system is more stable, because the third pole can play the other two off against one another. Many scholars would argue that after Nixon went to China, the world became a 2+ polar system or a tripolar system. It allows lesser powers the opportunity to either bandwagon or balance, where bipolarity only allows for bandwagoning. So minor players prefer the tripolar system, and since the majority of the world is made up of them, it tends to lead to a more stable system over time.

Regardless of real world theory, a tripolar system would be even more difficult to achieve and wouldn't create the same scope for direct conflict in my opinion. Arguments about stability aren't particularly relevant since Particracy's international stability is based primarily on whether players leave the game or not. I appreciate the points you're making but the bipolarity was really just a phrase for the sake of giving the thread a title.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby Reddy » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:30 am

I like this. As James would certainly recall, we kind of tried this on a smaller scale when the World Congress was founded roughly 2 RL years ago. I think it would work even better now with the recent WC reforms which allow more activity on the part of member states. Perhaps these factions might also even be formally/informally organised in the General Assembly itself.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby CCP » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:13 am

This is a very good idea James. The fact that it organically builds on recent RPs is a big plus.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby jamescfm » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:31 pm

Okay, I think we've got most of the responses we're going to get to the initial proposal. I'd like to take it forward and begin shaping some "fault lines" about which nations sit within each bloc. The rankings of the Global Role Play Committee are to be confirmed tomorrow so they're unlikely to change drastically. I'm interested in discussing the positions of some of the nation's who are less clear cut about how they would side in a situation like this.

The pro-interventionist bloc should probably be headed by Kazulia. Baltusia, Lourenne, New Endralon and Hutori would be Kazulia's clear allies, that's my view but I encourage those within the country to articulate their views on that. I'm not sure on the exact status of the Northern Council right now but presumably the Treaty still exists and has signatories, which could provide the basis for this new bloc's formation given that I think all those nations I've listed are members. Other nations which could be included in this bloc: Kanjor, Alduria, Rildanor, Dorvik, Dankuk, Rutania, Valruzia, Telamon or Keymon.

The pro-sovereignty bloc could be lead by Vanuku and might also include Deltaria, Kalistan, Aldegar, Trigunia, Selucia and Saridan. The ties binding these nations are in many cases non-existent and some are actively hostile to one another (a diffusion of these tensions would be my advised priority to players in these nations). This grouping has far less stringent criteria for entry than the first, since members need only really be supportive of the idea of national sovereignty and non-interference. As a result, any nation not clearly identified with the first group is a potential candidate for membership but one's that standout to me include Zardugal, Malivia, Barmenistan, Jelbania, Lodamun, Beiteynu, Gaduridos and Kafuristan.

This leaves a third grouping of nations who have no clear affiliation and who would be crucial to ensuring that this role-play plan works, in terms of compensating for the fact that one side is often going to appear more powerful. The principal nations I would like to hear from in this group are Istalia and Indrala: where do the players in these nations see themselves in this context. Other nations I haven't mentioned above who are somewhat notable include Luthori, Malivia, Hawu Mumenhes, Cildania, Darnussia/Narikaton and Pontesia. The entire Third World also falls within this category. I would mainly like to have input from the players in any and all nations about where they see themselves within this broad division of Terra.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby Luis1p » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:54 pm

Lourenne is undergoing foreign policy changes. Lourenne is no longer in the Northern Council but relationships still remain with NC nations however they are not so strong. I'd say Lourenne is looking for a more Regional approach in terms of allies, cooperation, and such.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby Polites » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:55 pm

jamescfm wrote:Okay, I think we've got most of the responses we're going to get to the initial proposal. I'd like to take it forward and begin shaping some "fault lines" about which nations sit within each bloc. The rankings of the Global Role Play Committee are to be confirmed tomorrow so they're unlikely to change drastically. I'm interested in discussing the positions of some of the nation's who are less clear cut about how they would side in a situation like this.

The pro-interventionist bloc should probably be headed by Kazulia. Baltusia, Lourenne, New Endralon and Hutori would be Kazulia's clear allies, that's my view but I encourage those within the country to articulate their views on that. I'm not sure on the exact status of the Northern Council right now but presumably the Treaty still exists and has signatories, which could provide the basis for this new bloc's formation given that I think all those nations I've listed are members. Other nations which could be included in this bloc: Kanjor, Alduria, Rildanor, Dorvik, Dankuk, Rutania, Valruzia, Telamon or Keymon.

The pro-sovereignty bloc could be lead by Vanuku and might also include Deltaria, Kalistan, Aldegar, Trigunia, Selucia and Saridan. The ties binding these nations are in many cases non-existent and some are actively hostile to one another (a diffusion of these tensions would be my advised priority to players in these nations). This grouping has far less stringent criteria for entry than the first, since members need only really be supportive of the idea of national sovereignty and non-interference. As a result, any nation not clearly identified with the first group is a potential candidate for membership but one's that standout to me include Zardugal, Malivia, Barmenistan, Jelbania, Lodamun, Beiteynu, Gaduridos and Kafuristan.

This leaves a third grouping of nations who have no clear affiliation and who would be crucial to ensuring that this role-play plan works, in terms of compensating for the fact that one side is often going to appear more powerful. The principal nations I would like to hear from in this group are Istalia and Indrala: where do the players in these nations see themselves in this context. Other nations I haven't mentioned above who are somewhat notable include Luthori, Malivia, Hawu Mumenhes, Cildania, Darnussia/Narikaton and Pontesia. The entire Third World also falls within this category. I would mainly like to have input from the players in any and all nations about where they see themselves within this broad division of Terra.


I think it would actually make more sense to place Selucia in the "third grouping" and not the pro-sovereignty bloc. Although Selucia is big on non-interference, it's also very pro-democracy at the same time, and the tension between the two tendencies is probably the main cause of foreign policy conflicts in Selucian domestic politics. If push comes to shove Selucia would most likely either side with the more democratic of the two sides, or will do everything in its power to stay neutral and prevent any major war from starting in the first place.

I also don't think a strict sovereignty/interventionism split is really necessary in all cases. I honestly don't see Vanuku and Deltaria on the same side of any major conflict, no matter their respective views on foreign intervention. I do think a conflict based on that distinction is the best starting point, but I also think nations will be a bit more flexible and realpolitiky regarding which side they will join.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby Sisyphus » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:45 pm

Hi James, I will write up something more at length tomorrow when I can sit down at a computer. But I do agree with @Polites: I cannot see Vanuku and Deltaria on the same side for so many reasons - we have been at one another's throats for the last century and the rivalry is as strong as ever, I would say. Ironically, Vanuku has been driven closer to Istalia due to us both opposing the NC intervention in Majatran affairs and trying to hold Deltaria to account.
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Re: Bipolarity: role play planning and discussion

Postby jamescfm » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:50 pm

Okay, I'll admit I've perhaps been a bit rigid or confusing in my usage of the terms here. Sovereignty/interventionism is just the basis for the general distinction, the reason I would argue that a conflict based along these lines is best is that it creates a clear catalyst. Specifically, the pro-interventionist states intervene in some kind of humanitarian crisis which prompts a response from a sovereignty-preserving stronger ally. Having read the posts here and speaking to some people on Discord, it may be the case that I have to reformulate my proposal. First, I'm going to abandon the interventionist terminology and second, I'll split the second block into two. That creates a pro-Kazulia, pro-Vanuku and pro-Deltaria system in which the latter two share some fundamental ideas but for practical reasons are basically entirely opposed. While I appreciate what you say about them never being on the same side in a potential conflict, could they fight a common enemy if not actually support one another?

Image

The above is a map I assembled based on the suggestions I've had so far (a larger, higher quality version can be found here), where red is pro-Deltaria, yellow is pro-Vanuku, blue is pro-Kazulia. The secondary colours represent a "toss up" between two blocs and the colour indicates which two (e.g. Indrala (green) is between pro-Vanuku (yellow) and pro-Kazulia (blue) since green is yellow and blue). As I said on Discord, at this point I just want people to engage with the idea, through their suggestions about and we can see what the consensus is over the next week or more.
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