Guide: Getting started in roleplay
Welcome to the world of roleplay (RP) in TSP! We are a friendly bunch and love to roleplay and experiment with different things in the various canons we have been creating throughout the last years. We would be more than happy to welcome you to our community and invite you to make your own contributions to our roleplay world. We understand that getting involved might be a bit daunting at first, but hopefully reading this guide and asking some questions will help you get a decent grasp of how to do things around here.
This guide[note 1] discusses the rules and standards of roleplay and provides an overview of how everything in TSP roleplay is structured. It also introduces the official canons we have and how to get involved. You will also find links to additional guides on certain aspects of roleplay and a list of common abbreviations and terminology.
General structure and where to find everything
Roleplay in TSP mainly happens on the off-site subforums (scroll down to Roleplay Universes) and on the regional message boards (RMB) of dedicated NS regions Knowhere and Psomewhere. It is supported by an official Discord server and this wiki - TSPedia!
In the subforums you will find our three main canons: Pacifica (modern tech), A1-0 (sci-fi), and Aurora (fantasy). In the NS regions, you will find a more casual roleplay. On TSPedia, articles that contain in-character information are marked with the name of the respective canon, e.g. "(Pacifica)" for in-character information. More on the specific canons and areas of RP below.
Standards and rules
The most important rule is that any roleplay or fact that involves nations that belong to other players must have their consent. Remember that roleplay is collective writing. Another long-standing rule from our roleplay community is that whoever starts a thread is free to determine its rules. If you start a roleplay, you are free to decide if everyone may participate or if only certain people are invited. You can decide if certain kinds of posts shouldn't be allowed (like one liners), and can ask for moderators to remove posts that break your thread rules.
Another thing to take into account is that there is a difference between posting in-character (IC) and posting out-of-character (OOC). We will all be posting as different characters or entities with different personalities and functions. It is important to remember that no matter how disgusting a character might seem, the person behind the computer should always be treated with respect and is most likely a pretty normal person OOC. We all want to have fun, and being respectful helps us achieve that goal.
In Treasure Island roleplay and on Discord you will see that some threads/channels have the tags [IC] and [OOC]. IC threads/channels contain the actual "story" and OOC threads are used for discussion and questions. Many threads don't have a tag, and in such cases you have to read the posts to determine if it is in- or-out-of character. It is up to the OP if there should be an OOC thread.
In addition, we have a set of general community standards for a safe and friendly community.
Treasure Island roleplays
Like mentioned above, roleplay on the forums is divided into three main canons as well as a "miscellaneous" canon. Find below and introduction to the canons, how the subforums are structured, and perhaps most importantly: how to get started!
The Pacifica canon is the oldest and most well-developed canon in TSP roleplay. It is modern tech and the setting is the official regional map. That means all Pacifica use technology similar to whatever already exists in the real world. However, we also roleplay in a universe different to that of the real world, meaning you cannot use real life maps to describe your nation or events, like European colonisation, to describe your national history. Exceptions are made for languages, religions, inventions, ideologies, and similar. Similarly, avoid statistics from NationStates when providing data about your nation. Most of the time our nations here have very little in common with those on NationStates, except maybe for the name. Everything we do must make sense with respect to the real world.
These are some basic main canon facts that you will want to keep in mind:
- Our planet is called Pacifica. It is orbited by two moons called Maxima and Minima. It has the same physical properties as the real-life Erath.
- The areas where most of the roleplay takes place is located in the southern hemisphere, hence the seasons follow the same cycle as on the real-life Earth.
- The English language is the lingua franca. In the main canon it has a different name, Austral. More on real-life languages here: Guide: Real languages in roleplay.
Our having one regional canon does not mean there cannot be alternative timelines. If you want to make an alternate timeline with different elements (like a version of our history where we developed faster-than-light travel), we really encourage you to do it and ask around to see if there is interest in the idea. It might be really fun!
- Pacifica: this is where all the modern technology roleplays take place, including wars, presidential inaugurations, sport events and national histories.
- World Forum: this is where our equivalent to the real-life UN resides, called the World Forum.
- Diplomacy: this is where nations can hold diplomatic events and international organisations hold their meetings.
- Media: this is where everyone can post news from their nations. You will find threads where anyone can post short snippets, threads where you can exclusively post news from your own nation and social media.
- Facts and Maps: this is where you will find the official regional map and where you can claim your own plot. You will also find national maps from various nations, and a guide on making your own map. This is also the place where all nations can post their various national histories and information. You will find threads where people exclusively post about their national information and survey threads where everyone can answer a specific question with regards to their own nation.
- To participate in the canon roleplays, you need to claim a plot on the regional map. As long as the claim complies with the rules, you may start roleplaying before the map has been updated. The map is updated several times a week.
- Build your nation. Decide the basic facts, like the size of the population, what political system your nation should have, languages spoken, etc. See Additional guides and useful stuff for some tips and inspiration. If you choose real-life languages or religions for your nation, you may have to coordinate your history with other players that have nations that speak the same language.
- You can introduce your nation with a brief thread with the basic facts and answer surveys here or in the master thread.
- Have your nation react to ongoing events in Flash News
- Browse the TSPedia for more facts about other nations and other interesting articles. The main page provides a selection of interesting articles.
Take your time, there's no hurry!
The canon history is really all the roleplays and facts that have been agreed upon by the different players. We continually build on top of that history and broaden it with new roleplays, and use it to influence the course of our future history. Some roleplays have had a great effect on our nations and define the current political climate. Find in the list below the most important historical events.
- Late 1400s: Some nations have developed ships that can cross the oceans and begin to explore other continents systematically and trade with distant nations. Colonisation also occurs.
- 1500 - 1900: The Austral Empire and its derivatives and other nations form large colonial empires in the South Pacific region.
- 1650-1775: Pirates plague the cross-Pacific trade. The major stronghold of the pirates is located on Government Island. The pirates come from many of the seafaring nations, but a major force is the pirate fleets from Huawan. Traditional trading nations like Karnetvor and Sedunn form a coalition to defeat the pirates.
- 1864: Sedunn hosts the Grovne Convention that establishes our equivalent of the Geneva Conventions and the foundation for other international laws.
- 1920s: Communism arises in the South Pacific.
- 1949-1955: The Great War. A war between a pact of democratic nations, including Ryccia, Sedunn, the TCC and Besern, and a pact of imperialist nations including Karnetvor, Techganet and GI-Land. The war ends with a decisive defeat of the imperialist side.
- 2017: The World Forum, an organisation similar to the real-life United Nations, is founded.
- 2017-2018: The Serevan War. Ethnic tension between Serevans and Erinorans in Erinor escalates into a civil war. The Serevan rebels are backed by communist Bruuma while the Erinoran government is backed by Ryccia and GI-Land. The opposing sides fight on the Sereva Island. The war ends with increased autonomy for areas with a Serevan majority and increased world tension.
- 2017-: The Reizen Civil War. An uprising against the central government occurs in the Reizen Province. It escalates into a bloody civil war with three different rebel factions, in addition, different nations are involved to promote their ideologies and/or enforce peace.
Note: Even though your nation may be fresh on the map doesn’t necessarily mean it was just founded, from an in-character point of view. If you want, it may have existed since antiquity.
Our regional canon might be complicated to understand at first, but all our active roleplayers are very friendly and would be happy to walk you through the basics.
The A1-0 canon is TSP's official sci-fi canon. A comprehensive guide can be found here.
The Aurora canon is a new, developing fantasy canon. While it is being set up you can view the top threads here.
But what if you do want to start a roleplay where everything happens in the real world, or perhaps a Harry Potter or Star Wars roleplay? You can always do that, just remember that it will not affect the other canons or be part of their history. There is nothing wrong with that of course, and chances are everyone who participates will have lots of fun. Find miscellaneous roleplays marked with the #extra-canon tag.
Official RMB roleplays happen in the Te Ao, Knowhere and Psomewhere regions.
Abbreviations and terminology
Canon: the IRP content that the community accept as part of of a story or collection of stories. There can be separate canons with different IRP worlds and rules
CPSC - Cross-Pacific Space Cooperation
CTE - Cease To Exist: a NationStates nation has ceased to exist which is e.g. relevant for staying on the regional map
FWC/WFWC - Football World Championship/Women's Football World Championship: the Pacifica canon's IRP version of the FIFA World Cup
IC - In Character: the content counts as part of the story and lore (being the opposite of OOC)
IRL/RL - In Real Life/Real Life: the content refers to facts or events in the real, non-RP world
IRP - In Role-Play: the content is part of a roleplay canon as opposed to IRL/RL
OOC - Out Of Character: the content does not count as part of the story and lore (being the opposite of IC). It could be a discussion to determine IC content or other remarks
Retcon: a total or partial change or removal of IC facts or events
RP - Roleplay
TSP - The South Pacific: the name of the NationStates region which the RP community is part of
WF - World Forum
Additional guides and useful stuff
Useful Wikipedia articles:
Getting additional help
This is a very basic guide, but there is much more to know about our roleplay section. The easiest and fastest way of getting help is asking any questions you might have on the Discord server. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have. There are no stupid questions. If you still feel you need some guidance, you can send a private message to any of the following people, who actively roleplay here and are willing to answer all of your questions:
- Jay Coop
If you have a question about a specific roleplay, you might want to ask instead the person who started the thread, or anyone who seems particularly active in that thread. If you have questions about the gameplay regional government or how to get involved in other aspects of our region, you can follow this link.
Have fun and see you out there!
- ↑ RP guides are being moved from their original locations. This guide is based on Kris Kringle's original guide.