Well, like I said, the 31p map might be a bit too big a game to pursue, but if there's enough interest being shown I'd be all for it
With the impending release of Supremacy 1914 on Steam I decided to come back to the game, see what's changed, and give a little RP a shot. This is my second time having returned from a long hiatus from the game, having started playing in 2011, quit around 2014, coming back in 2016 and being dismayed at the state of RP, leaving again. It seems now that the RP community is in an even worse position than it was before and really needs some fresh blood, which hopefully the Steam release will provide.
With that in mind, I'm creating a RP with just a few loose rules to be followed. I never liked strict games with rules to be followed to the tee, my favourite games back in the day were often impromptu games, not even organised on the forums, just hop-in and start playing. While that kind of organisation might not suit these days, I still think a fairly relaxed ruleset tends to produce the best RP, and so I'm only going to propose a few rules to start with. Since I have been away from the game for so long there's doubtless many things I'll have forgotten or have got wrong, so I'm 100% open to suggestion as to a re-jigging of the ruleset, even mid-game, if it'll provide for better RP/gameplay.
- No GM.
Many people got their start in RP, myself included, looking for a safe haven from GM spamming in random matches. I want that to continue.
- Don't landgrab.
Also fairly self-explanatory. Don't declare on countries you have no qualms with, who you have no claims on, etc. If you've absolutely thrashed someone in a war and feel you deserve more than just the provinces that are reasonable for you to take, then go ahead and demand vassalage, the return of lands to other people, disarmament, monetary compensation, exclusive access to their markets, etc.
- Don't do any exploit-y stuff with splitting stacks.
I don't even know if this is a problem anymore, but back in the day, there were plenty of possible shenanigans with splitting unit stacks during battles, when under fire from arty/ships, etc. I was never an expert on this topic even back in the day, so I don't know details, if anyone could fill me in on how this is done and how to spot people doing it, that'd be much appreciated (assuming it's not against the rules!)
- Have a decent historical knowledge of the country you're playing.
There is no greater pet-peeve of mine than people without the faintest grasp of history... and even worse so people playing a historical game! I'm not asking you to go out and buy academic books on the nation, just do some light reading on the internet about its government, people, whatever. If you're playing A-H, have a rough idea of how the Dual Monarchy functioned, why it came about, its problems, etc. If you're playing Germany, know how the Kaiserreich came to be, a bit about good ol' Willy, you get the idea.
An additional bit I'll add here is to know territorial claims and ambitions of the country, so you don't end up breaking the 'Don't landgrab' rule.
- Have some build-up before major events.
A semi-common trope of previous RPs I played in was coups... absolutely everywhere. Fascist, Communist, Monarchist, all of them seemingly sprang up overnight, and suddenly there's an authoritarian dictatorship next door who now have something of a pretext to expand, whether that be for the purpose of Lebensraum, exporting the revolution, or whatever. If you're going to do something like this, don't have it come out of nowhere. Have a reason why those fascists are gaining popularity - lost war recently, irredentist claims, fear of communism, etc. Have a reason why the means of production are being seized - awful worker conditions, government corruption, massive wealth disparity, etc.
Another area where instantaneous developments are preferably avoided are wars. Have some diplomacy beforehand, try to make yourself look like the good guy, the defender against unprovoked aggression, etc. If you really are desperate for a war, then do an A-H on it and send the other country demands you know they're sure to refuse.
- Keep communication in-game.
This one is going to be impossible to police and the co-operation of players is going to be paramount here, but please stick to the in-game messaging system for your dealings. It adds so much more to the game when intelligence matters.
Aside from this, there aren't too many rules I can think of to add. Again, suggestions are encouraged, I could be blind here to some massive pitfall that's sure to result in disaster. If so, tell me!
Onto the map and historical scenario. Since this probably won't get a major amount of interest, and I'd prefer a game where most of the nations are player-controlled, I'd say that the good-old Europe 1914 and the Historical 1910 are the front-runners for choice. I don't believe I've ever actually played an RP on the 1910 scenario since back in my day it cost GM to play, but I foresee a major problem on it being the locked teams which really railroads things. 1914 then poses the problem of being ahistorical, and so the question has to be asked of how it's treated - do we bother with landswap and delay procedure, or place it in the context of an alt-history slightly deviated from our own? I think I'll put this to poll, but if someone posts a convincing enough argument I'll probably make my decision based on that.
As for the time scale, I think we'd best wait until the scenario is chosen before making a decision there.
I think that's it for now. Hopefully I haven't bored you all to tears with my ramblings and indecisiveness. I'd hope to start the game soon-ish, but again, lack of interest will probably delay proceedings.