Nation RPs are dying
Nation RP is dying and I hate to say but, It's true. Because, a lot of people who had been in the NRP are either getting bored or left and if someone makes an NRP it would most likely it die then other RPs. It makes me upset because, I usually see a shit ton of NRPs but not anymore.. What do you guys think? Is it time to say goodbye to NRP for good or being it back from the grave?
Nothing's really dead, it's just a matter of things going in and out of style and finding people dedicated enough to it. A problem, I find, with most nation games is they don't really have a goal players work towards that works for short term, and the fact that many of them seem like it's somewhat intimidating to put a nation together with a lot of stat tracking and micromanagement with numbers and so on so forth probably turn a lot of people away. It's not something that can easily be hopped into and requires a certain amount of dedication and what have you just to get a sheet in and keeping consistent with your nation's capabilities and alliances and so on so forth.
People lose interest because the games generally aren't focused and can take a while to get going, and to really cover all the bases, you probably need pretty detailed posts. If people don't feel investment or have some sort of immediate gratification, they'll probably look elsewhere.
Maybe try putting a few spins on it, like maybe 2 players jointly make a nation, the world's already at war and players subscribe to different alliances, and so on so forth.
I think it'll come back eventually. People seem to pick up different interests at different times; currently fandoms seems to be the big thing on this site.
Fandoms? Really? Could have fooled me as I have failed to put together a Silent Hill OR Hunger Games fandom (though the latter finally may be coming to fruition--but only a small group). If I were to chance a guess at what is in right now, I'd say Anime. Everything I see seems to be anime this or anime that. Oh, and Zombies and Vampires too--but that seems mostly with the 1x1s.
What IS a nation RP exactly? I've never participated in those before, so I don't even know what they are really about or how they work.
Nation RP's are basically games where you control an entire nation, rather than a character.
Accessibility is indeed a large issue when it comes to nation games, as is balance and control. Under common circumstances accessibility and balance/control are at odds with each other as well, and requires a well-thought out template, system and experienced GM to deal with. Being sandbox is fine, as long as there's parties that make sure everything becomes involved with something. A good way to do that is to limit player resources at start-up, engaging them to take action, invade each other, etc. to aqcuire resources they need to create their desired nation. Of course you could create a gigantic evil empire or whatever for the players to rally against, but that takes away from the super-empowerment element nation RP's benefit from. You should play on an NRP's strengths and advertise them as powerful as you can make these strengths, rather than trying to take too many notes from the more common RP types. In the end NRP's are a niché. You shouldn't try to compete with games of which 30 boot up every day, you should make something completely different and make that as good as it can be.
But hey what do I know? I never ran a nation game.
As an avid lover of nation games let me toss in my money as to why they tend to crash and burn.
1) Stewing time: Nation games spend a LOT of time in the OOC due to everyone writing very complex sheets, discussing relations, and getting that damn map shaded. In fact, it spends so long there, a lot of people lose interest and bugger off leading to all sorts of madness as relations break down, maps need to be remade, etc. Not really much here beyond MAKE SURE AS MUCH OF THE MINUTAE IS COVERED AT OOC CREATION. Get that map and get someone to fill it as well as an example nation and know when to start rather than waiting.
2) Ego: Hooo boy, this can of worms. It's my personal opinion that nation games bring out the worst in gamers when it comes to ego and power trips. Everyone wants to be their own ultimate doom snowflake of power and due to creative liberties make it all the easier to do so. As people notice someone is better in their specialization than them, dick-waving starts, arguments flare up, and people leave. You need a VERY good GM who can scrutinize this stuff and curtail this before getting out of hand. Having a rudimentary tech tree with selectable options is probably the most elegant solution if you're not the GM to try and think of the labyrinthine ways a B-17 bomber deals with giant eagles in a fight.
3) Daunting: Nation games are very daunting to the newbies and as such they tend to be very tentative about posting which leads to game stalling etc. Not much here beyond answer all their questions and try to create a friendly environment by getting on top of the ego issues.
There's smaller issues here and there, but in my mind, most GMs fail either due to lack of initial prep work or failing to get a rein on their players before techs spiral out of control. My thoughts anyway.
Actually, In my past expiriences, NRP's, Gang Rps, and Medieval rp's seem appear on and off. You have the fan rp's that for the most part just follow current trending media but those basic rp's I mentioned never really go away, they just die down for a while then come back with force then die down for a while. Just seems common to me. I'm sure in a few months you'll see more NRP's pop up. Another thing, with NRP's, Usually during summer vacations is when NRP's really come in force because people have time for it. NRP's are very time consuming due to their complicated nature.
I suppose a way to put it is, it's just off season for NRP's right now.
One thing I have noticed too, at least among NRPs based on real world countries, is that everybody wants the big powerful countries and once they're no longer available people just lose interest. It's twice I've been in real world Cold War NRPs and people in smaller less powerful countries seemed to lose interest after awhile.
Originally Posted by Orchilles
While I don't have any experience with historic games, I'd honestly say that's the ego thing rearing its head. Everyone wants to be the game changer. The super-power. The country that others either fear to tread or perform fellatio to for whatever. I mean, people really don't want to be pawns for other nations or have no real say in the rest of the world. Which makes sense to a degree, everyone should feel empowered and not just be some stooge who gets conquered in a proxy war or similar. Probably why I prefer fantasy games to historic ones. At least in fantasy everyone is roughly on the same level of empowerment (dickwaving curtailed naturally) while a historic game is pretty locked into...well history.
Originally Posted by Jannah
Nation RPs, run well, can be truly great. My own ones often have been, though there have been some failures as certain systems don't work.
The thing to make perfectly clear is to have an actual system. IF you have an open-ended NRP you'll come across the issues ORchilles describes as there is little control and curtailment.
A well done system like my trait systems, and nations are relatively balanced, and very different. Especially if you have limits on some things.
Player A has supernation B
Players C and D have mid-sized nations E and F
E and F combined can stalemate supernation B assuming "all else is equal" if supernation A is more passive and E and F are more militaristic E and F could militarily challenge A.
But larger nations would attract more negative random events.
Or E and F allying against A might antagonise small nation G who comes to help A hold the balance.
Know your players. Know their sheets. And by the gods, make sure you have in-game controls to keep the balance and enforce "playing nicely" with others. (Meaning sure, you can be nasty to another nation IC, but by the gods you better be polite OOC)
As for the shortfall of NRPs lately. It's a quiet time. It happens.