This is designed to be a relatively simple guide on how to effectively create a nation sheet for a game, and how to impress the GM with a level of detail that most people generally don't go for in a game unless required.
Because quite honestly, just as it's rather boring playing a character that isn't that detailed, it's also rather boring playing a nation that isn't that detailed. You could very well fill in the blanks with your RP, but setting everything in stone from the get-go is usually the best idea, as it allows you to keep your facts straight.
Now, let's dive right in.
FIRST STEP: FIND A THEME
The first step in successfully creating your own nation for an RP is to figure out an archetype, or theme, for your nation. You have to decide what kind of nation they are going to be. Are they going to be schemers? Are they going to be militant? Are they going to be peaceful? Or are they going to be merchant princes, riding the waves on the backs of giant whales?
Who knows what you wanna do. But deciding straight off the bat the general concept you want to do is generally a good idea. If you ever have problems finding a successful concept, look at nations from history. Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance history is full of nations that cover just about any base you might possibly need. This is my own personal favorite method, as I am a history student, and I love history. It DOES require you to research the country in question, but a little learning can't hurt, can it?
For the sake of providing an example, I will be creating a nation to show at the end of this guide, and it will have a russian-style theme.
From that theme, we can safely assume that it will be a large, backwards nation rooted deeply in tradition. It is remarkably hard to invade due to its natural terrain and large territory contributing to attrition, and the people are hard and tough. The land itself is rather poor in trade goods, but most merchants make a living off of honey, furs, or grains.
More things you can do with the theme are entirely stylistic in nature. You could create a bastardized version of Russian to act as the language of the nation, or even create a detailed history of the Veliky Knyaz's of the country.
Regardless of what you do, do it well.
Part 2 coming soon.