There are two aspects to playing Imperium Nova - there are the game mechanisms that allow you to grow and build your financial empire, and there are the intricate relationships you can build with other houses through Role Playing. This guide is meant first and foremost to get new role-players up on the language and structure of Play-by-Post role playing, and secondly to give tips on how you might choose to role play your House (and perhaps even individual Dynasty members).
1. Don't powerplay. Powerplaying is when a person states what the actions, thoughts, opinion, etc. of a character or object that they don't control are. As a player, you only control your dynasty. No one else can control your dynasty and you cannot control any other player's dynasty without consent.
2. Keep OOC seperate from IC.
The division between OOC and IC knowledge is often the cause of drama between players. Ideally, IC knowledge is knowledge that your fictional characters should know. Your character's actions should be based on only IC knowledge. In Imperium Nova, IC knowledge is virtually everything you seen in any menus, House Summaries, rankings, or news. Messages through your Embassy and threads in your local galaxy forum are also usually IC knowledge unless they are explicity stated as OOC, or if the premise of the thread cannot be reasonably assumed to be IC (such as a post that references a specific bug or game mechanic).
OOC knowledge is knowledge that you, as a player, know, but that your fictional characters would have no reasonable method of knowing. Your Characters should not take any actions based on OOC knowledge. Threads found in the global forums and posts in your local galaxy forums and embassies that are marked with an OOC tag (or reference obviously OOC aspects of the game) are OOC knowledge.
Realistically, this line is easy to blur, even unintentionally.
Role playing in Imperium Nova is done on the Local Galaxy Forums and through messages in your Embassy. A specific storyline/conversation is kept in a single Thread within the forum. IC threads are divided into 2 major types:
Most of the threads you'll see in Imperium Nova are conversation threads. How these conversations happen is defined by your own galaxy's RP. These could be open communication channels (like chat rooms) that noble houses can all contribute to, or they may be physical places (such as a senate hall) that all involved physically move to. In any case, conversation threads don't usually include emotes or expressions. They are more like public statements made by a figurehead of your house, often in response to the statements of other houses.
The other kind of thread is an RP thread. These can also be subdivided into “Story” threads, or “Interactive” threads. Story threads tend to be done by a single house and then merely commented on by other posters, while Interactive threads are open to participation from any house that wants to join. Telling the two apart is usually fairly simple (sometimes, the hosting player even places an ooc tag saying 'everyone come on in').
In a role playing thread, instead of merely making statements on behalf of a house, you'll be playing individual members of your dynasty or staff. One of the most common types of RP thread is in response to a house hosting a Festival. The hosting house will usually describe the setting, and which members of his dynasty is present. Participating houses will usually describe how their own member(s) arrived, or simply assume that they arrived earlier. Imperium Nova is very free form, so there are no mechanics by which role playing is hindered, but there is some decorum that should be followed:
In either case, Play by Post means that you make a post and then wait for other houses to reply. Play by Post is distinct from other role playing methods in that it is the slowest. Players only respond when they have time to log on and catch up with what was said. Ridiculously dedicated players will most likely be checking the forums constantly throughout the day, while others may only log in every few days. If your post isn't responded to right away, just go do something else and check back next time you log on.
The political and social atmosphere of the typical IN Galaxy is a bit different from what you might be used to. Here are a few suggested books to help you out with what's expected of you (and entertain yourself while you're at it):
RP a gamer: Meaning, do not have your characters act like you do when you play HALO. If you want to play an opportunist, impulsive character, that's fine. But, be aware that that's how most people who don't know what they're doing play, because it's easy. It's easy to act like you're just in it to win a numbers game, because in real life, that's what you're doing. However, most people have convictions, beliefs, morals or just little traits that go beyond simple selfishness, and a good character should have the same.
RP yourself: While it's fine to let your own convictions carry over into the game (we all do it, to an extent), it often doesn't make sense in the setting. In this case, it's the far future, and you live in a feudal society. If you apply all the assumptions you've learned in real life, the society you're in would seem very immoral. Nobility, the blood sport of dueling, and dictatorships all go against 21st century western culture's morality. But your character is not from the 21st century. Maybe in real life you have a great sense of humor and a strong moral sense, it's fine for your characters to have those, too. But be aware that if you call dueling antiquated or immoral, in the IN society's view, you are wrong, and you're the antiquated one.
While terminology can vary from galaxy to galaxy, it can be helpful to know some of the basics so you don't annoy Galle.