Hello there. Thanks for joining the Western Isles!
You must be wondering what you can do here and how, what is expected of you and how to start role-playing... I'll try to answer these questions in this dispatch.
First of all, if you haven't done so already - go ahead and introduce yourself on our regional message board (RMB). You can post things like what country you're from, if you're new to NationStates or to role-playing (RP), what kind of a nation you want to create, and anything else you'd like to share.
Where do we communicate?
IC communication (in-character, meaning role-playing) is done on the NationStates forums
OOC communication (out-of-character, from general chatting to world-building) is done on the RMB and the forums
Telegrams are usually OOC
We don't have offsite forums, but there's a "mostly unofficial" Discord chat.
How does this region work?
We use the NationStates platform to create fun and interesting stories, about our nations, peoples, and leaders. We usually discuss ideas and plan RPs on the RMB and in OOC forum threads, and then co-write them as RPs, news, accounts, information, and history in dispatches and IC threads.
We have a democratically elected government (you can run for office) in-charge of several aspects of the region:
Facilitating RP and promoting world-building and cooperation in the region
Managing the region in terms of regional rules and standards
Recruiting new players and managing our embassies with other regions
For more information, you can read through the following dispatches when you get a chance:
The Constitution - It details the responsibilities of the various government officers and the Founder, as well as the processes of legislation and elections in the region. Of course, there's no need to remember it all, but it's there if you need it.
The Regional Rules and Conduct - That's just... The rules. You know, don't be a jerk to others, don't spam the RMB, and so on. The map rules are also there, but we'll get to that in a minute.
The Monthly Report dispatch - Contains current and updating information about the region (recent stats of the region, weekly updates, important daily events, etc.).
This is confusing... Can anyone help?
Of course, most of us can. If you still have questions, you can do either of the following:
Your address for questions regarding specific RP rules is the Sec. of RP (Roendavar). Feel free to tag him in your RMB post or to TG him.
About Role-Playing in the Region
How do I get a spot on the map?
Our regional map is the basis of our RP, and it is therefore reserved for nations who actively engage in RP or plan to do so.
To be added to the map, send Vancouvia a telegram with answers to several simple questions - they are listed under "Map Rules" in the Regional Rules and Conduct dispatch.
How do I develop my nation?
Here in this region we don't use NationStates stats at all. Population, economic status, main industries, defense budget - All of those things are up to you, the player, to decide! Make factbooks or dispatches describing your nation's culture, history, religion, government, economy, climate, military, science, industries, people, corporations, trade deals, and anything else you can think of.
Are there limitations?
RP in this region is based on realism and modern-technology, so keep your nation in those limits. There are a few other guidelines we have in place to keep things balanced, for example:
A while ago I attempted to summarize the realism-related guidelines in our RP in a dispatch. It explains the certain limitations on size and population, size of military and economy, WMDs and such. These are not rules, but I encourage you to read them.
To sum up: Be humble, think balance.
Other than that - the limit is your own creativity. Feel free to look around and read other nations' factbooks and dispatches for ideas. See for example:
Take some time to look around, get to know the other players and the region as a whole, and develop your nation. I recommend doing that before getting into RP.
Alright, what now? Where do I RP?
You can get to the region's ongoing RPs and events in either of the following ways:
Through the "Ongoing Events and Perpetual RPs" in the region's World Factbook Entry
Through Ainslie's RP Directory, which contains the region's RPs, alliances, and collaboration threads
As a start, I recommend reading the recent posts in the regional news thread and posting some of your own, before moving on to more complex RPs. This would allow players of the region to get acquainted with your nation and your style.
NS is full of useful guides on RPing and writing. This one, for example, is short and to the point. This has all the NSCodes. This thread explains about RPing warfare. There are many more RP guides and tip dispatches or threads around the site - feel free to explore and learn more about RPing.
For any question on the region (or not), feel free to ask on the RMB or to any of the active members.