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Lieutenant Wild Strikes
by on January 31, 2020
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For the entirety that I've been involved in the MLP Roleplaying community across various websites, forums, chatrooms, and the such, I've always wanted to have a roleplay experience that is dynamically controlled through some means other than the group. Where the circumstances of the RP are controlled by some exterior force rather than the creativity of those that are participating in the RP or the host of the session acting as a dungeon master. I wanted something more, something that is more random and chaotic that would both test our abilities to work with our characters in the context of the world, but also give new and interesting opportunities that we normally may not think of ourselves. I wanted to have the opportunity to be taken for a ride when I am roleplaying.
My first experience with a system such as this was a server in Second Life (yes I have been that desparate) which set up a plot that was essentially 'controlled' by a computer. They used a Dungeons and Dragons adventure generator in addition to the normal Dungeons and Dragons canon lore (with names switched around so they wouldn't get shut down for copyright) and ran month long "sprints" where all their characters would participate in the world events that are created by the adventure generator. Whether it's a crooked town mayor or an invasion of the dead, the world around the characters was shaped by the generator. Of course, this was a LOT of work for the owners because they needed to buy and build all the locales where the members of the server would roleplay, but it was an amazing system that gave me a lot of good memories and a ton of new ideas.
I am an avid 4X strategy and wargaming nerd, and love the Paradox history games such as Victoria, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron. A couple of months ago a friend of mine let me know about an MLP mod that was being developed for Hearts of Iron IV that was amazingly well done. People who know the game may be aware of it, but to those who aren't it adds a unique map, unique focus trees for more than a dozen nations (sometimes multiple trees for the same nation), unique events, 2 continents (with one more on the way), redone tech tree, racial bonuses, gameplay changes, and so much much more. Dare I say in some ways it is actually a better experience than Vanilla Hearts of Iron in so many different ways.
After playing the mod non-stop for a period of about 2 weeks I had the idea of finally putting what I learned from that Second Life RP server into action. Only instead of the random adventure generator doing my background, I would use the MLP mod. I would use discord as the communication medium, as it gives me the ability to create a lot of channels and handle permissions in a moderately effective way, to create a text based RP/RPG hybrid. People who participate in the community can control their characters within the continent of Equus (the eastern continent of the globe in MLP lore) and follow their nation through the turn of the millenium where the tribal and medieval histories of the races of Equestria and surrounding nations are traded for cold hard reality of a post-industrial civilization.
The background of the RP would be simple - a game of Hearts of Iron IV run with the Equestria at War mod. Members of the RP would be able to pick their race and their nation, and live within their nation in a few selected cities. They'd be able to move freely around the cities of their nation to find other people to roleplay with when necessary. They would exist in a position in the game, and for all intents and purposes be a direct contributor to the game of Hearts of Iron that forms the background for the RP.
Every week in real time, I will advance the game by a month in-game time (or roughly thereso) and report on events within the game in specific information channels, informing members of each nation their government's take on events within and without. Through these news updates (as well as some more updates in individual cities) people will be able to form a picture of what's happening in the world around them, and roleply according to that background.
When border friction starts boiling over, the wheels of war will begin. Recruitment will start in various cities, the factories will begin working overtime to produce as many pieces of wargear as possible, divisions of soldiers will be moved to the border to reinforce in anticipation, all while the players of the RP will be living out their lives.
What's nice about the MLP mod in Hearts of Iron is that *so many* different things can happen. Civil wars, succession, cross border political influence, diplomatic and military conquest, it's all super complex. Actually the Equus continent currently has the most simple version of it - the other continent plays host to more than 3 dozen individual nations, most of which have their own individual focus trees that determine where their nation can go throughout the game. However for the interest of easy roleplay, I figured it'd be best to stay in Equus because it's what people are most familiar with.
Currently I am in the final stages of building the server. After working together with a couple friends and some people who I have commissioned from the community, I have opened up the server to the public for people to peruse to their hearts content and begin building their characters.
You can join the server with this link: https://discord.gg/Ur3SMd2 . A free discord account is required of course.
The CA page for official information about the RP group is located here: https://canterlotavenue.com/pages/618/