INTRODUCTION This is an experiment, a proof of concept, a thrust in a new direction. This is an attempt to avoid the path well trod. This is a fresh start, in a region, of a new world. The update length will vary according to player feedback, perceived activity and whatever other factors the author decides are relevant. OBJECTIVE This is not to be a neat NES. It is not to be discrete and apportioned. It is not to be a vast menagerie of statistics. It shall try to avoid IC war-hawks and econ-centre hunters. As far as this NES is concerned instrumentality is dead. The project seeks to recognize that in the broader scope of human history and endeavour the individual state and monarch seldom matter. Instead of focusing on the transitory power of the state, or the short span of the monarch, we should instead focus on the institutions that they leave behind. Few states will continue for five hundred years unchallenged but the institutions which they posses will carry on through successors. You as the player will not focus on a nation state or upon a king. You will be called on to look at the culture and upon the institutions which underpin it. These institutions will be your building blocks for success or failure. The project will also seek embrace random chance, rather than washing it out. There can be no Mégas Aléxandros in many NESs, no great world conquering hero. To do so would be ‘gamey’. With a longer view, a focus on institutions and culture it is hoped that the players would welcome a new Alexander for he would bring the very institutions to their command that made him successful in the first place. Adoption, adaption and change are to be welcomed and embraced. The project will also seek to recognize that the velocity of history was slower in the pre-modern world; cause and effect worked in far more predictable ways. This moderator will use this insight to his advantage. Key events can be more accurately gauged and simulated. Players should also be consulted for these key events to reduce the arbitrary nature of updates. A minimum of player input during the course of updating will in the author’s opinion pay dividends in player investment, attachment and satisfaction. This will be a ‘boring time’ even if the author newly educated contends that no period of history is of itself boring. This ‘boring time’ will attempt to layer carefully the structure of the state and any other institutions of import into a coherent picture over a period of history. It will also attempt to give some degree of randomness to better simulate history which with player consultation will allow for an improved narrative. KEY POINTS Few number stats, many textual stats, high level of detail in the update for use [initially]; A focus on institutional development through the update and through textual stats; and A focus on so called ‘key events’ where players will be able to direct input into key events. The ultimate aim of this point is to reduce arbitrary mod decisions for important events. ‘Key events’ will also have a viral effect and may trigger more events. PROCESS This will have two key elements with which the players may drive change and shape their societies and those of others. These instruments are for precision cutting, for transferring, for grafting and finally for creating. They are not to be used to rend at the flesh of some infinitely small and infinitely suffering NESing creation. Treat them as they are meant to be treated. THE INSTRUMENTS INSTITUTIONS Henningham describes an institution as, an established law, custom, usage, practice, organization or other element in the political life or other element in the political social life of a people Dovers builds on this defining institutions as, an underlying, durable patterns of rules and behaviour North defines institutions as, ...humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction They are made up of formal constraints (e.g., rules, laws, constitutions), informal constraints (e.g., norms of behaviour, conventions, self imposed codes of conduct), and their enforcement characteristics. He also posited that institutions are designed to, Reduce uncertainty by providing structure to everyday life. They are a guide to human interaction. I prefer Norths definition. Institutional development can be divided into three phases, three separate layers of cultural self. LEVEL 1 This is the deepest level of cultural self representing those institutions that are firmly embedded in the mundane, including customs, traditions and religious rites. These are the institutions which exist and for which we have little regard or cause to think about. They are slow acting the player will only get to influence this level rarely. Number of influences: 1-3 a turn Time lag: 200 to 300 years Scope: Whole of culture Possible influences: A citizen-militia force might be formed by the culture in light of a significantly escalated period of bandit raids or the religions of the culture might through osmosis acquire certain desirable characteristics better adapted to the cultures lifestyle, a prohibition on eating fish or fighting might end. LEVEL 2 The formal rules of the game in a given society, they represent the superstructure of the state, the nature of the polity itself, the nature of ownership of property and its transfer, the judicial system, the religious establishment and the bureaucratic structure. These are the institutions of the state, and tend to be transferred from polity to polity with only the occasional digression or change. They are slow to medium acting the player will only get to influence this level occasionally. Number of influences: 2-6 a turn Time lag: 100 to 200 years Scope: State specific, can go ‘viral’ and jump between states Possible influences: The traditional landed elite might be reduced in power by the rise of a trade based economy in the polity itself or a traditional bureaucratic religious elite might lose power as land is seized by the Crown. LEVEL 3 The playing of the game in a given society; they represent the interactions with the edifice of state, allocation of resources, employment, economic structures and other interactions under the overarching structure of the state. They are quick acting the player will get to influence this level the most. Number of influences: 5-9 a turn Time lag: 0 to 100 years Scope: State specific, can go ‘viral’ and jump between states Possible influences: Taxation might be reformed to tilt the burden towards foreign merchants or it might be used to cripple religious interests whose interests no longer align with the government. GENERAL RULES The institutional factors will not always be clear cut as to which category they fall into. I don’t think this is a major issue they are guidelines, however blatant gaming of the system will be sternly punished. Those who are creative and can come up with the most plausible antecedents for change and the most plausible results will see better results. REASONABLENESS TEST Changes will have a simple test applied to them for my own sanity: a clear objective; some precedent or an antecedent for changes; a 'hook' that is a means of gathering support, popular or otherwise for the reform; some description of the functionality of the institution; and some likely consequences in terms of social and economic changes. An example: Mining Silver: The objective of this institutional development is to mine silver [objective]. The update detailed a significant find and it also notes that I have a reliable source of slaves and already use them for unrelated mining [precedent]. I also think I can begin to raid for slaves on my own considering that I have a strong fleet and the update details that nations X & Y are doing it with similar equipment I think that nation P, this one can do it as well [antecedent for a new institutional framework]. I believe that the mines should be state owned, since the nobility hate nation P’s monarchies guts I’ll place Royal officials in charge [functionality]. This will probably antagonise the existing elite of the region, but they’re poor illiterate peasants so I can bribe them to some extent and fob them off. The landed elite in the wealthy areas are going to have trouble objecting when the local elite supports the Monarchs right to extract the minerals, considering they themselves are to poor to mine it being in deep seams and are in effect getting money for nothing ['the hook']. In this case, the enrichment of this region (and the corresponding change in interregional economic and later political balance), the growth of importance of slave labour, the strengthening of bureaucrats vis-a-vis the traditional aristocracy, the magnification of royal power, the intensified development of monetary economy and all things associated with it and so on [consequences]. That would be a good example covering the whole of the reasonableness test. It would also be a level 3 influence, even though it touches on the bureaucratic. It does not however change the rules of the game it only changes the scope of their implementation. I shall also maintain secretly another test. It will deal with the implementation time for each institutional variation. KEY EVENTS Key events are pivotal events which occur during the course of the update, deriving from player orders. These events might take the shape of a religious debate between two different theological schools, a decisive military battle or another event of some magnitude. The player involved will be consulted and will be required to tender a short PM to sort out the issues raised. The possibility exists that one key event might trigger a new one as well, a ‘cascade effect’. These will be relatively rare, for mod convenience. FOR THE PLAYER Player Stats Player: The players name Culture: The players culture Influence: The states, religions et al the player can influence can be subject to geographic limitations. Institutions Points (level 1, level 2, level 3): The institutional influence points at different levels. Unique Institutions: Level 1: [unique cultural institutions at level 1] State Stats (as at end of last update) Name: Name of the state Culture: The culture of the state General Institutions: Institutions which are similar enough to others that you can refer to existing ones for reference. State Specific Institutions: Level 2: [unique state institutions at level 2] Level 3: [unique state institutions at level 3] COURT OF MODERATOR APPEALS: The Court of Moderator Appeals will be a group of impartial non playing NESers empowered by the mod to act in the following capacities: The right to hear cases of Moderator related improprieties; The right to release findings without recourse to the mod; The right to cast decisions binding on the mod, if the players in the majority agree; To receive appeals free of the Moderator knowledge from players; and To maintain the impartiality of the mod. Presiding the Rt Hon Justice Dachs Currently working on empaneling other Justices. GENERAL NOTES This project is deliberately vague. It was created with the intent of encouraging players to think. 'The Rules' could more accurately be called a statement of intent with a guidelines thrown in. This is meant to be free flowing. This is just the dynamic 'boring time' stage of the project, normal play will begin when the players desire it. This project is also focused on a region of a non earth map.