Hey, guise! It's Levusti! Something that's difficult to grasp in an RP setting is the function of politics, especially on a grand scale, like when it concerns a nation or groups or factions. It is human nature to follow and be friends with those of similar interest. However, like it or not, no one has the SAME interest. Now I'm not going to go into the "Republican? Nationalistic? Anarchy?" thing. I'm talking about the interpersonal relationships that we make and how it affects our best interests. To me, that's more government, which indeed is a large cog in the big machine of politics, but how can we understand that if we don't understand the basics? Politics involve the decisions to maintain order, such as the protection of humans, the elimination of disruptors, the fulfillment of (human or other race's) needs, and the structure of society so we can operate in safe, harmonious ways. We'll kind of start of with the small scale, and graduate from there. Politics in an interpersonal way: The protection of humans. Every human desires to be safe and for their loved ones also to be safe. If a person finds themselves in danger, it is natural to find ways to protect themselves and ward off the danger. The elimination of disruptors. When someone or something upsets the balance among people, it is natural to expel that danger. The fulfillment of needs. Even if a person is well protected, if has no access to water, food, warmth, or shelter, that person will do what is needed to fulfill their needs. This can be scavenging for food, stealing money, or other measures. The structure of society. Even if all the people are protected, all the needs are fulfilled, and all the potential dangers have been eliminated, if the people are unhappy with one another, chaos still ensues. These are not clear cut concepts, so not all things exactly fit well with a single one of these criteria. It may only fulfill one or seem to weave back and forth between one criterion to another. But these are the basic essentials for a stable society. Things start to get ugly when we put characters into the picture. They're human (or maybe not, but it's still applicable here.) They want to maintain a good society. Let's get theoretical. We have Alice, Ben, Claudia, and Diane. Alice has a store. Claudia has a store. Alice makes more profit than Claudia. Claudia sends her friend Diane to disrupt Alice's business. Things get ugly and they get violent. Alice asks Ben for protection. Ben requests Alice to give payment. Alice provides the payment and Ben successfully protects the store. Claudia and Diane no longer pester Alice as Claudia's business has returned to normal. Alice continues to ask Ben for protection. Ben requests more payment for his continued services. Alice refuses to pay since the danger is no longer frequent. Ben declines to protect the store without compensation and therefore ends the deal. In this little scheme of things, we see the basic essentials for a stable society flux from one end to another. In the beginning, Alice and Claudia were both fulfilling their needs by having a store so they can have money to do purchase food, water, clothing, and other necessities. However, when Alice made more money, Claudia's needs were no longer fulfilled. By sending Diane to disrupt business, this was a way to reestablish equilibrium to get money to come back to their store. This was Claudia trying to fulfill her needs. By recruiting Ben, Alice protected herself. Alice compensated Ben for his services by paying him and also fulfilling his needs, but more importantly, Diane was warded off. This eliminated the disruptor. This is where structure had been restored, yes? No one is seems to be unhappy anymore. Now Diane and Claudia are no longer an issue, but for good measure, Alice still requests service from Ben without compensation so she can continue to feel protected. His needs are no longer able to be fulfilled since she will not provide him money to retrieve all that he needs, so he stops his protection services. This constant shift and drift from disorder to order happens on a grand scale too. Let's get bigger! Politics in an international way: These are exactly the same, but remember, there are various people who make up a nation, all who may not believe the same thing, so already we might be starting off with a state of disorder because the four basics of a good society have already been compromised. Protection of the people. Elimination of disruptors. Fulfillments of needs. Structure of society. So let's start off by making nations. Empire of Diana, Republic of Vay, and the Islands of Rory. Diana's Empire is situated on fertile land which provides agricultural resources. Vay's Republic is in a difficult area, barren of fertile soil, water is sparse, and it is subject to natural disaster. The Islands of Rory are also difficult to use for agricultural resources. The people are desperate. Vay's Republic requests resources from Diana's Empire. Diana's Empire kindly offers resources to Vay's Republic. The Islands of Rory see this trade, and request the same from Diana's Empire. Diana's Empire must refuse since they have no more resources to spare. The Islands of Rory are enraged since they were declined resources and decide to take them by force. Diana's Empire summons Vay's Republic to protect the Empire. Vay's Republic declines to protect as they have become comfortable with their new resources. Diana's Empire feels betrayed and instead agrees to ally with the Islands of Rory. Together, they lay siege to Vay's Republic. Both Diana's Empire and the Islands of Rory prosper. Here, the same four basic needs arise. You can identify them as you go along. The real world and hopefully your RPs are well influenced by relationships. You can force a good plot by pushing the equilibrium of a stable society out of balance. For example, your people feel that the benevolent witches who create love potions and healing salves are actually a danger. This infringes upon the people's need to be protected. Or maybe your people no longer have resources to create progress for their quickly growing population. This means their needs must be fulfilled in some way. Wherever order has become disorderly, the decisions made by your characters will also influence their sense of security. If your character does what he needs to so his safety is secured at the expense of others, even though his is secured, other's security may have become compromised. In turn, the others may also do the same to him. This is the vicious flux of society.