Political divisions, Turn 15. Note the size of the 501st Legion and Kingdom of China, both the result of broken mechanisms and/or GM manipulation. Less obvious is GUNS, which ended the game as the leading power.

The Multipolar World (commonly abbreviated Multipolarity, or more simply, MP) was an IOT hosted by Taniciusfox, running from 19 February–20 May 2012. It was the spiritual successor to the Sons of Mars series, supposedly emphasizing soft-power politics. While highly successful, the game is infamous for its political infighting and the numerous crises precipitated by christos200's various Chinese states, and toward its final turns suffered repeated complaints over GM powergaming.

The popularity of the basic game led to a redux by Thorvald of Lym using an overhauled ruleset, dubbed "Multipolarity Rearmed". Taniciusfox went on to turn the game into a series, to mixed success.

Game mechanicsEdit

Multipolarity began in the year 2150, each turn representing a two-year span. Rather than follow a fixed update schedule, Tanicius locked orders 24-48 hours after at least half the active players responded. Orders processing was broken into combat, espionage, and revolutions; while initially the turn report took a few hours, later updates spanned days.

National powersEdit

In addition to the usual nation profile, players (and "major" NPCs) could also select one of six traits that provide unique bonuses to their countries:


Population grows by +6% per turn, and newly-settled territories add +5 population.


National industry grows +7.5% per turn, and industry investments are worth +10%.


Nation earns 50% more money from world trade.


Combat rolls gain a 20% bonus.


Money invested in research or industry is worth 10% more; not cumulative with the Industrious trait. This bonus can be rented out to other nations.


Military units can move and attack twice per turn. Twice as much chance of a baby boom.


The world map was divided into regions consisting of a roughly equal number of provinces each. Territorial expansion was achieved through direct military occupation; each turn, armies could claim neutral provinces. Claims outside of a player's "home" continent must be contiguous, and were limited to 5 per turn.

Players began with 5 territories providing ~100 units of population. Additional claims increased population by 1 by default.


Players had an 'industry' rating that provided a general measure of national development. At game's start, this rating was 1.00; infrastructure could be improved through direct investment, and would grow naturally by a random percentage. Gross national income was the product of population times industry; a nation's income was derived from the tax rate on GNI.

A percentage of the average of every player's GNI constituted additional revenue garnered through international trade. Embargoes denied the two players each other's portion of this trade surplus. As a stand-alone measure, its impact was minimal and detrimental to both parties, but as part of an international effort was much more effective in containing a target country. Nations at war assumed embargo by default.


Armies cost 5 gold and 1 population; navies and air wings were purchased in groups of 5 for the same amount. New players began with 5 land divisions. When fighting in its own theatre, unit strength was compared by quantity times tech level, with varying bonuses for the defender.

Each fleet could transport an army to a distant coastal territory. When unopposed, air and naval units provided battle support, with a 20% of scoring a 'hit' plus a player's military technology level. Navies had a 20% chance of intercepting aircraft; armies 10%.

Military researchEdit

Military technology was divided by theatre (land, sea, and air) at a cost of 50n per level; each level improved overall combat odds viz. enemy forces. In addition, even-numbered land levels increased the total number of attacks an army could commit, and odd-numbered levels increased the maximum number of regions an army could move per turn, to a maximum of 5 in both cases. Air levels represented the maximum range of a nation's air force beyond home borders.


Nations could recruit spy agents to conduct a variety of missions. Agents pool nation-wide and could strike any player; operations always remained clandestine, unless a player's orders were stolen. Mission success was based on spy tech level and the number of agents on each side; competing spies killed 10% of their number, although defenders would never lose more than half their committed agents.


Weapons of mass destruction were classified into three types: nuclear, chemical, and Tanicius' trademark "province busters", each with different strategic effects. Technology spanned ten tiers, each increasing warhead potency; these prices would lower as more nations researched them.

Additionally, ballistics tech was a progressive investment that increased the odds of a successful strike. Players also paid into a similarly-structured missile shield that could be pooled amongst nations; ballistics over SDI represented success odds, with a minimum chance of 10%.


The year is 2150. Decades ago a disaster, known only as the “Cataclysm,” collapsed the social, economic and political order of the world. Now societies are beginning to emerge from the ashes, and a second Renaissance has started in turn. Though the Cold War era seems to have been virtually erased, the technologies lost will be steadily rediscovered.

Will humanity’s future be one of peace and harmony, or one of discord and strife?

Either way, a delicate, ever-shifting balance of power will surely be established.

~Tanicusfox, prologue

The basic premise is, just like many other IOTs, that humanity was almost destroyed and must now rebuild.

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