Foreign Relations


Nations have a relationship level with other nations. The level reflects how the two nations feel about one another. The categories range from Hatred to Admiration and each of these categories except NEUTRAL have 1-5 levels. These levels should be reflected in your role-playing to some extent and they will affect how NPC nations deal with you. They also determine which nations can establish alliances with you. You can of course move the relationship level up and down according to your actions or speech. Relationship levels can also be affected by spy actions.

Levels -9 thru -10 HATRED
Levels -5 thru -8 ENMITY
Levels -1 thru -4 DISLIKE
Levels 1 thru 4 FRIENDLY
Levels 5 thru 8 REGARD
Levels 9 thru 10 ADMIRATION

It should be noted that a nations relations can differ in relation to specific issues. For instance, one nation may generally DISLIKE another except on the issue of terrorism where they both are victims. Those nations would be freer to cooperate on that issue.


Nations can form alliances with one another. Such treaties can be secret, or public. Treaties can be either general, or very specific in nature.

ID Type Description
NAP Non-Aggression Pact The two nations agree not to attack one another. Can be permanent or for a set time
BA Basing Agreement One or both of the nations agree to grant basing rights for the other's troops
MDT Mutual Defense Treaty The two nations are bound to defend one another. An attack on one is treated as an attack on the other. Can be permanent or for a set time.


Embassies are the conduit for foreign relations between two nations. Without an exchange of embassies, the ability of two nations to do business with one another is severely decreased. Without an Embassy you cannot directly influence foreign sentiment toward your country, you cannot sign new trade agreements, you cannot sign treaties, enter into alliances, or develop joint products. Without an embassy you cannot give or receive foreign aid, trade patents, or buy/sell military units.

An Embassy improves your ability to conduct intelligence operations in the host country.

All nations start the game with a Level 0 embassy in every nation. These embassies can be increased in level or closed at will.

The effectiveness of many foreign relations efforts will depend on the level of your Embassy, or its level compared to others who are actively opposing your efforts diplomatically.

If a nation wishes to conduct business with a nation that they have no diplomatic relations with, they can only do so by tasking an SIO team to act as a covert back-channel conduit.

Embassies can be infiltrated or damaged by covert action or by war but not totally eliminated by them. Such actions will tend to cause the Embassy to lose levels either for the turn in question, or permanently depending on the situation.

If an Embassy is closed it loses all previously obtained levels and will re-open at Level 0.

The host nation can close an embassy by sending an expel diplomats order. Usually when an Embassy is closed or diplomats are expelled, the other side will respond in a similar fashion.

If the host nation sends a downgrade diplomatic relations order, then the Embassy will lose half its levels. Usually when relations are downgraded, the other side will

Both nations receive a small GNP boost from shared embassies.

Power Politics

At game start, colonial powers have been stripped of colonies and imperial influence. That does not mean that these things are gone from the world. As time goes by old "Great Powers" may re-exert their influence or new "Great Powers" may advance onto the world stage. Nations may once again begin to exert their influence, power, and dominance over others either militarily, politically, or economically.

A player may request, or the GM may declare any of the following depending on circumstances:

CLIENT STATE The government maintains its sovereignty and independence, but is not capable of surviving on its own politically and requires external support to maintain its internal political position. The supporting nation may demand tribute or other favors.
PROTECTORATE The government is internally independent and capable of surviving politically on its own and runs its own internal affairs but requires external assistance to protect it from others. The government conducts a semi-independent foreign policy but the protecting nation exerts considerable influence. The supporting nation may demand tribute or other favors.
COLONY The nation or region is fully subservient to the colonial power. It's government is merely administrative and does not have an independent domestic or foreign policy. All governmental decisions are made by the colonial power. The colonial power may demand tribute.
FEDERATION The nation or region has decided, or been forced, to enter into a Federative state. The level of the merger politically, economically, and militarily and the amount of autonomy retained varies on a case-by-case basis.
OCCUPATION The nation retains its inherent sovereignty but its affairs are conducted by the occupying authority. The occupying power may loot.
ANNEXATION The nation or region has been forcibly annexed by an occupying power and all political, economic, and military soveriegnty has been snuffed out. The occupied area becomes part of the occupier's nation. Such an action will almost surely engender a negative world reaction.

Each of these will have some effect on world opinion and diplomatic relations. Each of these states will result in a variable monetary charge to reflect the costs of merging or occupation.

If a player requests one of these states and fails, then relations with the nation in question will likely be harmed and possibly relations with others.

Game Effects

Player nations are not the majority in the Timelines game world. Since Player and NPC nations start the game much closer in capability and there are no "superpower" nations, relations with NPC nations have more importance. In some games, unilateral action by a superpower United States, France, or UK can have immediate game altering effects. This is not the case in the Timelines world at least at game start. The importance of gaining the support of NPC nations is somewhat enhanced.

For instance, in many games, a tariff increase by the United States would have a major impact on the target nation. In Timelines such an action would have an effect, but not nearly as dramatic. In order to achieve his end in the Timelines world, the United States player would need to influence other nations (both Player and NPC) to also raise tariffs. Combined action of this sort, could indeed have a dramatic effect. Foreign relations is the mechanism.

The GM will play NPC nations and judge their actions based on the relations level between the nations seeking to influence them, the issue involved, and their own national interests as the GM interprets them. In some cases Players will have to take action to get results, and in other instances a nation may jump on your bandwagon without any prodding if they are trying to curry your favor.

As time goes by, the equality at game start may erode and superpowers may develop. When that occurs unilateral action may bring a host of NPC nations following along.

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