Cyber Nations Wiki

Botha Mode in Cyber Nations Role-Play (RP) is a style of strict adherence to in-game (IG) statistics to represent one's nation in RP.

Although not the first player to do so, and not the only player to do so either, Botha of Transvaal has gained the best-known reputation or notoriety of using this RP style which subsequently became named after him.

Everything in Botha Mode can be boiled down to the following statement: "Role-play within the statistical means of your nation and role-play by mutual consent." This statement forms the basis of the two rules or 'laws' of Botha Mode role-playing. Both laws are complimentary and one does not supercede the other.


It is unknown exactly when the term was first coined and by whom, but the term "Botha Mode" arose during the period when the various rules for RP in Cybernations were hashed out and developed between CN players in an attempt to flesh out or tweek their nations for RP purposes.

In fact, what eventually became known as Botha's (First) Law of Responsible Role-Playing (so-named in November 2007, when Botha first quoted this law in his CN Forum signature) was arguably the first 'rule' which was devised or agreed upon in ca. early 2007 to govern early role-play in Cybernations. Back then it was simply understood and accepted by the handful of active-roleplayers that in-game statistics were the only guideline.

Over time however, as more people began to enter role-playing, that attitude shifted as the majority of players found role-playing based on in-game statistics to be too restrictive - and thus various modifiers to boost and maximize nation ability in role-play began to enter general usage starting around the summer of 2008.

This introduction of modifiers then ultimately spawned various splinter role-play worlds in the summer of 2009, as different sets of rules were adopted by different groupings of nations when disagreement broke out over rules - or different RP groupings wanting to focus on particular RP elements, such as fantasy, real-world basis, etc.

First Law of Responsible RPing[]

Botha's First Law of Responsible RPing dictates that the role-player must use their in-game (IG) nation statistics and ability in all their nation does when interacting with others.

To the nation in Botha Mode, role-play is viewed as giving 'flesh' to the 'bones' of one's IG nation. It is should also be viewed as providing a welcome 'challenge' to the player, to think and translate into words and actions what all the in-game statistics and pixels actually represent for their nation.

Ruler & Nation[]

The nation and ruler identity in RP should always reflect IG names.

Capital City[]

The nation's capital city location in RP should always match that used on the IG map. Capital location will therefore determine the territorial size of the nation (see Area of Influence below)

Government Type & National Religion[]

The Botha Mode player has two RP options with these particular traits. They can either:

  1. A STATE OF STABILITY: Set their IG government and/or religion to match what they are currently using for their RP (and thus forfeit any IG happiness bonus if they do not match which what the IG population is demanding); or
  2. A STATE OF SOCIAL UPHEAVAL: Set their RP government and/or religion to match what their IG population demands and thus RP those selections accordingly (and receive any IG happiness bonus).


Currency setting is generally overlooked and viewed as optional, although ideally one's IG currency name matches their RP currency if possible.

Technology & Infrastructure[]

These two traits require diligence and honesty on the part of the player in Botha Mode. However it is not as difficult as it may seem, as Technology and Infrastructure do have numerous IG ramifications which filter through into RP, such as IG access to various military units and the size of one's national civilian population.

Area of Influence[]

"My ROFLcopter and Botha Mode land claim goes SOI SOI SOI SOI"

Area of Influence governs the territory available (both location, based on capital city, and size) to the nation in Botha Mode for World Map land claims. Land claims for RP should never exceed the IG sphere-of-influence (SOI).

Occasionally reasonable exceptions are made and acknowledged: such as retiring nations bequeathing extra territories or colonies; or in temporary cases where the territory itself is being set-up for role-play where it will be subesquently and purposely lost to another power (of course, by mutual agreement); or where two neighbouring nations have overlapping spheres-of-influence and they mutually agree to modify their common borders.


Role-playing in-game resources are generally regarded as optional as they can be difficult to RP to reasonable, tangible effect - although their IG effects do have an indirect influence on some details of RP (such as uranium, giving access to nuclear weapons).

If trades are stable, then RPing resources and bonus resources can take on the aspect of 'we open a brewery' or 'we can now build our own cars'.

However, a nation with unstable trades may choose to disregard RPing resources - or regard temporary trade losses as labour strikes in that particular field of industry.

Any IG statistical changes and effects from gaining and losing resources must however appear in role-play.

Improvements & Wonders[]

The acquisition and loss of all improvements and wonders should be role-played in Botha Mode. For nations that swap improvements for IG benefits, this will prove to be a major hassle to RP properly - in fact, most Botha Mode nations forgo improvement swapping for this very reason, it becomes absurd to RP a constant building and destruction of labour camps, etc.

Environment & Global Radiation[]

These are generally not role-played directly, although their IG effects can and do filter through into RP, noticeably in population loss.

DEFCON & Threat Level[]

These should be role-played as closely as possible however in-game alliance restrictions may prevent this (i.e. a nation wishing to go to DEFCON 1 in RP but unable due to peacetime restrictions from their IG alliance).

However, if a nation's IG DEFCON and Threat Level do change from anything other than "DEFCON 5" and "Low" respectively, these changes and new levels 'should' appear in role-play.


One very noticeable and important aspect of Botha Mode is a nation's military is 'as is', in that the in-game statistics reflect your military capability in RP and that no 'modifiers' or bonus are used to boost quality or quantity.


Base soldier count is the number of your ground infantry troops.

The efficiency rated total is ignored unless mutually agreed as a means to calculate RP battles (but not towards troop casualties) or to indicate the number of non-combatant support troops, such as engineers, troop trucks personal, supply logistics, medics, etc.


Number of tanks in your military.

Cruise Missiles[]

Number of cruise missiles in your military. As a mutually-agreed alternative, this number could use used instead to reflect artillery field gun capacity (above and beyond whatever inherent support your soldiers would have built into their number) in lieu of actual missiles.


Airforce quantity and quality matches exactly what you have in-game.

Naval Vessels[]

Navy quantity and quality matches exactly what you have in-game.

Nuclear Weapons[]

Indicates nuclear ability and weapons count.

Number of Spies[]

Indicates capacity of internal security and overseas intelligence. Since this total is only available to the player, they must RP with honesty, due diligence and discretion - unless of course they are willing to divulge their in-game total through screenshots, etc.

Primary Ethnic Group[]

This setting should match what you RP as your main ethnic group.

Population (Citizens)[]

The number of civilian citizens inhabiting your nation. Some leeway is given here for descriptive reasons as most population totals are absurdly low compared to RL examples.

However this number is adhered to if population does come into play and an actual total is required. But there is no harm in role-playing one's cities as if they were of the size of thousands or millions of inhabitants - as long as the details are kept vague.


Income numbers, if required for RP, are used as they appear in-game.

In-game events affecting Role-play[]

Any changes to a nation's in-game statistics must be reflected within role-play.

This has the most noticeable influence during periods of IG wars - which must be role-played as best as possible by the player. While the nature of the opponent(s) does not necessary have to be reflected in RP (since there are no distance restriction on opponents in-game), the statistical effects and damage from IG wars must.

Therefore, when a nation is involved in an IG war, they can RP their opponent 'as is' or perhaps as an insurrection or vaguely-defined invasion force (becasue it can be difficult to reconcile IG alliance politics with RP politics). But any and all damage must be reflected by your role-play. This includes any and all IG surrender restrictions imposed on the nation, such as improvement or weapons decommissioning.

So-called "saved nation statistics" are therefore frowned upon and expressly forbidden to the player in Botha Mode.

Any periodic in-game event messages which occur during IG tax collection should also be role-played out as best as possible.

Second Law of Responsible RPing[]

Botha's Second Law of Responsible RPing dictates that all role-play between nations must be done by mutual consent.

This rule notably governs any non-IG wars (i.e. RP wars) which the nation participates in. It is a myth that Botha Mode nations do not participate in RP wars - this is completely un-true. However the outcome of any RP actions, events, or wars must result in a mutually agreed outcome.

Therefore the Botha Mode nation does not participate nor acknowledge any RP imposed upon it (which is simply viewed as another form of god-modding) unless all parties agree on the final outcome intended from the RP story line.