Constitution Officer's Manual/Terminology

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While we, the writers, can read any sim in the fleet (and know what's going on all over the ship) your characters do not.

Part of realistically playing a character is making sure that the character only reacts to what they know. There's nothing wrong with picking up hints or clues about what's going on all over the ship, but keep some surprises in store for your characters.

It can be frustrating to spend time and sims building up to an event, be it a major component of the plot or just some story arc you are following, and end up having to salvage it from ruins when another player 'claims' they knew what was happening. As such, be aware of how much knowledge you have when you are writing a sim and make sure that you keep your character 'in the dark'.

In the same stroke let’s talk about some common terminology that comes with collaborative writing.


This is taking control of a character that is not your own. In SB:118 that includes PCs, PNPCs and MSNPCs. Only NPCs can be written by everyone. This includes to not write their reactions, their expressions, actions or thoughts.

For example: If you write an attack, do not write if the other person has been hit, thrown down or stepped aside. Leave it open for them to control their reaction. But that doesn’t only apply to fights, it goes for everyday situations. Offering tea? Leave it open of they want one. Hold open the lift door? They might frown upon it, walk through or wait for the next lift. So leave room for a reaction, don’t decide for them.

Note: That being said when staff members write a mission brief and dismiss the crew to go to their work they might write that everyone left. You are free to add something like “... but Ensign Brave stayed, she had something to say.” or your character might not actually leave to work but to get a drink or back to bed - just remember the consequences ;)


This is when your character describes something that the player knows but the character has no way of knowing and is when you use OOC knowledge without your IC justifying to know it.

You as a player might know everything going on right now because you can read all the sims from your crewmates, the baddies and more. But your character has limited knowledge and they need to find out these things in a realistic manner.

For example, you as a player know that the new crewmate is actually a spy sent by the Tal Shiar in disguise of a human. But your character will not know that and should neither be suspicious nor wonder if that person is really who they are because all your character knows is that they are new. Would your character treat everyone new like this? No? Then they shouldn’t do this now either.

Or the ship is stuck in space without being able to move. You know that omnipotent power is causing this. But your character has no access to any data that would show them that. So they shouldn’t even get the idea. If they are not on the bridge they might not even notice that the ship isn’t moving.

So remember: Your character does not know everything you know.


That means that you give your character an unfair advantage. Either by using knowledge your character does not have (metagaming), or by writing things that happen even if you are aren’t supposed to be in control of that (godmodding), or you make your character way too powerful.

They either have special powers they don’t actually have, they always get out of their situations without issues, they are able to do everything and have no faults or flaws, they have no weaknesses… just to name a few.

This is taking the fun out of writing because the character is not believable and plots get boring if they are always solved by one person in an instant. It also takes away from others being able to shine.

No person knows everything, can do everything, has every skill, etc. Making sure that your character is balanced is the best way to avoid this.