Garuda Simming Guide
So, you'd like to know more about how things work within the USS Garuda simming group? You've come to the right place!
- 1 Garuda Arcs and Background
- 2 Formatting Your Sims
- 3 Three Different Groups
- 4 Promotions
- 5 Contributions
- 6 Mentoring
- 7 Questions?
Garuda Arcs and Background
The Garuda sim has been around since January 2014. Before that, the Garuda crew simmed aboard the USS Mercury. The current CO of the Garuda, who also happens to be writing this, took command of the Mercury back in May 2012 and, as you can imagine, a lot of stories have been accumulated in that time -- and since the launch of the Mercury and the establishment of the Menthar Corridor region, all the way back in December 2011! Though some of the references you'll see immediately probably won't mean much, this part of the Garuda Guide should provide you with a quick sketch of the major plots and players in the region.
Groups & Politics
- Prianna, Member of the Cardassian Detapa Council
- Gul Madek, young commander of the Cardassian Keldon-class battlecruiser Nok'Tan, the ship that crippled the Mercury
- The Infernal, notorious Dominion War criminal
- Harrison Ross, former XO of the USS Garuda and the USS Mercury
- Tol, owner and operator of the Menthar Anchorage station
Formatting Your Sims
- An example of good form: 
- The Garuda SIM format corresponds with that used in the academy and detailed in Tutorial #1 . The differences between the Garuda and the rest of the fleet are detailed in this section.
Here on the Garuda, we commonly use abbreviations to indicate a location at the beginning of a subject line. Common ones for our ship include [G] (for Garuda) and [DSX] (for Deep Space 10). If an acronym for a planet doesn’t exist, we’d make it up and try to use it consistently throughout the mission. If you're the first one to sim in a certain location, be bold! Make up your own location header! A typical subject line for a sim on the garuda will look like [Location Abbreviation] Character Rank and Name, Including NPC Status: Sim Title (Tags), for example:
- [G] Capt. C. Egan Manno: The Best Title Ever (Calderan, Mei'konda)
- [DSX] PNPC Dr. Nick Parks: Over on the Station (Shore Leave Party)
- [GY] MSNPC Councilor Prianna: The Plot Thickens (Away Team)
...and as you can see, tags can be specific to the characters or more general.
Bolding vs. Non-Bolding
Entire paragraphs in bold typically burn on the eyes. Common uses of bolding include:
- Open tags that require a response (E.G.: TAN: Response)
- Indicating stage direction after a tag with double colons :: text :: (E.G. Skyfire: :: nodded :: )
- Location headers: (( Sickbay, USS Garuda ))
- Adding new dialogue in response to an open tag (This is not always necessary, depending on how old the tag is.)
Uncommon uses of bolding are for entire paragraphs. Since all sims are required to push the story forward, you shouldn’t be bolding all your new text anyway.
Three Different Groups
This is our in-character (IC) sim list where all of the IC stuff happens. We’re here to tell a story, so this is where we put it. All Garuda writers are members of the IC group.
This is our thread for common OOC questions or announcements about happenings such as ship chats, new members, or other things that are not IC. A good place to ask for general help! All Garuda writers are also members of the OOC group.
In the staff group, members discuss story development, personnel details, long-term planning, and more. The Garuda mentoring program is also part of the staff group. Membership to the staff group is by invitation only based on demonstrated simming and OOC contributions to the ship.
Standard policy on the Garuda is that you must write full-time for at one full mission before your character receives her or his next promotion, regardless of what rank you begin at. If you arrive mid-mission, then you want to try and begin simming full-time immediately. Note that being a writer-in-residence aboard the Garuda for a "full mission" means that you arrived no more than one week after the beginning of the mission. At the end of missions, the CO will present service ribbons to PCs and specific PNPCs as necessary. However, further PNPC and NPC awards can be given, as appropriate, by those characters' writers. As always, any large-scale changes should be discussed with the command team. Use your best judgment!
Promotion of Player Characters
Promotions occur after the end of missions. However, the timing of promotions within shore leave may vary: Sometimes promotions occur directly after the mission has ended, and sometimes they occur just before the next mission is set to begin. Your best resource for working toward your next promotion is the fleetwide promotion guide. Also, if you're not yet a full lieutenant, please keep an open dialogue with your mentor and the command team if you unsure what to do in order to achieve your next promotion!
When & How to Post
Garuda posting requirements are the same as the fleet's full-time requirements: All full-time writers are required to post three times per week, which comes out to at least twelve times per month. Twelve or more of those sims should be for your primary character (PC), a missions-specific NPC (MSNPC), and/or a mission-relevant personal NPC (PNPC). You should feel free to write for and maintain as many personal NPCs (PNPCs) as you'd like, but simming for PNPCs or NPCs that aren't directly related to the mission or its subplots may not count toward your full-time status if you find yourself relying upon them. Bear in mind, too, that twelve sims per month is a baseline requirement, and full-time simming by itself does not guarantee that you'll receive your next promotion or position advancement.
If you aren't up to posting full-time, please talk to the command staff! You can still write, but you won't be eligible for department headships or promotions, and you'll be considered a part-time writer. Part-timers are required to sim at least twice per week, for a total of eight or more sims per month. If you can't meet this eight-sim-per-month minimum, then you should discuss taking a leave of absence (LOA) with the command staff.
Remember, too, that your sims should come from the perspective of your characters. Descriptions (:: Susan saw the really neat thing. ::) and thoughts (oO I wonder if she'll notice me. Oo) that originated in sims for other characters should always be removed and the events of the sim presented from your characters' perspective.
Adding to the Story
Creativity in your sims is, of course, encouraged! There are no set endings, no definite plot twists, and no command hand pulling the strings; each and every one of your contributions, whether your PC is an ensign or a captain, can change the course of the mission!
However, be sure to use some common sense when introducing twists. Does what you're about to add follow logically within the evolving story? As long as that answer is "yes," you should feel free to go ahead and write! The only usual exception to this is when new additions take control of another writer's character out of that writer's hands. For example, you should never injure another character without talking to the character's writer first.
It is always worth contacting the command team or your mentor, too, if you think your plot twist may have a serious and unexpected effect on the course of the mission. Examples may include:
- The addition of a new alien race that has not yet been involved in the mission. Sir, Romulan Warbird decloaking!
- Relocation of group of PCs that does not include your PC.
- Destruction of an important building or ship.
Mission vs. Shore Leave
Generally, writing time aboard the Garuda is divided into two major blocks: missions and shore leave. Missions involve one or more central objectives and generally take place aboard the Garuda and associated ships, planets, etcetera. Missions are generally six weeks in length, though this may vary!
Between each mission, the Garuda crew has about two weeks of shore leave. Shore leave generally takes place on Deep Space 10, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the station's amenities! During this time, there is no central plot and no general objective, so it's a great time to have your character(s) mingle with others and develop relationships you otherwise couldn't during mission time.
Participating on the Forums
Forum participation may seem like a small thing that you don't need to worry about, but let’s face it: the forums are a part of being in the fleet! You are advised to “check in” to your duty post thread when you are assigned one, and to your ship’s thread. As you advance through the ranks, you will probably find yourself spending more times on the forums -- and even moderating some individual forums!
Building the Wiki
You may be thinking “Why is the wiki so important?” Well, there are a few reasons.
- The wiki contains character profiles -- if you wish to learn more about a character, you would go to the ship page, look at the roster (or the crew nav across the bottom) and find the name you’re looking for. These are vital to learning more about any character, and as you advance in rank it is considered mandatory to keep it updated with awards, mission histories, etc.
- The wiki also contains mission profiles -- an archive of missions with details that usually gets updated once a month that describes the mission of your ship.
- Ship wiki -- contains many aspects of the ship that are important for you to know. It contains information on the campaign region the ship operates in, crew rosters, crew histories, crew awards histories, mission histories, technical overviews, namesake and dedication plaque, and links to the forums, the sim archive, and Google Group.
Proposing a Mission
Do you have an idea for a mission? We have a template that contains the proper form for submission!
All graduates from the Starbase 118 Academy will be assigned a mentor on arrival aboard the USS Garuda. The responsibility of a mentor is to act as first point of contact for a new player, to help them to settle in with the crew and to take an active interest in ensuring that they meet all of the requirements for promotion, providing support where necessary. A mentor will be expected to be in touch with his or her mentee at least once a week, and blind copy the staff list to all mentoring related emails. In many cases, new arrivals may be self-sufficient, in which case their mentors may be in contact on a less frequent basis. Mentors may also be assigned to other writers with a specific need or interest. If you wish to participate in the mentoring program, don't hesitate to contact the writers behind the XO and CO, Rich and Tony.
Upon promotion to the rank of Lieutenant, you may be asked to participate in the mentoring program.