Maxwell Traenor/Sandbox

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Introduction to the USS Constitution-B

Welcome to the USS Constitution-B! This page serves as a combined welcome and "How-To" page for simming as part of the USS Constitution-B crew. This handbook strives to reiterate the information provided to you at the Academy and give you an even more in depth look at the day to day operations of simming with the Starbase 118 Fleet. Not only will you be able to build on the skills that you first learned during your week in training, but you will be able to have a concise handbook at your fingertips for those moments when you might have a question.

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This handbook is not to replace the one on one guidance that you get from both the command staff and your mentor. On the contrary, this text has been created to help supplement the information that you get from these members of the crew, enabling you to grow into your role aboard the USS Constitution-B.

Find an error? Have a question not outlined here? Please, never hesitate to contact Captain Jalana Rajel or your mentor at any time!

Helpful Resources

There are many reasons that people join UFOP:SB118. While a love of Star Trek is a major one, there are some writers that join just because writing these characters is a lot of fun. As such, there are times when you might just need a little bit of extra help ironing out the tech and canon Trek information that you include in your sims.

If you find yourself seeking information, and you don't know where else to turn, consider searching one of the following sites to help you.

The Starbase 118 Fleet Wiki: Every character has a page as does every installation, team, taskforce, or group that is involved in the Fleet. You can find a lot of information on both Trek, tech, species, and the members and workings of the fleet by searching our Wiki site.

Memory Alpha: The know all and end all of all things Trek. This site is invaluable when you are looking for anything that is considered canon in the Trek universe.

The Main Starbase 118 Website: There is plenty of information such as our rank and promotion guide, and articles based on Trek, Science, SB118 canon information, and what's going on 'OOC' in the realm of Star Trek and the franchise as a whole.

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Still feel lost? Don't hesitate to contact any member of the command staff with your questions. If they don't know the answer, they can find the answer for you.

Constitution Simming Requirements

It is a requirement as a member of UFOP:SB118 to meet full time simming requirements of at least 12 sims a month, or an average of 3 times a week. Everyone on the Constitution-B will be expected to meet this requirement unless a reason has been communicated to the ship’s Command Staff beforehand. As a ‘Full Time’ writer you are eligible for promotions and department chief roles.

Players who write at least 9 sims a month are considered a "Part Time" writer - any less than that (without reason) may be treated as an LOA. It is important to note that a writer may only be considered Part Time for a short duration, generally only for a few months, and an action plan must be agreed to with the ship's Command Staff and the writer to return them to Full Time status as soon as practicable.

For more information on sim formatting and style on the USS Constitution-B, visit the Constitution-B Simming Guide.

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It can help to sim every other day to stay in a good rhythm to achieve that. Some sim more often than that... but that's far from required.

Each writer must find a balance, must find what works for them. But no matter what you decide is best for you, membership in our group requires at least ten sims a month to be considered active, and twelve sims per month to be considered a full time writer and be eligible for promotions. While there are some players who sim less than this, it is often difficult to really integrate said characters into a full out plot or give them a key part in a mission.

Generally speaking, these sims should be evenly spaced out (every couple days), rather than a large burst of activity at the end of the month. Since our plots and story lines run throughout the month, it will be difficult to contribute appropriately if you are only simming one week out of the entire month. However, if you feel that you have been away too long (perhaps you went on a week vacation or the like) then you can always ask a member of the command staff for help getting back into the story so that you can meet the posting requirements.

Consistently maintaining a sim count higher than the bare minimum (generally 20+ a month) and answering your tags with alacrity looks very good for your development, keeps your character involved in the plot and allows for a much more fun simming experience for the whole crew.

Personal Non-Player Characters

Once you're comfortable with your main character and settled in with the crew (we use your promotion to Lieutenant JG as a guideline), you can create what's known as a Personal NPC or PNPC. A PNPC is like a regular NPC, but only you can write for them. In some ways they're like a second character, but they're supposed to play a supporting role. A good PNPC might be:

  • A boyfriend or girlfriend for your character.
  • Your character's assistant or work partner.
  • Your character's family member, such as a parent or child.
  • A close friend.

However, there's no obligation to tie your character to your PNPC. In fact, one of the good uses of PNPCs is that they allow you to play in any division you wish on the ship, or get involved in plots you would otherwise not experience. With that in mind, you also might want to create a PNPC that:

  • Is in a different department.
  • Is a different species or gender to your main character.
  • Really dislikes your main character! Nothing like conflict to get the stories flowing.
  • Does not have any link to your main character at all

If you are a new player, or this is your first PNPC, simply send a message to Captain Jalana Rajel with your idea for a PNPC.

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You can have as many PNPCs as you like, but we recommend no more than four.

Regardless of what you choose, make sure that you maintain the weekly post rate of at least 3 posts per week with your main character. You are, of course, not limited to this amount of posts, and you may post as much as you wish with any of your characters, but to properly consider a PNPC what it is, they should play a supporting role rather than one that would shut your main character out. If you find that you have more fun playing a PNPC, and that your post count reflects this, you may consider switching your main character for the PNPC. Then, your main would become another PNPC, while the PNPC in question would become your main.

Switching characters is allowed, but on a case by case basis. These changes have to be approved by the command staff of the USS Constitution-B, so contact a member of the staff to discuss the change that you are thinking of. Keep in mind, however, that switching characters is not something to do every month. If a switch is approved, another will not be immediately approved. So think about these changes deeply before you decide to jump.

Mission Specific Non-Player Characters

A Mission Specific Non-Player Character, or MSNPC, is an NPC assigned to a specific player for the duration of a mission. They are usually antagonists, and are played just like any other character, except they are only played for the mission they were created in. Occasionally, some MSNPCs are seen again in future missions or sims.

MSNPCs are assigned by the command staff of the USS Constitution-B. Generally an email is sent out near the end of a shore leave period and anyone who wishes may apply to be one of the characters. Most of the time, applicants are not told what, or who, they are playing until the details are ironed out and the mission is about to begin.

When thinking about simming a MSNPC, it is important that you consider your availability. Regardless of how many PNPCs or MSPNPCs you are simming, you will be expected to maintain your sim rate throughout the mission in addition to these extra characters. If you think that spending the extra time for another character might mean that you sim your main character less, then it may be a good idea to wait till next time.

Once assigned, you will be sent an introduction email explaining your character for the mission and any limitations that may be placed on said character. You will be expected to sim this character as needed throughout the course of the mission, even though that may not be as much as is considered 'full time' for purposes of the fleet. You are, however, required to sim it enough to push the plot forward so that it does not stall because of tags or events that are in the hands of the MSPNPC and its writer.

Ranks and Promotions

Every writer in the fleet has both an IC and an OOC rank. In most circumstances, these two are the same. Where writers choose, for example, to sim an enlisted crewman rather than an officer, or to have their character decline a promotion for roleplaying reasons, their OOC rank and their IC rank may differ.

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Promotions on the Constitution-B are not automatic and must be earned. We like to think we are stricter with our promotions than other vessels - if you are promoted by us, you are one of the best.

Only your main character will get ranks and promotions officially. You may sim an enlisted crewman of any rank, but all officers must be the same rank as your main character or lower. This means that if you are a Lieutenant, then you can not sim a PNPC that is a Lieutenant Commander.

You may, temporarily, sim an NPC of any rank up to Captain (such as the Captain of a visiting vessel) - but their presence should be appropriate and their interactions brief. This is not an opportunity to order around the Lieutenant Commanders, no matter how much fun that could hypothetically be.

To be promoted means that both your commanding officer and the rest of the fleet (you'll be surprised who reads your sims...) have judged you worthy of being recognized for your efforts. The Constitution promotion guidelines match those of the SB118 Promotion Guide. You can find the individual rank guides here:

The Mentor System

When new writers come aboard any ship, including the USS Constitution-B, they are given a mentor. This will generally be a staff member of rank Lieutenant or higher who guides, encourages and helps the new writer with any issues they may be facing. The USS Constitution-B has a few specific officers who have signed up to mentor new Ensigns as they are placed with our crew.

These officers have a history of high level simming ability and a secure grasp of how things work on the USS Constitution-B and in the Fleet. Because our mentors have the responsibility of shaping some of the Fleet's future leaders, we do not take it lightly. On the contrary, to be a mentor means both dedication to the rules and setup of the Starbase 118 Fleet as well as knowledge of writing and simming overall.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor aboard the USS Constitution-B, read over the Constitution-B Mentor Handbook and contact Captain Jalana Rajel to apply.

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Volunteering to mentor a new crew member to the ship is a great way to earn a new friend!

Anyone can apply to be a mentor, but the program run on the USS Constitution-B is not for the faint of heart. Only the best of the best are accepted. Want to better your chances of approval? Make sure that you maintain a full time sim rate and contribute with sims that are of appropriate length, checked for spelling and grammar errors, and free from other formatting or content problems. Also show that you are able to participate in the plot, include other players in your plots and put the ship first (meaning that not all plots have to be about you, sometimes it is about others or the mission).

Outside the Ship

Outside of simming, there are a huge number of resources for you to let out your creative energies. Involvement in any of the OOC activities is strictly optional below the rank of Lieutenant, but in order to progress up the ranks a certain level of involvement is expected.

Fleet OOC Opportunities

At the time of writing, there are a vast number of fleet-wide OOC activities you can become involved in!

  • Meeting others playing your duty post around the fleet, and learning more about how to play that post better;
  • Writing articles for the Community News (head to the team Google Group and request membership);
  • Joining the Publicity Team!
  • Working on graphics in the Image team!
  • Joining the Wiki OPS Team, to keep the Fleet Wiki updated and pretty.
  • ... and much more!

Fleet Leadership

While each ship is considered an individual ship within the fleet, there are jobs and tasks that are required to make the fleet, as a whole, run. As you move up the ranks on your ship, you will be presented with lots of opportunities to help out on a fleet-wide basis and not just on your ship. While simming a character in the future world of Trek is a blast, there is plenty of behind the scenes activity that must happen in order to keep the fleet going. Fleet rank requirements state that helping out is required if you want to advance beyond a certain point and become a leader within the fleet.

Additionally, in order to advance in rank beyond Lieutenant you should be showing that you are, in some capacity, involved in the OOC working of the ship and the fleet. This is generally something small and, in most circumstances, doesn't take up much more time than an hour a week. Something like becoming a wiki editor, a forum moderator, writing something for the Fleet News or in some way contributing to the ship and the fleet as a whole. Even Ensigns can contribute, so don't be shy- ask away.

There are many ways to help out, but you should be meeting a 3 sim a week average before taking on additional duties. In this instance, we say fun before work! Remember, the ship is here for you to have fun, it should never feel like a job!

Closing Thoughts

It might seem like there are lots of different things to learn and understand, but most of this will come second nature after you are with us for just a little while. Many officers already model the behavior that is encouraged, so it is easy to pick up on the good habits of others. There is a great team of officers on the USS Constitution-B, and we all learn and grow together.

Regardless of your rank or position, or when you joined the USS Constitution-B, always remember that the command staff is there to help you. No matter what your question or comment is, or if you simply need another set of eyes or help with another issue, your Captain and First Officer will be glad to help! Simply contact them.

As we like to say: We are a family, all in the same tin boat.