“The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”
|StarBase 118 Ops
First and foremost, welcome to Starbase 118! If you're reading this, it's likely that you've been linked to this handbook by either Captain Taybrim or your mentor.
This page serves as a combined welcome and guide for simming as part of the Starbase 118 Ops crew.
While you may have just graduated from the Academy with all required knowledge in hand, this handbook strives to reiterate that information and provide 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.
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 Starbase 118.
Find an error? Have a question not outlined here? Please, never hesitate to contact the Captain or your mentor at any time!
- Ensigns Orientation: A general guide for getting started in the fleet for new ensigns.
- Cadet Orientation: Want to double-check some of the basics? Here's all of the introductory information from your training.
- The Wiki: The Starbase 118 wiki contains a vast amount of knowledge about our ships, fleet, and timeline. Take a peek around the pages.
- Memory Alpha: An extensive resource on canon Star Trek and the Trek universe.
- The Main Starbase 118 Website: There is plenty of information to be found on the main site for the Fleet including both out of and in-character articles.
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.
New members of the fleet are always assigned a mentor, who is an experienced player who will help you get involved, provide feedback, and assist with answering any questions you might have. It's common for your mentor to be the one who linked you this guide as well.
Ranks and Promotion
Simming on Starbase 118 Ops
While much of our simming process is identical to what you learned in the Academy, there are still some peculiarities we wish to mention. These are touched on in detail below.
Title/Subject Line Formatting
Titles are done in the format of Rank Charactername, which may be the character's full name or simply their last name, depending on length and your preference. Then the specific sim title followed by any tags or certain notes for other players within parentheses. Existing is sometimes used in this portion to indicate tags brought in from previous scenes, and you may also see FAO which means "for the attention of", while NT simply stands for "no tags". We encourage everyone to read all sims to the list, but also wish to ensure players can easily find those scenes to which they owe a response.
A couple examples are provided below:
- Captain Taybrim - Grills Bring Happiness (Tags: Maxwell/Moor | Existing: Kasun/Trel'lis/Lyndsay/K'mal)
- Lt. Commander Aitas - Ale Errands (Tags: West/Braddock, FAO: Beach Party)
Starfleet on Starbase 118
Life on a Starbase
Plot and Themes
For full details on the various types of characters one might play with the group, see the Player Types page.
These characters are NPCs written by only one writer, and may not hold a rank higher than your own. Due to the crew complement on such a large station, Starbase 118 Ops does not tend to restrict the creation of PNPCs. Just remember that they shouldn't outshine your main character, or prevent you from keeping up with posting on that main character either. If you find yourself wanting to switch up who is your main character, you'll need to talk to the command staff. Such a change isn't to be done lightly.
Some possible choices for a PNPC:
- A spouse or partner for your character.
- Your character's coworker.
- Your character's family member, such as a parent or child.
- A character in completely different department.
- A character that might only show up intermittently.
- Characters that contrast or conflict with others in their field-you'll want to check with others in the department to see what they're comfortable with for this.
Mission Specific NPCs
A Mission Specific Player Non-Playing Character, or MSPNPC, 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 generally only played for the mission they were created in. Occasionally, some MSNPCs are seen again in future missions or sims. Tip: If you're assigned a MSPNPC, don't tell anyone- and try to mix up your writing style and format a little to keep people guessing! The mystery is half the fun!
MSNPCs are assigned by the command staff of the Starbase. 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.
Common Simming Issues
Not every voyage is smooth sailing, and while simming there are many issues that you might encounter. Some of them are general, while others are very specific in nature. In any event, they should all be treated with caution. Remember, we are all here to have fun, but we are also all human. Sometimes it is personalities that clash, while other times it is the actions of a character or group of characters. The Academy goes over some of these issues, especially when building a bio for your character. Here is a more in depth look at the problems that you may face along the way. Telepaths
Telepathy and Empathy
General RP Etiquette
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 even powerful telepaths should be mindful to keep some surprise in store for their 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'.
Polishing your Sims
One of the most important steps in building a great sim involves taking what you have written and polishing it up so that it not only reads well, but looks nice as well. The Starbase 118 Fleet adheres to certain guidelines when formatting sims so that they are similar fleet-wide. Some of these guidelines include the location of action at the top of your sim, the signage throughout the sim, and a signature at the end of a sim. It is important to remember these guidelines so that everyone involved will be able to read, and respond, to your contribution.
When writing sims, one should be mindful of the readability of your work. Generally speaking, a properly formatted post will be clean and easy to read, with a correct use of punctuation and grammar. Occasional typos are fine, but frequently making mistakes a spell-checker would pick up can be annoying. Many members of the fleet are from different international countries where English may not be the national language. As such, we don't expect perfect grammar or spelling, but if you want to advance and take up a leadership role within the fleet, use of spell check and proofreading your sims is required.
Generally speaking, it's a good idea to always:
- Use a spell-checker. This is the easiest and most effective way to dramatically improve the quality of your sims.
- Read your sims before posting them. If YOU wouldn't read your own work, who will?
- Use whitespace to make your posts more readable.
- Splash in actions, thoughts and the like.
One should also be aware of runaway dialog. Unless your character is giving a big speech, you should keep your spoken lines fairly short, giving other players plenty of time to contribute. Remember, this is a collaborative game and it will be no fun for one person to do all the talking or acting. Be mindful of this; it makes simming so much more fun for you and those around you.